December Birchbox

002003So a few months ago I came across a blog post by Kate at The Small Things Blog about her Birchbox subscription.  I had never heard of them before and when I saw it, I thought “You mean it’s like getting a surprise present every month? Sign me up!”  So I put in my request for a subscription.  I’ve really enjoyed getting these every month and love trying the new products that I get in them.

This month my box has:

~ Harvey Prince Hello Perfume

~Sheer Glo Pearly Lotion from Manna Cosmetics

~Number 4 Non-aerosol  Hairspray

~Organic Healing Balm from The Honest Company

~ Printed Hair Tie from Twistband

The perfume has a light fruity/citrusy scent.  I really like that.  I prefer aerosol hairspray but I can leave this little bottle at work so that if I ever need a quick spritz, it will be right there.  The healing balm and hair tie are already in my purse. 🙂 I am not sure about the sheer glo lotion but maybe I’ll give it a try when I need a little color.


High Five for Friday

So this week went by in a BLUR!  I can’t believe everything that happened this week!  So excited to look back and see that it was a great week!  Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth and Jenny for High Five for Friday!

So excited for his gifts!

So excited for his gifts!

1.  On Saturday we attended Jaxon’s first cub scout Christmas party!  He is so excited to be part of scouts after waiting so patiently while we attended all the fun things for Brennan while he was a cub scout!

Christmas Parade

Christmas Parade

2. We were part of the town Christmas Parade with the pack on Sunday!  It was cold and rainy but our float was so cute with all those cutie scouts!  I adore these kids like none other!  I am so proud to be a scout mom and Tiger den leader!

So proud of his gingerbread house!

So proud of his gingerbread house!

3. On Wednesday, the kiddies had a half day so J’s teacher had parents come in and make gingerbread houses with them!  I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out and giggling and building, getting messy with my boy!  I just love him soooo much!!!

Me and Santa

Me and Santa

4. Yesterday Santa came to the preschool where I worked and took pictures with the kiddos.  Ian made a great Santa didn’t he?!  So thankful for him volunteering for my littles at school!

Merry Christmas Ian!

Merry Christmas Ian!

5.  And last but certainly not least, Ian got his Christmas present early!  His all time favorite comedian, Gabriel Iglesias, came to the Performing Arts Center here in SC last night!  I bought Ian tickets and we made a night of it!  It was a great show and I laughed harder than I have in a long time!  Merry Christmas Ian!

So tell me what was your week like???

XOXO, Denise

High Five for Friday

This is my first High Five for Friday post!  I read through hundreds of these every Friday so I thought I’d participate this week!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth!

1.  We put up our Christmas Tree this past Sunday.  I love how pretty it turned out!


2. At Scouts on Tuesday night, we made the most adorable snowmen ornaments with nuts and washers.  This is J with his snowman!


3.   I received notification on Wednesday that I had been awarded the TEACH scholarship to go back to college!


4. Yesterday I received these beauties at work with a sweet note from Ian~ Just Because!


5.  I spent several hours at work helping put up and decorate this massive 12 foot Christmas Tree in the foyer of our school.  I think it turned out beautifully.  I love my job!

So tell me what were the highlights from your week??

Happiness is…. Going Back to College! Again!

That’s right folks.  A few months ago I applied for a scholarship that SC has for Early Childhood Education.  I received a letter Wednesday night saying that I had been awarded the scholarship that pays 80% of tuition for an Associates Degree.  Part of the perks is that, in order for me to qualify for the scholarship, my employer has to agree to pay 10% tuition costs also.  Well, thankfully, I have an amazing employer and she is doing just that.  So that leaves just 10% of the tuition for me to pay.  Totally doable! So I went in to the college yesterday and submitted my re-admittance application (I attended there back in 1999-2000.)  Today, I did my orientation and met with the financial aid people.  I have to say that it’s crazy how fast this is all going.  I have to go back in next week and meet with my advisor and register for classes.  I am hoping and praying that most of my classes can be taken online so that I am not away from the kids too much more than I have to be.  I already miss them a ton while I am at work all day.  It’s only 2 years and it’s such an amazing opportunity.  Another piece of my fresh start falling right into place!  I’m finally starting to feel a little more like myself instead of Denise Downer all the time.  One day at a time!  Happiness is being a college student again! 

Can I be real honest for a minute?

I am truly the type of person that tries to look for the good in all situations.  I try to see the bright side.  I find happiness in the small things like a good cup of coffee, a text from someone saying they were thinking of me, a hug, my boys laughter.  I’ve never asked for much out of life.  I simply want to show the love of Christ to everyone I meet and be the best person I can be.  But let’s face it, I fall short every single day.  Some days I fall short moment by moment.  There are some days that the pain in my heart feels like it’s going to rip right out of my chest.  Lately, I’ve been feeling that a lot lately.  With the impending divorce, losing my grandfather and so much other stuff going on, my heart aches.  I never know how much to share.  I know that I will continue to find the little things that bring joy to my life even in the midst of the storm and pain.  I am praying for direction and clarity.  I want God to rain down HIS will for me and make the path so clear that I know exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  I know He will bring peace if I seek Him in obedience.  Will you please be in prayer with me for wisdom and discernment like never before?  I know He goes before and behind me.  I know He works ALL things (the good and the bad, the happy and the pain) for the good of all who love Him. 

Father, please hear my prayer.  Please make my path straight and as bright as can be so that I know exactly where I am supposed to go and do.  You are the everything I need.  You are the prince of peace and my comfort at all times.  Thank you for the work you are doing in me and around me.  Thank you for preparing me for your Will.  Thank you for providing counsel when I need it the most.  Thank you for those who are showing me YOUR love.  Thank you for just EVERYTHING.  I need you every single moment for every single breath.  Keep my eyes on you and a spirit of grace in my heart.  Thank you for letting me know over and over again I can trust You.  Father, I just thank you.  I love you.  Amen

Thanks for letting me share my heart today.  There is pain but there is always something to be thankful for and happy about. 

That’s what Happiness is!


Happiness is… Sometimes Not Being Happy

After such a rough week last week and a horrible start to this week, I really need the reminder of things I’m thankful for and things that bring me happiness.  Last week, Wednesday, November 20th my pappy Paul passed away at 4:30 in the afternoon.  He had lung cancer and had been in remission for years.  A few months ago, it came back.  Week before last, unbeknownst to me, the doctors had told him there was nothing else they could do for him.  Anymore treatment would kill him.  So they sent him home with my granny to make arrangements and live out the rest of his days.  Hospice came in Wednesday morning for the first time.  By that afternoon he was gone.  After work on Wednesday, We took B to his friends playoff football game.  We were cold, and enjoying some hot chocolate and watching my friends son’s team kick some butt, when my phone rang.  It was my dad.  He never calls so immediately I thought something was wrong.  I left the bleachers and called him back.  That was when I heard the words that changed and rocked my world.  How can the world still turn and go on while one of the greatest men I ever knew in my life was not in it any longer? Anyway, Thursday I went to work and did my job just to keep busy.  Friday, I stayed home and rested.  That night was the visitation at the funeral home.  Two hours of standing at his casket and not being able to say goodbye.  Watching his friends and comrades from the VFW come to attention and salute him.  Holding my granny’s hand as people gave their condolences.  Hugging family members that I hadn’t seen in years due to being in Utah for so long.  Reuniting with my cousins and meeting their wives and children. 

Saturday was the funeral.  We arrived just in time for my family processional to arrive and walk in to the church together.  We left the boys with friends and family while we went.  I knew it was going to be hard on me and I didn’t want to put them through it.  My cousin, Jason, did the eulogy in his formal Navy Dress.  He spoke of honor and valor since my pappy served in two wars, Korea and Vietnam.  Before he finished, he called muster, which is a roll call that the military does after a battle to find out who survived and who had fallen.  He did this while standing at attention and facing the American flag.  It seriously made me come undone.  Then we got in the procession to the grave side where they did the full military rite.  Air Force Honor Guard carried my pappy from the hearse to the grave site.  The preacher said a few words and the Honor Guard folded the flag, played Taps and fired the shots and presented the flag to my granny.  Then my granny, daddy and his brother and sisters placed red roses on his coffin.  I just stood there in the chilly air and cried.  Thankfully Ian was by my side and held me up so I didn’t fall in the dirt.  I hugged my granny harder than I ever had in my life. 

We went back to the church for a meal after the funeral.  Wonderful Southern women cooked and prepared a feast.  We ate and then several of us went back to granny’s house.  I was the last to leave minus my aunt and her husband, my cousin, his wife and daughter who were staying with her. We had a good visit filled with stories of the old days, silly things pappy did, laughs and some tears. I was able to bring a peace lily home from granny’s house.  I am determined to keep it alive.  Thank goodness it’s a forgiving plant. 

So to sum up… sometimes your just not happy.  Sometimes you have to be sad and grieve.  That is what I am doing – grieving.  Because I can’t imagine life without this amazing man who I had the privilege of being his granddaughter. 

RIP Pappy Paul West I pray you are healthy and happy in the arms of the Father now.