Wednesday, November 30, 2016

So this happened.

  • We fa la la la la-ed our way to Home Depot to get our tree.

  • We love having a live tree and the start of the Christmas season!

  • I love how classically Christmas a tree looks on top of an SUV.  

  • We were festive...lighthearted...even silly on our drive home.

  • We couldn't stop taking tree selfies!  

  • Then we got him inside.  Not only was it crooked, but the lower 3 feet had only ugly branches.  

Had we been blinded with holiday cheer at Home Depot and just didn't see we picked the wonkiest tree?  Was our tree switched during the netting process?  (a Home Depot conspiracy???)

After analyzing the situation and trying to find solutions we landed on only one possibility:  we took it back to Home Depot for a refund.  Yes, they take back live Christmas trees.  

Oddly enough, this is not the first time a member of my family has had to take back a tree!  You will not have a hard time believing Pat Forester has taken back a live Christmas tree to Walmart.  That one lives in family lore because it kept falling over- after we had it decorated!  

Lesson:  keep your receipt for EVERYTHING!

Chris and I are now on a hunt for our next tree...something that really should only be a once-a-year thing!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Battles & Barns

We've had a wonderful Thanksgiving week!  I took Wednesday off to prep for Thanksgiving.  I made pumpkin pie, peanut butter pie and a couple of side dishes Chris grew up having at Thanksgiving. Abby's pecan pie rounded off the dessert table.  Plus, we made all three gluten free so Nick could enjoy!

Of course, Moma had a lovely tablescape...

...and a delicious Thanksgiving meal!

The best part of Thanksgiving was our 1st Annual Lip Sync Battle!  We had been talking it up for weeks and kept our selections a secret then drew names to see who would go first.  Daddy was up first and preformed a rousing version of "Blessed Assurance"...

...he got totally into it and had us howling!

I've never seen anyone swing dance to "Blessed Assurance" but it worked!  So much fun!

Chris and I went next and surprised everyone with a duet of "Chu Chi Face" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a 60's Disney movie.  In the movie a king and his queen, who has pigtails, sing it, hence our headgear. It's a pretty silly song and we had fun being silly with it!

Up next was Nick who fully embodied Weird Al Yankovic's ''White and Nerdy".  Performances like this are second nature for Nick so he did a great job!

Moma's performance to Karen Carpenter's "Close to You" was so beautiful!  She has fond memories of this song when it came out and she fully embraced her inner flower child.

What made it so beautiful was she sang it to Daddy...

...and you could tell he loved it!

Finishing us up was Abby's fantastic song sung to her hubby- "Stand By Your Man"!  And I tell you, she got into it and had us in stitches!

Lip Sync Battle #1 was a totally success!
Our next festive event was David Phelps' 1st ever Christmas Barn Bash!  We've been to his Labor Day Barn Bash a couple of times but when we heard about the Christmas one, we had to go!  For those of you who don't know...David Phelps has one of the best voices ever!  He sings with the Gaither Vocal Band but has a strong solo career too.  He lives in Culleoka, TN, just 1.5 hours from Huntsville.  A few years ago, he transformed the barn on his farm to a concert venue and started hosting concerts.  This was mine and Abby's 3rd Barn Bash and the guys' 2nd because we all 6 went up right before "the weddings".

They've expanded the barn to included a Barn & Bale Boutique

They had really cute merchandise, baked goods, hot chocolate and a live nativity.

We had a couple of hours to wait for the doors to open so we tried a quick photo, but got photo-bombed a couple of times.

Once we finally got inside the barn, we fell in love with all the Christmas decor!  The stage was soooo beautiful!

The star of the night did not disappoint!  The concert was fabulous!

Both of David's daughters sing with him and have inherited his vocal abilities.

You haven't heard "Little Drummer Boy" or "O, Holy Night" until you hear David Phelps sing it.  Just breathtaking!

The evening ended with snow!

The Christmas Barn Bash left us with carols on our lips and thankfulness in our hearts...thankfulness to have each other to share wonderful holiday traditions with.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Celebrating the Birthday Girl

I couldn't have been more excited to celebrate Moma's 65th birthday Friday night!   I had been hearing about a Favorite Things Party for a while and Abby and I thought it would be the perfect theme for the night!  I whipped up these invites on new favorite website!

The concept behind a Favorite Things Party is that each guest brings three identical favorite things (we set a $10 budget for each) then each guest draws three names and gets those gifts, ending up with three new favorite things!  I'll get to those results in a second but first...a pre-party photo shoot with the birthday girl!

How cute are my parents?!?!  They are THE BEST!

Unfortunately, Nick was still at work and missed the photo shoot so we're going to have to reenact so he can get in the pics.  But leave it to Chris to represent the son-in-laws with bunny ears!

I had so much fun putting this fall vignette together...everything was either free or cheap since it's after Halloween...yay for November birthdays!  The banner...if you the one I made for Moma's 60th birthday party.  Chris is a Christmas lights maniac, so he was thrilled to break a few out early.

I also had a fabulous time decorating the porch!  We borrowed some chairs and 8 foot tables so that everyone was together.

The best new treat was these hanging jar lights I borrowed from work and Chris helped me get up.  We want to get some we can keep- they added so much!

The tablescape was layers of burlap, white pumpkins, candles in mason jars, gold and wicker chargers, cream and orange plates and beautiful fall napkins.

Corn kernels added that special touch to the jars.

Hanging jars over the end tables on either side of the glider...

For a pop of color, I brought back another piece from Moma's 60th birthday...the balloon wreath I made with a gazillion balloons!

Inside, the centerpiece was a KitKat cake that Meg made since it's one of Moma's favorite candies.  And just so you is a cake, not a bowl of M&M's! 

We enjoyed baked ziti and salad...and of course cake!

 I was afraid the weather would be too brisk for the porch, but it ended up being just perfect!

It wouldn't be a Forester porch party without a game or two, so we played "A Few of My Favorite Things", trying to guess each others answers.  Of course, it led to some revelations and confessions and lots of laughs!  What happens on the porch...stays on the porch!

It was finally time for the Favorite Things!  

It felt like a giant birthday party for us all...the table was flooded with gifts, bags, tissue fun!

Here's some of the favorite things...necklaces, Piper & Leaf...

 ...cookies...Steel Magnolias...fuzzy socks...favorite spoons and scrapers...

...favorite candy...mugs with coffee...face scrubs and masks... night goodies...

 ...lotions...coloring books...pearl earrings from many favorite things!

I was so excited to share my favorite thing...

Decoupaged clipboards! A friend of mine made me one years ago and I use clipboards for everything- do lists.  I had so much fun picking the coordinating papers and ribbon.

The ribbon I found was in the scrapbook section at Hobby Lobby and they called it fabric rags or something.  It has so much more texture than regular ribbon.  

I'm glad I ended up with some extra supplies cause I want to make a new one for myself!  They do say to give a gift you'd like to receive!

Moma's birthday celebration was just fabulous and I know she felt loved on!  We have the best friends...most from BSF!  Unfortunately, a couple friends left before I could get their pic with the birthday girl, but we love our Meg...

...and Melanie...

...and Rhega...





...and Gina, who's been our family friend ever since her husband, Randy, was our youth pastor back in the day.  She and Moma have remained close friends though she lives in Mississippi now.  We were so excited she'd drive all the way to Huntsville for the party!

Happy birthday, are very easy to celebrate!