For Kelli Update

Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow, January 16th, is For Kelli. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click on that little button with the flowers on it, and it’ll provide all the information you need.

There is one little change from my original post. We’ll now be making donations through PayPal (instead of Amazon) for several reasons:

1) People who would prefer to not use credit cards will be able to donate through their PayPal accounts.
2) PayPal doesn’t put a limit on the donations we can receive, but Amazon has a “cap” that I think would be problematic pretty quickly.
3) With PayPal, the donation fund can be linked directly to Kelli’s family’s account. That’s a big deal to me because I don’t think it is my place (or my business) to be some sort of money middleman.
4) Amazon has a 14-day waiting period before the money can be moved to a checking account. PayPal does not. Since Kelli’s insurance coverage runs out in less than two weeks, I think it’s important that she has access to the donations as soon as COBRA comes-a-callin’.

However, two important details will be the same:

1) You’ll still be able to make a secure donation with a credit card or debit card, even if you don’t have a PayPal account.
2) Donations will be anonymous, unless you choose to write an e-note that accompanies your donation.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

I’ll put up the link for donations around 6:00 or 6:30 tomorrow morning. I was going to put it up at midnight, but if we run into any unforeseen problems, I’d like to be, you know, awake so that I can troubleshoot.

And thanks to all of you who have put the “For Kelli” button on your blogs and linked back to my original post. I have been completely overwhelmed by your response.

Hope y’all have a wonderful day!

But You May Need To Hire A Babysitter While You Complete The Nomination Form

Earlier in the week I saw these blog awards mentioned at Kelsey‘s and at Mary‘s, but I’m just now getting around to checking the link out for myself.

Warning: it’s totally addictive. And trying to keep all the categories straight will make your head explode just a little bit.

But, it’s good bloggy fun. And, you know, something for me to do on yet another thrill-a-minute Saturday night in suburbia.

So, check it out…it’s a great chance to nominate your favorite blogs, especially the ones that may not have received much recognition in the past.

And as always: please, no wagering.

For Phyllis

When I wrote about our friend Todd’s visit with “Martie” and Sissie the other day, I didn’t mention why he was back in Mississippi because it just didn’t seem like the right time.

But here’s the “why” of it all: Todd’s mama, Phyllis, has been battling cancer for the last year and a half. A couple of weeks ago she had an MRI, and once Todd heard the results, he hopped on a plane and came home. The doctors knew at that point that it was the beginning of the end, and Todd knew where he needed to be.

Todd doesn’t know this – because I would cry if I said it out loud – but the way he has responded to his mother’s illness has been inspirational to me. In the last eighteen months, he has flown home to Mississippi at least ten times. He’s been there for birthdays, for holidays, for just-because days. I can’t even imagine what his love and devotion has meant to his family. I doubt they could put it into words.

Yesterday Todd called us with the news that his mama had passed away. She was at home, surrounded by the people she loved the most. D. and I have so many great memories of Phyllis – and our lives are all the richer for having known her. Please keep Todd and his family – Bill, William, Cindy, Vince, Paige & Jeff – in your prayers.

Visions Of Christmas Lights Dancing In My Head

As much as I’d like to leave Ye Olde Christmas Tour at the top of the page, I’m afraid that I’m going to have to post again.

I’m terribly sorry.

So if you’re not finished going through everyone’s homes (and oh my word? how could you be? unless you’re Barb, who totally blazed through the list at a record pace and should probably receive a gold medal for her efforts), the Christmas Tour button in the sidebar now links directly to the tour post, which means you’ll have continued easy access to the Mr. Linky for days – lo, even weeks or months – to come.

And if you haven’t posted your tour yet, go right ahead. Since I’ll probably finish going through everyone’s houses around 2009-2010-ish, there’s still plenty of time for you to join our holiday fun.

Thanks so much to all of you, whether you participated by posting pictures of your home, by visiting people’s blogs, or both. I just can’t say enough nice things about your homes, your decorations, and your hearts. I can’t imagine that there’s a kinder, warmer group of women on the whole wide world interweb. I’m sincerely grateful for your response.

Y’all have a great week!

Deck The Halls, Y’all!

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Welcome, everybody!

Now since most of you have had to read about our recent move over and over again – and since I haven’t posted any pictures of the house since we’ve been here – this little Christmas bloggy house tour thing-y is the perfect opportunity for me to show you around.

Except I’m not showing you the bedrooms because they’re still a bit of a train wreck. And yes, we’ve been here two weeks now, but I do have a toddler and DO I LOOK LIKE A ROBOT?

Anyhoo.

It’s a wonder that I decorated the front door, because honestly there were bigger and better things I needed to be doing (like, for instance, unpacking our clothes). But I decided that it would bring the little man untold joy to see even a single strand of lights when he was outside, so I threw together a little something.

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Let’s all just pretend that we don’t see that pesky cord over there to the right. ‘Kay?

When you walk in the front door, you’re facing the living room, where Sister and I arranged furniture until 2 in the morning on the Friday that we moved. Neither our backs nor our bladders will ever be the same.  

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(Here’s what you should be ignoring: the pillow in the floor, the couch not centered on the wall-o-windows but OH it will be by this weekend, the three year old who couldn’t even bother to turn around for the photograph.)    

And in the front corner of that room, you’ll find our Christmas tree:  

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I can’t take any credit at all for the beauty of said tree; Mama decorated it for us when we moved in. She and Sister can decorate Christmas trees like nobody’s business. I, on the other hand, am totally intimidated by the whole process and pretty much just stand back and whimper. So it was a HUGE blessing for her to do that for us, especially in the midst of the moving madness.   

And look! Lights!

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FANCY!   

We don’t have a mantel over our fireplace in this house, so I did what any good Southern girl would do given the circumstances: I hung our stockings on the bar. I thought that was pretty resourceful, though I may be setting myself up for scandal what with us being members of a Baptist church and all.

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The dining room is off of the living room, and as you look at this picture just pretend like all the chairs are upholstered in the same fabric because I haven’t exactly gotten around to that particular project yet (see: NOT A ROBOT).   

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On the table at the far end of the room, you’ll find just about the only “collection” I have:  

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I really do treasure them, and during a season when it’s easy to get bogged down in what we’re giving, what we’re getting, what we’re eating and what all we have to do, the nativity scene reminds me of what really matters during this special time of year. 

In Alex’s playroom I put up the tree we got at Home Depot the day after Thanksgiving (remember? it was free!). That’s where I’m putting all the cards we get in the mail, and I can already tell that the Christmas Card Tree is going to be a tradition in our house for many years to come. I just love it.

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I’ll post another picture at the end of the holidays when it’s chock-full-o-cards…it’s been so fun to have our friends’ pictures become a part of our Christmas decorations.   

Well…that’s about it, I reckon…I’ll save pictures of the kitchen and playroom and all that for later since there may be a few other houses you’re hoping to visit today. 

So grab yourself a mug of hot chocolate, get settled in a comfy chair, start clicking on the links (oh, how I hope there are links), and enjoy some of the warmest hospitality that the interweb has to offer.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

A quick reminder: link to your specific post, not to your general blog address. Thanks!

One! More! Time!

Have you voted today?

This will be the last of my shameless plugs for my bloggy friends.

But that’s only because voting ends tonight.

Otherwise I’d annoy the fire out of y’all for weeks to come.