Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ho Ho Holiday Tour

I promise I have an excuse for the brief (relatively) hiatus from blogging...

I have been a busy little elf, readying our house for the holidays!! I'm so excited to show ya'll what I've been up to. Get comfy and enjoy...

Welcome! Come on in...
Normally I go a little more dramatic on the banister garland, but I loved the simplicity of the unadorned garland with the plain ivory ribbon...not to mention how easy it was!The dining room waits patiently all year for Christmas...this room's time to shine. With the red walls, there is such a festive feeling in here.I must confess that I have a little addiction...with nativities. This one resides on the buffet. Here's the dining room tree. The theme is red and gold. This tree stays pretty much the same from year to year, but there is an addition or two each year. Last year I added the glittery poinsettias from HL. This year I added some gold sequin balls and gold berry picks. This tree is absolutely a Charlie Brown tree when it comes out of the box each November, but once it's decked out, it's so beautiful! Look - someone's been to Target! A view into the heart of our home...I made this little topiary to use some leftover ornaments.These fun little napkin rings were the inspiration for our "family tree" this year. Red, pink and lime green are a fresh combo and it's been fun buying things to coordinate.The countdown is on! Have you got all your shopping done?Monochromatic St. Nick and tree on a SL@Home tray. Here's the mantle featuring a lush garland and our stockings. I love the two red stockings with the cream bows, but I could only find 2. I need 3 more. For now, these are the girls' stockings. If you have a HL nearby and find 3 more stockings like these, let me know! I'll make it worth your while...
Close up shot of the garland. Lots of greenery, feathers, lights and ornaments. A little vignette on the side table. I love this angel. Festive birdie in a jar.Here's the "family tree". This is always a real tree and it features all the ornaments from my childhood as well as all the ornaments that Nick and I have collected over the years. Now the girls receive ornaments that are added to the tree each year! My favorite ornament from my childhood! Look inside!Ornament from Nick's and my first Christmas together 9 years ago.
Scuba Santa from a vacation this year. This is Ansley's tree. I love the way it makes her room look. She always helps to decorate it and I treasure the experience.The theme is pink and silver.Sometimes it bothers the psycho-OCD part of me that Ansley rearranges the ornaments and groups them all together...or that this beautiful ballerina has to dance on a bottom branch where no one can really see her...but then I realize that perfection is only obtainable in a home with no children. And the fact is that I wouldn't trade my babies for all the perfect decor in the world.
I hope ya'll enjoyed the tour. Now run on over and visit the Nester, Kimba at A Soft Place to Land, Tip Junkie and Boo Mama to see lots of other holiday homes. If those don't satisfy, feast your eyes on the homes at Thrifty Decor Chick, Southern Hospitality and Hooked on Houses. Warning...these wonderful blogs will consume your life and your family may not see you for days as you ogle all the festive eye candy. Seriously. Don't say I didn't warn you...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Came Early...

...for Ellie. She got two front teeth! Here's a peek at the new chompers...

That Santa is really on the ball this year!

TGIF tomorrow!!

Mwah! (that's my blowing a kiss sound...do you think I spelled it right?)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November who?

Ok, so clearly November wasn't my finest blogging hour. You know, what with me posting a grand total of ZERO times. I beg you readers for mercy! I grovel at your feet...forgive me. Let's just forget that November ever happened, ok? December is going to be fantastic...starting tomorrow. I'll see your pretty little faces soon...

Love, me

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

...from the princess and the pea!

Ummm, who are you and what have you done with my baby?!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Walden Farms

There is a great little pumpkin farm nearby that we have been visiting for several years. This year some friends joined us. Here are some pics from this fall and falls past...
Feeding the goats is always a hit!

She looks like she's having fun, but she wanted down pretty quickly.

The corn crib was full of corn for the kids to play in. Ansley was happy to sit and scoop corn into her bucket, but she wasn't about to do any "corn angels" like the other munchkins. No, no...far too dirty!

Farmer Ansley on the move
This picture cracks me up! This is Nick trying to free our friends' son, Noah, from the hole he stuck his head in. Only Noah! But the best part of the picture is our friend, Jen, in the background pointing and laughing!!!
Our beautiful girls
Even Ellie had a good time!

This is little 2 month old Ansley. It seems like yesterday...
Our little family. It's so funny to remember how new everything felt. We had no idea how blessed we were going to be by that sweet baby!
Make some memories this fall!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This edition of T.T. will focus on those who made me who I am today...my family: Mom, Dad, Matt and Cam.

I love my mom. She is a social butterfly and has many friends. She loves the Lord and works tirelessly to show others the freedom that is found in Christ. My mom has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh. She instilled in me a great love of books and reading. She's one of the few people I know who has a broader vocabulary than mine. We both also have an uncanny ability to remember minute details of an event even years later. Though we look nothing alike and are very different people, the similarities and shared interests make for a great friendship.

My dad is great. He has such a big heart. The happiest moments for him always involve helping others. He is incredibly hard working and has been all my life, yet he can always make time to raise money for an injured soldier, take meals to firefighters on Christmas Eve, secure donations for various fundraisers and work in any and every capacity for the football team. I really admire his heart for service. My dad and I are very similar in a lot of ways. He is strong and passionate about his beliefs, just as I am. That can be both a good and bad thing, but overall I am proud of the person he is and the person I am because of it.

My brother, Matt, is very much like my dad with a dash of my mom. He also has a big heart and such a great sense of humor. I have so many great memories of growing up with Matt. Though we often fought, as brothers and sisters do, he was always a great friend and comrade. Matt loves being outside. Since he was a little boy, he always loved trucks and now he gets to be on one every day. I really admire him for following his dreams no matter what anyone said or thought. He has two little girls who he loves to pieces and I am truly moved by what a great father he turned out to be.

My baby brother, Cameron, is one of my favorite people in the world. I don't know what contributed to our closeness, but I am very thankful for it. Cameron is growing into such a wonderful man. He will graduate from high school this year and it is my sincere hope that he will at least consider staying relatively close so that we can still get together from time to time. It must have been so strange for him to have me leave for college when he was 8...and now I am the one being left. I will miss him terribly. I could go on and on about the kid, but I will just leave it to the top 3 reasons I love him so much...
1. Sense of humor. I really get his humor and have spent many hours laughing with him.
2. Sweet, kind heart. He has a heart of gold...both for God and others. I'm 10 years older, but I could learn so much from him.
3. Willingness to put himself out there. Cameron is never afraid to ask a question or ask for a favor. He is seems so oblivious to the fact that rejection or disappointment are a possibility. I want to live like that.

It's getting late, so I will try to get some pics up soon. Check back!

Monday, October 20, 2008


This might be what's wrong with the world...

Nope, this isn't a costume prop from some sleazy shop downtown. Yes, people, this is a baby bib...presumably intended for use by actual babies. Now, I'm no prude, but WHO in their right mind wants to label their baby as a "hottie". The world is all too ready to sexualize my children. I'm certainly not going to assist them by slapping what equates to an advertisement to my child's chest!!!
So, you are probably wondering how I came into possession of such an offensive article. Well, I was fooled...fooled, I tell you! The hottie bib came in a 10-pack of bibs from the big blue discount monster. It was buried in the stack-o-bibs, and being the thrifty mama that I am, 10 bibs for $.98 or whatever it was seemed like a steal. Oh WallyWorld, you done me wrong! I'll never cheat on Target again!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Arm Candy

Want to get something for nothing? Head on over to http://www.handbagplanet.com/. They are launching their new website and are giving away 1 free bag every hour for 24 hours!

Well, what are ya'll waiting for? Go!!!
Don't say I never gave you anything.

We're a Classy Bunch

Picture this...
We have agreed to watch the children of friends from church. These fine folks are standing in our foyer dropping off their babies. We're engaging in a little small talk before they leave. My sweet, delicate daughter walks into the foyer and says "Excuse me, Mama". A feeling of pride washes over me at her use of good manners. What a great dinner guest she will be someday, I think to myself. Who needs etiquette classes? Nick and I must be the smartest parents alive! We should write a book. Then she sticks her hand out to me and says,

"My hand smells like poop."

Well, at least she's cute.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Belated Thankful Thursday

I apologize to you faithful few who stopped by JPT yesterday expecting to see the latest installment of Thankful Thursday. I had a couple of killer days at work and all I could be thankful for yesterday was my pillow-top! But today I'm back and ready to give thanks.

This week's feature is actually the thing I'm MOST thankful for.

That the LORD, my King, would humble himself enough to take on flesh, withstand scorn and humiliation, and ultimately DIE in order to ransom me from my sin...well, that's more than I can process. I cannot imagine any greater gift. Except for maybe the one God gave. As a parent I can tell you that the sacrifice God made by sending his only son to die for a world of sinners is beyond comparison. Can you imagine the anguish God must have felt when his beloved child called out to him, begging him to find another way? Process that, my friends...God could have swept Jesus back to heaven, immediatly and painlessly, with a blink of an eye.
But He didn't.
I cannot take that lightly and neither should you. The story takes on a fairytale-esque quality after hearing it repeatedly through the years. But it is critical to remember that this is a true story. The most holy really came to die for the least worthy!
Keep that in mind this week. Look at your babies and imagine sending them off to die...for anything, much less a world of sinners! Praise God that we don't have to suffer under the burden of our sins. Thanks to Jesus we are free, our ransom paid. May you take this ultimate gift that we have all been given. While we could never repay Him, we can strive to bring glory to God in all we do.
In Him,

Monday, October 6, 2008

Odds and Ends

Since Thankful Thursday some exciting things have happened. Football Friday went exceptionally well for those in blue! It was a nailbiter, but they pulled it out in the end. Just see for yourself. I hope you can appreciate my efforts to bring you photographic evidence of this awesome victory, because I had to brave hoards of angry Rebels to get it...

The visitors...yeah, that's us!

Saturday was the Country Ham Festival. Yes, there really is a festival to honor this sodium rich pig product. It's an annual event here in our little town and you can find some fine swine at this shindig. We met up with some friends from our church small group and had a great time enjoying the beautiful day.

On the opposite end of the classiness spectrum, we spent Saturday evening at a local vineyard celebrating the birthday of a sweet friend (Happy 30th Steph!!). It was such a fun and relaxing evening (the wine probably had something to do with that) that ended much too soon. We will be planning another evening there soon to celebrate that much anticipated, underappreciated special event called Saturday. After church on Sunday, we headed south to celebrate 102 years of Pawpaw. Ansley was pretty unsure about going to "Popeye's" birthday party, so I apologize for her strange expression in the pic. But nonetheless, here is 5 generations of the fam. So rare, so special.

Nick, Ansley, Nana, Pawpaw, Ellie and Pop

After Pawpaw's birthday party, we headed to the inlaw's to have the annual family portrait made. Ansley loves playing with her cousins. We also celebrated my sis-in-law's birthday. Happy Birthday, Katie!

Fun-filled fall weekend. I feel so lucky to have friends and family like ya'll! Hugs, Dana