Shopping… yay….

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I’m not a black Friday shopper. Heck, I’m not a shopper period… well not anymore. I grew up shopping for deals with my parents and my dad could put any shopper to shame. He never got tired in his pursuit of a really great deal. However, for many years my job included shopping and needless to say it’s no longer fun or even enjoyable. (There is nothing like having to do something for a living that takes all the fun out huh?!?)

But my boys are their grandfather’s grandsons!! They don’t get home often so when they come home they bring with them a list of clothes they “need.” Now I admit, I’m partially responsible because last year the oldest needed a new suit for his grad school interview, so on black Friday we headed to the stores and loaded up for very little money. They could not believe how much stuff we got for so little. So this year, they let me know early they wanted to go shopping… today… black Friday. (Yay! she said with absolutely no enthusiasm…..)

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being with my boys but I do hate the obnoxiously large crowds and non-existent parking. (People, there is nothing I am willing to fight for!)So we compromise… going after lunch when the crowds have all but died and there may actually be a parking spot… within two miles of the store. So, this afternoon when you’re counting your black Friday savings or having a late leftover turkey lunch, I’ll be at the mall… with my favorite men. Hopefully, I can at least get an ice cream out of it….

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Words To Live By

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It’s Thanksgiving and I realize this is a Christmas picture but I am a poor planner people so can we just go with this one? Thanks.

I’m thankful for many things including family, friends and all of those in our armed services. But I am also reminded of all that I have and often take for granted. Many years ago, my in-laws gave us a simple little quote written in calligraphy on plain white paper. That quote really sums up not only Thanksgiving, but how I should… no, how I WANT to live every day of my life:

THOU, WHO HAS GIVEN SO MUCH TO ME, GIVE ONE THING MORE~

A GRATEFUL HEART.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Nope, Not Normal…

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We’ve discussed my abnormal culinary roots, but I also had some unusual fashion roots. My parents had kids at a young age, so neither set of my grandparents seemed very old to me (probably because they were not!) Oh, they always did the grandparent thing when we’d spend the night complete with yummy food, fun activities and later bedtimes but they keep us in line too. We knew you couldn’t pull much of anything over on either Granny & Pop or Mom & Papa. So for the most part they seemed like everyone else’s grandparents.

That is until designer jeans became chic. Both my grandmothers wore designer jeans way before it was normal and not only did they wear them, they wore them very well. My dad’s mom was a beautiful tall leggy blonde while mom’s mom was a petite dark-haired beauty. No gray haired grandmothers in my family, no sir. And they were super stylish with their Jordache, Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans let me tell you. Fashionable costume jewelry? Check! Stylish silver thread blouse? Check! Multi strap belt with the gold knot buckle? Double check!

Yes, it took the great designer jean revolution of the early 1980’s to make me realize that I might not be part of normal family after all…..

Shaking My Head…

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The clock on our mantel died last night. It’s not like it’s an expensive clock… less than $25.00 from Target but it’s the main clock in our den so I rely on it quite heavily. The problem? It died at 9:03 and even after Tim pointed out that it was dead I continued to look at it to see what time it was. Yep, for one hour and 52 minutes I thought it was still 9:03pm… When my husband said he was tired and going to bed I found myself looking at the clock, shaking my head and thinking, “Boy is he getting old! First day of break and heading to bed at 9:03pm.” I really kind of felt sorry for him that he couldn’t stay up any later… it was almost embarrassing.

It gets worse… I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open as I tried to watch the Redskins play the 49ers but I kept looking at the clock and thinking I am not going to bed this early!! That is ridiculous. Then my phone buzzed and as I picked it up to read the message I… about… died… Yep, it was 10:55pm and here I sat trying not to be an old fuddy and go to bed before sunset. It was not until that very moment that I realized I’d been looking at the stopped clock for almost two hours NEVER NOTICING THAT THE TIME WASN’T CHANGING!!! Nope, thought Matt’s friend left at 9:03pm, thought halftime started at 9:03pm, thought halftime was over at 9:03pm, thought Tim headed to bed at 9:03pm.

It’s obvious that I am either way too excited about having my boys home for Thanksgiving or way too tired from getting ready for them. Either way my friends, it’s going to be a long day… but a really good week!!

Holiday Invasion

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Thanksgiving is almost here and there are a few things that I JUST know will happen. At some point the boys will start wrestling… in the den… all over the furniture… Tim will join in… someone will get hurt (probably Tim because he forgets he’s not 25 anymore… but don’t tell him I said that!) We will make plans as a family to do something but Luke will realize at the last minute he already has plans. Oops!! At some point the guitar, ukulele and harmonica will come out for an impromptu jam session. There will be a back porch session late one night where ALL the world’s problems will be solved. There will be at least one ball thrown … in the house… it will become a contest of some sort… something will get broken… the boys will put on their puppy dog faces to tell me how sorry they are… I’ll try to be mad but instead I’ll laugh… life will go on.

It’s always different when the boys come home for a holiday because they’ve been keeping their own schedule for months and it NEVER meshes with ours. Our morning starts around 7:00am… their morning starts about mid-afternoon. We go to bed the same day we got up… they don’t go to bed until early the next day. We eat at normal times… they just eat… and eat… and eat.

I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t love every minute regardless of the chaos. I have simply learned that with these three boys of mine, life is NEVER going to go as planned so that is just what I plan on. Well, that and buying out the grocery store. Happy Thanksgiving Week Y’all!!!

I Am Second

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This is an amazing testimony from a very popular family. While I like what Phil and Jep have to say, I think all of us as Christians really need to hear what Reed has to say. Thank you Robertson Family for being unwilling to compromise.

http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/the-robertsons/

Happy Friday to you my friends!

30 Years And Counting…

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We’ve been friends for 30 years… 30 YEARS PEOPLE!! That is a really long time to continue liking someone who is not family and we not only like each other, we truly love each other and cannot imagine doing life without the others. We’ve definitely had our share of STUFF- cancer, divorce, career changes, infertility, marriage issues, faith crisis, children and so on but the one constant? Unfailing love and support.

It started innocently enough, we were at cheerleading camp the summer before heading into our junior year of high school. Each room was a suite for four people so my best friend and I looked around to find two unsuspecting souls others to share a room with us. Our eyes locked with theirs and a beautiful friendship was born. I know most of you found your dearest and best friends in college. Maybe you were sorority sisters or were random roommates/hall mates but we are part of the smallest friend group in the world- lifelong friends from high school. We didn’t go to the same college, in fact we set off to three different schools yet we not only stayed best friends we became closer with every year.

Once all the kids were old enough (we have 11 amongst the 4 of us) we decided it was time for some girl trips. (I’m sure when you think of girl trips you think of wild, crazy, not family friendly times but we are a different breed… no, we are NOT boring, just different thank you) We can spend an entire weekend watching movies, eating amazing food, playing cards and talking, lots and lots of talking. I use the term “watching movies” loosely because we’ve started hundreds of movies on these trips and yet only Shawn and I tend to see the endings. I don’t care if we start the movie at 8:00pm, Kay and Lynne are just not going to make it to the end. It’s like it is engrained in their brains to release melatonin and fall asleep before the ending. I’m seriously not making this up people!! Inevitably breakfast is spent with Shawn and me recapping the movie for the sleepy heads sometimes having to start from almost the beginning (Lynne has actually fallen asleep before the opening credits finished but don’t tell her I told you, K?) Is it weird? Yes, but it’s just what we do.

Now that the kids are mostly in high school and up, we’ve gotten more creative with our trips. When you have four people splitting one room you can afford to go places that are super nice like the St Regis or the Ritz-Carlton (feel free to comp our room hotel people) and that is exactly what we do. We’ve started working our way through the east coast Ritz-Carlton’s one by one always staying at club level. Why club level you ask? One word, MACAROONS. Yep, Lynne is our self-proclaimed travel agent and she is in LOVE with macaroons. (I think she single handedly created the great macaroon shortage in Key Biscayne Florida in the summer of 2012 but I can’t prove it.) Another perk of staying at club level at the Ritz? ADULT ONLY POOL. Hello!! We’re there to enjoy a break from our family so it’s the perfect place to hang out and what else, talk.

So ladies, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of being the Awesome Foursome, I want to take this time to thank you. Thank you for not sharing with my kids all the trouble I may or may not have gotten into, times that I made a fool of myself in front of a boy and most importantly, how gifted I am with a roll of toilet paper and a few trees. Remember, I know your secrets too!

We All Like To Talk

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Shocking truth but like most women, I like to talk… a lot. Sometimes I don’t even really have anything to say but still I talk.

 Remember that Run DMC rap song from the 80’s

You talk too much   You never shut up   I said, “You talk too much”   Homeboy you never shut up

 You talk about people, you don’t even know   And you talk about places, you never go   You talk about your girl, from head to toe   I said, “Your mouth’s moving fast and your brain’s moving slow”

 I’m afraid I knew 10 girls who could have inspired that song. (After all the thriving metropolis of Carrollton GA was filled with fodder for rap stars in the late 80’s.) Anyway, I know for certain there are moments in my life when I am THAT PERSON. I’ve been chatting with someone before and I could tell the other person had checked out. It was SO tempting to just start spouting random nonsense. Did I start talking about the alien landing I had just witnessed? No, I wanted to…. but I didn’t.  Usually I just stop talking all together and mark that person off my friend list. (Ok, not really- I just wanted to.) The truth here was that I was most likely spouting random drivel and it was time for me to just… be… quiet.

 Hear me out, cause this is important stuff. When we are talking with another person we are being given an opportunity to get to know that person. To hear about likes, dislikes, habits, family, work, any number of things but unfortunately our tendency is to spend more time thinking about what we’re going to say next rather than hearing what is being said.

 On the other hand, everyone has THAT friend who is a really good listener and whenever something happens you can’t wait to talk with them. Why? Because you know that they care. God in His infinite wisdom showed me that being a good listener is a gift. You are saying to someone else “You matter to me and I want to know what you have to say.” It made me think about those I’m closest to. They’re the ones who listen to me when I need it and who I listen to when they need it. I tease my Ansley because there have been girl’s weekends when I only talked for 30 minutes the entire 3 days because she had so much to say! (I may exaggerate, I’m sure I talked for an hour) Funny part is those were some of my favorite weekends.

Don’t get me wrong, I still talk way too much (and I have friends that would wholeheartedly agree) but I try to remember in the crazy, busy, plugged in world we all need a good friend who listens more than she talks… most of the time anyway! Truth? We don’t all like to talk….we all like TO BE HEARD.

 “To answer before listening- that is folly and shame.” Proverbs 18:13

(Yes, yes I did…. I started with Run DMC and ended with scripture… BAM!!)

Food For Thought

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Yes I grew up in the South, yes I am a southern girl by the grace of God but I can promise you my culinary palette is not southern by any means. My dad, while southern born, was raised in New Jersey with a Yankee dad and Southern mom. My mom, an adventurous southerner belle. So add one tour of duty in Vietnam, three kids in three years and you have nothing close to normal!

Take regular week night meals for example, most people grew up eating a meat, one to two veggies, bread and maybe dessert. Me? My mom and dad are AMAZING cooks, so one night we’d have Hungarian goulash the next night Lo Mein then Swedish meatballs followed by Chile Rellenos ending with Meatloaf. That truly was a typical week in my house. (Don’t even get me started on my paternal grandfather’s specialty, Spanish Dish. YUM!!) So you can understand my intrigue with the traditional “meat & three” meal served by my mother-in-law the first time I ate with them. (Silly me, I thought she cooked different!)

Holiday meals in my family? Amazing! Since both sets of grandparents lived within an hour of each other we’d get two feasts per holiday. At Granny’s we’d have a straight up traditional southern meal: turkey, cornbread dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, Le Sueur peas, green beans, cranberry sauce and hot yeast rolls. At Mom Weber’s house? Yankee all the way: standing rib roast with au jus, stuffing, creamed onions, mashed rutabagas and carrots, Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding. But the best holidays occurred once we got to be adults and both families would come to my parents’ house where we’d mix both Southern and Yankee. It was the BEST!

Once I married, I began to realize how blessed I was to grow up with parents who can best be described as culinary adventurist. Me? Didn’t really rub off on me…. I’m cooking more and getting better in the kitchen but let’s be honest, I still have a long way to go!!

A Baby Chimpanzee

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No, you haven’t stumbled onto Pinterest. I just happened to get creative this past week. Now, you should know that I am not an interior decorator by any stretch of the imagination. My home décor is simply what I liked, was given or inherited (hey, I’ve set the bar low so future Reeve ladies can excel… you’re welcome!) I also had some free time Friday afternoon.

If I could build my dream home, the first requirement would be no walls just windows… I guess that means no close neighbors too! Anyway, I like LIGHT in my house. Lots and lots of light. Not nearly as particular about furniture, carpets, paint colors, etc. We have this HUGE window in our master bath above the soaking tub that was one of the things I loved about the house. However, when we moved in it was covered with a window shade that was either up or down. No opening to let a bit of light in. I HATED IT!! Mainly because again I like light but live in a neighborhood so we have to be careful of what is seen if you know what I mean!! After seven years of searching for something that would work without draining the kids college fund I came across this idea on Pinterest and for a grand total of $12.82 (price of two rolls of clear contact paper) I got exactly what I wanted. (I can tell I’ve BLOWN you mind… take a minute and just soak it in.)

All you do is cut out whatever shape you choose, then place, peel and stick. So easy a baby chimpanzee can do it!! Except I did have to take it all down, buy another roll, re-cut the design and re-do it because the first time I started on the side not the middle. Ooops! HINT: start in the middle and work towards the edges cause it looks better (there, I’ve just saved you $6.41- again you are welcome!) So maybe only a really bright baby chimpanzee can do it.

I know, I just changed your life didn’t I?