Monday, January 18, 2016


My favorite recurring January event is the ML5K.  My church is a sponsor of this terrific fundraiser for the Extra Special People organization in Athens and Oconee. I have run every year since its inception and honestly, each year is better than the last.  I really liked the new and improved course so much better this year. None of my peeps at home are runners.  "It's too...cold." and "It's too...running." were their answers, so I ran by myself.

Nevertheless, many of my friends - young and old run - so I have a blast!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Putting on The Ritz

It was a tough decision, but after some arm twisting, I decided to go. To the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation, that is.

 Last weekend, De had a few meetings there and it was a blast. De's buds from GHA are just  We had s'mores on Friday night at the hotel and then.... The Long Sleep. Since De had early morning meetings, I slept until practically lunch. #teenager.  We moseyed around the hotel and grounds some and then had dinner at Linger Longer Steakhouse.  That's where I met my new BFF, Donna. Sometimes, God puts people in your path and you know that he's up there just smiling and saying, "You're welcome".

The Lodge there provides plenty of opportunities for fun.  Here is something that De is particularly very good at.

But he was not unequaled in this skill...

Everytime I have every been here, it has been winter. And dreary.  I am sure that you can tell how beautiful this must be when it isn't misting and 34 degrees.

The decor inside is lodge like, but there are plenty of light filled spots, too.

And beautiful flower arrangements are literally everywhere.  That was one of my favorite things.  Now why didn't I get more pictures of those flowers?

Saturday night, the fabulous John Donn Band was playing at the lodge.  I really liked them and of course I had to go meet them.  Turns out, they are from the Athens area and will soon be playing The Melting Point. 

We had so much fun and the weekend went by so fast.  Before we knew it, Monday was here and it was business as usual:

#working like a dog

Monday, January 04, 2016

Home Alone at the ASO

To combat the "Christmas is over letdown" I think my entire family has every year, I planned something fun for January 2.  With the help of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, it was a lot of fun for everybody.  Yes, really.  Everybody.

For close to forever, our family Christmas Eve tradition has been to watch Home Alone 2 on Christmas Eve.  We go to church, have a family dinner with Nanny and then watch the movie.  While we suspect she did like the movie the first 15 times she saw it, Nanny usually requests a new movie. (#deaf ears).  Last year, we retraced many of Kevin's steps in the movie when we went to New York for Christmas. Read about that here.

When I saw that the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra would be showing Home Alone (the first one) and accompanying it with the full orchestra, I was all in.  Nothing says "holidays" like, "Keep the change ya filthy animal".

Keep The Change You Filthy animal Home Alone T-shirt

Just to try something new, we went to Cafe Agora near the Margaret Mitchell house.  This restaurant has authentic Mediterranean food and was maybe a little too authentic for us.  Then we went to the Woodruff Arts Center for the movie.  I say that like we just ambled over.  The two are within walking distance.  We never just amble anywhere in Atlanta.  We have to be lost at least once.  This time, our wanderings led us to the entrance of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens where the absolute most beautiful lights were shining at the entrance.  So for next year....

Friday, January 01, 2016

December 2015 - Football Banquet

By now, it's pretty clear that while I worried for years about concussions, back fractures, arm fractures, neck injuries and the next physical therapy appointment, I loved every football game John played in, but his high school career was over in November.  Woodward Academy beat us in the first round of playoffs. No one was surprised, but everyone was still sad - at least on our side of the stadium.  Our team lost a total of 40 players from the 2014-2015 school year and the ones who were left, played their hearts out.  At the annual Football Banquet, they were recognized for this.

John was the recipient of the Defensive Coordinator's Award.

I was so happy for him to have gotten this award and to be able to leave what he has loved on such a high note.

December 2015 - Star Wars

We love movies.  When J&J were in elementary school, every Friday night was family movie night.  They still laugh because I made such a big deal out of ordering the movie (that was when they came in the mail, remember?) from Netflix, having a good supper and being ready to watch.  Then, I would promptly fall asleep as soon as the first scene was on.

Long before the Force Awakens release date of December 18, I had purchased my tickets from Fandango for the movie.  We all had Chinese at one of De's favorite places and then we went to see the movie.

I wish I had a picture of the group of kids that piled up in a neighborhood mom's tank of a Cadillac to see the first Star Wars movie at Newton Plaza during the summer of 1977.  With open car windows, we happily rolled down the interstate with no seat belts and no idea what to expect from this movie.  We loved it!  We were beyond thrilled when our friends' Mom didn't make us leave after the movie was over but let us sit through it again. (Those were the days).  Fast forwarding to 2015, we bought our movie tickets weeks in advance with a phone, piled into a car with plenty of seat belts and certainly could only watch the movie once with one ticket. While I did like this movie (and I did stay awake for it), I certainly didn't feel the magic of 1977 - but definitely a lot has changed since 1977.

Julia multitasked during all her favorite Christmas TV specials to get this puzzle put together.  She is like her Daddy - a true fan of the movies.  She admitted that this one was her least favorite and she misses the George Lucas influence on the movies, but as I mentioned, I enjoyed it and it kept me awake ;-)

2015 Holidays

Football and Volleyball seasons were over just in time for the holidays to begin.  It was probably one of the most fun Thanksgivings at Mama's in recent memory.  Lots of cousins came and everybody brought good food, good stories and good memories.  In a family as large as Mama's, it is rare that everyone attends when we gather and some were sorely missed. (You know who you are, you deserters of the south.) In fact, it was so much fun, I didn't take one picture!

We are a family who is very blessed and happy to have at least one day a year to get together and acknowledge that. (While eating pecan pie and talking about Weight Watchers recipes.)

Thanksgiving weekend, we did our annual "Kickoff Christmas".  We went to John's favorite restaurant in Atlanta, Houston's on Lenox Road.

Image result for houston's restaurant lenox road

We trekked through Phipps to see the Christmas tree there and caught a few sales at some of our favorite stores, then it was back home to decorate the tree that ate the Living Room. (#GriswoldFamilyChristmasTree)

At an estate sale in June, I lucked up on these two MacKenzie Childs Christmas topiaries that still had the tags on them. They looked great next to the windows that have not had a window treatment on them since May.  I painted this room, had plans to completely re do it, but those plans went about like the plans for keeping the blog updated.  While 2015 wasn't the best year for blogging or finishing decorating projects... (have I mentioned that I've been painting the master bathroom since April 6?),  I  was able to steal the idea for monograms with stockings from Dixie Delights and get that DIY project completed in a matter of minutes.

Everybody knows that it just ain't Christmas if you haven't had to break out the gold spray paint. That is just what I did.  While Julia was off volunteering at Mingle with Kringle, I took advantage of the fact that we had "July at Christmas" weather and headed outside to paint these monograms from Scrappin Plus.

We then began the work on our family picture for the Christmas card.  This usually is a time of whining, wailing and great gnashing of teeth, so I decided to fix them all.  This year, we'd do it at church.  Surely they wouldn't gripe and complain there.  They did.

but I used this one for the card because it was a better picture and much more natural... 

and being clean for the Christmas card is so overrated.

Fall Review - Cinderella

It's fair to say that Julia and I are Disney Princess crazy.  Last spring we waited for the release of the new Cinderella like 4 year olds wait on Santa.  When we found out that the Broadway version was coming to Atlanta, we started planning!

We ate dinner next door to The Fox at the Publik Draft House.  Food was good, service was great and it was one of the first performances we've ever been to when we were early.  Normally we are sitting in Atlanta traffic too long for a meal before the show.  This time we left right after school for Atlanta. The rain didn't let up, and the traffic was typical, but we managed to get there early.

The show was wonderful.  I had never seen this Broadway play, but I would definitely see it again.

Fall Review (won't quit)

While we were watching John play football against Monroe Area High School on October 9, (he forced a safety) Julia's swing team was performing at another venue.  Thank goodness Kaka could get her there and thank goodness she got a video for those of us who couldn't get there.

Not ones to let the month of October get by without pulling at least some of the skeletons from the closet,

we let Bubba (above) get in on the homecoming festivities...

Since no one else in my family gives a hoot about Halloween anymore - though they all happily eat the candy - I always enlist others to get in on the Halloween dress up fun.

It was super hero Halloween and just fitting everything in definitely made us all super heroes!

Fall Review Deux - NOHS Football Senior Night, October 30, 2015

The review continues...

NOHS Senior football night was one of the few games that didn't see rain.  We played Stephens County and John was a team captain that night.

 As a mom, it is hard to see the final season come to a close. This is the south and most of these boys - including John -  have been playing football since they were 5.  I know life holds far greater things for John than football, but I have to also realize that I will not be a regular spectator of those things. (Grab the Kleenex.)

I remember when he was 5, he played flag football.  For those little guys, no score was kept.  After his first game, he got in the car and was just so thrilled with the game, his coach and his team.  The score was the confusing part.  "Mom, did we win?", he wanted to know.  I asked him if he had fun.  He nodded enthusiastically and then I said, "then you won".  I'm pretty sure he didn't buy that and kept score of every game thereafter, but I'm also pretty sure he had fun playing them all, too.

2015 Review

Really there's no RE to it.  There was never the first view.  This is my attempt to catch up the blog after a super busy summer and fall. So before 2015 is just another blur in the memory file...(or in our case...another set of pictures deleted by mistake...) we're going back to August. (Are you kidding me? In January?) Right back to the beginning of the school year.  When August rolled in, I found myself with a senior and a sophomore. (#notgettingyounger) And that senior and that sophomore are very busy people.  No wonder the August blog updates come in January!

That same month, I went with De to St Simon's for a little R&R.  We were fortunate enough to stay at one of the best known resorts on the Georgia Coast, The King and Prince.

De was selected to participate in the Georgia Hospital Association's leadership program. As a result, he has attended meetings in fantastic places all over the state.  The trip to St Simon's was awesome as we ate at incredible restaurants, had a good time at the beach and had fun with the other participants in the program and their spouses.

We returned to reality and lots of ball games! Julia's schedule was consumed with volleyball and John's with football.

Thank goodness volleyball is played inside! This had to be the rainiest fall ever.  Most Friday night football games were soakers.  It was still fun and while the record was not the best the Titans have ever had, John had a great season and a great time.