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FAMILY

some cool adventures in DFW and Beyond that we must share

Welcome to the archive pages! I hope you are able to find everything that you need within these pages and so much more! 

Happy New Years

First, I want to say Happy New Years Everyone! It is that time of year that everyone starts to make their resolutions about becoming a new you, making your life better, and so on. I have failed at my resolutions every year so I am going to make it a LOT easier for myself this year. Happy New Year, New Me! This year, I want to start to complete a new 30-day challenge each month. One of them I will be trying to complete each month until it becomes ingrained in my brain. The other challenge can change each month as they will be: work out challenges relationship challenges parenting challenges photography Challenges. I will be introducing an Instagram hashtag each month for those of you that want to follow my progress each month. January’s 30 Day Challenge Part One I looked through Pinterest last night before the ball dropped for ideas. I came upon the Popsugar 30 Day Cleaning challenge and this one I knew would make my mom happy as I will admit it, I SUCK at cleaning. #30DayCleaningChallenge January’s 30 Day Challenge Part Two The next Challenge since I want to do the cleaning one every month until it is truly ingrained in me will be Instagram related. Not only will this make me a better blog photographer, it will also give me a chance to learn more about my new iPhone and how to use it. So I want to do the January Photo Challenge from Fizzle Out with the hashtag #iamgrateful

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Starting the Teen Years | Happy Birthday Skyler

I can not believe it has been almost 13 years since she was born. In early January, Skyler will be turning 13 years old, and I will officially be a mom of a teenager. Skyler is slowly starting to show who she will be as a teen, and I have to say that I could not be more proud of my daughter. As we are Starting the Teen Years with Skyler, I wanted to share a few things. Skyler is my exact duplicate in appearance but when it comes to personality, we couldn’t be more different. If I look back to who I was when I was her age though, I can see a lot of my teenage self in her. This sometimes scares me, as I know every year I become more and more like my own mother. I want to raise Skyler differently than I was raised, but at the same time, I did not have a bad childhood. Skyler will be lucky since this was the same year things for me changed. I had to grow up this year. I don’t want Skyler to grow up to fast like I did. I want her to enjoy being a teen and not take on the responsibilities that I did. Parenting a Teenage Daughter This scares me because it wasn’t that long ago that I was a teenage daughter. I remember a lot of the dumb stuff I pulled so this is my promises to Skyler. Things that I plan to TRY and do differently than my own mother did. Not Engaging in Shouting Matches One thing that I was bad about was shouting matches with my mom. I was bad about starting fights and she would engage me. She would shout and scream and yell. It got bad a few times to the point that it was almost knock out fights. I promise to Skyler that I will stay calm and express my self in a lower voice. If I can not accomplish this, I will let her know that we will continue the conversation when I am calmer. No Tears This is one thing that my mom was good about. I never once saw her cry until I was an adult or I had done something REALLY bad (ran away at 15). I will not let Skyler defeat me, and reduce me to tears over silly petty stuff. I LOVE YOU SKYLER This is one thing I say to her multiple times a day. I did not hear it enough growing up from my mom. Even if we are in a fight, nothing she says or does will stop me from loving her. I don’t care what she says to me, or does, I will never stop loving her until I take my last breath. Touch This one will be hard because she has taken after my mom with this. I will hug her, pat her on her shoulder, and kiss her on her cheek. I don’t care about the groans or her pulling away. I will show her that I love her. Listening I will always keep an open mind, and truly listen to her when she comes to me. I do not want her afraid of talking to me. I know it’s going to be hard, raising my first teenage, but it’s going to be fun. You know why? Skyler really is a good kid. She has such a great personality, and her hobbies and likes are so much fun that I can’t wait to see what she does over the coming years. As we start this new lifes journey, and we set off to explore the world around us, it really will be an Odyssey With Love.

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Christmas Traditions | Part Four

Who doesn’t love surprises! Part four of our Christmas Traditions Series is on Christmas Eve! I couldn’t leave out writing about the most magical night of all nights, could I? Make sure to go back and read about our other Christmas Traditions in Part One, Part Two, and Part Three! Most Magical Night of The Year Why do I think Christmas Eve is the most magical night of the year? It is when Santa comes and leaves all of his presents under the tree. You can hear the sleigh bells ring in the night. Tracking Santa, this year with the Amazon Echo Dot. Waking up to find a little magic dust and so much more. I hate that I will be working Christmas Eve photographing a wedding, but when we get home we will have a wonderful night with the old and new Christmas Traditions. Everything from baking cookies for The Jolly Ol Man and making reindeer food, to opening their Christmas Eve Box. We have Christmas Traditions for everyone. And I can not forget about making something to keep us all warm and cozy. As we are in Texas, and we never know how the weather really will be on Christmas or Christmas Eve, I still make Hot Chocolate every year. Christmas Traditions | Baking Cookies Every year I tend to make peanut butter cookies for Santa. I know some people swear that Santa only loves Chocolate Chip Cookies, so we have to prepare our Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies. Something a little different for Santa to snack on. These are our favorite cookie recipes and so much fun to make with the girls. Christmas Tradition | Opening One Present We haven’t done this one since I was a child. And my mom says I made this up in my own head, and we never did anything like this. But my own memory still tells me about the time I was given the smallest present under the tree to open. I remember a necklace with Tinkerbell on it one year.  A makeup kit another. My easy bake oven for another year. (I made Santa a cake that year.) I have not followed this tradition with my own children but I am thinking about starting the next tradition this year. Christmas Tradition | The Christmas Eve Box Have you seen the Christmas Eve Box on Pinterest yet? I have seen several of them all over Pinterest and I keep thinking about making one for the kids. Do I want to make one for the whole family? Or, do I want to make one for each of the kids, and James and I are out on this neat little traditions. We chose to go with the family box. Once it is done, I will write an article for here on how we put it together. Here are a few Ideas that I have found on Pinterest The Chirping Moms -  PJ’s, Books, and a Game  Every Child is a Blessing – PJ’s, Movie, Book, Bib, Cup, and Plushie  wunder-mom.com – PJ’s, Gingerbread kit, movie, popcorn tubs, book, coloring books, Christmas bingo game, hot chocolate, and fun cups.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year! I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Very Happy New Year. We couldn’t do this website without our readers and I am so excited to bring you all new things next year.  

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Christmas Traditions | Part Three

Where do you go to celebrate Christmas or the days leading up to Christmas? We are just now starting a few new traditions in our house, but there are a few old ones that have lasted since I was a little girl.

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Christmas Traditions | Part Two

Yesterday we started to talk about Christmas Traditions in Part one of this series. Today, I want to share with you about a tradition that we have had in our family since I can remember. Does your family create an elaborate meal? Turkey or a Ham, kinda reminding you of your Thanksgiving meal? Or are you more laid back about your approach to Christmas dinner? Do you have breakfast before you open presents? Or, do your children open their presents and you have a hard time getting them to sit down for a meal afterward? Christmas Breakfast We are that family that the first thing we do Christmas Morning is open presents. Normally after everything has calmed down some, I start to make breakfast. Our breakfast normally consists of Sausage and Gravy, Biscuits, and eggs made how each of us enjoy them. I am including one new thing, as I am normally the first one awake on Christmas morning. James loves cinnamon rolls. I have yet to make them for him from scratch so the night before, I will start to work on making my dough for him. Then while everyone is still sleeping, I will start to put them together. I will share my recipe here in the coming days. Christmas Traditions | Lunch and Dinner This is where we cheat! We don’t do any other cooking on Christmas! That morning while making the sausage, I will also be frying up more sausage and hamburger meat for our queso. I will put it in the crockpot, and let it melt into its melty goodness. Another recipe I will share in the coming days. The night before, I will also make deviled eggs that will be chilled overnight for everyone to enjoy when they want. But, our biggest thing for Christmas is our Deli Meat and Cheese Trays. [wp_ad_camp_3] This year we are getting our tray from Krogers. We have tried a few other large brand stores, but we are coming back to Kroger after trying the other stores. I have requested that beef pastrami is exchanged for the ham, as we don’t really eat deli ham. We also add a cheese ball to the trays. So with the trays, queso, and deviled eggs, everyone can pick what they want to eat when and where. I am really bad about not making sandwiches on the day of Christmas, but taking the turkey and swiss with a bit of mustard, then rolling it up and eating it like that. No real cooking is done on Christmas, and everyone is able to spend time together instead of in the Kitchen cooking. What do you normally make for Christmas Dinner? Let us know down in the comments below and don’t forget to check Part One – The Christmas Tree and Part Three – Oh The Place’s We Go

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Christmas Traditions | Part One

  What do you think of when you think about Christmas traditions? All families have them and some are passed down generation to generation. I know that some of my families traditions are only as old as my brother and I are, but I don’t know what I would do otherwise without them. I also know that now that we have James in our lives, we will be incorporating new traditions that his family has passed down to him, and I am even wanting to start a new one this year. This is Part One of our Christmas Traditions series. What is a Christmas Tradition? Christmas Traditions vary from country to country, but they can also vary from Family to Family. They are things a family does while celebrating the Christmas Season. Ranging from the Christmas Tree to how you open presents that are under your Christmas Tree. What your family serves for Christmas dinner may very well differ from how we serve the entire days meals. There is no wrong or right way to celebrate this wonderful day that is about giving and being with your family and friends. Some celebrate with Christian traditions, where some may celebrate with no religious traditions. So even though I am sharing my families traditions, I want to know yours also. Please feel free to share a few down in the comments below. We would love to learn more about our readers. Feel free to start a new tradition from one of ours. Christmas Traditions – The Christmas Tree 90% of the time we use an artificial tree. Somehow I lost part of our tree that we have used for the last 3 years. I don’t know how I did it, but it is gone. James also had a little itty bitty tree that he called his “bachelors tree.” We chose to head out to Lowes this year and get a live tree for the last time. We used James’ tree in the bay window of my office to be visible from the street. Now we can’t afford a Balsam Hill tree this year, but next year we will be getting the Fraser Fir Tree. These trees are more expensive than some but they are completely worth it. Balsam Hill has a 10-year foliage warranty and a 3 year light warranty.  Christmas Traditions -  Tree Decorating Can I share a little secret? I think we have the gaudiest tree in Texas! Wanna know another secret? I wouldn’t have it any other way! Instead of out shopping on Black Friday, we are pulling down all the decorations that we have accumulated since my parents were married. We still put up their wedding bells on the tree. I have my first ornament and the girls get new ones every year. Since this is James and my first Christmas together, we chose to get one ornament together that represented our relationship together. The present is the one we chose. Even if we have nothing, we always have each other. Rhyan chose the My Little Pony ornament, this one surprised me since she picked up around 15 different ones before insisting that this was the one she was choosing this year. Then Skyler chose one that surprised me even more. The BB-8 ornament. I knew that she was getting into Star Wars just as much as me, but I really thought she would have chosen the snow fox she carried around the store.     A post shared by Odysseys With Love (@odysseyswithlove) on Nov 28, 2017 at 12:18pm PST How is Your Tree Decorated? How did you decorate your tree this year? Are you more traditional with a color scheme? Or do you collect ornaments over the years like we do? Check back tomorrow for Part Two -  Christmas Dinner

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What If Money Wasn't An Object?

The other day, we posted about dreaming of winning the lottery. I posted a few things that I would want to do with that money. It got me to thinking of all kinds of things that we could do if money wasn’t an object in our lives. Do you remember the largest Powerball jackpot ever? IT was split between three people but it was worth $983.5 Million Dollars in cash option, or $327.8 Million EACH! Just this year one woman won $480 million alone! I know I posted a lot about what I would do, but I won’t lie, I keep having dreams about winning one of the jackpots. If only I could remember the numbers. What If You Had $983.5 Million Dollars I have always wondered how the 1% lived, and I have always daydreamed about what it would be like to join their ranks. I played a few tickets in this jackpot, and only got my money back from it. What if I was the only one to win this jackpot? First, my new found wealth would not be the full $983.5 million. After taxes, which I will estimate as 50%, I would be coming home with about $491.7 million. You know that I had posted about being generous with our windfall with our family and friends. Setting up trust funds for the kids. Paying off all debts. Setting up investments so that we could earn an income from our win. Setting Up Accounts I would also set up separate accounts for different things. One would have to be for the house and furnishing our house. Another for cars, the RV, shopping and spending money. But the biggest account I would set up is to pay our bills, taxes, HOA dues. Things like that. Set it up to pay for them for at least 30 years. That account would not be used otherwise. Setting up an account for travel. That way I have to budget the funds for everything. I thought this was about money not being an object! Well, with $491 million in the account, it really isn’t an object. I would still budget out enough for the home, and other things so that the money isn’t just going down the drain like some lottery winners. If I invest correctly we would never want for anything. The House Where would you want to live? It has been a dream of mine since I found out you could live AT Disney World. I wrote about Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort in the last post and included the video of one of the houses I am in love with. I know that within Golden Oak there is the Four Season Resort, but if you turn off right before you get there, you will find The Four Seasons Private Residence Orlando. So far I have only seen three houses in this area go up, so even if I do not get one of these houses, there will be 27 more houses built in the Four Seasons area! Then there are the 5 other neighborhoods within Golden Oak. I am pretty sure even if it is another 10 years waiting to win this lottery, I will find a beautiful home located in the beautiful Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort. There are a few homes already in Golden Oak and The Four Seasons Private Residences that I am in love with.  You Already know about the Capolavoro Home. This is the home of my dreams! But there is two others, plus one custom being built and one under construction right now. Check out the videos below of the two that are there now and click here to see the other two on the Four Seasons Website. Travel Dreams The first trip I am scheduling has to be a 7-Night Very Merrytime Western Caribbean Cruise, not just any stateroom, but I want to stay in the Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah. The Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah, AKA, Roy and Walt Disney Rooms, are lavish in their decor and the balcony! I would love to spend Christmas at Sea with the kids. I wonder if I could get a tree put up in the stateroom… Hmmm. [wp_ad_camp_3] If we are having to wait for our new home to be built, we would be hotel jumping at Disney World. I would be having my dental work done ASAP So having a place to stay while I heal will be important. So I would like to spend the first two weeks that we could at somewhere like the Polynesian Resort. After I get my fill of Disney World for our first two weeks or so, I would start my dental work and use the resorts as a place to heal while the kids enjoy themselves around Disney. Speaking of spending time at Disney, Our first week would most likely be spent with a guide, the Private VIP Tours. I would also like to see behind the scenes, so that would also be a tour we would do. After fulling healing and the home still isn’t finished, I would use the RV we would buy and start traveling around the states visiting all of the places below we would love to see. Some of them are below in our little slide show. Did you know that they have cruises for cruising around the world? Some of them are 100+ days at sea and included ports all over the world! I think this might be the best way for us to see all of the different countries. My only fear with this would be 99% of these cruises would not have many other children for the kids to get to know and have something to do other than with us, but this would be an experience I think the girls need to have, at least when we win the lottery. Cars! Cars! Cars! What is your dream car? I love the Dodge Challengers. 2018 Dodge has released the new Demon. I can not describe it so I am dropping another video! I can get it in PURPLE TOO!!! James wants a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and I love them and the Dodge Durango SRT. YES! I love my cars and yes I love more performance cars. Is it bad to just want a car for fun in the Dodge Demon? My daily driver would the Dodge Durango, and the Demon would be for special occasions.

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2018 Bucket List

2018 is just around the corner now and I am excited about the few things that we will be doing over the next year and everything that we will be bringing to the blog. So this is our 2018 Bucket List of the different things that we will be doing.

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Dreaming Of Winning The Lottery | Dream Big Princess

Have you ever dreamed of winning the lottery? What about daydreaming of winning the lottery? Over the past few years, I have had several dreams of winning the lottery and it is always fun to think about what I would want to do with the lottery wins. I even have a secret Pinterest board of what I would want to do. I will set it to public as this post goes live.

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It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

If you walked into my living room over the past weekend, you would have thought a fairy exploded in there. We had that much glitter all over everything. That is when you know it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our household. This Christmas will be James and my first Christmas together. So we are slowly adding new things to our Christmas Decorations and adding his decoration in with mine. We purchased all new poinsettias this year because the ones that we did have were falling apart. Most of my decorations with the exception of the large wreath, we have collected over the last 40 years and more with a few ornaments on the tree. I made the large wreath a few years ago, but most of the decorations on it were ruined in our attic over the last year. Decorations From Years Past We have decorations from 40+ years ago, including my parent’s wedding bells. We have a lot more that we don’t hang on the tree, and a few, the photos didn’t turn out. My father’s favorite things were the Santa’s and his village that we display on our mantle. We have also had a “Elf on the Shelf” for years before the Elf on the Shelf below was a thing. Shiney and New One tradition for our house is that we purchase a new ornament every year. We are changing that a little this year as we purchased only one for James and I. The girls also get one new one every year. Artificial to Live Tree We have been trying to save for a Balsam Hill Tree for the last few years but something always seems to stop us from getting one. We have had an artificial the last three years and somehow I lost the middle section of our tree! How I have no idea how I did it. James has his “Bachelor’s” tree that was a four-foot tree that we are now using in the office window. Off to Lowes, we went! I found a 6-7 foot Noble Fir tree for $50.00, plus on Black Friday, they had a deal for a fresh cut tree where we would get a $10.00 rebate. I originally picked up colored lights, but after telling my mom that I found blue lights, I went back and returned them to get the blue. It took us all weekend and a lot of frustration to actually finish putting the tree up and decorating it. I did end up putting icicles on the tree after picking up a few of the presents at Walmart yesterday.    Latest News! Did you see the newsletter or our Instagram post? I said YES! Well, you knew that we were planning our Commitment and Promises to each other for Christmas Morning, but as we were going through the packages that arrived Sunday, and I promised James not to peak at what he got for me, he got down on his knee and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together.  

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