June 30, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

1. Roz paintings. This is so, so pretty. The little chapel reminds me of when I was little. Pinned.

2. Amazing chunky necklaces.  

3. The Daybook blog. Go, read her. She’s hilarious! LOVE.

4. Vintage bedsheets for the kiddos. Pinned.

5.  This shit is still the bomb - the ultimate holy-grail smoothing serum for me. Find it here. It is worth every single, solitary penny.

6. I have become obsessed with chunky jewelry. What’s the deal with that? I love this necklace. I’d wear it to bed or around a campfire on a Thursday. Pinned. My favorite source for jewelry p0rn is here: http://dulldiamond.bigcartel.com/products

7. Embroidering horses onto Mabel's quilt. 

8. Embroidering mermaids onto Hayley's quilt.

9. Learning new embroidery stitches!

10. Totally darling outfits, perfect for watching a junior football game. 

June 29, 2011


There is so much to tell you today that I’m not sure where to begin or how linear this post will or will not be. Actually, that was kind of funny. You all know I never write in a straight line. Oh well, giddy up!

Last night we arrived home to find a hole cut above the new fireplace. This hole was because the builder forgot to include an outlet/cable/HDMI spot for the television on that wall. Oops! That will be re-drywalled today. I am told that the second layer of mud will go up and the entire downstairs will be sanded today. Texture comes tomorrow, I believe. Then – paint! I need to buy TEN GALLONS of paint, yo. That doesn’t even include primer. I’m so excited I can’t see straight.

Would you like to see the color palette for the basement? [see if you can guess which one is the girls' room]

I wore a favorite dress to work today and while I love it, it can be revealing if I lean over too far. I’m doing my best to keep my tits in my top, I promise. [Lord, I think I just had a Bridget Jones flashback.] I have a complex about this because a production worker here at the factory commented on this dress the last time I wore it. He was relatively polite (and entirely harmless), but I’d like for nobody but my husband to stare at me. Yucko.

For dinner tonight we’re having leftovers. BBQ chicken legs from Monday and nachos from last night. Works for me, considering I MUST work on Mabel’s embroidery tonight. I’m about 75% done with the embroidery on her quilt top. Just a bit more to go. About 4 hours worth, I’d say – maybe a bit less. Unless of course I find my Wee Wonderfuls patterns and somehow use them to mock up a horse/unicorn or a mermaid. Just sayin’.

I am searching for artwork on Etsy. I’d like a piece in the bedroom and another in the living room. Something painted and pastoral, I think.

We’re not an all-photo family, though that is what is hanging in our home right now. I want to mix it up! Did I already tell you that Bryon never had anything on his walls to speak of – ever – until I moved in? A mirror or two, but that was it. Good thing he married a photographer, right?! I’ve already got a list of photos to print to change up some of the framed pieces. It’s so fun to update them. I always store the old photos in the frames, too.

What do you people think about young girls wearing bikinis? I’m talking girls that are say, 8-14 years old. I’m on the fence. I’m okay with it when they are little babies… but when they get older, I get a little weirded out by it. I don’t think it’s appropriate for a 10 year old to wear one. Or a 13 year old. They’re too gawky and innocent and… DEVELOPING. The boys that age are walking hornballs… not to mention protecting a child’s virtue and creepo perverts and things. I feel better once they are older again – more mindful of their bodies and keeping their parts covered up. Modesty must survive! I’m worried about this because Hales is a bikini girl. In a couple of years, we might have to shut that down for a while. What say you, readers?

Black beans are my favorite. Black beans with avocado. Scratch that; that is Runner Up. My favorite is an avocado and garden green tomato sandwich with Dimock cheddar cheese, grated. Pardon me for a moment as my eyes roll back into my head from deliciousness.

The husband likes sweets more than I do. There, I said it.

I am a little exhilarated at the thought of painting this weekend. I’m a very good and very fast painter – did you know? Am. My record is 2 rooms in one day – primer + 2 coats, and that includes the wait in between coats. It’s all about air movement and timing. I really want to see if I can crank this basement out in one weekend. I might let Husband help me (*wink*) so that should help things. He’s promised to do ceilings, which is great. I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m ready to go get all of my supplies. I want to start NOW but you know, we have to wait for them to actually finish the dang thing. Sigh.

June 28, 2011

She's A Maniac, Maniac On The Course...

This past Saturday was just about the most beautiful day that could be. It was about 75 with just a smooth breeze and warm sunshine. Puffy, fluffy clouds overhead.

B and I (and Hales) spent some time cleaning the house in the morning and then she went with her mom for the rest of the day. Since the basement wasn't ready for paint yet, we were perplexed about what to do with our free afternoon. We talked about remaining plans for the house, oh yes. But then we went to the sporting goods store and got more golf shit.

It's an expensive hobby you know.

Off we went to one of Bryon's favorite courses - about 30 minutes from our house. This little country club was tucked in some softly rolling hills between a corn field and a cow pasture. I was in Heaven! God's music was super loud.

I can honestly say I've never ridden on a golf cart within hand's distance of a cow. Or corn, for that matter. But I can now!

My game started off relatively poopy; I am a beginner after all. But on hole 5, everything turned around. By hole 6, I did this with the first swing of my driver: (It's hard to see, but that's my pretty pink ball sitting 10 feet from the pin.)

The husband beamed with pride. On hole 7, I flashed him. Oh yes I did - hot pink push up right on the green, Baby.

Told you. Puffy, fluffy clouds.

After we played 9, we both hit such a stride that we considered playing another 9. But instead, we practiced chipping. Apparently I chop instead of ... whatever it is I'm supposed to do.

At least I look fantastic at it, though.

We drove home to share a shower because we had to meet some friends for dinner. When that place didn't show the UFC fights, we left to find a pool table and a jukebox. SCORE.

At some point on this evening, I updated my Facebook status with our picture and a friend immediately complimented the amount of time we spend together. It’s true, Bryon and I really do almost every thing together. Wake, drive, work, lunch, drive, cook, clean, eat, cuddle, golf, shower, sleep,… other stuff. All together. We’ve never been any different. Sure, we need and spend time apart – during the day at work, maybe a run alone in the evening or a shower alone in the morning. By and large though, we’re all up in each other’s face. I’m sure that will dissipate some, but I hope not much. He’s still the one person I want to tell about my day, my dreams, and my worries. I'm the same for him. He’s the man I play with and the man I pray with. It's awesome.

June 27, 2011

House Update 2

As we expected (thank God), the drywallers finished up on Friday. Tomorrow they mud, tape, and texturize.

Here you go, Cox 3:  house update #2.

As you can see, Number 3 is excited. She also confessed this weekend that she misses the kids. That took a lot, believe me. While we wait another 4 weeks, we'll be busy cleaning up, planning and soon - painting the other half of our home.

More home posts coming soon. We finalized our paint colors this weekend!

June 24, 2011

How About A Peek, Peeps?

Oh my, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday morning a drywaller interrupted my hair drying at 7am. He and his drywaller friends spiffed up our downstairs while we were at work yesterday. Just a little. *giggle* I'MSOEXCITED.

I posted these on Facebook last night for the kids to see, but you brave people have been waiting about as long as we have for this dang thing to get crackin', so here you go. A peek.

How about a corny blog tour instead of a peek?

Firstly, please allow me to say that we do not have a "basement" really. We call it the basement, but it's not one. It's a full walkout. The only area underground is about 2 feet in the front of the house (Trevor's room and a closet). The rest is ground level. If you're curious. Shoes might be, who knows? Anyway, on with it.

Coming downstairs from the upper level, you'd see this if you were at my house: the new family room. There is a gas fireplace in the corner, which will have a tv above it come Christmas. Trevor's room is off to the left, along with a large under-stairs storage closet for my sewin' and scrappin' needs (also our tornado shelter). There is also a patio door that leads to the backyard to the right (facing west).

At this moment, there was also a mother-in-law in our basement. Love her!

Assuming you went left into Trevor's room, this is what you would see. Trev, your bed will be to the right of this door and your closet will be to the left. This bedroom faces east, so that fits our early riser quite well.

Here you are, Trev... the inside (so far). Your bed is going to go over here...  There is the drywall that will go up today.

At this point in our tour, I would like to forget to take pictures of the laundry room and full bath. Mmm-kay? Please forgive me.

Next up - and at the other end of the house entirely - is the girls' room. Here, Daddy Bryon and my beautimus mother-in-law are looking at the backyard. The girls' twin bunks will be to Bryon's right and their double closet is that cut-out right there to Sharon's left. This room is in the northwest corner of our home, directly beneath the master bedroom. Can't wait to listen to their little girl conversations through the ventilation.

Upon leaving the little girls' room, you'd see this:

When we get home tonight, all of the drywall will be finished. They might even start mudding today if they have time. Otherwise, we're on schedule to mud Monday, tape and texture Tuesday. By next weekend we'll be painting!

I can't tell you how excited I am to buy paint this weekend. HOLLAH!

Also, I need to tell you that Bryon walked around the house last night with the silliest little smile upon his face. He mowed the yard with a grin. In all of his years trying to keep the house after his divorce, he never thought he'd ever see it finished off. We're doubling the size of our house. He has a REASON to double the size of his home and the ABILITY to do it. Praise God! We're so happy!

June 23, 2011

Here With Me

I need to share something with you people right this very second.

Something was on my mind today. For a while. Nothing serious, but it’s been seriously chewing at me. Bothering me to a point that I’ve been bothering Bryon with stupidness. No, really, I have. This morning, I talked to Jesus about it. Again. I know I’ve mentioned it to Him before. In fact, I know I’ve given it over to Him a few times.

Problem is, I’ve taken it back. Tried to carry it around and manage it for a while myself. That’s bullshit, Peeps. And I did it SO BAD!

Anyway, I festered about it all day. I got myself ALL upset and physically sick over it. I sent B a note to say I wanted to pray about it tonight together. Sometime toward the end of the day, I went out into the plant because I needed to see my One. I walked through the machines and listened to the factory noises. I started singing to myself (I do this a lot – the machines are loud enough people can’t hear me):

“I can feel your presence here with me… suddenly I’m lost within your beauty. I’m caught up in the wonders of your touch, here in this moment I surrender to your love.”

Over and over again I sang this line, until it’s possible some production workers might have seen me singing to myself as I walked around. I kept walking until I smelled the familiar smell of machine oil, as I neared Bryon’s shop. I waited for a forklift to park in the corner and then ascended those white, wooden steps up to his office area. I think of Tomato Soup every single time I go up those steps. Bryon is the manager now, so his office is in the back instead of by the door… but the entire space was empty. The only noise was the wall air conditioner behind me. And the lyrics in my head, over and over. I was still softly singing.

“I can feel your presence here with me… suddenly I’m lost within your beauty. I’m caught up in the wonders of your touch, here in this moment I surrender to your love.”

I wasn’t absolutely certain that Bryon wasn’t there; I needed to peer around the corner and into his office to be sure. And so I did. And what I saw caught my breath in my throat and brought tears to my eyes IMMEDIATELY.

Bryon was not there. But his computer monitor was visible where his body should have been sitting. His screensaver is what did it. It took me right down.

At some point in the last who knows when, my husband changed his screensaver. To be honest, I’m not even sure what it was before… but this. This was His hand. On Bryon’s computer screen was an artist’s rendition of Jesus Christ, hanging on the cross.

There He was, right in front of me.

“I can feel your presence here with me… suddenly I’m lost within your beauty. I’m caught up in the wonders of your touch, here in this moment I surrender to your love.”

You could have knocked me over with a feather.


Things I Love Thursday

1. Loving this giant dollhouse pillow from myCakies… wish I had the extra $.

2. It’s all I can do not to order these for the Moo. For the love of CUTE!

3. I continue to love everything this gal puts out. I haven’t bought anything yet, but mostly because I doubt how often I can make myself wear it. I’m not huge on jewelry, but I do love to look at these. Oh my.

4. This little guy is darling. From here.

5. I’m reconsidering chalkboards.  

6. I love the mix of vintage and modern.

7. Crafts in the little girls' room.

8. Strung lights outside.

9. Jennifer Aniston. She used to be my #1 favorite, but she’s slipped to #2 behind SJP. I still love her, her style, her independence, her quirky funniness. And her hair. Oh, her hair. ALWAYS her hair. 

10. Cozy outfits with scarves and boots, perfect for watching football games!

June 22, 2011


First things first, I do have children reading this blog you know. My children. At least, I think Shoes lets them read the blog. Anyway, I HAVE A HOUSE UPDATE, YO. Last night we came home to find the fireplace permanently situated, wired/plumbed, and framed in the corner. The heating ducts were worked on. Today they are coming to finish all of the ventilation and put the insulation in the walls. Then tomorrow, the walls go up. As in, the rooms will be… rooms! They’ll have to hang on day 1, mud on day 2, and then come back to sand, etc. But we’ll be buying paint within a week! That makes me GLORIOUSLY happy.

I didn’t get to touch my new golf clubs this past weekend, on account of all the fishing. I’m hoping the rain lets up and we can squeeze in 9 holes this weekend. I only got two of my clubs dirty (the driver and the 8); I need to remedy that.

We got in the car to go to dinner last night and one of my favorite songs was on Christian radio. I spun that dial right up. Hayley knows the song and was already bopping along in the backseat while we waited for Homeboy to get in the car. He opened the door and said, “Oh, it’s Mercy Me!” LOVE HIM extra for recognizing that. Of course he went on to tell Hales how we saw them at LifeLight last year.

We plan on taking all 4 monkeys with us to LifeLight this year. Perhaps not every night (I do want a night with just him), but they need to go. They need to stand and hear the music that their soul already loves and see all those hands in the air in worship. Tons of people go to concerts… this isn’t just a concert. This is the holy spirit taking you over when you realize that you’re standing in the middle of a field with OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST. Right there with you. Where two or more are gathered? Jeesh… not even. How about where an entire city of people is gathered? HE IS THERE! All of which to say, we are looking forward to taking them. It’s going to be awesome. Did I tell you that Bryon and I are heading the event committee this year? Oh heck to the yes.

I weigh 4 pounds more than I did last year at this time, so says the work health fair. What is 4 pounds in the big scheme of things? Nothing. But it feels like 14 pounds and that makes me sad. I don’t care who you are or what size you are or aren’t… when you’re not feeling like you look your best (whatever that best is), it beats on your confidence a little. I did wear a bikini fishing last weekend, but I didn’t feel my best. Screw that. Time to run more!

I was very proud of myself this past weekend fishing. I didn’t goo out once. I baited all of my own hooks as well as half of Hayley’s (B did the other half). I did my stepmotherly duties and told her to suck up the squick and touch herself a worm. Which she did. Life is short! Have some courage! I was proud and so was she. I would have removed my own hooks from the fish, too, but B was there at the ready with the pliers. And some of the fish had stingers and teeth. I do sort of draw the line at stingers (the bullheads) and teeth (the walleye). We might go again this weekend. I want to take home a bucket full for a fish fry! [And hell to the YES I’ll be cleaning them right beside him. He’s told me this is pretty kick ass.]

My daddy and I used to unzip squirrels and rabbits in the back storage room of the little grocery store we owned in Southern Ohio when I was little. He’d open the skin and hold the legs, and I’d unzip the fur with a nice, tight ‘RIP.’ Sorry, did I just gross you out? HA! Should ask me about the time I watched a pig become dinner. PURITY, I’m telling you!

Bryon and I are toying with the idea of making some of the furniture needed for our house remodel (more to come on this). Primarily, the bunk beds – but also perhaps a coffee table, ottoman, and even the bar cabinet. Depends on what we find secondhand, too. PURITY. This is a new theme in my head. Can you tell? Look out, yo.

I cannot express to you the excitement building in me as I watch one by one by one, the things become changed and “ours” around our home. Bryon commented that he loved the new shower drain, which was repaired a couple of weeks ago. The toilet seat is also new (stained on the lid by… something “nobody” did… scowl). Soon, the remaining paint colors will be gone and things will be upgraded all over. Our room will belong to only us. Each of the children will have their own space that reflects their interests. Bryon’s never lived in a house as large as ours will be. It’s not huge by any means, but it makes me feel good to watch him loving how HUGE his family is now. He’s proud and that makes me incredibly happy.

He still laughs every time I do my Brit accent. He loves it. How cool is THAT?! I bring this up because last night he asked me, “Do you like BBC?” Right at that moment I had to grab the remote and switch to BBC right there and then and much to my delight, Keeping Up Appearances was just on. He watches me in awe, I tell you. When I really get going, it’s very convincing. I spent at least 10 minutes last night running through Harry Potter lines with Hales, just for funsies.
            “Mummy, have you seen my jumper?”  ---> Mummay, have you seen my jumpah?
            “Yes, Dear. It’s on the cat” ---> Yes, Deah. It’s ohn the cat.
As terrible as her accent was (I mean, she was no Maddy Churchill), she was still better than Trevor. She had her daddy rolling. HA.

Father’s Day was full of beautiful memories of Richard and Larry. Dead Dad’s Club isn’t any fun, but at least it’s something we both belong to and can understand together. And the fact that our dads were so similar – I mean, wow – really allows us to talk it up. I am grateful to have Bryon in this capacity.

I am eating baby carrots just now and I really, really wish I had some HyVee ranch dressing here, too. It’s our favorite at home. We’ve tried others but found that they are imposters! They only pretend to have real ranch flavor. Blah!

I wish we had one meeeeeelion dollars so that Bryon could make his outside dreams come true: an extension off the back (including 3 more feet of dining room space) to be made into a 3 season room/man cave (which he’s already invited me into!), a deck that stretches the full length of the house to our bedroom (with a new sliding door), deck boxes full of flowers and herbs, and steps down to a pergola with vining and beautiful landscaping. Beneath the deck and pergola: our hot tub, hammock, and space for eating outside. This would allow us to move the firepit and seating area out into the yard about 30 feet. I love this dream of his.

I was informed this morning that there are only a number of weeks left until college football season starts. Now, I’m not sure what’s going on or if the husband’s mind warp is working, but this made me a little excited. What’s the deal with that?! All of a sudden I want to tailgate a Huskers game. We’ll get our fix watching Trevor play this fall for the 5th-6th grade team, though, I have to tell you something. I’m a bit more nervous about the pile ups this time around. It is tackle football after all. Last year the ringer weight was 100 lbs (they don’t let ringers carry the ball for safety). Once you hit 5th grade, though, the ringer weight jumps up to 130. So what this means for my skinny kid is, he’s going to have several boys who weigh 129 pounds running at him with the ball and on top of him in a heap. HE WEIGHS 73 POUNDS. He is basically HALF a ringer. *Faints*

Confession: Because Hayley’s mother is not the do-it-yourself, homemade-over-storebought, green-thinking, etc type (no judgement there, just a statement), I feel the urge to really ramp that shit up. I think it has to do with making sure the child benefits from both sides and points of view. Then she can decide for herself. I feel like God is telling me to share this with her. All of the experiences I had – doing dishes on my granny’s picnic table under the clothesline (I’ll tell you that story one time; it’s a good’n.), hammering nails into the fence posts just because, creating and making mistakes with my own hands, collecting vintage wares for USE… that’s a little bit of wholesome that I can give this child. If just one time she decides to buy a vintage Pyrex bowl and put it to use instead of heading to Macy’s to spend $60 on a new glass bowl, I’ll have done my job. It’s a manner of thinking that is not necessarily better, just different. I want her to have both options. Having both will help her to understand her stepmother, too. Society wants us to have MORE, but really, we don’t need it.

Quilt status stands thus: boys’ quilts are ready for binding. They are not yet in my possession, but will be picked up yet this week. At that time, I’ll be ready to drop off Mabel’s (almost done – just a few more things to embroider yet) and start on Hayley’s. The embroidery takes longer than binding, so my plan is to start on Hayley’s embroidery before binding the boys’ quilts. I want all 4 of them done when the kids get back. Then I’m going to present all 4 at once. I can’t wait!

I have some ideas for my next quilting project. I absolutely love this darling (and WHITE!) hand-embroidered quilt. I’m inspired to do one for our living room.

I know I told all of you lovely people that Hayley and I bought some fabric for little girl skirts. That is very much true. But I have been lazy and lacking in motivation lately (as I have lamented and complained about to you… sosorryabouthat) and have not worked on them. I suppose I should because she’s salivating over these HANDMADE wares. Purity and all. Right. RIGHT. Maybe while lying in bed tonight.

In the forefront of my mind right now: Trevor’s toothy grin, Andy’s long hair, and Mabel’s silly faces. The missing is growing stronger.

I got Bryon this book for Father’s Day (and he brought it to work with him today!):

And Dear B: You moved mountains in my soul last night at bedtime. Thank you for cuddling with me on the couch and watching our show. Thanks for explaining what was on your mind. I might not understand it but I respect you for it. I especially love two items from last evening. #1 was when you grabbed for my hand (which was behind my head with my elbow bendy and all sharp-like) and held and kissed it close to your chin for lots of long minutes. #2 was when we crawled into our yummy bed and pulled up the favorite quilt over our shoulders. You put your forehead to mine on purpose, reached into my hair and grabbed the back of my head and held me to your face. You looked into my eyes and said, “I love you” in a different way. I love that way! Mountains were moved, it was so meaningful. I fail to have the words to tell you how much I love you. More and more every stinkin’ day.

June 21, 2011


There is purity in the old-fashioned, I believe.

Not everything need be the old way, I guess. I love my iPod [over a Walkman] just as much as the next guy. But some things can be savored in a better way when they’re done by hand.

Some things teach the value of hard work.

On Friday we went to the grocery store. We picked out corn on the cob for dinner (and kebobs, if you’re curious). Standing there in front of the display, Bryon left it to me. “Pre-shucked or shuck-it-yourself?” One stack, all clean and ready to go. The other, green and husky and dirty, needing time and clean up after. I looked at the price tag, too. Post-shucked was more expensive, of course, but this time it wasn’t by much. No matter. “Let’s shuck it ourselves,” I decided. That night after we got home, Hayley went off of her bike through the neighborhood and my husband and I squatted down on the front porch with a paper bag and shucked those ears together. It was our first time shucking side by side. There was purity in it. He started talking about when he was little. Then *I* started talking about when I was little. PURITY. What kind of stories can you tell about buying some pre-shucked corn? None. Isn’t it our responsibility as parents to teach our children the value of things? To find beauty in the process? Grace in the mess?

How about chocolate sauce? Remember that? Homemade over store-bought.

Vintage towels and sheets? Oh yes. It’s our natural inclination to immediately go shopping when we realize we need something. That’s how society has cultured us. I’m telling you, there is purity in reuse and repurposing. Sometimes it doesn’t work out; sometimes you need new. But I always prefer to look for used. I would say Bryon had no idea (until recently) how much of our home didn’t start off belonging to me. I just sort of came with a Pyrex collection (that I use DAILY) and old sheets. As far as he knew, they could have been my granny Bertha’s. Except they weren’t. They were somebody’s granny Bertha’s though, and that counts as something! Those vintage things in our home have character and history. They were loved and needed on. Oh I just adore that!

We went fishing recently. Worms first, then lures. Purity.

Hayley has been learning how to embroider with me. We’ve picked out fabric for skirts. I want to teach her how to make it instead of buy it. Purity.

We’ve been looking for bunkbeds for the girls’ room for some time now. Well, sort of. I’ve been finding inspiration online but we only recently started going into store after store after store, looking for them. Spending $1,000 makes both of us want to pass out. This past weekend, we went into every resale shop I knew of to look for bunkbeds. They’ll be there eventually. I love that Bryon’s finally hitched on to the idea of OLD being NEW. The pennies finally convinced him! Purity.

Now if I could just get him sold on homemade laundry detergent, we’d be good.

June 20, 2011

God Gave Me A Book Of Love

We had a wonderful weekend. I'll share more when I upload the photos from yesterday, which will include this:

Until then, I feel moved to share something with you. This weekend, Bryon and I shared some very important conversation, some mixed up words, and stories of our past. It started out with misunderstanding something and then the simple fact that we are in fact, two different people, got our lines completely crossed. Men speak respect, not love. Women hear love and not respect. It’s how God made us and we can’t help it. He did it on purpose to grow both of those two parts in every individual you know, which means we have to WORK to understand someone of the opposite sex. Plus, we don’t really know each other yet.

It takes time to learn someone. Bryon and I have only been at this for about 16 months. Doesn’t that sound tiny? But a speck in our lifetime together. We forget that ALL the time.

It’s easy to feel like we’ve been married for more than a decade. It’s true; each of us WAS married for nearly that long, except not to one another. So on the one hand, all of the concerns about the little things are swept away, unneeded. That’s GOOD. But on the other, we get going on a jaunt where we are in sync on everything, finishing each other’s sentences, serving one another and looking out for each other’s needs and then… *W*H*A*M*… we are stranded in unchartered territory. Crap, how does he react to this? or… Shit, does she understand me when I say that? It’s not like there is yelling; we don’t fight. But there is awkward silence where we both try to guess what the other one means sometimes. Silly.

My point in telling you all this story is, that I love being new. I do. I love every single part of it. I love that in one minute it feels like we have known each other our whole lives long, and then in the next, he feels brand new to me. I imagine that might be incredibly frustrating to some, but it isn’t to me.

It’s like… God gave me a book to read for the rest of my life. I mean, God knows I love books and I love to read and reading makes me incredibly happy. So, being my Heavenly Father and knowing me better than anyone else, he sought out the very best book He could find for me, and then when He thought I was ready, He gave it to me. And I LOVE this book. Already this book is everything I’ve ever wanted plus a million things I never knew I did. This book is beautiful on the outside and inside, and chock full of love, confidence and strength. It feels good in my hands, soft and strong. It makes me feel amazing when I read it. So here I have this book… and it’s big. I’m only a chapter in, and each sentence and paragraph is long. The book is inches high. Thick. Heavy, like a responsibility. The chapter I’ve read so far is so spectacular that I already know that this will be my most favorite book ever and I will be changed by reading it. I will be better. I already know I will never put it down – not ever, even once.

Every sentence is familiar, but this story is new to me. It’s exciting to read because I don’t know what is coming next. [God does and I trust that.] Despite what might be waiting in the coming chapters, I look forward to getting there. Every page could be a landmine, or the most beautiful memory ever made… but the point is, I love it anyway. This book already has me emotionally involved (as the best of books do) and I’ve already made the decision to commit to reading this very book for a lifetime.

Our marriage is the book of love that God gave to me. Only one chapter in and I love it. Yes, even though every day could be a landmine. There could be a scary part at the turn of the next page, but… I don’t care. It’s my book and I love it. This book was meant for us by God. There are fun and joyful parts on every page. We look to find them and then we celebrate those moments.

Things with Bryon have been spectacular so far. I’m not delusional, I am just… happy. Happy in a way that is full of light and security. Bring on the next page. I’m ready! I love it already and I haven’t even read it yet!

June 17, 2011

Two Things I'm Working On This Weekend

Phyllis and Bertha.

That is all. Have a great one, Peeps!

PS: I should be embroidering, too. We'll see.

June 16, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

1. Buffalo photography.

2. Braids are killer, Man. Time to start braiding my hair more often! 

3. Cute outfit with layers and wedge heels.  

4. Versa Sun spray tan. I’m hooked now.

5. Getting a phone call mid-labor from a friend. His wife was ‘almost there’ with their second child, a son. Our prayers were electric last night. LOVE.

6. Goodnight prayers with my cowboy, who is usually just moments from sleep. His wall hits him and he konks immediately… so we pray first. Foreheads touching, arms and hands intertwined. Usually silently, but if I’m having a really bad day, he talks to his Heavenly Father out loud.

7. Organized underbed storage? Yes, please!  

8. Dramatic old-school hair, open décolleté… stunning. 

9. Detailed ceiling work makes me swoon.

10. Honey BBQ chicken wings from Buffalo Wild Wings (otherwise known as B-Dub’s around these parts), with lots of ranch dressing, celery, and a Michelob Golden Light on draft. That’s the way to end a hard day right there.

All Pinterest pins HERE.

June 15, 2011


The past few nights, my love and I have hit the sheets before 9pm. He’s asleep within minutes usually and I relax in the dusk that fills our room, with the cool fan breeze on my knees, and watch The Office or The Golden Girls. LOVE.

We’ve spoken to the kids a couple of times this week. Sounds like they are having a good time with Shoes. Mabel Moo has already expressed her desire to come home this instant, though. Too bad we tell her to stay and play for a few more weeks. In time she’ll look forward to being “on vacation” with Shoes for the summer. At least, I’m praying she does. She was playing babies in the garage when I talked to her yesterday. She sounded all grown up without me there.

Our basement has a new resident. A beautiful charcoal gray Heat & Glo fireplace! Now if only the walls would go up…. I’m DYING to start painting.

Speaking of paint, we’re going to do something sort of exciting in the master bedroom when we paint it. I can’t wait to do that room. That room… that orange up there in my blog banner… that was the last room they painted together, Bryon and his ex-wife. I’m not sure if she ever even picked up a roller, but that color has GOT to go. Post haste. Now if I could just source the headboard and curtains.

We have been praying hard for some friends of ours who are struggling in their marriage right now. They need prayer and guidance so that the Mister is able to lead their family the way in which God intends, and the Mrs. is willing to allow him to do so. It’s breaking our hearts to hear them and know this fundamental reason why things aren’t working. We lack the words to tell them without sounding judgmental… so please pray for us, too, that we find that small window to shine His light.

Still lacking creative inspiration in the evenings. I’m working extra hours to get caught up at work while the kids are away, so by the time Bryon and I get home it’s time to eat and fall into the bed. I need to be finishing the embroidery on the girls’ quilts. My topquilter will be calling VERY soon asking for them. The boys’ are nearly finished. If only I could just haul it out while I sit in the bed listening to my husband snore (I love that sound). It would be the perfect time to do it.

We visited the carpet and tile showroom last weekend. That was mostly fun. Fun part: looking through carpet for our house and considering fun options, green options, and watching Bryon’s face when I said “bamboo.”  Not fun part: when we had to look up what was on file using his ex-wife’s name. As if I don’t already realize that they built the house together initially and that her name is on absolutely everything thus far. (Including the builder’s drawings.) I get it! No need to say, “You must be Bryon and you must be XXX”…. uh no, Dumbass. That one didn’t so much work out. But I’m the new wife. Might as well put my name in your book now.

Okay, so the salesman didn’t actually say that, but I could read it in his eyes! He was thinking it! This really isn’t a big thing. But I am praying to get past this little issue that sucks. Soonish would be great.

I need some work trousers that aren’t “longs.” Those are not conducive with flats. Consequently, I am wearing heels every day so far this summer and it’s getting old.

I really, really wish we office folks could wear open-toed sandals in the summer to work. Sadly, I must keep my toes safe when I walk into the production factory to pee. Sacre bleu!

Last night, Bryon and I cuddled under two quilts (one, Lulu’s and one, mine) on the couch. Our legs and arms were all wrapped and twisted around each other everyplace. Then, the best part. We found Cocktail on HBO. We both giggled and sang ‘Kokomo’ and said all the lines. Well, mostly me. But he wasn’t annoyed so it counts as total success. Gosh I love a man who appreciates good 80’s movies and can tolerate hearing me say all the lines out loud.

Small Judy update: Judy has agreed to sell her house and move into an assisted living. This is tremendous progress. Now, that statement eliminates all the grey of this issue and we still need prayer about that grey area. Thank you muchly.

I think I'm going to tickle the snot out of Bryon tonight. That is all. Aim for the feet!

June 14, 2011

Yes, It Sucks

Without them, I feel lost. I am bored. And I don’t smile as much.

I don’t feel as creative as I want to be, because Lord knows I have some time to actually DO something right now. Just no interest.

Bryon is keeping me as happy as he can, but he is not a child. He is a MAN. He is GREAT at man things and we are having so much fun together. But he cannot fill their void.

I miss them.

My heart hurts without their voices in my ears.

Having only 1 child in the house is NOT the same.

I miss the sniff I take behind Moo-Moo’s left ear when she’s a little sweaty and sitting in my lap, the way her hair curls there just so and tickles my nose. I miss the faces that she makes and how she sings, “DJ turn it up, up, up, up, UP” in the car. I miss how she asks me for a cheese roll every night. I miss how she is excited about EVERYTHING.

I miss Doug’s crazy hair, which is undoubtedly twenty inches longer than it was when he left. The kid has Disney Channel hair by now. I miss his giggles over boobs and farts and silliness. I miss the way he will do anything for a laugh, and for a hug. He’s still bony and grubby and freckly and I just want to wrap up in his skinny, little appendages.

Trevor is putting on a great show right now, Not Missing Mom being his #1 priority while at his dad’s. That’s understandable and I don’t hold it against him. He is 10 and feels in the middle. But when he’s back in my arms I can’t wait to smoosh him. For all the Not Missing Mom he’s doing, I guarantee you that he’ll want 57 hugs within the first 3 days he’s back. And Bryon will give him 57 as well. I miss how his heart wants to help. I miss his grin.

I know Bryon misses our 3, too. I know his heart hurts for the loss of Balls War and thinks of them on the nights when we’re outside. He thinks of them at dinnertime and every time in between.

As it turns out, we do not enjoy the quiet. We want the chaos back.

We came out of church service on Sunday and immediately felt the loss of them. Sunday is our family worship time together. It is something all 6 of us adore, with Mabel especially appreciating her Christian preschool visit. Usually I come out of the sanctuary and Hayley, Andy, and I race to pick her up from the preschool room. The past few Sundays, she hasn’t been there. Trevor isn’t sneaking hot chocolate and Andy isn’t begging for donut holes. We feel a little empty.

All of which to say, we miss them, both of us.

Only 5 ½ weeks to go.

June 13, 2011

Reading Toes

A month or so ago (before I chopped her hair into the cutest pageboy you've ever seen), I was picking up the house after work one evening. Mabel was alone in the bedroom for a few minutes and the door was pushed to, but not closed. Through the crack I saw my little one reading her mommy animals book.

I had the camera in front of my face in .3 seconds and started snapping up the lovely lighting. Funny, she didn't even move (until I made her). And she never stopped reading her story.

And Lord help me, her toes. So delicious.

I miss her.

June 9, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

1. Beautiful colors. I am swooning over this wallpaper. I just want onnnnnnnnneee closet or bookshelf or corner of this. Pinned.

2.  Hummina hummina hummina. Pinned.

3. Spring cleaning. We’re still doing it and boy howdy is there more to be done. Seems like every time I’m in a closet to put something away somewhere, I come across something that is outgrown, overwashed, underused, or hated by somebody. Even the hubbers is excellent at thinning his duds. It’s a big sense of accomplishment for us to start with a clogged mess of crap (think: TOYS) and end up with a room that is empty enough to move around in and full of only those toys that are loved and touched. And who doesn’t love a clean cabinet with space around each item? Am I the only one?  Seriously, I like to look into the bathroom cupboard and see the back of it! Have any of you been decluttering recently?

4. Maybe one day in my life I will take the time to make a beautiful but rugged bracelets.  

5. Mint blue paint for a boy's room?

6. Dipped vintage spoons are definitely on my DIY list. I’m sure I can find some heavy ones to try at Savers.  

7. A colorful bedroom is AH-mazing. I’m tempted to throw a color up on our ceiling. And yellow is SCREAMING at me. It would look beautiful with the dark grey.  

8. The feel of masculine bedrooms is awesome, in my opinion; I would add some pink pillows to the bed. Too bad my husband doesn’t want a deer head anywhere. Why is that? I thought all MEN-men were programmed to want dead animals somewhere? 

9. Dining room table searching.

10. Vintage kitchen towels. I love them so much. I may have to start stalking Etsy for these babies.  

See my pins HERE.

June 8, 2011


I am so excited to share a morning story with all of you lovely people. This morning story begins with the soft breeze of an overhead fan and the blue light of morning. I took in the sounds of Bryon stirring and showering while I was still in the bed; it’s become like breathing, how I count on those sounds. My alarm began to go off and I snoozed like I always do, even though I was fully awake. Just as he does each morning, he came back into our bedroom using the sliver of yellow light from the bathroom to guide him to the dresser. I watched his naked hiner put on black underwear. I love watching his naked hiner put on black underwear. I watched him go to his closet and select some comfy jeans. He brushed his teeth and put on his watch and wedding band. I wonder if he knows I’m watching? That’s a perk, you know, to being a wife. He went back to the closet to pick out a shirt. The room was still mostly dark and the covers around me were warm and so cuddly my bones were soft. It was then that I felt him lift the blankets. He crawled under them and scooted from his side over, over, over to where I was curled into my little ball. His body softly wrapped to surround mine. He smelled like Irish Spring and toothpaste and Krutsch. I love that smell. “What are you doing?” I asked, giving away my awakeness. “Just felt like getting back into bed,” he said and snarfled into my hair. There was something on his mind (work projects) and he wanted to be near me to think. Sweet, no? I rolled over and curled into his nook, wrapping my bare leg around his jeans and laying my head on his heart. He was still shirtless. I love it when he is still shirtless. And there we laid for about 15 beautiful minutes, him drawing strength and love from me for the day ahead. Then he got up, put on his shirt, and kissed me goodbye. He had to be at work earlier than usual and as I mentioned, it was the butt crack of dawn.

After the garage door went back down, Kiki and I patted around on our bare feet. The sun was bringing itself in the front of the house like it usually does. I quickly got dressed, pulled up my hair, and opened the white garage door again. One by one my feet pounded in front of me, as Somebody Told Me screamed in my ears. My calves burned the whole way. I only stopped to walk 3 times (which is better than last weekend) and put down about 1.5 miles. Afterward, on the floor of my living room and in front of my lazy cat, I did one set of 100’s with my legs at knee level, and another 20 in full Pilates pose. That hurt like a mother, I’m not gonna lie.

I was still at work before normal business hours. What an amazing morning!

There is a care conference at the rehabilitation center for my mother today. I am praying about that.

Lulu’s family completed their homestudy for adoption this week. HOLLAH! You can still be a part of their fundraising AND get a beautiful handmade quilt/bag/etc in the process by visiting her blog.

I can’t wait to start making the skirts for the girls (and for me). I’m going to do theirs first. This is primarily because of the size but also because they are going to be more forgiving than I will. I am awfully hard on myself, you know. I haven’t started yet because I’m still considering doing them reversible. I hadn’t even thought of it until Hayley and I were having our fabric cut and I was asked about it. Seemed like a great idea, right? So… now to figure out if Dana has a tutorial on that. Can’t be the worst thing I’ve winged in my life if she doesn’t.

I am wearing a pearl necklace today. I can’t remember where I got this one, but I feel like this:

I am getting back on the home inspiration train. I keep nabbing up pictures on the internet. Just you wait until tomorrow. Lots of home stuff on Things I Love. Hope y’all don’t mind.

So… I am in love. With a set of golf clubs. Is that even allowed for a mom of 4? I mean, seriously. Bryon plays and he’s rubbing off on me. This set… it’s taken us almost a year to find it. Something about being a novice has made it very difficult for me to “feel” whatever it was I was supposed to feel when swinging the clubs in question. Over and over again it felt forced or like I was swinging a metal rod. I prefer the hybrids, of course. But I also know now that I prefer graphite over a steel shaft. How’s that for sounding like I know what I’m talking about! The set that we found is a closeout Adams set – the Selena. I’m not going to lie, Friends. She’s UGLY. Burgundy and cream (great for some but possibly my LEAST favorite color combination ever) with argyle on the shaft. When we looked at them, the Selena sitting there next to a Wilson set and another blue Adams set, I was not inclined to even touch Bertha Burgundy at all. That Wilson set was lime green and I loved it. Except it swung like shit in my hands. The blue Adams set was nice enough but the 5 hybrid was smaller than on the other sets in comparison. I need a BIG sweet spot (that’s the part that hits the ball) because I’m new at this. Finally the salesperson and Bryon convinced me to take to the cage. So I did. It was exhilarating. I swung those suckers with wild abandon and I found clubs that finally felt right. Now to save up. Drywall comes first.

I have already negotiated and entered 9 contracts, hundreds of pricing updates, and touched 795 purchase orders with my bare hands this week. Kind of bad ass if I do say so myself. I kick ass at this job. It’s a great fit for me!

I want to plant some flowers at home. Don’t misunderstand; our landscaping is wonderful (and courtesy of my greenie Hubs). But we just haven’t made time to plant flowers yet. I want some white and peachy/pink/melon flowers all around all over everyplace. DREAMY.

I wore my hair straight this week and am in love with it again. The semi-permanent color has lifted some, but the color is really rich and lovely. It’s perhaps ½ shade darker than my natural color (so my roots still aren’t showing). The ends are no longer dry from past torture so the next thing on my mind is having it re-glazed (to keep it from looking flat and dull) if the color fades more. I also hate to admit it because I really hated them in the beginning, but I think I’m going to keep the highlights. They make it edgy.

Which brings me to: I really want to start taking photos of my outfits and hair. And my smile. Or frown. That sounds incredibly self-involved and narcissistic, but if blogging or photo blogging per se is to become my primary form of scrapbooking, then don’t I need to show my face sometimes? I mean, Ali Edwards would be pissed, right? I need to start using the timer. Is that terrible? I don’t think it’s terrible.

It was 101 degrees here yesterday, yo.