Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!  Thanksgiving 2017 is in the books!

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We had a busy but great day.

And just like every Friday, I am linking up with Erika, Andrea and Narci to share our FAVORITES for the week.

ONE

We’ve had a great week off with the kiddos.  Now, I’m not going lie, Monday was rough.  It started off great.  The girls sat by the fire and played while I read.  I thought, maybe this will be the break when they all get along. Ha!  Yeah, Monday was rough.  I am not sure what was wrong with my kids, but evil monsters they were!

I did snap this picture before the horns came out LOL!!!

So peaceful right?  Yeah…didn’t last long!

TWO

Tuesday, Jojo had a hair appointment.  While he was getting his hair cut, one of his best buddies came in to get his cut as well.  So of course, scheming began and Jojo ended up hanging with him the rest of the day.  I love those boys!

Since it was just me and the girls, we enjoyed lunch at Chick-Fil-A!

THREE

I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather.  I hate being cold so the rower has been my best friend.  Y’all, I prefer a rower to a treadmill!  If you are looking for something to have at home, I definitely recommend one!  I try to get a couple of 5Ks each week if I can.

FOUR

One year ago, we had our island installed in our kitchen.  We moved into our house two years ago and have loved making it our own.  We’ve made a lot of changes and still have a couple more to go, but the kitchen is by far my favorite room in our house.  We still need to replace the light fixtures above the island and our appliances.  We are also debating changing out the black granite to more of a white.  Here’s our progress so far…

Before

After

Our cabinets are Divine White and our walls are Revere Pewter.  Perfect color combo!

FIVE

A couple of weeks ago, we had Friendsgiving with our small group and my friend brought a blueberry dump cake.  It was delicious.  I’ve made it three times since then and it’s been a hit every time.  If you are looking for something yummy and easy, try this!

SIX

As always, love our CrossFit 30549 family!  Enjoyed working out with our crew Thanksgiving morning.

SEVEN

We had a great Thanksgiving Day!  Lunch at Joseph’s Nana’s and then back to our house for dinner with my family.  So thankful for this crazy crew I get to call mine.

I am known to be a little OCD.  Ok, maybe not a little ha!  I always want the kiddos dressed nice and sometimes even coordinate outfits.  But this year, I let them dress themselves.  I took a more laid back approach to the holiday. I am trying my best to not sweat the small stuff and enjoy all moments, big and small.

And that wraps up this week’s Friday Favorites.  I am off to pack and clean the house.  Joseph and I leave for our anniversary trip in the morning.  Please say a prayer for us and our kiddos.  Pray for my sister who will stay with our kids while we are gone.

I get super anxious when I fly.  This message has definitely been a timely message for me.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and week!  I will see you all soon!

-Maggie

Workin’ It Wednesdays:

Hi friends!

So today I am linking up with Erika and Shay for their Workin’ It Wednesdays Link-up.  These posts are all about how we “work it” in different areas.  They do them once a month so I thought I’d join in this month.

Today it’s all about planning for the holidays.

So I’ve got to admit, after reading Shay and Erika’s posts, I realize I am so unprepared!  These girls are on it.  They have this planning for the holidays thing down.

Can I just be honest for a second here?  Everyone talks about Christmas being the most wonderful time of year and how much they love it.  For me, Christmas is a time of high stress and anxiety.  Something happens when all of the Halloween decorations get put on clearance at the stores and Christmas throws up everywhere.  I begin to stress.

So I’m doing a little soul-searching this morning.  Here me out for a second.  Growing up, my family wasn’t really into Christmas.  I mean, being a preacher’s daughter, we celebrated Jesus’ birth, but we didn’t go all out into all things Christmas.  We didn’t put up a tree, didn’t do any type of Christmas baking, we might have watched a couple of Christmas movies here and there.  Christmas for us was a couple of Christmas Hymns from the Hymnal on Sundays in December and then a Christmas dinner with our church.  That was it.  No presents, no decorating, nothing.

Growing up, I really didn’t think anything about it.  I do remember one year we had a Secret Santa and we begged mom for a tree, but that was about as “Christmas” as we got around our house.

My Christmas knowledge came from Joseph and his family.  My senior year I experienced Christmas at his Nana’s house.  So as we grew up and got married, I chose to celebrate Christmas like everyone around me did.  I guess we can call it Americanized Christmas ha!

As the internet boomed and social media and blogging became popular, I began to see how the rest of the world celebrated Christmas and all of the traditions they had.  It looked so wonderful, but Joseph and I were living paycheck to paycheck and well, all of that cost money.  We could barely afford Christmas gifts for ourselves and our two kids, much less Christmas gifts for anyone else.  We didn’t really have extra money for baking ingredients, Christmas crafts, Christmas decor and Christmas events.  There were weeks when we had ONE DOLLAR before our next paycheck.

So Christmas became a time of stress, anxiety and worry.  I became very bitter and angry because we couldn’t afford to do much.  It became a season of reminder of what I didn’t have and what everyone else had.  And to make it easier for me, I convinced myself that Christmas wasn’t that great and everyone who decorated with more than one tree was crazy ha!

But, I missed the point y’all.  Christmas isn’t about the stuff or the traditions.  It’s about Jesus.  And to be honest, that is easier said than believed.  Because in a materialistic world with everyone’s life in our faces, it makes it hard to stay focused on the reason for the season.

I know now why Christmas is hard for me.  I’ve been celebrating the wrong things.  I’ve been measuring up our Christmas to those around me instead of focusing on what God has blessed us with.

Throughout the years, I’ve gotten better.  I’ve put up more than one Christmas tree and have worked hard to get in the Christmas Spirit.  God has worked in my life and I’ve fought hard to be content.  To be happy with us.  To be ok with what we have and not worry so much about what everyone else has.

Even now that things are better financially, the anxiety and the stress still come every Christmas Season.  I think it’s because I am still trying to measure up.  And it is so frustrating.

So this year, I am fighting the negative feelings, the reminders that I have to measure up to everyone else and I am going to enjoy this Christmas Season.  I am going to do all the Christmas things and continue in the traditions that our little family has started because I want my kids to have great memories of this time.  I want to instil in them the true reason we celebrate.

So here is my plan for the holidays..

1.Make Lists for Everything

I’ve said it before.  I am a list girl.  Why I don’t use this during the Christmas season, I don’t know.  But I am starting a list for everything.  Gifts for Joseph, kids, family and friends.  Parties I am planning or co-hosting.  Lists of baking ideas and crafts for the kids.

2.  Continue With Our Traditions and Add a Couple of More

We have a couple of traditions already, but I’m going to really incorporate them and add new ones to our list.

We are decorating early this year because Joseph and I are leaving for our anniversary trip after Thanksgiving.  I am going to plan a night of decorating with cookies, chocolate milk and the movie Elf.  We do this already, but have slacked some the last couple of years.

Pajama Christmas Night.  I am going to have all of us dress in Christmas Pajamas, go out for hot chocolate, coffee and donuts and we are going to ride around looking at Christmas lights and listen to Christmas music.  This is an idea Shay shared and I am going to add it to our traditions.

I am going to bake.  Gasp!  Yes, I am baking this season.  And I will use those goodies as gifts for teachers, friends and those around me.  Here are a couple of Christmas recipes from Shay.

North Pole Breakfast.  Our elf, Fritz normally visits us on December 1st or around that time.  I am coordinating with Santa and I am going to do a Christmas themed breakfast with all of our Christmas dishes and maybe Mimosas for the adults!

Christmas Music.  Sounds simple, but y’all.  I don’t listen to Christmas music.  Again, I think I’ve programmed my mind and heart to be a Grinch so this year I am listening to Christmas music.

3.  Serve and Give

The years we spent living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to give our children Christmas gifts have made me appreciate all that God has blessed us with.  I want to pay it forward.  But I also want my kids to be involved.  Operations Christmas is a great way.  Our church has already started talking about it so I am looking forward to doing this with the kids.

4.  Enjoy the Season.  No Stress.

I am going to fight hard to not stress about the material things.  I’m going to be intentional this season and remind myself each day of why we celebrate.  Not only do we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but it’s also a time to spend with our loved ones and to serve and love those around us.  This season is going to be different.

So there it is.  My plan for the holidays.  Anyone else struggle with the material side of Christmas?  What kind of traditions do you have as a family?  Please share, I’d love ideas!

I hope you all don’t think I’m a horrible person ha!  I just wanted to be transparent and real this morning.  Maybe I’m not alone in this.  Maybe I am.  But I am working on it!

Y’all have a wonderful Wednesday!!!

-Maggie