Friday, December 28, 2012

Who's ready?


Hey y'all...

Just a quick survey of who has their book already and ready to begin?

And who is in the process of getting their book?  I started reading a couple nights ago, but I don't want to take off and leave anyone or have a bunch of people waiting on me. ;-)

Who's ready for Chapter 1?
Thursday, December 27, 2012

Unglued


Once upon a Christmas time, I was hurrying through a Christian book store searching for a couple gifts. In the midst of it, I picked up a book that had been capturing my attention for a while. It was Unglued; a book for women with emotional freak-out issues.  I almost put the book back, but saw it was on sale and said why not.

The next day, I felt the need to clean my house really well so that the chaos of the coming presents and toys didn't seem overwhelming.  And I get down to the very last step I do- vacuuming.  Well as I vacuumed, smoke and an awful stench began to rise from the vacuum. After about an hour of cleaning it and adjusting the belt (with the help of my husband), I tried again with the exact same result.

No biggie.  I'd been wanting a new vacuum for a while.  And I hate carpet anyway.

Well on Christmas Eve, the dear hubby and I ran to the Gates of Hell, better known as Walmart, for a couple last minute things.  On the way, we were discussing vacuums: Rainbow vacuum for lifetime, or cheaper model now (like a Shark in my mind, but obviously not Lane's) and a Central Vac when we build.  Well Lane suggested that we just get a $50 vacuum for now.

And I lost it.

I got in a really bad mood and picked a fight with Lane.  But the real problem was this: I felt like a $50 vacuum wouldn't really get my carpet clean. Which I hate the carpet anyway, which always feels and looks dirty no matter what.  But it's that way because my house is never really clean BECAUSE I'M JUST A MESS MYSELF!!  

Phew!

This is a daily routine for me.  Over sensitive outburst or complete freak outs when chaos arrives- and there is always chaos because I have two little kids. 

Can I get an AMEN?

Then yesterday, you don't even want to know the conversation that I had with my dear hubby after having both kids in a busy fabric store when he was supposed to have them but went duck hunting instead...

All that fussing that seemed so justified at the time, left me feeling awful about myself.  My children are growing and forming memories of me.  I don't want this behavior to be in those memories.  But I'm so exhausted all the time of trying to bite my tongue and smile and be a good person.

Needless to say, it was time to pick up the book.  I was addicted the minuted I read the subtitle.

"Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Raw Emotions"

I can't wait to get further in the book and work on some "imperfect progress."

Now the exciting part.  YAY!

I have really felt motivated the past few years to host some sort of Christian book club, supper club, study, small group... just something.  A source of encouragement, accountability, and fellowship for us and other women or couples.  But there was always two problems.

1. Time
After attending church, choir, bible study, playgroups, who had time to get together or the extra money to pay a sitter if they could find the time?

2. Place
My house is painfully tiny (yay for building soon) to host maybe more than 2 or 3 people max.  And it's rarely clean enough for me to let people in the front door anyway.

Then last night, a few of my Instagram darlings showed a great interest in the book and I jokingly mentioned an IG book club.  And people were actually interested!  

So here is my chance.  

I will be hosting my first Christian book club here on my blog! 

How great is that?  I know I have all of about 10 readers, but I wanted to extend the invite out to you as well.  Participate, share, encourage, be encouraged, have accountability all in the convenience of your own couch.  

And, of course, my first book will be Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst.


I'll be doing chapter by chapter right here on the blog.  So if you are interested, let me know, and then run out and get the book.  Buy it.  Download it. Go get it and let's get started!!!

P.S. There is also a study for this book, but baby steps...




Sunday, December 9, 2012

Not myself


Lately, I have been so busy that I just don't feel like me, ya know? 

Have you ever been so busy in life that you barely have time to do the simple things that you thought described your everyday life?


The Angel I remember liked to bake, loved to cook, painted everything, took her kids to the park and zoo, sewed on occasion, read daily, grew things in her flower bed, harvested her own vegetables, spent quality time with family, hosted dinners for friends, planned a good party, and blogged regularly.


That doesn't sound anything like the Angel I know now.  


Recently, I have been so blessed that my work from home monogram business has exploded with success.  Unfortunately, that success has come with a price.


The price is a busier life than what I like to lead. 

Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for it's success, but sometimes... well a lot of times, I've wondered if the price is worth the gain.


This past week, we enrolled AL in a parent's day out program close to our home.  The sad thing is (this program is great so far) I didn't pick the program necessarily based on it's reputation, but because it was the closest to the house and I can get more work done since I don't have to drive across town.


I cried my eyes out to leave her the first day.  The second day wasn't so bad.  I was too busy to notice that much.  


Back to the business...  I chose to live a lifestyle that would allow me to stay at home with my babies- at least until they went to school.  Well now I'm home, but having to send my babies somewhere to get things done.  


I know... I know... it's good for their social development/ mommies need a break too/ children need to learn to play with others and share... but at 3 she will go to preschool.  Then she will go to school for the next 15 years.  I only have a year and a half left with her at home with me.  And I do realize that being a stay at home mom is either a financial luxury or a financial sacrifice for most families; however, it has been a worthy sacrifice for our family.


That is just one tangent of guilt I feel for being so busy.  I could really go on and on, but I won't aggravate you by complaining about the bed I've made myself.


So... I have decided to take this matter to the Man upstairs.  I'm just praying He guides me in a decision on how to handle any of this.  


I am leaning towards not accepting anymore custom orders after the new year- only selling items I've made in my free time (like a real store), maybe make items to only sell in boutiques, or really just kind of quit all together until AL goes to school... 


In the meantime, I am going to reserve certain days just for fun things with the kids.  And I'm going to do them, no matter how dirty the house is or how many orders I have.  There will always be chores to do and orders to fill, but my babies will not always be babies.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Summer Wrap Up, way late...


So I don't know about the rest of you, but the past couple months for me have been uncomfortably busy.  I'm not even sure how it happens.  One day my life is very boring and the next day it's very busy.

It started with Aubrey Lane's first birthday party and just hasn't slowed down since.



We thought that school started a week later than what it did.  So when we found out the exact dates of the new school year, we decided to forgo the big trip we planned to Tybee Island for a fall trip to Gatlinburg...


However, this momma still needed some sun on my shoulders and sand between my toes.  So we decided to go to Florida for a quick beach trip with the kids.


Then we left the very next day.



It was so last minute that we couldn't find a beach front room, but that didn't stop our fun.



Both the children LOVED the beach.  They played in the sand and water and everyone escaped without a sunburn... cause momma did her job with the SPF.



It was fun... but a lot of work!



Having two small children on the beach to run after is a lot of work.  Exhausting more than relaxing at times.



But once we got everyone coated with sunscreen, toted to the beach, and set up with beach toys and entertainment, I really enjoyed the rest of the day.



The kids loved the beach.  They played in the water, sun, and sand without the least little bit of fussing.


And Mr. Lane and I just sat back and enjoyed playing with our kids and having 4 days to devote to them.


We said goodbye to the beach and headed home to finish gathering up school supplies and uniforms for Jude's first day of prekindergarten.  




I was so excited and proud of my big boy for going to school.  People kept asking me if I was going to cry, but I was too excited and happy for Jude to reach this milestone that crying seemed impossible for me.  And I knew he would have wonderful teachers who are also wonderful people- I actually consider his teacher and paras to be friends; I just love them!


But... after I dropped him off and got him to class, I pulled out of the parking lot and it hit me.  The car was too quiet.  No more Mommy and Jude shopping trips, or cold Mondays snuggling on the couch watching cartoons.  No more lunch date with daddy or sleeping in daddy's spot when he leaves for work.  My complete monopoly over Jude's time and attention had come to and end, and despite how happy I was for him, the tears began to flow.  I watched Aubrey Lane in the rearview thinking it would cheer me up; however, it only made it worse.  I realized it was only yesterday that Jude was her age and tagging along with me like she does now, and that soon she would be off to preschool herself.  



With the start of school, summer started slowly drifting out and autumn has started slowly drifting in.


We spent one of our first nice weekends at "The Mississippi House" as Lane's family refers to it.  It was Lane's great grandparents' home.


 The entire family went up to see the home and land and look for treasures left there by there grandparents.



Of course, I saw it as a great opportunity for taking pictures of my babies and get more practice in shooting in manuel mode.  

In the midst of all these things, we've had some other important events too.  Jude has settled into school and even participated in his first field trip last week.  He's also had a couple of hospital visits, but only for diagnostic testing.  All have come back very encouraging and do not require any further surgery.  YAY!  

Jude also turned FIVE a couple weeks ago.  That's right!  Our redhead is FIVE!!! Can you believe it?  

Aubrey is growing fast and RUNNING everywhere.  She's a busy little baby but she's so sweet and beautiful.  

And Lane got a new job.  We are so excited.  He has been trying to get this job for four years now!  We are very nervous because it will be a huge lifestyle change for our family, but it's an incredible opportunity for our family.  We aren't "change" people; even when it's good change, so this transition is bittersweet for us.  

The Lord is also moving in our lives, and I can't wait to share- but this post is long enough so I'll have to do it next time.  I'm hoping to stay on top of the blogging a little bit so that it's not so overwhelming to catch up on..  I know, I always say that.  Hopefully this time I can keep my word.  

Hope y'all had a great weekend and that everyone has a great week as well!!  



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

One Step At a Time

Please accept my apologies as I haven't blogged in, I don't know... FOREVER!

I've had tons of blog posting ideas and events.  Jude's first day of school, Aubrey Lane learning to walk, crafting, medical updates, business updates, adventures in house building... well lots of stuff.  However, I've had exactly the opposite of tons of time to blog.  

I don't have any free time at all... ever... ever!

I have completely over-committed myself that I'm actually kind of frustrated with myself.  But, hey.. it's only a season, right?  And come Thanksgiving, I'll have a little breathing room...

Despite my busyness, a moment happens from time to time that is so blogworthy it takes priority!  

One of those moments happened today.

I got to go to school with Jude for a little bit this morning and get an idea of what his day looks like.  (He is doing AWESOME in school, by the way).

Right after we got there... well why don't you just watch the video...




Yep!  That's right.   Jude walking and bearing his own weight!  The band around his chest only helps him stay balanced!  This is a HUGE deal!

I am just so proud of that redhead and all he has accomplished!

John 1:16
Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Day Photo Checklist


“You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!”
― Dr. SeussOh, the Places You'll Go!



In just a few days, my little redhead will have his very first day of school.  I know he went to LSU for the past couple years, but that was just 3 hours a day and 2 days a week for 12 weeks a semester.  Monday, he will start all day/everyday preschool!  YIKES!!

Truth be told, I am not sad a bit.  I am actually very, very excited.  This is just another major milestone in life that, at one point, I was doubtful we’d see.  But, more importantly, Jude will be attending a great school, and he will have a wonderful team of teachers and therapists that I believe genuinely care about him.

A little one’s first day of school is an occasion that needs to be scrapbooked or documented somehow, and, of course, you need lots of pictures of that first day to commemorate the moment.

Now I’m a huge list maker.  I work much better and efficiently if I’ve left myself some “blueprints” to success.  Unfortunately, I just learned the hard way that picture taking events also need a checklist.  When you are busy in the moment, you may forget to take pictures of the things you want to remember about that moment.  

So... get in the habit of making a picture checklist before the big day.  Just imagine the things you would like to remember the most about the day.  Then, try hard to put them in the order that you think they would occur.  

This is not a new trick.  Professional photographers and awesome organized people, unlike myself, have already been doing this to get through their big days.

Tip- It wouldn’t hurt if you made a list even if you have a professional photographer, especially if you have a certain idea in mind.  They don’t mind.  And they are ├╝ber talented so they may even build off your idea and make it even better.  A couple of years ago, we were having pictures made by Christi Santangelo, and I had this vision of a picture of us sitting on the pier with our backs facing the camera.  So I shared this with her, and she thought it was great idea.  And to this day, it is one of my most favorite pictures of my family of three.

Getting back on course, now. 

The first day of school is a busy day full of firsts.  So... MAKE A CHECKLIST!! You will thank me later when you look back in your photo album, scrapbook, or, in my case, blog and have those sweet little pictures to remind you of those sweet little moments.

I have put a list together for my Jude’s first day of prekindergarten!  Because I know the first day can be busy and a little hectic, I actually divided my list into two parts; the first part is a list of pictures to get at Open House, and the second part is a list for the first day.  Feel free to copy it if you like and tweak it to make it work for your little one’s first day.



Open House
the school
the classroom
cubby area or area with child’s name
child with teacher(s)
cafeteria
hallways
school supplies (watch how they change each year)
school gear: nap mat, backpack, lunchbag
schedule (if there is one)
books (if any)


First Day
uniform waiting to be put on
first lunch 
child in uniform
child with sign or printout to date the day 
child with both parents
carpool area or picture of child getting on bus
child being dropped off in carpool 
mommy crying (or daddy)
the pick up line
child at end of day


That's my list, so far.  I will probably use it from year to year for both my kiddos, making adjustments as needed.

What pictures will you make sure you have of your little one's first day?
Monday, August 6, 2012

Bob and Larry


Just because...





Now it's time for silly songs hats with Bob and  Larry.







Just two more reason to love The Veggie Tales.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Making of A Lemonade Stand Birthday


I just love first birthdays.  And I LOVE first birthday parties.  When I was pregnant with Aubrey Lane, I would just daydream about the possibility of having a little girl and all the sparkle that went with it; her birthday parties being no exception.

So when Aubrey Lane was just a few months old, I already began to see visions of pink balloons and tissue pompoms along with a little girl in a white highchair digging in a pink cake.

I originally planned to have an ice cream social for her party, but... one day I happened across some decorations for a lemonade stand on Etsy, and I knew that her party needed a theme change.  (ALL parties NEED a theme or color scheme, in my opinion)

So I started the planning.  

I had Lane and my father in law make me a beautiful little lemonade stand.  And then I painted it Gentle Dreamland Pink, a color from Walmart- it's a lemonade stand.  It doesn't need Sherwin Williams paint.


Months before the party, I started the planning and collecting.  I would grab a pack of tissue paper for pompoms every time I went to Hobby Lobby.  I also knew I wanted to use Mason jars or some sort of vintage looking glass bottle to serve the lemonade in.  Then one day, I picked up one of Lane's empty frappacino bottles (our weakness) to throw away, and I noticed it was the perfect shape.  So we just started saving our bottles for about 4 months. We had 16 small ones and 16 large ones for the party. 


Then I used my embroidery machine and mad crafting skills to make a sweet little party hat and pennant banner for her darling white wooden highcair.


The weeks before, my sweet friend Sarah came over and helped me make decorations using my cricut.  (The first time I've used it for anything other than playing around.)  We made her Happy Birthday banner and the little monthly clothespins to hang her monthly pictures from.


I also went to Brushfire in Denham Springs and painted Aubrey Lane a special plate to use each year for her birthday.  It held her smash cake for her birthday.


Then Lane helped me with a little project to turn some old picture frames my mother in law picked up for me at Goodwill into sweet little chalkboards for the party... and other things. 
All we did was paint the frame a glossy white and paint the glass pane with chalkboard spray paint.  And voila...




And then my niece spent the night and helped me make more decor and lots of tissue pompoms.  




We also used my Cricut again to make these precious tags for drink labels for people to hang on their lemonade bottles.  Add in the pink and yellow paper straws I got from Etsy, and I knew it was going to be beautiful!


The week of, I think I lost my mind and set out on a tablecloth project.  After several yards of burlap, blisters on my thumb, and a very late night, a too long but BEAUTIFUL ruffled table cloth was ready for its first event: my Aubrey Girl's first birthday party.
sorry for the lighting- this picture was taken around 2am

All the sweet little details came together to make a beautiful party for my sweet Aubrey Lane.