Monday, December 28, 2015

The End is Near

Well, here we are. Christmas of 2015 is a thing of the past.  This year has certainly flown by, hasn't it?  I have to admit it hasn't been a stellar year for blogging.  I have plans to be better in 2016.  (Better is going to be a big thing next year - stay tuned for that!)

I can't say for sure that I won't be blogging anything between now and the end of the year.  But just in case that's how it ends up happening:

Happy New Year!!  God bless!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Merry Christmas!!  Sure, I'm a few days early - but why not...

I haven't done much blogging this Christmas season, it was pretty busy for a while there. So, now that things are winding down, I thought I would take a moment to share a few of my favorite Christmas pretties around my home.

(I apologize for the fuzzy pictures, I walked around snapping a few shots with my tablet this morning.  Not the best lighting or camera)

My cute "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" snowmen and this pretty sign great you as you come in the front door.  Along with these sweet little pillows I got for a steal at Target last year on the storage bench.

The mantel might be my very favorite part of all my holiday decor.

Except for the tree, of course!

There's a little tree just for the grandbaby which decorates the coffee station in the dining room

And even the hall bathroom gets a little holiday love.

Do you enjoy decorating the whole house for the Christmas season, like me?  Or are you more into 'just the basics' for your holiday decor?

Merry Christmas!!

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Somebody's Watching Me

Ever feel like you're being watched?  Me too!  Especially now...

There's an Elf on the Shelf in our house getting up to all kinds of mischief. Including putting googly eyes on everything he could get a hold of one day last week.  Several toys, a few Christmas ornaments, an apple... and my coffee maker!  Which made me laugh enough that I left them!

Now my Keurig watches me whenever I prepare a cup of coffee or tea.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Get Some Rest

"Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat"...

Do you ever feel this way?  Especially this time a year with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Yes, me too!  Shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, cleaning, entertaining, visiting...  it can be down right exhausting.  And there truly are days when I feel as if I don't even have time to eat.

Those are the days I can almost feel the Spirit whispering to me the same words Jesus says to the apostles.  'Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest.”

God still calls us to come away with Him to a quiet place and rest in His presence.  To press pause and rejuvenate our souls.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Spirit of Gratitude: December 3

You may find yourself reading the title up here and thinking "Another gratitude post? Thanksgiving was a week ago. Haven't we moved on to Christmas already?"  Well, yes.  The DAY of thanksgiving was a week ago today.  But gratitude isn't something special meant for just one day, one week, or one month a year.

Gratitude should be practiced year round.  The more you seek out and acknowledge all the little blessings in your life - the more you see how many reasons there truly are for giving thanks!

I really do keep a gratitude journal.  Almost every day I write down at least 3 things that made me feel blessed.  They can be big or small.  Profound or silly. Some of the things I write in there get shared here each week in my Spirit of Gratitude posts.  For example, this week -

I Am Thankful For:
Leftover turkey
Pumpkin pie
A little Black Friday shopping with the female offspring
Window shopping for tile
Stopping for lunch
Not having to cook for 3 days
More business than I was prepared for
The grand baby napping on the couch
A Christmas wallpaper for my tablet
Snuggly grand baby
The Man of the House scratching my back
Take out for dinner
Shopping for yarn
Finding stocking stuffers
The Male Offspring working on his project

What are you giving thanks for this week?

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hello December!

And that brings us to December.  The last month of 2015 is upon us!  Can you believe it?  Because I certainly can not!

I am so excited for this month!  I'm looking forward to putting up the Christmas tree.  Enjoying all the excitement and anticipation through the eyes of he grand baby.  Spending time with my sisters.  Visiting with my nieces and nephews.  School break.  The Man of he House having an entire week off from work.

Good times!

I am looking to finish this year strong.  I've met several of the goals I set for myself for 2015, and there's still time to work out a few more before year's end.

While December can be a time for reflection on the year past; it is also a good time to start looking forward.  I am already thinking ahead and making plans for my Etsy shop and for the blog in 2016.

This time of year do you find yourself evaluating the year almost completed and planning ahead for the one soon to arrive?

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Good-bye, November

Just about a month ago I was looking forward to my birthday, anticipating celebrating another anniversary with the Man of the House, and Thanksgiving was still weeks and weeks away.

Now, here we are at the last day of the month.  Time. Does. Fly.

November was a good month.  Full of blessings and things to be grateful for as I pursued my November Gratitude Challenge.

My birthday celebration lasted a full weekend, with dinners and lunches and a trip to the River Arts District in Asheville for a couple of lovely locally produced pottery pieces.

Not to mention all the moist, rich red velvet cake I enjoyed!  My family made me feel very loved and special.

The Man and I got away for a couple of nights mid-month when he had a softball tournament out of town.  I've already shared on that HERE, so I won't make you shift through all the details again.  (If you missed it before, please take a moment to read and enjoy that post!)

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had the joy of celebrating 23 years of marriage to the Man of the House.  Speaking of time flying!  23 years goes by much quicker than I could have ever imagined! What's the old saying?  Time flies when you're having fun?  Yep!

We treated ourselves to annual passes to the Biltmore Estate where we spent the day enjoying the estate all decked out for Christmas, a wine tasting and had a delicious dinner at Deer Park.

We spent the night at the lovely Grande Bohemian hotel in Biltmore Village.  (To everyone who made our anniversary weekend special - a HUGE thank you!!)

Thanksgiving was the usual hustle and bustle with a house full of family.  Along with all the good (and some not so good) times that is expected to involve.  The Man of the House smoked the turkey - which was completely wonderful!

We're still eating leftovers around here.  And so far no one is complaining.  Although I am sad that all the pumpkin pie is gone.

And that was November.  Which brings go us to...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 18 of the November Gratitude Challenge

Oatmeal with cinnamon and blueberries
The swarm of chickadees at the feeder
The sound of rain against the window
Yarn on sale
Rainy afternoons

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The Reality of Weekend Softball Tournaments

This Man of the House was invited to go participate in a softball tournament in Cherokee, NC last weekend.  Well, ok - technically it was in Whittier.  But... 6 of one, half dozen of the other...

Knowing he had to be there pretty early and that games could run late into the evening we decided to make it a weekend getaway.   A little early anniversary gift to ourselves.

After digging around online we managed to find a good rate at a cute little bed and breakfast nearby - The Chalet Inn.  It was a very nice little place.  Personal attention.  Tucked away from the beaten path, but very conveniently located to Cherokee, Sylva and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

On a side note - if you ever decide to visit Cherokee in November you should be aware that, with the exception of the casino, apparently the entire town closes up shop and heads home at sundown.  We went looking for something to eat and quickly found our choices to be fast food or fast food.  We settled on Pizza Hut because that was the nicest restaurant we could find open at 8pm.  You have been warned.

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, although a little bit cold.  I've never been to one of these tournaments before.  And clearly had no idea what to expect.  In all my glorious naiveté, I expected there to be some downtime between games while other teams played.  Time the Man and I could slip away for some brief sight seeing, shopping, or a quick pop into the casino to lose all my loose change in the slot machines.  (If you've ever actually BEEN to a tournament of this time you are now laughing like crazy.  Go ahead.  Take your time.  I'll wait.)  The reality of it was several back to back games, with an occasional break of about an hour - IF the current game didn't end earlier than scheduled.  So much for down time.

On the plus side:  have I ever mentioned how beautiful this part of the country is?  Well, it is.  Beautiful.  I mean, when you live somewhere that THIS is the view from the ballfields:

Yeh... that!

During the day the weather was cool, but not uncomfortably so.  The sun was shining.  (I ended up sporting a pink nose the next morning.  Oops!) I settled into a camp chair, relaxed, crocheted and watched my handsome man pitch game after game.

Which is not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Once the sun set behind the mountains things got ugly cold very quickly.  And as games continued on into the wee hours of the morning we found ourselves tired, hungry and frozen.  Which just isn't as much fun as it sounds.  Exactly.

But, their team did take second place in their division.  We got a day and 2 nights away from the grind.

And on the drive home we made much less softball-ish type plans to enjoy our actual anniversary this coming weekend.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November Gratitude Challenge: Days 12-17

Time gets away from me sometimes.  I get distracted and suddenly almost an entire week has passed and I haven't gotten much anything marked off my to do list.  Such as writing a new post for the blog.  But time moves on; and so shall I...

I Am Thankful For
The beauty inside a butternut squash

The grand baby informing me that he does not like butternut squash because it is not his favorite
The Queen bee sweater I've been eyeing going on sale
Warm autumn weather
Seeing THIS while driving the male offspring to guitar:

Impromptu overnight trips
An afternoon crocheting at the ball field

Making anniversary plans
The Panthers are 9-0!!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 10th and 11th Gratitude Challenge

I Was Thankful For
the male offspring applying to college
the female offspring bringing me a coffee
clean sheets
not vomiting
ginger ale
Everyone who has served in our nation's armed forces
The offspring and their silliness
Thinking about the weekend

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Ninth Day: November Gratitude Challenge

Rainy Mondays

The Man of the House and the grandbaby watching TV
White yarn fuzzies everywhere
A yummy Peppermint Mocha

The kiddos making eachother laugh
Reserving my table for a small craft fair

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Days 6, 7 and 8: The November Gratitude Challenge

This Weekend I Was Thankful For:
Homemade pizza night
Rainy Saturday's
Looking for tile
Dunkin Donuts
Babysitting the Grandbaby
The male offspring working around the house
The female offspring taking pictures for me
Having the moms over for dinner
The Man of the House making pulled pork
The Panthers go to 8-0!
A chance to get some things off my chest

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