Monday, November 5, 2012

christmas decorations

i know, i know.  you are thinking it is way too soon for Christmas decorations.  or are you?  i could have sworn there was a lovely little holiday between halloween and Christmas. it's called thanksgiving, right?  however, as i look around, i am wondering if i am either
A. mistaken
B. slept right through november and woke up in december (because i could use that much sleep)
C. people are so excited about Christmas, they have decided to treat poor old thanksgiving like a red headed step child and skip right over it
it can't be A; i got a note home from school today about hadley's upcoming thanksgiving feast.  and it can't be B; see reason negating A and the calendar on the computer tells me it is, in fact, november 5. so i guess we are only left with C.
saturday, jay pointed out a neighbor of ours has already put wreaths on her windows.  then later in the weekend, a surprising number of friends fessed up to being early decorators and on the way home from car pool this afternoon, i noticed even the city of meridian has begun decorating!  i am so not there yet?  are you?
please, don't get me wrong!  i LOVE decorating for Christmas and think it is never too early to start planning but i usually reserve actual decorating for after thanksgiving has come and gone. 
i am a planner at heart (though my current state of life would not suggest it) and it is never too early to start thinking about decorations.  so i thought i'd share one of my favorite little Christmas "crafts" with you so there will be plenty of time to whip them up and put them on the porch November 23! i shared these last year but i am not crazy with the way i laid out the instructions so i will try again.  i am very much a visual learner, probably to a fault so i will do my absolute best to put this in words! 
   
that is simply a tomato cage, Christmas lights and decor mesh!  oh and cable ties; you can't forget the cable ties.  well you could do it without them but why?  they are just fun.  you can totally dress these up with ornaments and what not or leave them plain.  mine are obviously green but i have made them in gold, red, etc.  let's get started!  i promise it is simple...
1.  turn up the Christmas music!  it has nothing to do with the actual construction of this little beauty but it will make the project all the more enjoyable.
2.  get your tomato cage (generally 3, 4 or 5 feet high), lights (i suggest 100-150 for 3', 150-200 for 4' and 250ish for the 5') and 1-2 rolls of decor mesh (the 21" wide rolls) but i like lots of lights; i am sure you could survive with less. 
3.  cable tie the tip top of the cage together to keep the tree shape.
4.  cable tie the plug end of your lights to the bottom of the cage (so you will be able to plug it in).
5.  wrap those sparkly little lights all the way to the top of the cage. i found that the lights don't move around too much but you can hold in place with cable ties if you need to.  i generally only cable tie at the bottom and top and then at any place you join two strands of lights. 
6.  you should have a lovely little "tree" of tomato cage metal and tiny sparkling lights. 
7.  cable tie (can you tell i LOVE those little guys?) one end of the mesh and then cable tie that little "tail" to the cage.  get it all secure and start wrapping it around the tree; working your way from bottom to top.  i leave it on the roll so it doesn't get all tangled and messy.  i let some of it "open" the full 21" and allow some of it to curl back on itself.  varying it like that will help give it some "body" and keep it from being "flat"... to join 2 rolls, just cable tie them together and tuck that little mess inside the cage and keep on going!
8.  once you get to the top, tuck the mesh down inside to leave it looking all pretty. 
9.  plug the darling little tree in and enjoy!
if you have any hesitation about this, don't "secure" it until you have the whole thing done...i found the more i worked with mesh, the easier it got.  so if you are doing more than one, the others may turn out looking a bit better than that first one and you may end up wanting to make some adjustments. 
happy holidays!  (i don't say that to "forget Christmas" but it is only november 5, remember?)

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

every picture tells a story

i think it was rod stewart who said "every picture tells a story don't it"... 
 
actually, i know it was.  i googled it and wiki confirmed it.  what did we do before wiki?  oh wait, i remember...we had encyclopedia britinnica!  which i think i remember hearing is soon to, or already has, printed their last set of encyclopedias; crazy.  it will only be available online; i sure do miss printed materials.  funny i say that as i sit here and keep an "online journal" as opposed to a physical one.  know what else i found on wiki when "researching"?  1001 albums you must hear before you die  that is definitely worthy of a look, in my humble opinion.  i will put that on my list of "things to accomplish in my spare time" so by my calculations, i will get around to viewing the list sometime in 2030 (mallory will graduate from high school that year) and who knows when i will start working through the list. 
 
any who...on that little beach trip i shared a few days ago, we tried to take some "family pictures"...ol rod was right; every picture tells a story so i don't need to say another word.
 

  
 
  
  
 
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

beach it

this might have been the last year i will get the pleasure of enjoying a family trip to the beach during the glorious month of september.  hadley will be in k5 next year and jay says something about "being responsible parents and not taking our kids out of school for a vacation"...i don't know what he is talking about.  i have no interest in going to the beach in the heat of summer...and i am guessing they won't like it much either.  my girls are not much for weather above 90.  i guess joke is on them; being brought up in the south and all. 
 

the first two days the water was super calm and simply beautiful
 
last year, audrey cried every time her toes touched the sand.  SO glad that passed.  hadley never had an aversion and i am praying mallory skips that little phase too. 
  

i mean she is a natural..
 
riding the ferris wheel at the wharf 
 
mallory hanging with mommy while the big girls rode the swings at the track.
 
riding that little thing that spins your car as it spins in circles...think they enjoyed it?
 
riding go karts with daddy may have been their very favorite part of the entire week...they LOVED it
 
jumping in the pool.  i tried to get better pictures but i was holding mallory.
  
 
i have no idea what these old hens were talking about but i love it.  this was our last morning and they were having the best time out on the balcony with their juice; like two dear old friends over coffee.  i love watching them grow together and look forward to adding mallory to that little dynamic.
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Monday, October 15, 2012

war eagle 2012

you won't read this for a day or two but as i type, my beloved tigers are working on pulling a win over ole miss.  go big blue!  jay and i took the girls to auburn last weekend for the girls' annual trip to the plains.  it was mallory's first opportunity to visit mom and dad's alma mater; i think she had a good time.  this morning hadley asked when we were leaving for "the big game" and audrey randomly announced at breakfast that it is "game day"...i think they had a good time!
 
the weekend didn't start out so well though.  we headed for montgomery on friday afternoon so we could meet our dear friends alex and susan and their boys for dinner...traffic had another plan and we ended up at a stand still on hwy 80 just before i 65 and that added a solid 45 minutes, or an hour, to our drive time and we missed dinner.  but i took this picture when i had climbed in the back seat to give mallory (barely visible in that mirror to the right) her bottle.
 
 
saturday was great fun but also hot as blue blazes!  i don't really care for day games; our seats are in the sun all day and it is just hot, hot, hot.  we did manage to stay through the 3rd quarter.  i'd say that is impressive even if much of it was spent in the "cool zone".
 
 
 
hadley learned the star spangled banner at school and was so very excited to sing along; it was precious.
 
the girls with "uncle justin and ashee"
 
audrey is most uncooperative with pictures these days...
 
 
  
 
hadley is still DEATHLY afraid of the most wonderful mascot in the known world...audrey got a little scared but managed to take part in the photo and mallory seemed to enjoy aubie's whiskers!  as much as i enjoy taking those sweet girls to a game, i am looking forward to going back in a few weeks and actually watching the game.
 
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

sweet mallory...6 months

"the baby" is 6 months old now.  i truly have no idea where the time went.  i was talking to a dear friend the other night, her precious baby girl is 8 months old.  she said "it goes by so fast; i know everyone says that"... it sounds so cliche but everyone says it, because it is true.  somehow i hadley is 4.5, audrey will turn 3 in two short weeks and jay and i celebrated 9 years of marriage last month...it's been a wonderfully wild ride so far and most of it goes by far too fast.  we won't talk about the stuff that could pass faster...this is, afterall, a birthday celebration post!
 
mallory (aka mallo roo, moo moo, mallo rooni or just moo) is just the happiest little munchkin you could hope for; an absolute joy to complete my little piece of heaven. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
i am off to have a relaxing weekend with the fam...hope you have a blessed one too. 
 
 
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