Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year in Review

The last day of the year brings a little year-in-review of Simply Staci! I'm playing along with There is no Place Like Home.

Here’s the deal…you post the first sentence of your first blog post of each month. And add a favorite pic if you want.

So, did you have a rockin' New Year's Eve??

Last night was so fun!

Today is the one day soldiers hate: March "forth"

Thanks to my tax rebates from Uncle Sam I just paid off 5 credit cards!!

This weekend I went to a wedding of some friends from my youth group.

Time for a little change...with the hairstyle, that is.

Back by popular demand: the construction of a cake!

I have gotten the biggest rush out of reading all of my comments!

I have been disgusted with myself for letting a whole month go by with no updates.

I've started another blog...sort of.

I love Halloween because it's always been a family event.

There's so much I love about this time of year.

What a great year!! And the highlight of it was probably my little niece Megan!

Happy 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Joys of Being an Aunt

Good little girl missed the cashmere sweater I was wearing and managed to spit up in my shoe :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Some Fun Stuff

I love Christmas shopping! I love after Christmas sale shopping. Ok, let's face it...I love ANY kind of shopping...even grocery shopping. I actually think it's kind of a sickness with me.

So I wanted to share some of my fun finds with you!

My favorite is this dress from White House Black Market. I love this store. Granted, I've never bought anything full price because it's ridiculously expensive, but their sale rack can really be a steal! Plus, they have an outlet about 20 minutes from me. Mandi got me a gift card their, so I was so excited to spend it and spend it I did!!

The best part is that this dress was originally $160. It was marked down to $99, then they were having a sale where all their dresses were 40% off. Plus the gift card from Mandi and the 5% off I get for being a Little Black Book member, I ended up only paying about $35 for the dress! Ahhh....I love a good deal!

Now I just need some place to wear it! I actually have a wedding in March I'll probably wear it to, but if anybody's having a big soiree, let me know :)

Moving on to the next good deal...

Jeans. Ahhh, jeans. Finding the right pair is like trying to find a needle in a haystack! Well, I found a pair at Express. It won't let me post a picture, but if you're dying to see ya go!

Now, if you clicked on the jeans link, you saw they were on sale for $50. I used a gift card I got from one of my students and only paid $25 for them :)

Next deal...

OK, not really a huge money saving deal, but I did use Christmas money I got and only had to pitch in about $4! I got 2 sweaters and 3 tank tops at Forever 21.

It's really cuter on. The shoulders are gathered and it looks more feminine. And I can't find a pic of the other one, but it's black and white striped.

Now for those of you shop at Forever 21, I wanted to point out something. Some of you might already know this, but I just noticed this on their cute bags...

Look what's on the bottom:

Did you already know this? It's certainly not a store that screams "I love Jesus" when you walk in, so I was curious and found this. Who knew?

I also bought some cute ornaments for my sisterchicks that I will give to them...hopefully on our next outing this Tuesday?!!?

So what sales have you taken advantage of?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

So this is the obligatory Christmas day post. I don't know about you, but our Christmas was a little pared down from usual. Guess the ole economy is hitting us all! Knowing that, I surely did not expect the first gift I pulled out of my stocking to be this:

I kid you not...I pulled out a tube of Neosporin! Just what every gal wants. Actually, my mom thought it might come in handy with my newly pierced ears.

There several other "unique" type gifts. Three out of four of us kids all got this:

It was one of our favorite movies growing up. I can probably quote the whole movie!

Another "unique" gift was this "air conditioner" I got for my dad to use in his car:

His car has no air conditioning.

Here is the cutest gift I got for my little niece that I waited in line 1 1/2 hours for.

Aren't they the cutest little mittens you've ever seen?! I just had to have them!

For my brother Matt, I got him this book:

He doesn't really like books in the first place, but what he REALLY didn't like was that we made him read the whole book out loud! Oh, if you know Matt, can you just picture him reading us the Redneck Night Before Christmas? I so wish I had a picture of that!!

I leave you with some random fun from the day:

Monday, December 22, 2008

I finally did it!


After (notice the ears)

Yes, I was a 32 year old with holeless earlobes...until today! The reason? Frankly, I'm a chicken! Yes, I'm a childish baby when it comes to pain. I have avoided needles at all cost. Never gave blood, never got the flu shot, and yes, never got my ears pierced.

So, why the change of heart?

My friend thought it would be fun to abuse me this Christmas by poking needles in my ears! That's they way it was in my head. In reality, she got me a gift card to Claire's and suggested we make an outing of it.

I don't really know what possessed me, but I said yes. Now, I know you're all thinking, "What's the big deal?" And, I know people meant well, but these words of encouragement meant absolutely nothing to me:
"You can't even feel it"
"It feels like a bee sting"
"My 5 year old got it done"
"It's over in a second"

My needle-phobia had me brainwashed that it was going to hurt. It may as well have been a semi automatic weapon going through my ear. We all have our issues. Some don't like going to the dentist. It doesn't bother me. Some don't like being in front of crowds. I'm at home on a stage! But put a needle in me and I'm a puddle of mess!

When I woke up this morning and knew it was coming, the nervousness really set in. When I walked into the mall, I swear I had heart palpatations.

So, here's the momentous occasion in pictures:
Where it happened

Signing my life away

The nerves were taking over at this point

Drawing the dots

Almost time

First ear

Second ear

Don't really know why I'm grinning from ear to ear...probably delirious!

Checking out the finished product

Ta-dah! thoughts now that it's over:
-it definitely did NOT hurt!
-some people said the sound was worse than the the earring going through, the sound didn't even bother me
-yes, I was worried for nothing
-it was all in my head and I'm so glad I did it

Am I ready to pierce my navel? Heck no! Am I ready to give blood? Not in this lifetime! One thing at a time!

What are afraid of that you know is all in your head?

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Church was great yesterday! It was the final message in our series, Christmas Rebellion. (I would encourage you to listen to the series here. Click on "members & attenders".) It was about rebelling against assumptions.

We all make assumptions and usually, they are wrong. Ever assumed someone was pregnant...and they weren't?! Ouch! Ever assume some recipe you find online sounds good? Yuk!

Pastor Shawn actually began the Christmas story in Luke 1:11-20 when the angel came to Zechariah to tell him he would finally become a father.

Zechariah was standing in the presence of God's top angel, Gabriel, who was delivering a message straight from God himself and Zechariah still had a hard time believing. He immediately assumed that because he was old and his wife Elizabeth was old that it would be impossible.

How typical is that of us? Strike that last typical is it of ME!! I immediately look at my situation, my surroundings and inform God of the seemingly impossible situation. As if He was unaware of it.

Yes, things are bad in the world right now. People are fearful. We hear things might get worse before they get better. We pray for things that just aren't being answered the way WE want or in the timing WE want, blah, blah, blah...

...but the good news comes a few verses later in Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God."

We tend to assume that just because we had a bad year, that this Christmas is destined to be bad, too. But it doesn't have to be.

Think of what the verse means..."For noTHING is impossible with God! What are the "things" in your life? Substitute those "things" in the verse:

No "debt" is impossible with God!
No "loneliness" is impossible with God!
No "fear of the future" is impossible with God!
No "family problem" is impossible with God!
No "economy problem" is impossible with God!

You get the point.

Dear Lord ~ Help me to keep my eyes on YOU. Not my situation. Not what I see with my eyes. Help me to always remember that nothing is impossible with You!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Welcome to my Home!

I LOVE the Christmas Tour of Homes! Last year was my first year and I met so many neat people who I still keep up with today. So...welcome to my home!

My tree

My mantle

This is new for me this year! I've always wanted the Willow Tree nativity set, so this is the beginnings of it!

My vase of silver pom-pom balls.

Entry hallway

That's pretty much it! Thanks for stopping by! Oh, one more thing...I love to cook and bake and I try to have some little nibbles when people stop by, so I'm including a recipe for Muddy Buddies. They are so yummy and a great gift idea!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ministry is exhausting!

After an 8 and a half hour day with 90+ middle schoolers, I volunteered tonight at The Holiday House for Square Peg Ministries, a ministry for mexican immigrant, at-risk children. The kids have been earning bucks for bringing their bibles to Kids Club, memorizing memory verses, etc. Tonight, they got to spend their bucks on gifts that they will give their family on Christmas morning.

None of the gifts were for the kids themselves. It was all about teaching them to give to others.

After the kids "shopped" they brought their gifts to get wrapped. That's where I came in! It was non-stop!

Tomorrow, I'm helping out at a Christmas party for Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp for kids in the foster care system.

Then, rounding out the weekend, is children's church.

I'll need a weekend to recuperate from the weekend!

Monday, December 08, 2008

I scream, you scream!

...ok, predictable title, I know. But I just wanted to share a little holiday cheer with you. I love ice cream. Probably more than someone should, so imagine my delight when I came across this festive goodness:

Sooooo good! I think it would also feel good on a sore throat. The minty-ness offers a soothing retreat for a scratchy throat.

But trust me, it's just as good on a healthy throat! Enjoy!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

There's so much I love about this time of year. And one of them was this past weekend. The annual Sisterchicks Party!!

Here's the lowdown:

Food-Salads (Should've added some soup or something warm to it!!)
Place-Kristen's house
Theme-Time of Day (Gifts that reflect your person's favorite time of day)

Here are some highlights...and yes, Santa did make an appearance. Scaring us at first, then we cracked up laughing!

We draw names and buy a big gift for one person, but then usually try to get everyone a little something. This year I decided to go the homemade route and made cupcakes for everyone.

I made many different kinds. I can't tell you how many more cupcakes I STILL have!

My fridge was overflowing with them. This does not even count the ones I didn't have time to frost!

It was great fun and next year will be our TENTH ANNIVERSARY of our Christmas party! Any ideas to celebrate the tenth??

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