reverb10 {12.27 to 12.31}

here is the final reverb post, catching up on prompts for the last week of the year (i excluded any that didn't inspire me).

december twenty seven: ordinary joy
Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: BrenĂ© Brown)

here we go with another "moment" question...
i can not pin point one single moment (as i've stated before...i stink at this!). but there is an indescribable joy that results from seeing happiness & joy in your child. i think it's even stronger when they are really young because their emotions are so uninhibited. you know if they are showing elation, it's real. i love when coleman is laughing his big, hearty laugh and is completely amused.

december twenty eight: achieve
What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

i think if you consult my goals posts, you will find that i've really already tackled this question in much depth. the completion of different goals would stir up varying emotions. for instance, paying off some debt would provide a feeling of freedom. losing weight would bring about confidence and pride. organization would lend itself to peacefulness and calm.

december twenty nine: defining moment
Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.
Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

the series of events for me would be the daily reading of the Bible. i have never spent time as consistently as i have the past year. it's comforting and has helped change my focus. i feel that my ability to re-adjust some priorities were brought on by a stronger faith and more time daily with God.
december thirty: gift
This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Author: Holly Root)

without a doubt, my biggest gift is family. my boys. my sisters. my parents. my inlaws. i have a kick-butt family and i can't imagine going through daily life without them. having them healthy, happy & safe is the only present i need.

december thirty one: core story

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.) (Author: Molly O’Neill)
i spent a few minutes looking back over my reverb answers. it did become quite clearly as to what's at my core. my focus. my desire. for me, 2011 should be about pushing aside the unnecessary committments, focusing on what's important to me and elicits passion. that includes my family, God, our home and this blog.
***what is reverb10?***

Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we'll do both.
sidenote: i decided to back date these posts to match the prompt dates. new posts will always show up "on top" in a reader, but if you come directly to the blog, you may need to scroll down a bit to find these daily *reverb* posts.


looking back {2010}

last year, i posted a pretty long list of goals for the new year, and then provided an update in july. you can read the original posts here: look forward 2010 and mid-year update.

with 2010 wrapping up, i figured now i have to fess up on how i did... i will try to keep it brief (as opposed to the original posts!). a post with 2011 goals is forthcoming.

{project 365}
did as much as i felt comfortable and considered it done. moved on.

{coleman's first year album}
carousel is completed. actual album is in progress but not done. as this point, i'm hoping to have it done by his birthday. shame. shame.

{patience + attitude}
i still have a long way to go with this

this became an even bigger deal after i started going into the office everyday again. i'm getting better.

{scrap studio}
no progress. big goal for 2011.

{library of memories}
very little done. not a priority, but still a long-term goal.

{creative outlet}
not much scrapbooking done. minimal creative things accomplished. still a big priority.

{weight loss}

{couponing simplification}
i think i did a pretty decent job of reducing the complication i'd created here. my big thing is allowing myself to not *feel guilty* any time i shop and don't save a ton.

{refocus at work}
yup. new job responsibility helped significantly.

new church home - failed miserably. daily time with God - check!

not so good. jumping back in for 2011.

getting better!

{this blog}
posted more consistently but didn't make some of the bigger scale improvements that i would've liked.

see...i told you i'd keep it short and sweet.


happy birthday {sherry}

happy birthday to my big sister, sherry
100101 Oyster Roast 29 - Chip + Sherry

she's funny and goofy
100108 Matt's Bday 06 - Sherry tied up

100618 Improv Comedy Show 16 - Sherry

a good mama
100508 State Shoot 06 - Sherry + Teddy

100425 Scout Sunday 46 - Sherry + Bo

a great big sister
100129 Scrappin' Sisters 02

and an even better aunt
090224 Coleman's Birth - Aunt Sherry, Spencer & Coleman01

happy birthday sherry! i love you!!!!

{lots of nothing}

it's 9 a.m. I've been up for 3 hours. Coleman and I have accomplished absolutely nothing. I'm not even sure if the nutrigrain bar and grapes I gave him actually constitute breakfast. And I know my 3 cups of coffee don't. Matt is sleeping (he worked last night). Spencer hasn't woke from the dead yet. Our morning has included lots of cuddles in the recliner under my favorite blanket, CMT, and iPhone play (for both mommy and Coleman). It's been so unproductive that Coleman hasn't even had a temper tantrum or been put in time out yet. And so lazy that he's starting to act like he's already ready for a nap.
I am pretty sure this is what a vacation day is supposed to look like. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop


happy christmas {recap}

the last few days have been full of family and friends, gifts and goodies, laughter and smiles, plenty of food and wine, even snow! it was a wonderful holiday season. i'm a bit sad to see it go, as always. and i will miss the warm glow that christmas lights bring to our home. but with full bellies and hearts, we are ready to regain control of our home and welcome in a new year.

i hope each of you had a wonderfully merry christmas and that the new year brings exciting new things or comfortable consistency - whichever your heart desires. i'm off from work all week and plan to take down our decorations, organize the chaos as much as possible, and begin looking ahead to 2011.

plenty of more details, and photos, of our holiday season to share, as time allows.


this week {12.20 to 12.26}

101220 Pretzel Hugs 03

~ i finished putting together "pretzel hug" goody bags for daycare ~

101220 Goody bags for daycare
~ i put together regular goody bags for daycare ~

101220 Coleman's Christmas Art
~ coleman brought home a bunch of christmas artwork from daycare ~

~ a coworker and i went out for a nice lunch as our "christmas meal" ~

~ packages continued to be delivered and i kept on wrapping ~
101224 Family Ornament Exchange
~ i made ornaments for our family exchange ~

~ i made white wine cake, deviled eggs, and crumb cake muffins ~

101222 Coleman in wagon - delivering goodies
~ coleman and i delivered goodies to neighbors' houses ~

101220 Making ornaments 11
~ i made ornaments for family members, using coleman's painted artwork ~

~ i shopped at kohl's, michael's, hobby lobby and books a million ~

101223 Chandlers 03 - Meghan copy
~ matt, coleman and i went to a friend's house for enchiladas ~
101224 Coffee & Crafts 01 - Cassidy, Giada, Tara, Colton
~ i hosted "coffee and crafts" for two friends and their little ones ~

~ family came into town ~

~ coleman turned 22 months old ~

~ coleman and i attended the christmas eve service at my sister's church ~
101224 Christmas Eve supper
~ my mom, sister & her family came over on christmas eve after church and we had spaghetti ~
101225 Christmas Morning 01 copy
~ coleman and i spent christmas morning/day at sherry's house ~

~ i picked up spencer at 2:00 on christmas day ~
101225 Christmas Supper 08 - phillip, christina, johnathan
~ the four of us went to matt's parents' house on christmas evening ~
101225 Our Christmas Eve 10 - spencer copy
~ the four of us did our christmas eve traditions of new PJs, christmas book, cookies/milk for santa and carrots for the reindeer ~
101225 Our Christmas Eve 12 - snow
~ it snowed and we all had our first ever white christmas ~
101226 Christmas Morning #2 01 - stockings copy
~ we celebrated our christmas morning ~

101226 Snow 05 - spencer, snow angel
~ we played in the snow ~

101226x Fiesta de Navidad 01 - bo, coleman, maggie
~ my family came over for a mexican fiesta ~

~ scott, cameron and xander came over to hang out ~

~ sherry and michelle picked up some bargains for me at target ~

101226x Fiesta de Navidad 24 - bo
~ the boys hooked up the new ps move & played ~


reverb10 {day 25}

december twenty-five: photo
Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you. (Author: Tracey Clark)

i actually chose two photos from 2010.....

Coleman's First Birthday Party
i feel this first photo captures an image of the mother i want to be. protective. loving. gentle. patient.

101016 Pumpkin Patches 12 - 4 of us copy 2
i like that this photo captures a few different parts of my life & personality. it shows that i'm (very) casual. a gamecock fan. the three most important guys in my life. and my love of little adventures with those fellows.

***what is reverb10?***
Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we'll do both.
sidenote: i decided to back date these posts to match the prompt dates. new posts will always show up "on top" in a reader, but if you come directly to the blog, you may need to scroll down a bit to find these daily *reverb* posts.


reverb10 {days 21 to 24}

december twenty-one: future self
Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)

the first thing that comes to mind is that in five years coleman will be almost seven years old. i will be planning a 'big boy' party with plenty of feedback from him. he will be in second grade! i will probably be thinking where did it go? how did the time fly by so quickly? and my resulting advise...enjoy it. breathe it. live it. love it. savor it now. while he's little. and again when he's a little less little. and then again after that. don't let it slip by. take in each and every day. every phase. every age.

december twenty-two: travel
How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)

we travelled very little in 2010. the only trip we took as a family was our annual vacation to the beach with matt's brother's family. we've never been extensive travellers but we used to go to the mountains once or twice a year (when we had a free place to stay) and we do miss that.
in 2011, we will have our same beach trip. i also have a (very little) surprise up my sleeve for our anniversary that doesn't involve the kiddos. i'd really like to come up with at least one fun weekend road trip that would be exciting for both boys.

december twenty-three: new name
Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)

oh gosh, i really have no idea on this one. when i was pregnant, before we learned the gender, i had chosen a girl name...delaney. i still love it. i'm not sure it fits me, but it's still a great name. i like my name just fine!

december twenty-four: everything's OK
What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

i'm really not good with these "moment" questions. maybe that means i need to pay more attention to the "moments". anyway... i think many of the things i've already mentioned kind of fall into this category. my daily time with God is definitely a reassurance. things improving (immensely) at work was a huge "moment". all of those things...
***what is reverb10?***
Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we'll do both.
sidenote: i decided to back date these posts to match the prompt dates. new posts will always show up "on top" in a reader, but if you come directly to the blog, you may need to scroll down a bit to find these daily *reverb* posts.


tradition {christmas books}

as part of our christmas eve tradition, after we've put on our new christmas PJs, spencer (and now, coleman) get to open one more gift. it's always a new christmas book. i try to choose something age appropriate that fits their personality. it's been a bit tougher as he's gotten older, but i think we've done ok!

i'm hoping to do a separate post on our christmas book collection.

Spencer with new book
2008: Santa Claustrophobia

091225 Our Christmas Eve 08 - Spencer with new book
2009: A Charlie Brown Christmas
last year was the first with coleman so I tried to find something that worked for everyone. i chose a board book, but spencer and matt are both charlie brown fans, so everyone was happy.


today is my last day of work in 2011

today i have a "must do" list and then hoping to get out of here early

today i have errands to run (but i'm not feeling overwhelmed)

today i realize how much i have to accomplish in the next 2 days (but i'm not feeling overwhelmed)

today i'm 99% done with my christmas shopping

today i have to call a man about a horse (not really, but i don't want to risk a particular gift-recipient reading this and blowing a surprise).

today it was easier to leave my baby this morning because i knew i get the next week and a half with him. wonder if we will get tired of each other???

today my breakfast was leftovers of the most fabulous cornbread ever

today i am hoping my friend cassidy calls me to chat (she reads my blog, so that was my not-so-subtle reminder).

today i'm loving rhapsody and very close to subscribing. i have a few more days left on my free trial.

today i'm tracking packages online

today i can't stop thinking about coleman's birthday party (and i really need to get through christmas and new year's first)

today it's supposed to hit 60 degrees. heat wave.

today i wore a heavy winter sweater and coat. oops.

today i listened to new albums by plain white t's and lee dewyze. both were enjoyable.

today i actually tried curling my hair a bit. i was inspired by an internet video i watched yesterday. bizarre i know.

today we haven't decided if we are going to have folks over to watch the bowl game and celebrate new year's eve. it'd be a small crowd, if at all...

today i unsubscribed to a bunch of blogs in my reader

today i am thankful for the holiday season and glad christmas is almost here. my family will be in town in only 2 days!


tradition {time with family}

so, spending time with family at christmas...not an unusual tradition, i know. but i figure it still needs to be highlighted, right??? that's what makes the holiday season so great. so, here is what we do (usually)...

christmas day is spent with matt's family. we don't get spencer until 2:00 on christmas day so we usually have supper at matt's parents' home. the crowd is typically the same, small group: our crew, matt's mom and dad, matt's brother, his wife and his two children. his older daughter is now an (engaged) adult, so she wasn't with us last year, but her and her fiance will be there this year!

Phillip, Christina, JoAnne and Spencer
2007: matt's mom with her grandkids on christmas day

091225 Blackwell Christmas 05 - Matt +Coleman + Jimmy
2009: three generations of blackwell boys.
coleman loved pulling his granddaddy's santa hat off of his head.

time with my family tends to vary a bit from year to year. since we don't all live in the same city, we have to be more flexible. we usually get together within a week or so of christmas. last year, we did something in early december because one of my sisters and her family were spending christmas at disney (fun!!). this year, we will all be together on the actual day...the first time in a long time! usually, matt and i host something at our home. it's usually a meal of some sort. sometimes there is a gift exchange, sometimes not - depends on the timing, etc. this year, we are spending christmas morning/day at my sister's house (matt is working) and then we'll have everyone over to our house on the evening of the 26th.

091225 Hutchison Christmas 02- silly string
2009: christmas morning at my sister's house (matt was working last year, so coleman and i went over there early).
speaking of traditions, my sister's family all get silly string in their stockings and this is always the result!

Maggie & Teddy
2008: my niece (maggie) and nephew (teddy)
my family doing a gift exchange at our house


reverb10 {days 16 to 20}

december sixteen: friendship
How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

i don't believe i had any "sudden bursts" of perspective on friendship. however, i have realized the importance of friends - particularly girlfriends. i've always struggled with this type of relationship. i have plenty of friends that are girls, but have never been great at having that true bonding friendship. i have no idea why. anyway, i have realized that it is important to have those relationships. to have someone to lean on and to be there when someone needs to lean.

december seventeen: lesson learned
What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

i've learned that i'm far from perfect and i have to set expectations for myself that are feasible. otherwise, i will drive myself crazy. i've also learned that i am not motivated on a project unless i'm truly passionate about it and it's important to align my passion with what i'm actually doing with my time.

december eighteen: try
What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

i want to be more organized, have better time management skills, pay off debt, lose weight and spend more quality time with my family. now that i've gotten the cliched answers out of the way...
i'd like to re-design and improve this blog. this year, i purchased an online class that is supposed to teach me how to create my own backgrounds and stuff like that. i haven't had time to do anything with it and i want to make it a priority for next year. we'll see...

december nineteen: healing
What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

spending time daily reading the bible and focusing more on prayer. definitely a drip-by-drip thing. in 2011, i look forward to digging into the bible more (after i finish my cover-to-cover daily readings) and learning to lean on god and prayer more in my daily life.

december twenty: beyond avoidance
What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)
i have often pondered trying to make money with my blog. or even just expand readership for fun. i tend to feel quite goofy and silly when i'm writing and it's taken me a while to get past that. it certainly isn't necessary for me to make money using this forum, but i think i use the lack of necessity as a shield for the insecurity.

on a completely different note, i have wanted our family to find a church home for so long. for whatever reason, i find this process to be very intimidating.
***what is reverb10?***
Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we'll do both.
sidenote: i decided to back date these posts to match the prompt dates. new posts will always show up "on top" in a reader, but if you come directly to the blog, you may need to scroll down a bit to find these daily *reverb* posts.

tradition {christmas PJs}

part of our christmas eve tradition is opening one gift each. that one gift is a set of new christmas PJs. we all change into them before we continue with the rest of our evening. i don't remember how long we've been doing this, but it's been a long while. i love it!

Family Portrait
2007: sorry, not a great picture

In our new PJs
2008: all of us ending up with plaid pants was totally coincidental

091225 Our Christmas Eve 07 - Family in PJs
2009: all of us ending up in red, also coincidental.


tradition {christmasville}

Caitlyn Sydney & Spencer looking at gingerbread houses
2007: sydney & spencer looking at the gingerbread houses

Christmas Parade
2008: christmasville parade

091206 Christmasville 03 - Spencer in snow
2009: spencer in the "snow" village

101205 Christmasville 03 - Spencer + Snoopy + Holly + Coleman copy
2010: the peanuts gang was at christmasville this year!

four years ago, our city began its own 4-day christmas festival called christmasville. it is really wonderful and i love having it right in our own town. we participate in some way every year. with the craziness of the season, it is sometimes hard to do much, but we do what we can! i look forward to coleman being able to participate more as he gets older.

this week {12.12 to 12.19}

101212 Coleman in bath 01
coleman and his bathtime friends, all lined up

~ i finished the book of amos and read the books of obadiah, jonah, micah, nahum, habakkuk, zephaniah, haggai, zechariah, and malachi ~
101213 Coleman + Holly 02
~ i worked from home on monday because matt had a training class at work in the morning ~

~ matt and coleman had lunch at matt's parents' house ~

~ i ordered online from wal-mart, amazon and aeropostale ~

~ i did something to screw up matt's iphone and wipe out his contacts ~
101213 Coleman + Rio 08 copy
coleman and rio sharing a sweet moment
~ i worked a little bit on my december daily album ~

~ i began a blog post series: "12 days of christmas tradition" ~

~ matt went christmas shopping with scott ~

~ i watched a movie: james patterson's sunday at tiffany's ~
101213 Coleman eating spaghetti 02
coleman enjoying some spaghetti, sitting at the table like a big boy.
~ i placed three orders from etsy shops ~

101217 Our Christmas Card
~ our christmas cards arrived. i addressed, labeled and stamped them ~
101218 Coleman with Frosty 05 copy
coleman and his singing frosty the snowman. he loves this thing!
~ i wrapped more presents ~

~ matt was able to go by radio shack and get his contact information restored ~

~ coleman and giada stayed at aj's while cassidy and i joined two other friends for a 'girls night out' dinner at a local mexican place ~
101218 Coleman at Christmas Tree 08 copy
a sweet moment of coleman touching ornaments using the "one finger rule"
~ coleman and i went to wal-mart ~

~ it sleeted ~
101218 Coleman making Pretzel Hugs 03 copy
~ coleman and i made "pretzel hugs" as treats for neighbors and daycare families ~
101218 New Testament
~ i finished reading the old testament ~

~ i put together baggies of "pretzel hugs" with toppers ~

~ i watched a 4-hour lifetime movie: marry me ~
it was actually really good
101218 new card holder
~ i hung up my new christmas card holder ~

101219 Coleman painting ornaments 11 copy
~ coleman painted ~

~ coleman and i went to matt's parents' house for lunch ~
101219 Redneck Deer
~ our neighbors "decorated" our christmas deer ~
~ i watched another lifetime movie ~

101219 Coleman eating cereal 01
coleman eating cereal like a big boy