Organizing a New Year

I hope each of you are getting off to a good start in 2016.  After two weeks off work, it was all I could do to roll out of bed and get going this morning.  But I have to admit, I think I'm ready to get back to a more normal schedule. 

I love to take Monday mornings to organize my week.  And at the start of a new year, there's even more organizing to be done!  Opening a new monthly/yearly planner helps me to organize myself and note all those important dates and events.  

As a writer, I love a pretty journal.  I love the fresh new pages that are waiting to be filled.  I also love to organize and I enjoy picking out a new planner each year to help me organize my life.     

I've been eyeing the beautiful products by sugar paper for a few months now.  They have stationery, calendars, note pads, and many other products that are as beautiful as they are functional.  

When searching for a new planner recently, I visited my nearest Target and found this adorable 2016 white/gold polka dot planner by sugar paper.  I couldn't wait to open it and transfer all my important information to these beautiful pages. So today was all about getting myself organized not only for this work week, but for the coming year.  

I'm all set for 2016 and all the possibilities it has to offer.  What about you? Do you have any favorites for getting organized for the new year?

This was not a paid endorsement.  
I just enjoy sharing my favorite products from time to time with my readers.


5 things from 2015

On New Year's Eve, I think it's always a good idea to look back and think about the lessons we've learned over the course of the year.  Maybe it was an ordinary year.  Or maybe it was one full of surprises....both good and bad.  Some years are full of awesome memories while others bring alot of hurt and pain.  I'm not sure what your 2015 looked like, but mine was well represented by some good and bad memories.....happy and sad times.  I've decided to focus on five things I learned or was reminded of as I look back and see another one in the books.  

1. "Imperfection Welcome Here" - I printed off this sweet little picture from the internet, framed it, and put it over my desk.  As a perfectionist, I constantly need to be reminded that although it's good to strive to be a better person and more like Christ, I am never going to be able to do everything perfectly.  And I'm so thankful that Christ loves me unconditionally and knows my heart.  Keeping this in mind has been so helpful this year as I've had to accept some hard truths.

2. I've fallen in love with sunsets again - I think it all started on some late evening drives from work.  Before my case load was changed, I had to drive an hour from home quite frequently and at times it involved some late work days.  That was new for me, and I was able to witness some incredible sunsets.

We went to Key West this summer for vacation and saw some pretty ones as well, but I've decided that a Georgia sunset is hard to beat and I find myself looking for them now.

3. I love working from home - Speaking of work, I discovered what I had suspected all along.....working from home suits me to a T!  I'm so grateful for my job.  I've been a support coordinator for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over a year now and I still love it!  Especially now that I've done it long enough to feel more confident.  I prayed for years to be able to work from home and feel so blessed with this opportunity that God granted me.

4. I'm a child at heart - I guess I've never really thought about it, but I really am a kid at heart. Especially around the holidays.  I still find myself drawn to childlike ornaments and the magic of Christmas.  I added color lights to the white lights on my Christmas tree this year and fell in love with it!  It brought the whole tree to life and with all the bright colors and whimsical ornaments, I still haven't had the heart to take it down yet. It's New Year's Eve, and I'm sitting here enjoying it as much as I did the first night.

5.  I'd rather be with my family than anyone - I enjoy having friends to do things with and at times have felt guilty for not spending more time with friends. But I come from a big family and it requires alot of time to even see all of them.  We all spent alot of time together over the holidays, from Thanksgiving on, so we didn't get together tonight. I'm ringing in the new year at home with the Mister, Dillan, and Lucy.  Dillan's watching movies upstairs, Scott's on the couch reading and watching the football game, and Lucy is napping.  And I'm just as content as I can be.  I don't need lots of friends and parties to make me happy and I no longer feel guilty about not making more time for others.

There's so much more I could talk about that I learned this year.  Some of it I don't even have words for yet.  But I'll leave it with these 5 for 2015.

I'm looking forward to 2016 and all it has to offer. I'm trusting God to continue to guide me and my family as we seek His Will for our lives.

Happy New Year to you and your family as well!  Bring on 2016!

Party like a "Who"

You haven't celebrated Christmas until you do it "Whoville' style!

I'm not sure who gets credit for the idea, but my family and I decided to have us a little Christmas party this year and party like the "Whos" from Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".

We had Mayor Augusts Maywho, Martha May Whovier, and Cindy Lou Who.....as well as stylish whos and sleepyhead whos, Max, one of the grandma whos, Cindy's parents, and the Grinch himself.


Dillan was a huge help to me with the decorating.  We made a tablescape on the bar in the kitchen with fake snow and Whoville trees and all sorts of fun colors.  There was one larger tree decorated with crazy ornaments and red Grinch hearts were part of the decor as well.

The menu consisted of Roast "Beast" Sandwiches...........

Who pudding.................

Cindy Lou Salad...................

Who hash......................

Grinch punch..........and so much more!

Me with my mom and sisters

Aunt Leslie (left) and my mama

We even had a "What?" in attendance lol!  

I think it turned out to be a fun night and we had lots of laughs.  There's something about dressing up in crazy costumes that brings on another level of fun!  My family had a great Christmas holiday and are already looking forward to the fun for next year!  I wonder what we'll think of next?


Where are you Christmas?

It's five days until Christmas.  My home has been decorated for weeks, my shopping is done, and I've only attended one party this holiday season.  So why do I feel so frazzled and like the Grinch?

Unlike most Christmas seasons, I'm not involved in some sort of Christmas program at church that constitutes long hours and weeks of practices leading up to the big performance.  I work from home most days, so it's not like I'm never home to take care of other things that need to be done.

But right at this moment, I'm feeling some kind of way.  I'm wondering where Christmas is and why I don't have that warm, fuzzy feeling I get when fall rolls around and I start thinking about the sights and sounds of the season when we celebrate our Savior's birth.  

I literally just about fell apart in the kitchen.....almost did the ugly cry too.  I walked in there to make some tea and realized that the sink is full of dirty dishes again. The dishwasher needs to be emptied again.  There are mounds of laundry I still need to do. 

And at the same time, it makes no sense for me to be set off by this.  Scott's been doing laundry all day and even cooked lunch the past couple of days.  Dillan is home and has cleaned up off and on without being asked to and even asked me this morning if I wanted help cleaning the house today to get ready for our Christmas party this week.  And speaking of the Christmas party, he's done all of the prep work getting together the decorations for our "Who-ville" theme. 

So why am I being such a Grinch and so ungrateful at this moment?  I truly am thankful for my family and all they do for me.  I love having them home with me and especially so this time of year.

I've worked feverishly this entire month to be off work the week of Christmas and the week after. Scott is on vacation those two weeks as well.  I've pictured hours of relaxation and watching Hallmark Christmas movies the week of Christmas.  I've thought about how fun it will be to make Christmas cookies and how much I look forward to time spent with family.

Truth be known, I'll probably feel completely fine tomorrow.  I guess I'm just tired.  Getting all of my work done ahead of time to be off for two weeks at Christmas has probably been too much stress on me.  I've worked hard to make sure the shopping was done and the groceries were bought and no last minute trips will have to be made to pick up anything.  

I guess in doing so, I took on more than I can handle.  I've had migraines off and on for several days too.  And when I see my husband washing clothes, I feel guilty.  And I just washed a load of red clothes that have been in the bottom of the basket for longer than I can remember.....all because they are red and I might need them this week!  And it made me feel like such a bad housewife.  What's wrong with me?  

Can any of you out there relate to being a perfectionist?  Well, I certainly am one!  I guess I think I'm supposed to be "wonder woman" and be able to do everything....and do it well without any help. 

I plan the perfect party, vacation, or family holiday in my head and when things go awry, I get disappointed.  And have y'all heard what the weather will be like here this week?  Upper 70's!!!  That's so not Christmas weather!..........[insert big sigh].............

Y'all.....I'm sitting here in the recliner in the living room typing this and just got a text from Dillan.  He was looking at a magazine and saw how Reba and her family always sing happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas before opening gifts. He asked me if we can do that this year.  [wish I could type an emoji with a tear right now]

And that's what Christmas is all about, isn't it?  I appreciate God sending me that reminder right at this moment.  I know the true meaning of Christmas and instead of letting life in general get me stressed out, I need to focus on what Jesus has done for me....not only at Christmas, but every day.

Not only did He come to this earth as a human baby to walk among us and eventually take on our sins, He is sitting at the right hand of the Father right at this moment interceding for me and for you.

He sees the things that trouble me and knows my heart better than anyone.  He is the true meaning of love and He loves me unconditionally and will never leave me or forsake me.....even if my laundry pile is almost high enough for me to climb up to heaven.

Jesus lives in my heart....and that's where I can find Christmas!


Be My Guest

As our kids grow up and leave the nest, there are some big changes that come along with that. This also brings the opportunity for some actual changes to our nest.

When Scott and I both married, we both had sons from previous marriages.  My son lived with us until he graduated from high school and moved to Atlanta.  My step-son, Austin lived with his mom and came for visits every two weeks.

During those years, we were able to give both boys their own bedrooms.....not too hard when there's only two!  I felt it was important that Austin feel like our home was also his home when he visited.

Fast forward years later.  After Dillan moved to Atlanta, Austin graduated from high school a couple of years later and went off to college as well.  At that point, Scott and I really did feel the effects of an empty nest.

As young adults, our boys are living their lives and we have grown used to not seeing them very often.  Dillan tries to come home every couple of months and we go to Atlanta when we can.  It's been a little different with Austin, though and it seems we actually see him less even though he lives closer to us.

But it's all good.  They both have a place to sleep when they are here.  Dillan actually still has his old bedroom since he's always lived with us and has things still stored in there.  His room was redone when he graduated high school.  He and I both felt the need for a space that was appropriate for a young man. I also wanted the space to be age appropriate if an adult guest had to use his room overnight.

I waited a little longer to do a makeover on Austin's room, but I finally took care of that as well.  He still sleeps in there on the rare occasion that he is here, but it is now designated as the actual guest room.

comforter set: Walmart; decorative pillow/sheets: Target; curtain: Lowe's

It didn't take alot of money or time to make the changes.  Due to the lack of use, the room still has a fresh coat of gray paint on the walls.  I wanted to keep the space neutral, but be able to have more of an eclectic feel as well.  Talk about decorating on a cheap budget, going with an eclectic style will enable you to do it!

My only purchases were for bedding and a window treatment.  For everything else, I just shopped the house and used things that I really like but don't necessarily use elsewhere right now.  For instance, I've had these two needle point framed pictures above for a couple of years.  I found them at the Peaches to Beaches yard sale and just had to have them.  I had no clue what I would do with them and they sat in the closet until this makeover. But I think they are perfect for the space.

When we got a large flat screen tv for the living room, we had to get a new piece of furniture to hold it.  The old entertainment center was brought back here. It's a little too big for the space, but I like the fact that it has plenty of storage to hold items that aren't needed often.

The chair is an extra dining room chair and the prints on the wall are some I've had a while but wasn't using anywhere else in the house.  With a few other accessories scattered around the room, it turned into a warm, cozy space, appropriate for any guest.

Although I hardly ever go in there, it's nice to open the door now to a clean space that's always ready for a guest.  Next room up for a makeover: the bonus room upstairs.


Let's hear it for the girls!

The week before Thanksgiving, I had some help from the Mister and a friend to do a little project to bless the girls on our high school softball team for another great season.

I told y'all all about their trip to the state playoffs again this year.  Well, I just wanted to show them my appreciation for a job well done and how proud we are of them.  They represented our school so well with their good sportsmanship and great attitude.    

I knew I wanted to give them each a cookie decorated like a softball with their jersey number on it.  A friend of mine baked them for me and so the hard part was done.  But I didn't want to give them just that.  

Well, after some Pinterest inspiration, I decided to make these cute little ornaments with our school colors.  I cut strips of blue, white, and gold ribbon and curled it.  After that, I slid them down into the ornament, put the cap back on and tied a blue and white ribbon.  Scott painted the numbers on there for me and we delivered them one morning to the school.  

It's a quick and easy project and it was alot of fun surprising them with something unexpected.