Friday, November 30, 2012

Smart Marketing, Jacque Pene'!!

This morning, Marilyn, Molly, and I made our way to Memphis, where we will join the Karens for out St. Jude's Marathon Relay.  Tonight we all met up, ate dinner, and headed to the nearest JC Penney store in order to purchase some pink "Ugg-like" boots.  We bought the boots and headed next door to the Dollar Tree to find KB.  While in line, we were holding our JC Penney bag, and the lady behind us asked if we had gotten our "buttons."  When we responded that we had not (and that we had no idea what she was talking about), she proceeded to tell us the deal. 

In case you didn't know, JC Penney is giving out little metal buttons.  On the back of each button is a code which you enter online.  You can either have a winning button or not.  The lady in line had already won two $5 gift cards and two $25 gift cards.  Naturally, as soon as we paid the Dollar Tree lady, we headed back to JC Penney and got our buttons.  On the way back to the hotel, we found that Marilyn had won a $5 gift card and Molly (or me) had won a $10 gift card.  Which we promptly spent the next day at JC Penney.  And also got more buttons.

Why is this genius marketing?  Because normally I don't shop at JC Penney.  It's mostly because there's not one super close, and there are several Targets and Wal-Marts between me and JC.  It's also because I just haven't shopped there in a long time.  But in the past few days I have spent about $50 there and now have gift cards to go back and spend more (the new buttons revealed more $10 cards).  It's one of those things where I don't think so much about what I might be spending, but how much I am saving.  It's a great idea, and I am following it hook, line, and sinker - and getting some Christmas shopping done!
The Good Stuff From Today:  safe road trip to Memphis; lunch at the Old Country Store with Molly ad Marilyn; dinner with the relay team; JC Penney and Dollar Tree shopping

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Best + Worse = Day

Every night, Lynnette asks Lindley what were the best and worse parts of her day.  It's usually entertaining to hear some of the things that Lindley comes up with.  Tonight, in order to get Lindley to take a bath and let me wash her hair, I had to bribe her with chocolate pudding after her bath.  So naturally, when I asked Lindley about the best and worse parts of her day, the best part was the chocolate pudding.  The worst?  The bath.

It dawned on me that usually, that's how each day works.  There's always something good to find in each day (and it's made my days better when I make myself find that good thing).  It's easy to find that worse thing in each day (and easier to dwell on it).  Together, the good and the worse make up a day.  It's not that they cancel each other out.  But in each instance, we learn something about our day and our life by thinking about both.  And if we really think about it, we will find that not only does the worse part of our day make the good part so much better, but the good part of our day helps us weather the worse part of our day.

Hope all the parts of your day were great - both the best and the worse!!
The Good Stuff From Today:  Lots of Lindley time; picking up Marilyn from the airport; Marilyn picking up Burger Up for dinner

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When Lindley Sleeps Over

First of all, she hasn't in a long time - I think she slept in the porta-crib the last time she slept over.  But this time, Sam had a speaking engagement in Indiana and Lynnette had a seminar thing in Ohio, so Lindley had a sleepover at LaLa and Pawpaw's.

We skipped the bath (because Miss L didn't seem to think it was a good idea - in fact, she thought it was the worst idea ever), but we did manage to brush teeth and get into pajamas.  After Pawpaw read a few or ten books, Lindley settled down with reclaimed friend Violet and forever friend Buddy Bear.  And a flashlight and a pop light.  And one curtain open and the cubbyhole light on and the light over the bed on.  The bedroom door stayed open but the door to the stairs was shut so that Maggie and Minnie the cats wouldn't get in the bed. 

LaLa and Pawpaw went downstairs to listen on the monitor for signs of distress.  After a bit of singing (from Lindley) and talking (between Violet and Lindley), things settled down.  When I was pretty sure she was asleep, I crept upstairs to turn off a light.  Or two or three.

Lindley was asleep as you see above.  Apparently at some point she had procured the folded-up zip-case from her bag and used it as a shield from the light.  And being the considerate 2 and 3/4-year-old she is, she used it to shield Violet's eyes, too.  (Buddy Bear is totally underneath).

The child is clearly a genius.  Family genetics, you know - just not telling whose ...
The Good Stuff From Today:  picking up Lindley at school and having her spend the night

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday. Period.

So we're past the Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Could today just be Tuesday.  Period?  You know, no frantic shopping (either in the real world or cyber), no looking for the best deal (because believe, me, there's probably a better one out there than the last one you found), and just be content with what we have purchased or content to give ourselves a break.

Of course, this is easy for me because I haven't made out a Christmas list - for what I would like to receive and/or give.  My brain is full enough trying to decide which color of white (snow white, pearl white, very white, blinding white, flat, eggshell, high gloss, etc.) to paint my walls, much less scour the internet an print ads for a really great deal.  There - I said it.  I am too lazy to save money.

So I am hereby declaring the Tuesday after Black Cyber Weekend as Tuesday...Period.  Feel free to celebrate as you wish, as long as there is no shopping or any related activity involved.  Read a book, make a pie, have a Sonic Mint Milkshake.  Happy TP!!

Too bad this was written too late for you to celebrate ...
The Good Stuff From Today:  4 miles with KB; Everley time; more Christmas deliveries; great deals at Wal-Mart (I can't help it if I walk past a great deal on my way to buy deodorant)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Buy-It Monday

Sure, call it Cyber Monday if you want, but you know what it's about - purchasing stuff online that you either stood in line and didn't get on Friday, or didn't stand in line and not get, or just decided to get because you're sort of bored.  As for me, I've been ordering stuff online for the past week, because apparently everybody out there in retail-land wants me so badly that they sent me emails offering me some great deals.  Now those purchases are being delivered, and I have forgotten why I ordered them and for whom I purchased them. Welcome to the Luanne Method of Christmas shopping!
The Good Stuff From Today:  Bill and Hughes back on the remodel; Everley time; Christmas deliveries

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Slowing Down the Hurry-Up

It's that time of year again - when it seems we have so much to do and so little time to do it.  There are gifts to decide, purchase and wrap.  There are the diets and exercise programs to get going in order to lose the Thanksgiving pounds before we regain them with Christmas goodies.  There's the house to get cleaned up so we can decorate it and get it ready for holiday guests.  There are Christmas cards to compose, address, and mail.  There are treats to bake and parties to attend.  There are Christmas movies to watch and books to read.  And according to my countdown clock, there are 29 days left to do it all.

So what would happen if it all didn't get done?  Would Christmas be any less Christmas-y?  Would we be jailed if the Christmas cards didn't go out until January, or if the gift didn't qualify for the gift-wrapping award?  What would happen if we didn't try to do it all, but just some of the most important things?  What if we slowed down, considered those things that we love most about Christmas, and celebrated those?

Maybe this Christmas will be the one where we slow down and enjoy each moment before it slips away.  After all, I heard the first Christmas was only a manger and baby that changed the whole world.  How could Christmas be any better than that?
The Good Stuff From Today:  Starbucks delivery to Sam and Lynnette:  Lindley and Everley time at their homes; Charity delivery with Maribeth; picking up Molly at the airport; progress in bedroom clear-out

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Simply Saturday

I was going to jog this morning, but when the local weather dude said it was 20-something degrees, I decided otherwise.  I started shoveling the clutter around in my room, in an attempt to locate my desk.  Unfortunately, that meant that the stuff that was cluttering my desk had to go somewhere, so it's now on the floor in a pile, but at least my desk is clear.  I think that's progress?

Lindley and Everley and their parents came over, so the de-cluttering had to stop awhile so I could attend to more important matters.  Like going out and purchasing a Sonic Holiday Mint Milkshake (I totally recommend it).  Eventually everyone went back to their homes, and I am now facing the pile again.  And watching the Egg Bowl on TV (Go Dawgs!).

It's been a good Saturday and a good wrap up to a thankful week.  Hope your weekend was as good as mine!
The Good Stuff From Today:  Christmas tree and stockings up and complete; Lindley and Everley time; Sonic treats for everyone; order deliveries; getting a few things accomplished

Friday, November 23, 2012

Freaky Friday

No, I did not go shopping today (which technically started yesterday or last night or at the crack of dawn today, depending on which store you were following).  Steve and Molly flew to Orlando yesterday to participate in the madness down there, and were at it from the moment they touched down.  And while I realize that there were some super deals out there, I think so highly of myself that I think my time and energy are worth the price savings (and there's no way I want to be the 501st person in line at Target to get sheets - especially if Molly will do it for me).

Sam went out, observed the lines, took pictures, texted them to those of us at home in bed, and promptly went back home.  I did wake up at 3AM this morning, and briefly (that period of time would be a nano-second) considered going out.  I chose to wash my hair (I couldn't get back to sleep), watch some TV on my non-black-Friday-probably-full-purchase television, and managed to go back to snoozeland.

I saw videos online of some of the shopping craziness.  I read reports.  I heard about some of the amazing deals that people got because they were persistent.  Bravo for them!!  But for me, I just couldn't do it.  At least not this year.

After all, the after-Christmas sales are only a month away, and mama needs a new Christmas tree!
The Good Stuff From Today:  finishing the Thanksgiving leftovers; shopping reports from the Florida shoppers

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's a little gem from the archives - family archives, that is.  Maribeth was in the 5th or 6th grade when she penned it.  Guess thanksgiving honesty is the best policy?  Oh well, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

The Good Stuff From Today:  Boulevard Bolt with KB, Sharon, and Bruce; airport run with Steve and Molly; Lindley and Everley time

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hump Day Thanks

Most people are thankful for Wednesdays, because it represents the half-way point of their work week.  Monday seems eons away, and Friday has begun to be seen in the distance.  People seem to be a little more productive, trying to get things accomplished in order to have things ready to leave at the office for the weekend.  On this Hump Day before Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for:

  • Friends who share their cooked specialties (like smoked turkey) with me, sometimes even making a special out-of-their-way trip to my house
  • Daughters who cook the entire dinner for the entire family
  • Family who gather for yet another holiday-yet-not-exactly-traditional meal
  • Granddaughters who have a great imagination when it comes to playing kitchen and doll house
  • Granddaughters who manage to spy the one Christmas present that you forgot to hide, even though it was up on a shelf in your closet or behind closed doors on the pie safe
  • Baby girls who are content to sometimes sit in a play yard and happily occupy themselves while the adults are busy getting stuff done
  • Clean laundry and clean sheets on the bed
Wednesdays are a day to be thankful, even if it's just because it's Wednesday.  But if we really just stop and think about it, there are so many more things for which to be thankful on a Wednesday!

The Good Stuff From Today:  smoked turkey from Bill; clean sheets on my bed; Lindley and Everley time; dinner with the entire family

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful On A Tuesday

It's always a good day when you see things get accomplished.  Some days it's an accomplishment just to take a shower.  Some days so many things get accomplished that before you know it, the day is gone and you're amazed at what transpired over the course of a few hours.  Most days, it's just good to know that you had stuff to do, and most of it got done.  Today there were several things for which I am thankful.
  • Friends who walk at my pace, and aren't too concerned that it's as slow as molasses.
  • Encouragement and belief from my walking buds that we get will get faster.
  • Television and cable that entertains me and educates me and helps me fall asleep.
  • Craftsmen who are patient with my great ideas.
  • Cats who are pesky and persnickety and who will curl up next to you and purr.
  • Poopy diapers from sweet babies.
  • Grown up children who help you get stuff done and make decisions.
  • Husbands who know TV setup stuff.
  • Painters 
  • Beautiful Nashville weather
Sometimes it's amazing how many blessings you can find in the space of a few hours - you just have to count them up.

The Good Stuff From Today:  4 miles down Belmont with KB; cleaning a bit and running a few errands; shower complete; bedroom TV complete; Disney surprise finished

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanks For Mondays

Mondays aren't always the most welcome days of the weeks - unless you start counting your blessings.  Then maybe Mondays will go by a little quicker and a little happier.

For me, these are the things today for which I am most thankful:
  • A house, while under remodeling and very dusty, that is my home and is a meeting place for gathering as a family, remembering past experiences, and creating new ones
  • Remodel projects that turn out so much better than you hoped
  • Remodel people (wonder what I've been doing all day?) who are good at what they do and do their jobs with integrity and precision
  • Technology like facebook that helps me catch up with friends, learn new things, and even provide a chuckle and/or a tear
  • People who cook meals for me to eat, sometimes for a night and sometimes for a week 
  • Freezers that store food and grills that cook it
  • The Postal Service that delivers mail from here to there
 Hope you've had a blessed Monday!!
The Good Stuff From Today; glass dudes who installed the rest of Steve's shower; getting back to salad lunches; cute text Everley pics; Everley time;  Steve's Bubba Burger dinner with Mathieu and Everley; visiting Molly at her house

Sunday, November 18, 2012

'Tis The Week To Be Thanks-full

Several of my facebook friends are way ahead of me.  They started the first of November listing all the things for which they are thankful.  Most days they list several thankful things, not just one. But naturally being behind, I am a little bit late.  Although I can't make up for all those November-gone-by days, I'm going to try to use the week to be thanks-full - full of thanks for all my blessings and God-given gifts.

Today, because of circumstances that occurred today,  I am thankful for:

  • People who work on Sundays without complaint to make my life better.  These are people like ministers, food-service workers, maintenance workers, masseuses, and anybody who works on a day when others are napping on the couch.  I am especially thankful for those who work cheerfully and offer a kind word, in addition to whatever else they do for me.
  • The joys that come in small, enthusiastic packages - in other words, little kid joys.  The kind of joy that is happy for a new set of crayons, or a new set of sheets, or a bottle, or a hug, or just some time spent together.
  • Siblings - both mine and those of friends that I might only hear about on facebook and learn of that sibling love and bond that is so unique and special.
So that's just a little bit of it for today.  For the next few days, I'm going to focus of the things for which I realize are blessings on that particular day.  Maybe it will help me be aware of how blessed I am and how thankful I should be - not just at this time of year, but every single day of my life.
The Good Stuff From Today: Marilyn at Massage Envy; seeing Lindley's new big bed; food via Molly; cable dude

Saturday, November 17, 2012

If Babies Could Say What They're Thinking ...

What would she be saying?

"Hurry up and take the picture before I rip this hat off!"

"I have something icky in my shorts."

"Can we go shopping now?

"I don't get this place, considering that I'm only 7 months old, and this is my third visit!"

"Geeze LaLa - you're the best!!"

Yep, I thought the last one was the correct one, too!!

The Good Stuff From Today:  early-morning trips to Target and Wal Mart; WW meeting with the Ms; Calypso lunch and dinner with some of the family; Lindley and Everley time

Friday, November 16, 2012

Maybe This Is The Notepad I Need ...

The Good Stuff From Today:  remodel progress; Pei Wei with most of the family; Lindley and Everley time; DMC helpful lady; successful Christmas shopping

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like ...

After spending a week at Disney hearing Christmas music every moment, attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas party, and purchasing some especially cute Minnie Christmas pajamas (not saying for whom), I must admit that I'm getting in the mood for the season.  Of course, there's the tree to trim, presents to choose (and make and wrap), and Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes to avoid.  I've already had my first peppermint mocha frappachino from Starbucks (I usually wait until Thanksgiving, but I caved in to the piped in "Jingle Bells" coming from the mall speakers). Today I watched my first Christmas movie of 2012, "Fallen Angel" on Hallmark Channel (dude goes back to his hometown, makes peace with his past, and everybody is happy in the end). 

Oh, and in case you need help in keeping track, here's a reminder for exactly how many shopping days you have left!!
The Good Stuff From Today:  TV shopping at Costco with Molly - take two; running errands

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

News Alert

Today the glass people who are putting in the glass in Steve's shower, called me to set up installation.  The scheduler said, "We're trying get in as many as possible before Thanksgiving."  I thought to myself, "No problem since there's several weeks before that happens."

WRONG!!  Apparently Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK!!  By a calendar trick, Thanksgiving comes a week earlier than I planned it, because of a plethora of Thursdays in this year's November.  So, all those things I was going to get done by Thanksgiving? Scratch that, because I no longer have an extra week to procrastinate.  All that training I was going to do for the annual Thanksgiving run (you know, that week-before training) has now gone askew, thus putting me in the mood for a chocolate milkshake.

Oh well, at least I have some extra time before Christmas to get all those "make it" gifts complete.  Now to go get that milkshake ...

The Good Stuff From Today:  den TV installed via Sam; sofa lady; babysitting Everley

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Not My Christmas List

But it might be yours.  If you're in to big-bucks gifties.  That could also buy you one big-ole television, or a week at Disney World, or some new living room furniture.  But if you'd rather have a bauble or boots or bric-a-brac, here's your list (skip the stupid AMEX ad to get to the gifties). 
The Good Stuff From Today:  TV returning, buying, returning at Costco with Molly; picking up Lindley from school;  Everley and Lindley time; chili and cornbread dinner; beginnings of Christmas shopping; bathroom gutted; bathroom counter delivered

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Usual

Upon returning from vacation, one always has stuff to do - put away vacation purchases, wash vacation clothes, and catch up on all the stuff that went on during vacation.  I can check all those boxes and more.  There's still reno going on at the house, with the bathtub being taken out of one bathroom while we wait on the counter top and shower thingy in the other.  The mount for the bedroom TV is being assembled awaiting the future TV.  There is dust layering on top of the existing dust, awaiting more dust (in other words, I need to be cleaning).

Then there's the whole thing about Christmas - it's coming.  I need to decorate, but the dust invasion is causing me to wait a bit.  I also decided to stick with my category of  "Make It" for my family category this year, which means getting to work on that.  Then there's the thank you notes I need to write, the sun room I need to locate under all the clutter, and personal jogging/workout program that I need to implement. In other words, just the same old stuff.

Maybe if I could sew while I jog to hang the Christmas lights ...
The Good Stuff From Today:  Breakfast at Athens with KB and her burned raisin toast; bedroom TV progress; bathroom beginnings; Baja Burrito with Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley; picking up Mathieu, Maribeth, and Everley at the airport

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Somebody Got Her First Haircut!

Okay, so maybe it was her first hair snip, but her parents have the cuttings to prove it, and Everley has her "My First Haircut" mouse ears.  Somebody's growing up!!
The Good Stuff From Today:  Airport run and Wal Mart with Steve: Everley's first haircut at the MK; safe, smooth flight home; sleeping in my own bed; Molly meals

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday's Ups and Downs

Molly and I did the Mickey 5K today,
but we didn't take pictures.
Mathieu did the 5K today, 
but didn't get his pledal (plastic medal). 
Molly and I ate around the World,
but ran out of stomach room before we got all around the world.
Molly and I were going to the MK for extra magic hours, 
but we decided the bed was much more desirable.
I got caught up on my blog posts,
but still didn't have anything of significance to say.

In other words, just another Saturday!
The Good Stuff From Today:  Wine and dine dude; Mickey's 5K with Molly and Mathieu; Epcot with Molly; Everley and LaLa laundry time and nap time; new socks and Wendy's dinner from Steve and Molly

Friday, November 9, 2012

Still Busy and Behind ...

... but catching up!!!
The Good Stuff From Today:  UPS dude; outlet shopping with Molly; Mickey's Christmas Party with Maribeth, Mathieu, Everley, Molly, and Steve

Thursday, November 8, 2012

So I've Been Sort Of Busy ...

Somebody has to hold the baby instead of blog on time!!!
The Good Stuff From Today:  breakfast buffet with Maribeth, Mathieu, Molly, and Everley; picking up Steve from the airport; shopping with Molly

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

wow ...

Yesterday marked the start of another Presidential term for Barack Obama and the end of a whole lot of friendships.  At least according to facebook.

I knew there would be a lot of reprisal from the election, no matter the outcome.  But I was not prepared for the cutting remarks back and forth between people who are supposed to be "friends."  As a result, friends were cutting other friends loose, making harsh statements about friends' choices, closing their facebook pages, and chastising each other on their friends' remarks.

It all makes me very sad.  I realize that there are a lot of disappointed Americans out there.  But the fact is that we're all Americans and in this together.  While our elected President is the head of our country, it is Americans who will pull together and get us through whatever lies ahead.  And no matter which candidate won, there would have been fall out and disappointment.  I just thought that somehow we would get through these disappointments and still be friends.

I hope that soon all the wounds and hurt feelings from this election will heal - I'm just not sure that the friendships that were lost, will.  And in the end, that's the biggest loss - those friendships that meant so much a few days ago, that we accepted in spite of our differences.

Or maybe nothing was really lost.  Because in the end, we're friends because one heart touches another.  True friends aren't formed based on our commonalities - we're friends because in spite of our differences, we found a strand that binds us together.  And no election, no candidate, nobody can break that strand.
The Good Stuff From Today:  outlet shopping and Red Lobstering with Everley and Maribeth; Mathieu and Molly arriving

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Reason To Be At Disney World

Today is Election Day.  It's also my brother's birthday, but I think election day is overshadowing that event.  It's a day that will decide a hotly contested Presidential race, and that's just according to my friends on facebook.  No matter the outcome, there will be disappointment and consternation - most of which I will ignore on facebook. 

I did my part.  I voted a few weeks ago.  At the time, it didn't occur to me that I wouldn't be in town on election day.  Maribeth had just suggested we go vote, and it seemed like a good idea, so I did.  Now I'm glad I did, because I did my civic duty - privilege - and voted.

So today on election day, I am at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.  I am in a world where there is imagination and happiness and the focus of "It's a Small World After All."  Sure, it's not really real.  Every family that I see has a myriad of problems that they face back home in the real world.  Every family will have to deal with the outcome of today's election.  But for today, just for a little while, we can all put the rhetoric and verbal attacks and opinions and predictions out of our minds for a bit and enjoy this imaginary life in this imaginary world.

Nope, Disney World isn't the real world.  We can't all get along no matter our differences.  We can't all help each other out, even if it's finding a stroller parking place or letting someone ahead of us in line, or just smiling at the family whose toddler is in the middle of a meltdown.  Or can we?

Today is election day.  I hope if you have the privilege, you voted.  And no matter the outcome, whether you are satisfied or disappointed, I hope you remember that it is really a small world after all.  We are all in this together, so let's start acting like it.
The Good Stuff from Today:  Disney-ing with Maribeth and Everley

Monday, November 5, 2012

Grammaw of the Year?

Well, maybe not ...
The Good Stuff From Today:  Steve taking us to the airport; safe, smooth flight with empty seats; Budget lady; lunch at Puck's; rooms ready at Shades of Green; afternoon naps; shopping, McD's, and Publix with Maribeth and Everley

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Yup, I'm Going Back. Again.

Tomorrow Maribeth, Everley, and I are headed south for some Mickey Mouse time.  Molly and Mathieu will be joining us on Wednesday, and Steve will head in on Thursday.  We booked this trip last year so that Steve could see The Children's Miracle Network Golf Tournament that is held on the Palm and Magnolia courses at Disney.  Mathieu can get us in at Shades of Green so we will be right in the middle of the action.

I know, how many times can a person go to Disney World?  If you're a mousefan, you cannot fathom an answer, much less fathom why it is even a question.  If you're not, then the answer is as many or as few times as you want, as long as you have fun.

So I guess I'd better pack some clothes.  The plane leaves in 10 hours!!
The Good Stuff From Today:  Brunch with most of the family; Lindley and Everley time; 3-Day postcards from Molly; Steve's safe travel home

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's That Time Again ...

But this is the good one ....   Right?
The Good Stuff From Today:  Slarty with Maribeth and Everley; two miles in the neighborhood with Maribeth and Everley; Lindley time; Lynnette going and procuring lunch; Sam helping at the storage place; unloading boxes

Friday, November 2, 2012

Why My Blog Is Sometimes Late ...

Just sayin' ...
The Good Stuff From Today:  shower glass dude; Athens breakfast and prizes with KB; Everley time

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1 - Time To Be Thankful!

Don't forget it, especially during this month of Thanksgiving!!
The Good Stuff From Today:  bathroom countertop and cabinet procured; bathroom progress; surprises mailed; Everley time; chili and cornbread for dinner