Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Yep, you guessed it, Christmas!
I unabashedly admit that I LOVE decorating for Christmas. I love getting a fresh pine tree. I love the lights (which we have now upgraded to LED, energy savings woohoo). I love my cinnamon broom. I love my nativity collection ( I think I have almost 8 now). And on and on right?
This year was quite possibly the smoothest decorating day we've had. All I'm missing are my two giant poinsettias for the entryway. Loving it all. Even little man got into it and helped hang ornaments (or hide them in his special tree spot).
Here's the visuals.
Found it!

Baby Jack (In celebration of)

My dear friend Holly is expecting her second little one, Jack, within the next few weeks. Though I know she's hoping for any day now. We were able to have an intimate celebration with her this weekend complete with the "boob and belly" cake, Taboo, and lots of great girl talk. (I'll spare you those details). But I wanted to share some pictures of the beautiful mama.
Baby Bump


Spontaneity Pays Off

We had a brief window of opportunity to escape our normal surroundings for a night and a day before Thanksgiving and instead of letting it slip away we seized the day, carpe diem and ran off to Chattanooga, TN. Spontaneous trips used to be a little difficult for us when we had Dante around so this was a much needed get away. We'd like to thank the Sheraton Read House for upgrading us to our lovely and spacious suite.
We had a nice stroll down by the river before dinner at Cheeburger Cheeburger (thanks Dan for the recommendation).
Then we spent the next day at the Creative Discovery Museum. And Tim & I think this may be our favorite children's museum thus far. And we've been to quite a few. The kids loved it and we must confess that so did we. So much to do and learn. Tim was inspired by the art section and I was inspired by the green roof they had. The kids were inspired...well...by everything I think.
To quote Jadyn "This is(was) the BEST family day ever!" (but aren't they all)

An in-exhaustive list of thanks

I realize this is a few days late, but so are most things in my life these days.

My husband of 7 years, the most self-less person I know... my children who burst my little heart with each laugh, smile, kiss and snuggle...all our amazing family both the Campbells and the Villegas'...friends, so many wonderful friends...not having to work on Thanksgiving...cold days with a cup of hot coffee and my down comforter...good music and a sound system to listen to it with...downtown Atlanta, especially the playgrounds at Centennial Olympic Park...changing of the seasons...really great neighbors...stable jobs we love, and a new co-worker I adore...a church that gives, and gives, and gives...nativity sets from around the world...books...being outside in all kinds of weather...mail...yoga pants, cotton tees and hoodie zip ups...date nights and family days...Trader Joes...Mrs. D and Mrs. Mali, Jadyn's amazing Pre-K teachers...the Outsiders...heaters...the Sunday crossowrd and comics...health in body and mind...my house...being loved by so many...having freedom...being forgiven.

oh...and turkey of course

Our Delicious Thanksgiving Bird, compliments of the Lehmans and Fresh Market

Monday, November 29, 2010

In the mean time

I have much to say about this last week but of course, no time to do it (right now anyway). But while you wait expectantly, I'm sure, here is a link to an article Tim and I really loved by someone that Tim has deemed one of his heroes. If you have the time it is truly good reading. It will give you a lot to mull over.

Friday, November 19, 2010


3 things, one post. (is this blogging gluttony?)

1. I once blogged about Jadyn telling us that she was "very awesome". Well that phrase has stuck in our family and every once in awhile I have those moments, that I am "very awesome". One of those was this week after I completed recovering our piano bench. I had been meaning to do it since we bought it with the hideous green floral print (no offense). And it turned out more perfect than I could imagine. It's the little things right?


2. Jadyn's class had their Thanksgiving Feast yesterday and quite the feast it was. I still am in awe of her being so grown.

Feasting Together
The Incredible Mrs D.

3. One of our family priorities is to raise kids who love to read. We re-vamped our front room this last weekend with that goal in mind and have expanded our bookcases to make a more library-esque feel to the room and I think it's working. Check out these little book lovers.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not to be outdone...

...by our cousins to the North (yeah, you up there in Canada). Although Ruth is pretty dang cute. Check these out!

The Love of a Dog

Unconditional right? Right. At least that's what we experienced.

This weekend proved to be in the top 5 of worst weekends. It started with getting sick on Friday and having to call out for work. Then there was the bickering between Tim & I (I know, you're shocked but when you only get to see someone a handful of hours out of the week, it's bound to happen). But all that was nothing compared to Saturday night.

We had gone out for our Saturday family festivities and came home pretty late so we set out to put the kids straight to bed. Then we came back downstairs and checked on our precious Dante who had been sick for a few days. (For those of you who don't know, he had a seizure disorder and it was pretty bad. He had cycles every few months where he would have seizures throughout the day for up to seven days.) So we thought he was just in one of his cycles. But when we checked on him he was already gone. 

No chance to say good bye, no prep time. Just shock.

His body now rests peaceful in our backyard and his sweet spirit lives on in our memories.

This is a tribute to him. Our first "child" in many respects. More high maintenance than our human children for sure. He will be sorely missed.

Dante Paradiso Villegas   
March 4th, 2004-November 13th, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Discipline of Simplicity

"Simplicity is freedom" ~Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline

And can I just say that I could use a little freedom right now. This idea of simplicity has been at the forefront of my mind lately. Constantly nagging at me and I kept using the excuse that I was too busy to tackle this discipline. But truth be told, I am too busy because life is too complicated right now.
SO...first steps have been taken.
#1, weeding out the DVR. I mean seriously, how many hours of TV do we need to watch a week. You know you have a problem when you are weeks behind in shows. We said good-bye to some very beloved shows but are already feeling the weight removed.
#2, de-cluttering and donating. This is going to be an on-going thing until the New Year. I have a VERY hard time letting go of things, but let go I must. The two "junk drawers" are done and the electronics. It's a start anyway.
#3, stop adding. I read somewhere that you should have the rule that for every new thing that you bring into your home you should set two free. So we're going to try this. And also, that you should put anything that you want to buy on a list for 30 days and then if you still want/need it, go ahead and get it. A great rule for this impulse shopper.
That's what I have so far. Keep you posted. I'm looking forward to some serious freedom in my time, finances and home.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I guess I'm what you call a "political cynic" or maybe even a "political disillusion-ist" (I think I just made that word up) BUT, I did go out and vote yesterday and I'm glad I did.
Our church small group is studying the book of Daniel right now. For those of you familiar, we read about the "fiery furnace" tonight and I praised God for the blessing of having a voice, options and the continued freedom to worship as I choose. Pretty big blessings I take for granted every day.
So I wore my Georgia Voter sticker proudly.

side note (I was trying to explain the whole voting thing to Jadyn since she was coming with us. I told her in so many words that we were going to pick the people who were going to be in charge of the country. And she said simply, "Mom, God is" Gotta love the simplicity of that right.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Fall Y'All!

Fall Activities to date (in no particular order)...

...family camping trip

...apple picking and subsequent pie baking and apple butter making

   ...many fun crafts/projects ( Boo-ville, trash bag ghosts, scarecrows) 

...corn-maze and pumpkin patch visits

...attending the North GA State Fair and eating corndogs, cheese fries and funnel cake

...trick-or-treating with the peeps
                                                     ...neighborhood block party

...pumpkin carving and pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake baking...leaf pressing

Still to come

...SID/PID annual chili cook-off...Hawks game and whatever else we can squeeze in