Thursday, December 31, 2009

And we wonder why I love to dress up?

This is my father at a Christmas party my parents had. Enough said. Happy 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You Have to love a man...

You have to love a man who will wear bronzer with you to appear more Floridian than either of you really are. Tonight some dear friends had a gathering of friends from our Supper and ALC clubs and other groups so that we could visit and relax after Christmas. DH & I could hardly wait to see these old friends, especially since we had not seen some of them in a year!! In fact, one couple was not expecting a baby when we left and we met their precious 4 week old tonight! DH & I love to dress up and have fun. Friends in this group have seen us dress up in the past and we just couldn't let them down! So, we decided to go "all Floridian" on them. Now I do love Florida. Our friends in FL look very much like our friends in NC. However, Florida does have its stereotypes so we decided to arrive as Floridians. DH agreed to put on bronzer and I streaked that mess all over my face and decolletage. I bought a blonde wig and became Lolita the Lounge singer. DH wore his shorts, dark socks, a borrowed Tommy Bahama shirt, and some loafers. People couldn't get over our tans. In fact, my own sister-in-law walked in and did not even recognize me! What a fun time. We love you, sweet Raleigh friends! Thank you for coming out to see us.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday's Tip

My mother is an excellent entertainer. She has hosted countless dinners, bridge nights, parties, debutante teas, baby showers, welcome to town luncheons, Christmas dinners, and family gatherings. She is also an excellent cook. Today my father's family will join us for an after-Christmas lunch. I know that Mama is about to entertain because her trusty book is out on the counter. Mama is so smart in that she has a hardback book that holds all of her menus from any time she has entertained. It also holds the names of those present. It is a wonderful treat to look back and see what she has served on different occasions. Another benefit of this book is that it helps Mama keep her menus varied so that she does not serve the same beef tenderloin or shrimp and grits to the same people every time they come over.

I just loved this idea and began a book when DH and I married. I admit I haven't been as diligent at writing in it, but I have enjoyed looking back to see what dinners I delivered when new babies were born or there was a death in the family. I have also tried to slide the invitation and pictures from the event in the book. When we were first married, we had friends over all of the time for dinner or game night. It is highly entertaining to look back and see what we fed our friends and who we entertained at our newlywed table. Now that we are in a new town, I am going to try to be more consistent at writing in my book. After all, I don't want to feed W & D the same Greek shrimp or give L & W the same steaks we had the last time we had them to our house.

I recommend being just like my Mama and starting your own book of menus in 2010! You'll be glad you did.

Mama Henley checking in...

I love hearing about other people's traditions. I also love reading other people's mail, but that's another story. Don't get all paranoid if I've visited your house. I only read my parents' mail and it's always with their permission. In fact, they know how I love to read it, so they leave interesting letters out for me to enjoy. And I digress once again. Back to tradition. As you're packing away the ornaments that you collect each year and stuffing bows with tissue paper, think about what you enjoy most about this time of year. What are your favorite traditions? The same friend who puts her children's painted hand prints on her tree skirt every year also gives each child a Christmas book every Christmas. Inside the book she writes about that child, their interests over the last year, some fun memories, and who their friends are. It's a great way to keep memories and remember special times every time you break out the Christmas books. How do you Deck the Halls? Fill me in on some fa la la. I eat the stuff up. Merry Merry!

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Mama Always Said

My Mama always said you should never serve what she calls a "Great White Dinner". A "Great White Dinner" is a meal without any green on the plate. Mama is right because we all need our veggies! Sometimes Mama would serve dinner and realize that she had forgotten the green vegetable, and rice, chicken, and a roll will not suffice. You need that green. An orange vegetable like carrots will also help break up the monotony. And remember, a little parsley goes a long way! Merry Merry!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Everyone has traditions they enjoy repeating each year at Christmas. We love eating Moravian sugar cake on Christmas morning. As you begin taking down your ornaments and decorations, consider this sweet tradition my friend R told me about. Each year she lets her boys decorate their Christmas tree skirt with their handprints. She can look at the tree skirt each year and see how her boys have grown over the years. I think this is a precious idea! I wish I had known about it when the triplets were born. Perhaps we'll start this tradition this year!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Littlest Angel

Our precious angel turned three on Saturday. I can hardly believe it! I can't imagine not having a baby to follow in the footsteps of our toddler turned little girl. I love this age. Hurricane wrestles with wanting to be a baby some days and wanting to be a big "guhl" in the next breath. I love that she will still crawl in my bed and snuggle, she will still rock when I need it! (ha), she loves her night-night and yet she is fiercely independent and "can do it myself"! She loves to run and play and every day she is dressed as a different princess. Just today she looked at my computer and said, "I want to see H on stage." She was the sweetest angel you have ever seen. Of course I cried seeing our little angel dressed as an angel and too scared to sing her sweet Christmas songs that she had practiced for weeks. It was too sweet. We are thankful for every day we have with our youngest bundle of joy. It is such a treat to see her interact with her siblings. Hurricane, you are our sweet joyous little angel! We love you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It feels like old home week

I love being back in our hometown. My mama always said, "It feels like old home week" when we were somewhere where we saw lots of old friends. Well, let me tell you a little something. If you go to our local Target, and you haven't been there in a while, it feels like old home week! As we were walking up to those glorious automatic red doors, we ran into not one, not two, but three different families we know. We also saw two middle and high school children that we know. They were so adorable and were doing a little Christmas shopping of their own for their siblings! As we were walking in the store, one of our favorite pharmacy techs saw us and waved. As we entered the store, I saw one of my best friend from childhood's mother, one of our daughter's friends with her family, and many other friendly faces. We enjoyed giving hugs and saying hello to everyone. After all, it felt just like old home week.

**Sweet Tampa friends, we do miss you. It just feels good to not be so anonymous for a little while! We'll be back undercover soon! :)**

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Ballerina Bug

Our Bug has been taking ballet with one of her sweet new best friends. Her Christmas recital was last week. I was so proud of our little ballerina!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Take a deep breath

This is the time of year where we are all running around, trying to keep up with what is coming next. It never fails that we forget a gift for someone, our cookies are ugly like mine were at our Cookie Party, or the fancy meal we planned is served cold. IT IS OKAY. No one is perfect. Let me repeat: no one is perfect. That great looking woman with the pretty blonde hair and the tan and the fantastic figure has burned cookies or yelled at her husband or not even started her Christmas shopping yet. This is a busy time of year for everyone. Simplify first. If Christmas cards overwhelm you, wait until January (though Mama Henley will be sad because I LOVE Christmas cards). If you just can't make one more dish for a party, go to Costco, buy the salmon, and throw that baby on a pretty platter with some greenery. My mama says parsley goes a long way! Whatever you do, don't let your friend's amazing craft for the 20 first graders get in the way of your ability to enjoy the season. We all have gifts. Some of us can decorate like Pink, Green, and Southern. Others have the gift of their time. They can't make a craft worth a hoot but they can sing or read stories with the best of them. Still others are able to bless teachers and schools financially with nice Christmas gifts. Then there are some who have the gift of reminding all of us what this time is really about: the birth of Jesus Christ. Enjoy this special time of year where families come together to celebrate Jesus' birthday and the blessing of family. Take a deep breath and walk out of the room if someone says a comment that offends you. Celebrate your health, your LIFE, your family, and our Lord. Don't sweat the small stuff, my sweet friends! Now read this again to remind yourself that you are FABULOUS! MERRY MERRY!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Angel Snack

We have a sweet baby girl with a Christmas birthday. This time of year children are being given loads and loads of sugar. I wanted to do something special for Hurricane's birthday snack at school, but I didn't want to send in more cupcakes or cookies. Therefore, I made fruit and cheese angels. They are the CUTEST snack! All you need are snack size ziplock bags, grapes or any other fruit, cheese, and fun glitter pipe cleaners. Put cheese on one side of the snack bag and your fruit on the other side. Cinch in the middle and wrap a pipe cleaner around it. Twist one end of the pipe cleaner to look like a halo. Now you have a cute and healthy and snack!

For some reason I am not able to post a picture right now so come back later to see!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wouldn't you know...

Our home phone went out for the 12th time in less than a year. I was livid and threatened Brighthouse like you wouldn't believe. They didn't feel too threatened by Mama Henley because they made me wait FIVE DAYS without a working phone. FINALLY Ernesto showed up today and started investigating. I listed the things that had been changed in the past. He went back over all of those things. All of a sudden he disappeared. Our house guest let me know that he was in the bathroom. Wouldn't you know I opened the door a little later and could hardly BREATHE???!!! Why oh why does this happen to me ALL of the time?! I am the girl who always chooses the "recently contaminated stall" at the public restroom. I am also the girl who has a repairman stink up my bathroom! Does this ever happen to you? On one hand I felt bad that the man could not do his business in complete peace knowing that we were in the house. On the other hand, YIKES!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday's Tip...How to really love your man

There are so many things a young bride needs to know such as how to wash clothes, iron, and make a decent dinner. However, there is one tip that would help so many men that no one ever tells women. If you want to help a man out, shave his neck. "What in the world are you talking about?", you may ask. Well, once I share this tip with you, you will have a new fetish out in public of looking to see whose neck needs to be shaved! We all have hair that tends to grow beneath our hairline. Many men have hair that grows on the back of their necks and it needs to be shaved in between hair cuts for a clean look. It takes just a few minutes of your time but can make a major difference in your man's appearance! Plus, he can't see his own neck to know when it needs to be shaved. It's your job to help your man look good! Next time you're in public, look around. Do you see men with unsightly neck hair? You will be amazed at how many men have neglected necks! Don't let your man be one of them! :) Merry Merry!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Triple Trouble

Our triplets used to love their little garden! You can buy one on ebay by clicking here. It is a toy our children have all loved and cherished, even as 2, 3, and 4 year olds. In fact, just this morning our friend, W, was throwing away her little garden. We had left our garden with a special niece in NC, so I loaded W's garden into my car so that H can play with it in our backyard! She will be so excited! This is a great gift for a young child if you need some ideas!

I sure do miss our little baby triplets! Aren't they the sweetest?!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Easy Christmas Dessert

December is such a fun month with Jesus' birthday and all of the parties, parties, parties. Even if you don't do a lot of baking, you have probably found yourself in the kitchen doing just that. We had a wonderful party to attend last night and I had offered to bring a dessert. I had offered to make a dessert not knowing girl #1 would break her arm and we'd spend an entire day seeing doctors to fix it, or that we'd have company or that we'd have a day that left little time for baking or running to the store. So, Mama Henley had to be creative. Thankfully I usually keep a box of brownie or cake mix on hand that I have bought on sale. I pulled out some brownie mix and some mini candy canes we had in the house. I crushed the candy canes by putting them in a ziploc bag and beating it with a spoon. I made the brownie mix and threw in the crushed peppermint. After following the directions on the box to bake the brownies, I let them cool. I can never cook brownies quite long enough, so mine were a little gooey but the whole family tried to eat them! I think sprinkled peppemints over the brownies, cut them, and placed them on a silver tray. I tied some pretty red and white wired ribbon on each handle of the tray. Voila! We were able to take our dessert to the party and people seemed to enjoy them! I'll try to post a picture. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy 101... I've been TAGGED!

That precious BEVY at "It's a Golden Day" has tagged me! I just love Bevy's blog. We seem to have a lot in common and even had fun commenting back and forth one night. She's a jewel!

I am to list 10 things that make me happy and then tag 10 bloggers who brighten my day!

1. Waking up to the sound of little feet padding across the floor and coming into our room.

2. Affection from my sweet hubby and date nights with him!

3. The notes and cards our children make us.

4. Traveling with friends.

5. Spending uninterrupted time as a family. We love to visit the beach, Disney, or just to play at home.

6. Dinner from Mi Cocina in Dallas, Texas

7. Laughing with my parents, brothers, and sisters-in-law

8. Taking a hot bath before bed every night and waking up to have a cold Diet Dew with crushed ice!

9. Seeing our children grow in their relationships with the Lord and learning so much. They are such precious people!

10. Being with friends who build me up and make me feel really special!

I tag:

Entertaining House

t's Raining Pearls

400 Square Feet

The Wagner Family

Love Being a Nonny

Bees and Fleur de Lis

Travelbug Mom

The Hayden Family

Northern Girl Southern Soul

Social Climbers

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Being a Good Guest

It's Christmas party time!! What better time of year for parties is there than December? As you are planning your outfits and choosing which shoes to wear, it's also important to remember how to be a good guest. My parents are GREAT guests and they have taught me how to strive to be one too!

A good guest:

-Arrives on time or fashionably late (just a little bit after the time the party starts) *It is important to be on time for a dinner party or birthday party, but it's okay to come late to a Christmas party that is a drop in and will last for several hours.

-Offers to bring something to help such as a dessert or hors d'oeuvres

-Brings a hostess gift to thank the host and hostess for the invitation. You can bring a bottle of wine, a homemade gift, some flowers, bath salts, or a cute gift from a fun store. In lieu of a hostess gift, you can send flowers or a "day after the party" basket the following day.

-Participates. If it is a party with a theme, then join in the fun and go ALL OUT! Don't be a dud. If it's a Lilly soiree, don your best Lilly attire. If the party has a Vegas theme, be creative and go as Elvis or a bride or a hardened gambler. Whatever you do, be sure to participate!

-Is interesting. My papa has always said that you should be the life of the party and make conversation at the dinner table. Ask questions. My friend, Happy Mommy, always has the most unique questions. Sometimes she'll have a question like "I want everyone to think of their 3 most favorite things right now and then we'll talk about it in a little while to give you time to think". It was so interesting when she did this on a trip. We learned about favorite skin care items, lipstick, and all kinds of other tricks! If you're at a seated dinner, ask questions. Don't just talk about yourself. However, if you are asking questions and getting very little response, then start telling stories! People love to laugh. My husband can make anyone laugh and so he is always fun at social events. I can take him anywhere:).

-Calls the next day to say how fun the event was or sends a note in the mail. If you call your host/hostess, then you do not have to write a letter. However, written words of appreciation are ALWAYS appreciated.

-Reciprocates. A good guest is also a good hostess!

FA La LA! Have fun at all of your Christmas parties!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Little Angels.... triplets

Here are our sweet triplets at about 7 weeks old. Our son had finally joined us at home and I was so excited to try to take a birth announcement picture. All 3 babies are no more than 5 pounds in this picture, which is about double their birth weight! It's hard to believe these beautiful babies are now in 2nd grade and totally healthy!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Are you feeling behind?

Has December surprised you and arrived earlier than you thought? Is it December 8th yet you feel like it should be December 1st? Are you without a Christmas tree, decorations, or cards? If so, it is time to simplify! If you are having a stressful year, change some of your traditions and make it easier on yourself. DH & I love Christmas and seeing all of our old decorations and ornaments. We have been given some beautiful ornaments over the years from Tiffany, Christopher Radko, Waterford, etc. However, we needed to simplify this year. Therefore, we did not even open my ornament boxes. Instead, we allowed the children to decorate the tree with their ornaments, both the ones they made and the ones they have received as gifts. I have a rubbermaid container for each child with their name on it in black marker. Each Christmas, we pack away each child's ornaments in their very own box. Then, they can decorate the tree with their personal ornaments. It is so much fun for the children to see their old friends and now they remember their ornaments from year to year. This year's tree is not our biggest or nicest tree, but it is so special because it is decorated with our children's special ornaments that they have made through the years and the ones grandparents, godparents, and friends have given them. It is beautiful! Don't be afraid to simplify because sometimes it turns out better than ever!

Tuesday's Tip

You are not going to believe it!! My smart friend, R, just taught me the most amazing thing!! You can go to Publix, or most likely any grocery store, and order DYED BREAD from the bakery. Now I know you are thinking, "Why on earth would I want GREEN bread? It'll look like mold!" Yes, it is a bit unusual, but you will just love how precious those Christmas tree sandwiches look when they are GREEN!!! I bought a loaf for $2.79 today at Publix. I ordered it yesterday and they had it waiting for me. The children loved their fun green sandwiches tonight!! This is particularly fun for cute shaped sandwiches for your child's preschool or elementary school Christmas party. Try it!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Sweet and the 12 Days of Christmas

My sweetheart is the funniest person I know. He is laugh out loud funny. People have asked if I laugh all of the time, and I do. I used to think I was pretty funny until I met my man. He is also very smart. He knows something about everything. Many years ago, we were out at a party and he was given the nickname "Renaissance Man". We laughed then, but in many ways it's true. He has so many talents.

Anyway, Pink Martini mentioned receiving gifts for the 12 days of Christmas. She loved it. Someone did the same thing for our friends, Nita and Drew, last Christmas. I am thinking about surprising my man with a gift each of the 12 days. I'm creative, but I'm not sure I'm 12-days-in-a-row-partridge-in-a-pear-tree-to-12-drummers-drumming creative. Please help me brainstorm! My sweet man rarely reads my blog, so help a girl out! Thanks, y'all!

Friday, December 4, 2009

For Women Only... or read with caution!

**This story may be too much for men to read. Consider yourself warned and know that you just have to laugh. I hope I don't make anyone uncomfortable!

I have some funny friends. Life wouldn't be right without some humor. One of these funny friends called me yesterday on her way to an OB appointment. She was going to have a little procedure, so the doctor had given her 2 pills for pain at a previous appointment. My friend, whom I'll just nickname Sally, was excited to have a little Vicodin or Valium to take the edge off. She said she figured she could use a little anti-anxiety medication with all that December entails. So, she pulled out her medicine to take it yesterday after reading she needed to take it four hours before her appointment. Then she read in horror the following words, "INSERT IN VAGINA". "What?!", Sally thought. Where was the Vicodin to help a girl out? What else was there to do but to pick up the phone and call the receptionist at her doctor's office. The conversation went a little something like this:

Sally: Um, yes, I am coming in for a little procedure, and I just looked at my medicine and it says, "Insert in your Vagina" and I can't seem to find an applicator or something to use to put it in. What am I supposed to use to insert this in my vagina?

Receptionist: (pause then cautiously replies) Your finger?

Sally: What? I mean, where is the device? I don't want to use my finger! And how do I know how far?

Receptionist: I can have the nurse call you back.

Sally: NO, I need you to tell me now. I was supposed to do this four hours in advance and it is just now 4 hours in advance. I don't have time to wait!

Receptionist: M'am, I cannot help you. I am not the nurse or doctor.

Phone clicks.

Sally arrives at her appointment, still giggling over her conversation with some poor receptionist who has probably laughed and told the entire office this story. When the nurse walks in, Sally laughs and says, "I'm sure you heard about my phone call". The nurse laughed and replied, "Which one are you? The one who didn't know how to put in the pills or the one who took them ORALLY?!"

Sally let out a great big laugh and I am still laughing at some poor woman who put those pills in her mouth!!!! Sorry for the anatomical terms, but a girl has to laugh!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Spinning my wheels....

Do you ever feel like a hamster just spinning your wheels? If you watched the above video, you saw the little guy bounce off and get right back on the wheel. That's how I feel today. I have planned and purchased and packaged everything in sight. I have delivered some of our local gifts, sent gifts home in October, and have addressed a big chunk of our Christmas cards. Yet, I feel so behind. The "to be ironed pile" has once again become insurmountable. We just vacuumed yesterday and it's time to do it again. Two beds have clean sheets but another one needs to be changed tomorrow. I haven't even had a chance to work on the piles of bills and papers this week. The time has disappeared while I spin my wheels. How do you women do it? How do you love your husband and children, feed them well, work out & stay stick thin and gorgeous, keep your house perfect, and look like you stepped out of a fashion magazine while Mama Henley just keeps spinning her wheel???

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I have a confession to make. Today I started seeing someone and his name is Billy. We're having a little One to One. In fact, we're planning to meet again next week and maybe even the week after that. Never mind that I had to pay $99 to have a little One to One. You might think I took that whole BACK BURNER thing my mama taught me a little bit too seriously. But you'd be wrong. You see, I told my husband. We're in a real open relationship like that. He doesn't mind if I call Billy my Mac Man. Cause you wouldn't believe what Billy is teaching me!! You better watch out, world, because my Mac Man is going to teach me how to use this Mac like never before!!

**For those of you who are confused by this post, One to One is a fabulous service that the Apple Store provides. You buy a membership for $99 for one year, and it allows you to come in as often as possible for one hour help sessions with your desktop or laptop. You can learn anything from how the operating system works, to how to store photos, make movies, or create music. Today I just worked on deleting things from my very full hard drive! Once you go Mac, you'll never go back!

Trying to surprise hubby

So I'm trying my best to surprise my man with a well-lit tree. In over 14 years of marriage, I have never had the honor of putting the lights on the tree. THANK GOODNESS!!! Wouldn't you know I think I'm about to end this whole thing with the wrong end!!!! HELP!!!!

Tuesday's Tip

My hubby is so smart!! He suggested I send a $5 gift card to the person who sent the first Christmas card we received. My friend, Meg, was smart enough to send Thanksgiving cards, and hers was waiting for us when we arrived home from Georgia. She will be receiving a surprise Target gift card in the mail! Maybe she can buy herself one of those $5 movies or some ibuprofen or a case of Diet Coke! Wouldn't it be fun if everyone did this?!