Sunday, December 28, 2014

Counting My Blessings

I have spent the last two days cleaning and pondering about the new year.

2014 was an unbelievable year of highs and lows ranging from my daughter's wedding to my stepdad's passing away. I made through all of that and retired only to be so completely pooped that I spent a good bit of the last six months fighting sickness. When you have rheumatoid arthritis fighting off anything is difficult, so I have had pneumonia and spent the days before Christmas with the flu.
Thank goodness, I had completed all my shopping.

I had a wonderful Christmas Eve with my family. I knew Christmas would be different this year and it was, but it was good...

I knew Mama would struggle with it being the first Christmas without my stepdad. I knew I would have to share my daughter with her new family. I survived it all. I looked around Christmas Eve grateful that the flu had let up on me and that I had all my loved ones sitting around me. Christmas Day was definitely different. No bubbly daughter and Mama had fallen ill to the flu, but grateful indeed for my many blessings.

I have spent the last two days putting Christmas away. If I thought for a second that I would make it to New Year's Day with it all still out...well, I should have known better. I really did think when I was decorating this year that I would keep it up until New Year's Day. While I taught I always felt I had to get it put away as soon as possible to clean and get ready to go back to work. I guess I have trained myself that it has to be put up right away. I grew up with the tradition that you put it all away on January 2nd. I always feel a little melancholy when I take the tree down, but it usually passes quickly because I love the uncluttered feel that follows.

Indoor decorations stored away.

I am working on organizing my new Erin Condren planner. I am on my 4th year using one. They are expensive, but it is the planner for me. I am finding myself really liking the paper/pencil way of keeping myself organized. I love technology and always kept up since it was very important in teaching to be tech savvy, but I am just really loving old school more and more.

Ready to set up some goals.

Yes, the last year and a half was filled with highs and lows literally, and I if thought too much about the lows, I would be counting the hours until 2015. However, through all of the struggles of the past year, I realize how blessed I truly am.

SOOOOO...I will Count My Blessings this year and try too focus on how grateful I am for my family.

This is something I crossed stitched in college and is hanging in my sewing room. It will be my theme for the year.

Blessings for a new year,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What I Wore / School Events

I shared the other day about finding things to wear post retirement and in your 50's with that menopausal weight gain.

I have always known what my style was, but lately I just am going through a change. I thought it very interesting as I was sitting in the beauty shop (aka hairstylist) this morning waiting for my haircut that  a conversation was going on with another hairstylist and her client about that very topic. I just had to listen. I am not alone. I really didn't think I was:)

I am on the search for what looks good on me or as good as you can look with a few fat rolls and double chin:) I also am way past coloring my hair, so that has brought on a change in colors for clothing and makeup. Colors that I once wore are a little harsh these days.

Anyway, I have had two events to go to the past two nights. My hubby is a high school principal, so we have had plenty of outings on the schedule.

For the Christmas chorus concert Monday evening, I wore this.

Rose colored sweater and dark brown pants. They look black in this picture, but I promise they matched the scarf.
All items came from Talbots. 

Tuesday evening we had his faculty Christmas party, so I wore this.

Different lighter pink sweater and black slacks with scarf.
Sweater - Talbots
Slacks - Chicos
Scarf - Vera Bradley

I did wear lipstick with both outfits, but I tend to put that on in the car on the way.

In the meantime
I have baked a pound cake for a church member who has a funeral in their family
Made 5 of the dishtowels below for Hubby's office staff.
Have three more to make.
Have to bake cookies for his admin team. Gotta get a move on it.
Made it to my hair appointment.
Have to drop my cake off in about an hour.
Need to vacuum living room and then clean up what will be a disaster in the kitchen before it is all over, BECAUSE I have our church small group every Wednesday at my house.

I think I am liking the candy canes one best. That is not what I thought when I picked out the fabric. 

Busy Busy Busy
BUT, hey I am not stressed trying to put on a shindig for a classroom. 
Loving retirement,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas 2014 Home Tour

Welcome to our home for Christmas 2014. 

First up is the Christmas tree in our living room. I love Christmas trees more than any other Christmas decoration. This year's tree sports a new topper. My son says it makes it look like a "Harry Potter" tree, so we named the owl Hedwig.

Close ups of the tree. I love new and old ornaments. There are several "vintage" ones from both my husband and my childhood trees in this picture.

In this living room, I keep the decorations other than the tree delegated to the bookcases to keep clutter down.

Dining Room

Christmas china is Kent "Silver Pine".
Silver is "Waltz of Spring by Wallace.

I have been working on the Christmas table for our Christmas Eve dinner.

The kitchen gets minimal decorations. I really live and work in there, and it is the room that is easily the drop off zone, so I work very hard to keep it tidy for cooking.

I cross stitched this over 25 years ago.

The formal living area is a "billiards room." Does that make it sound better? Truth is I knew we would never go in there if it were just a sitting room.

Between this area and the dining room is a long hallway open to all areas of the main floor. I have an Auburn tree here. War Eagle!!!

My bathroom and bedroom get a few touches.

The guest bathroom.

My sewing room got a vintage Christmas tree.

This was given to my mom by a friend back in the early 1970's. I snitched from a few years ago. I have loved wrapping presents this year in my new sewing/craft room by its glow.

That concludes the tour. 
May we adore the One who came to be our Savior.

Hope you have a blessed Christmas.

Linking up with Dixie Delights and the 12 Days of Christmas Home Tours.

Monday, December 15, 2014

What I Wore and Can't Believe I Am Sharing

With my recent retirement, I find that my wardrobe basically consists of jeans, sweats, shorts, and t-shirts. I usually keep a nicer pair of jeans and a quick top ready for the grocery store and shopping. I know there are people who get up and get ready for the day in much nicer attire, but I have two reasons to justify my period of comfortable wear. After over 30 years of getting up and trying to look very professional and the year that I had last year with my step-dad's illness, I am working pretty hard every day repairing or pulling closets out and doing some heavy duty cleaning.

My husband is the principal for a high school in our district, so he had to go to a district administrator party Friday night. It was listed as semi formal. I am really much more comfortable in a dressy pair of slacks, but I decided to buy a dress for the occasion. I can find cute outfits in a quick second as long as it isn't a dress. I have just reached that shape in life where I look bad in a dress.

I am a Talbots girl. I like them because their clothes just fit. I am very petite and generally speaking I can go in and try something on and it is proportioned just right. Shop the sales ladies.

Anyway, I decided to bite the bullet for this dress and thought I would be able to use it for other special occasions. I must say it is a beautiful dress and would look great on someone else. 

It is one of the first times I have ever just walked out the door knowing I wasn't happy with the look. Can we say chubby? IT wasn't flattering at all!!! And, one more thing, I never wear red. I am just not a red person. Now, I know why---since, my hair is silver on its way to white...the red is just too harsh.

I am sharing the picture because I really love seeing what others wear not to judge, but to see what others my age are wearing. Let's face it, we age. Wrinkles, silver hair, and pudginess in places come with age. I don't think we should run from age, but look for ways to make those things work.

That double chin is pretty bad though...

I didn't do so good, however, I have to go the school's chorus concert and the faculty party this week, so I will try to do better for those

Does anyone else struggle like that?

I am going to use this photo to prod me to work on that weight just a bit. I really want to be healthy rather than overly concerned with the appearance. 

Off to sew some gifts for his office staff.
I will share later.

Have a blessed day,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Decorations Part 2

I finally finished my Christmas decorating over the weekend. I shared part of them last week, so here is the remainder of the indoor decorations.

Starting in my new sewing room (that I am over the moon about), I only added one item. Since this room is all me, I added a  ceramic tree that lights up from the 1970's. My mom used to babysit a neighbor who owned a ceramics store. She gave Mama this tree and a frog that lit up around 1974. I always loved it, so I sort of took it from Mom many years ago. I have always displayed it in the living room, but this year I decided it would be perfect in the sewing room.

I have loved the glow in the evening, since I have been wrapping presents each evening trying to stay on top of that.

Does my wrapping paper station count as Christmas decorations?

Next up is the kitchen where you will find very few items. I can't stand the clutter in the kitchen. The kitchen is already difficult to keep clutter down anyway.

I have a simple plate by the stove that can easily be moved.

A cross stitched piece I did 25 years ago.

Above my sink is an hanging cage with ornaments and a cross with the Nativity in the middle.

The living room only has the Christmas tree and decorations on the shelves. We really live in this room, so items out in other places just sends me over the edge and make it very hard to keep clean.

I loved the squirrels from fall so much, that I added some red ribbon to make them last through Christmas. They will have to say good bye in January until next September. My picture turned out sad.

The reindeer was a gift many years ago from my sweet mother-in-law. She had one too which I gave to my daughter.

The front room which is supposed to be a formal living room houses our pool table. I knew we would never use it for a living room, so we have a pool table in here. The desk in the background is not usually there. It was in sewing room before the remodel. I don't want to get rid of it, so it is temporarily there until I find a place for it or my daughter takes it.

I always add garland and lights to the banisters.

The dining room is semi opposite of the pool table room (billiards' room). I place our Auburn tree in the hallway between the two rooms next to our grandfather clock. You can see the Auburn tree from our living room (aka family room) as well.

My new placemats are in, and I got carried away embroidering on napkins the other day. I have been playing with the Christmas place setting. I will most likely go with this, but add a brown table cloth. The placemats have brown specks in them, and I will need a table cloth as we will really eat here. Saving the table.

I am using the silver set for Christmas, but I love the blue and will use them on another occasion when I am using my other set of china. 

The only other room that I have anything in is the guest bathroom. Just a simple crystal bowl of ornaments and a candy dish that still needs candy. I love how much just a bowl of ornaments add to a space.

Too see the other areas of the home read Christmas Decorations.

And one last look at the tree, which is always my favorite thing. 

I plan to post outside pictures IF I can take photos that are viewable as well as the dining table on Christmas Eve.

Thanks for stopping by.
Merry Christmas,

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