all my christmas orders are done, presents are wrapped and bags are packed!

nette and i grew up living in the same room from the time i was born til her senior year of high school. we each had twin beds and every christmas eve we would push them together or sleep in each other's bed. we don't have twin beds anymore and we don't share a room, but every christmas eve i go over to their house to spend the night.

i'll stay there tonight. we will wake up and see what santa brought. have christmas breakfast in our pajamas with mamaw then load up the car and head to birmingham! clint & brooke get jack the day after christmas, so we wanted to go celebrate with them!

i'll be in birmingham til next tuesday....then it's off to the BEACH!!!!! that absolutely deserves all caps!

a group of friends from college are going down to seagrove to ring in the new year!

my dad wants me to stay down there a couple extra days, so i'm not really sure when i will be home next. i'll have lots of pictures to share when i get home!

but for now....i hope y'all have a wonderful christmas and new years!!!



i decided to make my own christmas cards this year, and had a brilliant idea to save them in picture format and just get them printed.

i'm working on a lot of orders right now, so i didn't think i would have the time to address them all.


sending that many letters can get expensive. especially when i think that everyone is my best friend and needs a christmas card from me.


i emailed them this year.

don't be offended if you are one of my best friends and you weren't on the list. i got frustrated trying to find everyone's email, so i just hit send. i decided i could post it here instead.

in case you are wondering. i do realize that my nieces and nephews aren't my real children, but i love them like they are my own!

plus sending a solo pic of me just doesn't say merry christmas! although it would be funny!

i hope everyone has a wonderful and merry christmas!

i love y'all!

(you can click on the picture to make it larger)


book report

i was the dork in school who read every book that was assigned. i secretly loved it, but had to act annoyed at the audacity of a teacher to assign us another book to read.

there was only one book i didn't read. it was in college. i had to compare a book that i forgot to read to a movie i fell asleep in. i still have no clue how i pulled that one off.

when hallie was in town she mentioned this book to me....

it's called cold tangerines by shauna niequist. hallie hadn't read it either, but heard it was amazing. she said you don't find out why it's called cold tangerines until the very end. this completely bothered me. i always have to read the end of a book first. i started that in school because i would rush through a book trying to figure out the ending, but not paying attention to all the things the teachers wanted you to write about.

i have only read a few parts of this book, but i was deterimined not to read the end first. i am loving it though. i'm sure i'll tell y'all all about it when i finish.

here is a quote from the book on the back cover. i don't know if it's where the title came from, but it's good....

"I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that He gave life to someone who loves the gift."

i love that last line.

i have about 4 other books i'm reading right now, but i think this one just jumped in first place.

tacky christmas

it isn't christmas without a tacky sweater party.

for some reason i feel like there are more tacky parties this year than ever. does that come with age?

our supper club is a random assortment of people...which i love. we usually meet once a week, but this fall we have been slacking. we decided a christmas party would fix everything.

the majority of the people weren't even our normal supper club, but we had fun!

somehow i only took two pictures


hallie's visit...

i took a week hiatus from the blog this past week because......


(i know...all caps!) she is back from africa and came for a visit! she called me back around thanksgiving and told me she could only come during the week because she had something every weekend. good thing i paint from home!

she came last monday and was going to leave on thursday, but got snowed in. she decided that mississippians driving in ice/snow was too dangerous, so she left on friday. we made a list of people to see and things to do, and pretty much accomplished everything on our list!

we had the greatest time and got to see cute, pregnant helen a couple of times. helen had us over for dinner one night and carter, kate and jmay stopped by for a little while. we looked at pictures from college that helen had, and laughed at our outfits. i mean...we haven't been out of school that long, but we definitely made some bad decisions with our outfits. sequin tops were number one on that list. those pictures you will not be seeing.

cute helen....you can barely tell she is pregnant from this picture

we surprised helen with some cupcakes, so we could celebrate her birthday early!

the next morning hallie went with me to alex's gingerbread play. stephen wanted us to meet him for breakfast, so we met him before the play. the play was hilarious. the kids had a "free style" portion of the play. alex totally rocked it....

side note...molly doesn't like looking at the camera any more because she doesn't like the flash, so she smiles and looks to the side.

another stop we made was to the sorgenfrei house to see sweet baby shelby! shelby is the sweetest baby ever. i was nice and let hallie hold her some...only because she lives in atlanta.

shelby was asleep when we got there, but that didn't stop us from holding her! she is such a love!!

brian talking to shelby while she was waking up. he and liza are such great parents!! brian has come a long way from when alex was a baby...he wouldn't hold him til he was at least crawling!

shelby has the greatest hair on any baby i've ever seen!

on thursday night we had the brilliant idea to go see a movie. the only one that was out that we had heard about was twilight. neither of us have read the books, but wanted to figure out why everyone is obsessed with them. we now know. it was a great movie and i might have to borrow someone's books. after the movie we decided to take a trip to canton to see the lights. if you haven't been to canton at christmas....you should go. they go all out. pretty much anything with lights is put out. we decided to pose by some of our favorites.

hallie is going skiing in january, so she had to get ready for the slopes.

the bears playing instruments were a definite favorite

it was really cold, so we just took the picture of the christmas tree from our car.

this past week was such a great one! i am so blessed with the friends i have and love y'all so much!!

now i'm off to put together my outfit for our supper club tacky christmas party tonight!



i know jackson is getting cool these days, but i hope that this fashion trend never comes here...

these are "harem" pants from the versace spring 2009 collection

i just don't get it. i know it's not their first appearance in fashion and they have been popular in europe for a year or so, but please don't come to mississippi.

these, i can only guess, are male harem pants.
i'm not big on fashion, so maybe i'm way off base here.


i have cool friends: part 2

i thought that i would tell y'all about my cool friends that work with RUF (reformed university fellowship). it is a ministry of the PCA church to college students. i have been putting this off for a while trying to gather info on everyone, and decided that i would just dedicate this post to erin newman. you got it newman...a whole post just for you!!

newman is the intern program assisstant. (newman, aren't you impressed i knew the title!)

colleges that have an RUF program have campus ministers. some campus ministers are able to have interns...after they have flown solo for a while. newman is in charge of the interns. there are a lot of them. i try to help out by sending her funny emails every monday morning to cheer her up...we all have to do our part!

i'm lucky though because newman is one of my best friends. we first met our freshman year of college, but didn't become BFF til sophomore year. she is always giving people her time, and would do anything for anybody! i personally think she has the greatest prayers of anyone i know. the Lord has completely blessed me with friendships like this one. newman is amazing and everyone should want to be her best friend! please pray for the work that she does and for the ministry of RUF.

...excuse hallie's dad in this picture...he just wanted to make sure elvis got in the picture with us.

if you're sitting there thinking...where have i seen that face before...

the USA Today put this picture on the front page the weekend of the presidential debate in oxford! yeah, she's famous.

more installments of "i have cool friends" to come...


why is my eye drawn to things not for sale?

about a month ago i got my pier 1 catalog in the mail. pier 1 at christmas is a dangerous place for me to be...it's just all so pretty!
as i flipped through i saw this page:

i kept flipping through the catalog hoping to find it for sale or at least a kit to show you how to make it. anything.

of course the lime green balloon tree isn't for sale. of course.

just like the red chalkboard in the pottery barn catalog.

after i finish some holiday orders my goal is to figure out how to make that thing. it may be valentine's day by then, but i will figure it out!

don't worry....i'll tell you all about it.

i'm also on a mission to figure out how to make tutus.

another post?

i know. i know.

she doesn't blog for weeks, and then does 18 in one day. i apologize, but at least it will keep you entertained during work!

scroll down to

"it's a beautiful thing"

(which just so happens to be at the bottom of this page)

for the first one i posted.

it sort of makes more sense when you read them in order....if it is even possible for my posts to make sense at all.

read fast because i have more coming tomorrow!

it's official...

i'm back!!!

santa!! i know him!!

"smiling! smiling's my favorite!"

yes, ELF is probably one of my favorite movies ever. if you don't think it's funny or at least crack a smile then i don't know how it is possible that we are friends.

that's not even what this post is all about. sorry.

this post is all about the kids going to see santa! we had a big plan to take them to see santa on friday. we were worried about the crazy shoppers at the mall, so we took them that night. we didn't have to wait that long...probably because no one in their right mind would take their child to see santa at the mall the day after thanksgiving.

i rode with nette's crew to the mall, and my mom and alex rode with clint's crew. i doubt clint's car listened to the "techno hampster" car on the way there....but ours DID!!! i thought i would share it with y'all...i know...how did you get this lucky? if you look closely (sorry about the lighting) you can see molly and emily doing their dance of choice...cat eyes.

annie fell on the way into the car, so she didn't feel like dancing.....but the "techno hampster" song will cure any ailment and make you want to dance.

we got to the mall and realized we had to get three pictures.

1. group photo with all 5 kids

2. group photo with nette's kids

3. group photo of clint, brooke & jack

they took the pictures rather quickly, but santa's elves forgot to adjust the camera to get that many people in the shot.

so...they had to take the 3 pictures over again.

we were so excited and i had my photo op with the kids while we were waiting for my mom and clint to sort out which ones to order.

it took a while, so we entertained the kids by making them make silly faces:

apparently santa's elves weren't really paying attention and put the first batch of pictures on the disk. we didn't realize this til we got home, so sweet uncle clint had to go back to the mall to fix the problem. santa said the elves were new this year.

here are the pictures with santa:




i think jackson has the best santa ever!

"buddy the elf, what's your favorite color!!"

thanksgiving #3

i've established the fact that my mom's thanksgiving really equaled two, so going to my dad's for thanksgiving would technically be our third.

in the past we always had lunch at my mom's and then went to my dad's that night for turkey sandwiches while we watched the egg bowl. a couple of years ago the powers that be ruined our tradition by moving the game to friday. i guess it is a good thing that the players can eat with their families now.

this year my dad threw us all for a loop when he hosted an iron bowl party. what?? my sister and i still cheer for ole miss, but the guys have abandoned state and are now alabama fans.

that's fine.

my dad's specialty is ribs. if you have never had my dad's ribs then i feel sorry for you! and i'm even allergic to them! he said that is his new tradition...a rib thanksgiving. jeane (my dad's wife) made her oyster stuffing to bring our total to 3 different stuffings for the holiday.

as i sat at my dad's i thought back to last year's thanksgiving at my dad's. it is amazing how everything has changed in one year. i think everyone in our family thought that last year would be the last holidays we would spend with my dad. the Lord so graciously provided for our family and we are so thankful that Clint was willing to give his kidney to my dad. there were so many times that i doubted whether or not the surgeries would be successful or even happen b/c everything had to happen so perfectly. it still amazes me to this day that everything happened more perfectly than we could have even prayed for! the Lord is so good to us and we are so blessed!

and the boys get to have many more thanksgivings where their grandaddy can teach them cool things like....

pretending your finger has been cut in half:

seeing jack

even though we didn't get to see thom's crew (have i mentioned that a time or two..haha! i'm hoping if i show them how much we missed them then they will make a special trip in december because they can't come for christmas)....we got to hang out with jack!

he is getting so old! they all are!

alex loves when jack comes to town b/c he has a fellow dude to hang out with.

i LOVE how close they are!

they LOVE that they can play against each other on their DS and that they have a good guy and a bad guy when they are spies.

a while back i didn't have pictures of jack in his baseball uniform, so sweet brooke made sure to get clint to send me pictures!

here are some more recent ones of him:


i wish i hadn't graduated to the adult table!

i felt like my sister's thanksgiving decorations and crafts deserved their own post.
she already wrote about it on her blog, but she's too humble....so i'm going to show you some pics.

i just don't understand how she finds the time to do all this.

did i mention that she has 4 children within 2.5 years of each other? don't worry i have close-ups of all the crafts...

individual hats for each child

turkey cupcakes

thom turkey (you know i can't spell it tom!) made out of a cantelope and a pear. the tail feathers were grapes and cheese, which the kids loved! if you are amazed like me then you will be even more amazed to know that there were MORE crafts! go to her blog and you can see the turkeys the kids glittered. i know you're thinking that she is the coolest person around...and she's MY sister!! how did i get so lucky?

here are some cute pictures of the kids getting ready for the big lunch! they love going to mamaw's house!!

two is better than one.

i talked to ridg tonight and it was so good for my soul!! she already spilled it on her blog, so i feel like i can post it here.....she is pregnant with her 3rd baby! she has dendy who just turned 2 and millie will turn 1 in a couple of days. they live in dallas...away from family, so pray for this sweet little family!!

(p.s. melissa caroline: when you come in town in december can we get a recent photo made? i mean really...how old is this picture!)

while i was talking to caroline she told me it was about time i update my blog. i totally agreed and informed her that it would happen tonight.

i finally uploaded some pictures from our "dueling" thanksgiving.

pretty much every year we have dueling stuffings because my mom makes the kind that we have always grown up with, and gibby makes the stuffing that he has always made. his has meat in it. hers doesn't. we always joke about the competition.

after i got my plate this year i looked at it and realized that it was out of control this year. it wasn't planned, but it just sort of happened this way....

we had:

2 different turkeys
2 different stuffings
2 different green bean casseroles
mashed potatoes
sweet potatoes
2 different pecan pies
frozen green salad (which i bring every year)
frozen cranberry salad

we also had little chess pies, pumpkin pie and some steamed veggies.

pretty much the only thing that we all agree on is sister shubert. granted some of these variations were to avoid food allergies and i just like to be dramatic. we aren't as high maintenance as our menu sounds.

we had a great lunch with the family, a football game in the front yard and many family game nights! it was a great holiday, but we still missed thom's clan!

it's a beautiful thing...

christmas came early in jackson!

the new anthropologie opened!

watch out world....

jackson is becoming cool!

we now have

pf chang's

...and urban outfitters is coming??

i also heard a rumor a while back that cheescake factory was coming.

what in the world?

all we need now is a sephora!


my nightmare

a couple of days ago i heard a lot of commotion going on outside in my neighborhood. not human commotion...just commotion.

i looked out the window and this is what i saw....


you would have to have me committed if that was my front yard. i wish y'all could have seen me trying to take this picture.


words i can't say...

so, i have a lot of friends that post the words that their infant children are learning to say. i think it's awesome. it will be something that they can look back on when they get older.

you know...to help them realize that they have made progress.

my list of words is a little different. these are words that i realize i can't say, or i struggle saying. a lot of times i don't realize i say them funny, but i have a kind sister who lets me know.

so here is my list...
i'm sure i will add to this down the road.

1. for. you think this would be an easy word to say, but i have been known to say "fir" on many occasions.

2. syrup. i can't for the life of me figure out why i struggle with this one.

3. boil/bowl. i blame this one on growing up in mississippi. i think a lot of people join me on this one.

4. pneumonia. sorry mama, but i have to blame this one on you. growing up she would tell us that we were going to catch pa-na-mone-ia. i can't get past that pronunciation.

5. ford focus. ok, so sometimes i combine words without realizing it. my brother-in-law drives a ford focus. you can't just call it a focus. we all think that you have to call it a ford focus. i guess we are suckers for alliteration. my mind thinks to fast for my mouth (or at least that's what i'm telling myself), and it pushes words together. i don't realize this til the word has come out. i accidently called the ford focus, "the forcus." this of course stuck and now that's all i can call it

6. movie theatre. my sister can tell you on her blog how this originated, but my niece calls the movie theatre, "the movieatre." i think it's genius and can no longer say movie theatre. she takes after her aunt! (let's not talk about the fact that she is 4 and it's normal for a child to do that).


don't look too closely at my bookshelf...

..because you will find a book of mormon up there. but it's not what you think.

i am still presbyterian.

however, the Lord has used a mormon in my life two times now.

the summer after my junior year of college, a big group of us lived in oxford for the summer. it was one of the greatest summers ever.
one night while we were over at newman's apartment someone knocked on the door.
it was two mormons on their mission...going door to door. we talked with them a bit, and somehow we agreed to cook dinner for them the next night to talk some more.
we weren't interested in converting. i think we were more interested in converting them, or dazzling them with our reformed doctrine intellect.
the next night they came for dinner. elder sparrow and elder green i believe. halllie commented how great it was that they were friends and had the same first name. sweet hallie.

we ate dinner and they started talking to us about their faith. we would talk to them about ours, and we realized that we were just going to have to agree to disagree. we invited them to summer RUF that night at les' house. they actually came with us, but left somewhere in the middle of les comparing dispensationalism and covenant theology. i was more focused on what they were getting out of this sermon, than actually listening myself...i wish i had listened more now b/c i don't remember any of it. isn't that always the case.

one thing happened that night that i do remember....

as we talked with them i realized that they knew every word in the Bible and in their book of mormon. i respected that greatly. i sat there thinking...i claim to love scripture, God and this religion....but i haven't actually read every single word of it....let alone committed it to memory. yeah, i've always tried to do the Bible in a year thing, but i've never gotten past february. (i'm just going to interject for a moment and apologize for my run-on sentences. when i start typing from stream of consciousness i think that i am faulkner or something, and have the right to throw all grammar out the window. me...the grammar patrol!) the elders gave us all a book of mormon to do a little of our own research. i've never actually opened it, but i keep it on my bookshelf as a reminder to cultivate the desire to learn more about the faith i love so dearly.

a couple of days ago the Lord used another mormon to inspire me.
ok...i admit...i was blog stalking. you know we all do it.
i kept seeing these things that said "donate to nie nie." i set out on a mission to find out what exactly nie nie was.
i discovered this site:




the first is nie nie herself (stephaNIE NIElson), and the second is one of her sisters, courtney. stephanie and her husband were in a horrible plane crash in august and have been recovering from burns in a hospital since then. stephanie was a lot worse than christian, and was actually in a medically-induced coma for a few months. they have 4 children who looked like they walked off of a disney movie set...they are adorable! courtney is taking care of the kids on top of her own.

stephanie always blogged before the accident, and they have tried to keep the blog up by getting strangers to post their favorite of her past entries. she talks about her children, crafting, her love for anthropologie and vintage things, decorating and her faith. you can probably figure out why i loved reading her entries so much! reading these entries reminded me that this life is too short for us not to enjoy it and glorify God through that.

here are my favorite of her posts....

Today I went on a bike ride with the children and Mr. Nielson.
I had gigs (nickname for Nicholas because Oliver couldn't say NICHolas, but could say GIGolas and then it became Gigs. Sometimes gigers, gig-o-rama, gigmister,and so forth.)
on the back of my cruiser and Mr. Nielson had Jane (who wants to be called "winny") and Ollie in the chariot.
Claire rode her own bike.
Of course we don't strap our children in the chariot,
because we are awesome parents.
Anyway, as we were minding our own beezwax, some lady with big hair and foot long cigarette,( but my children call them ZIGGeretts) stopped us to say that we were basically the worst parents on the planet.
Can you imagine what she would think if she came to the house?
The children may or may not be jumping off the couch in a big pile of pillows and
stuff like that

And of course, Claire reading Junie B.
But what little girl DOES NOT read Junie B?


Ticket city is a spot way in the back by the
kindergarten room with all sorts of colored tickets for bad kids.
Claire received a red one.
Apparently, she went to the bathroom during seat work, and instead of going back to class she helped herself to the monkey bars.
When I told Christian, we both laughed our heads off imagining Claire sneaking off for some one on one time with the playground.
Claire was ashamed and stressed out about her red ticket.
That means, Claire has been constipated including a stomach ache since then.
Claire would not eat any dinner.
Claire is staying home from school today.
I don't think a 6 year old should have stress in life-time for that later.
We are going to make pancakes with lemon whipped cream and strawberries. Read books all day long, and play at the playground until her little hearts content.



Is this what your life looks like at 7:56 pm?

Isn't it wonderful.


ok....so there are about a million more i could post. like the ones of them looking up at the stars on blankets in the back yard. or when one of the daughters gets a letter in the mail about going to dinner with her godmother & wizard...you just have to read it for yourself.

go to her site and her sister's site. read about their family and trust me you will want to live your life a little differently from now on.

*since i copied these posts i feel inclined to say that they have set up ways for people to leave donations of time, money and skills to help offset the cost of their medical bills. they do have insurance, but that only goes so far. i am poor, but i can put a link on my page where other's can donate. that doesn't cost a thing*

to learn more about their recovery go here:

nie nie recovery

p.s. i really like how she enlarges some words and changes colors....makes it so much easier to read.