Judith and RT

Judith and RT

Monday, January 7, 2019

Betty's Mother, Cinnamon Roll Smoothie Recipe, Judith's 4th Birthday Bash, ZooLight Safari AFTER Christmas, The Actual Day of Birth of RT AND RT's Planes, Trains and Automobiles Party

Good Thursday morning!

Before we get started, I wanted to share something I first posted January 9, 2009. (Yes. I have been blogging for over ten years now!)

I met up with two old friends during the holiday break. (We've been friends for well over 30 years now.) We were ridiculously young together... we went on trips together... we were in each other's weddings... we had babies. In other words, we share a lot of history. I'm saying all of the above because I read a little article called "Betty's Mother" by Patricia Wilson I would like to share with you.

Betty's Mother

Most of the time, I don't notice that I'm growing older. In some far recess of my mind, my biological clock seems to have stopped at thirty-three years. My mental self-image has no gray in her hair, the wrinkles haven't taken hold, and her chin is still singular.

Occasionally, I catch a glimpse of a much older woman in the bathroom mirror, but I just put that down to bad lighting. When I meet the parents of my children's friends, I am always surprised at how old they look. "Must have started late," I tell myself, ignoring the fact that I was a late-blooming parent myself. And if the policeman who stops my car at the road check seems young enough to be my son, I just assume he's a new recruit.

All in all, I feel that I have my aging process pretty well under control.

Until, that is, I met Betty again. Betty and I had attended elementary school together and high school after that. Even when we parted to go our separate ways -- she to teachers' college and I to a technical school -- we still kept in touch. Then we moved on to our own lives and careers. Briefly, we met again when I was a bridesmaid at her wedding, and several months later she came to mine. We didn't meet again for over twenty years, although we did occasionally exchange notes and change-of-address cards.

Through the usual kind of corporate moves, she and her family ended up in Ottawa. To our mutual delight, I was now living a scant hour's drive away. We had never been physically closer. A reunion was in order.

We agreed to meet on our own first before we brought our families together. It seemed fairer to get all of our "do you remembers..." out of the way. Neither of us felt we had to wear a rose in our lapel to distinguish us from the crowd. We'd know each other anywhere!

When I arrived, I asked the maitre d' whether Mrs. St. Onge was there yet. She wasn't. I settled back to wait.

Then, Betty's mother came through the door! Well, it wasn't Betty's mother... it was Betty. Somehow, I hadn't expected her to look a bit different from my old school friend. I certainly hadn't expected her to look -- how can I put it delicately? -- middle-aged!

After all, I hadn't changed. Why should she? Then I saw Betty staring at me in the same open-mouthed surprise. Could it be that I now looked like my mother? Impossible! Could it be that I was also middle-aged? Unthinkable!

I don't really like growing older, mind you. But I'm glad my spiritual body is a lot easier to maintain. In fact, it becomes stronger each day that I walk with the Lord. My faith deepens; my hope grows; my peace abides. The spiritual body thrives on daily use.

Back to Enchanting Belinda... the 2019 version.

I think Ms. Wilson is very wise, don't you? To be able to admit her distaste of growing older, but to also be able to see the benefits of having a spiritual body. I think sometimes we have a hard time seeing past the physical to the spiritual... I know I do.

My friend, Celeste, was looking at a scrapbook I had brought to our little breakfast which chronicled our lives as friends from 1988 to 1992. We laughed and laughed, and we almost cried. We kept saying over and over again, "We looked so good. And we didn't even know it!"

As I looked at Celeste and Alesia that day a couple of weeks ago, the 20-somethings were still in there. I could see them very clearly. Celeste with her always matching accessories and her long manicured fingernails and her big blue eyes. Alesia with her flair for anything and everything fashionable and her cute wrinkled nose when she laughed and her ready smile. They are just as beautiful now as they were 20+ years ago. In fact, I think they look even better.

Life (and kids) can take it out of you... but having the daily relationship with God can certainly put it back in you!

Cinnamon Roll Smoothie

I received an Immersion Blender for Christmas, and I'm experiencing the joys of making smoothies and butternut squash soup. I am certain some recipes will be more healthy than others, but this is the one I chose to start 2019.

You will need the following:

1 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 frozen banana (or fresh banana, but add in 3 to 4 ice cubes)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pretty decadent. Not unhealthy if you just drink half, and very filling. I had it for lunch yesterday, and thoroughly enjoyed myself!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Judith's 4th Birthday Bash - That's right. It isn't a typo. Miss Judith is no longer a toddler. She has moved into the "small child" stage of life, and while in some ways it is heartbreaking because she was such a cute Little Tot, Little Girl Judith is turning out to be "very much fun." She has a good sense of humor, a huge imagination and a heart full of compassion.

I not only love her...

I like her immensely.


She wanted to have a Paw Patrol Birthday Party, but with a twist. She kinda just wanted Skye and Everest (the girl pooches) represented.


The party was held at a local gymnastics center in Hartselle, and it had two inflatables. It could not have been more age appropriate, and all of the kiddos had a really good time...

As did the adults.








Judith's hairstyle of choice this holiday season has been the pigtail braid...

And she rocks it.

Also, you are correct in assuming she has chocolate icing/ice cream on her elbow. I had some on the side of my neck. I have determined it is just something that happens at kid parties, and it is no longer an issue for me.

However, the fact I had hollandaise sauce on my cheek a few weeks ago at a nice restaurant where no small children were present, I am totally unable to explain. Very disconcerting.




I don't know why, but a Skye Pinata is a sure-fire way to make the four-and-under crowd happy.


Even the non-violent ones.



RANDOMNESS #2 - ZooLight Safari AFTER Christmas - That's right. AFTER Christmas. There were several reasons we didn't make it to the Zoo before Christmas, and that was okay.

It turned out the appeal of looking at Christmas lights and riding the carousel and train did not fade just because Santa had already come and gone.


Not even a little bit.
























Watch out when you put a two-year old near a photo op with a face hole.

It's just one more thing he can climb through...

Head first.

DISCLAIMER - No little boys were injured during the taking of this picture...

Because Mama was really quick grabbing his legs as he went through!





RANDOMNESS #3 - The Actual Day of Birth of RT - On Little Man's Actual Day of Birth, Melia, Aunt Roxie and I took him to Let's Play in Hoover.

And that is exactly what he did!


He played in the Room of Balloons...




He climbed anything and everything he could find...


He went down huge slides, not just once...


But many...


Many times!

He also played on the trampolines, participated in the Glow Stick Dance Party and ran three to four miles (easily).

But best of all...

Little Man enjoyed a very long, very restful nap.

RANDOMNESS #4 - RT's Planes, Trains and Automobiles Party - Melia had his party in her church's gym, and it could not have been a better space. Lots of room for wagons, trikes, scooters, Cozy Coupes and remote control cars.

Add a bubble machine, balloons and Baby Shark playing on the CD player, and you've got the makings of an excellent toddler party!








Don't worry. Sawyer wasn't sad. He just took a moment to recharge...


See?

Definitely not sad!




Carly Beth is SO going to be in the middle of everything next year.

However, this year, she was quite content sitting near the bubbles.













I hope y'all have a wonderful rest of the week. I'll be back soon with some awesome January "stuff" for you and yours!

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Guess what? Gonna keep this going for a little while longer!

"It's Thursday, or as I like to call it, 'Day 4 of the hostage situation.'"

"I can't walk the walk, but if you need someone to sleep the sleep, I'm in."

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Quotable Quotes, Palisades Christmas, Oxford Christmas AND Christmas Eve Day

Happy New Year... a day late!

I'm looking forward to 2019, I think. Last year had many good moments, but all in all, 2018 was definitely not a favorite.

I will say, for a 57 year-old woman, I had a lot of firsts in 2018, so if you don't mind, I think I will mention just a few of those.

1. Mike had a work trip to Chicago, and I jumped at the chance to tag along and visit another new-to-me state. I have flown two times in my life (both while I was in my 20s), and I honestly did not care for it. For whatever reason, I had no fear or trepidation about getting on a plane in Birmingham and arriving in Illinois a mere one hour and 17 minutes later.

None.

Nada.

It was actually very enjoyable, and while this wasn't "officially" a first, it was the first time I flew without being anxious or worried.

2. While in Chicago, I used Uber for the first time...

Once with Mike and once without.

3. I also hailed (and rode in) my first ever cab and visited Lincoln Park Zoo.

4. The Chick and I took our first Mother/Daughter trip to Banning Mills, Georgia and I ziplined!

Successfully...

And without an inordinate amount of whining and complaining...

Out loud.

Lots of whining and complaining going on inside.

5. Mike and I went on our first dolphin cruise, and that was just a shame because dolphin cruises should be experienced always and often. Waiting until you are 57 is a sin and disgrace, I think.

The next list has nothing to do with "firsts," and more to do with things I did because I enjoyed them in 2018.

1. I finally made a reading space that I love beside a window in the front of the house. I bought a big overstuffed chair and ottoman from a little antique store, and I curl up there as often as humanly possible either by myself or with a Grand-Tot to read and reflect. (I imagine one day I'll take a nap in the chair, but it is technically NOT a napping chair, so I'm trying to avoid making it such.)

2. I cooked more and more. That is not to say I cook better, but it is something I enjoy doing now.

3. After looking for the perfect personal binder for me and my "stuff," and not finding exactly what I wanted, I made my own. It is big. It is bulky. It thinks the way I do. And I like it. A lot.

4. I have successfully simplified a few rooms in my house, and while there are three that remain total disasters, I fiercely guard the ones that have a purpose and a space for every item...

And yearn for the day when perhaps all of them can be guarded...

And simple...

And neat.

5. Hot peppermint tea is my favorite hot drink in the whole wide world.

6. The Powerhouse Bowl from City Bowls is my new favorite thing to eat in the whole wide world.

7. I still haven't finished reading the Bible all the way through...

But I am SO close.

This made the list because I enjoyed trying and plan on succeeding in 2019.

No resolutions for me this year. I'm just going to try to take each day God gives me and live it His way.

I feel like that should keep me pretty busy.

Quotable Quotes - I follow a French woman on Instagram because her pictures are beautiful and peaceful and simple and make me say, "Ahhhh," on the inside and sometimes on the outside, too. I love what she wrote about rituals the week before Christmas and wanted to share it with you...

As well as her Instagram address (cat_in_france). It is a lovely account.

"Rituals are important because the repetition of enacting each ritual provides a focal point from distraction; a level of comfort and familiarity; and an opportunity to demonstrate reverence for being in the moment, moment to moment."

"Twenty years ago, close friends introduced us to the importance of a Friday night 'ritual.' Rituals can be anything you create to honor a regular event. In our case, as a family, we initiated 'Friday night pizza.' Since living at Rabbit Hill, it has taken on its own meaning as the heart of the home. It became the focus and symbolic grounding place, no matter what else is occurring in life. This week was not an exception as we strive to clear barriers that are determined to block Christmas 'spirit.'"

"But this moment, this ritual of simple food and simple gathering -- before the activity of the last weekend before Christmas hits -- rises above any barrier."

Of course, 'Friday night pizza' for this family is homemade and gorgeous.

Also, feel free to substitute the word "tradition" for "ritual." This woman speaks my love language!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Palisades Christmas - Just when you thought all of the Christmas pics had been shown and shown AGAIN, I show up with just a few more!

My extended family has been meeting in a huge rustic log cabin-type room in Oneonta for more years than I can remember. There is a kitchen, a fireplace, Christmas decorations, TWO bathrooms...

And to make everything even more perfect, there are thousands and thousands of lights all over Palisades Park which makes for a perfect family walk after our dinner.


Brad, Sawyer, Carly Beth and Stephanie.


Courtney, Josh and Judith.


Aunt Ro and Judith.




The always fun craft table.


Aunt Ro and RT.


Sawyer loved crafting so much, he even put his sucker down.

That is what is known as a successful craft!


And then there were the games.


I didn't play because of crafting, but I'm almost 100 percent positive of one thing...


I would have been awesome!


Stephanie and Monica.


Carly Beth and Steve getting better acquainted.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Oxford Christmas - A few days before Christmas, we celebrated with Mike's family.

As often happens with kids, as the years go by they multiply and get bigger...

And make Christmas much more fun!


Lauren and Roxie.


Just so you know, the yellow car RT is playing with belongs to his cousin, Micah.

Kudos to Micah for sharing his new toy so very well!


Matthew and Lauren read the Christmas story...


And Judith paid close attention.

And, yes. The baby does have clothes, but we prefer to keep them in the car.

I don't know the reason why, but I trust Judith's judgment completely.






Matthew, Mackenzie and Lauren.


Micah, Mackenzie and Lauren.


Pop and RT.




Becky, Mrs. Faulkner and Mikie.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Christmas Eve Day - Our little immediate family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve Day, not to be confused with Christmas Eve Night!





















I hope you and yours had a most wonderful Christmas. I will be back before you know it with some pics from Judith's 4th birthday AND Zoo Light Safari.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Two more humorous-to-me Insta-quotes!

"My kids decided to build their own Lego Nativity scene this year. I had no idea there were so many stormtroopers at the birth of Christ."

"I accidentally wore a red shirt to Target today and, long story short, I'm covering for Debbie this weekend."

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