Hang a Shining Star.

It's beginning to look a LOT like Christmas around here. 

We've trimmed the tree.
We've welcomed Buddy, our "Elf on the Shelf", who has arrived at our home to keep an eye on Hudson.
We've been watching Christmas classics, from the Grinch to Rudolph.
The egg nog is flowing.

Now we can sit back and enjoy 25 uninterrupted days of Christmas loveliness.
Aaaaaah. That sounds's nice. 

Here are some more of my most treasured Christmas ornaments that I shared during last year's holiday season.


Scandinavian Spirit

Do you ever find yourself daydreaming? 
.....About what to wear?
I do.
A lot.

When I ran across Ellos, a European-based fashion site, I immediately fell in love. 
And then, I immediately started daydreaming about what to wear for the holidays.

I found a perfect outfit for me. 
How cute is the fair-isle print on that dress?

I spied an outfit for Will.
Look at these fabulous mens clothes that you can buy now pay later with Ellos.
shirt, jeans, hat

And I found an adorable ensemble for Hudson.
Snuggly baby alert!
sweatshirt, jeans, shoes

Aren't these the cutest little Scandinavian styles you've ever seen?


Octopus in the Fridge.

After hearing the ice maker in the refrigerator...
Hudson: Mama? Hear that?
Me: Yes, I did.
Hudson: It's a Octopus. (looking scared)
Me: No, it was just the refrigerator.
Hudson: Oh! O-kaaaaay!
....he then runs happily off to play.

Will poked Hudson's tummy and playfully said, "What is this?!"
Hudson looked down and calmly replied, "My drum."

On the way to the beach, we tried to stop for gas. We pulled off the interstate, only to realize that the gas station had been abandoned. It was dark, and slightly spooky. I said, "Let's get out of here! This looks like a ghost town." We turned around in the parking lot, and our lights shone on a fat, orange cat. I was slightly startled to see a cat in the middle of nowhere, so I shouted out, "A CAT!".  We went down the interstate a few miles, and came across an open gas station. We pulled in and Hudson started to cry in the backseat. I asked him what was wrong, and he said...."Mama! A GHOST CAT!"

Riding down the road in the car, Hudson was talking quietly to himself in the backseat.
Hudson:"Don't. Don't. Don't. Trouble if we do it, okay?"

2 days before Thanksgiving, Will and Hudson were playing with a toy airplane.
Will: "Hudson, tell Mama there's lots of turbulence on this airplane."
Hudson: "A turkey! Lots and Lots of turkeys!"


What 'cha been doing?

1. the last of the Autumn leaves
2. getting ready with my favorite buddy
3. best book ever
4. all hail the king
5. God is good
6. pretty Christmas Coke can
7. Hudson positioned these animals while I was in another room
8. yeehaw cowboy
9. dinner at Cracker Barrell
10. furry little fox
11. fun with doodle booth
12. snuggly baby
13. Breaking Dawn 
14. little cutie
15. Hudson wanted his "ball take bath, too!"
16. rainy day pajama time
17. lunch at Sweet Pepper's
18. Thanksgiving morning Meals-on-Wheels deliveries
19. Hudson isn't enthusiastic about Black Friday
20. My contribution to Thanksgiving: a homemade herbed cheese ball
21. so happy to be at the park
22. a little Thanksgiving hike
23. Santa rode his rocket to the US Space & Rocket Center
24. beautiful Christmas lights at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens
25. 'tis the season for reindeer and snow and s'mores and smiles
26. family fun
27. hot apple cider


My belt is already unbuckled.

**notice anything funny about this "First Thanksgiving Scene?"

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have really been looking forward to Turkey Time this year. 
Luckily, we're stretching this holiday over 3 days....

Between today and Saturday, we will be:
Delivering Thanksgiving Meals-on-Wheel to the homebound & needy in our community.
Enjoying time with family.
Eating ham and turkey and potatoes and corn and green beans and cranberries and more.
Watching the Iron Bowl.
{Roll Tide!}

Be thankful for your many blessings
Eat 'til your heart's content. 

Perhaps you are on the same holiday diet as me? 
You know, the one where you eat everything and hope for a miracle.

**here's a closer look at 3 of your favorite pilgrims:


Photo Personality

1. my name
2. my favorite food
3. my favorite color
4. my celebrity crush
5. my favorite movie
6. my dream vacation
7. my favorite drink
8. currently reading
9. my favorite holiday

{all questions answered using photos found from first 3 pages of flickr search results}

Now tell me a FAVORITE of yours?

A good time to tell you this.

I'm thankful for so many things.
But, especially, YOU.
(yeah, you!)

I've been meaning to write a post for so long,
to tell all you readers how much I appreciate each and every one of you.
And now, it's almost Thanksgiving...
what a perfect time to send out a big, huge virtual HUG to you.

Thank you for reading.
Thank you for always being supportive and kind.
Thank you for checking in on me, listening to me,
and genuinely caring about me. 

Every comment makes me smile.
Every email makes my day.

You guys mean more to me than you know.
And there's a select handful of you that I don't even refer to as "blog friends" anymore. 
Nope. At my house, people like you are called REAL friends. 
And that is a WONDERFUL thing. 

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends! 

(art via)


City Love.

Once upon a time, 
two young lovers took
NYC by storm. 

He wanted to show her the city of her dreams.
She wanted to see every single beautiful inch.

Thus began their love affair
with the greatest city in the world.

Today, I'm over at my HILARIOUS friend Kim's blog "Yep, They're All Mine",
talking about my Big Apple Adventures.

CLICK HERE to read:


Memory Thief

Dear Thief,

Thanks a lot for breaking into my car while I
enjoyed a dinner date with my husband. 

Hope it didn’t hurt your heart too bad, 
when you had to dig under my baby’s blanket
and toys to get to my Nikon Camera. Surely you'll get
lots of money for the thousands of dollars worth of lenses and equipment
that I had stored in my bag.

I'm sure you probably just chunked the 
flash drive and memory card that were with my camera, 
but I sure wish you had left them behind....
because then I would still have all my photos
from my Honeymoon and the pictures I took of Hudson just this last month. 
Thank goodness you can't erase the memories in my head,
because that's all I have left of the thousands of happy moments
that were digitally stored inside my bag.

You didn't steal my sunglasses, even though you
searched through all the cases. 
Guess Juicy Couture isn't good enough for ya, huh?
Too bad I had my Burberry glasses in my purse.

I appreciate you not destroying the handwritten bible verse 
that you threw out of my glove compartment. 
I saved it from an old scrap piece of paper that my deceased Grandpa
had written on....it mentioned Luke 2:14, which says: "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace,
goodwill toward men."
Obviously you didn't take the time to read it. 

Besides feeling extremely violated and terribly sad, 
you caused us to miss Shrek the Musical because
we had to file a police report...and it wouldn't really be
fair for the other happy show-goers to have to sit next
to a blubbering mess.
I was really looking forward to seeing that play. 

Hope your weekend was a lot better than mine. 



Good Thoughts & Sunbeams

There is so much to be joyful about.

Here's to: 
leather jackets,
crisp Autumn breezes,
changing leaves,
oysters on the half shell,
ice cream,
and snuggles. 

Hope your weekend is filled with all the things that make YOU happy.
& remember:
--from The Twits, by Roald  Dahl

Wishing you good thoughts and sunbeams.


Pocketful of Sunshine.

It was cold on our trip to the coast. 
But there was that one tiny sliver of a day....
an early morning when the sun shone down
just for us. 

And you can bet your bottom dollar
we got our swimsuits on,
and ran through the sand 
to find the perfect spot
to salute that glorious sunshine.

These are the moments that make up a beautiful life. 

{seeing Hudson as he:
watches the dolphins jump,
searches for the perfect seashell,
sneaks sips of my Coke,
meets new buddies,
and dips his toes in the ice cold water} 

These moments are unexpected silver linings. 
They are smallest things that mean the most. 


A serious case of Lighthouse Leg.

I don't really "do" lighthouses.

I used to.
Until I climbed a million stairs
in the Tybee Island Lighthouse
near Savannah, Georgia,
and got so sick
from the narrow winding stairs
that I had to throw up.

Hudson doesn't really "do" lighthouses, either.

Not yet, at least.
Because he's not 44 inches tall,
and allowing him inside would be
a safety hazard.

But, Will does lighthouses.
He loves them.
When we decided to venture out to Pensacola,
we came across Pensacola Light,
"the most haunted lighthouse in the U.S.".
Will had to explore.

He climbed the millions of stairs to the top.
Hudson and I sat in rocking chairs and played checkers.
He descended the millions of stairs to the bottom.
Hudson and I walked along the shoreline.

Hudson and I enjoyed our relaxing time on the Pensacola Coast.
Will suffered from jellyfish legs for approximately 4 days.

Good thing I don't "do" lighthouses.
Do you?

p.s. we had lots of fun posing with the funny pelican....Hudson insisted on calling it a Baby Eagle. Ha.