So I finally finished addressing our Christmas cards a couple of days ago. I ordered 180, and I totally should have ordered more. We are completely out of them, and I keep remembering more and more friends everyday that I didn’t send one to yet. Shoot!
I take my card seriously, and was going to actually have my friend Keely come take our family picture back in November but canceled our “shoot” at the last minute. I ended up just pulling a few of my favorite photos from our year, and ordering a card off of Shutterfly. It was right before our tour started, and I just couldn’t add one more thing to our calendar. Especially one that involved me putting on make-up of any kind.
So here is our card. I’m posting it because it is highly likely that you didn’t get one. Because I’m a doofus and didn’t order enough. But I love you and David and Caroline love you, and even Bella loves you. And you are totally worth 44 cents.
The pic of Dave and I was at this incredible restaurant called Caliza that we ate at during our vacation to Florida. The family one is from the same trip to Florida on another night, and the one of Caroline is from Disneyworld back in September. I’m pretty sure I cropped Lilo and Stitch out of that one. And then of course there’s Bella in the fall leaves.
I thought the black and white card would be cool, but honestly it was just ok. I’m just glad I’m done addressing them.
I have quite a few cards that I haven’t opened yet.
I really like to take my time and read them, so I’m waiting until I have time! Maybe next week when the tour is over.
After Christmas I always recycle my Christmas cards. I save all the picture cards and leave them hanging up for quite awhile on my pantry door. (which I haven’t even STARTED hanging them up there yet this year!) But I “repurpose” the non-picture cards to use as gift tags for the next year. I just cut out whatever the main picture or design is, and when I need a gift tag, I just find one in my bunch that looks good with the paper, use a hole punch to thread the ribbon through, and WALLAH-a gift tag!
Here are the ones I cut out last year from my cards. I’ve already used a ton of them this year when wrapping. This is all I have left actually.
Just write “to” and “from” on the back side and you’re good to go.
I can’t even believe I take time to do this, but there is something oddly therapeutic about it.
It’s as crafty as I get. Lame-o.
But it saves me at least 5 or 10 bucks on gift tags. Just enough for a coffee and two cranberry bliss bars at starbucks.
We pulled into Nashville this morning for a day off, and came home to a beautiful blanket of white. As I write, the kids are sledding down the street with the reddest cheeks I’ve ever seen. This whole scene makes me happy. Don’t you remember being a kid and how much you LOVED a SNOW DAY!
I had to beg Caroline to pose for this right before she came inside because she was certain she had frostbite.
Now we are all warm inside drinking hot chocolate with our neighbors and watching “Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas” which I actually love myself.
(Shelley’s hot chocolate has a couple extra squares of melted Hershey bar in it. Oh yeah.)
I made them put that blanket on the floor so I wouldn’t have hot chocolate on my rug. Isn’t Bella cute? And the kids too, of course.
Just a few random thoughts and things I also wanted to mention from yesterday.
1. A HUGE THANKS TO MICHAEL PASSONS, our keyboard player, who saved me (and this blog actually) with his kindness yesterday. We had to change planes in Dallas to get to Shreveport. There was an earlier flight we could catch so we ran to the other gate two terminals away. Right as we were boarding the plane, our road manager got a call on his cell phone. Guess who left their computer on the other plane?? Yep, me. That’s right. So Michael offered to stay behind, go retrieve my computer, and take the next flight to Shreveport. He also got to eat at the new Pappasito’s in DFW, which was a slight consolation in the matter.
2.FBC Bossier City does a really great Christmas program every year. Yesterday, we were their special guests. Here we are with the “mini-Rockettes” that performed in the show. I’m not kidding, these girls were good! I believe they were called “Vicki’s Dancers” from a local dance studio. Denise and Leigh wanted to ask them if we could borrow three of their costumes and put them on to be funny “for your blog shelley! For your blog!”
Ummmmmmmm, nope. Not sure I see my size available in that pic.
3.Also at FBC Bossier- the church was decorated to the nines. They had these HUGE red velvet bows everywhere. There was one in the conference room next to our dressing room. I picked it up and acted like it was in my hair. The girls thought it was funny, so Michael stood behind the wall, held it above my head, and Leigh took this pic. Random.
I don’t know why I think that is funny but I do.
4.So our good friend Kimmie, who actually works for Reba McEntire, but is always a huge help to us whenever we play around town, took some photos at our concert in Nashville the other night. I just have to show you this one of Spence (Denise’s oldest) and Darby and Caroline. I hate that Price isn’t in it, he was on the other side of the stage playing guitar. But aren’t they so cute. Our fiddle player, Demitri, did their hair and they thought they were hot stuff.
Well, how’s that for a mixed bag of goodies.
I must go now and reorganize my house and life, because we leave for Wisconsin in about 33 hours. Happy SNOW day!
PS Had to add these two pics in fresh off the press. Neighbor just sent me these. Happiness.
Little Rock. My home sweet home. I got to go there today. And eat momma’s cookin’. We were in town for a show, so a bunch of us went over to my parents’ house for lunch. Sharon did it up right. Always does. I wasn’t sad to leave after the show because we will be going back for Christmas this year. So there is more where this came from.
That is actually Michael’s plate. I would have photographed mine, but I didn’t think about it until he sat down, and mine was already half gone by then. Mom made brisket, homemade mac and cheese, five bean bake (which I had never had but was awesome), some kind of yummy salad with champagne vinegrette dressing, some wild rice turkey cranberry salad thingy, and rolls. And caramel cake.
Michael, Denise and I went running. Then we ate everything I listed above. Then I laid down between my nephew Grant and Caroline and tried to take a nap while they were watching Sponge Bob. But they kept waking me up to tell on each other.
This is a picture from intermission at the concert. It’s my mom, my sister, Caroline, Grant and me.
The kids were so tired but they made it to the end of the show. Bless their little tattling hearts.
This picture below has no specific meaning to this blog at all. I just think I look really good in it. Like sorta skinny or something. Which is weird, because I have like 10 other pics from tonight of me in that dress and none of them look like this.
How about that. Rock on.
I’m gonna start walking around with a person in front of half of me.
You like Caroline’s skirt?? I got it in one of my favorite children’s clothing magazines. Chasing Fireflies. You should check it out. It’s like all cute kids clothes edited down to the very cutest.
After the show, I made my dad take me to Taco Bell because I didn’t have time to eat supper. It was like 10:30pm and on the way back to the bus, I was thinking that I didn’t have many pics for my Christmas blog, so I made my dad stop at the Town Square in Benton, AR and take a pic of me in front of some reindeer display.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. At least you know I was thinking of you.
Before I tell you about our New York trip, I wanted to show you what Elfie got into last night. I have to admit it made me laugh at 4:30 in the morning as I was leaving for the airport.
I’m really glad Elfie remembers to move every night and get into something, because it’s the first thing Caroline looks for when she gets up in the morning. (The second thing is that advent calendar. I think I’ve got it filled through Dec. 17th now. I’m always WAY ahead of the game.)
Elfie tipped over the Christmas candy and got himself lodged in the jar. Pretty creative I thought.
Denise reminded me today that last year around this time, their “Elf on the Shelf”, Kevin, got his clock cleaned by their dog, Sooner. He was promptly replaced with his twin, Kevin the 2nd, and her boys were none the wiser. Thank God. Crisis averted.
The only thing worse than a creepy elf, is a creepy elf that has been mutilated by a dog.
This year, our Home for the Holidays tour is being sponsored by a new program of the American Bible Society called “A Soldier’s Hope”. This is an initiative to raise funds to send special military edition Bibles and Bible study materials to our brave soldiers serving on the front lines right now in Afghanistan. It’s an incredible thing that they are doing, and we are honored to be the spokespeople for this project. Their main corporate offices are in New York City, and today we flew up to sing at their company wide Christmas Lunch. We literally flew out at 6am, went straight downtown to the lunch, did a soundcheck, ate, sang, got back in the car, went to the airport and flew home.
Madness. But the good kind. Nicest people you’ll ever meet.
Here we are right before the party with the president of ABS, Dr. Vest and his wife. They actually live part time in Tennessee and part time in NYC. Best of both worlds I’d say.
The lunch was delicious. Catered by an Italian restaurant around the corner from the offices.
Menu in case you care…
Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato Salad with fresh Basil
Penne Pasta with Tomato Marinara
Butternut Squash Ravioli
Beer-Braised Short Ribs (at ABS, can you believe it??)
and some desserts we never got to.
Anyhow, the thing that really put this lunch a cut above your normal banquet lunch were the beverages. Usually, at banquets of this sort, it’s watered down ice tea. I don’t like iced tea in the first place, but especially not banquet iced tea. But not at ABS. No sir. They do it RIGHT.
On every single table there were two liter bottles of coke, diet coke and sprite.
That’s what I’m talkin’ about.
When you’re really tired, it’s the little things that get you through. Diet coke gets me through a lot of life’s obstacles come to think of it. I went off it once last spring for like 4 weeks. I felt really good, clearer even. But I just couldn’t shake the feeling that my life was missing something. Like I wasn’t truly happy.
So I started drinking it again. And now I’m super happy.
So there you go.
Today we had a day off from our tour here in Nashville. It was a wonderful day of relaxation and rejuvenation. I slept in until ten, then went to the spa and got a massage and pedicure.
I came home after that and ordered a big cheese pizza and sat on the couch and watched the food network until I had to get Caroline from school.
I just wanted to type that to see how it felt.
It felt good.
Actually, my day off in Nashville was a good one, but chaotic nonetheless.
I will spare you the details and just hit the highlights because Michael and Denise are meeting me at my house at 4:45am to go catch our flight to NYC and I need to go to bed!
I hate when my private jet (owned and operated by Continental Airlines) leaves at 6am.
First, we taped a show at our local NBC station called “More at Midday” with this really sweet anchor named Holly Thompson. It should be posted right here sometime today after it airs around 12:30pm. We made my mom’s salsa and Denise’s Chocolate Bundt cake, talked about the cookbook and record, and met a guy from a local chocolate store who gave us some goodies before we left. The white chocolate peppermint bark and chocolate covered oreos he gave me are in my tummy right now. And they were yummy in my tummy.
Here we are in the kitchen after the segment. My hair was so whatever today but I just couldn’t deal. But that necklace I have on is COOL. I got it at J.Crew. I wish you could see it up close.I also don’t like standing next to Denise in pictures. Take a second to focus in on her thigh, then look at my thigh. Not cool.
I had to literally race out of the TV station because I promised Caroline I would eat lunch with her at school, then deliver some Christmas gifts to some of her teachers. I told her I would pick us up lunch from any where she wanted. She picked Subway. Saturday night when I was on the road, David told her he would take her out to eat anywhere she wanted. She picked Subway. Do you know what she orders? Turkey, cheese and mayonnaise on white bread. Whose kid is this??
Whatever. That’s what I got her. She ate the whole thing. A six inch. Which is extraordinary in and of itself. She could care less about food. No comprende.
Then we went to deliver some Christmas gifts to some of the faculty. POG Cookbooks and Christmas CDs. I get a discount.
Below is Caroline getting ready to make her deliveries.
I ran over to the mall after that, got a couple of Christmas presents and a birthday gift for Darby Mae (Leigh’s daughter who turned 8 today-story to follow), ran to Walgreen’s and bought every pair of number 33 false eyelashes they had (which was 8 pairs) and a healthy after school snack for Caroline since we had to go straight to piano lessons from school. Cheetos and red gatorade. Lots of vitamins and nutrients.
After piano, I took Caroline to Darby’s b-day party. We were talking right before bed and I asked her what her favorite part of the party was. She told me that she and Darby got to be “Snowman Mummies” and everyone else had to wrap them in toilet paper and that it was awesome. I left her room, went to my computer to write this blog, and Dana (Darby’s dad) had sent me this picture.
The last event of my non-day off consisted of a benefit concert for the music school Caroline attends here in Nashville. She takes piano. It’s called School of Worship. It’s a really awesome music school that sorta combines classical training with modern worship. For instance, right now, she is working on learning about playing “staccato” notes, and also learning how to play chords and sing at the same time for “Here I am to Worship.” They do a great job at nurturing her heart to worship God through her music.
Denise and I, Michael and Melissa from Avalon, Mike Weaver from Big Daddy Weave, Tobymac, FFH, Phil Joel….all our kids take music lessons there…voice, guitar, piano….we all believe in it. We all performed for the concert tonight….very cool.
Caroline sang with us and Price (Denise’s youngest) played guitar. Training them up so we can retire.
See how I have on the same thing as the cooking show about 9 hours before that…no time to change. Not one minute.
I may sleep in it and wear it to New York tomorrow. We’ll see.
PS: The one person I didn’t mention is the girl in the front in the black jacket. She sang with Michael and Melissa. Guess what her name is? Shelley.
Spelled just like that. Weird.