Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hungry For A Good Read?

Even though reading is a very, very fun thing for me to do, I have been in a drought lately.  Bone dry of good reads.  

For the record, if I'm going to read a serious book-something on prayer, parenting, Christian freedom, etc-I like to take my time.  Otherwise, I don't remember anything.

Fiction books are different.  (Besides the occasional Ron Rash books where I slowly take in his incredible writing,) I love to pick up a fiction book that I can't put down.  Some of my fastest, most recent page turners were:

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
Twilight Series
The Help
Those are all books that I would recommend to the typical gal.  I just finished another one that came highly recommended.  Here's what I knew about it:

1. It didn't sound like anything that I would ever enjoy reading
2. It was SOOOO GOOOD.  

If you haven't read it, then go, pick up a copy of the Hunger Games.  I just finished the first one and I'm about to start the second one (as soon as I finish this post).  To read more about it, click HERE.  Just take my word for it.  It's enthralling.  

Monday, March 28, 2011


I've got a little riddle-here are the clues.

I rest daily.
I drink a lot of milk.
I'm craving all things potato, fruity, and sweet.
I had a dream that I found a vending machine that sold cookie cake by the slice.  Extra Icing.

Guessed it yet?  Here's the little poem that tells it all:

Roses are red, violets are blue.
Come November, we'll have baby #2.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This Week's Menu

I'm losing steam.  I have no creativity.  Nothing (besides ice cream) sounds good.

Ham and Pea Pasta
Sweet Basil (local Thai place) Tuesday deal!!!
Pizza and Salad (unless anyone can suggest something else)

Please, please, please, send me suggestions.  Ideas.  I'm in a rut!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Simple, Free, & Easy

Burl has been sick and contagious all week.  All week.  Everyday we have stayed home and played/slept/"enjoyed" daytime TV.  

At home.  A lot.  A whole week.  It's been AWESOME.  Never in my life would I think that I would enjoy being home this much.  I find myself loving the pace of moving from room to room.  Eating the same foods.  Having the same days.   

Literally, I can count on one hand how many times that I've spent an entire day at home.  Take out holidays and the count is down to 2.  

Something about having to stay home makes it all better.  If I stayed at home because I didn't have anything to do/anyone to see/anywhere to go, then I would spiral down and get lost in a tub of ice cream.   The key here is that Burl NEEDS to stay home.  I need to stay home.  We need to stay home.  That NEED is what I, well, needed to be more than happy to be homebound this week.  Very Refreshing.  

Awe, life.  Thanks for slowing us down.  {For a bit.}

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Da Goat

Meet the goat.  The baby miniature goat.  My dad rescued her just hours after she was born.

According to my dad, my dad "is her mother." Not like her mother.  Not the goat thinks of my dad as a mother.  No.  My dad is mother.

Well, "mother" brought it over for a little playtime with Burl.

Burl is in love.  The goat is quiet.  It doesn't pounce on him.  It just gets close-close enough to touch, but not close enough to scare.  

It really is cute.  This goat is becoming a star.  With a name like "Fancy Pants," what else could she be?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Planting Risks

There is this big blog that I follow and it's all about decorating.  Instead of writing about how to setup a room and make it look beautiful, she writes in a way that frees us up to do something.  Anything.  Try things.  It's all very fun and encouraging and exciting. 

She's asking ladies to link posts about taking decorating risks.  I feel like I'm ok in that department when it comes to decorating the inside of my home.  The outside is a whole other story.

I have some big, huge, expensive goals when it comes to the outside of my home.  Sometimes the big goals paralyze my little goals.  For example, I think that I can't have a beautiful flower beds until I have enough money to put a new roof on my house and paint my brick.  (Yes, I am painted brick kinda gal.)

Until last year.  Last year, I was talking to a friend of mine (who happens to own a landscaping business) about how much I love hydrangeas.  Love.  Next thing I know, she texted me and told me that she bought me four plants.  There I was, in the middle of risk.  

I can't keep these alive.  I'll never be able to do this.  This gift is going to go bad pretty quick.  John, what are we going to do with these plants that I'm going to kill?!?

We talked about it and realized that we were going to take the risk.  We bought more plants.  We placed them (such a hard thing to decide) and planted them.  

Guess what?  They made it through the winter.  They budded, and now have full on green leaves on them.  If things go according to plan, then I'll have hydrangeas in every room in my house.  Every.Single.Room.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Clay Pot Beginnings

Have you ever seen a picture and it brings back so many memories?  That's what this picture did for me.  It's from a local shop that does AMAZING flower arrangements.  They also have a store stocked with great gifts and gorgeous stuff for the house.  (To find out more, check out The Clay Pot on Facebook or follow his blog.)

This picture takes me back to the time that I was dating, engaged, and newly married to John.  I was in a little bible study of college girls who met with a super cool lady at a coffee shop and talked about the bible.  (Specifically, we read through 25 Psalms a week, then sat down and talked about what we liked about them or didn't understand about them.)

Michelle passed on her passion for the Lord
her excitement about the bible, and 
her love for a good coffee shop.

Then, I got engaged and I had to register for a whole house of stuff.  Michelle helped me with that.  After scanning the black stuff, the dark wood stuff, the shabby chic stuff, the modern stuff, she finally told me to stop and:

pick a style.
(It's not about picking all the coolest stuff-it's about picking a style.  Words to live by my friends.  Words.to.live.by.  Today, I am still defining my style.)
She also made me register for some big huge coffee mugs.  Still have 'em.

One of my favorite pictures: Michelle and her daughter blowing out birthday candles.
See the flowers in the picture...they're from The Clay Pot.
When I got married, we rented a very cute house and Michelle helped me with that as well.  My house happened to be half a mile from The Clay Pot, and we happened to find a lot of great stuff there.  It was at that time that I was introduced to a important philosophy: decorating with nature.  I was hooked.  Specifically, Michelle hooked me with 

indoor plants
funky twigs
birds nests

The bird nest was a gift from Michelle that she gave to her friends when she moved.  They came from The Clay Pot.
On this second day of spring, I see these chipped green mugs filled with fun flowers and greenery and I remember all these things that Michelle taught me.  She lives in Texas now, so we aren't running to The Clay Pot these days.  We still talk about it thought, and I still remember all the fun from those days!  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

G.Ma Polly's House

 I love my Grandma Polly and I love her house.  My mom, Broseph, Burl and I were there for a few days.  It was great.

I love being there.  Her house is always the same.  It smells the same, looks the same, everything is the same.

She's the type of grandmother that always has goodies on hand and will give them to you at will.  When I was little, she gave me oreo dessert when I was sick.  Now, she always cooks a pound of bacon and a pound of sausage for us.  Yum.

Guess who was the main attraction?  Give ya' a guess.  Starts with B, ends with url.

What is it about putting kids in glasses that is so funny?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Long List of Stuff For The Walls

Remember when I posted about needing stuff for my walls?  Well, I'm working on it...as in...nothing yet, but I have some ideas.  

First off, is Burl's room.  I saw this on The Nest Files and quickly went to the resource for more pictures!

Isn't this a great nursery?  I like a lot of stuff about it, but my favorite thing are the barn doors.  Now if only I knew someone who loved me and Burl who also loved to play farmer?  Oh wait...my dad plays farmer and has farmer friends.

He might have found some for me.  He said that I need to look at them in person because they are "very weathered," as in a bad thing?  Um, no.  Mama like weathered.

The barn doors would look great.  I had a plan for this wall, but never finished it.  The same time that I blogged about needing stuff for the walls, Burl woke up from his nap and pulled a frame down.  Here is the current state of his wall:

Not so cute, right?  Barn doors?  Very cute!  

The second thing...I saw one of these prints on a blog (and for the life of me, I can't find that blog now).

The one above is called the White Collection.  There is blue, brown, green, red and yellow collections.  

There are a ton of options.  Buy a single print.  A small print.  A large print.  A collection.  As they say in Paris, Ooolala.

I think that these are all great and cute and might be right up my alley.  If you would like to buy some for me (and something for yourself as well), then click HERE to go to The Brown Pen's Etsy Shop.

The third thing that I'm considering is getting  a picture printed on canvas.  Do you know how "in" that is right now?  Way in.  Way.

I just haven't been able to pull the trigger, but I think that I found some motivation.  My Sweet Savannah just posted a link to get a free 8x10 canvas and other great deals on bigger pictures.  How great is that???!!!???  Want in?  Click HERE for her post about The Canvas People.  When I settle on my order, I'll be sure to post about it!

The forth thing that I'm thinking about is my initial.  A lot of the comments on my last post about walls were suggesting I use my last name initial.  I like this idea, but everyone seems to do that.  Buy a letter and put it up on the wall.  I want to find a creative way to do it.  Look at what my friend Meghan did:

She printed off an "h" at the biggest font that would fit on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper; traced it; painted it on her walls; framed it using an empty frame.  How creative!  How can I do that...

Needless to say, I've got some plans.  Now it's time to start the projects!  In the meantime,  please send me anymore ideas or links or Etsy sights that look cool.  I'm all about being cool.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

This Week's Menu

Well, John will be cooking for himself for a few days this week.  So, I'm getting stuff for some of his favorites.  I'll be eating at my G'ma Polly's.  If you know me, then you know that I LOVE going to visit my G'ma Polly.

Here are some of the things that will be made this week:

5 Bean Chili
Pot Roast, Veggies, Brown Rice

*In honor of St Patty's day, everyone should give Shepherd's Pie a go.  I like to make mine with left over pot roast.  

Fun fact:  John and I first met at a St Patty's Day party.  It wasn't love at first sight and our interest didn't start there.  However, we can both recount details of our interactions together...specifically our first conversation.  Well, maybe our interest did start there and we didn't know it yet?  Awe, memories!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Milkshake

Hey Ladies, it's da weekend!

Do you want to get this party started right?  Make one of these:

It's easy to make and I bet you have at least 2 out of 3 ingredients on hand:

Milk + Vanilla Ice Cream + Instant Coffee

Blend. Pour. Enjoy.

Warning: this may add junk to your trunk.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I thought that it would be hard.  I thought that I would cry.  I thought that I would be sad. I was wrong. 

 He's one year old and I think it's the coolest thing ever.  I just so dang proud of him.  Like really, really proud.  "Yes, this is Burl.  He is MY SON!"  Not in a competitive my-kid-is-better-than-yours.  Not in the least.  I'm proud of all my friends kids too.

 As I sorted Burl's pictures for his one-year-album, I realized that this past year was full of fun.  We have had a great time with him.  We have made some great memories.  Even though it has gone by fast, I feel like we've made the most of this past year!

This turning-one business is big stuff.  Big, huge, fun stuff!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Burl's First Birthday

Burl is one.  A very big, active, loud one.  How else to celebrate by having a big, active, loud party?

For Sunday lunch, we had our family over.  We kept the food simple: pizza, salad, cake.

Burl had his cake.  He really enjoys using silverware, so he ate his Smash Cake politely with a fork.  Needless to say, there wasn't a lot of smashing.

1 baby=4 cameras.  Loads of pictures!

Then, we moved to presents.  This was by far the craziest part.  Burl was all over everything.  He loved opening, looking and playing with each toy.

He received a big car, little cars, balls, bubbles, a chair and balloons.

The chair and balloons were his favorite.  I'm not sure he knows that it's a chair.  He climbed and climbed and fell and jumped on the chair.

Burl was all over the place.  Somewhere along the way, I went sleeveless.  Catching all his close calls works up a sweat.

New toys, his littlest cousin, and a room full of people watching him...Burl put on a good show.


Now that I have one year of parenting under my belt, I can say that I firmly believe one thing: it takes a village to raise a child.  I'm so thankful to have so much family in town.  Burl absolutely loves these people.  He adores each of his grandparents, and he loves to show off for everyone in this picture:

Our "village" is not limited to family.  We have so many friends that have made our parenting transition a great time!  

I'm trying to think of a clever way to sum up how our friends have supported and loved us well.  There is no summing it up.  Our friends pray for us. Encourage us. Tell us Burl is cute. Celebrate with us. Support us. Send us texts/emails/letters.

Ok...getting emotional over here...but I really can't imagine being able to raise a child without the community that the Lord has put us in.  

I'll get the tattoo, the bumper sticker, the T-shirt, whatever.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Smash Cake for Breakfast

Saturday morning I made Burl's Smash Cake. 

Leftover pieces + extra icing = one great way to start a first birthday.

That's right, we let Burl have his first Smash Cake. for breakfast. on his birthday.

The cake he loved-the mess he did not.
That's why he ate his Real Big Smash Cake with a fork and spoon.

Pictures of that party next.

This Week's Menu

Every Sunday, I post my menu for the week.  Nothing special, nothing fancy.  Just a way to keep myself accountable. 

Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice
Chicken Stroganoff
Potato Corn Chowder
Cream of Tomato Soup and Pimento Cheese Sandwiches*
(*minus the pimentos, add the roasted red peppers)
Black Bean and Corn Quesadilla 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Almost 1

Tomorrow is Burl's first birthday.  I can't stop thinking about what I was doing at this time last year.  Every detail of the day before we went to the hospital is running through my mind:

  The contractions started.
I was told to go ahead and get everything in order.
I ran a ton of errands, including one more trip to the grocery store.
I remember having contractions in Walmart.
I didn't want to make a scene, so I leaned on the cart and stared at my list trying to look like I was "thinking."
I didn't want anyone to know I was having contractions because I was afraid that they would kick me out in fear that my water would break in their store.
I came home and cleaned.
John came home.
Craved a BBQ potato, but didn't eat much.
Watched Survivor.  
Then, The Office...the episode where Pam goes into labor.  
We shared a contraction moment...to be specific, she was eating in the break room with Kevin.
We went for a late night walk.

Eventually, we got to the hospital.  Eventually, we met Burl, all 10 pounds 5 ounces of him.

I have to say that it was by far the coolest, most awesome, incredible thing that I've ever done.  John.Me.Burl.  It was the best experience of my life.  Best.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Yard Trimmings

This is our bathroom after we (by we, I mean John) redid it.  Here's what we did:

1. Replaced the low, ugly, stained, cabinet and sink with a white pedestal sink.
2. Replaced the old mirror/cabinet combo with a white mirror.
3. Painted the walls a light khaki-ish color.
4. Painted the tile a clean white.  They were off white tiles with a black tile trim and brown grout.  U.G.L.Y.  

The redo made it so much cleaner, brighter, and prettier:


Everyone loved the new bathroom.  I would tell everyone what we (John) did.  "Tile can be painted?" was a frequent response, but not what I heard the most.  

I heard the most comments on that little white vase of greenery.   Everyone commented on it.

I'm not sure what people liked about it.  Maybe it's the only color in the room.  Maybe people love a little motha' nature indoors.  Who knows.  I got the greenery in my yard.  I have some shrubs that are a great resource for greenery.  I head out there all the time with a vase (or vases) and snip me a little somethin' somethin'.

Let's call it natural ambiance.

That has spurred me on to grab anything from outside and bring it in.  Monkey grass in mini vases.  Done.  Twigs.  Done and done.  

On more than one occasion John, my brother, and I have seen a pile of brush during a neighborhood run and helped ourselves.

Recent storms knocked some limbs on my rosemary bushes.  I grabbed the strays and brought them inside.  

This is way cheaper than flowers.  And I think it's just as nice as flowers.  Is there something in yo' yard that could make a nice arrangement?  Bet there is!!!