Life & Style

Hidden in Plain Sight

photos by Matt Cornelius
M y six-year-old loves to play hide and seek. I was never a fan of the game as a child because I despised the heart-racing feeling of wondering if they would find me in my dark hiding place. Maybe it was because I have never liked feeling anxious or out of control. I preferred being the seeker in the light rather than the one silently waiting alone in the dark. As an adult, however, when life is no longer a game and after having lived through heartaches and life experiences that have brought me to my knees, I now recognize my default mode is hiding.

Dear Mrs. (Slightly) Sophisticated

Is there such a thing as texting etiquette? Dear Modern Manners, … This is something you will not find in a book by Emily Post, as I am quite certain she never sent a text message. In my opinion, it should follow the same rules as a telephone with a land line. … When we were growing up, there were strict rules about phone use in the home. No calls before 8 am unless in an emergency. If you received a phone call at 6 am, someone was in the hospital or jail. Certain households had differing rules regarding afternoon and evening hours.

Downright Beautiful

photo by Matt Cornelius
The struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Richard Turner could not have known when he overcame alcoholism and an addiction to prescription painkillers that he was developing within himself a strength that would be invaluable in the face of a second struggle. Cancer, as it often does, unexpectedly burst on the scene, threatening all his renewed hopes and dreams. However, that practiced and abundant strength showed up at the perfect time. “I find tranquility in the trials of life,” Richard shared.

If These Walls Could Talk

photo by Matt Cornelius
Plan for PeaceI saw a post on social media the other day that showed the face of a confused little girl and said, “When you realize 2022 is right around the corner and you still haven’t processed 2019.” Maybe I’m the only one who can relate to that little girl, but I feel like 2021 came and went like the Tasmanian Devil. Our daughter is about to be seven years old. The Brothers are almost three. So much life happened in 2021 and I feel like I missed a lot of it. I want to do better in 2022. … Every January brings a time of reflection of the previous twelve months.

This is Home

photos by Matt Cornelius
Pulling down the Shirleys’ driveway, you are met with a stunning white house. You immediately notice the painted brick, soft arches and black windows. You are drawn in by the traditional feel of the house with its simple columns and a hint of farmhouse from its welcoming front porch. It looks so fresh and current; one might assume they are getting ready to step into a new build. That newness greets you when you step inside as well. There are light Scandinavian tones in the wood flooring, pristine white walls and trim, and fun, contemporary light fixtures with pops of gold.

The Monthly Mix

New Habits for a New Year2022 is here with a fresh new start for each of us! I love the possibilities of a new year of life and the motivation it inspires. It is the perfect time to start healthy habits or just treat yourself a little better this year! Start with planning out the goals you have for the year and decide what you need to achieve them. … Write those goals out and how you plan to meet them in a journal! I love to keep one in my bedside table drawer for a brain dump before bed.

New Year's Preparations

“I’m not sure if I’m coming or going.” This is a statement people normally reserve for times of confusion and chaos or when they feel overwhelmed. But as I’m sitting here soaking up the last bit of sparkle from my Christmas tree before I take it all down and pack it away this afternoon, this sentiment feels especially appropriate.

Bougie Grubs Burnt Ends

Are you looking for a quick New Year’s Eve snack? Want to try something unique in your new air fryer? Try my burnt ends recipe. I have a Ninja Foodi grill, and I love it. It is perfect for this recipe.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa … Our class has really been good at school this year. We have learned a lot and made new friends. We are so excited for Christmas. Are you getting the reindeer ready for Christmas Eve? Please tell the elves hello from all of us. We made our wish list and have a few questions for you.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,My name is Ms. Laurie, and my four-year-old class has made a list of one thing that they would like for Christmas and one question they would like to know about you. I wanted to share their list with you.Anna-Claire would like a Polly Pocket System. She asks, “How did you get so nice?” … Reid would like a scooter. He says, “Tell me about your house in the North Pole.” … Nora would like a Rainbow High House. She wants to know, “What do you do in your house?” … Kasey would like a castle.

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