What's Up Wednesday: December 2016

What in the world happened to December?  Where has it gone?  I feel like I just shared my What's Up Wednesday post from November, but that may also be because this December post is a week earlier than it normally would be.  I'm sharing a little insight into my life (usually) on the last Wednesday of every month by answering this questionnaire originated by some blogging ladies that I follow and admire.  I'm linking up with Sheaffer, Shay, and Mel who originated the idea.  


What I'm eating this week:

I am SO excited to report that this week I will likely not cook for myself at all because I will be traveling to visit my family out of state for Christmas.  This means I will be eating my step mom's and my Mammaw's delicious food!  I.cannot.wait.  I have been blessed to have four wonderful women in my life who have influenced my cooking style and the desire to cook.  My mom, step mom, and both of my grandmothers are great cooks.  Lucky me!  If I have any nights at home before I travel I will likely cook something easy for myself like my Paleo almond flour thyme chicken, my Paleo Rosemary chicken, or my Paleo coconut crusted chicken.  I have chicken breast in the freezer at all times and these are quick, easy, and flavorful.  I plan to put off any fun cooking experiments until after Christmas.  I've been craving two different beef dishes so they're bound to make an appearance in the new year. =)

What I'm reminiscing about:

Past Christmases with my family of course!  Growing up we would get together every Sunday and as life phases came and went it turned into sometimes more often and sometimes less often for me as I lived further away or merged my life with someone else's family.  But, one thing remains consistent - my family is my heart and my home.  Even though we may be spread out a bit more now and some travel may be involved I am ecstatic to see them and it makes my time with my family who are still local even more special when I see them.  

Separately, I can't help but reminisce about my boys in their Christmas attire. =))) I miss my angels every day.  *Note: I no longer have my boys post divorce.  After a custody struggle I relented to let their father keep them.  My heart has never been the same and I have grieved that decision for almost 5 years now.  So, if and when I mention them I will add this disclaimer. Their Christmas pics are too cute not to share!

  What I'm loving:

I am loving December in general.  My life is busy this month.  I love the holidays, the decor, the seasonal weather (when it's cold and/or raining), and I am loving my churches who consistently fill my heart with joy, faith, and hope.  I also recently got the iPhone 7 Plus and given how much life revolves around technology it has been SO nice not to have a phone that freezes with every text message like my iPhone 6 was doing after the IOS 10 update.  ={  That was so frustrating!

What I've been up to:

Yikes!  Can I sum it up with everything?  I've been out and about with friends, attended multiple Christmas events and work holiday dinners with friends and for my own.  I have been training for the half marathon, brunching, exercising, reading, blogging, shopping, and by the time you read this gearing up to travel.  

And then this happened last weekend.  That was pretty cool.  =}  


What I'm dreading:

Absolutely nothing!  I do not believe in this feeling/mind set.

What I'm working on:

Myself!  I'm always trying to improve in some form or fashion whether it is strengthening my faith in God, adjusting my mindset to remain positive in light of negative situations, improving my time management, working on my health & nutrition, or focusing on being more social because I am an introvert at heart.  I am working on learning and improving my blog as well to continue to be beneficial and helpful to others.

What I'm excited about:

2017 and all of God's promises coming to pass!!!  I am ready to leave (bury) 2016 in the dust.  Life is moving so fast and I feel God's calling on my life leading me in a direction only He knows.  I don't wish away 2017, but do look forward to being able to look back a year from now to see how different my life will be.  I'm excited about seeing my family & nieces for Christmas as previously noted too!


What I'm watching/reading:

I am still watching my fireplace DVD and Christmas movies.  Shocked?  I need to get them in sufficiently before the year ends and while I can watch them any time that I want, I suspect I should put something else on in the background while I work/read.  My favorites are: Christmas Vacation, Elf, The Holiday, Love Actually, Fred Claus, and Four Christmases.

This month I read 1st and 2nd Corinthians.  I am still reading "Without Rival" by Lisa Bevere as I've had to put it aside quite a bit given this past month's hectic schedule.  I began "Breaking Up with Perfect" by Amy Carroll on my Kindle for when I run on the treadmill which has been A LOT lately because of the weather and my half marathon training.  So far I have needed it's message.   I also began reading the book "Cherish" by Gary Thomas that I pre-ordered but then was invited to join the "street team" to read it before the book is released in exchange for reviewing it on Amazon.  While I had to print off a PDF to do this, it has also allowed me to read it while running on the treadmill so I will certainly accomplish finishing this book before I am required to review it in January.  

What I'm listening to:

I am still in love with Hillsong United's album Empires and their previous album Zion.  I listen to this all the time when driving, running, reading, praying.  They never fail to make me feel connected to God over and over again so I can't stop listening.  There's a remix of Zion on Spotify called the White Album that is excellent too and has better rhythm for running. I do mix in other music for running sometimes and I have playlists for that.

I listen to Christmas music through January 1st because that is my tradition.  It allows me to soak it in as much as possible before the drought comes.  While I'm getting ready for work I listen to podcasts such as: Joyce Meyer, Hope City, Bayou City Fellowship, Marriage Today, Love and Respect, Breakaway Ministries, and recently added Skip Heitzig.  You can find links to these podcasts in my post from last month here.  

What I'm wearing:

My usual on repeat: anything black, sweaters and dresses and sweater dressesvests, over the knee boots (and boots and boots and boots), and scarves.  Oh - and red anytime that I can because...CHRISTMAS!

What I'm doing this weekend:

I'll be out of town visiting my family and celebrating Christmas!  Woo hoo!  Rumor has it I'll even get to see some extended family and I couldn't be more thrilled.  I'm excited to go to a candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve while I'm out of town.  I am bummed to miss out on my churches' Christmas Eve services in Houston.

If you need some last minute Christmas party food ideas then check out my post here for some fun and easy stuff you can serve!

What I'm looking forward to next month:

January brings all things new.  What a wonderful way to start the year with new goals in mind, or continued goals for that matter.  I'm looking to forward to celebrating friends' birthdays in January, maybe taking a tropical trip (that I currently put on hold), running the half marathon again, and easing into the new year.  December is always a hectic month and it makes me appreciate hitting the ground running in January (no pun intended).

What else is new:

Shhhhhh!  No surprises given away yet...

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!