Santa is Finally Done!

A Look At Our Week

I feel like we have been Christmas-ing forever! We are finally done! Ohio Family: check, Tennessee family: check, and finally today Virginia Family: check!

Cutler has been working so much, overtime almost every week that we were finally able to squeeze in some time for Christmas. He came down early this afternoon and will leave early in the morning to make it home in time for his shift. It’s been great having both my boys here! (Even if they did eat all the mac and cheese before dinner and a pitcher of sweet tea!)

Traveling Times 

No stopping in sight in the near future! After leaving Ohio on Christmas Eve we stopped for the night in London, Kentucky. It was great to have a little down time after such a busy week. We chilled in the hotel room and watched Christmas movies. Introduced my guy to A Christmas Story!

Christmas morning we headed to Gatlinburg, TN for Christmas with my family. The hotel dinner buffet was perfect! Then presents for Mom and game time! Later the girls took a trip to see the Christmas lights and were thrilled to find a McDonald’s open!

We spent the next day with my sister and her family seeing the nearby sights and shopping. We met up with some close friends that live in the area before heading home.

It all starts up again this week! Back to Ohio for a post-surgery visit then on to drum corps camp weekend. Then I’m back to Mom’s for another doctor’s appointment that will hopefully give us some answers! Then off to watch my girl dance in Memphis!

Hiking Adventures 

Hmm, well, we talked about going hiking this week! We even made plans to go do a trail with lots of creek crossings since we’ve had so much rain recently. A night of no sleep for me changed those plans though. We will be getting back in the grove very soon! Gonna be fit and fine in 2000, 1-9!

House Hunting News 

I’ve had my week of pouting and I am mentally ready to move on with the process now. What’s meant to be will be! We have looked at listings this week and found one or two things that sparked our interest. Ideally, we’d like to find a house already built. The stress of building and decision making is not very appealing to either of us! Fingers crossed something will come along soon.

What’s for Dinner?

Christmas Dinner with my picky-eating child had to include chicken! Chicken Parmesan, macaroni and cheese, green beans and “Faux Granny” rolls with sweet tea! We are headed to a local restaurant later for our cinnamon roll dessert!

Puzzle Progress

Slow and steady wins the race they say! I really hope when I return from my trip to Mom’s next week that my guy has this thing finished! We have debated on if we will frame this one once complete. We have framed a few that were special to us. This one really isn’t special, other than it’s taking forever to work! So, it will probably not have a spot on the wall of fame!

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Sappy Selfies

Have a great week! Happy New Year! Let’s all try to focus on the positives we have in our lives in this new year! XOXO

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Onward We Will Go

A Look At Our Week

It’s been a week full of Christmas prepping! The big event is upon us, ready or not! The cookies have all been baked and decorated. Presents purchased and wrapped. We are as ready as we are going to be!

My sweet Daddy loved Christmas more than anyone I’ve ever seen. Christmas has just not been the same since he’s been gone and I’m not sure it ever will be. I miss him all year long, but most especially during this time of year. Enjoy your time with the ones that you love and know the memories you are making will be cherished forever.

Unfortunately, we will not be having our Christmas with Cutler until after the big day. We had plans to celebrate after my sister and brother-in-laws anniversary party, but a huge snow storm made it impossible for Cutler to attend. So, we have plans for him to come visit right after Christmas.

Hiking Adventures

We did our first hike in the snow this week! We went to Elk Knob State Park, a hike we have done several times before and that usually kicks my butt! The trail was completely covered in snow and there were several spots that were pretty difficult to cross. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful hike! And yes, it did kick my butt once again, but I was pleased to make it halfway up since the snow only made it even more difficult!

Puzzle Progress

Our 2,000 piece puzzle is still on the table! It seems like we work on it for hours and nothing moves! Slowly but surely we are making progress though! (See those green trees … I worked those!)

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House Hunting News

Please know that I am trying very hard to prevent this from becoming one of those “Wa-Wa” posts! For the last six weeks we have been working with a land owner on purchasing the 20 acre lot he has for sale. We decided that we would not be going “public” about this land until papers had been signed. I have learned throughout our home buying experiences to not allow myself to get too excited until everything is finalized. I have also learned that is just not possible!

Today we determined that we were not able to come to an agreement with an offer and laid out our final offer and it was rejected. I was prepared for it and knew it was a possibility when we discussed the seller’s counter offer last night. I 100% stand by our decision and believe it was the right one to make. But wow, it has been quite the blow and a very hard pill to swallow! When we first found the land, things were falling into place so quickly and easily that I just knew this was going to be the one .

We will lick our wounds for awhile and recover and move onward on this journey. They say things happen for a reason so I just have to believe there’s a reason this didn’t work out for us.

Traveling Times 

We are in Ohio celebrating the Holiday with my guy’s family. We are here until Christmas Eve and then we will make our way to Gatlinburg, TN to celebrate with my family on Christmas Day.

So far our time here has been spent seeing and catching up with some of my guy’s friends. Always a fun time! The family gathering will be tomorrow and we are really looking forward to a little Christmas Cheer!

What’s Cooking?

I have been spiraling down this endless cycle of trying to prevent wasting food! For example, the pie crusts I use for my pumpkin pies comes in a 2-pack. So when I purchased a pack for Thanksgiving Dinner, I had a crust leftover. My guy requested another pumpkin pie, problem solved! Then, my niece let me know that she was away at college for Thanksgiving and didn’t have any pumpkin pie. So I made her one to take back to school after my sister’s party. Now I had another leftover crust! We discussed what kind of pie I should experiment with making and decided on coconut cream pie. Experiment successful and all the pie crusts were used! Win-Win!

Sappy Selfies

Thank you for reading my rambles and I hope that each of you have a wonderful Christmas! XOXO

Cue Dumb Dog Song

A Look At Our Week

Well, we wanted to get snowed in and snowed in we got! We did not leave the house from Saturday night until Thursday afternoon. We had about 14 inches of snow. It was beautiful! We enjoyed three batches of soup, cookies & party leftovers to get us through!

I was quite impressed with the snow removal here. We could have gotten out on Tuesday but we really had no need. Our road was scraped clean, of course we had the nice mountain of snow blocking our driveway to clear but the snow removal is definitely much more efficient here.

Animal Antics

I’ve often said my life should be a musical with it’s own soundtrack. Well, if that were true this week the director would definitely cue up the “Dumb Dog” song from Annie. We’ve known that there were dogs on our street, we’ve seen them as we’ve walked and driven up the road. Once you pass our house you begin to run into what we call “Deliverance”. Apparently in Deliverance dogs (and chickens) roam free.

We have not seen a dog on our property until this week. We have had three come visit this week. I’m not sure if we are suddenly seeing them because the cows are gone or if it’s the weather. The other night I happened to look out the window and see two dogs coming across the pasture. I made a comment about them and went back to what I was doing. A little while later we heard an insistent barking from the pasture behind the house. We both became convinced that the barking dog was in some type of distress and needed our assistance. Then the second dog came into view as if he was coming to get help, true Lassie fashion. Keep in mind we still had several inches of snow on the ground but that wouldn’t stop my guy from his rescue mission.

I was ready and had his back, as I waited inside the house with the sliding door cracked. He quickly found the barking dog and returned to inform me that the dog was 100% fine. He was not hurt or trapped. He had apparently ran something up a tree and would not stop barking or leave his post. He stood there barking for over an hour before he finally gave up. We did not see the dogs the next morning.

Then tonight, my guy is working on our puzzle and hears something on the back porch. He looks up and there is yet another dog at the sliding door. These dogs are pets, not strays. They are well fed and have collars. He left the back porch after a few minutes and it was a little later that we heard a noise from the front porch and he was now at the front door. I checked later in the night and he was sleeping curled up in the corner of the porch.

At 5:30 a.m. I guess he decided it was time to howl at the moon. My guy keeps reminding me he has a home. He’s checked the temperature and assured me it’s not that cold outside. We do not need and/or want a pet! We both agree on this. We are not here enough to care for a pet and do not want the worry of a pet. So for now I’ll just lay hear and listen to the howling while performing my “Dumb Dog” scene from Annie.

Here is my guy heading out into the snow on his dog rescuing mission:

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And I will save my guy the trouble of searching for the Dumb Dog song. Annie is on the list of must-see movies that he has not seen …yet!

Traveling Times

Our Christmas travels begin this week! We leave for Ohio on Thursday to celebrate with my guy’s family. From there we will meet up with my family in Gatlinburg, TN. on Christmas Day. Looking forward to all of the fun-filled festivities and to getting back home and focusing on the diet!

What’s for Dinner?

Soup! All week long! I came home last weekend with lots of leftovers from the anniversary party. I tried to use as much of the leftovers as I could with little waste.  I had lots of broccoli and shredded cheese left over so I made two batches of broccoli cheese soup. I made a vegetable beef soup with the leftover veggies. I also made two batches of sausage balls that I froze for a later time. I did pretty good using everything up! I ended up having to throw away some of the fruit, but I had brought a lot home.

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Puzzle Progress

We have been saving this 2,000 piece puzzle for about a year now. We’ve been waiting for the perfect snowed in opportunity to bring it out. We started it last Sunday and it is incredibly difficult. I am convinced that the pieces are multiplying! I have a feeling it will be out for quite awhile.

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Here is our progress after one week, grass, trees, sky and mountains are the only thing left!

 

Sappy Selfies

I convinced my guy that we needed to go to the local presentation of a Living Christmas Tree. He reluctantly agreed, but not without letting me know he was skeptical about the quality of the performance. And wouldn’t you know it? He was right! (But it was still a fun, festive evening!)

Have a great week! XOXO

Surprise!

A Look At Our Week

Finally! The blog I have been waiting to write! About a year ago my nieces came to me and asked me to help them plan a surprise 25th anniversary party for their parents, my sister and brother-in-law. For the last six months party planning has been in full swing! Each trip to my moms has been spent crafting, planning, picture hunting and video making.

Saturday afternoon was the party and some way, some how we managed to keep it a surprise! Everything went just as planned with the party and it was definitely a huge success!

My sister is the one who is always doing for others, whether it’s something for her kids or something for my mom, she’s the one we can always count on to be there. Her husband is right there with her doing whatever needs to be done.  It sure feels good to be able to do something for them for a change!

Traveling Times

Our travels began Wednesday. We met friends in Johnson City, TN for lunch at our most favorite bbq restaurant. Great food and great friends are the perfect mix! After lunch I headed to my moms to begin party prepping! My guy visited a few local stores before returning home. The original plan was that Cutler would meet him at our house on Friday and they would travel together to the party. Apparently Mother Nature had different plans! After a few checks of the forecast I quickly decided it was best for the boy to stay at home!

This meant my guy could come join me earlier than planned, we really do not do well when we’re apart! He came up Thursday evening. We could not let my sister know we were in town so we stayed with my Aunt on her beautiful farm.

Thursday and Friday were spent prepping food for the party. My aunt and her 2 friends catered my sisters wedding 25 years ago and when my aunt heard about the anniversary party she offered to help cater it again. She is amazing! My hero! She totally wore me out and never stops!  I could sit and watch her and learn from her all day long.

Wintery Weather

When we left home Wednesday afternoon we had about an inch of snow on the ground. Snow means soups and puzzles around here! We are stocked up and ready for our big snow that is falling now! 2 puzzles (1,000 pieces & 2,000 pieces) and 2 soups! And tons of party leftovers! We are ready to eat ourselves through this snowstorm!

Sappy Selfies

Another week with no selfies of me and my guy! He was such a trooper through all of this party planning, dramas and party day. He was my go-to guy today. Whatever I needed he was there to help! Thanks for being my guy! He found a cute friend at my aunts house … I can’t decide who is the cutest!

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And a few family pics:

Have a great week! XOXOXO

Hello December

A Look At Our Week

Wait! Where did November go? Where did Fall go? I had big plans! It is truly amazing how quickly time passes by!

Another activity filled week here! We had our first small snow! I came home from my mom’s on Tuesday evening to find everything covered with a thin layer of snow. It was absolutely gorgeous! Driving up our hilly street proved to be a little challenging but I made it!

Hiking Adventures

We managed a couple of walks this week! It was great to get back outside even if I am completely out of shape! Got to get back on track at some point!

Our first walk was in Damascus, VA on the Virginia Creeper Trail. The trail is part of the AT and used frequently by bikers. Traffic was light on the day of our walk. After our walk we had dinner at a newer restaurant we like in Damascus.

During dinner we decided since we were so close to Abington & Bristol that we should make a day of it and do a little shopping while we were out. We ended up in Bristol. We love walking around malls, but sadly they are becoming hard to find. We ended up at The Pinnacle, an outdoor shopping area.

For those that know my guy, you know he doesn’t get into the Christmas fuss at all! He makes valid points and I get them and have began to see things a little differently. It shouldn’t just be one day that you do for others and are joyful, etc. That should come everyday! I’ve also rubbed off on him just a little, when he buys me something around the holidays now he is always sure to smile as he says, “Merry Christmas!”. The first few years it was a low grumble but this year it was loud and clear and almost joyous. New hiking shoes for me! Can’t wait to try them out!

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This morning we woke up to sunny, clear skies and temps in the low 60s. We had originally planned on today being a much needed stay-home day, but there was no keeping my guy inside and I happily joined him. We headed to West Jefferson, NC to do a trail we have done before in a state park there. You hike up to Luther Rock and have a seat on this huge rock and suddenly the world changes. Such peace as you watch the world from this vantage point. It’s a perfect thinking spot. I need one in my backyard!

After our hike we hung out in downtown West Jefferson and did a little shopping and had dinner.

What’s for Dinner?

Soup, of course! Snow on the ground always means a good pot of soup & a new jigsaw puzzle! This time it was Tomato Vegetable and it was delicious! My guy also requested another pumpkin pie so we had that as well!

I love experimenting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes. I usually have a couple of items I want to play around with in the back of my mind and just wait for the perfect opportunity to try them out. Right now beef brisket is at the top of the list. I’ve educated myself about it quite a bit and have a recipe all ready to try out. The first challenge has been actually finding it in a grocery store. While we were in West Jefferson today we went to an Ingles grocery store that advertises a large meat market. Sure enough they had my beef brisket! We didn’t get it yet, I’m still researching! It is a very expensive cut of meat and lots of it. I want to have my plan ready before beginning this experiment!

Musical Mayhem

One of the few Holdiay activities my guy looks forward to is TubaChristmas! These are usually large gatherings of low brass players that get together in a public place and play Christmas Carols. We found a TubaChristmas scheduled in Boone, NC this week and with euphonium in tow off we went!

There is always a registration and rehearsal time scheduled before the actual performance. This was shopping time in downtown Boone for me! There are several shops on the main strip that I could spend hours walking through. We met for dinner at our favorite craft beer/wood fired pizza place before the show.

As it turned out, the performance was scheduled on the same night as the college band concert, so attendance at TubaChristmas was quite limited. Four players, which made the perfect low brass quartet and they sounded great! Oh, and my guy had quickly traded his euphonium for the chance to play the conductor’s big, special sounding  tuba!

Sappy Selfies

Here’s to another busy, fun-filled week! I wouldn’t trade this crazy life we’re living for anything! Here’s a hiking & shopping selfie from this week. Have a great weeek! XOXO