November 30, 2010

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall...

Who's the sassiest of them all?






Princess Moo Rae, of course.

Odds and Ends

(These shots are a couple of weeks old - notice the old rug? Also, Bryon has a full beard now.) Lots of ends in the air here.





See? Ends.

VICTORY.

Now come the odds.

Don't ever let it be said that I don't dance it out once in a while.




Odd. Just... odd.

November 29, 2010

Sunday and Other Things



Still with the music on Sunday nights. It's not always; it's mostly. But I love it. Selection runs the gamut (nice big hair and Jesus up there, no?) and both of us always use it to say things to one another. For us it is a means of communication.

This long weekend was much needed. Oh holy gracious, much needed. Let's see if I can sum up:

  • Watched cooking shows for days with Bryon, along with the Travel Channel in an effort to plan our honeymoon
  • Made Thanksgiving dinner for our 6 plus Bryon's mom
  • Watched umpteen movies both alone (chick flicks lounging in the bed, yo!) with my honey, and with the kids
  • Finished 2 more scarves and started the next one
  • Cleaned out the garage (not me, B) and bought the first bit of basement implements
  • Planned our wedding
  • Christmas shopped online
  • Decorated for Christmas
  • NO WORK EMAIL, NO WORK AT ALL x 2!


It was so wonderful. It's surreal to think of last year's Thanksgiving. Shoes had the kids and I was alone. I mean, I didn't feel lonely and we had our family moment before they left, but I was in fact, alone on that day. This year, we have an entirely new perspective. We have a whole family. Shoes did not take the kids and they were sad about that, but such is life. We celebrated as our 6 instead. We need to have a thankful heart, find the good in every moment - and the kids did a good job at it.



And Dear B: I cannot note here all of the things discussed over this long weekend. It would be impossible to express how much more comfortable I feel today and also not appropriate to share all of our details on this space - yet. But details, we've got. Know what else we've got? Each other and blessings too numerous to count. More than anything this weekend, I am thankful for God's grace and promise - for there came you.

November 23, 2010

Girl Quilts

So, I've somehow managed to keep cranking on the quilts. Andy's back is finished and the final fabric (more of Heather Ross's campers) came in the mail yesterday, so I can finish the front this week, too.

Naturally, it was time to start on the girls' quilts. So stinking fun to sew with pink and purple, People! H helped me pick out the final fabrics for her quilt. She watched me use the rotary cutter and sew seams with eyes as big as saucers. It was a joy to have her helping.

Here are H's final fabrics:



And her design (that spiral down there is a wonky log cabin made with the same fabrics in the strips):


Mabel's final fabrics:





And her design (same wonky log cabin block, and I'm not sure about the two strips on the left... might take one off yet):




For brevity I used the same colors on the designs, but the fabrics are not the same. Each one will have pieces of the other in it - like sisterhood, I suppose - but both will be unique. H loves purple, so hers has more of that in it - and Mabel, pink. So fun!
Progress!





MOUNTAIN BABY BLANKETS UPDATE:



I'd like to take an moment, too to say THANK YOU to all of you who continue to contact me about shipping blankets to the underpriviledged children in Eastern Kentucky. There is no deadline for this project; we are absolutely still sending them! Please contact me via comment or email to find out more information. I believe we are nearing 800+ blankets - because of all of you! It is true this project is managing itself right now; with everything I have going on I am pleasantly thrilled to know how the momentum keeps going. How God touches all of you to join in. Thank you!
PS: Hey, Linda (Don't Poke The Baby Linda - yes, you!) - I have been trying to get ahold of you for days but for some weird reason I cannot comment on your blog. Anyhow, the boots? Yeah, they are from Lucky Brand. Find them HERE. If you search the interwebs for coupon codes, you might find one. I got mine seriously cheap using codes. Good luck! PS: LOVE the size of your brood!

Sneak Peek: 2

I found these yesterday in the dollar bin at Target. Our guests will certainly need them. Average high/low for our spot is 39/17 that time of year.

Also in my cart? White underarmor and a creamy fleece jacket. LAYERS.

November 22, 2010

Number 3 Turned 6

This weekend was super busy.

Before I share, allow me to tell you that my drive to work this morning took 90 minutes. It took 90 minutes because winter is finally hitting Da Plains. In fact, it will be below zero on Thanksgiving with the wind chill. Is it wrong for that to make me excited?!?! This morning the roads were a sheet of ice. Bryon texted me on his way in at 5am to say it was snowing (oh how my heart leapt at that!). Now, I didn't see any big fat flakes fall, so in my mind it didn't happen yet. But it sort of did. Made me super excited for the season that's coming. I looooooove snow. Have I mentioned that?

Anyway, on with the weekend!

Our #3 turned 6. Love on the chocolate cake with pink, purple, and blue icing, Peeps!




It wasn't cold in the house, but Bryon looks so damn good in a stocking cap, I ask him to wear it as often as possible. Notice anything hanging on the window? How about framed in the corner? New!




Also new pillows for the downstairs couch (which is not downstairs yet) and a new cousin for my 3.






Hmmm. More framed photos in the hall.





Did I mention that Andy was manning the camera?






...which I just noticed - *smirk*. [Future sister-in-law alert!] Hello, Auntie Gretchen.




After sloppy joes and cake, #3 opened presents with her audience...




That's Uncle Mitch chilling in front of the canvased wall. Don't the canvases look amazing?!


As luck would have it Andy ended up sharing some home improvements while simultaneously documenting Hayley's big day. Thankya, Son.
[More home shots to come!]


And Dear B: We're solid. Love, love, love the spot that we reached this weekend. And you cowboyed up. Thank you for making us your priority. I love you!

November 19, 2010

Friday Stew

I love Fridays. Fridays = time with our 6. Uninterrupted by work, but lovingly interrupted by life and its blessings. For the whole weekend.

I'm rocking my uniform today: a pair of skinnies and my Lucky boots, black v-neck sweater with a yellow tee underneath. I blew my hair out straight this morning. I'm still loving the wave, but I enjoy being able to play back and forth. I've been thinking about how I want to wear my hair on our wedding day, but I'm betting it will be a decision I make the morning of. It will be casual, I am certain of that.

Last night we went out to dinner with Bryon's mother for H's birthday. She got there before us and had to ask for a table for 7! I love that.

I always, always, always wanted a big family. I worked with a guy in Kentucky once; he was one of 13 children. The stories he'd tell were so fantastic. I'm not sure how his mother had a hair left on her head, but... wow. I also worked with a mother of 5 then (same place) who shared her way of staying organized with me. I was pregnant with Trevor and dreamed about one day lining up 4 backpacks on little pegs on the wall.... or doing up an organized assembly line for laundry. Little baskets with names on them. Working around the house with my children - one doing this and another doing that, one underfoot and another helping with dinner. Anyway. Last night before I closed my eyes, I realized that I will soon have 4 backpacks lined up on little pegs on the wall! Talk about a dream come true!

Tonight I'm going to make H's chocolate cake. I'm going to slap a piece of bread on it like BakedBree this time, see how it works at keep the top soft and ready for Saturday frosting. I've previously covered my cakes with foil or plastic wrap and it makes the top all gooey because it traps in the moisture. I'm very unfond (is that a word?) of sticky cake tops + icing = dragged crumbly mess through the frosting. Having a different go at it this time. I'm also going to use the crumb coat method (pre-icing the cake top to seal in the crumbs, chilling, and then re-icing the cake) this time, if you care.

I also want to tape H's room and work on a quilt this weekend, but we will see. Might order my wedding coat, too!

And Dear B: Last night you rubbed my back while we watched It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. I'm not sure why that's your favorite show, but I love you anyway. And because you are DVRing Grey's for me every week. Anyway, I like to think that I am a very strong person - I am proud of that - but it is true that I need reminders of some things every once in a while. So you leaning down and quietly, but deliberately whispering, "you...are...beautiful" to me? PERFECT. I had no idea how I needed to hear that until you said it and filled my cup. Thank you for searching out my empty spots and filling them with your love and homeboyness.

November 17, 2010

Wednesday And My Head Is Spinning

.... in a really, really good way. Very productive. I love that feeling.



Last night, Bryon went out with one of The Boys and another friend for a man's evening. Beer, sports, whatever. I stopped on the way home at the fabric store, Michael's, and McDonald's for dinner. After dinner, the kids drifted off to watch Disney in the other room while I turned up the stereo and settled into this:



This movie can cause a couple of things to happen. The first notable thing is that I start speaking with a British accent (and I thought that phrase with a British accent as I was typing it just so you know.) The second notable thing is that fabric tends to explode itself all over the room. And sometimes, there is dancing across the floor as well. Not saying there was last night. Actually - yes, there was last night. I'll admit it.

The scene where Daniel - the Prime Minister - is relaxing in his quarters after taking on the President of the United States and "Jump" comes on the radio? a golden oldie for a golden oldie - yeah, I dance that out every time. Hugh Grant is so stinking cute during that scene.

This movie also makes my uterus twinge at missing my Lulu. *Sniffle.*

Okay, so on with it, eh?
Yesterday I had grand ideas of how to rip Trevor's quilt top apart and turn it into some tween boy dream bedding. Yeah. Well, I ripped that sucker into three pieces. I used the biggest on the back and the other two on the front, along with lots of Kona white, Kona grey, and a darling green and white print. Which means that yes, I finished the front and back of Trevor's full size quilt last night. Whoot! Looks a little like this:




Next I laid out the strips I'd started sewing for Andrew's quilt on the floor and immediately I knew they weren't right. They might have been perfect a year ago when I picked out fabric for him (it seems that long ago anyway) - all puppy dogs and fishies and little boy cute. It was perfectly lovely (and dang near big enough for a crib quilt already at least), but didn't identify with him anymore. So, I folded that away and picked out a new group of fabrics with his help. There is one Japanese puppy print, but that's it. The focal piece is Heather Ross's camper fabric.




Like this:



I sewed a few panels together, made a big piecey strip, and called it a night. I made time before bed to fill the 12x18 frames I found at Michael's.


So today my head is spinning with all that I have left to do. I'm not sure when it's going to get done. I don't have a plan for getting the sewing machine back out. H's birthday is tomorrow, so we're going out to dinner. Friday we'll start taping and painting and I need to bake a chocolate cake. Saturday will be H's birthday party. Maybe Sunday? OY!


Still left:

Finalization of Christmas card design (yes, I'm changing it to remove the kissing mushiness)
6 more scarves (I think... maybe 60 scarves at this point)
Andy's quilt
Moo's quilt
H's quilt
Painting H's room
Builder/permits/wood for the basement
Thanksgiving dinner
Reservations at a certain lodge in February for a certain glittery occassion
Christmas shopping
LAUNDRY

November 16, 2010

Tuesday, A Mighty Update






So, yes, the boots arrived. They are 1,000% as fantastic as I had hoped they would be and their buttery leather is carressing my calves as I type. I squealed when I opened the purple box and pulled back the tissue paper. Really, I did. Bryon had porkchops on the stove and he gave me the side-smile. I had to take a moment and recompose myself before touching them. So soft but so structured. Classic with some funk- just like moi. They are my most favorite boots EVAH.



**********************************



Last night we ate dinner as 6 and planned H's 6th birthday. I've got another girl cake to make! She requested a chocolate cake with pink, purple, and blue frosting. Got it. And I absolutely cannot wait to mix my love up in a bowl and bake it for that little patoot. I'm so blessed to be able to add love for her into my heart. God is amazing. And I'm super excited that she is excited that I am baking for her!

I did find time last night to put another layer of paint on the end table. Whoot!

I did NOT find time to plan out whatever quilting I'm going to attempt to conquer tonight. Ouch. That's like going to a crop without planning your scrapbook pages ahead of time. Actually, it's like not planning pages and showing up without any scrapping supplies. OY. On the fly, I can tell you:

Trevor: Has a quilt top made, which (and please don't shoot me), I'm going to rip apart into at least two pieces. I'm no longer in love with the direction I was going with his quilt (too little boy-ish for my almost 10 year old), so I'm adding some solid pieces. White. Grey if I can find it. I need to bump it up bigger than a twin, too. I'll use the rest of the squares I made on the back. Come to think of it, he may end up with a two-sided quilt. Whoot!

Drew: I've picked out fabrics and started sewing coin stacks, but am also no longer in love with that direction. So, I'm going to wonk it all up on purpose and make it more 8 year old friendly. Boy howdy, I'm in denial that my boys are as old as they are already! His will be twin-sized.

H and Moo: The girls and I have stewed over fabric umpteen times (one of my favorite activities with them). I know what they like. I know that H is far more purple inclined than Moo. Moo prefers pink every time. They love the same prints - Heather Ross's mermaids and bicycles are on the list, among others. So they will match mostly. I want lots of white, too. Their room will be purple, so let's make those quilts POP. My plan for both twin quilts is to split the prints up, make H's more purple heavy and Moo's more pink. Big chunks mostly, but I'll make up a square or a heart or some kind of paddywhack for each one. I also think I'll embroider something on each.

Great Scott, I've got 39 days. Lulu did it; so can I! Lulu, tips? Please?



**********************************



The end of November also means my bestie's birthday is a-comin' (Lulu, do you mind that I announce that to the world?). Oh - and Thanksgiving!

This will be our first Thanksgiving as a family. I haven't cooked a Thanksgiving meal for anyone other than my kids in several years - and if you disclude Nana - hmmm... I really can't find an example in my memory because my ex-mother in law did all of the official cooking. Barf.

I'm all a-twitter with turkey ideas. I bought a 16 lb bird to serve 3 adults and 4 children. I'm pretty sure we'll have enough for leftovers. I'm not planning to stuff it with stuffing, but to shove a lemon, an orange, an onion, and some garlic cloves in there instead. Going to see what happens.

Bryon is making stuffing (it's his thing and as his independent self, he absolutely deserves to make this his way - go, Honey, go!). I also want to make mashed potatoes, rolls, and steam some veggies. Have a can of yams with mini-marshmallows and jellied cranberry sauce, too. If I were cooking for more of his (our) family, I would MAKE the cranberry jelly and brine the turkey. But, time is short, Folks. I've got 4 kids these days, Yo.


**********************************


Have I mentioned that Judy is coming to Da Plains? Oh yes, yes, yes! She will be here in 24 days. I'm certain she will want to Christmas shop and go to church and watch Bridget Jones. Smother the kids with her Nana-ness and butterfly kisses. I can't wait to see her. We will certainly be having a dinner while she is here as well; Bryon's mom and my mom are so similar, we can't wait to see them together.

Christmas shopping needs more time. I've gotten a good start, but there are more people to shop for and no longer does B need to wait until the days before to shop. I'm on the case! I've also got to get crocheting because I have at least 6 more scarves to make...

Also, at some point? Need to get the permits and the builder in the same place and do the print for the walkout. Get building! We know we can frame it in one weekend with The Boys, but we need to get crackin'.

So. This was a mighty update. Now I'm off to make another list or three...

November 15, 2010

Bracing For Snow

Creature Comforts.




Image via Apartment Therapy - I love Dana's home, too!





Lucky Brand (those are the black version of my boots).





And this cowl, from here .





Can you tell that I've adopted a uniform? Scarf, tee and cardigan, skinny jeans, and boots. C'est moi. Wasn't intentional, but I've worn several combinations of that over the past couple of weeks. Can't WAIT for my boots to hit the doorstep. Mercy. Might have to sleep in them.



Speaking of boots, Mabel has inherited a pair of H's snowboots from last season. They are pink suede and have little pink pom-poms on the front. THE CUTEST. They are her everyday shoe now.


This weekend brought with it the threat of snow. We've still only seen icy spit out there... no real, fat flakes yet. But it's coming! The boys and Bryon (and by that I mean Bryon) put up the Christmas lights on the house. I lit my apples and spice candle (which makes me want to watch Bridget Jones and Love Actually, if I'm being honest), and made two scarves. We brought another couch inside and I started painting an end table. Put several more boxes up into the attic and brought down the Christmas decorations. I also had time to squeeze in a date with my cowboy, chat up some wedding plans (oh yes, I did just say that), and made my kids' favorite chicken noodle vegetable soup.


This is my list for the week:

- Take truckload to donation center
- Finish painting end table
- Tape H's bedroom, clean ceiling fan
- Hang canvases, pictures as they arrive (anyone have a good source for 12x18 frames?)
- Pick up a skein for fringe and start on scarf #3
- Plan Thanksgiving dinner
- Plan H's birthday, make her cake
- Plan quilts for the kidlets

Bryon is going out with one of The Boys tomorrow night so the kids and I are on our own. I plan to use the time as wisely as possible. As in McDonald's for dinner and full on sewing frenzy. Or planning. Or something that includes fabric laid out all over the living room floor and somebody with a British accent on my television.


PS: I started Christmas shopping today! So excited!

November 12, 2010

Sneak Peeks



The wedding boots.


On their way as of this morning. I cannot tell you the joy ordering these gave to me. Knowing I won't wear a wedding dress, but instead get to wear something that is so entirely ME, to stand outside in the snow (we think)... these boots were the first step. And so gorgeous I can't stand it.

November 10, 2010

Christmas







Oh, the iPad. I originally wanted a Kindle for Christmas until I realized two things:


1) the Kindle only has a black and white screen and honestly, who wants to read a photo blog in black and white or try to follow one of Pioneer Woman's tasty recipes without full color (not that you can do that on a Kindle)? Not I... and,


2) the iPad is fully capable on iTunes, iBooks (their version of Kindle), YouTube, maps, email, calendar, and more - all in full color.... SWOON.


YES, PLEASE.


Oh, Honey.....


And Dear B: This morning I ordered my wedding boots. They are brown and delicious. Whether we decide on snow or sand, I have them in hand. Or will in a week. This makes me incredibly happy! Thank you for standing up to your Shoes, for transforming your home into our home with me, and for being so in tune with my needs. I will never forget your face as you told me you'd never loved anyone more... so sweet. I, too, have never loved or committed more. And thank you for swooping in at the exact right moment to hug Number One last night, as he struggled at bedtime worrying about those he loves not going to Heaven. You are already leading. You are amazing. And yes, Number One is getting smelly armpits.

November 8, 2010

Decorating For Boys

It's been a little girl heavy on this place for a while. Time to switch that up. I have been dreaming and scheming of decorating my boys' rooms (with their input as well, of course) for months. It is true that designing for boys is more difficult, but only because (and this is just my opinion) boys tend to have so many specific interests. It's harder to hit a home run with them if you don't want something generic. If you want to design a room that really fits your little/not-so-little boy, you really need to dive inside of them. Find out what they love... and then dwell on that during your planning.

Conveniently, I spend countless hours online at home, searching for images to inspire me. We find something we love and then look for it cheaper online.



ANDY: LOVES MAPS, FORTS, AND ALL THINGS CAMO

Here is Andy's room moodboard:




Floating bunk by BumperCrop (wouldn't this make the most fantastic fort?! - right up Drew's alley and total luck that Bryon is drooling to build this)


Inflatable globes to hang from the ceiling, found HERE.


Mycurlycue.com map





Chalkboard map light and camo bedding inspiration from PBTeen


TREVOR: LOVES BOOKS, LINCOLN BREWSTER, FOOTBALL, GIRLS, AND ALSO BOOKS. DID I MENTION BOOKS?


Trevor's moodboard:







Camo duvet and football mural from PBTeen. VW bus pillow from Ohlittlerabbit



From Wall Worthy via Etsy

Trevor will also have a LOT of reading books in his room... most of them, in fact. We need a place to store them and the kid loves books. Seems like a good storage solution. He will also have a desk and chair in his room. So, I am on the hunt for a vintage desk and bookshelf!