One Year Ago Today….

One year ago today I met the love of my life. I met with Lee for coffee and we never spent another day apart since then, well maybe one day due to our children’s schedules but the point being is that we met off of and were such a perfect match that we never looked back.

In all honesty if I were to set a bullet point list of qualities that were important to me in a relationship as well as a life partner, Lee would fit every single one of them. We have an amazing capability to communicate, to show love to each other through all stresses and at the end of the night he never falls asleep without his arm on me.

Brandy Ellen Gets Engaged

Each day we wake up happy to be near each other, we don’t like being apart but we are not so out of our minds being apart that we can’t handle it. This week is living proof that we are two people, when put home together for a 12 day stretch, still don’t falter. No matter what you throw at us, we start swinging and always make it out on top. There are so many stresses going on in our world but that hasn’t kept our love from growing stronger each day.

When Lee comes up behind me to give me a quick hug or a quick kiss on the back of my neck while I am cooking our family dinner, I still get shivers. Goosebumps are a common occurrence when you put me with Lee, just the mere sight of him makes me so heart fluttering happy. Today, is one year and I am still just as smitten with him and him with me as our first day we met for coffee.

Engagement Ring

Never in a million years could I have thought I would have met someone who was indeed who his profile said he was, his appearance was what his profile picture showed him to be. Everything has been our most wonderful time of our lives and as we celebrate our one year anniversary today, we look down upon my left ring finger at the commitment Lee made to me and I made to him late Christmas night.

On Christmas night we went out to dinner, then walked around looking at the Christmas tree lights at the town common and then returned home to read this couples book. While reading this couples book we found that a lot of the tips and quotes that were inside of the book were ways we already think daily about each other, ways we already show each other our love and have for the past year. I don’t foresee that changing, why? Because if I only shared with you the extent of the challenges we have faced in the past year. It’s a long story, honestly, we may just write a book about it all someday. For now, they are our own family secrets so-to-speak that don’t need to be broadcasted, but let me just say this; Lee and I have experienced a level of stress that I personally have never, ever had to experience in such a mind boggling, jaw dropping way before. We never let these stresses affect our love, we cannot change outsider influences, we cannot change other people and we are determined to remember our love for each other at the end of every night – no matter what!

Engaged at 32

About 11pm on Christmas night, Lee got down on one knee and asked if I would do him the “monumental honor of becoming his wife”, there were tears, giggles because we both were so nervous and happiness. With a ring that is so pretty yet so simple. We now have committed to marrying each other in the future. We do not have a date set yet, we have the commitment and the intent to wed down, but now it’s all about planning what kind of wedding event we wish to have and then pick a date.

Right now, in all honesty, I am just enjoying the complete happiness that comes with being engaged and so is he. We are so blessed, both us as adults and our children, to have been able to experience the joining of two families with two adults who are completely, utterly in love with each other. Prior to our engagement, I had asked my daughter {because my son’s at ages 5 & 7 really have no real concept of “marriage”} what she thought about us getting hitched. Lee also asked his children what they thought about the idea of us getting married. With great happiness, all three of our older children were happy about the idea of us getting married. That was all we needed to know in order to move forward, while our children do not tell us what relationship we shall have or not, it is important that they play a key role in building our family, together, forever and always. The children are a huge part of our combined love together and we want them to know that we both love them all very, very much!

Tis the Season for Christmas Lights and I am Excited

What is the one thing that makes me smile during the Christmas season? Well Christmas lights of course. My daughter and I work hard together based on budget and our likes for the specific year to create a masterpiece on our home. From lights around the deck to Christmas lights across the eaves of the home, we do all we can afford to do every Christmas Season.

Home of Christmas Spirit Cornish NH

Each year we also go to visit The Home of Christmas Spirit in Cornish, NH where a family is all dressed up as elves, Mrs Claus and Santa. It’s a wonderful display of Christmas lights for everyone to enjoy with a hot cup of cocoa and snacks. Every year we donate our change into their donation bucket because we want this display of Christmas spirit to never go away, it’s a family tradition! With that being said, I am sure doing such a huge display costs a lot of money and that is why, about this time of year, I start searching online for great deals for Christmas lights. There is a website that offers all sorts of Christmas decor and lights, that website is They have a sale for Veteran’s Day weekend going on right now too, so I am surfing to see what I can find for deals.

The best thing about Christmas to us is really that spirit of Christmas, it’s what keeps Santa’s sleigh bringing gifts for all of the children all over the world and it’s what warms the heart of my family and others. Displaying Christmas lights outside of your home, or even inside, keeps the spirit alive every single Christmas season. There was one year that I was unable to afford to do a whole lot of lighting outside, but that didn’t keep us from place at least one set of lights up outside. There is no better feeling than driving into your driveway, after dark, and being warmed with the welcoming of Christmas lights shining brightly.

Happy Faces, Happy Moments

I love looking back on pictures that make me smile… my boys and me in one shot, all happy —

Mama Bear Fights for her Kids

The Dad at my house on Christmas Eve —

Grampa spending Christmas Eve with Grandkids

Getting a pic of all three of my kids and me, just to find out the little one was showing his chewed up food —

My three kids and me

And our first year of getting our Christmas tree without help from anyone else –

Christmas Tree Cut Down

I love that when I look back at so many pictures I have taken that each time we all seem so happy. The kids sort of went through a funk for a bit, due to situations that arose, but now they seem to be super happy again and I just had to look back to cherish some of those happy moments today as I prepare to have them gone with their Dads for the weekend.

I love my family so much!


Longing to Entertain for Christmas With Family

I haven’t ever really been a hostess, dealing with social anxiety and major issues with being painfully shy most of my late teen and early adult years entertaining a house full of guests or even attending such an event seemed painful to me. Now that I am am mother of three children and have worked on changing my attitude towards not only myself but towards others and worked to reduce my social anxiety disorder without medication I am ready to start entertaining guests.

If I were to have a chance to host a Christmas get together I would want to have the whole neighborhood invited along with family and the handful of local friends I have here in New Hampshire. My daughter and I would bake cookies, create some Ragu special dishes for meals and come up with fun decor to get the house all festive for the occasion.

One of my dreams is to have more friends and be more close to the community here locally. Each year when Christmas time comes around my small town puts up banners, lights up a Christmas tree on the town common and even has Christmas lights all over the town. Driving through town on a December evening makes for cheerful times, listening to my three munchkins yelling in unison “Christmas lights” and again “Christmas lights” each time we pass another set of beautiful lights in town makes my heart warm.

Some day I will entertain a house full of guests, but I may just have to wait til my children are adults and I have become the home away from home for the munchkins and their families. For now, I just spend Christmas holiday with the munchkins and hold onto the longing to entertain for Christmas with family and guests.

Do you entertain guests for Christmas? What do you love most about hosting family and friends during the holiday season?

This post is being sponsored by Juice in the City. Juice in the City’s mission is to support local businesses and women in the workforce. I received compensation for my story today, but all opinions are my own. Sign up today for the latest crazy-good, mom-friendly deals today!

The Must Have Holiday Gifts Are Coming!

It’s that time of year again … Christmas is coming! The kids are excited because we get to put up lights, the kids are already asking for items that they must have for Christmas, even I am putting bugs in the ear of people everywhere that I want a tablet to replace my laptop, I want a new bed, I want journal paper and the list goes on, but most importantly I want an SLR or some form of a digital camera to document my holiday season with! This Droid Cam is great but honestly the Droid battery I have hasn’t been holding a charge!

The pitches are out, emails are coming in and the Happily Blended Holiday Gift Guide for 2011 is on it’s way! Watch out for November 10th and November 30th where I will be showcasing the complete holiday gift giving guide!

Remember to subscribe to blog updates and my newsletter to be one of the first people to see this must have holiday gift guide!

Whats on your wish list?

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