December 31, 2011

Happy New Years!

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.  ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

December 16, 2011

Ba-Humbug the Christmas Blues Away...

Every time Christmas rolls around I get all giddy like a child opening presents on Christmas morning but then as the month lingers on I start to get the "Christmas Blues".

This time of year brings back a flood of memories of Christmas' past. I am reminded of Christmas with my Mammaw and this year it's doubley (is that a word??) hard because we just lost my Pappaw 3 short months ago. His death is still fresh on my mind and I have been having a hard enough time dealing with his loss without throwing the holidays into the mix.

I know I need to live in the "now" because these years with Brody & Victoria will fly by while I am living in the past. I am really trying hard to stop these emotions so I can enjoy the present but I am having a terrible time at shaking it all off.

It also saddens me because Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. I look forward to the next Christmas as we are wrapping up the current one. I love seeing my children open their presents with great joy and excitement. I love suprising them with little things that they weren't expecting or something that wasn't on their list.

I know this Christmas will be one for the books but I just have to get through this "Blah-ness" so I can make it happen. I am hoping as Christmas gets a little closer (like it's not close enough -- 9 days!!!) these "blahs" will go away. Having my parents here for Christmas will make it more exciting; espicially for Brody. He loves his Nannee and Pappaw!

So, I am Ba-humbuging these blues away so I can enjoy Christmas Day!

December 12, 2011

13 Days and counting....

It's hard to believe that Christmas is only 13 days away. Every year it seems December flies by and we're stuck waiting another 365 for a magical holiday and time with our families. For me (my husband may not agree) it's not about the presents it's about the traditions, the togetherness, the feeling of joy in the house when December rolls around. Everyone is happy and joyful and the world seems like a brighter, nicer place...that's how I feel about it some may beg to differ.

This year we started a new tradition that hit the map by storm; ELF ON THE SHELF. We (Victoria and I) have had so fun much moving this little thing around the house. It seems ours is very mischievous and gets into a lot of trouble! He's always messing up something. Brody wakes up every morning and wants to know where the Elf if and when he sees him he tells the little guy that he wants "a McDonald's like Hudson has". It's too sweet. What he is really asking for is a McDonald's play set that is like a kitchen but this one is geared to boys. His little neighbor friend, Hudson, has one and he loves playing with it. He even told Santa that he wanted it so hopefully it will be under our tree on Christmas morning. Brody has had his share of good and bad days....mostly good so he has a great chance of getting what's on his tiny little list of things.

Talking about lists! It seems each year our tree gets fuller and fuller with presents underneath the tree. I will admit that it's mostly my fault because I want our children to have everything they ask for, if not more than they ask for (that's usually the case). I tell myself each year that I am not spending a ton of money on useless gadgets and clothes that may never be worn but something comes over me and I can't help shower presents underneath the tree. You would think I would stop because it takes a ton of time and energy to wrap all of them. One thing I do NOT do is use gift bags at Christmas. There is so much joy when it comes to unwrapping a box with a pretty bow on top. I go to the trouble of making my own bows to adorn each present and that seems to take ages but it's the little details that I feel make the present unique and special. I even go overboard and pick out wrapping paper that suits the person I am giving the gift to. That may be my OCD kicking in. I can't help it though, the present has to be *perfect*. My family probably has no idea that I am like this with Christmas presents. They probably think I just wrap it with any old paper and slap a bow on it and call it day :)

The house is finally decorated and it looks great. Mike & Victoria  did a lot of work on the outside lights and I handled the inside stuff like the mantle and just little Christmas nick knacks throughout the house. I did do the front door because I am anal about that. It has to look a certain way and if it doesn't come out like I have it pictured in my mind then I am not happy with it and we start all over again. Thankfully, Victoria helps me with it because I am entirely too short to do the decorating at the top of the door and she is tall enough to hang the garland for me. She knows where things go to and likes order as much as I do so we make a good team when it comes to the front porch decorations. However, we have had some issues with the timers working at night to turn the lights on and off so that has sent me spinning into a tizzy. The lights aren't coming on when they should and I have to manually turn them on every night. We even went a few days where they would trip the breaker box and we had to fix that problem. Our lights were cutting off within 5 minutes of plugging them in. It seems like we always run into problems with the lights every year.

Brody FINALLY had his picture taken with Santa Claus with crying and I was beside myself. He even talked to Santa and told him about the Elf on the Shelf and what he wanted for Christmas. It was a really sweet and most perfect memory that I will hold dear to my heart. It's amazing how fast he is growing up and believing in all of these magical things. He loves Christmas and that makes my heart happy. He keeps asking when Santa is coming and we have strict orders  that we can't have a fire in the fireplace the night he does decide to come. How precious. I am really going to soak up these next few years with him and Santa because before I know it he will no longer believe in the jolly old fellow.

So from my house to your house; Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy the holidays as much as we do. And remember to start traditions that last for many years to come. Those will be the memories you have to look back on knowing you did the right thing.....Santa still lives in all of our hearts....we just have to make our children aware of his love.

December 7, 2011

Recipe Time! Chicken Casserole

It's always nice to have a warm casserole to serve for dinner during the cooler months as well as Holiday parties where you must carry a covered dish. My saving grace is a recipe my Mammaw used to make and then passed on to my Mom who then passed on the recipe to me. It's seriously delicious and so easy to make. I even make them for new neighbors or if someone is home bound; so here goes!

**This recipe was originally taken from the St. John's Luthern Church cookbook published in 1975**

Chicken Casserole Ingredients

1 package of Pepperidge Farm Stuffing
2 cups of Chicken (I cheat and buy the cooked chicken in the large can)
1 stick of margarine, melted
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cream of mushroom or cream of celery -- your personal choice

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Melt Margarine and mix with stuffing mix. Put 1/2 of stuffing mixture in a casserole dish, top with chicken. Blend both soups together with a 1/3 cup of water and mix well. Pour over chicken. Spread the other half of stuffing mix over top of casserole. Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbly and browned on top.

It's yummy!!!

Rain, Rain, Go Away

There is nothing I hate more than a rainy, dreary, cold day! I swear, they bring the "Blah's" and I can't shake them until the sun is back out and shining.

For some reason days like today memories come flooding back...good ones and bad ones. I usually start thinking about my grandparents which now are both deceased. I start thinking about all of the good times that I experienced in my childhood and in return it makes me sad. It makes me miss them even more knowing I can't pick up the phone to hear "Hello Sugarfoot". What I would do to hear that one last time. I guess I did hear it one last time but I didn't know that it would really be the *last* time. I'm not sure how long one grieves for their loved ones. I know I have a couple of days a week where I break down in tears when something hits a nerve of the past. It could be a smell, an elderly person or just something from the past that just reminds me of my grandfather. I also think the recent death of my Pappaw brought up memories of my Mammaw so I got a double whammy of sadness.

Maybe I will get to a point in my life where days like today will not bring up memories that make me sad. I hope so because it makes the day very long and painful.

December 5, 2011

Holiday Memories that Last

I think that Christmas (besides Halloween) is my most favorite time of year. It's like it's the one time your spirit is free to be a child least for me it is.

I get all wrapped up in buying the *perfect* tree that always tends to be entirely too big for our living room but somehow we manage to get it to fit. Usually it entails a little cursing and a fit or two but it does make itself into an upright position and the angel looks perfect when we are finished decorating the massive pine tree.

Another joy of the holiday season is BAKING! I love to bake/cook the common household staples around Christmas time. You get cookies, candy, dipped pretzels, cheese straws and so much more. It's like your kitchen becomes a bakery during Christmas! The smell of your house is a mixture of sugar and spice with a splash of pine tree....HEAVEN.

This year my parents will be here for the holidays and I am beside myself. It will be a wonderful holiday filled with so much love, laughter and days full of making memories. I always make a gingerbread house with Mom and the kids so I can't wait to do that this year. It always turns out so pretty and it's a wonderful bonding experience and something that Victoria will hopefully do with her children. Hopefully we are making traditions for her and Brody....that's what Christmas is all about right?!? Family traditions?

Growing up we had a few family traditions like going to the same Christmas tree lot every year to pick out the not so small tree. Coming home putting the tree up and decorating it while listening to Christmas music. We would always ride down Union Street and little side streets to look at the beautiful lights that lined both sides of the streets. We would always watch "It's a Charlie Brown Christmas" and several other holiday cartoons. I would always go to the Carolina Mall to get my picture taken with Santa Claus.  It was a magical time for me growing up. My parents made Christmas special even though I am sure they thought these small gestures didn't mean a whole lot to me (but they did).

I can only hope that I am making the holidays special for my children. I want them to look back, smile and get that warm fuzzy feeling inside like I do when I think of my childhood during the holidays.

December 4, 2011


Gesundheit!! We are barely into the winter season and my poor little Brody is already sick with a very gurgley, nasty cough. So it's off to the Doctor we go tomorrow.

I feel so bad when my little bugaboo is sick because he is so helpless. He can't blow his nose very well so he has snot all over his face which creeps up into his eyes where they matte shut. Ugh. It's so sad.

I was hoping we could get into December before anyone became ill in our household but with the kids in school I guess that is asking a lot. Victoria rarely gets sick but germs seem to swarm in preschool. I know he had to pick up some other kids nasty germs. Which brings me to my reason for my post...

Dear Parent,


I will be the first to admit that Brody goes to preschool when he has a slight cough or a little runny nose but he DOES NOT and WILL NOT go to preschool if he has a fever, a croupy cough or has been throwing up. I don't want to subject another kid and their family to my families ailments.

Okay, I feel better now to get that off my chest. So the moral of my post is keep your sick kids at home so they don't pass off their nasty cold to the other children in the class!

A peeved parent.

December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to.....ME!

Today marks my Thirty-Three years on Earth. Honestly, I am not so sure what to make of it. I am blessed to have so much in such a short amount of time but at the same time its 33 YEARS!!!! I don't feel like I am old enough to be 33 and it seems like time kind of stopped when I was 21....or at least counting birthdays did.

So here I sit wondering what the next 33 years will hold....I would be 66 years old and hopefully, retired. I am sure I will have a couple of grandkids running around the place. I just don't know what to think of all of that yet so I will just stay in the "now" and enjoy my 33 years of life.