Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Blues

Merry Christmas! Sorry for the radio silence. We have been busy, busy with get togethers and being lazy bums. The post Christmas blues have set in. If you haven't noticed by now, I have a bit of an existential, angsty streak. Usually, I channel it into gloomy music and chocolate consumption but now I have blog so it is funneled here. Like I have said before, I love the Christmas season, however, I don't particularly care for Christmas day. I am remember as I kid, wondering why everyone seemed to be happier and more excited about Christmas day than me. The excitement from ripping opening packages seemed to dissipate much quicker from my soul than it did for my siblings. It used to bug me but as I grew and matured, I just assumed that it was a part of my personality and kind of brushed it off. So what if I don't get that excited on Christmas morning? I have a ton of fun leading up to it and I can be happy with that. It wasn't till this year after listening to the first two parts of this teaching series did I really come to grip with my melancholy nature. The lectures are on Ecclesiastes, which is like the Intro to Philosophy book of the Bible. It deals with the meaningless nature of life. (Sorry that I am a creating a downer here, hang with me.) I can't really explain it so I really have to suggest that you listen to it. I finally have a peace about being a little down on Christmas day. The hype is fun and I love getting into the spirit but in the end it is ok to be a little sad. If you ever feel like you can't "enjoy" life like everyone around you, I highly recommend you listen to all five parts. It will be a breath of fresh air to your soul. 
Sorry for the tangential rant. 

Merry (blue) Christmas! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Over the Weekend: Chilly

(via pinterest)
Baby, it's cold outside, finally! I wore a sweater this weekend and it was glorious. So, Christmas is this Friday. My brain is reeling a little. It feels like we look forward to holidays like Christmas all year and then they just sneak up on us right at the last minute. Weren't we just stuffing ourselves full of Thanksgiving dinner last week? I am attempting to soak up every last bit of the season that can. I made some progress on my #christmas checklist. 

1. Pick out and decorate tree. Check!
2. Take a family Christmas photo
3. Watch White Christmas. Check!
4. Find a good Advent Bible reading plan for our calendar
5. Send out Christmas cards. Check!

Maybe I knock out the rest in the next few days. 

Have a great week!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Wrap Up

One week till Christmas! The weather has been so warm lately that it doesn't really feel like Christmas at all. Dumb, El Nino. I think I have worn a jacket once this month. It has thrown me for a loop.
Well, here are a few things that are going on this week.

1. Star Wars. Duh. I am pretty excited though. I don't know when I will be able to see it. Movie going and babies don't mesh well but I am super excited about all the hype. It looks pretty incredible.

2. I actually made a BIG dent in my housework to do list this week. Like, I folded ALL of the laundry. I couldn't have done without the help of my trusty podcasts.

3. We have had a few setbacks in the napping department but I think we have overcome a hurdle. It seems like the little guy was getting hungry! He has been eating solids for a little over a week and I think it was the ticket to stretching the naps back out. Hopefully, the trend will hold.

Have great weekend!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Twinkle Lights

I really wanted to attempt some manual photography with our Christmas tree this year. I am sure you all have seen the enviable, glowing tree pictures that fill up your feeds this time of year. I wanted to test the waters of completely manual shooting and capture some cozy pictures. I liked how they turned out. I may try again and see if I can brighten them up a little. I used this picture and settings as my guide. My lens' f-stop will not go as low as the directions suggest, so that may have been the problem. I will probably play around with it some more.
Each time I try out something new with my, I realize how much I really do enjoy learning about photography. It is so exciting to create something pretty and know that you did it. I also really like knowing that I am learning. I am was one of those weird people who loved going to class and was actually kind of bummed when I graduated because I knew I was not going to be learning something new everyday. Adding a creative hobby, like photography, where I am a total novice has filled that gaining knowledge void. It just gives me such joy to play around and learn new things.

What gives you joy? What hobbies or activities really spark your interest?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Checklist

Every year, I have somewhat overly romantic ideas of what I am going to do for Christmas. Usually they involved carefully cards, homemade ornaments, cozy Christmas movie viewing sessions and the list goes on. I just really want to make the most of season and there seems to be a lot of pressure to really get into the Christmas spirit. This year, I am trying to take a more laid back approach and just enjoy the little festivities that come along with the holiday. Here is my mini of things I would like to accomplish and enjoy this Christmas.

1. Pick out and decorate tree. Check!
2. Take a family Christmas photo
3. Watch White Christmas
4. Find a good Advent Bible reading plan for our calendar
5. Send out Christmas cards

Hopefully, I will be able to accomplish the entire list, but if I don't it is ok. Christmas will be just fine either way.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Over The Weekend: Christmas Party Time

Just a few snapshots from our family Christmas party last night. It was a Christmas pajama party, which made for a cozy, cute time. This year, we had 5 new, squishy additions to the family. This has been the year of the baby. The youngest was born just a week ago! It makes for exciting (loud) family get-togethers. Baby was somewhat interested in unwrapping his gifts. I think next year will be more exciting for him. All the excitement and prepping is really just us the parents. A 6 month doesn't know what Christmas is. He could care less if he gets a box covered in pretty paper.

Have a great week!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Wrap Up

So I have been slacking a little on the blog side. I am FINALLY back to feeling 100% after having bronchitis. I feel like I am finally catching up on the house side of things. That area of my life is the first to be neglected when things get busy. When I get busy at work, with baby, or get behind when I am sick, the laundry piles up and the dust bunnies grow. It is a bad cycle because it is when I am stressed and consumed with outside things, that I really need the house to be in tip top shape and not adding to the stress pile. Anyone out there have tips or recommendations on how to manage it all? Has anyone attained that illusive work/life balance? I would love to hear some feedback if you have any.
Things from this week:
1. Our tree is up and decorated! Queue happy heart and Christmas music.

2. Spotify has some great Christmas playlists. I am particularly fond of the Indie Christmas one.

3. Um, Downton character doing American accents? Hilarious.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Wrap Up

Happy Friday, everyone! How was your week? After starting the week off with a horrible cold, I am starting to feel better. I still sound like a frog but at least I can muster up the strength to change out of pjs. It has turned COLD here and I am excited. I love cold weather around Christmas time. It is primarily because I love wearing sweaters so much. Cozy clothes are my favorite.
I really do not have much to wrap up per say. Life is busy but it is going well. I need to start wrapping presents and sending out Christmas cards. I am trying to slow down and just enjoy the season a little bit more. I hope you can do the same.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Surviving Sickness

(a photo from last Thanksgiving, actually)
If you're reading this it is Tuesday, but while I am typing this, it is Monday. Yes, I take full advantage of the schedule feature every once in a while. Currently (Monday afternoon), I am at home cocooned in blankets on the couch, battling a fierce cold. I should have seen it coming. On Sunday, I noticed that I was a little more tired than usual but I brushed it off on account of the extra wake up calls I was having because of Baby's teething. Then, by late afternoon, my throat starting hurting and before I knew it my whole head was congested. It was a really rough night between the crying baby and the stuffy nose. I knew there was no way I was going to make it to work and I didn't want to spread the germs around. I am a firm believer in the quarantine method. If you are sick, for the good of all, stay home and cloister yourself off. Limit your exposure as much as you can. It may be a tad dramatic but it works. 
I have set up my sickness command center on the couch. I have a steady stream of hot tea brewing, sweetened with lots of honey. There is a mountain of blankets ready to help sweat out the fever. To top it if, I am methodically going through all the Harry Potter movies. There is nothing better than a little Hogwarts magic when you're feeling crummy. Lady Pup has been keeping me company and, amazingly, Baby has been in a great mood. It is days like today that I am extremely thankful he take nice long naps. 
I need to go take my vitamins and check on my chicken. Before I laid down, while the caffeine from my morning coffee was holding me up, I started a chicken in the crockpot. Hopefully, Scott will help me put some chicken soup together this evening. There is nothing like a nice broth based soup when you have a sore throat. 
I can feel the chills coming back so I better wrap this up before it stops making sense. 
Hope everyone is doing well and feeling better than me!

What are you're go-to sickness rituals? Do you swear by a certain remedy or routine? 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Last Bit of Autumn

I really wanted to do a cute little shoot with the last of our pumpkins before I moved on to Christmas decorations. Sadly, my camera died mid shoot and I really didn't get any good shots. I almost decided to call it quits and then I remembered that I have a phone. Technology is really amazing these days. I know that in a lot of ways it has made our lives more complicated but I think it does enrich our daily experiences in some ways. Like the ease that I can shoot and edit these photos. A couple of clicks with my camera app followed by few taps and a VSCO filter and I had these. 
Some times I wonder if the ease with which we create takes away some of the specialness of the creative endeavor. Since so many people have access to the same technology and it is relatively easy to use, does it make the outcomes less special? People are taking photos and making videos more than every before. As technology advances, it becomes cheaper and more available. The lines between amateurs and professionals are slowing blurring. Are we seeing an increase in expressions of creativity or a dilution of it?   
Maybe technology just enables more people to dabble in creative projects. I wouldn't consider myself an artist or a "creator." I am a hobbyist at best. I enjoy the ease that my phone lets me capture pictures like these and I have gotten somewhat decent at composing a shot but I know that I don't hold a candle to a lot of photographers out there. For me, I am excited about the new possibilities that technology offers. I should probably just learn to sit back and enjoy it. 
Have a good Monday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Playing Catch Up

So I have been really off of my game lately. We left Wednesday evening to go to Charleston to help Scott's old professor/mentor's family move and I have been behind since. It was a fun little trip and it was so good to get to see them and help out. We did a little of bit of sightseeing in downtown Charleston. Just enough to wet our appetites and convince us we need to visit some more.
We are in full blown Thanksgiving prep mode. I have my recipe picked out. Now I just need to get to the grocery store. I am probably going to regret putting off my shopping till the day before but it could not be helped. Thankfully, I do not need a turkey or I would probably end up in a fist fight with someone. Those things go fast.
Have a good week!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Over The Weekend: Overcome The World

I keep thinking back on this podcast by Timothy Keller. Essentially, the message is bad things happen and that is normal. When good things happen, it is a miracle. With everything that has happened in the last 48-72 hours, it feels like there is only bad things.
Maybe it is age, maybe it is experience, but there is very little that shocks me. I am a little embarrassed at how little I feel over these recent violent attacks in Paris. I am saddened but not surprised. It is almost a numbness. Then watching the aftershocks on social media causes me to be more apathetic. I don't know if apathetic is the right word. It is a heavy, sad feeling. The opinions and "debates" turn a horrific situation into a show. There are people who voicing genuine concern and sorrow. They are trying to mentally and emotionally wrestle with the facts but they drown out by the hundreds of other voices. The "others" are pushing ignorant policies and political views. It feels like a large crowd of people yelling over each other. Everyone is saying something but it doesn't seem like anyone is taking the time to listen. Maybe are trying to make sense of the situation as best they can. It is disheartening the ridiculousness that follows something like this.
It is kind of nice to have a little corner of the Internet to voice your thoughts but not have to worry about other people seeing it. Putting up a status on FB guarantees that someone will read it. Putting something up hear means that it is out there, but maybe no one will see it. I feel a freedom to be expressive in a space I call "my own" than I public forum like Facebook.
So what do we after something like what happened in Paris? That is the big question. I wish there was plan. I would love to offer up a carefully and thoughtfully crafted strategy that was ideologically consistent, yet compassionate and fiscally responsible. What that would look like, I don't know. All I know is that bad things are going to happen and we are going to have to do deal with them.

John 16

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Wrap Up

Um, where did this day go? Today has been an adventure. We are in the process of dropping a nap out of Baby's day and stretching out the time he is awake. It was a struggle to keep him happy during that extended awake time. We spent a large portion of the day outside soaking up the sun and the wonderful temperatures. 
I don't have much to wrap up. Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thanksgiving Meal Prep

(via pinterest)
What to bring to Thanksgiving? The age old question. We celebrate with my husband's family since we live close to them. Usually it's a mixed bunch of extended family and close friends. It is always a lot of fun and there is always a ton of food. I am not the greatest cook in the world. Instead of bringing something, I usually opt to help prep dishes (I am a great sous chef.) However, I really want to start contributing to the spread. When I do contribute to pot luck style meals, be it at family get togethers or church events, I try to be the healthy/healthier option. There will be plenty of good, Southern food, this is Georgia, so it's nice to bring a little variety to the table. For this year's Thanksgiving, I am really wanting to do something like this. Maybe I am just a sucker for good food photography but doesn't that spread look sumptuous? I could eat the entire thing by myself, easily. It might be nice appetizer sort dish while the rest of the food is being prepped and setup. It would be a good excuse to buy a nice cheese board. 
I guess I'll back to salivating.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Style: A Small Attempt

Here it is, guys. An outfit post. I know I am going to look back at this and cringe big time. Ha!
Part of the reason I started this blog is because I have been a big fan of blogs for a long time. I got into fashion blogs in 2009. I stumbled across the idea of blogging after browsing through Chictopia (anybody remember that?) There were a few girls on Chictopia that I loved to check out regularly so when I found out that they had their own sites, I just cut out the middle man. Sorry, Chictopia. One of my earliest follows was A Clothes Horse. She was and still is inspiring. I never knew people actually dressed like that! Her vintage style and plethora of dresses was so different from my normal fair of jeans and cardigans. It was eye opening.
Her style is always adorable but what is more amazing is her photography skills. She takes most all of her own photos using a tripod and a self-timer. I am constantly blown away by her skill level. Some of her shoots are editorial quality. I can always count on her for inspiration.
While my photos are not nearly as amazing as hers, I really enjoyed taking them. It is so nice to carve out a little time on a gloriously sunny to do something creative. I'll be back at work cleaning out the freezer here soon, but for a little bit I got to play. Hopefully, this playing will eventually turn into something cool but as for now, I am just going to revel in the dorkiness and go with it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bits and Pieces

This weekend felt like it flew by. It's already Tuesday, for goodness sake. The rain has FINALLY stopped. The sun is out and it is glorious. I am 95% done with my Christmas shopping which feels amazing. Now I am researching and brainstorming Thanksgiving recipes.
Here are just a few snapshots off of my phone from the past couple of days.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Wrap Up

(via pinterest)

Another week in the books. It started off kind of crazy with some pretty heavy rain. I thought I was going to need a boat to get to work. Thankfully, it has passed and we are left with just a drizzle. Work was crazy but good. I cleared a ton of stuff out of our bedroom, which has been on my to-do list FOREVER. Yeah, for progress!
So let's wrap this week up, shall we?

1. I have not bitten my nail for THREE WHOLE WEEKS. I did so well earlier this summer but I fell off the wagon when I started back to work. I have been trying to kick this habit my whole life and I think I am finally making some headway! The trick so far is keeping my nails painted as well as repainting often. I seem to slip up when the polish starts chipping and I am tempted to pick it off. It eventually spirals into biting so I have to keep my nails fully lacquered 24/7. Hopefully, I'll get to point where it is no longer an unconscious habit and I won't be constantly painting my nails. Till then, maybe it means I need to treat myself to new color every once in awhile?

2. Speaking of rain, I have wearing my Bean boots constantly. They are the perfect shoe for nasty weather. I would love to add to my cute camp sock collection. Just something fun to spice things up. J. Crew always has really cute ones. 

3. I may be the only one out there saying this, but I love daylight savings. I love the dark evenings. It makes our house seem so cozy and inviting. I may change my tune come January but as of now, I am going to enjoy it. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Give Thanks

Now that we are officially in the month of November, it is time to turn our focus to Thanksgiving.  If you thought I was going to say Christmas, you don't know me at all. I feel like Thanksgiving gets overlooked. It's not as flashy as Halloween or Christmas. There are no presents associated with it. Other than eating a big and delicious meal and maybe watching a parade, there really isn't much that happens on Thanksgiving. It is an important historical holiday but it can also serve as good time to recalibrate. Setting aside a day to be thankful is a great to maintain perspective. Thanksgiving is aptly situated right before Christmas, a time of year heavily marked by consumerism. Would our shopping patterns and Christmas lists be different if we spent more time counting our blessings on Thanksgiving? Maybe or maybe not. It probably wouldn't hurt, though.
So to get myself in the mindset of thankfulness, each day I am going identify something I am thankful for and pray about that thing. For me, as a Christian, it is important to recognize that all good things come from God and He deserve my thanks and praise. It is not a radical notion but I hope it will do me some good. It is something that I really should be doing every day of the year. Maybe it will stick after doing it for a month.
Join in, if you would like. I probably won't be putting it out on social media, at least not everyday. I don't want that to become my driving motivation. This is mainly just a chance to be mindful and intentional about the everyday things in my life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's The Little Things

I think the reason I love the changing seasons is the opportunity to appreciate different things. I was driving home the other day, listening to my podcasts, not really focussing on the scenery per say, when all of a sudden the colors of the trees just hit me. It was slightly foggy and gray which gave the little wooded area a solemn Brontesquefeel. The scene felt more special than just a piece of woods outside of my subdivision. There was some sort magic about it.
Every season has those little magical moments. The first snow of the winter, flowers blooming in the spring, the vibrant blue sky of summer, and the multicolored leaves of fall. Often, I find myself on autopilot, not paying enough attention to the little things or giving myself time to "stop and smell the roses." But every once in a while, when something like a pretty leaf captures my attention, all of the specialness and beauty rushes to the forefront of my mind. I don't think it is possible to be aware of it all the time. Life is hectic and there is no way around that. It's just important to not let those special moments become few and far between. So go outside and look for pretty leaves, guys. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Maybe it's the rain we have been having, maybe it's the fact that it is completely dark at 5:00 pm, but I have a little case of the gloomies. I am not a super melancholy person. Overall, I have a pretty positive demeanor, but every so often I get in a little rut. It makes me want to hide away at home like a little hermit and shut out the world. It is pretty easy to do. I love being home and working around the house. I love slashing things off my to do list and feeling accomplished at the end of the day. I love the quiet of being home with just the Baby and the Lady Pup, especially on a dark, gloomy day. Sometimes that peaceful feeling of contempt turns to isolation. The idea of being around people becomes irksome. It seems like it would take a great deal of emotional effort to be social. It just seems so much nicer to be alone with just my little family than to venture out into the world.
I don't remember always being this way. When I was younger, I thought I was a lot more extraverted. I thought I thrived being around people. Now, I really don't think I am. I think I thrive on activity but now as an adult, I have a lot more activities that don't require other people. I get all of the energy with any of the social interaction. The weird thing about the isolation is I don't feel bored or alone. I have plenty to do and I feel very at peace. It would be one thing if I was holed up alone but wanting to be out. Then I think there would be some cause for concern. It is a strange feeling of contentment. There is no urgency to get out of the house or to look for entertainment.
Maybe it is a maturity thing. Maybe I am just getting old. Is it bad thing or a good thing? Is it a sign that I am content or is it a sign of selfishness?  I am not really sure what to think about it. For today though, I am going to enjoy the quiet and the solitude and the gloom.

Also, I feel like I REALLY need this shirt

Monday, November 2, 2015

Over the Weekend: Halloween

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Our festivities were dampened by a little by sickness, but it did not stop us from getting dressed up. For Baby's first Halloween, I decided I would try to make a cute little bird costume. He always has his frog Wubbanub in his mouth so I thought a little bird chomping down on a frog would be hilarious. I wanted to make his costume, first to save money and secondly because I enjoy the creative process. I don't know if it was much cheaper but I know I enjoyed the experience. I found the hoodie/zip up combo on for $18. The felt for the beak, eyes and feathers cost $2 at Hobby Lobby. Overall, I didn't sink too much money into the costume and I love that it gave me an excuse to break out my sewing stuff.
Since I never pass up on a chance for a costume, I was a bird watcher (every baby bird needs someone to look after it). My outfit consisted of some work pants, one of Scott's flannels and his duck hunting hat. I also had a backpack and a pair of binoculars that were not pictured.  It was all rather silly and low key but I loved every minute of it. The night ended with some candy in bed while the sick husband watched some 30 Rock. A Halloween for the record books, folks.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Wrap Up

(two guys feeling poorly, one teething and one with a cold)

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope everyone had a good week. Are your costumes ready? Are you going trick or treating? Any parties? I am throwing together a little impromptu Halloween get together so that means I am dashing around the house trying to get everything together. Sadly, my two guys are feeling less than great so I have to divide my time between cleaning and nursing these two back to health. 

So, things that have been on my mind lately/general happenings....

1. Christmas shopping: I love getting an early start on this. I have about half of my presents purchased. I try to find really unique or clever things. Etsy has been really helpful this year. I found some amazingly quirky baby items. Check out these amazing cloth baby books. I wish they were not so expensive or I would buy them all!

2. Baby is 5 months old! Yep, he is growing big and strong. I need to take his monthly pictures but I just have not got around to it. 

3. This article on creativity. Emma had some really great thoughts and points. I think I have stifled my own creativity in the past. I used to think that if you were not just naturally good at something then it was not your "thing." It would be better not to spend too much time trying to do something that you were great at from the start. I realize now how incredibly wrong I was. I hate that I have given up on a lot of things just because I was not an expert at the beginning. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Costumes Past

Halloween 2013, The first character to die in an 80s camp horror movie

I have never met a dress up event I did not like. I live for costume parties. With Halloween just a few days away, I decided to do a recap of some of my favorite past costumes. All of the ensembles are either self-made and cobbled together from items in my closet or borrowed from friends. 

The Little Mermaid 2009

 An Oreo (plus J. Biebs), 2010
 The Princess Bride, 2009
 Dexter and DeeDee, 2007ish
 Homeschoolers out on the town, 2008
Black and White themed party, 2008

There are more but these are a few of favorites. I am still have a bit of sewing to do for this years costume. Fingers crossed that I get it all finished. I hope you enjoyed the blast from the past!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Over the Weekend: R&R

Not much happened over the weekend. It was filled with cleaning, watching The Office, and doing some baking. We visited a new potential church which was exciting. The leaves are changing all around. It is cold and dreary and wonderful
This week has been rather busy. I have everything I need for the baby's costume but I have not started on the sewing process at all. I am wanting to do a past costume round up before the reveal.

Hope everyone is having a good week!