*snow fall on a Monday morning. It provided such a pretty view of the sky out of my home office window... and an even prettier view when seeing it melt on the street. ;) I love snow up until about January, but am not quite ready for the first blizzard yet. This light snow was pretty and perfect.
*fall cleanup Sunday. Cody had a free Sunday since the Bucs were the Monday night game this week. He and the boys spent a couple of hours outside cleaning up the yard while I stayed inside and cleaned up the house. It felt so good to be productive and get things done... it doesn't happen a lot in the Fall with our busy football schedules. Our yard was a mass of heavy leaves thanks to the big trees on our lot. I love those trees in the Summer as they provide a lot of shade and actually lessen our cooling bill, but they tend to make a big mess! Jaden learned how to use the leaf blower and the big riding lawn mower (with Daddy of course), and by the time they were done, I could see my green grass again! While they worked outside, I focused on the little projects inside that had been accumulating -- specifically, our basement. This basement of ours gets used a lot and serves a very important purpose as playroom and football-watching man cave. However, it's also an area of our house that I find myself avoiding spending time in. It's been a hodge-podge of football décor, Panther décor, and random décor -- none of it matching. Throw in a lot of toys and disorganization, and it just hasn't been a place that I have felt content in. I'm working on changing that. First off, Jaden and I went through all of their toys and picked out things for them to give away before Christmas (all the while talking about giving/receiving) -- and making room for the new stuff we will get this year. After that was done, I rearranged all of our décor down there to make it more cohesive -- moving some of the décor to the upstairs to our kitchen and bedroom and getting rid of items that just didn't even make sense. I finally settled on a theme and colors -- red and black for Cody's Tampa Bay Bucs and AP Falcon interests (it is his man cave, after all) -- and because we've received some pretty nice gifts over the years that go along with that color scheme. I'm looking forward to finally making that a focus for some home decorating, and it's amazing how much more comfortable I already feel in my own basement now. Just in time for the winter months and cabin fever!
*speaking of the basement... Cody acquired this shelf for free from a guy that was just going to throw it away. I immediately knew we needed to use it downstairs for our games and puzzles as the boys are getting more interested in playing and learning board games, and I wanted them to be easily accessible to them. The addition of this shelf to the basement added a more cozy feel, as well -- and it even provoked a Sunday game night downstairs. It works fine as is for now... but I have future plans for some white paint and some decorative paper backing on the inside.
*parent lunch at the daycare. Our daycare throws a lunch every year for the parents of the three, four and five year olds. Last year we attended with Jaden, and this year was Brandon's turn. The kids all make a table decoration that we can bring home with us, and Brandon was in rare form --- so excited to have Mommy and Daddy eat lunch with him while surrounded by his buddies. He was a little chatterbox - while eating all of mommy's fruit and sharing his chicken sandwich with Daddy.
*my little office art gallery. Brandon is our little artist in the making and is so proud of his coloring and projects he works on at preschool and daycare. He always wants to hang his pieces up somewhere the minute we get home at night, and he spreads the love between his room and my office. He knows where to find the tape in my desk drawer, and he takes it upon himself to hang his pieces up along the wall right next to my desk chair.
*a Christmas card order. I planned and designed our cards in October knowing that Shutterfly usually has a huge discount on cards in the early part of November. Sure enough, their 40% off sale was going on in addition to free shipping -- and I received a 20% off gift code in my e-mail -- all sales expiring on the same day. In total, I saved 60% - and received the free shipping -- for a savings of $51.00! Another item checked off my holiday preparation to-do list!
*a surprise check in the mail. We paid off one of Cody's student loans this fall and apparently over-paid a little bit, resulting in a surprise reimbursement check in our mailbox this weekend. Just in time for Christmas shopping. His timing... :)
*speaking of Christmas shopping, I have begun... and already have a few items in hiding from the boys!
*and speaking of Christmas... the anticipation of holidays is a very happy thing right now. I have some fun and exciting ideas and plans up my sleeve, and I'm looking forward to cozying up in our little snow globe and living out the magic of the season. Life is good!