06th Oct2014

Congratulations to The Hubs

by Daenel

Congratulations to The Hubs {Living Outside the Stacks}

How do I even begin to write about how impressed I am with The Hubs? I tease him because he’s a list guy. Everything he does begins with a list and ends in accomplishment. When he joined Proctor and Gamble nearly 18 years ago, his goal was to make it to Tech 5. He surpassed that goal and became the first African American promoted to Tech 6 at the P&G plant in Mehoopany. Then he started talking about moving on to management…

His promotions didn’t come easy. He’s always been a go~getter, willing to go above and beyond and say “yes” when others said “no”. His perseverance, faith in God, and desire to do better and be better has been nothing short of an example to the kids and myself.

Within time, he became the first African American to be promoted from Tech to Manager at Mehoopany. And with that promotion came a move to Missouri. We had planned to be here to watch our children graduate from high school and college, but The Hubs has been offered an amazing opportunity that will have us moving to Georgia.

This is the one time when I can honestly say I’m equal parts nervous and excited. I’m nervous because I’ll be leaving my babies to spread their wings and excited because this will be the first time in our marriage that it’ll just be The Hubs and me.

I’m ready to begin this new phase in our lives and see what else God has in store for our family.

Congratulations again to The Hubs. I am so very proud of you.

XOXO,

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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19th Jun2014

What Has Brought You Joy? {Repost from June 2011}

by Daenel

The Girls

My girls are my pride and joy.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the boy too.  I mean, he is my son and all but there’s something about hanging out with my girls that brings me so much joy.  I can say that because I know the boy doesn’t read my blog but the girls do and if they try to tease him with this post, it’ll backfire because I’ve already texted him and told him that he’s my favoriteHe knows the deal

On this particular day, the girls and I had decided to go walking along the Back Mountain Trail, a nice little path that winds through the mountains where we live.  During most of our walk, the girls were waaaay ahead of me, as I kept stopping to take pictures of every.  little.  thing.  that caught my eye.  At one point, I managed to pass them and as I turned around, I caught my daughter jumping off a rock ~ her mouth wide open, arms and legs flailing, it has been years since I’ve seen such unabashed joy on my daughter’s face.

As our children grow up, it can be hard to capture those precious moments when everything is right with the world ~ there are no bills to worry over, no tests to study for, no sickness yet to be diagnosed.  For this moment, forever captured on film, everything is perfect and this brings me joy.

What has brought you joy today?
Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}

 

 

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22nd May2014

Words of Wisdom for the Graduates

by Daenel

Words of Wisdom for the Graduates {Living Outside the Stacks}

My babies are graduating from high school today. So this is gonna be a rough one for me. I’ve already shared my words of wisdom with them here and here, but now I’m asking you to help me celebrate my twins’ graduation…

Please share your words of wisdom with the graduates in the comments below!
Daenel T

16th May2014

A Letter to Mr. 18 on Your Graduation

by Daenel

Congratulations Mr Eighteen {Living Outside the Stacks}

My dear sweet boy young man, you were our surprise. As in nine days before you were born, we found out you’d been in there just chillin’ — synching your heartbeat to your sister’s, matching her breath for breath and kick for kick. Never letting on that you were there.

As I sat in the NICU staring at your little face, I was filled with so many things: love, hope, insecurity, amazement, gratitude, but, mostly, fear. We hadn’t had much time to prepare for two babies, much less a little boy. But I knew we’d make it.

And make it we did, through chipped teeth, black eyes, emptied fish tanks, “spots”, and countless boxes of macaroni and cheese. We’ve survived first steps really, dude, hands behind your back and night time driving did you know it’s possible to live with your heart in your throat.

It hasn’t always been easy. Seriously, what is it about the ages twelve to thirteen? But we came through it so much stronger. The tears have turned to laughter, the sighs have turned to, well, deeper sighs, mostly on your part - I know the gas gauge is there for a reason but why should I have to pump gas in the rain when I have you.

You’ve grown into a young man whom I’m proud to call my son. We’ve done our best to raise you to be a strong and independent young man who thinks for himself. But I’m your mom, so I do have a few words of wisdom for you:

  • Walk with God always
  • Dad and I will always be here to support you
  • Your sisters are your biggest fans
  • Honor above all
  • Treat women the way you’d want your sisters to be treated

Now, go put gas in my truck!

I love you,

Mom

15th May2014

A Letter to Miss 18 on Your Graduation

by Daenel

Congratulations Miss Eighteen {Living Outside the Stacks}

Munro. I’ve stopped and started writing this so many times that I’ve lost count…

I don’t have the words to express the love, pride, and gratitude that I’m feeling right now. You have overcome so much and demonstrated a strength and grace under pressure that can only be attributed to the mercy of God. I thank Him every day for allowing me the privilege and honor of being your mother.

Next week, when you walk across that stage and accept your diploma, don’t take that moment lightly. You earned that degree…

Eighteen years ago, your dad and I sat in a hospital room, holding your tiny hand in ours, unsure of what the future held for you. We waited all day and all night for you to open your eyes. The first thing you focused on was the TV. The Jeffersons was on. I remember the nurses laughing because you were watching so intently. Then we waited a few more days for you to smile that “Jazi Smile” that we loved so much. Your first smile was directed at Aunt Yvette. I tried not to take it personally. I’ve been the recipient of that smile many more times over the years.

I remember watching you take your first steps. Toddling around like a shrunken Frankenstein – both arms and legs stick straight. Every time you fell, you’d laugh. And, of course, your older sister would be there to pick you up. You were her baby. I still remember her awed voice whispering “I have two babies” when she saw you and your brother for the first time.

Then there was the first day of school. You and your brother standing on the porch, hand in hand, waiting for the bus to take you off on a new adventure. There were concerts and plays, events where people hushed me because I’d stand up and cheer: “Those are my babies!” Your little sister standing beside me, giving the “dog pound” cheer.

Math. That’s never been our strong suit, has it? But you did it. You worked and you passed. That’s the one area where we thought it best that I not help you. smile

Your first date. You slipped that one right on past us, didn’t you? I suspect that was a group effort…

And now you’re about to become a high school graduate…

As you walk into your new life, I want you to remember a few things:

  • Put God first in everything you do
  • Know that Dad and I will always be here to support you
  • Your sisters and brother are your biggest fans
  • Keep that Jazi Smile and your incredible sense of humor
  • YOU ARE AMAZING!

I love you,
Mom

31st Oct2013

You Have Cancer {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

You Have Cancer {Living Outside the Stack

A friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer today. I listened to her cry on the phone. Wishing I could reach across the miles and hold her hand. Hug her. Physically be there with her. Let her know that I understand. I’ve been there. She’s a wife and a mother. My heart aches for them. My heart aches for her. But her story is not mine to tell, so here’s my story:

Am I going to die? Will my kids remember me? Does Tony know how much I love him? How long do I have left? Will I go peacefully? 

Why me?

Those were just some of the thoughts that tumbled through my head as I stood there holding the phone. Did she really just tell me I have cancer? Over the phone? I couldn’t deal with that right then. At that moment, I had to start preparing for the possibility that I might die. That I’d leave my husband to raise 4 small children alone.

My husband stood there looking at me. I told him what the doctor said: “I have ‘a little bit of cancer’.” Her words: “You have a little bit of cancer…” What does that even mean? Don’t deal with that right now. You’re going to die. He grabbed me in his arms and held me tight. So tight that it hurt to breathe. But I wanted him to hold me tighter. Squeeze the tumor out of me. Smash it. Squish it. Just don’t let it kill me…

I went into “Mom Mode”. I grabbed a floppy disk {a bright orange floppy disk, the color of the sun, the color of life, something I was going to lose} and wrote letters to my kids, I made a list of songs I wanted them to hear, movies I wanted them to watch, books they needed to read. The pens they should use. The only pen they should ever use: Pilot Precise V~5. I wrote stories about my life. I wanted them to know me. To see me as more than a picture or a vague memory.

I organized their closets. I washed everything and hung them on color coded hangers so the hubs would know which clothes belonged to whom. I arranged their drawers in birth order. I didn’t think about what he’d do when their clothes got dirty and were washed. He’d have to hang them on his own.

I bought their favorite shampoos and foods in bulk. I made sure he was fully stocked with laundry detergent. I made lists of everything. I, the woman who hates lists, became obsessed with lists. All of this in less than a week’s time.

I cried.

I stared at my babies and cried.

I held my husband and cried.

The hubs saw the desperation in my eyes. “You’re going to live.” He talked to his aunt, a Surgical Head Nurse, and she was able to get me in to see an oncologist at her hospital. They calmed my nerves. They told me I was going to live. I was going to live. I had to have surgery and radiation therapy. I was going to live.

It’s been nearly 13 years since I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a total thyroidectomy {removal of the entire thyroid}. My parathyroid and lymph nodes: gone. “Diseased” tissue was removed from both breasts. Cancer gone.

In that time, I’ve watched my children grow into adults. I’ve become a grandmother, completed two Master’s degrees, run several 5Ks, and started training for a 10K.

I lived.

I continue to live.

I’m not sharing my story because I want sympathy for what I went through or praise for surviving. I’m sharing my story because I want you to understand that there is no “normal” reaction to a cancer diagnosis. Some people fall apart. Some people go into fight mode. Some go into denial. Everything that you feel is real and it’s normal. But don’t wallow. Find a reason to fight. Hold the people you love close to you.

If you’ve never received that diagnosis, be aware of your body. You know when something is “off” or doesn’t feel right. And even if nothing feels wrong, do your breast examines every month. Go to your doctor for yearly check ups. Do what you can to stay healthy.

You have to take care of you in order to be able to take care of everyone else.
Daenel T

28th Oct2013

I’ve Been Bitstripped {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Bitstrips {Living Outside the Stacks}
Bitstrips courtesy of Miss 16

Daenel T

09th Oct2013

Throwback Thursday: Handwritten Treasures {In the Dark Room}

by Daenel

#throwbackthursday {Living Outside the Stacks}

Folded in my wallet are four letters that my sweet little babies wrote to me when I left home for my first business trip. At the time, they were 4, 6, 6, and 8. The notes were neatly tucked in the side pocket of my suitcase, to be discovered when I unpacked.

What’re you sharing for Throwback Thursday?

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20th Sep2013

Happy Birthday to Twin A and B {Repost for their 18th Birthday}

by Daenel

Happy Birthday to My Babies {Living Outside the Stacks}

I gave birth to Twin A and Twin B 18 years ago today.  But, really, their story began nine days earlier…..

On 11 September 1995, the hubs and I showed up at the hospital for a routine OB visit.  The baby was due in nine days and, almost overnight it seemed, I had put on about 15 or 20 lbs and my pregnancy gait had shifted into full on waddle.  Furthermore, the baby was bouncing all over the place. Don’t babies normally slow down the closer you get to the due date?

Anyway, the hubs and the two~year~old sat in the waiting room while the doctor pulled out the measuring tape and measured my belly.  “Hmmm,” he flipped through my chart, “where’s your ultrasound?”  I noted the apprehension in his voice and replied, “I only have the confirmation ultrasound but they haven’t done one since then.  Why?”  He looked at me over his paperwork, “Well, you’re measuring a little large.  How about if we get you in for an ultrasound?”

I rolled off the table {at that point, that’s all I could do}, got dressed and told the hubs that we were headed downstairs to get an ultrasound.

Insert cold belly jelly here

I looked at the ultrasound and started to panic.  My baby was going to be a freak!  There on the screen were two baby heads, one pointed up and one pointed down.  I asked the tech what I was looking at and she replied that I’d have to wait for the doctor, in the mean time, she was going to get my husband.  This did not sound good.

The doctor and the hubs both walked into the room at about the same time, the hubs looked at the screen and started backing away as the doctor announced “TWINS!”  What?  You have got to be friggin kidding me?  Nine days before they’re due and now you’re telling us that we’re having twins? But wait, it gets better…

The doctor went on to explain that the hospital at Fort Polk, Louisiana didn’t deliver twins {especially high risk twins ~ who knew what condition my little monkey babies were going to be in when they arrived?} so we’d have to drive to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas to have them.

The next day, we drove the two~year~old to Mississippi to my parents’ house and then drove down to Texas.  With me having contractions the whole way.  If you think pot holes are a pain in the butt on a regular day, try hitting them when you’re in labor.

We arrived at BAMC, just in time for them to decide that it would be too much to have the babies right then, so they stopped my labor.  Yes.  They stopped it.  I could have cried. I did cry. Then they started doing ultrasounds and stress tests to see how the babies were doing.  The entire time, we could only hear one heartbeat.  Finally, the doctors decided that I needed an amniocentesis but they didn’t really want to do it because they didn’t want to put the babies in any harm with a double stick {anesthesia and the hollow needle}.  I told them to do it without the anesthesia. What was I thinking and why didn’t my husband slap me straight?  PAIN!!!!! Worse. Than. Child Birth.

The amnio showed that the babies were developed enough to survive outside of the womb.  So on my original due date ~ 20 September 1995 ~ the doctors induced labor.  At this time, I would like to stop and thank my anesthesiologist because I felt absolutely nothing! I have a picture of him and his wife in the twin’s baby books, that’s how much they mean to me.

Jazmine Danielle was born at 11:40 AM and followed ten minutes later by Brandon Anthony.  Their birth was witnessed by the hubs, the seven doctors and nurses  who worked on me, six doctors and nurses for the babies, as well as fifteen to seventeen residents who watched from the observation platform.  I know this because we met one of the residents in the elevator when I was being discharged.  He proudly stated in the elevator before a group of onlookers, “Hey, I saw you have your twins!”  Yuck!

Eighteen years ago today, I was surprised and doubly blessed with two beautiful babies who have grown up to provide me with love, laughter and a healthy dose of humility.  I love you guys and it has been an honor and a privilege to be your mother.

Now start packing your bags, ’cause this is your last year!

26th Aug2013

Weekend Wrap~Up {In the Family Room}

by Daenel

Are you ready to begin a new week? I am. Kinda sorta. This is the first full week that the students are going to be back on campus, so things are gonna be kind of crazy for a minute. My own kids have been back at school for a week now, so we’ve pretty much settled into a routine which is pretty nice. Our weekend was pretty non~eventful but there were a  few hiccups, some laughs, a triumph, and a new beginning…

1. Can’t Multi~task

Weekend Wrap~Up {Living Outside the Stacks}

Yes, this really happened. Lesson: I cannot talk to my aunt and cook dinner at the same time. Between the laughing, sharing memories, and catching up on life, I totally forgot that I was cooking dinner.

2. Finished Week 2 of C210K

Weekend Wrap~Up {Living Outside the Stacks}

This running thing is really working out for me. Who knew I could enjoy something that is so physically, spiritually, and emotionally demanding? And after 40 years of having absolutely no color to my skin or muscle definition in my legs, I now have both!

3. Miss 19 Turned 20

Weekend Wrap~Up {Living Outside the Stacks}

We’re not big on parties, but what we do like to do is find the most randomly decorated birthday cakes we possibly can and buy them. I don’t think anyone will ever be able to top the line dancers.

4. Serenity in a Cup

Weekend Wrap~Up {Living Outside the Stacks}

Because no weekend wrap~up would be complete without a coffee shot!

5. Finally Gettin’ It Done

Weekend Wrap~Up {Living Outside the Stacks}

So I promised a friend of mine a blanket at the beginning of the Summer. I’m just now getting started. Total slacker, I am.

How was your weekend?


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17th Jun2013

Coffee Talk {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}

Hi, and welcome to Coffee Talk. In case you’re new here, this is where I share some of the great and not~so~great stuff that I find on the web. Topics range from news stories that leave me scratchin’ my head to DIYs that I think are absolutely clever.  And there may be a recipe thrown in here or there just for fun.

1. I heard on the radio that sales of George Orwell’s 1984 have skyrocketed since news of the domestic surveillance program broke. Don’t get me started on that… On second thought, let’s discuss that. The government should not have the open ended ability to spy on the American citizenry without cause. I do not believe that you have to give up privacy in the name of security.

I know people say that I put it all out there by being on Google, blogging, using Facebook, Instagram, etc but there’s a biiiig difference. I know what I’m releasing onto the web and I’ve agreed to the terms of the release. I know that those entities are collecting my data and I know that they’re using it for ad revenue, stalking, and creating better products.

However, I did not enter into such an agreement with the government. A government that is supposed to be run by “we, the people.”

That being said, I’m not surprised by these revelations because the government has always had the {ca}ability to spy on its people. The problem is, they’re spying on the wrong folks. Just saying…

On a related note, if you want to know how this story ends, just read your Bible, folks, it’s all in there…

2. Do you have a life insurance policy? When was the last time it was updated? Since your divorce and remarriage? Do you have the names of all of your children on it? The reason I’m asking is because the Virginia Supreme Court recently awarded the ex~wife of a Virginia man the money from his life insurance policy despite the fact that the man had remarried. gasp The widow sued but lost because the man had failed to update his policy and the ex~wife was listed as the beneficiary. Yep, the court decided that the written policy expressed the deceased wishes. Say what now? Y’all better check those documents. And if you don’t have a life insurance policy, get on that right away. Trust me, I like the hub’s ex~wife but I’ll be derned if I’d be happy if she got the money from his life insurance policy. Take care of your families, people.

3. And, last but not least, I shared this video on Facebook last week but it’s worth sharing here too. Be prepared with tissue…

What had you scratchin’ your head this past week?

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10th Jun2013

Coffee Talk {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}

Hi, and welcome to Coffee Talk. In case you’re new here, this is where I share some of the great and not~so~great stuff that I find on the web. Topics range from news stories that leave me scratchin’ my head to DIYs that I think are absolutely clever.  And there may be a recipe thrown in here or there just for fun.

1. It was with a heavy heart that I read that Terrilynn Monette’s body was found over the weekend. I wrote about Monette before here and here. Monette had relocated from California to New Orleans to teach in underserved schools. She did so well that her class went from one of the lowest ranking to one of the highest ranked classes. Her innovation and skill with the children lead to her being nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I wish that her story {as well as the stories of other missing people of color} had received the same attention as that of missing white women. Perhaps, she {or others like her} may have been saved. My heart aches for the families and my prayers go up to God for peace for them.

2. Did you see this video of a student playing the cymbals during the “Star Spangled Banner”? If not, check it out. During the performance, his cymbal broke and what the student does next shows incredible recovery and quick thinking. Way to go, Kid. You handled an embarrassing situation like a boss. Your parents should be proud.

3. A group of students along with their chaperones were recently kicked off a plane for unruly behavior. The students, on their way to a senior class trip, were removed after the plane’s departure was delayed by 45 minutes because a few students refused to obey the instructions of the flight crew to either turn off mobile devices, sit in their seats, or tone down the chatter. The students and their chaperones are claiming they were removed because they were Jewish students {although they admit that there were a “few” who were not following directions}. OK. I’ve talked about controlling kids before but that was in reference to young children not people who should be old enough to monitor themselves. I think the flight crew was justified in removing the students and their chaperones. Flight crews are not babysitters nor are they wait staff, they are there for the safety of the passengers and crew. If people {regardless of age, color, or religion} cannot follow directions, they need to be removed. Immediately.

What had you scratchin’ your head this past week?

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01st May2013

Congratulations to the Hubs {In the Family Room}

by Daenel

The Hubs {Living Outside the Stacks}

Effective 1 June, the hubs will be promoted to a Band 2 Manager at Proctor & Gamble! I am so incredibly proud of him. He started P&G as a technician with dreams of becoming a tech to manager promotee. That dream came true on 1 July 2011 {you can read about that here}.

Congratulations, Tuck!

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01st Apr2013

Visit to St. Louis {About Me}

by Daenel

When the kids were little, the hubs and I figured out a work around for the dreaded travel questions. You know the ones: Where we going? How long are we staying? Are we there yet? We simply quit giving the kids advanced notice about trips. Instead, we’d wait until a few minutes before we ready to go and then we’d tell them to go get in the car. We once took them from Pennsylvania to Mississippi using this method. I’m telling you this is the secret!

Anyway, the hubs and I decided to go old school and whisk the kids away for a day trip. So, Saturday morning we told them to get in the car without telling them where we were going. Actually, we had to give them a bit of a heads up that we were planning a trip because they’re teenagers now and they tend to make their own plans and live their own lives. Anyway, they cleared their schedules for us and we kept them in suspense until 10 minutes into our trip to ST. LOUIS!

St Louis {Living Outside the Stacks}
We didn’t go up in the Arch because I’m afraid of heights and tight spaces the line was too long. So we walked around and visited some of the other sights…

St Louis {Living Outside the Stacks}

The Old Cathedral is absolutely beautiful. It kinda reminded me of the churches in Italy… We didn’t stay too long as they were preparing for Resurrection Sunday services.

St Louis {Living Outside the Stacks}

The ceiling in the Old Court House where the Dred Scott case was tried. I had to bend almost in half to take this picture but it was soooo worth it.

St Louis {Living Outside the Stacks}

We didn’t ride in the carriage but I did touch the horse. With one finger.

To see the rest of the pictures from our trip, click here.

How did you spend your weekend?

 

18th Mar2013

Flowers and Favorites {About Me}

by Daenel

Have you ever had one of those days where everything is just meh? You’re neither happy nor sad, bored nor busy? That was Friday. Until I got phone call from the florist asking if I was home to receive a delivery. What?! Who would be sending me flowers? The hubs is terribly allergic to anything that has even a spot of green on it, so I knew it wasn’t him. I quickly called home and told the kids to take delivery of the flowers for me.

Then my paranoia stepped in and I started thinking all sorts of crazy thoughts… What if it’s poison? What if one of the kids gets hurt? Why would someone send me flowers? Surely this is a mistakeOK, in my defense, I watch a lot of crime shows on TV so the crazy is lingering just on the edge. I ended up calling the kids nonstop until it was time for me to get off work.

I flew home, opened the door, and ripped open the card…

Looking good for forty!

Love Mom & Dad

Awww They love me, they really love me!

Birthday Flowers {Living Outside the Stacks}

Birthday Flowers {Living Outside the Stacks}

Birthday Flowers {Living Outside the Stacks}

Birthday Flowers {Living Outside the Stacks}

There was also candy but, sadly, it didn’t last long enough for pictures.

And, uh, Shontel, if you’re reading this, this is proof that I’m the favorite child!

Have you ever received a surprise delivery? Did you react with paranoia or joy?

07th Jan2013

Happy Birthday, Miss 16 {In the Family Room}

by Daenel

Happy Birthday, Miss 16 {Living Outside the Stacks}

Dear Miss 16,

Girl, you have been a source of joy and laughter since the day you surprised us at the doctor’s office. Nothing like going to the doctor’s for a tubal ligation and finding out that you’re pregnant… We should have known then that we were going to be in for a ride.

I remember when you used to crawl up in my lap, curl your fingers around my blouse and go to sleep. I’d sit there for hours, stroking your hair and wishing you’d get up so I could get something anything done. Then one day it all stopped.

You stopped sitting in my lap, you stopped being my sweet little girl who swore she could fly because she was dressed as an angel and had wings. Do you remember that? Running around the yard flapping your arms and yelling, “I can fly, Mommy! I can fly, Mommy!”  

You’re now a beautiful young lady with a quick wit and a snarky tongue. A while back you asked me “Besides me, which of your other kids did you want?” The truth is, I didn’t want any of you little buggers but now that I have you, I couldn’t imagine life without you. I love you all. Peering at you over my glasses. Every single one of you.

Thank you for 16 years of laughter.

Happy Birthday, Miss 16! I really do like you!

 

PS There will be no blowing out of the candles on the cake; you know how I feel about that!

 

13th Dec2012

If You’re Stressing Over Christmas, You’re Doing It Wrong (Repost}

by Daenel

If You're Stressing Over Christmas, You're Doing It Wrong {Living Outside the Stacks}

The other day I was watching CNN and they were talking about how to soothe the guilt over not being able to give the number and types of gifts one would like to give this Christmas season and I was kind of thrown for a loop. I always thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of the savior with the gifts being secondary (possibly even tertiary) on the list of importance.  Then I read an interesting post by Stefany on her blog To. Be. Thode. about how she and her husband want to refocus the meaning of Christmas from the secular to the religious by encouraging their children to choose 3 meaningful gifts rather than providing them with a list of “stuff” that they want.

What a brilliant idea!

Christmas has become so commercialized that the meaning (even if you don’t celebrate the Christian aspect of the holiday) has been lost.  I’m not sure I even understand why people feel the need to go into debt to celebrate this ONE DAY out of the year.  If you share your love with your family throughout the year shouldn’t that be enough?  And if your children are counting gifts, then it’s probably fair to say they may be a little ungrateful and you need to cut back until they can show a little appreciation.  Christmas is not supposed to be a time of angst and debt accumulation, it should be a time of celebration, joy and, dare I say, relaxation.  Seriously, if you’re stressing over Christmas, you’re doing it wrong.

Call us grinches if you like, but my husband and I don’t buy each other gifts nor do we buy for people over the age of 18.  Furthermore, we only buy what we can afford and we can only afford to pay for things with cash.  So you know what that means?  Our kids and grandchildren get meaningful gifts from us and we get the gift of appreciation from them.  For us, Christmas isn’t about how much money we spend or how much stuff we collect but about the joy we get from sharing the love that we have for each other and the knowledge that this holiday is about the greatest gift of all ~ God’s love.

23rd Nov2012

Things That Leave Me Scratchin’ My Head {Coffee Talk}

by Daenel

Family Photo {Living Outside the Stacks}

I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving. We hosted my parents, my twin sister and her family at our home this year. The dinner was incredible, if I don’t say so myself. I was pretty proud of myself. But we did learn something… I either need a bigger oven or a double oven. It was really hard to get everything cooked and kept warm with only one oven. Just typing that makes me grateful for the silly First World problems that I face on a daily basis, because I know there are people who have it worse.

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}I’m also grateful for the cray cray that enables me to do these weekly posts because, wow, people are always leaving me scratchin’ my head…

1. Sherman Hemsley, star of The Jeffersons, has been laid to rest. He died on 24 July. It is now 23 November. Hemsley’s funeral was held up over a lawsuit over his estate which is worth a reported $50,000. This only confirms my belief that weddings and funerals bring out the worst in people.

2. I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m not a fan of Black Friday. I know in this economic climate it’s one of the big money makers for retailers but the craziness just gets to me, but I think this takes the cake: a Massachusetts man left his girlfriend’s 2~year~old son  asleep in the car while he tried to score some major deals. After purchasing a 51~inch flat screen TV, he went home and left the child behind. What? I have a couple of questions here:

  • How did he get home without the kid?
  • And how mad was the mother?

3. Ya know, I thought last week would be the last week I’d write about post~election craziness but I was wrong. A Florida cop has resigned after telling co~workers that he’d volunteer to assassinate President Obama and other members of the Democratic Party. blank stare Really? During the investigation, the officer said that his words were “hyperbole and not actual threats”. Ummmm, too bad being stupid isn’t a crime.

4. I’ve never been a gambler, I can’t see working 40 hours a week just to give my paycheck to a casino, but if that’s your thing, enjoy. But that being said, you have to really like gambling to have doctor inject you with Botox and facial fillers so you can maintain a “poker face”. This new use for the cosmetic procedures is called “Pokertox” and is the brain child of a New York doctor of aesthetic medicine. I could be wrong but isn’t part of the poker playing fun, trying to figure out a person’s “tells”?

What had you scratchin’ your head this week?

10th Nov2012

The Wedding {Photography}

by Daenel

A few weeks ago, the hubs and I attended the wedding of a couple from our church. While there, they asked if I could take a couple of pictures for them. Naturally, I said yes and silently thanked God for having me grab my camera on the way out the door.

This is the first time I’ve ever taken wedding pictures but I’m happy with the way they came out. But, more importantly, so are the newly weds.

The Wedding {Living Outside the Stacks}

 Adjusting the Veil

Candid shot of the bride having her veil adjusted by one of her bridesmaids.

The Wedding {Living Outside the Stacks}

The Beautiful Bride

A candid shot of the bride looking in the mirror.

The Wedding {Living Outside the Stacks}

Congratulations to the Happy Couple

Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day,

18th Oct2012

The Boy Has His License {This or That Thursday}

by Daenel

He's Official {Living Outside the Stacks}

The state of Missouri has determined that the boy is competent enough to drive a vehicle. Congratulations, Son. I love you.

He's Official {Living Outside the Stacks}

But more than anything else, I love that my taxi duties have officially ended.

I’m linking up with:

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