Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Decor

Day 3 of the Holiday Challenge is all about Christmas Decor. And this is oneof my favorite parts of Christmas. I love decorating the house and getting it all festive. Now, this year we're with his parents, and I'm decorating their house some, but I'm going to feature how I decorated our apartment last year! This was standard for the years I lived there and I loved it! A lot of this was what my mom did when I was growing up and this really makes it feel like Christmas for me!
The stair rail wrapped in garland and decorated with ornaments!

My decorations for one of the walls.
Pine garland over the doors!!
And more over the window!
And cards and stockings!!
Decorating for Christmas is one of my most favorite things to do. I told my in-laws, there house will have never seen so much festive-ness!! I'll show off my handy work of their place in another post!!

Another Post Where I'm Honest

Y'all, I'm going to tell you something about me.

I love blogging. It's great, but I struggle with leaving comments and sending out responses on twitter.

And here's why:

I'm always worried that other people/bloggers won't like me.

Seriously, I write a ton of comments and replies on twitter and then don't post them.

Now, y'all aren't the problem. Y'all are wonderful and you always say the nicest things and are so sweet. Seriously. It's not you, it's me. (How cliche is that?)

You see, I've been judged a lot in my life. And I was made fun of a lot in school. And maybe everyone else was too but, I was just never well equiped to deal with it. You see, I'm a people pleaser by nature. I'll do things I don't like to do and go places I don't want to go, and overall just bend over backwards if I think it will make someone happy. I'll do it even when it makes me unhappy. It's kind of my default setting.

And, where my people pleasing drops off is where my fear of rejection comes in. So, I spend too much time worrying about what others think of me. And a lot of this just makes me socially awkward.

Like the times when I get nervous around people and then what I call vomit mouth starts. Seriously, I start talking and my filter turns off. And I say something I don't want to say or shouldn't say. And, it's generally not something wrong per se. It's more like the time I started talking all about my plans for a party to someone who wasn't invited.

So, these are my struggles. I'm a lot better than I used to be about this (seriously, I never would have written this post in the past) but, I still struggle with it.

So, I wanted y'all to know this. I wanted you to know why I don't comment as much as I would like. And, since y'all are so awesome, I was hoping for maybe just a little encouragement...and a few ideas to help me get just a little better this!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Traditions. Christmas is so full of traditions and I've got a couple of favorites.

I LOVE getting a Christmas Tree. Without it, it just isn't Christmas. And once I have it, Christmas is in full swing. Sadly, the tradition changed this year. Now, I think we're going to try something new. This year, Mr. B and I went to a tree lot instead of Home Depot and I enjoyed it a lot. Someone else did all of the hard work and I just got to look. Tree Lots are the Boutique shops of Christmas tree shopping! I love my tree this year, and it's the big focus of this post!

Mr. B & I with our tree at the tree lot!

Getting the tree trimmed!

The tree in my car all ready to go home!

So, we got the tree home and the next day it was time to decorate it!

Our tree all decorated!!
This has been our favorite tree yet! I usually multicolored lights and this year, I decided I wanted something different. And I love it! I think this is going to be our new standard. Except, I need to get a few more strands of white lights. Seriously, a tree with anything less than 600 lights on it is just not good enough!!

Now, the other major tradition I/we have is watching the 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story each year. Seriously, it's my absolute favorite. And, even though we watch it all day on Christmas, I still watch at least once during the holiday's other than that!

Now, this leads me to ask., all you married girls out there...what traditions do you have with your hubby for Christmas? We're looking to adopt a couple of traditions just the two of us, but I have no idea what we should do...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Favorite Gift

Day 1: Fave Gift Received Ever

I'll be honest, I'm actually having to do some serious thinking about what my favorite Christmas gift ever was. Nothing really jumps out at me as my all time favorite.

My most memorable gift is probably the Super Sonic Ear my parents got me one year. It would amplify sound and I would pretend I was Harriet the Spy trying to hear things and find clues to solve things.

Yes, I was really this cool.

 (Mom, Dad, if you're reading this, the super sonic ear was really cool!)

I believe the same year I got the Super Sonic ear was the same year we got the Nintendo 64. With Banjo Kazooie. I still want to play Banjo Kazooie, but I don't have what I need...

I know I got plenty of cool things over the years, including a shredder (yes, a shredder, I love my shredder). But, I'm just not sure what tops the charts as my "fave gift ever."

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Y'all, this blog might be a little heavy. It's got a lot of thoughts that have been on my mind recently and I need to let out. Like so many bloggers, this little piece of the world wide web is my friend, my confidant and some days, my therapist.


I grew up moving around a lot. We always stayed in the same area, but we moved every couple of years. I actually reached a point where I craved moving. I needed it and wasn't sure how to function without the change it provided. I remember the first time I lived somewhere long enough that I actually considered rearranging my bedroom furniture. We just moved that much.

And then, I moved to NOLA. And my life became very stable. I wasn't moving. I found a job that I held down for almost 3 years before I was laid off. I stopped thriving on change. And I started to LOVE stability. It was strange, but it was oh, so good. I wanted roots.

Then, everything started changing. So much of it is good change. People (including Mr. B and I) got married. Babies were born. Things changed. And the traditions that we had spent the past few years perfecting are now gone.

We moved in with his parents.

We didn't go Christmas Tree shopping with L&L and her mom.

We didn't have Lindsay's mom for Thanksgiving. (She's married now.)

I messed up and couldn't even make my pumpkin pies for dessert on Thanksgiving.

It's just different. And I don't like it. I've actually kind of forgotten how to adapt. How sad is that? I got comfortable in the stability. It was a first for me. I was always ready to move at a moments notice and I finally let that guard down.

I finally let my guard down entirely.

And I accepted that stability. And here I am, and everythings getting flipped on end at the same time.

And, there's a lot of personal stuff going on. My mom's parents have both been in and out of the hospital. I made an unexpected trip to Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. B has had a couple minor health problems that we've been dealing with. I've had some minor health problems we've been dealing with. We've moved in with his parents. We've given up our first home we had as a married couple. They just put my grandmother on hospice. It's been a rough couple of months.

It's been unbelievably rough. It's been the type of months where you just want to crawl under the blankets and come out after the universe thinks you're dead and no longer worth bothering.

And, I'm tired of pretending everything's ok. I'm tired of pretending that I'm dealing with it all ok. Actually, all I want to do is mope. I just want to sit in front of the tv and surf the internet aimlessly. I don't want to be in the holiday spirit. I just want the holiday's to pass me by and leave me unscathed. I want to wake up and have it be 2012 and have everything be ok again. Because I'm exhausted with all of the stuff.

And, I'm tired of blogging like everything's great here. It's not. So, I'm being honest. I'm trying to be positive. Really, I am. But know that I'm struggling to get in the holiday spirit. I had to force myself to get a Christmas tree. But, I'm trying.

So, expect a mix of posts over the holidays. Some will be exciting, some will be more like this one. But, they will all be honest. And honest is what I really need to be right now. So, if you stuck out this post, thanks. I really appreciate it!

I Heart Thanksgiving...

...and my new lens!!!

Yes, this is my new lens! The Nikon 50mm f1.8G. It's a wonderful lens. I suggest you get one for yourself!! Gorgeous pictures and oh, so fast! I heart it!

I took this picture in super low light and without flash if I remember correctly.
So, Thursday was Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I know I've told you that before. The food, the family, the hanging out. Oh, and getting to use my new lens! So, here's our day, documented through my new lens!

First up was lunch! The food was great as always! Actually, I think the turkey was particularly good this year. At some point, I inevitably take some pictures of the food and some of the family around the table!

We made sure to eat some super delicious food.
This is my mother-in-law's plate so it's missing some delicious
food, such as the turkey!
Mr. B while we were eating dinner!

MawMaw, Mr. B's grandma, after we finished dinner!
 Next up was a family picture of Lee & Lindsay & Parker. It was Parker's first Thanksgiving and she was only mildly interested in having her picture taken at this point. She wouldn't crack a smile no matter what we did. So, we're just thankful she's looking towards the camera!
Linday, Parker and Lee getting their photo taken for Parker's first Thanksgiving!
After the picture was taken, she was of course, all smiles. So, while Lindsay was talking to Mr. B about something, I snapped this gem. Let me tell you, I love the way it came out. When I saw it, I just fell further in love with my new lens!
Parker and Lindsay.
I just love the way this picture came out!
After the pictures were taken (with not a shot of Mr B and I taken...ugh!) it was time for our family to do what we do best, play a game. We don't lounge around watching a football game, but we do make time to hang out together and Scattergories is our standard. It has set the scene for such conversations as "No, nitrogen is not something that is found in a park." Mr. B's answer was vetoed and I think he still begrudges us that. :)
Lee writing down those Scattergories answers!

Our Thanksgiving Day Game of Choice!
 So, yes, we had a great day. It was a very pleasant afternoon and we enjoyed the time together. That evening, Mr. B and I tried to go get our Christmas tree unsuccessfully. But, we did end up getting it the next night. I'll post all about that this week...

Also, if you are Nikon user and considering the 50mm f1.8G, please do yourself a favor and get it. It'll be the best $200 you'll spend. Seriously. The pictures have been beautiful! The bokeh it produces is awesome. So smooth! It really is awesome!

And, I'll be linking up with Neely & Amber for their "Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge" the next two weeks! Why don't you link up too?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Living with the In-Laws

So, I figured I would give y'all an update about living with my in-laws. We've been here almost a month and we're just about settled in.

First, my in-laws are awesome for letting us live with them. I can't tell you how thankful I am for them letting us live with them.

There are some things I miss about having our own place.

{one} I miss having my plates for dinner. I know it might sound crazy, but I really miss them. I loved sitting down to dinner and having our plates. I know it will be like Christmas when I get to open them up again though. And I really appreciate that.

{two} I also miss my pots and pans. I bought stainless steel Emerilware when I got my apartment. I've loved them. They aren't my "forever pans" but they are my right now pans and I miss them. I knew what to cook everything in and how it cooked in it. I'm a cook by feel person and the feeling's all different in someone else's kitchen with someone else's pots and pans.

{three} I miss getting to be alone with my hubby every night. Even though we get to be in our room by ourselves, it's still just different.

Overall the experience is good though. The other night when we got home from our Ah.Maz.Ing anniversary dinner and wanted to tell someone all about it, it was awesome to have someone at home to tell. And the money we're saving by being here is really helping us out. And I'm so excited about the things we're going to be able to do because we spent just a few with my in-laws.

We've just about settled into our room and we've finally gotten just about all of our stuff settled in. We had a bunch of stuff in the dining room waiting to be gone through, well we've just about gotten all of that taken care of. And our next goal is to go through all of the stuff in our storage. We got rid of a lot of stuff, but there is still so much more stuff we can get rid of!

So far, the most frustrating part of living with them, isn't really them even. It's the fact that their dryer takes FOREVER to dry a load of clothes. Seriously, it took me like 6 hours to dry a single load of clothes. After just two loads, I finally called up my sister-in-law (and by call, I of course mean texted) and asked to go over there and wash clothes. As I write this the last load is drying and it makes my day to know that all of our clothes will be clean when we get home. It sure beats the forever it would have taken to wash them otherwise!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 10 - Steve & Amy

Sorry I've been a bit absent lately. I'm going to catch up on my 30 Days of Thanksgiving, and I'm going to get started today. 

Today I'm being thankful for our dear friends, Steve and Amy. They are Stephen and Carly's parents. 

Steve and Amy are pretty awesome. Mr. B has known Steve since they were in school together. And over time Amy, Lee & Lindsay and myself joined the picture. Now we're all friends! It works out so great that we all enjoy hanging out together. It's sad that they live all the way in North Carolina.  Because we can't hang out with them more. But, I always look forward to our trips to see them. And, talking to Amy on the phone. (Which doesn't happen near enough because I suck at making phone calls...)

So, yep, I'm thankful for Steve and Amy. It's great to have friends as awesome as they are!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Ultimate Twilight Fan Link-Up


Today I'm linking up for the The Ultimate Twilight Fan link-up. I'll admit it, I love Twilight. I've read all of the books, seen all of the movies, and own all of the movies. And, I would marry Edward Cullen without a second thought. (And hubby knows this, so that's no surprise to him!)

But, the rules are I must answer a few questions about being a Twilight fan and not just tell you how wonderfully attractive Edward Cullen is.

{one} Am I going to the midnight release?
Sadly, no. I had to set my priorities. And since Monday was my FIRST anniversary with my hubby, I decided that nice evening out with him was more important than the midnight release of Breaking Dawn Part One. But, I'll definitely miss seeing it was everyone in the theater opening night.

{two} Scene you're most looking forward to in Breaking Dawn?
Probably the wedding. Although I'll be really, really sad that Edward's not marrying me.

{three} Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Really, after the beginning of the post this question is still being asked?

{four} Favorite book in the saga?
Hum...I'm going to say Twilight. I love when Edward let's caution go to the wind and decides to go ahead and be in a relationship with Bella.

{five} Favorite character in the series and why?
Hmm...Edward is the easy answer here. Because he's so incredibly attractive. But, I have a special fondness for Jasper since he's a Texan. Then again, I really like Alice. So, I can't really pick one.

{six} Why do you love Twilight?
Because I love a good love story. And, because I can relate to different aspects of the story. I also enjoy getting the warm fuzzies when I read something. I like the emotional journey the book takes me on. But, I really just like a good love story.

{seven} Are the books or movies better?
The books are better. But, the movies are well done. I understand that changes have to be made to get the books onto the screen, but you lose a lot of the character development when that's being done. And I love character development. So, I enjoy the books better. But I also appreciate that I can't read the books in two hours. So, I enjoy the movies too.

{eight} What do you dislike about the series?
I guess it's not something about the series, but this seems as good of a place as any to put this. I dislike that people (especially Harry Potter fans) hate on Twilight so much. Seriously, I don't like Harry Potter because of how dark it is. But, I don't go around hating on Harry Potter because of it. I've seen all of the movies, and I've tried reading the books, but I just don't like them. And that's my preference. I don't care that you like them. Fact of the matter is, we should always be happy for books that encourage kids to read.

{nine} Your craziest fan moment?
For Christmas a couple of years ago, I wanted a boxed set of the books. They were all hardback, the matched nicely, etc. And, it was on sale for like $50 for all four of the books. I was in love. I wanted it. I asked for it from my grandparents but made it clear I wanted this set. Well, the whole thing ends up with me ordering it online (because it was an online only sale) with their credit card information. I did mail it to them so they could wrap it and put it under the Christmas tree. And I still love that set!

{ten} Do you have a twilight collection?
I have all of the books in that box set and I have all of the 2 disc editions of the movies so far. But, that's as far as my collection goes. I'm not a big collector of anything anymore. So, that's as close as it gets!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 9: Stephen & Carly

Today is day 9, and I'm being thankful for Stephen and Carly. These are our friends, Steve and Amy's kiddos. They, too, will get their turn but, today is their kids!

Both of these kids are pretty awesome! It's always such a joy to get to see them and hang out with them. It's just a shame they live so far away. Stephen was the ringbearer in our wedding and it was so special to have him in our wedding! And Carly is just the cutest! Seriously, check her out!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 8 - Lee & Lindsay

Today on 30 Days of Thanksgiving I'm giving thanks for my awesome brother-in-law and sister-in-law. These two are the parents of my adorable niece, Parker, who I featured yesterday!

Lee & Lindsay are pretty awesome. When I first moved to New Orleans, they let me live with them. It was such a risk for all of us and it worked out so well. It really helped make my transition to a new city so much easier! For that, I will always be grateful!

They are also so much fun for us to hang out with. We always enjoy spending time hanging out with them watching movies, chit chatting, and whatever else we may do. It's great that the four of us get along so well. Mr. B and Lee are two peas in a pod and it's great that I'm able to hang out so well with Lindsay. It's just awesome when you get along with everyone in your family like we do with them!

So, there you go, that's day 8!

(And if you want to keep up with Lee, Lindsay and Parker, Lindsay blogs here.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 7: My Niece

Today on my 30 Days of Thanksgiving, I'm being thankful for my adorable, beautiful, wonderful cute niece.

I babysat her on Monday and it was so much fun to play with her. She has this toy, it's a ball popper. It's kind of cool. Well, we were sitting there and she would pull it toward herself so the toy would blow in her face. She just got such a kick out of it. It was so funny! And really, how can't you be thankful for something that cute!

And don't worry, her parents will get featured too! I just like her so much she gets her own post!

Oh, and what do you think of my first collage?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why I LIKE the Duggars

So, I'm going to talk about something not included in my 30 Days of Thanksgiving, the Duggars. Yes, the stars of 19 Kids and Counting.

Today they announced that they are going to be having baby number 20. Yes, they are pregnant again. And, I'm thrilled for them.

Here's my thoughts on the matter.

They have raised very healthy, functional children. That is a lot better than can be said about many people out there. They're not criminals. They get jobs, they work. They provide for their families (if they have one.) They are taught responsibility and they are respectful. A lot of people with one or two children have not done half the job the Duggars have done in raising 19 children.

They aren't on welfare. They have no debt (we can't say that). And they are responsible with their money. Yes, they have a new form of income, a television show, but even for that I have respect for them. No one would question if Mr. B and I were to have a baby, although we aren't in near as good of financial shape as the Duggars are.

Yes, they have a television show, yet, it hasn't seemed to have a changed their family's core values. Yes they take some advantage to go places and see things. But, seriously, wouldn't you? (If you answered no, I don't believe you. Sorry. You would do something that you couldn't have done before be it travel, buy a new house, etc. You would enjoy it SOMEHOW!) But, they still seem to hold their values in high regard. Y'all, I struggle with sticking to my guns (on some things) when it's just me and Mr. B there's no way I could do it with a tv crew following me.

In the end, they all seem happy. No, they seem content. I struggle being content daily. But, they seem to truly be content. And if part of their contentment is having a bunch of kids, so be it. And their kids don't seem upset by another addition. They are excited. To me, that says that they are happy with the attention they are getting from their parents and that they are loved and happy. 

All of that being said, I NEVER want 20 kids. I just don't. But, I would (one day!) like to have a a kid or two myself. And, I can say, I hope I do half the job they do. Weaker people have buckled under less. How many of us watched Jon & Kate Plus 8? And we watched their marriage crumble. And their kids suffer. The Duggars have flourished. I've watched crazy stunts like Octomom occur. And, the kids suffer. So, if for once, a strong, family with good character wants to show us how you can thrive through anything, I'll support them. Because after several years of watching them, I just don't expect to see them crumble under the pressure anytime soon.

So, say what you want, I have a lot of respect for them. 

And, here's my final thought.

Baby's are Blessings. Always.

Day 6 - In-Laws

Today I'm being thankful for my in-laws.

My mother-in-law and my father-in-law in particular.

Mr. B, me, Wendy, Win

Seriously, these two are pretty awesome.

I've said it before on this blog and I'll gladly say it again. You hear awful things about in-laws but, my in-laws are awesome. I couldn't have asked for better in-laws. I enjoy them and hanging out with them (and now that's a good thing!)

Wendy & Me

And I'm thankful that they are so awesome to let us live with them for a little while. I'm so glad they're willing to put up with us being in their space for a little while.

Win, Mr. B and Wendy

So, there's what I'm thankful for today! I'll have more for you tomorrow!

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