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!🎄

A Quick White Chicken Chili Recipe

Today, my husband came home early from work because he was down in the back, again. 😞 He had a long drive home, and then I heated up a water bottle and sent him off to bed. Poor guy! I know all about horrible back pain. It ain’t no fun!

Meanwhile, I got busy on a cozy fall meal. A quick white chicken chili for when he woke up. 😊

I had previously shopped at ALDI and this was a last minute dinner idea, but I had everything I needed already on hand. (ALDI is our favorite store!👍🏼)

Here’s what you’ll need:

Olive oil & butter

2 large skinless chicken breasts or 8 tenderloins-cubed

3 stalks of green onions-chopped (I like to use scissors) or 1 small, sweet onion cubed

*8 small sweet peppers-from ALDI-cubed (adds variety of color & sweetness.

Seasonings to your taste: garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, basil & thyme (basically anything you personally like😁)

1 T chicken base (optional)

2- 15.5 oz. cans of great northern beans (Any white bean will do.)

1 can of chicken broth

1 C water (add water according to how thick or thin you like your chili)

1 small bunch of chopped cilantro

1 pint heavy whipping cream

*And if you want it a little spicy, add some chili flakes, jalapeño or green chilis. 🌶

Directions:

Season the cubed chicken very well.

Cook the chicken in a skillet with olive oil and butter. Slightly undercook it so that when you continue cooking it with all the vegetables, it doesn’t get tough.

Remove from skillet and sauté peppers and onions adding a little more oil and butter.

Add the chicken back with water along with the remainder of the ingredients except the heavy whipping cream. You’re going to bring everything to a boil, and you don’t want the cream to curdle. Once roughy to boil, and the chicken is completely done, add in the cream and bring it to a slow simmer. Now you’re ready to serve!

It is so yummy!

I must admit I went back for a couple bowls. 😉 It was a perfect meal for this cozy, fall day. And hopefully it will help the hubby feel better too!

I also made my favorite cornbread recipe to go along with this yummy chili.

Here is the link to that recipe: cornbread

Do you like a white chili? **************************Here’s a little fall video I made for ya to put you in the cozy mood. 🤗🍁

Morgan and Logan’s 4 Year Anniversary

We had our 32nd anniversary yesterday and my daughter just had her fourth today. Well, it only took me four years to add more pictures to my website that I promised readers waaayyy back when. Better late than never!🤷🏻‍♀️

To see the original wedding video and read more about the details of the wedding day and venue in Georgia, go to our previous post here:

https://thentherestwo.com/2016/07/03/fall-farm-wedding-georgia/

*All photos ©Haley Dawn Photography & property of this site thentherestwo.com

To contact Haley: https://www.haleydawnphotography.com

Thanks for visiting!

Beauty Out the Rear Window

It’s been a rough couple of days…weeks, a year really, and I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to a wet, overcast Monday today. Seeing my mom on two separate occasions last week just really broke my heart. 💔 It is so hard for me to see the suffering she is going through and feeling my hands are tied. The 26th will be a year since the doctor caused her stroke. And if I were to be honest, it’s hard for me to enjoy much of anything in my own life because of it. She is always, always on my mind and in my prayers! I tried hard today to let God in, to take my heavy load, it’s a continual load, but He reminds me He is STILL here and to look for beauty where I can. It is an attitude adjustment I surely struggle with but today, right now, I choose to focus on the beauty He has given me out my rear window.

Make a Fall Basket/Purse for $11

If you follow any Instagram decorating account, you will see a small basket or straw purse hanging on a peg or front door. It has pretty much become a staple in home decorating.

Also, you will quickly see how expensive those baskets or straw items are. But you could buy one at a flea market or garage sale. Maybe you even have an old leather purse hanging around. I had several straw bags back in the day and was thinking how I should’ve kept them for decor items.

We now see that EVERYTHING comes back around, but I would’ve needed a warehouse to keep all my old stuff around!

So when I found a sturdy, straw purse with pom poms, in the local Five Below store, I thought I could easily make something out of it. Especially, when it was only $5.00…score!

Artificial flowers can quickly add up as well, so finding flowers at the Dollar Tree can cut down expenses as well. Each bundle was $1.00

First, I pulled the poms off the purse because I didn’t particularly like blue. (I may use them for a Fourth of July project later. #frugal 😉

Then, I decided to use some old packing paper for filler since my purse was fairly deep. (I didn’t want everything to fall down inside.) You could use old rags or large floral foam also.

I ended up not having to cut the wires nor glue anything but just kept all the flowers in tact and gathered them up like a bouquet to see which flowers looked best around the outside. Then, I just shoved them down in on top of the paper and did a bit of arranging within the purse.

My purse is heavy enough to stand alone, but you could easily put a vase or can of paint in the bottom to help it stand alone. Originally, I was thinking I would hang it on a door knob or on the front door with a wreath hanger…and still may do it. Either way, it’s cute and can be refilled with different flowers or stems for different seasons. You could even add a bow, a small sign or I was thinking I may even glue fringe or some kind of trim on it as well.

So, my total cost of everything was a whopping $11.00! Yep, 11 bucks!

Try looking at every day items in a different way and come up with some unique arrangement or placement. 🤔

What have you made using fairly inexpensive items or unexpected things?

PS Liz Marie Galvin’s book was waiting for me at the post office after we got back from our long trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons. I hope to dig into it today! If you’re not following her, you should. I also hope to blog about our trip soon!

Happy Saturday!🍃🍂🍁

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We Won’t Forget

I took this photo after traveling to Georgia to make some wedding plans for my daughter’s wedding several years ago. The sun was beginning to set as the planes took off. One by one they started to climb against the sunset backdrop till they disappeared. I quickly went back and grabbed my camera and headed over to the other side of the airport. I couldn’t help but think of the tragedies on 9/11 and what the passengers must’ve felt on that day. Those were some true heroes! May we never forget! God bless their families and the families of those that sacrificed their lives to rescue them!

Great Purse and Backpack Organizer

I purchased this felt insert for my purse and it has been a lifesaver. I got tired of digging around in my open totes unable to find things quickly and I love this purse organization. I’ve even used it in other purses, bags and backpacks even for organizing my camera lenses when traveling as well. It even comes in all different sizes and colors

So, I thought I would share it.

I recently became an Amazon affiliate and since I have to stay home now due to health issues I’m trying new things and ways to be creative. But, I sure would appreciate it if you use my link to purchase.

And just so you know, I will ONLY share those things me and my family like or use ourselves. 😊

Link: https://amzn.to/2MMnB5h.

I get a really small commission, just a few dollars really, but every little bit helps!👍🏼 Thanks!

Here’s my video review showing how it works.

They make great gifts too. 🎁

Big Sky

I pulled over to take this pic after going up to an appointment for my mom. I call it “Big Sky”.😍

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.

Today I Reflect

Have you ever been betrayed? Betrayed to the point it will cost you your life? Choices. Today, Maundy Thursday is observed by Christians everywhere…the Thursday before Easter. 🌷It also signifies the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his apostles prior to his betrayal and ultimately his death. Can you imagine loving another so much that you’re willing to die for them including the one that betrayed you? Heavy, heavy choices. Today I pause to reflect on both the turmoil and burden Christ must’ve had in his heart. Life brings many choices… some, very difficult. You just pray you’re hearing correctly. Yesterday, I had to help make such a choice for my mother who could not make the choice for herself. Seeing her cry, being continually scared 💔(esp since her cardiologist stroked her) just put through SO MUCH since October and now yet another, major, choice followed by surgery. I sure hoped and prayed I was doing the right thing on her behalf. AND praying the doctors were right this time. My heart felt like it would burst. Only time will tell if we made the right one. So today, I lean hard on my Lord and reflect on choices and the heavy decisions that Christ would face as he walked this lone road. 💗 Life can be hard, not at all like we expected and yet we still have to believe this is the path God intended us to walk. Ultimately, he is in control and knows beginning to end. It’s our path to walk. Our story. Our testimony. Hard or not. May I make the right choices and may I be found worthy in the end. 🙌

My backyard