Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2014 Revisited... (Part Two)

Good Wednesday evening!

Let's see.

Before I share new and exciting ideas and recipes, I kinda need to finish what I started...

2014 Revisited... (Part Two).

Today, we begin with July!

MamMa and Bev.

I was able to host the 4th of July get-together at my house again last year. It was kinda up in the air for awhile because Mikie had surgery the week before, but he healed nicely, and we have found it is much easier to host adult or adult-like people than a lot of little kiddos.

"Easier" meaning he was able to rest, eat and rest some more.

He was feeling much better when family and friends accompanied him on a business trip to the beach two weeks later.

Mike, Josh and Austin.

Melia and Austin.

Roxie and Hunter.

We took a day off our beach trip to get home in time for Melia and Austin's FIRST OFFICIAL WEDDING SHOWER.

It was worth it!

Roxie and Mike.

Then we decided to get right back in the car and go to the lake for a few days.

As you can probably tell, the lake trip was planned before we knew about the beach trip.

But since we're a very flexible, go-with-the-flow family, it was not a problem.


Roxie and Hunter.

Austin and Roxie.

Ally, Roxie, Savannah, Alyssa and Ragan.

Melia and Austin.

As if I had not taken enough pics the month of July, Roxie had her Senior Portrait appointment set for the end of the month.

Let's just say, July was definitely well-documented.

Roxie and ME.

I turned 53 in 2014, but that was okay because someone told me I didn't look a day over 52.

And I chose to believe them.

Brad and Grandmother.

As is our tradition, we celebrated Grandparents' Day at Grandmother's Church.

Grandpa, Roxie and Grandma.

Roxie turned 18 and we celebrated at Slice...

And then Airwalk.

And then my nephew, Brad, married my new niece, Stephanie.

Roxie's team won playing Powder Puff Football during Homecoming Week.

Roxie was on the Homecoming Court and Seth, her escort, was crowned Mr. Homecoming at the morning Pep Rally...

And they rode together in the parade.

Hunter and Roxie.

Later that evening, Roxie was crowned Homecoming Queen.


That's what we were.


Courtney and Josh.

Josh turned 21. That is why Courtney is holding the big sign.

Lauren turned 3.

Austin and Melia got married.


Melia turned 23 and we celebrated at Another Broken Egg.

We celebrated Thanksgiving.

Roxie, MamMa and Katie.

Roxie was accepted to Auburn, and we made a beeline to the campus looking for housing.

Mackenzie and Lauren.

And we celebrated Christmas with both sides of the family.

Of course, I haven't posted pictures of the ugly stuff, but in a nutshell...

1. I only went to the Emergency Room with panic attacks two times in 2014.

2. Mikie had surgery on his neck, and it was very successful.

3. Roxie and Josh are both planning on leaving this fall (school and job, respectively), but I didn't think about that much in 2014.

I decided to save all of that angst for 2015.

Because you never know when a calendar year will not contain enough angst.

4. I still have family members battling cancer.

5. I still have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days from time to time...

Just like everyone else!

But I'm also very, very thankful for the good!

I am so here and there right now, but please know I'm trying to get back on schedule! I have at least four new recipes to share, as well as a new party idea and MORE!

Take care, and I'll talk to you soon.


The Enchanting Belinda

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2014 Revisited...

Good Tuesday morning!

Today's post will begin a simple recounting of the first half of 2014 in my world... the good, the bad and the ugly.

Mikie and I started 2014 celebrating our 26th year of marriage...

And while doing so, I discovered the polka dot blouse is not my friend.

Basketball was a huge part of our January and February in 2014.

We watched about 1,000,000 games... and when the season was over, we looked forward to Roxie's Senior Year so we could watch about 1,000,000 more.

Hunter invited Roxie to his Senior Prom...

And she said yes.

We were blessed to be able to celebrate Valentine's Day as a family once again...

And we made our 17th trip to the mountain as an extended family.

If you recall, it was a very snowy winter for Central Alabama. Roxie and I found ourselves stuck in the house alone for one or two days at a time on several occasions.

I called it "a unique bonding experience."

Roxie chose to call it "sheer torture."

Roxie enjoyed BLAST her Junior year...

And when I saw all of the mud involved, I enjoyed her NOT coming home from that particular event.

Roxie attended prom with Hunter and friends...

And she learned an invaluable lesson about "really, really pretty shoes."

Copper still moved like greased lightning in 2014...

While Sparkle became more and more sedate.

And that was okay.

You don't have to act like you're headed to a fire every single time you stand on all four legs.

(I'm with Sparkle when it comes to conserving valuable energy!)

Mike and I spent a Business Trip Weekend in Nashville...

And it was just what we needed.

The kids continued the Easter tradition of Supermodel Posing without any prompting from me (much to my delight).

Josh was honored at Wallace State...

And he brought home two mighty fine looking awards.

Roxie did the National Honor Society thang.

MotherWalk 2014...

It was Team Tootsie's THIRD time to walk/run, and I am proud to say we were 18 strong!

Melia graduated from Samford University...

And she couldn't stop smiling ALL DAY LONG!

I did one of the hardest things I've ever had to do as a parent in June of 2014...

I watched my 17 year-old daughter leave to go to a foreign country on a mission trip for eight days.

I probably gave her to God (and promptly took her back), more than a dozen times during those eight days.

And while the "giving her to God because she totally belongs to Him anyway," was very Biblical and most definitely the obedient thing to do...

The "promptly taking her back" was my greatest struggle.

It wasn't wasted on me that I was being weak and disobedient and selfish.

I wish I could say I totally received an "A" in Letting Go 101, but if you've known me five minutes, you would know that was not the case.

But here's the thing...

In 2015, I'm pretty sure I am going to be given the opportunity to improve that grade on many, many levels.

I've already started studying for the first exam in Empty Nest being offered in the Fall of 2015.

I am hoping for at least a "B."

I will say as difficult as the "letting go" part most definitely was, the "coming home" part was one of the sweetest in my entire history as a mother.

I have remembered that part well and often over the past few months.

The "coming home" part is by far the best.

In June, I began in earnest to wrap my head around the upcoming nuptials of these two in October of 2014.

The time was quickly approaching for one of the biggest events ever in Faulkner Five history.

We also celebrated a few birthdays the first six months of 2014...

My great-nephew, Matthew, turned SIX!

Katie turned 20.

Grandpa turned 87.

Zac had a birthday in the mountains as he celebrated 16...

And Austin had a birthday in the mountains as he celebrated 23.

Mrs. Faulkner had a birthday, too.

Brad turned 22.

And my great-niece, sweet Mackenzie, turned ONE!

She looked just as good coming...

As she did going.

That's quite an accomplishment!


The above is definitely some of the "good" from the first half of 2014.

Believe it or not, I don't usually photograph the "bad" and the "ugly."

But it is there.

In all of it's "bad" and "ugly" glory...

It is there.

During the first half of 2014, the members of our little family of five (soon to be six at the time) dealt with major disappointments (months and months of job hunting), medical issues (Emergency Room panic attacks), other family members battling cancer and other illnesses, new mental health issues (depression), etc., etc.

Oh... And I didn't go down two sizes in the "jean department" in 2014.

Which probably brought on the above-mentioned "depression."

I am a firm believer you cannot fully enjoy and embrace the "good" unless you acknowledge and spend some time in the "bad."

That's life.

That's a Christian's life.

And I'll have a little more to say about that Friday when I finish the second half of 2014 Revisited!

Have a fantastic Tuesday. The Chick and I are going prom dress shopping.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.

Sincerely, The Enchanting Belinda
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