Saturday, December 31, 2011

NYE Family Style

What's the best way to celebrate New Year's Eve?  

As I finish cleaning up from our evening in, I have to say that I am happy with staying in just as much as I enjoy going out.  I will admit that I was a bit sad that we had to cancel our plans at the last minute due to Sanders being sick (it's strep -- we confirmed that today), but if she hadn't been sick, Brad and I wouldn't have spent tonight with our three favorite people in the world:

We spend so much time rushing around and going from function to function that it is nice to have something to make us stay home and enjoy each other -- although I am ready for poor Sanders to feel better because she still has some pretty miserable moments.

We made tonight all about celebrating.  Brad got a whole prime rib from someone who hunts on the farm for Christmas, so we cooked part of it tonight using this recipe from Pioneer Woman.  Oh my gosh, it was good.

We all ate our dinner on trays in the living room (something we never do) as we watched a cute movie, Monte Carlo.  It was definitely more of a girl movie, so the boys pretended not to like it.  After the movie was over, Brad took the Tyler and Gibson outside to shoot off a couple of fireworks, and then we ended the evening with homemade hot chocolate.

Now everyone, including Brad, has been sleeping soundly for about an hour, and we haven't even made it to 2012 yet!  I think I am off to follow suit and will ring in the new year with my eyes closed.  Maybe next year we'll get to dress up and go out...then again, if next New Year's Eve is anything like this one, it will be perfect.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

An Anniversary and More Sickness

Today is my parents' wedding anniversary.  My mom posted this wedding picture to Facebook, and everyone commented that this could be me marrying my brother -- a very strange thought, if you ask me!  I guess at least we know we're not adopted!  ;-)

On a serious note, I am very happy that those two got married 34 years ago.  They have been great role models to show Hunter, Graham, and me what it is like to have a good marriage and be good parents. and for that I am very thankful!  Happy Anniversary, Mama and Daddy!

Now, onto sickness...

I mentioned in my last post that I had gotten a stomach bug, and so I had.  Monday night, or Tuesday morning, if you want to be technical, I woke up with one.  I thought maybe (hoped, really) I was the only one in the family who was going to get it, but yesterday evening when I got home, Sanders wasn't feeling well.  She woke up at midnight last night with the bug -- but now I think it is something else.  She also has fever, rash,  and a sore throat in addition to the throwing up part.  Poor Baby is miserable.

I have spent my entire day cleaning and sanitizing everything that isn't nailed down.

Now I am wondering if our plans for tomorrow night are going to change from going out with friends to camping out on the couch with sickos.  Oh well, at least I won't have a headache Sunday morning, right...?!?!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holiday Eating Tips

Pecan Pie -- One of my faves!
Source: via Jamie on Pinterest

Hello!  Merry Christmas!  I hope y'all have all had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas like we have.  In fact, we are still recovering from all of the celebrating!

I have to admit that right before Christmas I was feeling pretty down on myself for all of the over-eating I had been doing since, oh, Halloween.  I definitely have not been watching what I eat, unless you consider watching it go in my mouth watching what I eat.  And exercise?  Who has time for that with all of the parties and gatherings and shopping and trying to fit in work in between everything else?

Suffice it to say I have had a pity party or two over all of this I stuffed in another cookie/piece of pie/slice of cheese/glass of wine!

But then I got this forward from my mother that made me feel all least through the holidays.  I wanted to share it before Christmas, but I didn't get a chance. Since it technically is still the holidays since we haven't hit the New Year yet, I thought I would still share it:


1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table

knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave

immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare... You cannot

find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has

10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an

eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have

two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy.

Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed

potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or

whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car

with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your

eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's

food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's.

You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the

time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while

carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted

Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near

them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of

attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind,

you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you

don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three.

When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory

celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or

get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips;

start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this

motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving

safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in

sideways, chocolate in one hand and wine in the other, body thoroughly used

up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Now, don't you feel better?  I sure do!  Now, go out and celebrate...then we can all get "back on the wagon" in January! 

Or, if you want to get a jumpstart on your weightloss, you can do what I did and get a stomach bug.  Those are always fun!  And they come with the added benefit that you don't really feel like eating much for days!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wish List

Christmas is going to be a bit slim this year between Brad and me because our big gift to each other is the house -- you know, that one that is never going to be finished?

Yeah, that one.  Merry Christmas to us!

Anyway, we are just doing a couple of small gifts for each other, and I have to admit that I bought my own gifts this year.  Brad is a wonderful guy and good at a lot of things, but gift giving is not one of them.  I learned this very early on in our relationship.  For a while, I would just get frustrated because I would try to get him something that he loved, and he would just try to get me... something.  Then I started making him a list of things I would like, down to color and size, and he would just pick the first thing off my list.  So, since I figured there is no surprise in getting the first thing off my list, I decided this year, I would just do the shopping myself.

A little unorthodox, but, hey, it works for at least this year -- especially because he chose to ask me about a week ago if we were going to even exchange gifts this year.

Like I said, we are only doing one or two small things, so these will not all be under the tree for me this year, but I wouldn't mind if they were...



Hmmm...maybe Brad should just start reading the blog...?  Then he'd have no excuse to not know what to get!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To Me From Me

As I have been doing my Christmas shopping, I have also bought myself a little something...

Two new books for my coffee table!  I have only skimmed through these, but I love both so far!

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Christmas Time In The...Country!

Every year I say that I am going to take some time to really enjoy Christmas, and every year, I look back and wonder where in the world my time went as I look at Christmas in my rearview mirror.  I hate that because I love Christmas.  I love everything about Christmas -- the music, the movies, the decorations, the time with family and friends, and most of all, the gift of our Lord.

So, tomorrow, the kids and I are going to take some time to really enjoy the season.  We are going to bake some cookies, watch some movies, read some books, drink some hot chocolate and crank the Christmas music...

Or at least, we will do as much of that as time and the kids will allow!  I am really looking forward to it -- a little time with the kids and some Christmas cheer.

Of course, this is real life, so I also have a ton of laundry to catch up on and plenty of things to do around the house.  And I am sure the kids will not be able to be angels all day, and I will wonder why in the world I decided to do something fun and sentimental with them -- isn't that the way it always is when you try to do something fun with your kids?  Or is that just me?

I hope you and yours are having a Merry Christmas and getting to enjoy the season -- and I hope that you are celebrating the real reason for this season!

**Someone asked when I posted these pictures the other day where we got the pajamas.  They are Orient Expressed.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Happy Birthday today to my daddy...the absolute best daddy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

House Progress: Lights!

Tonight I'm just going to give you some pictures and not many words because I am tired...

I will be back with words later!  Peace out...

Monday, December 12, 2011


Y'all will be happy to know that I survived my encounter with the Magistrate unscathed.  No jail time or anything!

Just kidding -- I didn't think I was going to jail -- but I was pretty nervous about going in there today.  It was relatively painless, and I left after only paying a $25 fine.

Aside from being a convict, going on vacation, and building a house, there has been plenty more to keep us busy these days...

Brad and I went to a formal dinner/dance that we attend twice a year.  I asked our sitter to get our picture before we left, and this is what we got:

So you can't see it, and it's a terrible picture of me, but I wore the same dress from How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days.  Another pic from that shindig with my friend, Susan:

The girls had to dance at Festival of Trees -- or, performance number 1 of 3498 this Christmas (okay, so I exaggerate a little...):

Brad talked me into letting him give Gibson a haircut.  With the clippers.  For some reason I stupidly thought that it wouldn't end up shaved but short.  Gibson definitely needed a trim, and I like it pretty short, but not as short as it turned out:

This will never, ever happen again.  I thought I might cry.  Looking back at the pictures, I still think I might cry.

My mother bought the kids some Christmas pajamas, and I took some pictures of them in them last night -- can you tell our tree still doesn't have a skirt?  The kids and the pajamas are pretty darn adorable, though, and I managed to get a few good shots even though they were way more interested in some show about snake catchers that Brad was watching on tv:

Gibson looks entirely too old with his new 'do...

Hope you are having a great Monday and are enjoying your Christmas season!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Are You with "The Family?" - Part 1

So, back to Peter Island...

(I wish I were back there now!)

We got to the resort at about 3ish on Saturday afternoon -- or at least 20 of us did.  The first thing we did upon arriving was start having cocktails.  They gave us one when we got off the ferry -- some kind of ginger lemonade thing that was delicious -- and after that we headed down to the bar to see how fast we could go through our room credit! 

We were very excited to be there, so we made a pretty good dent in said room credit the first evening -- and we introduced Peter Island to "The Family," as they came to know us.  We took up half of the resort, so anywhere we would go, the staff or other guests would ask "Are you part of the family?"  Some of the other guests like us, some tolerated us, and some (like the Germans I talked about in my last post) would rather we weren't there.

We don't get out much.  ;-)

The rest of the family came in that Saturday evening.  Or at least, the rest of the family was supposed to come in Saturday evening.  My cousin and her husband missed their connecting flight in Atlanta due to some maintenance guy's error at their original airport, so they didn't get to come in until Sunday evening.  They missed an entire day -- and once they finally did get to St. Thomas, their luggage was lost.  For something like 3 days.

After the first full day, several of my cousins took out one of our two rental boats to this bar called Willy T's.  When it became dark and they still weren't back, everyone started to worry -- especially my aunt and uncle whose 18-year-old daughter was on the boat.  Willy T's, a bar on a boat, isn't known for being the classiest establishment -- and that is putting it mildly; there's lost of nakedness at Willy T's, especially by people who really shouldn't be naked in public!  Add to that five or so people who have been drinking in a boat, in the dark, in unfamiliar waters.  Gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling.

With part of our crowd being delayed in their travels and part of our crew missing, it didn't seem like our vacation was off to the most stellar start (although we were all at the resort where we were supposed to be and having a grand old time)!

The Willy T's crowd made it back safely, everyone on board got a good talking-to, and we got on with the business of vacay...

Dinners were always fun.  The first night we were there we ate with just my parents, Hunter and Joe, and Graham and Elizabeth.  There was live music right outside the restaurant, so we spent the entire meal singing at the top of our lungs to easy listening music -- lots of Mariah and Whitney.  I was really surprised they didn't play more island-type music.  We got a lot of stares when we were singing -- we got a lot of stares a lot of the time, in fact!

The rest of the nights they set up three long tables, and the entire family sat together.  It was fun to all be together, but they couldn't really handle serving 35 people at once.  So, some of us would be eating appetizers while others were eating entrees and others hadn't even ordered.  Of course, we all didn't necessarily arrive at the same time, either.  Some nights they had a buffet, and those were definitely the best for our big crowd.

Oh, the beach...

Back later with more!!
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