My family

My family

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

With the kiddos in Texas for Christmas, Jim and I had the house to ourselves.  While I miss Garrett and Delanie like was nice to have a quiet, stress-free, get-out-of-bed-whenever-you-want kind of Christmas. 

(That sounds like I was glad they weren't here......which could not be farther from the truth!)

We spent Christmas Eve shopping for each other.  Jim is incredibly hard to shop for (he returns everything!) so we decided early in our marriage than any Christmas shopping for each other would be done together.  It's so much more fun that way.......we get to spend the entire day together and Jim gets exactly what he wants.  Bonus! :)

I snuck this photo during our looooong visit to the men's shoes section in Macy's.  Let me tell husband has almost as many pairs of shoes as me!

When we got home, I had a special delivery on Christmas Eve waiting on the porch from Denise.  My first anything from Tiffanys!  It was quite a surprise and could not be more beautiful. 

This was definitely the year for jewelry.  FYI:  Jewelry is always the perfect gift for a women.  Jim does one better by making sure each piece has a special meaning.  He picked up the beautiful cross ring below because it has been such a difficult year for our family.  He said, "I knew you could use a little divine intervention."  Dang.....that man is good!!
Jim lost his dad - George - during the holidays a while back.  Since then, he has worn his dad's wedding band on a necklace.  It reminded him that the perfect marriage was possible and not to give up until he found someone like his father had.  About halfway into our courtship, Jim gave me that wedding band to wear as a symbol of his intentions.  I have always treasured that gift and proudly wore it every day. 

The ring below was a Christmas present intended to replace George's wedding band. Jim said, "You've always worn a symbol of my dad's love for my mom. I wanted you to have something that symbolized my love for you." Oh my gosh.......I wept! The meaning behind this gesture makes this my favorite Christmas present ever. I will never take it off. :)

Monday, December 23, 2013


It's official.......Delanie's band is AWESOME!!  They were invited to play at the Timberwolves pre-game last week.  Who gets to do that?????

Delanie has definitely found her calling with the band.  She plays every instrument in percussion.  She absolutely loves it!! 

The Minnesota Timberwolves played the Miami Heat.  Although Jim and I aren't big basketball fans, it was fun to watch LeBron James play.  This guy is definitely worth the hype.  :)

Friday, December 20, 2013


Celebrating more than five thousand page views today!! :)

I have had so much fun with this blog. It started off as a way to keep my friends and family in Texas up to date after our move to Minnesota. It has turned out to be our family's digital scrapbook. 
Check out the number of page views at the lower left (by the yellow arrow)....

Hope you like reading the blog as much as I love writing it!! :)

P.S.  Feel free to leave comments in the section below.  (I just learned how to enable this section.) 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house!  I absolutely love this time of year.  Snow on the ground, a fire in the hearth, deer visiting each night at the feeder........simply magical! :)
The house is decorated with a strict snowman theme. "Frosty the Snowman" - as sad as it is! - has been my favorite Christmas movie since I was a kid. Snowmen remind me to live in the movement.  Definitely easier said than done!
Each year, we get a new family ornament.  We started the tradition with Jimbo joined the family (way back when).  The ornament has each of our names plus the year on it.  It's fun to look back at years past and remember where we were and how far we've come.  This year Delanie chose the sled ornament.  Cute, right? :)
While Delanie and I were finishing up our Christmas shopping this week, we found these ADORABLE "build your own" snowman ornaments at the mall.  We knew right away that each of us had to have one designed to fit our personalities.
Jim..........the perfect man.  

Garrett.......the family jokester.

Delanie.........the happy hipster.

And me.........the cupcake lover. 

Jim and I picked up the last addition when we vacationed at Breezy Point this year. A Minnesota orb hand-painted with a moose.  Don't remember that???  Check out the post here.

Friday, December 13, 2013


Garrett, Delanie and Lauren have always been the three musketeers.  They are stair-stepped in ages so it's always been a fun mix. 
There have been tons of changes over the last few happens fast, right?! Lauren is attending Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Garrett is attending University of Texas in Arlington and Delanie is 1000 miles away in the arctic.  :) 
Thankfully, these kids roll with the flow and make the best use of the time they have together. 

This is my favorite picture of Lauren during her Thanksgiving visit.  Although she ALWAYS has a smile on her face, it's rare that you catch her in a full-blown giggle attack.  :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


After a trip to the salon for mani/pedis, we headed downtown to Minneapolis to watch the
Holidazzle Parade!  I don't know what the heck we were thinking - single digit temps - but we had a ball!  We opted to sit outside instead of in the warm skyway.  It was so cold that we had to make a quick trip into Target to buy a few blankets.  What good is a trip to Minnesota if you don't freeze your bootie off at least once??
Such a fun night!! :)


Monday, December 9, 2013

So thankful....

The holidays seem to be getting easier as each year passes.  Don't get me wrong......I love Minnesota!  At this time of year, I can still feel the sting of missing my family in Texas (especially Garrett Todd!).  This year, Charlene and Bill were kind enough to share Lauren for Thanksgiving!

For some reason, I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving.  That was always my mom's holiday.  She held that yummy cornbread dressing recipe close to the vest! :)  Now Charlene does most of the cooking and the whole family gathers at her house.  While we still celebrate, I'm always anxious to start decorating for Christmas.

Lauren and Mom had a yearly holiday tradition of making fudge and setting up the Christmas village around this time of year.   Since Mom will be celebrating with Jesus this year, I thought it would be fun to put a Minnesota-spin on it. :)

Lauren, Delanie and I chose our own fudge recipe and got to our pajamas!  Once we were done, Jim did the blind judging.   Drum roll please.........

Delanie is now the reigning Fudge Champion! :)

It did my heart good to see these little chick-a-dees laughing and playing during the whole process.  Whenever they get together, it's like no time has passed at all.  The only Musketeer missing this year was Garrett.  We are already working to correct that situation for next year! :)

After stuffing ourselves with Turkey (and fudge!), the girls got dressed and headed to the movie theater for Catching Fire. 

All in was a great day!  Jim was so understanding about our "girl time".  When we got home from the movies, he had replaced the TV in the family room (the new one has Netflix!).  Can you believe he went to Best Buy on the evening of Thanksgiving???  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


In 8 hours and 33 minutes, this beauty will be all mine for the weekend!! I'm going to hug her and squeeze her and love her and tickle her and call her Raymond.  :)
Can't wait to see you, LaLa!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

What a night!!

Finally!  The night Delanie has been waiting on since July arrived......the Paramore concert!!!  Remember her reaction here?! :)
After a yummy dinner at Pazzaluna, we stood in line behind no less than 3000 people.  In the small world department, Delanie's friend Courtney was at the concert too. What are the chances she would be in line right in front of us??
Once inside the auditorium, Delanie literally ran to her seat.  By the way, that's her new Paramore hoodie.   :)
Roy Wilkins Auditorium is a fairly small venue.  The general admission tickets are standing room only on the floor.  Thankfully, our balcony tickets were right up close (plus we could sit down!).  She was a good sport about bringing her mom to the concert. 
When Paramore finally took the stage, Delanie burst into tears.  I think the excitement was just too overwhelming for her.  She quickly recovered and rocked out the rest of the night.  She was so exhausted - and hoarse! - by the end of the night that she crashed on the way home. 
This is Hayley Williams......Delanie's favorite singer. 

This smile was worth the price of admission!!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Finding the time

Is it just me or does everyone need a little more time in their day?? 

With work, family, holidays and everything else that seems to pop up, I have the hardest time finding time to scrapbook.  It's funny that the thing you most look forward to - and the most rewarding - always seems to get pushed to the back burner.

When Jim and I decided to finish the basement before the big move, my biggest request was a designated scrapbook/craft room.  Lo and behold....... this is hands down my favorite place in the entire world!  The perfect no-men-allowed-area that Delanie and I can spend tons of quality time.  :)

While doing chores yesterday, I found myself downstairs yearning to sit down and create.  Inspiration was everywhere......

Delanie's storage/display area....

Evidence of hours and hours and hours of work......


Even with this special space, Delanie and I often end up at the dining room table working on our books.  I'm too afraid to miss out on something I guess! :)

Charlene and I used to be so good about carving out an hour or two every Sunday evening to Skype while we worked on our scrapbooks.  Somehow we've gotten out of the habit lately.  New Year's Resolution (too early??): FIND THE TIME!!!

The first thing on the agenda is Garrett's senior year.  Thanks to the new Project Life system - thank you Becky Higgins!!- I'm hoping this one won't take forever.  No's definitely a labor of love!! :)