Monday, September 30, 2013

Sometimes you have to pause and enjoy life...

It has been awhile...actually a long while since I have updated my blog, Mother's Day to be exact. If you know me then you know I have four children that keep us busy. What is significant now is that I have a senior in high school and I have dreaded this for so long. In my last post I talked about living in the moment and that is exactly what we have been doing the last five months. We have tried to slow down and enjoy every single moment...not just with Brian but with our other three as well. We now know their sweet childhood passes entirely too quickly.

We had an awesome summer which included a trip to Amelia Island and Disney. This is the first time we have been able to take our children and it was everything I dreamed it would be (except for the car ride home). I worried Brian and Gracie wouldn't enjoy it as much since they were older but thankfully I was wrong, they even came home with Mickey ears. It was so nice to be away with just our family and enjoying one more vacation with a not quite adult son.

I am going to take a challenge of a fellow blogger to write every day for the month of October...who knows if it will happen but as I love to write and wish I had done more I am going to give it a shot. I also plan to update my blog with some fall decorations later today. I love fall and everything it, beautiful leaves, the smell of sun baked crunchy leaves, everything pumpkin, hot chocolate, sweaters, cozy fires at night with the family...I will stop here because I could keep going.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our trip.




Monday, May 13, 2013

What have I done to deserve this?

On bad days...really bad days, I often say to my husband, "What have I done to deserve this?"   Again let me stress...these are the worst days, the kind of days were Garrett and Gracie are fighting constantly, Brian needs soccer/football/basketball/dress clothes washed and I am ready to go to bed and all laundry that was in the laundry room has been caught up and Grady, well...he is Grady but at least he is consistent. On these days we are reminded that we are the "worst" parents ever, doors are slammed, questions are answered with more huffs and eye rolls than actual words and it never fails that we need to be five different places, someone can't find a shoe, we lose the keys or I have "accidentally" ran the car completely out of gas. It exhausts me just thinking about those days. 

Days like today, Mother's Day,  was perfect and once again left me asking the question "What have I done to deserve this?" My day started with a sunny walk around the neighborhood admiring the beautiful sun (it seems odd seeing the sun after all of the rain). Everything seemed renewed and fresh, much how I felt. It was beautiful and peaceful...good for the soul. Next we went to church...I love my children and husband sitting with me in church. I sit there looking at them and once again asked, "What have I done to deserve this?" I thought about God's love for me and asked, "What have I done to deserve this?"

We set out to make our Mother's Day rounds and started by taking Stevens' mother her flowers. The highlight of that visit was the conversation about the recent Cleveland women that were found. Sheila asked us if we knew what they should do to them and of course we all had our own ideas but hers...well shocked us all. "They should chain them to the wall by their balls". Gracie about choked, Brian and Garrett winced but laughed, Steven tried not to laugh but couldn't help it and I of course hysterically laughed. It wasn't until we were in the car that Grady spoke up and said, "It wouldn't be nice to chain someone up by their balls"...if only he understood the whole story. I apologize in advance to Grady's preschool teachers if this happens to come up in conversation.  This isn't something that you expect to hear from Sheila but she has a way of surprising you.

Next we visited my Grandmother, the sweetest Godliest woman I know. She is a saint and I credit so much of the woman and mother I am today to her. I love spending time with her and eating her no bake cookies. A funny story about my grandmother from years ago that probably left my grandmother asking, "What have I done to deserve this?", I was around 13 and my granny had made me angry, really angry. I can't remember why but if I had to guess I was probably asked to take a shower or to clean my room...harsh stuff I know. Anyway there was a huge mirror in the kitchen which I would spend hours gazing into, checking my hair, outfit or dancing in front of (yes Brian gets it honestly). We had argued about whatever she asked me to do and my temper got the best of me and I stormed down the hall and did the unthinkable (I'm embarrassed to admit this) and I flipped her the bird. The big mirror was not my friend that day...lesson learned. For the record I have begged for forgiveness, a lot. We still laugh about it today, sort of.

After that we came home to relax before a cookout with my sister. The kids surprised me with a video that Gracie made and it was beautiful. I cried like a baby. Garrett can't watch it without crying and my strong, tough boy even teared up. Gracie did a wonderful job making it and while watching it I again asked, "What have I done to deserve this?"
My mom was supposed to come over for a cookout to celebrate Mother's Day and the April birthday's but wasn't feeling well. I hope you are feeling better mom. My brother was going to come as well but after a trip to Shatley Springs and spending the entire week pouring me a concrete patio the boy was exhausted. I will be sharing pictures of my patio soon, it looks amazing. Thank you Benji. The kids had fun playing, we relaxed and ate lots of cake.

Next stop was Nana's. We walked up to the door, knocked and Gracie seen that she was asleep so we left her flower and card on the porch and let her rest.

Gracie and I made a delivery to my friend Kelly. Happy Birthday Kelly and I hope you love your ferns. For years Kelly celebrated Mother's Day as the fun aunt and it brings me so much happiness to see her being celebrated as a mom. She is an amazing mom, wife and friend.

Our day winded down with some outside play and Grady wanting to watch the sunset on my lap. In the end he decided it was taking too long while I thought it was going by too fast. This day will go down in history as one of the best days ever...and left me once again asking, "What have I done to deserve this?"

Thank you to my sweet, loving husband who always makes holiday's extra special. I love you. Thank you to Brian, Gracie, Garrett and Grady I love you all to the moon and back, it was truly a magical day and I am so thankful to be your mother.  Life isn't always easy but today was perfect. Thank you to all of these incredible women and the beauty they all bring to my life. I am blessed.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Living Content and Savoring the Moment...

On April 15th, I will officially be the mother of a 17 year old. How this happened is beyond me because honestly I was just 17 myself (or so I like to think). Knowing this special birthday was coming up was exciting (for Brian) but not so much for me. I have been sad...really sad. One more year of life as we know it with all of my children under one roof, eating dinner together, celebrating holidays and birthdays and of course the kids arguing together. When I think of how our house will be when Brian goes off to college I get a lump in my throat and my stomach does flips (not pretty graceful ones...the fall flat on your face, the wind knocked out of you,  how am I ever going to go get up and go on flips).  Brian is our quiet, laid back, conservative, take up for your mama kind of boy who brings so much to our sweet family and while I am excited to see what he has to offer this world and what kind of beautiful life he creates for himself another part of me wants to keep him all to ourselves...

While expressing my sadness to one of my dearest friends, Kelly, she shared with me some insight about mama's and their children on a blog she had read. I can't remember the blog but I will find out and link the address. Basically (or what I remember and what helped me over my sadness) it was about a mother with two older children going to play in the pool with her children who were running ahead of her when she sees a mother with a baby and a toddler. While she is chasing her kids to the pool she is wishing her children were that age again and little does she know that the mama with the baby and toddler is envious and can't wait until her children aren't hanging on her and she can play with them in the pool. 

It is human nature to miss what we have experienced with our children or to be excited for what the future holds for them and how much easier it may be for us but the real meaning behind her story was to be content no matter where you are with your children and to enjoy them.  Savor. Each. Moment. My sweet friend helped clear my pity and sadness that day more than she will ever know...she is awesome that way. There is still a little pang of sadness in my heart when I think about my children growing up but I don't think that ever goes away...but it can be overshadowed with all of the joyous moments of right now and soaking them up.

Tomorrow I will celebrate my first born, I will celebrate him turning 17 and I will be happy, I will be excited and deep down I will be a little sad. He was the first person who loved me unconditionally...who expected no less and no more. I am not a perfect mother and have made many mistakes along the way but every day my children do something that reminds me that while I am not perfect I (and Steven) must have done a whole lot right and we are blessed more than we could possibly deserve when it comes to our children. I thank God for

The night Brian was born it was rainy and I had been on bed rest for months...I should have known how impatient he was going to be in life when he tried to come early at 25 weeks. I looked around the room and was trying to remember everything. I remember the nurses joking, the anesthesiologist stroking my hair, I remember the rain hitting the window, the beeping machines,  I remember my doctor saying she was missing dinner and I could see lots of shiny instruments that would help deliver my baby safe into my arms. I remember looking up into the surgical light and watching my son be born through the reflection. I was ready for my new role, the role I had waited on my entire life. When Brian was delivered I had no idea if he was a boy or girl so to hear, "It's a boy" was .... indescribable, there are no words for that moment. He was beautiful, perfect, mine and I was in love. My heart would never, ever be the same....nothing about my life would. It was going to be amazing.

Thanks to Kelly, I am living in today...not tomorrow and most certainly not a year from now. I am enjoying the moments of having a 17 year old, 13 year old, 8 year old and 5 year old...I am enjoying every moment. Yes, even the not so great ones because they will also pass  quickly.  I will continue to love my children unconditionally and expect nothing back in return except respect, hugs and kisses...I am going to be content and savor each and every moment. I am going to continue to thank God for blessing both Steven and I with four children who have made life extraordinary.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and are making lots of moments and memories, enjoy them all....I'm off to do the same.



Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Spring!

I's been 49 days. It is finally going to feel like spring this week and I couldn't be happier. This has been one of the longest winter seasons and when I say long I mean dreary, no sunshine and really kind of depressing. I am all for being snowed in with some hot chocolate and good movies but when the snow lingers into April

This weekend my husband and I celebrated our 14th anniversary (March 3rd) with a work/relaxing weekend at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. This is our third time going and we love everything about it. It is very pricey but it was on Allstate because my husband won an award which made it all the better and I couldn't be more proud of him. I don't say it enough but my husband is an amazing father, provider and best friend...I am a lucky girl.

In the winter months, their slow season, you can get an awesome deal for rooms under $100 a night. Anyway my anniversary present was a fifty minute Swedish massage at their spa and it.was.amazing. It was just what I needed to get rid of all of the winter anxiety and stress. One of my most favorite things about The Greenbrier is the staff. I have to admit that I was a bit overwhelmed, nervous and a whole lot out of my element the first time we visited but let me tell are made to feel like royalty. When we rolled up in our Suburban that has 185,000 miles on it, stained carpet, knobs lost off the radio, car seats, every ball known to man kind and cracking leather interior and were beside the gray Porsche that looked like no one had ever sat in it...I was nauseated. I didn't feel worthy of the bellman coming to open my door and I certainly didn't want him to look in my car...but when he opened my door and greeted us with a smile and was so welcoming I felt like I had just stepped out of the Porsche. I cannot say enough about the staff and how genuinely nice and helpful they are. 

This is only the third time we have ever been away from our children so a little mini vacation was nice but of course we were ready to get back home and catch up on playing ball, hugs, kisses and cuddle time... just to be clear Brian and Gracie no longer cuddle but I did get hugs and kisses. ; ) We do owe a special thank you to everyone who helped with our kids which isn't easy when you have four. Thank you to my sister Belinda who kept Grady and Gracie, Ms. Sherrie and my friend Kelly for helping with Grady also and our friends Dennis and Crystal for having Garrett all weekend. Brian was at the beach for a track meet so thank you to the Cullop family and Coaches for getting him there and keeping him safe. It takes a village my friends...

The Greenbrier

I promise to get some DIY projects done soon...hopefully some outdoor projects are in my future and I can't wait to get my hands dirty. Until faithful, be happy, be grateful, be kind and love your friends and family.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Candlesticks for my fireplace for free...yes please.

Sometimes you need a little inspiration...say from Pottery Barn magazines or Pinterest. Other times you surprise yourself and come up with something completely on your own and...well surprise yourself. I have admired large candlesticks for quite sometime and knew they would look amazing in front of our fireplace but they can be rather pricey and it wasn't something that I was willing to splurge on. I had searched Pinterest looking for some ideas but really didn't find anything I loved so I filed that thought away temporarily.

While working on my daughters' bedroom I was in the garage and saw the bed (a yard sale find and on it's last leg) that she no longer wanted. It  was headed for the dump and I sat staring at it wondering how I could salvage any piece or part of it...crickets...and then it came to me. I quickly (for fear of getting side tracked and losing sight of my most spectacular idea ever) started working to unscrew the posts...they unscrewed easily and I knew I had my candlesticks I had been drooling over.


I took three of the posts and cut them down (by my own self) to different lengths with my Steven's miter saw. I painted the posts and attached them to some wooden bases I had purchased at Hobby Lobby this summer. Right when things were starting to come together I had no idea what I was going to use for the top to set the candles was a dilemma. I went on a search through my house and seriously found nothing...until I spotted our old pickle/lightning bug jar lids...hmmm...I was skeptical myself but with a little spray paint and stain they looked like they belonged. I screwed them to the tops of the post and perfection...I have my free, one of a kind candlesticks that look perfect in front of my fireplace.

I wanted to share my Marion sign that I made as well. It was a trial run and my inspiration was a sign that hangs at a beautiful landmark in our town,  the old train station. I love everything about that building and the sign. I imagine what it would have been like to have been on a train traveling and rolling into our beautiful train station and quaint little town...anyway...I had an old piece of wood in the burn barrel that was the perfect size so I painted, trimmed, distressed and voila my very own train station sign. It is far from perfect and I actually love it so much I want to try again with a better quality wood but for now I am content with how it looks over our chalkboard wall...I love it and the daydreaming of the "old days" that it provokes. : )

Have you saved anything from the trash lately and transformed it into something beautiful?


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Monday, February 11, 2013

...and then I was the mother of two teenagers.

Where does time go? When family and random people would tell me to enjoy my children while they were little because before I knew it they would be graduating...I listened, sort of, but like everything else in my life I had to learn that lesson on my own. I can't believe most days that I am the mother of two teenagers...after all wasn't I just one?  To go back and do some days over again...what I would give. To play a little longer, to read that story again for the 101th time and to have just one more tea party...but time has marched on and gone are those days (at least with my two oldest) but I am trying to make the most of every minute because I now know time does pass so quickly and these precious days will be gone before I know it.
We recently have updated the teenage bedrooms and sadly realized this was probably the last time...tears. We moved my 16 year old to a new room downstairs to give him some more privacy and so he can be closer to the kitchen but so I don't  embarrass him for his privacy I will not show his room...but Gracie on the other hand is more than willing to let me share her new and improved teenage bedroom.

My sweet sister donated a weekend to help while Gracie was on a youth trip. It was an awesome surprise. We repainted her green walls an Ash Gray which looks so clean and fresh, I love it. I painted a chalkboard on half of one wall which her younger brothers love to leave her messages on. We bought new frilly curtains, hung her pompoms up in a corner above her old/new vanity and painted her dresser and nightstand True Turqoiuse with a little distressing and wax. I painted two canvases for her and made a necklace holder out of an old clock frame. I made a headboard out of pallets and a piece of wormy chestnut found in the attic. Enjoy the pictures but most importantly enjoy today with your sweet children for these days are gone too quickly...  


Monday, January 28, 2013

Valentine decor...finally.

I have to admit...I have been in a decorating slump since taking down my Christmas decorations. My once warm, cozy, glowing house seemed bare and cold. I have had my Valentine decorations out for some time but just couldn't get it right. Today I was determined to get it right or maybe just good enough...whichever came first.

 My mantel is "love" ly and while I am not completely in love with it (it's hard to follow up the Christmas mantel) I am happy with it. I put some of my favorite Valentine cards from years past in a little basket and printed a 14 tag and attached it with red and white baker's twine (love that stuff). My candles are leftover from Christmas, I debated red but decided the white was "fine". The framed print was a free download from  check out her awesome blog and free printables. My family has a long history of loving antiques especially wind up clocks, you will see these repeatedly in my decor. The blue mason jar is filled with twigs that have fallen during the recent floods, heavy snow and ice in the past two weeks. The three framed pictures are old black and white photos of both mine and Steven's grandparents...I adore each of these photographs.

Next up is my piano, I love decorating the top of this but not so crazy about taking pictures of it. Our walls in our house (downstairs) are all wormy chestnut and while they are beautiful they sometimes make it difficult to get a great picture. Two more wind up clocks, one belonging to my dad and the other to my grandfather. Neither one are with us anymore so I love having them as part of my "love"  vignette. The plate is a charger from Dollar Tree for $1, and I added a vinyl XOXO from my Silhouette machine, easy peasy. The cupid is a thrift store find with a new coat of paint. The banner is one that I made out of a sheet of music, "I'll Still Be Loving You". I simply cut the sheets to the size I wanted them, attached to red cardstock, cut out love on my Silhouette machine and strung it with baker's twine.

Next I have my Valentine mailboxes for my kids. I got these several years ago at Target in the dollar bins. I am pretty sure they still have them. I have chronological numbers on the front of them as we have three G's and one B and on the sides I have their initials that I cut out with my Silhouette and vinyl.

My dining room buffet is ready for Valentine's day with a Love You banner that I bought last year (I cannot recall where from). I have three apothecary jars, one is filled with red hots, one wine corks and skeleton keys and the other more black and white pictures of grandparents. My white platter was a T. J. Maxx find (favorite store ever) and I added a red vinyl 14 to it as well. I have a small table in my dining room and a chalkboard over it, I didn't take an up close picture of it because if there is one thing I cannot do... it is draw, not even a simple bee so do not look too closely. ; ) The last picture is of my dining room looking in from my breakfast nook.

Lastly my foyer has a black console table (fondly known as the black thing) and large mirror that is the first thing you see when you enter my house so it always needs to look it's best...HA. Let's not forget I have four kids, please. I made this banner several years ago using the same technique as mentioned before except I used ribbon to string it by. The tree is around for the fall/winter seasons sporting something new but right now she is dressed in hearts and I love yous. I have a picture of my four sweet Valentine's and a chalkboard printable from  she also has an awesome blog with some amazing chalkboard printables. I love you to the moon and back is very special to children loved Guess How Much I Love You and I have read it to each of them time and time again. Needless to say when I seen this printable I had to have it. Thank you again Nest of Posies.

I hope you enjoyed my Valentine decorations and that you may be inspired to create a "love" ly space for Valentine's Day.  Thank you for stopping by and until next time....XOXOXO

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Wooden Christmas signs

Good Monday morning. I have a few pictures of wooden signs that I completed prior to my blog and even though they are without before/during pictures I thought I would share the after. I have so many projects that I have either completed, started or am daydreaming about and I can't wait to share them with you. I am in the process of decorating for Valentine's Day and will be sharing some sweet decorating ideas soon.

This is my Christmas mantle and if I could get away with it I would leave it like this year round. I love the soft ambiance the Christmas lights tucked in the garland give, not to mention the smell of fresh pine. My favorite moments during Christmas are having my family surrounding this mantle and Christmas tree, watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, listening to Christmas songs, drinking hot chocolate and having a toasty fire. Sigh....just the thought of it makes me happy. My Silent Night sign was made from an old piece of wormy chestnut from our attic, painted and distressed. With four kids this was the most appropriate sign for our mantle..not really, it is my favorite Christmas hymn. ; )

I made this sign from another piece of wormy chestnut, painted and distressed it as well. This one as you can see was over my kitchen sink. It felt a little bare before the sign, even with the garland and boxwood wreaths, but the Joy sign made it all come together perfectly. I hated taking the garland, wreaths and sign down from here as well. I think I need a new sign...more daydreaming. I made several wooden signs for Christmas teacher presents and everyone loved them (or so they said).

This one is for one of my sons' sweet preschool teachers.  I am most proud of this sign because I used the miter saw to cut the wood and make the brace all by "my own self" (a favorite saying of our family). Our sweet friend/teacher lives in a beautiful farmhouse that was built around 1914. The P is for her last name and of course Circa (which means around or about) is the year the house is thought to have been built. I can't wait to see where she decides to put it. I love that it looks so old, almost like it has been around since 1914.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pink and Sage

It only took two weeks into the New Year to post a project..I know my one and only follower has been sitting on the edge of her seat waiting for
 Our preacher and his sweet wife are expecting their fourth baby, Sage, and we wanted to give/make them something special. Sweet little Sage has a beautiful nursery with brown walls and beautiful pink accessories including a dresser her daddy spent lots of time painting. When I spotted this ugly  sweet little baby cradle I knew I could do something amazing with it. I took it home, called my friend and asked her for the leftover paint they used on the dresser and got busy. It went from drab to be still my uterus we are not having any more babies. I love how it turned out and when I took it to our sweet friends the tears and hugs told me they did too. It is painted with Simply Pink from Sherwin Williams and distressed with Minwax dark walnut stain.

 Nothing, not anything, warms my heart more than having someone adore something I made them...especially when it was made with love.


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Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Welcome to No. 631. My New Year's Resolution is to make my dream of having my own blog a reality, unlike dieting and working out I am eager to make this happen.
Over the next few days I will be adding completed projects, tips, photos and some of my favorite recipes. Grab a glass of sweet tea/coffee/wine and join me on this exciting new adventure.