Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas here, Christmas there, and AN ENGAGEMENT!

Hoping you and your family had a very blessed Christmas!
Here are a few snapshots of our family Christmas this year:
With family in Starkville...
NA, Henry, and Jones.  Love it.
Sisters and cousin, Jake.


My dear cousin Jake

Me and J.
H and me.
Me and that sweet baby girl...
Jones and Mom.
Dad and NA--her first Christmas!
Kristen and her sweet family...
...and Heather and hers...

Christmas with family in Collinsville...
First cousins!

My cousin Brian opening the gifts I gave him!  He loves the bulldogs!

I'm also super pumped about my cousin Jake getting engaged on Christmas!  I love his sweet fiance, and am so very excited about an upcoming wedding in the family!
Congrats Mary Kate and Jake!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Merry!


Max and I hope you have the merriest of all Christmases!!


Friday, December 23, 2011

traditions...

Growing up (as children AND well into our teenage years!), my sisters and I decorated cookies for "Santa".  And everything was homemade.  Mom made the cookie dough and the icing.  I still remember the bowls we used for the icing and how I would stick my fingers in them when no one was looking!  Her icing is the best.  Cookie making and decorating is one of my most vivid and precious Christmas traditions with my family. 

This is the first Christmas in--ummm--I'm not sure how many years-- that my sisters and I have all lived in the same town.  I love it so much. 

We all got together tonight so the boys could decorate their Santa cookies (a continued tradition perhaps?).
My heart was so happy tonight seeing this:





It was so neat for me to sit and watch them decorate and see their sweet personalities shine.  While each of them is so much like their daddies, I clearly saw my sisters in each of them tonight.  Henry (the older of the 2 and son to my older sister, Kristen) was in such charge.  He's a leader and he's very vocal!  He wants everything "just so" and gets flustered when things don't go his way!  It's just so Kristen.
Jones (the sweet "little"one and son to the little sister, Heather), is the entertainer.  He's just hilarious.  He's so chill, and everything he says and does is precious and funny.  It's so Heather.

I love the simple reminders that God gives me when I'm with these sweet ones. 

I used to think that if I never get married or have children of my own, I'll never feel happy or complete.  Or that I'll spend my entire life being completely lonely.
Obviously God only knows the plans of my future--but right now I know that my life is happy and complete.  I'm complete because I have the most amazing parents in the world, 2 sisters who are my best friends in life, a BAZILLION other best friends, and 2 nephews and a niece that I truly love as if they were my very own. 
I AM BLESSED and particularly thankful for Henry and Jones for reminding me tonight that my life is full of love and happiness.

...and it'll be oh-so-fun when this little princess gets to join her brother and cousin in Christmas decorating in a year or 2!
So...on the topic of Christmas traditions--what are some of your favorites? 
Please do share....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

surgery, friends, and GIVING.

First off, I had surgery last Friday, and for those of you who were aware and said prayers, thank you!  It wasn't anything serious, but I do appreciate the cards, calls, texts, etc.  I felt very loved and taken care of!  I had to take medical leave from school, so I missed the last 4 days with my kiddos.  It's now officially Christmas break so I won't be seeing them until January 9 (YAY FOR CHRISTMAS BREAK!), but I know I'm gonna miss their little faces. 

My surgery went well, and recovery has been so much easier than I anticipated.  The first couple of days were tough, but truly nothing like I expected. I'm thankful that it's over, that my recovery is going smoothly,  and that I can now enjoy the holidays!

You all know about my dear friends Meredith and Claire.  It's been a year since the last time the 3 of us were together so I've been counting down the days to when we could be together again.  It's just never often enough. They were both in town for Christmas, and the only night we were all able to get together was Tuesday (only 4 days after my surgery), so I honestly didn't think I'd even feel like doing much at all.  Fortunately, I felt just well enough to have Mexican with these two!  Maybe I pushed myself a little too soon, but it was totally worth it.  And I haven't done much except relax since then (just in case you care...).

ANYWAY---
Here we are--you know--just being all cute and stuff.... ;)






Since Meredith lives in Texas, I don't get to see this sweet little face much either. 

Sweet Madeleine!  Still sometimes hard for me to believe that Mere has a child!:)  She's just beautiful.
 Now...I leave you with this. 
If you're anything like me, you get tired of all of the depressing news you see on TV and read about online and in the newspaper--especially this time of the year!
How refreshing it was to read this article about someone's selfless act of giving this Christmas. 
Read it and be encouraged. 

I sure was.

'Tis the season for giving.

Merry Christmas!  That is, if you don't hear from me before.
xoxo

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

enough said.

Yes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside...

Friday, December 9, 2011

5 years!



Exactly 5 years ago today, I posted my first entry on this blog! 

Happy Blogoversary to me!

If you've stuck with me these past 5 years, thanks! 
And if not, well... you can start from the beginning and catch up, of course. 
(But....ummmm...you do have 968 posts to read, so you better get started!).

Not that there have been too many exciting events in my life, but for those of you who have been reading, what comes to your mind as being one of your favorite posts/topics of mine?  Just curious.

Lots have happened in the past 5 years.  It will be neat to see where I am in 5 more years.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, friends!

I sure do love my little life...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a prayer, gift ideas, and DSP...

First of all, Hi.

My posts seem to be few and far between these days, but hoping that'll all change SOON.  I'm having a minor surgical procedure done next Friday, and blogging is on my to-do-list while I'm recovering!

Anyway...
Some of you fellow Mississippians may have heard about the tragic shooting that took place in New Albany last night.  A high school coach and his wife were shot (his wife was killed) in what seemed to be a random shooting.  I understand that the wife was about 30, and she and her husband have a little girl.  It's hard to make sense of any crime, but murdering an innocent woman?  I just don't get it. 
I can't imagine what this family is experiencing right now--especially since it's Christmas. 
Please join me in praying for the Price family!

Now...on to a much happier topic...
If you're stuck on what to get certain people for Christmas this year, I have a couple of great ideas for you!:
Perfect for hanging my necklaces!

I love displaying my Christmas cards on this one!
No...you can't have these actual pieces, but I'll tell you where you can get some like them! 
My friend Brad makes fun pieces like these and sells them!  I actually ordered this thinking that just maybe I'd give them away as gifts, but...well....I kinda decided to keep them for myself.  Selfish?  Maybe.  But I just had to have them.
I can always order more for myself somebody else, right?
If you like these and want to check out some of the other things Brad makes, find him on facebook: (Bradley Clay Barksdale) or email him at: bbarksdale13@gmail.com
His items are very reasonably priced!

Another idea:
COFFEE.
But not just any coffee.
You may remember reading this post (feel free to re-read if you need to be refreshed!).  You can order coffee from this site, and a portion of the money you spend will go to the G.I.R.L.S. Ranch (founded by my dear friend Shannon!).  So, go ahead and order some coffee for yourself, or other coffee lovers, and know that you're also helping hurting girls in Middle Tennesee! 

And finally...

I'm pretty sure you could get any female in your life something from Deep South Pout! Check out their new arrivals on facebook. You'll just love 'em.
Oh...and I just saw on twitter that if you donate new/almost new coats, blankets, or socks, you will receive 30% off any of their coats!
Awesome.

Now...please allow me to get back to my Lifetime-Christmas movie watching!

I love this time of the year...
Fa la la la la!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

5...

My best buddy Henry turned 5 today! 
I can't imagine life without this sweet boy.

He's holding out "5" in case you can't tell!  He was so excited.

Happy Birthday dear sweet boy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Egg and a 3-Peat!

Despite the nasty, rainy weather last Saturday, Candy, Chad and I threw on our ponchos and sat in the stadium for the entire Egg Bowl.
Was it worth it?....
ABSOLUTELY.



The Egg stays in Starkville for another year, and in my opinion, the world is as it should be once again.  This win also made us bowl eligible.  YIPPEE!
We're SOAKING.WET. but having a blast!

Now...who's ready to start the countdown for Egg Bowl 2012?

Friday, November 25, 2011

And a happy happy Thanksgiving to you!

Here's to hoping your family's Thanksgiving was as happy as ours!
Sweet siblings...


Blurry picture of me and my buddy. I love it that he now knows what "cheese" means!

The girls...

guys...

Sweet cousins... 



Love this sweet wink!!!!
 





Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Egg.

So.  It's that time.


To say that I'm nervous would be a complete understatement.  
My bulldogs have held on to that egg for 2 years straight, and I'm looking forward to (hopefully) keeping it for a 3rd year!

Tune into the game Saturday night...
...and GO DAWGS!!!!!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

all things pumpkiny.

Yep.  3rd post for today.  I guess having more time to blog is an advantage to being sick!

Now.  Let's talk pumpkins!

I'm not a fan of the traditional pumpkin pie.  However, I absolutely love almost everything else pumpkin-flavored! 
I've found some oh-so-fabulous pumpkin recipes on Pinterest and thought I'd share.  I haven't made any of them yet, but I'm planning to try a few this week!

Kristen made this once and it was SO good with Ginger Snaps!
Ingredients:
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 c powder sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin pie filling
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger

 Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add pie filling, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ginger, beating well. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Up next...
 Yes.  You read that correctly. PUMPKIN.PUPPY.CHOW.
It's no secret that "regular" puppy chow is a holiday favorite of mine, so I know I'm going to LOVE this.

For this you'll only need 3 ingredients!:
9 cups rice chex cereal
 1 bag of pumpkin Hershey Kisses (I'm going to be so mad if I'm unable to find these!)
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.

Here's the super simple recipe:
First, prep your powdered sugar and cereal. Second, using a double broiler method, melt your Hershey Kisses, stirring constantly. The kisses will reach a nice creamy consistency. Third, pour your melted kisses over your cereal in a bowl and mix and stir. Once you feel your chex are covered, dump into a bag with your powdered sugar and shake


Hungry yet? 

Moving on...


I'm worried about how many of these I may accidentally consume at one time.  Yikes.

Ingredients:
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

How to:
1.Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
2.Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
3.Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

The next one is an "adults only" holiday drink!:)
This just looks so yummy and festive!  Wouldn't this be perfect for a holiday party (or family Thanksgiving?!)

Ingredients:
1/2 oz Sylk Cream Liqueur
2 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz pumpkin liqueur or pumpkin spice syrup
1 tsp whipped cream
cinnamon stick for garnish

Preparation:
Pour the Sylk Liqueur and vodka into a shaker filled with ice.
Shake well.
Add the pumpkin liqueur or syrup.
Shake again.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Top with a teaspoon of whipped cream.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

...and finally....
The final pumpkin yummy requires no prep at all!  So, if you're not in the mood to do any baking, mixing, or stirring, this one is for you!

Blue Bell's Spiced Pumpkin Pecan


 Now, this I have tried, and oh.my.goodness. 
You won't believe how good it is.

Do you have any good pumpkin recipes to share?