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And just like that, it’s complete (not over)

Another Christmas in the books! Since I was young, Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I love the decorations, the music, the gift-giving, the spirit and cheer, the family get-togethers, and year-after-year treasure even more the true gift of the season…our savior.

As I reflect on this year’s holiday events, I know how blessed we are and I have such gratitude. Because, like the quote says, “Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters,” and that’s where I find myself this year. Seeing what, or rather WHO,  really matters and having a greater sense of value for it…

From aunts and uncles, who know how to keep the laughter going and our spirits bright, but with the same swiftness, can pull us into a moment of worshiping Jesus through guitar playing and campfire-like Sing-a-longs.

To grandparents who poured out love through gift giving but more so through their presence. You see, growing up as an Army brat, we never lived close to family, so if grandparents didn’t visit us or vice versa, it was just the four of us! I loved going to my grandparents’ house, playing in my favorite spots, sitting in my grandma’s bar stools to play or talk to her while she cooked, and sneaking into my grandpa’s office, sometimes while he was in there preparing for a sermon, to play with his briefcase (the one I have the honor of carrying to work each day now). I also loved when they visited us, and recall a time where I begged them to come by writing something to the effect of “come visit us” followed by one-thousand “pleases.” (Literally). With them telling my mom over and over they weren’t coming, about 6pm Christmas Eve the doorbell rings and there they were! Still such fond memories.

To my brother, who would hate my way of gift giving.  I mean who doesn’t want a roll of wrapping paper filled with 20, $1 bills, stuffed between tissue paper… Or how we used to sleep in each other’s floor on Christmas Eve because we were so excited we couldn’t stand it! And to now, how he truly spoils not just me, as his sister, but also the hubs and my three babies. And I really do mean spoil.  He’s better than Santa😉.

To my parents, who made us wait for what felt like eternity before we could come see what Santa left because the video camera had to be set up, and dad had to get ready and have some juice, and do anything else that could possibly prolong the process. But, who is also a big pile of mush at the end of Christmas Day and always ready to reminisce about the highs and lows of such a great day.

To my hubby, who also spoils me (see a trend here?) but within our means…we decided long ago not to go into debt for the holidays. And he always supports any new crazy holiday traditions or ideas I may have, and this is huge. He loves the reason for the season, but Christmas is not his favorite holiday, so many times he does things simply to please my desires, and that, like I said, is huge!!

My mother-in-law and her ability to be her most generous self because she has a true love for our babies and it’s beautiful to see her joy through their excitement.

Speaking of my babies, living the magic of Christmas through them, brings me back to the excitement I felt year-after-year, and keeps it alive. Such a newness, but also difference because now I’m the parent with all the tricks up my sleeve.

And finally, to my mom. She is the glue. The thoughtful gift giver, always striving to get what you want and finding other simply “neat” things to stick in your sock or wrap in a box. She’s the one who makes the monkey bread each Christmas morning and cooks Christmas dinner. She also spoils us. She pours out her all to make your experience the best. She is our Christmas spirit and I am so thankful for how she instilled that in me to now pass along and even share with her.

And my feature photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post, except to display a few favorites that I have received this Christmas. On second thought, it does go along with it…showing how I was “spoiled” by these great people I get to call family…

A fabulous handbag, to carry my new phone case, which is of course a print of my fav TV sitcom ‘Friends’. And doesn’t every girl need a great pair of RED booties??? And finally, the shirt. Ya’ll should have known that SOMETHING in this picture would have to do with Coke & Jesus❤. Because that’s my goal here…to keep it real & keep it focused on Jesus…and you can’t forget Coke!

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Always Remember, then act…

I was in Mrs. Wright’s (or was her last name Adams?)  Home Ec class. She was a hoot! Fashionable in wearing black of what I can remember, with a loud, in-your-face personality, kinda chaotic but in a knowledgable way that made learning fun!

It was second period, on a 4-block type schedule. At this point most of us were counting down to 3rd block, which meant 1 of 2 things… You either had to endure another class before lunch, or you were preparing to partake in the standard lunch line choices, or a slice of grease-soaked pizza, or perhaps just grab a pack of crackers at the school store. Anyway, everything seemed to add up to a quite normal day until during our lesson she got word to turn her TV onto the news. This was odd. And then we began to watch. In awe. In terror. In sadness. Witnessing the horrific events of what would become known as 9/11.

My dad worked at the high school, and it would be best to note here, that he’s a retired Army veteran, who lives exactly what he was taught and trained…love your country, even to the death. I asked if I could go to him. I knew if I wanted to feel safe, getting to my dad was key! He was on planning period and as I entered into his office, I fell into his arms. I hugged my daddy as if I were a toddler scared of a dog about to “get her.” But I was. I was scared. What’s happening to the safe place we call home? Is more still to come? Will life as we know it be the same?

I don’t remember much else about that day, besides keeping the news on that evening with my family to see the coverage. To see the replays of those planes and the smoke billowing through the streets of New York as the towers fell & people run for cover.

15 years later, and I watched those replays today. I listened to Darryl Worley’s song “Have you Forgotten?” I saw the planes. The smoke. And heard the cries and horror of voices on those videos. And I thought “my how we live our lives filled with worry, and anxiety, with arguments over differing opinions of parenting, religion, car seats, even bullet journaling (as I’ve found through a FB group), etc…, yet we should be thankful for the freedoms of free speech and free worship and, and, and…”

We should live from a place of love.

So like many of you have posted today, remembering where you were, what you were doing, let’s continue to never forget, always remember BUT let it drive you to act.

To act with love❤️

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And so it begins…

This site. That I’ve spent a bit. Maybe some. Okay ALL day thinking and branding and deciding and working on. Yet, next week when you visit, it may look completely different because…well mainly because I’m indecisive.

This Blog. That I’ve wanted to start for what seems like ages. Where I created a list in October 2014 of blog post ideas, with some far-fetched hope that this list would actually motivate me to ‘start’ a blog, and instead ended up with me re-writing the list 3 different times as I changed planners (yes I know it’s only been two years…have I mentioned I’m indecisive). That my social media friends (most of those even being “real” friends, ha) have encouraged me to start…mainly because I think they are sick of my extremely long substitute blog posts on Facebook. And that I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this now, had my husband not started it for me (especially if I had seen the subscription fee-Geez Louise).

This journey. Of you and me. Dealing with life. Being real, being relevant (sometimes) and definitely being random.

On this night. So we add some flavor…Cherry Coke!