Thursday, July 28, 2011

Indoor Plants

It's no secret that I love seeing greenery and plants and flowers in a home.  Really love.  I'm not exactly sure why.  I think it has something to do with being nurturing.  Like, "welcome to this home.  We can nurture plants, so we can nurture relationships."

A little dramatic?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But it's true that I feel more at home in someone's house if they have  

So, I'm attempting to do the same.  I've added some plants here and there, tried to stay regular with the watering schedule, and moved them if I think they need more/less light.  I feel a difference already.  

Another thing that I've noticed is that the cuter the pot-the better.  My terracotta pots can only look cute so many times.  I've painted some, and I just got some rustic bucket-like things my mom got me for my birthday.  I'm moving on up, ladies.  Movin' on up.  Cue music.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

High School Dreams

For real?  This is my life?  I can't express how many times those thoughts go through my head.  Sometimes John and I speak them to each other, 

"I can't believe he's REAL."  

In high school I remember loving life and anticipating what my future held.  I wanted my own home, husband and child(ren).  I remember expressing this out loud and in my journal.  I still think about that one journal entry for junior english.  I wrote about my desire, my longing, for these things.  Not for the future.  For the right now.  

Somewhere deep inside, I didn't see that being the way my life would go.  I saw me being single, having a fun job, doing fun things, having fun friends.  Going and coming.  A part of me wanted that as well.  There was fun and joy there as well. 

My English teacher, who I adored, wrote something in reply to that journal entry (oh how I loved feedback).  It made me realize I had time to work on that and I had time to enjoy at the present.  And so I did.  I enjoyed it.  High school.  College.  Enjoyed the path I was on.   

The path was fun.  There I found: Fun. Going & coming. Friends. College. Boy. Marriage. Fun. Baby.  Another baby.  And I'm happy.  And part of me feels like this isn't real.  Like, how did I get this?  What happened?  

When I tote Burl along in the heat of running errands, when he walks around (and on) my feet during dinner prep, when I give in and give him a little snack to "make it to dinner," I enjoy him.  

My little buddy.  
The freedom to stay home with him.

And John asks me, "is it hard?  do you get tired of having someone hang on to you,"  I don't remember those times I get aggravated.  Instead, I remember that I never thought this would happen and I remember that I couldn't imagine that it could be this fun. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anthropolgie Designer

Anthro.  Short for Anthropologie.  Key word to all my friends as dang cool.  

Used in conversation: "I LOVE that dress and the ruffles are so cool."
"Thanks.  I got at it Anthropologie.  On clearance."
" looks like Antrho."

Used in a sentence: "You got that at _____?!?  It looks like something you'd get at Anthropologie!"

It's a store, a catalog, a movement of cute clothes, home good, books, and more.  All my friends know it and love it.  Even though I could fit all the things that I bought from there in the palm of my hands, I still adore it.  They are cool.  They are funky.  They are different.

My favorite, favorite thing are their window displays and merchandising.  It's amazing.  It inspired my tree stand that I use every year.  It's so cool.  In almost every retail joint where I've worked, I've been involved in merchandising.  Clothes.  Home decor.  Bookstore.  From following a guidebook  to having complete freedom, I've enjoyed it all.

When I see the displays at Anthropologie, I have to wonder how they come to be.  Is it straight out of a guidebook?  Do the clerks just come up with fun creative ways?  I wonder...and now I know.  

Because I found Kara Paslay Design blog.  She is a display coordinator for the Anthropologie in Tulsa.

Do yourself a favor and go to her blog.  Check out her before and afters, her home, her portfolio and her work at Anthropologie.  It's definitely worth it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This Week's Menu

Here it is.  My weekly menu.  Part record of what we eat-part helping me keep track-part reminding me what I planned to make...this menu thing is how I function.  

Apparently, pasta was on the brain.

Ham sandwiches, chips and salsa.  
Lasagna and salad, hope to feed us two nights and some leftover lunches
Potato Corn Chowder.  It's not chowder time, but it's corn time!!!
Ziti with tomato basil sauce

Friday, July 22, 2011

Unofficial Expert

The more I get into this parenting thing, the more I realize that I have no idea what I'm doing.
The unknowns are growing by the day.

However, with Burl being "all boy," and falling and banging his face on things on a regular basis, I feel like I might become an unofficial expert on lacerations.  

Maybe in 10-20 years, younger moms will be rushing to my doorstep to ask me, "does he need stitches?"  For right now, I'm the young mom rushing to my neighbor's house (mom of 10, yes, TEN CHILDREN) to get her unofficial expert opinion.  

This time, survey says butterfly bandages should do the trick.
For the record, they're a bit cheaper than stitches at the ER.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Giddy about the Afternoon

When I was younger, my summer days were defined by one thing: the pool.  We lived at the pool.  Snacks, lunches, birthday parties, naps, all took place at the pool.  Sometimes we would even stay for dinner, and sometimes, we would even take our bedtime showers there.  My memories are so vivid and so clear of how much time I spent at the different community pools.  

I loved it.  All I can remember from those days are hours of swimming, eating, and waiting out the dreaded adult swim.  Is that all we did? 

As much as I loved and lived for the pool days, I loved coming home.  Coming home after the pool made me feel so alive.  I remember riding home, anticipating my alone time in my room.  Awe.  Let me sit and think of the possibilities of things that I could do: They were always very romantic and dreamy things that I could do that I never really did: I could read, I could draw a picture, I could write a letter, I could make things.  But, I never did those things.  I usually just sat in my room and day dreamed and watched some TV.

Now, here I am, 30 years old (pre-apology because I plan on using that phrase a lot) and I'm doing the same thing-different version.  After an hour or two at the pool, some time at the park, a shift at the Gap, or other diversions, I return home.  To my space.  Burl takes a nap.  And I am unoccupied.  In my space that I've been away from all day long.  

I find myself free to, again, think of the possibilities.  The only difference is that now I have the courage to do what I only dreamed about as a kid.  I write letters.  I read.  I make a fun drink.  I make things.  I blog (never dreamed that one up as a kid).  I nap.  And I rarely watch TV.  And it feels so good.

Afternoons.  They make me giddy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Lot of Birthday Celebrations

When we have a birthday in this house, we celebrate big time.  Dinners.  Adventures.  Celebrations.  Desserts.  It's a pretty big deal.  This year, for my 30th, was no exception.  

My mom took the day off of work while I met some friends for a free burrito, then pool time without kids.  Like my friend told me, "kids sure are a lot of fun, but it's nice to be alone everyone to do our own thing."   It was great to eat with my birthday crew girls, get in some fun pool time, and just be.  Very nice.  

That night John, Burl and I went to an Italian place for a free birthday dinner.  John was a little bit late coming home, which I was totally ok with.  When his coworker heard it was my birthday, he told John to head home quickly, cause he shouldn't work late on his wife's birthday.  John explained to him that it was ok: Friday we were going on a dinner/movie date, Saturday we were going for family dinner, and Sunday we were having a big party.  His coworker just laughed.  Yes, coworker, I'm very self-indulgent on my birthday.

Before dinner, I grabbed a family picture.  I think I'm making this a tradition.  We did this last year, and I love to look at the difference:

At dinner, Burl really became a toddler.  I've never seen him act like he did at the restaurant.  Back story: a month before we had Burl, John and I were out to eat.  The booth behind us was grandparents with a screaming baby.  She cried and screamed and cried and screamed.  We had a talk about how that would be us in just a bit and how we would need to be flexible, one of us in the car with the baby while the other quickly paid for the ticket and got our food to go.  We've never had to do that, but this time it got close.  He hated his high chair, walked around for a bit, and would only eat the pretzel sticks that were somehow in my purse.  He was finally ok, as long as his sippy cup had water in it and he got to sit in a big chair by John.  As much of a pain that it was, John and I laughed through most of it.  The toddler years are here.  Bring it on, Burl.

Friday night, John and I went on a date.  Sushi and 'Arry Potter.  Seeing an epic movie like that on opening night is such an experience.  And it's always fun to go on a date with my main squeeze.

Saturday night we went to my favorite restaurant with my family.  This is the first year that both my brothers have been able to come, and it was great.  On the way up the mountain (where the place is located), we stopped at the hang glide drop off.  Apparently, this location is one of the best hang gliding spots in the world.  The view ain't too shabby, either.

I grabbed a picture of the two of us chilling on the drop off point.  I think we were contemplating how someone could just run off the side of a mountain.  Now, I'm contemplating my eye brows.  They haven't been showing up in a lot of my pictures and I'm not sure I like it....mona lisa, much? 

Dinner was great and exactly how it always is.  My brothers and I hoard the conversation until we are all laughing so hard, we made a scene.  Also, we talk about all the other great meals that we've which John pointed out, "this type of conversation would never happen with my family...only this family talks about great meals during a great meal."  No doubt.

We ended the birthday celebrations with cake and friends last night.  Lots of cake and lots of friends.  I emptied my camera memory, charged the battery, and did not take one.single.picture. It went a little something like this: perfection.  I wanted it easy and laid back.  We had cake and drinks and that was it.  We had a pretty big size crowd of people who laughed and talked and had a good time.  And there was enough cake leftover for me to have some for breakfast...

Thirty is going pretty good already.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This Week's Menu

Around my birthday, I like to shed some of my responsibilites and live a little care free.  Cooking is not one of them.  I still have to shop for groceries, I still have to cook meals, and I still love doing it.  I feel like it's one of my biggest contributions...not sure if that's respectful or embarrassing.  Either way, I'm presenting my menu for the week:

Salad with Rotisserie Chicken
Roasted Chicken with Brown Rice and Something Green, but I can't remember now...
BLT's and Corn on da Cob
Shrimp Boil with Pesto Pea Spinach Salad

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Birthday Thoughts

Today is here.
My big 3-0.
I couldn't be more excited!
I'm not sure what it is, but I'm so happy to be turning 30.  
I'm going to try to take a look at things closer:

I've been thinking about my life lately.  All I can really say is What.A.Blessing.  What.A.Blessing.

I've written about community in terms of raising a child-ya know...takes a village to raise a child-well, that goes for me as well.  {Here I go...getting all choked up.}  I think about the people that have come in and out of my life and can not stop to ponder God's love for me.  He has provided such a wonderful group of people to be part of my life over these 30 years.

My family. My friends. My in-laws. My church. And John and Burl.  Oh, how thankful I am for them!  Right now, I'm trying to find the words to describe how people have loved me, and I'm at a loss.  Instead, I just keep pausing and being in complete awe of the relationships that the Lord has given to me.  They have given me words, courage, strength, love and joy, joy, joy.  Man, have they give me joy.  JOY!

In all the ups and downs of my life, all the trials and tribulations, all the joys and blessings, I have to say that I've had a perfect life.  

This week I've been thinking about my life and my regrets.  Sure, I've made some mistakes, some embarrassing mistakes, said stupid things, done stupid things, but this week all I think about is high school art.  That's the only thing that I really regret (right now. this week.)

I regret being too scared to take art.  I wanted to so bad, but the practical side of me shamed me into thinking that it was a waste of time.  I couldn't draw a face, so I had no art inside me.  However, as the art students carried around their projects, talked about what to do, I had jealousy growing inside of me.  

Particularly I remember when they made books.  Page filled books.  With quotes and cut outs and really awesome paper.  And I went home and tried to do it myself with tape and cardboard and construction paper and failed miserably.  

And here I am, 30 years old, wanting to make and have fun and "waste time" doing art.  Well, art I will make.  And that community that the Lord has given me, bless them.  I have friends and family that encourage me and give me words and courage when I don't feel like I'm good enough to do it.  

Props to art.
Props to my friends.
Props to my family.
Props to birthdays that make me think.
And Mad Props to the Lord for being the first one to make art. 

{All pictures have nothing to do with this post except that they make my birthday more fun.
I got them from Suziebeezie.}

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Swine Flu Pit

The Swine Flu Pit is what John and I call the indoor playground in the mall.  We used to walk by there in total judgement of everyone in there.  

This is what we saw: kids jumping record heights off the equipment, preforming some sort of wrestling move, while moms (just like me) lined the observation booths NOT observing their kids, rather their phones.

Naturally, we made some sort of unspoken pact that we would never ever take our kids there.  The pact was broken today.  Burl had been to the SFP before.  My mom took him there a while ago and raved about how much fun he had.  Today being sporadically stormy, super-duper hot, and not very conducive to outside play, I took him.

My mom was right.  He thoroughly enjoyed himself.  

Cushioned crap to play on (lined with swine flu germs, I'm sure)
Tunnels to go through
Slides to fall down
Cars to drive
Kids to watch
Room to roam

Already a hard sell myself, I knew that I would be in total judgement of everyone there.  I was determined to be the cool mom that wasn't on her iPhone checking updates.  But, being almost 6 months pregnant, I knew I wasn't going to do any wrestling jumps off the slide.  Maybe next time.

Here's what I found:

First, I was one of a handful of moms there.  Most of them seemed pretty interactive with their kids, which made me feel better about the whole situation.  There were several grandparents.  One lady who was very sweet to me when I had a question about the shoe policy...Burl being the only one in shoes.  What is it about kids that they love to take their shoes off?  Love that.

Second, there was also the grandfather there.  He had balloons wrapped around his wrist so they wouldn't float away.  Burl quickly spotted him the balloons, and went to the man.  I could see the interaction from where I sat and decided to let Burl handle himself on this one.  He walked up to Gramps and did his point and grunt towards the balloon.  He got no response.  Only the head bobbing back and forth as the man dozed off.  

I like that he had enough sense to wrap the balloons on his wrist so not to float away while he napped, but I have to wonder: who's watching the kids?

Third thing that I LOVED about the SFP was that there were several people from varying ethnic groups playing with their kids.  Is that the PC way of saying that?  Anyways, being a middle-class white girl, I loved that I wasn't in the majority.  White people love being the only white person around.  It's a fact.  Look it up HERE.

Enough funny business...
What I really loved was watching all of Burl's faces. 
His rowdy face
His people watching face
His talking to other kids face
And of course, his motor face...

We might just go back.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To Want Something

I'm turning 30 on Thursday, and letmetellya, I couldn't be happier about it.  {More on that later.}  With every birthday comes presents and celebrations and special dinners.  I have so much fun deciding what I want to do.  However, I have a difficult time making a present list.  

For the big 3-0, I feel like the present should stand out.  Be amazing. Go down in history.  In several years, at a fancy cocktail party, when someone points out my diamond necklace and says, "oh I just love your necklace" I can casually reply, "why thank you, it was a gift from my love for my 30th."

But that's just not me.
No fancy parties.
No diamonds.
No calling John my love.
No putting why in front of my thank you's.  

With expensive jewelry off the list, I tried to come up with some stuff that would really make me happy: a new front door, a new screen door, a grill, a few things from etsy, a mug from Anthropologie, and a new den.
Pretty lofty request, huh?  

But that's not it.  I want to start something.

Back story {and why these pictures are here}:

A friend asked me to design some stationary for her to give as gifts.  I've been enjoying every minute.  Also, another friend cleaned out her linen closet.  She stopped by my house on the way to the thrift store to offer me whatever I wanted.  "I'm sure you can find something to do with these if you like them." Sheets, thick pink fabric, pom-pom coverlet, matelasse.  Yes, please!  And the ideas are flowing!

Somewhere along the way of making stationary and getting some cool, free material, I realized what I really wanted for my 30th: to make stuff.  For other people.  I want to start an Etsy shop.  

That's what I want for my birthday.  For reals.  Saying that out loud feels so weird.  Almost embarrassing.  Like I'm revealing a big dark secret about myself.  However weird it feels to say it, it's also exciting to say it.  

Hi.  My name is Meg.  I want to start an Etsy shop.  {Big, deep, sigh}

Advice is welcome.