Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Tree

I'm thinking you might as well find out sooner rather than later, if you haven't already.

You are reading the ramblings of a crazy person.

It's true. 

I have spent the last couple of days spinning round and round in circles, all while accomplishing precious little.  Although it is true that I do have a real, live tree sitting standing in my living room all proud and good-smelling.  And my hands do smell like said tree, which is is also not at all unpleasant.  I also have some delightful Christmas potpourri simmering on the stove that makes me want to sing Christmas carols while eating a ham. I also ate two hot dogs with chili and mayo for lunch.  That would be two.  TWO.

But that doesn't negate the indisputable fact that I'm a crazy person...

I've been battling with my frugal self about buying a good-smelling tree this year as opposed to using the old, shape-each-stinkin'-branch-at-a-time artificial tree.  I finally decided to go nuts and spring for the thirty bucks Food Lion (sorry Dan!) is charging for pretty Fraser firs.  I even wheedled sweet-talked a promise to help get it home from Shayne the afternoon before.  I was Nan With a Plan and feeling good.

Until I got home later that night and thought about springing for the cash for something I can live without.  So I texted him and told him his services would no longer be required and called it a night.  The next day I dragged that huge Rubbermaid box out of storage and into my living room, sorted the aggravating branches into approximately 200 different piles, and commenced some magic-making.

After setting up the stand and shaping three somewhat floppy branches I'm sorry to report that I was fussing and griping and getting cranky.  and this right in the middle of all the fa-la-la-ing going on via Pandora.  So right then and there I decided thirty bucks was not too high a price for a MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME, threw on my jeans & flip flops, and headed out to my local Food Lion Store (sorry Dan!).

I have a small car, but the back seats fold down so I figured I could handle things on my own.  Mainly because I almost always handle things on my own.  Well I FIGURED WRONG.  After a frustrating experience with Apathetic Food Lion Guy (sorry Dan!) I finally swallowed my pride & called Shayne back.  He and his buddy came to my rescue, and only a couple of hours after devising Christmas Tree Plan B
I had a tree in a stand.  And a mess.

But it smelled really good.

I got it semi-decorated and by then it was time to go to work, after which I engaged in a bit of blog tinkering, and then visited with my friend The Insomnia to round things out.

Tuesday I spent the better part of the day tearing scrap branches off of larger branches and tucking them into random pitcher-like containers....all the while fussing to myself about how I will be most assuredly despairing of all the dumb needles in approximately three days.

But today it smells really good.

And frankly, considering the chaotic disaster area-ness that is my home three days into my alleged one-day project, I need all the good I can find.

Still a mess.

Happy Wednesday:)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

But Hey, A Girl's Gotta Putter



Here we are.  

I just couldn't leave well enough alone.

You'd think I'd learn by now but OH NO,
I have to keep tinkering and puttering until it seems my head will fly straight off.

It can't be helped though.  

Evidently I'm a tinkerer and also a putterer
and might possibly have no choice but to follow my great ideas wherever they might lead us.

(You're welcome.)

Never fear, though.  I saved my last bloggy template, and I suspect she will be back 
when the birds start singing and I pack away all things snowman.

If not before.

Happy Tuesday!

p.s.  The picture above has nothing to do with my tinkering and/or puttering, 
but the sweet girl in white on the left is THE BRIDE of whom I had no pictures.  
Isn't she pretty??

Monday, November 28, 2011

Getting It All Done and Finally Feeling Him Move

Well I don't know about y'all, but around here it's been a pretty full last few days.

...and mostly mine have been full of the job and the babies and the family, with a fair amount of hugs & diaper changes and backed-up plumbing and catching up on laundry and cyber shopping, and yes, hours of trying to find Christmas tree lights that do not cost more than the tree they adorn.

That's right, folks. 

I am officially that lady who stands in the Christmas-decorating-section bemoaning the rising cost of all manner of holiday lighting.  out loud.  to the other lady standing there staring at same said lights.

However, my rapid decline into crotchety-old-person-status aside, I still love Thanksgiving the best. Trust me 'cause it's true...Spending the week being aggressively thankful never, ever disappoints! 

(A Thousand Gifts #850-869)

getting it all done and unscheduled naps

crispy grilled cheese dripping with tomato soup

picking them up over and over, and then over again

yummy dinner I didn't prepare, and completely harmless, even silly, christmas movies with their dependable happy endings

finally feeling him move...and then move some more

sweet ponies with cowboy hats and our little cowgirl fishing with the shoestring

long-awaited leftovers and chatting around the table

formulating a plan

catching up

baby boy haircuts and little girl pigtails

thanksgiving I-love-you's

all the serious shushing from the footie pajamas

fresh excitement for old traditions, and all-about-Jesus-music, and remembering what He's done

Have a great day!


Thursday, November 24, 2011


I'm thankful for the extravagant love of my beloved Heavenly Father.

I'm thankful I live in a country where things like running water and electricity and counters filled with candy are the norm.

I'm thankful for easy access to doctors and antibiotics and meds that keep us strong.

I'm thankful for precious little ones who love me and call me their own.

I'm thankful for family who share my blood, and family who share my heart.

I'm thankful for the perspective - and peace - that comes from living more than a few years.

I'm thankful that as wonderful as now is...what is to come is 
unimaginably glorious.

I'm thankful that the list is long, 
and more quickly than I can write them down, new blessings rain over.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I love you all :)

(A Thousand Gifts #842-849)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Warm Hugs From Pretty Brides

So it was a wonderful weekend full of hugs & laughs & maybe a couple of tears...and then a few more hugs & laughs.

...all in all a beautiful weekend packed with most of my favorite people, and little ones being precious, and also these yummy little pretzel chip-thingies that are my new obsession.

I'll share a bit more tomorrow, being sure to include far too many subpar photos that make my heart smile, but for today I'm off to indulge in another cup of tea :)

Hope you're having a great day!

(A Thousand Gifts #825- 841)

warm hugs from pretty brides

his promise to love her forever

meeting new friends

tiny little cakes

glowing lights inside mason jars

the inexplicable reprieve for the day 

watching the babies dance

reconnection and up-to-date numbers

one fish, two fish... and learning her "sight words"

warm november days & cold november nights

exhausted giggles and the sheer delight of not being the driver

being escorted to my seat by a uniformed him

the oddly familiar flurry of my people taking it all down

standing quietly and letting all the joy wash over

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Because Chicken is Good and Cheese is Our Friend

Please don't tell my people because (as I believe I may have mentioned once or thirty times) we have some BIG DOINS going on and I don't wanna freak them out, but I have been struck by what is commonly referred to as The Crud around these parts.  I sat down to work feeling perfectly normal and four hours later I'm making hot tea and searching for my Alka-Seltzer Cold.  

(Side note:  Alka-Seltzer Cold may taste awful but it produces some sweet sweet relief, albeit on a temporary basis.)

Anyway, I have company coming and a lot of celebrating to do, so I'm going to get to bed in oh I don't know, approximately five minutes ago.  For this reason it seems like a good day to leave you with a yummy suggestion.

Y'all I made this the other day and felt downright brilliant because YES MA'AM I made it up all by myself.  

(You just watch.  It's likely in at least 12 different cookbooks and 27 blogs of people who thought of it first.)

Whatever.  Here's what you do.

Take some chicken and throw it into a baking dish.

I do not have a photo because seriously, who has photos of raw chicken lying around.  Unless you're PW, of course.

(I ain't PW.)

Back to the chicken in the baking dish...

Pour this on top of said chicken.

Then dump this right on top.

Cover tightly and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.  

It's delightful over brown rice.

I had seconds.

And then I finished it off for breakfast.

The end.

Happy Thursday!

p.s.  I'm still not sure about which shoes I'll wear to the wedding.  Yikes!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When This Shot Was Snapped...


...the mere child on the right was unmarried and living with her mama, and the whippersnapper on the left was also unhitched and very excited about nursing school. 

Now that one on the right has a hubby and is increasingly great with child.

(and no longer lives with her mama) 

And the cutie on the left is GETTING MARRIED Saturday.

(Sadly she also will no longer live with her mama.)


I love 'em both loads and bunches.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And I Had Chick-Fil-A Twice!


So I'm thinking Monday was quite a bit of really nice :)

Of course first I had to finish up another night of strange dreams involving random dinner guests and unbalanced food preparation timeliness.  Thanksgiving dinner has not been pretty in my dreams, folks. 

(Does anybody else think that it's weird to dream about random dinner guests and poor planning?) 

(Again I ask regarding dreamy subject matter...WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?)

...But after that, Monday was quite a bit of really nice.

Miss Audrey called me and chattered on a for a while about lots of things I couldn't quite follow via speaker phone, but that was okay.  I enjoyed her company as I put on some eye liner, and brushed my teeth, and made my bed, etc. etc.  After catching up with Kate I headed to the mall to get busy tackling some of Tana's DETAILS for her girl's Big Day this weekend. 

(Fortunately, we moms mercifully forget just how many of THE DETAILS there are when putting together a matrimonial Big Day.) 

She and D insisted I try on approximately 8 or 37 - I can't really remember - dresses for me to wear to said impending nuptials.  They were so sweet and encouraging and all that good stuff, but when all is said and done I suspect they were mostly afraid to see the Old Navy skirt I kept threatening to wear ;) 

Whatever their fears, I care not because I have a brand new LBD and it's cute and fancy and also girly.

So it's all good.

Of course now I have to figure out shoes, and jewelry, and a wrap, and a bag...


After they had me outfitted for the aforementioned festivities we really got serious about the list and managed to knock out at least a couple of inches of it.  I'm not gonna lie.  It's a relief to merely be one of the MOB's support team and not the actual MOB.  It is a tough job, this giving away your daughter while running around like a crazy person purchasing things like markers and Cheez-Its.

A few hours, a quick salad, and one Happy Hour Sonic Strawberry Limeade later it was time for us to part ways.  ((sad))  I then wandered around for another hour or so trying on shoes that I hoped wouldn't render me uncomfortable, and eventually landed right back at my own front door.

(sans shoes, but of course).

All of that activity was followed by a few hours of, you guessed it, my job.

Oh!  and also Sheri brought me more CFA for dinner and it made me so happy I shared shower cake with her.  Which in turn made her quite happy.

Oh!  and also it was like, I don't know, somewhere in the 70s and sunny and completely beautiful.  Which made everyone around me happy.

See?  I told ya.  Quite a bit of really nice.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Watching Them Grow and Knowing She'll Laugh

Well, the BIG DOINS have definitely commenced.   Kari's baby showers were this weekend, and Bethany's wedding is next Saturday.   The hugs are flying around here right now.  FLYING, I tell ya.

This weekend, over the course of about 25 hours, I watched as nearly 60 different women showered my girl with love and gifts and hugs.

There was also cake.

I sat across from Lauren and her little cutie-patootie of a little girl eating said cake, and reminisced about the time when I had to retrieve her from the top of a tree.  A large tree.  An evergreen growing straight up into the sky.   Suffice it to say I was thisclose to calling the proverbial fireman to rescue us both.

Lauren's little cutie-patootie of a little girl is now four years old.  The same age Lauren was when she had her very first play date with my little girl.  If anyone is counting...that's about 21 years ago.  

As I sat in that charming bakery, chowing down on pizza & cake, I did what I always do when we all get together.  I marvel at how all our girls have grown up, and I whisper a quick prayer of thanksgiving for the delightful women they all have become.

Not all mamas have loved on some of the same little friends of their babies from preschool to full-blown womanhood, but if you have the chance, there is perhaps nothing more delightful.

...Although finding yourself sitting around chatting with the very same mamas of those little girls all these many years later, and knowing you love them about a million times more than way back when, is also an experience full to the brim of delight.

Blessed is what I am.

A Thousand Gifts #802-824)

watching them grow...grow in kindness, grow in focus, grow in patience... grow their families, grow their ministries, grow their hearts

cozying up on her couch in my sweats with my tea & blanket

standing at the counter eating leftovers and trying to imagine how many times we've stood at the counter eating the leftovers

gathering to review the pictures taken earlier in the day and thinking about how many times we've gathered to review the pictures taken earlier in the day

watching the fashion show as wardrobe choices are discussed, and remembering all the other times we've tried on the dresses and tested out the shoes

looking through her "baby book" and remembering when she was so tiny and how very excited we were when she arrived...and feeling shocked that there have been seven birthdays since

that sweet, sweet smile as she came down the stairs to model her flower girl ensemble as we all tell her how beautiful she looked.  and she did.  

loving how she believes us when we tell her.

all my sweet, sweet girls and the way they fill my heart every time I look at them

sitting in the half dark going over the to-do list for the wedding fast approaching and discussing the game plan

just knowing she's in the same town

kari's delight at the unexpected

homemade gifts in frames, and homemade gifts straight from the oven, and homemade gifts covered with multi-colored frosting, and homemade gifts created by 90-year-old grandmothers....all love offerings of the loveliest kind

promised lunch dates, and random phone calls just to vent, and knowing she'll laugh with me instead of at me

all nearly 60 of them and the unique ways they have brought color and joy to my daughter's life 

fresh reminders of answered prayer and God's faithfulness to those who prayed them

Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

They Say* Productivity Begins Where Procrastination Ends

So I'm trying to avoid this whole blogging-after-work thing in favor of the whole getting-some-sleep thing.

Yet here I am blogging after work and not getting some sleep.

Life is funny some times.  

I worked this evening and actually got a little done, but aside from my actual job I accomplished a sum total of NOTHING the whole livelong day.  

I don't know what the deal was, but it was an odd, stand around and say to myself "why did I come in here again?" kind of day.

Don't judge.

I think we've already established my condition of not being 25.  No sense in belaboring the point.

Fortunately, yesterday's exercise in lollygagging is pretty much over, what with it now being the wee hours of this morning, so I'm feeling optimistic about GETTING IT ALL DONE after I sleep for a handful of hours.  

Which is a good thing because come Saturday it is all about the having a good time and I don't plan to miss a bit of it.  Kari has two baby showers this weekend, both of which I will be attending because I'M THE MOM and also THE GRANDMOM.  

This of course means that the weekend will be mostly all about me in my own mind.  

Oh I kid.  But it is going to be so. much. fun.  

Kate will be coming in with Audrey for the festivities, and my dear Tana is coming all the way from Houston just to help throw my girl a baby shower.  

(Of course the fact that her very own sweet Bethany is marrying Nick on the 19th has nothing whatsoever to do with her travel arrangements ;)

Also, I'm ashamed to confess to you how much dust has accumulated around here, and you can't make me talk about my neglected Dirt Devil languishing in the closet.

But no more.  I'm feeling good, y'all.   Today's the day.  I just know it.  

This is the day I finally get all the things I need to do, done.

Fingers crossed!

* I do not know who says this, nor do I know who "they" are.  I basically just made that up because I was trying overly hard to be clever in my titling.  I know, I know.  Success was not attained in this particular endeavor, but who cares...Y'all IT'S FRIDAY!

Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Perhaps a Little Perspective is in Order

So I ran to the laundromat yesterday to wash up a little something that I needed ASAP.  As I loaded up my one tiny little load (because I was just there days ago, mind you), I'm not gonna lie.  I felt all suffer-y and, embarrassingly enough, a touch martyr-y, and also a bit put out.  After all, that would be approximately 40 minutes and around two dollars and seventy-five cents I would never get back and also LIFE IS SO HARD.

As it turns out it was a beautiful day in that the sun was shining and it was a delightful 62 degrees, and also the ladies inside that boiling hot warm & sunny space were all just as nice as could be.

Well imagine my shame and chagrin as I started catching up on my bloggy reading.  Several of my daily favorites are in Ecuador together for Compassion International, and I found myself looking into some of the sweetest faces I've ever seen while processing the fact that they live their every day with basically nothing.  

And by nothing, I mean nothing.

Kinda makes taking the trek two stoplights away to kill a few minutes while enjoying my laptop seem a little less...suffer-y.

Today I'm praying that God will shake me up from my feelings of entitlement and also my cranky ways.  I'm awfully thankful that He's so patient with me as I  kinda/sorta try to get over myself.

Personally I'd probably just try to smack some sense into me.

Let's all go love on someone today, ya wanna?

p.s.  You can keep up with Amanda, Kelly, Sophie, Melanie, & Ann and all their adventures by visiting their blogs or by clicking on the Compassion button on the left.  You'll'll'll, well you get the idea ;)