Friday, December 31, 2010


I had a whole bunch planned for today...

First I was going to sleep in...

Then, I was going to fix coffee & some breakfast that doesn't require milk since I forgot to buy milk yesterday...

After that, I was going to visit a friend in the hospital who took a nasty flight down the stairs in her house on Monday...she's OK...just a lot of soreness and she fractured her eye socket and has a small fracture in her skull...

When I returned home from the hospital, I planned to take down the Christmas decorations...

And then, go play Pictureka with my niece...

Finally, I was going to come home and prepare some "snacks" for a New Year's Eve get together I planned to go to tonight.

And somewhere in there I was hoping to write a 2010 recap, by using my calendar & blog...since I can't seem to remember much of what I did in 2010...

Sounds like a pretty fun day, huh?  And so full...

So, I slept in until 7am...and when I woke up my right eye was matted together.  When I went to look at it in the bathroom mirror, it reminded me of something.

It reminded me of what my left eye had looked like just two weeks ago...


And very red...

Yup - it looks like I have pink eye.


I'm not happy.

Looks like I'll have plenty of time to write my 2010 recap later today since I don't want to pass this along to anyone else and I've currently quarantined myself at home.

Happy New Year to me!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our White Christmas

I finally have gotten around to downloading the pics of our white Christmas...enjoy! :)

As the snow first started....

Later on in the day...

Before we left mom & dad's on Christmas Day...

And at our house when we got home (from my phone, since I left my camera at mom & dad's)...

Sunday when it was all said & done...

And last but not least, I couldn't resist sharing one of my niece & nephew on Christmas Eve...

Ayden loves to play in the clothes basket...and Aly's not about to be left out! :)  Seriously, Ayden comes to my house and plays with metal bowls, a wisk, a wooden spoon and usually an empty Gatorade bottle (if one's available).  I love this age! :)

I hope you enjoyed our white Christmas! :)

A New Year

Quite honestly, I dread the coming of the new year.  I don't know doesn't really mean anything.  I guess because it's the end of one time period...another time period in which I tend to very negatively reflect upon and realize that things are very much the same in my life.  I guess I should celebrate good health and the blessings.  But, usually at the end of the year I seem to reflect on the things that didn't happen...maybe I'm the only one.

And, what's even worse, is that I look back on the year behind me and think...what did I do this year?  My friend Amanda over at Family of Shorts has been doing a "Year in Review".  She goes month by month reviewing the major events in their family's life.  But, I can honestly not remember ANYTHING! 

On another blog that I frequent, The Daily Dribbles, Kmama does a "week in review", just telling what happened that week in their family.  And I do believe, because my memory just doesn't want to cooperate, that I may do the same.  This way, I can go back...look at each week...and KNOW what happened that week!

I am also going to work on setting some goals - not resolutions - goals.  Things that I'd like to accomplish or do in the coming year.  I may do this via an idea I saw on my friend Rachel's blog called 101 in 1001.  Basically you come up with a list of 101 things that you'd like to do in 1001 days (2 years, 9 months).  Coming up with 101 things is tough enough in and of itself.  Trust me...I attempted to come up with a list of 40 things that I wanted to do by the time I was 40 and I couldn't get that together.  So, we shall see.

As we come upon this New Year, I will be trying to focus on the blessings of 2010...trying to figure out just what I did do in 2010...and looking ahead to what I want to accomplish for 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in review...

To say the least, our Christmas was magical.  I don't think I've ever loved a Christmas as much as I did this one since I was a little girl.

On Christmas Eve, I kept my niece & nephew while my sister worked and my BIL slept (after his nightshift).  They wore me out...between chasing around a one year old who never.ever.stops. to trying to explain to his older sister that she's NOT in control...I was ready for a nap by the time they left.  But there was no time for napping because there were cookies to be made and peanut butter balls to be rolled in chocolate. 

For the past few years my BIL's schedule had him working on Christmas Eve...and sometimes Christmas Day too.  So, we started a little tradition of going to my sister's house Christmas Eve, eating snacks, visiting and beginning our 24-hour marathon of watching A Christmas Story before heading home to wait for Santa.  This year, however, Zach was off on Christmas he was able to become part of this tradition! 

On Christmas morning, Dylan patiently waited for me to drag myself out of bed...he didn't come in my room to "check to see if I was awake yet".  Thankfully for him, I woke up kind of early...and then he bugged me to let him open presents.  I was able to put him off until I had our Christmas cinnamon buns in the oven and then I gave in.  I think he was a little disappointed - he had really wanted a PS3...I really didn't want to make that kind of investment for Christmas...and the Carhartt coat that I got him wasn't exactly what he wanted.  I told him I knew it wasn't the color that he'd asked for, but I liked it.  He tried all weekend to see if it would grow on him, but I'm pretty sure we will be returning it.  And that's OK by me...I knew it wasn't the color, but I was hoping he'd like it anyway.

The real fun began around 11am when we looked out and noticed it was snowing.  I'd checked the forecast earlier that day and we were forecasted for less than 2" of snow.  Snow in our part of NC is kind of a rare thing.  Snow in December is even more amazing.  Snow on Christmas hasn't happened since 1998...and that was just a "trace".  The last measurable snow fall, which was less than 2", was in 1969.  Forty-one years ago.  To see any snow on Christmas is such a rare occurrence that we North Carolinians will take whatever we get!

We headed to my mom & dad's house soon after the snow began and just spent the afternoon with them.  I took a nap...Dylan played video games...we just all kind of relaxed the afternoon away.  When I got up from my nap around 3:30ish, the ground was just covered...and the snow was still coming. 

My sister & her family arrived around 4:45...we ate dinner and then the next fun part began - PRESENTS! :)  My nephew (who is 1yr BTW) was completely unaware and uncaring that he wasn't opening gifts.  He had gifts - plenty of them, but he was more excited about the big boxes that he could climb up on!  I was totally blessed by my family - not only did I get the Ugg knock offs that I wanted from Target (thanks to my son!), I also got the polka dot rainboots that I fell in love with a few weeks ago and...A KITCHEN AID MIXER!!!!  I'm so excited about this...especially after I lugged my mom's back & forth all December! :)  I think we were all very happy & excited about all of the blessings...and the snow was falling the entire evening!

Finally, when I left to go home around 8:45ish, we had about 3 inches on the ground.  And when I woke up the next morning, I believe our final measurement was around 6 inches. forecasters a little off????  The snow finally stopped around 11am...which means that it snowed for right at 24 hours!!!

When we do get snow in NC, things kind of shut down...for various reasons.  Often our snow is accompanied by ice.  Driving in snow is one thing...driving on ice for even the most seasoned driver is just plain dangerous.  This snow was perfect though - it was just snow...nice, powdery snow!  We also tend to shut down because we generally have several power outages.  I had one for a whole 20 minutes yesterday.  However, I have lived through ice/snow storms that have put our power out for days.  No fun! 

Today was kind of a let down, though.  I had to head back to work! :(  It's worse when no one else is working along with you.  At most today, there have been three of us in the office.  Currently, I'm the only one here.  Not to mention that there is not very much to do...and no one is calling us.  On the positive side, the day is not dragging as bad as I had anticipated!!!

I have Christmas/snow pics, but they are at home.  I will do my best to upload them tomorrow so that I can share with you our very wonderful, very magical Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Memories & Traditions

*I wrote this about three years ago for my myspace's been so long since I've been on myspace that I couldn't actually figure out how to log on! :)  But I wanted to share...and I've updated it a little!*

I am finding as I get older that my Christmas memories are not quite as vivid as they once were. Christmas was always a special time in our home. It began within the first few weekends with getting a tree. For several years we did the whole go to the mountains and pick your own tree thing. If you've never done this, I would definitely suggest it. It's just different wandering through rows of trees still firmly rooted in the ground and knowing that the tree you have was cut just for you. Our busy schedules don't permit this much anymore, but it was still fun...and then the real fun began! Dragging out all the ornaments and other decorations...trying to get the tree through the door...the tree always being just a hair bigger in our living room than it appeared on the lot (this is still a problem to this day!). Soon...well more like several days later...everything would finally be placed and the gifts would begin to pile underneath. We'd shake and guess and hope that what was there was what we really wanted. We always participated in and attended several special church services, including the Christmas Eve service at church. I have very vague memories of spending Christmas Eve with my uncle Ronnie & his family along with my great grandmother and great aunt. This kind of fizzled as the years went by...we were never close to my mother's family. Instead we began spending Christmas Eve with my dad's parents...the only grandparents I truly grew up with. We would just go hang out...sometimes my grandmother would have snacks to eat and we would just visit with them...of course always keeping an eye on the clock & the sky to make sure we didn't miss Santa. We would beg and beg to open just one present on Christmas Eve...but Mom & Dad were hold outs and we had to wait until Christmas morning. I still remember never sleeping completely through the night Christmas Eve...I usually would get up at about 2 or 3 to see if Santa had come or not...and to see what he left! I also had to wake my sister so that she could see her gifts...I mean it wouldn't be fair if I knew what Santa had brought and she didn't. We'd not touch anything...or at least carefully place it back and go back to bed. I think we fell back to sleep, but not without excited butterflies in our stomachs...not being able to wait until morning when we could play with our new toys and open presents! The older we got, not much changed. I guess we just got bigger presents...but there was always the excitement and the anticipation of Christmas.

My favorite Christmas memories have now been replaced with memories of Dylan. I don't think I'll ever forget the first Christmas that he was truly aware of the whole Santa thing. It was his third Christmas - he was 2 1/2. I remember his Dad came down Christmas Eve so that he could fly out Christmas morning to Florida to spend Christmas with his family. Only a few times did it happen that his Dad was able to be there for the holiday...most of the times he was in Florida. We stayed up late playing Santa...putting all the toys together, with the help of my sister. We all laughed and got delirious as we stuck sticker after sticker on his Little People stuff! It was probably the only true "Mom & Dad" thing we ever did for Dylan. I got up early the next morning to take his Dad to the airport...and got home before he woke up. I remember he got up and walked in the living room and his little mouth just hung he couldn't believe that all the hype was for real! He didn't know what to head for first...and yes, it was the first Christmas that Santa really, I went overboard! :) But he was just filled with wonder and excitement and he played and was so happy with all of it.

Some of our "traditions" have stuck. We still drink Cokes out of the glass bottle as part of Christmas. We have done this for many years now...I don't know why this is so special, other than that it reminds me of the "olden" days before aluminum cans & plastic. Also, if you've never had a Coke out of a glass will never taste anything better! We have gone to many special Christmas services at church - it seems like this list grows every year! We have watched EVERY Christmas movie ever fact, probably several times! Even though Dylan informed me a couple of years ago that there is no Santa, I am still excited to see him open his gifts.  This is probably the most "practical" Christmas yet, but it will still be fun.  And Santa does still stuff Dylan's stocking! :)

And as our family has grown, with the additions of Alyson & Ayden, Christmas has become more fun.  We've added a Christmas Eve "fellowship" at my sister & brother-in-laws...where we will pig out on snacky food and begin watching the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story.  This year, my brother-in-law doesn't have to work on Christmas Eve or we will head to Mom's for dinner & our comfy clothes, no less!  And to boot, the chances are looking better and better for a White least it's supposed to snow Christmas night!  What a great gift to look forward to...because snow in North Carolina means staying in, not rushing here and there and yonder, building snow men, watching movies cuddled up on the couch.  It will be a continuation of our family time on the day after Christmas.  If I get nothing else for Christmas but a Sunday Snow Day, I will consider myself blessed!

Most of all, I want to remember the true meaning of the season - that if not for a little baby born in a manger over 2000 years ago, we wouldn't have anything to celebrate! I continually marvel at the gift that God gave us...His own Son...and what that gift ultimately cost Him so that we could all be saved from an eternity in Hell. What if Mary had, I'll wait until I'm older and married? What if Joseph had kid's not mine...I can't marry her? But they didn't...God knew He could trust His faithful servants to carry out His plan. And as you who are reading this go through your Christmas, I hope that you will also take the time to give Glory to God and truly celebrate the "reason for the season"!

I truly hope that you all have a very happy and blessed Christmas!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A White Christmas???

For those of you in more "snowy" regions of the United States, you've probably already grown weary of snow and the mess that it creates...although, I think only in the Southeastern United States does snow really create "messes".  Everyone else just deals with it.  Anyway, I am beyond excited because we, in our little part of NC, have a chance of snow on Christmas day.

I've NEVER had a white Christmas.  I think there was one year that we had a little ice/snow mixture Christmas Eve, but that's as close as I've seen ON Christmas.  Last year, we actually got about 6 inches of snow exactly one week before Christmas.  I remember it because it was on a was the last day of school for most students before the Christmas break...and everyone was so excited because we rarely get snow before January...much less that close to Christmas.  It was beautiful and just made Christmas in NC that much more special.

Where I live in NC is kind of a anomaly unto itself.  As every good NC educated child knows, NC is broken into three distinct regions...

I live in the green region.  See how close we are to the gray "mountain" region?  I'm about one to two hours from the mountains...three to four from the beach, depending on which beach you choose to go to.

Anywho, one would think because I live in the more Western part of NC that I would see more snow.

You couldn't be more wrong.

Now, our mountains get plenty of snow.  They've already had quite a few good snows in Boone. 

However, the best snows for the non-mountainous part of NC occur right along that line that actually separates the "Piedmont" from the "Coastal" region...amazingly enough.  I think it has something to do with the way the land is physically well as jet streams and other such nonsense like that!

So...we often don't put much stock in what the weather man says when it comes to snow here in the Winston-Salem area.  I've honestly seen days where they've called for a 100% chance of snow...they were so sure they shut down the schools and closed many businesses...and I sat at home and watched a very gray day, but no snow. 

But, with it being Christmas, I've got my hopes high and my fingers crossed that we will see a white Christmas after all. 

We shall see! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Where Have I Been???

It seems like a lifetime ago that I actually had time to blog.  These past few weeks have been CRAZY!  I finally got finished up on our church's three-night dinner theater outreach event...which, to be honest I was dreading...and then found myself enjoying it!  Although, by Friday, I was done.

I woke up the following Saturday (a week ago this past Saturday) with a little niggling scratch throat.  I ignored it...went about my business...bought & decorated a Christmas tree.  By Saturday evening, I wasn't feeling really well.  Sunday dawned gray & rainy and the scratchy throat persisted.  So, I did nothing and by Monday I was feeling some better.

Monday & Tuesday I reveled in the luxury of having nothing the HIGHS both days were below freezing.  In NC, that's rare.  We don't deal well with that. 

Wednesday I went back to not feeling well and finally broke down and got some meds.  I studied and compared all of the cold meds at the pharmacy...and STILL managed to pick up a "nighttime" formual.  But, I know that my body chemistry is apparently I took it anyway and it did make me feel better without making me sleepy!  But, Wednesday's are always long days for me because that's church night...and this one was exceptionally long since we were practicing for the Christmas program.

Thursday, I woke up to ice on the ground, generally feeling like crap and goop pouring out of my eye.  So, I tucked myself back into bed and woke up about three hours later.  I self-diagnosed myself to have pink eye and requested eye drops from my doctor's office.  Amazingly enough, they didn't require me to come in and they still called in the prescription!

Friday, we still had some ice on the, I waited a little bit before going into work...worked the day away and then went to a Christmas party with my BFF.

Saturday was a blur...including an early morning grocery run, choir practice, a visit to my parents...mostly to see the niece & nephew...a lot of Christmas shopping, some more visiting with the niece & nephew and my sister too, and some gift wrapping!  All in all, a good day...but still looking for a few last minute gifts!

Sunday was church, cookie making and choir performance...not too bad of a day!

And by the way, have you heard of cake mix cookies???  Where have these been all my life?  I had never heard of them until I was e-mailing Helena from Life in the Pitts about the glories of the Kitchen-Aid mixer and she mentioned these lovely things!  So cheap...SO GOOD!  I made red velvet cookies topped with cream cheese icing and German chocolate topped with coconut! 

Anyway, that's where I've, there, sick, well. 

I have had a chance to check out some blogs here & there...and hopefully I'll see you around a little more this week now that things are somewhat slowing down for me...well, other than trying to finish Christmas shopping!

Here's a look at our Christmas regular camera doesn't do good pics so you can still see the this is with my phone...which is why it's a bit fuzzy...

One of the great things about living in NC, home of Christmas tree farms galore - our tree was cut on the Friday before we bought it on Saturday! :) 

Hope you are having a Happy Monday!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Five Question Friday - Christmas Edition :)

Well, I've made it...this week has been crazy, tiring, but fun.  Everything has gone on without a hitch...I did NOT get sick (thanks for the prayers) and I haven't wanted to take anyone's head off!  So, all in all, a good week!

Tonight is our last night at our church's "dinner theater" event.  It's been great so far and we've seen a lot of visitors.  Tomorrow I will actually begin my own personal Christmas celebration by actually putting up the Christmas tree! :)  Can't wait!!!!

With everything going on this week, I haven't had a lot of time to write or read...and I really don't today as is my own blog tradition, I'm participating in Five Question Friday, brought to you by Mama M.  If you'd like to participate, just head on over, copy the questions & link up! :)

1. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Christmas Day...when we were little we would beg and beg and beg to open gifts on Christmas Eve, but my parents never allowed it.  One year, when Dylan was very young (like 2), we had planned to fly to Florida to visit Dad's family for Christmas and so we did Christmas Eve with my family.  It felt so wrong.  So, now we don't do gifts until Christmas Day.  And in actuality over the past few years, we've sometimes moved our family Christmas celebration until the 26th, due to my BIL's work schedule...which is SO HARD TO WAIT! :)  But this year, he's off Christmas we don't have to wait this year!

2. What is your favorite Christmas cookie (or candy)?

I love chocolate covered cherries...and over the past few years, I've been making peanut butter balls...which are just awesome!

3. What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever received?

I'm not really sure...I know the Christmas gift that I DIDN'T year, all I asked for was a watch...guess what I didn't get.  Yeah, a watch.  I was not happy...that wasn't a particularly happy Christmas anyway...

4. Christmas song that you love?

Well, I love almost all Christmas songs...but I'm very partial to the traditional Christmas hymns...O Holy Night, Joy to the World, Silent Night...I love church during Christmas. 

5. How many trees do you put up?

Just one...I don't have a ton of room in my house...I barely have room for the one! :)  But maybe one day, when I have a bigger house, I'll put up more!

I hope you have a happy Friday!  See ya around! :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I crossed over to the dark side...

I swore I wouldn't do it...

I didn't see the point...

I thought to I really need in my life?

I have a Facebook...

I have a Myspace...although I think the last time I logged on was in August and I'm not really sure why I don't delete it...

I have Blogger...

And now...yes, it's can find me on twitter.

Because some of my favorite blogging friends aren't blogging that often, but I discovered they tweet...

And, well you know I'm nosey...

So I HAD to sign up!

So, if you wanna follow's @brwnidgrljenn

Warning...I don't know what I'm doing and I don't promise to tweet major revelations in my life.  But I do participate and I think I might even like it...maybe...

This is my crazy, busy week at church.  I've finished four of my nine days straight at the church.  Oddly enough, though, I'm kind of looking forward to it all. 

So, pray that I continue to stay well...and that I don't take somebody's head off...because it might happen! :)

See ya around!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Five Question Friday

Well, look-y here!  I did free up some time for another post in my 9 day interment! :)  Ok, well, I'm doing this Thursday night at up valuable snuggling under my covers time.  No problem...I'll still get that in! :)

And here we go with Five Question Friday, hosted by Mama M.  If you'd like to play along, you can visit her, copy & answer the questions and link on up! goes! :)

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?!

Well...dreaming big...I'd love to have a Kitchen Aid Mixer.  A couple of years ago, I asked for a Kitchen Aid because my mom & sister each have one and it is awesome.  However, my mom wanted to make the most of my "Christmas money" and bought me a Sunbeam mixer instead.  I am not and was not ungrateful for this...she had a Sunbeam for years and years and years and only moved over to the Kitchen Aid because she got a KILLER Black Friday deal on it.  Well...I guess Sunbeam just doesn't make them like they used to...because, while my mixer works, it doesn't work well.  Sometimes it acts like it's stuck, but I'm mixing a box cake mix and it shouldn't be getting hung.

But realisitically, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a pair of Ugg knock offs from Target! :)  Because I want my "Christmas money" to go farther this year!

Oh yeah...and the rainboots from yesterday's post...


2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?

Honestly, I'm not sure.  I've gotten lots of great stuff as Christmas gifts over the years.  Of course, I've loved all the handmade stuff that Dylan has made me...well, most of it...but don't tell him.  There was a somewhat devilish cup/glass/vase that he made in art class a year or two ago that he decided to "gift" me. 

But, quite honestly it's hard to just pick one favorite gift!

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?

This is another tough question!  I like my job now...the only other job I could see my self doing would be working with children, either as a teacher or something in that field.  In fact, I got the Elementary Ed degree anyway and don't use it! HAHA! 

Maybe I would be a ballerina after all...

or maybe not...

4. When do you put up your tree?

Usually the first weekend in December...however, this year, with all the stuff I have crammed into this weekend, I'm putting it off until next weekend.  I'm actually looking forward to it because I think I'll have time to enjoy it!

5. What is your favorite Holiday?

Well, I do love Christmas.  I love what the season is about.  I love celebrating Jesus' birth.  I love all the decorations - inside & out.  I love the family time, although in our family we have a lot of family time throughout the year.  I love the cheer.  I love the music.  I love going to church during this time.  I love the giving...and the receiving. 

But, on the other hand, it's also a time when I feel overextended.  I feel overly stressed.  I don't feel like I have the time to truly enjoy the entire season.  And when it's all over, we head into the bleakest few months...January and February.  To me, it's kind of the let down after such a big, fun, exciting time.

So, while I love Christmas and all that it's about, probably my favorite Holiday is the 4th of July.  I think because it's a celebration, but it's so much more relaxed for me.  And coming down from the excitement of this holiday isn't like falling flat on my face. 

Hope you have a Happy Friday, weekend...and if I don't see you, a great week! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Randomness...complete & utter randomness

Today, in an effort to find my Christmas spirit, I decided to update my computer desktop wallpaper.  Plus, it was time for the "Happy Thanksgiving" wallpaper to go.  So, I did a little Google search and found a nice computer wallpaper...

Nice huh?  I love Victorian houses...I love snow...I love pretty, twinkly Christmas trees...I love a cute snowman...

I was enjoying my Christmas wallpaper until I happened to notice a little faux pas...which of course, isn't obvious until it's on my 19" screen...

Evidently, this porch gives you an x-ray view of the pretty, sparkly Christmas tree next to it.  And of course, now this is ALL I see when I look at my desktop.  So, I guess I'll have to find a new desktop wallpaper!


In other news, I have decided what you can send me for Christmas...!!!!  I have been dying for a pair of rainboots...which, in the part of NC where I live, are completely not necessary.  I'm not sure when I would wear them...but, oh, I would try!  And they are on sale at  Size 8.  K, thanks???

You ask, how much does she love them???  So much that this is now my Facebook profile pic...see?


So, my 9 day interment at my church begins tonight...hopefully, I'll have time to make some blog visits here & there...but if not, I'll see you on December 11th...if I haven't taken to my bed in complete & utter exhaustion!
Happy Thursday! :)