Wednesday, December 26, 2018

life lately and everything Christmas

It's been fourteen days since I have written anything here, and it's because right at the same time my birthday hits, life gets crazy because of the season.

I'll also add here that this was a wonderful time for my family...but I know that is not the case for many, and just a few nights ago, a dear friend of mine (also the sister of another dear friend of mine) died very tragically in her home due to a house fire.  They were hosting exchange students from India for the holidays, and the three of them died as well.  Ever since I heard the news of what happened, and remembering hearing all the sirens that were just a half mile from my house, I've been pretty somber, thinking of their family as often as I breathe.  I cannot imagine their pain as they faced yesterday without her.  I am so glad to say that they were all believers and followers of Jesus, and that we have hope in Him.  I take comfort in the fact that while Jesus walked on this earth, He also knew what it was like to grieve, when He saw that His friend Lazarus died.  The bible tells us that Jesus wept.  He knows well the pain of those here grieving this tremendous loss, and the Lord is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).  I'm blown away by the strength that my friends have displayed for all those around them.  I know it is only with the strength that God has given to them, and the loved ones surround all of them.  My friend Kari went to a different church nearby, and they have such a wonderful group of friends that are like family around them as well.

Will you help me pray for them all?  The family of my friend Kari who passed away, her husband and three kids, and their extended family?  But also the family of the three siblings who passed away?  I cannot imagine their grief, because all of their children died.  My heart aches for them all, and every time I think of them, I just pray for them again.

Thank you, in advance, for your prayers for them all.

On a much lighter note, we had a wonderful time of celebrating with family in the past few days.  It's our tradition that we attend my church's candlelight Christmas eve service, and afterward we go to my dad's for Christmas with them.

Trish (on the right) and I FINALLY remembered to get pictures!  I'm so proud of us for this.  We were the only ones who wanted pictures taken, so we just did us, and I also got my hubby to take one of the three of us and Sandy, our stepmom.

We left from there and went to drive around to look in my favorite neighborhood for Christmas lights (The Woods) for a few minutes, then we came home.  The boys all headed upstairs right away, and Todd and I settled in for a Christmas movie, and I filled the stockings.  We wrapped all the presents this year, and we did that in the days preceding Christmas, so our night was easy.

We were up early the next day, and at twelve, we went to Mom's for lunch.

We were all matching, and we did not do that on purpose!

My nephew Tyler and his pretty bride, Terri were there.  The rest of our family lives in Colorado, and they were sorely missed!  It's always bittersweet when we can't all be together each year.

My in-love's were there, too, which makes it so special for us.  I'm so glad that our parents are such good friends, that is a huge gift!

My mom has beautiful Christmas decorations, and her tree is always my favorite.

In the days preceding Christmas, my best friend and I went to Jackson, Tennessee for one night, for my birthday.  We went to the Christmas concert of Englewood Baptist, where one of our favorite worship leaders is the music director, we watched Christmas movies in our hotel room, we shopped, we ate, we laughed, I cried.  You know, all those normal emotions.  We needed that time together, because we haven't spent quality time together in ages, and we both needed some refreshing.  It was a perfect trip.

We wore our matching sweatshirts home.

I also read a lot of Christmas books from my favorite spot.

This one's my fourth of the month and I'm still enjoying it.

I drank a lot of hot tea, and I wrapped a ton of presents.  (Hot tea has been tasting better to me than coffee lately, so I'm on this tea kick.)

Callie ate some things, part of Sandy's Christmas present being one.  This was her being ashamed that she ate part of the soap bottle.

I spent several days shopping with my mom and my mom-in-love.  This is Phyllis and I finishing our day of shopping with a peppermint milkshake.

I finished out my shopping for extended family one day last week, and I saw this at HomeGoods and laughed way too hard when I read the cover.  I wish I'd bought this, but I put it back.

I had some good, quality time with Jesus most days this month.  I've been concentrating on scripture writing a lot lately, and this was one verse I came across one morning.

He always blows my mind.  He did so when Missy and I went to Jackson.  We had NO IDEA we needed refreshing spiritually, but He sure did.  We thought we were going to hear good Christmas music, but what we both experienced was the presence of Jesus Himself as we sat together on that last pew in the church and worshiped Him.  I know we both bawled our eyes out, because at one point, we could almost tangibly feel Him around us.  We had no idea we had been going through a dry spell in our friendship and missed each other, but He knew that and we came back home feeling like our old selves again.  We also made a promise to get together one night every two weeks and catch up.  We're used to seeing each other a lot more than we do nowadays, and we just miss each other.  So yes, I would say with all certainty that He is great and His greatness is unsearchable, just like this verse in Psalm 145 says.

So that's about all I've been up to lately.

Thank you for reading my blog.  Thank you for helping me pray for the families effected by the house fire on Sunday night.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  I know we did, and once again, I am so grateful for the family that we have, and that we all have such great relationships.  Tragedy makes you think about things, and one thing I do is say I love you to my people as often as I can.  I want them to know that aside from Jesus, I loved them all the most.  I don't want to have stupid arguments and hold grudges, I told my sisters that in a text (not that we do that).  I want us to always remain close and to be each other's champions and cheerleaders.  Family is everything.  I am so thankful to God for all He has done., and for how He loves us.

Love to all. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Life Lately

I've been busy watching Christmas movies over here, so I haven't been up to blogging lately.  On Sunday night, Noah asked if I would watch Christmas movies with him the next day, and who am I to say no to that great idea?  It worked out well, because three out of the six people in our house don't feel great.  (Todd, Jonah, and Noah.)  On Monday, that was all we did.  The boys slept late, because except for two subjects, they're done for this semester.  And on Monday, we just decided not to do any work that day.  #homeschoolperks  The three of us watched Home Alone 2, had a hot lunch, and then afterward, they went upstairs.  For dinner that night, we had pizza, and it was glorious. 

Yesterday I had bible study, and then I needed to make a grocery store run (I currently hate Kroger again, for anyone who cares), and came home and ate lunch and watched Santa Clause with Noah.  My best friend Andrea and I had made plans to meet at a clothing shop nearby and eat afterward.  I helped her pick out a new shirt to wear to the Harry Connick Jr. concert tonight (I'm a little jealous because he is my favorite, but mostly excited for her), and then we went to "our" place for our favorite Mexican food.  We had Starbucks after that and enjoyed the chai tea latte. (I converted her!) 

Honestly, I wish I had gotten at least one picture, but Andrea and I never do that when we're together.  We are always so full of talking and catching up that it never even dawns on us, except for when I'm on the way back home.  I do love the fact that when we're together, we are fully invested in that moment.  I just love her and I thank God for the fact that He brought us together in a homeschool mom's bible study and classes for our kids.  My friend Denise put me in her small group, and then later on when I became a small group leader, I missed being in Andrea's group.  It's crazy to think it's been six years, but the instant we met one another, we had this immediate connection.  She has helped me through all of my homeschooling and college woes, and has given me advice and loaned me books over those years.  When I left that group three years ago, we promised to stay in touch, and we do a pretty good job of meeting up once a month.  Sometimes we go a couple of weeks over that, because life happens and people end up sick, but she is always a highlight of my month.  When it's been too long since I've seen her, I get antsy to meet up again, because I genuinely miss her. 

I thank God for the friends He has given me, and I promise you, I do not say just flippantly say that.  I struggled with friends all through my teenage years, and even into my young twenties.  I was desperate for friends that would just meet me and love me where I was when we became friends.  These are not people I have to perform for, or put my best foot forward for, and they are not people who are jealous of me having other friends, and they know I'm not jealous of them with their other friends.  God has put some really amazing women in my life, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have several best friends.  And I call them all that, because they are, I don't love any one of them more than another one of them.  One is ten years older than me, one is ten years younger than me, one is about five years younger than me, and another is about four years older than me.  They're all a lot alike, because I am drawn to the same type person.  My one requirement of a friend is that they love to talk about Jesus.  This is true of all my best friends.  He is my very favorite subject, and I love to talk about His goodness.

Well, about that life lately post, here are a few things I've been up to this week.

I never get tired of tree gazing!  It's the twinkle lights.  Everything is so cozy at Christmas, and I am starting to get sad at how fast the actual day of Christmas is approaching.  (Also, when January hits, time flies until what I call birthday season arrives.  Y'all.  My twins will be SIXTEEN YEARS OLD, and I am in denial.  I cannot even imagine the day when they drive away on their own.)  I was here in my spot watching a really cute Hallmark Christmas movie on Saturday night when the house was quiet.  I watched Homegrown Christmas, but my favorite one so far was A Shoe Addict's Christmas with Candace Cameron Bure. 

I've watched two movies with Noah, and later on today or early tomorrow we're going to watch Santa Clause 2, and then Christmas with the Kranks on Friday morning. 

Most of you know I'm in choir, but I also sing on a praise team about every other week, and I'm scheduled for December 16, but I'm going out of town this weekend, so I switched with my friend Wendy and sang this past Sunday.  Our church has kids in the service, that are in grades one through five, and every few weeks, our worship pastor gets them to sing with us in the choir and on the praise team.  This little girl is my friend Brittany's daughter, and she is adorable!  She stood close to where I was standing that day in the service, and I asked if I could take her picture to share with her mom.  I heard that she got really sick the next day with her asthma, so I'm glad she was well enough to sing with us on Sunday! 

I LOVE when our kids in the service help lead worship.  On this particular day, all the songs we sang had kids singing the solo parts.  I get really teary eyed when I hear a little voice singing Away In A Manger in the microphones.  I almost can't sing.  It was a really sweet day of worship that morning, and the sermon was AMAZING, as usual.  Our Pastor just knocks it out of the park each week with his preaching, and I thank God that I get to sit under the preaching of such a godly man. 

There is no perfect church, my friends, but if you can find one that is bible believing, has sound doctrine, and solid preaching, then you go there and be faithful in attendance.  Even if the perfect church DID exist, you'd mess it up by walking in the door, because we are ALL sinful beings.  The bible tells us that the heart is deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9).  I say all the time that the only good in me is the Holy Spirit, and it's true.  I am so glad that the Lord loves me and sanctifies me every minute of every day.  He is continually leading me, molding me, guiding me into who He wants me to be.  He will continue to do this until the day He calls me to my forever home in Heaven.  So if you see me acting dumb, or in a bad mood, forgive me, I have my moments.  Know that the Lord is always at work on me, though.  As I read His word, His word transforms me (Romans 12:2). 

On a lighter note, this is my newest afternoon habit.

A couple of weeks ago, my sister Trish and I went to Trader Joe's, and I bought some black chai tea.  Y'all.  It tastes like Christmas in a cup.  I have found recently that coffee is no longer tasting as good to me as this hot tea.  If you've never tried it, you should!  It is delicious.  I doctor mine up with a little bit of sugar and milk.  Drew likes his plain, but we are the tea drinkers in the house. 

Well, I need to run!  I am spending part of today with my mom in love, and I am so excited!  I've been looking forward to this day for a while, because we don't get to do this very often.  Thanks for reading my blog, friends.  Love to all. 

Friday, December 7, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  I am linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends, for the writing of this blog post. 

It's been such a great week!  I've had something to do every single day this week, and I don't mind that, but it does mean that the time went by really fast.  Anyone who knows me knows that I don't ever actually want Christmas to come.  I would like time to freeze and just hover in this magical time that I love between December 1st and the 24th. 

On Monday, my mom, sister and I went to Memphis to eat and to shop.  Well, I didn't really shop, but I do love being inspired by what I see in the beautiful displays. 

It was a really fun day, and I have already decided I'm going again next year when they do this.  You know when you start the day off with an amazing lunch that the day is going to be good.  And that was the case.  We ate at a place called Burger Hop and the burger was the best I've had in a long time. 

(I don't know where I was looking, don't judge.  I pointed to them where to look and couldn't manage to do so myself.  I'm rolling my eyes at myself.)

Also quality time is my love language and is my very favorite thing.  

This book is in the running for one of my favorite books of the year.  I've read thirty-seven so far, and I would say so far it's in my top three.  If you haven't read this, go and get it from your library or your favorite local book spot.  

I've read one and a half since I completed this one, and so far neither one can hold a candle.

My little Chip was living his best life on this day.  He loves to watch me as I get ready for the day, and usually faces me, but he was snoozing away with his back turned.  That blanket he's on is his favorite.  

My bedroom is my favorite, even more so with the twinkle lights.  I'm leaving them up.  

I made this Chex mix on Tuesday night, and it's everyone's favorite.  There is a post somewhere after this one that I wrote with the recipe, if you're interested.  It is already gone.  It was actually already gone last night, and I used WHOLE BOXES of all the Chex cereals, which are wheat, corn, and rice.

I found this on Timehop this week.  They're my favorite.  I think we need to recreate this picture.  It's so hard to believe twelve years have gone by since we took this.  

Also, in looking for old pictures yesterday, I found these and relived one of my favorite memories.  It's on yesterday's post, at the end of it, when I was wishing my stepdad a happy birthday.

I spent Wednesday afternoon with a couple of my favorite people: one of my best friends, and her little girl.  It was a magical afternoon that we had together, catching up, and eating and drinking yummy things.  

My favorite and best view.  There is no tree as beautiful as your own, don't you think?  Mine is so different this year, Jonah and I decided to keep things a little simpler and not put as many ornaments on, and I think it's my favorite tree to date.  I still love that box you see around the base of it, that my hubby and son made for me.  Now all we need are the presents.  Seriously, we need to do some shopping.  

Well, I have laundry waiting on me, so I'd best move along.  I hope your week was great and that your weekend is even better.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

fun things to do with friends

I am writing this because of how I spent my afternoon yesterday.  It was magical!  I thought I'd share about it, because it was fun, simple, and it cost me absolutely nothing.

One of my best friends has a four month old baby, and because of life happening all around us, it had been WAY TOO LONG since we'd had a chance to just sit and talk.  This is my favorite way of catching up, by the way, spending quality time with people I love.  My love languages are quality time and physical touch.  We made these plans at church on Sunday, to get together this week and spend an afternoon together, but I was inspired yesterday morning and went a little above what I had thought I would do.

First off, I had some chicken tortilla soup I had made, and there was still a lot of it leftover, so I took all of it to her house.  We each ate a bowl, and I left the rest with her so her hubby could try it, and I just happened to have a copy of the recipe in my purse to give her.  (I had printed it for someone else, but when she mentioned wanting the recipe, I gave her that one and will print another one for the person it was intended for.)  I also took some chai tea I got from Trader Joe's last weekend with me, because it tastes like Christmas in a cup.

After we ate lunch, she put in White Christmas to play in the background while we talked.  Her sweet baby was playing right near us and lasted for a while before she needed a nap.  Almost as soon as Everly went down for her nap, we decided to paint our fingernails.  I had taken my container with all of my Fall/Winter colors of nail polish with me.  (I had a huge shopping bag, actually, filled with that box of polish, a ladel, the tea, my own little cup because it's insulated, and a couple of little gifts for my friend.)  Our nails dried, the movie ended, and the baby woke up.  I left soon after that.  I took this picture while she was changing the baby's diaper.

I only share all that to encourage you to think of your own ways you can do something similar with a girlfriend.  Maybe one of my ideas will inspire you to make up your own cozy afternoon.  It doesn't have to cost a dime.  I think hospitality is a real gift for some people, and you just may have it yourself.  I love giving things away that I love, things like books, so I took her my favorite Christmas series of books yesterday.  I will never re-read them, and I am not super attached to most things I have laying around, so why wouldn't I share?  I wrapped them with a red bow, and stuck them in a little basket.

Also, it was the easiest for us to be at her house, because of the baby.  I went over in my comfiest of clothes (yoga pants and my favorite twenty year old GAP sweatshirt and fuzzy slippers), and she was cozy and comfy as well.  I think that we have to adapt around the friends we have, and that we should meet them wherever they are, or wherever it's easiest for them.

I also love to have dinner out with my girlfriends.  I have learned the art of eating really cheap.  I almost always order only water to drink, and I really like to eat Mexican, because it's inexpensive, and the chips and salsa are always kept flowing.  Lunch is another great option, because it's even less expensive at that time of day, especially if it's Monday through Friday.

I have also had friends over when the hubby was away.  I'll make something for dinner, and we will eat, then watch a movie together.  I don't like to watch new to me movies during this time, because I like to also talk to my friends.  I have done this version by going to a friend's house.  I'll take my own dinner (leftovers or a pizza from Little Ceasar's), we will eat and then watch a movie.  I have met friends at our church and we've eaten our own lunches from home together to talk about a book we were eating, and I have gone to someone else's house for a book club night and taken dishes to share for dinner.

There are a million creative ways to be with your friends, and you don't even have to spend money.  Figure out what works best, and make this your own.  In my opinion, a home is so much more inviting than a cold restaurant where the food is overpriced and not even that great.  I just think it's that hospitality thing in me, I love having people over, and I love going to other's houses.  If I go to someone's house, I always make sure and clean up after, as much as I can, from the time we've had together.  I've heard this said so many times, but I'll say it here, too: be a considerate guest.  I will also say this, because of the season we're currently in: practice humility.  This is not the time to make the holidays all about ourselves.  I say this because of all the family gatherings that are just around the corner.

I think of the verse Romans 12:18, and I love how the ESV translation says it:

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  

If someone really needs to have things their way, I am never going to fight over that.  If it needs to be a certain day, or a certain time, I will always give in to them, because of the reminder of Romans 12:18, and because even this can be another example of hospitality.

You could also host a dinner, or a brunch for friends, you could host a desserts only party and have everyone bring something, you could do a recipe exchange with friends and provide a few of your own, or you could do a gift exchange along those same lines.  There are so many options!  I hope all of this will help you think of ways to meet up with friends, and to think outside of the box.

Now for part two of this post, today is the birthday of someone so very special to us: my stepdad (also known as Big Daddy)!  We were going to celebrate him tonight, but we postponed it a night because of circumstances out of our control.  So, Bill, if you are reading this (and I know you are), we love you so much, and we thank God for you!  Thanks for being the best of the best, and also, thank you for being so understanding about our need to postpone your special dinner by one night.  I'll make it worth your while with a delicious dinner tomorrow night.

We have a million memories with Big Daddy at the front and center of them, but this trip goes down as my all time favorite memory ever.  We had traveled to Eureka Springs for a wedding when the boys were little, and we will NEVER forget that fun and memorable trip.

Graham was ten, Drew was nine, and Jonah and Noah were six.

Drew was smiling in this picture, but this was the day he almost fell down a mountain.  I kid you not, they were doing some exploring at a park we were at, and the hill was a lot more steep than he had thought, and he had to grab a tree as he was stumbling his way down the hill.  I was screaming, Todd was screaming, Drew was screaming, "ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh", and then finally he stopped himself.

They were cute, weren't they?  They climbed this tower thing to look at the views.

The wedding was so much fun, and the boys used to actually get out on the dance floor and dance with anyone that would dance with them.  Drew caught the garter the bride wore, and then proceeded to wear it on his head the rest of the night like a headband.  Like I said, we have a million fun memories of things we've done with our families, but this particular weekend and trip will forever be in my top three favorite memories.

Happy Birthday, Bill!  I am so thankful to the Lord for bringing you into our family.  We appreciate you so much.  RAWR!

For anyone still reading this, thanks for sticking with it today, and love to all.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

a recipe and dog tales

I thought I'd share about a yummy treat I made last night.  I know not everyone makes this stuff, but it is so delicious and FAR BETTER when you make it.  I don't really measure spices and such, but I'll try to guesstimate how much I use of everything.

This is my Chex mix recipe.  (There are also a million variations of this stuff, and I've tweaked it so many times to finally something that we all love.  Also, my people just love the Chex cereal part, so I leave all that other stuff out.  Plus that makes it easier.)

I use a whole box of all the Chex cereals: rice, corn, and wheat. 

I melt a whole stick of butter (last night I melted TWO, because I didn't have much Worcestershire sauce), and I sprinkle in a LOT of Worcestershire sauce (I would guess maybe a half cup to a cup). 

I add in about one tablespoon each of garlic and seasoned salt, but you can do this to suit it to your taste.

Then I just stir it all together really, really well in a giant roasting pan, and this part takes at least five minutes.  You want to make sure and scrape the bottom (I use a spatula) and stir it and turn it all over a bunch of times, otherwise the butter, Worcestershire and spices will clump together.  After this process, I bake it at 225 degrees in the oven for one hour, and every fifteen minutes, I pull it out and stir it all really well, all over again.  If you skip that part, it will clump, I promise.  I bake it uncovered, and when that hour is up, we eat it immediately. 

At one time I used to add in pretzels and Cheese-It crackers, but I didn't have any of those, and I mean it when I said that the Chex part is all of our favorite.  I've added in dashes of hot sauce before (I don't recommend that), and I always have a hard time of getting the spices just right.  This batch is almost perfect.  I will make this stuff approximately twenty five more times before the weather gets warm again.  (Not really.)  We love this stuff.  We eat it as our snack when we're needing something crunchy, and I sent it to work with the men who work as treats in their lunches.  It is that good.  Another favorite treat of ours I'll have to make again sometime soon is chocolate oatmeal no-bake cookies.  I'll share that recipe another day, though, but this recipe is NO FAIL.  (I've made these things before and they never set.)

Try the Chex mix, though, you'll thank me later. 

Moving along now, I posted this picture on Instagram yesterday.  This is Chip curled up on my blanket, on the freshly made bed.  He does this every single day while I get dressed.  He usually lays there and faces me, but he turned around yesterday.  He lived his best life all day yesterday. including last night.  He loves to snuggle, and after a day of doing that, he fell asleep with Todd on the couch last night, making my hubby fall asleep on the couch as well, and there they stayed until four forty-five this morning, when Crash, Callie and I came downstairs for the day.  He does this sometimes, my hubby, and he never means to, but it's because Chip is such a great little cuddle bug.

I love our dogs (and the kitty) and am always so glad we have them.  Mostly.  They drive me bonkers most days, but more than that, I love them and the joy they bring us.  Todd was adamant when the boys were young (the twins were three, Drew was six, and Graham was seven) that he wanted the boys to grow up with dogs in the house.  I was hesitant and didn't really want to do this, but in the end, he was right, and I'm so glad I let him make that decision.  Dogs are a commitment and they are not for everyone, but I will never NOT have a dog again.  I don't that I'll have three at once, but I love them.  So many of our best memories are centered around these crazy dogs.

That being said, y'all, the German shepherd has lost her mind.  She is going through some separation anxiety, I think, and she keeps eating things she shouldn't.  My peppermint flavored Chapstick (two tubes), a sticker, trash out of some trash can, the remote.  The remote was the latest.  We're having to put her in her kennel again when we leave!  I hate doing that, but I don't want her eating something big.  And poor Crash, the other night I was making dinner and dumped half a bottle of hot sauce all over him.  Poor little guy, he tried licking it off the floor and started making weird sneezing sounds for the next half hour.  Needless to say, that night Crash got a bath.  Chip got one the same day.  Callie has too much hair, but she needs one too, so we'll have to figure something out. 

Life with dogs is never boring. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

a few of my favorite things (to do around our town and city)

We had such a great weekend and even my Monday was so much fun.  I thought I'd share about both of them.

First off, on Friday night it rained, so our annual town Christmas parade was postponed to Saturday night.  I was not sad.  It was rainy, and I was sleepy, so it was an early pajama night, and we had leftovers for dinner.  #winning 

I also started another new Christmas book.  

The rain moved out by that morning, and I got dressed for my day and ran some errands.  On the way, I called my sister Trish, and she was also out and about, so we met up and rode together and went and ate a yummy lunch, then hit up the new Trader Joe's.  It was a fun morning!  I ran a couple more errands after I dropped her back off at her car, and came home for a nap.  ;)

That night we ate dinner, then my dad and I headed to our church to go ahead and get seated for the parade.  My dad went with me, by the way, which was a fun bonus.  I'm so glad he did, he loves a good parade as much as I do.

I loved the Jeeps all lit up with lights, and I love the marching band!  My picture was blurry, though.

On Sunday morning, I was at church bright and early, and we rehearsed for a bit for the night of praise that was happening that night.

My friend Wink took this picture, and I borrowed it from him.  I love how the stage looks!  The night was fantastic, and so very moving.  These are always my favorite nights, and I'm thankful that we do this early in the season, because our worship pastor gives us the rest of December off from choir rehearsal on Sundays.  Praise!  It's always a nice rest, in this very busy time of year.  I'm so grateful he does that.

After the service, we went to dinner with my in-love's and their best friends they brought with them.  

And then yesterday, I tagged along with my mom and sister Trish on their annual date to Memphis to a few of their favorite shops.  

I am a horrible selfie taker, and I have no idea where I'm looking, but I was trying to get that cute building in the background.  That's a shop called Social, in East Memphis.  I cannot even afford a pack of napkins from there, they're so pricey, but it was fun to browse and look at the beautiful decor.

We also went to a charming and magical little place called Le Fleur.  

I loved this place, and the charming little house it resides in.  Also, Bill, if you're reading this, I need you to make a table just like this one pictured above.  It's a simple, rustic table with benches.  Maybe with chunkier legs, though.  :)  (I am teasing, I do NOT expect that.)

We ate lunch at Burger Hop, in that same area we were in, and we went to these shops and to Williams Sonoma, to Gibson's donuts for some to take home for Mom and Trish, and then our last stop was DSW.  It was all fun and games until someone with rather strong perfume came near me, and I got so nauseous that I had to walk outside.  The nausea subsided, but in its place came a headache so bad that I had to come home and take sinus medicine.  The smell was burned into my nose, it seemed, and when I told my hubby what had happened, he told me to rub some peppermint flavored/scented chapstick at the end of my nose with my finger.  I did and it helped!  

I cannot take perfume and this is one reason I don't wear any.  Public service announcement: don't feel like you have to bathe in your perfume, friends.  A little bit goes a LONG WAY.  

It was such a fun day!  I never go into that part of town, so it was fun to see some different places.  After I got home, I made one of our favorite things for dinner, then read my book for the rest of the night.  

Thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all.  

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

  Hi, friends! As you can tell, I'm forcing myself to be here often, because my life needs to resume some sort of normalcy right now; th...