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.



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!


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.


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."


  1. I L-O-V-E your posts especially the holiday ones!! Someday I hope to be just as fabulous as Nana B!!! I like those two end quotes, as well, made me Laugh hard as we have lots of lego minifigs at our house. Happy New Year!! I was hoping to stay at the Boarding House this year in Oklahoma- but it's sold out- no matter what room I chose. Gosh, maybe someday, I will make it to your corner of the world and we can meet up at a park or zoo. ~ Andrea who lives in WA state now and enjoys your blog.

  2. Hey, Andrea... It's always so good to hear from you! I've been checking The Boarding House, too. Don't worry. We'll get there one day! I hope you and your family are doing well. Getting to Washington state is on my to-do list, so maybe one day we'll meet face-to-face. Until then, stay in touch!


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