Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best {and A Few Worsts} Of 2015

I think it's fun to reflect on the year and think about everything that happened. I can't believe 2015 is just about over, but when I look back at my blog, we sure packed a lot in!

Best Movie


I would honestly love to go see this one again! Allison, what do you say?

Worst Movie


I am still angry that terrible film won Best Picture. Ugh, awful!

Best Book

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I read every book Liane Moriarty wrote this year and loved them all, but What Alice Forgot was the first one I read, so it holds a special place in my heart.

Worst Book

Second Life by S.J. Watson

Really, really, really hated this book! Such an extra big disappointment after how much I loved Before I Go to Sleep.

Best Trip

Most of my travels this year were in Texas - a few trips to College Station, one to San Antonio, one to Lake Whitney, Houston and Dallas for work - what can I say? I love Texas! So my one out of state trip to NYC easily wins.

Best Album

Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material

This year I got Taylor Swift's 1989, Kacey Musgrave's Pageant Material, and Adele's 25. Girl power much? All 3 were fantastic in their own right, but I think Kacey's was my favorite. Is she the best singer? No - that's for sure Adele. But she's an awesome songwriter, and the whole album is just phenomenal.

Best Experience

This will probably sound so weird, but I really think the greatest thing that happened to our family was Trent's MTHFR diagnosis. Sure, moving into our house was freaking awesome, but learning about MTHFR was a game changer - and I'm excited to see what the future holds as we learn more about it!

What were the highlights of your year?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Triple the Movies!

I've been a busy girl over the last week gearing up for the Oscars. Allison and I are trying to add to our usual attempt to see all the Best Picture nominees by also seeing Best Actor and Best Actress nominations. We're using prediction websites to get a jump on the list, so I was able to see 3 movies all expected to get a Best Picture {or Best Actor/Actress} nod! Allison was ahead of me by 3 {that stinker}, so I saw 1 without her to get her lead down to 2.

Plot: An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a new romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
Review: I cannot say enough good things about this movie. Run, don't walk, and go see this. The acting, the story, the scenery - Allison and I both just fell into the story right away and weren't ready for it to end. As we left the theater, I put myself on the library waiting list for the book. Cannot.wait.

The Martian
Plot: During a manned mission to mars, astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal Earth that he is alive.
Review: I think this was like Armageddon meets Castaway. So if you liked either of those movies {or both like me}, you'll enjoy this. Matt Damon was great, and it was definitely a feel good 'yay America!' type movie. Huge cast, funnier than I thought it would be, less over-the-top than I thought it would be. I also am now on the waiting list for this book.

The Big Short
Plot: Four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed.
Review: Another great movie! Allison and I both agreed it was a little too long, but it took a complicated situation and made it into great story-telling and had some unique ways of doing that to make fun of itself and make it really relatable. I'm debating reading the book but would bet my dad already has. {grin}

Of the 3, Brooklyn was my favorite, but all of them were really great movies.

Monday, December 28, 2015

We Are All Christmas'd Out!

We had a great Christmas this year, and I hope you all did as well. I did a much better job of taking pictures this year, so get ready for a lot of memories!

Christmas Eve

We spend Christmas Eve every year at Brent's grandmother's house with his aunts and uncles and cousins. Drew and Trent really love a few cousins over there and have a great time playing - warms my heart!

Opening presents with Madison {she is the sweetest cousin - Brent's cousin's daughter}
Sidebar - to get Drew into her Santa dress - you guessed it - there's a onesie underneath.

Action shots of T Bug

Sister getting in on the action

Star Wars Legos!!!

All the Gurleys {minus Branden}
It was 80 degrees but I pretended it was Christmas weather
{Plus the A/C was on so it was freezing in Nannie's house, ha}

With my love

I told you Drew loves her cousins {with cousin Matthew - Madison's brother}

Christmas Morning - Part 1

We opened presents at our house Christmas morning - mainly just presents for the kiddos. Brent and I {finally} bought a new kitchen table, so that was our Christmas present!

Don't you love their adorable Christmas pjs??

More opening!

Crying because she didn't like the size of her Christmas present box.

The kids' big gift - they went nuts!

Christmas Morning - Part 2

After opening presents at our house, we went to my sister's house to open with my side of the family.

Patty and I enjoying Christmas wreaths!

Princess tiara, Mayer's mis-matched pj's {over a onesie} and heels.
Love this lady's style! {grin}

The boys with lots of whiskey sour mix! {In honor of my Granny}

Nothing quite like a sister, is there?

Our 4-some

The original 4-some

Lots of love here!

After leaving Patty's house, we put Drew down for a nap and everyone rested up a little - just in time for Christmas #3!

Christmas Evening

We headed to Brent's parents' house and got there about 5:00. We had breakfast for dinner and then opened gifts.


More cousin love! {and a different onesie}

Ready for presents!

My {fabulous} mother-in-law made us girls matching aprons, love this!

Whew! And there you have our celebrations!! I've packed up most of Christmas already as we have an out of town wedding for New Year's Eve and a Minnie Mouse birthday party this weekend - still lots of celebrating ahead!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Currently: Christmas Vacation, Baby!

Current Book

Prince William: The Man Who Will Be King - I picked this for the book challenge for the fiction/non-fiction book. My fiction book is The Royal We and it's a fiction take on their love story.

Current Song

I think it's safe to say it's mostly Christmas carols in this house right now!

Current TV Show

Jane the Virgin - Another mom at school said this show is hilarious, so I started watching it over the weekend. She's right - I love it!

Current Drink

I think a whiskey and Sprite is about to be in my future. Or hot chocolate.
Decisions, decisions.

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

Brent brought me home a burger from our favorite burger place. It's in a tiny town near us and it's owned by some of our friends' grandparents, and they make the burgers on the same grill since opening over 60 years ago. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Yum!

Current Outfit

I'm wearing a maroon sweater dress and leggings - my church outfit has stayed on all day.

Current Celebrity Crush

I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with People magazine again this year!

Current Mood

Frustrated. I think I had an ear infection earlier this week, and it is still clogged. It is driving me crazy! I might end up going to the doctor tomorrow. And excited! The kids are out of school and it's Winter Break time!!!

Current Anticipation

Christmas is FRIIIIIIIIDAY!!!!!!!!!

Current Film

My movie date and I are hitting up Brooklyn tomorrow - a potential Oscar nominee.

Current Picture

This sassy pants kills me. She was putting her hands on her hips to sass me!
{Don't ask about the Christmas tree. #lightskeepgoingout #sad}

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Traditions

I love reading what other families do as their holiday traditions. It makes me smile to think about the things that were sacred to my sister and me during Christmas. We would always decorate our Christmas tree and house together, and I loved pulling out my favorite ornaments and decorations. I have so many great memories of the holidays, and I really hope for that for my kids.


Decorations - I love decorating for holidays but mostly just have a few pieces for smaller holidays. For Christmas though...I have A LOT. And in the new house, I need more! I also love using a lot of the same pieces year after year and even have decorations from my Granny that are super old - talk about lots of memories!

Looking at lights - Where we go might be different from year-to-year {last year we did a drive thru place that was super neat but Brent almost lost his mind, so I had to give him a reprieve this year}, but we always look at lights. This year it's been fun to drive through our neighborhood in the golf cart to look at lights. We have a house that is NUTS with the computer program that times the lights to music. We might go by that house multiple times a week!

Listen to a ton of Christmas music - I constantly have Pandora on our TV and Christmas carols blaring in the car. Trent already recognizes a lot of songs, and we sing together.

PJs/Clothes - The kids always have something Christmas to wear - pjs and regular clothes. Now how much I have to fight them to get into them might be another matter!

Movies - I love watching Christmas movies. Not non-stop and every Hallmark channel movie ever made but the classics - Home Alone, White Christmas. Brent and I even watch White Christmas together every year.

Christmas cards - I love making our Christmas card and then collecting the ones we get - checking the mail is so fun in December! I need to figure out a good way to display them now because I used to use magnets on the fridge, but we got a new fridge 2 years ago that magnets don't stick to!


Make Gingerbread house - We started doing that last year, and the kids freaked out when they saw the kids in the store this year, so I think this will become an always tradition pretty soon!

Christmas crafts - This is another one that I think will become an always as the kids get older {and I get craftier}, but we've done some fun crafts here and there.

The latest Swope grandkid craft given to Babs!

What are your traditions?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Stitch Fix #2

Over Thanksgiving, I got my second Fix. It's so weird how not knowing what clothes are going to come in your package makes the whole experience so exciting. If you don't know much about Stitch Fix, I explained it when I got my first Fix. So let's go!

1. Fate Harison Pullover Sweater - Size S - Status: Kept

I really don't like shopping for winter clothes, so overall my winter wardrobe is pretty pathetic. This sweater was perfect for what I'm lacking. I wish it had been long enough to wear over leggings, but I think there are some crazy long tanks at Target {or so my sister says} that you can use when you want to pair a shorter sweater with leggings, so I'm going to need to check those out. I wore this one day in NYC and it fit/felt so great!

2. Octavia Bolton Plaid Scarf - Status: Returned

I have 2 scarves almost exactly like this, so I didn't feel like this was something worth keeping. I am definitely growing my scarf collection but just didn't need another one like this.

3. 41Hawthorn Filbert Abstract Striped Henley Blouse - Size S - Status: Kept

 As soon as I pulled this out of the box, I hoped it would fit. The fabric is different so it doesn't wrinkle and I don't have many shirts with pattern on them. I love the sleeves and detailing. This will be great for our mild winters but light enough for our insane summers.

4. Pixley Darcy Weave Jersey T-Shirt Dress - Size S - Status: Returned

Pointing out why it was returned

When I saw this on the style card, I was disappointed. When I pulled it out of the box, I was excited {the fabric was SO soft and the texture on the dress seemed neat}. When I tried it on, I was disgusted. I definitely carry my weight in my thighs, and this dress just clung to every bump. I couldn't get it off fast enough and almost didn't take pictures I hated it so much!

5. Mystree Chamberlin Striped Drape Front Cardigan - Size S - Status: Kept

This is actually what I pulled out of the box first, and I KNEW I would be keeping it. I am such a sucker for cardigans, and this one is heavier with more pattern than any of my others. Love, Love, LOVE this cardigan. It feels great and hangs to a great length!

So honestly the sweet spot is to either buy 1 item {to make use of the $20 styling fee} or to buy the whole fix {to get 25% off}, but I just loved 3 items so much, I had to get them! I'd say this was a great Fix!

As a reminder, if you decide you want to try Stitch Fix, here's a referral link for me. {grin}

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Santa! I Know Him!

We had such a great weekend! I love how many activities we have and am still a kid at heart enjoying the magic of this time of year. {grin}

Friday was supposed to be our book club white elephant/dinner party, but our party of 9 slowly dwindled to 2 due to sickness, out of town trips, impending name it, we had it happening. Karin and I were the last 2 standing. So what do you do when your whole book club bails? You got out anyway and send the rest of book club a picture enjoying your mojitos.

Take that slackers!

Saturday we hung out at my parents and drove around looking at lights for the hundredth time this Christmas season. 

And then today was Gurliamson Christmas. We have a tradition with my bestie that we get together and exchange gifts and eat taco soup and sit around watching football being lazy. It is magical. {You might not remember unless you are a hardcore reader, but I am Beau's godmother, and they are both Trent's and Drew's godparents.} So they met us for church first where Santa came to visit! Being the slacker mom that I am, this is our 1 visit to Santa each year. {Previous pics here.}

Beau telling Santa she wanted 'toys'.

Drew refusing to talk, look at, or acknowledge Santa.
Although she told me she was going to tell him she wanted a ballerina skirt.
{Trent refused to be in the picture}

Example of the laziness I mentioned!

 I didn't get any pictures of the besties {ugh}, but here is Trent digging his Star Wars towel and demonstrating his Jedi powers. Loved indeed!

Hope everyone had an equally Christmas-y weekend!