July 28, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

1. My blog. Thank you for reading and commenting and supporting. Thank you for understanding that I am human and flawed and ALSO a Christian. Thank you for understanding that not all details are shared with you, and for supporting anyway.

2. I'm not really into Blythe dolls... what I am into is this adorable Ikea expedit shelving with mini doll house squares! Pinned.

3. I want to grocery shop in this outfit. Not saying I can or ever could, but I wanna. Pinned.

4. Crab croquettes? Yes, please. I have the desire to perfect my ability to cook seafood. Pinned.

5.  Ohhhh, pantry love. How I wish I had the space. Pinned.

6. Perfect outfit. Pinned.

7. Bring on the crock pot! See #9 below. Pinned.

8. Cute! Pinned.

9. Couple things I love about this. First, it has me looking foward to Fall. I'm almost ready to say goodbye to the 113 degree days and welcome the brisk mornings, scarves & knee boots, and delicious leather bags. Pinned.

10. I'd very much like another tattoo, but where?  A Bible verse or cross is likely. Or a 4th bird. Maybe both! Fun to think about. I LOVE this one. Pinned.

July 27, 2011


I figured I'd better start working on my Wednesday post now to make sure I didn't miss another week of it due to some extraneous bullshit. So voila. Here I am.

I fully admit that I have been saying bullshit (or its related expletives) a lot on the blog lately. Just keeping it real. Hopefully I'm not offending anyone. Even my most devout Christian friends have told me that they appreciate the honesty and candor with which I write. I guess that means that while they might not say 'bullshit' at the supermarket, they are living vicariously through me. I think I'm okay with that, damn it.

I know you all very much want to know how the kids' summer visit with Shoes went, but I haven't posted much. I haven't posted much because I don't know where to start or what I can freely share. I know that Shoes reads the blog and while that does not bother me the least bit, I don't feel like listening to him whine about the very detailed and strongly-worded email that was sent to my attorney after the kids got home. He might not want me to mention the flea infestation or the rated-R movies that have Able Mabel now terrified of even going to the bathroom alone. So I won't blog about those things. I'll ask all of you for prayers about those things instead.

Do you know that I still have not finished the girls' embroidery? Mabel is half a unicorn from completion and what... I just quit? Shame on me. I need to be finished already. Hayley's will take weeks at this rate.
My work has basploded. My manager quit without notice so his work had to be divided between me and the guy that started ONE WEEK beforehand. It's been crippling to say the least. It's one hell of a way to advance a career, I'll tell you that! Also, I very jealously guard my time... I'll give extra at my choice but it won't come at the cost of my marriage or my children. I've always been very clear about that: God, family, then work. No negotiation. I am fully okay with that limiting my climb.

My Maytag Neptune washer is a pain in the ass. This particular brand (as it turns out, because I didn't find this bit of detail in any reviews 5 years ago) is notorious for problems with the inner clothes basket becoming unbalanced. There us no agitator (which I love) but that means it can fly around in there all crazy if its really full. Maytag didn't build it strong enough to keep up. Anyway. The hubs needs to look at it because that thing sounds like our newlywed bed during the spin cycle.

It would be nice if I could depend on Shoes to help pay for things like school clothes, supplies, or football. Good thing I got used to 'jackass' instead of nice a long time ago. (In this case, jackass is an adjective and not me calling anyone a name...because that would be disrespectful.)

I need to ask you all to pray for us. For something not related to the kids or Shoes. We are dealing with some... well, with some bullshit that cannot be avoided. Our marriage is great, which we need to pray for as well while we give this bullshit what-for. Please pray for patience, endurance, protection, and for unfailing faith in God's plan. He has a way for us. This is something I can't be more clear about, but, Friends, please pray.

I talked to Judy the other day. She is getting settled into her new apartment. She has endured a lot of changes in these past few months, and for that I am proud of her. I remain concerned about a few plans, but I have chosen to give it to God and just try to enjoy talking with her instead - even when she ignores those concerns. Hmpf.

I have some administrative help at work this month. Today my administrative help threw up on herself. I thought she sneezed when I heard it. I mean, it did sound like a juicy sneeze... Like perhaps she blew bubbles out her nose or something... but no. It was not a sneeze. It was vomit seeping all over her pink velour shirt. Part of me felt bad for her. The other part legitimately wondered how she didn't feel that coming. Random violent office-puking? Come on. I guess that's a bit judgy. Oops.

I'm in a mood today, Folks. Aren't you glad you joined me for this ride?

So, exactly what are your ideas on how best to combat a 3 year old who watched Paranormal Activity 1 and 2 and is now afraid there is a ghost waiting to eat her behind every corner?

I am intrigued (again) by Amanda Soule and her family, who have just taken on more chickens, this time to raise for meat. I am thoroughly in love with how they live off of God's land, raise farm animals with respect, and reuse to the best of their abilities.  I wish I had the time and the ability to forge ahead in suburbia to find a way to integrate my children into life the way she does. It's impressive.

New favorite song: "The Way" by Jeremy Camp. I tried to link with YouTube, but Blogger is giving me fits. Go listen!

July 26, 2011

On Tile

Dennis is the one of The Boys whose expertise falls under "floor tile." Actually, his expertise falls under accounting and finance, but his hobby expertise is "floor tile." Just go with me here.

He was very anxious to come over to help install the porcelain tiles in front of the lower patio door last week, and help he did!

I was too lazy to go get the good camera and captured the fun with my phone instead.

(of course, my required butt shot)

Thanks, Dennis. She looks beauty-full!

July 25, 2011

Kitchen Changes

The kitchen is the main area of our home. In our next home, it will be much bigger, will have two stoves and MUCHO counterspace and a larger fridge.  6 peeps, yo.

Our kitchen, dining, and living room are all combined right now. They're separated by design and color, but the room is large and open. 

Our kitchen and dining room are painted a navy gray.

Found on DesignSponge

Apartment Therapy

July 22, 2011

T Minus 1 Day

What a crappy blog writer I've been lately, but I really have been at the height of distraction. I took the day off of work so that someone could babysit the dudes who are here laying carpet as we speak.

As I write.


I wonder if they believe in Jesus. I wonder what they think of the bible verses they are bound to read as they cover them up. God only knows, I guess. I kind of like that. Our house has tattoos!

B and I talked a lot last night about the kids. We wondered what the transition will be like. We missed all 3 of them so much and I know - regardless of whether or not they'll admit it, they missed is, too. It's going to be different than last year. This year was longer. And they are older with greater expectations. And they're coming back home to a full, cohesive family with an active dad.

B wants to spend time with each one of them. Re-dad them. Rub his love all over them... Football with Trevor. Tickled and music with Andy. Funny faces with Moo. Warms my heart!

Last night before bed, Bryon and I went outside in the dark and laid on the slide in the backyard. He grabbed my hand and pulled me out there to star gaze with him. As we laid there, my back to his front, he talked about Jesus. Yesterday was men's bible study and Jesus had been talking to him all day long. I love that!

Please pray for us as we journey to Iowa to get them this weekend. Pray for our transition back to 6.

Thank you, Friends!

July 21, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Oh I meant business, oh yes I did.

God's word will reign on the base of our home, tucked away under the carpet that will be laid tomorrow. One Sharpie marker was all it took.

It's not shoes or fabric, but this... oh, I LOVE this.

July 19, 2011

Same Girl

Thank you all for forgiving me for dropping off of the face of the planet this past week. Bryon and I really hit the home stuff hard (4 days, yo!) and at the same time began dealing with some new issues that are very time-consuming. Top that with work's explosion of crap and well, there you have it. Something had to go and the blog suffered for a few days. But I'm back with good, juicy love story.

Two nights ago, Bryon and I went to bed early. We went to bed early because we'd spent the ENTIRE weekend sanding, priming, and painting the master bedroom as well as Andy's room (plus some touch ups at the foot of the stairs that took a while), moving the furniture out and then in for each, and cleaning the carpets. How about some grainy phone pictures to give you an idea of the upheaval?

[us, going night-night on Trevor's full bed in the living room while paint and carpet dried]
 We also brought home tile for the patio door, cut the cat out of the furnace twice (nope, not kidding), and cleaned the house top to bottom. We're kinda OCD with shit like that. Anyway, we outright collapsed in our new room (which is not yet fully decorated, but I'll give you a sneak peek)...

By this time it was dark and he was on his side of the bed doing his own thing (arm outstretched to rub mine) and me embroidering Mabel's quilt top (because-holy-shit-this-thing-needs-to-be-done-already) and soaking in some tube.

It was then that he declared it was time for Jack.

Now, declaring time for Jack means a certain thing for my hunky dunky, if you care. It means Bryon is in a retrospective mood. Neal Diamond means a walk down memory lane, but Jack... Jack is what he listens to when his soul is being lyrical. He thinks of how far he's come since his divorce, how wishful he was to find love again, and now how happy he is. So, I love these Jack moments. They heal him and make him who he is. They remind him of how great our God is. And they always make him grateful for moi.

He inserted his iPod earbuds and turned up the volume. In fact, I had to increase the volume on The Golden Girls (yes, my husband allows me to watch The Golden Girls in bed) to even hear Sophia say 'howler monkeys' because Jack was so loud. But I didn't mind really.

And then I noticed the same song playing again and again. He had his eyes closed and he was smiling.

If you could read my mind
you'd say, "Baby you were right
and I don't want to fight anymore."
You're usually righter than I am
and I'm not a very good fighter,
am I? No neither are you.
So let's be through with this one.
Because some things never change.

I know you're still my same girl,
who builds her own frames
for the pictures that she paints
of the lights in Monterey,
coming across the bay.
Right back to my same girl.

How can you be so calm,
when the truth is that sometimes
we live in the eye of the storm?
With everything going on around us,
I feel comfort in the sounds when you say
It will be okay,
like a star guiding me
to the light of the day.
The doldrums could follow me...

But not with my same girl,
who builds her own frames
for the pictures that she paints
of the lights in Monterey,
coming across the bay.
Right back to my same girl.

He rolled over all glisteny eyes and rubbed my arm again. He was still smiling. He took out an earbud.

"You know, I used to listen to Jack on my way to work every morning. My marriage was over and Jack brought me back." Then he rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. "This is my favorite Jack song. I keep coming back to it. There's something about it. It's about a man and woman having their first fight." Still smiling. I started thinking about the stupid things we've argued about so far and how I love to make up. Then I was smiling, too.

"I always thought about what she would look like, how she'd be, this girl. I mean I was alone and driving to work thinking about her. I knew I wanted someone like the girl in this song," he said.
Still smiling.
[she] builds her own frames for the pictures that she paints (my translation: she does shit her own way at all times)

I feel comfort in the sounds when you say it will be okay, like a star guiding me to the light of the day

"It's kind of weird when I listen to it now," he said. When I asked why he simply smiled and reached out for me again. His finger traced my elbow. "Because now you're here."

July 14, 2011

What Day Is It?

I am dying this week, swamped with work and house stuff in big prep for the kids coming home NEXT weekend, yo. Not too soon in my opinion. Mabel called me last night and asked me 3 times if I was on my way to come pick her up. I know she’s having fun, but she is ready to come home to Mama and Daddy Bryon! We’ll take her (and the other two, happily)!

Too much cappuccino yesterday had my blood boiling at a crusty coworker, who has such a sad and boring life that she must find ways to make mine unpleasant [plus the lives of dang near everyone in this facility; I am not special to her]. She is an auditor here and has given me specific directions on how to do something, only to change them as it suits her mood and then tattle to the big boss about my doing them the first way. She cries and whines as though someone’s killed her cat (because she has no joy in her life and needs constant validation that her life has purpose), but it makes me look like I’m being difficult on purpose. Damn it – if I’m going to be difficult on purpose, I find a much better reason and a much better way to be difficult on purpose! She’s never SEEN difficult on purpose! I hope the big boss sees her as a big stupid-head. Or a crusty, cranky bitch. Either way is fine with me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll have to go pray about that.

Last night was all about the carpet. It was ordered and will be laid next week. Furniture in the hours after that by lovely coworkers.


Please forgive me if the blog is out of joint this week. In the meantime, enjoy the loverly quilt that Mindy made for me! I found this picture and it makes me miss her. MWAH.

(photo by Lulu)

On par for the rest of the weekend:

Call builder to arrange registers, lightswitches/outlets, can lights, thermostat. Ask for price on closets ONLY.

Correct overhang area/paint in family room (from tape line)
Buy lumber according to instructions for bunk bed
Pick out duraceramic for bathroom
Pick out tile for area in front of patio door
LAY tile in front of patio door
Put fireplace cover on
Confirm some auto work
Have oil changed
Write verses on floor
Paint end of stairs? – Need custom color – is there any left? SW
Wash full size sheets for trevor’s bed


July 12, 2011

For The Bedroom

Photos from DesignSponge

photo from Apartment Therapy

Headboard from renofurniture.com

Apartment Therapy

Herman Miller

We have lots to do in our room. And I can't wait to paint his ex right out of there. It's one of the only rooms left that she had any part to do with and honestly, I need her gone. Sorry, but I need to own it. Her time has passed.

So, grey walls to begin with. Dovetail, by SW to be specific. Vintage white curtains (already found at a local thrift) and white sheers, and a white headboard, at minimum. Lots of quilts on the bed, with white and vintage masculine linens. We're still not sure about artwork or photography on the walls, but time will play that out. I'm leaning more toward artwork, be he's gotta pick that out. I'd like to reorganize my closet, too (as you can tell). Primarily I am thrilled that we won't need the extra dressers that are shoved in there once the basement is finished. I'm not sure what it will feel like to be able to walk around the room without running into something.

We are at a carpet precipice today. Either we order it to have it installed next week and THEN move furniture... or we wait and save our pennies and move furniture onto the concrete tomorrow (and then move it again when the carpet is ordered). Hmmm...

July 8, 2011

The Missing

Bryon and I had dinner last night at one of our favorite places in town, a little sports bar that the kids love to go to. They have popcorn while you wait (joy is being the one who helps Bryon bring the baskets of buttery goodness back to the table) and shirley temples aplenty. Bryon and I go because the burgers are phenomenal, the kids eat free, and the television coverage of all things sports-related is unbeatable. All of this to say that this place crippled me last night.

Painting their bedrooms didn't do it.

Talking about them and looking at old pictures didn't do it.

Talking TO them didn't do it. 

But boy howdy, it's been growing - the lump in my throat.

Last night on our way out the door, I ran to the ladies room quick. The ladies room where I've ushered Moo on multiple occassions to remove barbeque sauce or popcorn salt from her fingers after dinner. The ladies room where she washes her hands and then blow dries her HAIR on the super-fast-vortex hand dryers.

It happened the moment I went through the door; thank goodness the bathroom was empty. I stared at the brown tiled walls and I could hear the echo of Mabel chirping in there, asking me to lift her up for soap. I remembered how she always goes into the stall with me and insists on being first. I remember the little faces she makes because that's just what she does. And I LOST IT.

I came out of the bathroom, got into the car, and fell apart.

The time alone with my husband has been amazing and necessary. He is doing a fantastic job of keeping me occupied and ridiculously happy. But he is not them. I am not completely me without them. I miss my babies. And I am ready for them to come right this very second.

Except it is not July 23 yet.

Send more prayer, post haste!

July 7, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

1. HIM. I am absolutely twitterpated, addlepated, confiscated, and entranced by my husband. He makes me a better me and begs me to do the same to him. He makes me hold him accountable. He is proud to be the leader of our family and considers me his equal. I am so in love with him. BLESSED.

2. Lonny Magazine. Wish I had more time to go through it!  

3. Vintage headboards.  

4. I’m waiting for these to come up in 24”x24”… still waiting. Etsy find.

5. This darling mod desk lamp. It wants to be in our house so, so badly. But he’s going to have to wait and see if I already have 2 lamps in storage on the loft. If not, he’s mine! Or… Trevor’s rather. Etsy find.

6. Retro lighting.

7. Loving kids rooms with paint colors, lines, and unique beds. 

8. Being able to hang unusual things in our house.

9.  dullDiamond love. 

10. Vintage jeans.

July 6, 2011


Eighteen days…eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days… eighteen days…

We did paint the entire weekend, it’s true. But we also managed to make time to have some fun with friends in celbration of the 4th.

Yes. I am the tallest girl by a mile. Stoop much? Jeesh!

The Boys! (a.k.a. the flipflop gang)

Uhhh... can you tell who the newlyweds are?

Yep, that's right. WE'S BE THE NEWLYWEDS.

The list of things to do at the house is growing. We do keep trying to cross off as we go along, though. We were at Target last night and picked up a full bedskirt (I haven’t been able to find a plain white BOYISH one at Savers, etc and I’ve looked for months) and new pillows for everyone. Pillows are not something I buy secondhand. Ick. Anyway, those are stored away for next week when the furniture is moved around. Tonight I’m going to finish the one remaining coat in the bathroom (seriously 5 minutes) and touch up anything else that shows need now that everything is dry-dry. Then if I have any energy left, I’m going to start cleaning the cement floor.

I have a plan for the cement floor. We’re still going to cover it with carpet, but I want to write Bible verses on it first. Does that make me a whacko? If it does, then so be it. It’s something small that popped into my head months ago when we moved in and laid out the plans. It will be covered with carpet absolutely… but underneath there in every room, will be the Word. The Word living with and blessing the kids and our family while we’re down there. A FOUNDATION OF HIS WORD. I can’t wait to do this. Just me and a Sharpie going to town. Bryon’s going to add his favorite verses, too. Wonder which one of us will get Joshua 1:9 down first?!

I was informed late last week (too late, mind you) that Hayley did not so much like the paint color I’d chosen for the girls’ room. We’ve been talking about it for months and certainly have had a rainbow of choices, but Bryon left it to me to take what the girls were saying (purple, pink, pink, red, orange, rainbow, purple, hot pink, green, turquoise, white, pink, purple, GLITTER) and condense that down into an actual decision. I took into account the items that we are going to put into the room, the overall feel for the room (more on this in a sec), and the overall look of our home when deciding. In the end I went with the lightest pink shade I could find (Possibly Pink by SW). On the paint chip, it looks almost white against its hot pink cousins. This upset Hayley and she wanted to make sure I knew it. But, her dad and I took a deep breath and painted anyway. Now? She loves it. Ahhh yes, I thought so.

With respect to the girls room: yes, it is THEIR room. Yes, they have favorites and opinions and their own individual tastes. I most certainly am taking those into consideration. But what we will NOT have is a snobby, gluttonous, society or money-driven, glitzy, braggy, or COOL kids room. No way. There will be no Disney Channel barf in their room. There will not be a themed room decked out from Pottery Barn. There will not be ‘all shiny and new and the same as our friends down the street. NO WAY. What there WILL be is individuality. A mix of old and new. Character and history - vintage curtains, for example. There will be Mabel’s love for horses and Hayley’s love for drawing. The quilts I am making for both of them instead of duvet covers from The Land of Nod. There will be dress up and dolls and legos for building. Art on the walls that reminds them that they are unique and loved – NOT Hanna Montana and Selena Gomez. I’m not saying those things will never have a place or that they are a wrong choice for anyone else, but I am saying that right now, in a room for our 6 and 3 year olds, that answer is NO. Those things are not the message we want to teach them.

Hayley was picked up last night wearing a bra and sporting a butterfly rub-on tattoo on the small of her back. She was proud, oh boy was she ever. Dad and I both died a little inside; where was our 6 year old? I cannot write anything more about this here because my snark would be disrespectful. But I am underlying pissed that this is going to be an issue going forward and would like some prayer please.  


I am ready for back-to-school shopping. Did I tell you? Oh hell to the score this weekend, yo. Right before I started painting Saturday morning, I quick ran to Savers to drop off a bag of somethingorother. I noticed the huge ‘50% off everything in the store’ signs and went inside. I found 4 pair of jeans for Trevor, 3 for Andy, and 1 each for Moo and Hales – every one of them nearly brand new. I think I paid about $20 for all 9 pairs.

I have a golf itch and it’s growing. I’m not sure if there will be time over the next two weeks, but I really hope there is. I’d love to go back to our new favorite course to see some cows and flash my husband. Did I mention how much privacy there is on each fairway? Who’s going to be uncomfortable if I lift my shirt… a Holstein?

Last night I stared at B while he fell asleep. I didn’t intend on it and it sounds sort of creepy typed out like that, but we had been talking, said our prayers, and then I glanced up and he was out. I just watched him breathe for a few moments. Stared at his Russian eyebrows. It was so peaceful. It gave me a great opportunity to tell God ‘thank you’ for him again. I prayed for his day today.

July 5, 2011


I'm surprised I can type, honestly. Well, I'm pretty bad-assed, so maybe I'm not surprised.

Either way, I'm certain I inhaled too many VOCs this weekend, despite my use of proper, low-VOC paint (Duration Home by SW) and good ventilation. Also, the primer was NOT low-VOC, I can tell you that! Now I've confused myself.

My point was, Hubs and I cranked it out this weekend, yo. Thoroughly took advantage of the long weekend.

Yeah, ouch. There are 6 blisters on my right hand and 3 on my left. There are two very small, short walls in the bathroom that need a second coat - 5 minutes work tonight, tops. Aside from that?


With painting anyway.

This week, we wash the cement floors* and meet with the builder about trim, doors, and closets. We buy the wall sconces, tile, and door handles. Install the fireplace cover and make 30 more lists. Then next weekend, we'll move furniture and start painting Andy's room and the master upstairs.

There is so much to do yet, but we are excited.

In the car this morning Bryon said to me, "19 days until they come home!" He's so excited. And so am I!

*Carpet will be pricey and we want to pay for it in cash. We will get through with rugs until the fall.

And Dear B: Thank you for painting with me. Thanks for working all day on Saturday in a 120 degree brazing oven and then coming home and painting for hours more, just to help me. Thanks for sharing the load yesterday, too. We really knocked this out TOGETHER. You are really a rockstar husband. I am so blessed to call you mine. Thanks for all the fireworks this weekend!