"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's not just New Year's Eve...it's my baby's birthday!

My youngest child, Dustin turns 25 today! And he shares a birthday w/ his Aunt Beav. We have more birthdays in December than any other month! It's crazy but it sure makes for a busy, family-filled season! I do have to confess to something though. We "lied" to Dustin about what day his birthday was on until he was about 4. We knew that once he was old enough, we would never see another new year's eve party so we just celebrated his birthday on a different day, the first couple of years. I know, I know...we were horrible parents but we were young & didn't know better. ;o)

Dustin has always been my problem child (this won't come as a surprise to him *grins*) & my pregnancy w/ him was no exception. I was diagnosed w/ full placenta previa about 4 mos into the pregnancy & was confined to bed rest. Then I was hospitalized a full 6 weeks before his scheduled c-section. Much of that time, I was unable to even get up & use the toilet! I honestly nearly went crazy! I was unable to see my older 2 children (back then little kids were not allowed in the rooms) except on Christmas day when I insisted upon being wheeled down to the waiting room in a wheelchair. I was so bored & so lonely, as everybody still had jobs they had to go to & I missed my kids so much.

But it was all worth it! Dustin was born healthy, beautiful & incredibly smart & advanced. He was pulling himself up onto furniture & standing up before he was 5 mos old! People think I am lying but so help me, it's true! He could ride a bike @ 3...w/ no training wheels because he took them off himself! It was so comical to see that tiny, little boy riding a bike & jumping ramps. He was like a circus act...the neighbors used to stand in the street to watch!

This is a picture of he & I shortly after he was born. Look at how he is practically sitting up on his own & he wasn't more than a couple mos old.

And he was soo pretty! Far too pretty to be a boy & his big brother Clifton never let him forget it! ;o)

Here he is as a teenager, proud of his catch!

Here he is w/ his dad & nephew, Connor @ about age 19.

I wouldn't call him pretty any more but he sure is a good-looking young man, isn't he?

I love you Dustin ...you have always lit up my life ( and @ times my temper!) & I am proud of the man you are becoming. Happy Birthday!!!

And Beav, you'd be the best little sister a girl could ask for if you weren't so beautiful! I mean seriously, you're annoying enough. I love you Sis....Happy Birthday!

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year! Hubby & I were right...we never saw another New Year's party. We're back to celebrating Dustin's birthday on a different day (he & I will do lunch though) but hubby & I are farrr too old to want to brave the public on New Year's Eve. We'll do dinner & a table instead. ;o)

May the coming year bring each one of you blessings!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's Tablescape Tuesday!

Welcome to another (the 19th!) Tablescape Tuesday, hosted by the ever-gracious Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch . I'd like to invite all of you to join in the fun w/ us next week. Just let Susan know that you are posting a table & she'll add you to the list. Last week, there were over 30 tables!

I didn't take the time to set up lights for these shots & it was dark before I set the table, so I'll apologize in advance for the graininess of the photos.

click on any picture to enlarge

For the placesettings, I used a giant acrylic snowflake (from the dollar store!) for a charger, over a cut-work placemat, that I placed on the diagonal. I also used a glass charger & now that I see the pics, I think I probably should have skipped it & just used the snowflake. The glass dinner plate is from Hobby Lobby.

I have been buying the vintage, ruffled dishes (I know they are in the diamond point pattern but I'm not sure of the maker) @ thrift stores for years & now have a set of 8. I use them for everything...from soaps & jewelry to salads & poached pears! Inevitably, a guest will say "my grandmother (or my aunt) had some just like these!"

I should have added a name tag & used the ornament as a placecard but this table was done on the fly & I didn't think of it until later.

Love how the chandelier appears to be "dripping" onto the table! The centerpiece is on an aged, beveled mirror, that I sprinkled some vintage lead tinsel on. I love that stuff !

As the centerpiece, I used this glittered church w/ a mini-nativity, set on a cake stand.... along side crystal candlesticks w/ dangly bobeches. I bought the church @ Goodwill last year, right after Christmas. It originally came from Target & looked brand new when I got it. I leave it out, on top of my "craft closet" all year long so it's tarnished nicely.

The glasses are vintage (practically everything I own is vintage! ) in the Boopie pattern by Anchor Hocking. I certainly could have done a neater job of tucking that napkin into the glass, huh?

I bought the salt cellars on eBay a couple of years ago.

The reason for the season! I found this tiny, bone china nativity while thrifting, a couple of weeks ago & couldn't resist. The glittered trees are from Kohl's, last year.

Sweet baby Jesus!

This time, I prepared dinner & set the table! ;o) We had a wonderful but simple meal, out of left-over smoked turkey, quickly seared in garlic-infused butter & topped w/ Peach Balsamic Sauce. I served it w/ sauteed spinach & canned (yes canned!) peach halves, drizzled w/ a bit of the peach balsamic sauce. Dinner was a snap to put on the table, looked gourmet & tasted fantastic!

I have great hope that the coming year will not be as trying for my family as the past one was. But I have faith that, if it is, we will meet it w/ the grace & strength that God provides us.

I'm eager to get to Susan's to see all the tables. I just love Tuesdays, don't y'all?

Friday, December 26, 2008

My baby girl!

My little girl turns 30 today! I've never felt as old as I do right now. *grins*

Shilah has always been a very mature, "do right" kind of girl. She did not inherit her mother's rebellious streak, thank God! Although her timing of being born was a little inconvenient. It ain't easy having so many December birthdays! My birthday is the 19th, Shi's is the 26th & my son Dustin & my sister Bev, were both born on New Year's Eve. Things get especially hectic at my house during the holidays. Shilah was considerate though & had all her babies in the summer & fall months. ;o)

Here's me & my girl...just a few days after she was born. This was back in the day, before sonograms, when you didn't know the gender of the baby until they were born. I was so set on having a girl, that all baby clothes were pink, her room was pink, even the robe I wore at the hospital was pink. Good thing I got my wish, huh?

Her first Christmas (or birthday!)

Here she is singing my Mam-Maw, Happy Birthday @ her 80th birthday celebration.

Playing dress-up in her Gaga's stuff. Look at that hair! She used to love to tell people, "I have naturally curly hair!" Now she hates it. Go figure.

Clowning around w/ her Gaga (my beautiful mother) & her "little" brother Clifton.

She was always such a happy little girl . Wellllll not always, she could be temperamental. But she sure loved having her picture taken! Here she is w/ both her brothers, Clifton & Dustin.

Here she is as a teenager.

On her wedding day w/ Mom & I.

Last Thanksgiving. She's still the most beautiful girl I have ever seen!

And look at all the pretty babies she's produced!

I love you Shi! You're my daughter, my role model & my best friend. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christ our Savior is Born!

Merry Christmas everybody!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'm such a lucky woman!

I just wanted to share a photo of a very happy, very blessed, very thankful grandmother & her grandchildren.

This is a picture of me & my grandchildren & was taken this past weekend, on my birthday. Aren't they cute? The "babies" (my granddaughter is 3 but she's still my baby girl) are all protesting but the older boys have gotten this picture-taking business down. *grins*

I hope that this season blesses you all generously!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Tuesday so you know what that means!

Time for another Tablescape Tuesday! Hosted by the very talented Susan @ Between Naps on the Porch . I always have so much fun on Tuesdays, don't y'all?

Hubby cooked me a very special dinner this weekend. All I had to do was set the table & soak in a bath. I know, I know...I'm a lucky woman! Wasn't sure what I was going to do until I spied my Friendly Village china. I bought them last year (got 4 dinner plates for $10 a plate while antiqueing & then a week later, scored a huge set @ Goodwill, w/ many pieces, for under $15 for all of them) but never used them in a table. So I had to use them, at least once this year, to justify buying them. ;o)

click on any picture to enlarge

The Friendly Village china is made by Johnson Bros...my squared-off salad plates are in the Covered Bridge series but the other pieces in the place-setting are each in a different series. I used the beveled mirror candle plateaus that y'all have seen before, as chargers (half off @ Hobby Lobby) w/ a ring of pine garland. Goblets are Noritake & were a thrift store find. The "crystal" flatware is from Target.

I don't have a village scene set up, as it takes up too much room, but I do have a small collection of houses. I used a Christopher Lowell (whatever happened to him?) trick of placing boxes, under fabric (in this case, sparkly batting), to use as risers for the stable & Santa & his sleigh.

The bakery. I plan on glitzing these buildings up some w/ glitter but haven't gotten around to it yet.

The blacksmith stable. The thought of having a "pasture" full of horses is almost enough to make me want to set up a whole village.

Love the teeny-tiny carriage full of gifts!

The jewelry store.

A charming little home.

Stole the Santa from under my cake dome.

Love the long, crystal icicles on the chandelier! I got them this year @ Hobby Lobby. One of my few decor purchases of the season. The glittered snowflake I bought @ Hobby Lobby, last year. I bought a whole bunch of them, for my bedroom tree, but I didn't put it up this year.

The dinner plates are in the Schoolhouse line. I have a set of 8 of the dinner plates now. I only have 6 placesettings of the other pieces.

The bread & butter plates are in the Sugar Maples line.

And the tea cups & saucers are in the Ice House line.

Hubby doesn't follow a recipe (unless I make him! ;o) ) so I can't share the recipes w/ you but he made awesome lamb chops w/ a figgy glaze (a fresh fig, sugar, water, habanero pepper reduction) for appetizers. I was skeptical of the fig flavor, paired w/ the lamb, but I think it was the best lamb chops I've ever had!

And he added just a hint of the figgy glaze, to seared sea scallops too. Haricot vert (french green beans) & stuffed portobellos completed the course.

For dessert, we had profiteroles (storebought from the freezer section) & eggnog.

Hope y'all enjoyed this table...I know I sure enjoyed the meal! Come w/ me to Susan's to see all this week's tables!

And if you'd like to see more of my tables...just click on tables on my sidebar.