Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's the hap, happiest time - - - of the year!  New Year's Eve is my favorite night of the year!  Those of you who know me - well that would just be my sister/bff who reads my blog - know that I am a creature who is always wanting to "start over" and "get it right".  This year my sister/bff Tami asked me, "So Teri just what is it that you want to start over? what do you want to get right?"   Wow I had never been asked that question!  I just know that I always plan to lose weight - exercise - sleep - and read more - be calmer - pray more - seek wisdom - - - and each new month - I start over . . . and fail by the 2nd or 3rd of each month!!

We have never celebrated New Year's Eve in a traditional way - don't have a certain place we go, certain people we spend it with, or certain food we eat - although the last 2-3 years we have been home - kids were busy with other obligations - and so we have had a "fancy smancy" dinner party with our parents!  My mom and dad and Clay's dad and his girl friend live near by and so they join us for the eve! 

My tree is down - and yet still I have my favorite Christmas decorations still out - candles and my nativity scene - afterall - the Wisemen didn't actually make it to see the baby Jesus for two years - so can't stash the nativity scene away before they have time to arrive!!  But it's the table that I focus on for this New Year's Eve extravaganza . . . and I use the color gold - BECAUSE - as our daughter graduated from Emporia State University in 2007 - and colors were black and gold - I have lots of gold!  Leftover "chargers" that I did not realize were even chargers???  thought they were platters - - - but they are sparkling gold and look perfect under my white/gold china.  This year I threw in white and gold candle holders and candles.  So fun to try and recreate some of the Home and Garden ideas - or Martha Stewart moments - or Good Housekeeping Dec. issue beautiful table scapes!

Be back later . . . guests are arriving :)

Once again it's 10:30 p.m. and guests have gone home - don't usually see the New Year in with the parents - but it was still a fun evening - and now Clay and I are left alone to watch the latest football game or a couple of crazy guys jump a 300 foot river on snowmobile and motorcycles - simultaneously!  Can't wait to see!

So back to what it is that I really want to start over with? or do differently in 2012??  I have decided to set more realistic goals - yes lose a few pounds - and yes go to the gym each week - take care of myself - but this year - I'm going to focus on "focusing less"  - - - relax and enjoy life - stop thinking that I have failed - - - and starting over - - - just to fail again - - - and start over . . . I am going to read more books - I am going to ride my bicycle more (love it) just for fun - Going to listen more and talk less - And always - going to count my blessings! 

Happy New Year!   Golden party hat

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Blessings of (tiny) Christmas Traditions

I began my blog in 2010 as a special place to come to share my many blessings.  As I mentioned in an earlier post - I do have many blessings - but as you can see - I do not get an A+ for blogging about them!! 
I admire my younger (but not that much younger) sister who also blogs - and she actually shared in this Advent Tour on Dec. 13th.  She is a wonderful writer, as are many of you whom I have been reading!  So you inspire me to keep on trying!
So - I will share with you my BLESSINGS found in a few of my favorite Christmas traditions.  Some will seem so trivial - you may say - "is that a tradition, really???"  But to me - yes it will be. These are not your typical "family traditions."  These are "Teri Traditions" meant just for me - thought of by me - enjoyed only by me and well three other "besties" of mine! 

Teri Tradition #1 - Purchasing a Yankee Christmas Candle and lighting it every evening starting the weekend after Thanksgiving!  My tried and true has always been "Christmas Eve".  Love this scent so much that I gave one to all my employees at work one year so they could have the perfect "Christmas Eve".  Now let me introduce my new fav:  "Holiday Garland"  yum!    These will get me through the holidays at least until New Year's.  I always make sure I have a "Sparkling Snow" to celebrate New Year's Eve.  It's white, crisp, and snowy - like the perfect New Year's Eve.  

        Yankee Candle Christmas Eve Candle - Large Jar          Sparkling Snow Yankee Candle 22 oz

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Teri Tradition #2 - This tradition is my newest - anything that you do more than once - can become a tradition right?  So it seems for my daughter (and best friend) Casey and I.  In 2010 she purchased tickets for us to see Mannheim Steamroller at the Topeka Performing Arts Concert Hall.  Unbelievable!  We had front row tickets thanks to someone who sold them to her on stub hub and the music and light show was gorgeous.  If it is possible to beat Kenny Rogers and Dolly Pardon in concert in the l980's - MS might just do it!  This year we took along our husbands and welcomed in the holiday season with The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Show!  They may all be grandpa's now - but they can still sing . . . Elvira!!   What blessing are we in for next year - I can hardly wait to see!!

Teri Tradition #3 - CHRISTMAS MOVIES - HALLMARK CHANNEL - enough said??  I have 95 Christmas movies dvr'd as I write this blog - or at least my husband says so - as he grumbles that there is no room to record the latest episode of Myth Busters!!   This blessing started with my best friend Rebecca, yes I have two besties.    She lives next door - we would get the kids to bed (actually mine were gone from home) and then we would run across the street - in our pj's and robes - drink a cup of Christmas tea and watch Christmas movies!  There is something so special to me about a Christmas movie - the music, the pretty trees, the beautiful decorations, Santa, humor, tears, but they all end with a happy holiday ending! 

Teri Tradition #4 - The blessing of sharing a wonderful Christmas read with my sister, and best friend Tami, that's right I REALLY have three besties!   Tami and I have our T & T Book Club and each year we manage to pick the perfect little Christmas book to read!  This year it was my turn to pick and I ordered us each a copy of "The Great Christmas Bowl", by Susan May Warren.   This was a make you laugh and make you cry kinda book.  Tami and I both talk about getting a Kindle - but just can't give up the beautiful cover pages on a good ole' book!  Christmas books seem to be the most beautiful to me!

The Great Christmas Bowl [Book]About the book . . .

Marianne Wallace is focused on two things this holiday season: planning the greatest family Christmas ever and cheering on her youngest son's team in their bid for the state championship. Disaster strikes when the team loses their mascot--the Trout. Is it going too far to ask her to don the costume? So what if her husband has also volunteered her to organize the church Christmas tea. When football playoffs start ramping up, the Christmas tea starts falling apart. Then, one by one her children tell her they can't come home for Christmas. As life starts to unravel, will Marianne remember the true meaning of the holidays?

Thank you for reading and sharing with me in my personal "favorite things for Christmas".  These "things" as you can see are simple little things - a candle in the room, a movie on the TV, a book, and even a trip to my daughters for a concert - - - some might say these are not family traditions that one would hand down from generation to generation . . . but they make me,  ME - and I am so thankful for these little pieces of pleasure that I find in this world.  These "things" are the material side of the holidays, I agree, and so let me end by saying that I love and appreciate these great blessings in my life - given to me from the God I serve who cares about these little things.  Our greatest blessing still remains the birth of the baby Jesus - our Savior and King!  Merry CHRISTmas!