Friday, December 07, 2018

I'm Not Competitive, I'm Not Competitive I'm Not...

Yeah, ok, I'm a little bit competitive. Case in point: this year's entry into the company Christmas door decorating contest. I had every intention of including my office mates in the planning and execution of the door, but, when the newest one went AWOL (ok, she had permission) and the other one indicated no real interest in participating, I had no choice but to forge ahead. And, I'm glad I did; I really think I have a chance at reclaiming my title as the best holiday door decorator in the building.

Although, there is just the tiniest chance that my door may prove too controversial for the judges.

Guess we'll see next Friday, when the corporate suits come down to judge the doors.

And, yes, I totally riffed off a picture from Pinterest.

But, for the record, I like my version better.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I got my hair cut earlier this evening, and, I'm not entirely certain that I like it. I don't hate it. I just think it may take some getting used to, particularly when I pull it back into a ponytail that no longer swishes across my shoulderblades; I'd grown accustomed to the swishing while I run on the treadmill.

So, no more swishing. But, on the bright side, my hair is healthier than it was before. That's worth losing the swish, right?

Please tell me I'm right.

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

It seems like everyone is doing gift guides on their blogs these days, so, I thought I better jump on the bandwagon, too. We all know what a band wagon kind of girl I am.

So, without further adieu, I bring you the official 2018 Ms. Congeniality Gift Guide, featuring the hottest, most sought-after gifts of the season!

1. Kindness. Who doesn't love to receive a kind word or gesture? No one, that's who! This gift is appropriate for everyone on your list, including those really hard to please folks.

2. Your time. This one is especially appreciated by children, spouses, and other loved ones!

3. Patience. This is one of those little items that I put on my list each year, when I am asked what I want for Christmas.

4. Happy memories. This is a favorite! It's the gift that keeps on giving, all year long, and, well into the next.

The best news about the items on this list is that they are never short on supply and they are dirt cheap, plus; you'll never have to stand in a long line to purchase them or have to worry about them being out of stock!

Happy gifting!

Monday, December 03, 2018

Three Days In and I'm Already Over It

It snowed again last night, luckily for me; Hugh was home and able to shovel this morning. Not so luckily for me; it is snowing again right now, and, Hugh's back on the road.

Any guesses as to who will be shoveling tomorrow?

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, AAAAARGGGG!

On a happier note, the wintry weather has provided the perfect backdrop for photo shoots, including the one that Queen B and Katie spontaneously conducted earlier today...

...they are so cute, it kills me.

I'm thrilled to see them enjoying the snow and the cute cold-weather accessories that go along with it. Also, I'm calling it right now: they both inherited my photo talent. And, no, it makes no difference that Katie doesn't share DNA with me; she's still got it.

Also, I am convinced that there will never be a photo shoot wherein my daughter doesn't act like a complete goon.

She gets that from her father.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Waking to a Winter Wonderland

It's December! The countdown to Christmas has officially begun! And, what better way to kick off the 25 Days of Christmas than waking up to the season's first snowfall? None! None, I say! And, this is coming from the woman with a historical hatred of the white stuff; what's happening to me?

I guess it was the way the early morning sunlight glinted off the crystalline frosting on the trees around our house...

...and, while I did have to shovel the entire driveway (Hugh has started his officiating season and I am now a wrestling widow); I had the company of a dog who clearly thinks snow is the absolute bomb-diggity. I also knew that my firstborn child was sleeping peacefully in her childhood bedroom, and, that there was a full pot of coffee awaiting me in the house, so, there are far worse chores I could be doing in far less gorgeous surroundings.

I think December and I are going to get along just fine.

(Please remind me of that statement when I am complaining about shoveling the driveway for the eight millionth time)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

30 Days of Gratitude, Day Twenty-Nine

Yesterday, I celebrated my fiftieth trip around the sun, which, is a nice way of saying that I entered old age. I’m not complaining; growing older certainly beats the alternative, which is dying young. It’s also true what they say: with age comes wisdom. Today, I’m grateful for the years that I have had on this planet, gaining that wisdom. That said, here are 50 truths that I have discovered…

Family first. Always.

A day without laughter is a wasted day.

Worrying about tomorrow steals joy from today.

True friends are a rare commodity; cherish them.

Much like a garden, love requires careful tending.

This, too, shall pass.

Time heals all wounds.

A glass of wine, a bubble bath, and a good foot massage go a long way in righting a day that has gone wrong.

Your word is the most valuable piece of currency you possess; share it judiciously, and honor it when you do.

You have to take care of yourself, if you are to take care of others.

Having healthy boundaries is not the same thing as being selfish; it’s ok to say no without explanation.

You cannot curate a perfect life.

Strive to gain trust from others, not envy.

Your opinion is exactly that: YOUR opinion. Not everyone will share it, most people don’t care to hear it, and, it certainly won’t kill you to keep it to yourself.

Confidence is quiet, insecurity is loud.

Not everyone will like you. You won’t like everyone.

You don’t have to like someone, or be liked by them, to be nice to them.

Broken trust may be rebuilt, but a permanent fault line will remain just below the surface.

Moving your body can get you out of your head.

Some of the best decisions you will ever make will come to you in your sleep.

If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’ll always worry that other people are laughing at you.

With life comes heartbreak.

With heartbreak come opportunity for growth.

With growth comes new love.

Love is cyclical, just like life.

There is no such thing as a free ride.

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

If you aren’t contributing, you are just taking up space.

If you can, travel.

If you can’t travel, read.

Words can sting like arrows; be certain of your intentions before you draw your bow.

If someone has to apologize to you for the same thing frequently, they aren’t actually sorry and you aren’t required to accept the “apology”.

If you think you can, you can. Reversely, if you think you can’t, you probably won’t.

It never hurts to try.

Often, the hardest part of any task is starting.

A really good belly laugh is more effective than 100 crunches, and, you won’t break a sweat doing it.

Sometimes, you have to fake it ‘til you make it.

Never assume that you know what someone else is going through and never judge based on assumptions.

Don’t start a fight, but, if you find yourself in one, finish it.

Don’t let your mistakes define you; acknowledge them, learn from them, move on.

Liver is gross.

Working with your hands in the dirt will ground you. Literally.

You earn respect, you don’t demand it.

Know your core values, live by them.

Time spent with family and friends is time well spent.

Always listen to your intuition.

There is a higher power and all things happen in His time.

It’s important to have a job, but it’s more important to have a life.

Growing older is a privilege.

Liver is gross (this one bears repeating)

And, there you have it; far too many words of wisdom from your elder.

Throw up. In my mouth.

But, cheers to the next half century, anyway!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What's Up Wednesday, 30 Days of Gratitude Edition, Day Twenty-Eight

I am participating in my eighth link up with SheafferMel, and Shay Coincidentally, today is my birthday; the two are unrelated, but, I only get to say that once a year, so, yeah, today is my birthday. How old am I? Well, let's just say that I am now eligible for discounts on meals at Denny's, thanks to my new AARP status.

I totally just threw up in my mouth a little.

What We're Eating

Currently, we are working our way through alll the Thanksgiving leftovers. I hosted again this year, which means that I got custody of the orphaned stuffing by default. No complaints, here. We did take a brief break from All Things Turkey to enjoy dinner at a favorite local restaurant, where I had the pasta primavera with chicken, which was delicious. I've also made Asian turkey wraps recently; they are a favorite of Hugh's and easy on the waistline (we're going to be enjoying a lot of those types of meals in the immediate future, just to undo the Thanksgiving damage).

What I'm Reminiscing About

It's probably too early to reminisce over, but, this past Friday, Hugh and Queen B threw me a surprise birthday party. It was an amazing night and I still can't believe that they pulled it off; I really had no idea. Seeing so many people who I love in one room, for the sole purpose of wishing me a happy birthday was special in ways that I cannot adequately express, but, I attempted to in this post.

What I'm Loving

One of the many gifts I received at my surprise party was this Alex and Ani bracelet from Hugh and the kids. I love it and will be wearing it on repeat.

What I've Been Up To

Once the last crumb of pumpkin pie was polished off and the good china washed and stored away, I busted out the Christmas decorations. I currently have the entire inside of the house decorated, with the exception of the tree (Queen B is coming down on Saturday to help decorate it), I've finished the front porch, and I've planned the decorations for my office door for the company door decorating contest. Long time readers may recall that my three-year winning streak was broken last year, when my co-workers down the hall brought in a ringer, but, this year, I'm confident that I will reclaim my crown.

What I'm Dreading

Well, I'm already kind of dreading putting all of these Christmas decorations back in the attic come January 2nd. It's a lot of work, y'all.

What I'm Working On

Queen B's college graduation is just over two weeks away and I have been working on her graduation party. We are throwing a celebratory luncheon at a hotel near the school immediately following the ceremony, so, pre-planning is going to be especially necessary. Luckily, I will have a lot of help with the execution.

What I'm Excited About

The Man-Cub comes home in twelve days! I'm looking forward to having him back under my roof for awhile. I'm also looking forward to watching him re-acclimate to Colorado temperatures after spending almost five months in Hawaii; that should be entertaining.

What I'm Watching

Our Dish network has been tuned into The Hallmark Channel more often than I care to admit. I'm also catching Christmas classics as often as I can...

...and, just to take the edge of all that saccharine-sweetness, I've made sure to catch the newest episodes of Outlander, the latest episodes of Manifest, and the new season of Midnight, Texas. Apparently, I have eclectic taste in my television viewing.

What I'm Reading

I haven't had a lot of time for reading lately, but, I am partway through Kristin Hannah's Fly Away, which is the sequel to Firefly Lane, which I read last month, or the month before. I'm enjoying it so far, and, Kristin Hannah continues to be my current favorite author.

What I'm Listening To

My car sound system is currently set to Serius XM's Holly Channel, so, when I am in the car, I am rocking the Christmas carols. I don't spend a ton of time in the car, so this is just the right amount of holiday spirit.

What I'm Wearing

I got the cutest dress recently and have received many compliments on it; it's warm enough for the colder weather we've been having and yet light enough that I'm not sweating my ass off indoors, and, the unique plaid pattern has the magical effect of making me look thinner; who doesn't love a magically thinning dress?

I'm also wearing a lot of layers, plaid, and boots. This is my uniform for the winter, and, I'm digging it.

On occasion, I do shake things up, and, these dresses are a fun change.

 I originally purchased them for the Rodeo Princess's wedding (I wasn't sure which color I would like best, but ended up loving both, so I kept them). I have gotten additional use out of them by adding over-the-knee boots and a scarf, making each appropriate for our colder weather.

I'm also wearing allll the Christmas pajamas in my wardrobe, and, friends, I have a lot of Christmas pajamas. This is due to the fact that we have a tradition of opening new holiday pajamas every Christmas Eve and have done so since the kids were babies. I haven't saved every pair I've ever owned, but, I have a large collection, nonetheless.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

As I said earlier, Queen B is coming down for the weekend to help me put the ornaments on the Christmas tree. We will also be decorating her graduation cap and finalizing plans for that graduation party I mentioned earlier.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

Queen B's college graduation! Having both of my kids under my roof! Christmas! I have a lot of things that I want to do as a family for the holidays, but, mostly, I am just looking forward to being together, doing nothing at all, except for soaking in my time with my babies.

Question of the Month: What Are Your Elf on a Shelf Ideas

Since my kids were older when the EOAS fad started, I never had a chance to really dig into the fun. I did purchase elves, however-one for each of my kids-and, I've been collecting outfits and accessories for each of them ever since; one day (far, far from now), when they have kids of their own, they will have a full EOAS collection to start their own tradition with. And, that's the best idea I have: if you are a parent on the "older side" (Throw up. In my mouth), you might consider stocking up for those future grandbabies.