Monday, November 26, 2012

Celebrating 35 years of marriage

Tomorrow is our 35th wedding anniversary. Thirty five years ... I am a little shocked myself. I cannot be old enough to have been married for 35 years. (Wait ... I do turn 60 in a few weeks.) 

We got married on a Sunday (my favorite day of the week), and because my dad was the pastor, we got to waive the usual, no-weddings-on-Sunday-rule. In fact, I played the piano in church on Sunday morning and then went home to change into my wedding dress.

We chose Thanksgiving weekend, because I was teaching school and with Christmas vacation right around the corner, we were able to take a longer honeymoon. (It does mean though, that we rarely celebrate on our actual anniversary, with holiday planning.) 

We decided to go to New Orleans ... to celebrate us Dave had been twice to help with clean up from Hurricane Katrina and had always wanted to take me there.

My husband is the quintessential tour guide, a gamer and an extrovert ... so we always have fun when we get to travel together. 

New Orleans is a beautiful city that is full of amazing architecture,  delicious food and perfect coffee.

We walked for miles on famous streets and all through the Garden District. And when we got tired, we enjoyed a horse cart ride and the cable car.

I like us ... a lot. 

Dave won a night at the The Roosevelt, New Orlean's deluxe Waldorf Astoria. We spent our last lovely night there. 

Babe, I love being married to you. Thanks for all the hard internal work you have done to become authentic and so fun. And for always taking such good care of the girls and me. 

Where do you want to go next?

Joining with the sweet Soli sisters.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Pajama Day (and a winner)

some of my planning supplies

I can tell by the response to my last post that most of us could benefit from a pajama/Christmas music/planning day, as the holidays are fast approaching.

My day was relaxing and perfect. Menus planned for Thanksgiving, two birthdays and Christmas ... December calendar coordinated ... and my on-line orders done.

Simple always works best for me!

Please do not be discouraged if you cannot manage a whole day for planning. Even an hour or two will help:

          *sneak away to Starbucks after
           you tuck your kids in bed

          *designate a lunch break or two
           for planning

          *while your kiddos are in Awana,
           stop at the cupcake shop and 
           plan away

          *trade a few hours of kidsitting
           with a neighbor

          *get up an hour early two days 
           this week and and sneak back 
           to bed with coffee and your 

You get the idea ... an hour or two of planning will relieve a lot of holiday stress.  

And now for the winner of Katharine's Advent devotion, Walking to Bethlehem ~ the lovely
Alicia Bruxvoort. Please contact me with your e.mail address. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Enter His gates with Thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him,
Bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His steadfast love endures forever,
And His faithfulness to all generations.

                                                Psalm 100:4,5      

Monday, November 12, 2012

Preparing for the fast approaching train called ... THE HOLIDAYS

The next seven weeks are some of my favorite of the year.

My darling momHallie, taught me to love Thanksgiving and Christmas.  She grew up with absent parents who pulled it together for the holidays. So she loved them.

And, I also get my practical and simple side from her.
(thanks, mom) This will be our eighth Christmas, since we lost our mom to cancer. I miss her often and always the most at Christmas.

Before you know it, we will be roasting the turkey, then decking the halls 

So, I am declaring tomorrow a:

pajama (my favorite pink and gray ones),

coffee/tea drinking,

Christmas music listening (Dave is away),

planning ... day!

One whole day, with nothing on my calendar. One whole day to:

plan our Thanksgiving menu (already bought my pre-brined turkey at Trader Joe's)

enjoy Christmas magazines

finish my gift list

order on.line presents (etsy love) 

plan Christmas eve and Christmas day menus
plan Jenny's birthday here (gluten and sugar free, of course) 

think about my 60th birthday (the past few years, I have planned exactly what I want to do on my birthday. Dave loves it, because he enjoys making my day special.

finalize our December calendar (concert at The Moody Church, outdoor community concert and coffee at Millennium park, kristkindl market, favorite Christmas movies, Les Miserables at the theater, visit State street Macy's, carol and lessons at our church, time with our borrowed charming kids) 

Sounds like a perfect day to me. I think I will choose the first Christmas cd and head to bed early.

How are you preparing?

Linking to Jen and the sweet Soli Sisters
and Richella at Imparting Grace.
 image credit    


Friday, November 9, 2012

Walking to Bethlehem: A Devotional Journey Through Advent (and a giveaway)

One gift I give myself during the Christmas season is to spend some quiet moments each day with an Advent devotional. (and coffee)

My friend, Kae, introduced me to Advent when my girls were little. She grew up with the candles, wreath, readings and carols that make Advent so special.

Dave and I tweaked the system to work for our little family and it became a big part of our celebration of Jesus' birth.

This year, I was looking for a new Advent book for myself and I found a great one, thanks to my blogging friend, Katharine Barrett, who just wrote one.

Walking to Bethlehem: A Devotional Journey Through Advent 

The format is simple and delightful. Perfect for me. 

Here is what you will enjoy:

          *Scripture reading, lesson/teaching
            and a carol for each Sunday in Advent.

          *a devotional reading for each day with
            the Scripture and carol printed right in 
            the book. (I love this, so I can throw it in my purse
                  and head to Starbucks without adding the weight of my

               *an introduction to some of the Biblical
            characters of the Christmas story

          *some of the fun (and funny) Barrett family

          *a little history on some Christmas 

          *great recipes (do not miss the story behind 
                  "Shutty Cakes", and be careful how you pronounce it)

As a special bonus, Katharine wrote fun readings for kids for each Advent Sunday. I loved them.

I enjoyed the book so much and look forward to reading it again this Christmas. 

You can find Walking to Bethlehem: A Devotional Journey Through Advent on amazon. It is available in print or 

And now for the giveaway. Leave a comment on today's blog and I will choose one reader to receive a of this great devotional. Thanks, Katharine. 

Does your family celebrate Advent?

ps. Three of the stories made me cry.

Linking to Jen and the sweet Soli Sisters. 

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