Friday, December 26, 2008

(I hope you all had) A Holly Jolly Christmas!

This is late, I know. I've been pretty busy lately, and have had no time to post. And, to be perfectly honest, I haven't had much to say. I do have lots of pictures to share, though.

I know I posted a blog once about our Christmas tree, but I can't help it. Mike and I BOTH love this tree! It's perfect! It has the perfect shape. It has filled our home with its WONDERFUL fragrance. It has the best ornaments. It also has great lights. The best part about it is that we picked it out ourselves, cut it down, and brought it home. Our favorite tree ever.

I absolutely LOVE these ornaments that we have all around the top of the tree. I found these at Bradley's. They are classic, simple, sparkly, and the sentiments on them are perfect! Not to mention, Joy and the whole staff at Bradley's are SUPER great and just genuinely fabulous people! :)

These are just a couple of favorite pictures that I took. (The ONLY way to take a BAD picture with a digital camera is to not take enough pictures! I'm not wasting film or money, so I have learned to snap, snap, snap.....I'm bound to get a few great shots!

These two are pics of ornaments my mom got us for Christmas a couple of years ago. She picked them up when her and my dad visited Biltmore in NC. I thought they were cute!

Here is a picture of Blossom sitting in front of the tree. I tried and tried and tried to get one of Biscuit in front of the tree, JUST to post on here, but it just didn't happen. Biscuit does love wrapping paper, so I snapped this one while I was wrapping a few gifts.

It doesn't stop there. I want to share some pics of festivities leading up to Christmas.
The weekend before Christmas, I made some cracker candy. This stuff is DE-LISH! If you love sweet and salty together, THIS is the candy for you! If you're interested, email me and I'll send the recipe! It's SUPER simple to make too! ALSO in one of the pictures below is a sampling of the Christmas cards I made this year. To those of you who received one, I hope the rhinestones weren't peeking out of the envelope like they were on my sisters. OOPSIE.

The Monday before Christmas, Trans-Siberian Orchestra was in town! If you have NEVER seen them, I HIGHLY recommend purchasing tickets for next year! This was the first time we have ever seen them. The musicians were the best we have EVER seen! Literally! The light show was out of this world! The music (which I guess could be considered part of the musician comment) was extraordinary! The show was phenomenal!!!! WELL worth the money! Heck, it was worth FAR MORE than the ticket price, that is for sure!

There was also an added bonus for this show! My friend Ronnie (okay, now that we're grown-up's he prefers being called Ron), that I have known since I was 5 years old was on this tour. He's a drum tech and was honored to be chosen to go on tour with this fabulous group of musicians! Sooooo, added bonus, I got to meet up with him before the show for a little bit. It was so great to see him! It was fun catching up, and it was even better seeing what a great job he does for TSO! Here's a picture of us.

After the show, I snapped this of downtown.

Wednesday was here before I knew it. I had TONS of work to do. And the ONLY picture I took of anything in the kitchen were the lemon drops I made. Before icing. After icing. They were SO YUMMY! Thanks to JoAnne and Mary for letting me borrow their mini-muffin pans!!!!

I was so tired by the time dinner was finished, that I completely forgot to take pictures of the final dinner results! :( I did, however, take a picture of the dining room, ready for the guests to arrive. **Note - It was SOOOO warm out Wednesday, that we opened up all the windows. :)

After dinner, we opened up all the presents that were under the tree (there were more under there once the family arrived, but this is the only picture I took of the tree on Christmas Eve night). The only present that would have made this night TRUELY complete was if my mom was able to come! She has not been feeling well lately, and it was pretty sad not having her with us on Christmas Eve. We were able to spend Christmas Day with her, at my parents house, which was REALLY special and nice!
It was a GREAT evening spent with family, reflecting on great times throughout the year and years past, and remembering THE reason for Christmas, Jesus!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!!!!

Another oopsie! I just realized I didn't post any pics of Mike on here! :( Maybe I'll do that later. Sorry, honey.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Well, I was going to post something tonight, but I have a major headache! :( I will try tomorrow.....Hope you all are enjoying the Christmas season.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Cards.

Sorry I haven't posted in over a week. We've been super busy. I am THISCLOSE to getting our Christmas cards finished. That has been consuming most of my time. I really don't mind, though. I'm having fun putting them together. We should FINALLY get them in the mail this week. Yaay!

Friday, December 5, 2008

KA-Ching$$$ hundred hundred hundred three! yes, you read it correctly. one hundred three. dollars, that is.

we went to our friday afternoon spot to pick up lotto plus tickets. i usually take in my old slips from the previous week and have the nice people check to see if i won anything. it's usually "not a winner", or 3 whopping dollars. TODAY, the machine went "woo-hoo! woo-hoo! woo-hoo!" i thought it was strange, but didn't really think much about it. the lady was looking at me with huge eyes and said "do you know what that means???" i didn't. i said, "no." she said, "look at how much you won". something was rolling quickly on the digital display, but i was so confused and caught off guard, that i didn't see what i was supposed to. she said, "you just won $103.00!!!!"

so, YAAAAAAY!!!!!!! i won 103.00! i couldn't believe it. it couldn't have come at a better time. who DOESN'T need money at christmas, right?! i'm still trying to decide what to do with it. there are numerous things i'd like to do with it. actually, if it was the jackpot, i'd REALLY be able to do the things i'd like to do....and i (well, we=mike+i) would NOT keep it all for myself. there would be LOTS of people in need getting nice blessings!!! and lots of my closest friends (and family, of course) being blessed in huge ways, too! if WE win, our BESTIES win. :)

i just had to post the below picture. just because it's so dorky. it's just so dramatic. it's just cheesy. silly. fun. hilarious. look at the crazy look in my eyes. it cracks me up. and, people were telling me how great my hair looked today. haha. (nothing like a great hair day, right?! i fixed it straight today, something that takes a little more effort than just letting it be natually curly...) to my friends who know the story....i'm sure the below look on my face ALSO said "HIIIIII, BOB!", a couple days ago. hahahahaaaaaaaaa.

also, i must say that i met one of my VERY best friends for lunch today. it was SOOOOOO SOOOOOOO GREAT to see her!!!!! she looks great and it has been far too long since we've seen each other! she just got engaged too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm SO flippin' excited and happy for her. probably more happy and excited than she is. i just get so excited for my close friends like that. her ring is gorgeous! absolutely gorgeous. we shared a couple of happy tears together when she told me how her VERY special guy proposed. love those two! we had a nice time catching up. at the end of the hour, it felt like we had only spent 10 minutes together. it went by entirely too fast. we need to do that more often.

that's it for now. i'll try to write more tomorrow.
love ya!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

WHO am I????

This is going to be a pretty simple blog. Simple, yet complex. I'm sure I'll get a little emotional while writing it. Mike is sitting next to me on the couch right now. ...I'm sure in a few minutes he'll hear me sniffling and ask me if I'm okay. And, to that I'll reply by nodding my head yes, and wipe some tears away. I'm a serious jokester, which is the side of me that most people see. But I have a 'deep' side to me, which is part of the reason I started this blog. So people can get to know the real me, and be inspired. :)

I just want to talk about one of my recent favorite songs. Music is a huge part of my life. Pretty much always has been. I love it. It speaks to me like nothing else can. It's one of the most amazing things in life. This song has been around for a few years. Every time I hear it, I find myself getting teary eyed and introspective. The words are CRAZY PERSONAL and just make me think of so many things. I'm typing it in kind of a different way below.....a way that will make you think about it, rather than just read a poem or lyrics.

Who am I, that the Lord of ALL THE EARTH would CARE to know MY name, would CARE to feel MY hurt?
Who am I that THE bright and morning star WOULD CHOOSE to light the way, for MY EVER WANDERING HEART?

NOT because of WHO I am, but BECAUSE of what YOU'VE DONE.
NOT because of WHAT I've done, but BECAUSE of who YOU ARE.

I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
STILL YOU hear me when I'm calling, Lord, you catch me when I'm falling, and you've told me who I am: I am YOURS, I am YOURS.

Who am I that the EYES that see my sin WOULD look on me WITH LOVE AND WATCH me rise AGAIN?
Who am I that THE VOICE THAT CALMED THE SEA, would call out through the rain, and calm the storm in ME?

NOT because of WHO I am, but BECAUSE of what YOU'VE DONE.
NOT because of WHAT I've done, but BECAUSE of who YOU ARE.

I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
STILL YOU hear me when I'm calling, Lord, you catch me when I'm falling, and you've told me who I am: I am YOURS, I am YOURS.

NOT because of WHO I am, but BECAUSE of what YOU'VE DONE.
NOT because of WHAT I've done, but BECAUSE of who YOU ARE.

I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
STILL YOU hear me when I'm calling, Lord, you catch me when I'm falling, and you've told me who I am: I am YOURS, I am YOURS.

I am yours.

WHOM shall I fear? WHOM shall I fear? 'Cause I am yours.

Do you understand what this means? Every. Time. I hear this song, it amazes me. It doesn't matter what I have done. It doesn't matter where I've been. It doesn't matter what has happened in my life....
The CREATOR of ALL THE EARTH: cares to know my name. cares to feel my hurt. he still CHOOSES to shine (yes, he chooses to do it!) the way for my EVER WANDERING heart. No matter how far away I wander, he ALWAYS welcomes me back, with arms open wider than the east is from the west, with the hugest bear-hug ever, NO MATTER how far away I wander!!!! it doesn't matter. he sees me every second. he sees me mess up. he sees me do right. he sees me do wrong. he still looks on me with complete LOVE in his heart, no matter what i've done. he's there to watch me rise up and get on my feet again. he's the one who calmed the raging seas, literally. THAT VERY VOICE who calmed the raging seas thousands of years ago, is the VERY ONE who calls out to me THROUGH the rain and storms in my life and WANTS to calm them, right now, in 2008.

I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind. STILL YOU hear me when I'm calling, Lord, you catch me when I'm falling, and YOU'VE TOLD ME WHO I AM: I am YOURS, I am YOURS.

I'm the apple of his eye, and I think that's pretty special!!!!

I'm sure I did absolutely NO justice explaining what the song says to me. There are so many things I feel when I listen to the song, and just can't explain them on paper. Strange, yet cool, huh?! Well, If I think of more that I want to add to this, I will definitely update it. :)

I hope everyone is getting ready for a ROCKIN' weekend!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I didn't say never

This is an update on my AWESOME Thanksgiving weekend. Mike and I had a great time! And, you're getting ready to read about all the fun we had. If you don't like to have fun, you may want to skip reading this entry...because, we-had-fun!

On BLACK Friday we were planning on getting an earlier start to the day, but we ended up sleeping in longer than we anticipated. No problem, though, we had no appointments, we were just taking the day as it came. Our first stop of the day was to get gas. It was nice to see the prices this low, and EVEN more nice to fill our vehicle up for under $30.00!!!!!

Our next stop, which I was dreading, was....

Let me add that I was only dreading going here b/c of the crowds. I was pleasantly surprised, though. The crowds must have been there when they first opened b/c it was not that busy. I did say I was not going shopping on Black Friday, but I didn't say I would would never go. haha. I wasn't planning on it, I promise, but we forgot to get a tree stand Wednesday night when we went running around. We HAD to get one since were were getting a real tree this year. (And we snagged some great deals on some movies while we were here too!)

After Target, we stopped and grabbed a bite to eat. We were planning on going to Cracker Barrel, but we didn't really feel like going once we woke up. I should add that by the time we actually were going to eat breakfast, it was almost lunch......AND, the nice people here cooked some fresh chicken tenders for me, since they weren't serving them yet. Our brunch was great.

The place we were most excited about was the next stop. Something we've never done before. A tradition we wanted to start.

We had so much fun here, walking through the farm looking for OUR PERFECT tree! We got to pick WHATEVER tree we wanted. We also got to cut it down ourselves, too! (how cool is that?!!) These are just a couple of the pictures we took. The pictures show only a small portion of the tree farm. The owners were super nice and we were sad to find out that this is the last year for the tree farm! The city bought the land and the owners are singing "sweet retirement". We will be finding another tree farm, unfortunately.

They had apple cider, hot chocolate and some sweets to finish the experience. Needless to say, based on the temperature Friday, we didn't need anything warm to drink.....

Next stop, back home to set up the tree.

We quickly realized that if we were going to decorate, we needed a few more things. We found most of them at Target (again), but had to add another stop to our list for the day.

While we were out having a great time, we had to add just ONE more stop to the day. Nothing like some sweet tea with lemon, yummy chilli nachos (no black olives), and a french dip.

I must admit, when we got home from all of the running around, we were exhausted! We just relaxed for the rest of the evening. We were going to put the decorations and lights on the tree Saturday night, but we didn't feel like it. We DID end up decorating the tree Sunday evening, the perfect night for staying in. It was pouring rain, we saw a few flashes of lighting and even heard a couple rumbles of thunder, but we were warm and cozy inside.

With the WONDERFUL aroma of the Christmas tree, we put on some of our Christmas cd's and decorated the tree. In between hanging some decorations, a little slow dance was snuck in there. So sweet and romantic, isn't it?! Speaking of slow dances, FIFTEEN years ago, we had just finished decorating the tree at Mike's apartment, and while we were slow dancing, he got down on one knee and proposed to me!!!! We've been married for fourteen years, already! Not only do we STILL love each other, but we still LIKE each other and enjoy each others company!

Anyway, this is the finished product.

I'm going to be posting MORE Christmas tree pics later, but for now, this is it. I'm going to be doing a special blog about our tree. I know it sounds silly, but, trust me, it's going to be a good one! ;)