Five of Friday: Airport Edition

 1// Currently delayed in the Charlotte airport...I risked life and limb to make a 5 o'clock flight and left skid marks in the parking lot of the school...only to be delayed here.  I'm making the most of it, BUT I hate waiting on a flight when I'm this close to home.  American Airlines is dead to me.

2// Passing time by reading blogs and the lady's face beside me.  Both interesting.

3// I've been in Connecticut all week and let me tell ya, it was hard work.  My brain is just tired.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I've come to love Hartford.  I know my way around {like where all the TJ Maxx's and Marshall's are} and have stayed in almost every hotel in town so I'm kinda of an expert.

4// The glass of wine in the picture above was $10.  Ten.  dollars.  For airport wine.  And since I can only expense one glass, I am taking half sips.  I blame American.

5// This time next week I will be in Mexico.  YAHOOO!  We are just a tad excited...and we are flying Delta.


New Year New Faves

I'm somewhat of a makeup & hair product junkie.  What's ironic about this is that I don't even wear makeup on a daily basis.  In fact, my kids ask if I'm going to a meeting if I dry my hair and put on makeup right after a shower!
I am quick to try a new product on the recommendation of friends and
I have tried two subscription boxes, Birchbox and Ipsy.  I prefer Ipsy because I receive at least one full-sized product a month and more brands I am familiar with.  I love when that little pink envelope shows up in my mailbox!
I thought it would be fun to show you my favorites every month if I can keep it up!  

new year

1//Carol's Daughter Cupuaca Smoothing Shampoo.  I tried this on the recommendation of my friend Tammi.  I love the idea of a sulfate free shampoo, but also like one that will lather a little bit.  This one is perfect and smells great, too!  I actually lucked up and found it at TJ Maxx for $7.99.  I never would have recognized the brand or even picked it up because the bottle is on the small side.  I don't wash my hair daily, so I don't mind spending a little more on shampoo!

2// Bare Essentials Marvelous Moxie lip gloss in Maverick.  Also a Tammi favorite!  I love this for daily errands and have worn it over lipstick for a night out.  I am huge on how a lip gloss smells and this one is minty {not sugary sweet} to me.

3// Blow Dry Clips Not sure how I missed that these were a "thing," but I love them!  Another TJ Maxx find...I got 4 for $3.99!

4// Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara This was an ipsy box hit!  My usual go-to's for mascara are  Benefit They're Real or Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes.  This one requires several applications to compare to my other favorites, but is great for everyday!

5// Too Faced Hangover Face Primer Another ipsy find...I have tried face primers before, but love this one because it goes on more like moisturizer.  It's light and smells fantastic!


Brain Dump

1//I'm sitting in a coffee shop trying to write for the fourth time in a week.  I don't love writing.  I love having written.  I think Glennon Doyle Melton said that one time.  {If you don't know who that is we can no longer be friends} {Just kidding.  But seriously click here if not} The process is hard for me because I'm too critical of myself.  I type and delete and type and delete.  I'm sure the people beside me hear my fingers going and think I'm writing an epic novel that's going to make me a millionaire.  Nope.  Just over here writing a blog that 10 people will read because I love having written.  Also, I was a school teacher and I graduated college, so I am suppose to know how to use commas.   I put them everywhere.  Sometimes they land in the right place and sometimes, like just now, I'm not so sure.   So here's me...trying not to be critical and just write.  Do I even have anything to say?  Anything of value?  Have all the original thoughts already been thought?  I also like using ellipses....

2// I am currently wearing leggings as pants.  It was a total accident.   I've worn this outfit before, but it appears this shirt has fallen victim to our dryer thanks to my sweet husband.  Now it's a solid 7 inches too short and no where near covering my parts. Bless.  He doesn't realize that these mistakes cost him money because I will have to hand this shirt down to a 5th grader and buy another one.  In my attempt to be on time today I didn't really have time to change once I realized the faux pas.

 3// I'm here today because I met a new friend for coffee for the first time.  I'm not so cool to just blog from coffee shops.  It felt kinda like a first date.  I actually met her husband first and we've been friends on social media for a few months now so we know each other in a "our hearts seem the same on Facebook" kinda way.  And I wore leggings as pants to our first date.  Lucky for me {and everyone else in the coffee shop}, we were seated most of the time.  Turns out that our hearts were the same in person.    

4// I bought a new devotional this year.  If we've ever talked books, then you know my favorite book of all time is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  It's not a book for every reader, but it came to me during a time when I needed to notice the gifts still around me.  The devotional is a companion to One Thousand Gifts and can be found on amazon for less than $10.

5// Two weeks from today I will be sitting by the back door with my bag packed ready to go to Mexico....just kidding.  I'm already packed.


Now it can be 2016 and my new life plan.

So it took me a while to get Christmas out of my head and out of my house and back into the attic, but it's all cleaned up and packed away.

I love the beginning of the year.  Brand new planners and calendars that still have blank space.  Brand new Paper Mate flair pens that still have an extra sharp point.  People are setting goals and intentions and choosing words.  For a moment, I feel on top of things with all the days stretched out in front of me.

I was glad to see 2015 go.  A lot of not so good stuff happened in 2015.  Some of my people lost their people.  Mamas and husbands and friends, the very people they never imagined living without.  Bad things happened to good people.  Marriages were low and high and low again.  Our boys learned some hard lessons.  We felt the pains of growing.

But a lot of good stuff happened in 2015 too.  My people who lost people are living with a heaven purpose.  They are not moving on, but they are moving forward.  Bad things happened to good people {as they always will} and somehow it turned out a blessing.  Marriages were high and low and high again...but mostly high.  Our boys made us so proud.  People generally think we are doing an okay job at raising decent human beings and they tell me.  Hearing that feels really good.   We felt the pains of growing and called that good too.

I read something at the start of the year that has literally echoed in my brain every day since.  Jenn Hatmaker wrote...

As you move into 2016 hoping for a saner schedule that prioritizes your actual life and keeps you focused on the things that matter the most, let me share the decision-making filter my agent Curtis always gives me:
"If it's not a HELL YES, then it's a no."
So that medium yes, that I-feel-like-should yes, that guilty yes, that coerced yes, that I-actually-hate-this-thing yes, that I-guess-so yes, that who-else-will-do-it yes, that careless yes, that default yes, that resentful yes, that I-probably-shouldn't-but-struggle-with-boundaries yes? NO. Nope.
No thank you. I am unable to commit to that this year. Thank you so much for asking, but any new yes I give right now means a no to my family and sanity. I am so flattered you asked and count on my prayers, but I am at my maximum bandwidth right now. I appreciate your work so much, but I've already committed my time and energy this year. I've loved being a part of this, but I am no longer able to continue. We are aggressively focused on x, y, and z this year, so as a family we've agreed on no new commitments. This is what I can give but won't be able to do more right now.
Now, the things that make your heart race, your blood pump, the fire in your belly burn, your gifts to leap to life, and keep your family and home healthy and strong...the hell yeses? ALL IN, BABY.
So armed with my new planner and pens, the stack of books that I vow to read, 
the intentions that I will keep and those that I'll forget...I'm ready for 2016.  

Know that if you get a YES from me in 2016...it's going to be a HELL YES.  


24 gifts of Christmas

This Christmas was a gift of so many moments...

It was a 9 year old asked to put on the tree skirt.

 It was sitting with friends waiting on the parade to come.

It was Mama letting you mail the Christmas cards. 
 It was singing your heart out in church with your 
first best friend that wasn't your brother in the audience.

It was the stomach bug that slowed down the hurry-up long 
enough for White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life.  

 It was the only light coming from the tree. 

 It was overcoming stage fright and being in the angel choir.

It was Mama getting a glimpse of what they look like all grown up 
and shaking the thought away. 

It was grandparents driving all the way for a one hour show.

It was your best "friend who's a girl."

It was a Nativity scene in the den with cousins.

It was the shepherd using a flash light as a star. 

It was wearing a velvet jacket with plaid and a foam crown to be a king.

It was hoping Santa would stop.

It was gifts to wear and share and read and need.

It was watching Gigi smile like this. 

It was family small...

and family big. 

It was watching our cousin-brother open gifts on his own for the very first time. 

It was the "bow-narrow" you thought Santa forgot, but Lolly and BB remembered. 

 It was this guy...

 playing in a pot full of suds. 

And when it was all over, it was giving thanks
 and counting all the ways the God of the universe 
showed Himself in my small, ordinary life that is 
the blessing if it is only noticed


So it's January...

I can not move into 2016 without a rewind of 2015!   
Most years our family tries to go to the mountains around Thanksgiving to cut down a Christmas tree...this year we were actually there for Thanksgiving and it was wonderful!  We did a lot of lounging and parade watching and puzzle-putting-together and eating and Jenga and, of course,
the first official viewing of Elf and Christmas Vacation!  
Basically a bunch of lazy with my favorite people.