Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 30

Today, I'm thankful for this little Mister who turns one today.
His joy and mischief can be matched by none!!
He is my littlest Love;
 his love for me and my love for him transforms me daily.

Good gracious, LOOK at that face!!!

Be thankful, friends.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 29

Today, I am thankful for ROAD TRIPS!!!

I'm also so extremely thankful for two people always close to my heart
celebrating a decade of marriage today!!!
Love you guys!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 28

Today, I am so so SO thankful for my husband.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 27

Today, I am thankful for a nap...
during my Hot Yoga class tonight.
{I really do think I feel asleep for a bit!}

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 26

Today, I'm thankful for my "Book" Club girls.
(hehehe love you girls!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 25

Today, I'm thankful for sprinklers;
cherry limeades and onion rings that are brought to me just because;
and z-packs.

"Prayers of thankfulness literally form our soul."
Gary Thomas

Form your soul today.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 24

Today, I am thankful for a bed to sleep in.
I am also thankful for the last two very unrestful nights comforting a certain teething little Mister;
they have been hard and we are both tired,
and it has reminded me to not take rest 
(and health... because of course, I feel like I'm getting sick having had no sleep the last two nights)
for granted.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 22 & Day 23

A little late, but yesterday I was very thankful for my sisters.
One has an extremely sweet heart
(she also had a birthday yesterday, so I'm thankful for her birth!)
and kindness springs forth out of her;
one has a genuine desire to help those in need and
 pours herself into the lives that need it;
one has a heart that overflows with generosity
and a spirit of adventure that would kill me;
and one has a love in her heart that is a true force to be reckoned with
and she also shares a spirit of adventure that would seriously hurt me.

All of them possess qualities that I yearn for and desire for myself...
it's almost as if they were placed in my life with purpose.
I love it.

And today I'm thankful for belated birthday gifts.
Really, REALLY thankful!!!!
(Specifically, thanks Dad.)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 21

 I don't know if many of you have caught on, but...
I kind of like a good deal.
In fact, I REALLY do.
So much so that if I'm NOT getting a deal on something,
then I'm probably not buying it.
So, imagine the unabashed glee that sprung forth from me today
as I walked into the store of my choice to buy new shoes of my choice
(I actually went with the intention of splurging on myself with a little spending money I had)
and I found these:
{no source}
 and these:


Keep imagining that glee because it soon went from
glee to overwhelming joy when
two of them only had one box left of each and they were both in my size 
and I purchased ALL THREE for less than the original price of ONE.


I know, I know... it's amazing.

So, today I'm thankful for incredible deals
and beautiful shoes that make me smile.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 20

Today, I'm thankful for all kinds of friends;
friends that are near;
friends that are not-so-near but are thought of often;
new crafty friends;
old friends who loved The Beverly Hillbillies
and may have had the dream to go to Nashville and become
a country singing duo sensation with me...
and maybe we still will.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 19

My {deceased} mother-in-law's sisters come to visit us each Summer,
and bring two of the grandkids with them.
They're only here for a few days, 
so the time is spent well swimming, playing, eating together,
and then doing it all over again the next day!

Of course, seeing them makes me think of my mother-in-law.
Today, however, one of them was riding down the Lazy River
at the local water park with my niece
and it was as if I was watching my mother-in-law with her.

It was one of those double-take moments;
creepy and wonderful all at the same time.
She would have loved this season of life so much,
so seeing something so real
just really made my heart smile.

So, today I'm thankful for the short time I had with her;
and I'm so thankful that her sisters make the long drive here to love on us for a few days
and give us glimpses of her every so often.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 18

Nieces who like to sing and dance,
gnome babies who like to climb up onto tables when I'm not looking,
little ladies who fall asleep on the couch,
and chocolate chip banana bread muffins.

"I Made That!" Monday: diy Summer Day Teepee

My littles are always looking for a cozy little place to hide away in,
and making some little teepee's has been on my never ending  project list for awhile.

I chose THE most simple way to do this
and used stuff that we already had,
so this was a great afternoon project.

You'll need:

Four sticks similar in height
(at whatever height you'd like the teepee to be)

A Full or Queen Size Sheet

Rope or Twine


Begin by setting the sticks up creating a pyramid;
then take the rope or twine and begin looping it through every other stick.
I reinforced it by looping it completely around one stick and 
then looping it a few times in the opposite direction as well.
Knot the two ends together a couple times.

Cut an 'X' in the middle of the sheet
and then drape over the sticks,
pulling the sticks through the 'X'.

I tied each opposite triangle (from the 'X' cut through the middle) to each other 
to keep the sheet from slipping at the top,
and also knotted the ends to the bottom of each stick.

I cut a straight line up one of the sides for an entrance
and knotted the ends together to keep it open.

Add some blankets, pillows, and books
and you have the perfect little Summer day teepee.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 17

Today, I am thankful for dads.

My dad made my childhood magical;
poured wisdom and truth into me as a teenager;
does everything he can to drive me crazy as an adult...
my heart just about busts when I think about how much I love this man.

My father-in-law has the most genuine heart of anyone I've ever known;
his corny jokes crack me up;
my husband is growing up to be A LOT like him...
and I love that.

My step-dad loves my mom in a way that no other does...
and that makes my heart happy on so many levels.
His eagerness to live life with us just makes me smile.

My brothers and my brother-in-law...
my heart skips when I see them with the little loves of their lives.
They're naturals.

And my husband...
the way he tenderly loves our daughters makes me melt;
the connection he has with our baby boy leaves me in awe;
I knew he would be an amazing dad,
but seeing that potential turn to reality is mind-blowing.
He is so incredible and
I'm so thankful to be the one by his side through this season of life.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 16

Today, I am thankful for my daily needs being met...
without fail.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 15

Today, I am thankful for little girls who giggle;
little gnomes disguised as crazy boy babies;
and the many people who commented on how full my hands were today
with five children by my side...
because they are quite full,
and that's how I like it.

On The Menu: Capellini with Roasted Squash, Pine Nuts and Feta

It's a wonderful thing when a palette and a brain
work so incredibly well together
that when you take your first bite of their joint creation
you think and maybe even say out loud,

This one did it for me;
and I think it's in the pine nuts.

Capellini with Roasted Squash, Pine Nuts, and Feta:

One package of Capellini (or really ANY kind of string pasta)
One large Zucchini
One large Summer Squash
One Cup of Pine Nuts
Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Rosemary
1/4 Teaspoon Basil
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

(When I made this, I halved this recipe and it fed four of us... and we each may have had seconds as well... I don't really remember... okay, yes I do, we did all have seconds AND THEN we each ate one of those delicious Cookie Dough Brownies. It was a good night.)

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. While waiting for the oven to pre-heat, begin slicing Zucchini and Summer Squash. I chose to slice into circles and then half and quarter them to have more in each bite. Once the oven is pre-heated, place your squash in a roasting pan and toss with Olive Oil, Rosemary, Basil and Garlic Powder; roast for approximately 30 minutes or until squash is soft and starting to get slightly browned.

Prepare Capellini according to the package directions. While waiting for the squash and Capellini, toast the Pine Nuts in a small skillet. The aromas that will begin permeating your kitchen will make you want to skip.

When you're finished skipping, remove the Pine Nuts from heat; remove the squash from the oven; drain the Capellini. Place the Capellini, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Pine Nuts and Feta in a bowl and toss together. 

And then... feast!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 14

Having had four Doctor's appointments
in the last three days
(all for ONE child!),
I am thankful today to be sitting at home
with NOWHERE to go!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 13

Every Wednesday night we go to my dad's house for dinner.
He either makes us dinner or takes us out to eat somewhere.
( I have never denied being spoiled.)

I love to cook,
but always knowing that I have this one day off each week
to just enjoy the entire day without putting forth any thought
into what I'm going to cook that night...
is pretty amazing.

So, today I'm thankful for my dad...
the man who personifies love;
exemplifies sacrifice;
and is just an all around swell guy.

The Daily DIY: Block Printed Tea Towels

These tea towels are fun and simple to make
and allow your creativity to take over
for each custom design.

Begin by finding a linen-like fabric to use.
I chose this one from Joanne's
(it's 50% through June 23rd for all you fabric bargain-hunters!).
Cut it to the width you prefer.

Out of three yards, 
I ended up with eight 2 x 2 1/2 foot squares.

I used some foam stamps that I had on-hand,
and some Frog Tape to create some lines,
 get creative though,
 and use any kind of interesting object you can find.

Once the fabric is cut, 
and the design is thought out,
use the foam pouncers to cover your objects with paint and 
then stamp them onto the fabric.
If making lines, 
use two pieces of tape parallel to each other with the width of space
you'd like the line to be
and then use the foam pouncer to paint the space between the tape.
Allow paint to dry and remove tape.

Stitch a hem around the towel and wash before using to set the paint.

This is a great DIY project to create custom gifts
for weddings, hostess gifts, or new home open houses.

Get creative and have some fun!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 12

I am thankful for laughter today.

Little tiny giggles;
hearty baby belly laughs;
laughter that makes you bend over and gasp for air...
I am thankful for it all.

As I was typing this post and looking it over IN my house,
I heard a funny noise and looked to my right
and a June Bug came flying at my face
in what seemed like slow motion.
I almost fell out of my chair trying to bat it away,
and felt like I was making a horrendous face.

Then I actually REALIZED that a June Bug just flew towards my face
and I broke into hysterical laughter...
by myself.

I hope you experience a good belly laugh soon.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 11

This evening I heard through a friend
that an old co-worker/friend's husband is no longer here.

She's my age;
he was just a little bit older;
they have three kids.

My heart physically aches for them.

Today, I am thankful that I have an Anchor to rest my hope in.

"When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
through every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil."
Edward Mote

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 10

My dad has a HUGE Cottonwood tree in his backyard
that is splitting in two and will either fall 
(landing on his house and a neighbor's house)
or needs to be cut down.

Tuesday it will be taken down piece by piece.

I took some pictures of it today,
and it was actually quite emotional for me.

The trunk of that tree served as a hiding place for A LOT
of games of hide-and-seek;
it's branches held rope swings;
it towers over the other trees in the neighborhood providing shade;
it's an incredible piece of creation.

My dad thinks it's at least 200 years old...
that is amazing to me; 
and yet in the light of eternity,
it's nothing...
a mere moment.

We are here for mere moments.

No matter what your take is on eternity,
the truth of the matter is
our lives are pretty minute in the big scheme of things.
People have come and gone;
I am here and at some point,
I will be gone.
And what am I leaving behind?

Some "branches" to kindle someone's fire?
Some "stumps" where weary people can find rest?

I know, 
most people don't look at an old split tree and think of eternity,
but today I did.
And all throughout the week,
I've been given numerous opportunities to see that I'm not here for me.
There are bigger things going on all around me... us,
and if we allow ourselves to really open our eyes 
to see the needs around us,
it's amazing to see how
The One who knows us best,
will use us.

So, today, I'm thankful for an old Cottonwood.

Gratitudes: Day 9

I realize that this is a day late,
but we had friends in town staying with us this weekend, so...
it's a day late.

On Saturday I hit my head on the ceiling going down to our basement.
This is something I don't often do because I'm quite aware of the distance I have there
having lived here for awhile.
However, while walking up the steps,
I was putting myself into a self-absorbed frenzy,
so when I hit the ceiling,
it kind of felt like a little bop on the head...
and I immediately had the thought to get over myself.
And I did.
It must have jumbled some things up in there and straightened them out!
So, I'm thankful for bops on the head.

As I mentioned before, 
we had friends staying with us over the weekend...
six of them...
in our two-bedroom home...
where five of us already live.
It was wonderful.
There was energy and laughter and goodness
taking place all weekend.
So, I'm thankful for small spaces and eternal friendships.

And walks to the little DQ...
and waffle brownie bowls...

Friday, June 8, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 8

Today, I am thankful for a clean house
(Cleaning Day is Friday... and I look forward to it every week!!);
a 50% off plant sale that still had somewhat nice looking plants;
and riding down big hills on my bike
while listening to little squeals come from the bike trailer.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 7

Today, I am thankful for being in the right place at the right time;
Hot Yoga (oooooh, Hot Yoga...);
and for the little lady who called me while in a tizzy tonight
just because she wanted me to know that she loved me.

What did you give thanks for today??

vintage wear: Polka dots

If you've ever read my profile description,
you'll have seen that I have a love of vintage dresses.
I can get a little crazy when I see potential in something
(you may have noticed from past posts that this is not limited to vintage dresses).
I realize not everyone can look at something and see the potential in it
(those people also probably have nicely organized basements, garages, and sheds
that are not full of treasures waiting to have their potential revealed to them and the world),
so I thought I'd start a new series to share some of my finds
and the potential I saw in them.

I saw this beauty and fell in love.
First, it's polka-dotted.
How could I pass up a polka-dotted dress?
I could not.
Secondly, that accordion skirt is the twirliest skirt you ever have seen.
I had to have it.

So, for this particular dress, I:

Shortened the sleeves;
I loved the sleeves, however I have short arms and it just wasn't working.

Cut out the mid section;
You can see on the before picture that there is fabric between the top and the skirt.
The length of the skirt was just a tad too long, 
so by cutting out this fabric and attaching the skirt back to the top,
it came out the perfect length for me...
because my legs are kind of short as well.

Removed the buttons, added a bow;
because the only thing that could have made this dress cuter,
was a bow.

Paired with some black tights and heels,
this little number danced the night away at a recent wedding reception.
Why waste a twirly skirt by just sitting around mingling??

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 6

Today, I am grateful for 
wood floors, 
paper towels,
and the hope that someday
everyone in this little nest of ours will be trained to make it to the toilet in 
the necessary amount of time it takes to actually pee 
IN the toilet.

{Loves} Alex & Ashley

First things first, 
I'm going to take you back to 1994...
Eighth grade for me.
I loved this song.

And I couldn't stop humming it while going through these pictures.

Alex and Ashley are quite in love...
if you can't tell from the pictures.

These two are heading out to Colorado in August
to have a beautiful mountain-top wedding.

I've decided that capturing the moments between 
two people in love
are some of the most enjoyable moments for me as well.

There's nothing like capturing the gaze of a girl directed towards the boy who has her heart;
or being able to get a boy to do anything you ask because he's so head-over-heels in love.

{Also, Alex is the little brother of one of my dearest friends;
I've known him since he was around nine years old.
So, seeing and feeling the love shared between these two
was just a little more magical for me.}

Congratulations, Alex and Ashley!
Thanks for letting me illustrate a small part of your story.

{Babes} Baby B is SIX Months Old!

This little lady is movin' too fast for me!
She laughs now;
she rolls around;
she wears her hair in pigtails.

She is too much!
I can't wait until she starts talking and 
can tell me all kinds of secrets about my brother. 

{Kiddos} Talon & Tucker

Had another session with these little men 
and loved every minute of it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 5

Today I am thankful for
two out of my three children synchronizing their meltdowns
while browsing through Target...
it makes me so much more thankful for the times
we make it through with none.

Oh, yeah...
and Snickers Brownies.
Brownies with Snickers cut up and crumbled on top
of fudge-y brownies.
(There may be a batch in my oven as I type)

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 4

I am so very thankful for 
little nine-year old nieces who 
love helping in any way they can;
local parks with water fountains made to play in;
seven o' clock naps.

Ooh, one more...
brothers who love my kids and make them laugh hysterically.

Giving thanks is fun;
try it!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 3

Today, I am thankful for messages from friends who live far
but are very near to my heart;
chats with new friends that feel as though we've known each other forever;
babies in crocheted knight helmets;
just babies in general.
(I get a real kick out of babies if you hadn't caught on to that about me.)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 2

Today, I am thankful for
and weddings.

(I love weddings. I've been to two this weekend.)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gratitudes: Day 1, Part 2

It is amazing to me how quickly things can change around me.
Right now there are several things that I am so thankful for,
I had to get on here AGAIN and share them.

I am incredibly thankful for my neighbor, Kari.
She's fun, she's funny, she is awesome.
She's letting me use their bike trailer...
this has changed my life.
I usually exercise once the kids go to bed,
with this bike trailer we can hop in and take off
we want to.
I am thankful for Kari and bike trailers.

My husband helped out some family friends who 
blessed him with some 
Jamaican Me Crazy coffee from
I snuck some.
I am thankful for those friends;
The Spice Merchant and the incredibleness that takes place there;

And just one more... or three more.
My two little ladies and my little Mister.
They teach me so much about myself
and about our Creator.
Those big blue eyes and little round faces
bring me to a place of humility like nothing else can.
I am thankful for little people-shaped mirrors.

Give thanks today!

Gratitudes: Day 1

You know how you commit to something
thinking that it will be a piece of cake
and then reality hits you,
the enemy finds you,
and everything you do just doesn't quite cut it?

Well, if you don't, takes notes...

When I wrote my last post,
I knew I was setting myself up.
I knew my enemy's ears perked up 
thinking he'd have a hay day with my daily gratitudes.
So, I did my best to arm myself,
but here's where the "not quite cutting it" part comes in.

Yesterday I spent the day moaning and groaning about...
well, pretty much everything so there's no need to list it out.

And even as I was wallowing in pity for myself,
there was still something in my head begging me to stop
and just take a breath and start over.
My head is kind of funny like that.
One side seems to know what I need to be doing at all times
to be a properly functioning, healthy, loving human being;
the other side tends to throw that knowledge to the wind
and winds up winning the race when it comes to 
those thoughts becoming words,
and then it usually doesn't stop there either;
those words then become actions.

And then chaos ensues all around me.

The only thing that brings me back is
Grace lifts me up;
Grace overwhelms me with forgiveness...
usually in the form of a little blue-eyed lady.
Grace covers me, 
shuts my mouth,
and clears my head.

And we begin again.

Today, I am thankful for Grace.