Oops. January went really quickly. It's been forever since I've blogged. I could offer several excuses like:
-I've been playing Family Feud. -I've been pinning. -I've been cleaning & organizing (repeat 3000x a day) since our house is on the market.
But truly, it's just been a fun and busy month with my family and I've just not felt like blogging. It's way more fun to just live a full day and then go to bed.
But I'm back, people! With a vengeance. Not really. But here's one thing I'm super excited about:
I read on a blog about a girl who went an entire year without buying new clothes. She only bought clothes from yard sales, thrift stores, or consignment. And she inspired me to make that one of my goals for 2012. I'm not a big shopper. I rarely plan a shopping day or go to the mall (unless it's to take Connor to the indoor playground). BUT, I've learned that I'm an impulse buyer, especially when there's a sale. I've been known to go to Target to purchase a toy for a child's birthday party, and leave with a toy for the kid plus 3 shirts for me. Because they were cute. And on sale. But even cute, on sale new clothes add up quickly! So, I'm changing my ways. No new clothes for me this year! My exceptions are bathing suits, socks, and underwear.
I have had the most fun! The day after New Year's, all the Goodwills in SC were 50% off everything. I scored 4 sweaters and a pair of shoes for a total of $11.27. I need to post some pictures of all my great finds. I'll get on that ASAP.
Favorite Books in 2011: 1. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 4. Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore 5. When I Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
Favorite New Foods I Learned to Love in 2011: 1. Mushrooms 2. Roasted tomatoes 3. Quinoa 4. Elephant Ears 5. Red Cabbage
Favorite Accomplishments of 2011: 1. I had zero surgeries. 2. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding and nobody said I looked crazy old. 3. I got very crafty and hugely exceeded my goal to make 3 crafts. I made about 18. 4. I cleaned out my car. 5. I learned how to download an app.
Favorite Trips of 2011: 1. Breckenridge, Colorado 2. Myrtle Beach, SC 3. Prosperity, SC 4. Charleston, SC 5. Charlotte, NC
Favorite Sweet Moments of 2011: 1. Hearing Connor say his first word. Waiting a long time. Praying. Then hearing him say a bunch more. 2. Loads and loads of encouraging morning coffee chats with Jennifer. 3. Serving, praying for, and loving the college and young singles at our church. 4. Pizza and a Movie Nights with my sweet little family. 5. Teaching precious 3rd-4th grade girls each Sunday with Susan. 6. Watching Landon learn to ride a bike without training wheels. 7. Watching Reagan pretend to be a teacher. 8. Walking the streets of Breckenridge while eating a crepe. 9. Celebrating my beautiful grandmother's 80th birthday. 10. Trip after trip after trip to Spartanburg to visit my family. I love them!
...visting Nathan's grandmother, Mom-Mom, at the Lowman Home. ...watching my kids literally turn the nursing home's common area into a playground. ...seeing my 6-year-old play with the toys my husband played with when he was 6. And finding out that his mom also played with them. Realizing that Mom-Mom has kept these same toys for 70 years and is sharing them with her great-grandson. ...family. ...wearing the toboggans she made each great-grandchild. ....walking her back to her room, so thankful to have enjoyed Christmas with Mom-Mom.
December 11th: The kiddos stayed home with Miss Stacey while Nathan and I went to our Sunday School class Christmas Party at Holly and Patrick's house. We had a White Elephant gift exchange. Once again, the gift everyone fought over was the 8 x 10 framed photograph of Nathan and me. Completely understandable. Meanwhile, we went home with one of the funniest books on the planet and a turkey hat. Normal.
December 12th: We had our small group over for a fancy pants dinner party. I made place cards out of candy canes because I'm obsessed with Pinterest. My favorite part of the evening was when we all heard fire sirens and the couples without children got all scared while the couples with kids yelled, "IT'S SANTA!!!!!" Who was correct? Come over, look at all the candy in my pantry, and you'll have your answer.
December 13th: Landon got to choose what we did so he chose "singing Christmas carols as a family and cleaning Landon's room". Sneaky, son. Very sneaky. We sang Christmas carols. We did NOT clean his room.
December 14th: Nathan took the boys to church for Music Night while Reagan and I went to see one of my precious former students, Faith Savannah, play Mary in her church children's musical. She was wonderful!
December 15th: I don't remember much about this day except for the chocolate waffles I split with Sally at Outback. Ok. I'm not using hyperbole here....STOP right now. Get in your car. Drive to Outback. And order the chocolate waffles. Sally, are you reading this? Can I get an Amen? Oh, I just remembered what I did that morning. I volunteered in Landon's school by helping first graders play with Chinese yo-yos.
December 6: Nathan and I went to the deacon Christmas party while the kiddos stayed home for a fun night with Miss Stacey!
December 7: We took the kids to our church to see the children's musical. Our kids aren't currently in the children's choir but it was so much fun to sit beside them as they cheered and clapped for their friends! And afterward, a ton of people told Reagan and Landon, "You did a great job in the musical tonight!" and my sweet kids said, "Thank you." :) Apparently, all children look the same to old people.
December 8: Thanks to Pinterest, I got the idea to make snowman pancakes for dinner. We ended our evening with a Veggie Tales Christmas movie.
December 9: Reagan got to spend the weekend all by herself with Gammy and Papa and Spartanburg. So Nathan and I got a full weekend with just the boys! Friday night, we bought Christmas presents for a 6-year-old we adopted. His mom is having a hard time right now, so we wanted to help her out by providing gifts for him. Landon had an absolute ball picking out just the right clothes and toys for this special little boy. Landon also helped me wrap every single present. I love his heart!
December 10: We took the boys bowling and then out to eat at Monterrey's. The whole evening was hilarious.
December 1: We drove through the Living Christmas Story at Union United Methodist Church. The next day, Reagan said "Shalom" to everyone she saw about a million times. We love this sweet beginning of the Christmas season tradition!
December 2: The younger two kiddos enjoyed Fun Night at our church. The older kiddo got to go to his first ever sleepover birthday party. And we got a date night!
December 3: Nathan and Connor went on a Daddy/Son date to eat pizza and ride the carousel while Landon, Reagan, and I drove to Spartanburg to attend The Twin Trees at First North. It was wonderful!
December 4: For lunch, we met our long lost friends, the Burdettes, at Five Guys and enjoyed some yummy burgers! In the afternoon, Nathan and I attended "Glorious", a modern Christmas worship service, at Shandon Baptist Church. It was incredible. Nathan and I went to Shandon all through college and our first year of marriage. But it was just too far from our house to keep attending. It was so good to visit! That night, we celebrated our nephew, Jack's, 5th birthday.
December 5: I got to watch the six-year-old stud practice basketball. He's really good. That night, the kiddos took a green bath! After that, our small group came over and for dessert I served them the best Christmas sweet ever....Christmas Tree Cakes. Can I get an Amen? (Tip: They're on sale right now at Wal-Mart for $1.50 per box.)
I love my man and our three children. I love to read, sing, exercise, talk to my mom on the phone no fewer than twice a day, praise Jesus, plan trips to Disneyworld, and eat Shells 'n Cheese. I have the best friends in the world. I am blessed.