Friday, January 2, 2015

7 Quick Takes, Not A Normal Holiday & Happy New Year...

As we start this new year, let us look for ways in which our hearts are still proud, or areas where we are called to be merciful or forgive others. Today is also a day of prayer for peace in the world; perhaps there is an opportunity to evangelize by reaching out, forgiving, and reconciling with members of our family or our friends. ~ from Let Us Adore Him

Happy New Year Ladies & Gents. I hope and pray your Christmas Season has been great. Ours was odd... for so many reasons. Nothing felt right. It was kinda a bummer. lol Many good parts, but much that I won't ever put into cyberspace.   And now we are looking forward to the new year. So many possibilities... 

This past year, our word was Health. We worked on it, but really need to do more.

This year's word is DETERMINED! Here is the definition:

  • having a strong feeling that you are going to do something and that you will not allow anyone or anything to stop you

  • not weak or uncertain

  • having or showing determination to do something

We are going to apply this to everything.  Purposing to do the right things. Purposing to do what is best for our family. DETERMINED!


Kelly @ This Ain't The Lyceum has started what looks to me to be a more intimate "7 Quick Takes" link up. I l love Jen @ The Conversion Diary, but it's too big of a link-up for me. I tend to hang in smaller crowds.  I am linking up with Kelly & Folks (thanks Tracy, clearly I'm copying you because I read it at your blog).

I actually had about half a blog post done. But I couldn't find anything MEANINGFUL/Happy to say. Nodding to the Virtue of Prudence, I thought better of the post and scrapped it. Then I started clicking around...and I realized many of us are struggling to be happy. So many have the flu or are sick.

This Christmas Season has just been odd... how do I count the ways?

We traveled. This is not the abnormal part. Typically, we go one place and come home. This year, we went to Houston and then left early the 26th to go to TN. So we didn't really have "our Christmas".

1. No gift Exchange for our immediate Family. We had this great idea to leave everything here and have a  friend put it out for when we came home. But the little guy, even though he was a good sport, he was kind of disappointed, and really so were we. But we didn't want to have to haul it all to TN with us.

2. No Faith. Ok - sure my family are Christians. But they are not Catholic. And they kinda mock Catholicism. So - it's odd. This year we failed Epically. Did not go to Christmas Mass. BOO. I mean we leave our house, where we are doing daily Advent Reading and such, and then NOTHING. It was odd. I have to fix this for next year.

3. Unorganized me. The past couple years, no matter how I've tried, I'm just so unorganized... TO ME. Other people think I am organized, but for me - it's a lot of Epic Failure... Truly! Christmas Cards. I had the images colored, but then I decided it would be quicker to buy. But then I got the flu, so only half went out. We were delayed on our trip... and that set a sense of "being behind" the whole trip! lol Anywhooo... the other half of the cards went out on the 31st.

4. Traveling... Specifically Across the U.S. We love to travel, but I think traveling at the holidays, for us, staying in impersonal hotels (even if they do have heated pools) and eating out a lot is just not for us. I won't complain. It's totally a first world problem. But you'll forgive me for feeling it odd.

5. A Few High Points. Cooking for my family. For me, it's like they finally realize I am capable. I'm not sure if they actually think that anyway - but you know, it felt like we were really ADULTS! lol Seeing my cousins and family in Texas. Tamale Night. Farmer's Market. Our Old Family Home.  Seeing and cuddling with our grand babies and Marque's daughter. Visiting my cousin Brenda and her husband Quen. Quen is in the late stages of Cancer. Please pray for peace and pain-free moments. We are so thankful we got to see him.

6. Illness.  I am telling you the flu kept us from seeing so many people. Sigh. I had it before we left. I didn't see a few cousins and folks because of it either. BOO! And the sheer number of friends who spent Christmas and/or New Year's in Bed... WOW! Praying for recovery and a healthier year for all.

6.5. Bad Luck @ Restaurants. The hotel coffee was awful.   Starbucks was so crowded we couldn't ever get into it (the entire time we were in TN). We found a Mexican Restaurant in Clarksville, TN. 4+ Stars on Yelp. Ya'll it was the worst food EVER!! No seriously, the guacamole had not one onion or tomato. The waiter did not know what Menudo is. AND the red sauce was, I kid you not, Tomato soup. Truth!  HAHAHA Don't eat at Canela Mexican Grille! I mean - not if you want real Mexican food. Taco Bell is better.

But then, the rest of the drive back was along the theme of "if it can go wrong...". SERIOUSLY! We drove thirty minutes to go to the Loveless Cafe (worth it)... but there was an almost two-hour wait. So then we drove up the road to a Denny's. We sat for 45 minutes and only had our drinks. By now, it's after 1pm and we still have ten hours to drive. Can you imagine? So I say to Marque, "I'm going potty. When I get back if our food is not here, we are out!" Keep in mind there were like five tables full of customers and there were about 40 tables. So Marque tells the waiter, look, we can't wait anymore. They gave him grief... and p.s. they had not even started cooking yet.  Epic Fail #1bazillion... we stopped at a Dunkin Donuts, for honestly the best coffee we'd had. We had coffee and donuts. Then about five hours later, finally fed the boy Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Just to balance it out, please eat at the Log Cabin in Dover, TN. Everything there was good! Sigh. YAY for the positives!

7. New Years Eve. Ok - so here is how our NYE went. Went to bed about 1am due to travel. Woke up and started laundry. Christopher and I went to Honey Baked Ham and then to Kroger. Oh My Goodness. We did not get home till about 5pm. In the meantime, Marque was home cleaning... and doing laundry. We were all cranky and blah... and we negatived in the new year. lol We tried to have fun. We just were not into it. You know? BLAH.

Then we rallied on New Year's Day.  Except for the fact that everything was iced over and we did not go to Mass. Sigh... We had a family meeting and we have a family mission statement.

Good things are going to happen in 2015.  Here are a few that already have happened...

1) Yesterday, our friends brought the BEST CAKE I HAVE EVER HAD for desert. You must try it. It's Chantilly Cake from Whole Foods. I found an online recipe and will bake it soon... and if it turns out well, I will share it with you. There are berries and the most fantabulous icing EVER!


2) The Dip Ad-Lib. I thought we had Raspberry Chipoltle Sauce to pour over cream cheese and eat with Wheat Thins.  But I didn't. So I thought, surely I have enough crap here to make a dip. And so I mixed Ginger Sesame Dressing (Target) and Boar's Head Delicatessen Style Mustard and Worcestershire Sauce. And people, it was really good!

3) A Blogging 101 Class:  I am going to learn how to be a better blogger. GO ME!

4) Pantry Challenge @ Good Cheap Eats! I am so looking forward to this!

Of course, I am so thankful for so many things. I'm grateful and humbled by Mary @ Passionate Perseverance. I'm honored to know Chris @ Campfire & Cleats.  I could go on and on about the great people, places and things in my life.

picture collage

I'm most thankful for a forgiving God and for a chance to make this year the best ever... no matter how it ended or began.

my weekinreview

I also linked up with Lisa @ HometoFourKiddos for My Week in Review.

If you read this whole post - Thanks.

I'm totally babbling.

More babble tomorrow.

Love & Hugs,



  1. Bless your hearts...that wasn't the best of trips. I'm glad y'all are home safely, and looking forward to a blessed & prosperous New Year. xoxo I'm always happy to listen to the details, too. ;)

  2. I will give more details once I can put it into words. <3
    Love you girl!

  3. I love your enthusiasm, Emily! Thanks!

  4. You are very welcome!
    If you knew everything I just threw away, you'd be embarrassed for me.
    Who knew spices expired (rather, who pays attention to that!)!

  5. I think this is a good post. It is real, genuine and honest. I'm sorry things didn't go the way you planned/hoped the last couple of weeks, but your "determination" to make things better is inspiring. Thanks for linking up with "My Week in Review." This post is perfect for the linkup. You talk about your Christmas and New Year's (good, bad and ugly), you mention your one word and you plans for the New Year. (and that cake looks awesome!) Hope things go better for you and soon! God bless!

  6. Thank you Lisa.
    I am sure 2015 will be a great year.
    Blessings to you!

  7. Prayers for your cousin and her husband. So sad. What a busy Christmas you had! Happy New Year--and I hope that cake recipe turns out well!

  8. Thank you so much! Happy New Year!

  9. Aren't you the sweetest friend?
    What a lovely shout out!! THANK YOU!!!
    Love your wrap ups/daybooks....everything much fun coming over here to your home on the web.

    Oh, I'm so sorry your trip wasn't all you'd
    hoped! How disappointing! Your son is such a sweetie...I can just tell by how you write about him!

    God bless your 2015; I love your positivity!!!

  10. Thank you Chris.
    It is my goal to be positive. <3

  11. Hi Emily!
    Thanks for the blog mention :) It sounds like you had many ups and downs this Christmas season too, including the dreaded flu/fever/cough! Uggh! It sounds like you made the best of it and were able to count your blessings through it all! Happy New Year and may you have a determined 2015!

  12. Yes we did.
    We are so blessed in spit of things. So grounded because of so many Saints (Mary Lenaburg and others) in our lives.
    Hugs & Blessings,


Thank you for leaving a message. I love hearing your thoughts. You are a blessing to me.