But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Dinner at Brown County Inn

I had such an awesome Thanksgiving, which is a change for me.  I'll be honest, I used to absolutely love the holidays....then they became too much work and too much stress and too much money and just brought on depression.  Then last year was my first holiday without both of my parents....I didn't want to celebrate at all.  This year I vowed to find the joy in the holidays again and have found that it may involve making new traditions and moving forward. 

We used to always have BIG family get-togethers with my parents and my siblings.  But, now that mom and dad have passed away, things are just so different.  As siblings we are no longer getting together with each other for a big dinner.  I didn't know what this year would hold, but after fighting cancer, I have vowed to do whatever it takes to enjoy life.  Sometimes you just have to change things up a bit and even start new traditions...leaving the old ones behind.  That's where I find I am at today.  So, we did something totally different for Thanksgivinng this year!  We went away on Thanksgiving Day for a 2 night stay at Brown County Inn, in Brown County, Indiana and ate dinner at their restaurant.

But, first...and most importantly....we had Thanksgiving Dinner with our children (Jen and Erin) and their families....Joe, Nathan, Jenna, Abby, and Luke.  It was a wonderful time!  Of course the evening began with food and lots of it!  I had been teasing Jen that I was going to make everything in the crock pot and she kinda challenged me...so I did it!...except for the fruit salad and pumpkin pie and macaroni and cheese (Jenna insisted that I not make my famous m&c in a crock pot,,,,actually Jenna made it!).  But, I had 5 crock pots going with turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and gravy.  Jen brought Green Bean casserole and deviled eggs and Erin brought salad and Corn casserole.  Add in Texas Roadhouse rolls and we had a feast!  I loved doing it with the crock pots....it kept everything warm!!!  I told my kids I need another one...they laugh...but I'm being serious!

Lots of good food...thanks be to God and the great cooks in our family!

Jenna and Luke

Erin, Nathan, and Larry

Clean the mess up and it's game time!  Jen brought the game CLR...or is it LRC...or RCL (anyway, Left, Right, Center....a pretty no brainer game...lol)?  Hmmm...Well, I'm not sure, but we sure had fun with it!  At first we played with the kids...with chips...then the adults were itching to play with dimes, so we got serious!  LOL!  Erin was the luckiest with that one.  We limited our gambling to $5 each...lol...we're such big time gamblers...NOT!  It was sure fun though!

Yep, that's my family!  :=)....with a couple missing (Jenna and Joe)

Luke...kids are so much fun to play games with!

Abby just horsing around waiting for her turn....

Oh look!  I found Jenna!  Teenagers tend to hide from the camera.

Luke got into trying out my new XBox Kinect game (thanks Thirty One!)

Larry joined him....

It was a great evening with our little family.  Special times....special memories! 

Thanksgiving Day
Then the next day...Thanksgiving Day....we headed over to Brown County. Once we got all checked into our room, we went to their restaurant for our Thanksgiving Day dinner. 
We had never been there before and found the Restaurant to be very rustic and inviting...all decorated for the holidays.  Very nice!  Great atmosphere and great food!

And the food was awesome!!!!  It was buffet style and you could tell it wasn't boxed or frozen food...but made fresh!  I didn't have to cook at thing on Thanksgiving Day!  :=)  It was just so relaxing!

My sister, Kim, and her daughter, Sarah, went with us.  Kim went for the roast beef.  Besides turkey, they had roast beef and ham!  A great variety of food and very yummy!

Our waitress snapped our pic for us.  We all had a great Thanksgiving dinner!

They had the hotel areas decorated for Christmas already and it just really put us in the mood for the holidays. 

We just relaxed the rest of the evening and Kim and I even made it down to the heated indoor pool for a swim before bed. 

The next day we headed into Nashville....we were actually walking distance at the hotel.  It was a beautiful day....not cold or rainy!  For those who live away or who may have never heard of Nashville, Indiana, it is a tourist town full of little shops...think Gatlinburg, TN or Dresden, Ohio.  We met people there from all over the country...Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania....it's an awesome place to visit!  And we only live 45 minutes away from it!

We loved these handmade deer...look at those teeth...lol!

A fun woodsie shop....

Carriage rides all day long....

The town was all decorated up for Christmas...what a great way to kick off our Holidays!  Walking around and seeing people so happy and having a good time and seeing all of the decorations....it just made me happy.  :=)  We had no set agenda...no time limits...just relaxation and doing whatever hit us at the time!  And lots of pictures!  Now, THIS is a great way to spend Black Friday!  And it felt great supporting "small businesses" owned by the locals.

Each little shop had decorations outside of it.  I had never been over at Christmas time, so I really enjoyed the decorations!
And the Christmas music!

We just loved the strolling old-time carolers!

And they were kind enough to let me and Sarah join them!

And then...and then....there he was!!!!!!!!!!  And Mrs. Claus too!

 I got to sit on his lap and tell him how good I've been all year!  :=)  And aren't his elves just the cutest?

And then Kim and Sarah tried to convince him that they had been good too.  LOL!

Now Larry was digging Mrs. Claus.  He even saw her the next day and she remembered his name....hmmmm.....lol!

We had a great lunch downtown....

We just had a great, relaxing day walking around and even made a few Christmas purchases!    Went back to the Inn and rested a bit and then Larry and I headed back into town for a Christmas show at the Palace Playhouse.  It was "Believe, A Brown Country Christmas".  It was fun and entertaining and we really enjoyed.  Back to the Inn and were going to the lounge to listen to a rock 'n roll band, but there was no seating left, so we just went back to the room.

Next morning....Saturday....our last day at the Inn.  Checked out at noon and then headed for a last swim before leaving the Inn!

Kim & Sarah

Fills all done....tissue expanders still in....one week and they will be replaced with
my silicone implants.  Can't wait! 

Do I dare show you what I look like in my swimming suit
without the tank top?????

Oh, ok....too late for modesty now!  This is actually my swim suit I had before I lost the weight, so in reality, it's too big.  I had to pull it tightly and pin it and I don't exactly "fill it out" anymore like I used to...lol!  And I have no butt left...lol...I would rather have no tummy left!  But, here I am!!!  Now, if I could just lose that tummy I have left, I'd be even happier (I shoulda sucked it in...lol)!  :=)  I do have a confession to make...I'm enjoying clothes shopping more now!  Haven't done a lot of it yet, but when I do, it's so much easier to find things that look good on me.  So, I guess you can say I'm enjoying my weight loss....not only for the way it makes me look though, but for the way it makes me feel.  I never realized how much the weight was dragging me down!

We went back into town again on Saturday after leaving the Inn and spent another day looking around.  Headed home and got home early enough to even get out and put lights on our split rail fence...something I've wanted to do for at least 5 years now!  Finally got it done this year!!!! 

We had an absolute great time over Thanksgiving and now today I've been making Christmas gifts and just laying around watching Christmas movies.  It feels good to finally be enjoying the holidays like I used to....instead of being depressed and wishing they were over.  I've simplified things and am just into enjoying an "old fashioned Christmas".

Now bring on the snow!!!!  LOL...yes, we're just "big kids".  Couldn't resist this when we saw it at one of the shops downtown.

Until next time...find that "big kid" that's inside of you and enjoy the holidays!  If you need to simplify things, do it!  If you need to begin a new tradition and do things differently this year, do it!  Sometimes change is good!  :=)  Do what it takes to enjoy this most blessed time of the year!

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