Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 RECAP

I cannot belive that 2011 is just 3 days from being over with.  We have had some really good times and some really challenging times this year.  

January:  I was in my second quarter of the LMR program.  I took an imaging class that whooped my butt.  Tori and I Zumbaed A LOT!  We spent New Years in Florence and we were all there as a family, that was nice but didn't last long.

February:  Bill moved in.  Valentine's Day Josh bought me an open heart necklace that I had been begging for.  Imaging class was still kicking my butt.

March:  I turned 25.  I was officially half way to 30.  The imaging class managed to kick my butt enough to have to retake it in the Spring quarter.   I stayed after with the instructor and finally figured the stuff out, it was just too late.  I had officially quit smoking for 6 months and going strong.  

April:  I started my third quarter of the LMR program and my second go around at imaging.  Bill was still staying with us along with Marley 2-3 days a week.  It is a challege having two families under one roof, but we managed (and we all still like each other!).  

May:  Bill moved out.  That was about it.  We had the calmest Derby party ever.  It was a pretty calm and cool month. 

June: Stacey found out she was pregnant.  I got the baby blues a little.  I was happy for her but had pity for myself at the same time.  I quickly got over my pity and went shopping for her.  There isn't anything shopping can't fix.   June is a popular month for birthdays; Grandpa 06/02, Billy 06/06, Mary Jane 06/22, Mom 06/24 and Marley 06/31.  We also got Shadow, one of the best things that ever happened to me.  June was a good month.  We were in the Summer quarter and I started clinicals for the first time.  I was placed at Mt.Washington Medical Associates.  The staff there is awesome and I have made life long friendships with the ladies there.  I wouldn't of wanted my first clinical site to be anywhere else.  Shadow also fell and hurt herself which made for a difficult July.

July:  Stacey found out the baby quit growing at 6 weeks.  I was very very sad for her.  I cannot even begin to imagine what she was going through.  Big birthday month again; Mawma 07/04, Daddy 07/13, Koko 07/16 and Josh 07/20.  We spend most of our summer eating birthday cake.  July was mostly consumed with taking care of Shadow.  She had a lot of issues after she feel the end of June, but I nursed her through it and did the best that I knew how.  July did mark out 7 year anniversary being together.

August:  Stacey is pregnant again.  How exciting.  Our 3 year marriage anniversary.  Our first year was cake, our second a little harder and our third year gave us a run for our money.  We were coming off of a two year drought (Josh owns a lawn care service so we there is a drought we don't get paid) so money was a little tighter than usual and that put strain on any relationship.  This year was the first year that I had been in school full time and that was a financial burden in itself.  I got Mitten's.  I also hosted by first girl's night.

September:  Probably my favorite month out of 2011.  It was jammed packed.  The first week of September was my last week at MWMA and  a tough good-bye.  The second week it was packing and getting ready for vacation.  The end of the second week and all of the third week we spent in NYC and Connecticut.  It was one of my top vacations even taken, mostly becuase NYC is my favorite city.  We met family of mine that I had never met before.  We ate food that we had never eaten before.  We had many life experiences that we had never had before, some we loved, some we hated and some grew on us.  When we got home I started my fall quarter and my second round of clinicals.  At a site where I didn't like them and they didn't like me.  I was miserable.  I hosted my second month of girl's night.

October:  My least favorite month in 2011.  I was miserable at my clinical site, I wasn't enjoying the 45 minute drive everyday and to top it all off on the 15 Shadow passed away.  The vet told me a couple of months before that she breathed so hard becuase she had a torn dyaphram and that all of her organs we pushed up in that hole.  Making it harder for her to have to breath.  I took excellent care of her.  I did things for her most pet owners wont do for their animals.  I thought we could make it through anything.  I was super pumped because he told me she wouldn't get any bigger than three pounds.  Heck ya I am going to have a kitten forever.  Everybody wants a kitten instead of a cat.  I thought I had the best of both worlds, until I found her on that October morning.  The next few weeks were filled with sleepless nights, lots of tears  and anxiety attacks.  I know that sounds crazy but this kitten was my life at that point in time.  She was pretty much all I would ever think about.  I loved her so much.  I still do.  Two days prior to Shadow's passing I hosted my annual Pampered Chef party.  I started out with not such good sales and shot through the roof before we were all said and done.  I got majority of things on my wish list.  All of the things I really wanted anyway.  

November:  Started out better.  My clinical site was getting better.  We had ironed out our differences and things were moving along much smoother.  We decided to do Thanksgiving at bay this year.  So two days before we packed up a rented minivan and headed to Myrtle Beach.  There was a lot of family drama this year, so this was suppose to me the way to escape it and it was.  We had a successful night of Black Friday shopping and successfully made it harder for my Dad to repack the van.  I hosted Thanksgiving the weekend before for Josh's side.  His mom was a little upset that we weren't going to be here for the actual holiday.  I don't really know why she wouldn't have seen us anyway, but that is beside the point.  We had a great holiday  at the beach.  We offically saw the Atlantic ocean twice this year.

December:  Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.  That pretty much sums it up.  

Missalleny things I did this year:
Painted the living room.
Painted the guest bathroom again (I will try to keep it this color for awhile).
Painted some of the doors.
Re-purposed my great grandmother's cabinet.
Bought a new chair for the living room.
Finished up the fish pond.
I actually kept my blogging goal for December, one post everyday until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The day after shopping.

Monday morning I woke up early, the early bird gets the worm, went and picked up my MIL and SIL (one day), we went to Meijer, Target, Lowes, Target again (different location), Hobby Lobby and Mejier again (also different location).

I scored some really good stuff.  I got some bags, wrapping paper and gift tags from Target.  I love their gift tags.  I picked up WINTER wooden letters (you will see in a future post), some dishes for my china cabinet (you will also see these in a future post), a snowman pillow all from Hobby Lobby.  From Meijer I scored these supper cute ice skates, Christmas cards for next year and a Merry Christmas sign for above the door in the kitchen.  It was a good shopping day! 

I would love to hear about any good deals that you scored!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Traditionally, since Josh and I moved into our own home, my parents and I rotate years on where we spend the night Christmas Eve.  Last year they stayed here, so it was our turn to stay at their house this year.  Well that would have worked out great IF and that is a big IF, my dog hadn't gone out and got sprayed by a skunk.   

Here is how it went....Friday night 12/23/2011 (which was my seizure anniversary BTW 4 years seizure free!) Josh invited his cousin and his dad over to play pool.  Well at some point in time his dad let the dog out, keep in mind she had just gotten a haircut and bath earlier that day.  She didn't come in until 4:30am 12/24/2011.  As soon as she walked in the door I got a huge whiff of skunk.  So I rushed her downstairs gave her a bath (it didn't help) and then Josh made her go outside.  This was 5 1/2 hours before I had people coming over.  Thank God we got her out soon enough to where my house didn't smell like skunk.  I had to go to Kroger that morning to get tomato juice so I could giver her a bath later that evening.  To make an even longer story short.  Christmas Eve night she got a tomato juice bath and  a hydrogen peroxide/baking soda/liquid soak concoction bath that I found online.  It has taken the smell out of everything but her head!

So, Joshua and I woke up early (6am) on Christmas morning opened a few gifts and our stockings.  Let the kiddos open their stockings
Mitten's playing with her new toys.  She's not spoiled or anything!
I just realized that I didn't get any pictures of Precious.  She was chewing on a bone that Santa brought her in the kitchen so she didn't stink up the place. 

Once we were done at home, we loaded up the car and went to my Mom and Dad's.  Please excuse the bare walls and empty rooms they are in the middle of renovating their house.  She really does own furniture.

(Mom would kill me for posting this picture!)  Kaitlyn and I bought Mom a nativity scene picture from Hobby Lobby that she really wanted.

We bought Daddy a pictured of Dale Earnhardt that he wanted!  You can see it in the background of the next picture.

This was mine and Josh's gift to the both of them.

A new Tom Tom, in hopes to make my mother a more relaxed traveler.

The three kids!


 Just a few hours later we headed to Joshua's Mom and Dad's house (where I left my camera outside and got no pictures), for Christmas morning breakfast and of course more presents.

Here is my favorite!  She gets us all a big gift each and then some other small random things she picks up along the way.  This little beauty was my big gift and I have been counting down the days to use it.  Coffee in seconds!  That's my kind of machine!  
The day had only begun, we spent a couple more hours there and then headed to Taylorsville to eat lunch and visit with my grandparents.  After a long day and a lot of driving we came home and our niece and Josh's older brother stopped by for about an hour to see what Santa had left here for her!

It was a wonderful holiday, filled with lots of blessing and love.  It feels like it comes and goes quicker and quicker every year.  But we had a good December.  We are ready to welcome 2012 with open arms and a lot of goals!

Merry Christmas!  God Bless!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve!

Oh My Gosh, I cannot believe that it is Christmas Eve.  Today I hosted my family Christmas and then later this afternoon we went to the Humphrey family Christmas.  

This morning was a brunch occasion.  We did ham and turkey sandwiches, cheese grits, sausage balls,  cranberry sauce, stuffing just a smorgasbord of food.  I put together a hot chocolate bar.  We just logged some healthy family time. 

For the hot chocolate bar I made crockpot hot chocolate that I found via Pinterest, HERE is where you can find the recipe.  It has to cook on low for 2 hours so keep this in mind and plan ahead if you plan on trying it.  It was some REALLY good hot chocolate!
This was the bar before the extras were added in.

The cups!

A drug rep brought one of these into work one day I thought they were so cute I happened to find them Christmas Eve morning, so I got enough for every family to take one home!  They're cotton candy!

The extras!

More extras!


All of the extras!  That big bowl in the back is cool whip.

I just set the crockpot right in the middle of the table and the hot chocolate bar was complete!

I found this recipe for "The best punch ever" via Pinterest (of course) you can get a copy HERE.  It was very simple and very YUMMO!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

I have decided this year that I was going to start a new tradition.  I have heard a lot this year about people baking Happy Birthday Cakes for Jesus.  I think its is great idea and it is a constant reminder of the real reason for the season.  When I was grocery shopping earlier this week I ran across a holiday fun fetti cake mix with coordinating icing, so I picked it up and Jesus' Happy Birthday cake will be a holiday fun fetti cake!

 P.S. I know I suck at writing on cakes.  I definitely should not quit my day job!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 Days Until Christmas!

Last night my family and I went to our church candle light service.  God says in Matthew 5:14-16 " You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."  

That verse to me is so powerful. Last night when I was standing there holding my candle in the pure darkness, watching the screen pan out and show the whole congregation standing there holding their candles, it brought a tears to my eyes.  We as Christians have a tendency to hide our light under a bowl.  To avoid the awkwardness of the conversations about God and Christianity and the conflict between believers and nonbelievers.  This coming year I challenge myself and you to not hide your light.  To place it up for everyone to see.  

Coming into this new year take some serious time to think about what radiates off of you onto other people.  You might be surprised at what they see.  I am blind to that a lot of the times.  I like to think that how I feel about who I am, is how I am portrayed to other people, but that is not always the case.  

Once I was in a situation and my husband told me that I was not acting the way that Jesus would want to me react to the situation.  That I was not handling things in a very Christian manner.  When I was telling a friend of mine what was going on and what Joshua had said she said to me "Who is he to tell you that you aren't acting very Christian?, It's not like he is very Christian.  You all don't even go to church that much.".  Now, at the time we were in that no church rut but that is besides the point.  She had a totally different opinion on my husband than I do.  I see a good Christian man.  Someone who doesn't lie, steal or cheat.  Someone who has your best interest at heart.  Someone God would be proud of.  But to her, he is just another guy.  No one special.  So then I thought, "well if that's what she thinks about him, what does she think about me?". 

My goal this year is to change my outward appearance.  Not physical, spiritual.  Allow my light to shine bright for the whole world to see. 

Merry Christmas!

4 Days Until Christmas!

OH MY GOSH..........I can not believe Christmas is so close.  Time flies.  
Since we are so close to Christmas, it is time to be thinking about the after Christmas shopping.  What I like to do is go through all of my favorite blogs, websites, Pinterst etc, find all the ideas that I liked this year but just didn't have time to create.  Figure out what all I will need and start a list.  You can get everything so much cheaper the day after Christmas.  You should also map out which stores you are going to so your trip is more organized and you don't miss any good sales!

Merry Christmas!

5 Days Until Christmas!

I am back blogging I know (sorry).  Things have been a little busy/crazy around here the last few days!  So my goal this week has been to preform 5 random acts of kindness before Sunday.  The week didn't really start off that well.  First I went to Zaxby's, I guess I was there too early and no one was ready to eat lunch yet because there was no one in line behind me.  So the next day I went to McDonald's to get a coke, NO ONE.  I thought to myself "how in the world am I going to pay for the person behind me if NO ONE is ever there?".  So I gave up on that idea and figured I would try later on in the week.  

So then I spent Monday morning making these cute little gift bags that had lotion and body wash and hand sanitizer in them, along with a note that says "Enjoy this Random Act of Kindness" (on the front), "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be gracious and willing to give."  1 Timothy 6:18 (on the back).  Store were packed Monday and I chickened out because I didn't want to the center of attention.

So my first act of random kindness, wasn't really random because I do it every year, but anyway I give my garbage tipper and driver $10.00 each and my mail lady $10.00.  They both do jobs that I would not want to do.  The mail lady job wouldn't be too bad, BUT I would not want to be a garbage tipper or driver.  So I give them a small token of my appreciation.  I like to let them know that their GREAT job does not go unnoticed. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lawson Family Christmas 2011!

 Every year the weekend before Christmas the Lawson Family (Josh's mom's side) has their annual family Christmas dinner.  We have drinks and finger foods and then play dirty Santa!  For the last few years Josh's Aunt Johanna and Uncle Larry have been gracious enough to host it.  Next year is going to be mine and Josh's turn!  I am super pumped but will have to step up my game a little because her house is breath taking.  I snapped a few pictures while we were there.  Here's a peek into her "out of a magazine" home.

An old desk filled with vintage Santa's in the living room
This is her coffee table

 The Santa on the left is a vintage Santa sitting on her kitchen counter and this little set up to the right is in a corner in the living room.

This guy is my absolute favorite! 

Her mantel!

Another table in her living room.

This little table is nestled in her kitchen.

This isn't a very good picture, but it is her entry table!

Hopefully one day I will be able to inspire people the way she inspires me!  Merry Christmas!

6 Days until Christmas!

I was reading Valerie's blog and was very inspired.  Her and her children have been doing a week of 5 random acts of kindness.  Since we are on the last week until Christmas, I am going to follow in her footsteps.  For the next 5 days I will be doing some random act of kindness.  

There are some free printable templates that you can use.

Here are some random acts of kindness you can do:
Pay for the person's food or drink behind you in line.
Put quarters in a zip-lock bag and tape them to  vending machines
Give a small gift to a cashier
Buy a gift card and leave it for the next person in line.
Send a small gift to a local business.
Send Christmas cards with an inspirational verse to someone you randomly choose from the phone book.
Give you mail lady a tip.
Leave a tip for your garbage men.

Keep in mind this verse as you think and pray on things you can do this Christmas.  1 Timothy 6:18 - "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share."

Off of topic but I just entered at giveaway HERE for a 2012 Kate Spade pocket organizer!  Winning that giveaway would be a great way to start out a new year and organized at that!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

7 Days Until Christmas!

Christmas Q&A 

I was trying to figure out what I would post for 7 Days Until Christmas and then I stumbled over this post by Savannah and decided to copy and post it!  I would love to hear some of your answers!

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? - At Christmas Egg Nog.  The rest of the winter hot chocolate (with lots of marshmallows)!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? - Of course he wraps!  What fun would it be if you just walked in the room and saw what you got?  There would be not anticipation at all!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? - White only.  I have some bubble lights that I put on the tree downstairs but I like the look of white.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? - Nope.

5. When do you put your decorations up? - Usually and honestly.  The week before Thanksgiving.  I try to hold off and wait but the excitement gets me every year.  I just can't help it.  I have looked at fall decorations for far too long and need a change.  If I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner I really try to wait until it is over because not everyone appreciates Christmas the way that I do.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? -sausage balls!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? - I have been a lover of Christmas since I knew what it was. I have so many favorite memories.  I loved Christmas Eve PJ's.  We used to get a new pair of pj's on Christmas Eve. 

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? - I learned in 5th grade.  People started telling me in 4th grade but I didn't believe them.  I remember my Mom told me, but I don't remember why.  I am sure I asked.  I asked questions about everything and I always needed to know every little detail.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? - Yes, Christmas pj's.  I miss not getting pj's on Christmas Eve now.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? - I put up three large trees.  You can see two of them here  and here
I have not posted the third tree yet!  I also put small trees up in almost every room.

11. Snow! love it or dread it? -  I use to love the snow.  Now not so much.  I don't like driving in it and Josh does snow removal so he is gone and I worry.

12. Can you ice skate? - Nope!  I have been before but will never let go of the rail because I am just not coordinated enough to keep my butt of the ground on such a thin razor blade!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? -As an adult, Josh gave me diamond earrings.  I had wanted a pair of stud earrings forever.  As a teenager:  a cell phone.  I had begged and begged and begged.  As a child:  I really can't remember back that far! 

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? -Giving people gifts.  Mom says that since I was little I always wanted everyone to open the gifts I got them before I opened mine.  I get a feeling of being complete when I see someone else happy.  Josh and I try to give to needy children every Christmas.  We are truly blessed and it is our duty as Christan's to give back to the people who aren't so privileged.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? -my granny makes these jelly filled, powdered sugar dusted pastries that are to die for!  I am also a fan of puppy chow.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? - Josh and I go see "Christmas in the Park" every year.  I will continue this tradition on with my children.

17. What tops your tree? - An angle on the one in the living room, a snowman head on my snowman tree and sliver ribbon on the tree downstairs!

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? - Giving!

19. Candy canes: yuck or yum? - Definitely YUMO!

20. Favorite Christmas movie? -I love them all.  We don't really go out much the month on December because I am perfectly content with a bowl of popcorn and a Christmas movie.  My top fave are Rudolph, A Year without A Santa Clause, Home Alone, Elf, Santa Clause, The Holiday.  I could keep going.

21. Saddest Christmas song? - I don't know any sad Christmas song.  

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? -Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg.  That is my favorite but I love all Christmas music.  I start listening way before Thanksgiving.  I love the Celtic Women album also.  I also like Mary Did you Know and A Breath of Heaven.

8 Days until Christmas!

So, this morning I was making my list of the things I want to purchase the day after Christmas.  I love to see an expensive piece and either get it really cheap or try to recreate it myself.  Here are some of the pieces I have fallen in love with.
Pottery Barn  $49.00 FOR THE COVER.  Not the whole pillow just the cover.


This is my favorite!  It is $59.00 they are actually all sold out.  They were selling a small and large (this is the large).  I would love to figure out how to recreate this piece.

These lanterns are $24-$79.00.  I like the $79.00.  Better yet, I love how they used berries and holly twigs.  
This is actually the top scroll on the Christmas section on Pottery Barn's website.  I love the whole room, but I am loving the noel in the back the most!  All of the items listed above you can find on 

This little guy is from Ballard Design (another one of my favorites).  He's currently sold out with a price tag of $39.00
I am in love, head over heels, with this basket.  It started out at $89.00 (hence the reason I don't own one), it is now on sale for $44.00 and I am hoping once Christmas is over it will go down even lower than that.
This ornament is from Crate and Barrel.  A set of 3 is on sale for $7.16 original price was $8.95

Thursday, December 15, 2011

09 Days until Christmas!

I cannot believe that we are officially in single digit days until Christmas.  We wait/plan all year for this one day and it will be here and gone before we know it.  So I wasn't sure if I was going to get to bake cookies this year or even if I would bake anymore since I went to my first cookie swap.  I still had some recipes that I wanted to try out, I usually bake at least 5 batches.  One for each person in my family.  

Last night Kaitlyn spent the night at my house and we baked all afternoon.

We made Smore's Cookies for Josh.
 Chocolate Chip Fudge Cookies for my Dad (the worlds largest chocolate lover)!
 We made sugar cookies with eggnog frosting for my Mom.
 Cinnamon Spirals for Kaitlyn.
We even made chocolate covered maple balls for my Grandma.
 We are going to make chocolate chip cookies (my favorite) Monday after we go shopping.  We were just too tired tonight.  Here are two pictures of my very festive children!

10 days until Chirstmas!

Josh and I went to Freeman Lake Park "Christmas in the Park" last Friday night.  It was amazing as usual.  There are a few displays that are missing this year.  They are doing some work on the lake so the water displays weren't up this year.  But I completely enjoyed it and would go again. Here are some pictures I got.

This one is blurry, Josh was worried about the car behind us so he wouldn't stop and let me get a really good picture.  This is Elizabethtown Community College's display.

 This guy is awesome!  He is my favorite display in the whole park. At the enterance of the park they tell you to set your radio to a station that is for the park and plays only Christmas music.  Well this snowman lights up to the music.  I got luck enough to catch him all lit up.

This display is one of the new ones this year, it is a Disney display.  I didn't catch who sponsered it.

 If you don't make it out there before Christmas, they stay open until New Year's.  If you don't get to go at all this year, put it on the books for next year.  It is a great date night. Christmas in the park is fun for big kids and little kids!