Friday, November 17, 2006

Tonight was the rehearsal dinner for Chris and Ava. It was at the Botanical Gardens here in Statesboro and it was BEAUTIFUL!!! I love the botanical gardens, and it was absolutely magical tonight. The whole courtyard was decorated w/ hundreds of white lights, candles, and tiki torches. It looked very festive. It made me really excited about decorating for Christmas. It is amazing how white Christmas lights can transform a ho hum space into this incredible wonderland. I am so excited about being in our little cottage this year and really want to make it festive. I will have to go slow...I just can't justify paying a ton for Christmas lights when I can get them for a song after the holidays are over...but I am going to use what I already have this year and plan what I want to add next year so when it is on sale I can stock up. My house just begs to be decorated with white lights and fresh wreaths and red bows. I want to have a fire burning all season and apple cider on the stove and warm bread in the oven.
I just bought a little "from me to me" the other day...Martha's new Homemade Gifts for the Holidays magazine...all you friends of mine, prepare yourselves. I will be making something fabulous (yet simple and affordable!!) for you out of her magazine. :) If you get the chance, check it out. It is a veritable feast for the senses!!!
Anywho, I hope that if you live nearby, or even if you don't, that you will drop by my little house during the holiday season. I plan on being home and enjoying the holidays. I will have little treats by the door for all my friends that stop by. Don't you just love this season?!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I am struggling lately. As most know, I am pregnant with baby #3...8 weeks along today, as a matter of fact. I am feeling very tired and queasy, which is why I am struggling. Lately, I have had to choose how to spend the little energy I have: taking care of the boys or taking care of my house. You can guess which one(s) have received my attention. So, my house is a wreck. And I am finding myself retreating to my in-laws or my mom's to avoid the frustration of facing my messy house. Which makes me even more frustrated because I love, love, love my house!!! And I don't want to dread coming home. When I am not pregnant, I regularly get up around 6 am and get the majority of the housework, devotions, dressed, etc. done while the rest of the house is sleeping. This practice keeps my life running smoothly, for the most part. Sleep is just one thing I can't part with right now and so I have not been getting up early...and thus, the disastrous house.
Why is it that so much of my happiness is dependent on the state of my surroundings? That too, is frustrating. I should be thankful in ALL situations. Pregnancy and having small children shows me my sin and inadequacies (sp?) like nothing else.
I am trying to keep flylady's mantra running in my head "I can do anything for 15 minutes". Truely, my house could be presentable in about 3, 15 minute blocks of cleaning time. Thankfully, my sweet hubby has kept on top of the dishes and laundry and often picking up clutter without me asking him and without resentment on his part. That is a blessing. I came home from a trip earlier this week and the house was immaculate. He had even changed the sheets, because he remembered that I had mentioned a few weeks ago how nice it feels to snuggle into bed at night with fresh clean sheets. How sweet of him.
One thing I am realizing, with my third pregnancy, is that pregnancy is really not that big a deal in the bigger scheme of things. With my first, it was all-consuming. I thought everyone was looking at me, everyone was thinking about my pregnancy as much as I was. I knew how far along I was down to the day. Well, thankfully, subsequent pregnancies aren't quite so ego-centric. I don't even think about it many times, except for the nausea. And I am realizing that the responsibilities and obligations of a mother, wife, daughter, friend, etc. don't disappear just because I am pregnant. I may not feel well, but Landing still needs his diapers changed. Bummer. I would much rather just lie around on the couch and watch Project Runway reruns.
That is one thing I really appreciate about being a mother. It FORCES you to not be selfish. You simply can't care more about yourself than your children.
Taking care of my house is an area where I am falling behind. My kids don't really notice. My hubby does though. And I do. So, I am going to say TTFN and go spend 15 minutes power cleaning.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Top 10 Things I would do if I had more Time...
(I borrowed this idea from Katie Sammons blog...thank you, Katie)

1. Play the Piano
2. Sleep
3. Write letters (the pen and paper kind! LOL)
4. Have longer prayer time
5. Read more books
6. Take really loooonnnnggggg bubble baths
7. Decorate my house for the seasons
8. Manicures and Pedicures
9. Label everything
10. Shop for clothes

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thought for the day...

"The Beautiful is everywhere; perhaps more in the arrangement of your saucepans on the white walls of your kitchen than in your eighteenth-century living room or in the offical museums." -Fernand Leger, painter

I have tried to be more intentional lately about creating natural beauty when I have the opportunity. For example, usually, I just throw my fruits and veggies in the drawer in the fridge when I bring them home from the store. One day this summer, instead of the cooling drawer, I put my tomatoes in a simple white porcelain bowl and set it on the shelf in the fridge. You can not imagine the difference!! Every time I opened my fridge, seeing that pretty bowl of tomatoes made me happy. It was so simple, I felt silly, but it really affected me. And it wasn't just me!!
A friend opened my fridge and immediately "oohed and ahhhed" about how pretty the inside of my fridge was!!
Last week, I put my ironing pile in an antique dough bowl. It made a crumpled pile of linens look intentional!!
Anyway, I am just really inspired to make neccessary, not always pretty aspects of my home look beautiful...either through presentation (such as that porcelain bowl) or paint (I spray painted my wicker laundry baskets black and I like them so much better!!) or by replacing them with something that is still useful, but more asthetically pleasing (hardback books vs. paperbacks). Maybe that is the secret to a house that is beautiful, yet also comfortable and lived in?
I would love to hear others thoughts on this...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Here is a happy little quote for today. I love this one!!

"Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest: Hope keeping hearts are stay at home is best." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fall is definitely in the air today. I have all my windows thrown open and I love to see the breeze blowing the curtains. My mom keeps the boys for me on Tuesdays so I can get things done and I had intended to go to the gym...but it would be absolutely CRIMINAL of me to run on a treadmill inside while the weather is so beautiful outside. I think I have decided to only keep a gym membership during the summer, when it is too hot to even walk to the mailbox. I think I will take the boys and go walking later this afternoon. They will love to be outside too.
This wonderfully beautiful day has inspired me to bake bread. I started it early this morning (4 am, actually...I was already up...both boys were screaming...I won't even go into why...) and it is in the final stage of rising, almost ready to bake. My favorite part of bread making is the kneading and baking. I love the kneading because it is such a physical, sensual (not in a sexual way, obviously) experience. I don't really know how to put it into words (again, the reason I am blogging...trying to get better at that) but it is just so REAL. Earthy. Simple. I love the baking aspect because it makes my whole house smell like, well, baking bread (duh) but more than makes it smell like a real house. A house that people want to come to and not leave. I remember in high school I always looked forward to coming home from school because it was such a comforting, homey time. Mom would always have something yummy for an afternoon snack. Home made cookies, "apple sauce things", cake, some times just popcorn and chocolate milk...but the smell would hit our noses as we came up the steps...through the screen door. Such a wonderful sensory pleasure. I want my boys to look forward to my little afternoon treats that I make for them. Caed loves to cook with me. Sometimes I just want to tell him that it is too hard, or we don't have enough time, or it won't be any fun b/c truthfully it is much easier to cook on my own. But I am always so thankful for the times that I stop myself, the words sometimes already on my lips, and say instead "grab your stool, I would love for you to help me!". I am always so rewarded and it is always a special time for us together. He loves to mix and pour and then take everyone a bowl of whatever we have made. He takes so much pride in his creation...lately, we have been stuck on making "Caed's world famous caramel popcorn". I always think, what a lucky girl the one that gets Caed will have a husband who can cook!!
And even more often I think, what a blessed mom am I, that I have little boys to teach to be good husbands!!
Tonight, I think we will eat my freshly baked bread, and I will make a big pot of vegetable soup. Soup and fresh bread is soul food at its best. I will put a tablecloth on the table on our screened in porch and we will listen to bluegrass and eat our yummy dinner.
And for dessert...maybe some of that world famous popcorn...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Oh, the pressure of writing my first blog!! Hmmm...what to say, what to say...
Well, to cut myself some slack, the reason I decided to start a blog was so that I would become more comfortable with writing and that I would learn to be more articulate. (Thank you, Katy Sammons, for the inspiration!!) So, if this first blog is really bad, please understand that (hopefully) it will only improve...that is the point, after all.
So maybe to warm up (and loosen up) I will start with a list...I am good at lists...a little too good (my lists have lists)...slightly obsessive. I will save that for another post.


1. Developing my relationship w/ Christ, learning practical ways to teach my children biblical truths, learning to be a godly wife

2. Hospitality: Cooking, having friends over, entertaining, being a good listener, having a home that feels warm and welcoming

3. Good friends and family. There is nothing so wonderful as having a friend (or mom) who gets you. Being passionate together about good things is so wonderful

4. Matt (better known as my hunka, hunka burnin' love). Goodness, I love that man :)

5. My sweet, beautiful, wonderful boys. What was my life like before I had children? I don't even remember...or want to...

6. Cooking. I don't mean casseroles. There is nothing that takes the fun out of cooking like making a casserole. Dumping a can of condensed soup in a bowl and mixing it with chicken and topping it with some crushed crackers is NOT cooking. I am talking about chopping and dicing and making home made bread WITHOUT a bread on a soul satisfying level. Playing some fabulous music, drinking a great glass of wine, wearing a happy apron, working in a clean kitchen, cooking something great...Ah, now that is a perfect evening...

7. FALL!!! I love, love, love the fall!!! I love the food of fall (caramel popcorn, chili, apple cider,etc.). I love junkin' in the blue ridge mountains with mom, going to the apple orchard in North GA, the crisp, clean air, pumpkins and nuts and cranberries (oh my!), playing outside in the leaves, warm snuggly clothes, fires in the fireplace, the vague, slightly disconcerting feeling of wanderlust that comes over me...

8. My car...say what you will, I like it!!

9. Caed, bringing me a handful of flowers

10. Our church. I am so, so thankful for our church

11. NPR: National Public Radio...good stuff

12. Smells. Fresh cut grass. Clean laundry. Babies just out of the bath. Coffee. Baking Bread. Fall. Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Christmas trees. Old leather.

13. Common Sense. As my daddy says, "common sense isn't very common" but is sure is nice when someone has it!!

14. Atmosphere. Take the Daily Grind Coffee House, here in town, for example. I don't even drink coffee but I love that place b/c it has such a great atmosphere. So much so, that in college, I BEGGED the owner to give me a job there (even though I already worked 3 jobs and was in school full time) just because I loved the atmosphere. Other places that have great atmosphere...winerys, libraries, bookstores, antique shops, HOME...

15. Music. I love most music but when I am home, I usually listen to Classical and bluegrass

16. Good books...old books, bookstores. Nothing makes a house cozy like lots of books

17. Date night. The secret to a great marriage...well, one of them!

18. Getting up early. Secret to life!

19. Using the "good china" everyday...what are we saving it for, anyway?

20. A handwritten letter

21. Babies that sleep through the night!!

22. Old houses...hardwood floors, subway tile, clawfoot tubs, moulding, shutter dogs, etc.

23. Travel. I'm mostly a home body but there are a few place that can lure me away...Venice, Florence, New York, Williamsburg...

24. Languages. Latin and Italian. I have dabbled a little but would love to learn more

25. Sports. I HATE going to the gym and walking on the treadmill (B-O-R-I-N-G!!). But I love to play soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball, tennis, racquetball, etc. b/c it is lots of fun and you get a great workout. I don't get to do it much anymore, since I have little kids, but I am definitely going to keep doing it when I can

26. My boys when they have first woken up and are warm and sleepy and snuggly

27. Clean sheets

28. The art and science of keeping house. Now, before you think I am crazy, I dislike dusting, vacuuming, mopping, etc. as much as the next person. But I do like to learn how to do them in a more efficient way. Making my house run like a well oiled machine. It is fun to learn to do what I do in a better way

29. New Urbanism. I love the lifestyle. I love the concept. I love the Little Big House movement. I love anything anti-McMansion

30. Being organized. Making lists. Planning

31. She makes it simple to have a clean , organized, efficient and happy existence

32. My House

33. Living a simple, uncluttered, uncomplicated life