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}