May 30, 2009

Patience Please

It's almost 3am and I'm driving in the morning. I have to make this quick.

I want to wait until I'm settled in back at home to blog properly about the details of this week and talk about the hippo. I hope I don't lose all of you while you're waiting.

A brief summary to tide you over: gorgeous red patent leather pumps, divorce is final, Shoes refused to see his kids until Christmas (yes, really), still - a happy, joyful hippopotamus.

Got that?

May 23, 2009


The children and I have arrived safely in Ohio.

I covet your prayers that this next week goes as planned and expected. After all, I have a hippopotamus to expose.

Thank you all for following our journey.

May 19, 2009

Thank You For Warm Babies

Ladies, because of you and our Mountain Baby Blankets project, there will be warm babies in Kentucky this year. Little pink bellies will be swaddled up warm and tight. New teen mommies won't have to worry. Do you want to know how many won't have to worry?

281 mommies won't be worrying about chilly toes.

Seriously, there are tears in my eyes. I can't believe this. 281 blankets have been made by your loving hands and offered so generously to this cause. And there are more coming ...

A good blog friend of mine, V, lives very near the Christian Appalachian Project office and stopped by last week to drop seven more blankets that she made (thanks, V!). She gave me this report:

"I just dropped off 7 more receiving blankets today and talked to K -- she has sent 281 quilts/blankets -- had another 10 to send plus the 7 I dropped off today."

I have also been contacted by several sewing groups who are quilting for our babies. Entire groups of ladies, sitting around giving testimony and sewing up love for the babies. They will be sending dozens more blankets to the CAP for our project!

To see some of the beauty surrounding those precious Appalachian babies, click HERE to see our Flikr group.

There is no deadline for this project. If you sew, crochet, or knit and would like to make a blanket for a child in Appalachian Kentucky, please contact me.

God bless all of you. And on behalf of those 281+ babies, thank you.

May 18, 2009

The Hippopotamus Defined

Okay... well not the way you all want me to define it.

(You're all hating me now, but I swear I will spill my guts soon. This hippo is too big to keep under wraps.)

The metaphor I am borrowing came from this book series. If you haven't read them, GO READ THEM. Some super romantic, serious vampire loving - and an adorable vamp heroine who loves Prada and Manolos. Lots and lots of love in them.

I think Eric Sinclair talked about his hippopotamus of joy in this one (book 5):

I love a good hippopotamus.

May 17, 2009

Hippopotamus of Joy

Oh, what a lovely weekend. Seriously wonderful. I am floating around still, up in the clouds somewhere. I am all gooey inside. My toes are on fire. My face literally aches from smiling so much and my heart is happy as can be. I have a hippopotamus of joy inside of me. A big, fat hippopotamus.

Tee hee.

I feel so blessed and lucky today. All filled up - and I know I haven't even seen the best yet. The best is yet to come. I'm so excited I can't see straight. Or stop smiling.

photo credit: hope rises

Since I can't think about anything else just now - and I can't write anything more about this new path I'm on (tee hee), I'll stop now and wish you all the same hopefulness I'm feeling.

May 12, 2009

Go Green: Make A Shopping List for Thrifting

It's been a while since I've chatted about anything eco-friendly. Not on purpose. Just busy, you know? Things like Moo falling off the 'loo (is that not funny to anyone else? Get it? Moooo? Loooo? Whatever.) and my new obsession with altering my own clothing (I am delerious at the money I've saved!).

Today I want to advise you to make a list of items you need to shop for at the thrift store. Before you walk into a department store (or even a discount chain like The Walmarts or Target) investigate your local thrift store for the items you need. Even toasters. Or coffeemakers. Or salt & pepper shakers. Sheets. Sports equipment. A deck of playing cards. If you are patient and dedicated to looking, you can find what you need in great condition at a fraction of the price - and (the best news), you have done something to reduce your global footprint.

Some believe you shouldn't thrift with a list because it turns thrifting fun into a retail experience (in my mind, anything that requires me plopping down my hard earned money IS a retail experience - period). These nay-sayers will also say that shopping with a list closes your mind to possibilities. (I say open your mind in the first place.) Just like any store, if you walk into a thrift store with no purpose you are likely to leave with something you don't need. Isn't that what accumulating clutter is all about? It's one thing to come across a darling vintage babydoll bed and quite another to collect 47 sets of vintage sheets just because they're pretty and you might someday use them (CLUTTER!). A list can be your friend.

So, let's chat about this thrift list. Let me tell you, when I left the house and cut the strings of my marriage two years ago I didn't pack a whole lot. I packed the essentials and knew the rest would work itself out once we found our own place. And the rest did. In fact, I've written posts (here and here) all about successful thrifting for domestic essentials. I saved a TON of money and didn't lower my standards.

Blogs like OhDeeDoh and ReNest are magnificent at showing you what you can make or do using something repurposed or thrifted - and their designs are very modern and beautiful!

In addition to shopping at your local thrift stores, don't forget Etsy. There are hundreds of Etsy storefronts that offer "vintage" housewares (the result of their thrifting finds). Their shipping fees are usually quite reasonable and even though you're still paying to ship the item, your use of an already-produced something is much better for the environment than opting for something new.

Here is my current thrift list (as you can see, totally not in any order):

2 aluminum bats
extra baseball gloves (kid-sized)
Softballs or wiffle balls for practice (tennis balls okay)
Rain boots for Mabel (size 7+)
Play food/kitchen for Mabel
Outdoor play equipment/playhouse for Mabel
Skirts (me)
Satin slips (me)
Outerwear (me - trench, leather jacket, blazers)
Nightgowns for Mabel
4 dinner plates
Deck of playing cards for Trevor
Baby gate
Twin boxspring
Twin bedframe
Twin mattress cover
Winter gloves (kids)
Round mirror with stand
Birds on wire

What's on your list?

May 11, 2009

Easy Tomato Soup Recipe

Sadly I didn't take a picture of the delicious soup I made yesterday for myself for Mother's Day. I make a lot of soup, don't I? Hmmm.... such comfort food.

There is a restaurant in town that makes the BEST tomato zucchini soup, so good I would eat it constantly. Yesterday I decided to try making it for myself (minus the zucchini, only because they didn't have a good selection). And since I was starving while I was shopping, I had to choose some easy ingredients.

Easy Tomato Soup

1 large can Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup*
3/4 can whole milk, 1/4 can Half & Half (refilling the soup can)
1 can diced tomatoes, with the juice (next time I will use petite diced)
8 large basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp ground black pepper

Combine and simmer for as long as you can stand to wait.

THAT'S IT! I served the soup alongside grilled cheese made from bakery fingerbread and cheddar cheese. DELICIOUS.

* I absolutely love Campbell's Tomato Soup because of it's sweetness. If you have another, less sweet variety, I would suggest adding 1 tsp sugar to your soup.

I'm A Superhero

This is so wicked cool, I can't stand it. I made myself into a superhero today, just for fun.

I wanted to choose the pink gun, but I opted for the laser whip in case my kids see this. You know, that might disturb them and all.

May 10, 2009

A Happy Mother's Day

  • 9:00am A knock on the door. Two boys bring in a pink tray with toasted waffles, red grapes, and a carefully-balanced glass of apple juice. HUGE smiles on their faces.

  • 9:04am Two well-thought-out, handmade gifts: a book by Trevor ("I will love you forever...") and a cookbook with an amazing mac & cheese recipe by Andy.

  • 9:08am The Moo joins us, climbing up on the bed and sitting on my neck.

  • 9:15am Call to Nana.

  • 9:25am Mabel and I shower and play "cups" with plastic deodorant lids. I fill it up, she pours it out, and says, "Here, Mama" over and over again. This goes on for several minutes and I try very hard not to cry, trying to engrave this moment in my mind forever.

  • 9:45am Moo falls off the 'loo and bumps her noggin. I soothe her and trim her nails. I curl her hair and fix a barrette in the top curls.

  • 9:52am Mabel reads vampire fiction while I dry my hair and put on my makeup.

  • 10:00am I lotion my legs and Mabel, ever watchful of any girly stuff I do, insists on lotion for her legs, too. I teach her how to rub in the lotion on her chubby knees.

  • 10:10am I break up an argument between the boys while half naked and getting ready for church. Trevor tells me that it was so much fun to surprise me with breakfast. He is proud.

  • 10:30am Off to church we go, where I brag on my two thoughtful sons and my one gorgeous daughter, both of whom I adore and who, so simply, love me back.

May 6, 2009

She's The M

She's the M....

She's the M...

She's the






Love her so. More than she loves walking around in my shoes, even. Way more.
Side note: Nana has plenty of shoes Mabel can walk in as well. Of course they are all in Ohio. Just sayin'.

May 5, 2009

Loving These

Pencil skirts in denim and khaki - Gap (sadly, not in my size)

Gladiator sandals: Indigo by Clarks in Brulee - Zappos

May 4, 2009

New Craft Project For The List

Make these tights!

photo from Starmoss


Wonder if I can find those yellow booties, too.

Happy Monday

I'm back to loving Mondays.

We had a great weekend. Fantastic message yesterday, time to play outside (lots and lots!), and time for mom (inside) to get some things checked off of the list!

First, these lovelies arrived in the mail.

LOVE. Boy they mean it when they tell you to order down a size, too.

My list of weekend accomplishments stands thus:

Projects Completed

  • Switch out purse
  • Vacuum
  • Purge, spring clean, clear junk from closets
  • Iron pants
  • Nip waist on grey jeans & 2 pair chinos *
  • Take in 3 shirts*
  • Let down hem on brown and navy pants
  • Finish quilt top for BeckAY's quilt

* If you are wondering if I am shrinking, the answer is yes. Either that or I keep buying the wrong size clothes - that's a possibility as well. But no more baggies!

I love a good, productive weekend.

OH! I also found not only the lawnmower I needed ($45 for a used Snapper), but a FREE twin mattress in excellent shape. Mabel (a.k.a. "the climber") is well on her way to a big girl bed by the end of summer. And of course I will wrap that sucker up in an impenetrable allergy bag.

Hope your weekend was also great.

May 1, 2009

My Cabbage Patch Kid

This photo session with Moo started because I wanted to capture how cute she looked in her vintage top (there are bloomers, too, but it was too chilly). I found it at Savers for $2.

She did not like me following her around.

Then she did. In fact, she decided to use the cute top as a platform to make Nana start packing her bags. Chop-chop, Nana.

Then she demonstrated her favorite position every day: observing Kiki's consumption of vittles. Nevermind the crumbs on the floor or watermarks on the cabinet, please. And yes, she lays right there until Kiki is finished.

Oh my... then the cuteness started (in case you thought none of the previous pictures were darling enough).

Mabel rummaged through the toy box and found herself a pair of shoes. Cabbage Patch Kid shoes. They were mine 22 years ago and belonged on the feet of Jan Ozzy, my first Cabbage Patch Kid. But Moo wanted them on her feet.

Oh, gracious.

Do you see that "A" on the bottom of the shoe? Side note: that is a perfect demonstration of my... retentiveness at age 10. I labelled the bottom of Jan Ozzy's shoes so I would know which pair of shoes belonged to which doll. God forbid they get messed up. *Ahem.*

Oh dear. I don't think those pudgy toes are going to fit. Nana, what do you think?

Still trying. It's a bit like watching Cinderella, isn't it?

I love the determination she has and I am so proud that she gets that from me. Nothing is going to stop my girl.

See? I told you so.