Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Breakfast Club

Spending time with family is the best. Catching up, and having conversations. It's the perfect day to share conversations because we're linking up with Amanda for #MyConversations

Conversations With...
...My Family!!
Knock on Wood
This is what happens when there's been a lot to drink and we start talking movies...

Uncle: We should watch The Breakfast Club!!

Me: OOOOHH!! YEAH! love that movie!!

Sister's Boyfriend: What's the breakfast club??

Sister: [embarrassed] He refuses to watch it.

Uncle: That's it! We're watching it!

Boyfriend: [to sister] is that the one that you've been trying to get me to watch forever?

Sister: YES! It's a classic!

Uncle: What would it take to get you to watch?

Boyfriend: Two bottles of whiskey and a gun for Christmas

Uncle: Done. We're watching.
Me and Sister last night. After this conversation
We didn't watch The Breakfast Club. Turns out my Aunt doesn't own it. Uncle was too drunk to remember this conversation after 10 minutes anyway. But it was hilarious at the time!
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Do you have a funny conversation? Link up with Amanda!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Love and Blog Love

So... two days after Thanksgiving. I don't know about y'all but I'm still overly stuffed. Not just from the food but from spending time with my amazing family. My aunt and uncle are in town from Wisconsin until Monday, so we're soaking up as much family time as possible these next few days. Wednesday night, Josh, the kids and I spent the night at my mom's house. My little brothers are staying with their dad for this Thanksgiving so there was more than plenty of room for us (as well as my Aunt and Uncle that stayed in the big bed!)

Thursday morning, we all woke up and shared funny family stories over coffee and breakfast. Moments like these I truly cherish! I love my family so much. Food prep started shortly after since food would be served at three. The entire day was filled with laughter, food, and football. who could ask for more?
I thought it would be difficult not having my Grandma with us. I think everyone felt the same way. But it was beautiful. We talked about her, celebrated her memory, and celebrated her. I just know she was in the house smiling down on us. It was so great sharing old memories of her with my whole family. And YES candle napkins were made. Everyone loved them. We're so fancy.

Josh and His Mom! <3
 my mom, aunts, uncles, and their significant others <3 (bunny ears are common in our family)

 It was Uncle Paul's birthday on Thanksgiving. 

Who survived Black Friday?? Not this gal. I avoided it like the plague. I did get some great deals online though. High five, go team!

Today we're going to my Aunt's house in Gainesville for another dinner party and more family time. I'm so blessed! I'm loving all of this family time. Best time of the year!

It is the end of the week, which of course means it's time for another round of Blogger Love with Meagan from All the Joys (love her!) I finally got caught up on my bloglovin feed this past weekend, so this week I felt more prepared with blog reading. I was able to read after work. Feeling accomplished!
All The Joys Friday Favorites
+ Elizabeth / Simply Complex Mom. Liz is one of those bloggers that seriously has amazing stuff with every single post. She has an amazing way with words. Tiny Dreamer is no different. Liz's daughter has such a big heart. A true reflection that Liz is an amazing mom

+ Katie / Life Is... Katie's relationship with her sister is a great one. In Sister, Sister I felt myself nodding along (yep, I've done that to Becca) and laughing. Such a real post and so sweet at the same time. I love it when siblings have terrific bonds like this!

+ Kristyn / Chits & Giggles. Life After the Wedding. Does anyone ever think about that? You spend months... years ... planning and then suddenly you're forced into just being y'all. No appointments, no meetings. Just you and your spouse on the couch on a Saturday. How do you get back into the norm?

+ Cassie / Sage and Elizabeth / Oak & Oats. This week's Equally Yoked post really hit close to me. "Do You pray for your husband?" Elizabeth's prayer cards are such a wonderful way that she prays for her husband each day. I absolutely love it! (Love this whole series!)

What were some of your favorites this week?
I hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving. I found out a little too late that the linkup for this post this week won't be live. Which is fine... I still wanted to share! ;)
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Friday, November 28, 2014

Easy, Peasy Green Bean(sy)

If you're showing up for the blog party today, congratulations. I'm here thanks to a wonderful little scheduling tool that blogger provides. Love it. As you're reading this I'm probably grabbing great deals online because I refuse to face the madness that is Black Friday shopping in person! I get shivers just thinking about it. I'm happy browsing deals online with my mama.

So... as promised from my Golden Vlog... Today I'm sharing my super secret awesome green bean casserole recipe. It's really not secret. It is amazing though.

What you'll need:
Well... it really depends on how many people you're planning to serve. So for me, since I basically serve a small army on Thanksgiving (and Christmas) I require a tad bit more than your standard family size batch of casserole. You can always adjust up or down as needed. Today let's pretend you're serving a small army. Deal? Deal.

  • 4-6 (14.5 oz) cans of green beans
  • 4 (10.5 oz) cans of Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 2 (10.5 oz) cans of Cream of Celery soup
  • 1 (6 oz) package of French Fried Onions
What you'll need to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Pour green beans and soups into your baking dish

Throw in a few handfuls of oh so yummy fried onions! 
Mix some more! 

Sprinkle more fried onions on top until you can barely see anymore beans. It tastes better this way. 
Pop your glorious mixture into the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Or until your fried onions on top start to brown and the soups start to bubble 

Serve and Enjoy! 
I'm telling y'all... my family goes crazy for this recipe. Do you make green bean casserole? What do you do that's the same (or different) than mine. I'd love to know if you try this one!
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to take a moment today and wish all of my readers, my bloggy friends, and my tribe the happiest of Thanksgivings! I hope y'all have a wonderful day full of love, warmth, friends and family!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

They Tell Me I'm Lovely

That's right, we're starting today with a little Glee. #noshame
Y'all, I'm really feeling the love around these parts of the web lately. First, Rebecca asked me to do the blog tour. THEN, Mary-Keith nominated me for the Liebster award. And NOW, Kasey AND Tabitha have nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award. When did I get to be so loved, y'all? Thanks for thinking of me, everyone! Y'all just the sweetest! xoxo

Of course, per the norm there are rules that go along with this award.
The Rules Guidelines 
>> You must display the award logo at the top of your post
>> You must thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog in your post
>> You must add these set of rules to your post so that your nominees will know what to do
>> You must add 7 facts about yourself into the post
>> You must nominate 7 other blogs and leave links to each of them in your post
>> You must let the people you have nominated know that they have been nominated
>> You must follow the person back who nominated you on Bloglovin' and GFC (if you have one)

So my seven facts. I feel like I've over-shared the randomness about me lately. I'm going to take the Kasey approach on this one and break the rules a smidge. I will only share three new random facts to prevent you from getting bored of my randomness! 

New Random fact # 1: I have legally owned a car for 12 hours before it got totaled. Can anyone beat that record? 
New Random fact # 2: I have had three jobs JUST in 2014. It does not beat my record of 4 jobs in one year (2007). Two of those I worked at the same time. 
New Random fact # 3: I enjoy watching some of the cartoons on Disney Channel, but I mostly tell people the kids are watching even when they're not in the room. 

For more random facts:
My About Me has been updated 
Me, Myself, and I: 7 quirks I have
Liebster Award: 11 Random Facts + Questions

And now for the nominees!

I thought I would break the rules here too since seven seems like an awful lot of bloggers to nominate, but surprisingly almost everyone I asked accepted. Will you pass the envelope please?
*drum roll*

Amanda / Knock On Wood
Kathy / Him & Me
Whitney / Southern Hope 
Allison / Peachfully Chic 
Lora / Heart of Life
Meagan / All the Joys
Elizabeth / Simply Complex Mom

And, Y'all. I didn't participate in Anne's Wednesday Wishes last week I couldn't miss out this week! My wish is for everyone to have an amazing Thanksgiving tomorrow. I wish you much happiness with your friends and families. I wish you eat way too much and regret nothing! I love all of my wonderful readers and amazing bloggy friends. I wish only the happiness for y'all. xoxoxo
Love the Here and Now

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I'm A Barbie Girl, In A Barbie World

We all remember that song right? And now it's stuck in all of your heads. You're welcome. It was a popular song when I was growing up. My four year old hates it and yells at me to stop signing whenever it comes on my Now CD (volume 1). I was absolutely one of those kids that did everything I could to embrace the fads while growing up. Today, I'm linking up with Amanda for another round of List Yourself.
Knock on Wood - List Yourself
# 14 List the fads you embraced while growing up

// Tamagotchis. Those little virtual pets that had a home on just about everyone's key chains. My dad got my sister and I our first one for Christmas one year. It was the thing that HAD to be on the Christmas list. I can't tell you how many times my pet died because I wasn't allowed to take it to school. Sure there were the girls that had their pets with them 24/7 but I wasn't a rule breaker in the 90's. I couldn't bring myself to risk getting my precious little "pet" taken away from me by the teacher. 
// Butterfly hair clips. Not just any hair clips though. They had to be the ones with the wings that moved. The ones on the springs. I kid you not, if I was told I had to wear the little plastic ones where the wings didn't move I had a minor freak out moment. I was a classy kid, I tell you what. Of course, these things never quite stayed in your hair the way you wanted them to. Or the springs would get caught in your hair. (Ouch!). 
// Platform shoes. I honestly don't know why my dad let me wear these ridiculous things. I'm already tall as it is. (5'6"). Now that I've had experience wearing steel toe shoes, I can honestly say wearing these platform shoes was the equivalent of wearing steel toe tennis shoes with 4 inches of height. Not comfortable and really not cute. My dad didn't give into everything "I HAD TO HAVE" because it was "THE COOLEST THING EVER", but he gave into these shoes. He bought me a pair. I'm pretty sure I only wore them three times. I think he bought them because he knew they'd be uncomfortable, and even though he knew I'd never wear them he taught me not to beg for something so much. Be careful what you wish for, y'all. 
// Chokers. Again... what was I thinking in my little pre-teen mind? Holy cow. I wouldn't dream of wearing these now. I remember these getting stuck in my hair while trying to put them on. I always had a black one. I dunno... maybe I was trying to be goth momentarily? But I also had lots of pretty ones with colors. Thank you, Claire's for being my go-to accessory store. 
// Eye glitter. I'm not sure if I was trying to make it look like I had eye shadow on, or if I just really wanted to piss off every adult I interacted with by getting glitter everywhere. Either way, eye glitter was something that was worn practically everyday. Thanks again, Claire's. Eye glitter these days is a little more like eye shadow. It comes in pallets and has an applicator brush. Eye glitter in my day came in the little bottles. They were a sticky gel. And you had to apply it with your fingers. Getting glitter everywhere was inevitable. 
What fads did you give in to? Were you missing hair from silly chokers and covered in glitter like I was? I know I kept scrunchies on my wrist too. HA!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Seven Years Ago...

*disclaimer: technically the anniversary of these events is not until Nov 27, but since that's Thanksgiving this year, I'm sharing this early!*

As the title of this post says, obviously we're going back in time seven years to share with y'all the story of how Josh and I got engaged. By the time we got engaged we had been together for a little over a year, and living together for about that long! Amanda has been in my life for just as long! 

Nov 27, 2007 was the day after Thanksgiving. A lot of Josh's family was in town visiting for Thanksgiving. His (at the time future) sister in law had asked to take a walk with me around the block. I was happy to because I wanted to get to know her better. Little did I know it was a distraction. 

We got back from our walk and everyone started gathering us in front of things to take pictures. Clearly I was a blonde this night because I didn't suspect any strange behavior from my future in laws! This was us, taking pictures in front of the kitchen table. 

Like I said, I was out of it that night. As we were taking pictures, people were behind us putting stuff on the table and setting this up. In the picture frame it says, "Melissa, wouldn't our engagement photo look nice in this? Open the jewelry box." ... At this point I have butterflies in my stomach thinking no way this was real. I opened the jewelry box and inside of that there was a note that said "I Love You!!! Turn Around!!!" 

I turned around to THIS

So of course I said yes. I think I was in shock too much to smile here... 

Here's a smile. 

 His family even got us a cake. Turns out the entire day that I was at work, he was planning this with his mom, aunt, two brothers, and his future sister in law. The ring he gave me on this night was given to him from his Aunt. 

I was excited and calling my mom! 

 My original engagement ring. This is the ring I am currently wearing. I have a different one that Josh bought himself, a white gold princess cut solitaire, simple and gorgeous. I have to get it re-sized though. This ring is a size 7, and after getting engaged I gained a LOT of weight so the white gold is an 8.75 / almost a 9 (yikes!) Currently the white gold ring is WAY too big, and this one fits just right. Sorry for the blurry picture.. this was taken in way too much excitement back in 2007

Current picture / not so blurry!

Looking back, it was the perfect engagement. I was totally surprised, and he planned it just the way he wanted to. He wasn't forced, and we were surrounded by his family. I'm happy to share this experience with y'all today. I'm grateful for my husband. I'm grateful for my in laws. I've been truly blessed to have married into such an amazing family. 

Linking up with Emily because I have a Grateful Heart 
Grateful Heart Linkup with Ember Grey

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Happy Dance For the Weekend!

Happy Saturday!! You may notice a few changes around here. Don't worry, don't panic... you're still in the right place. The lovely Amanda @ Knock On Wood has given my little corner of the internet a face lift. This is why she's so great. Shameless plug, go check out her design page.

So, Y'all, I have officially made it through one WHOLE week at my new job, and I survived! I lived to tell the tale, and yes I will be going back for more. haha. Now that everyone is starting to get more comfortable with me, the pranks and jokes are starting to become more frequent now that they know I have similar senses of humor that they do. It's absolutely been a wonderful week!

Can we talk about this video for a second though? I saw this on the news last night and I got goosebumps. I totally emailed Kerri immediately after watching and said she had to watch the video ASAP. Her reply? "AHHHH holy crap ok the hairs on my arm are standings straight up right now that video is amazing" Yes.... my sentiments exactly. Just take a moment and watch. 
I've been really proud of myself because I've been able to schedule a lot of my blog posts, but Friday Favorites with Meagan are difficult to schedule. You see, this is one of those things I actually follow the rules on and you post faves from that week. It's still this week, and therefore here we are!!
What a great week it has been!
All The Joys Friday Favorites
+ Lindsay / Bourbon, Lipstick & Stilettos. She's constantly one of my favorites. I ALMOST mentioned this post with bourbon hot chocolate, because hi, I'm Melissa and I enjoy adult beverages. However, on Friday Lindsay posted this gem about GRAMMAR!! 100% YES!!! It still shocks me that people don't get it (you're / your) ugh. Thanks for sharing Lindsay!

+ Amanda / Knock on Wood. She SANG on her blog. How awesome is she? I mean I know I say it a lot but that took GUTS! I especially love the bloopers at the end. Technically that was last week, but I did love her this week as well with what she's Thankful for.

+ Rebecca / The Adventures of Bug and Boo. Rebecca and I are both moms to very young, very strong-willed children. So when she posted A Battle of Wills, it spoke right to my heart.

+ Kasey at the Bat wrote about my favorite thing EVER! Christmas Movies!!! I mean, we're a week away from Thanksgiving! Time to start embracing that Christmas is almost here!

+ All of the Link Your Ink posts hosted by Cassie at Sage and Kaitlin at Sew my Soul. It was so much fun reading about everyone's tattoos and the stories behind them. So fun. Great link up, ladies.

What were some of your favorites this week? Tons of great ones out there!
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Coffee Date

Good Morning, Y'all! As of today I have been at my new job for a week. I'm still loving it. Everyone asks me at the end of the day, "you sure you're coming back tomorrow?" I'm not sure if they're scared I'm leaving or what. Either way, I always say yes and I keep coming back. I feel like it's been awhile since I let myself go in the blog, so I figure a Coffee Date would be a perfect time for that

...If we were having coffee, we probably wouldn't be at my house. It's a mess. I'd take you to the cute little coffee shop in downtown Monroe. Not even exaggerating a little bit: my place is a mess. I haven't cleaned it in far too long. Oops. I'd then ask how you were doing and catch up.

...If we were having coffee, I'd admit (probably in tears) that I have been not nearly patient enough with Zander lately. He and I have been yelling at each other way too much lately, and I know he's doing it because I'm doing it. It's a vicious circle that I know I need to be the one to end. I'm trying. I'm praying. It's hard, y'all.

...If we were having coffee, I'd confide in you that I'm really nervous about this being the first Thanksgiving without my Grandma. We used to always have Thanksgiving at her house. I'm looking forward to having it at my mom's house, and we'll still have Grandma's table, but part of me is sad that she won't be here.

...If we were having coffee, I'd tell you my mother in law will be joining us at my mom's for Thanksgiving. We're very happy to have her join us, but Josh and I had to encourage her to say yes. She wasn't sure if she wanted to go.

...If we were having coffee, I'd also tell you the great news that my Mother in Law got last week. After two years of working part time with the company she's with, they offered her a full time position with benefits and paid time off! I'm so happy for her. She really deserves it.

...If we were having coffee, I'd probably mention that I need to quit drinking coffee since I put way too much creamer in mine. I can feel the scale slowly starting to creep back up. Either I need to put down the coffee cup, or I need to put on my running shoes more than once a week. Probably both. But coffee is just so good. So hello, running shoes. Do you want to help me stay on track?

...If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that I have shamelessly been watching the Geronimo video (by Sheppard) on repeat. I heard this song for the first time back in October. I'm obsessed. Yes, I love the Taylor Swift stuff too. (#noShame). But this song is so dang catchy! I'm a sharer:

...If we were having coffee, I'd hope by this point you would've shared something in the conversation too because by this point I feel like it's a bit one sided. I'd probably also have to pee after having so much coffee.

...If we were having coffee, we'd talk about how Zander isn't in the after-school program anymore. We took him out earlier this week. Now the neighbor across the street picks him up from school and we pay her to watch him the last 2 hours after school before I get home. The school raised their rates way too much, and we said "nope".

...If we were having coffee, I'd ask if you wanted to go find some moonshine. I saw this video on buzzfeed where people tasted different kinds of moonshine, including cherries soaked in it. I want to try moonshine soaked cherries. My step mom also told me about cherries soaked in Fireball. I want to try those too. Lets get drunk on alcohol infused cherries!

What would you share if we were on a coffee date? Who wants to have a coffee date with me? C'mon over! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Monthly Musings Round 1 - November

Monthly Musings... What is that exactly you may be wondering? Well, a "musing" is a period of reflection or thought. Lora and I created this linkup as a way to sit back and think about the finer things in life that we have going on right now. Life can get stressful, and painful, and difficult at times. And sure- you don't want to hide those feelings or keep them bottled up, but Monthly Musings is not a time for those feelings. Here, we want you to reflect on what's good in your life. What do you love about this month? What's something good that happened this month? Is this your favorite month? Why? All of that and more can be answered here!

It's November! We're a week away from THANKSGIVING! Thanksgiving is definitely my second favorite holiday. (Christmas is my first, but not because of presents for me!... that's for another post though).
This month I'm looking forward to seeing family that I haven't seen in almost a year. I have an Aunt and Uncle in Wisconsin. This Aunt is the "favorite Aunt"... even though some people think you're not supposed to say it. I said it, so there. With her and my uncle living so far away, it's difficult to see them as often as we get to see everyone else. This year for Thanksgiving, they'll be flying down and staying with my mom (her sister) for a few days. I'm thankful to be able to spend some much needed time with them and to let my kids get to know them better. I'm thankful that my family is so close and that we all enjoy each others' company.

Whenever my mom's side of the family gets together for Thanksgiving, it's like a big comedy club. We all joke around with each other. There's always tons of laughing. It's just so full of light and fun and happiness. I love it. I love spending time with this family. One of my uncles always cooks the turkey and everyone else brings a side dish. (I bring green bean casserole- YUM!!) If you saw my vlog last week, then you'll remember that I promised to share the recipe. Don't worry, I don't break promises.
This year will be strange because it'll be the first big holiday without my grandma there. I'm still anxious about that. We used to always have Thanksgiving and Christmas at Grandma's tiny little apartment with everyone crammed into the living room and dining room. It was small, but we made it work.
This year we'll be at my mom's new house. I'm not as sad about Grandma not being with us as I thought I would be. I know she's smiling down on us from Heaven. I know she'll be watching the whole thing. I'm also Thankful for blogging friends like Lora. Friends that reach out to you and say "hey, let's do a link up!" I'm Thankful for friends that do actually link up with our crazy idea! haha. This year has been a crazy one, but as it draws to an end, I love looking back and seeing I have so much to be Thankful for.

This month is the start of "family" holidays to me. It warms my heart to know that in a week from tomorrow I'll be sitting around the table full of family and full of smiles. I have a lot to be thankful for this month. For starters, I have a loving husband and two beautiful children. I'm blessed to have family all over the place. After dinner at my mom's we'll be having desert on the dad's side of my family. My mother in law will be joining us at both locations.
I'm blessed to have in laws that get along so well with my families.

As it hits me that November is halfway over, and I sit back and reflect on what this month means to me, I realize more and more about how blessed I really am. And how blessed my children are to be surrounded by so much love and happiness. As my kids grow, it is becoming more and more apparent that I have so much to be thankful for. Josh and I both come from large families. Our kids are surrounded by love, and that is all I could ever ask for them.

What are you thankful for this month?
Next Month: We're musing on CHRISTMAS!!! My Favorite holiday!!

The Rambling Llama

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tell Me About Your Town

The place we call "home" tends to hold a special place in everyone's hearts. It could also be a very different place to everyone. It could be where they're living now, or the place they were born. Wherever that place may be, it's clear everyone is Thankful to have a place to call home.

A few weeks ago, Amanda announced this awesome new monthly linkup to take place the third Tuesday every month. I'm happy to join Amanda and Rebecca in linking up for the kickoff this month, and to talk about My Town.

I'm thankful to live in a small town. Josh and I have moved around quite a bit, and there's plenty of places we call "home". I'm one of the few that are actually born and raised in Georgia. I've lived in many different corners of this beautiful state, but where we live now has really started to hold a special place in my heart.

Josh and I live in a small town called Monroe. Population: 13,466, and it covers approximately 10.5 square miles. It's not a very big town at all.
Why I'm thankful to live in Monroe

  • The kids can play outside with no one bugging them
  • We run into people we know at Wal-Mart, the library, CVS (everywhere) and it will usually turn into an impromptu coffee date
  • There's always a festival, farmers market, or event going on in the downtown square
  • I know ALL of my neighbors. 
  • Our utility bills are all on one bill that we pay to the city. What we pay for everything is equivalent to what most people pay for just their electric bills. 
  • We can walk to the park and not risk getting run over by the crazy Georgia drivers!
The best part about our town is we're very close to a few of the major highways, so when we want to go see family it's no trouble to navigate. We're about 30 minutes away from my mom and about 45 minutes away from my mother in law. My sister is only 20 minutes from us. We're surrounded by family so we don't feel stuck in a small town. 
If we ever want to venture into the city, it's only an hour drive. Of course, with Atlanta traffic sometimes that hour turns into an hour and ten minutes or more, but it's still not a bad drive all the time

I seriously think everyone needs to experience the small town life at least once in their lives. The festivals they have here is what I really love the most. They recently put up the Christmas lights that will line the streets of downtown until the new year. It's SO PRETTY! 
I'm also thankful that my town is used in major films. Anyone remember "American Reunion"? The square and downtown scenes in the town in the movie is Monroe! How cool is that? /
Mike Cash Store // Source

Why are you Thankful for your town? Are you thankful for the town you grew up in or the town you're living in now? Link up with Amanda and Rebecca to share! 
The Rambling Llama