Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Few of my Favorite (Christmas) Things...

I just L.O.V.E. Christmas!! Here are some of the things I love most about it:

  • the Music: From wistful, lyrical tunes like "White Christmas" and "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" to Carols like "What Child is This?," "Away in a Manger," and "Silent Night" to holiday classics that never get old like "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer" and "It's the Most Wonderful time of the Year" to upbeat, energized songs with swing and pop like "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree" and "Jingle Bell Rock," the music of Christmas has to be one of the best parts. Love: Pandora, Josh Groban Noel, Bing Crosby, Jim Brickman, Louis Armstrong, Andrews Sisters, Mannheim Steam Roller, and So Much More!!
  • the Smells: think pine Christmas trees, spicy gingerbread, peppermint, hot chocolate,
  • the Movies: from heartwarming Hallmark movies like A Season for Miracles to hilarious comedies like Elf, to fantasies like Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus and Santa Baby, to classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, to random adorable movies like Eloise at Christmastime, Christmas movies are simply the best!
  • the Decorations: Christmas trees, lights, green and red, nightlights, pillows, knicknacks, dishes, stockings, candles, mantel piece decs, garland, greenery, bows, silver, gold, nativity sets, treasured ornaments - each with a memory -- There is Christmas EVERYTHING! and I LOVE it!!
  • the Goodies: gingerbread, sugar cookies, fudge, peppermint bark, winter hugs, layered bars, scotcheroos, buck eyes, chocolate balls, chocolate covered pretzels, mini reindeer, all of the hors d'oeuvres on Christmas Eve, peppermint punch
  • the Books: so awesome to read all of the adorable Christmas Stories to my elementary students in library class! #cutestbooksever
  • the Traditions: so much of Christmas is the traditions handed down from year to year. They make Christmas so nostalgic and special and such a family time.
  • the Parties: Christmas recitals, Ornament Swaps, Staff Parties, Church get-togethers - Everyone wants to party at Christmas time!
  • Other random wonderful things: Break from school, Advent, Presents, Candy, Surprises, Christmas Cards
  • And of course, the best of ALL - Jesus was born to die that we might live!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tis the Season

You know that song, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?" Yeah. Well I really believe that song. True, things seem even crazier than normal but there is just such a feeling of excitement, anticipation, joy,
family-ishness (yes, I just made up a word), mystery, and general delightfulness that I cannot help but *love* it. My only regret about it is that there is never enough time to enjoy it all  before it is here and over and the new year has begun.

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I persuade my family to put up the tree and decorate the house. We have special decorations that bring back treasured memories each year when I pull them out. My mom gives us each a new ornament each year, and, so, I have a collection dating back to my very first Christmas. Pulling the ornaments out of the box and hanging them on the tree is like being reunited with dear friends.

Of course, playing Christmas music while decorating the tree is an absolute must as is making and eating peppermint bark and hot chocolate. We always laugh and joke around and quote Elf and declare that "This Christmas is going to be the best Christmas Ever!"

Our house is decorated, inside and out, Christmas music is playing, and the Christmas Spirit is high. With any luck, it is quite possible our prediction will be correct. Happy Christmas Season, Everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. In fact, maybe it is my Favorite holiday. I love Christmas...but I love the Christmas SEASON. Once Christmas is actually here, it is basically over. At Thanksgiving, you have the same sense of family togetherness and celebration and all of the Christmas delight is still AHEAD of you. This Thanksgiving was wonderful as usual.

It started on Tuesday with the Thanksgiving Luncheon at school and early release!! YES!! On Wednesday, I drove to Macon for my weekly piano lesson and then returned home to help with the Thanksgiving prep.

Thursday morning, we rose early to participate in the Turkey Trot, a local Fun Run and 5K. Bethany and I did the Fun Run (which by the way, WHY do they call it the "fun" run?? It didn't feel fun to me!!) Chris, Hannah, Luke, and Matt did the 5K. It was the perfect way to start Thanksgiving Day, and then we all headed back home for a delicious homemade breakfast of grits, eggs, biscuits, and bacon.

After breakfast, I made the pies (pumpkin and apple) while watching the Macy's Day Parade, a tradition of course!

Then we worked together to set the table, finish the last minute food items, and get ready for our bountiful feast. 

My handsome bros

Later that day, we gathered by the fire (See what I mean?? other time of fire making actually occuring in Brunswick!!) and watched Happy Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown and dozed and snuggled and ate pie.

It was wonderful to be together with family and get a chance to pause and thank God for all of His wonderful blessings. He has given me so, so much, and I thank Him for His mercy and grace in giving me so many rich and wonderful treasures which I do not deserve.

Fall Fun

Yes, yes I know. I am an epic failure at blog posting. *sigh* What can I say? It seems that I have 24 hours in the day same as any one else, right?? How long can it possibly take just to pop off a blog post? But, alas, it seems to be nearly impossible for me to keep up my blog. Well, I shall take the only course of action there is - make some more good resolutions!! :D (and hope that they actually work out this time.)

So, anyways, I have been quite busy these last few months, which will not surprise anyone, but what may be slightly surprising is that I have actually taken a bit of time for fun as well.

In October, we had our church fall festival, which was loads of fun. There was a costume contest and a cooking contest. I entered both. The whole family went as characters from Narnia (surprise, surprise). I was Susan. We wanted to enter as a group, but alas, they would not let us. Joe did manage to take second prize as Prince Caspian though.

"Little" Lucy Isn't she adorable?
In the cooking contest, I succeeded, winning first prize for my apple pie. My grandmother taught me how to make them, and I am carrying on the tradition of homemade apple and pumpkin pies every Thanksgiving and Christmas (and yes, I mean homemade crust too).

A few weeks later, we had a quite enjoyable weekend. Epically wonderful things happened that weekend - 1. Abby, Joe's girlfriend and my wonderful friend and sister <3, and her friend Steph, who is also an awesome person and was great fun to meet and get to know, surprised Joe by visiting for the weekend. Result? Very, very happy Joe. and happy rest of us because we all love Abby too!!

Secondly, it was Kristi's birthday, so we celebrated Ours family style with a big surprise birthday dinner. Tay was home from college, Abbs and Steph were there, and Tay's friend Ethan were all there, so the table was full and the house rang with laughter, love, and good times.

 Third, we chose Saturday night as a wonderful time to build the first fire. It fit in perfectly with the general happiness and coziness and plus, we figured we may not have another chance to build a fire as it would probably never again get cold enough in Brunswick. I LOVE fires, so it was amazing to have one that night and get to enjoy snuggling by it why we watched a movie - Borrowed Hearts. If you have not seen that movie, I highly recommend it - so cute and heartwarming!! (and on a side note - as it turns out we have actually had two other occasions to build a fire so far! Shocking isn't it?? What is the world coming to?).

 And finally, the other wonderful thing about that weekend was I had Friday off from school. That just made it a *very* happy weekend. #icingonthecake