Monday, September 30, 2013

Be Thou My Shelter

When I last wrote, we had sold our house and were very much considering buying a house that we had found. That house needed about $20k worth of upfront work done. Ugh... So, that one wasn't the one for us.

Soon after we ended up looking at about five different houses in one day; I liked something about each one of them, but none of them felt like "the one". There was one that stood out though, and we pursued it a bit more. It was vacant because it was owned by a military family who were asked to move to Florida. It was beautiful. It was built in 1900, had wood beams in the living room ceiling, a beautiful big dining room, and a claw-foot bath tub. It had a lot of the things that I would be happy looking at each day in my home. There were things that I didn't care for, but honestly, I felt like I could get past them, and so we moved forward. 

We ended up having it inspected, putting an offer on it, accepting a counter offer from the sellers, getting it appraised and were set to close at the end of August. Because it was vacant, we went ahead and had the carpets cleaned before the closing date. The sellers were even okay with us moving stuff into the garage to help with the moving process... and so we did. We filled the two-car garage with things mostly from our basement, garage, and shed. It was packed.

And then the day before we were supposed to close I received a phone call from our Realtor. We were told that the listing agent had never let the title company know that the sellers were in another state and wouldn't be attending the closing. This was a problem as no paperwork had been sent to have them sign in order for us to then sign; so we knew the closing for sure wouldn't happen that day. 

And then the day of closing, we were told that this was essentially a "Short Sale". A short sale is basically when the owner owes more money than they are going to make on the sale of their home and the bank will allow this with approval. Banks don't move to quickly in these situations usually. Our lender told us she had never seen a short sale close in less than 4 months.

This was frustrating... for a lot of reasons. One, when we accepted the counteroffer, it was because the sellers told us that if they were to go any lower the house would BECOME a short sale. From the sound of it, it was a short sale from the very beginning. Apparently, because of the owner's status in the military, his commanding officer was actually interceding with the mortgage company to get this situation taken care of for the owner. Not even their agent knew exactly what was taking place, plus it was all happening long distance. Two, we had already put quite a bit of money into this home for the inspection, appraisal, and carpet cleaning PLUS our earnest money that we had put towards the home.

That morning we had to make the decision as to whether or not we wanted to wait the 6-8 weeks that the owners thought this would be taken care of in (and there was NO guarantee that it actually would be 6-8 weeks!) or to walk away. For us, the wisest decision was to walk away. With the baby coming in November, and no guarantees of how long this would actually last, and the fact that we had to be out of our home that weekend (because we DID close on the sale of our home and the person who bought it, bought it as a rental with a renter moving in that next week!), walking away was hard, but we had to.

This all happened at the end of August and a month later we are just now getting things completely settled with that home and those owners. It has been a long test of endurance, grace, and trust. And in that time (remember I said we had to be out of our home that last weekend of August??), we've been living in the basement of my father-in-law's home. It's in a suburb outside of the city where we live, so there's a bit more of a drive to all the places we end up needing to go and I'm eight months pregnant sleeping on a mattress on the floor. I'm INCREDIBLY THANKFUL that we had a home to be welcomed into. I can now even write that I'm also thankful for some of the insights my Creator has been revealing to me about myself (these have not taken place without A LOT of huffing and puffing and pulling and stretching... and maybe even some teeth clenching and hyperventilating crying in the middle of the night... maybe, I don't really remember.).

Since all this has taken place, we ended up putting an offer on another home that I seriously had to coax myself into even considering it. I finally came to a point of feeling like it was a place that we could make ours, and honestly, I had become completely hopeless of ever finding anything that would come close to being "the one" that I was really hoping for. We were given a counteroffer. And in the time that our offer and the counteroffer took place, we received an email with a brand new listing that I completely ignored (mainly because it had no pictures... hahaha) but my husband ended up looking it up and sending it to me. From the description it sounded amazing... too amazing. I Google Mapped it and was able to see the outside. Oh goodness... it actually WAS amazing. We made the call to see it that day. Our agents were never able to get a hold of the listing agent, so we saw it the next day.

We drove up and my husband immediately said he'd put a tire swing in the huge tree in the front yard. This was slightly out of character for my husband as he doesn't really look at stuff like that in houses; he looks at the age of the windows, the wood work around the house that will need work in a few years, you know, stuff like that. I was already in love before even entering. We walked around to the back of the house, and the yard made me fall even more in love. We went inside, where there are definite updates that need to be made, but I was gone. THIS was THE ONE, and we both felt it. I honestly could not believe it. It has everything we need in a home, but even better, all the little things that we want in home that weren't on our list of necessaries, but more like dreamy kind of things that you think would be nice to have in a home. We made an offer the next day. Weeks later, we have it all worked out and we have a contract pending with a closing date set!!!!

This home, the journey to finding this home, and everything in between have left me in complete awe of how The Maker works. His ways are NOT our ways. We can't fathom His works, His thoughts. And just when I'd almost fully given into the temptation to believe that His Faithfulness wasn't enough for me, He reached out and lead me to place that He had prepared for us the entire time. The place that I had asked for Him to prepare over and over... and then when push came to shove, I didn't really believe that He was going to. And He still did.

We close in a couple weeks, will get moved in, and then a couple weeks later will bring home a brand new baby to add to the mix! It's an exciting, overwhelming time... and I honestly can't wait to continue seeing how His works will be played out in our lives.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Add Just A Bit More Crazy...

What a season...

We've sold our house. Every little thing about selling our house has gone extremely smoothly. Basically, a family friend who's an investor is paying us cash and that's that. Paperwork signed... done.

Buying a house has gone slightly differently. It certainly hasn't been THAT rough of a road, by any means, but buying houses can get tricky. You see pictures online or drive by and get excited about what that house holds in store. I've had this happen several times so far. And for those who know me personally, and perhaps even if you don't you may be able to pick up on, I can get attached to things pretty quickly. I know this about myself which is why I honestly would just rather not even be the one looking for a house. We have found a house though that both my husband and I like a lot. It was built in 1910, has been completely gutted and updated (COMPLETELY gutted, no original anything left... I don't believe), and has a HUGE three car garage/shop out back. So, the inside is great... the outside is... okay. It's over 100 years old, so there's just wear and tear that hasn't been taken care of over the years that we will of course want taken care. We'd had a contractor go out and look it over and will be getting us an estimate of what it will take to care for these things. It's just kind of a waiting game.

And that's fine. I have plenty to keep up with. I'm a little over 21 weeks pregnant at this point and have been feeling pretty good. When pregnant, my babies have seemed to all been very comfortable nuzzling up in my back and hips; this time around it's caused me to have an extreme amount pain in my right hip (like I can be walking and all of sudden feel as though my leg is just going to give out and make me collapse). I'm extremely fortunate to have a sister who works for a Chiropractor and have been able to see him about once a week. This last week it became so tight though, even he couldn't get it to release. So, stretching and resting and trying to walk it out have been happening a lot this week.

And then this last Tuesday morning I awoke to a VERY itchy rash-looking thing on my upper left leg. It was itchy, but bearable and I got through the day. Wednesday, I woke up with it all over my FACE. That was a game changer. It got pretty bad. I finally took an antihistamine for the itching, but the rashes became more red and swollen and was spreading quickly. By Thursday, I was covered with what I can only guess is poison ivy or something of the sort. I think my dog may have been the culprit, as I have not been anywhere where I could have been in contact with the plant. I went to the doctor. Remember, I'm 21 weeks pregnant. If you've never had poison ivy, when it gets to this point where it's just out-of-control spreading like crazy, the only option to really take care of it is to get a steroid shot. Oh, but not if you're pregnant. If you're pregnant, you get some topical cream that MAY help with the itching, but you get the opportunity to just ride it out. So, that's where I'm at right now. I have some homeopathic remedies that seem to be helping, still on antihistamine, and taking hot, hot showers to help with the itch (When you're itchy, if you're able to submerge the itchy area in as hot-as-you-can-handle water, the same chemicals that are released to tell your body to itch are released when your body feels an extreme hot or cold temperature... thus giving your neurological system a chemical overload and basically shutting down for a bit in that area... pure relief, for a few hours at least.).

It really has been miserable, though. It's in the high 90's here right now; add being pregnant, being itchy, and never knowing when your leg is just going to give out on you, and that's my life. Oh yeah, and three kids who aren't pregnant, itchy, and have full use of their tiny bodies... add that to the mix, too. Oh, yes, and we're trying to find a house to live in. It's a wild season, for sure. It's really nothing in light of eternity, but my focus is certainly being tested.

A verse from one of my favorite hymns has been on replay in my mind throughout the week:

Be Thou my Battle Shield, My Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou My Delight;
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my High Tower;
Raise Thou me heavenward, oh, Power of my Power.

It's very early in the morning here, and I'm itchy and tired and hoping that it's everyone's plan to sleep in this morning. HAHA Oh, that's a good one!

I hope that your weekend is filled with loveliness and you're surrounded by wonderful people to share it with... and no itching.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Craziest Person On The Face Of The Earth.

That's me... right now. I mean, I admit that I definitely have a crazy side, but usually it's a bit more fun-loving and I wouldn't actually be considered criminally insane. Get me pregnant, put my house on the market, sell my house, put me on the hunt for a new house, all while maintaining the house and children that I'm currently blessed with... yeah, I am crazy... like out of control.

But this afternoon, I had a revelation. First, I have to say that I don't have many opportunities in this season of life to have moments where it's so quiet, I can hear. Today though, the little man is sleeping and the two little ladies are out with Grandma and Grandpa for a bit... and I remembered that quiet is so nice. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the noise of kids. Their feet running through the house drives me crazy, because they're running through the house, but that pitter-patter sound is such a great sound. The whines and cries of their physical beings are really just their little souls pleading for the same things my own soul is pleading for... Home. And sometimes my whines and cries are just as loud, if not louder. Especially lately.

Lately, I've been so caught up in this world. I don't how it happened, but I don't like it. I've been thinking of myself a lot, much more than I'd care to admit. It's because I'm tired, and worn out, and chaos and loudness surround me ALL THE TIME. And rather than let my Creator guide me through it, I've just been wading. Wading through a storm doesn't work. You drown. I've been drowning.

But this afternoon, the winds quieted and the waves were calm and I was able to hear again.

This pregnancy isn't about me. The Master Knitter is doing just that inside me. There's a tiny little soul being knit together and my heart is being trained and refined so that when that little round baby enters this world, I'm able to do the same with her. It's just as terrifying and exciting with every new little soul I'm blessed with.

Selling a house and finding a new earthly home to stay in isn't about me. Long ago my days were written; how and where I spend those days have already been prepared for me. Hundred year-old wooden trim and "character" are not as important as the souls that take rest there or the Love and Virtue that will be instilled there. This one is a hard one for me, as I think with a lot of women, our home is an outpouring of our souls. It's where we find rest and comfort and we have just a bit more control inside those walls. I'm finding my way back to my ultimate Rest and Comfort and again, am having to just let go of the control I long to have so much.

Loving the souls that surround me each day isn't about me... but it kind of is. Because when I'm loving them, I mean really truly loving them, it's because I'm not distracted or flooded with concern. I'm just loving them and unconsciously allowing the One who loves us all most to work in and through them and I together.

The straight and narrow path Home seems so much rockier and much more hilly when I let my eyes stray from the glory that awaits. I hope this afternoon of peace and rest will allow me to keep my head up for awhile, as in forever, but sadly I know myself and I'll be here again and so will He... because His faithfulness far outweighs my doubt... every time.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Whirlwinds and Stretching.

The last couple of months have been a whirlwind.
The Red Barn Outdoor Market grew by almost three times what it was last Spring and it took so much more to organize and keep things rolling smoothly. It happened though; it was muddy and cold, but it did happen and we did have a blast!
Seeing the pictures reminds me how much I love this opportunity. I just love it SO much and am so thankful for it.

Once the market stuff ended, we began focusing attention to getting our house listed on the market. We're STILL working on that. We're hoping to find a space that accommodates all of our needs... one of those needs being space for another family member! We'll be welcoming another little baby to our lives mid-November. 

This pregnancy has definitely made itself a priority in my daily life most days as I have been extremely nauseous and exhausted. I finally started feeling less exhausted and haven't been too nauseous at all since about last Thursday. I do still have three other children, though, and they also make themselves a priority in my daily life. The last few weeks have just been trying and exhausting all around.

And today it all came forth. Everything that I've been pushing off, holding back, just trying to survive the days, all came to a sobbing mess today. I am not one that cries too often, especially not when overwhelmed... until it just gets to that point when I am REALLY overwhelmed. I was sobbing and telling the girls over and over that I just could not handle it anymore... and my five year laughed at me. Hmm... wonder where she picked that up from? Mother, I do not regret ever laughing at you when you were crying over some of the silly things you cried over, however, I was in your shoes today. So know that payback is taking place. I honestly think that she just had no idea what to do, so she laughed. It's okay, it gave me an opportunity to question what on earth was going on.

I had no answer, but I knew that SOMETHING had to be going on besides just being exhausted and sick and tired of the daily motherly opportunities I've been given.

And then I lost it again tonight. My heart was just heavy... and then I realized that it's heavy from the grief that this week bears.

May 16th, tomorrow, will be the 9th anniversary of my Mother-in-law's and youngest brother-in-law's deaths. The day, the moments, the phone calls are still very clear in my mind. May 16th, 2004 changed the direction of our lives in so many, many ways... 

May 17th, 2006 brought more heartache as I experienced the physical and emotional loss of our first baby through miscarriage. It never gets to me until this week... every year.

And my heart gets heavy. I don't get it. I am thankful for it... as it's always a perfect reminder of the sovereign grace that is so generously given out when most needed. And it makes me feel something that is not a normal part of my everyday life. And it makes me long for Home, in different ways than exhaustion and toddlers throwing tantrums make me long for Home. 

There's just a lot of "stretching" taking place around these parts tonight and my whole being feels it.

Adding to the stretching, two of Jacob's brothers are moving away in the next week or so; one is taking his pregnant wife with him as well! I struggle to write the words that would give some sort of explanation as to how my heart feels about this. It makes me so sad. Life certainly doesn't afford me the time that I used to be able to spend with them, so the times that I do have with them are really meaningful to me, even when it's just dinner or them just stopping by. I feel like the little widow we visit down the street just longing for a little more time each time. Being married to their older brother and not having my mother-in-law around these last several years has given me such incredible opportunities to love them in a lot of different ways and I do love them so much.

So, we'll see what the rest of this night holds in store... certainly not finishing off the bag of Black Forest Caramels I have... actually it may in fact be those little caramels time to shine. Though a glass of pineapple juice also sounds really delicious... we'll see who shines brighter.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

This Makes Me Laugh...

... EVERY time I see it. I almost fell out of my chair just now because this cracks me up so much.

It's a picture from our past that I found as I was browsing through old photos of my babies (when my niece turned five, I may or may not have had an emotional meltdown as I looked through a little book of pictures that I had of her through the years... you can imagine my emotional state looking through pictures of my own little tinies! And there's no need to ask my husband about the emotional meltdown I had about my niece... it didn't startle him in the least or make him question why he chose to spend his life with a girl).

Hoping this day brings a lot of laughter into your life... or at least a few hearty chuckles here and there.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Signs Of Spring.

We found a Rabbit Hole in our backyard full of babies and they are SO cute.

Ladybugs are landing on us.

And Mr. Toad has been found. Lucy really took a liking to him and had him drive her around in the car, go for a stroller ride, and I'm sure his favorite... take a ride in the carriage on her bike. She is safety conscious and was sure he was in a seat belt. She cracks me up. Isn't the top picture of the toad hilarious? I can't look at it and not chuckle.

I have a 5k today and a picture session tomorrow. The 5k is a beautiful, beautiful run and I love it. That's about the distance of my usual route when actually consistently running, but it's been a tad bit chilly around these parts and I've ran less than 5 times this last Winter... let's hope I make it!

Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On The Menu: Roasted Chicken Cherry Nachos

Roasted Chicken Cherry Nachos (1-2 servings)
3-4 oz of Roasted Chicken*
1/4 cup of Dried Cherries
2 Tablespoons of Slivered Almonds
1/4 cup of fresh Spinach
12-15 Multigrain Tortilla Chips

Lay the tortilla chips around a small plate. Place warm roasted chicken over the chips; add Spinach; top with cherries and almonds.

*I purchased a whole chicken and roasted it one afternoon, having a meal for that evening and then saving the rest to use throughout the week. This has proven to be such a help through the week that I will more than likely be adding this to my weekly routine.

I've been trying to eat Dairy-free and Wheat-free since the beginning of February in hopes that I can figure out some things and get systems working correctly once more. Neither have been really hard to let go most days; some days I tear through the house throwing everything in sight just wanting to eat something without looking at the label or questioning the server about the ingredients.

I would say that a good 95% of my diet had some form of cheese or butter in it.

Um... I love, LOVE bread and butter. My little Grandma loves bread and butter. One of my little ladies could live on bread and butter. So, see I'm fighting my genes here!!

I've also been reading the book, "French Women Don't Get Fat" and before you stick your nose in the air at the French, it really has been a very eye-opening read for me. It's written by a woman who is French but lives in America. The book really just points to the fact that French women don't diet and they eat the things that they really want to eat. They do it in small portions; they skip the bread if they want the dessert, little choices like these allow them to eat pleasurably.

One of my favorite parts of the book was where she was speaking of how in the late eighteenth century a new code was fashioned in France, les arts de la table:
"The table became a spectacle. Standard dishes received their classical names, and there followed a rush of innovation, imitation, and, indeed fashion. Few Americans, even Michelin-guided gastrotourists, really appreciate the extent to which our cooking is like our couture."

I related to this very much as I feel that the cooking of and presentation of the meals I prepare are just another creative outlet for me. I'm looking forward to finishing this soon, but have already begun implementing a few ideas that I've taken away so far.

So, having new ideas and some new limitations, I've had the opportunity to introduce some new tastes to my palette and be creative pairing different ingredients together. These Nachos were definitely a huge hit for my taste buds! Please enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

"I Made That!" Monday: Vintage Inspired Girls Dress

With Spring coming and two little ladies who prefer dresses to anything else, I was excited to find several different fabrics that have a very vintage look to them. They were also super inexpensive, so I may have gone a bit crazy. I'm okay with that though.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Green With a Splash of Pink.

I recently picked up several Succulents. I was seriously beaming once I had them all transplanted to their new homes and said out loud, "I am so happy. I love these Succulents. I should have bought more of these a long time ago. Don't these just make you happy?".  My husband was sitting nearby and responded, "What did you call them?"


"Uh, no, I don't like that word."

Honestly, I don't care too much for the word either. But they make me so happy, I disregard it. 

I also picked up a few other house plants (for $2 each!) and an Orchid (originally $17.99, marked down  70% making it $4.50!!!). I don't know if you've picked up on how MUCH I love a good deal... but I love a good deal, so these all had to come home with me.

I would live outside if it was feasibly possible; I love the smell of dirt; green things make me happy; these little additions to our home give me little pieces of all those things.

I have a photo session scheduled with an answered prayer in the form of a nine month old little man, a Chili luncheon with my extended family, and a lot of laughs, hugs, kisses, and rest scheduled for this weekend.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Second Inclination.

Registration has opened for The Red Barn Outdoor Market. In six days, there have been 27 brand new Vendors who have registered. It's been pretty amazing.

I've always thought to myself that as long as I find the process of planning, preparing for, and executing  this thing enjoyable, and along with my family's desire to support me through it, we'll keep it up. I'm excited to see where it goes and what God does with it.

Because of the blessing of growth, I'm also reaping the other wonderful "blessing" of dealing with numerous citizens of the Public. The Public can be extremely kind and encouraging. The Public can be super helpful in suggesting really great ideas that benefit everyone.

There are some who are citizens of the Public who happen to think the Earth is actually physically revolving around them, meaning that then obviously the Market does as well. And my first inclination is to immediately think of the blog post that I'm going to slander them in.

The enemy and the wickedness that brews in my heart, allow me to create a great story full of wit that will make people literally chuckle out loud (I use chuckle instead of laugh as I don't want to give myself TOO much credit...) but also include how I took the high road in my response to this specific citizen (making people whisper to themselves, "She is so amazing.").

But then all of a sudden I feel something. It's something bigger than my enemy and it covers the pungent stench of my wickedness... even though I don't want it to.

I ignore it and continue on because obviously I was given this opportunity to point out someone else's shortcomings so that others will learn from it.

Ugh... I feel it more. And then somehow the thoughts that I was having about this OTHER person thinking the world revolves around them, suddenly turn on me! Suddenly those chuckles and whispers are completely gone and a strange, very strange feeling creeps in and all of a sudden I think of the nicest, most kind way that I can word something in response to what I would consider an outrage (okay, outrage may be taking it a little far) to make this person feel heard and understood.

Ugh! Bleh! Blaaah! What is going on here?!?!?! This isn't going to make a good blog post AT ALL.

I'm learning that my Trainer loves to create the most intensive and extensive exercises for my being so that one day I reflect Perfection. He gives me hurdles to jump in the form of making time for relationships; He gives me a mind puzzle book to read while simultaneously having me climb steps in the form of this mysterious thing He called marriage; and LOTS and LOTS of the most mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually DRAINING but at the same time insanely AWESOME cardio through three of the most unbelievable creations on this Earth, aka The Littles. So, a little contact with the Public should really be a piece of cake... and I'm not usually one to pass up on cake!

"For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities- all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard..." Colossians 1:16, 17, 21-23

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

Do some good on this lovely day.

Friday, March 1, 2013

LOVE is: Tiny Ketchup Bottles

Yes, I know... I'm a day late. But this last photo makes me smile so much and I wanted it to be a part of this.

They're from my youngest brother-in-law. I've known him since he was around 13... he'll be turning 25 here in a few months; most times when I think of him, I think of him as being anywhere between the ages of 13-16. I probably always will.

He recently went skiing out in CO and brought these home with him (I'm assuming he had them in one of his meals) because they looked like something I would like.

That's the part that makes me smile.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

LOVE is: Saying I'm Sorry

Here's a little word picture...

Imagine two bears living side by side in the woods, in a cozy little bear cave.

Sometimes one bear snags an extra fish out of the creek because the other bear isn't as good at catching fish.

Sometimes one bear shares the honeycomb that it found with the other bear, because it knows how much the other bear loves honey.

They play a lot together. They like each other more often than they don't like each other.

But sometimes they can get a little rough with one another. And one bear feels attacked, so it scratches back just a bit more harshly. Then the other bites back with just a little bit more intention. Then the growling begins. And the woods feel dark.

And even after living in the woods together for quite awhile, sometimes it's still hard to find the break in the trees overhead that would shed just enough light from above to let them see what they looked like before one bear scratched too deeply.

And then the other bear retrieves to the cave.

Shortly after, the other bear shifts just enough to look up and see the light from above. And the light shows very clearly the path to the cave where the other bear is inside nursing its wounds.

And the bear outside slowly walks into the cave, wanting so much just to run and wrap it's arms around the other bear, and quietly offers an "I'm sorry."

And sometimes there are bear hugs that follow and sometimes there aren't.

But the bears love one another with a mighty love and they always will.

Monday, February 25, 2013

LOVE is: A White Blanket

This is Snuggle Bear and her faithful cuddler. There's no match on Earth for the love she has or the security that she finds in her white blanket.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

LOVE is: Snow Days

Snow has fallen (a LOT of snow!!) and it has given us the opportunity to slooooow down and play and just enjoy moments together.

Friday, February 22, 2013

LOVE is: Sister Snuggles

I have two younger brothers and while I'm sure we probably snuggled once in awhile as youngsters, I don't recall it and we don't do much of it now... as that would be kind of weird AND we all have plenty of other Loves in our lives to snuggle with.

However, I can't get enough of these two snugglers. I hope they always share an affectionate love with one another... mainly because it makes me completely melt.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

LOVE is: Sacrifice

{There are a few choice words in this video...}

I realize that not everyone has the opportunity to sacrifice to this extreme to pursue a passion, nor is it usually the wise choice for most to do so, but I love seeing stories like this where an idea in someone's mind turns into something real... and beautiful.

But I'm also a dreamer...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LOVE is: Daisies

Even though I already have fresh flowers in the house right now; even though these will soon die as well (as any logical thinking mind will attest and why would you spend money on something that is just going to die???), my Love brought me Daisies.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

LOVE is: Tiny Gold-rimmed Bowls

I love pottery. I love gold. When I first saw The Object Enthusiast at a local market here, I fell in love with the pottery of Emily Reinhardt. Then I told her over and over how much I loved her work, to the point that she probably began feeling uncomfortable, and then I just stared at it all for several minutes. 

It's all just so beautiful.

And me, being the Romantic that I am, love every single aspect of a hard lump of clay molded into something that I can't take my eyes off of.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

LOVE is: Messy Hair and Rosy Cheeks

One of the best moments of each day is when this little guy wakes up from his nap with his hair everywhere and the rosiest cheeks you'll ever find to kiss; he reaches out to me with a huge smile and wraps his arms around me and I melt.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

LOVE is: Sharing Popcorn...

...and blankets, and snuggles, and laughs while watching The Million Dollar Duck on a Sunday afternoon.

Friday, February 8, 2013

LOVE is: Refrigerator Art

Two things I love so much about this picture:
Lucy colored the background blue.
She wanted her signature (top left) to look like the printed letters.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

LOVE is: Making Fajitas For Dinner...

... even though I drank this little juice cocktail for dinner.

Monday, February 4, 2013

LOVE is: Holding Hands

The Daily DIY: Mercury Glass

You'll need:
Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint
Any Glass Jar

Music: Generator^First Floor by Freelance Whales

Depending on how thick you spray the paint on and how much vinegar you let sit, will decipher what look you end up with. I like the way this turned out because it looks a bit aged now, but it's subtle.

This is such an easy way to add a little "antique" to your decor even if you don't have the real thing.
Have a lovely day!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

LOVE is: A Hand-stitched Quilt

I recently purchased this tattered quilt at an estate sale. It was a wedding gift given in 1922.

Friday, February 1, 2013

LOVE is: Building Blocks

Each day, two sisters build GRAND block towers and cities...

... for the sole purpose of making this little Buddy happy by knocking them down.

Small Things.

via The Wheatfield by Katie Daisy
For the month of February, I'm going to {okay... try my best to} photograph LOVE in some form or another each day whether via Instagram or with my camera.

"Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love."
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Eighty Years.

This is my Grandma. My 4' 10", busy little amazing Grandma.
She turned eighty over the weekend and we had a surprise dinner party for her.

I remember looking forward to the weekends when I would get to go on shopping trips with her when I was younger... just getting her all to myself. I still see her every week, but now I share her with three other little "pumpkins"(what she lovingly refers to all her little great-grandchildren as).

I love her so much.

There's so much of her that I want to be.

She cares for others immensely. She's one of thirteen children, and the love she has for her siblings is so amazing. Her brothers come over for coffee each week; she gets together with "the girls" (her sisters) each Sunday.

She visits her 94 year old sister-in-law weekly.

She watches my kids for me regularly... yep, all three of them at the same time.

She's invested herself in each of us.

Her and I laugh a lot together... we talk about a lot of things. She's just fun to be around. And she's just cute.

She's so amazing, and I'm so very thankful for her.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


My sister heard about this great little shop, Bearly Makin' Antiques, in a small town near us, so she and I and a couple of her friends went to check it out. While browsing, Mary, who was keeping shop that day, directed us to another little magical place called The Copper Shed.