Cheers, 2014

I wrote a post about the year, but I couldn't bring myself to leave it up. I want to start the new year on a positive note and while lots of good things happened during 2014, so did a lot of bad things. So, I took it down. It's hanging out in my draft box, where it belongs. I wrote about my year's ups at Thanksgiving. Not a whole lot has changed since then. So, in terms of how this year was, you can read my Thankful post. On last year's downs, I'm choosing not to dwell.

Instead, I'm going to make a plan for the new year that will very likely be disrupted by real life happening. That won't deter me, I'm going to do it anyway. Ready?

Finish Love's Daughter (Book 1), start Love's Daughter (Book 2), and finish my NaNo novel Going Home.

That's it. That's my whole plan for the new year. That's as far as I've gotten because, well, I have no idea what this year will bring. None, zero, zip. A lot of things could happen, but I don't know when or if they will. Planning for maybes is painfully anxiety inducing for me. Since I already worry obsessively about those things I can't control, I'm choosing not to plan for things that haven't happened.

I'm also not making any resolutions that will set me up for imminent failure in 2015. No weight loss goals, not going to promise myself a gym membership, none of that. I need 2015 to be awesome and, sadly, the statistics on new years resolutions are pretty abysmal. Setting myself up to fail seems like a pretty crappy way to get a new year off to a good start.

Besides, last year's resolution is still relevant. I think I did a pretty good job making it work for me in the past year, even when it took me well outside of my comfort zone. Here's last year's resolution:

Take chances when they present themselves, even when I'm afraid, to try to dwell less on things that I cannot control, and to accept the possibility that when things don't work out it could be a blessing in disguise.
I listened to my own advice. I took chances, didn't take others, and made choices that were best for me even when I was afraid. The only part of that resolution I failed at this year was to dwell less. I'm working on that with my therapist, so I suppose that at least I'm trying. So, this year I'm keeping to that resolution. It seems like it could be particularly relevant with all the things we have coming up. Lots of things I can't control to worry over.

But my priorities in the coming year will be to write more and get these books finished. It's cheating a little bit, since I've already written almost 60,000 words on one of those projects, but I figure finishing that should be a good way to motivate myself to finish the others. For better or worse, whether they turn out awesome or not, I'm going to get them done and put them out there into the world in 2015.

So, cheers to you, 2014. You were one hell of a ride.


Christmas Lights: Granbury Historic Town Square

Matt and I lived in Stephenville for ten and a half years now. Sadly, it's only just now, when we're on the verge of moving away, that I've discovered that I'm absolutely in love with a neighboring town, Granbury. One of the oldest historic towns in Central Texas, they have an adorable town square. It's also filled with Bed & Breakfasts, old churches, historic hotels, an old opera house that's still in commission.

Earlier this year, I went with my friend Robin to the Harvest Moon Festival in Granbury. Tonight, Matt and I, along with some of his friends from work, went to see the Living Christmas Cards. A huge display of Christmas card-like backdrops, each card has actors who play out the card's scene/theme. While what we saw of them was neat, I was really most impressed with the decorated town square. Unlike Stephenville, Granbury does their town square up with tons of lights. It's absolutely beautiful.

We had dinner in a little chicken place (Babe's) off the square, then went to see the cards. I have a really hard time with crowds, so I couldn't stand long in the crush of people around each card without my anxiety going berserk. Since it was almost impossible to see them from the back when you're 5'5", I spent more time looking at the square than at the cards.


The lights strung to the top of the court house come from each of the four corners of the square and there's a huge star on top of the clock tower, though it's impossible to see that from this angle. The lights can be seen from miles away, all over town. So pretty, I had a hard time really finding a good angle, but I love how it looks through the tree branches.


Each of the four corners in the square has a huge christmas tree. Each of them have a different color theme. While I didn't get a picture of all of them, I thought this one was really pretty. Here in town, our tree is tiny and far less lit by comparison--if you want to see it, I shared a picture on my Instagram

All the buildings in Granbury's town square, or most of them anyway, have christmas lights and all of the street lights are hung with pretty wreaths. Many of the windows have pretty displays with Christmas trees and lights, and snowy scenes. It really is a sight to see.


On the way back to the car, down a cute little street where the old buildings have wrought iron stairwells to the second floor on the outside, we came upon this little boutique all lit up for the holiday. I just love how it looks! And, in case you're wondering, it's just as cute on the inside. 

I'm happy that I got to see Granbury's town square all lit up for Christmas, even if it's for the first and last time. I'm particularly grateful because my darling husband, who went out of his way to take me there, is sick. He also had to work tonight--he's in the middle of 12 shifts in a row. So, he gave up what little time he had to rest--and recoup--so that I could see the Christmas lights and cards. He's an amazing man. I'm so thankful for him and all he does for me.

Next year, I hope we're somewhere just as lovely. While I look forward to the challenges that moving brings, I'm sad that I've only just begun to discover what my own back yard has to offer. Between now and then, I'm going to work to enjoy it as much as possible!

Merry Christmas!!

O Christmas Tree...

I have a confession to make... my Christmas tree has been up since Halloween.

Like, I literally took it out of the box and put it up on Halloween. It came in August, and with Matt encouraging me to put it up in the middle of October, I only waited as long as I did because I was self-conscious about having a Christmas tree in my living room before the beginning of November. When Halloween got here, I figured it was close enough.

I let Matt pick the theme this year because for the past two years he's been gracious about our tree being decked out in pink and teal. He never complained about having a pink themed tree, he just smiled and told me it was pretty. This year, he wanted something different which meant going on a hunt for new ornaments. A bigger problem than it sounds since he wanted the theme to be clear, white, and silver. You can't just buy a big ol' tube of white and silver ornaments. You have to buy them individually or in smaller (more expensive) boxes.

I tried to get him allow me to add green ornaments, or some small red accents, but he refused. He wanted what he wanted, so I made it happen. It didn't come out too bad, if I do say so myself...


Terrible iPhonography and mess aside, the tree is really pretty (and not nearly as yellowish as these pics look--thanks terrible lighting!). Matt says it's the prettiest tree we've ever had which I take as a compliment because, well, I shopped for the tree (it's an unlit Treetopia No. 2 Pencil Tree), ornaments, and embellishments. I put it all together. I'm happy with it.


Now Christmas just needs to get here. I'm dying to open those presents. I've been staring at the tree for a month and a half now, it's time for Christmas to get here already.

In the mean time, I've been watching a lot of corny Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. They're all adorable, if clearly low budget. Well worth a watch if you like fun holiday romance--I try to avoid the sad ones, I can't deal with sad.

So what about you? Is your Christmas tree up? Do you have a theme? The tree at home (at my folks house, is ecclectic which I love but don't have enough ornaments collected to pull that off myself). Whatever the case may be, I hope your Christmas season has been nice so far!



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PS. We've discussed it next year, and if Peyton Manning doesn't retire this year, we're going to do a blue and orange Broncos tree. This girl loves the Mann!!