If You Just Need a Laugh....

Merry Christmas!! ~ In Which I Ran Out of Time to Actually Write a Real Post, So I Wrote This Instead

What’s up, me homies? What is that intro? Good heavens.

Anyways, Christmas is today!! *cheers* Yeah! Woo! Woo-Hoo! As you’re reading this, I’ve probably already opened all my presents, and am now raiding my siblings’ stashes. Donuts and pigs-in-a-blanket, y’know, all the feels. Being sleep-deprived, deliriously happy…..

Sorry, I’m rambling. I’m so excited!! It’s only a couple of days before Christmas as I’m writing this, and our tree is drowning in presents. Our puppy, Cookie, is incredibly confused as to why he can’t attack the colorful wrapping paper. Oh well. He’ll learn! 😅

I can promise you guys that I will be up at 5:30 AM, waiting for my parents and siblings to wake up so we can storm the living room.

Anywho, Merry Christmas, and for you folks reading this after Christmas….um…..Merry Christmas!! I hope you all have a fantastic day, and get all the things on your lists!

See ya later!

Mia

P.S. If y’all want me to show you what I got, let me know! I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging, but if it’s something you want to see, I’m all for it!

Top Fives

Hello Winter!: Five of My Favorite Things About Winter ~ In Which I Count Down to One Yet Again

It’s the first day of winter, and I’m so happy! Winter has recently been appointed as my favorite season, and I’m so excited this year!

In celebration of this fabulous season, I’m going to name five of my favorite things about winter! (Also, yes, I know it’s another list. That’s just how it’s worked out this month. I promise that next month will have more variety!)

5. Sweaters and Socks

Who doesn’t love curling up on the couch in a comfy sweater three sizes too big, and three mis-matched pairs of socks? Or is that just me?

I live in the South, so it doesn’t always get very cold, but that doesn’t stop me from wearing warm clothes! Also, it’s been a lot colder this year. Not sure why.

4. Blankets

Isn’t it fun just curling up in bed with three blankets and fifty pillows? Well, I only sleep with two pillows, but blankets are gold. No matter how warm my pajamas are, I always need an extra-thick blanket to snuggle under. And mornings are torture, when you have to face the frosty air!

I’d much rather just hibernate. It’s definitely warmer.

3. Frost

Not just the frost in the grass (which is about all we get down here in the South), but also the frost on the doors and windows. Does anyone else draw fabulous self-portraits that are promptly destroyed by your younger siblings? No? Guess it’s just me, then.

But, of course, frost in the grass makes for some beautiful scenery, and it’s fun to look at where you walked. Footprints in the frost!!

2. Snow

Like I said, we don’t get much snow down here in the South, but the snow is always very welcome when it does decide to stop by. Unfortunately, the last time we got snow was in 2018, and it was barely an inch, but hey, you take what you can get.

Maybe we should all sign a petition. #SnowintheSouth!!

1. Christmas!

Christmas is, hands-down, the best holiday ever! The music, the fellowship, the food, the presents….it’s all so wonderful! Plus, it’s like your birthday and a mini summer vacation all rolled into one!

So, what do you guys think of my list? What are some of your favorite things about Winter?

Until next time!

Mia

Top Tens

Characters On My Naughty And Nice Lists ~ In Which I Become Santa Claus

Hello everybody!!

Christmas is getting closer and closer, and we’re all trying to stay on Santa’s nice list. I mean, how many times have we done our chores with a little more gusto? It made me think about book characters. Are they cleaning up their act?

So, I am now going to draw random characters from a bowl, and decide whether they belong on Santa’s naughty or nice lists.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

1. Grover Underwood from Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Ah, Grover. The satyr that we all know and love. He’s always there for his friends, and does everything in his power to keep them safe (although he doesn’t do that job very well).

Grover is going on the NICE list!

2. Brianna Turner from The Prince Warriors

Brianna is an interesting character, obsessed with glitter (who isn’t?), impatient, and bubbly. She’s a great Princess Warrior, but tends to learn things the hard way.

As much as I want to put her on the nice list, I think she’s going to have to go on the NAUGHTY list. Sorry Brianna! Maybe next time, you should listen to your friends!

3. Percy Jackson from Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy. The legend. The icon.

No doubt about it, he’s going on the NICE list.

4. Mackenzie Hollister from Dork Diaries

Dork Diaries isn’t a very well-known series, at least in my experience, but, it’s one of my favorites. Mackenzie, however, is not a favorite of mine. She’s cruel and ruthless, and she’ll step on anyone’s face to get to the top. It’s a wonder she isn’t drowning in coal!

Mackenzie is most definitely going on the NAUGHTY list.

5. Becky from A Little Princess

A Little Princess was my absolute favorite book when I was younger. I always felt sorry for the little servant, Becky. She does her best, and is definitely treated unfairly.

I think she deserves a spot on the NICE list!

6. Brandon Roberts from Dork Diaries

Brandon, the dreamy dork we all want in our lives. He’s got a big heart, and is a perfect little gentleman. Even though his life isn’t perfect, he does his best to treat it as such.

Brandon goes on the NICE list!

7. Chloe Garcia from Dork Diaries

Chloe is one nutty girl, who is always acting faster than she can think. She makes up for it by being a great friend, but sometimes she gets herself into some pretty crazy situations!

I think Chloe should go on the NICE list!

8. Quinn from The Impossible Quest

Another series that not many people know about. Quinn is an aspiring witch, who sets out on a quest to save her kingdom, although she doesn’t get along well with the other travelers.

Sorry, Quinn. You’re going on the NAUGHTY list!

9. Nico di Angelo from Heroes of Olympus

Poor little Nico. He’s definitely been through a lot, and all he needs is a nice house in the woods away from everyone and everything. He deserves fifty hugs, and a cookie. Still, he hasn’t made the best decisions, and some of the things he did were far from good.

Unfortunately, Nico’s going on the NAUGHTY list.

10. Tom from The Impossible Quest

Our final candidate is also from The Impossible Quest series. Tom’s a kitchen servant, forced to scrub pots for the rest of his life. He’s not very good at keeping his temper to himself, and gets into a lot of fights with people who are of higher rank than him.

I guess he has to go on the NAUGHTY list.


Let’s recap, shall we?

NICE

Grover Underwood

Percy Jackson

Becky

Brandon Roberts

Chloe Garcia

NAUGHTY

Brianna Turner

Mackenzie Hollister

Quinn

Nico di Angelo

Tom


Well, what do you know? It turned out fifty-fifty. I was not expecting that!

What are your thoughts on this list? Would you have placed certain characters on different lists?

Music, Top Tens

My Favorite Christmas Songs!! ~ In Which There Is Much Fangirling (You’ve Been Warned)

Hello everybody!! We are officially in advent, and I am so super-duper stinkin’ excited! Christmas is my favorite time of year, because of the holiday, the presents, the smells, the decorations, the fellowshipping, and, of course, the music! In fact, I’ve been wearing a Santa hat since Thanksgiving, that’s how excited I am! XD

A lot of people are setting up their Christmas playlists and breaking out the Christmas CDs (or is that just me? 😅 CDs are so outdated…), so I thought I would fill you guys in on some of my favorite Christmas songs!

Traditional

Traditional carols are so much fun to listen to, especially if you can find the perfect rendition of them! Here’s a list of ten of my favorite traditional carols:

10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

I love this song because of how fun it is!! Every year, my dad records the Christmas specials, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is always one of them! (It’s actually recorded as I’m writing this!)

Sometimes, I’ll be walking around the house, just casually humming it under my breath, and the entire family joins in! And the little extra parts in between lines? Hilarious!

Another reason this song is so special, is that I danced to it when I was little. When I was six, I took dance lessons, and one song we danced to was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I still remember one or two of the moves.

9. Jingle Bells

I’ve heard so many fun renditions of this song! And, I mean, how could you not like it? It’s peppy and fun, and it’s been around for so long, it’s practically the foundation of society, am I right?

‘Nuff said. Next!

8. Away in a Manger

This is such a beautifully written lullaby, and I’ve been singing it in Christmas programs since I was five or six. It’s always been special to me, in voice and message. How could you not love a song that is a lullaby to baby Jesus?

And, a Christmas lullaby? Yes, gimme!!

7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

This song just sounds amazing when sung by a baritone quartet! And, I absolutely love songs in minor keys, which pushes this one towards the top.

Plus, the VeggieTales rendition in Merry Larry and the Light of Christmas is gold.

“God rest ye merry gentlemen, your undies on display…”

🤣 Honestly, I just can’t XD

6. Silent Night

I like this one for much of the reasons I listed under Away in a Manger. This song is so beautiful, and the stuff you can do on the piano with it is amazing. The melody is just stunning!

5. Fèliz Navidad

I’m also a huge fan of Latin music. There’s just something about the beat that gets me every time! So, obviously, Fèliz Navidad is going to find its way onto this list. There’s just something about Mexico that I find charming.

I should go there one day.

Anyways, Fèliz Navidad is spirited and jaunty, and who wouldn’t want to wish their friends and family a merry Christmas? *shrugs* Kind of a no-brainer.

4. We Three Kings

Is this song in a minor key? I think it is. But then it blossoms into major, and *squeals*

It’s just so beautiful! Plus, it’s super fun to sing and play on any instrument.

3. Carol of the Bells

I don’t know what it is about this song that I like so much. I’m still yet to learn all the lyrics (if anyone knows them all, I’d be delighted to chat haha), and I think that may be the case. I like a challenge (usually), and I just haven’t taken the time to Google the lyrics.

Plus, I’ve heard countless instrumental versions, and they give me chills every time! Plus, the Pentatonix version is just *chef kiss* fantastique!

2. What Child Is This

This one earns second place solely for one specific chord progression in the middle. When you sing “This, this is Christ the King”, the chords change from C to G, and that gets me EVERY. TIME. So beautiful!

Sorry. I’m a total music nerd.

1. O Holy Night

This one takes the cake. Aagh, it’s so pretty!! I can’t even begin to describe this song. Just know that it’s number one on my list.

Contemporary

Of course, my playlist isn’t complete without some contemporary Christmas songs! These are my top ten (although it was so hard to choose!!)

NOTE: These are songs that are originals by the artists listed. Not versions of traditional carols. Completely original.

10. Bring On the Holidays by tobyMac

I LOVE tobyMac. I was literally raised on his music, and I’m a humongous fan. (It’s my dream to see him live one day!) Obviously, this list would not be complete without one of his songs.

I really like this song, mostly because of the background track. As someone who has dabbled in music a little bit, I’m impressed at how perfect Toby’s songs are. And, I mean, this song is basically saying how great the Christmas season is, and I couldn’t agree more!!

Sing it, Toby!

9. Christmas Is Beautiful by Shelly E. Johnson

I feel like Shelly doesn’t get as much recognition as she deserves. She’s a talented artist, and, since I’ve met her in person (sorry, weird flex), I can say with verification that she is sweet and kind. I love this song because it’s so light-hearted and jazzy! Plus, it’s super fun to play and sing!

Seriously, guys, go check her out! Her music is awesome, and I just love her voice!

8. Light of Christmas by tobyMac feat. Owl City

Yep, another tobyMac song. What did I tell you? I love his music! Plus, this song features Owl City, another artist I love.

This song is about the kindness and care that we should show to people, as we proclaim what Jesus did for us. Plus, the beattttttt

Ah, so good!!

7. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day by Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns has some pretty powerful Christmas music, if I must say. I know this song is a remix, but it’s so good, I had to include it!

I first heard this song when my church choir performed it for our annual Christmas concert. It’s always held a special place in my heart, just because it’s so pretty, and nothing like the original hymn it’s based on. Plus, the choir version is fun, because the women and men chase each other around at the end. (Vocally, not literally 😉)

6. Gift of Love by Shelly E. Johnson feat. Seth Condrey

Another Shelly song!

I really love this one, simply because the chord progression is my favorite! (Yes, I have a favorite chord progression. Music nerd, remember?) Plus, it’s a lullaby. LULLABIESSSSSS

I love me some lullabies.

This song is so beautiful, as it tells the story of Jesus. And the harmonies are just spot on!

Okay, moving on.

5. Wizards in Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

This is just an instrumental piece, but it’s still great, nonetheless. Not necessarily Christmas, but since it’s in a Christmas album, I’ll count it.

Just listen, and be enveloped by the magical greatness. I mean, I don’t like rock music, but this takes the cake. Plus, my sisters love to jam out in the craziest ways possible. (My family is weird)

Since I’m a pianist, I can fully appreciate the talent of, not only the incredible pianist, but the electric guitarist, and the others. Just imagine the amount of skill and practice it took to play this song! For three incredibly long minutes!

My mind is blown.

4. O Come All Ye Faithful by tobyMac

Okay, again, I know that this isn’t an original song, but I feel that it’s different enough to make this list. Plus, tobyMac.

I mean, c’mon guys. He’s great.

I love this song because, I mean, O Come All Ye Faithful was already a pretty great song, and then Toby made it ten times better.

Toby gets a gold star!

3. Christmas Canon by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

OKAY, CAN I JUST TAKE A MINUTE TO FANGIRL???

Because I haven’t been doing that already…..

I flippin’ LOVE Pachelbel’s Canon in D. It’s the very first song my piano teacher assigned to me, and it’s just so beautiful. How could you not love it? Then, someone makes a Christmas version of it, and adds some absolutely gorgeous and well-sung vocals, and my fangirl side shoots through the roof.

If you haven’t listened, I highly recommend you do. You will not be disappointed, my friend.

2. A Baby Changes Everything by Faith Hill

I have no words for this one.

Just listen. You’ll love it.

The message is so deep.

1. While You Were Sleeping by Casting Crowns

*bursts into tears*

This song is so convicting, and my heart can’t take it! I legit start ugly crying when I hear it. I first heard it as a choir song, and I just……

*melts*

I think I’ll go listen to it.


So! There’s my list of my favorite Christmas songs! If you haven’t listened to them, I definitely recommend them (if you couldn’t get that from the intense fangirling)!

Let me know what you think!

My Writing, The Animals

Meet Cookie!

Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday…..

Thus begins the very first story that famous author A. A. Milne told his son, Christopher Robin, about the stuffed bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. I’ve always loved this intro, and thought that it would fit today’s blog post very well. Without further ado, let’s get into the story!

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, about last Friday, there was a puppy named Cookie. He was resting in his bed, and the rain pattered on the roof, giving the atmosphere a peaceful feel. Cookie yawned and rolled onto his side. He could see through a nearby window that it was still dark outside. He sniffed the air, picking up several scents and focusing on three familiar ones. The scents belonged to his sisters. They’d slept with him on that very bed, and their smell, although stale, still lingered. Cookie knew why the smell was stale. His sisters had disappeared, one by one, over the past few days. Where they’d gone, he didn’t know. All he knew was that they hadn’t come back. He’d looked all over for them, but they weren’t anywhere in the house. The rain lulled Cookie back to sleep, and when he woke up again, the sun was shining brightly. He ran over to a window and blinked in the bright light. And as he looked out the window at the sun, he remembered the day he’d first shown up at the house.


Cookie was a beautiful dog, with light tan fur and a white scruff on his neck. His nose was white, and the tip of his tail was white, and his fur was softer than a fuzzy blanket. His little nose was pink with brown streaks, almost like he’d dipped it in a carton of Neapolitan ice cream. He and his sisters were playful and always fighting, and he didn’t have a care in the world. That all changed when he woke up one morning in a tiny cube, squished against his oldest sister. He whimpered and shifted, stepping on another sister’s head. He glanced up. A thin ray of watery, winter sun squeezed through a crack in the strange box. Cookie sniffed and whimpered slightly. It was cold. Where was he? This definitely wasn’t his home. Where was his mother? His food and water? What had happened?

His ears perked up as he heard a familiar jingle. It was the jingle of keys in the door! Surely whoever this was would let him out of the box so he could find his mama. He heard footsteps and someone shut the door, jingling the keys again. Suddenly he heard a soft, “Oh!” The footsteps continued more gingerly. Then, suddenly, he was flying off the ground. His sisters whimpered slightly as the box bounced. With a loud thud, it landed, and a moment later, it was opened to reveal a confused-looking middle-aged woman. Her mouth changed into a perfect “O” when she caught sight of Cookie and his sisters. Cookie gave her a puppy grin, and waggled his tail as best as he could. The woman quickly pulled him out of the box, and set him on the floor, doing the same for his sisters. Cookie immediately set off sniffing around his new location, looking for signs of his mother. However, the only familiar scents he could find were those of his sisters. Where on earth was he?

The woman was standing on the front porch, looking around. Cookie wasn’t sure what she was looking for, but he found a puddle of water on the floor, and began lapping it up. The woman came back inside, and began making some phone calls. Cookie walked over to her and whimpered. The woman glanced at him, and said, “I know, I’m trying to find your home.” Cookie whimpered again, a little louder, then made a puddle on the floor.

The woman gave him an exasperated look. “Really? You could have told me!” Cookie cocked his head. Hadn’t he? He’d whimpered.

A few minutes later, his mess had been cleaned up, and he had a delicious bowl of puppy food to eat. His sisters were eating next to him. They’d all been taken outside, and were now looking sleepy again. The woman looked them over one last time, and walked out of the house, locking the door behind her.


As Cookie looked out the window at the sun, he remembered the day he’d first shown up at the house. He whimpered a little, missing his sisters, but, since he was still young, he didn’t miss them that badly. After all, he still had his whole life ahead of him! He thought about yesterday. That had been a strange day for him. The woman had loaded him into her car and taken him to a strange building that smelled very professional. Lots of people had flocked around him and stroked his fur, and his nose had been bombarded with the scents of all the people. He could still remember a couple of scents.

The woman came downstairs, yawning, and Cookie waggled his tail. He whimpered slightly, letting her know that he needed to go outside. She opened the door, and he sniffed around in the yard until he found the right place. Then, he went to his food bowl and ate some food.

A few hours later, Cookie was napping, when he heard voices. He recognized the woman’s voice, but the other voice, a deep, rumbly, man’s voice was foreign to him. He sniffed the air. That scent…wasn’t it from yesterday?

He yawned, stretched, and wandered over to the front porch. The woman was handing his bag of food to the strange man, then she walked out of the room and came back a few seconds later with his bed. He watched with big, solemn eyes as the man took his bed and thanked the woman. What was going on?

The next thing he knew, Cookie was in a truck, riding down the road in the passenger seat. Before long, they were stopping in the yard of a house he had never seen. The man opened the door, and lifted Cookie out, placing him on the ground. Cookies sniffed around his new home, eagerly, until all of a sudden, he was surrounded by children.

Children who happened to be the brothers and sisters of one particular Mia Harden….


That’s right! This is the more or less true story about our new puppy Cookie! Last Friday, we were blessed with the little cutie, who is something we’ve been wanting for a long time! He is sweet and wiggly, and very well-behaved. He might be starring in future blog posts, so keep an eye out! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week!