Monday, December 29, 2008

What a Whirlwind it has been!

Oh yes, it has been! I hope that everyone out there in blogland had a wonder filled Christmas just like we did here at the Southern Somedays home front. It did seem, though, that we celebrated straight for about a week and a half which definitely lends to feeling like you had Christmas (and then some). We hosted 2 parties and 1 lunch within a 24 hour period which kicked off the week of Christmas for us and after that the ball was rolling and we were laughing the entire, wild ride. One of my favorite times was our Candle-light Christmas Eve Service at church. There is just something deeply moving about seeing all your family and friends, with their faces lit by a traveling spark of light in that moment of calm, in that moment when one and all have turned their hearts to the true reason why we celebrate - the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ...it gives me goose bumps every year! We also were blessed with lots of time with friends and grandparents and can't imagine the season without those traditions.

DD and I even braved the "after Christmas" shopping rush and did a little shopping (more browsing than shopping because, #1 we didn't NEED a thing and #2 the sales just weren't all that spectacular).

Anyway, now that 2009 is only 2 days away I am turning my attention to the New Year and, of course, resolutions! I have 1 (yep, only 1) and that is to pare down and simplify my life. I want to rid myself mentally and physically of all the clutter that has gathered in the corners of my life. So, this week, I am planning, preparing and starting the transformation. There are several blogs, like http://www.simplemom.net/, that are really helping me focus and execute my resolution. Can you tell that I started planning my resolution a while back? So, in addition to all the fun stuff I like to blog about, you may see a post here or there about my 2009 Simplify Plan. So, do you have any resolutions (other than to not make resolutions)?

Friday, December 19, 2008

A NON-Christmas post!


Yes, there probably is a law against it but I have a NON-Christmas post today! Well, it might be, sorta a Christmas post...but not really. Anyway, today, I went into the bookstore to pick up a few last minute things and low and behold I stumbled on something for ME (imagine!). I came across Melinda Rainey Thompson's book, SWAG, Southern Women Aging Gracefully and after reading her "10 Ways to know if You're a SWAG" I just had to buy it since I can honestly say I have checked off all 10 (though, that in NO way, indicates that I am aging...THAT is just against my nature, of course!)

Ten Ways to Know if You Are a SWAG

1. You feel the urge to bake a pound cake after reading the obituaries.
2. You have had professional photographs made of your children barefoot and dressed in their Sunday clothes.
3. You believe that cocktail dresses do not double as church clothes.
4. You'd rather have a fight with your husband than with your best friend.
5. You have stolen magnolia leaves, or you know someone who has.
6. You have monogrammed the middle of your shower curtain.
7. You could live without Yankees who equate your accent with a low IQ.
8. You know better than to eat the potato salad at a family reunion.
9. You are socially conditioned to believe that tanned fat looks better than white fat.
10. Your children hide their Easter baskets and Valentine's Day candy from you just in case you have a dieting lapse.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh....MY


OK, these probably won't make it until my Sunday night party. I had planned to place a few dishes of various chocolates around the house for our party and thought I would just try "one" of these. Good luck with that! They are pretty well amazing!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Heavy heart...


My DH and I had an argument last night. No, I don’t generally air dirty laundry here in blogland but some how it seems to be weighing on my heart today. No, the argument isn’t…it is long resolved and was really not a major issue, but in light of the pain and anguish another family we know is facing I feel it was wasted energy. You see, a sweet family that we know is waking up this morning to face the day after learning, yesterday, that their beloved husband and father was murdered. A wife and 3 children are trying to figure out how to cope after being assaulted with the news that the man they loved lost his life at the hands someone he stopped and tried to help. There is hope, though, because this man loved God and worked to share his faith as a Chaplin and youth pastor. I don’t even pretend to know what they are feeling or how they will even get through today. Please pray for this family and hold yours a bit tighter because you can.

VOTE for Saxby!

Don't leave it to chance, GEORGIA...pray then get out and VOTE!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The week is here...

Yes, it is the week of Thanksgiving and preparations are under way here. I completed the shopping yesterday, (yippeee!), and even started some baking last night. Today I will continue assembling dishes to cut down on 'day of' prep. I love entertaining and having a house full of friends and family. This Thanksgiving will be really special because we will be hosting (for the 1st time) DH's extended family.

So, along with my pies to bake and turkey's to brine, I have also started the Christmas decorating! DD and a friend put her tree up on Sunday. Today I will do DS#2's tree and hopefully get started on DS#1's tree. I have a system where as I attempt to start the Sunday before Thanksgiving doing a tree (or more) a day that week. That way at least the upstairs trees are completed before Thanksgiving, which will only leave the 2 for downstairs to be done after Thanksgiving.

This year my family is so excited about the holidays! We are always big holiday people but this year it seems ratcheted up a bit. I am not sure why. Maybe it is all the dreary, depressing news we hear and we want something more positive to focus on (???). Last year I was sick during the holiday season so we didn't do alot of the little things we have always done and I do think they missed it. It isn't about gifts either because all three seem pretty hard pressed to come up with anything they really want (love that!). It truly seems to be that everyone is just looking forward to the traditions we have (and to have children actually verbalize this makes me so happy). Either way, I am not complaining, just enjoying the spirit of the season.

So, no matter what your plans are to celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope this week finds you feeling blessed and with a thanks filled heart.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't you love this ribbon?

Isn't it pretty? Now, y'all know I love almost all things Ballard and this is one of their holiday offerings this year. Anyone know where I might be able to score some of this at a less-than-Ballards price?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Frugal Friday Finds...

Look at my fantastic Frugal finds! I got these 2 great wooden chairs and 6 glasses for only $36.00 (the glasses were $1 for all 6). Yard Sales, hooray!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Strangely correct....

Ok...I am not normally one who puts much stock in those fun online quizzes but this one was very spot on:

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Jackie!

mm.jackie_.jpg

You are a Jackie. "I do everything the right way."

Jackies are realistic, conscientious, and principled. They strive to live up to their high ideals.

How to Get Along with Me

* Take your share of the responsibility so I don't end up with all the work.

* Acknowledge my achievements.

* I'm hard on myself. Reassure me that I'm fine the way I am.

* Tell me that you value my advice.

* Be fair and considerate, as I am.

* Apologize if you have been unthoughtful. It will help me to forgive.

* Gently encourage me to lighten up and to laugh at myself when I get uptight, but hear my worries first.

What I Like About Being a Jackie

* Being self-disciplined and able to accomplish a great deal

* Working hard to make the world a better place

* Having high standards and ethics; not compromising myself

* Being reasonable, responsible, and dedicated in everything I do

* Being able to put facts together, coming to good understandings, and figuring out wise solutions

* Being the best I can be and bringing out the best in other people

What's Hard About Being a Jackie

* Being disappointed with myself or others when my expectations are not met

* Feeling burdened by too much responsibility

* Thinking that what I do is never good enough

* Not being appreciated for what I do for people

* Being upset because others aren't trying as hard as I am

* Obsessing about what I did or what I should do

* Being tense, anxious, and taking things too seriously

Jackies as Children Often

* Criticize themselves in anticipation of criticism from others

* Refrain from doing things that they think might not come out perfect

* Focus on living up to the expectations of their parents and teachers

* Are very responsible; may assume the role of parent

* Hold back negative emotions ("good children aren't angry")

Jackies as Parents

* Teach their children responsibility and strong moral values

* Are consistent and fair

* Discipline firmly

http://www.helloquizzy.com/tests/are-you-a-jackie-or-a-marilyn-or-someone-else-mad-menera-female-icon-quiz">Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at

Random Fall Photos...

This is where I grew up.
Lovely reds
My grandparents owned a hotel that used to sit on this very spot but is now a summer camp.

Off the beaten path

The view from my window (while sitting at the computer).





Getting Fireproof...

Saturday DH and I took a road trip north to attend the Fireproof My Marriage simulcast http://www.ccn.tv/fireproof/ at a church in Franklin, NC. It was a great day. I have to admit I didn’t know how much I would enjoy a simulcast as opposed to a live event but it was super. The speakers were fantastic (Dr. Gary Smalley, Dr. Les Parrott, Pastor Michael Catt, Ted Cunningham, Alex Kendrick, and Stephen Kendrick). Every presentation was something that touched me and really showed me where I need to do some hard work in my relationship. Isn't God great? He knows what we need, when we need it and how to get it to us. The host church, http://www.fccfranklin.org/, was very sweet and hospitable and made us feel so at home. They also provide a super lunch that kept us going through the day!
DH and I started working through The Love Dare http://www.lovedarebook.com/ last week, so this event came at a perfect time to really cement our commitment to focus more on our marriage.
Afterwards, we took a side trip over to Highlands, N.C. to do some shopping and then headed to Cashiers, N.C. for dinner at Carolina Smokehouse BBQ which, by the way, has been one of our favorites for almost 15 years.
The drive over was great; there were some wonderful colors still left on the trees.
Having 3 children really doesn’t lend to many nice days of focusing on just each other so this day was such a gift!
I love this man.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Inside touches of fall....

This great bowl was one I found at a yardsale an it works perfectly on the sideboard to hold some fall color.
Dining Room Sideboard
Centerpiece for the Dining Room Table
This glass vessel will find a new life at Christmas!
What is Thanksgiving without the Publix Pilgrims on the breakfast table?
More pilgrims hiding out on the piano!
I love my pumpkins!
A little touch of fall on the family room coffee table...my family loves to decorate for the seasons and the children all ask when we are getting out the decorations for each one. I hope it is something they remember when they are out on their own.

I haven't forgotten Fall...

Since I have been the reminder for lots of folks that Christmas, is indeed, less than 2 months away I thought I might let everyone know that I haven't forgotten fall. Fall is actually my favorite season. I don't decorate for Halloween, but rather do a fall theme that carries me until Thanksgiving (which is then quickly switched out for Christmas!). To pump up the festiveness of the lights at my entry I just tied some gorgeous Indian Corn with a bow.
What is a door without a wreath?

Welcome Fall!
You can see my little mounds of pansies peeking out!
Dh and I got our corn stalks at Jaemor Farms and were very surprised to find they actually still had corn on them!
My boys were really thrilled that we did a display this year. I used to do one in the yard every year but not in the last few.
Notice there are 3 scarecrows....one girl and 2 boys...guess who is who?

Friday, October 24, 2008

She's Seventeen!

Yes, we had a birthday week around here! IF you knew my DD then you would understand birthday WEEK. She loves birthdays (particularly her own) more than anyone I have ever known! Now, I just have to figure out how to cope with the concept that she is 17...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fireproof

Have you seen it? During our date night last Saturday, DH and I and went to a rare movie (rare in that we rarely ever go to the theatre due to not many offerings interest us enough to pay upwards of $10 a ticket to see and rare in that this was a wonderful, Christian movie that was rooted in the reality of so many families today - Christian or not).

Marriage is hard. Whether a couple has big issues or small issues...marriage is hard. This movie focuses on the condition of the heart of each individual in a marriage and how THAT element plays such a huge part of the success or failure of a marriage. Now, don't get me wrong, this wasn't some sappy, romantic movie...it was deep and "uncomfortable" in lots of ways but that is balanced with a good dose of humor and I definately think both men and women will enjoy it.
http://www.fireproofthemovie.com/ I want to go back and see it again just to absorb some of the things I missed the 1st go round and it will definately be added to our video collection.

Go see it...for your marriage or just for yourself.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Walmart...

This is a post I never thought I would write…it combines one of my favorite past times (retail therapy) with one of my traditionally most hated retailers (Walmart). Yes, I said Walmart and retail therapy in the same sentence without screeching.

I have often prided myself on my hate of Walmart…give me a Target and I was happy…send me to Walmart and my teeth ached. My experience with Walmart over the years caused me to avoid, at all cost (which yes, generally meant paying more), their stores. The messy, clogged, over-stocked isles, paired with their less than inspired style selections and the long check out lines made me just choose to shop elsewhere. Yes, I know they were the best $ deal going but the hassle of going wasn’t worth the value. Oh, I would go in for things that I just had to get there but over all I avoided them.

Fast forward to the new and improved Walmart! I now have easy access to 2 new Walmart stores and amazingly enough… I love going! It seems the powers that be at Walmart figured out how to improve the shopping experience and still offer great $ deals! The new stores are open and clean and there is an eye for easy and appealing display as opposed to the Walmart of yester-year with loads of merchandise overwhelming the shopper as they walked through. The isles are more open and the layout of the store is more enticing. I swear I think the employees are even happier and more helpful (but I could just be projecting there!). I am completely taken by surprise at my new love of Walmart! Who would have imagined? I especially like their house wares department. The buyers at Walmart have also just recently added a new line of products from Better Homes & Gardens with are gorgeous and so, so reasonably priced.

These beautiful dishes are only $33.96 for a 16 piece set! They also have some pretty gorgeous fall leaf dishes and bowls that I would love, love, love to have for Thanksgiving. I don’t know if Walmart kidnapped some of the buyers from other organizations or they just received divine inspiration but either way I am loving it!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Updated bath!

Well, it took us almost 5 years but we got around to it! Yes, this is the same bathroom...see "Ugly Bathroom Photos" http://southerness.blogspot.com/2008/10/real-ugly-bathroom-photos.html#links. DH and I were on a strict budget with this face lift so I was extra pleased with how it came out. Although, the house is only 12 years old I wanted to add some character and was trying for a contemporary cottage feeling.
I removed those yicky shower doors and replace them with a nice curved chrome shower rod and white, waffle shower curtain (don't mind the wrinkles...I hadn't steamed them yet!).

We painted the cabinets, refronted them with bead board, removed the cabinet doors and replaced with white tiers on cafe rods, replaced all the cabinet hardware, lighting and accessories with new chrome fixtures (there was bizarre mix of chrome and polished brass originally), added a wall of bead board and new swivel mirrors, and painted 3 walls a yummy chocolate brown.In our last 2 homes our master bath was designed with a separate water closet but this house was not. Due to the limited budget, time and desire to not do real structural construction I devised a way to create the privacy and illusion of a separate water closet without the work and expense of actually building one.
The folding panels were part of 2 separate folding doors (or maybe a screen at one time) that DH and I found at Lakewood 400 Antique Market http://www.lakewoodantiques.com/. As you can see only 3 of the panels are actually used but they are hinged together so that it can pivot as needed and hinged to the corner to provide stability. I love it and do not miss seeing the toilet when I am enjoying a nice soak in the tub.



Real ugly bathroom photos!

Isn't this just lovely? This is the master bath right after we moved into this house almost 5 years ago. Can you say Mid 90s Waverly attack?
DS2 & DD exploring our new digs...behind those really gross shower doors.
After moving in, before unpacking...I promptly began peeling wallpaper off the walls...it was just more than I could imagine getting up to every morning. Living with plain Sheetrock was truly better, though I never realized it would take us almost 5 years to actually do something about it.