Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our Christmas Memories

Have Yourself a Merry little Christmas
let your hearts be light~~~

We gathered on Christmas Eve for our family celebration of feast and fun. My sister Denise is always the host for this reunion (she has the biggest house!) I've selected a few photos from our wonderful evening to share with you. Here is your chance to meet my family~~

My attempt to try and catch a Christmas photo with Miss Maddy girl and our little grand daughter Keri Beth. (have you ever tried to take a picture of two tornadoes?) Forty three snaps later and this is as good as it gets!

Our Maddy girl in her new Christmas frock~~

She came running and met me at the door saying, " Oh Aunt "Bicky" - it's Christmas!!"

When Keri Beth learns to say Papaw - this guy is done for!

(she has a little boo-boo on her head - she is learning to roll over - but not when to stop. She crashed into the entertainment center at her house!)

Maddy said, "I want to hold her - I want to hold baby Keri Beth.) Right after we took this picture the baby flopped over on the couch! (the Family Circus has got nothin' on us!)

Keri Beth's Mommy and Daddy. Maddy girl wanted to be in the picture too!

We are all smiles with our baby~~

Off come the Christmas dresses~~ Maddy is sporting her new Rudolph outfit~ Keri Beth is sporting the latest in birthday suit finery!

Check out those bell bottom pants!

Don't you love giving gift cards!! (Poor Rob - last year he got several gift cards that somehow did not get activated! We make a practice of always giving the receipt with gift cards from now on! It's become the family joke~~)

This gb bought little Keri Beth her first Vera Bradley purse! (in case you forgot - gb stands for granny boster (but we aren't going there!) - so it's gb - little g, little b. gb) There will be a test later~~

~~ and I bought Miss Maddy girl her first Vera purse too - and this little kitty cat purse!

Maddy got lots of toys (of course) but her favorite thing - this Thomas the Train picture story book! Go figure~~

Maddy LOVES books and will sit and "read" the stories out loud over and over again! (she is almost 2 years old!)

Cute - huh?

Meet Kenzy - the three year old granddaughter of my sister Belinda.

Belinda and her husband Woody open their gifts~~ (Maddy is still "reading"!)

Kenzy joins in to help~

Kenzy has a new baby brother - Braxton. He is 4 months old. (what a cutie!)

Who has the biggest smile here? (he is the best little baby~~)

We take time out for Maddy Girl to help Keri Beth with her first giveaway drawing~~

~~~ and the winner of the Vera Bradley purse is sweet, sweet Erin from The Painted Garden. You must go meet Erin and her studio assistant Bentley (the dog) - Erin paints fabulous pictures using inspirations from her beautiful home. I love my visits to Erin's blog - she is immensely talented and her blog is a place of pure delight. I know she will welcome your visit and you will LOVE meeting her and Bentley! Congratulations dear Erin!

now - back to Christmas~~ the Gardener got a fancy underwater camera from me. (feeling pretty smug about that purchase, I am!)

but what he loved the MOST - was the bright orange "life preserver" strap for the camera! Hilarious!
(I need to clarify - the Gardener and I don't buy Christmas gifts for each other (we consider our travels as our gifts to each other) - BUT his BIRTHDAY is on the 28th. So I gave it to him early~~

Maddy girl helped her Auntie "Bicky" open my Christmas gifts.

She is all about the unwrapping - that's for sure!

Looks like a Vera Bradley box!

A new ornament to add to my collection. (I have 3 so far - so not sure if that counts as a collection or not!)

Denise - my youngest sister. There are three of us and there is not a year between any of us (yeah - you do the math!~~)

Denise is Miss Maddy girls' "Meme."
Wonder who bought this purse with lots of bling and seashells for their sister?
Maddy's pretty Mommy. Treva (we call her TJ) is a nurse just like her Aunt Vicki - we are so proud of her!

Maddy's sweet Daddy - holding the favorite book that our friend Mary gave to both Maddy and Keri Beth.

THE family portrait - me (the oldest), Belinda (the middle sister) (in the back) and Denise (the youngest sister) in the front with me.

and THE other family portrait ~~
Happy Holidays from the Gardener and me to all of you. Thank you for being here for me throughout this past year. Your sweet comments have brought tears to my eyes and also made me smile and laugh. Your friendships mean the world to me. Corny as it may sound - I love you all~~

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Girl Trip (part 2) - (and I explain where I have been!)

You know you have been away from your blog too long when some of your followers email you and say - "were you kidnapped by aliens? Where are you? We want the rest of the story!!" I know, I know - I feel like I have been gone forever!! I swear I can explain~~~ shortly after the last post - the Gardener and I took off on our own little trip to Florida (those photos are at the end of this post), and then when I got home - I thought I had a few days off to catch up on things (like my blog!) - but NO - I had totally messed up my work schedule (!!!) and I had to go to work the day after we returned home (can you even begin to feel my pain here?) And then it snowed you know - and it snowed some more - and I live about 40 miles from the hospital - (and I hate driving on slick roads) - so I stayed and stayed and was (sort of kidnapped - but not by aliens - more like by "little people" for 4 days - and I just got home tonight (finally!) and so that is my excuse. Right now I am sitting here wearing my favorite flannel pj's (the ones with the purple snowmen) and I may never, ever take them off! Am I forgiven? (please?) Here is the rest of the story for those of you who have waited so LONG!!

When you go on a girl trip - you can have a beachy tea party~~

just the two of you~~~

and only eat cookies if you want!
These awesome starfish sugar cookies came from here. (I see that the shop is currently on vacation but you can check back later or contact the shop for info.)


You can also enjoy these fabulous chocolate covered Oreo cookies with sea life designs. Out of this world - yumm! You can find these yummy treasures here.

I love turtles ( the condo is decorated with turtles everywhere!) - and these little napkin rings are just precious. They belong to my friend Mary- she loaned them to me for the beachy tea party. Aren't they adorable? She also let me borrow the sand dollar place mats - perfect for this little party!

Bought the little plates and cups on the clearance table at (of all places ) the Cracker Barrel! Got the whole set for $10!! Don't you just love a great bargain!


When you are on a girl trip, you can sit by the pool and knit - all day if you want!

I am teaching Marsha to make this leaf and vine scarf/wrap. It is a bit challenging but she is doing a great job! That's her beautiful olive green yarn (on her Vera Bradley beach towel!)

You can take beach walks and act prissy!

I love to find these shells - the ones that are all "fossil glued" together. I always wonder - how long did it take them to get stuck together like this! These are among my favorites to pick up from the beach.

You can try to strike a pretty pose in the ocean ~~~ and almost get knocked down by a "killer" wave! This is obviously the before picture!

This is why I love going to the beach in late October - there is No One there!

You can go shopping everyday if you want - and we did! The stores were already decorated for Christmas. It's fun just walking around and taking photos.




We drove to the Canaveral National Seashore. That's the Space Center launch pad in the background. The drive into the seashore area is always filled with wildlife - we have seen birds, alligators, wild boars, turtles, and lots and lots of butterflies. The lake here was covered with birds.

These little guys make me laugh. I like their funny "hair-do's!" They are facing into the wind and their "hairs" are standing straight up! I think they look like Bozo the clown!

One of the boardwalk entrances to the seashore~~

Seeing the beauty of the beach in it's natural vegetative state is so interesting. Most people don't think of a beach being filled with trees and shrubs. I love every minute we spend at this beach!

This beach is a photo album just waiting to be made! Even the sea oats blowing in the wind made a beautiful photo.

I told Marsha that she looked like a movie star in this photo! What do you think?

When you are on a girl trip - you can order dessert whenever you want and NOT feel the least bit guilty! Marsha and I split this beautiful pink chambord cake and the waiter decorated both of our plates with these fabulous icing designs. This is the Japanese peacock~~

and the most perfect fish! These were almost too beautiful to eat - (but we did!)

Even on a girl trip - you do eventually have to pack up and come back home. However - we sort of had a little problem. We had to fit all of this into my Subaru Forester. We sort of, might have, well - maybe - shopped a little too much! That big suitcase in the back - is mine! I bought that this week (the airline killed my last one so I DID need it) - but I made really good use of it for the trip home - I stuffed it full of all the YARN that I bought on this trip! (and a few other purchases!) I am not exaggerating when I say that there was not ONE inch of empty space in that car on the drive home. We left a little hole so that we could see out the back window and that is all!

On the way out the door - I did a bit of last minute Christmas decorating at the condo! Do you like my little Christmas palm tree? I sat it on the table and prounced it "perfect!"

Before we leave the beach I need to finish this part of the story! Those blue lights? Well - I had a head light out (but I swear it wasn't out when we left to go to the restaurant!) I don't see well to drive at night - so Marsha was driving when we got pulled over. So first off - we had to explain why she was driving my car. And then it took forever to get my license and registration - because I just sort of stuff all that into the glove box (ugh - I meant to organize that mess!). The officer was actually very nice - he gave us a warning ticket and said that was to keep some other officer from actually giving us a ticket. We only had to drive about 2 more miles to get back to the condo. The next morning a friend replaced the light for me and showed me how to do it. So now I know how to do 2 things on my car - pump gas and change a light bulb! I did call the Gardener when we got back that night and tell him the story. But if it had been a speeding ticket - (I might not have told him that one!)
On the way home - we stopped at the South Carolina Artesian Center. (but we did not buy anything!) I told Marsha - "we cannot even buy a pack of chewing gum because we do not have the room to put it in this car!!"

This is really a beautiful shop and they had a wonderful display of seagrass baskets. Do any of you own a seagrass basket? I think they are magnificent - but they are sort of out of my price range! Sometimes when we go to Charleston, South Carolina, I will tell myself that I am going to buy one of these baskets, and then - I always change my mind because they are so expensive!

Oh well - someday!

The first week of December, the Gardener and I went to the condo. It was our last chance to go until at least May, as the condo is rented completely all winter and spring. The weather was absolutely gorgeous but it was COLD!! There were a few war afternoons - and we walked the beach every chance we got~~

These little surfer dudes don't seem to mind the cold. Are these guys crazy or what! I am telling you - that water is freezing!

There is something so special about the beach in the winter. To me - it has a totally different feel. The air is crisp and clean - the breeze is cool - even the birds act differently. Our beach is almost always covered with shells in the winter months. On this trip - the beach was absolutely full of shells! Sometimes I just like to sit down and and sort through them - looking for treasures!

That Gardener - he is such a great guy! He always carries the beach bag for me - even after I fill it up with shells! That's his favorite beach bag - he won't part with it at all - (it's a burlap rice bag for goodness sake!)

We made some new friends! I think he was standing so still because he was froze! Seriously - it was cold last week in Florida. We're talkin sweaters, and scarves, and gloves!

These little birdies have their feathers all ruffled trying to stay warm!

The Gardener was feeding some stale bread to the seagulls. This little guy was coming in for his share of the goods!

Millions and millions of shells! I filled the Gardener's bag totally full every time we walked the beach. He said "what are you going to do with all these shells"? I pretended like I didn't hear him~~~ (can I say - I just want em?!!)




The afternoon sun felt good on our little cold toes - the perfect place for some serious foot snuggles!

The Gardener's bag of treasures. Let me rephrase that~~~ the Gardener's beach bag - MY treasures!

Is this corny or what? Happy Holidays to you all from the Gardener and me!

So - I have this HUGE stuffed snowman - and I told the Gardener that next SUMMER - we are going to take "Frosty" to the beach and take these silly hats and make our Christmas photos. The Gardener sort of rolled his eyes - and then he said, "you're serious aren't you?!" I said - "Yep!" (he knows he's done for!)
My Holiday wish for you all is that you treasure this special time with those that you love. As you prepare to open your gifts - please take the time to also open your hearts, remembering that there are those who are not so fortunate. If you can - please make this Christmas a little brighter for someone who is in need of a special Christmas blessing.
ps- Don't forget the Vera Bradley purse giveaway! You can access it from my sidebar.