Who Stole My Holidays?

Let me just say, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for a job. I’m super grateful for a job which offers vacation and personal time. I’m grateful for the last couple of weeks I’ve been off, BUT I feel like someone stole my  holidays…and I want them back, or at least more of them.


So in honor of the things I have enjoyed since I clocked out on December 17th I present to you this list of things I will miss on Monday.


  1. Sleeping in, at least until 6am.
  2. Wearing leggings and jeggings everyday.
  3. Waking up to Michael Strahan. *wink, wink*
  4. Planning which Alabama shirt I would wear. #rolltide
  5. Covering my head with cute hats, sans the curling or combing.
  6. Talking on the phone at my leisure.
  7. Listening to Christmas music and my niece’s Wiz CD (Don’t tell them I said that, as I’ve convinced them I’m tired of hearing it).
  8. Watching Lacey Chabert, the girl who stars in just about every, single Hallmark Channel Christmas movie, A Different World in the morning and giggle-inducing Chrisley Knows Best marathons.
  9. Sleepovers at my parents.
  10. ESPN whenever I want it, on TVs throughout the house.
  11. Stealing cheese straws from my mother.
  12. Watching my nieces learn to skate and ride bikes.
  13. Polishing my toes purple in the middle of the day.
  14. Grimacing while riding the treadmill at the Y and not knowing if it was from the three miles I tried to get in or the scary episodes of Law and Order SVU plastered on the big screen in front of me.
  15.  Saying “Roll Tide” and “Merry Christmas” sometimes right behind each other.
  16. Sharing HILARIOUS memes and screenshots at random times during the day with my mommy, sister, aunt and cousins.
  17. Lemon Pepper Hot Wings from Alabaster Courtyard.
  18. Family holiday functions and fun with friends of old.

So, as I mentioned, there’s SO much for which I am grateful. I’m also hopeful for the future and the next time of respite and relaxation.



Santa, I Need Your Knee

Dear Portly Provider,

I need your knee. I have a list of needs, well, not needs, but major wants which I want to run by you. I’d like to plop right down on your sturdiest of red velvet covered legs to share this list.

I know there are important things in this world like peace and unity on earth, help for the impoverished, financial stability for those in need, curing of diseases, love, joy, and kindness which matter much more. I’m not even putting that pressure on you though. Jesus has that covered. However, I’m just dropping this little list off for you with hopes that you’ll do the same for me. Get it? As in, you dropping these gifts off under my not-yet-put-up Christmas tree.


Anywho, wanna know what I want? Here it goes:

  • An all-expenses paid, fun, long, money flowing, fear-free (I’m not trying to deal with any “we hate America” issues) trip to New York City, Las Vegas, DC/Baltimore, Chicago, West Palm Beach, Cali, Arizona, and Washington for my loved ones and me with more star sightings than a planetarium, more deals than the day after Christmas, more relaxation than a yoga studio on hiatus and more food than anywhere where there’s lots of food.
  • A new fancy-smancy, straight to social media digital camera for maximum blogation.
  • Money to do something so special for my parents that it makes both of them do their special dances which only come out when my Daddy has eaten something tasty and when my Mama is reminiscing about her days wanting to dance growing up.
  • A paid off, functional and cute car.
  • A closet full of CUTE clothes in my very own house that fit and someone to give away mine that don’t. (Did you catch me slide in “my very own house”? Pay attention big guy!)
  • Lifelong, amazing, friendly, football loving boos (as in husbands) for all of my girlfriends so that our husbands and us can continue the tradition of love, fun and support together even when we’re old and grey, or covered in some spicy blond for which we’re way to old to wear, but wear anyway.
  • Tickets to see the University of Alabama win another College Football Championships.
  • An amicable break up with Chase and Wells Fargo which leaves us both smiling. I’d prefer to smile MUCH BIGGER than them, please.
  • Paying clients for my writing, speaking/videos and PR skills.
  • Anything else I’m afraid to type but you know I want or need.



Make Your Holidays More About Memories Than Money

If you’ve not felt the pinch of the economy then consider yourself amongst an elite few.  Across the board people are finding themselves having to find ways to make the most out of whatever they have, no matter how much or how little. One season where we need to start thinking with the heart to outdo what’s in our hands is the Christmas season.  So many times people go out of their way and out of their minds spending money they simply do not have.  My thought, even before the changes with the economy is that a memory will outlast money any day.

Accustomed to completing my Christmas shopping by October, I began to feel overwhelmed this year because I wasn’t able to tackle my list early on like I had been in the past.  I haven’t even started. I’m used to off-season and outlet shopping that will rival any barganista. Maybe I was to take my Christmas giving to a new level by being even more frugal and even more creative in celebrating those I love as we remember the birth of Christ.


So I decided to share some Christmas shopping secrets with you:

  1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words and Doesn’t Cost a Thousand Dollars.-Print photos from events throughout the year and present them in inexpensive, yet beautiful photo albums.
  2. Leave a Love Note.-Present your loved ones with a handwritten, heartfelt letter telling them just how much they mean to you. Kick it up a notch by placing it in a frame or rolling it in a scroll with a dainty (or masculine) ribbon.
  3. Give a Sweet Treat.-You can’t beat a sweet!  Assemble their favorite sweet (or savory) homemade or purchased snacks in a gift bag or box.  Attach with a handwritten note that your loved ones can cherish long after the sweets are gone.
  4. Food, Glorious Food.- You can’t lose with food!  Print custom-made food coupons and present to your family and friends.  Offer them a redeemable coupon to use that will allow them to receive their favorite meal, baked good or specialty prepared especially by you. Who wouldn’t want to be able to redeem a coupon for Grandma’s Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Tea and Peach Cobbler at some random time in the year?
  5. Go Coupon Crazy.-Coupons are all the rave!  Take your couponing to the next dimension by taking a cue from the above tip and creating personalized coupons from you to your family and friends.  Offer to babysit, wash a carwash,  treat to a spa, or do breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.  The good thing about this is that they can redeem it long after the Christmas season has come and gone.
  6. Give the Kitchen to Your Kin.-Organize favorite family recipes and present members with an inexpensively printed family cookbook.
  7. Share the Days.-Make an inexpensive, personalized calendar with photos and birthday reminders on sites like walmart.com to give to loved ones.


Don’t Forget About Jesus Christ

Soooooooooooooooo much is going on in the world around us, especially of late, in the United States. There have been senseless killings, protests all around, civil unrest and injustice. There are sides spewing points of view at every second of the social media timeline tickers. The holiday shopping season is here, prompting mad rushes and frantic searches of shopping centers, malls and online stores. Big nasty flu bugs, and their cousins are causing sickness in some. Reality shows are rearing the uglier side of the two headed monster now threatening long-standing institutions of poise, service and dignity. Hollywood stars are accusing and being accused, and it seems so many have opinions. Hollywood movie powerhouses are entering the big leagues of politics and first amendment rights in a way not known before with disappointing actions internally and threats from abroad. Many are emotionally drained dealing with debt, depression, lack or lingering pain from the death of loved ones this time of year.

Personally, I’ve come to accept 2014 as one which will go down in the history books being defined by “development” for me. From very unfortunate business dealings I’m still dealing with from my divorce to times of feeling stagnant in my career, finances and personal life, I have gone through, and grown through some interestingly, valuable lessons this year. Not at all to complain or sound whiny, but most of which I would have preferred to skip right on by like a mean game of hopscotch on a hot West End sidewalk.

Just typing all of that made me “feel some type of way” as the modern day youth say. So it strikes me as no surprise how some can get easily distracted during what should be a time of expectation, gratitude, love, joy and peace. I woke up this morning around 2:38am and the words “don’t forget about Jesus” came to me. When I woke up again (for real) around 6:30am, the scripture on my daily devotional was from Luke 2:11-14.


Here’s the deal. When our birthdays are approaching we usually want and expect all eyes on us, in the most humble of ways, of course. The gifts, the celebrations, and all that good stuff are usually a reflection of the person being celebrated. On December 25, we celebrate the biggest, longest lasting birthday party ever, during the time set aside to mark the most miraculous birth on record for the Greatest guest of Honor in history, and yes, this is still so during this tumultuous time we are all currently in. Regardless of our reality, we are in the season of love and miracles.


This Christmas more than ever, through our actions, our reactions, the things we think about, the ways we interact, the spirit of expectation we have, our acts of kindness, our personal sacrifices, our fortitude through challenges, our expressions of gratitude and our God-given gumption to hope and believe for miracles should be a reflection of the One who has the power to change things for the better on our behalf.


Whatever you do this Christmas (and in all the days to come), don’t forget about Jesus Christ.