Friday, November 8, 2013

A Surprise! {And Lately Happenings}

I am loving FALL over here. Although the colors haven't been as bright or exquisite as previous years, the leaves are still unquestionably stunning. While driving to work every day, lately I find myself thanking the Father for blessing me with such a beautiful view of what He has created. I am so taken aback that I turn down the radio and prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude are voiced before I even realize what I'm doing. I don't mind the 45-minute commute to work (thank you, audio books!), but the view is welcomed. The alluring and gorgeous winter scene I know is coming, a gentle dusting of snow on the bare branches...a whirlwind of white..., by far surpasses the fall splendor. Breathtaking.

So, yes, lately you'll find me just staring out the window, or fighting with Mr. B to let me rake the leaves. Mr. B cannot tolerate a leaf-covered front yard, and his battle with nature is a losing one, my friends. He would much rather run over all of the lovely leaves with his tractor and bag attachment, and cannot wait to get a new leaf-picker-upper-man-machine-tool-thing next year. (This year he opted for a new snow blower....ahhh, the things we desire as adults.) He's completely envious of our neighbor's tractor thing, which looks like a Zamboni and should belong on ice not crushing up the wonderful autumn foliage.

Alas, he decided to let me rake up the front yard and he assisted (a great work out, by the way). In about an hour we had multiple piles and bags, and he was finally happy because he could see what was left of his fine green grass. Then we went in the house and enjoyed the rest of our Sunday. We went to bed and woke up to a yard so full of leaves you couldn't even see where the driveway started and the yard began. Mr. B was upset; I couldn't help but smile. It's beautiful. It's autumn. Eventually all of the leaves will fall out of the two trees in our yard. This, too, shall pass, my love.

And then I will have to plead my case just to shovel the snow from the driveway because all he'll want to do is use his new man tool. I digress.

Also lately, fall is full of family birthdays over here. Pretty much from the time June hits through Christmas we're either celebrating birthdays or holidays, and it's delightful. A particularly special birthday was my father's 50th. And, boy, did we surprise him.

Was he happy about the surprise? Definitely not. At first.

Mama and I planned out this whole surprise party way back in July. When Daddy's October birthday rolled around and nothing out of the ordinary happened, except this chocolate cake, he thought he was home free. A couple weeks later he was pushed stumbled into a room full of his family and friends, celebrating 50 years and counting.

This was a fun project and a perfect surprise!

My father does not like to be the center of attention at all. But once he realized there were cake and presents and that he actually knew the people in the dark room, he felt a little better. You know who else felt much better? My mother. It was quite stressful and um, tedious, to keep this surprise a secret. But {yay!} it was successful and fun, and collecting all of the pictures to display historical moments of my father's life was precious and hilarious. I love surprises!

Some other happenings lately.....

I'm starting to like pumpkin more and more, and am finding many tasty uses for it.

Still obsessed with Starbucks' Via Packets and Trader Joe's Dried Mango Slices.

I've traded in my morning smoothies for my delicious oatmeal, which I've been trying out new ways to use quinoa instead of oats....just for a change. I still prefer the oats, though.

Receiving at work a beautiful flower arrangement from my wonderful husband. He said it was for Sweetest Day. Cough, cough. I think he was making up for something, cough.

And, sadly I didn't make it to the Prairie Peddler this year. It's getting too crowded and commercialized. Plus Mama's walking was limited due to her recent knee surgery. Thankfully we had the good ole Oak Ridge Festival, which is pretty much the same thing, just on a smaller scale. My favorite fall thing to do. CHECK.

Finally, finally cleared an entire day to spend with my bestie. The day consisted of a much needed shopping trip where I was reunited with my beloved Banana Republic, multiple beverages, getting lost in a ridiculous Target (I mean, NO Target is laid out like that, come on!), and devoting an entire hour looking at all of the new Vera Bradley items we wanted and contemplating on how to get them. Oh, and constantly reminding each other we have champagne tastes on a water budget.

This beauty, perfect for work, is $250 (!)

I'm enjoying every minute.

Oh, and it's National Cappuccino Day! The good Lord is smiling down on me. Last night I realized I'd accidentally let a free Starbucks beverage expire. I know. I'm a total failure and I don't deserve my gold card. (Please don't take it from me!!) However, I opened my email today and discovered a new free beverage awaiting me. For today only. Guess where I'm headed?


With Love and God Bless,


  1. So did you actually receive the same Starbucks offer I did, or was it the one I forwarded to you?

    1. Well, I received yours first and I couldn't get it to said it had already been printed so I was searching my desk and your desk to see if you printed it and laid it out for me, but I couldn't find it. I was bummed. And then later on in the day I received my own email and printed that :) But thank you for forwarding it to me!