2015 Annual Christmas Cookie Swap

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My sweet neighbor and friend, Jeannine, always hosts an annual Christmas cookie swap. She is the most wonderful host and I have been honored to be included in her tradition for the last 10 years. She announced at the party that this would be the last year. Even though I am sad to see this annual tradition come to a close, I completely understand. ┬áThank you Jeannine for always making this a fun time for everyone. I meant to get more pictures but when you are having so much fun with friends, new and old, time seems to slip away and I was hustling at the end trying to document what I could. I even borrowed a couple from Jeannine’s FB page so I apologize for the quality in advance.

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My friend Jeannine and I.

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These were my boys favorites! Gingerbread cookies with german chocolate icing.

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Strawberry Chocolate Chip cookies won the most original.

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Yummy snowballs.

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Another version of snowballs.

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These were my turtle cookies. I won the prize for “best looking”………cookie that is.

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One of the ladies baked some of the Pioneer Woman’s oatmeal bars. They were delicious. But how can you go wrong with a Pioneer Woman recipe!

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Jeannine had these adorable ornament party favors for everyone. She thinks of everything.

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One of the photos I borrowed from Jeannine. We all loved the Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Cranberry Mimosa Punch.

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A picture of almost everyone at the party. One of the ladies had already left before we snapped this selfie. Such a wonderful group of ladies.

Thank you Jeannine for 10 years of fun and sweet memories.

Jeannine is an awesome wedding planner. So if any of you live in the Atlanta area and are in need of one please check out her website Honeysuckle Wedding Company. Her weddings are absolutely gorgeous.

Now check out who enjoyed the rewards of the bounty I brought home. Definitely owlet approved!

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Do you have a love of cookie swaps? I am thinking of picking up the torch from Jeannine for next year’s cookie swap. However, those shoes will be impossible to fill! I would love to hear your ideas.


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Reflections are usually reserved for when the Christmas festivities have come to a close. Not me , I have been doing a lot of reflecting these last couple of months. Not sure if it’s because our life around the nest has been so hectic this year or if there is something else making me feel so melancholy. Something I just can’t quite put my finger on.

One thing for sure is that the owlets are growing up so fast. The picture below was taken at their 4th birthday party. Now their 5th birthday is just around the corner. It seems like yesterday we were training superheroes.



I think that is part of it, moving through time in warp speed. I waste most of that precious time worrying about little stuff rather than actively participating and documenting this thing called ‘My Life’.

Melancholy can grab you at any time and you feel like it’s gripped you around the throat, slowly choking the life out of you. A hole has been dug and I am lying prostrate and bewildered.

  • Job demands….a shovel of dirt.
  • Husband finishing his PhD, essentially leaving me a single mom (if only for a short period of time)……a shovel of dirt.
  • Boys fighting……another shovel of dirt.
  • Home maintenance falling wayside……shovel of dirt.
  • Other life demands…….shovel of dirt.
  • Holidays nearing…….shovel of dirt.

Shovels of dirt rising. Weighing on me like stones. Hard to breathe. Buried alive. Outcome: eventual suffocation.  Something must change.

Desperately searching for how to simplify, I came across a blog entry about minimalism. Something resonated with me. So I began devouring every article, every blog, every you tube video I could find on the subject. Eureka! This must be it, I tell myself. We must become minimalist. All fired up I grabbed some boxes and trash bags and went to the first room that I wanted to start in. Forty-five minutes later I am standing in the same spot. Frozen. Bewildered. Overwhelming is an understatement. Not as easy as they make it sound.

Questions pummeling my brain:

Should I sell this stuff?

Where do I store it until I can hold a garage sale?

What do I price it at if I sale it?

Will the money made be worth it?

Would it just be easier and less stressful to just haul it to goodwill?

What is the secret packrat in me to do?

Despite my initial frozen stance. I finally did begin and it felt good to get rid of 5 bags of STUFF. I ended up taking that booty of treasures to goodwill just to remove it from my sight. Other rooms will not be so easy. This journey is going to be long and arduous. But I have to do it. I know in the end it will be better! I’m sure of it! I will be successful! Will it? Won’t I? Please be better!

My Superheroes are worth it!