Friday Favorites: Top 5

It has been a busy week at my house this week. We had the addition of high school gymnastics on top of club gymnastics and cheer this week, which always makes things a little more hectic.  There has just been a lot going on.  As I have mentioned before, November signals the start of craziness in my family because it is when competition season begins for both girls in addition to the holidays in the mix.  I am super happy that we don’t have too much going on this weekend because it is probably our last free weekend for a long time.  I plan to enjoy it!

Today I am sharing 5 things that I love.  Check them out.

1. Panera Bread-Cinnamon Crunch Bagel

I love bread of all kinds.  I always have.  I know it isn’t the best thing for me, but I just really love bread.  I am one of those people that believes you have to have bread with every meal.  That is really just my excuse to eat more bread.  I love rolls, muffins, biscuits, bagels, and more.  I could go on and on.   I guess that is why I love to go to Panera.  I mean it is a bread place after all!  Anyway, I love getting their potato soup in a bread bowl.  Yum! It’s so good.  However, my most favorite thing from Panera is their Cinnamon Crunch Bagel. I am not a big breakfast eater, but that doesn’t matter because I will eat one of these for lunch.  I’m not kidding.  They are just so yummy! 

2. Karen Kingsbury-Redemption Series

Karen Kingsbury is one of my absolute favorite authors.  I don’t think I have ever read one of her books that I didn’t love, and I have read a lot of them too. She writes Christian fiction and her stories are so touching.  I think I have shed at least a few tears for every one of her books that I have read. She writes a lot of series too. In fact the first time I read one of her books, it was the beginning of a series that she has since done multiple series spin offs from.  My favorite is that first series I read many years ago. It is called the Redemption Series and follows the lives of a family, the Baxters.  It is a series of 5 books each one telling the story of one of the 5 Baxter children.   I have read the whole series twice, and I will probably read it again one day because I love it so much.  I highly recommend this series as well as all of her other books.  

3. Maybelline Super Stay Ink Crayon Lipstick

I have shared with you before how much I love the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick (see more here).  It is my absolute favorite and the only one I wear.  It stays on all day, doesn’t smudge, and doesn’t transfer.  It is the best.  Well, Maybelline has recently launched a new piece to the Super Stay line that I love just as much. It is a crayon or pencil lipstick that you draw on.  This one has the same long lasting power and a variety of great colors.  It goes on smooth and easy and actually feels like a regular lipstick the way it glides on. It isn’t what you would experience if you were using a pencil liner.  It goes on much smoother.  I’m now obsessed with it just as much as I was with the Liquid Lipstick if not more so. I am wearing Lead the Way in this photo. 

4. Matching Christmas Pajamas

For as long as I have had 2 children, I have always gotten them matching Christmas pajamas every year.  Then when my nephews were born, we started doing matching pajamas for all the kids. Several years ago my mom, sister, and I started also wearing matching ones too. We didn’t match with the kids, but the three of us matched each other.  Then a couple of years ago, my mom decided she wanted the whole family to be in matching pajamas at Christmas.  Of course the men in the family weren’t too fond of that idea and refused to participate. They only wore theirs for the 10 minutes it took my mom to get a picture of the whole family together.  Anyway, I still love the idea of matching pajamas on Christmas.  This year I am all about the buffalo plaid that is so on trend right now, and I am thinking about getting these for my family of 4.  Aren’t they so cute? We would all be adorable in them on Christmas morning.  I doubt my husband will go for it, but I can dream, right?

5. Amazon Original-Jack Ryan

If you have Amazon Prime (and you should if you don’t), you need to watch the Jack Ryan series. Otherwise, you can just buy it.  I watched the first season a couple of months ago and absolutely loved it.  The second season just came out.  I haven’t watched it yet because I just haven’t had time, but it is definitely on my to do list.  It is based on Tom Clancy’s books and his character, CIA analyst Jack Ryan. In the show Jack is played by John Krasinski, and he is great in this role. It is action packed and so good.  Both my husband and I really liked season 1, and can’t wait to watch season 2.

That’s a wrap on my top 5 favorites today, but check back next week for our book club. I am doing it a week early because of the holiday. If you haven’t started our book for this month, Redemption Road by John Hart, get on it because it is so good!

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*This post contains commissioned links.  Should you choose to purchase items through these links, I may earn a small commission. 

Strong-Willed Child

I swear that my youngest child is going to be the death of me. Can someone please tell me how to handle a pre-teen, know-it-all, strong-willed child? Don’t tell me to read a book either, because I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work. Nothing works.  I really believe that her goal in life is to torture me, push every button I have, and fight me over any and everything. I am not sure I am going to make it through her teenage years.  I am not even sure I am going to make it through her pre-teen years.  I have to say that our relationship has come a long way over the last two years, but the relationship remains the most difficult challenge I have ever been faced with.  Nothing I do is ever right or good enough for her.  I swear she would argue to her death with me over something as silly as the sky being blue just because I said it was.  I feel like no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to win with her. I am really the only one she is combative with, too. It’s like she has this need to make me pay some debt she feels I owe her, or she wants me to feel more miserable than she feels at any given moment. It is so unbelievable to me how both girls came from my body but are so vastly different.  I have such a different relationship with the kid that actually is a hormonal teenager than I do with the pre-teen who hasn’t even entered the hormonal phase yet.  One actually talks to me and tells me things and listens to me (most of the time), while the other one can barely stand to be in the same room with me.  It is so frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time. I wish I knew where I went wrong and the secret for how to fix it. It keeps me up at night, and it consumes my days. It has been this way for as long as I can remember.  As I said, it was worse at one time, but things have improved to some extent, which I am grateful for.  It is just still so hard sometimes.  

I saw a graphic on Pinterest that listed the 10 signs that you have a strong-willed child.  I couldn’t find the source of the graphic but thought the list was pretty good. Below are the 10 characteristics of a strong will child according to that graphic I found. I can check off every single one of these as being a characteristic of my daughter. She is definitely a strong-willed child to the 10th degree.

  1. “They are fiercely stubborn and not afraid to say ‘no’”
  2. “They are bossy and very demanding.”
  3. “ They have strong likes and dislikes.”
  4. “They don’t forget anything and argue like pros.”
  5. “They are energetic and intense.”
  6. “They challenge boundaries.”
  7. “They learn by doing, ask ‘why’ questions.”
  8. “They are fast paced and impatient and don’t listen.”
  9. “They have a strong sense of right and wrong.”
  10. “They are short tempered.”

I know many of my friends would say that one of their kids is certainly more challenging than their other and that one is extremely difficult. We talk about it all the time, and one of us at least is venting about it almost every single day. There is always one kid that pushes us beyond belief. There is always one strong-willed child in the bunch.  Why is that? Why does it seem that we all have to be given one child that challenges us beyond what we think we can handle? That is a question I ask in my prayers a lot.  There has to be a reason, right? There has to be some lesson in it.  Sadly, I don’t think I have learned it yet.  I just keep fighting, keep pushing, and praying that one day things will change.  We all love our kids beyond measure despite how much suffering they put us through. We want what is best for them and want them to grow up to be strong, independent adults.  That is our greatest desire for them and the reason we continue to fight.  I know that I am doing my best to not let it break me, but I can assure you that there are those days when I am not so sure I can continue the fight.  Those are the days that I pray for strength.  I need God’s strength to get me through those difficult days or sometimes weeks, and he comes through every single time. I guess that is the answer to my question at the start of this post. I handle it through prayer. That’s the best defense I’ve got.

Anchored,

Pray for Me!

Ya’ll, please pray for me. Pray for patience, courage, sanity, calm nerves, and strength.  My kid can drive! I cannot believe that I just typed that.  I think I am still in denial that she is growing up.  It was just yesterday that we brought the tiny peanut home from the hospital.  How is it possible that she is old enough to drive? Where has the time gone? I feel like I blinked and missed it all.  I also feel like I am starting to forget all the little moments throughout the years that I wanted to remember forever.  We cram so much in that it is hard to remember it all.  That really makes me so sad, though.  I wish I could remember every single second of her growing into the beautiful young lady who seems to still be growing taller by the minute.  I wish that I had savored it all more.  Maybe then I would remember it.  All of those years that I spent so wrapped up in my job took away so much of my focus on my own children.  As much as I loved my job and working with all those special kids, I do wish it hadn’t taken all that time and energy away from my family.  Don’t get me wrong; I don’t regret my decision to be a working mom or to be a special education teacher.  What I do regret is that I allowed it to take over my life and rob my kids of a stress-free mom for so many years.  If I could go back, I would still be a teacher/working mom, but I definitely would have gone about it differently. I would have taken more time for my family, and I would have tried harder to leave school at school. I wish I knew back then what I know now. I wish I had been as confident and in touch with what I really wanted out of life as I am now.  While I can’t go back in time, I can only move forward and keep striving to be a more present mom, and to make up for time lost. My priorities are definitely in a different place, and I love it.

Anyway, back to the fact that my kids can drive and I need prayers.  Her dad took her to the DMV this past weekend for her sign and knowledge tests.  I refused to go because I knew that I would make her more nervous than she already was. Now she has a learner’s permit and can drive with one of us in the car.  I have told my husband that it is going to be a long while before she does it with me because I can’t handle it.  I get so nervous with just the thought of her behind the wheel.  He is so much more calm and collected than I am. He is going to have to be the one to teach her.  I can’t do it. It scares me so much. I much prefer to be in the back seat while he is the one next to her in the passenger seat.  I try to distract myself so I am not paying attention to how close she is to the curb or that car parked on the side of the road.   Seriously, this is my crazy, ADHD, “true blond” kid who sometimes acts like she is 6 and not 15.  I worry so much that she isn’t mature enough, responsible enough, or even focused enough to be on the road. I don’t know how I am going to ever let her go off in a car without one of us once she gets her regular driver’s license. How do parents do that? I know that I will be a nervous wreck. How do you let go? I already have a problem with control, and I don’t know if I am going to be able to give up control of that.  I have to admit though, she is doing much better than I ever expected, but I am still not ready for this.  Prayers are much appreciated!   

Anchored,

Fashion Finds: Boots

You all know that Target is one of my favorite places for so many reasons, but it is also my favorite place to get affordable shoes that are cute and on trend. We are smack in the middle of fall, and winter is just around the corner, which means that it is boot wearing time.  I love boots of all kinds. Tall, ankle, winter…you name it! I love them all.  I long for the days when I can wear a cute sweater and boots because those are my two favorite things.  Oh, and did you know that Target gives all of their shoes a real person’s name? I think that is so funny! Anyway, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite boots at Target this season. Any of these would make a great addition to your Christmas wish list.  A few of them are definitely on mine (Katherine, Jamison, and Lanae).  Some of them are out of stock in some sizes online, but they are expected to be restocked so keep checking back or visit your local store. 

Ankle Boots

  1. Dylan
  2. Nora
  3. Carmelo
  4. Abiee
  5. Valarie
  6. Jamison
  7. Katherine

Tall Boots

  1. Brisa
  2. Sidney
  3. Lanae

Winter Boots

  1. Ruthie
  2. Susan

Happy shopping!

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*As a member of the Target Affiliates Program, this post contains commissioned links.  Should you choose to purchase items using these links, I may earn a small commission. 

Friday Favorites: Concealer

Let’s talk concealer. There were times when I used to rely heavily on concealer because my face was always broken out and it was a huge mess.  I felt like I was covering my entire face in concealer because my skin was so bad. Now, my skin is totally clear thanks to my Rodan + Fields Unblemish Regimen, so I don’t really need concealer that much anymore.  I do, however, still like to use it under my eyes.  It just seems to brighten them and make them pop a little more. It isn’t that I have really bad circles or anything to cover up; I just think that it enhances your eyes.  Anyway, I discovered a new concealer that I love a few months ago and wanted to share it with you because it is so easy to use and it provides great coverage.  I am now obsessed with e.l.f Cosmetics’ Lightweight Concealer Stick.  You can find it at Target (not online), Walmart, Ulta, Walgreens or any other store that carries e.l.f. Cosmetics.  The shade I use is Fair/Light, but it also comes in Light/Medium and Medium Dark.  I like for it to be almost a shade lighter than my foundation because I want it to serve as a highlighter for my eyes.    I typically apply my Rodan + Fields Radient Defense Perfecting Liquid first and let it dry while I apply my eye shadow and liner. Then I apply the concealer.  I do this by making an inverted triangle under my eyes. With this stick it is just like drawing on your face.  It’s so easy and mess free. Then I typically just use my ring finger to blend it in, but you can use a blending bud or brush if you prefer.  Once it is all blended in, I add a little powder to set it, and I am ready to go.  

Apply by drawing an inverted triangle under your eyes.
Blend using your finger, blending bud, or blending brush.

As you can see in the last picture, the skin under my eyes now looks brighter and it just helps to accentuate my eyes. I love it! They do have a highlighting stick that looks just the same, but it is more iridescent than I like for under my eyes. I actually like to use it on my upper cheekbone line for a little sparkle when I am going out but not for everyday use.

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*This post contains affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase items using these links, I may earn a small commission.

Who has Time for Hobbies?

Necklace

Does anyone else get wrapped up in all of the videos on social media showing how to make all these adorable Christmas crafts? This happens to me every year and it has turned me into a hoarder.  I see this cute idea. I go out and buy all of the stuff to make it.  Then life gets in the way and it never actually gets made. I have this whole pile of unfinished or never started crafts that are taking up space in my office.  They aren’t all Christmas stuff either.  Let’s not forget all the times I have seen something that is so cute that I could just buy, but I don’t spend the money on it because I think I can just make it myself and never do.  Another conundrum is when I go to the Target Dollar spot or a craft store and I see some cute thing that I think I can turn into something even cuter to give as a gift. I buy it and then never get around to doing that cute idea I had. I am a crafter at heart.  I love crafting, but I just never have the time to really devote to it.  I guess I come by it honest.  My mom is the same way, only about 1000 times worse.  We have teased her about being a hoarder for years.  We both hoard crafting stuff. It’s really sad.  I honestly do wish that I had the time to complete all of the ideas I have, but I just don’t.  Other things totally take priority.  The only time things really get made is if it is for someone other than myself or someone is paying me to make something.  The things I want for myself always get pushed to the back burner. 

Honestly the two hobbies that bring me joy are crafting and reading, and I don’t spend enough time doing either.  It took forcing myself to choose a book to read to write about on the blog each month to get me to actually take the time to do it.  In reality, I should be reading 3-4 books a month instead of just one. Maybe if I turn one day of the month into craft day on the blog, some of these projects will get done.  It’s a thought that maybe I will consider.  Let’s be real though.  It’s probably not going to happen.  It takes time to craft, and I just don’t have that kind of time.  Maybe one day when my kids are grown and gone, I will get around to doing the things that I love.  

I feel like most moms will say that they don’t have time for hobbies.  I know I have said it a million times myself.  No matter what your hobby is, I bet you don’t devote nearly enough time to it. We always put others before ourselves, especially our kids.  It is just in our nature as women.  While I am sure that caring for your children brings you joy, it isn’t the same kind of joy that you get from a hobby.   I think it is important that we do try to make time for ourselves to do the things that we love.  Even if it is only one time a month, it is better than not at all.  We have to take the time to fill our cups with joy.  It is ok to be selfish every now and then, because it will make you a better mom and spouse in the long run. I feel like it is important to our mental health.  I don’t know about you, but when I am actually engaged in one of my hobbies like reading or crafting, it is like an escape.  It gives me a chance to focus on something fun and easy and not on the day-to-day hustle and bustle.  It gives my brain a break, and that is a break that we need sometimes to stay sane.  It can’t always be about others.  We have to focus on ourselves sometimes. I know for some of you it may have been a really long time since you even thought about what your hobbies are or what things you enjoy doing outside of everyday life.  I encourage you to think about it and then take the time to do it one day this month.  I know that I need to take my own advice and take the time to read and craft. I know that it will be hard to do, but I am going to make a promise to myself to do better. I am going to carve out time that is designated for doing one of my hobbies because I know that I need it.  You need it too. I can guarantee it!   

Anchored and Rambling,

Missing Puzzle Piece

When I was a kid, I loved puzzles.  I especially loved ones that had a lot of pieces like 1000 or even 5000.  Those kinds of puzzles can’t be completed in a few hours.  It takes several days and numerous hours to finish a puzzle like that.  I remember setting up a puzzle on one of those square card tables and coming back to it over and over again and adding a piece here and there.  It was inevitable that a piece would get lost every now and then when you are working on it for days.  The table would get bumped and a piece would fall off the table and then accidently get kicked around. Sometimes, they would just disappear for no reason.  I would spend so much time on the puzzle and get really invested in it.  Then I would be so excited to be almost finished only to realize that all the pieces were gone and there was still a hole in the puzzle.  I would turn the house upside down looking for the missing piece.  Sometimes I would find it, but there were those times when it seemed to have vanished into thin air and it was never located.  I hated the feeling of having a hole in the puzzle.  It was incomplete, and it was hard for me to let it go.  I couldn’t stop searching for that missing piece to make the puzzle whole again. Eventually, I would give up and move on to the next puzzle, but that one that was incomplete never quite went away.  I often hung on to it in hopes of one day coming across the missing piece.

Loosing someone you love is kind of like loosing that puzzle piece. It leaves a hole in your heart. It is a piece that you will never get back, but it is one that you will always be searching for.  You will always have that little hole there that you can’t fill.  Your heart is now incomplete just like the puzzle.  You may carry on and try to let it go, but you never stop searching for something to fill the hole.  You don’t just forget about it.  The days will come when you don’t live and breath the loss constantly, but you never know when that hole will open wide and remind you that it is still there.  I shared with all of you that I lost my grandmother over the summer. It was very hard for me.  I was suffocating under the grief at first.  Now the hurt is getting better and I can breath.  I don’t think about it every day anymore, but I know that the hole that her absence has left in my heart will always be there.  This past Sunday that hole opened up wide again and reminded me that it was there.  We go to a contemporary church where we sing contemporary music.  We don’t sing hymns very often. My grandmother loved singing hymns. I can still hear her voice in my head singing at the top of her lungs at church even though it has been many years since I was in church with her.  For that reason alone, hymns will always make me think of her.  Our sermon at church on Sunday was about the importance of worshiping God through song and how doing so weaves God’s word into your heart.  The pastor ended his sermon earlier than usual so that we could all participate in worshiping through song together.  We sang several contemporary songs that were certainly helping to fill my cup. Then out of nowhere, the music changed.  Within only a few notes, I knew what song they were playing.  It was one of my all time favorite hymns, “How Great Thou Art.”  Before any words could be sung, I was overcome with emotion. I was suddenly sobbing so hard that I couldn’t get any words out.  I closed my eyes and just let the words wash over me. It wasn’t the band I heard singing the song.  It was my grandmother.  That hole in my heart was temporarily filled with her voice.  While the pain was excruciating, it was also so beautiful at the same time.  

Later that day, my husband shared with me that hymns also get to him.  He lost his mother a few years ago and hymns make him think of his childhood and her.  He asked me if I thought it was normal that things like that still get to him.  While my loss is still fresh, his is a little more distant.  That is what got me thinking about the whole puzzle analogy.  I told him that I did think it was normal.  That piece is still missing and it will never be found here on Earth.  Only when we meet them again in heaven will our hearts be whole again.  Yes, the hole may get smaller over the years, and it may scab over.  I just don’t think it will ever truly heal and close up.  It will always be open just a little, and you never know when something like a song or memory will open it wide again.  It’s ok to feel sad and emotional from time to time.  I really don’t think there is anything wrong with that.  It just means that you care and you miss them deeply.  We all love hard and, in turn, loose hard.  It is an unfortunate part of life.  Just like I did with those puzzles years ago that were incomplete due to a missing piece, I will put my grief on the shelf and move on; but I will never forget about it.  It will come back out from time to time, and I will feel the loss deeply.  However, I won’t let it break me because I know we will meet again one day.  

Anchored,

Looks for Less

I love making outfits so much, and you guys seem to like it when I put a whole look together from head to toe.  Today, I have 12 complete outfits for you.  All you would need to do is add accessories to finish them off.  All of these pieces come from my favorite places, and many of them are currently on sale.  Target has buy 1 get one 50% off on all boots right now.  The Loft Outlet has $25 off $100 purchase with code EXTRAHOUR with some pieces already 40% off.  Old Navy has 30% off TODAY ONLY with no code needed. Hurry and grab the things you love!

OUTFIT #1

Plaid Blouse (Loft Outlet)/Pencil Skirt (Loft Outlet)/Ponte Leggings (Loft Outlet)/Heeled Boots (Target)

OUTFIT #2

Floral Blouse (Loft Outlet)/Snowy White Skinny Jeans (Loft Outlet)/Loafers (Target)

OUTFIT #3

Halter Jumpsuit (Loft Outlet)/Shrug (Amazon)/Leopard Heels (Target)

OUTFIT #4

Cardigan (Loft Outlet)/Velvet Cami (Loft Outlet)/Black Skinny Jeans (Old Navy)/Snakeskin Boots (Loft Outlet)

OUTFIT #5

Quilted Pullover (Amazon)/Top (Old Navy)/Skinny Jeans (Target)/Riding Boots (Target)

I think wearing this plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up under the pullover would be so cute.

OUTFIT #6

Camo Tunic (Marley Lilly)/Ponte Leggings (Loft Outlet)/Lace-up Boots (Target)

OUTFIT #7

Plaid Shirt (Old Navy)/High Rise Jeans (Target)/Ankle Boots (Target)

I love the idea of this shirt tucked into these high rise jeans!

OUTFIT #8

Striped Tunic (Marley Lilly)/Black Jeans (Target)/Riding Boots (Target)

OUTFIT #9

Sleeveless Dress (Target)/Denim Jacket (Target)/Tall Microsuede Boots (Target)

OUTFIT #10

Shift Dress (Target)/Leggings (Target)/Wedge Bootie (Target)

OUTFIT #11

Sweater (Amazon)/Distressed Jeans (Amazon)/Sneakers (Target)

OUTFIT #12

Sweater (Loft Outlet)/Leggings (Amazon)/Sneakers (Target)

How adorable are these looks? I’m obsessed! I really hope you can see my vision for each outfit because they are so good. Happy shopping!

Anchored,

*This post contains commissioned links.  Should you choose to purchase items using these links, I may earn a small commission. 

Friday Favorites: Top 5

Sometimes it is difficult for me to come up with just one of my favorite things to share with you. It is hard to narrow it down because I love so many things, so occasionally you get to see more than one of my favorites. Here are five things that I love right now.

1. Real Simple Magazine

Yes, I know that most people don’t read magazines anymore. If you do, you likely read it online and not in the print version.  However, I love a good magazine.  Reading it online just isn’t the same. I have shared before that one of my favorites is the HGTV Magazine, but my all time favorite is the Real Simple Magazine.  I have been reading it for many years.  I love the cool ideas they have for decorating, organizing, and so much more.  It really has a little bit of everything in it.  I just love when the new one comes in the mail.  

2. Bic Gel-ocity Pens

These Gel-ocity pens are a new discovery for me, and I am obsessed.  I love the range of colors and how they write.  I am a bit of a snob when it comes to pens, so you know they are good if I say that I love them.  They dry quickly and don’t smear which is a problem with some gel pens.  I absolutely love these.  

3. HallmarkLifetime Christmas Movies

You guys! Hallmark and Lifetime have been playing Christmas movies since the beginning of October and I am in love.  I used to only watch the ones on Hallmark, but Lifetime is really upping their game, and they have some really good ones too.  It doesn’t matter to me that every plot is nearly identical either.  I can sit and watch them one after another and never get tired.  My kids think it’s crazy that I have been watching them already, but I just can’t help it. They are so good! 

4. Binder Clips

Ok, I know that this one is a strange one, but hear me out.  I prefer binder clips to paper clips.  I know…I’m weird.  It goes to my love for organizing.  I don’t love paper clips for a couple of reasons.  One is that they can sometimes fall off easily causing your papers to get jumbled.  The other is that they can often cause holes in your papers.  I just think that binder clips are neater and cleaner looking. Plus you can get some really cute ones like these Emoji faces from Amazon.  They just make me smile.

5. Ritz Toasted Chips (Sour Cream & Onion)

If you have not tried these Ritz Chips, you need to! They are sooooo good! They have several flavors, but the Sour Cream & Onion ones are the best.  Of course you will need to brush your teeth after eating them, but it is totally worth it. I literally could sit and eat the whole bag.  They are that yummy! 

Anchored,

*This post contains commissioned links. Should you choose to purchase items using these links, I may earn a small commission. 

Goodbye Halloween! Hello Christmas Season!

I’m going as “Best Dressed” again!

Happy Halloween!!! I will admit that this isn’t one of my favorite days.  I guess I loved Halloween as a kid but not so much as an adult.  I don’t like scary stuff and I am not a huge candy person.  Let me make it clear, though. I will eat candy if it is there, but I don’t seek it out. As a teacher, this day was always insane and it was pointless to try to teach on Halloween or the day after it.  The kids were just crazy talking about their costumes and their anticipation of all the candy they were going to eat. Then the day after everyone is tired and coming off of a sugar high. I really feel for teachers today and tomorrow.  I totally agree with everyone that is pushing to have Halloween moved to the last Friday in October. That would make this day so much easier for everyone.  My husband will tell you that Halloween is his favorite because he loves all of the scary movies.  Sadly, we disagree on this topic.   I don’t even really decorate that much for Halloween. In fact this year, I had not decorated at all until Monday of this week when my youngest insisted on putting some pumpkins on the porch and a sign on the door.  There are people in our community that have gone all out with decorations, though. There is one house that even has a giant pirate ship in their yard. It is crazy! On top of it all, it is a very rainy and gloomy day here today.  I think it is going to be like this all day and night.  Trick or Treating is going to be miserable because everyone is going to be wet and cold.  I know that I sound like Scrooge right now, but I really don’t mean too. Halloween is just not my thing.  I do hope that everyone has a fun and safe night filled with laughs and tons of candy. I will just enjoy it from the comfort of my home passing out candy AND allergy friendly treats to all the kids in their cute costumes.

The only positive of Halloween to me is that the end of Halloween marks the beginning of the Christmas season.  I love the holiday season, especially Christmas.  The magic that is in the air as soon as November 1 hits is just so incredible to me.  It brings a change in everyone, and I love it.  The question then comes of when to put up Christmas decorations.  My family’s rule has always been to decorate the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving, but the older I get the more I want to decorate earlier.  My youngest keeps bringing up something she read or heard somewhere about how people who decorate early are happier.  It makes perfect sense to me.  I love Christmas decorations. I love seeing all the houses lit up each year and the beautiful trees in the windows.  Christmas decorations make me happy for sure, and I have a ton of them. I pretty much decorate every room on the main level of my house. I think part of the desire to decorate earlier comes with knowing that we spend much of December away from home, so we don’t get to fully enjoy our decorations.  December is when competition season starts for both of my girls and we are traveling most weekends.  In fact, we will even be spending time just before Christmas in the Bahamas this year for a gymnastics meet.  We also typically spend the week of Christmas in our hometown with family and not at home.  I think that since having kids, Santa has come to our house only once.  He usually comes to my parents’ house.  I wouldn’t want it any other way, but it does mean that we don’t get to enjoy our own decorations as much.  I wrote about this same topic last year of wanting to put my decorations up earlier but ended up not doing it.  We put them up right after Thanksgiving as usual.  This year, I really am seriously considering doing it earlier. I know my kids would love it. I just have to convince my husband.  I really can’t wait to get in the Christmas spirit. There really is nothing wrong with celebrating it as long as possible, right? Who is with me?

Anchored and Rambling,