Thursday, December 30, 2010


We'll be cheering on our Vols tonight when they play UNC!  Chris and I would be there except that Chris couldn't get off work today.:( That's OK, though.  We'll watch it from our cozy (warm) couch with the best seats in the house!  Go Vols!!!

P.S. I will be joining with my lovely Auburn friends to cheer on the Tigers in the National Championship.  Gotta cheer for the SEC, right?  Sending out some love to you guys!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I'm liking the way things are looking around here!  I loved my holiday background, but I was definitely ready to get back to my normal cheerful background.  Is everyone thinking about changes they are going to make in their lives for the year 2011?  I have been.  I always make resolutions even if I don't say them out loud or write them down.  I don't know mine specifically right now, but I am ready to make some changes in my life and right now is a good time to do it.  The beginning of January-after the indulgences and "over-everything" of the Christmas season-seems like a good time to clear out the cobwebs and start fresh.  Can I make these changes stick throughout the year?  I will be thinking about my specific goals in the next couple of days and maybe I will share a couple with you all.  There's a lot to be said for accountability, right? :) Do you have or are you thinking about any resolutions this year? 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mr. Bluebird On My Shoulder

This cheeky little guy is what I saw when I let Bailey out this morning.  I am considering him a little messenger from God telling me to shake off the after-Christmas blues and to remember Him as we are getting back to normal around here.  I hope all of you are having a wonderful Monday and a wonderful week!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry White Christmas and a Celebration of 100!

This post is coming to you a date late!  That is because I have been in the land of no Internet the past couple of days-Woodbury, Tennessee.  We were supposed to drive home last night but ended up staying an extra night because of the weather.  It was great, though, because we had more time to spend with cousins, play games, and eat more fudge. :) We are back home now after a wonderful Christmas with both of our families. I honestly can't remember the last time it snowed on Christmas.  At my mom's house it started snowing Christmas Eve and we were convinced we were going to wake up to a white Christmas.  This is what we saw in the morning:
This snow might not seem impressive, especially to my lovely friends of northern persuasion, but it kept snowing throughout the day and was beautiful to this southern girl's eyes! Here are a few shots from Christmas Eve and Day:
 I had to show you all one of the most special gifts this Christmas.  Stacey's friend's grandma took photos of our family, transferred them to fabric, and made a photo quilt and was Stacey's gift to Mom.  It was beautiful, full of memories, and so special.  Mom loved it and I know she will treasure it for years to come.  If you click on the photo you can enlarge it and see some of the individual photos.
We watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on Christmas Eve which was one of my Dad's favorite movies.  He sure was missed this Christmas but I think that he would be proud to know that we were happy and spent time together as a family.  We miss you so much, Daddy. 

We also spent time at Chris' grandparents' house which is always a blast.  We ate too much food, played games, and stayed warm and cozy inside while it was cold and snowy outside.  We decided to stay here another night so we could drive home in the daylight.
As I said, we are home, in our warm pjs, and snuggled in for a couple of nights to ourselves.  We have had a wonderful holiday and are so thankful for so many people who bless our lives.

In other news, this is my 100th post to "What's Up Buttercup?"!

It is pretty exciting.  I never knew when I started blogging this summer that I would love it so much.  I love being able to share my loves, disappointments, and joys with those who read it.  That leads me to another important point-THANK YOU to those of you out there who visit and read.  I'm so glad you aren't tired of my ramblings and whims.  I love being able to connect to you in some way and isn't this a fun way to do it?  So here's to the next 100 and I hope they're some good ones!:)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Home for the Holidays

Tomorrow we begin our Christmas travels all over Tennessee!  I am so excited to see family and spend time together.  I'm hoping you have a wonderful Christmas holiday and safe travels to wherever you are going.  Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale, Frohliche Weihnachten, Mele Kalikimaka!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to My One and Only

Happy Birthday to my red-headed husband!
Oh how I love him so.  
Why do I love him so, you ask?  
he loves to travel with me.
he makes me laugh. 
he loves the outdoors.
he's always up for the challenge!
 of his sense of adventure!
he will walk miles with me through Central Park in the rain just to let me take pictures of a fountain.

he gives great hugs and better kisses and puts up with my quirks and my whims (oh I have so many!).  He helps me find my keys and waits patiently for me while I shop at my favorite store.    He works for us and takes care of us and most importantly is my Best Friend.  Happy Birthday to you, my Christopher Wade Hughes. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Krispy Kreme snowmen doughnuts-a new request for our birthday treats this year.  I say again-Yumm.:)

Christmas Cheer?

A rainy, gloomy day like this one needs a little Christmas cheer!  I am off work today and have decided that I can't stay in the house any longer.  I have done enough housework that I think I can leave with a clean (mostly) conscience.  I am headed off to the mall for a little window shopping and to possibly spend some birthday money.  (Yes, mom, I know you are in shock that I still have birthday money.)  Then we're headed to Johnny Carino's tonight for mine and Chris' birthday dinner!  We've decided on something different for our birthday treats rather than cake or cupcakes.  Check in later and see what we chose!  Happy Tuesday!  Hope it's not so gloomy where you are!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just Some Thoughts For Today

It's coming on Christmas and I'm tired already.  Does December do that to you?  In our family we have two birthdays and Christmas all in two weeks, not to mention all the get-togethers and parties.  It's fun and exciting but it can be exhausting!  I'm not sorry we didn't put up our tree.  Well, mostly not sorry.  I miss it but I'm glad, with our limited space, to leave that decorating til next year.  I'm missing my Dad too.  Christmas just seems kind of different this year.  I guess that is part of life-things changing and having to adapt to things that are strange or different.  I do have so much to be thankful for, though, even on this earth.  Lord, thank you for the blessings that I have that I don't deserve!  Thank you for families and memories and hope of eternity!

  Here is our tree that I so look forward to getting back out next year!
 Us on Christmas morning last year.
OK, I know this post has already been kind of random so I'll throw in a little more randomness.  At our small group Christmas party the other night, Jerrod, who was leading our thoughts before a prayer, read from his Bible which was a version different from any I had ever heard.  What I thought was so interesting is that this version talked about Jesus coming to our rescue.  Isn't that kind of funny, considering this time of year?  A baby-born in a stable-in some obscure country-came as our rescue?  I am struck a little dumb as I consider the simplicity and complexity of it.  A little teeny baby who grew and died and rose from the dead.  Wouldn't it be more than amazing to be able to to catch a glimpse of his toddler or teenage years?  Our rescue.  Reminds me of the Acapella song:  (ok, ok, humor me for one more minute and then I'll be done.:)

Lord You know everything I've done
Every thought I've had, You know every one
And Lord You know every time I fall
Still You come to my rescue when I call

Lord You hear every idle word,
Every thoughtless deed, how it seems absurd
That Lord You give, not what I am due
But mercy; You come to my rescue 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

Oh yes.  Here it is, my 1968 vintage doll that I won in tonight's white elephant gift exchange.  I know you are jealous!
I think it's name is Plumpy.(?)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

He Made It!

I am so proud of my little brother!  He just graduated from Freed-Hardeman University tonight and is going to be filling in as a teacher starting in January.  When I say that I am proud of him, I don't mean only for graduating.  He is one pretty cool kid all the way around.  I love you Brian and so excited for the things coming up for you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Counting My Blessings

So I've told you before about my awesome family, right?  Well, I've got some awesome friends as well!  They braved the ice and the cold to help me celebrate my birthday tonight.  So glad everyone made it home in one piece, especially Jenna!:)  Seriously, I had a wonderful day shopping and getting my massage and then celebrating with my extended family after church tonight.:)  I could not have asked for a better birthday.  Love you guys!

Thank you also to my sweet husband for planning a surprise for me.:)  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Exciting Things

I'm so excited and I want to tell you all about it!  I was reading another blog recently which echoed the same feelings I have about writing about birthdays.  My birthday is tomorrow and I hesitate to write that because what do I say...Happy Birthday to me?  Send me presents?  No.  That's not why I'm telling you.  I'm telling you because my birthday is tomorrow and I'm excited about it.  Excited that I'm going to be 25!   OK, I'm caught and I will tell you the truth.  I'm going to be 31.  Whew, saying it doesn't seem quite so bad.  In fact, I love birthdays, no matter what age, and I LOVE birthdays in December.  Everyone puts up twinkle lights and pretty decorations for my birthday!:)  How thoughtful of them.  What I am really excited about, though, is the card I got in the mail yesterday.  It was a birthday card but it wasn't just any ole birthday card!  Inside was written a message from my Mom, brother, and sister telling me that I have an appointment on my birthday at a spa here in Knoxville!  What?  Yes!  A one-hour massage that is already paid for and the tip is paid!  How did they know that it would be one of the most perfect gifts EVER?  How did they know?  Because they are the great Mom, brother, and sister EVER!  So come tomorrow around 4 o'clock pm you know where I'll be.  Don't call me.:)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

Cookie Swap:  6 dozen cookies that I took + 6 dozen cookies that my mother-in-law took = 12 dozen cookies in this house!!!!  This is not good math!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Time to Bake!

If you know me at all, you know I love to bake!  You also know that I love chocolate.  Sooooo give me the chance and I will bake something chocolate! Here's my chance...we are having a cookie swap on Saturday.  I needed to bake 6 dozen cookies!  Really, this is my kind of challenge.  I'm revealing to you today the Deen/Hughes Chocolate Cherry Christmas Cookie.:)  OK, yes, this recipe is really Paula Deen's.  It is her chocolate gooey butter cookies recipe.  However, I added a couple of ingredients which make them special and make them "Christmasy".  I love them and I just hope everyone else does!  Here's the recipe:

1 block cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1 egg, room temp
1 t. vanilla
1 box chocolate cake mix
1/2 bag white chocolate chips
1 cup candied cherries, chopped

Oh yes, did I mention that there are candied cherries in these cookies?  Surprise!  They are the kind of cherries that are normally in fruit cakes. (yuck)  I decided to try it, though, to add a little touch of red for Christmas.  Think-chocolate covered cherry.  I really like them in the cookie and think they give them a little flair.  If you don't like them-leave them out!
Preheat oven to 350.  Mix butter and cream cheese together with mixer.  Mix the egg in and then the vanilla.  Add the cake mix, a little at a time, until incorporated.  Don't overmix.  Fold in the white chocolate chips and candied cherries.  Chill dough for 2 hours.  Form tablespoon-sized balls of dough and put 1-1 1/2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.  I use a little cookie scoop which works really well.  Bake for 10-12 minutes-cookies should still be shiny on the top.  They should stay gooey!!
   Aren't they pretty?  I made them "Christmasy" but there could be tons of variations such as adding peanut butter chips, Andes mint chips, or nuts instead of white chocolate and cherries.  Let me know if you try them!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Let the Festivities Begin!

Do you know what this means?  The semester is over, grades are in, I've got a nice long Christmas break, and then it's on to our last and final Spring semester!  Feels good!

Turn Your Eyes

When I left for school this morning it was snowing-big soft fluffy snowflakes.  It was very quiet and peaceful and at first I imagined that I could hear every soft snowflake hitting the ground.  I drove to school and took my last final for the semester.  One more semester to go!  My test was hard but I know that I did well enough.  I'm so excited to be finished for a little while and have more time to spend with Chris.  It's been a hard year in so many ways and I feel that the close of this semester gives me the opportunity to start new and fresh for the new year.  When I got home today I took my Bailey-boy for a much-needed walk and one of my favorite Newsboys' songs came on my iPod.  I'm sharing it with you to remind myself and you, if you choose, where to focus our eyes.
"When you're dull from all that glitters, when your thoughts have a hollow ring, when you can't escape from the feeling you're getting it wrong.  When your foolproof plans seem foolish, when your status is status quo, all you really need to know is where you belong.  Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
I was used to the cold for so long that I couldn't feel anything and I shivered instead like a beggar who won't lift his hands.  I was lost until He touched me.  I was deaf until He heard.  I was senseless til I met the one who understands.  Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Living Christmas Tree

The Living Christmas Tree is something that Chris and I have wanted to see for a few years and finally got the chance last night.  The production was excellent, with a good storyline and great reminders of what Christmas really means.  The best way to describe this event is in photos, so here goes:
Jesus' birth
Everyone coming to see and worship Jesus
Jesus is raised from the dead.  They portrayed Jesus' death on the cross which was really moving.  However, it felt like a time when I didn't want to take pictures.
The "Living" Christmas Tree
Part of the finale
I just loved the giant, sparkly snowflake.:)
We went with great friends.  
Yes, even Elvis showed up at The Living Christmas Tree.:)
Friends made it even better!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity was awesome today!  We started with a house that had absolutely no inside walls and, by the time Chris and I left, all the walls were almost built.  There was one thing though-It was COLD and rainy.  The cold was the kind that seeped into your bones and made you think that you would never be warm again.  That's what I felt like today.  I learned 2 things...1. It's hard to swing a hammer.  2. It's hard to swing a hammer when you can't feel your hands.:) Oh yes, one more thing...Lunch donated by Calhoun's is like manna from heaven when you're cold and hungry. It was awesome.  Weather aside, it was a great day and it felt good to give back.
We met the homeowner whose house we were building.  Her name happened to be Regina!  It was awesome to talk to her and get to know her and work side by side to help build her house.