Friday, December 5, 2014

Weekend Happenings AND Christmas Moments

Good Friday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS #1 - These last few weeks have been really eye-opening for me.

I am FINALLY willing to admit there are some Christmas things I do very, very well...

And some Christmas things not so much.

For example...

I LOVE to work on my Christmas card every year. And to make matters even more pleasant (for me), it appears I also LOVE to address envelopes and mail them out each year.

However, I am NOT a good decorator, and in the past few years it has become very overwhelming for me. I do the best I can, but in the end it is not what I have envisioned. (No sugarplums over here, Folks.)

I LOVE to wrap one, two or three gifts every day in December so when Christmas Eve comes around, I just pick up wrapped gifts and strategically place them around the tree.

However, the last few years, I haven't COMPLETELY completed my Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve, so even though I LOVE wrapping presents, I can't wrap what I have not bought!

I LOVE to bake in this season of my life. (That hasn't always been the case.) I have learned over the years baking takes some patience, the right ingredients and NO shortcuts. With age comes some wisdom... and better tasting (and looking) cakes, pies and cookies.

However, as much as I LOVE to bake, I'm not very good at carving out the time I need to do it properly, so I probably bake less the month of December than any other month.

I LOVE making lists.

However, my December To-Do Lists do not bring me comfort or a sense of satisfaction. My December To-Do Lists make me feel anxious and inadequate and S-L-O-W.

I LOVE Christmas sweaters.

However, I do NOT love that every Christmas sweater I've ever bought, worn and loved is now considered an Ugly Christmas Sweater. So ugly, in fact, two of them have won first place at a couple of parties I haven't even attended. (I don't mind loaning them out!)

I've mentioned the above to reassure myself (and perhaps someone "out there") that accepting and enjoying the things you do well is a much better way to spend the Christmas season than beating yourself up for the things others do better than you.

I don't want to wake up Christmas morning black and blue and out of sorts because of all the "howevers" in my life.

I want to wake up Christmas morning happy and ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

No regrets.

No "howevers."

No "maybe next year."

No "I wish I had done more."

Just a simple, "Thank you, God, for sending your Son."

Just a simple morning with my family.

Just a simple afternoon with extended family.

Is that too much to ask?

No. No, it isn't.

Especially when the only person you're asking is yourself.

And sometimes "yourself" needs to give YOU a break!

RANDOMNESS #2 - We went to the Christmas Tree Farm last weekend.

It was fun and easy and comfortable and festive.

My favorite kind of tradition.

The farm.

The now-obligatory Go-Pro pic.

The always-obligatory good-camera pic.

The chosen tree.

My Josh.


Can you spot Santa?

Roxie and Mikie.

Just Mikie.

While we were there, a young mom with a baby in a stroller, a toddler and a preschooler picked out a tree, walked down a small mountain to the reindeer pushing a stroller and rode a wagon with her kiddos (and a stroller) back to the top of the Christmas Tree Farm.

She then proceeded to shop with the children in the Gift Shop, purchase items (large and small) and walk EVERYTHING back to her car where her Christmas tree had been expertly attached to her roof by the employees.

She never broke a sweat, raised her voice or asked for assistance.

I have to tell you, I was mighty impressed.

Mighty impressed, indeed.

Christmas Moments

In my attempt to celebrate a simple, more enjoyable Christmas season, I have decided to try to have at least ONE Christmas Moment each and every day in December.

The following is what I have so far:

Monday, December 1 - Buy and begin reading Ann Voskamps' new Advent Book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.

Tuesday, December 2 - Decorate front porch.

Wednesday, December 3 - Decorate dining room table AND have dinner by candlelight with Christmas music playing in the background.

Thursday, December 4 - Attend Gardendale's Annual Christmas Parade.

Friday, December 5 - Christmas shop for a needy child.

You get the idea.

And for all the Christmas-type things I did in November (and the extra Christmas moments which may just "happen" from time to time), I made a "bonus" page in my little notebook to keep track.

So when Christmas Day comes and goes this year, I don't have to be sad about all of the things I didn't accomplish during this "most wonderful time of the year."

I can look at all of the little moments I truly did enjoy.

And relax.

And sip hot chocolate.

And not beat myself up ever, ever again!

Weekend Happenings

1. The Chick has a basketball game tonight, so Mike and I will be attending that game.

2. Roxie will be taking the SAT Saturday morning.

I will just go ahead and say it for her.


3. Josh has not submitted his weekend plans to me in typewritten form, but I know he's going to work a little, watch football a lot and enjoy a pretty easy weekend.

And there will be various and sundry Christmas moments scattered all throughout the weekend.

I can't even wait.

Have a lovely December weekend. I hope you have some wonderful Christmas moments of your very own. I'll be back Tuesday with the Weekend Wrap-Up, pics and maybe a new-to-me recipe.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Post-Thanksgiving/Post-Black Friday Post

Good Saturday evening!


I am blogging during the Alabama/Auburn game.

I am not a fan of my family jumping up and down and screaming uncontrollably.

Never have been.

It drives me a little cray-cray!

However, I am more than aware that not only is it appropriate, but IMPORTANT, to cheer on the team.

In other words, I stay in the other room until the last half of the fourth quarter...

And then I join my peeps.

Here are some of my favorites memories and pics from the last couple of days...


Roxie made these deviled eggs.


It's a very good thing.

Our turkey's feathers got a little ruffled, but we straightened them out before we ate.

Katie made the mini pumpkin pie tarts.


Brad and Stephanie.

The "tape ball game" turned out to be a lot harder than first anticipated, and I've had to figure out ways to tweak it if we ever play again...

But it didn't stop Roxie from getting into the spirit of things.

Melia and Austin.

Roxie, MamMa and Katie.

Katie and T. J.

Grandmother and Roxie spontaneously throwing leaves into the air...

Because that is what they do.

Josh and Zac...

The other Most Interesting Men in the World!

Tom and Bev.

Me and Mikie.


NOT Dumb and Dumber, Too.


They didn't have a Mockingjay photo op at the movie theater.


This game has the easiest rules EVER.

But it is deceptively difficult.





That's it for tonight.

I hope everyone had the best holiday.

I'll be back Tuesday, and hopefully, I will be able to get back on my blogging schedule!

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up, Pinterest Stuff (Menu Pumpkin AND Simple Neighbor/Teacher Gift Idea), Quotable Quotes, Early Weekend Happenings

Good Wednesday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Okay, People. The Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament is over.

To recap...

We lost Saturday night (first loss of the season)...

We won Monday night...

And we lost last night...

By only one point...

In overtime.

If you're keeping up, we have won four and lost two.

In layman's terms, that means we are still having a winning season.

Roxie and Kelci in the huddle before the game begins.

Yeah. I'm just gonna say she made that basket.

Funny story... There was this wall, you see.

Kelci bounced back.


Simply Alissa.

"Hand me that ball, please."


Roxie and Joy.

Doing what these chicks do best... synchronized running.

The Bench Babes.

Love them.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Well, this was my first experience watching a season of Dancing With the Stars, and it did NOT disappoint.

I even watched the three-hour finale last night.

That's a big time commitment for a woman my age.

Theoretically, I coulda/shoulda been baking, cooking or doing some other kind of prep work for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day Holiday, but there I was...

Glued to the television...

Hoping against hope Alfonso and Sadie would come out on top.

And they did!

They did come out on top!

And life was very good and exciting for a few minutes until I realized I am not Alfonso OR Sadie...

And I still have baking, cooking and prep work to do for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day Holiday.

Alfonso doesn't have to worry about getting ready for Thanksgiving. He's a rich man with a new Mirror Ball Trophy. I'm sure he'll just walk into a dining room somewhere and everything will be set out before him.

And Sadie...

Sweet, sweet Sadie...

That chick is just 17 years-old and probably has never cooked a Thanksgiving Day Feast in her life. That, and Miss Kay obviously does all the cooking for their family, and LOVES doing it.


That's not my life at this particular moment.

But, I am now a Dancing With the Stars fan now, and I cannot wait until next season!

Quotable Quotes - "Fall in love with moments." Anonymous

Pinterest Stuff

Menu Pumpkin

Do you have a leftover pumpkin from Halloween?


This is what you need to do.

Paint the entire pumpkin with black chalkboard paint. Have one of the kids write the Thanksgiving menu on the pumpkin and set it on the table, on the countertop or in the middle of the Thanksgiving buffet. Whatever works for you and yours!

Simple Neighbor/Teacher Gift Idea

Pick up some pretty wrapping paper in a 3- or 5-pack AND some 3-packs of Scotch tape.

Tie the tape and the following tag with twine to the top of the roll of paper.

The tag reads:

Since November you've been shopping,
Barely sleeping, hardly stopping.
Now it's late you're in a scrape,
Out of paper, out of tape.
Hope this wrap helps save the day!
Have a Happy Holiday!

Early Weekend Happenings

1. We're celebrating Thanksgiving with my family this year. (We celebrated with the Faulkners last year.) We're heading to Mom's around 11:00 a.m., and while the womenfolk work on the final prep for the Thanksgiving Day Meal, the Dads and the "kids" will be playing Horseshoes and Basketball.

2. We'll read our Thankful Letters after we have partaken of the Feast, and then I have a little game I hope we have time to play before some of the couples have to head out to Feast Number 2!

I'll have to let you know Saturday in case someone in my family decides to read the blog between now and Thursday.

Hey. It could happen!

3. Friday morning, bright and early, Roxie and I are heading to the Galleria to meet up with Bev, Katie and Stephanie (sister and nieces), Amy, Alisha, Monica and Abbie (cousins) for our annual Black Friday Fun Day.

We'll shop from 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. until noon.

We'll eat lunch together.

Shop a little more.

Take a nap (if needed).

And then we head out for a movie and dinner.

After dinner, we either finish up our shopping OR play games until time to go to sleep.

It's a very, very good thing.

4. Saturday and Sunday are up in the air as of this writing. We may have plans, but I will not know for sure until after I have already posted.

Have a stupendous Thanksgiving Holiday. I hope to do the same. I'll be back some time Saturday evening with pics of our festivities, Black Friday happenings and more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you this weekend.


The Enchanting Belinda

P. S. Here are some pics of Thanksgiving Past(s).



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