A Quick Trip to Georgia and Decorating at the Holidays

The Smokies

We recently took a quick trip down to Georgia to be with family at Thanksgiving. It was kind of last minute. We wanted to get away and then realized we hadn’t been with both of our kids, for this particular holiday, in seven years! So off we went.

Tennesee

The minute we arrived we realized our daughter was very ill. 🤧Honestly, had we known sooner, we probably would not have even travelled down there. She had been to the doctor but like I had guessed, probably was a virus and meds wouldn’t help. So I tried my hardest to help her get some kind of rest, but we were up each night till around 4 AM as her hacking cough just would not quit. (Poor thing, I know how that is…a nagging cough can just drive you completely mad!) She’s still my baby, so me trying to sleep in the next room and hearing her hack away …just not possible. I couldn’t handle it, and kept trying everything I could think of to ease her misery. Nothing worked. 😞 I looked like the walking dead. 🧟‍♀️

Which reminded me of a particular story when she was little, and I had a horrible asthmatic bronchitis with a cough that drug on for over a month. Absolutely nothing would help me sleep. NOTHING! I had even pulled muscles near my ribs from hacking so much. I remember one, long night finally thinking I’m just going to run out in that snow and no one will even find me! 🤪It just drives you crazy, doesn’t it?

And of course driving down to Atlanta the same old scenario, we hit lots of traffic, came to complete dead stops, and again accidents were witnessed. We literally see an accident every single time we drive through there; sometimes I think we’re going to be in one ourselves as people just race by us going 100 miles an hour!

But It was all worth it getting to see little grandbaby Chloe. Oh my, she is so doggone cute! “They’re” all so right when they say a grandbaby is like nothing else! 🤗

We went to a Christmas light show in a park one night and the baby was mesmerized by all the action and bright lights. I’m sure next year it’ll be an even greater level of excitement for her.

I brought matching hats for her and her mom to wear. They both looked so cute! The baby just turned 5 months.

We also had Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s mom and brother now that they have moved down there. She is 81. And his sister, and cousins came over with their younger kids and there was a sort of a “kissin’ cousin” play date going on. 😁



Hey Ma! What the heck is goin’ on?!

Chloe wasn’t quite sure what to think!

My hubs also would turn 56 on our drive home, so while we were there the kids surprised him with a cookie cake.

It was fairly warm, so after dinner we walked downtown Newnan, Georgia and saw more lights. They have a quaint downtown square much like we do here in our town.

We left a day earlier and it’s good we did because as soon as we got home, my poor husband got deathly sick and has been sick ever since. Hes just laid around hacking and tried to work later but ended up having to take off some time. Now he’s counting down the day to retirement come spring. (Too bad it hadn’t been sooner.)

But Yay! 🤗

I recently talked him into letting me re-paint my daughter’s room that has been bright aqua for over a decade! We had an ordeal with the paint store and finding the right paint initially, but now I’m loving how it tuned out. I was actually thinking of more of a BoHo style and painted the walls white. He wasn’t sure about all white walls, but I assured him decorators everywhere were doing it and it’d be fine. Guess what, we BOTH really love it!

But you would not believe how many different shades of WHITE there are! I have a second decorating Instagram account @morgie_and_me where I share decorating ideas AND get ideas, so I am already enjoying this new decorating and photography space.

I couldn’t wait to decorate it for Christmas. I don’t think I’ve ever fully decorated an entire bedroom for Christmas.

And to be real honest, I believe all the decorating helps my mind find rest as I’m forced to think of other things. I’m just not dealing well with what has happened to my mother among other bad news I received this year. It all really affects me. I just can’t turn it off. I think about the suffering my mom is going through, along with missing out on so much life and it just really gets to me! And for my own mental health, I think I decorate to try and force myself to escape because I literally think about her 24/7.

I guess decorating is less damaging than drinking or drugs so that’s how I try to give my mind a break.

But after 20 years in this particular house, I’m now itching to change everything. We’re still not sure what we’re doing in retirement. We actually had our house sold this past summer (we were selling it ourselves) then, at the last minute, we changed our minds and backed out. A long story maybe to share later!

Meanwhile, I’ve been decorating like a crazy woman for Christmas and with this new room, the kids soon to arrive, taking care of the hubs while also trying not to catch any germs from the hubs, it’s kept me pretty busy. And in full hasmat attire. Ha.

My husband actually went to urgent care last night. Poor guy, he is really sick this time. I don’t think I have ever seen him this sick in 32 years of marriage!

Have any of you caught this horrible bug? I’ve been using hand sanitizer and walking around the house grabbing things with my shirt sleeve instead of my hands. 😷

PS Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I was going to share some of my Thanksgiving decor initially, but didn’t get around to it as we headed out the door so quickly.


Items found for home decorating at: #Pier1, #AtHomeStores,#Walmart,#T.J.Maxx, #Menards, #HomeDepot, #HomeGoods #RossDressForLess #Target

Take care!

And have a Merry Christmas!🎄

Easter is My Favorite Holiday

If anyone knows me well, they know I love Easter!

No I mean I really LOVE Easter!💗

I was thinking about this the other day as we had a few sunny days and all this spring decor had me thinking about Easter and why I liked it so much. 🐥🐇


Well for one,  I grew up in southern California where it was always WARM and SUNNY, 😎 so Easter had us buying new, spring clothes with all the beautiful colors.

My mom sewed almost all my clothes and Easter was extra special as we browsed through huge pattern books and admired all the pretty pastel fabrics.

Then, what followed was looking for the accessories: white shoes, purse and little white gloves, with lace.

I loved my little, white gloves so much that I wouldn’t take them off when eating chocolate in Sunday school. 😂

And occasionally I had a “bonnet” or kerchief.

We had so much fun coloring Easter eggs.

And then there were the HUGE, SEE’S Chocolate Easter eggs beautifully decorated with pastel flowers. They were almost the size of an ostrich egg and usually filled with a rich creamy filling. That  big ol’ egg would be rationed to last me 2 weeks HA.

Oh, I just loved waking up to big, stuffed Easter baskets, putting on my Easter best, going to church with the family, singing all the special music, smelling the flowers in the air, then enjoying a big Easter spread.

Just lots of really warm memories.


Now, compare that to my first Easter in Indiana.

I was so bummed when I realized my pretty, new sun dress was going to be covered by a winter coat, and it was way too cold ❄️ to even want to take it off for any pictures.😒

Year after year.

Why did we even bother getting new clothes for Easter?🤷🏻‍♀️

Yep, Easter in the midwest has pretty much always been cold, rainy or overcast. Sometimes it even snows! Just makes you feel all cheery inside when looking forward to spring. (Insert sarcasm) 😒

Then, I grew up and my own kids came along.

SAME STORY.

I’d try to dress them in cute, little outfits but worried their little legs would freeze off, so I added tights, a sweater,

a parka. 😞

And we still tried to provide an Easter egg hunt…most were INDOORS.

But I mean, who wants to hunt Easter eggs INDOORS? 👎🏼

And guess who else likes little, white gloves?👇🏻

He just had to have a suit.

So, my thoughts going way back to sunny California have always brought fond memories. ☀️

As I reflect, I can say one constant has remained.

That Easter really has NOTHING to do with any of this.

Not weather, not new clothes, or a big yummy meal, not even another “holiday”…

That it’s all really only been about Jesus.

Easter always caused me to reflect on what Christ has done for me, personally.

Rereading the resurrection story and the hours Christ submitted to his father’s will just grips my heart every time. I try to slow down taking in each detail of what really took place.

The torture, the betrayal, the extreme love and sacrifice for all mankind.

Every year of my life, even as a kid, I tried to imagine the scene, and it always moved me to tears.

No matter how I try to contain myself, the tears always flow.

Because I know no one could ever love me that much, nor willingly sacrifice their life for me.

And so it’s not the new clothes, the candy, the sunshine…not even being with family.

It’s about pure love. Unimaginable tenderness for ALL mankind.

You never have to earn this love nor question his love for you.

Bottom line…

He came as a baby

to die as a young man.

For you and for me. ❤️

He created us and He wants to see us again with Him someday.


Hope you have a very blessed Easter!

What are your traditions on Easter Sunday? Please tell me in the comments.

Don’t Be Demanding During the Holidays

As the holidays roll around, I often talk with people and hear about how stressed they are trying to please their family members at this time. It makes me reflect on family dynamics and why people act the way they do, or get so bent out of shape at this time of year. I just heard a lady (while at the hair salon) speaking about how she works SO hard, is super busy, then has to cook a huge meal while off work…yadda, yadda, yadda, BUT this year she was choosing to stay home, just her and hubby, and she thought it sounded glorious. Why is the holiday season SO stressful for us…women, especially?

I believe it’s because some family members have preconceived expectations about how things should go. I hear friends say that their family members don’t understand their hectic life or work schedule, that they always are the one to cook and never get help, they mention they don’t get much time with one side of the family over another, or they ate 3 huge meals in one day just to please everyone. Geeze!

Why can’t people talk with each other and just be honest explaining their reality like grown ups should be able to?

As I grow older, I reflect on these situations and have created a series of posters entitled, “The older I get…” All are observations I’ve had while talking to people or while encountering certain social situations.

So, my own kids are now married. And I refuse to be that parent that pressures them (silent or not) into feeling they have to meet my needs or be somewhere that causes them undue stress. I don’t want to apply that kind of pressure to anyone! I haven’t liked it myself, in the past, and I don’t want it for them. No holiday, or get together is worth that feeling of guilt, or the added stress of trying to please everyone. You can end up resenting family holidays. I mean, even if it doesn’t seem fair at times, I refuse to put that pressure on my family because I’ve seen what that kind of hurt can do to relationships. It causes problems or misunderstanding for years! And I don’t want that! I want my family to visit me because they love me and want to be around me. I don’t want anyone feeling stressed over trying to make an engagement because they fear my disapproval. That’s not love, nor dying to one’s rights, nor is it even enjoyable when they do show up because it’s begrudgingly. Am I right?

I have seen so many family splits over such stupid nonsense.

I know of occasions when my own mother felt she didn’t have an adequate home (not completed due to constant remodeling nor enough beds for everyone), and she would ask if I could house family coming in from out of state. That really never bothered me because I liked hosting them and just being together all in one place was fun to me, and it brought joy to my parents. However, I always felt bad mom worried about many a holiday season. She wanted things to be just perfect, nice and cozy, creating good memories for grandkids she wasn’t able to visit with all that often, and I understood that. But, to be able to just do what you can, and be okay with that, and everyone giving grace to each other and just being thankful to be together…that would be more enjoyable. That’s what truly mattered, still does.

So, you can’t make it one year, or you’re cramped and everyone sleeps on the floor, or you’re not a good cook, so you get takeout, or you can only buy a few gifts…no biggie. It’s really not important and it’s sad people don’t realize that sooner. We really need to let go of OUR wants, OUR expectations, OUR needs, and try to put ourselves in the OTHER person’s shoes.

Not everyone has the same upbringing, not everyone celebrated Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas the way you did. Not everyone understands your traditions, norms, or your family’s customs. And guess what? That’s perfectly fine. We all are unique. We were all raised differently. And that’s okay, too! There is no perfect way to do things. Why do we think everyone should be like us, do like us, sound like us, think like us, celebrate like us or just conform to our ways? The way “we’ve always done it!!”

Life is a mix. A mix of people…ideas, wants, and needs. We all need to just chill and learn to enjoy one another because time is shorter than we even realize, even at this moment.

I’ve seen many a family go through extreme crisis, and I bet they would tell you that just being with their special loved one, doing nothing extraordinary, or having any great plans would be just fine. Letting go of any differences. In fact, I would bet they would be happy to just let go of everything and just be.

Be present.

Because, being there in the moment with their loved one, would be gift enough. ❤️

This Time, Two Years Ago, We Weren’t Supposed to Be Outside!

Facebook recently reminded me of our winter “adventure” back in 2014.

Around this date, we had lots of snow, extreme icing, and a deadly wind chill. The state was under an emergency winter alert where no one was allowed to go out as the wind chill had dropped so low you’d risk freezing your skin off. Sections of interstates were closed down, and travel was restricted to emergency personnel only.

“A powerful storm system brought heavy snow and near blizzard conditions to much of central Indiana on January 5, with a mix of rain and snow across southeast sections of the area. After the snow diminished during the evening, arctic air plunged into the area on strong winds. Temperatures plummeted and significant blowing and drifting of snow occurred. Temperatures remained below zero for over 24 hours at many locations, with wind chills around 40 below zero at times. Temperatures reached levels that had not been seen in 20 years. The snow and cold created dangerous travel conditions across much of Indiana and surrounding areas. Sections of interstates were closed down, and travel was restricted to emergency personnel only. Schools were closed for a week across parts of central Indiana.”-weather.gov

However, this was all we got the other day; it is the most snow we’ve had to date, but not nearly as bad as 2014.

I was also reminded that week my son just happened to be stranded at a hotel up in Indianapolis, during a state youth conference. They were trying to get food to their room and everyone was huddled together risking running to their cars for items. He told us the minute they attempted a short run, they couldn’t feel their face.

And of course, my son brought not ONE winter clothing item with him.

Hat? Gloves? Scarf? NOPE.

Of course not…ugh…

He’s a guy in his 20s, am I right?! :/


I also had my daughter visiting from Georgia. She was quickly reminded why she moved south, to begin with.  She NEVER has liked Indiana weather.

It has always rained on her birthday. Overcast skies made her sad. Easter egg hunting was usually out.

Yeah, visiting her cousins (in the south) made me lose my youngest at an early age. She graduated from high school and off she went!

So, I was secretly happy that she couldn’t leave, perhaps for days! 🙂

The Scrabble games we had started ended up being a week-long tourney!

I never played so much Scrabble in ALL.MY.LIFE!!!

My husband played most of his life, so he’s an expert  Nazi about the rules.

Luckily, we still had power while others did not.

And food.

You always need food.

But, we had to go rescue the son and brave the slick roads, as we weren’t so sure his car would do well on the ice. And, we had to move the car as the daily parking was racking up fast!

That trip should’ve taken 2 hrs (roundtrip), but it was MUCH LONGER at a creep.

We all safely arrived back home for more Scrabble.

Then, Facebook pictures started leaking out as to how hard they all had it up there stranded in that horrible, awful, Indianapolis hotel.

derek-stranded-at-hotel-in-2014


When I first moved from California, we experienced the blizzard of ’78. What a shock that was for us southern Cali kids! I remembered going out with my dad to rescue people trapped in their homes unable to leave their driveways. He had a big plow on the front of his truck, and he’d just lower his huge blade down the middle of the highway. We were the only ones on the road. It was kind of eery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFaVwg8K8xo&t=89s  

As of right now, the temps continue to be down right frigid but I don’t think we’ll see much more snow this week.

So, as much as I love the look of the new, fallen, snow, I’m also thinking it’s time we also looked south. These winters are just killing my skin and eyes, and it is not fun. (Yeah, I wasn’t made for dry winters, if you’ve read my health blog, I’m basically a lizard.)

I’m actually thinking I wasn’t really made for this EARTH…always something.

Even when it’s 13 degrees out, my house is still set at 62º because this forced heat is just a killin’ me!


Now my son is married and looking to move south as well.

I’m thinking my first grandkids might be in Georgia…the south is callin’ my name! 😉

Hubby cannot retire soon enough!

Countdown.

Please tell me it's time to fly south bird poster.

Tis the Season!

Sharing a little bit of my photography here in Indiana. Feel free to PIN.

silent-night-poster

1-img_3219JR. R. Tolkien, All That Is Gold does not Glitter poem

winter-scene-1farm-on-i69christmas-2015-poster