Fashion Friday Before Christmas

December 19th, 2014

I don't usually dabble in the area of sharing fashion deals….but in honor of all the Christmas shopping and wishing I thought today would be a great day to share some of the sweet deals happening right now.

And they are all….just a CLICK away!

1.  Frye Melissa Button Back zip boots (in black)

black fryes

It's no secret, I LOVE FRYE BOOTS!!!  I can attest to their worthiness because the pair I splurged on for my birthday over a year ago are still gorgeous and ready to go.  I wear them all the time!  I've really needed a pair of black boots (since I have no daughters at home to share with anymore) and that's just what Santa is shipping me for Christmas this year!  HoHoHo, baby!

2.  Sparkle Moose Print Tunic from Brina Box

brina box tunic

I can't even tell you how cute this tunic is in person and it is so super soft!  Brina Box is an online boutique that offers some great steals on special items.  I ordered this in Large (bad idea) and had to ship it back for a small.  It runs big.  Now I have it in red and I love it!  Both my girls will be sporting one too!  They shipped fast.  Right now, they're on sale for $21.99 and if you use a coupon code SPARKLEON10 you can get another 10% off!  DEAL CITY!

Here's a peek of me wearing mine to go shopping yesterday!  I love it!

me in tunic

3.  Thread & Supply Double Breasted Peacoat

peacoat nordy

Y'all this cute coat is on sale right now over on Nordstroms site for $28.99 with FREE SHIPPING!!  They also come in like 5 different colors!  Who doesn't need a light trendy peacoat?

4.  Matty M leggings in black

leggings

This is for those of you lucky enough to have a Costco nearby and the jack to have a members card.  I admit, leggings are a tricky fashion item when you're 48 years old.  I don't use mine as "pants"….I wear them UNDER things; oversized sweaters, tunic tops, too short dresses etc…  This pair is super strong, heavier material (so, no see through) and they hold every little flaw into place.  In other words, these leggings make you look skinny!  SUPER SCORE, DUDES!!  And they're only $14.99.

5.  Vera Bradley Fringe Scarf

vera scarf

Oh my gosh!  I can't believe I don't own this beautiful scarf!  I've been so busy getting ready for Christmas that I have ignored all the special steals popping into my email feed from VERA BRADLEY!!  This cute scarf is on sale right now for $19.99 and if you shop on Vera much, you  know…THEY SELL OUT FAST!! 

6.  Vera Bradley fleece hooded robe

vera robe

While we're talking Vera, check out this cute robe!  The sizes are limited and it's only available in this color (Cheery Blossom) and it's on sale too.  $40.60  Who doesn't love Vera Bradley?  Besides, robes are clothes too…people!

7.  Old Navy grey cowl-neck fleece pullover

oldnavy

I have almost worn this top out.  I bought it the other day at Old Navy and it is so soft and comfy.  It matches everything and can be dressed up or down.  I only paid $15 for it then but today it's on sale for $19.00.  So worth it!  It's flattering on us gals with a little muffin top probs!

And just to prove that all my shopping isn't JUST ABOUT ME….here's a great deal for the dudes in your life.

8.  Mens Weatherproof Vintage sweater

mens sweater

Lucky for me, both of my guys love sweaters.  This handsome fella is wearing one of my favorites on sale at Macy's right now.  Like $125 marked down to $37 bucks on sale!  It's a timeless piece that will not go out of "trend" anytime soon.  And it's really warm too!

I'm sure most of you have finished your shopping and that's cool but if you're looking for that "one more thing" to add to your stack….maybe something here will inspire you to save a few doll hairs and bless someone's socks off!

Speaking of socks…

Don't you love all the cute tall socks everyone's wearing with their boots?  I'm in love!

Happy Friday before Christmas bloggy friends.  I hope you are enjoying the time with family and friends.

Big Day Sabotage

December 16th, 2014

mad girl

After mentioning my NOT FINISHED SHOPPING dilemna yesterday….I thought about Christmases past and how "letdown syndrome" has always plagued my family through one member or another. 

Even me.

If I were to ask…..many of you could most likely share a memory of someone being disappointed or totally losing it over the big day festivities in your own family. 

Holiday's can be a ton of pressure for everyone. 

For parents, the stress of providing just the right gifts (affording the really special ones) and making sure the numbers all match up amongst all the little darlin's is almost enough to drive even the strongest of mama's & daddy's to take a hike far far away during the holiday's.

It's real, man.  The pressure is real.

Today I read a post on the awesome Jen Hatmaker's blog about her own experience with Christmas sabotage…..from the angle of her adopted kids.  Her explaination of their brokenness got me thinking of just what causes our meltdowns when gifts, activities or special events don't go our way (or the way we have envisioned in our heads).

1.  Unrealistic expectations

Admit it, you've asked or dreamt of something so outlandish that even you thought…."That's a crazy request!".   While it's probably okay to wish for big wowzer gifts it's not okay for the ultimatum of having it or nothing at all.  That puts pressure that is completely unfair on the giver and sets you up for a disastrous let down.  Don't set your dreams so high, people.  It's a gift, remember?

2.  Entitlement

The land of "I deserve" is all around us.  I remember a friend of one of my kids who expected amazing gifts on every special occasion.  The family members all jumped in line to give this kid all the great expensive items on their list.  It was for no other reason than they, along with this kid, believed it was deserved.  None of us are entitled to gifts, not even on special holidays.  Gifts are just that….A GIFT!  You're welcome!

3.  The world tricks us

Television, Big Box stores, magazines….other people all play a part in hyping up our dreams for the best of everything.  Just click onto Pinterest and you'll see beautifully decorated houses, fancy wrapped items, perfect menus and all of it nearly unattainable for the busy working family/mama to accomplish.  Yet, the pressure to perform at that level and to make everyone's best wishes come true are everywhere.  We fall for it and end up feeling depressed when our big day is normal.  Don't be tricked!

So, how can we all enjoy our holidays and all that goes along with them?  By being more aware of our expectations and understanding the triggers that push us to feeling unsatisfied.  It may not completely stop us from feeling let down but it will help us to put what's most important into perspective.

wish list

A big long list of wishes…..seems silly when you focus on the real meaning of Christmas, doesn't it?  So before you go and sabotage your whole Christmas remember, we're not celebrating YOU.  We are celebrating JESUS!

jesus is the reason

 

Merry Car-mas

December 16th, 2014

This whole last week has been about cars.   Both daughter's called with "issues" that needed immediate attention.  On Saturday, hubby zipped around empty parking lots trying to hear the suspicious noise in Ally's car.  The final outcome was to add fluids and keep an eye on it.  And he's not even a physician.

Yesterday, a phone text from the baby called for high alert on her screaming brakes.  She just couldn't drive it anymore!  So, the evening was filled with good old dad changing brakes and oil in our garage while we watched The Voice by the fire.

He doesn't deserve us!

Since it's only 9 days until Christmas morning I thought car problems fit in real nicely with all the special wishes most of us have this time of year.  NOT!  However, I'm so grateful that I have a hubby that can and WILL work on cars after working all day.  He is the best Santa daddy!

In case you were wondering….I do not have my shopping finished.  There are certain people that I have no idea what to buy for them.  Which leads to that dreaded feeling of desperation that leads to some impulse purchases that are usually a gigantic regret!

So, I'm sitting on a frozen spender!  As in….I'm not buying anything!

What do you do when time is running out and you just can't figure out what to buy the ones you love but don't want to JUST BUY STUFF to buy stuff?

spend

Here's the deal.  Kids don't need us to give them everything.  Even though our hearts want to bless them like crazy.  In today's economy, people are really struggling.  Prices of just about everything….are costly!  Just like the many car repair costs, real needs often trump wants.  Buying some special gifts that are within reason is acceptable.  But remember, nothing compares to the time invested in the ones you love.

Lord

Thank you for the means to fix cars and buy gifts.  I know every good and perfect thing comes from you.

Amen

In a Year

December 12th, 2014

It's December 12th and this time last year my hubby and I were stacking boxes as high as we could go into a moving truck.  It was the day before we closed on our new house in a new town to start a new life!

 

a yea

Here we are, one long year later.  So much has happened.  Some of it exciting and a little of it, painful.  I can't complain and I won't because God had a plan and all the things that were challenging……played an important role in blessing our new lives.

take the step

To be honest, my hubby and I have never lived our lives tucked safely behind our fears.  From day one of our lives together…..we've stepped out of all that was comfy and "tried" whatever it was that God dangled.  He has blessed us at every stop!

regrets

During this past year we have watched our girls grow and soar into amazing young women.  Both of them taking on new and difficult jobs while working hard in college and living all alone in a different city than us.  Try that on, helicopter moms (like me) for size.  It was a struggle…..being far away and trusting God.  (Look, I'm not perfect y'all)

We welcomed in a squatter back into our home.  If you think letting them go is hard try taking them back in after they've lived outside of your home.  New challenges that someone needs to write a book about ensue.  It's hard to live with 20-somethings!  They have their own hours and while it's nice to have them under your roof….it's also a little invasive.  Sharing our home is a gift that we are grateful to be able to give. 

We've remodeled, put down floors, torn up floors, redesigned our yard, bought endless tools, gifted ourselves with awesome bikes, shopped on Craigslist & Amazon for everything, found new fave restaurants, joined Costco (buhbye Sams), worshipped in a great church, taken our first beach vacay alone, TRAVELED all over the USA, stayed in endless hotels, reconnected with high school friends, camped on a beach in INDIANA, celebrated 25 years of marriage, cried for hurting family, made new friends, bought a new (to her) car for a birthday girl, supported a young ministry family financially, fished like anglers in Texas, visited the GW Bush Presidential Library as a family, gifted ourselves with killer boots, shopped at Goodwill and other second-hand stores, hog hunted, lived apart for weeks at a time, partied it up with good friends, got richer but spent more, grew older and learned that life is very short in spite of how slowly time drags on.

We're blessed.  We're grateful.  We're so glad that we stepped out and took on a new job in a new city with great people.  Our lives have been truly enriched by our willingness to step out in faith and try something new.  A year has come and gone and we feel like we're just getting started.

opened 

While this has been the year my hubby has worked the hardest it has also been one of our most blessed.  I look forward to what the next year holds.  If it's any better….I might explode with gratitude!

Lord,

A lot can happen in one year.  Thank you for every lesson, every moment of joy and sorrow and every day that you orchestrated for my family.  We are blessed and you are the reason.  Give us courage to try something new everyday.

Amen

Don’t Get Puffed Up

December 11th, 2014

Do ever get caught up in your own pride? It's easy to do in a wildly arrogant and self-centered world like ours. Each of us possess the power to succeed. The prideful moments that plague all of us sneak in and rob us of really acknowledging who is in control of our destiny.

Recently, I watched a scene play out that I admit…… left me feeling a little resentful. Although, I wasn't personally affected….I allowed my arrogance to dance around in my own thoughts and before too long I was feeling that ugly emotion of puffy importance.

Trust me. I'm not important in the way I was basking.

As I read the book of Obadiah this morning….. I had one of those gotcha moments. The kind I really needed. God reminded me that just because trouble wasn't knocking on my door, didn't mean that I was immune from downfall.

image

Everybody knows….. pride goes before the fall, right?

So often, we find ourselves looking at someone else's folly with a heart that says, " glad it's them and not me!". Or even a vengeful wish of, "I hope they get what's coming!". Both ways of thinking remind me of the message in Obadiah.

Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars,from there I will bring you down," declares the Lord. (Obadiah 1:4, NIV)

My puffy arrogance isn't the holy heart condition my Loving God wants from me.

It didn't take long for my wicked attitude to catch the attention of the Holy Spirit. I immediately felt regret for my rotten way of seeing things. It's not my job to be the better person (in my own head). It's my job to love with a heart like God's. He doesn't need my snarly unforgiveness or my Holier than thou attitude.

image

He needs my willingness to love even the most flawed person around me because there are days. ….. I am more broken and wicked than any I might want to judge.

God,
You remind me that I'm my own puffy prideful person and I'm so thankful that you pull me back to you with love and mercy!
Amen

All I Want for Christmas

December 8th, 2014

Nothing compares to spending quality time with people you love.

friends forever

This weekend all my wishes came true….. friends that I've missed so much decided to visit downtown Indy and wanted to double-date y'all!  I wouldn't have missed it for anything. 

 

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Woohoo!  I mean, I didn't have anything else going on.  So, why not….right?

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On Saturday night, we bundled up and took off for the big city to meet our sweet friends at Weber Grill for a fat steak and then a carriage ride around town.  The Christmas lights,  the BIG 10 crazy atmosphere and the weather all cooperated to make the whole night a little magical.

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Can you tell, I don't get out much?  Just kidding. 

wpid-20141206_203450.jpg

I party all the danged time!   Pshaw!

The next morning, we pushed ourselves out of bed and headed right back downtown to meet some OTHER wonderful friends from southern Indiana that we haven't seen in a few years.  One of the greatest blessings of friendships is the ability to pick right back up where you left off.  Don't you think?

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So, in one fast weekend….we packed more love and fun in than one couple of lonely old empty nesters can cram!

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And now, I can go on with my Christmas holiday's because all I really want is more like an all I really NEED is some fun time spent with people I love!

God,

Thank you so much for the friends you've put in my life.  No matter the distance, they are always there.  I am so blessed. 

Amen