November 30, 2020

Coffee And A Candle Monday

Good morning, friends. I usually compose my posts in the early morning, so I thought for the Monday mornings leading up to Christmas, I would share the coffee I'm having and the candle I am burning. Because. Cozy. Today, I am having a new favorite coffee, Starbucks Mocha flavored ground coffee with a splash of Coffeemate Pumpkin Spice creamer. My mug is a favorite Disney mug that each of the kids received several years ago. And my candle? My candle is our family's very favorite Yankee Candle Home For the Holidays. I have burned this scent in our holiday home for as long as I can remember. The kids say it makes our home smell like Christmas.

It is chilly and rainy here in Pennsylvania today. Flynn is still on Thanksgiving break, so today I will finalize December lesson plans and deep clean our bathroom. Other than that, I plan on doing a whole lot of nothing. It is just that kind of day! Thank you for sharing coffee with me today. I hope you have a cozy, safe, healthy, and happy Monday, my friends!

November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving Days

In this upside down and inside out year, as we cling to some semblance of normalcy, we can look to Thanksgiving and Christmas for comfort and safety. Although different this year, the holidays, as we choose to spend them, will hopefully remind us that throughout history, families still ate turkey and decorated trees and played festive music in good times and bad. 

Tomorrow our little family will cook turkey and gravy (me), stuffing (Steve), sweet potato casserole (Madison), green bean casserole (Peyton), and mashed potatoes (Nicolas). We will also enjoy Peyton's pumpkin pie and, as a special treat, a blackberry pie celebrating Madison's 24th birthday! 

After cleanup, we will gather together and watch the Steelers on tv. I will most certainly think of my dear dad, who I miss terribly always, but especially this time of year, and will talk with my wonderful, amazing, loving mother who for so many years took a frozen bird from the refrigerator and somehow magically and effortlessly transformed it into the most delicious Thanksgiving meal ever.

Have a blessed, cozy, yummy Thanksgiving, my friends.
Celebrate your way.

November 23, 2020


It's almost...

There is so much to do!
Have you put your turkey in the fridge to thaw?
Bought your stuffing bread?
Checked your pantry for green beans, corn, poultry seasoning, and pumpkin?
Washed your good china?
Ironed your tablecloth?

Just kidding!
Me either!

This is my current state.
I am thinking about those things.
And as my dear mother says, "It will all get done. And if it doesn't, so what?!"

Just relax and enjoy.
Especially this year.

And remember...

November 20, 2020

Celebrating Flynn

When our family gathered around the table last night to celebrate Flynn Grace turning eleven, we spoke of the same thing. Flynn is a blessing to us all. She is so easygoing, so agreeable, so laidback, and so dang fun. We shared memories and laughs and ate venison and homemade macaroni and cheese because that is her favorite meal.

And then we watched as she opened gifts chosen so carefully and thoughtfully by each of her siblings and significant other, and she was so thankful. And happy. And humble. But the presents were not the real gifts. The gifts came after when I watched Chris help her tune and adjust her new guitar. And when she wore the brand new jersey from Nicolas and enjoyed the amazing cake that Peyton made. She showed off her newly pierced ears, from a special day she spent with Madison. And talked and laughed with Rhett and Kyrstin all night long. 

Flynn is a gift to all of us. She loves movies, milk, One Direction, hoodies, and sweats, sleeping late, playing video games, swinging by the lake, listening to music, and "chilling" with her mom. She brings joy to our home and keeps us all young. We are all so thankful for the gift of our Flynn Grace. 

Happy Birthday, my baby.
Happy Birthday!

November 18, 2020

And So It Begins

Christmastime. For our family, this time of year means Flynn's birthday, Thanksgiving, Madison's birthday, hunting season, Advent, and of course, Christmas. So last weekend, I scrubbed and shined, and then we put on the Christmas music and turned our lake house into a cozy Christmas home. I have had the pleasure of decorating several houses during my...ahem...twenty-nine and a half years of marriage...but this one seems special. It is festive, cozy, and warm. But simple. And less cluttered. Which speaks to where I am in my life, I guess. 

Usually this time of year I write about the way we choose to spend our Christmas season. I write that we will focus on house and home and family and togetherness. This year is, of course, different. We are living through a global pandemic. And because I avoid all things political here in this little space, I will simply state that we acknowledge that fact. And while we usually focus on things at home, we will do that even more so this year.

For now, I continue to enjoy sitting with my dogs and my coffee in front of the tree during the early morning hours. I limit my exposure to the news and social media, and to all that outside noise that is our world lately. I think we have a choice to make during this unprecedented time. I choose peace, calm, prayer, and family. 

Have a cozy day, my friends.
Thanks for visiting!

November 16, 2020

What Makes You Feel...

Good morning, friends!
Let's chat, shall we?
Pour a cup of whatever makes you happy and get cozy.
So, what makes you feel...


For me, it is thinking I am all done for the day, and then opening up the dryer to find clothes that must be folded. Not towels and washcloths that can stay in there for days. Nope. Dress shirts and pants that will require ironing if I leave them in until morning.


I feel happy waking up on a day I know I can stay home with my people and have no appointments or commitments. Or visitors.


Oh, I don't know. Maybe buying a prelit Christmas tree knowing full and well some of the lights will go bad but doing it anyway and then having it for two years and putting it up only to find a group of bulbs not lighting and you have no idea where the replacement bulbs are even though the woman ay the store said to put them in a safe place because you may need them someday?


Making homemade pasta and sauce takes me right back to my childhood. I literally feel like I did on those Sunday afternoons, smelling my mom's sauce all day and knowing we would all gather together in my mom's yellow kitchen for dinner.


I feel disappointed when I find a new recipe I want to try and no one else thinks it sounds good because it has one-sixteenth of a cup of pecans or one-eighth cup of tomatoes or uses chicken thighs instead of breasts or a sprinkle of chopped onions. Just to name a few.

My life. My family. My home. My simple, cozy life.

How about you?
Happy Monday, my friends.
Thanks for stopping by.


November 13, 2020

Weekend Plans...Decorating???

Happy Friday, friends. What a beautiful, strange week around here. I know it is November. But it looks and feels more like March or April outside. Don't get me wrong. I love a nice day as much as the next guy, but in the middle of November? When my mind is clearly on all things turkey and presents and Christmas music????

I do take solace in the fact that the cozy begins earlier each evening, and I can light the candle and dim the lights and put on the Christmas music and it doesn't seem so weird. I am thinking about pulling out Christmas and starting to decorate this weekend. I am going with a "Less is More" theme this year. So we will see how that works out. 

Sharing some photos of the ways Flynn and I spent our days this week. Not pictured: Schooling at the kitchen table, sharing the last Scotcheroo, and laughing at Tik Toks for way too long. And finally, an update on my skin cancer my Christmas jammies no less. The dermatologist said it looked good! No more Vaseline! No more bandage! Wear your sunscreen, ladies. Yes, even in the winter. 

Have a cozy weekend with your people.
Thanks for stopping by!