Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thankful Thursday {Link up #52} ... last of the year!

This week I am thankful for:

... for the holidays with all our family

... Christmas with our doggies too.

... that our dogs were safe while we traveled to Nashville

.... that my step daughter fed into my love of Beauty & the Beast!!!

... for work letting us off early on Christmas Eve

... my hubs who spoils me every Christmas

... that blanket! I'm so thankful for a warm cozy fluffy blanket!

... So loving this warm weather & not needing a coat or really anything warm, while traveling for Christmas.  Even driving with the windows down this weekend.. in December! Loved it so much!

... for a Christmas celebration still to come this weekend. ... (Would you laugh if you knew I was STILL wrapping gifts?)

.... for another Christmas with Bruno. This was his 14th Christmas... he's such an old man & I after loosing Sydney & Buffy, we appreciate each one we get with our older dogs.


.... for a sweet friend who surprised me with a Starbucks cup & a handmade card & a special note.  This meant the world to me when it showed up so unexpectantly on my front porch.

I've threatened Ricky's life if he touches my cup... I do it out of love

... for friend's sense of humor.  The last family in the wedding I just did, they said that Chasity & I are just part of their family now, so when they put up their Christmas jammie picture, I couldn't resist to Photoshop me & Chasity in... haha... I told them every time they put a family picture up, I'm totally photoshopping us in... If you see the hashtag #wantobeadoebler trending - you get it now :)

... Getting to start using my Erin Condren planner for 2016

... for free Starbucks drinks on your birthday! ... I had the sweetest barrista too.  She said, "oh this is for your birthday?" & she handed to me in like a presentation type style & said, 'You have a Happy Birthday" with the sweetest smile.  It really did make my morning.


... for all the kind & thoughtful messages I received on my birthday.  Say what you will about Facebook, but it makes you feel special on your birthday... & all the texts I received & phone calls?  I appreciate you ALL that took the time to send me some good birthday wishes.

... made it a full year of doing Thankful Thursday posts.  I have loved seeing the joy in life every week so I'm going to continue it into 2016... love to see others join me in the link up.

... excited to go through our Gratitude Jar tonight & look back over the things we're thankful for...

... & thankful to start a new empty jar that we expect to be full of gratitude in 2016

... More then anything, I'm thankful for another year... every DAY is a gift, so 365 gifts in a year?  Yes... MUCH to be THANKFUL FOR in that alone...


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It's my BIRTHDAY!!!! Watch out 44!

What is today?  What's so special about it?

YEAHHHHHH... it's my birthday!
...including my shoulder, my knees & my low back...
44 years old... & feeling every bit of it :)

I say that because this week, I have been walking around with a arm brace.  Good times.

Leave it to me... I tripped in my closet over shoes & to stop my fall, I grabbed the door frame  & pulled the muscles in my shoulder.

I don't think 18 year old kids pull shoulder muscles from stumbling...

But I will say, I can already raise my arm half way... I couldn't do that Monday.  Now, to raise my arm ABOVE shoulder height?  That's another story - but I healed up a lot in 2 days, so I'm hoping by the weekend, I'll be good as new... except for the whole Bicep Tendon issue that wont heal...bygones

I will say, when I turned 30, I was DEPRESSED!!!! Like, let me sit in a corner all day & mourn the loss of my 20's....

Even Joey had a hard time turning 30
& then 40 came & it was even worse.

Especially because I don't use moisturizer... which I have learned to start sopping up this skin with lotion any chance I can get now.  #alittletoolate

But ever since getting past these big years, I've not let birthdays bother me...

I guess its the reminder that every year is precious & I'm happy to add another one onto my number.

& I'm actually looking forward to my 44th year....

If you follow me on Instagram, or know me & my family personally, you know that 4's are a big deal... remember that scene in the movie about Bruce Lee, Dragon, (if you haven't seen it - what's wrong with you - Bruce Lee IS DA MAN)  where Bruce Lee fights this demon type thing that comes after generations of his family ... & then his little boy somehow gets in this dream sequence & the demon sees his son, Brandon, & then it goes after him?... well, that's how it felt about my mom & her issue with 4's...

Mom always looked at the clock at 4:44 ... always seen 444 everywhere she looked. Swore she'd die  when she was 44 & always thought it was like a 'bad luck charm'... so when it was passed down to me & I started seeing 444's everywhere - hence my Instagram #444sfollowme - I was a little nerve about getting passed down the "jinx"

... until someone sent me a thing to tell me what 4's stand for & they pretty much say that when you see 4's (like my wonderful 444) then it means that angels are near & protecting you, surrounding you...

& that makes so much more sense.... because I feel like our family has really been blessed through the years.  I truly believe angels are all around us.

I know most people would be like, that's stupid... Hey, I like it...

& it makes me look forward to 44 years.

I'm convinced of it... It's going to be my best year yet!

... & I'm really looking forward to keep on making healthy changes in my life in this year of my life.

I feel like I always try to make healthy & better choices as I grow older.  Over the past few years, I've:
Gave up soft drinks.
Am now UBER aware of high fructose corn syrup.
Am crazy about artifical sweetners.
Try more natural products for sickness & wellness
Gave up meat & try to eat a more healthy diet.

& then this year, I started on the 21 Day Fix....

Talk about life changing for me...

30 lbs:

... & I still am going on it.

I have a goal in mind... & I'm half way there... & I am going to make it to that goal

... when I'm 44!

& I'm registering for 4 races to run when I'm 44 ... one including my 7th half marathon
... just to start the year.

I'll probably register for more after I get these under my belt in Spring.

& I just ordered the new Hammer & Chisel workout program from Beachbody... tone this body up!

I just want to go through the year feeling the best yet...
I want to 'age' STRONG... not 'gracefully'.... I want to fight it every step of the way

... & if 44 has extra angels around me, then I'm going to put up the best fight this body has seen yet!

So today, in celebration of my birthday - do something HEALTHY for yourself!

Run or walk a mile
Eat a salad full of veggies
Drink some green tea
... do it for me :)

We are going into a new year after all - a perfect time for everyone to make some good changes!

... but ok, maybe I will have 1 piece of birthday cake - & DEFINITELY getting in my free Starbucks drink today to celebrate welcoming 44!

Side note:  Someone please remind me of this post when I am complaining about training for this half marathon - ok? :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Show us your books: 2015 Edition

Life According to Steph

One thing I know I want to do in 2016 - MORE READING!

I got in 40 books this year - which for my schedule, is pretty good. But I see that some of you do like 40 books in 2 months... & I'm jealous...

but I love joining in today with Life According to Steph for the big bang - the best books you've read in 2015... I'm going to love visiting everyone's pages & seeing what they recommend.  Especially since I'm always behind on the reading front...

but here's my favs of 2015

... & I'll try & sum them up Twitter style... fast & quick...


Real Housewives style with a little twisty murder plot


Christian lifestyle & lessons learned weaved into 
Dancing with the Stars


Partner to husband, Best friend to daughter, crazy to others.  Bernadette leaves to show the truth to everyone who she really is.


A look behind at how fairy tale a fairy tale romance can be in a royal family


A year quest about prayer of all denominations, faiths & seeing how others feel like prayer works in their lives.


Based off the story of Joseph in the Bible, we're reminded that what Satan indeed for bad, God can redeem for good.

These were my 5-star books for the year...

I totally recommend every one of them...

Have you read any of these?

What's your best book of 2015?

Monday, December 28, 2015

The weekend that was CHRISTMAS!!! ... & birthdays... & family... & the FORCE {Picture OVERLOAD}

Oh gosh golly... what a weekend.

Christmas has come & gone... & isn't really over for us - we have 2 more get togethers for Christmas this week, but it was so action packed that I may have to just do this in a bullet format to cram it all in & just overload with pictures... because I overloaded in pictures....

It is Christmas after all....

So we'll start with Christmas Eve...

... started off with me having to work... BOO!

... but had to leave Ricky with some goodies for his BIRTHDAY before I left for work!

... & I did get off early... YIPPEE!!

... Met with Ricky for his choice of lunch, which was Chuy's (good choice - why I love him)

Birthday boy:

... stopped at Starbucks for a treat & saw some friends shopping in Target.

... we met some friends to go to church service - it was AMAZING. Such a good service & message.  It was so warm out & felt funny for Christmas, but a great Christmas message that reminds you what the reason for the season is?  I'll take it every time.

Christmas service - no coats, no hats, no scarves - just lots of WARM sunshine!

... headed over to my brother's house for Christmas with my side.

Not sure what is happening here... FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT... Christmas fight :)

... my mom & dad gave the adults lottery tickets for our Christmas present. It was so much fun ... & I think everyone came away with some sort of winner.

... Ricky & I were both so exhausted, we had plans to put on some Christmas jammies, put on some snacks & watch a movie.  I put on my Princess jammies & we both were asleep by 10pm.  #oldpeopleproblems


... the light of the tree on Christmas morning is perfection.

Morning 2015:

... Ricky & I made breakfast & just took it easy all morning long.

... we gave the dogs their gifts from Santa & they were so excited!!! ... Harvey couldn't even wait for the next gift. He was digging in himself


... it gave me time to do a Bible Journaling page.

... we ended up heading the first showing of Star Wars on Christmas morning.  We got there 35 minutes before it started & a huge line was already formed.  We got great seats & so glad we got there when we did because it was PACKED... not a seat to be found.

... LOVED LOVED LOVED the movie. I totally teared up at the beginning of the nostalgia of it all. I honestly felt like a kid back in the theater in the 70's...

... Ricky & I came home & had our own Christmas opening gifts.

... I got ANOTHER camera - but a small one this time. One to keep in my purse for easy pictures.

... I got Ricky a drone & he spent most of the night watching videos on how it operates.

... I played with my camera all evening long & got it set up with all the apps on it.


... Watched one final showing of Elf for the year


... Ricky had to work so I had the morning to play with more Christmas goodies, do some Bible Journaling & get ready for our road trip.

I'm so proud of my little lamp I drew :)

... but first, the UK / UL game... which means I have to hide & not watch it.  I put in The Empire Strikes Back & watched it instead with the dogs hiding from a yelling daddy.

... Headed down to Nashville to surprise our grandsons...

... only to get stuck in traffic. UGH!!!  We sat for 30 minutes & didn't travel 2 miles at one point.  #FREAKINGOUT

... We went to my favorite Nashville restaurant for dinner & then headed home for some gift giving with some excited little boys

... I so enjoyed staying up late having some girl talk with Julie... & Lucas, who refused to go to bed & kept coming in the room with us.

... I loved even more getting to hold him & to get some one on one time with him.


... I got to get in some grand baby snuggles in the morning..  & by grand babies, I also mean my Grand Pug. He's the first baby for sure.

The youngest is getting so big!!! 

... We tried a new place for Breakfast & it was fantastic.  I love Nashville because they really do cater to vegetarians & vegans.  I had vegetarian 'sausage' patties. They were AMAZING. Had lentils in them & a good spice.

Breakfast   Android  iPhone
Look at those potatoes!!!

... We then stopped at our favorite coffee shop in Nashville.  Sip Cafe.  They only get these World Hot Chocolates during winter so Ricky & I LOVE the dark chocolate with a shot of espresso. A-maz-ING!  Even if we're drinking hot chocolate in 75 degree weather.

Chocolate faces... they had ice cream called "Chocolate Overload'

... it was so humid in Nashville, I couldn't believe it.  Could explain why everything was green & beautiful like Spring time down there.

... got to pet on chickens.

... Got to aggravate Luke by naming one of his dinosaurs Felicia. :)

... love some of my most precious gifts ever.  See the fish painting?  Those are my grandsons hands.  I had them all sign the back of the canvas so I'll have their signature & age for years to come... & look at that pillow!  Julie got it with all the names of my fur babies & all the little babes in my life I love so much... & oh yeah, Ricky :) I love both of these gifts so much!

Luke's hand is the red / white / blue one - he told me, "I did it for America's colors" :)

... got almost home before the rain & storms hit us.  Made driving fun with Ricky in the passenger seat.

... our doggies were so happy their mommy & daddy were home. They refuse to eat when we're not home.  Makes me so sad to ever leave them.

...Got home just in time to wind down & get ready for a busy week....


I cant wait to see everyone's posts & comments about Christmas...

So... are you glad its over? .. or is it still going for you too?

What's the best memory of your Christmas this year?