Possibly the Best Gift Ever

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Its Super Bowl weekend and I don’t know about you but I’m pumped. Oh yeah, I love the commercials and the mandatory food that goes along with the game but there is one thing about this year’s game that has me super excited. No, I’m not a diehard Broncos or Seahawks fan… but I am a HUGE Peyton Manning fan. (I’ve forgiven him for the whole Tennessee Volunteer thing, so let’s no go there.)

For years now my husband has known one thing for sure about me, the only way I’d ever leave him is if Peyton knocked on my door. Yep, I realize I am married to the most amazing man in the world and let’s be honest, the chances of Peyton knocking on my door is non-existent but a girl can still dream. It’s funny because I have loved Peyton since even before I first saw him on Saturday Night Live in 2007 but people, that show solidified the love. Oh it’s one thing to be an amazing athlete with dashing good looks but when you add funny to the mix… I’m sold!!

It’s even to the point that my boys know, and are ok with, my love for someone other than their dad (yeah, they’re bright guys… they know the odds are ever in their dad’s favor!) My boys know me so well that one of my favorite Christmas gifts… heck favorite gifts period, is one they gave me for Christmas in 2010, a Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts jersey. I KNOW!!! I couldn’t even…I love it still! Naturally they bought it before Peyton got hurt and by the time Christmas rolled around he was out. Unfortunately he never played for Indianapolis again but thank goodness he was not done… he’s back and better than ever. They asked if I wanted a new Peyton Broncos jersey but I’m afraid it would cause him to get hurt again… cause I have that power and I have vowed to use my powers for good not evil!

Anyway, I really hope you enjoy the Super Bowl and that your team wins… as long as your team is the Denver Broncos. OMAHA! OMAHA!

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I Dropped My Basket

Athens Wedding

Not sure where I first heard this phrase but boy did is it spot on! The boys were coming in for winter break, all of us headed to a holiday family wedding in Athens, then on to visit family in Carrollton, Christmas was only days away, lastly sending Luke off to France for four months. (We all see where this is headed don’t we?!?!) I don’t even remember where in midst of all this it happened but at some point I… just… lost… it. You know the kind of losing it where you are staring at yourself from outside your body thinking “whoa… that chick is INSANE!” and then you suddenly realize that chick is you… it’s not pretty people, not pretty at all.

You should know that while I’m not a type A personality who has to pack six weeks in advance, I do think if you are leaving the country for four months it is important to begin thinking about what to pack at least five days out. Now hubby would say you need to be packed at least ten days out… this may or may not have contributed to the basket drop. Just sayin. Anyway, Luke really did think it would be fine to wait until the day before he left to begin organizing his stuff. I mean it will wash and pack itself and it’s not like airlines have a weight or bag limit, right?!? (yes that was my sarcasm font right there!) So between all the disorganization, travel woes, holiday preparations and the emotions of sending off part of my heart to France, I had my basket dropping moment. BAM!! It was on the floor and everything was just rolling all over the place.

But the good news is I think when my head spun around for the third time, Luke realized that maybe we were serious about getting things done ASAP. After that I was fine… poor Tim may never be the same again but hey, we all have our moments… sometimes I just can’t hide my crazy. Living the truth people, just living the truth.

Happy New Year’s Eve Eve

It’s New Year’s Eve Eve which is one of my favorite days of the year. Why? No pressure… nobody asks about my plans for the day or the night, football is on, no need to dress up and typically I’m enjoying my Christmas decorations knowing they are about to come down. Also, no one asks about my New Year’s resolution. Good thing too because I don’t make one any more.

Years ago my resolutions would either be exercise more, eat/drink better or get organized. I know, not very original and they typically didn’t pan out after more than a few weeks…at most. But like the rest of the free world, I know the beginning of a new year is a time for fresh starts, a reset button on your life if you will but I also think that brings way too much pressure. Why not just take the New Year and use it embrace who you are. Why must I be organized as long as I know where my stuff is? Who cares if my house looks slightly less than HGTV worthy? If I am content with my caffeine intake why should I feel pressure to change that? (hello… I don’t like the taste of water and going cold turkey drinking only water is not going to change that.) To me it all boils down to this: am I really doing it for the right reason if the only reason is that I feel like I’m supposed to??

Years ago I was telling my dad about someone who I didn’t think liked me. He then pretty much changed my life by saying, “Well Wendy, I’m sorry for them because you’re a pretty great person and they’re missing out.” Wow!! What dad made me realize was that I am who I am and there is no reason to change that… unless I want to.

But just to change things up, maybe I will give in to the pressure and make a New Year’s resolution this year. I resolve to stress less about things I have no control over and be more present in each and every moment. Or maybe I’ll resolve to read more books. Yeah! Let’s go with that last one… its one I’m sure I can keep!!

Holidaze…

Today is December 27th. Could there be a less heralded day of the year? On the twenty-sixth you are still coming off the high of the twenty-fifth and if you are like me trying to clean up the mess. But on the twenty-seventh it’s like… nothing. Life should go back to normal but you don’t really want it to because one, you don’t want the holidays to be over and two, you don’t really want to begin the process of returning your life and home to normal…cause that’s a lot of work!! I mean you have to disassemble the tree, take down all the Christmas tchotchkes, begin to make a dent in the pile of laundry that has accrued and remember where all your old stuff goes. Whew, I’m tired just thinking about it…which may be why I don’t want to actually do it!

Part of the problem for me is also knowing that before I blink the boys will be heading back to school and let’s be honest, there was just something fun about a house all decorated up for Christmas. When the decorations come down and the kids head back to school, all I am left with is January. January?!?! Other than a few family birthdays it’s got nothing. I mean sure there is MLK holiday on a Monday late in the month and that’s all great but it’s not like it’s a holiday where you get together as a family. It’s more like a holiday where you just take a break from doing nothing to do…. nothing. Plus, as we have discussed before, I like warm weather and sunshine neither of which is found in January.

But why rush things? In just four short days it will be New Year’s Eve and all kinds of great football begins. Also, this is the last year of the much maligned BCS and that in its self is a reason to celebrate. My boys are all still home for a few more days and now we have the time to stay up all night watching all those movies we keep saying we want to see. Plus, I also have a great excuse to crack open some of the hundreds of books on my shelves…after all it is still the holidays! So I’m publicly changing my mind… because December 27th just may be the BEST day of the year!! Now, biggest decision of the year- which to begin with book or movie?!?!?

Traditionally Speaking…

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You ever notice that no one sets out to start a tradition? It just happens. We have a couple like that which just happen to revolve around Christmas. Years ago when the kids were little we would always be on the road Christmas Eve (since both our families live in Carrollton and we lived in either Atlanta or Augusta.) Therefore we found a restaurant that was always open and always convenient. Waffle House. Since my husband is naturally a giver, we also adopted the tradition of playing Santa to another family there by paying for their meal and we try to leave a VERY generous tip for our server (at least $3.00… I kid, I kid.) Always looking for teachable moments when the kids were little, we always let them help decide which family we would play Santa for (yes, some years we have paid for two families since nothing says Christmas like the kids fist fighting in a Waffle House!!) and we never fail to be blessed seeing the surprise on the other family’s faces!

Another tradition that has just recently developed is having soup with Tim’s sister, Robin, and her family over the holidays. Some years at our house and some years at hers. It’s fun because it’s family and it’s easy!! Who doesn’t have time to throw together a pot of soup, a salad and some cornbread?!?! We also enjoy getting to look at someone besides each other (just living the truth people.) Years ago the boys wanted to stay home on Christmas to play with their toys but in their vast maturity (I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing…) they are more open to getting out of the house and mingling with others. Plus it allows Tim and Rick (Robin’s husband) a chance to sneak a nap in the recliners since Robin and I are undoubtedly talking in another room.

Yes, it is hard not being with all of your family on Christmas day but some family is way better than none! Besides…it is way more fun to clean the kitchen with someone else. What?!?! Yes, you’re right, it is way more fun for someone else to clean the kitchen but my “maid money” is now being used to fund Georgia Tech and Furman. Merry traditional-making people!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

cards

I love getting Christmas cards, especially photo Christmas cards. Even though I’m not a card sender, there are still a lot of people in this world who love me and my family anyway (who knew?!?!) Oh I say I’m going to send cards every year but then I take a thousand photos of the boys and the BEST one looks like the photo this:

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I know, one looks ok but the other two… in spite of what they say, would be mad at me and probably not give me a Christmas gift. (and who takes their Christmas card photo in a restaurant?? Yes, the ridicule would never end…)

Every day from Thanksgiving on, I look forward to getting the mail in spite of the bills because it usually contains a Christmas card or ten. When sorting the mail I put the cards off to one side and open them last so that I can savor them. The very best part of the cards we get is watching the families expand and seeing the kids as they grow up. We have begun to get cards from children who we saw grow up that now have children of their own. We have so many friends that we haven’t seen in years who still remember us every year with a Christmas card. In spite of my lack of planning, these people who we have known forever, still think fondly enough of us to send us their smiles.

So on this day that we celebrate the most important birthday ever in the world, I wanted to share with you what I would say in my Christmas card to everyone this year:

For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas to all of you from all of us!

Random Friday Musings

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  1. Today is my dad’s birthday, so if you see Greg make sure you wish him a happy birthday. Happy Birthday Daddy!!
  2. Will got home from Memphis last night so my nest is full…and messy…and my fridge is empty…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
  3. Anchorman 2 is out… wonder how long before I get to hear my boys reciting every one of the movie lines?
  4. Why do boy’s dorm rooms smell so bad?
  5. Robin Thicke is the son of Alan Thicke… you know the dad on Family Ties?? WHAT?!?!
  6. James Marsden, who I may or may not have actually met in person while on a girls trip in Atlanta, may have the most beautiful eyes ever. Well, other than my husband of course. Of course…
  7. How can one boy coming home from college for the break have so much stuff and have it ALL OVER THE HOUSE in just two short hours??? Yes, I’m talking about you Luke Reeve!
  8. Why can I think of thousands of things I want until someone asks me?
  9. Did anyone ever really care who let the dogs out? Whose dogs were they anyway?
  10. Why is there a difference between “for sale” and “on sale”?
  11. Speaking of which, why can’t car dealers just tell me how much they want for their cars? I don’t haggle over milk at the grocery store or my mortgage payment…just tell me how much the car is and I’ll pay it if I want it. DONE.
  12. Rett and Gini are getting married tomorrow…unless Gini gets around our family and realizes she doesn’t want to sign on for all this! So y’all hide your crazy at least until after they’re hitched… then go wild. Seriously, can’t wait to begin celebrating with them tonight!

p.s. It’s almost Christmas Day so you might want to start your shopping. I might want to start mine too… I might…

The Best Way To Spread Christmas Cheer

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Everyone has a favorite Christmas movie and while we’ve already discussed my love of the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, I don’t consider them REAL Christmas movies. (sorry Hallmark!) No, real Christmas movies are movies you go to the theater to see when it’s cold outside and you are all excited because school is out. They are the movies that you can watch with your kids and not get embarrassed! Tim’s favorite Christmas movie is hands down “It’s A Wonderful Life” but my Christmas movie choice is not quite as traditional. Now there are literally hundreds of movies to choose from and plenty of those movies that I love. Everything from “A Christmas Story” to “The Holiday” to “The Santa Claus” and I will watch these films over and over. But HANDS DOWN my favorite all time Christmas movie is….. “ELF”!!

I know, I know, it’s not really an adult movie nor what you would expect a well read, highly educated adult to pick (it’s my blog just go with it) but what is not to love about “Cotton-headed Ninnymuggings”, “He’s an angry elf” and my favorite “No, it’s the world’s BEST cup of coffee.” All through the year I find random quotes from “Elf” coming to mind at the most arbitrary times. Admit it, there has been a time or two you wanted to answer the phone, “Buddy the Elf what’s your favorite color?” (just between you and me, life would be a lot more fun if that were the norm.) When we watch the movie as a family, and yes we MUST watch it as often as possible during the holidays, we find ourselves not only laughing out loud but saying the words right along with them.

Maybe that’s why I love this movie so much, no matter who is at our house or how old they are, we can watch this movie, laugh, have fun and no one is offended. Well, other than the occasional South Pole Elf…

Thank You Kathie Lee!

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Many years ago, when the boys were small and we were poor, Kathie Lee Gifford gave me the best advice EVER (I know pretty strong words there but it’s true.) I was watching her chat with Regis and she made the comment that her kids only get three Christmas gifts because that’s all Jesus got and her kids are no better than him. That was and still is GENIUS PEOPLE!!

So that is what we began to do and to this day we still stick to it. Now, the boys don’t get three really big items because that’s not how we roll but we also don’t count the socks and candy in their stockings as part of the three. We ask them what they want and when we stop laughing at the extravagant list from Matt we decide what to get them. (This is usually the point where Matt quotes “You have not because you ask not”… he is his mother’s son!) You can ask the boys, but I truly don’t remember a year when any one of them complained about only getting three things. And if we are being honest, when they were younger I think we could have given them nothing and they wouldn’t have noticed because of all the stuff they got from Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins and friends. (I kind of always wanted to try that but was afraid I’d warp them and then the counseling bills would be ridiculous.)

It was funny because apparently Santa has the same rule. During all the years that Santa came to our house, he only brought three gifts for each boy. It was like he was reading our minds people… reading… our… minds.

It Happened

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It happened… Tim and I got old. How do I know you ask? Well it was quite simply really, we sat down after dinner last night and Tim asked if there was anything good on TV… that’s when it happened. Are you sitting down? I said “Well there is a Hallmark Christmas movie on.” He said, “Sounds great!” And that is when it hit me… we are officially old. <sigh> SMH.

It’s over, we have officially jumped the shark. No longer can we ever be considered anything other than middle agers. Yep, not young adults, not thirty-somethings but middle age. TBH I knew it was coming. It’s not like you can be an empty nester and still considered young adults but I just didn’t think it would happen this soon or via the Hallmark Channel.

But there is good news in all of this. Hubby is loving the Christmas movies on Hallmark so I get to watch them all!! What… you expected something else?

*for those of you REALLY old, SMH: shaking my head, TBH: to be honest. You are welcome. Now go get on Twitter and pretend to be young.