October 31, 2011

On Halloween This Year

Husband broke the coffee pot this weekend. It was a matter of time because the thing was incredibly old and chipped - and his, before we were married. So in that sense I am happy to be rid of yet another object that was shared between my husband and his first wife. But at the same time, we can't go without coffee. We are coffee people. I'm praying that 'tis the Season for an incredible deal somewhere on small home appliances. I'd like something in stainless, since it will be seen (we don't have room to stow our coffee pot or toaster out of sight).

Wife broke the garbage disposal this weekend. And right now, Shoes is rolling his eyes because I have a terrible history with the things. Except this time, it wasn't my fault - just my finger who flipped the dead switch. There actually wasn't anything going down the disposer when the motor died (it was still swirling in the sink), but still it was me to had to call him up to fix it. Sigh.

One of the four small home-dwellers broke the toilet this weekend. The white plastic handle has a notch out of it, somewhere precariously in the middle, and the flapper won't flap properly. So you pee, flush, and then wait to see if you need to jiggle the handle. Of course, the four small home-dwellers don't get the concept and instead become distracted while waiting for the jiggle need, and begin painting on the walls with toothpaste or something. This wouldn't be a big thing if our second bath was finished, but we sacrificed the downstairs potty in order to get carpet and wiring this past summer. Maybe toilet #2 for Christmas? Oh that will be a day to celebrate! [I shouldn't complain, I realize - there are thousands of old homes that still have room to sleep umpteen family members and only one throne.]

We spackled 218 holes, chips, and scuffs in the new paintwork this weekend. Toys can be the devil! Well, toys and little people who throw them haphazardly toward the toybox. Or a sibling. You know, whatever.

All in all, busy weekend is what I'm saying.

The final football game was AH-mazing. While we did not win, I got some fantastic shots that I will share later this week. 

I worked on a personal project all weekend long while Bryon puttered around the house (see above). And I think by now we all know that when I say I worked on a personal, creative project, that means I literally did not budge from the table from about 8:15 Saturday morning until almost 9pm Saturday night (minus quick whip-ups of lunch, nap kisses, and to break up sibling disgust) - and again from about 11am Sunday until 7pm Sunday night. That's sort of how I roll. I accomplished much, Friends. Not so much in the category of dishes, but definitely in this project of mine. My project: I have decided to back up my blog in print, as a keepsake. It has become my scrapbook. I am using a special software and playing grammar police. It's quite a labor of love to read my thoughts from years ago, too. This will be a long project.

Halloween is upon us. I spent some time recently reflecting back on this holiday in years past because I shocked myself with something I wrote last week. I commented that this is not my favorite holiday. That didn't used to be true (while never my favorite, it certainly was not at the bottom.) Now, many of you will remember that it was just this time of year four years ago that my now-ex-husband was hospitalized for the first time and our lives exploded with such force that the kids and I eventually landed some 838 miles from where we started. I looked at pictures from that very Halloween the other day and my stomach rolled. I remember what that was like for the kids, and that explosion is certainly part of it. October 3 years ago is when Nana came out to Da Plains for her first visit and now, it's doubtful that she will ever make that trip again. [While she's doing great, it's just not realistic for her to hop 6 planes (3 each way) or be in a car for 12 hours or more.] That makes me sad and sour in general.

And - has anyone else noticed how the whole concept of Halloween the way we remember it as children is basically gone these days? It used to be a fun holiday with games and candy and friends, and dressing up in a costume. Those costumes were something you made from your imagination with perhaps just a little help from the local Dollar Store - and the costumes that were of the scary variety topped out at Frankenstein or a mummy. Scary isn't bad - scary is fun sometimes - I really do get that. But nowadays, the top-selling scary costumes are a homicidal maniac or other such serial killer with a weapon, or something really gruesome and bloody. Or 0sama. Seriousy, Halloween Marketing People? Are you kidding me? We want to teach the children in our culture that it is okay to dress up even just one day a year and pretend to be A MURDERER? That's not okay with me. And I realize most kids are too young to get why that is not appropriate. They think that mom and dad are just being difficult because we don't want them carrying something to beat on each other with. Or they think that they need a $50 made-overseas costume instead of something born from their creativity. Where is the imagination in that? And I guarantee you that this year we will see a dozen little girls that are too grown up for their own good, waltzing around literal street corners in Halloween-is-just-dress-up-as-a-slut-day costumes that their mothers allowed out the door. Disgusting. I'm sick of fooling with it. It's not the Christian way. It's become another social/money-driven/loose morals "spot" that I don't want to dwell in. So, let's get this holiday over with, please. I will climb down from my soapbox now. Thanks for humoring me.

And Dear B: Thank you for sacking out with me on the couch for a while last night, after our most laborious weekend. Thanks for allowing me to feel your heart beating beneath my cheek and ruffling my fingers in your chest hair. You are most loved.


October 28, 2011

Found: Beautiful Things

Michael and Lisa Gungor.

Just try not to sing this song all. day. long. I dare you - it's impossible!

It's Hayley's new favorite. That makes my heart happy.

Listen and be well, my friends. You are all beautiful!

October 27, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

1. The Ikea Lack table. This table alone might make me drive all the way to Omaha. At least I think there is an Ikea in Omaha. Now THAT would be a dangerous trip.

2. This is somewhere inside the lovely Angela Hardison's house. I am dying to know where both of the prints came from. I've searched to no avail.

3. Slouch beanies. I don't have a photo for the exact one I want because it's always on someone famous' head or not quite right. Most of the time they're a bit too matronly for my taste. If I'd found it, I'd have ordered it up by now. Maybe instead I need to beg my Lulu to make me one. Lulu, do you knit skinny slouch beanies in heathered gray washable?

4. I love that my husband, who does not like avocados or potatoes, eats avocados and potatoes when I make them. I watch cautiously because it would be sweet of him to fake liking these items to preserve my feelings, but I don’t think he’s faking anything. Particularly the crash red potatoes with rosemary. Even his mommy watched in awe as he ate them up. For what it’s worth, I always hated cherry Twizzlers until I met my husband, too. Now they are my favorite.

5. homemade fort kit!

6. The season is past, but I love a simple herb garden.

7. Organized little girl closets.

8. Organizing tips for shit I actually need. Pinterest abounds with things that will organize you and most of them make me feel like my already-pretty-organized house is a mess because there are 20 ways to do it better. Blah.  

9. Upcycled pet bed on Etsy. I soooo want to make something like this for the Kik's. Guarantee it would be less than $110, too.

10. Vintage children's clothing. Think I can accidentally find some for Christmas at a local shop for about $2? A mom can dream!
All images are Pinned unless otherwise noted.

October 26, 2011


Word of advice. Don't wait until a week before Halloween to go get pumpkins. We'd forgotten (busy with life and this is NOT my favorite holiday) to the point that I thought that the little orange gourds weren't going to happen this year. Then Grandma Sharon arrived for dinner on Sunday with a plan to go to the patch! Oh the kids were so excited, especially for the free hayride out into the fields. We got there and it was super breezy, but we smiled and oohed and ahhhhed while we were lumpy bumping along the dirt path. Then farmer Paul stopped in front of a field that was wide and barren and declared his pickings slim. Well I'll say!

Trevor's pumpkin was by far the largest and for all of them, a whopping $30! OY. Thanks be to Grandma.

The husband ate my mashed potatoes on Monday. Write the day down in history, could you? Even his mother said Sunday night (as we gathered round the table that now fits all of us*), "He won't eat mashed potatoes," with a giggle. And true to his mommy, he did not. But on Monday he grabbed the wrong lunchbox and brought with him those very mashed potatoes right tucked in there beside the delicious rosemary wine roast and herbed carrots/onions/mushrooms. I sat beside him in his office over lunch on that day, as I often do. I witnessed it myself. One bite, then another. I didn't say a word, thinking he was probably being mostly polite to his wife. But then I blinked and the potatoes were G.O.N.E.  Oh yes. I asked. Three times. "They're good," he said. WORKSFORME. [This seriously thrills me to no end.]

MAIZE  [This is a movie reference that makes Bryon laugh every time Trevor squeaks it out. Usually happens when he's in trouble.]

I seriously cannot stop singing a song that was introduced to me at church on Sunday.  
    you - make- beau-ti-ful - things.... you - make - beau-ti-ful - things - out - of - the - dust
    you - make- beau-ti-ful - things.... you - make - beau-ti-ful - things - out - of - US

There is a beat to the song that wraps you up and carries you right into the Lord's arms while you're signing, I swear to you. You could march to it in your soul. The whole church was trembling with the Spirit. Just amazing! So, I launched an iTunes search for this song.   [Lulu, do you recognize this?]

Well, the good news is, they are no longer predicting snow by Halloween. Looks like it will be in the 60's that day. This is very exciting because it means the pinky fair pricess and her siblings will not have to wear a parka and snowboots under their costumes. You betcha!

When I am especially sleepy - like, sleepier than the husband - I like to lay in the bed and stare at him. It's become this thing I do. We both lay down and snuggle in. He watches something 'boy' on television and I am too tired to turn my head with him. So I stare straight ahead. My straight ahead = facing his face. Perfect for moi. I look at his eyelashes and at the rogue hair in his left ear that I intend to pluck out this evening. Every few minutes, he sneaks a peak sideways to see if I am sleeping yet. Then he gives me a tiny smile. I love that tiny smile. Last night, I rubbed his chest hair and stuck my finger in his left nose 6 times. Still, a tiny smile. I love that he tolerates exactly who I am.   Tee hee.

So the other day we had the 3 littles in the sporting goods store. You know, the one with the taxidermied animals all over everyplace? They actually are very competitive on shoe prices as it turns out and the girls both needed tennies. After shoes we went upstairs so that Andy and Bryon could find a University of Nebraska football. Oh, Lawsie the Husker love in our house! Anyway, we came back down the escalator about 10 minutes later. Only this time, Miss Moo flipped out and froze solid. Specifically, she waited until all of the rest of us had started down the escalator to freak out. She wouldn't get on. Which I noticed when we were halfway down. There she was at the top, her frumpy curls swirly around her sweaty little face, hollering, "Mama! Mama!" So I did what any mother would do. I ignored the sensible thing of finishing my journey down the down escalator and then going right back up the up escalator again to rescue her.

Oh yes, I ignored that very sensible thing. Instead, I handed Bryon the shoe boxes, turned around, and sprinted back up the down escalator. I was suddenly grateful for all of the stairs I go up and down in my life. I was going to save her! All cool-like. I got to the top and she reached for me, balacing precariously on the edge of the first step that spits out. I measured up the space and leapt with my longish legs, planning to land right beside her and smoosh her up to me.

Except that first step that spits out keeps spitting when you pause to measure up. And my leap wasn't nearly leap enough, though thank the Lord my legs are as very long as they are because I landed sort of near her. Then I clawed my way up the continuously spitting out stairs to make it beside little Moo Moo, who was watching her Mom flop like an idiot with a very calm face.

I stood up very fast (because standing up very fast makes it seem like nothing ever happened) and was rushed by an employee of the store that had witnessed this spectacular show of grace, who needed to make sure I was not going to sue them. Right. I smiled and laughed and reassured her I was fine, and then grabbed Mabel's hand to descend the damn escalator once and for all. "It's okay," I called back to her. "Don't worry about me. My husband is right here."

Except he was nowhere to be found. He and the two middles had gotten off of the escalator and walked on toward who-knows-what and had absolutely no idea that I'd nearly died trying to save the baby. I was pissed, I'm not going to lie. Plus my left ankle smarted like mad. Oh it looks all torn up, even today, showing the perfectly linear scrape marks of the steps that spit out. @#$%^$#%@!@@#%   Moral of the story? #1 - do the SENSIBLE thing when you are trying to save the baby, and #2 - Grace is my middle name. Always has been.

Someone that sits near me at work busted nasty ass today.

So here is where I confess to you that I work on Wednesday's post over the course of a few days sometimes. Sometimes I am able to think all at once but other times, I must collect. You dig? Great. So this week, between the first bit up there and the second bit which follows, someone bullied me. Again. It was not Shoes, it was not Bryon or Lulu, or any family. I cannot say who. All I can say to you friends is that I am feeling bullied in a way that is beyond anything I can compare it to. I feel hurt and alone and attacked for the very things that make me who I am. It feels worse than the end with Shoes. I am at the mercy of this person to an extent, and God has called me to turn the other cheek. But, Peeps, it. is. so. hard. This is of the devil - no doubt in my mind. Could you please pray for me? Please pray for me to remain confident and for my little light to keep shining (even when the dark is all around), and also for me to LET. IT. GO. QUICKLY and stop internalizing. Mostly, please pray for this bully - that God's grace and mercy be known to them. The end of that.

Bryon told me last night that I was weird because I sew. Nobody he's ever known could sew. However, this is one of the points he loves about me. Well okay then.
He also told me that I was weird because I make mashed potatoes weird. But he also loves this about me because now mine are his "favorite" mashed potatoes, i.e. the only mashed potatoes that will ever grace his lips again apparently. I'll take it!

Oh - the potatoes? Really? You're curious now are you? I take about 10 boiled and peeled Idaho potatoes (drained of course when they're soft) + 1 stick butter + 3/4 block of (lowfat) creamcheese + plenty of sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper + 1/4 tsp garlic powder + 1/4 C skim milk. Voila. I've tried this particular recipe with real garlic cloves or minced, and I don't like it - has to be the McCormick powder. I'm a garlic traditionalist that way. [As a child I used to stand beside my mommy and sniff the McCormick garlic powder that she used in everything. Favorite olfactory moment right there.]  I'm thinking of doing this and making them twice baked with cheese sometime. We'll see.

Last night I was so upset (see bully entry above) that I did not leave the bedroom for fear of the children thinking I'd been stung in the face by a giant bug. Instead I texted with my pastor and prayed and relaxed. Bryon brought in dinner so that I could eat in peace and blow my nose when necessay. And then he fed all 4 of our children, got them bathed and brushed, and then put each one to bed. Every 15 minutes or so he would come in to check on me, ask me questions about what happened, hug me, and kiss my forehead.

Avocado at work? Yes, please. You bet I packed a whole avocado in my lunch today. Sliced it upstairs and stuck the perfectly green flesh into a coffee cup for scooping. Goes quite well with my ham and cheese sandwich. Weirdo.

We are going out on a date next weekend with some friends - a group of 15 for sushi. It will be awesome and I'm very much looking foward to it. It's time for me to be even more adventurous this time around. Maybe sake and some tuna? I don't mind a philly roll with smoked salmon, but I prefer the more mild tuna. The best roll I've ever had was at a tiny place in the town Back Where We Were From, which I had on the day of my mother's first open heart surgery. Phenomenal something-or-other specialty roll, chock full of sashimi and veggies. Some kind of magic sauce. I was in a mood that day and was grateful. Anyway, I digress...

A coworker told me that I looked nice today and that my outfit brightened up the whole department. I needed the smile and sent her a thankyou email. This is proof positive that you should always, ALWAYS say the nice thing to someone when you are thinking it. You never know how much they need to hear that joy and grace!

October 25, 2011

The Canvas Project

My mom painted when she was younger. She still paints at times. It’s not something I ever really gave a lot of time to, though I wish I had. I don’t really scrapbook much anymore because I photoblog and of course I sew, but still… painting is this creative medium that I’ve never really played around in. This really, really cool medium. With sticky fingers and paint in my sink. Oh, how I love paint splatters in my sink.

A handful of times I’ve purchased canvas at the local hobby shop, only for it to collect dust in the basement of our little old house. I donated several when we moved. I don’t know if I’m afraid to start or afraid whatever I create won’t look as good as it does in my head. Either way it is chicken-shit. That's right. I said it.

So this beauty rolled around at just the right time. I found this image on Pinterest and when I realized the print was $100, I decided the time was right to get off my ass and paint something myself. Instead of a print, I am inspired to do a chunky canvas in black with white writing, in my own hand.

Bryon brought down the last canvas I had tucked away on the loft this past weekend. That, plus 2 paint colors, and I should be in business.

Now to decide what to write on it:

make love your motto (I do very much love this)
all in
be strong and courageous (this might be too long)
trust in the lord 
nothing is impossible
hand in hand
he makes beautiful things

I need your help, Peeps! What do you think? What super awesome verse or lyric am I forgetting?

October 24, 2011


Well the past is playing with my head
And failure knocks me down again
I’m reminded of the wrong
That I have said and done
And that devil just wont let me forget
In this life I know what I’ve been
But here in your arms I know what I am
I’m forgiven
I’m forgiven
And I don’t have to carry
The weight of who I’ve been
Cause I’m forgiven

My mistakes are running through my mind
And I’ll relive my days, in the middle of the night
When I wrestle with my pain, struggle with my pride
Sometimes I feel alone, and I cry
When I don't think and I don’t feel like I belong anywhere
When I don’t measure up to much in this life
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ 

October 21, 2011

Bernard St. Pottamus Was Here: Mabel's Quilt

Okay, it's not that I love the girls' quilts more than the boys' it's just that, well... I love the girls' quilts more than the boys'. I've never made a full-out pink on purple with fairy tales and mermaids before (let alone 2). Holy business it was FUN.

Mabel Rae's quilt is a mix of solid Kona cotton, vintage fabrics, Heather Ross, and Denyse Schmidt. I think Amy Butler worked her way into this one, too. One large, wonky log cabin square amidst the strips and chunks of solids.

(please don't mind the messy bed - there is a princess who sleeps here, after all)

Oh there had to be embroidery. In fact, topquilter Mary knows me well enough by now that she just looks for it on my quilt tops. Makes plans to avoid that area with her longarm, God love her. It took me a couple of weeks to set aside enough time to do justice to Mabel's two horsies and pink, sparkly (yes that is metallic thread) unicorn, but it was well worth it.

Rounded corners made this binding extra sweet. I'd never tried them before and it was ridiculously easy (lay a large round bowl on the corner, trace, and trim - then bind as usual). Once this baby was washed up, even *I* wanted to snuggle under it.

October 19, 2011


The other night Andy brought a notebook to me, showing me a story that he was both writing and illustrating. He loves to draw cartoons, my second son. Anyway, after I loved on his great level of talent, I flipped through the old composition book. I came to a diagram drawn by my then-boyfriend (not even fiancĂ© yet) last year, when we began knitting our lives together. We’ve come so far, Babe. We’ve come so far. And I am so, so proud of you!

So we were in Best Buy the other day waiting, and Mabel and I were stuck watching all of the previews on the big screen television. First Ice Age,  then some football movie that I can’t remember the name of, then U-571. It was then that Moo pointed at the screen and giggled. “Mommy, it’s a weiner boat!” I laughed and corrected her, “That’s called a submarine, Sweetie.” “Right, Mom. It’s a submawiener.”

I read last night that the average 4 yr old asks 437 questions a day. Good to know we are only a tad past normal.  

You might have noticed a month or so back, I took a picture of the voter-tested best lipgloss in Lucky Magazine. It was Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, by Clinique. I was returning a skirt at the mall a week or so ago and strolled into Macy’s to check it out. I’m not sure if it was the lady in the white labcoat or the fluorescent lighting, but I was transported back to some of my favorite memories in high school: shopping at the Clinique counter. The gal that I babysat for in the 10th grade used Clinique. The next time it was ‘free gift’ time, she gave me a little bag of goodies of my very own. I used Clinique for years! So there I stood last week, in love with being a girl – and ‘free gift’ time at that! I came out of there with Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (it’s the perfect sheer pink/red), Clarifying Lotion, and a ton of free goodies.

Halloween is coming you know. Mabel asks me every day how many sleeps until then. She is going to be a pink fairy princess (we’re all shocked - not). Hayley is going with a witch (I think), Trevor a zombie (with no weapon – what the heck is it with boys and weapons on Halloween? I DON’T THINK SO), and Andrew is deciding between a troll and an army man (again, no weapon). All of this depends of course on the weather Halloween night. They are saying we will have snow by then. It was 26 degrees last night folks. Nothing fell out of the sky, but it’s looming large.

Did you know that there is a thing called ‘equal rights among siblings’? As an only child, I was not privy to this information until my own 3rd child came forth from my uterus and everyone began keeping track of who got what, and where they went, and how many fruit snacks so-and-so had. Then I added #4 this year and holy crapload, it got worse. Let’s just say that I am now an expert at this thing called ‘equal rights.’ That does not mean I get it right all the time, but it does mean that I take the lead on topics like this in our household. While Bryon WAS a sibling, he had Hayley by herself for 6 years until we came along. You can’t become an expert in this equality business overnight. So, when it comes to tussles such as this, I weigh in.

My brain was on fire last night. I sent 8 emails to myself while in bed watching The Golden Girls. Can’t sleep unless I dump it all out, yo.

Husband asked for mashed potatoes last night via hot roast beef sandwich, which reminds me, I need a roast. And actually, it’s mostly because he’s craving cow. Our date last Friday was hosed when our babysitter cancelled at 10pm the night before (I am not fond, People… not fond) and thus, we ate no steak. WE NEED COW. Ahem. 

When we have Hayley, she asks to watch The Golden Girls. Is this cute or alarming?

Have you all been following my bestie Mindy Lulu’s adoption story? Mindy, Roger, and their brood of 5 are adopting a lovely baby boy named Henry! He is DARLING. And she lets me call him Hank anytime I want! And he has beautiful, Asian eyelashes and chunky toes. I want to kiss them soon, Melinda. Like when you land in the cheese. [Isn’t it really annoying, all this code crap between besties via blog?]

And Dear B: I think that it’s so cute that you laid your clothes out last night, for your electrical presentations today. I love that you plan ahead like me, and that two nights ago you asked for my opinion on which khakis to wear. [This because you typically don’t wear khakis; you usually kick ass in jeans and steel-toed work boots all day long.]

October 18, 2011

Doug's Quilt

Andrew's quilt has been a lot of things over the past year. I didn't start it as early as Trevor's, but it has been in the works for a long, long time as well. It started with a stack of darling boy-cute fabrics full of puppies and red & blue plaid, laid upon the wood floor of our old house. Except, Andy is not 5. He is NINE. Did you know that Andy wanted to be a puppy when he grew up? He did, for a whole lot of years. But somewhere a few years ago, those wants went from puppy to girl-talk and spygear and maps. Holy cow, remember the maps?

It was during this time that I started to re-evaluate what Andy's quilt should look like. I wanted it to grow with him and be welcome on his bed until high school. A combination of those thoughts and some colorblocking quilts I'd seen let me to this:

Andy loves bright colors, arguing his favorite between green and blue (depends on the day, see). And don't forget yellow. Man, the kid loves yellow (that is my fault and I take full credit for it). So this beauty basically laid itself out on the living room floor very easily. There was no pattern except whatever it was that sprang into my head as I laid one piece here and one piece there. It is fully reversible as well. The happy camper fabric from Heather Ross makes the whole quilt and was worth every penny.

Topquilter Mary played again with this quilt, using varigated yellow thread for her camping-themed pattern. 

The snarfling is hard core in this bad boy already; Andy LOVES it.

October 17, 2011

Trevor's Quilt

I love you, my readers. I love you because you have been so patient while I took A YEAR to finish Trevor's quilt. This is the sucker that I made a pattern for. I haven't figured out how to upload the thing to the blog, so if you want the pattern, I'll share it for free. Just email me.

All that pattern whatnot being said, I actually did the pattern, half-sewed the thing, and then tore it out. I tore it out because it was TOO pattern-y. I wanted it to be blocks of whitespace along with the squares of pattern. The result is just lovely. I adore this quilt and so does my big boy.

You can't see it well in the photo below, but this quilt includes a little bit of fabric from the plaid shirt that Trevor wore on his first day of kindergarten. Andy also wore the shirt the following year, so it made its way into my heart.

My topquilter offered to play a bit with the topquilting pattern on this quilt. I can happily tell you that circle-swirls are not just for girls (wow that rhymed, yo!). The topquilt thread color is lime green.

The back has more whitespace than the front, and I tell you what - I almost like it better. Especially that block of grey in the lower corner. Navy blue binding (with about 24" of gray) finished this baby up. I LOVE it!

October 12, 2011


Oh, Wednesday, I love you so. I love you because you are the middle of the work week and you signify that there are just two more short days until the weekend with my family.

Trevor's team got the buy, which means they didn't play their first playoff game until last night. And they WON. They had a shaky first half, tied up at halftime 13-13. And then it rained. Holy CRAP it rained! They delayed the remainder of the game by 20 minutes. When they boys took to the field again, I had shivers. And, Folks it was NOT from wind. It was from my kid, who threw some opponent into the ground when he tried to squeak by with the ball. HE IS GOOD. I am so proud of his athleticism. Neither his dad nor I gave this to him, this football thing. Neither of us was really athletic - a little here or there, but not like this. Not 3 years worth of the same thing. This is something Trevor wanted and went after. And then he lucked out with a stepdad who is all over it. Where was I? Oh yes. Our team dominated that second half. The rain filled them up with asskickery. The victory: 32-19. Booyah. Next playoff game is Monday night.

Plus I feel cute today.

One of my readers left a comment yesterday about painting fabric and then embroidering on it, for my winter white quilt. At first I was not super excited about that prospect because I couldn't get past the image of puffy paint from 1984 (this is what I do at new things; it's just who I am - stubborn). Then my brain cracked open and I thought of Lotta Jansdotter. I'm not sure how I could do white on white without feeling the paint (oh I don't want to be able to feel it; it MUST be soft and buttery), but I'm open to ideas about it. Keep them coming!
There's been a song in my head and in my heart since we sang it at church a month or so ago. I'd never heard it before, but I am changed. It is called Your Great Name, by Natalie Grant.

I heard it this morning on the way to work and I gasped. Actually gasped out loud. It stops me. I LOVE it. And then when it was over, Mabel said, "Mommy, I like that soooowng. It's about Jeeeeesus." Listen. Bring tissues.

So as you know, I was able to finish the binding on both boy quilts and Mabel's as well last weekend. Which leaves just Hayley's - and it's not back from the topquilter yet. I have some guilt over that. But someone had to be first (and that someone was Trevor's, which you all can attest to me starting over a year ago!) and someone had to be last. I worked in order of fabric appearance and choice. Itch. Ick, I still feel bad.

Bryon and I are having a date night this Friday (assuming the sitter confirms today). I'm dreaming up dinner at our favorite place (the same spot we ate on our first date, after all of our premarital sessions, and for our non-rehearsal dinner) and then a movie. I'd LOVE to see Courageous, but I'm pretty certain I'll cry the whole time if I do. Not that this would be a bad thing, but it sort of puts a smear on the old eyeliner, know what I'm saying?

I am still in a heavy relationship with Autumn. It's a little rainy, still warm and windy, with the smell of burning leaves in the air. The crops are rolling in and the pink corn fluff is floating through the air. Makes you want to snarfle your man and his hair chest, under the covers on the coach. Just sayin'.

October 11, 2011

Winter White

I first mentioned the all-white quilt that lived in my head a long, long time ago. That itch quit for a while when I bought a white quilt off of Target’s shelf on clearance for cheaper than it would have cost for me to make it. And we sleep under that white quilt every night. But folks, the itch is back. And it’s a handmade, machine mix itch, I think. Embroidered even. Thick and lofty.

I realize that I need to bind Hayley’s quilt before I can even begin. Oh yes, I know. But I cannot stop thinking about this winter white quilt all of a sudden. I don’t think the itch is going to quit this time. Indulge me for a mo’?

It needs to be big and thick, to rest as the top layer on our bed in the wintertime. I thought of it this morning when I didn’t want to crawl out from under the 3 layers on my bed because the husband slept with the window open last night. [When I start shivering in the night, he sticks an arm or leg out at me and I’m telling you – he is SO warm ALL the time, that I am instantly comforted. I love that.]

I had originally thought of getting a duvet and white cover for Christmas. Like, from the store. But I’m feeling some nesting coming on. I need to make this sucker or it’s not going to leave me alone. And I have this thing in my head. I want to do it MY way. (Duh.)

I'm thinking about finding some vintage white sheets with some white on white pattern, if I can find one. So I can do tonal embroidery. Which ought to be a blast at night with a teeny tiny light on in the bedroom.

Like this, only white...

I also love the idea of meandering by hand, in lines that are mostly straight, as below. Only in white...

The closest I can come to what is living in my brain are these pictures from Aunty Cookie.. and while this is gorgeous, it is flat. And the one in my head is decidedly un-flat. Thick. Fluffy. I'm not even sure how to machine the thing together if you want my honest opinion.

Ideas, friends?

All images in this post are Pinned for sources.

October 10, 2011

Lucky Ducky

It was a holy quilting weekend, Batman. However, I misplaced my external hard drive over the weekend so I could not move the photos in time to show you lovely people. So, your horses must be held for a day or two, okay?

Saturday was a travesty of football proportions. We settled in to watch the much-anticipated Nebraska vs. Ohio State game. This was a nailbiter because I am married to the man who is, quite possibly, the biggest Huskers fan EVAH and I bore the 10 yr old version of the biggest Buckeyes fan ever. It was going to be a clash from the moment we learned last year that they would play one another. In fact, the Huskers and Ohio State made it into our wedding vows, Folks. And if you are curious, I still have not picked sides. Officially. And so it was that Ohio State outright kicked Nebraska’s ass for the first half of the game, in such a fashion that Bryon wanted to turn off the television. It’s not like he was mad or disgusted (he really doesn’t get that way), but just that he might as well salvage the rest of the ‘boy’ evening doing something else fun, like watching the new Transformers movie. [I was busy binding quilts so I didn't really care.]

Except that after we switched off the Nebraska v. Ohio State game, the Huskers turned it around. In fact they turned it around so much that it went down as their biggest comeback ever in history. And they took down the Buckeyes! Now, we didn’t know this until I rolled over before church Sunday morning and checked the score (seriously, who have I become?). Looks like Trevor owes Bryon $10 after all. Booyah.

Sunday after church, the 10 yr old helped Bryon with some odds and ends in the basement and the little girls made out with a Tinkerbell switchplate cover. Oh my.

But I spent Sunday night the way I enjoy spending an evening every once in a while: snuggled under my quilts watching my Girls and reading Lucky Magazine. I also made lists on my phone of the stuff I want to start searching for and Pinning. It’s a very girly, makeup and fashion-intense evening. Perfect for when the homeskillet has to work anyway. While Bryon toiled away on the couch doing Power Point slides, I snuggled into the bedroom in the aforementioned fashion and took these:

THIS is the very reason why I love Lucky. I do a lot of wacko things, but I’m not sure I’ve ever habitually taken photos of a magazine before just so that I would have them forever.

October 7, 2011

Her Cupcake Birthday

I believe I mentioned to you that Nana has been without blog for months now. She finally procured herself a laptop with which to check on her grandkidlets and informed me yesterday that there haven’t been enough pictures of them on the blog. Well, okay then. I aim to please.

On the day that we celebrated Moo’s birthday – the day that started with horseback riding and gun shooting – we also had some folks over for a killer cookout with cupcakes. My mother in law brought us a beautiful, 15 lb. pork loin the weekend prior, so it was a given we’d be herding friends to feed them. We love to do that.

In addition to the pork loin, I made Pioneer Woman’s crash red potatoes with fresh parsley and rosemary, steamed green beans, and macaroni and cheese for the forty-eleven kids in our house.

After dinner, it was time for the cupcakes. But before I share the photos from the cupcake eating, I should share the photo from the cupcake making. Especially when it involves the love of my life stirring with both hands.

Mabel requested two kinds of cupcakes, which worked perfectly because there were a million people in our house: pumpkin with pink frosting and yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Two batches require two hands, I reckon. I was busy making dinner the night before and asked for help, and help I got! I grabbed the phone and snapped this beauty.

Sorry for that tangent. I do love him so. And every day he helps me in the kitchen I fall in love with him again sideways.

Anyway. [Don't get barf on the cupcakes, please.]

Doesn’t she look so excited?! Oh my LORD the anticipation of Daddy lighting the long, sparkly candles was almost too much to sit still for.

Okay, sweet love. Make a wish!

We love you, Mabel Rae. You will always be our Scott Bernard St. Pottamus!

October 6, 2011

For Charlie and Janie

I’ve been naughty and kept you all from seeing the beautiful pictures of our family horseback riding, which we arranged in celebration of Mabel’s birthday. Sorry about that.

Actually it’s a good time to be honest with everyone reading the blog… my Weddennessday and Things I Love Thursday features are sort of jacking up my creativity these days. I have more that I want to share and then I look at the day on the calendar and realize well, crap, I need to post all that feature today instead. I LOVE my features, but I’m still trying to figure out how to balance all that I have to say as well. And we all know I need to talk. A lot. So what happens is that things like birthday pictures are not shared for weeks. That makes me sad. And now that Nana finally got herself a fancy new laptop, it will be making her sad as well. All of this to say… I’m working on it, Peeps. There will not be a Things I Love Thursday post today.

People, I truly cannot tell you what it meant for us to be able to give this gift to Mabel on her day. The girl has been obsessed with horses for years now, so it seemed like a perfect fit when we fell in love with Aunt Shelly and Uncle Shannon (he’s one of The Boys, you know). They have two horses – Janie and Charlie. Janie and Charlie are stabled at an indoor arena, so no matter the weather, Mabel would ride. We were thrilled… THRILLED in the days leading up to our visit. It was palpable.

The thing about Mabel – maybe one of the best things about Mabel – is that she has no fear. It’s not the hottest attribute when you take her to the swimming pool, but in most other circumstances in life, the girl just nails it. No fear. [This is also why the scary ghostes at night pissed me off to no end; I was so worried that it would threaten who she was as an individual… good news is, that looks like it is almost completely behind her.]  People, this trait of hers is right out there. I am proud of her and proud that she has learned from watching mommy that when scary things happen, you just pray… and then give it the gusto. I had no idea what she would pick up on as an infant during all the of shit I went through in my divorce… as it turns out, she learned one of the very best things there was to learn. She watched me and just became… fearless.

This photo stops my heart, it's so perfect...

There was not one moment of fear for that little girl.

Just joy.

She was so fearless that she took one look at Janie and Charlie and decided she must ride Charlie first. And all by herself.

Charlie is more than 12” taller than Janie. He is younger, more stout, and more stubborn. He is not the first horse Shelly would have put her on, but given her determination, up she went.

I'm certain that Mabel will never forget Charlie. Oh my, no. We'll be back.

Hayley was nervous. In fact, Hayley is nervous about everything new. Food, experiences, and horseback riding was right up there. Exciting, but scary. In this respect, Mothering Hayley is different for me; it stretches me. I give her a moment of compassion and reassurance, and then I tell her to suck it up and give it the gusto. 

She relaxed when Moo asked her to ride Charlie, too.

The boys had an equally good time.

But the boys counted the moments in the arena, really wanting to just get the horse riding over with so they could get to the range. You see, Aunt Shelly’s stables are on private property, nestled in the plains with lovely foothills and a babbling brook. Beyond that, down a very long and hairy path cut through the brush (and far, far away from the horses), Uncle Shannon had set up a shooting range. BB guns were broken in, let me just say. I didn’t capture any pictures because I was on a horse; sorry! Now, had Trevor and Andy not been there and it been a ‘big boy’ gathering, as it were, there would have been a freaking artillery showdown out there (The Boys hunt and have shot together for decades), far beyond the lame pop of a BB gun. Trevor and Andy both walked away bragging about their expert shooting ability and they both had all of their eyes and fingers. So I call it a success!

But I was there for the horses myself.

While the boys were shooting, the little girls (our two plus Shelly and Shannon’s one) played in the dirt. The found frogs and a green garden snake. They hopped and bopped and played on the hay. Shelly used this time to teach me how to ride. As in, steer the horse. Drive the thing. IT WAS EXHILIARATING. Yes my butt bones hurt for days, but it was so worth it. And easy! Powerful.

We loved it!

Thank you Aunt Shelly, Uncle Shannon and Addison, too!