Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's amazing how much you can grow in a year...

While I was in my hometown for Christmas, I was able to spend some time with my best friend and exchange Christmas gifts. We sat in her parents' living room and just talked. We talked about how we were sitting in the same exact place one year ago and how different our lives were then. We had both just been laid off and although we suspected it was for the best, we were both terrified.

It is amazing how much you can grow and learn about yourself in a year. My extremely talented and creative best friend has started her very own business! I have taken classes in something I truly enjoy for no reason other than to do something I love. That something I love to do has been noticed and appreciated by other people, and 6 of my photographs will be displayed in a coffee shop in my hometown for the entire month of January.

I have found a job working with good people, a job that I truly enjoy and often makes me happy. I have learned that that is more important than any amount of money!

I have learned so much about myself. I have learned that I don't have to meet anyone's expectations but my own, and I decide what those expectations should be.

I have experienced great joy and even greater sorrow.

I love my husband infinitely more than I did and we have grown so much in our marriage.

I have learned that I don't always have to be the "rock." I have allowed myself to be vulnerable and to let other people help me and support me.

With the help of some of you, I have grown in my faith. I have seen and experienced the power of prayer in a whole new way.

2009 has most definitely been a year of growth for me, growth that has been documented right here on this blog in even more ways than I have just written. I feel blessed to know all of you, and to have your support, friendship, and often, your prayers.

I have nothing but hope for 2010 - for myself and for you. I have experienced things this year that at the time I never would have imagined I could survive. And survive them I have. In fact, I feel I have thrived.

So for 2010, I'm wishing you all health and happiness, confidence in yourselves, the strength and courage to follow your dreams, friendship and love.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

our new niece!

After five very busy days in my hometown, I'm finally back to reality. I can't complain though, even though we were running around like crazy, our Christmas was amazing. Spending time with our family and friends is better to me than any present could be.

Sunday morning we visited with one of my hubby's brothers, his wife, and our beautiful niece, Athena!
My sister-in-law was also pregnant and though we asked her to have the baby before we left to come back home on Tuesday, she seemed convinced that baby was staying put until her due date, January 7th.

Luckily for us, our second niece, Aura Emma-Jean, had other things in mind and made her appearance at 8am Tuesday morning, exactly 11 months after her sister, and we got to meet her before we took off!

And I instantly fell in love with her.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all the merriest of Merry Christmases!!

I hope your day is filled with family, friends, love, laughter and all the magic of Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Do you guys have a Kohl's near you? We have one right down the street and I just love them! When you spend money there, they give you Kohl's Cash back that you can use to buy just about anything in the store.

My parents were here last weekend and my mom bought a bunch of stuff and earned $30 Kohl's Cash. They don't have a Kohl's near them so she gave it to me to spend! My hubby and I went the other night and they had so much stuff on sale! We got a new rug for under the coffee table in our living room and this pretty mosaic glass candle holder and only paid $4!!

It's so pretty and my Christmas lights are so pretty and the 2 feet of snow outside is so pretty that it all makes me smile from ear to ear! It doesn't take much to make me happy. ;)

*This post was not solicited by Kohl's and no compensation was recieved from Kohl's. However, if they're feeling generous, I'll gladly accept! ;)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Spirit

I love Christmas time. Hope, love, family, friends, kindness, magic and twinkling lights surround you. There's really no feeling like it. I haven't written about the specifics here (and I probably won't), but the last few months have been difficult for me. So the holiday cheer is doing me a lot of good and I'm feeling optimistic and full of hope for 2010!

Speaking of holiday spirit, MckMama is feeling it too and is hosting an AMAZING giveaway! I would totally LOVE to win it and you probably would too!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Family Cookie Day

Yesterday, there was a Family Cookie Day class at the bakery where I work. I took some photos for the blog I write for them, but I thought I'd share a couple here too.

It was so much fun watching the kids use the cookie cutters and fill the thumbprints. The whole kitchen was filled with smiles and laughter and holiday spirit! It made for a really nice day at work!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blogging as sleep therapy...

I have this problem with sleeping. The problem being that I can't fall asleep for weeks at a time. Then, I'll sleep GREAT for a week! Just when I think I've learned how to fall asleep again, the cycle starts all over.

I lay there in bed trying every technique in the book - deep breathing, clearing my mind, ear plugs, covers over my head - and I'm wide awake no matter how tired I was when I got into bed.

On nights when I give up on these techniques, I compose blog posts in my head. They are elegant, thoughtful and even witty. As a matter of fact, I've definitely composed this post in my head more than once. I tried once or twice to get up and start typing, but that only made me more awake.

In the morning, the words don't flow as eloquently as they did in my head the night before. I wind up deleting them before they are finished or with a bunch of horribly half written drafts waiting to be taken out of their misery.

I even thought about moving my laptop into the bedroom, but my hubby wasn't keen on that idea. The bedroom is not the place for a computer. Didn't want to risk the temptation of checking Twitter while...ummm...other bedroom activities might be happening. Not that I would actually do that, but it's a funny mental image and a valid request, so I agreed - no laptop in the bedroom.


I compose all these blog posts in my head and they actually help me fall asleep! The only problem is I feel like I post much more often than I actually do anymore. I randomly open my blog and realize it's been over a week since I posted anything.

Have no fear my friends, I have not dropped off the face of the planet...I'm just blogging myself to sleep...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

My hubby and I got our Christmas tree yesterday. We drank cocoa, listening to Christmas music, and had a blast decorating our tree!

Our super cute tree before we started.

Me putting the lights on.

All lit up.

My silly, sometimes off color, hubby!

Straightening the star.

It's difficult to tell here, but this is me putting the
tinsel on one strand at a time.
Yes, I'm that anal, please don't judge me.


Me :)

The cute snow couple my Gram made us.

Nativity scene.

We don't have a mantle, so our stockings are
hung from the curtain rods.

I love Christmas, so I'm very happy our tree is up! Not to mention it smells FANTASTIC! One of our favorite traditions is decorating the tree together.

What do YOU look forward to this time of year?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap

We drove to my parents' for Thanksgiving on Wednesday night when I got out of work. We spent some quality time with family and, of course, ate way too much on Thursday. On Friday, we did some Black Friday shopping and then headed back home because I had to work the weekend.

I didn't take many photos during our short trip, but I did take a few of my cousin's adorable little girl.

Isn't she precious?!

Gorgeous family shot, if I do say so myself!

Little miss giggles!
This girl has the cutest laugh in the entire world!

My hubby and I got our Christmas tree today! YAY! It smells fabulous and looks so pretty. Photos coming soon!