Blog Challenge- Day 17



How do you prepare for the holidays?


I LOVE Christmas! Here’s how I prepare:

  • Day after Christmas/January: I scope out any end of season sales and buy and box up my goodies for the following year. I purge any broken or outdated decoration. (One year we had a tree with a gangsta lean! That was sent to the curb after Christmas dinner).

  • Fall:  I usually start the first day of Fall and compile a Christmas list. This year, I’ve already purchased three gifts already so I’d consider that a jump start… I work my list and look for sales and gather ideas from the end of September until the day after Thanksgiving. 

  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday: I complete a bulk of my shopping on those dates and am usually finished shopping by Cyber Monday.

  • The Day after Thanksgiving (Decorating):  I pour a glass of wine, turn up my favorite Christmas CD (pictured above. It’s a holiday MUST HAVE!) and get everything out and start decorating. I have not learned how to share this process with my husband. Last year, he just went upstairs and left me alone with my pretties. 
  • Wrapping:  My gift wrap matches my tree decor and most wrapping is completed by the first week of December. 

  • For the rest of the season:  We enjoy friendships, family visits and work holiday parties. 



Blog Challenge- Day 16

List 10-15 things about yourself that others may not know

  1. I am a reformed shopaholic. 
  2. I don’t like the word retarded. Not even a little! I will correct you if you use it around me.
  3.  I don’t like big groups… It makes me paranoid and in result makes me super quiet.
  4.  I love crawling in my mom’s bed to watch animated films.. Her Disney collection is pretty awesome.
  5.  I don’t like mornings. They make me angry. Most times I try to snuggle back in the bed and sneak some extra shut-eye.
  6.  I love my daddy! He’s kind of a big deal.
  7.  I don’t like peas. They make me sick. My sister vomited one time at the dinner table. Enough said!!
  8.  I love reading. It’s my favorite hobby! I laugh out loud and tend to cry when something is sad.
  9.  I love singing “Bawitdaba” Opera Style to my sister. She cracks up every single time! It never gets old. Don’t EVER ask me to do it… It’s a family thing!
  10. I love to pick things up with my toes. It’s easier/lazier than bending down.
  11. I don’t like birds. I hate them! They stalk me. 
  12. I don’t focus well. I am always twitching or shaking my foot.. or daydreaming!
  13.  I love watching sports. UK athletics mainly- but I also really like NFL football.
  14. I like going to small venues to listen to music.
  15.  I don’t like touching raw meat– like hamburger, chicken, turkey, whatever. It’s gross and makes me want to puke.

Blog Challenge- Day 15

What do you think stands in the way of you achieving your goals?

In one word: ME.

I am my own worst enemy. In our culture, we want to zip through life championing over one task after another without any elbow grease. As a result, we are spoiled as a society. I am no exception to the rule.

I want things to come easy for me. I am lazy and do not want to work for it. I lack dedication. 
I complain more than I act. I am the only one standing in the way of achieving my goals.


Blog Challenge- Day 13

 Which of the 7 Deadly Sins do you struggle with?

For this challenge, I had to do a little research. I am semi-ashamed to state that I could not remember exactly what was included on the “7 deadly sins” list. However, thanks to google, it was easy to find information.
Here’s a little lesson for you courtesy of wikipedia
  • Traditionally the 7 deadly sins include: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, acedia, wrath, envy, pride, vainglory.
  • The virtues that correspond with the sinful behavior includes: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility. 
Sinful nature drives us away from God. Our goal should be more of him and less of me (John 3:30). With that idea in mind, I would say I struggle in the following areas:
Gluttony: characteristics of gluttony includes several characteristics but these two relate to my lifestyle, eating too soon (praepropere) and eating too much (nimis). I eat when I am bored, when I am stressed and when it’s in front of me. I do not always eat because I am hungry. I regularly over-indulge. In order to practice more virtuous behavior, I need temperance. I need to focus on God first and strive for more moderation and restraint when eating. 
Acedia: this means that I neglect to take care of something that I should. It is translated as melancholy, listlessness or apathy. Wiki describes that in early Christian times, acedia was the refusal of the goodness provided by God. The summary also states that it is the “uneasiness of mind”.  I have battled with depression on and off for most of my adult life. (I’m in a good spot right now, Praise God!) The virtue that corresponds with acedia is diligence. From my perspective, that is the only way to battle depression. When I am steadfast in my walk with Christ, focused on his will for my life, I feel better. The minor bumps in life do not seem to swallow me whole, instead they are viewed with more confident perspective.

We all have struggles. We all have something in our life that drives a wedge in between your walk with Christ. A hang up. Something that can cause you to have a meltdown in two point five seconds. I know I am not the only one…

Our goal is to surrender our sinful nature to the Lord. Repent for the mistakes we make and move on. His grace covers the gap between where you fail to meet the mark and where he is… don’t worry sisters, we are in this together. Your sinful nature may not be the same as mine but it is still present in some capacity.

Comment on this post if you’d like me to pray for you and one of your 7 deadly sins (if you want to send it to me privately, e-mail me heatherahall08atgmail.com and title it 7 deadly sins). I would be honored to add it to my prayer time. And I hope you’ll add mine to yours.

Blog Challenge- Day 12

What is a list of baby names you like now if you ever were to have any more children?

I am respectfully declining to participate in this daily challenge because I have an aversion to sharing baby names with the world. Jason and I hope to have kiddos some day and we have pre-selected their names and I’m quite proud of them. However, I do not like to share names with women because of a few things (a) women in my age group, swipe baby names and (b) women solicit their opinion many times without request. 
However, in spirit of this challenge I will list likeable baby names (that we will NOT be using in the future):
             Girls                                                 Boys

            Emma                                                Silas
            Ella                                                   Knox (for middle)
            Elle                                                   Chayton
            Reese                                                Noah
            Rose (for middle)                                 Ethan

Blog Challenge- Day 11

What is something you regret doing?


Regret is such a harsh word. I prefer do over. If I had a do over, I like to attend college right out of high school in a traditional way. 


When I was 18, I was already working at my current place of employment and I was boy crazy. As a result, I elected to take night classes in order to work full-time so I could live on my own. This one particular decision really helped breed complacency and a series of haphazard choices. For most of my adult life, I have suffered the consequences of this choice. Like every decision, there are positives and negatives. I’ll list the two major positive and negative results below:

NEGATIVE: At 27, I am more disciplined and have never given up the desire to obtain my MBA. However, I had a major setback and am still in school.

POSITIVE: I am still at the same place of employment (11 years and counting). I started as a medical records clerk and have worked my way up to administrator. I am very grateful for my career and would have likely not had the same opportunities had a pursued a college degree right out of high school.

Blog Challenge- Day 10

What characteristics do you get from each of your parents?…. and sisters. 

From my mama:

I get my tender heart. I’ll cry at the drop of a hat and get my feelings hurt very easily. My mama gets her heart from my grandmother who was frequently accused of loving too hard and told if she keeps loving so hard she’ll die of a broken heart. I love deeply and try desperately not to give up on people because of my love for them. I am grateful that I get that from my mama.

From my dad:

My dad is a jokester! He always makes funny remarks about life circumstances and really has a good sense of humor. He gets that from his father who is always laughing and making jokes. I am easily entertained and almost always ready to laugh. My family makes me laugh harder than anyone else… especially my sister, Meg. We just laugh until the tears drip off our faces. It’s a lot of fun! I am glad I have my dad’s sense of humor because it’s helped me find the lighter side of many situations.

I added sisters to this blog challenge because it’s important to talk about the other serious players in my life. My sisters are my heart! I love them both dearly.

From my little baby sister, Meg:

My sister is precious. She has the same heart as mom and I do… but Meg does it with an extra amount of softness. Even though she’s my baby sister, I have looked up to her very much because of her ability to be soft. I am not very soft by nature, I lack tact and the ability to use my mental filter. I have learned through her example to be softer. My mom says softer outweighs harder and I agree… my sister has helped me grow in that area tremendously. 


From my sister, Dawn:

Dawn has taught me patience. Since Dawn is mentally disabled, things do not come easily. You have to remind her to do simple tasks such as brush her teeth, check the noodles in a boiling pot, etc. You have to repeat yourself and pay special attention to giving her time to complete a task. Dawn has taught me a lot of things… more than she’ll ever know. However, the biggest thing she has taught me is how to be patient with people. I don’t give up on them, I wait for them. I adjust for them and I love them. 



Blog Challenge- Day 9

What is one thing you did today that you didn’t think you ever would do?


Clearly, this challenge is not meant to be completed in thirty consecutive days. With work, family and finals last week at school, my head is still spinning… blogging is a great way for me to exhale so I am grateful for the few times a week I take the time to write… It’s like deep breathing. It just feels good and keeps me grounded…. 


Back to the challenge…


Today I called my instructor at school to let them know they had incorrectly reported my grade. I did not ever think I would have to do that. 


Here’s what happened:


I am working towards my MBA and just finished another quarter at school. I attend Sullivan University  because it is close to work and home. They offer a pretty incredible hybrid program for working adults. Some courses I take online and others I take in a traditional classroom setting. It works beautifully with my lifestyle.

I was so proud of myself because this quarter in my business class, I earned a 96.7. Feel free to tell me how smart I am in the comments section. 🙂 I work for praise!

Grades were reported on Monday and when I checked my grade it was reported as an F. I immediately called the school to have the registrar investigate the situation. I was encouraged to e-mail my instructor to get the issue rectified.

I e-mailed her and she corrected the grade. Although, this is a minor mishap, I never thought I would earn an A and then be deflated so quickly. My e-mail to the instructor basically summarized my problem and ended with “please change my grade unless F means fantastic” (Ok maybe I did not say that… but I thought it!)

After a few quick emails and one phone call, all is well! 

Blog Challenge- Day 8

 What movie can you watch over and over and not get bored with? 


When I was younger, my sister and I were obsessed with this movie. We know every single line! 
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
“I can do a great impression of a hot dog”: Daniel.
“Mrs. Doubfire! He’s a she, he’s a she-she”: Chris.
“Oh, I don’t work with males, I used to be one.”: Daniel.
“Laila, get back in your cell. Don’t make me get the hose.”: Daniel.
“It was a run-by fruiting.”: Daniel.
If you have not watched this movie before, you should. It’s hilarious!