Christmas Decor

20131201-205642.jpgSometimes it’s hard to believe we decorate so much for one holiday, but Christmas is not just a day. Christmas is a season, and we’re already enjoying the glow of the lights and the warmth of the fireplace displaying our personalized stockings. As we transformed our house, Pandora Christmas blasted through our house’s surround sound system making every room alive with the holiday spirit. We may have evenย 20131201-205513.jpgdanced in the living room multiple times. Can this be a tradition, please!

It’s hard to believe it’s December 1st! I hope you’re making mental lists of things you want to do, sing, bake, and watch this holiday season. I’ve already switched to peppermint mocha coffee creamer to jump-start my December mornings.

As for the outside of our house, it was fun to decorate for the first time this year. Last year we had a light-up wreath and that was the extent. This year, we bought a tree for the front (where my porch furniture used to rest), and John hung a few tasteful strands of white lights. Feel free to stop by and sing us Christmas carols. We’ll invite you in for hot chocolate and marshmallows!

Starbucks BOGO Is Back!

20131109-173755.jpgIn addition to the return of the seasonal “red cups” at Starbucks, they are offering their Buy One Get One deal from 2-5 p.m. later this week. It’s perfect timing since John and I will be in Milwaukee! Bring on some afternoon coffee dates!

Three flavor options are available for this deal: Gingerbread, Peppermint Mocha, and Caramel Brulee Latte. My recommendation: The Caramel Brulee! Grab a friend for an afternoon treat, and take advantage of one of the only times Starbucks gives something away for free.

Thanksgiving Break

One hard-earned week off is smiling at me.

I will do school work and write a huge paper for my master’s class, but I will work on both leisurely. This week is about making time for people who are forced to the back-burner while I’m in school. I’ll be making the rounds to Wisconsin, Manchester, Iowa City, and Des Moines all on different days in the next week. My favorite Christmas Pandora station is ready to blast through my bluetooth car speakers, Glee Holiday. (I’ve never watched the show, but these people can sing!) I’ll drink plenty of tasty coffee, make lots of meals for John, and praise God for a year that taught me to be more thankful than any other. God bless your upcoming Holiday week!

4th of July Festivities

I spent the morning just how I planned (run, coffee, GMA), and the afternoon included food preparations for a few guests. The couples met at our place for drinks and appetizers in the late afternoon and then we headed downtown for the evening. We had reservations at Star Brewery, and I am so glad we got downtown early because it was still pretty quiet. By the time we came out of the restaurant around 8, the town was hoppin’. This was the first time the eight of us (plus Maya) had been together this summer, so I was loving every minute. We are so blessed to have a group that gets along as well as it does, and it’s funny to think that every single person in that “group” was in John and my wedding party. It think we set a record for the most married couples in a wedding party! So fun!

We headed to the center of downtown after dinner to wait for the firework show. Us girls had a chance to talk books and school (we’re all teachers), and the guys fetched us some lawn chairs and beverages. As I mentioned, I can’t remember a time I was in CR for the 4th, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the fireworks. I must admit that from where I was sitting with the music timed perfectly to the display, it was the best show I have ever seen. Bob complained it hurt his ears because we were so close, but when we looked at Maya, she was sound asleep. That child is the perfect example of “easy going parents, easy going baby”! I’ve never met a child as content as Maya, and I’ve never heard her make a sound except some occasional “singing”.

Thanks for making the trip to visit, friends! It felt good to have our “group” back together.