Monday, December 14, 2009

one eyed one horned flying purple people eater

I am alive. I have been MIA for some time now. I hope you will forgive me.

I am wrapping up the semester, and I have just one final left! I am very ready for Christmas break! I am ready to be home. Stay home. Paint home. Decorate home. Cook at home. I have reclusive tendencies anyway, but in the winter, I just love especially love being home.

Brooklyn lost her first tooth the first week of December! Charlotte is talking all the time, in full sentences. She is very ornery. Brooklyn loves kindergarten. Charlotte's favorite meal is "peadabud" which means peanut butter. The girl wants peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast lunch and dinner. Brooklyn just went to the princess and the frog movie with her dad, and she really liked it. She may have to go again with me.

I have been journaling a lot, and just enjoying the girls. We spend a lot of time snuggling under a quilt and drinking hot chocolate, watching all those "Christmas progrums" as my grandma would say. I enjoy school, but it is always a relief to knock out the semester. I have been cleaning and organizing in my spare time... and there is still so much to do. I keep taking things to the salvation army, and still I come up with more stuff to donate. You know me, I still visit the fleas. I went yesterday, in fact. I have some great things to share. Soon.

Twenty-five isn't so bad. It is actually kinda awesome. I am feeling so blessed, and I feel like things are going to be okay. Hopefully next semester I will be working at one of the local schools, and I am very excited about this possibility!

I am going to finish up my Christmas shopping this afternoon! Now I just need to get the trees up. Yep. I am that far behind.

I will be back with pictures. I promise.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Today is my last day of 24. I feel strangely about 25, but I don't know why. I will be lucky if 25 years is a quarter of my life. For my bfather, it was nearly half of his. Which brings me to the little thought that is making me so uncomfortable.

We only get one shot at this.

I have one chance to live. To really really live. I could never know when my time is up. I have to make everything count. I am building a legacy with each day of my life. Who am I? What do I stand for? Do I live a life that reflects what I believe in? Do I love well? What are my daughters learning from me? What is my love life with God like?

God has been loving me til it hurts. I am hurting. He feels distant and close all at the same time. I cry for Him and I don't really know why. I feel hopeful and lost and blessed and sorry for myself and it doesn't make sense. You know, for a long while I was just complacent. I was going through the motions of life, spiritually numb. I had knowledge of God. I knew some scripture and the all the churchy stuff. In March, a beautiful girl spoke prophetically over my life in an airport. It was a surreal experience that I couldn't quite grasp in its entirety. I will never forget her face, her eyes, the truth that she shared. It was an emotional experience, and as strongly as I felt at the time it soon faded from my mind. Then, the drought. A large portion of my twenty-fourth year was a spiritual drought. I was dry and barren, with little to offer anyone around me. I wouldn't have known God's presence if He had sat down next to me on a park bench. One by one God starting putting people in my life and answering prayer. I could see the work He was doing in people that I love. I started attending AA meetings with Austin and I witnessed miracles in the lives of strangers and I loved God more for it. I couldn't feel Him for myself, but I could for others. My mom was baptized again and so was my little brother. I remember him asking me if I saw anything in his eyes. (My mom told me to be sure and notice the "sparkle".) I said, "You have a sparkle in your eyes!" He said it was from Jesus being in his heart. I remembered for just a second how real God felt to me as a child. I just felt it for an instant. I longed for it again. The next day Brooklyn was looking in the mirror. She turned around and asked me, "Mom, do I have a sparkle in my eyes?" 

I realized my spiritual drought was costing me dearly. I told her she absolutely had the brightest sparkle in her eyes. She told me she wanted to be "babatized" and my heart was heavy. I felt guilty. We don't even go to a church for her to be baptized. Here was my five year old daughter, hungry for a God that I once knew intimately and chose to disconnect from. We pray together. We pray together as a family. It was a sunny day this summer, while we all sat around the table outside with dinner, that Charlotte prayed for the first time. She bowed her head and closed her eyes and put her little hands out to be held. It was a beautiful moment. I was overcome with a feeling I can't explain. My children are not my own. I am just a facilitator. I have a job and obligation, and if I fail to do it now, I am changing their whole lives. God gave them to me, trusting that I would raise them to know and love Him. How was it my babies were teaching me about God? 

God seems to use vacations to get my attention. My mom and I went to San Francisco last month. It was such a great trip. She had been telling me I needed to read this book. I saved it for the trip, knowing I would have plenty of time to read on the plane. It eloquently painted a picture of God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It helped me understand that I was struggling to know God as a dad. The whole trip long I just felt so blessed. So so so blessed. I am so poor, I hardly get to go out to eat. My clothes come from thrift stores, or occasionally target or old navy. In my twenty-fourth year, I had to make $5 last three days. Staying in a new city, eating wonderful food, drinking up every bit of my mom that I could, buying over priced make-up and outfits for my girls... it is like being a princess for a few days. I feel like God gives me a few days to treat me, to remind me that I am special, to just lavish me with joy, and especially the gift of my mom's time. It's funny how you can build walls all around your heart, shutting God out, and what does He do? He pours out His blessings until you can't help but feel the richness of His love right through those wretched walls. He never stops pursuing me.

Never in my whole life, have I wanted God more than anything else. I have always loved God, but I haven't desired Him above all else. I have wanted relationships, and things, and direction, and to be changed. I have prayed for selfish things. I have allowed myself to become consumed with people and situations and circumstances- my whole thought life revolves around them. Never have I genuinely prayed to know God, to have a relationship with God, to live for God, and truly yearned for it with all my heart. I have never worshiped God with my life. I want that to change. I have only in the last few days been praying to want God more than anything else and above all else. I want to let God be my father.

I have this book of 100 favorite Bible verses. I sat down at the computer to type this post. I asked God to speak to me through a verse. I closed my eyes and "rouletted" until I felt the feeling to stop. 

The Never Ending Story
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
-John 3:16

If I am to have everlasting life, then 25 really isn't such a big deal. I don't need to be afraid of a life that doesn't matter. I matter. I matter so much that God gave His Son for me. I look for meaning in all these extrinsic things. They are not what gives my life meaning. It is an empty search. My time here is so short. And however long I might have left, I want to worship God with my life. I want the way I live to reflect what I believe. I am a daughter of the King. Jesus is the ultimate Bridegroom. The Holy spirit lives and breathes in me, and I know what it is like to be loved completely and perfectly. Someone died an extremely painful and agonizing death, so that I wouldn't have to. He took my place. He took my place

The prayers for my twenty-fifth year will be seeking to know and love God above everything else, and of gratitude for my Savior. Every day, I will pray these things. I can't wait to see what God does with me during my twenty-fifth year. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ideas for Brooklyn's room!

I love light, subtle colors, sparingly among whites. I want an all white bed. I have slowly been incorporating brighter colors into Brooklyn's room. With her sixth birthday having just passed, I decided it is time to let her have just what she wants. PURPLE!

I stopped by TJMaxx today, not really intending to buy anything. Then I found this duvet cover with little embroidered flowers in all shades of purple... hmmm... price check : $12.99. I thought it would be very pretty for my purple princess. It is from designers guild. I had never even heard of the brand. I googled it when I got home, and currently their website has this listed ON SALE for $130!!! I am glad I picked it up!
I like these sheets from Walmart. I don't like Walmart. But I like their better homes and gardens line. Twin set for $12.88! 

Now, watch me attempt "Modern" with this giant polka dot bedding. It is just all the right colors. Brooklyn loves it, and it is $39.50 for the comforter/sham. And it is reversible. I will find some way to layer all the bedding, and it will look lovely.

I am thinking of painting one wall that pretty raspberry color... way bright. And she needs this for her closet:
I already have a chandelier that I thrifted for $7.98 to spray paint purple. I have been saving these tissue paper poms from Martha Stewart's bridal party line. I am getting so excited! I think her room will be perfect for her. Because if she were a color, she would be a very bright one- and I love that about her.

This Sunday is the monthly flea! I hope to find some great things for my home. Wouldn't it be awesome to find some sort of vintagey purpley goodness for Brooklyn's room? Next up: Charlie's big girl room!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Best Friends Forever

I love Mondays. Monday nights are when we girls get together. We bounce around to different venues. It isn't every Monday that we all can make it. But it is always a great night.
These women represent so much to me, but most of all they are answers to prayer. I have prayed and prayed for real friendships, for Godly women in my life. Slowly, God answered my prayer. And now, these girls make my life richer. They mean so much to me. And I am so so so grateful.

April, you definitely put the R in Rad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

stale blog!

I am sorry. It has been too long. The least I could for you is post a few pictures! My goodness!!!

I have so much going on, and every spare moment I have at the computer is spent editing pictures from that wedding. Hundreds. of. pictures.

I hope to get back to regularly scheduled programming soon. :o)

sending some love your way,


Monday, October 19, 2009

{from suchprettythings - of shabby chic couture in NYC}
{source unknown}

{source unknown}

I'm a chair gal. I just love chairs. A pretty chair is like a beautiful invitation... that is what I see when I look at a chair. Recently, my dad and stepmom called saying they found a pair of chairs at a garage sale that they thought I might like. Isn't that the best? When family or friends just see something and think of you? I do love chairs. In talking with my dad on the phone, he adds, "Yeah, and we have this rocker... it was your great grandmother's... it can't be any newer than the 1920's. The seat has a tear so it needs to be reupholstered but you can take it if you want."

Are You freakin kidding me?

You mean, my great grandma Opal that practically raised me from infancy to 5, had a rocker that you remember as a child and it has been sitting in some room in your house, torn and alone? What in the world could you mean, if I want it?!?!? Quite frankly, I can't think of many things I have wanted more.

I love Christmas. I love everything about the season. Last year was a hard year for me, and I just never got into the Christmas spirit. Well, I plan to make up for last year with this Christmas! I know my house isn't going to be perfect by Christmas, but I would like to work on my dining room. Thus the pictures of all the cane back chairs. I have inherited my grandma's dining table/chairs/hutch. They are a strange wood finish, but the lines and design are remarkably french inspired. I love chairs and Christmas and France. I am thinking I will recover the seats in a pale blue green linen, paint the whole thing a creamy white, distress distress distress and slap on some wipe on poly. Maybe I can recruit the worlds best seamstress (my mommy :o) to help me make those little skirts for the chairs? They border on a little too frilly for me, but I just love the idea of pretty skirts for pretty chairs.

I miss my great grandma. She would have been so crazy about my girls. When I was brand new, both my parents went to school and worked. I spent a lot of time with my great grandma. She thought I was the best thing in the whole world (the only grandchild in the state) and she just delighted in me. I remember so many details about her. At night she would let me wear one of her pretty night gowns. We would put face cream on together. She would tell me stories until I fell asleep. She was exactly the grandma you would hope for. She eventually got Alzheimer's and would have trouble remembering who I was. It is a terrible disease. Recently, I went to dinner with one of my uncles when he was in town. I asked about my great grandma. He talked about all her pretty roses (at her home previous to the apartment I knew) and how she just took such good care of her home. He told me that her house was the best part of Christmas- she bought the best presents and it was quite the affair. The boys (my dad and his two brothers) went in their sunday best, and they ate a huge dinner. It shouldn't surprise me that she was a great gardener. I knew she was a wonderful cook. She made things beautiful. I want to be like her.

Maybe this Christmas, we will wrap a present for her. And when we open it, I will tell the girls about their great great grandma Opal, and what an amazing and beautiful woman she was.

Wishing you beautiful chairs and beautiful memories,


Sunday, October 18, 2009


{pictures from la madone in Provence, France}

I thought I would woo you with other peoples pretty pictures. Sorry. 

Oh, the balancing act. The balancing act that we all attempt. I wish it were easier. A long time ago someone suggested to me that I look at my time as an investment, and that investing my time in my children will always yield amazing returns. That I will never regret it. That it would always be a great investment. For some reason, I really held on to that. And it helps me, when I consider how financially strained I have been since making the choice to stay home with Charlotte. It will be worth it and I know that. I have to say, I have days when it is hard to imagine ever being financially comfortable again. And then I feel irresponsible. I feel guilty. I feel like I should be working and that I am in no place to continue to stay home with her. But then I imagine dropping her off at daycare every day, and somebody else spending more time with her than I do. I remember that my time is an investment more valuable than money, and that I really am investing wisely. I will work again, and I will have money someday. I won't regret this time I have had to stay at home with my daughters.
I am trying to do lots of things. I am trying to have a weekly girls' night. I am trying to take classes. I am trying to clean my home. I am trying to spend time with my girls. I am trying to go on dates. I am trying to plan fun things to do as a family. I am trying to spend time with my mom and grandma. I am trying to work in family gatherings and friends celebrations and silly adventures. I am trying to study for tests and type papers. I am trying to organize. I am trying to paint rooms. I am trying to clean toilets. I am trying to vacuum and dust. I am trying to gather things for goodwill. I am trying to create my own office. I am trying to edit pictures. I am trying to budget and pay bills.... so many things. Lately, I feel like I am not doing well at the balancing act, and that it would be best if I considered how I am investing my time- and prioritize according to what is most important to me. Put on the brakes... slow down... take a few breaths before I get going again...
This weekend I am going to San Francisco with my mom. I am looking forward to getting away with her. We have the best time together, and I always regard our trips as some of the best times in my life. I can't wait to just enjoy her, laugh with her, over-eat with her, smell the ocean air with her, take pictures with her, just be with her. I am so blessed. God is so so so good to me. My life is full of amazing people and my mom is right there at the top of the list. 
This week, I am slowing down. I am re-evaluating. I am spending time with my girls. I am checking things of the to do list. And hopefully next week, I will be better at balancing less.
Thank you friends.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

law of attraction

Finally! A pretty post with pictures! I know we have all heard about claiming things we want. Oprah did a whole show on the law of attraction. (Based on The Secret, which I have not read.) I don't know how, but it works for me. If I say out loud something I would like to find, I seem to find it. Maybe it is because I am more intentional about looking for that item. Maybe it is a little present from God. Maybe its positive juju and putting my desires out there in the atmosphere. Maybe its just pure coincidence, perhaps luck. Whatever it is, I said I wanted to find a vintage suitcase. One with a pretty satiny interior. I found this at a thrift store for $1.98!

vintage suitcase

Teeny tiny vintage Christmas ornaments. They look big here, but they are those little tiny ones. For 29 cents. I know it! 
tiny vintage christmas ornaments
I found this scrapbook album at an estate sale. Today, which is a Saturday. And everything was 50% off. I have wanted to find one of these for a while. I love this one!

early 1900's scrapbook

I snapped a few shots of the ephemera. The pictures with dates are from 1910-1915. This girlie and I have a lot in common. She loved animals, especially horses...

and Christmas! She loves Santa and Christmas!

The crying baby picture has a caption tired of waiting on Santa...

More Christmas, and animals...
christmas & animals

And fashion of course!!! I love the shopping scene from the 1800's.
vintage scrapbook - fashion

Then there is this little rocker. It is a cute little thing, just Charlotte's size. Or Teddy's. 

Tomorrow is the monthly flea! The girls are spending the night with "Hamma and Hoppa" as Charlotte says, so I get to go sans kiddos! I'll be sure and share my goodies.

What is equally as exciting as lovely finds, is getting rid of stuff!!! I took four trash bags full of stuff to goodwill today. One bag was full of toys. With Brooklyn's upcoming birthday I knew I needed to get rid of some. As soon as Charlotte wakes up, I will be going through her room. I'm on a roll ladies... there's no stopping me...

wishing you happy finds and a great weekend!


Monday, October 12, 2009


Forgive me, as this post might seem all over the place.

I have taken to drinking tea. I have tried several kinds lately. Fall here has been especially cold (In fact, it's like we skipped fall altogether!) and that has me looking for something warm to drink. Because of our strangely cold weather, the garage sale has been postponed till spring. It will certainly give me enough time to price things!

I think I might be a worry wart. I seem to have a day of worrying every month, where suddenly I am overwhelmed by everything there is to worry about... you know how it goes. Isn't it funny? Worry is so wasteful! Usually my mom or Austin keep me grounded with their reassuring "everything will be alright" speech. Maybe I just need the chance to say out loud all those worries that muddy my mind. 

Life is happening. Right now. I am living in my life and the days become years, and nobody is going to create the life I want for my girls and myself, except me. These are the kinds of thoughts that keep haunting me. Brooklyn will be six in less than a month! How did that happen? Where does the time go? 

I know it is very natural for most people to make choices about their lives, for themselves. For some people, they are at A and they want to reach B and there are several choices they make to get them there. This is where my indecisiveness gets the best of me. There are too many variables. There are too many uncertain outcomes. There are too many options and too many unknowns and no guarantees. Add to that the opinions of others and their expressions of exactly what they think you should do, and you have the perfect recipe for the rut of indecisiveness. I am so afraid to make big decisions, and once I do, I want everyone in my life to give me permission to make those decisions. Isn't that silly? At the core of this, is a lesson on trusting God. Sometimes I seem to forget that God is Lord over my life. He is in control. I'll get it...

I have made one decision, though. And I feel pretty good about it. I want a dog. I mostly want a dog for Brooklyn and Charlotte, because they are so in love with every animal they meet. I have been checking our local humane society's web page almost daily, waiting for the one. I think I have found her. I will meet her tomorrow and report back to you if we add a family member! 

I am totally excited about Where the Wild Things Are coming out on Friday! We will be taking the girls for sure. Okay, I promise the next post will be way better, with pretty pictures to boot!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

a wedding day

"All the technique in the world doesn't compensate for the inability to notice."
-Elliot Erwitt

I'm photographing a wedding today. I am a little bit nervous, but mostly I feel like I am going to rock. I love weddings. I really love the friend that is getting married today. She has been one of my strongest supporters and encouragers and she believes in me. There is such power in believing in someone! Don't underestimate the power of believing.

This friend of mine was there for me the day I was laid off from a job of seven years. She looked me dead in the eye and told me I needed to pursue photography. She forced me to see the light when I wanted to wallow in darkness. I can still remember the look on her face. I can remember the way she spoke. But mostly I remember the way she believed in me. She believed enough for the both of us. 

Now, it is her wedding day. A long road has led her here. Today, she will promise the rest of her life to a man that she loves dearly. A gentle man. A creative man. An unlikely man. Her man. I can't wait to watch them smiling at each other! I can't wait to see her so happy! I can't wait to watch them dance and laugh and be in a moment that transcends themselves. I can't wait to document it in pictures. That will be a full circle moment for me. My hope is that every picture somehow speaks of love, and softly whispers, "I believe in you too."

What an honor it is to photograph such a beautiful day! I don't know how many weddings I will photograph, but the thought of just one almost makes me tear up with humility. To be trusted to photograph a day that entire lives are built on, a day of a promise to God, a day of celebration of a lifetime union- that is an honor I can't describe.

Congratulations, dear friend. I pray that your love for one another is deep and everlasting. I pray that it  brings out the joy in you. I pray that you grow even closer together, and with God, in a way that brings your heart peace, courage, and true love. I pray that in your marriage, you love fiercely and are loved fiercely. I pray for your families as they become one big family, that your marriage will be a foundation for the generations that follow. I pray that you laugh all the time together. I pray that through each other, you both learn more about yourselves, and you learn more about God's love. I pray that when you are in your eighties, you still can't keep your hands off each other. ;o) Most of all, I pray that you both will be blessed beyond measure as husband and wife.

love always,

{the photographer}

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I want to dress like this!!!!


I recently found the blog of the woman on the right. She lives in Provence, France. (sigh) 
Her home is lovely, her pictures are lovely, her garden is lovely, and her clothes are lovely! I want to dress like this! Give me a dress and a hat and let me work around the home all day long! Move me to Provence and I will cook you three meals a day, in my pretty dresses of linen and lace... please visit her blog. (psst... she is getting ready to sell some clothes on her blog. :o)

Over the weekend I deep cleaned my bedroom. I cleaned my closet. I deep cleaned my little master bathroom. I washed all my bedding. I found the perfect lamps at TJMaxx and now I finally have bedside lamps. One of my all time favorite things is freshly washed bedding, reading by lamp light with a cup of tea, the fall breeze through the window... makes me so happy. I do find so much joy in simple things. Home things. 

I also went through all my bathroom drawers and cabinets. It feels good to re-organize and get rid of all the excess. Speaking of getting rid of excess, I am teaming up with my bestie Emily and finally having that garage sale. October 17-18. Mark your calendars! I am praying for not too cold weather.

Charlotte is quite the little spitfire. I have been referring to the girls as spitfire and sassafras. You know Brooklyn is a sassy little thing. I really love their personalities so much. I know Charlotte's stubbornness will serve her well one day. It will make me crazy. The baby girl is as outspoken as a toddler can be. She is quite assertive for such a little stink, far too busy to snuggle long. But every once in a while she stops what she is doing to come give me a hug and kiss and it melts my heart. Brooklyn is so much fun. She is just a fun kid. I love her girliness with a kick of tough. The girl is way tough. But she is all about make-up and clothes and dancing too. Oh, and Malachi and Saul. I thought I would have a few years before the boy crazies. Malachi is the bad boy. He gets yellows and even reds! (they have a color coded disciplinary system.) He is a cute little thing, with round cheeks and coffee w/cream colored skin. Saul is way trendy. He is the smart one, he knows how to READ and he wears the cutest little thick black framed glasses. He sports a little faux-hawk and he has a little lisp. He is too cute! I really like kindergarten age. Brooklyn is officially a daisy! She loves girl scouts, and is all about her friends. Tonight we took her to her school skating party. So much fun! She wants to have her birthday party at the skating rink. She'll be 6 in less than a month. :o(

I have been feeling pretty peaceful about life. I'm planning a getaway with my mom later this month to San Francisco! I have the best girl friends ever. I have recently started meeting with a counselor that I really like. I got an A on my first exam. My girls are happy and healthy. Last Friday I went on the best date I have ever been on ever! Austin planned a surprise date and it was a perfect evening. I am thankful.

I think I might buy some pumpkins tomorrow. I welcome Autumn. My hope for you is that this Autumn is a peaceful time, in a warm home with people you love. 



{oh, and sassafras and spitfire}

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

24-Forged in the Fire

Sometimes I stop and reflect on my life, especially my life since my baby girls. It has not been easy. I have endured trials I could have never imagined and I have found strength I didn't know I had. At twenty-four, I have lived a lot of life. But more than I look back and see struggle or pain, I feel blessed. I feel so very blessed! God has been so good to me and I am so grateful.

I don't have to look very hard to see the way that God loves me. My life, and my family, my friends, they are all evidence of how much God loves me. Twenties are hard no matter what, at least that is what I hear. But the bright smiles, the love, the people who are willing to walk beside you- they make all the difference. I feel like I have learned so much about myself in the last few years- some things I like, and some I don't. It refreshes my spirit to consider that this is merely the beginning of a life of refinement. God will be at work in me for all the days I am alive here on earth. Thank goodness this is so! Thank goodness no one stays the same from twenty-four to eighty-four! I am thankful for so much. I feel like I could burst!

I have learned so much, but there are a few things that really stand out to me. First, I have learned the family I am creating is nothing like my family of origin. I don't have to be afraid. I can know, from the start, that I will make mistakes. I will hurt my daughters. I will make wrong choices and that is okay. But I don't have to fear for my daughters what I experienced as a little girl. The great thing about being an adult with children, is that you get to make decisions about what is acceptable in their lives. Every single day, I get to create our lives. There is nothing to be afraid of. My daughters are happy, bright, vibrant, loving little girls. They know they are loved deeply. I'm doing what I am supposed to do. By the grace of God, I am a good mom. 

I have learned that I have so much potential! I am a strong, independent, intelligent, caring, God loving woman! I love that I am very loyal. I love that I can be silly. I love that I can go without make-up, hair in a pony tail and I don't feel insecure. I love that I can finish something. I love that I am a good listener. I love that I am a mother. I embrace my disorganization, my indecisiveness, my lack of punctuality, my self-discipline that ebbs and flows, my messy home, my mistakes, my imbalances. I want to change these things. I am working on them. Just accepting that I have lots to work on is an accomplishment. I am so flawed. God doesn't care.

I have learned that identity doesn't come from all the things that people sometimes want to believe. Who I am, or am not, does not reside in my accomplishments, my bank account, my marriage or lack thereof, my gender, my socioeconomic status, my education, my appearance or what I own. Lord knows I have so much more to offer the world than any of those things can hold! I am so glad I have realized, by twenty-four, that I don't have to buy into all the crap that makes us all feel like we can never measure up. I can be rid of those pressures. Just think of all the better uses for my energy! Now, this is a daily decision. Believe me, I have those moments where I compare or I feel inadequate based on the standard somebody else sets, then I just have to choose to be kind to myself. Apples and Oranges folks. God doesn't care about all those worldly measuring sticks or compartmental boxes. There is no one in the world like me, and I am far too extraordinary to fit in any box.

There is no one in the world like you, and you are far too extraordinary to fit in any box. How dare someone try to measure you!?!?

Most importantly, I have learned how to love. I mean real love. I have learned to love from a completely selfless place, a place that God fills so that you can love like Him. I have learned true compassion, when I should have been angry. I have learned forgiveness. I hope that each person has someone in their life that has hurt them to the core, that has wronged them, that has brought them to their knees. I hope that they have made the choice to love that person. I don't mean accept mistreatment. I mean love them. Pray for them. In the face of their choices against you, I hope you find a place to love them from. I hope you forgive them so that you can pray fiercely for them. To be able to love someone, when they have given you every reason to walk away from them in either anger or sadness, that is remarkable. To love as completely as you can, and get nothing in return, this is loving like God loves.  You could choose hate, but instead you choose love. The true beauty, is that it comes back to you. In one way or another, God blesses you tenfold...elevenfold. It may take time. You may have to endure a period of painful refinement. But it passes. And when it does, you are so much better for it. You love yourself more. You love life more. You love God more.

I am overwhelmed at how God loves me. His grace takes my breath away. In just over a month, I will be twenty-five. I know that it will be a lovely year. I know I will be amazed by what God has in store. I am amazed by what He has already started. 

You were tough. You were a hard season of refinement, and still there is so much left to be done! As you come to a close, I am excited for the end of the chapter and grateful for what I have from it. You showed myself to me, my God to me, in ways I had never seen before.  Because of you, I truly appreciate my strength- which always has and always will be in Christ Jesus.

Friday, September 25, 2009

my crazy home

{source unknown}

The girls and I are home today, and I thought I would take a minute to write before I tackled some more cleaning/projects. Sometimes when I need to clean but don't want to, I look at some inspirational pictures to get motivated. I like this one above. This is the color palette that I am going for in my entryway and kitchen. Somehow I keep acquiring vintage mirrors. I am not sure how I will use them, but I think some sort of grouping would be pretty.

I think entryways are important. I think porches and entryways are the first impression. The country blue and rose in my entryway are driving me bonkers. I so badly want to go to work... but I have a whole messy house to clean. You know that saying, "if you're not careful the things you own will start owning you"- well, that is how I am starting to feel. It can really become so overwhelming. Especially with two little ones who make messes faster than I can clean them. 

I want to know what the secret is... How do some moms keep such a clean house? How do they get their kids to keep their rooms clean? How do they stay on top of laundry?

I have a PLAN. First, I am going to continue going through clothes and bag some up for a garage sale. (Which may be next spring.) I already have four trash bags of girls clothes. The rest I will be washing and drying throughout the weekend. I am going to have a box in every room, just to fill up with items for goodwill or garage sale. From there, it will just be one room at a time. I'm on a time frame here, because I would love to have a big Christmas get together this year. I always want things to be perfect... but I know I have to be okay with less than perfect. 

I'm hoping I get a lot accomplished this weekend...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

porch projects

I should be working indoors. I should be working on my entryway or doing laundry or cleaning. But lately I have been focused on the exterior of my home. I bought this cross at hobby lobby. It is rather large, and was originally priced $9.99. I waited for iron/metal decor to go half off. I needed something for a bare space on my front porch.
It got lost in the sea of brown, so I spray painted it a creamy white. The porch is still a work in progress, so excuse the mess. I bought the two chairs pictured below for $3.98 a piece at the chichiDAV. I have one primed, not sure on the final color. In the far right corner you can see the candelier I bought a while back. I am moving it around and finding a happy place for it. It will get spray painted too...

I bought that piece of a dresser at a garage sale for $3. The lady said she was going to make a cat bed out of it but never got around to it. I think it is a cute little porch table.

You can kinda see the pretty blue. Those glass doors have a tint film on them, which I may have to use amonia to remove. And a razor blade scraper. This is conjuring up bad memories of wall paper removal- which I will be tackling again soon.

I will have to get some better pictures up here soon!

Tomorrow our monthly flea market starts back up again! Charlie and I will be up with the sun looking for treasures. It will be so much fun!

Friday, September 18, 2009

blue, buttons, baubles, and ring boxes

Front door before:


and After!!! 

blue door!

The blue looks lighter here than it does in person. It is a very pretty blue and I will try and photograph it again this afternoon to see if it does it justice. I found a polystain in walnut at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $2.99. I dipped just the ends of my brush in the stain and then lightly painted it on, applying a bit more in cracks and crevices. I wiped it off with a rag for just a slight stain. I will get better pictures later. These blue doors look pretty on my darkly painted home. Now I just have to figure out how to take the tint off my glass doors. Let me know what you think! Just don't tell me that you liked the glossy red way better. :o)


Yesterday my mom and I went on a road trip. She had to drive to a business meeting and I followed her part way. We drove through my hometown, and then on through several small towns, and then finally reached Fort Scott, KS. It is such a cute town! Weekends are the best time to visit, as several antique places were only open on Saturday and Sunday. That didn't stop us though! I have some funny/sentimental stories to share about our trip, but for now I will just tell you bout the treasures!

We stopped at one of the small towns along the way. We sifted through a "treasure chest" that was 75% crapyadon'twant and 25% vintage/antique goodness. This tin was laying on the floor, and I noticed it because it matched this tin. I bent down to pick it up and it was surprisingly heavy...
what? a matching tin?

To my delight, I opened it and discovered it was full of buttons and baubles and jewels! I was thrilled to see that it was under $10! Brooklyn and I will sort these together. (After Charlotte has gone to bed. :o)
full of  vintage buttons, baubles and jewels

I picked a few of my favorites off the top. There are some really great vintage buttons in here, and some I believe are victorian. I'm fairly certain the black fabric button at the bottom is... 

Sorting buttons is therapeutic. I plan to use these in all sorts of ways, but I can't wait to make some jewelry with them! One of my favorite blogs to read is the flower patch farmgirl blog. Click here to see her creative way with vintage buttons!
vintage buttons

Do you remember when I mentioned vintage ring boxes? I love them to pieces. The two in the background I already had. My mom and I were talking about what things we would like to find on our trip, and I said I would like to find a ring box. I mean, I needed three to be official right?

The first place we stopped in Fort Scott my mom found one. Just one in a quiet place that you  wouldn't really notice. The sticker on the bottom said NFS. Flea queens loathe the NFS sign. If it isn't for sale, why put it with a bunch of things that are for sale? The girl saw me looking at it and asked her mom if she would sell it. She obliged, and one song later the little white ring box in front was coming home with me! It has plum colored velvety fabric inside. I'm loving plum this fall...
vintage ring boxes!

I got back and went to pick up the girls. I was sharing my delight over my ring box and buttons with my grandma. She made her way back to her room and brought out the black one! It originally held a wedding set! I was surprised that she had one that she and grandpa used. This is a treasure that means a lot to me, and I feel so honored to have it.
vintage ring boxes!

I have one more treasure to show you, but she's not ready for her close up yet.

The best treasure of the day was the time with my mom. I love spending days with my mom, laughing and sharing, eating too much, searching for treasures. And boy did we laugh! It looks like we will be making a trip to California next month! 

Yesterday was my BFather's birthday. Happy Birthday! I hope there is a big party for you in heaven...

Now there is a baby with a blinky and a blanky laying down by me. It must be time to rockabye.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Caramel Apple Crunch Pie

I think Fall might be my favorite season. I think Spring is magical too. But there is just something special about Fall. I love scarves and boots. I love pumpkins. I love the changing leaves and fall colored mums. I love the crispness in the air. More than anything, I LOVE FALL FOOD. As soon as the air turns a bit cooler, I am thinking of pies... warm fall pies... with icecream... and hot coffee... on my porch swing... pie is joy that you can eat. 
For our girls night, I made my own version of caramel apple crumble pie. It was divine! I thought I would share the recipe with ya'll.

2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. salt 
5 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, sliced
9-inch pie crust
cinnamon & sugar mixed for sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 425. Set your store bought pie crust on the counter to bring to room temperature. (I used Pillsbury brand and it was yummy. You can find these crusts in the refrigerated cookie dough section.)
Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl. (A whisk works well for mixing dry ingredients.) Stir in your apples. Mix together until the apples are all coated and look a little gooey. Note: I don't know the official rule on this, but because this pie is baked at 425, I cooked it in a store bought foil pie pan. I have heard that you aren't supposed to bake anything in glass at temperatures higher than 350. I don't know if glass pie dishes are an exception, so to be safe I used the foil pan. You can get two, with plastic travel container for around $3 at the grocery store. Easy travel. One less dish to wash. Unroll your crust over your pie pan/dish. Crimp the edges however you like. Spoon the apple mixture into crust. Top with the crumb topping; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. (the sprinkling is important. It gives the pie that golden brown glow...the fall glow.) Bake at 425 degrees for 45-50 minutes. At about twenty minutes, I loosely wrapped foil around the edges so they wouldn't burn. And I baked my pie on a cookie sheet. Those foil pans aren't firm, and sometimes the pie will bubble over. PLEASE don't forget the cookie sheet. :o)

crumb topping:
1 c. all-purpose flour 1/2 a stick of butter, chilled
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

Mix ingredients together until crumbly. And for Julia's sake, USE REAL BUTTER. 

Now for the special part...

Buy a jar of caramel/butterscotch topping from the icecream topping section. Put a couple spoon fulls in a piping bag or a ziplock with the corner cut, just a tiny hole.  When the pie is warm out of the oven, drizzle the caramel all over in a crazy fashion. This is important.

Serve with warm vanilla icecream.

This pie is so yummy. It is definitely joy you can eat!

Happy Fall!

Monday, September 14, 2009

soccer and recent goodies!

Brooklyn started soccer this last Saturday. Her school has a little mini-league, and she is on the yellow team. Her being anything but aggressive, I was blown away when she was getting right in there after the ball. The teams are K- 3rd grade, and I was a little worried that maybe she might be intimidated. Not this girl. She held her own. Those boys better watch out.
She seemed to have so much fun, which was the most important part. She doesn't want shin guards. But I think I am going to try and talk into wearing them. Just in case. I am glad that she is starting to be more aggressive and less daisy picker. I love the daisies too. But it is good to see this side of her. 


Here she is with her dad. He doesn't always look like this. In fact, I think he changed his smile to this stern face. He's a good dad. Terrible partner. Bless his heart... :o) To his credit, we were just kids when she was born...

Charlie had fun eating playing with sand.

All that soccer made her thirsty. These hello kitty water bottles are in the dollar bin at Target right now and they come with a snack container! 

Now, on to my most recent finds:


Look at that millinery!!! I will be plucking these hats. I don't even want to tell you how cheap they were... and the baby bonnet too. Hard backs are 3 for $1.05 at the closest Salvation Army. I love old books. I'm most excited about The Flapper Wife. I have been after a vintage hat stand, but they are always priced so high at my local antique stops. Like, $20- $40. I found this pink one for $6. It will probably find a home in Brooklyn's room.


I have been drawn to any type of vintage container. I especially love vintage ring boxes, but those are hard to find and go for too much on ebay. The Marie Atoinette pearl box was a happy find, although I have no idea what I will keep in it. Maybe loose stones or beads or something. I was excited about the tin with handles. I usually shy away from too much floral goodness, but the subdued colors and cheap price were too good to pass up. You could consider these containers the inspiration for my soon to be office/craft space.


At the monthly flea I found this Jesus print in a large size. I wanted it badly. For $20 I could have had it, but I was out of cash. I had to leave it behind. I thought about it often. When I was on my solo road trip I found this smaller version, and I knew it was meant to be! I don't know what I will do with it yet. 


Emily found this silver dresser set for me and the platter underneath! Aren't these lovelies beautiful? I love the patina... and I am a sucker for platters. Especially white platters! 


This little lady currently resides in my China Hutch. I don't know much about these girls, except that they are usually priced $40 and up. This one was so inexpensive I couldn't leave her behind. She even had left over pins in her tushion.

My doors are blue, and I have one last step before I can show them. Then I will work on the entryway, and then my creative studio. (Where the hours of photo editing, sewing, jewelry making, etc. will be spent... more on that later!)

I'm off to make some fresh salsa for girls night tonight... and fold laundry... and finish some doors... and sweep and mop... it never ends, does it?

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

solo road trip

Gas. Country on the radio. Diet Pepsi...

First stop: Blackwell, Oklahoma. There were neat little antique places. I bought a few things. (I will share those soon! :o)

Final Destination: Oklahoma City. I nearly caused a crash when I saw they had a dunkin' donuts! We used to have one in my big town when I was little. My dad would take me and let me pick out any donut I wanted. He always got the fritter, I got the powdered sugar creme filled.

The display still looks the same! It made me so happy to find a dunkin' donuts. I ordered the usual, and an iced coffee with cream and sugar. The donut was better when I was a kid. But the iced coffee... holy smokes it was yummy!

I got a manicure because I could, and all my nails were long at the same time. I then made my way to Bricktown.  I ate dinner by myself at this crab place. The waiter was crabby. The food was pretty good. It was a late dinner, but not late enough to be this dead... I'm going to chalk it up to labor day weekend, and not some story about the place having rats or something that I didn't know about...


Being too stingy to spend $100 on a room, I drove back to Guthrie, Oklahoma. I got a clean little hotel room for $50. I laid in bed and watched several episodes of Roseanne on TV land, because I could. I felt happy. 
The next morning I had breakfast at Katie's. It was such a good breakfast! If you are ever in Guthrie, eat breakfast here! Their coffee was soooo good. 


This place was next to Katie's. Isn't it lovely? I like that 'Blessings' sign. It is for sale...


Downtown Guthrie is so quaint. It is a bit like stepping back in time. There are several Antique places on Oklahoma Ave. I didn't get to look, but I want to go back with my mom anyhow! It was our kind of place...

Don't you just love the turret on this antique store? I must go back to this place...


This is the current project. My front doors. I have two. They both have the lovely amber glass picture below. I can't decide if I like it or not. Many people love red doors. I have wanted blue ones for a long time now. I am going to try a treatment I have never done before... We will see what happens!


Every woman should go on a road trip all by herself at least once in her life. And when she gets home, she should paint her front door(s) any color she likes. Because she can.