Thursday, March 31, 2011

i just had to share

all these things I have recently found and am in love with.
some may be new to you, some may not be.
but I had to share, because that is good friends do...

 the beautiful works of Christa Wells (as recommended by Sara Groves, so how could I say no?)

 Listen to her new album here
I am addicted.

Which is so full of eye candy I am almost went into a diabetic coma just looking at their website.

Ultimate cuteness. Seriously.
I think I need a Jerusalem one. Don't you?

the amazing -I-am-sure-we-are-kindred-spirits Shauna Niegquist

and her great blog and her mad party throwing skills

and not to mention her books.

Pure bliss.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

you don't look a gift horse in the mouth

so you are probably wondering when we are moving to the country and adopting all those kids.
yeah, me too.

the only answer I seem to be getting is this one:
not yet. 
maybe not for a while.

but here's the deal. 
I am okay with this. I am okay with this answer because I know that a) most things I have forced to happen have ended up biting me in the arse. Or at least causing a lot of tears.
and b) God has filled our life up with some pretty great things in the meantime and I am grateful and my heart is full. Very full. As are my days.

One of the favorite things 2011 has brought  me so far is a a car load of 6th grade girls that I have the pleasure of carpooling in various combination's a few times a week.  They are the children of some of my closest friends - the kind who feel more like family than not and so having them around is easy peasy. On the days we carpool my car fills up with these long legged creatures and all their bags (oh the amount of bags girls have compared to the boys!) and I love listening to their chatter, their woes, their intense annoyance with their younger siblings, their excitement over new purses, jackets and books, and of course there is the school gossip which is always interesting since I work there. Also all of these girls and their host of siblings live within 1 mile or less of our house, and I have been known to entice them all over for visits with promises of craft lessons and free reign over my kitchen to bake sweet treats.  On the days when a few of them come home with us from school to play, I love how their voices round out the sounds of laughter, playing and even arguing around the house. The mixture of the giggles and squeals with the automatic gun noises and "explosions" that I am used to from my boys always takes me by surprise. On those days my home feels fuller than full and I cannot help but smile.

Another change this spring is that Wylie is in his first "real" play at the Children's Theatre. Rehearsals started this week and I thanked the blessed stars that we only live 10 minutes away from the theatre and not in the country (yet.) Especially with gas being $3.50 a gallon and our current school/work/life schedule being what it is. If we lived further away I honestly do not know if we could pull off his rehearsal schedule without someone losing a limb or at least a lot of hair. And he is so unbelievably proud and excited that I am beyond thankful that we are able to help make this dream a reality for him.

And finally  we do have a new member of the household that just moved in.
But she can feed, dress and drive herself.
My youngest sister Judea has moved in with us for the next year (at least.)
This was a move that just felt right for all of us. She is fresh out of college and establishing herself as a photographer. All of her contacts and mentor are here and since she works freelance it will take a while for her to get her feet under her financially. She has lived with us before as a student, in the summers etc. This time it is a little more permanent and "real."  The boys are over the moon and so am I. 
The truth is that I am one of those oddballs that could live in a commune or similar community. In my dream world my sisters, mother and grandmothers and best friends would each have houses on the same piece of property as me and we would all be in and out of each others houses constantly. 
I know not everyone wants to live like this, but I love it and having Judea here is a small taste of that life.

As for moving to a  farm and building/finding "the" house that is still on the Someday List, but for now we are happily staying put in this one.   We are planting a garden (well Sweet Man is and I am going to help)  and we are  looking into yard chickens. I am going to paint the dining room and the kitchen this year (yes I am!) and this week I hung tons of paper chains in the living room  as a celebration - a celebration of living in the moment, of living in the gifts we have been given today, and just enjoying life.
All of the changes 2011 has brought so far are a gift - even in the waiting- they have been unexpected & unplanned but they have also been wonderful, fulfilling and filled with beauty.
We are not giving up on the other dreams - the adoptions, the country life, the farm...  we still feel like those are things we are supposed to do and we have faith that when the time is right it will be obvious, but for now what is obvious is what has been put in front of us - this home,  this life, this community- and I do not want to miss the beauty in these things because I am pinning away for something that is not yet.

And because you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. You just say thank you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

an idea

I found this online and now for the life of me cannot find it again.
But the point of showing it is to say this is cute but I think I can do cuter.
Is that obnoxious or what?
But I am going to try. 
I think.
You know, in all my spare time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

monday make-do and be thankful

Today I am kicking off a new weekly (or bi-weekly depending on how busy life gets) feature called 
Monday Make-Do and Be Thankful
 I was inspired by Heather and her

I am hoping this will be a way to acknowledge the things I DO have instead of focusing on what I don't have, and practicing a grateful heart for them.
Also, I am hoping this will challenge me to use all the things and "someday" projects that I have stuffed in closets and on shelves before I spend my money on something else.
So for the first project we have for our inspiration:
 Pottery Barn's French Wire Hamper.
Adorable. Love it.
Beyond my budget for the forseable future.

 The Jolly Goode version.
Pretty Adorable too I think.
Made from things I had on hand = Very-within my budget.

Old wire locker-room basket painted pink and faded from lots of use since I bought and painted it years ago.
Old cabinet door salvaged from the side of the road.
Suitcase stand painted pink.

Maybe one day I will make a liner for this little impromptu hamper. Maybe a bunch of tea towels I have stuffed in a drawer all stitched together? That could work...maybe that will even be next weeks project!

So that is my Monday Make-Do and Be Thankful project.
Have any projects like this going on at your house?Are you participating in Heather's project too?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

some people

 were put on this earth to create beautiful, inspiring, encouraging works of art.
People who spark something inside of you that makes you think "of course! I see the world that way now!"

Pam Garrison is one of those people.

Her talent is beyond description.

I find inspiration every time I open her blog.
No matter how simple or intricate the work.
I am so grateful to live in an age - for all it's drawbacks- that  no matter the time of day, no matter the number in my bank account, no matter what curve ball life has thrown me, no matter what else is happening -I can still click a link and open a window and there is Pam. Full of light and art and dreams and possibilities.

 And then I believe again that I am full of light, and dreams and art and possibilities too.

Thank you Pam.

Friday, March 25, 2011

he's his own man

 If there is one thing my children do not lack for it is a strong sense of individuality.
They are their own people.
Take Miles for instance.
I dropped both the boys off at my parents for part of Spring Break. As I was getting in my car to leave Miles came out to say goodbye.

Me: Miles whatcha wearing?
Miles: Momma, you know I'm in the Kids FBI. Meme is taking us to the Diamond Mine today. Do you think they need security there? Want to see my FBI moves?

 Okay, now you want to see my ninja moves?

I love this kid. There is never a dull moment with him around. He tugs at my heart strings in his own very unique way. He has a bottomless need for hugs and affirmation and he gives as much or more than he takes.

Life is always moving for him. There is always something to try, do, accomplish, experiment with, tackle, learn, investigate, research, make...

And oh the questions this kid ask:
Momma, is Common Prayer really a way of life?
Did Jesus himself say that there will be a new heaven and earth or is it just in the Bible?
Aunt Juju, don't you know about economics?
Can we go buy tents for the homeless? I have $5 dollars.
Do I have any new fans on Twitter?
Momma I wish I could stay 6 years old forever.

Sometimes I do too buddy, I do too.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

just a pond skip away

 Sometimes one receives just the loveliest surprises in the mail.
Like this amazing package full of lovely British treasures sent to me from my reader Penny.
Penny is also my sister Jemimah's friend as well as a blog fan and she knows how much I adore all things English. When we came home from SA there was this amazing box waiting on my filled to the brim with treasures!

 As cute as all the "Keep Calm and...." copies and spin-offs are, I still love the original the most, so this magnet is perfect. As are the adorable Cath Kidston like napkins, the key chain, and the magnet, the book ends...And the great pencils -charcoal and colored- that are wrapped in newsprint. They are my new favs and I have the charcoal ones stashed everywhere for quick access.

Penny also sent me a great Cath Kidston Catalog (covet,covet) and a great new catalog I had never heard of called Not On the High Street which is filled with the most adorable items. It reminds me of a Lillian Vernon catalog only British and more modern and frankly, cuter. Wish they would come to the US - I would buy their goodies!

Since I was sick for so long and now the kids are gone to my parents for Spring Break I have not had the chance to use any of the food products she sent. And I have to admit I am not exactly sure what to make with Black Treacle and Golden Syrup.  Any suggestions dear English readers? Also, what do you put in your Irish Porridge?  Butter and sugar like in my oatmeal? Do you use it in any other recipes like cookies?
Please send me your ideas - I am anxious to try these all out.

Thanks again Penny - I love it all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

cottage style in the house

 When we got home from our getaway I had two really exciting packages waiting for me.
The first one was filled with copies of this magazine:

You might remember when Sunday and Mark came to visit me way back in October...
Well all their hard work finally paid off and now their beautiful pictures of our little casa are in this wonderful magazine! Mark and Sunday were so generous as to allow me to post all these pictures - even the ones that didn't make it into the article (which is great by the way- even though it is VERY strange to read someone else's version of what you said, even when they get it right.) It is also a little strange, but wonderful, to look at the pictures. They are essentially Sunday and Mark's version of our home - how they saw it and how they wanted to show it off.  Sunday has styled countless magazine shoots over the years and I have a lot of fun going through all my back issues of Country Living and Country Home and trying to pick out which ones are hers. Also, I have to thank them both for the great family picture they took which is my new banner - it's perfect for spring don't  you think? OK, enough babbling about how wonderful this all is.  On to the fun stuff... the pictures!

So there you go, Lovely House as styled by Sunday Hendrickson and photographed by Mark Loman.
An absolute dream come true.

Monday, March 21, 2011

San Antonio Part 2

Part of why I blog is so that I will remember.
Already in the few years that I have been doing this I have forgotten so much, only to look back at my blog and remember it all over again.
I am lousy at getting pictures printed. I don't scrapbook.
I blog.

So bare with me a little longer while I blog about our trip some more.

I was really tired on this trip and as it turns out I was getting sick (I am much better now, thank you for all your sweet well-wishes!) and I felt like a vacation-failure.
But despite that, I did have a great time. One highlight was the window-shopping.
Due to the FEP this was a very budget-conscious getaway which meant not a lot of shopping, which was ok with me - as long as I still got to look.
And look I did... In San Antonio and Fredricksburg

 I could wear shirts like this every day in the summer. I would love to find a great inexpensive source -something that offered "not tourist" prices.

Sadly (but happily for my pocketbook) I did not have a lot of time to spend in this adorable fabric store.
I am pretty sure I could have dropped a big chunk of my pay check in there.

So wish we had something like this here...Just look at the oil cloth selections!

 If I could have stuffed this chair into my purse I might have fallen into a life of crime.
So great.

 My good pal Sarabeth gave me the heads up about a shop called Red in Fredricksburg
This store changed my life. Okay maybe I am being dramatic.

 What I should really say is that this store helped me find a focus for the things I want to change in my house.
Gave me a sense of place and direction.

It wasn't so much the colors or the textures or the specific pieces, it was more how everything was used and purposed.

The innovation. The "found" quality mixed with an freshness that I loved.

 Sweet Man is a seasoned window shopping companion and quickly found himself a comfortable chair to wait out my gawking.

I also got to revisit Homestead and Friends, a store I visited years ago with Jeanetta.

 This lampshade was my favorite - love the inside-out quality.

 I also loved the skirt/shade - how fun!

Their collection of odds and ends, industrial and precious is amazing. The "white rooms" are my favorite and held some of my favorite pieces.

Including their ceilings - beams, painted wood, industrial lighitng - I loved it all!
If was designing a house, this is how the ceilings would look for sure.

So that is the last little bit of our trip that I just had to share.
Thanks for sticking it out with me - I guess it is a little like being invited over to watch someones home movies huh?

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