Holidays with happiness

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | | 8 comments
I love and enjoy everything about the holiday season.

except ...

the chaos!

Some time in August {around the time of the hurricane with no power and plenty of time on my hands to ponder} I made the decision that we were going to celebrate the season this year a little differently.

The following guests will not be invited this year~

*losing tempers
*running around at the last minute
*stressing out over decorations
*Christmas cards with hand written updates
*meeting the expectations of others
*searching for the ideal gift for each person on my list

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This Christmas I want to focus on the beauty this time of year holds, my wonderful family and dear friends, and what it really stands for; not what we've created. My goal is to live in the moment of each and every gathering and event over the next few weeks.

I don't want to secretly wish the season over because I'm about to lose my mind!

Last year {after the holiday headaches} I came up with the idea of celebrating our backgrounds. I'm Italian {Sicilian} and my husband is Swedish. Not exactly the most complimentary couple when it comes to decor. In a nut shell, it's simplistic beauty meets gaudy glamour ;) Oh my! It's going to be a decorating and celebrating challenge but one we'll be embracing nonetheless.

I've laid down the law {my law, placed upon me, by me} and set a deadline for all decorating to be finished and in place. I'm working on getting our home ready this week and will finish on Sunday. Whatever is accomplished by this date will be what we enjoy for the duration of the holiday season. If it doesn't make it out of the Christmas bin in time ... oh well. I'm quite certain my family and friends won't hold it against me or even notice for that matter.

So far so good ~
*I'm ahead of the game for my annual Cookie Exchange
*We have plans to have a few couples over this weekend for wine and heavy appetizers.
*Our home is showing signs of a Christmas transformation
*My girlfriend and I have our tickets in hand for a fabulous holiday home tour.
*I have my outfit for my husband's Christmas party ~ this may be a first!

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Images ~ Pinterest

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Friday, November 25, 2011 | | 12 comments
We had the perfect Thanksgiving this year. There is so much to be thankful for and we are really blessed to have such wonderful family and friends that are a part of our daily lives.

This year we have been going at top speed most days. After awhile, this pace gets rather exhausting. With that being said, we both craved some major down time.

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Our day was relaxing and slow paced from start to finish.

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Our menu consisted of many traditional dishes but I tried to lighten the calorie load a tad ~ still very yummy!

I made a pumpkin roll for the first time. I've always been afraid to try anything that required "rolling" as I failed horribly at this process years ago.

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Good thing I gave it a whirl because it was AMAZING!

We watched the parade, took a walk, watched a lot of football, read a little and, I even started my Christmas cards.

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It wouldn't be Thanksgiving if there wasn't a little napping involved :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.

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Duty calls

Monday, November 21, 2011 | | 9 comments
The past month and a half {or so} has been insanely busy. No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to get on top of my lists ~ help! I hope to {try} get caught up this week if all goes well.

It hasn't been all work and no play. My time has been diversified :)

I've had ...

fun time
girlfriend time
school conferences {with my students}
over loaded work schedule
numerous meetings
uplifting woman's conference
fall break visitors ~ my son and his adorable girlfriend Lauren
reuniting with my husband
birthday celebrations


In keeping with the thankful heart, I thought I'd share with you our very dear friend Mike. He, and his wife Marilyn, are honestly like family to us. On Friday night the four of us met to celebrate all  of our birthdays. In a period of three weeks we all have birthdays ~ lots of fun. Each year we get together and go out to dinner. Our window of opportunity was very small this year. Kevin has been gone for a few months with the exception of his brief "visit" in October. 

 Not long ago Mike received new orders. Sadly, on Sunday, he left for training which will prepare him for his year in Afghanistan. His absence will be sorely missed.

Our birthday celebration was a tad bittersweet. We knew that it would be the last time we'd all be together for a very long time. Mike and his amazing wife, Marilyn, are dear friends. They are the family you'd choose to have if you could. They call and check in on me when Kevin is at sea or on travel and are always willing to help if I'm in need. Mike and Kevin have know each other since their younger days ;) They attended the Naval Academy together {although a few years a part} many years ago. We all met up again a few years ago when the Navy brought us back together.

What a blessing!

We spend holidays together, celebrate accomplishments, usher in New Years and most of all ... have a blast together!

We wish you a safe journey to and from this point of duty!

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Autumn Thankfulness

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 | | 10 comments

Autumn is natures grand finale of color fireworks.

The harvest colors are so warm and comforting as the temperature starts its decline. They beg you to snuggle in and get compy for a long winters nap.

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It my favorite season. I look forward to the beauty nature creates each and every year. If only it lasted just a tad longer.

Happy November!

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Thankful Heart

Monday, November 7, 2011 | | 7 comments
When my blog friend Heidi proposed the Thankful Heart Project, I knew I wanted  to join in on the fun. I had high hopes of featuring one of the many blessings in my life each day with you during the month of November. Well, as you can tell by the date, I haven't exactly achieved that goal. So, instead of stressing out, I'm going to bend the rules just a tad and do what I can with my crazy schedule this fall.

I am so thankful that I was chosen to be Nicholas' mom. He has grown into a wonderful young man. Now that he is an adult, I have the pleasure of enjoying a new, and different, role in parenting. No, he isn't finished growing or learning but he is well on his way and my hard work of parenting in his younger years is paying off!  Whew!

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Nicholas was home a couple of weeks ago for fall break. His visit was nothing short of  fabulous. We had a great time together filled with family fun. I'm planning on sharing his visit in the next few days {read I'm really behind on blogging!}

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