Friday, May 29, 2009


I STILL haven't decided on a business name. It is a very big commitment. However, I have acquired several photography jobs including: one newborn session, (my niece, so I don't think this is considered a "job") a grandma and two little grand girlies session, an engagement session, one wedding day, and possibly a second wedding... so it is time to bite the bullet and make a commitment. Which means it is also time to create a space I can work in. Here are some photos I have gathered here and there of inspiring spaces where women work:

I love that pink chair in the photo above. Look at her jewelry stash! And those traveling cases/hatboxes! My most favorite part: that big window that lets in all that natural light... 

And of course, there is always Martha. Very organized. I would love to be so organized. Definitely not realistic, but I do believe that organization is a key element in running a business. A place for everything, and everything in its place. :o)
I love the colors and simplicity of this little area. I have to find one of those tiered metal thingys. This space won't only be for photography ya know. 
I love the wire baskets. I know these are quite popular right now. But they are as functional as they are vintage and that just makes me love em all the more. I love the ribbon bar. I must find something similar. I also love cubby holes. Definitely helps with organization...
Look at this piece of furniture!  Wouldn't that be so nice to have? Not to mention all the goodies on those shelves. The colors are so pretty here. 
My main goal: sustainable organization. I want my work space to be equal parts functional and pretty- editing pictures can take HOURS. So this will be a place I spend a chunk of time in for sure.

There are so many things to think about...

the one that didn't get away

Meet Marie. She looks like a Marie, doesn't she? Marie is my most favorite thrifting find to date. We have a thrift store in town that supports our YWCA women's shelter. This particular thrift store is very hit or miss- my usual go to for vintage linens and the sometimes dishes. Eventually, it became a regular stop because they had cans of formula and boxes of diapers that were never opened and very cheap! I could purchase a $25 can of enfamil for $9. I could purchase a big box of huggies for $6, sometimes less. People donated these items, but if there weren't any babies in the shelter they would just sell them in the thrift store. Anyhow, I walked in and saw this little lady sitting on a glass counter. She looked as if she was about to fall off at any moment. I rescued her. The price: $50. I just couldn't pay that. So I did what I hate doing. I asked when she might be marked down. The employee asked her manager, and she said, "How much do you think you can pay? You really like her, don't you?" I seriously considered what would be the most I could afford, and replied, "Thirty dollars?" I was waiting for her to laugh or something, but she smiled and said, "She's yours."

Marie is a rather large doll. She has some bumps and bruises. Isn't her outfit lovely with the little blush and blue colored rosettes? I think she has real hair. I carefully looked for a marking on the back of her head, but couldn't find one. That doesn't really matter to me, I was just curious about her...
I don't know much about dolls or how to date them. If any of you readers know anything, pass the info along! Like, does anybody know when they started making dolls with the eyes that open and close?

As I was leaving, there was seriously like three women asking about her- wanting to know how much I paid, or if I was going to buy her. One woman who said she collected old dolls told me I got a very good deal. Maybe so. Maybe not. But we love her. And I can't help but wonder why anyone would part with such a beautiful treasure.

I would love to hear about anyone else's "one that didn't get away"...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

yummy dirt

We planted the hydrangeas and peony plant this morning. It was such a beautiful morning! Charlie ate some dirt. She played with a worm for a while. Brooklyn and I pulled weeds and Charlotte followed suit, or attempted to. She pulled out several "chicks and hens" from a rock in our bed. Thank goodness those things are tough, we put them back in their little cubby holes. 
Brooklyn is a very enthusiastic gardener. She loves the dirt and all its little creatures: worms, "holy polies" and lady bugs. She is a great helper. We talked about getting all of the root, and why that is important. I hope she remembers gardening with me.
Our flower beds have a long way to go. But I don't mind. Not as long as I have these two little helpers to enjoy the dirt with.

Today I am feeling especially blessed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009



1.liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish: a generous patron of the arts; a generous gift. from meanness or smallness of mind or character; magnanimous.

SEE: My good friend Emily and my mom. :o)
My mom stopped by after she got off work today and brought me these beautiful flowers. I mentioned I wanted some hydrangeas and peonies. She remembered. They were a special surprise. Every time I sit on my porch swing and look at my garden, I will think of her. She is just generous like that. All the time. My mom is my best friend and strongest supporter. Thanks mom.

My good girly friend Emily loaned me these boots. Aren't they f.a.b.u.l.o.u.s? She has all the best shoes, and these don't quite fit her like they used to. I adore them. Don't worry Em, I will take care of them.
Emily had the most fabulous store in all of Wichita. She is taking a break right now, but keep your eye out for her... we will be seeing her, in the form of another business, soon enough. I set the bright pink melamine ware aside for the girlies- perfect color, non-breakable, ideal for the pottery barn kitchen. For one reason or another, I never got back to her store to purchase them. (Or that lovely vintage door knob) She sent them over, in a box. But that wasn't all...
Here is a sneak peek. I have been in love with this beauty since first sight. It is beautiful. You will see more later, once I decorate my whole house around it. :o) Seriously- it is AHmazing.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. A million times over, thank you. Thank you for all that you ladies do. I couldn't get through life without you. You have helped me carry what has been too hard to carry alone. I thank you. Brooklyn and Charlotte thank you. We are forever grateful. 

We love you.

(speaking of my girls...Emily sent over the most awesome playroom addition. I am still working on the playroom, but stay tuned for those pictures which will include my first sewing project in years!)

spring cleaning into summer...

I love the blue color of this cabinet below. Well, I pretty much love everything about this picture. The subway tile is divine and I love the special nook for the kitchen aid mixer. My mom bought me the breast cancer awareness kitchen aid mixer for Christmas this last year. I LOVE it. Anyway, I would like to find a similar blue, and paint my...

front door. I think this mom picked the perfect green for her door. I want my front doors to pop. My house is brown with cream trim work, and it just needs a little extra somethin. (The doors are currently a blue based red... a very cool red that isn't really visible from the street.

A funny story: My last day of classes the girls and I went through Starbucks drive through. It was kinda like my treat for the end of the semester. I always get Brooklyn the kid sized hot chocolate which comes in the cutest miniature version of the adult cups. She noticed their sign for the first time and exclaimed, "Look Mom! Its a girl peanut!" The kid just cracks me up.
I. need. a. cast. iron. skillet. 
Maybe I will try looking at some thrift stores. Last night we made fried pork chops, my new potato side, cream corn from scratch, and blackberry crisp. It was a good dinner. I would like to try cooking with cast iron, as I hear from others it makes a huge difference. 

(will post my new potato recipe soon :o)

My spring cleaning is a little late, but I am taking the rest of May to get this house in tip top shape. I finished the kitchen yesterday (minus cleaning the fridge and microwave) and today I am cleaning the main bath and Brooklyn's room. We are going through toys. Cause the girl has way too many. I grew up with a limited amount of toys, no gaming systems, no tv in my bedroom, a piano, books, and horses. I rarely buy Brooklyn brand new toys. (She gets a ton from family and friends as it is.) I spoil her on her birthday. And she does get new toys as rewards from time to time. But I think we parents need to be mindful of the marketing monster that is after our kiddos. I think they need to know that joy does not come from stuff. And getting stuff does not equal "I love you". I fudged on my no gaming system policy,  my mom gave Brooklyn my little brother's V-smile. It was free, and it is educational. So I suppose there is room for compromise...

Neighborhood garage sales are June 5/6. Maybe I can put all these unwanted items together to make a little money. It does feel so good to get rid of stuff. 

I hope you all have had a more successful spring cleaning experience, but better late then never, right?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

some things i'm lovin:

I haven't tried this first item yet, but I am going to order it soon. Isn't that the coolest lip gloss in a strawberry you have ever seen? (picture from click for link)

I decided to try Aveeno hair products, since I love their stress relief body lotion with lavender and chamomile. It would be my top pick at the grocery store.  I have a TON of hair down to my rear and I am a little particular when it comes to hair products. (can't really afford the expensive stuff right now)

My mom and I went to Bath and Body works, which I rarely shop at. Their scents are all too strong for me. My mom and I both really liked this light, fresh scent- citrusy and just a little sweet... a very good summer scent. (They are currently having a buy two, get one free event.)

I love cool whip on my coffee. With one of these bad boys, you just squirt that goodness on your hot cup of coffee and it is as close to starbucks as a single mom can get.
Charlie loves milk. I hate milk. Brooklyn loves soy milk. I only use it for cooking and cereal. Since my Charlie girl loves her "moke" I only buy organic. Horizon brand is as good as it gets. The milk tastes so much better than the other stuff, and the fridge life is so much longer than non-organic brands. I once heard someone say that if you only buy one organic product, buy organic milk. (There are some serious debates on the hormones used in non-organic milks and the effects they have on humans- early onset of puberty being a major concern. I am not sure if there have been any conclusive studies, but I will shell out the extra $ for organic.)

I'm headed to bed. Hope you all have a lovely Monday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

sorry. no pictures...

Today, I had this creepy little thought emerge and highlight itself among all the other thoughts running through my mind.

What if I have no clue who I am?

I am twenty four. I know that the 20's are infamous for these types of creepy little thoughts. But I still don't like them. What is going on with me? Is it true? Do I have no clue? I know, I know. It's a "journey of becoming" that I am on. I must "create the life I want to live" and "make the most of what I am dealt." Perhaps it is a Benjamin Button induced awareness, but I am feeling... clueless.

Over the last year, my faith has been rattled. As I have learned more, grown more, experienced more, I have began to call into question those truths which I have held as absolute. I dived into the Bible, only feeling refreshed when I came up for air. I have redrawn lines that others drew for me. I have fought to uphold my beliefs, and then discovered that they change. I am a Christian, and always will be. I think this process is called evolving? I would venture to assume that God expects us to question. Especially since He makes it clear that we aren't capable of understanding.  But something happens when you realize that you are changing. Who the heck am I then? What do I hold on to? 

Unfortunately, I think I am the type of person that could do just about anything I set out to do. I could be a teacher or a photographer or a farmer or a doctor. I like a lot of things. I am pretty good at a lot of things. I am going to school, and at least that is moving in the right direction. At some point, I will have to choose. Why is choosing so hard for me? I pray all day long. I read my Bible most nights. I ask for direction. You know what I am left with?

This is your choice. 

Great. So all this time I have searched and sought after "the right thing to do" has revealed that there is rarely a "right" choice. Super Christians make it look so simple. Their lives seem to be a series of prayerful "right" decisions that paint this beautiful picture. They don't get pregnant in high school. They don't get rip roaring drunk with girl friends. They don't have the time of their lives at karaoke night at a gay bar. They don't question the absolutes... Do they?

Lately I have been so afraid of decisions as though they were permanent. I have only been seeing things in black and white. I can't quite get to the bottom of what it is I am afraid of. But I know it is keeping me from knowing myself better; from knowing who I am. 

I know what you are all thinking. This girl needs some therapy.

I will get there...

Monday, May 11, 2009


"For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."
-From Benjamin to his daughter, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Photography: no name yet. Nothing just seems right. I never thought this would be one of the most daunting tasks.

My Girls: Brooklyn is learning to sound out words, and Charlotte is practically running. Charlotte is giving kisses on her own accord, making a smooch sound by sucking in her bottom lip. It is too cute! Brooklyn is growing more independent, but she is still a mama's girl. Last night, during our prayer, she thanked God for "healthy farts". Seriously. I don't know how to get her to stop with all the fart talk...

School: I just went to my last class of the semester. I am so thankful to be done! I have the yuckiest of my gen-ed classes out of the way so things should be a bit smoother from here. Next semester I am going to take an "entrepreneurship in the arts" class. I am pretty excited.

Home: My house is still a wreck. We spent the weekend at the river festival and not much got done around here. I did, however, mow my acre of a yard with a push mower. My beds need to be weeded in a really bad kind of way. 

My to do list just keeps on growing. 

I hope you all had a beautiful Mothers' Day. I promise pictures in the next post!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

tuesdays unwrapped #3

The same day of Brooklyn's kindergarten roundup, Charlotte decided to let go. My oldest baby met her future teachers, saw what will be her first official classroom, even played with future classmates. My youngest baby decided she no longer needed her little hand in mine to walk about the world. Did I mention that all of this happened on the same day? My heart is a little sad.

I only have three more days of class. This is a huge relief. I am ready for the semester to be over, and to make family memories this summer. Starting with the Wichita River Festival this weekend! Friday night you can find us eating funnel cakes, watching the big parade, and snuggling on a blanket for the fireworks. (Insert quick prayer that it doesn't rain here.) This event is a tradition in my family, and it is always a wonderful time.

My photography business is plugging along, and I am hoping to start booking some sessions in June. I still haven't landed on a business name yet. It might have something to do with my worst qualities: indecisiveness and commitment phobia.

On this Tuesday, I am grateful for two basic things that we all take for granted: the ability to walk, and the ability to learn. Because learning and walking seem to be the theme for the moment, what better simple gifts to acknowledge?

To all outside appearances, this has been a fairly quiet time in my life. But I have made some major life decisions, in my quietness, that I am just joyful about. I have found peace about struggles and peace in making decisions- not my strong suit, as mentioned before. I am learning to walk by faith.

So is my littlest baby girl. :o(