Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Little Joys

This morning, no, change that...Last night, I started thinking about what I could write about today for "Tuesdays Unwrapped".   I knew that nothing was popping out at me, and I wasn't having all those little revelations that sometimes just seem to come so naturally.    And we can't find our camera battery, which means no great pictures of what I've captured.  

Instead, I had this:

A messy house, and the feeling of no matter what I will do, it will never all be together.  A cold that won't go away.   Fussy kids.  A busy and messy schedule - too much to do in too little time to do it.   No toilet paper - yes, you heard that right, and no it's not the first time that has happened.

But I did have these little faces to keep me company.    (this pic is actually from Christmas - I need new ones!)

And this sweetie to give me a hug.    

The kids and I had a lovely little lunch on the back deck.    Where big sister kept telling little brother to leave her birdhouse alone.   This is how she explained herself... "Birds of three, let it be!"   Oh, the little joys.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tell Me A Story

I need a little change here. I've grown tired of my railroad tracks, as much as I love them. When I was a little girl, and I was tired or maybe just a little bit bored, I would say to my Mom or Dad, "Tell me a story about when you were little." I loved hearing their tales of what their lives used to be like. There was something about knowing a piece of them that I could never really see, but through their stories, could know more who they were. They became more alive. More real. More enjoyable.

There's something about the beach that calls me home. I love that when I'm there I think about things like building sand castles with my family when I was a little girl. Or my sister, cousins, and I all pretending like we're wild horses galloping down the shore. Going body surfing with my Dad. Floating out on rafts into the deep, dark water, with my dad, uncles and grandfather, and then being scared as one of them would grab at our legs from underwater. Or countless memories of looking for shells with my Mama. She would find one, pick it up, call it by name (like, "What a pretty Ladie's Slipper!), and then put it in her hand like it was gold that she had just found. I love seeing my kids play in the freezing cold water just like I used to do, and come out blue lips and all ready to rush in and take a warm bath. It's great.

So join me in coming home for a bit. Think of your favorite places. Remember your fondest memories of where you most feel at home. I'd love to hear a story or two.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Unveiled Glory

My friend has this great idea...and I'm so glad that I finally got around to participating!  I love that we can share our stories of everyday grandeur!  

Yesterday (Tuesday) I found myself praying for my children a prayer that I often pray.  I don't start out thinking to pray this exact prayer, but what many times ends up being my prayer is that they would see God's glory and that because of seeing His glory, they would never turn away.   Then, this morning I sat in my favorite morning spot, drank a few sips of good coffee, watched the birds, and read for a brief moment before my two precious kids ran in to give me sweet good morning hugs and kisses.  

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Cor. 3:18)

As the words entered my heart I thought about the crazy way God does things.    If I were God, I would say that the way you get glory is by doing great things.   Or by accomplishing great works.  But instead of doing, He simply says, look at me.  God.    Turn your eyes to me, and believe in my greatness, and you will be changed from glory to glory.    How amazing it is that He changes us from glory to glory, as we look upon Him.   That He doesn't say, bring a veil with you and cover your eyes.   That He says, look upon me, and have freedom!   Look upon me, and go from glory to glory!

Most days, my "glory" probably goes unnoticed even to me.   I don't realize that I'm getting more patient, or that He's making me more like Him.    Or that I screwed up everything, and had a great fall-on-my-face-so-You-can-remind-me-I-can't-do-it-alone day.   But as I fold the laundry or make a casserole, as I love my little ones and encourage their souls to seek after Him, I truly believe by faith, He is doing that work.  Even in yucky old me!   And you - it's pretty amazing.   To think that our acts of our own accord are filthy rags, but as we look to Him, we are changed from glory to glory, 'even as by the Spirit of the Lord'.

I'm glad that it's as true for me as it is for my sweet little ones.  That as they look to the Lord, as they see His glory, they will be changed from glory to glory.    

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More After Shots...

We really had a great time at the beach. When we finally got home and all unpacked, we decided to take a couple after shots.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Before and After...Bathroom

For a while we've been enjoying our newly redone bathroom, but I've yet to show the before and after pics.   While relaxing down here at the beach, I was reading an article in one of my Real Simples that I hadn't had a chance to look at until being down here, and it was showing some beautiful shades of green.   It made me remember about my bathroom, and how calming it now is.   

Even though I love decorating, I'm not someone who knows from the start exactly what things are going to look like.   Usually, I decide as I'm in the process.    For my bathroom, I was almost sure that I was going to paint it a serene shade of blue.    I came home with a great shade of green instead.   My husband said, "I thought you were going with a blue of some sort."   I responded, "I did, too."    But, I love the shade I picked.   It's completely tranquil.     The name of it is "Pebble" from Valspar.

We knew we had to redo the bathroom - it wasn't really an option.   It's our only bathroom, and there just wasn't a lot of room.   The vanity took up most of the floor space, so we knew that a pedestal sink would be nice.    There was old linoleum, and we wanted tile.   But we also knew that we couldn't splurge and completely redo everything.    So, the things we chose were a new sink, beadboard to make it feel bigger and give it more character, new floor, and new light fixtures. 

this is my only before picture with the old sink/vanity still in.     River had "decorated" it for Christmas (thus the napkins everywhere and the original reason for the picture.)

sink out,  subfloor exposed
new fixture with same old mirror and medicine cabinet, but a frame made to fit around the mirror to give it a little more class.

i think this shot shows the truest representation of the color "pebble"

It's great.   Still simple, but also serene.    I love being in there now, verses how much I used to dread going in.   Much less...having to let guests use it!    To see more pics of the process, check out my hubby's handiwork here.   And if you ever think a redoing a small bathroom won't really make a difference, you better think again!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Before I ever had my children, I already had fallen head over heels in love with these three beautiful boys.   I know they would hate me even saying that, but AREN'T they gorgeous?

They are such a blessing to our family, and we love being with them.   My kids call them "brother cousins" and cute things like that.   And I get to be the fun aunt, otherwise known as, "Aunt Mama".   Even though we live in the same city, we don't get time together like I wish we had.    Since my sis is in the midst of clinicals and rotations and other nursing school things that I can't comprehend, we had asked if we could steal them away for their spring break to join us down at the beach.    So, thus, the Spring Break, 09.

We decided that we would leave last night after we all had Easter dinner together.    So, last night on the way down, we walked into McDonald's at 10pm for a snack and bathroom break.  We all went in.   It was really fun to pretend for a few minutes like I was this cool fun mom of 5 beautiful sandy blonde's and was all cute in my sundress from Easter, and had my cute husband smiling at me, and wasn't even concerned about the hour.    Everyone had those looks like...well, how you would look if you saw somebody walk into a place with 5 kids under the age of 10.    It was great.

We got back in the car, and after fighting severely with the stupid seat belts of the too crammed car seats, I shouted out, "We're not getting out until we get to the beach!"   Not even 5 minutes later, my daughter says, "Mommy, I have to go again....REALLY BAD!"     She had been so excited about her new water bottle with cold water, she had drunk all of it.    In less than an hour.    Me, not being quite so cool anymore, looked over at my hubby, who was just smiling. 

One day, when I was a little girl, probably 9, and was driving my mom crazy on a cross country trip, she turned around, and shouted..."MELISSA, I HOPE YOU HAVE 5 KIDS!!!"    I, being the super sensitive and over dramatic child I was, burst into tears.    My sister all the while quietly chuckling at my expense.   

So we're enjoying our beach time, and loving every minute of having 5 kids...for a week.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Mother's Lot

Yesterday, Asher and I were enjoying a little bit of one on one time.   He asked to play ball together, which we don't do as often as we should.   Coming off such a great Tarheel victory, I couldn't wait to encourage his ball ability.   We pulled the goal out and as I did, he asked me to make the goal higher.   It had already been raised a little the other day, and so I asked if he was sure.   He was.

We started shooting, him with the hard, small size appropriate basketball.   Not the Nerf kind.  Not the squishy, soft kind.   That's the kind he gave me.   After shooting several times and missing, me being the supportive mother, asked if he wanted me to lower the goal.   He said no.   I asked him if he wanted me to lift him up to make it in.   He said no again.   Or, "uhhh-ohh", which means no.

He continued throwing the ball up, determined to make one in.    But one after the other, they missed.    He started throwing harder, and bending down lower trying to get more leverage.    Nothing.   Finally, he shot one that hit the rim, but was thrown so hard it shot right back down at him, and slammed into his face.    Hard.    

He cried for a few minutes, and as I saw the big red mark on his face, I kissed it and asked if he wanted to stop playing.    He said no.   And then proceeded to get in position again.    Bending low, and having the ball held as rightly as he knew how, he shot it up as hard as he could.  I held my breath, just hoping that this time it would make it in....

It went in.

I marveled at his persistence while wondering if this is what mothers go through.  Do they stand aside, and without helping, allow their children to try their hardest and fail.   Time and time again.   Do they encourage after every attempt, even when the outcome is not success as we would call success.    Do they love on them when they lose, and when they win?    Do they see them get hurt and struggle, only to feel let down one more time?    The answer?   Yes.   Yes, we do.   Because without the struggle there would be no victory.    And without the disappointment, there would be no character built.   Without the pain, there would be no triumph.

I can't help but think of Mary this week.    How she was able to see her sweet Son, who had grown into an amazing man, have to face a trial none of us can imagine.   To be betrayed by the closest of friends.   To be accused unjustly.   To be beaten almost to the point of death, only to have to endure more torture.    To be made sin, when He knew no sin.    To suffer like no one ever has nor ever will.   To feel the grip of death, and to even be given over to it.    To be forsaken by everyone, even His Father.   

The pain that she must have known in those moments is a pain that I do not wish to share.   It is a suffering that I would never ask to have.    But then, I think about how she got to be Jesus' mother.   How she got to see Him live a Holy life.   She was able to help shape Him into a man.    She saw Him do miracles and display God's glory day after day after day.   She saw Him defeat death.    Defeat sin.   Defeat all His enemies, once and for all.    Destroy any grip that death would ever hold on any of us ever again.   And as painful as it must have been, I can't begin to understand the pride she must have had when He rose up from the grave.   That after every bit of pain and suffering, He had relief.   He had healing.    He had victory.

"Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."   Heb. 12:1-3

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Open Season

It's officially open season for yard sales. I know, I know...you're on the edge of your seat!

My friend Diane and I have always loved yard sales. We absolutely love getting the deal of our lives every Saturday morning. We'll tell each other about yard sales that we heard about or have gone to, and even sometimes run into each other unintentionally at them. This morning we had fun going together on the hunt. Years ago we used to talk about how we could open up a little store with all of our yard sale finds and call it "Junk in the Trunk". Here's why...

After one hour and about $15 later here's what the car looked like.

And here is what we looked like.

For $5 I got all of this.
(random mix, I know)

Here are my favs from the day (especially when they were .50 cents each!)

To see my yard sale philosophy and to check out other fun tips to get you ready for yard sale season check this post out! I'd love to hear your favorite yard sale tales! If you can't tell, it's one of my favorite subjects!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Caught in the Middle

I love our Friday mornings.    It's the only day we don't have to rush out the door to be somewhere, and it's great.    SOOOO great.   The kids watch cartoons, and I...well, I check in on blogs and think about meaningless decisions.    Such as...

Short or long???

I always get to this place when my hair is in between and I get so sick of it.   It doesn't look good down, because if it's gonna be long, I need to get it shaped up.   And it usually is up in a pony tail, but nothing too cute.   It just feels so blah and nothing.   I need to make A CHANGE!  
I always love my short cuts, and it's been a long time since it's been really short (like pregnant with Asher).    But whenever it's short I always miss it being long.   I feel like I might be missing out on having curly hair by not making the most of it.    (Can you see how I'm crazy?)   

But usually what I do is get it cut pretty short, and then take a long time to let it grow all the way out, and then I get so sick of it that I cut it again.     It feels cuter when it's short, but I like the variety of a long cut.

Ok, so to help me in my indecisiveness, I'm asking for your opinion...

(see, told you i was pregnant- 4 months to be exact)


Now, don't give me all those wishy-washy "you could go either way" answers.   I know I could, but I don't know WHICH way!   That's why I need your help!

I'm sure I'll talk about more meaningful things soon!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Turns Out I Don't Like Exercise...

A few years ago, I decided I was going to try to be more active.     Especially since 30 was right around the corner, I felt like, I needed to implement some sort of routine that would help me to stay somewhat in shape and healthy.     So, I decided I would start running on a regular basis.   As much as I tried to pump myself up for this, I knew that I really did not like running.   Much less, running alone.   And so I went a few times, about once a week or so for about a month.   Nothing too major.   But, as I later explained to my sister and brother in law, I found something new out about myself.    And, as I said to them, "Turns out, I don't really like exercise."    We all started laughing, and it turned into a famous inside joke.

So, now, three years later, I still don't like exercising.   I've never been one of those girls that just loves getting out and going for a run.    And as much as I wish I was, I'm not.   I love dancing.   I love swimming.     I love going for walks.    But, I really don't like going and "working out".  

So, the only way I've found to get over this hump, has showed me more about me, than I would have ever guessed.  I go to an aerobics class every Wed. morning. before the kids are up and the hubby is out the door.   My friend and I usually go together, so she texts me the night before to see who's going to drive.   (That means I can't get out of it)   And my instructor is my pastor's wife who is hilarious and fun to be around, and always checks to see if I'm coming, or calls when I miss.     So, the things I need in life have all been made clear to me through this - relationship and accountability.   It's the answer to my exercise problem.     Also, it's a great all encompassing workout with weights, abs, and cardiac, all in an hour.   So it's great for me - not too long on any one thing, very efficient.

If you're someone who can do it alone, and longs for that time by yourself...Man! I wish I were like you!   But those of you who are more like me, and need others encouragement and support, I'm here to say, it can be done...even if it's just once a week.   Like my friend reminded me this morning, "You're really lifting weights all day long".   As my little boy is on my lap, I couldn't agree more.   I still don't wake up thinking how glad I am that it's Wed. and I can go to aerobics.  But I'm always glad afterwards for the good workout that I've had.

What are your secrets for exercise success?