September 30, 2010

Fall Wardrobe

Boots are Uggs, classic short.

Hoodie and sweater by American Eagle.

Wrap top by Replicca on Etsy.

Dress by Ellainaboutique on Etsy.

Everything else, JCrew.

More delicious fall fashion. LOVE.

On My To Do List

Chili and cornbread (photo and recipe by Smitten Kitchen)

and vegetable beef minestrone soup (photo and recipe by Pioneer Woman).

Forgive me. I had a light lunch and am starving. Also, weather this weekend will be PERFECT for either of these options. Too bad I have no idea where my pots and pans are.

And Dear B: This morning I woke up with a biggest smile on my face, even though I fell out of bed twice last night within five minutes. Thank you for leaving our book on my coffee pot and agreeing to go steady with me forever. I love everything about your person. Always.

It's Time For More Blankets!

It's been a while since I've done an update on Mountain Baby Blankets. You blessed people have continued to sew and ship and our contact at the Christian Appalachian Project has continued to distribute your blessings.

And, Gals, it's time to man your machines and grab your hooks again.

It's been in the low 40's every night this week in Eastern Kentucky. Cool weather is coming. Toes will be cold. LET'S CHANGE THAT.

We are absolutely still making and shipping blankets to the CAP for distribution to infants and children in the poverty-ridden areas of the Appalachian Mountains in Eastern Kentucky. If you want to be a part of this effort, you may!

The CAP has asked for blankets - sized infant through twin - in any machine-washable material. They will also happily distribute purchased and gently used blankets to the babies there. These are the only requirements.

Many ladies emailed me saying that what began as a way to bust their fabric stash became a quilt made with love and adoration for a child they'd never met. God saw fit to whip together the stitches on these blankets with love, mercy, and living water, I'd say!

We've sent more than 800 blankets so far. Think we can reach 1,000? How merciful and beautiful that would be!

Just last night I got an email from a gal who visited my blog for the first time and was moved to help. What a blessing she is - that you ALL are for reading, for praying, and for providing warmth for these children.

Because of you, they won't sleep cold and alone. They will be warmed by a blanket and the grace and mercy you send them.

If you are interested, please contact me by leaving a comment here or by emailing me at racheljcox at yahoo dot com. For more information on past efforts and some details about the blankets, look HERE through my posts in the MBB category.

God bless each of you and THANK YOU, on behalf of every family you have wonderfully affected!

September 29, 2010

Whole Lot Of Moving Going On


(Mabel carries Baby into the kitchen the day before moving. Topknot included.)

In between boxes and working, I can barely look up right now. I promise to update soon.

In fact, I took a ton of pictures last weekend (but can't locate the camera cord)!

September 27, 2010

The Golden Girls Tradition

Does everyone know by now that I love The Golden Girls? I can't help it. I have such fond memories of watching the show with my mom when she was home recovering from her radiation and chemotherapy. We'd sit in her king sized bed and laugh and laugh (not that I understood all of the jokes at 7, thank God). I was just grateful that she was alive and sitting beside me.

Then when I was a teenager and she worked 3-11 as a nurse, she'd come home and we'd sit in the living room and enjoy a snack together, watching The Golden Girls. Some solid girl talk and memories right there. [In the spirit of keeping it real, we'd also watch Are You Being Served?, but this is not a story about that show.]

This show is mashed potatoes to me. Comfort food.

I own all of the seasons on DVD. All three of the kids can sing the theme song. Mindy and I regularly spit out Golden Girl one-liners into regular conversation. You could quiz me any day and I'm stomp your socks off on Golden Girls trivia. Not sure if I'm proud or humiliated by that, but either way, there you are.

And so it became a tradition that every evening after I picked the kids up from the sitters, the boys would take off on their bikes to their friend's house, and Moo and I would put together a snack.

Usually fresh vegetables, cheese, and hummus.

And you can bet I could barely get a bite in edgewise. Moo is allllll about the vegetables and cheese and hummus.


And then I would change my clothes into comfies and Mabel would ask for The Golden Girls. Every evening we'd sit on the floor in the living room and eat our snack and watch The Golden Girls.


Mabel snaps a snow pea while Rose and Dorothy prepare a song for the Miami theme song contest.



"Miami, you're cuter than... an interuterine..."

I love that this is something that I've continued with my own daughter. Quality time is found in unusual places sometimes.

September 26, 2010

Home Style

I am continuing gather ideas on style for our home. I'm loving these (sources on my Tumblr, though most of the credit goes to Caitlin Wilson):

Still with the yellow, I know. Can't help it. Just screams HAPPINESS to me.

Am now thinking of this icy blue for the kitchen and dining room, though:

Still want the grey in the bedroom.

Hmmm... love.

September 23, 2010

I Am Old

Really, I wasn't sure what to title this post. So I went with the sentiment that I feel each and every single time that I look at these school pictures, which just came home two days ago. [And by the by, I totally forgot it was picture day and sent them to school in comfy rocker tees. Duh.]

If you've ever wondered what Shoes looks like, take a look at blondie up there. Except, Trevor's toe head and dark blue eyes are all his own.

I'd still say Drew is 50/50 between Shoes and me. Man, I love that Drew's eyes are more green now than ever. Same color as my father.

Anyway, I can't believe they are as big as they are. Holy shit, they'll be in high school before long. Over dinner last night, Trevor was asking Bryon about driving. Seriously. Slow the bus down, please. Where did my little boys go?

How Loud The Music Is

The other night while I was packing I was marvelled at what it felt like when I knew I had to move out here. I remember the conversation with Mindy on an afternoon in July that went something like, “why don’t you?” and then my realization that I absolutely had to take my life in my hands and take care of the kids. I had nothing. Well – everything (God and mom and healthy kids), but nothing tangible. No plan, no roots anymore. I remember it literally felt like God reached into my guts and yanked. He told me where to be. He told me where my plan was and I had to trust Him. When I knew I wanted to move, I HAD TO. Nothing would have held me back. It was like a magnet out here and I knew that, despite not knowing what God had planned for me in South Dakota, he wanted me and those kids HERE. So I let go and let Him make the way.

And so I loaded that UHaul alone one night, put the 3 kids in the truck and drove west – with God pulling me the whole way. God made the job for me and gave me the friends who allowed us to stay with them while we got settled.

It was kind of like hearing a soft noise in the distance… God was always there, like a melody playing in my life – but in a quieter way. Then I drove west and as I cranked the radio up loud and watched the corn and the wind turbines pass the windows, the music got louder. Little stops in Minnesota and crossing the Mississippi River and it was louder yet. Then I drove into Da Plains and I could hear Him singing louder than ever, putting his song right into my heart.

It does not surprise me one single little bit that Bryon was here all along. He feels like such a reward to me and I am so, so blessed by him.

It does not surprise me how in love I am with this place that I live, how I can breathe better out here. How seeing the rolling hills, the plains, the corn and beans and rolled hay, and the wind turbines actually makes my heart beat faster. I love how loud the music is.

He Made Me Cry

The other day, B and I were emailing at work. (It's one of the plusses of working with someone you love - the accidental glance in the hallway, their voice in the middle of the day, the email that stops your breathing.)

I said: "I could easily choose to think about spreadsheets and email and roof shingles and every other overwhelming thing in front of us for every moment of every day, but instead I push some of those thoughts out to concentrate on what it feels like to love you. And I do it often because it keeps a smile on my face. And because my priority is loving you. And it also facilitates whirlies."

And then he said: "That is why you are my significant, highly demanded, beautiful, intelligent, hard-working, best mom, love of my life."

.... which made me cry sitting right at my desk.

September 21, 2010

It's Fall, Y'All

Every year I get all excited about Fall and title my post this way. It's embarrassing, actually. Or not. Because I say "y'all" all the time.

And because I enjoy continuity, want to know what else is ironic about last fall? Yep, I was moving then, too.

Fall is my most favorite season. Still warm during the day, but chilly on the bookends. That means the quilts need to be extra cozy on the bed (two of them now) in the morning, and it makes me wear knee socks at night. The sunlight changes and my nose starts hollering because the crops are due and harvesting (that's not a favorite part, but I'm just keeping it real.)

Fall is back-to-school, football games early on Saturday morning with a cup of coffee warming my hands, starting on a new scarf, and for me this year - planning all sorts of things. The move, obviously. The construction on our together home. A wedding. (Oh my Lord I did just say that.)

Before I get ahead of myself (because there is nothing specific to announce just yet), let's talk some more about Fall. One of my favorite things about this season is the food I get to start making.

Believe me when I tell you that Bryon lucked out in this department. While I'm no Barefoot Contessa, I can cook, Baby. I also never thought that being a single parent was a permission slip to make kid food every night either, so cook I do.

(Apologies for making you dig, but all of these recipes (and proper citation) can be found here.)

In the fall, I adore the colors outside of my window.

That's Spearfish Canyon, just outside of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Gorgeous, no?

Fall means BOOTS...

(mine are chocolate brown)

... and cool bags...

And super darling duds. I can't WAIT to wear my tweed jacket!

This fall also means decorating a home with the love of my life. And since that will include my leather furniture, I have something like this in mind (more to come on this).

Fall is cozy and comfortable and soothing. It means wrapping up in the things you love, and being thankful for all sorts of blessings.

Happy Fall, Y'All!

September 20, 2010

Soaking It All In


This past weekend Bryon and I moved the freezer from my house to his house. While the kids and I will be living in an apartment until we are official, some of our things need to make their way to their new home.

As I drove behind B, I sat soaking it all in.

I soaked in this man moving me toward him, asking my children and me to be a part of him for always.

I soaked in the fact that the boys never want to ride with me anymore, always choosing to "just be boys" with Bryon.

I soaked in his dependable truck with 130,000 miles on it, which we later replaced the ball joints on together (okay, so I just removed and retightened 2 bolts, but I totally gave it hell).

I soaked in the gorgeous scenery and marveled at the beauty of God's great sky before me.

I soaked in the memory of God telling me that I needed to move exactly here.

I soaked in the fact that I really and truly must wash the bug guts off my window more often.

Oh, It Was a Big Day



Sissy finally had her first big girl haircut. I had trimmed her bangs, but she was getty super fuzzy, so it was time. To say she was excited was an understatement. I made an appointment with my stylist for Mabel, but when she cancelled unexpectedly (and became not my stylist anymore), I couldn't not take her. So we went to the closest place instead.

Nothing fancy, and I think it took less than 5 minutes. Baby came along and sat beside Moo in the chair. She kept saying, "Mommy, I pretty! I'n a big girl!"

Be girl, she is. Oh, it was a big day.

An Update On My One

I have written about the One a few times.

And I so know I have found my One.

But I have realized something since then. I should rephrase some of the things I have said because I now have a better way to explain the needs in my life.

First I should explain that B goes to a men's Bible study every other week. The last lesson was on the sanctification of marriage. It was a rough but amazing lesson (and if you know who Matt Chandler is, you know what I mean.) Something very frank occured to me while listening to that lesson with B. Something I already knew, but needed to be hit in the face with.

Jesus is my One. He always was and always will be.

Bryon is the right man for me BECAUSE I CHOOSE FOR HIM TO BE.


You can listen to the lesson here.