Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reflecting on the Year 2010

I had to take a moment to go back and look at my blog from last year, reflecting on the year 2009. It brought a smile to my face seeing the positivity I brought into the year 2010. I {mostly} love the year's end, ringing in a new year, reflecting on the past year and what all it brought. This year is no exception. The difference in this year & the last is, as sad as it is, is that I will need to make a solid effort to bring that much positivity into 2011. But no worries there...I'm already making an effort to make sure that happens! :)

If you know me personally, you know this has been a trying year for me. I won't begin to list the reasons why- but if you know me, you know this has been one of the hardest years, if not the hardest, for me and my family. I have learned so much about myself, life, love, and family.

I see the quotes on the cute signs at Ross. I hear the sayings. I've heard it time and time again: Family this, and family that. If you don't have family, you have nothing. Family is all you've got. Families are forever. Maybe it's because my family and I have had a very trying year, or maybe it's just a big 2010 fad, but I have not quit hearing about *family* this year. I'm not saying it's a bad thing- but it definitely got me thinking.

Family is your blood. Family is your siblings, your parents, your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Family is who you spend the holidays with. But what about who you spend every other day with? My family has definitely grown this year, and so has my definition of family. The Lord has blessed me with some fabulous friendships this year, with friends I now consider family. I am amazed at how a friend can brighten your day, be there for you, and share in your moments of joy. The support I've been shown from my family this year has meant the world to me. I have not once taken it for granted because I know how friends change with the seasons at times. I am simply thankful for the family God has placed in my life this year, and hope that they continue to stay family for years to come. If not, that's life; that's understandable. I will look back on the times I have spent with these friends and smile because I sure enjoyed every minute! :)

That's another thing I've learned this year: Friends are here for either a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I am no longer bitter or sad about the friendships that I no longer have. I miss some of my old friends but realize that "life happens" and sometimes people simply go separate ways, for no reason at all. On the other hand, I am so so so thankful for those "lifetime friends" that I have. It means the world to me to have friends who are still your friends no matter how far away they live, or how busy their life gets. These are definitely part of the "family" mentioned above. :) God did not give me a sister {probably with good reason} but God has provided me with friends who I can definitely say "love ya like a sister" to and mean it!

What else have I learned in 2010?

Take advantage of a good sale. It won't always be there tomorrow! ;)
But don't buy something just because it's on sale.

I shouldn't always say what's on my mind.
But also, people can't read my mind- so I need to be informative at times.

Don't judge someone by what you've heard about them. Get to know someone personally. Making a new friend is always better than thinking not only negatively, but incorrectly, about a person.

And lastly....I learned to quit anxiously awaiting things because it is is based around God's time, and His perfect plan. It doesn't matter when I think I want or need something, but only when God believes I am ready to receive my blessing. There is nothing I can do to fast forward life to an instant blessing. Sometimes it takes time, and lots of it- but with that time comes learning experiences and life lessons for the future. And for that I am thankful.

I am also *very* thankful for these sweet moments I will not forget....2010, you weren't such a bad year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Homemade Hand Scrub

So my friend and classmate, Monica, told me of this really great Christmas gift idea. I know, it's after Christmas & I'm just now getting around to telling you this...but you'll have to forgive me & use this as a present for....whatever holiday of yours is next on the list! ;)

I was a little Christmas elf this year, "cooking" up some homemade hand scrub for some ladies on my Christmas list. It was super simple & such a great idea! Thanks Monica!

All it takes is 2 ingredients, a container, & some ribbon! 

First, take some lavender scented Epsom salt (however much you want)...

Note: I only found it at 2 places... Walgreen's had some of their brand, a 3 lb. bag for $4-$5. Target also had some, but you would have never known it! It's not with the other Epsom was in the beauty section! If you're at Target and looking for it, just go ahead, find an associate, head to the beauty aisle...and look for this:
It's also a 3 lb. bag for $4-$5 (can't remember exactly how much). I prefer the Dr. Teal's because the crystals are a little larger and the scent is definitely more powerful, I mean...relaxing.  :)

Ok, so you take your Epsom salt, and mix it with extra virgin olive oil! There's no certain amount...put as much as you prefer in there to mix with the salts!

Place in a container and add a cute ribbon for good measure and voila! You have a really cute, practical, sweet smelling gift!

I found these containers at Hobby Lobby for $1.99-$2.99 each depending on the size....and, of course, Hobby Lobby had a 50% off sale going I purchased them for half off!

I also am NOT a "bow maker" by any I was sure to purchase some ribbon (also 50% off at Hobby Lobby) with some wire ends. That way I could just wrap it around the container, double-tie it tight, and cut the ends off short & "sculpt" them into something that resembled a bow{tie}. :)

I have never been a crafy girl but this was fun, inexpensive, and a thoughtful gift for some great ladies!

Not forgetting to mention that it makes you hands SUPER soft. Just grab some scrub, scrub your hands with it, and rinse! It's as simple as that. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas...annual family music videos??

So, I was going to blog about something else {I'm getting to that} but in a YouTube search {go figure} I came across this. Click the link there if you want, but I am going to go ahead & show you what I'm talking about. This family {whoever those fabulously creative Christmas lovers are} makes their own family Christmas card music video every year to send out! How original!

The first year, their daughter was 2, and while she could sing, their Christmas music video was of her dancing to a rockin' little Christmas tune! This looks like a commercial and please look at how fabulous that 2 year-old's haircut looks on her! She is having such a good time too. You can't not be happy while watching this...

{Ok, that was in 2008. Either their daughter wasn't 2 {anymore} or their ages are a little off, but that is not the point...I am just explaining why there's no "3 year old video."}

Here is her, at 'age 4' singing Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill for their annual Christmas card. Absolutely precious...

And now, at age 5, they do it again. This time some work definitely went into this Christmas card/music video. Their work paid off because this is the most fabulous "Christmas card" I've seen! So family-oriented, festive, and FUN looking!! I hope my future family and I can have this much fun during the Christmas season! And it looks like they've added 2 more Christmas-loving babies to their family {they've been busy}...the youngest girl has such a cute little raspy voice! adorable!! I always wished I had had a raspy voice, haha...

Kudos to them for being so awesome! & helping put me in the Christmas spirit! Better now than never!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

One Last Christmas

I can not wrap my mind around the concept behind this video. Children die of cancer every day but we don't often think of the special, magic time of Christmas, and that this Christmas might be that child's last, if they make it. I am absolutely in love with the fact that this community came together to give this child a last Christmas, and it didn't have to be "time" yet. Christmas is a spirit, a reason to give and to love. We often times forget that. I can't imagine having a sick child or loved one during the holidays. I pray I never have that experience, but my heart especially goes out to those who do have to experience that this, and every other, Christmas. May this video remind you of what's truly important in life: love, family, community, and giving. I know it sure reminded me. Thank you, Matthew West, for writing this song, and thanks to Dax's family who shared their inspirational story.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

happy happy joy joy

There is no simpler way to say it other than I am excited!

I am excited...
  • Because I have officially turned in my last piece of work for the Fall semester. Just waiting on grades now...
  • Because I am getting an elective course credit (3 actually, if that wasn't assumed) for a week-long class this week. If I can get the work done this week and/or shortly after, then I won't have any work to do over Christmas Break or coming into the Spring semester!
  • I got permission to walk in May instead of having to wait until December!
  • I joined Mary Kay and within the first week have not one, but two fabulous recruits!! Much love to my awesome girlfriends Becky and Melissa!! 
  • I got some free jewelry for having a Premier Design jewelry party...loving all the new shiny jewelry in my collection! 
  • Christmas break is just days away...
  • I get to see some girl friends this weekend... Carolina, Kelly, & Bethany! We're having a triple date at the Cheesecake Factory....I can taste it now....
Things will always go wrong. I will probably always have some sort of family drama or stress from work or classes... But one thing is for sure... there are reasons to be happy!  I will remember that, thank God, and rejoice in my current happy thoughts! :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

World War told by this awesome little girl

Here's another from the fabulous blakekelly0 of YouTube. {Did you miss the first one? Click here.} This little girl would keep. me. entertained! and that is for sure! For as young as she is, she seems to be fairly intelligent. Misinformed perhaps...but she definitely has a great imagination!! :)

In this one, she's explaining World War II to us...

Some great quotes from this one are:
  • "The EGYPTIANS! . oh wait, that was wrong..."
  • "The World War II...I mean three! Sorry, three!"
  • "They all went, 'Okay, we'll do that!'"
  • "And all the Egyptians died because the sun was making them SO HOT."
  • "The Army guys made their own houses out of clothes, and then they made clothes, out of sewings."
  • "And the kid, who was very, very, very BIG......she was four..."
Check it out for yourself!!

Kittens: Inspired by...KITTENS!

Delana, who is pretty much me, but younger, posted this video on Facebook tonight. Now y'all tell me...either I'm delirious from staying up so late every night working on the end of my semester OR this is some FUNNY STUFF! I watched it one time in disbelief, then watched it again and laughed the whole way through!! I wish this girl would have done more videos like this. But anyways, thank you, Delana, for posting this, making me laugh, and improving my night! Now I can share my newest favorite YouTube with you!


Some great quotes from this fine piece of work:
  • "I want pie! I want beef jerky!"
  • "I'm her Mom!" "No. she's. not."
  • "We are eating PEPPER! and CHIPS!"
  • "bow wow chicka bow wow chicka bow wow"
  • "I have to got POTTY!!!" "Look down to his feet..." "Pssssssssssssss!"

Hahahaha!!! Man!! I love this kinda stuff!!

What are your favorite YouTubes?? Send them my way! Funny, or fabulous!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weight Watchers...the beginning of the end.

So, I did it! I joined Weight Watchers. I got tired of hearing people talk about how fabulous it was and I really really want to try it out for myself. The last straw was Baby's dog trainer, Lisa, at PetSmart. She talked about how she lost 80-something pounds in the last year. I was thinking, "Wow. I bet she had gastric bypass or something!" Nope. Not even a little. She started Weight Watchers. And, more importantly, she kept up with it! She stuck by it and little by little, week by week, she lost a little, until she hit her year anniversary in the program & has lost 80-something pounds. That's something to be proud of!

I've been wanting to join Weight Watchers, but Lisa ever-so-wonderfully informed me that I should wait until after Thanksgiving to join because they were changing their program. Well, she was right! I waited until Friday and went to the "free meeting" to check it out. I got there at THE perfect time because they were having a meeting to introduce the "new" Weight Watchers program.

Before, Weight Watchers calculated each food with "points." To get the food's number of points, they configured in the amount of fat, carbs, and fiber. Each person had a "magic number," if you will, of points to reach daily. If you went over, you had a certain number of points to last you the week in case you wanted to indulge or something of the sort. Well now, with the new PointsPlus Weight Watchers, you're still counting points...but this time you also include protein into the mix. They want you to fill up on the "power foods" that keep you fuller longer! You now configure a food's "points" by fats, carbs, fiber, and now protein as well. Some foods when up in points, some stayed the same. The good thing is that some foods (fresh fruits & non-starch veggies) are now 0 points! :) AND you get more points per day to eat AND you get 49 (vs. 35 with the old) weekly points in case you go over your points...a.k.a. so you won't have to feel like you're missing out on anything fabulous and can indulge every once in a while!

I am excited to start this program. I like how they don't make you look at the long-term. Every starts out knowing their current weight and then getting a goal of an either 5% or 10% loss to start with. That way you won't get so discouraged thinking you're never reaching your goal. Weight Watchers attempts to teach a lifestyle change, which is the only thing you can ever do to get the weight off and keep it off, which is what I want to do! A lifestyle change way of losing weight is a slow but sure process. Y'all know me....I'm one of the most impatient people. But I am praying that I'll stick with this & see some long-term results. I need to learn to love those power foods and stock up on my fruits & veggies!

Alex & I went to the store tonight. Boy, was that fun! We went over everything I wanted or needed and calculated the points on his Droid's Weight Watchers app that he ever-so nicely installed for me once I realized I don't have wireless service in Wal-Mart to use my WW app on my iPod! Grr! I guess I'll need to pay for a PointsPlus calculator since Alex won't always be with me to let me borrow his phone. It was a big reality check for me and I put a lot of crap back that I normally would have gotten! I also realized how many points certain things were that I thought were good better for you. A lot of stuff I said I didn't want to waste points on, so I put back.

I just hope my nerves can take this. I love my good eatin'!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Corbin meets his fairy Godmother! (& Alex)....

October 18, 2010 my fabulous Godson, Corbin, was born! Unfortunately it was four hours away and my crazy schedule kept me from being able to visit right away! One of my best friends, Lindsey, & her husband, Rhine are from Lincolnton {my hometown} and planned to visit for Thanksgiving. What a perfect time to get together! We planned to hang out Tuesday night and as soon as I could, I rushed home so I could meet Corbin finally & visit with Lindsey & Rhine! I enjoyed every minute of it and look forward to when Alex & I can go visit them in Wilmington {very} soon! I hate they live so far away and I hardly ever get to see them. Mine and Lindsey's phone dates are all I have right now! :) That & Facebook! ;)

Here are some pics from the evening!

Here is an example of Alex's hilarious photography skills. Surely he knew I wanted to be in the picture WITH Corbin....{I can hear him now, "Don't call me Shirley!" haha}

Corbin fell in love with Alex. He wouldn't take his eyes off of him....

See?!? :) ....

He's still watching...just doesn't know about this "poking" thing...

He's only about five weeks old, so he doesn't do much...but he sure is pretty to look at! :)

I tried to get a pic of Linds with Corbin but, he decided to play dinosaur instead...She looks so great for just having had a baby!! {Pretty sure that's not correct English}

Here's Alex again...I think he loves Corbin already! :)

FINALLY! Here's {a decent} one of Corbin & his "fairy Godmother!"

What a perfect Godchild I have! I am so blessed!
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