Tuesday, December 21, 2010

survey says

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? My preference is wrapping paper with pretty bows but I do use gift bags if necessary

2. Real tree or Artificial? The only thing I remember about the last real tree we had was the tree stand had a hole in it, and we came home to soaked carpet and wet presents one day after day care.  Ever since, we've always had artificial, and since living on my own I've had the same pre-lit tree which I adore.  I'm anxious to find out the life expectancy of the lights, and I think I will venture to a real tree when this one has to be retired.  I love the smell and I think it's so fun finding the 'perfect' one!
3. When do you put up the tree?  Last year I put it up on Veteran's day, yes that is November 11th...I know that was a little too early...this year I did wait until the week of Thanksgiving!  I like for everything to be decorated when I come home from Thanksgiving dinner  :)

4. When do you take the tree down? At some point between Christmas and New Year's Eve, but closer to NYE. 

5. Do you like eggnog? One sip is good enough for me!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? There is no telling...

7. Hardest person to buy for? The grandparents
8. Easiest person to buy for? Mom

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, it is special too

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? mail

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Please do not give me Mary Kay as a gift just because you sell it & can get it at a discount.  I also sell Mary Kay, and you know this.  End of Story.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I always enjoy National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story.  They never get old.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? usually after November 1st when my Christmas account money gets transferred

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I plead the fifth!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?  it's all delicious to me

16. Lights on the tree (colored or clear)?  Growing up we had colored, but now I use clear.  I like both...ditto to what Ashley said

17. Favorite Christmas song?   I have a lot of favorite Christmas songs...This Christmas, Where Are You Christmas, and Away in A Manger just to name a few.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I'd hate to bore you, so I will just say that the traveling is usually all within a 60 mile radius!

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?  I am embarrassed to say that I can not.

20. Angel, star or ribbon on top of tree? Ribbon
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Joseph & I do everything Christmas Eve with a glass of wine

22. Favorite children's Christmas song? I'm not real sure..

23. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? the rude people...but on a bright note, there are usually more cheerful people than rude, and I *love it* when total strangers wish Merry Christmas while passing by.
24. Favorite ornament theme or color? My color theme is red, lime green, and gold...no super sentimental favorite ornament as of now.

25. Turkey or ham on Christmas day? I am a ham kind of girl

26. What do you want for Christmas this year? My Christmas List is posted below in case you forgot  :)

27. Does anyone in your family dress up as Santa? My uncle used to...until the kids began to recognize his voice and his disappearance.  This year was the first time we had an 'outsider' as Santa.  Since we have 8 children 10 and under, it has become a tradition and they always look forward to it.

28. Age you discovered who Santa was? I really can't remember how old I was, but I do remember that I was helping mom decroate cookies on the kitchen table when I blurted it out.  I'm guessing 8 or 9...

29. Eggnog, hot chocolate, or apple cider? hot apple cider
30. Traditional colors (red and green) or other colors? doesn't matter to me, whatever is pretty  :)
31. Do you have any Christmas decorations on your roof? I sure hope not!!

32. How does Santa get into your house? Chimney or magic key? I guess the Magic Key

33. Do you prefer gifts or gift cards? Either.
34. Favorite children's Christmas Cartoon? Charlie Brown Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

dirty santa & tacky christmas sweaters

Friday night, I hosted the second annual Dirty Santa/Tacky Christmas Sweater party with lots of delicious appetizers and snacks.  Thanks to the help of Joseph and good friends, we had a nugget tray, jalepeno poppers, crab dip, pizza dip, buffalo chicken dip, pigs in a blanket, a cheese ball, peppermint bark, and oreo balls.  We all munched around the table so much that I don't think anyone ever actually fixed a plate, but it was all tasty! 
Joseph & Doug's turtleneck under the sweater were a big hit!

The two Katie's looking sassy..

Me with the cheerleading coaches, Gina, Maggie & Stacie..

I ended up winning a royal blue Snuggie.  Needless to say, no one wanted to steal my gift!  All in all, I think the party was a huge success and I can't wait to do it again next year.  If the invitation list keeps growing I'm going to need a bigger house...

5 functions in 48 hours

This is pretty much how my schedule is from Thanksgiving until after Christmas.  It's not easy juggling my mom's family, my dad's family, my step dad's family (he is no longer my step dad but he did raise me), my mom's stuff, my dad's stuff, church stuff, AND joseph's stuff on top of all of that.  I really don't know how my parents got me to everywhere I had to be before I was 16 and couldn't drive myself all over town.  Much less, when my Mama Dean was still living and that was one other place I attended.

I'd give anything to have that function back in my life.  I would always go to her house around lunch on Christmas Eve only to spend all afternoon with her.  That was our time.  The rest of the family didn't come until 5:30 or so, but I'd go early on Thanksgiving and I'd go early on Christmas Eve.   I helped in the kitchen, I helped to wrap wrapped last minute presents, I played with her dog, and I admired every thing she did.  I wish I would have watched more closely when she made her chicken salad and dressing, because hers was, and will always be, the best I ever had.  Thankfully she did teach me how to make her gravy.  She was my hero, and it saddens me to no end that her life was cut short because of that ugly "C" word.  Every year I get so tired of running from house to house during the holidays, but it is just a reminder of how blessed I am to have so many important people in my life.

This weekend was the start of the family functions, and boy am I glad that we start early or there is no way I'd be able to make them all.  In fact, I had to miss lunch with Joseph's extended family today which was disappointing, but surprisingly, I think that will be the only thing I have to miss.  I know that they had some delicious food, as always, and I hate that I missed seeing sweet Dawson and Mallory playing together.  This is only the beginning of my catch-up posts, so stay tuned for some entertaining stories from the weekend!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

so far on my flex day..

I'm not real sure how I forgot to mention in my earlier post that we went out to eat last night.  To (one of) my favorite places!!  LaGrange is known for it's seafood restaurant, the Sandpiper, but I prefer to eat at the back of the restaurant, in the Oyster Bar.mmmm.  Just saying those words makes my mouth water.  Some of you despise them, some of you love them like me, but oysters are one of the only things I like about the cold months of winter.  Nine times out of ten, if we are hanging out with friends, we are with Matt & Stacie, and that's who we dined with last night.  I swear Stacie & I were separated at birth, we have so much in common & she is constantly making me laugh.

Today is my flex day, meaning, it's the third Friday in my 'flex cycle', and I have a day off every three weeks!  I absolutely love that program at my job and will be sad if I ever have to go without.  So far, it's been a very productive one.  I started out with Chic Fil A breakfast, as pictured below, and a trip to Aldi.  While I was out to visit the *new* Chic Fil A, I noticed a *new* Cash Points ATM, in the same shopping area I frequent often, only minutes from my house...ahhhh, it's the little things that make me happy!  Aldi, on the other hand, oh my.  I heart Aldi and the cheap prices because you can really save some money shopping there.  I do not heart the people that race me to the checkout line (everytime I am there) with their cart overflowing with canned goods and groceries, while I have less than 10 items in my hands.  I swear, this happens to me every single time I am there.  I often think they will notice me behind them, with very few items, tapping my foot, and they will offfer to let me in front of them.  So far it has not happened. 

Since being home, I have made oreo balls, swiffered my kitchen and bathroom, while triying not to vomit at the amount of hair one person sheds in a week, wiped down my refrigerator on the inside and out, still trying not to vomit at the unknown amount of drink that has splattered on my fridge, changed the sheets on my bed, and I'm currently working on signing my Christmas cards.  Shew, that makes me tired just writing it.  I think something is wrong with me because I am not the type of person to just sit and watch TV.  I am always finding something to do, but that's just me.  Happy Friday!!

lots of catching up

  • RINGING THE BELL.  That's right, I rang the Salvation Army bell last Saturday at a local grocery store.  We have a signup sheet at work where anyone can volunteer to ring the bell at different locations.  Last year I was at by myself at WalMart in the drizzling rain and it still seemed as if people were more giving there than at the Piggly Wiggly.  However, I was thankful to be with a coworker and her adorable son this year, and it really wasn't too extremely cold.  Even though not everyone puts money in the bucket, it is nice when people actually acknowledge that you're there and wish you a "Merry Christmas" right back.  This is me with Amy's 3 year old son, Ryker, who was singing Christmas Carols by the end of our 2 hour shift.  He is such a cutie, and has the prettiest blue eyes that are to. die. for.
  •  Sunday I did a photo shoot for one of my absolute favorite families.  Ashley had scheduled a photographer who would do everything - take their family pictures, do the editing, and create her Christmas cards.  She was excited and had been planning the outfits for days, when, after a lot of miscommunication with the unnamed photographer, unnamed photographer cancelled with less than 12 hours before their scheduled shoot.  What else would you expect a crazy friend to do?  Of course I offered to take the pictures for her!  Although there would be no editing, but Ashley does have a really nice camera and I figured if I took enough, surely there would be a couple that looked good enough to put on a Christmas card.  By doing this, we would be able to have the pictures taken during daylight hours at a pretty farm (her dad's) so that she can get the cards ordered and hopefully mailed by this weekend.  It was quite an ordeal, to say the least, but after being forced to wake Mallory up from a nap, we managed to get a few good shots.  The ones I'm posting are prior to being edited by Ashley's (very) nice friend who offered to do it for her.  They look ten times better now than they do here!  If you want to see the finished Christmas Card you will have to check out Ashley's blog!

  • Monday I had Bunco with one of the two groups I play for.  Our theme was Tacky Christmas Sweater & we played a Dirty Santa game.  I was able to unwrap my first gift for this Christmas and we had some amazing dips to munch on.  We really had a great time, and it helps that our host is probably one of the best party planners I've ever met.  Michelle always goes above and beyond and we all had so much fun!

  • Tuesday night was the catered Adult Christmas Dinner at my church.  It was nice having it catered, because our church usually always cooks our own meals, and we're always bringing side dishes.  Don't get me wrong, this means you get to eat that good, country, home-cooked meal, but it made it nice not having to set up, clean up, or bring a dish on Tuesday night.  They also had door prizes, but we didn't have enough luck to win anything.  Maybe next time!  Some of the entertainment included our amazing Praise Band.  They have just started practicing the past few months but they are so talented, and I absolutely love hearing contemporary Christian music.

  •  Wednesday, I had the day off  :)  I wrapped Christmas presents, emptied old leftovers from my fridge, went to the gym, ran lots of errands, and had a lunch date with a few of my favorite ladies.  It was nice working on my own time & doing what I wanted to do!  I know that's a random list of activities, and since I happen to be off again today, I'm sure today's list will be even more random!

  • A new Chic Fil A just opened yesterday about 2 miles from my house and I am SO excited.  It is free-standing, which means they have a drive-thru, AND they will serve breakfast beginning at the wee hours of the morning.  Our Chic Fil A in the mall only serves breakfast for like 30 minutes because our mall just stinks.  I dont' know what it is about Chic Fil A, but I adore their breakfast, like I love their breakfast more than I love their lunch.  Now I know they probably fry those nuggets the exact same way, all day long, but something about it being on a biscuit with a drizzle of butter, is heaven in my mouth.  I do like the Chick-N-Mini's, but my all-time favorite is a Chicken, Egg & Cheese Biscuit.  I know, I know, it sounds gross.  People give me the craziest, wierdest, creepiest looks when I talk about it.  But don't judge me until you try it for yourself.  I have a feeling this is not going to be good for my waist line, but it tastes SO good! 

You are welcome for a semi-novel as a catch-up post.  I promise I will try to do better.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


it has been SO cold the past few days...my skin constantly stays dry, my feet stay cold, my lip cracked today because i couldn't get to my lip balm quick enough, and my car blows out cold air because it needs anti-freeze.  let me elaborate...my car will blow out hot air after it has been on and warmed up for quite some time.  problem is - it's way too cold to walk outside every morning in my amazingly thick & warm comfy socks w/ grip bottoms and my monogrammed towel wrap.  that is what i wear while getting ready, and putting on clothes is the last thing i do prior to eating and leaving.  choosing my outfit every morning is such an issue.  joseph says i stare at my closet but i'm really brainstorming different possibilities without pulling them all out, duhh.  i am lucky if i am dressed with enough time to eat scarf down a bowl of cereal prior to leaving, much less getting dressed 15 minutes before i need to leave, just so my car can warm up.  i'm trying to get better about this because i know that until i put more anti-freeze in it, this is going to happen.  i also know that as soon as my mother reads this post she will either A) send me a not-so-nice email or bbm, explaining how easy it is to have someone do this for me or B) she will be the kind lady she is and leave some on my doorstep.    my heated seat pretty much stays on level 5 and has become my best friend.  at least my tush stays warm  :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

christmas list

Friday night was a SUPER successful shopping night for Stacie and I.  We headed to Goldsboro a little after 7PM.  Yes, we got a late start, but we knew that Target stayed open until 10, and we thought we would have a good 30 minutes (at least) in Old Navy, TJ Maxx, and Belk all prior to their regular closing at 9PM.  Little did we know, their Christmas hours end at 11PM and we were tickled when we found out.  We both got some great deals at all the stores and really got a lot knocked off off our shopping list.  I don't even think either of us bought anything for ourselves, and that says a lot!  By the time I got home and unloaded my car it was almost midnight.  I was exhausted and have had a busy weekend ever since.

I've been jotting down wishlist items here & there for the past week or so, and I am pleased to announce my Christmas List to you all.

  • new vacuum cleaner - I can not believe I am asking for this for Christmas, but I really do need one.  Welcome to adulthood, right? 

  • brown 'monkey' mountain hard wear fleece jacket

  • any cute dress socks or colorful scarves

  • black painted hanging "A" with white polka dots.   I have no clue what they are called, but everyone has them and they usually have a nice bow at the top.  Since my porch is always bare after Christmas is over, that would be perfect for the month of January.  I'm thinking ribbon in the colors of blue, green, silver, etc. for my bow, hint hint!

  • new quilt/comforter set for my bedroom...but then, I have that wierd phobia about not ordering things prior to trying them on or feeling the fabric.  I think I will just keep this on my own personal wishlist that way I can only be mad at myself if it's not the quality I had hoped for.  But I will share one of my favorites that I've come accross so far..

OH, and let's not forget the list of CD's that I am wanting but too cheap to buy them for myself.  I don't own an Ipod & I don't download music - I just wait for my friends to download songs & make my cd's, but lately, that is just not happening as often as I'd like.  So, as if I'm back in middle school, some of the newest CD's that are on my list are...
  • sugarland
  • darius rucker
  • eric church
  • zac brown band
  • miranda lambert
Miranda Lambert is really growing on me.  I used to think she was just another Gretchen Wilson (who I'm really NOT a fan of), but she has proved me wrong lately with her new songs.  "The House That Built Me" gets me everytime...I always end up drying my eyes as I'm singing.  Although this list of CD's probably makes me look a little something like Gretchen Wilson, I promise that I do love some rap music.  I guess between Sirius and FM radio, I manage to find more of those songs playing without having to request the CD's.  Joseph, on the other hand, is not a fan of my country music.  He has discovered the Pearl Jam station on Sirius so there is now a constant battle over the radio when we're in my car.  I can't wait to have some new choices!!

  • Ralph Lauren Blue perfume

  • Chance by Chanel perfume

  • red NCSU hoodie

  • sassy little necklace from AVON as seen below

  • new purse

This is the most detailed Christmas List I think I have ever created.  Friday night's shopping was SO much easier because I actually knew what I was looking to buy for the people on my list.  I've been wanting to post my own list ever since so I hope this helps  :)