Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Year in Review

I have wanted to do a Year in Review post every year since I began this little blog.  But of course, things always got in the way or I didn't think my year was exciting enough to review!  I decided to make it a priority this year.  This year was hard, personally.  I certainly didn't share that with many people or really anyone.  But it was also full of some great memories, lots of firsts and an enormous amount of blessings!

January 2013:

I rang in the year with the Avett Brothers and some amazing friends!  What a great start to the new year.  Visited with some of my favorite people in Lynchburg to celebrate a special little gals birthday!  2013 started with a bang!

February 2013:

I decided in February that I needed to step up my game in the accessory department and thought a little fall in my driveway would be a good way to do that!  This was the month of "the boot"!  I wobbled around the NCTIES conference and enjoyed time with friends.  Luckily no permanent damage done with this "accident".

March 2013:

March brought a visit to Atlanta to spend time with my favorite little cousin Billy Mac.  While there we were able to see him play ball, which was certainly a treat!  I also met sweet Callie and spent time with her big brother and mom!  I will always cherish those meetings in Gaffney now that the Edwards family has moved to Alabama!  Also celebrated a "big" birthday with a dear friend!

April 2013:

No better way to celebrate a friend then with a Girls Weekend at the Grove Park Inn!  Loved being able to share my city with these dear friends.  Trips to the piano bar, Chocolate Lounge, the GPI Spa, and delicious food. One of my favorite weekends of the year by far!  Glasses of wine on the porch at the Grove Park, laughter and sweet friends.  Loved being able to celebrate Jeri!

May 2013:

Change has been something I am a huge fan of, but May brought some big changes.  May brought my time at South Newton Elementary School to a close.  I said goodbye to my first classroom, my first big girl office, some of the best friends I could ask for and the amazing students who shaped me into the teacher I am today!  It was such a bittersweet time!  I loved my time at that school and treasure all those memories!

June 2013:

A girls trip to Atlanta started off my June and I was able to cross something off my bucket list.  I joined the Cadwallader gals on a little trip to the Cabbage Patch and then a weekend in Atlanta!  So much fun and lots of great memories!  And then celebrated a special little girls Gotcha Day!  Our lives have certainly been blessed by the addition of Tali Lemke!  June even allowed for a mini getaway to the beach with a dear friend!  Yay for summer!

July 2013:

What can I say, in July I learned that everything is bigger in Texas!  Packed up the car and took a road trip with the Alfaro ladies to visit their home state of Texas.  Such a great trip full of laughter and memories!  I might have fallen in love with Texas on this trip!  Also went tubing with friends, went to the last Bele Chere and enjoyed a show by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors!  July was packed full of fun!

August 2013:

Happy Birthday to my and the little brother!  In a rare moment when all my closest friends are in town, I was able to celebrate my birthday in Asheville with dear friends!  What a great girls night!  Our family was able to take a little beach trip to beautiful Oak Island!  Just so happened that we were there on mine and Zach's birthdays!  We loved having Mamaw with us and enjoyed a week of sun and relaxation, oh and some yummy martinis! :)

September 2013:

When my time at South Newton ended, I really did not know what my future was going to be.  But the Lord certainly knew and provided an opportunity for an Instructional Coach position at Balls Creek Elementary School.  This is my new office and with this new position came some growing pains.  Being the new girl at a place is not easy, but with time I found my place at the great school!  I have enjoyed making new friends and getting to know the families and students at this school!  It's been a great experience!

October 2013:

October was my month of firsts.  Well really just a weekend of firsts!  For my 35th (still hard to type) birthday, my friend Kristi gave me a 5K!  3 miles in a 5K for my 35th!  What a great gift!  So we finished my first 5K, The Color Run!  Such a great experience and one that I hope we can do again!  Then in that same weekend, she took me to my first Panthers game and I am hooked!  I LOVED it!  I was also able to spend a Girls Weekend with my gals from college, a tradition we started many years ago!  I love that we can come together and pick up right where we left off!  So blessed with these sweet friendships!

November 2013:

Justin Timberlake, Elf the Musical, a Weekend at Windy Gap and Monday Night Football!  What a great month November was!  I was able to have a getaway in Raleigh with my sweet mom and enjoyed JT and Elf while we were there!  We spent Thanksgiving with the family and really counted our blessings.  So much to be thankful for!

December 2013:

Joy, really is the word for December!  Friends, Auntie Christmas, and family have been some of the highlights of this month!

2013 was a great year with many more memories that I have not listed here!  

I must say 2014, you have a lot to live up to!

Happy New Year friends!  What was your favorite memory of 2013?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Let's Go To the Movies...Top 5 Christmas Movies

I love when my schedule allows for a lazy Sunday afternoon, curled up on the couch watching Christmas movies.  Really there is nothing better!  So here are my top 5 Christmas movies in no particular order.

#1.  Elf

Ok, I am sure this one comes as no surprise to most of you.  I adore this movie.  If you are lucky enough to get to watch it with me, you will have the pleasure of hearing me recite most of the script.  My mom and I even took a trip this year to see the musical version.  This movie makes me smile, and as you all know, smiling is my favorite!  

#2.  The Holiday

I could watch this movie on repeat for days.  I love the story, love the actors, just love this movie.  Kate Winslet's little cottage reminds me of my little house, well, they are similar but different! I love the idea of house swapping for vacation and exploring new parts of the world.  And well friends, Jude Law, is such a cutie!  And Jack Black's songs...so cute!

#3.  Christmas Vacation

You serious Clark!  This movie has some of the best lines.  I must give my great friend Sarai some credit for really helping me fall in love with this movie.  When I watch this movie I laugh til my sides hurt.  Sometimes I think my family might have a little Griswold in them as well!  :)

#4.  Home Alone

When this movie had first come out in the theaters, my family went to see it and took my Grandmother.  I think it might have been the last movie she went to see in the theater.  I have never seen someone laugh so hard at a movie.  I love that this movie takes place in NYC...one of my favorite places!  Kevin is such a sly little guy and has some amazing adventures!   This one is a must see you filthy animal!  

#5.  The Family Stone

I really love the house in this movie!  I love the hustle and bustle and all the family memories that are shared during this movie.  It's a good reminder to me that families will change, but that times like Christmas remain the same.  And the cast, well they are amazing!  

What are your favorite movies to watch at Christmas time?  Maybe I will find a new favorite :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer...Top 5 Christmas Songs

We are certainly in countdown mode at the schoolhouse, please come quickly Christmas break.  So to help this week go by a little faster, I thought I would do a Christmas Top 5 each day.  Today, we will dedicate the Top 5 to Christmas songs!  

Who doesn't love Christmas music?  If you don't, you should probably keep that opinion to yourself.  I absolutely adore Christmas tunes.  They are catchy, meaningful, and one of the best ways for me to get in the Christmas spirit!  It is not unusual for me to sneak in a little Christmas music goodness before the holiday season begins.  It really will be difficult for me to choose just 5 songs that are my all time favorites,  but here goes!  

#1:  O Holy Night (Shane and Shane version)
For those readers who know me, you are probably not surprised by the version that is my favorite.  Shane and Shane are one of my favorite bands, and their version of this song is truly my favorite (with the Sara Groves version running a close second).   I really love how they change up the traditional version and make it their own.

#2:  A Christmas to Remember (Kenny and Dolly)
One of my all time favorite Christmas albums has always been, Once Upon a Christmas by Kenny and Dolly.  I have fond memories of singing these songs with my dad in the car on the way to my grandparents for the holidays.  Such classic country songs by 2 of the best!  Who doesn't love springtime feelings in the middle of December?  (The video is a little strange, but the song is just as good!)

#3:  Little Drummer Boy (Pentatonix version)
So many times I feel like the Little Drummer Boy, feeling like I have nothing to offer Jesus.  My gifts are not worthy of the one who gave up so much for me.  But I am quickly reminded that the best gift I can offer is my gifts and talents, my service.  I love the line in this song that says, "Then he smiled at me".  What a beautiful picture of how the Lord looks at us. And this version, well, it speaks for itself!  

#4:  It's a Marshmallow World (Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra)
Once upon a time some friends and I had a CD exchange.  We would make mix CDs for each other each month and send them in the mail.  It was probably one of my favorite things in the world.  My friend Beth included this song on her Christmas edition and I fell in love!  Love this song and it's catchy tune! 

#5: You're Here (Francesca Battistelli)
I am afraid to even say this, but this might be my all time favorite Christmas tune.  Every time I hear this song, I am overwhelmed with the idea of how God came to earth as a tiny baby in a dirty manager just for me.  This song is written from the point of view of Mary, a teenage mom who was holding the Savior of the World.  I can't imagine the feelings and thoughts that were running through her mind.  I love how in this video Francesca is holding her own baby as she sings about the tiny savior who was born. 

What is your favorite Christmas song?  I would love to hear!
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