Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DIY: Homemaker's Journal

The rain and leaves are falling quietly outside while both my babies sleep and my house is clean. I almost don't know what to do with myself this afternoon!

How about a little DIY project? It's been awhile since we've gotten our craft on around here and this is the perfect sort of project for a day like today.


Before my grandparents moved up to the lake this summer, they lived downtown in the home they built over 50 years ago. Most times when Caws would stop by for a visit, she would bring with her some little thing she had found hidden away in a closet or the basement.

Little pieces of herself from around her house that she wanted to pass on. An old dress pattern she never used , an article torn from the newspaper from the 60's, sewing notions that she thought I could use. To her it was old junk, but to me these were little pieces of herself that gave me a glimpse into her past. They are all saved in a wooden box in my sewing room and when I look through her trinkets, I can't help but wonder what she was like at 16? 25? 37?

What were her biggest dreams in life? And the biggest struggles? Who were her friends, how often did she see them, and what would they do for fun? Where did she shop each week? What would she fix my daddy for his breakfast? I ask, but she can't remember the details. The everyday mundane that seemed unimportant at the time are the things I would love to know now.

And it isn't just my grandmother. I'd love to talk to my mother 26 years ago when she was at the same stage of life that I am in right now. She offers her advice and wisdom as I raise my own, but it is filtered through age and wisdom. I would love to know all the details from her days when we were little and what she would share with me, woman to woman as a young mother without the luxury of experience.

A few months ago, I was inspired by this post to keep a homemakers journal. Something I had never considered before. I realize that this stage of young motherhood is passing much to quickly and I want to remember these days at home with my girls. All the little insignificant details that marry together in what our life is now. And not just for myself, but to pass on to them one day when they become mothers.

For several afternoons while Caroline napped, Anna Cate and I cozied up on the couch, lit a candle, turned on some soft music, and flipped through all my old magazines (we had to borrow some from my mom and sister too)


What a sweet sweet time we spent together finding our favorite pictures and talking about different things. Sometimes I miss her baby ways, but I love this age of her discovering herself! I love hearing about what she likes and why, all of the silly things a three-year old thinks about and wonders. She takes on such a grown up air when we spend time one-on-one together and I love that she feels so important and special when I spend intentional time with her.

As we chatted, we tore out any pictures that we liked. You know, the ones that make you feel nostalgic and inspired or represent a part of yourself that is hidden somewhere down deep. It is fun to see what kind of pictures speak to you the most. Before I knew it, I soon had quite the collection of table settings, front porches, and floral arrangements, mostly taken from on a farm or by the ocean.
note to self: If those things make me happy, I should take more time to incorporate them into our own house.journal2

She cut out all of her favorite pictures too, mostly from Pottery Barn Kids.
also note to self: finish up her big girl room! it has been put on hold for 2 years now, just making do and the child obviously loves pink, pink, and a little green. it should be a space that reflects her personality, not just an empty box with a bed and dresser!

We arranged our pictures and glued them into a blank artist notebook. Well, I used an artist sketch pad, she used a school notebook from the Target clearance aisle. ;)


I have grown so found of my journal over the past few months. At first I felt nervous to write in it, unsure of exactly what to write and how. But it has become a place where I can

record a new favorite recipe
highlight a verse from my quiet time to medidate on throughout the day
organize our weekly menu
remember something funny one of the girls said or did
jot down ideas I have for family activities and outings
give thanks and praise for all my blessings


This simple exercise of taking pen to paper inspires creativity and reminds me to take a deep breath and find beauty in the ordinary.

It helps me stay more in the moment, to pause and smile for the little blessings throughout the day. Most importantly, this daily discipline encourages me to be more intentional with my time and appreciate the seemingly insignificant details that I tend to overlook and take for granted.


I've already enjoyed looking back through my notes from several months ago and hope this will be something my children and grandchildren will enjoy and treasure one day too!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One down...

Only 487 more to go!

Things to cross off my Christmas list that is.
I am behind in all of my holiday planning, but thanks to Shutterfly, our Christmas cards are going to take care of themselves this year! They are offering 50 free cards to bloggers who post about their holiday collection on their blog.
Sweet deal!

They have some really cute designs to choose from...I have no idea how I'm going to narrow it down to choose just one for our Christmas cards. But I'm already excited to try and get some cute pictures of the girls to use. :)

shutterfly christmas

They have some other great products on their site like this photo keepsake ornament. What a great idea for grandparents (& great grandparents) who already have everything!

shutterfly ornament

They also offer holiday gift tags for the technologically challenged people (like myself) who don't know how to do graphic stuff on the computer.

shutterfly gift tag

I've been in denial that December is almost here, but I think I've finally found the motivation to get busy and ready to celebrate the upcoming holidays!

**Update: you can go here to sign up to participate in the deal yourself! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Anywhere but here

These were the words I swore to Will before we said I do.


Let's find adventure, fill a life of exciting, romantic moments (preferably by the sea) and I'll follow you anywhere


Anywhere but here.


That engagement summer I crouched over these same rows, collecting the beans in my basket as I also collected my thoughts.


Never again.
I WILL NOT do this again.
In just a few short weeks I will be free to choose and I promise I will not be back to awaken in the early summer morning, to beat the sun and the suffocating heat, just to pick these silly beans that can be bought already shelled at the grocery store.


I always knew that I loved this land that my grandaddy and daddy both work. This home where grandparents, aunts, and uncles all live within walking distance, but I craved more. More of what, I can't remember exactly anymore because here I am. His plans that I thought would lead me far away, brought me full circle. Right back to the beginning.
Right back here.

My eyes have been opened and I can see


That simple is beautiful and rare and something to crave.


That the death of some dreams is really only the birth of something far greater.


That family really is everything.


That my adventure and fulfillment can be found in serving.


And how beautiful are my hope and future.

"I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11 The Message

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


And for more reasons than one. Boo! for Halloween and Boo! because I've messed with the diopter on my camera and ALL of my pics turned out FUZZY! So boo boo boo, you may need glasses to view this post.

Anna Cate requested to be Ariel for Halloween, and Will said absolutely no seashells. This daddy/daughter relationship deal is so interesting to watch as a third party. I can remember all of these conversations with my dad. I'd have to model a bathing suit before I was allowed to wear it for the first time to make sure it passed "code" and was always reminded, Now remember, we aren't advertising. (If you know my dad, can't you just hear him saying that?) Not what I wanted to hear as a teen, but now I'm so grateful for his vigilance. And so grateful that my husband is just as protective.

mermaid skirt

We found this skirt at a local thrift store for $3, but the original boutique price tag was still attached and the original price was $89!!! Can you believe somebody would actually spend 89 DOLLARS on this thing? But if made for a perfect mermaid skirt and saved me the cost and time of having to sew something else.

mermaid skirt2

We tweaked it by cutting out the zipper and adding an elastic waist to fit our little mermaid. For the top, Anna Cate helped me pick out some wavy/watery looking fabric and we used the pattern from their bathing suit tops this summer. Added some sequins, a ruffle, and a flower for her hair and we had one cute little mermaid!



Caroline borrowed one of her Aunt Charlee's old costumes that my mom made years ago and she made for a cute little pumpkin herself!

We met up with some sweet friends from church who live right down the road to trick-or-treat in their neighborhood.


Ariel and Cinderella

Sisters shot! Callie was obviously not into taking pictures, but she made one cute little ladybug...even with the tears!


Enjoying their loot after they were done. :)