Monday, December 31, 2012

One Word

2013 is just a few hours away and I cannot wait to see what it has in store. Life will be getting back to normal in a way for me in 2013 as I am going to begin working full-time again. Last February I switched from one full-time job (that I didn't much care for) to two part-time jobs. In October the opportunity presented itself to go full-time at one of my jobs in the new year and I decided to go for it!

I have realized that when I do not have the 40 hour work life that I am less productive in my personal life. I accomplished a few house projects but more or less let the time pass and don't have much to show for it. 2013 will return me to my 40 hours of work and I am determined to make the remaing 128 hours as productive as I can.

I have been setting goals for a healthy lifestyle, for family, for budget, for professional growth and I also plan to add more creativity back into my life as well. One thing I did manage during the Christmas season was to document our 2012 Christmas in a mini scrapbook.  Scrapbooking has changed since 8th grade when I was initially introduced to it and believe it or not is a lot easier. Taking on the Christmas minibook made me anxious for more and I've decided to document 2013 with Project Life. For me this will look like a scrapbook page for ever week of 2013. Beau and I are determined 2013 will be a big year for us so I am excited I will have it well-documented.

One other project I'll be taking on is a type of journaling through scrapbook. I will be taking a monthly class called One Little Word. I am excited to use this project as a benchmark for my 2013 goals. I am not 100% sure about my word yet. I want it to be an active verb. 2013 will be a time for forward movement and will not be passive. Words I considered were "hope" and "strength" but I believe I have settled on the word "grow". I want to grow in faith, grown in family, grow in health, etc.

Hopefully our biggest growth in 2013 will be the growth of our family. This is something Beau and I have been wanting and trying for a long time on and I hope and pray that 2013 will lead us there. Please keep us in your prayers that our family will grow in 2013 and feel free to share with me your goals for 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

An Amazing Christmas season!

It has been an all-around wonderful Christmas season. Here are just a few (dozen) pics from our wonderful holiday with family and friends!
Bell Ringing for Salvation Army
I love that we live in the "Bible Belt"...nativity scenes are everywhere at Christmas around here!

Time well spent with cousins in Athens
These next few are from our wonderful family Christmas in Griffin with Beau's fam!



Christmas Eve service at Grace Blue Ridge. This gets better and better every year. This year was even more special because my parents and little bro were with us.
I helped with cafe this year.

Beau working tech.
Our incredible worship team!
Christmas Eve dinner at Seasons at Highland Lake...delish! This was our first time there and it completely exceeded our expectations. I cannot wait to go back again. I think we'll continue this tradition of Christmas Eve dinner there.  Too bad the pictures from here didn't turn out so well.
Christmas morning in front of the fire. Beau really did great this year! He loved his hiking boots so much from The Clymb that he went out for a Christmas morning hike while I got stated on Christmas dinner.
Beau also got several albums on CD that he had worn completely through...lots of Phish, Grateful Dead and Allman shows that he still cannot get enough of.

Our dinner set-up.
Christmas morning in my new comfy pjs.

My first ever turkey and it turned out amazing! I used Martha's recipe and also her stuffing listed in that link (which my mom loved). In addition to the turkey and stuffing we had squash casserole (GF), mac & cheese (GF), green beans, fruit, mashed potatoes, gravy and some super yummy ham.

Steve carving the bird (Beau didn't want to) while Sean supervises.

All in all this Christmas was incredible. I got great gifts, we ate great food, but most important was the time well spent with family and friends. I love our lives and this year was full of so many blessings. I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Things going on around here...

Wow! This year is flying by!
We spent Turkey day in Griffin with Beau's family. It has been forever since we've been there and it was good to catch up with family and friends. I have really missed family lately. I love living in NC but miss being so far from the folks I love in FL and GA.

I got to participate in an awesome opportunity from Crowdtap sample from Old Navy's dress collection and fell in love with their 3/4 sleeve dress. I used my free sample and had to go back and buy a second dress because it is so rare to find a dress with sleeves that is cute, long enough and is a fabric/cut that is forgiving. I cannot say enough good things about this dress. Love it! Here is a snippet of me wearing it below.
One of my favorite pictures from Turkey day festivities was this shot of Beau's grandmother playing cornhole. Beau's mom had the great idea to bring this game out to get people moving around after feasting on turkey and goodies and it was a hit!
Once we got home from GA we had planned on putting up a tree but instead chose to do some serious hiking out at the Florence Nature Preserve which was incredible. It is our new favorite spot to hike. We went back last weekend to explore some more. Great winter views and an intense first 15 minutes of trail leads to some of the relatively untouched beauty of NC. Here are some pics from this last weekend and our trip back on Sunday.

We thought we would wait until the following weekend to decorate but got antsy and got a tree on Monday. So to get the party started I put out our nativity scenes (well a couple of them). The Playmobil is my new fave.

Here is our "real" downstairs tree decorated with our favorite family ornaments-old and new!

I decided our "upstairs tree needed a makeover (I usually just decorate with what doesn't make it onto the downstairs tree) so I bought some cheap ornaments from Big Lots to add some much needed color and pizazz to our upstairs tree. It's a fake tree so it can use all the help it can get.

To start off December on the right foot we went to Flat Rock Play House to see The Nutcracker. The choreographer from Spiderman on Broadway is directed it...amazing! He totally re-worked the story into something more timely and central to our mountainy location. It was a pure work of love on his part for the community he grew up in and it showed onstage.

I stareted this whole #mileaday challange. A lot of folks start and run 1 mile/day from Thanksgiving through Christmas. I didn't know about it until after Thanksgiving so I decided to start it on December 1st. So far so good!
I also met up with one of my favorite girls from our church youth group to do some crafting this morning and had a delicious gingerbread/gumdrop latte. Delish! I drank it up before I could get a cute pic but here is a shot of the gumdrop that was leftover.
My biggest thing going on since Turkey day is a switch to a gluten free diet. This is tough to take on but some unexplained weight gain (nothing glaring in my diet to explain it) led my doctor to suggest that I might have a gluten allergy. So I am going to give it a try and see how it goes. Not the easiest thing but I am making it work.
I am taking lots of pics in December because I plan on making a holiday book. I will post the finished product is coming along pretty well and I am excited to finally take on a holidy mini scrapbook after years of procrastinating about doing one.
Happy Holidays...I'll post again soon!