Garden Lights at Atlanta Botanical Gardens

We usually go see a holiday lights exhibit each year.  Until this year, for the previous 5 years, we’d all load up in a car and head to Callaway Gardens to see their Fantasy in Lights show.  That show peaked in excitement for us about 3 years ago, and Frog asked if we could see something new.  Around the Atlanta area, there are a number of great holiday light exhibits, including our next door neighbors, but last year we went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens to see the Garden Lights exhibit, and we had heard that the display was supposed to be even better this year.
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Cinnamon Bread

Cinnamon Bread was one of my grandmother’s holiday baking staples.  She would bake it along with Zucchini Bread, and then deliver two small loaves to each one of her neighbors during the holiday season.  I can remember being a small girl and helping her make the bread and then watching her package the two small loaves in colorful Christmas wrapping before walking around the block to drop off her treats.  She lived in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, and all of the children played and grew together.  One of those old-fashioned suburban neighborhoods that seems to be rapidly disappearing in our current digital age.  (I suppose this is rather ironic for me to to say, as we live in my grandmother’s house!)
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A First Christmas: Visiting Santa and Christmas Card Photos

I love Christmas.  I mean really, I *LOVE* Christmas.  I love Christmas Carols.  I love the smell of Frasier Firs and Balsam.  I love Gingerbread and Pumpkin Pie.  I love reading Holiday Newsletters.  I love seeing light displays around our neighborhood.  I love finding the perfect gifts for the people I love.  I love spending the day with my family.  I have been so very excited about this season since this Christmas is Monkey’s first.  I’ve wanted to make sure that he looked the part to commemorate all of those special firsts.
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Mario’s Special Spaghetti

One of my most favorite people in the whole world, my dear friend Ella, first cooked this for my birthday about 6 years ago.  It was when I was going through a really rough time, and there is nothing like a delicious home cooked meal to warm the heart and heal the injured spirit.  I found the meal so delicious that I asked her for the recipe.  Mario’s Special Spaghetti was one of the first dishes that I cooked for MM when we were dating.  It’s in his top five favorite dinners that I cook, and I probably make it 2 times a month.  What’s even better is that Frog loves it too.  When I have a dish that both MM and Frog request, it instantly becomes a go-to dinner in my household.
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Date Night at The Hobbit Movie

When Frog was about 3 years old, I was in the middle of graduate school, and Frog would spend his days in his fabulous, nurturing 3-year-old preschool classroom.  (His first daycare center has forever spoiled me!)  We were still  living above the Mason-Dixon line in Pennsylvania, and I found a wonderful restaurant called Aladdin’s Eatery.  (It is actually a small chain with restaurants in Pennsylvania and Ohio.)  This particular restaurant has the world’s best salad.  I love it, really, really *love* it!  It is called the Lamb Salad because it has warm, seasoned pieces of lamb it in.  It melts in your mouth… but I digress.
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