Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Break

It is Fall Break for the boys and I, so we are escaping for a few days.
We are getting out of dodge for some r & r for them and some intense book work for me.
The  ole blog is going on radio silence while I am gone.
So, till I get back, just remember,  I <3  u!
xoxoxo
J



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday's Confessions

Welcome to Thursday's Confessions. A weekly feature where I confess, before you my sisters and brothers, the silly, the ridiculous and even at times the shameful. Why? Because confession is good for the soul. Even in Blogland

Confession: Historically  I have not been a park mom. I am not the mom who takes her kids to the park or those jumpy places. We only hit the zoo when we go out of town.
 Those are things that grandparents do, not me.
I am a home mom and a playdate mom. 
But not a park mom.

Why? Because I am selfish and lazy. When my kids were little I had to push them on the swing, catch them off the slide and watch them so they wouldn't get kidnapped.
About 5 minutes of that and my brain would get all  fuzzy and goes numb. We could have just as much fun at home, where I could lay down and rest my eyes for moment between sippy cup refills and wiping bottoms, without worrying about them being snatched up.
However like most kids, my boys love the park. And as they have gotten older and are able to swing without assistance, slide without me holding their hands, the park is a little more tolerable for me, and actually it has become a little more important.

When my kids were little it was easy to know what they were feeling and when they needed me. They wore all their emotions and needs on their sleeves. And they needed so much - feeding, changing, cleaning. They were helpless in so many ways and my days were consumed with small, repetitive, never ending task that come with mothering babies and toddlers. Those days wore me out. Staying home with small children was mind numbing and bone tired exhausting in a way that nothing else was for me.

Now that they are older they can do all those things for themselves. They can feed, clean and cloth themselves. They can load and unload the dishwasher, they can feed the chickens, the dog and the hedgehog. They can make dinner and do laundry and set the DVR.  Because of this, sometimes it is way to easy to parent on auto pilot. To come home from work and school and for all of us to  retreat to our own corners.  


But the truth is that as they get older they need me just as much as before. Only in a different way. They don't need my hands as much as before, but they sure do need my eyes and my ears. They need my presence. They need me to ask how they are doing, they need me to notice when they are overly emotional, when they are withdrawn, too quiet, too loud, too easily angered, too easily tired.  

These days, in an effort to Be There more,  I take them to their lessons and their practices. We stop and get hot fudge sundaes on the way, and sometimes we play at the park if we have a few minutes to kill. I take a book, and I sit. And I watch and I read a little and I listen a lot and I try to notice even more.
I read once that when you have teenagers you should try to have a kitchen where you can cook while your back is turned so that they will talk to you more. Because if they don't have to look you in the eye they will open up more. But the key is that you have to use that kitchen. You have to be home. You have to be around, so that when they are ready to talk, you are there.


We are not to the teenage years yet, but boy are they close. Eventually they won't even need (or want!) me to take them to the park, they won't scream Mom Look At Me! as they jump off the highest rung.  So, as preventive medicine for their future illness called teenageitis, we are going to the park and eating ice cream, with the hopes that the knowledge and faith that I am always here for them will sink in, and somewhere at the bottom of their  future teenage brains it will remain, deeply imbeded so that perhaps, just maybe, while I am cooking dinner, with my back turned, they will offer up some of their own Thursday confessions now and again and say Look Mom! Look What I Can Do!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

marketing


I should have been a marketing major. As in, I could totally major in going to the market.

I love the farmers market, and it is shameful how little I go.


Saturday the boys were sleeping over at the grandparents, Sweet Man was snoring away at home, and I escaped for a little marketing.  The season here is winding down, and it had been a stormy morning, so the little market I went too (we have several in our area) was smaller than usual, but still lovely.


This market is filled with more than just veggies and fruits. It is also filled with jams and jellies and potterie and organic meats and lotions and potions. 


Everyone who sells in this market seems to realize just how cute the market is, and so are their booths, signs and packaging are equally as cute. The only thing that perhaps could make it better would be if there was a troubadour a'ala Gilmore Girls, and if Taylor was there, terrorizing the lead farmer.


Otherwise it is pretty much perfect and pretty much cute. And if this great scale had fit in my purse I would have snatched it up.

That's all for now.
Remember friends- No Crying on Wednesdays!

Reading This Weekend


Before the weekend I hit my favorite used book store and picked up a few I have always wanted to read...items along with a few new discoveries. Also, the latest Mollie Makes issue was waiting in my mailbox

I gathered them all up and hit the swing on Saturday. Enjoying the cooler temps and the slow paced day.





I have not be disappointed so far with my choices. In fact, Leaving Church is a new favorite, that I have almost completely re-read already, while copying inspiring and amazing quotes onto index cards. Sadly most  of my new treasures will have to remain unread for a while, and my swing will sway lonesomely as I am about to go back into heavy book writing mode during our fall break. Maybe knowing that some great books are waiting for me will motivate me to get A LOT done! 
Here's hoping! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Make Do {and Make Lovely} Monday


Today is Monday, and Monday's are a great day to start again. Start fresh. Take a step forward.

So go forth and make lovely my friends.

Start fresh. Start new. Do one thing, small or big, that you have been wishing for - like a little laundry line or new towels. Something silly. Something sweet. Something that no one will understand but you.

The day is not over, you still have time. We both do.


Much love,
J







Friday, September 16, 2011

Fly-Away Fridays - The Fair


I thought it would be fun to start a regular Friday feature that is all about dream  getaways... Kind of a bucket list/inspiration list of places that I want to go, things I want to do... Want to come along?


T

(Etsy)

The weather has taken a turn for the cooler today and it is absolutely wonderful. I actually believe that Fall is coming and I am perhaps more excited about it this year, than any year before.
One thing I love about fall is the State and County Fairs that start up. Not everyone loves them, but I do. I love all of it - not just the game and the rides, but the whole package.


(pinterest)
I would love to go to some of the bigger fairs, like Iowa. Wouldn't it be fun to take a road trip to all the best fairs? Camping in between stops, taking the back roads, maybe in a great old truck?






We would have to eat either some candied or caramel apples to start things off right 


(design sponge)

followed by a hearty meal of things that come on sticks - especially the corn dogs ( my favorites!!)


(Sync Weekly)

And just to make sure we were not hungry later, we would have to each have funnel cakes, so yummy and light and rich all at once. The perfect fair treat.


There are only two rides I love -the swings are the first, they make my tummy flip every time, and I cannot help but laugh.


(my photo)
And the Ferris Wheel is my second.
 I actually prefer the old school two seaters, the smaller versions. I love to sit at the very tip top, just swaying in the breeze,  looking out over everything. It is so peaceful way up there, away from everything.
I will let you ride with  me if you promise to not talk too much. Silence is golden on the ferris wheel.
(the Fancy Farmgirl)

I don't love to play all the games, but  I do love how colorful and bright they are, how everything twinkles.
The sinage is always so fun and festive. If you love to play I will hold your purse and cheer you on, pinkie swear.

(photo)

I always find the Blue Ribbon competitions great and I am completely amazed each time at how many entries there are in all the categories.
I think it would be a lot of fun to see the varieties in jams and pies and jellies across the states, don't you? I wonder if they make pepper jelly in Utah?


(flickr)

I love the animal barns and the 4-H petting area. The baby animals are the sweetest.
Do you think I could bring a bag big enough to sneak a baby lamb out without being caught?


(photo)

The cows are great too. They always have this "oh bother" look about them, and I love that their owners hang out with them all day. Feeding them, brushing them, reading them the paper.
Oh the life of a heifer.






We would have to pack fair appropriate clothing of course. Layers for all contingencies, boots so we don't have to worry about what and where we step, and a good size bag to hold all the prizes you win on the fairway and that last bite of corn dog that I wrap up in my napkin to save for the drive back to camp.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday's Confessions


Welcome to Thursday's Confessions. A weekly feature where I confess, before you my sisters and brothers, the silly, the ridiculous and even at times the shameful. Why? Because confession is good for the soul. Even in Blogland

(picture here)
September is my birthday month, which is why I am thinking about things like Wish List...

Confession: I love a good wish list. And I love it even more when I get stuff off that list.
Sometimes I put things that are impossible. Sometimes I put things that are probable.
Sometimes I put things on the list that I know I will buy for myself even if no one else does.
Sometimes I put things on the list that will only happen via a miracle.



Confession: I am still very much in touch with the little girl inside me. It's true. In fact I am probably more in touch with her now, then I was when I was actually little (I was so serious!) This years birthday wish list is all for that girl - the one who could get lost for hours reading and cutting out paper dolls.




I really wish skating rinks would come back into vogue. Would love to do some backwards skate and some couples skates with my tight jeans on.


When I was eight my mom and dad bought me a pink Huffy.
I think it is time to re-live that moment.


Lovely footwear. All girls always need more shoes. And for a great cause! 




This exact set of Fashion Plates.
Wish I knew what happened to my set.


An Anne of Green Gables trip to Prince Edward Island.
Go live Anne's life for a few days.
How fun would that be??

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

pie eyes


I love pie. All kinds.
Homemade. Store bought. Hot. Cold. Pie.


Mmmm.
I have been thinking about pie a lot lately. Thinking of new recipes and ways to serve it.
And I think that if you don't really like pie, we may have to have a come to Jesus meeting about this.


Miles loves pie too. I never have to convince him to try a new flavor. He just goes for it.
He and I simpatico that way. We have pie eyes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mrs. Blewitt and Me

My sister read my blog recently and said " you sure do use the phrase 'worn out' a lot."
OK, so maybe I do. I don't mean too. It is just that sometimes, let's be honest,  I  feel plumb worn out . Do you remember that line from Mrs. Blewett in Anne of Green Gables? I think of her every time I say it, and I imagine my face to be as wrinkly and crinkly as hers was, my look just as sour.
Sometimes it is just the unpretty truth. I am plumb worn out and that is just how it is.
I am a wife and a momma and writer and a pastor and I have a full time job just for kicks (and the check too, let's be honest.) So yeah, um I get worn out. Plumb worn out. But I don't have to be an old bitty about it do I? Friday night and Saturday morning I  made a decision to send Mrs. Blewitt on a little vacation - perhaps if the poor gal got away for a bit she might be able to  smile instead of frown, laugh instead of cry. So that is what we did. Mrs. Blewitt and I got away.



Our weekend started with Fried Brie.
How can you go wrong when you start things off with fried brie??
I wonder if they fry brie anywhere else, or if this is just a southern thing. Perhaps the French would be appalled? Well, one bite would set them straight.




We were able to get away with the most fun group of girls, for a little R & R at a beautiful lakeside home that also has a sparkly pool.  I spent as much time as I could laying in this pool, and let it's healing waters sooth me.I am instantly happy when I am in a pool. No matter what else is going on, I cannot help but be content, floating around on a raft or on my back, staring at the clouds.


The trip was a birthday celebration for two of the gals, sisters-in-laws who share the same birthday and are the best of friends. How amazing is that? It has become their birthday tradition to spoil US with a relaxing night and day away from the hustle and bustle of family life and work, and to just enjoy BEING. Being still. Being silly. Being loud. Being quiet. Being lazy. 



 I was able to let go and just enjoy...my coffee, my books, reading and writing out on the balcony with a beautiful lake view. Enjoy the company of women I love and admire and who both crack me up and tug at my heart strings simultaneously. Enjoy the 9 day old baby that I held, and soaking in all the hope that comes with a fresh new life.  


So now it is Tuesday and Mrs. Blewitt has reared her ugly head and her smile has turned upside down a few times, I hate to admit. But if I take a moment and remember to think back to the Lake of Shining Waters and remember all the gifts I has been given, all the moments of joy and rest that I carry inside in me from even just this weekend,  then I can find my footing again, Mrs. Blewitt and I can call a truce and get on with our living. Gratefully, moment by moment.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

sundays challenge- tell the story




10 years ago I had a one year old son.
We lay in the bed together at my mothers house. Both of us dozing.
The Today Show playing in the background, 
I can smell my mother making coffee and eggs in the kitchen.
My eyes are closed but I hear the words "plane...hit..towers."
I sit up and watch.
I call Sweet Man to see what he knows.
He is working in the basement of a building and knows nothing.
This is before Facebook. Before Twitter. Before Smart Phones.
As I am explaining it to him, not sure yet if this plane was an accident or an attack, I watch the second plane hit. And then I know.
And then that is all I watch for days.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

a little weekend project

This week has just been so busy, I totally forgot to share my latest crafty post for the At Home in Arkansas blog! Yikes!

Head on over for a little tip on a way to re-purpose vintage decanters (and any other glass bottle you love but can't figure out what to do with.) And there is still time to get it done this weekend if you are quick!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Thursday's Confessions- GoodBye Summer

Welcome to Thursday's Confessions. A weekly feature where I confess, before you my sisters and brothers, the silly, the ridiculous and even at times the shameful. Why? Because confession is good for the soul. 

Even in Blogland.

 Confession:  I can't think of anything great to confess. Or even funny. Or profound. Or even boring.
Except that I have one closet that I cannot open for fear of everything falling out.
It is a project I will have to tackle soon because all my fall and winter clothes are in the closet. .. But I am not quite ready to take it on yet.


I think my brain is on a break and I am OK with that. I think I am storing up reserves for when I go away in a few weeks for some serious book work time. It's like my brain knows it's coming and it's conserving it's powers till then.
At least that is what I am telling myself.



So instead  I am going to just bid adieu to summer with a few favorite Instagram photo's from the past few months...

































Goodbye summer 2011. You were lovely. Please don't let the door hit ya on the way out.
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