Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas

It is the night of Christmas. Isn't Christmas just the most special season of the year? It is truly this magical time when twinkle lights, sugar dusted cookies, and a warm smile pull at the heart strings and make everything seem right in the world. I love this season and want to extend it's joy for as long as possible. Tomorrow is the day after Christmas, which is still a fine time to celebrate...to slow down a bit, savor a good cup of coffee, and maybe whip up another batch of a beloved holiday treat! My favorite is corn chips, craisins, and popcorn coated with melted white chocolate. It is the best stuff and isn't Christmas until I've made a batch. I've got my Christmas music on, read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas again, and am thinking it may be time to go get cozy in bed. It might just be time to say goodbye to the most magical day of the year. I love you Father Christmas. Goodnight.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Winter's Quiet Beauty

There is a calming, yet ethereal beauty about frosty winter. Just take a peek at a full winter moon.
It's haunting, right?
This is quiet beauty at it's eerie best.






























Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy

As a teacher, I have learned that I will actually enjoy school if I give into the will of others when necessary to maintain peace. Chasing peace is far more important than having to always be right. It helps to make things that don't really matter take center stage. It makes everybody happier. I've also found that if I find myself being overly onto a kid, looking for things they are doing wrong, to just ignore them on purpose. It will ruin my peace, plus it's out of balance. Also, with a kid that has problems, it is best just to leave them alone unless they are hurting someone or outright being disruptive. Anyway, I have learned to do that. I had to last year, and I am having to again this year, but I'm just glad I figured it out sooner this time rather than agonizing over it. I've actually had to do that twice so far, but I'm happier now. I'm glad I'm growing wiser. I'm happier now. I'm actually liking school again. That makes me sublimely happy. I don't always have to be perfect or right, just at peace and happy.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Home Happy

I sure do love being at home. I think this is my happiest time of the week...the time that I get to be at home, in the haven that I have created. It's full of all of my favorite, completely beautiful things. I talk about home a lot in this blog...but it's because it means so much to me. I have peace here...it is my safe place. I like this quote that says:

"If I can just make it home, everything will be okay."

And it's so true. These moments I spend at home, with my family, are what make my life worth living. I wish I could savor this every moment of every day, like I'm doing now. But I have to believe that if I had this every day, it may not be a special to me. I may not appreciate it like I do now. Two whole days of nothing but simple bliss that comes from being at home.

I overslept, and I have a mild headache because of it. It's barely there. I have read that oversleeping causes it though...should have set my alarm I guess. Or checked the clock when I first woke up to use the bathroom to see what time it was instead of assuming I should just go back to bed. Oh well. This is something for me to remember over Thanksgiving Break.

I've recently been reminded of the importance of savoring every day, of living in the present. It's easy to forget that sometimes, to appreciate the beauty of true peace and contentment...of not enduring strife.

Anyhow, I just wanted to check in and write about my happiness to be at home today, Saturday. I've been looking at the living room and think I've found the perfect place for the Christmas tree right by the window. It will be so beautiful. I can't wait. I want to put up my tree and decor, but I still love fall so much, and it's my other favorite time of year. I love pumpkins, leaves, fall color. Plus it looks so fall outside.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Awestruck

It's the strangest thing what I'm sitting here thinking about. I went to a local high school pageant last night, and my heart really went out to this one beautiful senior girl for some reason. Well, the reason is actually that when I look at her, I see myself.   And I can see all of the things that she probably hates about herself because those were the things I hated about myself, too. And from my eyes now, I see that those things make her absolutely gorgeous. A total wow. With a girl as beautiful as she is, I at first assumed she was probably very vain. But again, after being around her a tiny bit when she was at our elementary school selling spirit items, she has a beautiful spirit about her, like she's a very sweet girl. She smiles a lot and just seems soft spoken. I'm telling you, I see myself at her age when I look at her, and it brings tears to my eyes. It is so strange. I think it's because even though I knew I was a pretty girl, I still had major insecurities about my shape, particularly my bum. I never liked that it was so round and perky. I never liked the attention it got me. I always wanted a big chest instead and felt like no matter what boobs I did have, my butt would always steal the show. I could just see this girl feeling the same way, not realizing that her butt makes her look AMAZING. That she is beyond gorgeous. It's weird, but I wish I could somehow tell her that. I just know it probably bothers her, like it has always bothered me. Then, last night she got first runner up, again. Apparently, she's got that several years and never won. I, too, experienced the same thing over and over. Anyway, it's just interesting when I see someone that reminds me of myself. Especially, when it helps me see how I was probably viewed. Her shape makes her look gorgeous, shapely, womanly, like a pin-up. Seeing the stick thin teens up there, well, they looked a little kid-like. It sort of makes me feel like I need to stop hiding my rear and being embarrassed about it because it doesn't make me look fat...this girl's does not make her look fat by any means! I mean, if the rest if you is slim, it doesn't make you look heavy. Just shapely. And my mom tried telling me that for years. It probably made her sad to see how I picked myself apart when she could see how stunningly gorgeous I was. While I still have some pretty days left in me, I need to try with all I have to flaunt and not be embarrassed by what I've got, to be proud of my beauty and womanly curves. My husband has obviously been able to see it for far longer than myself because he thinks my behind is so beautiful and sexy. Maybe I should try to see myself through his eyes. 

Sunday Morning

Well it's Sunday morning, and I'm still in my Jammie's sipping a cup of hot tea. Looking out the window this morning, I see an overcast sky. It's been overcast a lot lately. I suppose that is the norm in November. Leaves are covering the yard, creating beautiful scenery. I like looking out at the backyard, at our little red shed that Ryan redid. Big trees throughout the yard are turning beautiful fall colors. The one directly beside the red shed is a stunning gold...*sigh*. A big ol' pile of chopped firewood rests under a protective covering. Our little garden plot is starting to show signs of producing carrots and lettuce. I'm praying for a bountiful harvest! It's just peaceful and lovely outside in our sweet little one-acre of backyard. We are blessed to live in a nice, peaceful area.

My tummy is a little full from the apple pie and ice cream I treated myself to for breakfast! I know it's not the healthiest if breakfast choices, but I figure it's better to get the higher-calorie fare out of the way earlier in the day. I just popped a vitamin to be on the safe side! I've gotten the BEST Olive Garden salad dressing at the supermarket, and it is so good, I could eat and eat me some salad! I'm telling you girls, you will WANT to eat delicious greens coated with this yummy stuff. You can add tomatoes, olives, croutons, red onion, and Parmesan for a truly authentic Olive Garden salad. Mmmm my mouth is watering! I'm telling you, this stuff is crave-able. 


I'm thinking about making a trip to the supermarket later to get some of those items to make myself a salad that is out of this world amazing. I've also been wanting to take in a matinee. Not sure what yet. Captain Phillips sounds sort of interesting. Oops I am out of cash for the week! Spent it all shopping at Canton and Folk Fest and the mall. Might have to withdraw $40 to carry me to Friday. Oh well, it's been awhile since I've had a shopping spree, and sometimes, it just makes me really happy and tides me over to live more frugally for awhile. I've only been using cash for groceries and eating out for months now...and I've never went over budget until this last couple of weeks. But I knew that would happen because I was planning a trip to Canton. Well it's time to get ready for church services. I had tried a more modern non-denominational church service, and while I liked it, I sort of missed the more traditional. I'm going to save the other for Wednesday nights. So, I'm looking forward to being back at the traditional services today. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Autumn Decorating

I love being in my wonderful, amazing home on this cozy Saturday night. Everything is so perfect, from my husband snoozing in his chair to the golden retriever, Paws, lounging on the floor next to him. It's seriously out of a holiday movie...one I would most definitely watch! Speaking of, I have been meaning to catch Hallmark's latest, Thanksgiving House. 

All of my favorite decorations stare at me happily as I take in the beauty of our home. It's not big, but it's truly perfect. It's small enough to feel cozy, and cozy is my favorite. Today, we went up to Beaver's Bend for the annual Folk Festival. It is nothing short of amazing--picture perfect ambiance. Imagine a quaint, endearing forest full of autumnal color, and you would have my dear Beaver's Bend. The Folk Fest attract visitors and vendors from all over. It was crowded, but merrily so. Everyone was happy to be there, enjoying the cool weather and beautiful foliage. I always adore peeking at the crafts, particularly the holiday ones. My love for the holidays is no secret, and I adore finding handmade, one-of-a-kind items to add to my home each season. 





This is where I live!  Gorgeous Broken Bow, Oklahoma. How blessed am I???

At Folk Fest, I found a lovely handmade, rustic pumpkin to add to my collection. Large and primitive, it commands pride of place on the burlap covered bench in the living room. It sits next to a smaller fabric, handmade one I got last weekend in Canton. I'm just in love with everything right now, as I look around. Never too much of what makes you happy. Never too many pumpkins during the fall. :) 

Some people would walk into my house and say, "Wow, this girl loves autumn!" Well, they would say that as soon as they saw the front porch. And I do, it's true. And I do believe my husband loves it, too. One night, I asked him what makes him happy when he's at home. He said he likes sitting in his recliner watching TV while I prance around the house setting out my fall decorations. Sweet, right? 


There's something about seasonal decorations in each room of the home that makes things happy and cozy. I look around with a sense of merriness at the items I've collected through the years. Even as an 18-year-old in college, I had a fondness for seasonal decor and strung orange twinkle lights in my dorm room. At 19, I purchased a few seasonal decorations from Hobby Lobby that I still have today. I really need to start dating the items I buy at the bottom, so that I can remember at what point in my life I got them. For now, some items I truly can't remember buying! I have so many.


I look at the orange bittersweet wreath hanging by the door and its twin resting on a shelf near the kitchen. A Wallflower plug-in by the front door contains the yummy smells of Cinnamon Pumpkin. I see the bench adorned with my handmade pumpkins, a welcome sign, a scarecrow trio, a piece of harvest corn, and a few leaves. On the side table is a cute, fat scarecrow and a pumpkin scented candle. A chalkboard hangs on the wall, containing words like "autumn leaves, pumpkins, cozy sweaters, apple cider, etc." Below it rests a scarecrow boy and girl from my Grandma. 


The wood box top holds a bouquet of fiery orange and red leaves in a chippy turquoise pot. Orange fairy lights hang from the mantle, a midst a pumpkin and a scarecrow atop a bale of hay. A small table holds a scattering of leaves. The dining table has a plate that reads "Give Thanks," a pilgrim girl in prayer, and pumpkin candy bowl holding candy corn. Of course, a harvest-scented candle is lit. The pantry door, covered in chalkboard paint, reads "Autumn Blessings" and has a whimsical pumpkin, leaves, and cup of hot cider. Autumn hand towels are in the kitchen, as is a pumpkin mug, a cute little pumpkin faced bowl in the window sill, and yummy Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soap. 

So, that's just the front part of the house! Let's move down the hallway, shall we? The guest bedroom has a bouquet of fall flowers and a cute little crow holding a pitchfork. The hall bathroom has a darling scarecrow, pumpkin scented hand soap, and a ceramic pumpkin. The end-of-hallway chair holds a lovely Autumn sign and a few leaves. Our bedroom is lovely, with a "Spooky Hollow" sign hanging from an antiqued hook. The old dresser has a seasonal display with fairy lights, a pumpkin, and a raven atop a black candle holder. A wreath of orange and red leaves hangs in the canopy above the bed. The nightstand has a darling scarecrow, and a gorgeous pumpkin made with bittersweet rests next to it on the floor. Of course, the bathroom has a pumpkin scented Wallflower and Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soap.


I didn't even get to the front porch! It is truly amazing now. A series of gourds are piled up next to one side of the door--huge squash, apple gourds, and a big orange pumpkin. A wreath of orange and red leaves hangs on the robin's egg blue door. On a chair sitting on the other side of the door, a big chalkboard reads "Home Sweet Harvest Home." Whimsical pumpkins and an apple gourd rest below it, creating a delightful trio. On a plant stand is a wicker basket of mums. A hay bale sits on the other side of the chair and holds a friendly scarecrow. At a visually pleasing angle next to the hay bale is a wrought-iron bench I got from Canton last weekend. Bright yellow mums in a lovely powder blue ceramic pit is atop the bench, and a colorful woven rug sits below it. Corn stalks are tied with raffia to the porch posts. 


I LOVE MY FALL HOME. I feel so blessed to be in the place I am today as a 26-year-old, for my home to be as cozy and amazing as it is at this point in my life...to have SO much, pretty much anything and everything I truly want. Seasonal decor can be pricey--it is not a necessity, but a luxury. And my home is filled with lots of it. So, I do feel blessed to have such nice things, for everything to be so "to a T." I have some very nice things and the life that I only dreamed about as a young college girl. I used to dream of the day that I'd have a family, a husband, and a home to do with as I pleased. And right now, my home is so me. It is so personalized and screams, "Monica."


I look around, and I love every little piece of furniture. And lots of my treasures have a story. From the coffee table I redid as a bench to the perfectly distressed turquoise TV stand to the sofa, amazing wall clock, and cow hide rug from my mother-in-law to the end table fashioned with burlap and aqua paint, everything is personalized. My dining room table from my parents covered with a gorgeous ruffled burlap runner from Canton...everything is to a T. I love living in this house. I need to have a sign made to rest somewhere outside our home that reads,  "Thyme Cottage" or something equally endearing. Because to me, this home of ours is completely enchanting.