Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

I can't say I'm "ready for a fresh start"...what I can say is that 2011 has been a heck of a year, with ups and downs like any year. Huge things have happened this year. My faith has deepened and I've found myself a little more through that. I can't believe how fast the years are flying by. Here's to believing that 2012 will be wonderful and full of happiness :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas: Week THREE

So I'm REALLY behind on blogging...things got crazy in Christmas chaos.  I wrote a lot of this earlier, but now I'm adding things as I remember them.  I remember watching Christmas movies at night but I don't remember which nights haha. So here is what I remember from week three. The highlights :)

Sunday, December 11
-Church in the morning
-Lunch with Zach & his family
-Ice skating in downtown Greensboro with Katie and Ashley!! It was so much fun.  I definitely wanna go again.  Once we got the hang of it, we got going a little faster...but me and Katie couldn't quite master the art of skating backwards like Ashley did haha
-Christmas program at church with Alex and Ashley.  Loved the music.  It was beautiful.
-Then we went shopping at Belk's...taking advantage of their extended Christmas hours!
-Went home and attempted to work on homework... haha

Monday, December 12
-Worked in the costume shop for a few hours.
-Had Kepley's for supper with Zach!! Mmmmmm

Tuesday, December 13
-Exam in the morning...presentations to be exact. STRESSS!!
-Hobby Lobby with Blair and Brooke
-Went to see Flash at her house in Wallburg - recovering from her surgery.  Got 2 hot dogs at Sheetz in Wallburg (I think it's kind of a big deal that they have a Sheetz now).  The hot dogs were DELICIOUS and I enjoyed the nice country drive and listening to Christmas music.
-Went home and my mom had brought pizza I ate some more and then felt sick.
-Ashley's first band concert at the middle school!!!!!!!!!! She has first seat in the flute section.  It was so sweet.  I loved going back and seeing SW Middle school and fondly remembering my days there haha

 Some of us at the band concert

Wednesday, December 14
-Last day of my ed. technology class / presentations
-Worked in the costume shop by myself and listened to Christmas music :)
-Lunch on campus / last minute cramming for my American Humor exam with Zach
-After my exam, I went straight to Sweet Shoppe Bakery and got a box full of Christmas treats to celebrate the end of finals week. Sweet Shoppe is less than a minute from High Point University, and right across the street from the school (Wesleyan Academy) I attended for elementary and part of middle school. My mom would take me and my brother to Sweet Shoppe at least once a week when she picked us up from Wesleyan.  (It's kind of weird to attend a college that basically shares a campus with your elementary school, right??) ANYWAY, Sweet Shoppe is a very memorable and happy place for me, and since I love constants, I love Sweet Shoppe.  Not to mention the fact that their treats are the most delicious things I've ever tasted.
-Church that night

my box of Christmas treats!!!

Thursday, December 15
-I'm drawing a blank...I'll remember later

Friday, December 16
-Got to spend another day with little Sophie! We went to meet up with the class my mom was subbing in - first graders. They were on a field trip and had lunch at McDonald's so we went there.
-Zach's grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary! It was so sweet. It was at their church.
-Went to see Chanelle...she came home for Christmas!

 passed out after a day of fun
at the anniversary party :)

Saturday, December 17
-Went shopping with Alex, Chanelle, and Ashley. It was good to have a girls' night and catch up! Later we went to Steak n Shake :)



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Bows

Okay, so by now, it's probably pretty obvious that I'm OBSESSED with Christmas... I'm obsessed with anything that has to do with Christmas.  Accessories, clothes, colors, patterns, etc.  Ever since I was little, I've loved Christmas BOWS.  My mom used to make me wear them on my dresses, on my shoes, socks, ears, head, wherever! Haha.  This year, I found some really cute ones I'd like to share.

 The ones above are from Claire's.  They were $5 and I thought they were SUPER cute.  The only problem with them is that the bobby pins they come on are really tiny (probably for little girls with fine hair) and of course won't slide easily into my thick hair haha. So I just switch them onto my own bobby pins.  Aren't they adorable though??

This is the bow I put on my car.  The picture is kinda blurry, but it's the best one I have right now.  It's a candy cane bow! I got it at the drug store.  I like it because it's different from the usual red bow I put on the front of my car every year.

 This is the first bow I've ever made! My friend Heather showed me how to make them the other day, and I'm addicted now.  I love the green and brown for Christmas.

These are two of the newest additions to my hair bow collection.  The one on the top is a gift from Brooke.  She made it for me! I looove the little lollipop in the middle.  The one under it is one me and Alex saw at Belk's and HAD to have...40% off so we got them haha.  Now we match! I've been wearing mine like every day.

This stuff is from Hobby Lobby.  The tiny bows are 99 cents a pack, and four come in a pack.  You really can't beat that.  And you can do anything with them! I put a few on bobby pins and wore them in my hair, and I used safety pins to fasten some to my various fleece jackets to add some holiday spirit! They also have polka dotted ones.  I love the ribbon beside them, and used that to decorate my car keys, my dog's collar, and various other things.  Adding red and green bows to everything adds a little touch of Christmas everywhere! Sometimes I do tend to go a little crazy haha.

What about y'all? Do y'all have cute Christmas bows / ideas of how to use them??


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tis the Season: Christmas, Week Two

Continuing my Christmas highlights...

Amidst loads of schoolwork, I managed to do fun Christmas things during week two.

Sunday, December 4th
-Church in the morning
-Auditions for the spring dance concert at school
-Went shopping at Belk's for a little while by myself (did I mention I love shopping alone?)
-Got my sister and we went shopping at Target. I got a red fleece jacket for $10 (later had it monogrammed)
-Did homework with Alex

Monday, December 5
-I worked that night.  Met Zach at the tree lot after work to get the tiny Christmas tree for my room.  Picked out the smallest, most adorable one.  We drank hot chocolate and rode around and looked at lights for a little while :)
-Went back to my house and decorated my little tree.


Tuesday, December 6
-Worked in the costume shop in the morning to get theatre hours. I love the costume shop.
-Had "Christmas Dinner" in the caf with Ashley B.
-Libraried it up with Ashley

Wednesday, December 7
-Lessons & Carols at school
-HPU/Wake Forest game with Blair and Zach
-Zach and I went to see Granny
-My family and I went to see my mom's friend (Flash) in the hospital after her surgery. Long story short, she is now cancer free!! :)

Thursday, December 8
-GRE!!!! So fun! (not)
                                              ...well kinda.
-Lunch with my mom, brother, and Zach.
-That night, I decorated my trash can...


Friday, December 9
-Spent the day with Zach's tiny cousin Sophie. Took her to the mall for lunch and to see Santa! SHE'S SO CUTE.

 Sophie in my sunglasses :)

-Carriage ride at school - horse and buggy style. So neat!
-Worked the rest of the day
-Painted my nails very festively (picture will be in another blog coming soon!!)
-Worked on homework. fun Friday night!! haha

Saturday, December 10
-Ran errands/shopped by myself after work
-Went to my grandma's empty house and just sat and thought (I'm not weird, I promise!!!! Honestly, I love going over there and looking at everything.  Even though she's gone, I feel close to her around all of her stuff.  And especially here at Christmas time, I think that's good for me.  I love old stuff and looking through pictures and thinking about all the things that happened in my family before I was born.  I love looking through my grandma's jewelry.  I guess it's all mine now, but I'd feel weird taking it all...idk.)
-Met my parents and sister for dinner at Kepley's (one of the BEST restaurants in High Point. Been here since the 40s.  My mom worked there when she was like 16.)
-We went to get our family Christmas tree. A little late, but whatever.
-Alex, Ashley, and I rode around and looked at lights, and then ate at Carolina's Diner (another great food place).

*This day was cool because I almost felt like I was in a time warp the whole day, if that makes any sense? Maybe I'm weird, but I'd LOVE to live in the 50s, 60s, or early 70s, and hearing oldies at work all day, hanging out at my grandma's house, then eating at Kepley's and Carolina's Diner...I kinda felt like I was close to that time period.  Can anyone else relate to me on that??? I feel like that's weird hahah

So that was week two, and week three is coming soon!!

What fun activities are you all doing as Christmas draws near?


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CHRISTMAS: Week One Highlights

"Enjoy the little things in life...for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."

I just saw that quote on one of my friend's Facebooks, and it really drove home the reason why I started to write this blog in the first place.  I decided that all through the Christmas season, I'm going to document the fun things I do - big and small - because time is such a valuable thing, and the years fly by.  I just want to appreciate every single moment!

Since Christmas officially starts right after Thanksgiving, I'll start with highlights from the week of November 27.

I had my wisdom teeth out the day after Thanksgiving, so I wasn't able to do much til that Sunday.

Sunday, November 27
-Went to J&S with my mom, brother, and sister.  J&S is one of my favorite restaurants!
-Did homework at Barnes & Noble with Alex, and my sister tagged along.  We sat in the children's section.  Barnes & Noble is lovely at Christmas time.  And it always smells so delicious, so that was definitely a win.
-Watched TV with Zach.  He's so fun.

Monday, November 28
-Worked out after my 8:00 class.  Really appreciated the time to be able to do that, since I won't have that time next semester when I student teach.
-Watched Kathie Lee and Hoda with Zach
-Went for a walk with Honeygirl and Zach.  The weather was beautiful.
-Took a nap
-Went to class (yes, this is a highlight because I honestly LOVE all of the classes I've had this semester.)
-Went to HOBBY LOBBY and got Christmas ribbon!!!!!! And got a Christmas bow at Kerr Drug to put on my car.
-Went home and put the ribbons and bows on my car, on Honeygirl, and on my jackets and anything else I saw that needed a bow.
-Took it easy. Blogged. Enjoyed having free time to myself. Got to enjoy some good conversation with Chanelle.

Tuesday, November 29
-Met Brooke and we went shopping at Target.  Thought about how much I love Target at Christmas. Almost accidentally stole a bag of Halls cough drops.
-Brooke and I ate at J&S, and I got to eat something other than mashed potatoes and Jell-O. We enjoyed just sitting and talking.
-It was a nice cloudy day.  I like cloudy days. 
-Went to check on my grandma's house.  Saw that her neighbors' door was open, so I decided to go in and visit.  I stayed a lot longer than I had intended, but when I left, I was so glad I went.  I knew I had a lot of other stuff to do, but deciding at the spur of the moment to go over there and visit was such a blessing.  Talking to people that were close friends with my grandparents for decades was cool.
-Driving home, High Point looked so festive and Christmasy.  I was in a spectacularly great mood.
-Ate dinner at home.
-Went and picked Ashley up from dance.
-Ashley, Zach, and I went to the mall and I got a great deal on some Christmas products at Bath & Body Works.  Oak Hollow Mall is tiny and sort of empty, but it's still so sweet-looking, especially at Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30
-Zach and I had breakfast at Tom's Place.  It was so fun and nice.  I got to eat more real food!
-After class, Ashley and I went to see Granny before church.  She had her Christmas tree up, and it looked so cute.  She was watching Andy Griffith.
-Loved going to church.
-Went to College Life, a Christian club at school that I just started attending.  The people there are so nice, and some of my friends from class go.  The theme was "Tacky Christmas" so everyone was all decked out.
-After that I received a wonderful blessing from one of the custodians at school.
-Did homework in the library for a looong time with Ashley B.  Hadn't seen her in a while!

Thursday, December 1
-Enjoyed sleeping in. 
-Enjoyed SCRAMBLING to do homework and study, mad at myself for sleeping in.
-Watched Kathie Lee & Hoda. <3
-Had lunch with Mattie and Flash, and what a blessing.  Not only did I FINALLY get a hot dog, but I enjoyed some wonderful conversation and love as well. 
-Came up with lots of Christmas activity ideas (that won't get to happen til all this school stuff is done)

Friday, December 2
-Worked pretty much all day.  Came home and freaked out about homework.

Saturday, December 3
-Worked most of the day.  I actually really enjoy working on Saturdays.
-Went to the Christmas pageant at Green Street Baptist with Granny, my sister, and Zach.  Honestly, I really miss Green Street at Christmas time because that's where I grew up and decided to get saved, and spent so much time every single Christmas of my childhood.  I was in the Christmas pageant a few times and the children's choirs, etc.  So going back for that was something that was really cool for me.
-Afterward, we went to IHOP. Mmmmm.
-Went back to Granny's house and decorated her tree.  A tradition we usually keep every year. 

So that's week one of my Christmas!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

The First Noel

When I was doing my top Christmas song blog the other day, I completely forgot about one of the very best Christmas songs - The First Noel!!

Clay Aiken and Josh Turner both do gorgeous versions of "The First Noel."  They give it a unique feel.

That's all. I just wanted to spotlight another beautiful Christmas song :)


Friday, December 2, 2011

Top 25 Christmas Songs!!! (because I couldn't pick just 10 or 15)

Okay, so now that it is officially December (YAY!), I decided that I am going to try to blog every day about a different Christmas-related topic, memory, activity, etc.

I decided to kick off the month with a list of my top 25 Christmas songs! It was hard to pick just 25, but I think I have it pretty well narrowed down.  And since there are 25, there's a song for each day until Christmas :) So here we go!!!!

25. Santa Claus is Back in Town - Elvis Presley. Enough said.

24. Holly Jolly Christmas - Nothing beats Burl Ives' version. Pure classic.

23. Joy to the World - always been one of my favorites, don't care who sings it.

22.  Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys.  Such a fun song! When I taught dance, my little girls did a dance to it, and I do that dance in my head every time I hear it now.

21.  There's a New Kid in Town - George Strait / Keith Whitley.  A sweet, sweet, touching song with some country twang.

20.  Home for the Holidays - Perry Como / The Carpenters. Gives you that warm feeling.

19.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - NSYNC.  Me and my friends have this one on lock. 

18.  Let it Snow - Jessica Simpson does the best version, hands down.  So sassy!

17.  Deck the Halls - SheDaisy's version really brings it to life!

16.  God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - I like Rascal Flatts' rendition.

15.  Christmas in Dixie - Alabama.  My favorite part is when they mention Graceland, of course ;)

14.  Children's Christmas Song - Diana Ross & The Supremes.  So cute and catchy!

13.  This Christmas - Ruben Studdard.  That cool R&B feel.

12.  Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - I have to say, Sammy Kershaw has the most awesome version.

11.  All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey. DUH. Used to be my ringtone.

10.  Someday at Christmas - Stevie Wonder. World peace, is that too hard to ask for? I've been in love with this song since 8th grade.

9.  Do You Hear What I Hear - I looove Whitney Houston's rendition.

8.  If I Get Home on Christmas Day - Elvis Presley. Showcases his voice perfectly. Obsessed.

7.  Don't Save it All for Christmas Day - Clay Aiken / Celine Dion.  A beautiful song with a great message.

6.  Mary Did You Know - I have always looooved this song.  I think Jessica Simpson and Clay Aiken have the coolest versions.

5.  Carol of the Bells - Jessica Simpson KILLS it.

4.  Hark the Herald Angels Sing - I'm sorry, Jessica wins this one too.  Her version is so soulful and Gospel-sounding!

3.  Silent Night - The Temptations win the award for this one.

2.  O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - My absolute favorite Christmas songs are the solemn, serious, deep, old, hauntingly beautiful, traditional Christmas hymns that pierce the soul and glorify God.  Because that's what Christmas music is really supposed to do.  Not trying to be corny, but that's what this song does hahah.  And the best version, I think, is Jessica Simpson's.  Go figure. 

1.  What Child is This - See description for #2.

0.  Blue Christmas - Okay, so I said 25.  I CAN'T JUST PICK 25!! Elvis's "Blue Christmas" is a classic.  I don't even know how to describe it.  It kinda does make me sad now, though, since this is the first year that I can really feel like the lyrics apply to my life.  I miss my grandma :(

But enough of that; it's an awesome song!!!

And guess what? I have one more.

My all-time favorite Christmas song is...

O Come All Ye Faithful - I just love, love, love this song. I feel like Elvis's version is the most reverent and majestic version.  It. Is. Amazing. (There is a version of it that has both Elvis and Olivia Newton-John in it, and it's pretty sweet too!!)

So there you have it, my top 27 favorite Christmas songs.  Of course, I could've added like 27 more, but yeah...

I'll leave you with my all-time favorite:
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more Christmas fun :)