Monday, December 31, 2012

goodbye 2012, don't let the door hit ya

The last day of the year has been rainy and cold. The snow and ice are melting quickly.
I have spent the majority of the day hunkered down, under covers, with books and Pinterest and a tinsy bit of writing.  There also may have been a restless nap in the middle there. 
I think the weight of 2012 found me today and laid me flat for a few hours.
Let's be honest. 2012 was not our best year.
A lot of great and wonderful things happened, yes.
But they were each faught for hard. I had to really keep my eyes peeled for the good and the bright. I had to go deep to dig that silver lining out more than once or twice (or twenty times) over.
It was not a walk in the park by any means, and I have no qualms about bidding it adieu.

So goodbye 2012. I tried to learn your lessons well. I will do my best to remember you with more smiles than tears.  Please don't let the door hit you on the way out.

on the seventh day of Christmas - I contemplated cabinet knobs and paint colors

For months I have been looking for a paint color for the top half of the dining room. White walls just aren't our thing, but I also don't want to go back to red. It was a great 9 year run with the red, but I am ready for a lighter and brighter dining experiance.  Months ago I found a great paintable wallpaper on Craigslist - very granny chic ( have I mentioned this before? I can't remember. Let's blame the foot.) 
But I knew I would need a happy color to go over the top. Before Christmas, Liz's sister Rachel came over to help me find a color (she worked for Sherwin-Williams at the time) and we settled on Funky Yellow. But it turned out that it was a tad too funky - even for me.  I kept telling Rachel that I had seen the color I was imagining somewhere, but I couldn't remember where. Was it the Latte bowls at Anthropologie?  A couch on pinterest? Where had I seen it?

And then, while checking out at Anthropoglie last Friday, I suddenly saw it. It was my Anthro customer rewards card. It was close to funky yellow, but slightly less funky and a tad more me.
The trim and the bottom wainscotting will stay their current colors and the wallpaper will get a nice coat of Anthro Plastic. I like it.

In addition to the latte bowls I was finally splurging on (the pastel set) after looking for a year,  I was also picking up some new hardware for our slow-as-molasses kitchen makeover.
I bought yellow and red, not knowing for sure which color I would go with, or if I would use both.

Looking past the anthro card and into the kitchen I realized that I liked how the little bit of yellow on the upper cabinets pulled in the dining room wall color. And how well the red on the bottom popped. 

For now this is probably what I will go with. Who knows what I will think if when we replace the backsplash and countertops and bottom cabinets. I might reverse my decision all together. Red on top and yellow on bottom. 

I am also comtemplating painting the bottom cabinets the same shade as the bottom of the dining room walls. Just enough color to add a pop, but not enough to be heavy. I am done with heavy for a while. Also, I think the red will REALLY look great on cool blue doors.
Oh dear. I feel an afternoon painting project coming on...

PS- Happy New Years friends. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

on the sixth day of christmas, sunday's challenge - put in the box

(this perfect tea tin was a gift from jeanetta, who always knows just what i need)

I am reading Anne Lamott's new book Help Thanks Wow. 
For the record Anne Lamott is one of the people whose words have changed my life, so I tend to be mooney over her.

Anyway, in her new book (which is way too short, even if the whole thing is amazing and profound) she talks about having a God box. A box where she stuffs her prayers or confessions or just the name of a person who happens to be driving her mad. She does this because she has found that in the tangible act of seeing herself physically put the note in the box is important. As simple as it is, it helps to let go.

"When we think we can do it all ourselves-fix, save, buy or date a nice solution-it's hopeless. We're going to screw things up. We're going to get our tentacles wrapped around things and squirt our squiddy ink all over, so that there is even less visisblilty, and then we're going to squeeze the very life out of everything.
Or we can summon a child's courage and faith and put a note with a few words into a small box in the hope that we can get our sucking, inky squid tentacles off things."

After which, she goes on to say, among other things, it might just get a little easier to breathe and to rest.

Which to me, sounds like a great way to start a new year.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our Urban Cottage Farm begins, with P. Allen Smith

A few weeks ago we were excited to host P. Allen Smith and his crew at our little casa to talk about our plans for developing an ubran cottage farm on our city lot.
Like most people, I hate how I look on film.(You will get to see me in boot form, hobbling around from scene to scene. Can you tell all I have done for three months is sit on my behind? Ahem. Let's just say I cannot wait to jump on the New Year's health kick band wagon.)
However my boys and Sweet Man look ADORABLE. 
Am I a lucky gal or what?

We had a blast filming this with Allen and his great crew. It was a lot of fun and I will be posting updates about our urban cottage farm progress along with updates on our New Hampshire Reds as soon as I am out of this boot and the snow has melted all away. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

on the fourth day of Christmas

The snow is slowly melting. I am currently snug as a rug in my bed wathching Beekman re-runs and cotemplating a shower.
We have been very blessed in that we did not lose power during this mini-blizzard as so many people in Little Rock did. 
There is a huge limb laying on top of our garage and our Gardenia bush may not have survived, and one of our vintage metal awnings is falling off slowly.
We do not know if there is any other damage- smaller limbs on the roof etc. Because the snow has been so heavy and thick we really can't see anything. 
But today there is a constant drip outside my window as the ice and snow melts. I am curious to see what all is revealed.
Luckily I have lots of new reading material to keep me occupied along with a copy of Moonrise Kingdom from my Sweet Man. Also, rumor has it that Jeanetta might stop by and wisk me to Anthropologie to use my gift card. 
Who knows what the day might bring yet...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

on the third day of Christmas

Today is the third day of Christmas on our way to Epiphany. We are still snowed in for the most part. Sweet Man did trudge to work today, and I think he secretly liked being the only one there. A little solitude can be good for the soul.
The boys have gone to a friends house for a brief bit, so it is me and the dog and the chickens and the hedge hog holding down the fort.
Can't say I mind either.
All these pictures are some of my most favorite gifts this Christmas. None of them are big or expensive. But each of them reflect that the giver thought of me, knows me and loves me.

I had a good cry yesterday about all the things beyond my control this Christmas - not being at the snow covered farm as I had dreamed, having to postpone our trip to my parents till New Years , being stuck inside with this ole foot of mine. Yadayadayada. 

The thing I love about my Sweet Man is that he lets me cry it out without telling me to buck up and be grateful.
Because he knows that I am insanely grateful.
But he also knows what it means to have plans thrawted and your heart a wee bit broken.
And he knows that one does not cancel the other out.
So he lent me his shoulder and wiped away my tears.

And then I opened my very clenched hands -again -to recieve my home, the snow, my limitations and changes in plans, recieving with thanks and asking for nothing to change.

 And then the sun came out. It really did. And it was all better. Not fixed, or changed, but better.
Sometimes we just need the space to say all the things that we really feel without fear of condemnation being heaped upon our heads. We need to say the words and we need to know that they were heard.
In that moment Nathan wasn't just my husband, he was also Christ arms and ears and warmth. He heard my cries and responded with mercy, grace, hugs, acceptance, paitence and love.

It was a beautiful gift, perhaps my favorite one of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

winter whites

Last night, at the very end of Christmas, down came the snow. This picture was snapped by a local photographer and neighbor Grant Harrison, on instagram. I had to borrow it because it shows just how magical everything looked in the moonlight as the snow started to fall.

This morning everything is covered in a thick blanket of white.
The streets are not cleared yet, and their are fallen branches peppering everyones yards.
There is so much quiet.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas dear friends

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Christmas Story

it's almost time

Labor is under way.
The time has almost come.
I am not ready.
Am I ever?
How can I be.
As my father said: This mess is a place.
So here we are, in this mess, in this place.
As we are.
So come now Jesus, come.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent, Week 4: Peace

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

let there be rest

Today is the first day of our Christmas break. We have all celebrated by spending most of the day (so far) in bed or on the couch watching Christmas movies and nibbling on cookies. We are worn plum out from a long week of work and school, and as our festivities really begin in earnest tomorrow, we decided that today would be a day for recharging. For resting and going slow. 

So we are still in our pajamas, and there might be some slight snoring happening in another room at the moment.  I have watched Christmas in Conneticut and now I am watching The White House Christmas special on HGTV. Love Actually is on the docket for tonight, along with every Christmas episode of The West Wing, while I finish up some homemade presents. 

This morning the sun was shining brightly so I grabbed my camera, balanced on my crutches and snapped a few pictures of our kitchen Christmas decor. 
This is the first year that our kitchen is this lovely pale shade of robins egg blue and I love how the red pops against it. I think I will keep the buffalo check curtains to use each Christmas. This is a great compromise because I hated to get rid of them all together. And yes, this means I am becoming one of those people who changes out her curtains and bedding just for the holidays. But let's not panic- The shower curtain and bath towels are still safe, so maybe I have not crossed over to the dark side just yet.

I hope you find a moment or two of rest today my friends.
Don't let the busyness consume you.

Much love.

Friday, December 21, 2012

giving thanks for the mess that started it all

Today I am honored to part of the 6th Street Design Holiday Homes tour. If you have managed top hop over here from there, then let me give you a great big welcome. I am so happy to have you over for a visit.
 I only managed to snap pretty shots of our living room merriment due to that lack of sun and time and my hobbledness, so it is a very brief glimpse. Maybe I will find enough daylight to snap a few other pictures of the rest of the house this weekend. Maybe.

In the middle of all the holiday merry making, home tours and Christmas crafting that is happening all around Blogland today, I thought I would show small glimpse at the other side of all this festiveness, know as The Mess. 

This is the other side of decorating and crafting. The side that includes half-empty rubbermaid containers lining the hallway, the chair filled with Christmas odds and ends I have never found a home for, the dining room table turned sewing table, covered in fabric straight pins and loose threads. The side that is just as real as the pretty side of things. They are both real. They are both true. 

A while ago I wrote that I had intended to enter Advent meditating on these words by Ann Voskamp " change comes when we receive life with thanks and ask for nothing to change."
As is typical, I had no idea how necessary and  real those words would become. 
 Here are some examples: change comes when I receive the house I have with thanks and ask for nothing to change. change comes when I receive life with a broken foot with thanks and ask for nothing to change. change comes when I  receive my limitations with thanks and ask for nothing to change. change comes when I receive the budget I have with thanks and ask for nothing to change. change comes when I receive my job and it's schedule with thanks and ask for nothing to change. change comes when I receive the mess of making merry with thanks and ask for nothing to change."

The closer we get to Christmas, the deeper these words sink, and the more I realize how true they are. 
The play begins, afterall, with a teenage mother giving birth to a baby God in a barn.
Talk about a mess. Talk about a life change. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today's post brought to you by the number 1

Seems like I am on a run here with the 1-picture-per post. 
We have been getting home so late that I haven't had any good daylight for picture taking, so I am slowly using the pictures I do have, one at a a time. 

1 is also the number of gifts we have left to buy
1 is the number of school and work days we have left
1 is the number of Christmas parties I have been to so far
1 is the number of times I have watched The Family Stone this Christmas 
(this is sadly behind my normal habit.)
1 is the number of meals I have cooked since breaking my foot
1 is the number of broken KitchenAids taking up counter space in my kitchen
1 is the number of socks I wear most days
1 is the number of cups of homemade Hot Chocolate I hope to drink tonight.

What is your number today?

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