Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 Thanksgiving Collab

Check out the first video in a four-part collaboration series! I'll have another video each Monday this month! Thanks for watching!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fifteen Years

Hey, everyone!

I was just reflecting back on the past 15 years of my life. It has gone by so quickly and yet so many things has happened. I wonder what the next 15 years will have in store...

In January 2000, I was starting a brand new year, but it was also a brand new chapter in my life. One season of my life was ending; a bad relationship was ending and I was single, again. I had no idea what to do with myself since my world no longer revolved around someone else. I decided I was going to forget all about relationships and I was going to focus on myself. I made plans to travel with a friend of mine and I had so much fun thinking of all the places I could go.

In March 2000, a friend of mine that I was working with at the the time asked me if I was interested in meeting a friend of her boyfriend's. I had zero interest but she continued to ask if he could at least call me, so finally I relented. He seemed to be a nice guy but kind of immature for his age. He was really into video games and things like that but I wasn't looking for a relationship so we talked on the phone from time to time. Meanwhile, another friend/co-worker asked me if I would be interested in meeting a friend of her and her husband. I said I didn't know and she, too, was persistent.

I had gone out to eat with a friend of mine who had just recently broken up with his long-time girlfriend, too. It was great to have a Christian friend to "heal" with and he was a lot of fun to spend time with. I worked with his mother and loved her and his brother and my brother were great friends. We attended the same church together and it was like the healing salve my heart needed to mend.

It turns out that I had agreed to a double date with my friend and her boyfriend and the video gamer on a Saturday night. We were going out to eat and then ice skating. The night before that was to happen I agreed to meet the friend of my friend and her husband. I thought nothing would come of either one but I would at least get my friends to stop setting me up!

I met my friend at a motel near her house because she lives out in the country and she was just going to take me to her house instead of giving directions to this directionally challenged girl! She had picked up some pizza and we made our way to her house. The deal was supposed to be that I was hanging out with her to meet this guy but he wasn't supposed to know anything about it. Just see what happens...except he knew all about it and she tells me this on the way to her house!!! It was a Friday night and I had just came home from church, changed my clothes and went to meet everyone.

I was introduced to three guys in the living room, one was her husband, the other two were friends of theirs. They all said "hi" at the same time so I had no idea who any of them were. So when it was time to leave she asked her friend to take me back to my car and he kind of hesitated so I thought that meant he really wasn't that interested in me. It turns out he was just trying to clean his truck out because he didn't want me to see the mess! LOL

It was so odd because we just talked like we knew each other forever. We could finish each other's sentences. He was very good looking and I wasn't sure what to think. I knew I really liked him and when he took me to my car, he waited to make sure I was in and the car was started before pulling away. That was impressive to me, especially with the relationships I had been in....

The next night, my other friend, her boyfriend, and their friend came to my house to pick me up. I really didn't want to go on that double date but my mother said I had to because they came a really long way to get me. I couldn't stop thinking about the guy I had met the night before. The night seemed to last forever, but not in a good way. The guy barely spoke to me. He ran up ahead of us at the restaurant, skipping through parked cars and just being immature. My friend and her boyfriend even apologized for his rude behavior more than once. My friend's nephew helped me around the ice rink because I didn't know how to skate. That sweet little boy would help me a little bit and then go skate, come back to where I was holding on to the side rail for dear life, then would return to take me a little further. I didn't have much fun that night and it was definitely a one date only with that guy.

Back at work that next week, the phones were crazy with people asking questions about services we provided and it seemed like the conversations were always very time-consuming. I had spoken to one client repeatedly and it was always a very lengthy conversation. In fact, they would talk to my friend (who introduced me to the first guy) and she would have to forward the call to me, because we worked in different departments. So, when she came into my office laughing and telling me I had a phone call, I shot her a look! I was swamped with paper work, monthly reports due, clients dropping in, and the phone that just didn't stop ringing. She said, "You'll really want to take this one!" I was waiting for it to be the same person I had been talking to over and over that day but it turned out it wasn't. It was the same sweet guy who I had met a week earlier. I thought he didn't even like me because he had never called. He asked me to the movies and I said yes.

Fifteen years later we are celebrating our wedding anniversary and I love him more every single day! He has held me while I cried over the loss of my grandmother, some aunts and uncles, and cried with me when I lost my daddy! He has encouraged me to go to nursing school, nudged me to keep trying when I wasn't sure I could finish with my daddy gone, and celebrated with me when I passed my boards! He has been a wonderful father to our two children that God blessed us with in spite of being told we would never conceive. He has prayed for me. He has loved me when I was unlovable. He has talked to me all night until I fell asleep even when he had to get up early to go to work. He has been my rock, my safe place to land.

We have been through a lot more than most couples in these past fifteen years but we hold on to our faith and God has always helped us reconnect and cement the bond we have shared for so long. A cord of three strands is not easily broken, right?

I love my husband so much and I am really glad God gave him to me. Happy anniversary, Paul. I love you!!!

Friday, September 11, 2015


Hey everyone!

Image result for snapfish logo

For years now I have used a company called Snapfish to print my photographs, create beautiful photo books, and give personalized gifts to my family. I even have the Snapfish app on my phone where I get 100 free photos a month for a whole year! Snapfish has great prices, fabulous deals throughout the year, and great customer service.

I like that I can upload my photos and Snapfish stores them all for me for free! I can share the photos with my family and friends. They can order my pictures if they want and have it sent to their homes which is great because some of my family live out of state. I like that I can categorize my pictures. Making photo books is a breeze with their user-friendly program. You can add stickers and embellishments on your photo book pages that are so fun for free!

Fall is nearly here! It's a great time to take some photos and you can turn them into your Christmas cards with Snapfish. We have created Christmas cards through Snapfish several times and it's a great way to share photos with family and friends with your season's greetings!

If you would like to try Snapfish, I have a link here. Come check out Snapfish and turn your photos into gorgeous cards, books, and more. Since I referred you, you’ll save 40% on your order—just use my link. Plus, I’ll get a $10 credit, so we both win!

Let me know if you try it out! A friend told me about this company over ten years ago and I have been a faithful customer ever since! Hope you'll try it out!!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fire Chief Javan's 8th Birthday

Hey everyone!

Monday night was Javan's eighth birthday!! It's really hard to believe how grown up he has become over the summer... So I asked Javan what theme he would like for his birthday and we had talked about different ideas over the summer vacation. I knew I had to get serious about planning in late July because school started August 5 for my two children. So Javan narrowed it down to a fireman birthday party!

Javan has always said he wants to be a fireman when he grows up. He loves the firetrucks, fire dogs, the cool fire pole that some fire stations have and of course the lights and sirens. I knew I wanted to have a fun party that didn't cost a lot of money and wouldn't take a lot of time to put together. So naturally I turned to Pinterest! Here is my link of inspiration for this party.

I have the photographs from that party that I want to share and a brief description as to what I was thinking! The bowl is from the Dollar Tree. It's just a clear plastic container that I thought would like nice for the party. I used a free printable to write "Little Smokies" and the recipe was perfect. It used only three ingredients and was cooked on the stove so no waiting on a crock pot. I had to cook these last minute because I had a lot to do in one day and time just got away from me. I am really happy with how they turned out and everyone enjoyed them.
Can't have a firehouse birthday party without fire dogs! I bought these hot dogs (perfectly fit the bun) at Aldi. I just boiled them on the stove and they were gobbled up!
I got the table cloth, fire hats, treat bags, plates, and napkins at Party City. I ordered online from the clearance section. I love how it all came together. I ordered a really cute fire fighter emblem balloon.
My mother-in-law outdid herself on the cake! Javan wanted one just like on my pinterest board and she did an amazing job! The little card says Happy Birthday with an 8 on the helmet and Javan's name. 
The red gum balls came from Walmart in the party section. I thought they would be fun to give the kids since they are not hot. The fire hoses are just strawberry Twizzler's and the fire poles are candy sticks from Applacres. The candy dishes are all from the Dollar Tree.
Stop! Drop! Roll! I bought cinnamon discs at the Dollar Tree for the STOP!, lemon drops were for the DROP! and Javan's favorite candy is tootsie rolls which is great for the ROLL! The coloring sheets are also on my Pinterest board. I just created two pages front and back of coloring activities. The red bowls are from the Dollar Tree. I got three bowls for one dollar.
It was very humid out so the fire truck tires (chocolate doughnuts) held up pretty good considering! These were pretty popular! The tray is from the Dollar Tree.
My daughter made the matches. She just took some vanilla cake frosting from a can and spread that on the tips of pretzel rods, then she added red sprinkles. Super fun and a real sweet treat! The vase is from the Dollar Tree.
I used this bowl from the Dollar Tree to place the "fire flames" or Cheetos. The food for this party was great because there was hardly anything for me to actually cook. We had strawberry flavored green punch that I purchased at Walmart.
My husband is 6' 4" so this is a view when he takes a picture!! Really different perspective than when I have the camera!
I purchased the Happy Birthday candles and the number 8 candle from Walmart in the party supplies section. This cake was delicious!
I just love how well this turned out. The hose spraying the water (blue cupcakes) to put out the fire (red cupcakes). Just awesome!
Can't have cake without ice cream right? And what kind of ice cream would one have at a fireman's birthday party but Dalmation ice cream, er I mean cookies and cream!
Javan had a lot of fun opening gifts and playing games. My husband created a burning house with flames of fire shooting out the window (streamers) and the kids had to put the flames out with water balloons.

They had a blast putting out those flames! And then it was time for some fun in the firetruck that Paul put together.
Uncle Arnold made popcorn on the stove top and it was delicious. Just the perfect snack for these busy junior fire chiefs.
Big Sister was a good sport and played along!
Each of the junior fire chiefs got a certificate! Look at my silly little guy!
Javan was blessed with a lot of presents from his family and friends.
Javan and Riley are the same age (Javan is just a couple months older). They are the very best of friends.
Pet Patrol! Yay!!
Lots of smiles!
Kadesia read the cards to Javan!
He loves football!
Javan wanted a new school lunch bag. I bought a race car one from the Dollar General and it's much bigger than the other one. He was glad to have it.
Bluetooth headphones! No more borrowing, breaking, losing ear buds!
Batman and Superman figurines.
Javan's mamaw bought him this adorable fireman costume and it feels like the real thing. It fits him very well.
Cutest fire fighter I know!
I'm so blessed with this sweet little guy!
I really like how this craft project turned out. I painted his hand red with some acrylic paint from Walmart. The pipe cleaner was from the Dollar Tree. I used my Stampin' Up! punches and some cardstock for fireman hats and faces. The poem is from a pin on my pinterest board here. The water drops were free vector images from the internet.
Thank you so much for joining us for a five-alarm fun birthday! Everyone enjoyed the party, especially the birthday boy. I hope you get some ideas and inspiration from this post and my Pinterest board.