August 28, 2013


Did anyone else notice that my blog turned SIX this summer?  Holy freaking crap, Batman. I have been blogging for longer than Mabel has been on this earth. If I had more time, I’d plan a blog celebration and do a ton of giveaways, because that is the blogging thing to do. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to do that and I consider it an absolute achievement that I’ve kept up with this blog during all of the crazy and insanely busy bursts of my life over the past six years. I’m grateful that I still have readers. Some of you have been reading since the beginning. Some of you remember the photo of my pregnant belly sitting in Mabel’s room at the 2548 house. Crazy! Some of you remember how our family fell apart, then grew stronger and closer with Christ, then moved to Da Plains to begin again. Of course the wedding – oh, the wedding! And now, here we are and I have a seventh grader. Time goes too fast. What I want to say more than anything else is THANK YOU.

So I need to tell you all something kind of huge. I have changed the way I’m eating. By a lot. My tummy has felt terrible for 20 years, People. It’s time to try something new. Since the most common things that exacerbate IBS symptoms are gluten, grains, legumes, soy, and dairy - - I am now following the Paleo dietary standards for eating. This is often referred to as Paleolithic or “caveman” eating because well, we don’t eat anything that a caveman wouldn’t (well, plus electricity). I cook and eat lean meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. While some Paleolithics restrict their amount of calories for athletic training, I am not. I just make healthier choices than I ever have before and wait until I am hungry to eat.  Removing wheat from my diet makes it similar to gluten-free eating, except I take it a step further and omit ALL grains, not just wheat. So… no wheat, corn, oats, or rice. Removing legumes is sad because I miss beans. However, they contain lectin, which is TERRIBLY HARD to digest. Many Paleos don’t eat dairy either, but I’ve chosen to allow eggs and cheese for now. They are a great source of protein and don’t cause me IBS symptoms. There will be other foods that I have to add and subtract as my IBS dictates. This is a lifestyle and it is forever; it is not a diet. I’m already sharing it with our entire family, gradually reducing the amount of grains that are offered at each meal in an effort to promote more vegetables. It’s been almost three weeks and I feel healthier. By a LOT. My IBS symptoms have lessened dramatically, I feel thinner, and I just feel more balanced.  Folks, I haven’t had soda pop in almost 3 weeks. THAT feels AMAZING. I did drink over a liter of water yesterday instead. That also felt amazing.

Some of my favorite Paleo resources for recipes and inspiration are: Nom Nom Paleo and Our Paleo Life. Though he’s not doing Paleo, he wants to eat healthier – so Bryon buys me coconut flour and steals my banana pancakes every time I make them. Stinker.

I’d also like to get back into a gym on a regular routine. I don’t want to lift; I just want to run on a treadmill and do some Pilates (mat). I used to go 3 times a week and I just don’t make time anymore. I am 36 years old. If I want to be happy and healthy for 36 more years, I have a responsibility to take care of myself. Ugh, I wish I could wring my 20 year old neck sometimes. I totally wasted my thighs!

The football season is in full swing. Trevor’s first scrimmage was last Saturday. His team played well and continues to practice every day after school. He comes home to do homework [usually his honors math class] after practice, eats, showers, and then is completely stimulated at (what should be) bedtime. I think this will work itself out as his body adjusts. 

Andrew has joined the Lego engineering club at school. He loves Legos. Like, more than most children, I think. He builds all of the big kits and then disassembles them to make rockets and vehicles and lots and lots and lots of houses. He sometimes combines them with the electronics set he got two years ago for Christmas and makes them move or light up. For his last birthday, we got him Minecraft Legos and the child lost. his. mind.  He was ridiculously excited to handle those 500 pieces. I can’t wait to see what he does with this talent.

Hayley is happy to be back at school but not so happy that 8 year old girls in 3rd grade know how to bring the drama, llama. She’s sitting in between 2 best friends and let’s just say there have already been some interesting moments. I’m thrilled she wants to do volleyball this year and hope that she sticks with it. I’m not sure how we will make 2 days a week work with everything else, but God is bigger than our schedule. She has been queried about volleyball for a year or more, never wanting to play anything where a ball (or body) might hit her in the face. But this year, she's ready to give it a try instead of gymnastics.

And the Moo. Oh my. Moo Moo was so excited to finish her first full week of kindergarten last week that she fell asleep while out to eat! She still napped 2-3 hours each day before school started (though I’m pretty sure Shoes didn’t nap her while they were there) so it is going to take her some time to adjust and catch up on her sleep. She just… needs more. She always, always has. She LOVES her teacher and her library. She checked out a puppy book and memorized a few sight words inside of it; she was super excited! I can’t believe she’s almost six. SIX. She'll be reading soon.

So yes, they grow up too fast. And when they do, they require very expensive school supplies. Trevor and Andrew needed binders this year, which cost $75 total. And I bought cheap ones! Good thing they’re worth it. Andrew says he is more organized than ever.

Could I make a prayer request please? Our bachelor neighbor, Dave tore his bicep late last week and has surgery tomorrow. He will be down for a good six months in physical therapy. Please pray for his safety and healing, and for our ability to be whatever he needs during that time. I’m praying that each of the kids has an opportunity to serve Dave and help him out. I’m going to feed him as often as I can. And I’m praying he’ll finally be willing to join us at church, too. What a beautiful opportunity it will be to help someone with nothing expected in return. It feels GOOD.

August 27, 2013

Just Say Jesus

A new favorite of ours.


Life gets tough, and times get hard
It's hard to find the truth in all the lies

If you're tired of wondering why
Your heart isn't healing
And nothing feels like home
Cause you're lost and alone just screaming at the sky

When you don't know what to say
Just say Jesus
There is power in the name
The name of Jesus
If the words won't come
Cause you're to afraid to pray
Just say Jesus

Whisper it now, or shout it out
However it comes out, He hears your cry
Out of nowhere He will come, you got to believe it
He will rescue you
Just call out to the Way, The Truth, The Light

When you don't know what to say
Just say Jesus
There's still power in the name
The name of Jesus
If the words wont come
Cause you're to afraid to pray
If the words wont come
And you don't know what to say
Just say Jesus

August 23, 2013

Small Projects - A Collection of My Favorites - 2

I have a lot of Pins, people. Many, many of them have to do with crafts or sewing. Here are more of my favorites, this time with the links!

1. I love this trend. Here, stud your own Converse!

2. Painted wooden spoons have been popping up forever and you know, I still haven't done it. I love it, though. No need for a link here - just collect some wooden spoods and dip them in food-safe paint! However, do beware of the dishwasher after that.

3. Kassie Bartow has an amazing tutorial (above) for gold foil triangles and I would LOVE to try this!

4. I've tried this before and I'm sure I will again: handwritten scripture or lyrics on a wall. This one is by Jenloveskev.

6. Hanging fringe? OHMYGAHHHHHWSOME. I actually don't have anything more than the Pin for this - but it would be easily accomplished by a dozen or two vintage tassels, or tassels from your favorite homegoods store - tied onto a stick. A STICK! Easy peasy!

7. Paper pieces from Ruffled Blog would be darling in an older child's room.

8. I love this handpainted wall on the Lepetitbirdtoldme blog. How easy would this be?

9. If you are like me you love things in batches. Why make a couple pom poms when you can make 216? Here, Make pom poms in bulk.

10. From Poppy's Closet and easily duplicated at home with an elastic headband and sequined hearts or stars. Or birds. Or anything.

12. DIY planters with gold leaf foil are great for outside (you'll need a clear coat afterward) or inside.

13. Cassmillerblog has a great tutorial for a handmade headband. I love this. Thrift store, hello?!

14. If you're like me you really want to make granny squares. How about Granny hexes in less than 10 minutes?

August 22, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

1. Dream kitchen. Black, white, and vintage all over.

2. I'm on my way. I have a few pieces, but dozens more to come.

3. This is a GREAT children's room. The pop of color on the bookcase really makes the room look exciting. And I love adult elements (the hide) in a kid's room.

4. Huevos Rancheros are coming to our house.

5. Fall uni anyone? I think yes.

6. Here's another amazing headboard idea. I adore the thick rattan (or is this technically wicker?) and sheer curtains.

7. Okay, we've got a lot of amazingness going on here. I love that beaded fringe flag. Wow. And the plants and the hat, and oh my. Just love it.

8. I know someone who starts school this year who would look absolutely darling in this outfit.

9. I want these bracelets when I grow up.

10. Hello, Favorite Outfit Evah.

11. Pull-on pants are totally chic at the office if paired with the right things. Did you know?

12. I love this coat and the distressed skirt.

13. I can't afford this line of clothing, but I certainly can love it a whole lot.

14. So delicate and classy.

15. This sort of makes me wish that the kids' dressers weren't in such good shape. Love this - holy cow.

16. This flag is cool!

All images are Pinned for sources.

August 20, 2013

He's Eleven

Andrew George celebrated his 11th birthday this past weekend. He selected his favorite: yellow cake with chocolate frosting, with sprinkles and candles in the shape of an "A."

This, despite the fact that his Facebook account has his birthday incorrect (grrr to that).

This, despite the fact that he survived a pulmonary sequestration of the lung in utero and the subsequent thorocotomy and removal of this sequestration a week later.

This, despite the fact that he refuses a helmet most of the time, has to do everything his own way, hates to study, and would tell you honestly that I keep him alive in parking lots, even still.

Drew. Roo. Rooster. Oh, my Andy Bear. Lover of shiny things and anything fun and distracting.

This kid is different from any child I know and I. LOVE. THAT.  He is a quiet soul, observant, and determined. Brilliant at building and imagining. Hilarious at all times. Stubborn (a 2-day induction, thanks) and deliberate with every hug, every eyebrow flick. This one has a very important purpose from God. Every freckle is there for a reason. Once we all realize what it is, LOOK OUT. He is unstoppable.

I feel so blessed that he loves this mama.

Happy birthday, Andy. You make us better every day. *HUGS*

August 19, 2013

Two Milestones

The baby started kindergarten last week. I didn't cry, but it was close!

And since this is Da Plains, it was a nice 60 degrees on the first day of school. Don't worry, it will be 90+ this week.

Other milestones that the baby blew up this week included the loss of her first tooth.

And an hour later, her second.  *SOB*

It happens way too fast. Just yesterday I was staring at her all night long in the hospital, in disbelief I finally had a girl.

I'm so proud of all 3 of them. We've come a long way and we have so much to be grateful for.

August 15, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

1. Scarf and glasses with beach hair and bare decollette? OMG. Wow.

2. This tank top has to be an easy DIY and would look smashing on top of a more modest tank.  Love this outfit.

3. This silver Eames-era shell chair passed me out cold.

4. Grilled corn with chili powder, cilantro, lime, and queso fresco. Boy howdy.

5. Great dresser and awesome styling on top. That geometric lamp is amazing, too.

6. I'm posting a photo tutorial on this because I don't think you ladies realize how easy and gentle this method is for creating waves in your hair. It's fun and free. Work some product in and try it! It's especially awesome to rinse your hair on like, day 4, and then do it with product. Super curl hold, but soft and clean, too.

7. I dream of a pedestal sink and white subway tile in my house. I also dream of a vintage mirror that looks like the fan on the left. Wowsers.

8. So much awesome going on here. Love the ikat print, the variety of prints on the linens, that quilt makes me want to pass out, and the light. Oh, that light.

9. After seeing this photo, I've set out to create this outfit out of a maxi skirt, a sweatshirt, and a vintage lace camisole.

10. Beautiful cabinet and styling on top. Posters just make me swoony.

11. Dear pillow with a little pink, please come live at my beach house. When I have one, that is.

12. Insane in the membrane comfy outfit. Love.

13. Finally a flower vase idea that doesn't leave me certain the the cats will knock it off the counter. This sucker looks very heavy down below.

14. Me thinks that tutu needs to come out of the closet for date night. With a black blazer. Yup yup.

15. Years ago I made a quilt for Nana and I transferred the kids' drawings onto fabric to use in that quilt. This has to be a similar process. I smell a huge DIY.

16. Wicked cool home. Love the deep wood floor, the animal hide rug, and the retro afghan. Even the pillow is super cute.

17. This is a reason to allow Mabel's hair to grow as long as she wants it.

18. One day about 8 years ago, I had a fancy pantry with custom built-ins that looked exactly like this. I miss that pantry.

19. This is a beautiful reason to keep antlers around.

20. Okay, okay, I realize this is sarcastic. And honestly, I'm not sure I could wear this to work. But hot damn, I love this tank.

All images are Pinned for sources.