Sunday, December 29, 2013

Our Christmas in pictures

It all seems like a blur now. I hate it when that happens. We had a great Christmas. It was spent with lots of visits with family and friends. I've cleaned up my kitchen so many times that I feel like I work in a restaurant.

I didn't take as many pictures as I normally do, as our new puppy has kept me quite busy! I love that little snuggle bug, but man he wears me out! So, he's the reason for so few pictures, but it's a pretty good reason.

I got this cute little wine bottle candle holder from my friend Terri. Just love it!

Wileys first Christmas with us.

The girls, husband and mother inlaw on Christmas Eve.

My brother and sister inlaw on Christmas Eve.

My brother inlaw and family visiting.

Since Christmas has been so busy, I plan to relax and chill for the new year.

Happy New Year!




Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas from my house to yours....

Just a day late but yesterday was so busy and fun that I didn't get a chance to post a picture. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas.



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa came a little early to our house and brought a ....

DOG!!! Okay, okay....I bought the dog as a surprise present to my husband. It didn't go exactly as planned. He is still shocked that I did it. I thought he would be thrilled as he had always talked about loving a dog....until I surprised him with one. I knew he always wanted a big dog. A manly dog, as he always put it. So, I bought a German shepherd (my favorite) puppy 9 weeks old. He is HUGE already. And has the biggest paws on a puppy that I have ever seen!

My husband is slowly coming around and out of the shock. My oh my a puppy is work!!!! Holy cow! Thankfully he is a good sleeper and we take him out a few times during the night to potty, but he always goes right back to sleep. I feel like he is an infant and we are trying to get him on a schedule. The biggest issue is watching him every minute so he doesn't tear down, or eat everything. He is sneaky and it only takes a minute for him to find trouble. Wears. Me. Out!! He is busy, but oh my goodness he is so cute!!

So....met WILEY.

It's a good thing he is so cute, because I am worn slam out! Not to mention my cat Simba HATES him!!!

Yes, he is lazy and likes to eat like that. Yesterday he turned over a full water bowl 4 times. So please buy stock in paper towels as I will be buying a crazy amount now!

This is the first night and he was worn out. Erica loved having him nap with her.

That my exciting Christmas news so far. Gotta go grab a nap while Wiley is napping.

Merry Christmas!!!



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas is coming at full speed

Wow, tomorrow starts a new week which means Christmas is next week....yikes! I feel like Halloween was just last week. Well, ready or not Christmas is coming at full speed now.

Since the flu hit me hard the weekend of thanksgiving I was really thrown for a loop for a good 2 weeks. Because of that I was way behind on decorating and shopping. So, I accomplished a lot this weekend and starting to feel relief. I hate to be pressured to shop right up until Christmas. I love having the decorating and shopping done so I can relax and enjoy the magic of Christmas. I didn't do a lot of decorating this year, but I love the coziness of the house with all of the lights and candles lit. It feels so cozy.

I love lots of candles lit at night.

Now it's time to get busy wrapping the rest of the presents. And working on a grocery list for all the baking that will be done soon. I'm ready to slow the season down and enjoy it. If only we could get a little snow to make it magical!!!!


Monday, December 2, 2013

That's's on!!

The count down to Christmas is on! Let the stress and craziness begin. Well, hopefully not. I am so far behind that it's crazy, but I'm not going to stress over it for a change.

Thanksgiving was amazing. I didn't have to cook a thing this year since my mother inlaw volunteered and I was thrilled. We ate an early lunch with her and then hit the road for vacation. Since my husband had to work a football game in Nashville TN, we all tagged along. I have never been to Nashville and it was fun. The best part of our trip was the Gaylord Hotel. That place was awesome and over the top. The inside kind of reminded me of the inside of a cruise ship. Just packed full of restaurants and places to shop. It was totally decked out in Christmas decorations so it was a sight to see. Here are a few pictures from inside the Gaylord.

The next best thing was the indoor outlet mall next door. Of course we had to hit that twice before our vacation ended. We got a little shopping done for the girls, but I could have dropped some serious money in that place.

Now that we are back home it's time to get serious about decorating and shopping. Next on the list is the Christmas tree.....I have never been this late in decorating. I always love the house all lit with sparkly lights for Christmas.

Happy decorating!!



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Are you one of those crazy people????

Are you one of those crazy people that has the Christmas tree up, house decorated and all of your shopping done and wrapped under the tree???? Augh! I SO WISH I was one of them! I'm jealous of those people. Every year I say I'm doing it all early, and that never happens.

Now, I love getting my tree up and decorated early. One of them is usually up right before Thanksgiving simply because I love that it gets us all in the holiday mood early and motivates me to get organized. Mine would be up right now if I hadn't thrown a fit and threw mine out last year! Gotta love those pre-lit trees that always has a section that burns out. Every year I have had that happen, so I pitched that thing last year! This is a picture from last year and you can probably see several sections that had lights out.

So, I'm already planning our trip out to the Christmas tree farm so I can get my decorate on!! For now I'm making lists. Lists of everything. I'm a list maker, but it keeps me on track. I have a shopping list going, Christmas Eve meal list going, stocking stuffer list, gift giving list, and Christmas card list. I finally wised up a few years back and started a note book for all of it and can just refer back to the previous year on what I baked, cooked and bought for gifts. It's a time saver for sure! The problem right now is I can't find my book. I put it somewhere safe last year....too safe, and now I can't find it.

So, what do you do to keep yourself from going crazy over the holidays and to keep you organized?



Monday, November 18, 2013

A sure sign that Christmas is coming!!!!!!

It's BACK!!!!! Starbucks Christmas Blend! Happy, happy,!

Not only are the red cup out at Starbucks, but the Christmas Blend coffee is back. A sure sign that Christmas is around the corner. Yeah, I's the little things that get me excited.

I haven't posted in a while, and I'm working on several different posts and will have them up soon. I just wanted to pop in and share my excitement about Christmas :)

I tried my best to get my husband to take us to the Christmas tree farm this past weekend so I could put up the tree....but it was raining. So, here is a picture of what I pulled out to hold me until I can get a tree up. Again, it's the little things that make me happy...some days anyway.

Happy decorating!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

One of my favorite weeks!

First of all hello November! Please slow down! It always feels that once Halloween is over I blink and it's Christmas Eve. So, please sloooow down.

This past week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. The fall colors here seem to reach their peak and it's AMAZING! That one reason, the second is Halloween! Which means scary movie marathon all week! I. Love. It! I watch one after another. I try to DVR some of my classic favorites. My husband is not a fan at all, but he did watch the movie Halloween with me Halloween night. That one he can easily take. My teenage step daughters were here the other night and they suggested we watch the scariest one I had recorded....that was The Strangers. Augh, that movie is crazy and very nerve wrecking! Here is a picture of how we do scary movies here. Sorry it's a little dark, but we wanted all of the lights off for the movie.

There were lots of screams that the houses around us probably heard. My husband thought it would be funny to sneak around the house and BANG on the front door as loud as he could!!!!! We wanted to hurt him!! If you have seen the movie The Strangers you would know why.

Another favorite this week is we got Boo-ed! This is a first for me, but it's a fun little neighborhood game of leaving treats at your door and keeping the game going. This what I found on our door earlier this week.

Next of course is carving the pumpkin. The girls seemed to have outgrown this, but not me! You gotta have a lit pumpkin on your porch on Halloween. Then of course the best part is smelling the pumpkin seeds roasting in the oven.

Yeah, I know my pumpkin carving skills are pathetic, but it's still fun. And I'm sure all THREE trick or treaters I had come to the house loved it. Yes, that's right only 3 at our house. Bummer, because it's my favorite part. I told my husband we need to move to a busier neighborhood.

Okay, the last favorite thing from this week was helping my mom set up her new iPad (from 3 hours away) over the phone. Well, maybe not favorite since I needed a big glass of wine after that call...that took 90 minutes. I helped her download Facebook and gave her a quick lesson on iPads. But the best was showing her how to FaceTime. She thinks it's amazing!! And of course I get moved up to the favorite child

So, that was my favorite week! Halloween week! I hope yours was just as fun!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Are you hooked on reality TV too?

Yes, I'm guilty and I own it. I LOVE reality TV!!!! Okay? I know what you're thinking. Time waster and terrible TV....right? Wrong! Not to me anyway. I admit some of it is pure crap, but I am totally hooked on some of it.

My top all time favorite is Survivor. I have watched it from the very beginning. My husband says it's because of the host, Jeff Probst, which is a total cutie.

Our whole family watches on Wednesday nights. It has been tradition for years now that we all settle in on the couch to watch it with hot cookies fresh out of the oven. Very few episodes have been watched without cookies.

My next favorite show isn't a favorite with the rest of my family. Bravo's Housewives. Augh, love just about all of them. This show makes my husband crazy. If he's in the room he leaves as he says the show stresses him out. Hahaha! It's the complete opposite for me. It's a stress reliever to me. After a long crazy day at work, I love to tune in and get wrapped up in their craziness and forget about everything for a while. With most all of their crazy problems, it makes mine seem fairly insignificant. My favorite, The Housewives of Beverly Hills, is about to start back up the first part of November. Can. Not. Wait.

I could go on and on about different ones....The Bachelor, Sister Wives, 19 Kids and Counting. And yes I was even a huge fan of Jon and Kate Plus 8. Call me weird, but I guess I love seeing a sneak peek into people's lives. That's probably why I love blogging and following blogs. It gives me a glimpse into others peoples lives.

What shows are you hooked on? Is it a reality show?


Saturday, October 19, 2013

What is your getaway plan?

I'm not talking about rob a bank getaway plan! I'm talking your I gotta get the heck away and recharge kind of plan. I'm alway curious as to what that is for others. We all have those busy times that are just go, go, go all the time. Some of us have jobs that are busier certain times of the year than others. At my house it seems to be busy from June to New Years....and I'm not kidding. My husband officiates college football and it's football business year round at our house, but it really gets busy for him in the summer and even crazier when the season kicks off. So, we try to get in little get aways during the off season. Weekend trips are perfect for quick getaways. We are lucky that we live near the mountains and can get in little hikes even for a quick day trip. But our favorite overnight getaway is to a cabin in the mountains...with snow!!!! We both love the snow. And my favorite time to do that is right after Christmas. We have booked a cabin trip after Christmas a couple of times and its heavenly! After all of the rushing around and craziness of the holiday, it's so nice to chill and enjoy a few days of rest. The last time the owners had the cabin decorated including a Christmas tree. It was pretty awesome!

This cabin was next to a creek so it was relaxing to sit in the hot tub and hear the creek right beside us.


Of course, let's not forget beach getaways. I think for a lot of people this is the ultimate for relaxation and recharging. I like the beach and really enjoy it, but I tend not to relax as much there. I feel that I have so much to squeeze in while there. Tanning, great restaurants, shopping and up before the sun to get sunrise pictures. I often return home thinking I need a few days to recover! My husband isn't really a beach person. He is good for a day of it...And That's About It.


These are a few pictures from our recent trip to Myrtle Beach SC. The middle of October and mid 80's. It felt a little weird as by October I'm in full on boots and sweater mode!
I'm already planning a couple of getaways for this about you?


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Who would think a cemetery would be such a popular hangout?

I'm always searching for places to explore with my camera. Can you believe one of my favorite places is the cemetery? Well, it is. And I'm not alone.

We have an old city cemetery here that is very popular. It dates back to 1806. There is a confederate section that contains the graves of over 2200 soldiers from 14 states. There are also four small historic house museums inside the cemetery. I admit that I'm not much of a history buff like my husband who teaches history, but there is something about the place that draws me back frequently. Every October they have candle light tours with professional actors in period costumes that portray true stories of the cemetery residents. I have yet to make one of the tours, but plan to attend one this year.

I enjoy the peace and quiet there. Just me and my camera. The grounds are beautiful and spring and fall is amazing there. I drove there this afternoon before the sunset to see if the leaves had any color yet, but it's still too soon. Probably another 2-3 weeks and the trees will be bold and beautiful in colors of fall.

There are so many interesting little details to photograph there. Almost every time I go I see people taking family portraits. I saw a photographer there today taking family pictures. My step daughter is a senior this year and I'm taking her senior pictures there as soon as the leaves turn.

I took a few of these pictures at the beginning of spring.

This shot is one of my favorite pictures I have taken there.



This big old tree and swing is a popular place for pictures of children. I've seen bridal portraits at this swing too. You just never know what to expect when you arrive. But there is always someone there with a camera.

I love this cemetery and I'm sure I'll be back soon for more pictures as soon as the leaves change, and again for our first snow fall.
Where is the strangest place you go to take pictures?