My family

My family

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Come as you are

For the past few years, I've kinda dreaded Thanksgiving.  

I always felt so far from home and couldn't bring myself to make Mama's dressing or Tracey's PawPaw Pie.  

It just didn't feel right.

Jesus and I have had a lot of conversations over the past few years about this.  

Then the most awesome thing happened when I woke up this morning.  

I felt alive.  Free.  Happy.  And most of all Thankful.

Don't get me wrong, I miss the stuffing out of my family (see what I did there?!) but today it feels right to honor the family traditions.  It feels good to think about each person as I'm cooking my version of Thanksgiving dinner.

I'm thinking of my mama as I make her cornbread dressing.  

I'm thinking about Bill as I wipe down the counters.  Bill is my spirit animal when it comes to a clean kitchen.  

I'm thinking of Tracey as I try to recreate her PawPie Pie.  If it turns out half as good as hers, I'll consider it a win.

I'm thinking of Lauren as I'm on Pinterest looking for fudge recipes.  Watch out year the Fudge Trophy is mine!

I'm thinking of Little David (far from "little" these days) as he celebrates his birthday week.

I'm thinking of Delanie as she travels to Texas to spend time with the Albaugh family.  Will her vegetarian heart have enough to eat today?

I'm thinking of Garrett as he's picking up Maci to head to dinner.  He's a trooper because I know he'd much rather be playing video games on his couch in his loose-fitting athletic shorts.

I'm thinking of Doug and wondering if he's wearing the green sweater that "brings out his eyes".  

I'm thinking about Bea and praying today is a good day for her.  I'm wishing I could hear her laughter and cuddle up on her couch under my favorite blanket.

I'm thinking of my dad as he tries to carve out a life in Alabama.  I wonder if he talks to Mom today while making chocolate gravy in his kitchen decorated with her Chi Chi chefs.  

I'm think of Denise as this song plays in the background.  It seems so appropriate for today.  

Click here to listen:      Come As You Are

I'm starting a new tradition today by putting up the Christmas decorations.  

Scandalous ......I know! 😉

Happy Thanksgiving!  I love you guys!! 💛

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Grab

This is my all-time favorite photo of my sisters.  

The Suggs' girls are infamous for grabbing/poking each others boobs.  It doesn't matter where we are, the boobs are fair game when we're together.  

TMI?  Maybe.  True?  Definitely.  😉

I remember this day like it was yesterday.  Charlene & Tracey were sitting on the porch swing in my parents' backyard.  Delanie shimmied herself in between them, reached over and grabbed both of their boobs.  At the same time!  

That kid is ALL MINE!!! 💙

The looks on their faces in the top left photo says it all.  They were gob-smacked!  

Then all hell broke loose as everyone was simultaneously grabbing and protecting their own ta-tas.

LOL!! 😆

Every time I see this picture, it makes me laugh out loud.  I love these girls!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Mama's dressing

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it has me CRAVING my mama's cornbread dressing.

Found a few photos of the kids at various Thanksgivings over the years.  They were (and still are!) so dang cute!! 

For as long as I remember, Thanksgiving was one of our family's favorite holidays.

Mine.....not so much.

I always loved gathering together at Mom and Dad's house but I enjoyed the company more than the food.

Delanie's Kindergarten Thanksgiving play @ First Baptist Church

The kids always ended up wrestling, cracking on each other and generally going crazy after they stuffed their faces.  That part was the best for me! 

Don't get me wrong.....I can binge on turkey and dressing with the best of them but it was usually Mom and Charlene making the bulk of Thanksgiving dinner.  (They LOVE being in the kitchen!)

I would bring the easy stuff like mashed potatoes and salad.  Tracey always brought her world-famous banana pudding and PawPaw Pie.  D'Wayne would always bring cokes and ice.  

Oh honey.....that PawPaw pie!  

Let me stop right here and offer up a silent prayer thanking Jesus for PawPaw pie.  

I can (and have!) eaten an entire pie by myself.  I'm not kidding.  

Special side note:  Tracey used to make PawPaw pies every year for Charlene and I on our birthday.  One for Charlene, one for me (without meringue) and one for the rest of the family.

What is PawPaw ask?

My mother's father used to make this pie that us grand-kids would LITERALLY fight over.  

It's known to the rest of the world as Icebox Lemon Meringue pie but not to us.  In fact, my grandfather hated to hear us call it PawPaw pie because it embarrassed him that we loved it so much. 

To this day it is my absolute favorite dessert and try as I might, I cannot make it as good as Tracey.   

But I digress......back to Thanksgiving.  

Garrett's Kindergarten Thanksgiving play @ First Baptist Church

 After we moved to Minnesota, I let the traditional Thanksgiving feast fall by the wayside.

Last year we went to one of Delanie's friend's homes for an Orphan Thanksgiving.  It was packed with families who were living away from their extended family.  It was AWESOME and we hoped it do the same thing this year. just so happened that both kiddos will be in Texas this year.  For the first time EVER, Jim and I will be alone for Thanksgiving.  

What?!  Huh?!  

Oh HELL YEAH!!  Hahaha!  😋

I still don't know how to cook a turkey so Jim ordered one from a local delicatessen.  I can, however, make my mama's cornbread dressing.    In all honesty.....I could care less about turkey......just give me a plate of cornbread dressing.  

So......with Thanksgiving quickly approaching......I'm dusting off the recipe that Charlene lovingly memorized for the rest of us.  

Thank you, Bea! 💜

I have my second foot surgery the day after Thanksgiving so it looks like Jim will be working off that turkey by putting up the Christmas tree!  He doesn't know that yet though.  

Dang I'm dreaming of PaPa pie! 😏  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Winter is finally here!

Minnesota is supposed to get our first snowstorm of the winter tonight!  

Bring it on!! 

I love everything about the winter!  I even enjoy shoveling the snow off the driveway! 😉

Here's to Crock Pot suppers, cozy fires and lots of blankets on the couch.  

Speaking of blankets......did you know that Jim warms them up in the dryer before spreading them out over us on the couch?!  Who does sweet stuff like that???  Seriously, he's the love of my life! favorite that the deer visit our feeder more often.  

Nope, you will never hear this Southern girl complaining about
Winter weather up North!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Music to my ears I've got this thing about Baptist hymns.  

A few bars of one of these hymns stops me in my tracks every single time.  


This Christmas, I wanted to create art using the pages of Baptist Hymnals.  

I wanted to relive those Sunday morning church services from my childhood.  My favorite services were the ones where we sang every single verse.  

On a whim, I logged on to Amazon and ordered a few old hymnals.  

I was so excited to open these packages when they came in the mail!

Y'all.......I could never have expected what I found when I opened that box.  

Honestly, I wasn't paying much attention when I ordered the books.  

I was SHOCKED when I opened that package and found the church's imprint at the bottom of the book.

Check that out......!!


Charlotte Road Baptist Church

What an amazing surprise!!! :)

I've been humming these tunes ever since! :)

I had so much fun creating these hymn boards and I'm so happy with how they turned out.  

I dropped off several pieces at Art2Heart for their Open House over the weekend.  

I am still amazed to have my creations in the showroom. 

A few other pieces I'm adding to the Etsy shop this week.  

The cutest little jingle ornaments.....

Merry Christmas, friends! :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beanie Girl's Birthday

Happy birthday to this badass!! :)

I will never get used to spending our birthdays apart.  Charlene is as much a part of me as my arm.  Life is just better when we are together.  

These photos were taken in a recent FaceTime session.  

They describe our relationship EXACTLY.  

I don't know what we were talking about (ok, in all honesty.....I do remember but it was totally inappropriate for the blog!) but the laughter started immediately.  As it always does.  

Man do I love this woman!!

This is the package I received last week....

Inside the box was a gorgeous present (of course!) but what really got me was the what she used to protect my birthday present.  

Every single balloon had a special note written on it.  

"You're a great mom!"

"You are beautiful!"

"I know Jim would say you're a great wife!"

Seriously, I didn't care what the present was.  These balloons made me sit down and cry happy tears.

Charlene loves snowmen.  In fact, her Christmas tree has nothing but snowmen.  

I stole that idea and now my tree has only snowmen! Ha! :)

I wish I had thought of something as sweet as balloon notes.  Instead, I made her a few snowmen photos to hang next to the Christmas tree this year.  

Happy birthday to my baby sister!!!  

Yep, that's right.....BABY sister.

I've still got four minutes on you sweet thing!! :)

And, for your viewing pleasure, a flashback of the badass in her glory.....

I love you Beanie Girl!! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

We voted!

Election Day is finally here!  :)

How lucky are we to live in a country where we can choose our leaders?!

The hubs and I proudly wearing out "I voted" stickers!  

I still get really emotional when I bubble in my choice on the ballot.  

It's still a long way from over but I'm shocked at who's leading in the polls as I type this.  

One way or another, history is being made today!