Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - the year in review

2014 is over already??  For real?  Didn't it just start?  Wow... talk about time flying!

Here's a brief glimpse back at the year that was...

January started of cold!  I mean seriously cold.  Polar Vortex kinda cold. And the grand baby turned 2 years old.  Not a baby anymore!

In February I created a little 14 Day Marriage Challenge for myself (and all my blog readers)  It is the month of romance, after all!

In April the Man of the House and I played "Hometown Tourist" by heading down the mountain to Saluda where we enjoyed Pearson's Falls and the other small town delights it had to offer - making a point of doing some things we've never done before.

May saw the Male Offspring turn 16.  Yikes!!  It also found us doing some hiking.  First up Frying Pan mountain where I climbed attempted to climb the fire observation tower and then exploring part of the Art Loeb Trail to Black Balsam Knob.

June was a picnic and play in the park with Shakespeare.  Henry V by the Montford Park Players. I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy live theatre!

I also did my first (and probably last) ever 5K run at the end of June.  Am I crazy?  Yes... obviously I am.

In July we celebrated the Female Offspring's birthday.  At the end of July I flew out to Oklahoma City for a few days to visit my sister and her family.  They took me sight seeing up to the University campus and art museum,  the OKC Memorial, along Route 66 to Arcadia (with a stop at Pop's for some crazy sodas!), the Botanical Gardens, and even a lighthouse.  (who know there was a lighthouse in Oklahoma?)

At the end of my visit there was a Girl's Only road trip along I-40 with the sister and nieces back to North Carolina.  I love a good road trip!!
In August we did a makeover in our home office/craft room.  The Man of the House created a beautiful craft closet for me!

September was relatively quiet.  Nothing much going on - except for when I choked on my salad and injured my throat, leaving it sore for a few days.

October was birthday time for The Man of the House. He and I took a little time away for a nice couples weekend in Gatlinburg.

November - my birthday.  When I turned... old enough!  Geez... let's just call it mid-forties and forget it.  This year was extra special because it snowed a measureable amount for the first time ever on my birthday.  We woke up to about 3 inches of the white stuff that morning.  Awesome!!

December has been a blur.  It always is - getting ready for the holidays.  The Man of the House and I got our Christmas present from his mother a little early this year.  Tickets to the Carolina Panthers / Cleveland Browns football game in Charlotte!

And there ya have it.  2014.  Hard to believe it's over.  But looking back at it has me excited for all the fun we'll have in 2015!!

Happy New Year y'all!!

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Top Five Posts of 2014

2014 has seen many ups and downs on the blog.  Both with my frequency (and quality) of posts - and the views it has received.  Here are the Top Five posts from this year according to the view stats:

Don't You Care?
When I wrote this I never imagined it would be read by so many people!  It seems as if a lot of us have asked God this question at one time or another based on the traffic this post got. 

The 14 Day Marriage Challenge
This blog challenge to rekindle the romance in your marriage saw quite a bit of interest.  In fact, three of the top 5 posts for 2014 came from this series!
Romancing Him - the 14 Day Marriage Challenge
The 14 Day Marriage Challenge: Day One
The 14 Day Marriage Challenge: Day Four

Three Things I Like to Remember
I was overwhelmed by how many of you joined me on this little nostalgic trip down memory lane!

Dropping Your Nets
When we took a look at letting go of the things that slow you down, tie you down, and hold you back to freely follow Christ

THANK YOU! to each and everyone of you who took time to read these posts - or any other post - on the blog this year!  It is greatly appreciated!

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Monday, December 22, 2014

The End of Fear

At the end of 2013, when I began thinking about the concept of "One Word" for 2014 - I never imagined that Fearless would be revealed to me.  But there it was - over and over.  Fearless.  And that is the word I adopted for the past year.

The word God revealed to me and has used it to show me so much about myself and my fears.

How fear is its own for of doubt and disbelief. That the key to being truly fearless is trust.  Trusting Him and His plans for me.  Being willing to step out in obedience despite my own fears and concerns.

How I have allowed my fears to rule me and guide my life rather than following His plans for me.

And constantly reminding me: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

Am I completely fearless now?  Am I free from worry?  No... it still creeps in.  More often than I would really like to admit.  But it's progress in the right direction. 

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: December 18

Wrapping presents
The Grand Baby's new found love of candy canes
photo credit -
The male offspring letting me baby him a bit when he didn't feel well
Picking up items for food boxes
Going to bed crazy early
Early to bed, Early to rise
Welcome home kisses for the Man of the House when he comes home after a long day
More last minute Etsy orders than I can accept
 Crazy good deal on cute new coffee cups
Being able to laugh it off

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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Holidays Can Bring Out the Best and the Worst in People

The other day the female offspring and I stopped at the post office to pick up stamps for Christmas cards.  It wasn't crazy busy, but it was pretty much hoppin' for our little small town postal facility.  Especially the parking lot.  It's to be expected - it's that time of year. 

As I was ready to leave there were two other cars also trying to vacate parking spaces.  Also a large truck and a mini-van looking for parking.

The older man in the truck stopped and waited to the other cars to leave.  I thought he was just waiting for one of those choice spots right in front of the door and was going to wait for him to go past before I tried backing up.  But then he waved me out also.  He was just being patient with all the other drivers.

The woman driving the minivan however, did not possess the virtue of patience that day.  She was a woman with places to go and things to do.  As clearly displayed by the way she decided she was done waiting for him to let everyone else go and came pulling on around him.  Swerving around (and between) both his tuck and my own vehicle in the process.  And - winner, winner, chicken dinner - she got herself one of those prized parking spots in front of the door as a reward for her aggressiveness.

The female offspring and I were both stunned!  Not only at her impatience, but how she was willing to risk a fender bender to get to a parking spot a whole 15 seconds faster than she otherwise would have.

As I circled around to pull out onto the road I looked back toward the building...

and saw the man from the truck hurry over and open the door to the post office for rude minvan lady!  Repaying her actions with an act of kindness.

It did my heart good to see that.  So.. thank you to the kind gentleman in the truck.   For reminding me that in the face of all the hostility and impatience of the holiday season - it is possible to stay positive and share kindness with others.  Even when they may not deserve it!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Seven Simple (and Inexpensive) Christmas Gift Ideas

'Tis the season - for gift giving! 

If your list is like mine, it can seem endless.  Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, the mail carrier... it goes on and on! And it never seems to fail that someone will pop to mind at the last minute. I'm always on the look out for nice - but inexpensive - gift ideas.  Gift cards are an easy solution - but also a little impersonal.  Unless you add a little something pretty to go with it.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

A cute cup sleeve and a gift card to Starbucks (or their favorite coffee spot):
Chevron to-go Cup Cozy, Handcrafted, Crochet, Cotton, Reusable and Washable, Cup Sleeve (your choice of colors)

A reusable cotton bath puff or spa bath set and some of their favorite bath products:

A set of kitchen utensils with a pretty dish towel holder:

A bottle of wine or sparkling cider and a recycled wine cork keychain:
ONLY 2 LEFT!!  Recycled Winecork Key Ring with Silver Bead Embellishment: Wine themed gift, *Stocking stuffer* Ready to Ship

 Some home baked goodies and a set of cotton dish cloths:

 A set of lip balms or glosses with a pretty lip balm holder key ring:
Pretty Frozen Ice Princess Crochet Lip Balm Holder Key Ring  - Snowflake - Glitter

Or dress a simple gift card up in something cute for the holidays:
Crocheted Gray Cabled Christmas Gift Card Holder - Business Card Holder - Credit Card Holder - ID Case with metal Thistle design button

Christmas Holiday Red Gift Card - Business Card - ID - Holder,

All handcrafted items featured in this post are available at
and ship within 2 - 5  business days. Guaranteed shipping to arrive by Christmas if ordered on or before December 15, 2014.

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: December 4


Christmas lights

Realizing the grand baby was sampling the pumpkin pie

Rudolph the red nose reindeer
Leftover pumpkin pie
Christmas carols on the radio
Foggy mountains

Seeing this on the neighbors roof:
Yes, that is a giant rubber duckie wearing a Santa hat

Online shopping for Christmas gifts
Text messages from my niece

Silly things that make me laugh (and gross me out a little)
I am very sure I did not want to purchase that fourth item!!
Rice Krispy treats
The grand baby saying "I love you,  Oma"
Having almost all of my shopping done during the first week of December

Our new Elf on the Shelf

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: Happy Thanksgiving

I Am Thankful for:
Pumpkin pies
Cranberry sauce
Visiting with family
Football on TV
Helpful cashiers
A new Christmas tree skirt
Soup in the crock pot on a cold day
Long text "conversations" with my sisters
A cup of hot tea
Staying in on a cold day
Starbucks free birthday drink
Getting a price adjustment on new stocking - 40% off!
Grand baby saying "it's beautiful! "
A forecast for snow
Quiet early mornings

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

You're You, Not Them

Stop comparing yourself to others! Seriously... just stop! 

It's not about what they have done.  What they will do.  What they have accomplished. That's theirs.  Not yours.  Not you.  Don't judge yourself according to that.

Judge yourself only based on your own merits.  Your talents.  Your actions.  Your accomplishments.  What you know you are capable of doing.

Consider only what God thinks of you, not what other people may or may not think. 

Your worth doesn't come from whether or not you measure up to what everyone else is doing.  Only if you are living up to the plans set for you.  If you are walking in obedience to God. 

Are you growing?  Are you improving?  Are you becoming closer to God each day? 

Stop trying to be like everyone else.  Stop trying to be like anyone else.  Just be the best YOU. 

(I might have to come back every single day and remind myself why I wrote this!)
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