it's Christmas time...

...and I had to give the blog a little "bling"

Still working on my Christmas decorations here at home even though I got started a week after our vacation (not sure what got into me this year that made me want to start so early...). We have the Christmas village all finished and one tree up and decorated (we're having two this year - one real, one fake and haven't gotten out to get the real one yet). Not too happy about this skinny tree and how you can see completely through it, but oh well, got it on sale last year after Christmas. The whole point was just to have a tree we could enjoy in the family room, so it is doing that just fine. Logan loves the ornaments. I figured he would, so I bought "shatterproof" ornaments for the tree...we'll see if they really are soon enough.

Lots of work to be done around here. Last night we were driving home from the library and got to see a lot of lights on the houses, reminding me that I need to hurry up and finish what I started out front. Once everything is up and looking good, I'll take some pics and post 'em over to the side.

So Saturday is December 1 (Happy Birthday, Chris) and I think it will really start to feel like Christmas knowing there are basically only THREE WEEKS until Christmas. ah!

Seems like there is always something needing to be done this time of year, but I enjoy having so much going on. This got me to thinking about all that I want and plan to do (not just have to do)...

* Get out and drive around to look at Christmas lights with Logan soon. Maybe we'll take out the stroller and get some exercise - that would be better except that I can't have a latte in my hand :)

* Bake some Christmas cookies.

* Hunt for the "perfect" tree, pray that it makes it home without flying off the roof of the truck, trek it into the house, spend half an hour trying to get it straight in the stand, fight with the lights, put on some Christmas music and decorate it up. Wow, doesn't sound like fun when you think about it like that, but I love the whole experience of having a real tree.

* Set a date with Santa - interested to see how that is going to go now that he can really experience meeting the jolly old man in the red suit.

I also hope to hunt down some PJs and continue that tradition of new PJs on Christmas eve *(thanks mom).

What traditions are you doing this year? :)

p.s. Found this quote this afternoon that I just love and had to share: Jesus, the Light of the World, as we celebrate your birth ... may we begin to see the world in the light of understanding you give us.


Went out this weekend and took some pics of Corey + Matt [for Christmas]. I think this is my favorite, although I had to be careful about what I posted here so no family members get a sneak peek at the "real" pictures.

Love seeing them so happy together...


Welcome to the World:

Avery Burke Lore
November 21, 2007
9lbs 3oz, 22 in.

...yet another reason to be thankful



Allen Hunt made a list of 26 things he is thankful for, A to Z, and you can check that out here:


He inspired me to do the same...

A - Autumn
B - Black Friday
C - Cody + Cadie *(even if they do eat things they are not supposed to off the table)
D - Decorations for the season
E - Ears to hear, Eyes to see
F - Family + Friends
G - Gators (& Tebow)
H - Health
I - Imagination
J - Jesus
K - Kisses
L - Logan…Love…Life
M - our Military + all they do to serve
N - New babies...naps :)
O - Orange creamsicles
P - Pumpkin spice lattes…Photographs
Q - Quick easy meals
R - Remicade
S - my Salvation
T - Thanksgiving...and Target!
U - USA (and our freedom)...unconditional love
V - Vacation
W - Working home home (even with its challenges, it is a true blessing)
X - Christmas
Y - You + your friendship and love
Z - Zoo (Logan’s first trip)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.



I receieved this response via email from Target today -

Thank you for your positive comments about our Christmas and holiday advertising. We appreciate the time you've taken to share your thoughts and feelings about this issue. I'll be sure to make your views available to our executives.

We always welcome your feedback, so if there's ever any question you have about our products or service, please call our Target Guest Relations team at 800-440-0680. We also invite you to share your comments whenever you visit a Target store or on the Internet at

Thanks for shopping with us. We'll see you again soon at Target.

Jennifer Hanson
Target Executive Offices


Get the word out

Last week we went to Target (at OakLeaf Plantation) and as I was checking out, I looked up to see the Christmas advertisements hanging from the ceiling. There in front of me were several colored cardboard ornaments with the words Merry Christmas. No Happy Holidays???

I contacted Target via email to let them know I appreciate this and encourage you to do the same if this is something that is important to you.

I am sure Target is only one of many stores who has done this - Dawn recently sent an email to Lowes about their "family trees" - to which they quickly responded to with an appology and are now recalling their advertisements and re-printing them with "Christmas trees" - and rightfully so.

This is no small issue for me. I feel that just as we should point out what we want changed, we need to be saying keep up the good work.

If you would like to contact Target as well, here is the link:


...and if you know of another retailer I should be supporting, please let me know...



Sorry no posts lately. Lots of yucky sickness around here since we returned home, but finally on the road to recovery. More soon, I promise...


home sweet home

We're home!

Vacation was all that we were hoping for - relaxation and a change of scenery. Seemed like we just took a drive and autumn suddenly arrived.

I was thrilled that the leaves were still changing. Ryan will tell you I probably took one too many "nature pictures" but I could have taken a thousand, it was so beautiful up there. We had a good time, but nothing beats your own bed! Just got my pictures downloaded and wanted to share a few of my very favorites. Hope you're having a great weekend.

at the aquarium...
i love the shots ryan gets with one arm...you cant help but to smile naturally when you're cracking up together

he loves his daddy (and mama is pretty ok too...)

looking up

first stop on our trek through the smoky mountains

wish we had drives like this in Florida...

he is growing up way too fast...

...had to dodge getting hit by oncoming traffic to get this pic, but i think it was well worth it


autumn inspiration

If you have not checked out flickr yet, please, do yourself a favor and head on over. I could sit and look through that site for forever - the talent is endless.
So glad it's finally Friday and time to hit the road.

1. Bonne Nuit - Good Night, 2. Belle d'un Jour, 3. Softness '' Nature '', 4. Autumn Undergrowth, 5. A Nature Gift, 6. turtle refraction, 7. Fire and water, 8. Robin (Erithacus rubecula), 9. Moonlight 2, 10. Sanctuary Upshot Saint Mary's Studley Royal, Yorkshire UK, 11. Circles, 12. r e c l a i m i n g, 13. Berries, 14. Big Wheel, 15. jack, 16. Gazania, 17. figure 1. Ascophyllum nodosum, 18. Untitled, 19. Yashicamat/Xpro/Pylon 2, 20. Untitled, 21. leaf and lino print, 22. fire in the sky, 23. Future Bread (Vertorama), 24. Growth of Love, 25. KG11, 26. weighty, 27. seeds, 28. sEASONAL gREETINGS tO aLL mY fRIENDS, 29. ennerdalesq, 30. Autumn. October (2007)