Sunday Blah

Summer break has ended for me and the Sunday blah’s are back in season. Do you experience the Sunday blah’s – the dread of impending Monday, the end of the weekend and the return to reality? I love my job, I love my schedule, I love having summers “off” and working the same schedule as my children….BUT it’s still hard to make the return, to say goodbye to late nights, sleeping in, and lazy days. My mood drastically changes on Sunday..I am grumpy and short tempered; it’s not good. My new goal is to stop the Sunday Blah – to embrace each day with a happy heart and a smile. Life is too short to waste a perfectly good Sunday worrying about getting up early on Monday.

So I am making a plan, a plan to help me meet my goal.

Step 1: Think of happy memories…Summer 2017 was a great one…the Mr. returned home, we staycationed at Disney with some of our favorite people, we spent time with family, we even made a surprise visit to Connecticut for a birthday party, winery, cupcakes, and pizza. These memories will get me through the Monday’s that lay before me. As a wise friend said, the beginning of the new school year means we’re getting closer to summer 2018 ๐Ÿ™‚

Step 2: Pray. To quote one of my favorite songs-ย In the middle of my little mess, I forget how big I’m blessedย (This is the Stuff, by Francesca Battistelli).

Step 3: Hug the Mr. Hugs from him always make me feel better, when wrapped in his arms I can feel the anxiety melt away. And if I’m lucky, he may even sneak in a forehead kiss!

Step 4: Forget the chores and to-do lists and have fun with my family. Tickle the kids, watch a movie, snuggle on the couch, go for a walk, play outside, go to the beach. Being together is my happy place.

And if all else fails…I’ll pour a glass of wine to go with my whine ๐Ÿ™‚

Rebecca

 

That Yellow Tablecloth….

My grandparents house has always been “home” to me. Growing up an Air Force brat and moving around, Mimi and PawPaws house was always a constant. So many memories in the house- summers and holidays with Mimi and PawPaw, Sunday dinners around the table, sleepovers and ice cream sundaes with PawPaw. There are many items in the house that hold special meaning to me – but one of my favorites is the yellow tablecloth. Family dinners have always been important in my family, we’d gather around the table complete with a tablecloth, place settings, and fresh cut flowers. Mimi always set the table beautifully; she has many tablecloths to choose from and usually used the fancier ones for Sunday dinners. The yellow tablecloth was reserved for casual dinners, messy dinners like ribs and baked potatoes. As I grew older, Mimi would bring out the yellow tablecloth just for me, knowing how much I love it. Since PawPaw passed away 3 years ago, there haven’t been as many family dinners around Mimi’s table, the array of tablecloths sit neatly folded in the hall closet. But this past weekend we were home visiting Mimi and my parents; I planned to cook Sunday dinner at Mimi’s house. I was to do all the cooking and Mimi was to prepare the table. My heart filled with joy and my eyes teared up when I walked in the front door and saw the yellow tablecloth laid over the table. So simple yet so meaningful. I pray that I will be able to enjoy many more meals with the family and the yellow tablecloth.

๐Ÿ™‚ Rebecca 

Merry Christmas…in July!

Reminiscent of a childhood summer at Weese’s (my late Great Aunt) house celebrating Christmas, in July, complete with a Christmas tree and gifts! Weese loved to keep her Christmas tree up year round, so when my sister and I were visiting one July, it only made sense to proclaim an early holiday.

O' Christmas tree

My memories prompted the start of a new family tradition with my bunch; today we celebrated Christmas – ย in July! There was a tree, gifts, decorations, and a turkey dinner. We have all had so much fun that we have decided that we will make this an annual tradition, taking place on the third weekend in July every year. I just finished stuffing my face full of carb-filled deliciousness with a side of turkey, and already I am thinking of ways to improve the festivities in July 2018.

In preparation for our event, we first made a menu: fried turkey breast, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, mountain bread and homemade peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert. One piece of advice, look at the recipes before you make your grocery list and go shopping, or be like me and make 2 additional trips to Publix on Christmas day to pick up forgotten items; at least the store isn’t crowded on our pseudo-Christmas day ๐Ÿ™‚

Next it was time to think about presents, because everyone loves presents! We drew names and set a budget of $20 and then we got to go shopping for that perfect gift. The kiddos were pretty creative with their selections, E drew her Daddy’s name and she bought him a small tackle box, hook, bobbers, and candy; N drew my name, he picked out a gorgeous cake stand for me (and then promptly begged me to bake a cake!) I was lucky to shop for N, finding a great book and some candy; the Mister shopped for E, making her day with an awesome skateboard! That was it – one gift each but I’ll tell you it seemed that they were all thoughtful and appreciated, much more than on December 25 when there is wrapping paper everywhere and so many gifts that one can’t even know for sure what ALL they received. This has prompted a new way of gift giving for us in December, but you’ll have to wait until the season to hear about that one ๐Ÿ˜‰

It wouldn’t be a Christmas celebration without a tree, but I’m definitely not ambitious enough to drag the big tree out of the garage and then fluff, light and decorate. So I cheated, I got N’s little pre-lit Christmas tree out of the closet, set it on a side table and plugged it in. I added two nutcrackers and a pine cone tree for a special touch. And we have had the tree lights on all day, just like the real day – Christmas lights really are so pretty. Maybe next year I can convince the Mister to decorate outside the house…in July…with lights and blow-ups…..or maybe that would be a bit too much.

We opened our gifts, we fried a turkey breast, we cooked, we ate way too much, we cleaned, and most importantly we enjoyed being TOGETHER. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with my handsome and 2 snuggle bugs…it’s time for a Christmas movie, a cup of hot chocolate, and a bowl of peach cobbler a-la-mode.

cobbler

Merry Christmas!

Rebecca

 

What is a Blackberry?

 

Blackberry

noun, plural blackberries.
1.the fruit, black or very dark purple when ripe

A blackberry is sweet, but it also has a dark side – hidden secrets that are only shared with the best of friends. That makes a blackberry, and in this journey called life I have been blessed with the very best of friends, the blackberries – an amazing trio that share happiness, tears, joys and fears together. And that is Blackberry Jam, a place to share life ๐Ÿ™‚ Welcome!

The Original Blackberries!

My name is Rebecca – I am: A blackberry. A mother. A Coast Guard wife. A teacher. A friend. And exhausted. Some days I feel like Super Woman, like I am capable of conquering the world and cooking, cleaning, working, mom-ing, and wife-ing. Other days ย it is nearly impossible to out real clothes on and cook a real meal. During summer (a teachers favorite season!) I seem to have more lazy days than productive ones. This week I find myself with plenty of time on my hands and hours to spend snuggled in my favorite cuddle chair; so with encouragement from my Mom, I finally decided to start Blackberry Jam.

I plan to share stories, recipes, real life, frustration, challenges, and celebrations here! Please come back and visit again!

๐Ÿ™‚ Rebecca