Monday, January 27, 2014

Finally! A Christmas Post!

So I know that I have been promising a blog post from our Christmas events.  I have been blogging a little of what's on my heart lately, but no cute pictures of the kids.  And lets get honest, a blog post without pictures really isn't that fun, is it?  In fact, one of the reasons I fell in love with blogging is because I have a good friend that used to blog and she had the most precious pictures of her family.  She made you feel like you were peeping into the next issue of a Southern Living Magazine.  But sadly she hasn't blogged in forever!  (Dear friend, if you are reading this and know who you are, I miss your blog posts.)

I digress...

As for our Christmas events, it was pretty much the same huge work load for the business as usual, but I managed to get some great Christmas memories in there too.

We started our Christmas season early by heading to Silver Dollar City for their Old Time Christmas Festival.  We decided we wanted to make a tradition of bringing the kids there every year or every other year if schedules get too busy.  

The last time we went to Silver Dollar City, we were preggo and didn't know it, so Aubrey Lane had never been. We actually stayed in the exact same cabin we stayed in 3 years ago.

I was so excited for Jude and Aubrey Lane to see the lights and hear the sounds of Christmas, but I was no where prepared for how COLD it was going to be.  We were literally walking around in 20 degree weather.  One night it got down to 12 degrees!  I would tell the locals and tell them that where I'm from, schools and businesses close when it gets this cold.  They would laugh like it was really a joke, yet I sit here blogging on the eve of the second Louisiana Sneaux Day in a week and schools and businesses are definitely closed for the next couple days.... Anyway because we were all so cold and so bundled, I didn't whip out my camera like I thought I would.  I am really bummed that I walked away with only pictures on my iPhone (which I dropped and broke there).  Lane even bought me an external flash for my camera since he dropped and broke it last year.

Anyway, the trip was great, and both the children were awe struck at the Christmas festivities everywhere.  Jude loved the sounds and Aubrey Lane loved the sights.  We heard "Oooo! Look at dis!", "You see dat?", and "You hear dat?" everywhere we went.

We also went to the Dixie Stampede- best meal the whole trip, and out to Branson Landing where we met Neal McCoy- he was THE NICEST MAN.  He sang to the kiddos and offered us free tickets to his show that night, but we already planning to go to Dixie Stampede.

On the way home, we stopped in Monroe to visit some sweet friends and of course go by Duck Commander.  

I didn't hop in the picture because camo, hunting- just not my thing.  And YES, that is a duck call my daughter is blowing.

After we got home from vacation, Thanksgiving was only a couple days later.  We kept the tradition of getting our Christmas tree on Black Friday, but we didn't hop over to Home Depot this year.   We have always had a real tree, but we decided that we would start cutting our own tree as part of a tradition.  So off to the Christmas Tree farm we went.  

We normally get around an 8 foot tree, but this year I wanted something small and easy to decorate.  A tree that was fun, not stressful.  So we found a 5 foot tree and fell in love with it.

Aubrey Lane announced that she was going to pray at the Christmas tree.  Not sure why, but she did.

So Lane chopped it down and home we went to decorate it our little 5 foot cypress Christmas tree.

I could have honestly made a whole blog post on the Christmas Tree farm.  The day was so beautiful and fun. 

An awesome photographer and sweet friend did a quick session for us for Christmas card pictures.  The pictures were beautiful; I want them all, but these were the two we put on our Christmas Card.

Lane worked nights on the day before Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, so Santa waited until the day after Christmas to make his appearance, and the children didn't know the difference.  They were so happy!

This was our first experience with Aubrey Lane starting to anticipate the excitement of the season, and it was contagious.  Jude had a blast too!  I can't wait for next year. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

One Little Word

So I know that I'm still overdue on a Christmas recap post, and I posted about New Year's resolutions and the dos and don'ts already, but I found fresh inspiration I thought I would share.

My husband's cousin recently turned me onto Whippy Cake.  (If you don't know who this is, you need to find out now!!)  I started by just following her on Instagram, then her blog, now her Pinterest boards.  I am only a little obsessed, not too stalkerish.  She has the best hair, makeup, clothes, etc etc... and she does video styling tutorials!  It's crack in the form of social media! 

ANYWAY... For the New Year she chooses One Little Word to focus on for 2014.  Instead of a list of resolutions that are most likely going to leave you feeling like a failure, you choose one little word to focus on for the year.  A word to title your goals and motivations. 

Becki from Whippy Cake chose the word "Ta Da".  It's perfect and brilliant!  Wish I was creative enough to come up with it.  If you think I'm crazy about getting all worked up over the word "Ta Da", just click on the link above and read all about it.  I bet you feel the same way afterwards.

Well since "Ta Da" is already taken, I needed to find my own word.  I thought and thought and initially decided my word would be "Intentional".  I want to be intentional for 2014.  Intentional with my time, my resources, my words...  I was kind of excited, but something was nagging me and telling me that wasn't my One Little Word.

What now?  My One Little Word for 2014 was not off to a good start so far.  Then it hit me!  I already had a word for 2014 and didn't realize it. 

So my One Little Word for 2014 is...


Now most of you will remember that I have already blogged about that.  You can read all about it by clicking here.

So for 2014 I want to "BLOOM" where I am planted, or uprooted, or waiting, or happy, or unhappy.  Where ever I am, whatever I am doing, I want to be blooming and doing it to the best of my ability. I want to make my current situation better, not scrap it and start a new one. Well.. you get the idea.  By the way, "Bloom" may be my One Little Word, but I am still trying to be "Intentional" as well.  Can you have Two Little Words??

Will you choose a word? And if you have, I'd love to hear about it.

Some tips to One Little Word:
*Pick your word.  Any word that works for you.  I have seen light, faith, joy, smile, fun, move, forward, relax, savor, pray... Be creative, be simple, be more, be less.  Your word is your word. 
*Make your word visible. Get your word in a pretty print off Etsy, a local crafter to make you a sign or wall art, have it engraved or stamped on a piece of jewelry.
*Apply your word to your life.  It doesn't work if you don't use it.
*Hash tag your word to status updates and pictures to remind yourself and make your word more visible in your everyday life.  Example: we just replaced our carpet with wood laminate.  I hash tagged the picture on Instagram with #bloom.

Well that's it for now.. Hopefully I will be back soon with a Christmas recap post for y'all and an update on how the new year is going so far. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolving to do...Nothing!

Happy New Year, friends!  

I must admit, I am excited for 2014.  Something about the cold and rainy days of January and February give me some "isolation time" to focus on my family and home.  

While everyone else has made some pretty admirable lists of New Year's Resolutions, I have decided to do something a little different this year.  You see resolutions are put into place to resolve a problematic area in your life, but I have something else in mind.  

Don't get me wrong- I have SEVERAL problematic areas in my life!  But the big stuff, I mean the really really important stuff like being more patient with my children, being a submissive wife, give more of myself and time to others, end any partaking in gossip, calming my temper, DYING TO SELF... you know, like I said, the BIG stuff, all the stuff most of us strive at being and doing, WE CAN'T DO!  Trust me, I've tried doing it for several years now, and like a light bulb going off, I have just realized I CANNOT DO IT!

All these wonderful things I strive to do and be are all part of my Sanctification process and becoming more Christ like.  The only way I am going to resolve any negative area of my life is to fill it with Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus.  And He will reveal the areas that need attention when His time is right.  Instead of trying to "change my ways", I am going to strive harder to listen to Holy Spirit and be obedient.  Which opens way too many doors for me to talk about in this post.

Even though I did not make resolutions, I do have some exciting projects and goals for 2014, from very tiny to kinda big.  

The really little is to eat cleaner meals, less fast food, and no more eating in the living room.  This little goal was put into place to obviosly have healthier habits, have better family time with meals at the table, and train my little family to keep food and crumbs off the new white couches I plan on getting.

The bigger projects, since I am striving to Bloom Where I am Planted, I have decided to update, renew, and redo my house.  Yes, we are still planning on building soon, but I am so much happier "doing" than I am "waiting".  Realistically we shouldn't make huge financial ventures, like say a 30 year mortgage, until Lane has been at Entergy for at least 2 years.  That won't be until November.  And then with the rain and weather of our great Louisiana Winter, it probably won't be practical to start building until late winter/ early spring.  So I am going to give my best effort into making the inside of this house look like what I want the inside of my new house to be.  I'll be so excited to blog about all the projects along the way.  

Well that's it; my first post for 2014.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!