Lighting the way!




Traditions are a part of life down here in South Louisiana.

You can set your clock on it!

One tradition that is sweet to my heart, I share every year.

It's the lighting of the bonfires.

It's held on the levees of the Mississippi River.


In years past, it was told that the Cajuns built these massive "campfires" to light the way for Papa Noel down in the swamps.

Today, we like to jazz em up and create all kinds of themes.

This one below is a small cabin like structure.




This year we spotted many in memory of past loved ones.

One was a huge angel that I didn't manage to get a photo of.

I was able to catch this one below.

It's in memory of Sandy Hook.

If you look real close you can see an angel representing each precious soul lost.




Goosebumps.


And then you have your Master Builders LOL.

These guys come out every year and really put their hearts into it.

Last year they built a HUGE Saints football helmet.


This bank is a small replica of the old bank in town.

Now looking at the photo above you just might think its just a pile of wood...

Think again :)


In true Cajun form, they hollered at us as we were snapping pictures to come on over.

We did!

I love that our people are so friendly and welcoming.

They were so sweet to even open their doors for us!



What we saw inside amazed me!

A real staircase.

Sturdy I might add.


They invited us inside and I didn't mind a bit LOL.

I climbed those stairs right to the top.


They constructed the top floor to have a landing where you could walk completely around.

A birds eye view indeed!

He was stuffing the upper walls with hay.


You could say I was a bit excited here haha.

Below was a view from the top.

It took these guys about three weeks to build this beauty.

I asked them if it was hard to set fire to it on Christmas Eve..

They said no.

They build it knowing it will light the way for Papa Noel.


After our fun visit of the bonfires we headed back towards home and made our annual stop at the

Oaks of St. Joseph.



Every year they display a life size nativity.

It's just beautiful y'all!


Behind the nativity are two rows of very large old oak trees.

They line the property and go as far back to reach the Mississippi River.


Across the street is the Maneresa House.

It was once the St. Mary's Jefferson College where my Great Grandfather attended.

Today it is known as the Maneresa House or retreat.

Here Catholic Priests and or Brothers can get away from the world and focus on God.

You won't hear a peep because it's complete silence here.

Not a word is spoken.

I don't think I could last a day LOL..


As we walked up to the gates, you could just feel the serenity.

So beautiful and Peaceful.


Our day ended with me placing Christmas flowers on my little brothers grave.




So as the World awaits for that jolly little man,

down south we are all prepared to light the way for Papa Noel.

I myself, smile a little smile..

For I know that unto us a child was born.

I rest in his promise that He will come again.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Merry Christmas friends!

xo Susie

Birthdays

Yesterday I celebrated my 43rd birthday!

I say this with gladness and a happy heart.

Every year that passes is a gift from the Lord and I am so very grateful.

I was loved on and given a very surprised party.

Hence the dress down attire and pony tail LOL.

Speaking of birthdays...

My sweetest present was watching my Maddy girl perform in our Christmas Concert.


She loves to sing!

It blesses my heart that she wants to go to church an hour early every Sunday just to practice with the choir.


Kaylee and my nephew Blaise


Stacey, Mali and Kaylee


Marc and his Mom


Me?

I'm behind the camera. Just where I love to be :)


So with every passing birthday, I'm reminded..

It's a Blessing!

Jesus' birth is the most precious gift of all.

xo Susie

Finding Beauty


When the world shows its ugly head, I search to find the beauty near by.


My family is where I turn first.

I surround myself with people I adore.

We go to familiar fun places like the coffee house in town.


They serve the best beignets around and yummy coco.


And if you're lucky enough, you may just spot one of their pets.

I guess we were extra lucky because we spotted two!


The coffee house is set up in the middle of a  little Acadian village.


You never know who you'll run into.


Then we headed to my favorite place this side of the Mason Dixon Line.. River Road.

It's filled with Old Southern Plantations such as this one.

Houmas House.


Maddy wanted to take a closer look so we stopped for a tour.

Like every typical southern home, we were greeted by a sweet friend.

Her name is Susie too!

Back in my younger days I was once a plantation tour guide as well.


We headed to the main house ..


It's always best during the holidays because they have it decked out!


The home smelled of old cypress and cinnamon cider.

Welcoming indeed.


I never get tired of hearing about our southern history.


Traditions passed down still today.


The new home owner is from New Orleans and he was so sweet to allow indoor photos.


Maddy enjoyed hearing the history too. loved that.


This courtyard area is called the carriage room.

It was where the horse and buggy's would pull through.

I guess you would call it a garage now.


On the opposite side was the kitchen.


In those days the kitchens were built away from the main house.

They did this to help prevent house fires.


After the tour we walked the gardens and soaked it all in.


Maddy informed me this is where she will be getting married.

Anyone want to buy a few thousand signs LOL $$$


Maddy and her friend Chloe enjoyed the tour so much, we are planning more.

Our River Road is full of them.

I hope you are finding beauty around you today.

xo Susie

No words


When no words will come, He knows my heart.


My wish list..


I am one of those southern girls that go crazy over anything monogrammed!

I won't admit that I may have hollered a bit when I saw this stamp.

Don't cha love it?!!!



You can go all fancy and get these different designs...LOVE em all!!




is just the place to find all of these precious monogrammed goodies.

One of my favorites is the address stamp.

This will come in handy around the holidays.

It's not too late to order.

The Christmas cut off is Saturday 15th

And for my sweet readers, they are even throwing in a free shipping code!!

When placing your order, you can save on shipping by using this code below.

SHBfreeship




I can't wait till mine arrives.

I will be stamping everything that stands still...LOL

They don't stop at stamps..

Oh you should see their shop!

It's so full of goodies.





I hope this sweet lil shop helps check off some of those hard to buy people on your list.

It just feels good buying from a small business.

xo Susie