Saturday, December 29, 2012

{i may just like this....}

a little too much.
 
i have a lot to post.
but, am immensely enjoying
not doing anything associated with a list. 
 
i'm actually simply doing a lot of
what i want.
 
playing with the boys.
reading.
web browsing.
plans for 2013.
cleaning.
organizing.
sitting in places other than a computer.
still enjoying my christmas decorations. 
dreaming of an extra-special vacation for the boys.
 
it has been so great.
i'm sure this will have an impact
on the upcoming calendar.
 
speaking of calendars.......
does anyone have the same problem as me.
finding one i love.
then, finding one i love better.
and, maybe another one. 
 
it's crazy.
so far, i'm on my 2nd one for 2013.
 
now, i'm off to shoot a beautiful little
model that is kind enough to help me test
out my lighting and a new backdrop. 
 

Monday, December 17, 2012

{no words}

but, many prayers for those in Newtown. 
My heart literally aches.
 
It was more difficult than I anticipated
on the drive to school this morning.  I had to turn off
the radio and wipe my hidden tears without them seeing me.
 
I 'forced' Noah to kiss me in front of his teachers.
He obliged me much easier than he would have on
any other day.  He also mouthed "I love you" as I drove away.
He knows what has happened.  Evan doesn't get it all thankfully.
 
I saw many mothers on the road to and from the schools wiping
tears.   Evan kissed me as he usually does and told me his usual,
"shine.  and, i'll be praying for you."  I told him the same as I always do.
 
I watched him walk {almost skipping} past the plain clothed police
officer standing at the front entrance without a care in the world. 
 I drove away and the tears flooded.  I wish there could be a bubble,
but I know there cannot. 
 
 I will have to fight this fear as it has always been a fear
to me and now it is heightened to the extreme.   They will
never know how fearful I am at times because I never want them to feel it.
 
I'm ready for it to be 2:50 p.m. 
 
 
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

Psalm 147:4
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

{beach dazeD}

oh, what I would give to have my toes in warm sand right about now.
 
NOT because we finally  have winter weather - I'm actually welcoming
that.  But, the midnight oil is burning low right about now.
 
sand, it cures just about everything.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

{anybody out there??}

I've noticed my friends have fallen off
the blog wagon as well.  Busy, busy time
of year for everyone.
 
And, for here...... 
 
it's going to get worse, before
it gets better.  I'm looking
forward to that later part.
 
Can't happen soon enough!
 
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

{tears}

Yesterday was particularly difficult for me regarding the family
members that are no longer here on Earth with us.  I still found myself
making each of their favorite dishes. Strange, I know.  I had to turn off the Macy's
 Day Parade as that was what Grandpa and I watched together
every year since  I was tiny.  Even when I cooked for the whole
 family, I always made sure that
was on for him when he was here waiting for me to finish up. 
To see the boys play football in the backyard broke my heart knowing
that my dad never got to see them.  It was a great day but with many
apple in the throat moments with a few tears. 
 
We had an unexpected visit from my youngest brother who had dinner
with Shawn and his family.  Although he was warned re: the
stomach bug, he said he couldn't be this close in proximity and not
see the boys.  The boys were thrilled.  Then, I was thrilled as he
went to the storage unit with me to load up the car with
my Christmas tree and decorations.  Well, at least all that would
fit in one trip. {wink}  On the way home we talked about
our grandparents mostly and he asked me about the spring.
 
The spring.
 
I had heard about the spring my whole life but I guess
I never realized how close it actually was.  One
Thanksgiving while driving Grandpa home, he asked me
if I would like to go see if we could find it.  Well, of course.
And, it was between my house and his.   It was a day that
is completely priceless to me.  The conversations we had.  Seeing
how being in that spot took him back in time 60+ years.  We
found the spring without any difficulty and it was full and overflowing;
we both drank out of it.  Then, we ventured through the woods
to see if we could find the old home site.
 
This was where my grandmother lived as a girl.  This is where my
grandfather would walk miles and miles to see her as often as he could.
It was an old mining area, an area which is now reclaimed.  The
spring was the community watering source.  He walked there with
her on many occasions and gathered water for her family. We also
found the foundation of the home site.  I simply cannot
put into words how precious that day will always be to me.
It was to him too as he talked about it all the way up until he died.
 
So, yesterday James told me he had never been there.  I had just
gone back about two months ago and was in a complete panic as I
couldn't find it and I was fearful the land had been purchased due to
new fencing that was up with no trespassing signs.   I decided to
go back after some of the grass and growth died down. 
 
We found it almost immediately, a tree had fallen over it.
It was dry, but it was beautiful.  Because it had been
so full and overflowing of water the day I had been there
with Grandpa, I had not been able to see the rock work that
virtually turned it into a well.   There was a brick that
was not supporting anything, so I now have that.
 
A brick.
 
That brick is one of my most prized possessions now.
I know that sounds crazy, but to have a small
piece of something that was so dear to his heart, made
my heart really happy. 
 
Even though we miss them all terribly, it is amazing
how they are truly all still with us.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

{happy thanksgiving}

Before this day is completely gone from the calendar, I wanted to jot down some of the moments purely for my sake. 

Because we were hit with some sickness {okay, the worst stomach bug I have ever witnessed one of my children go through} and Thanksgiving had to be "cancelled", we opted to enjoy every ounce of it, despite.   And, in the whole scheme of things, once I dried some little eyes over the fact that we wouldn't get to see our family, we did just that.  We had a great Thanksgiving.

Since I had not set foot off the property since we arrived home on Monday, I got a list together of favorite requests and headed to the craziness of Fort Smith at oh, about 6 pm on Thanksgiving Eve.  I know.  But, I didn't have much of a choice. 

And, by the way, a certain unnamed friend left a sweet surprise on the gate for the boys that I retreived on my way out.  And, just so you know - they have played and played with that and absolutely love it.  Thank you once again does not do justice.  But, a sincere thanks.  It whisked away some boredom in a badly needed way.

Okay, back to Sam's on the eve of Thanksgiving.  That really says it all.  So, after a quick run into two more grocery stores, a quick run home to unload and then portrait deliveries, I returned home after 10:30 pm.  Exhausted. 

This morning, knowing it would just be the four of us, allowed me to move at a much slower pace than the norm.  I actually stayed in my pj's as did the boys.   Cleaned as I went.  Listened to a blaring radio.  Donned my new Vera Bradley apron.  And, enjoyed cooking each of their favorites.  No rushing.  

I then lit the Christmas lights on the pergola.  Set a table with what I had on hand and made it "fallish".  Gathered wood, lit the outdoor fireplace and then we actually had probably the best dinner we've ever had together.  The leaves were beautiful.  The temperatures perfect.  I could hear the chickens chirping.  The conversation was silly and great. It was one of those freeze frame moments for my  heart. 

What started out to be a disappointment turned into a perfect day for us.  Very simple.  But, one I will never, ever forget. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! There are no words for how thankful and grateful I am. 

And, now, my house looks like Christmas exploded.   More on that later! ;) 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

{it's a toss up}

I'm swimming.
 
Or, drowning.
 
It completely depends on the perspective at the moment.
 
Or, the moment.
 
Because it changes rapidly.
 
It's that time of the year that is very difficult
to juggle and balance, but I love it so.
 
The weather gave me havoc this year.
But, I think I will have everyone covered. 
 
My eyes are fixed.
 
On the weekend ahead. 
Three days away with nothing but my three boys.
A very generously, sweet client gifted us with a
weekend away.  Tucked in a lodge for three days.
 
My perspective at the moment causes my
heart to palpitate just a bit because three days away
seems LONG right now.  Too long. 
 But, I have a feeling when
I'm in the midst of them and come Monday
those three days will have flown quickly. 
 
Although I'm busier than a bee right now and my
head screams with all the reasons why I shouldn't go,
my heart is pulling me more.
 
I'm thinking the timing could not be more perfect.
 
And, I'm pretty certain that when I get back, all
 will fall into place simply because of the
much needed rest and time away.
 
For now, I'm back at it.
 
But, looking forward to Friday.
 
and, Saturday,
 
and, Sunday.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

{out of sight......}

Yes, once again I have been snatched by aliens.
 
That happens alot around here.
 
It is 10:39 am
 
I actually got FULLY dressed with makeup this morning. 
That took awhile.
 
I have dropped the boys off.
 
Celebrated a Student of the Month breakfast with sweet E. 
{congrats!!!;}
 
Purchased a few groceries as the cupboards were bare. 
Looked for essential pieces for Halloween costumes.  Strike.
Now, a trip to Ft. Smith will occur at some point today.
Or tomorrow, after all, I have one more day. 
 
Dropped the hubby off at the in-laws.
 
Unloaded MOST of the groceries.
 
Answered emails and messages.
 
Started laundry load #1.
 
Taken both dogs for walks separately.
Don't ask.  It's a time killer though.
 
Tried to find a bellering cow.  Decided
she was having a near death experience in
birthing.  Did I mention it is calving season?
 
Called the hubby and in-laws.  No answer.
It is also wheat and rye planting season here on the farm.
 
Jump in the car to just go get hubby.
Return home, drive through some fields learned that
George {who is actually a mama cow, don't ask} had
escaped her confines away from the herd and left her
baby fields away.  But, she decided to lounge in the sun for a bit
before resuming the search.  Crazy cows.  That's exactly what
I'd do if I left my baby somewhere I couldn't remember and
had been distraught just minutes before?  Sun. 
 
Return home to discover the dogs had gotten into the trash.
Lovely.
 
And, now, I am chopping apples and steaming veggies for myself.
 
NO, that would be for the chickens.
Because this girl is out of chicken feed.  
 
Now, to start my day.
 
Coffee, please. 
 
 
 

Friday, September 28, 2012

{snippets}

* I always, always, always want to remember to have the faith of a "corn seed".  My heart melted.
* Lots happening out there in the barn/studio - I'll try to remember to take pictures tomorrow.  I  need to take pictures of a lot of stuff but it has been a constant state of rain over the past two weeks.  I've had a total of NINE cancellations due to rain and/or sickness in the past two weeks.  It is almost impossible to get them all rescheduled. :(
* Hung new pictures of the boys up.  It's been over a year and a half since I've taken any that I wanted to blow up that weren't beachy.   LOVE. 
* Big wedding in NWA tomorrow.  And, the next weekend.  And, the next weekend.  I'm turning down a Dallas wedding.  NWA is far enough.
*I love my boys.  Just wanted to put that out there.
*And, I love my Scott.  I've voiced his praises many times this week .  I am amazed at what he has had done for me out in the studio.  Amazed.   I tried to buck it countless times saying I didn't need it.  Well, I'm so happy he ignored me on that one.  He has given me one of my biggest dreams.   Thank you Honey!  I'm pretty much speechless on this one. 
* I think I want to learn how to sew again. Long story.
* We have started thinking about the decor for the upstairs.  To make both boys wants mesh will be the feat of the entire project.
* I discovered I love roasted pumpkin seeds.  Another reason to really have that pumpkin patch next year.
* I am way past ready for some Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer.  If I can get my hands on some, I'll need to make a delivery to SC!
* Sweet card from a sweet friend this week.  I  need to text her but my phone was lost more than half of the day.  Now it's dead. 
* Last year I was dying to decorate for Christmas.  This year, not so much.  Strange.

Talk soon! 
 
    

Monday, September 24, 2012

{planning}

an "experience" for the boys.
 
D Day:  Christmas morning.
 
And, they will be wisked off for
the biggest surprise of their life. 
 
Let the drastic budgeting begin! :)     

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

{laundry detergent correction}

 
ugh.
 
 
I left out Borax in the recipe.
 
It was there?
 
But when I read T's comment {thank you T}
 
I was immediatenly hhhmmmmming because I knew I had typed it in.
 
But, it was gone and should have been there.
 
I've corrected. :) 

{banned}

from.................
 
LEGOs.
 
I kid you not.
 
The perfect example of how
 
any good thing can become a bad thing.
 
Two weeks.
 
I want my kiddos out of their rooms.
 
signed, mean mama.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

{knock, knock}

or should I say knock off.
 
 
And, one that has me skipping!
 
A little history here.  I am a girl from
the 80's hair era.  So, in high school and
college I was an avid Suave user as it was
really........cheap.
 
With 80's hair, it didn't matter if it was
in good shape.  Because to be honest,
the more fried, the better - it would
stand up even higher.
 
Oh, how I shudder.
 
And, burn pictures.
 
BUT, last year when I was on
my perpetual journey to make
some new discoveries in the field of
beauty since that was exactly where alot of
my $$ was going, I ran into the name brand
of the above.  I got it at Ulta while on sale, but
it was still a hefty price for shampoo and conditioner. 
 
And, on the flip side, during some of my
attempts to cut back in the beauty budget department,
I had tried some of the Professional Series flavors of
Suave and was not very happy.
 
Here comes the oh, happy day, skipping part.
 
I love this one better than the original!! 
It did what it promised, my hair is super sleek and shiny
since I've used it.  Well, that's when I've used it
and actually fixed my hair.  So, don't truly
judge if you've seen me in the carpool line over
the past week solely on how my hair looked.
 
I did fit some good hair days in. ;)
 
Just wanted to share and if you
use it, let me know what you think.
 
Otherwise, I feel like I'm spinning
my wheels on my little discoveries and could
instead be scouring Pinterest. ;)  

{tweak, tweak, tweak - laundry detergent}

Finally.
 
I have combined some different components of
different recipes and found one that I love and
am very happy with. 
 
Wanted to share as I had been asked.
 
Considering you only use 1-2 Tbsp per load,
this will last us for quite a while.  Happy about that!  

Homemade Laundry Detergent



 
1 (4 lb 12 oz)  box of Borax 
 
1 (3 lb) Container of Oxyclean - this is completely optional but with
the THREE boys and the farm - pretty necessary for me.
 
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of finely grated soap - {zote (apparently has a good scent),
Fels Naptha (this scent is not right for me at all) or my choice Ivory}   
 
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda

1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
 
1-2 (55 oz) Containers of Purex Fabric Softner Crystals {completely optional
but, I needed the clothes to be soft}

and,

if you love scents as much as I do....

I added in a bottle of Downy Unstoppables.

Remember that farm + 3 boys.

Enough said! ;)
 
And, that is it!  I just got a big container and layered it as I went
to make mixing easier.  Scooped out some into a wide mouth Mason
Jar and that was it.  The most difficult part is grating the soap. {wink} 

I use this in my front loader, HE.  Everything I have
researhed states this is perfectly fine to use - but, you 
may want to check that out yourself.   :)

{sunday drive-l}

I survived the week.
 
That is a horrible way to start a post out isn't it?!?
 
 Maybe, what I should have said was the week wasn't as
hectic as it looked to be.  But, then again, the rain cancelled
three sessions.  Great for editing and catching up.
 
HORRIBLE on the calendar. 
 
Fall definitely feels like it is in the air.
 
I have got to start using my camera to take
pictures to post.  I don't love posts without pictures but
never have the right lense on the camera when I need
to snap a few.  I'm not even certain where my little
red camera is that I purchased for that very purpose. 
 
Lots of great conversations with the boys this week.
LITERALLY, almost every time I am with them I seem to
hear the quiet tick-tock of the clock that is truly
almost deafening to me.  My time with them is ticking.
In a rapid pace.  But,in saying that - it hasn't been a
negative thing to be so tuned in with it, but I think
it is helping me to stay very intentional with pretty
much every conversation, every hug, every snuggle.
 
I love them so!
 
Several things to post and capture on here.
 
*walls are finished!  all taped up, mudded,
sanded and sprayed.   And, have I picked out the paint?
Well, no.  Maybe tomorrow.  I have to bust into
one of my office furniture boxes and will lug a piece of it
to that nice lady at Kolor Key and let her work her magic for me. 
 
*two new baby calves for the boys to bottle feed.
Evan's is Penny, or Scarlett or Ruby.  It changes with
pretty much every feed.  Noah's is Stanley aka Stan. 
They are currently residing in the chicken run.  
The girls are quite ruffled about it. 
The calves just want their milk.
Mr. Jeff built a nice little corral for them yesterday.
BUT, thanks to the ants - we had to treat it and will
likely move them out there tomorrow.
 
In an "uh-oh" moment.....Evan told me today
after church that he was going to ask 
Santa for a calf for Christmas. I tried to remind
him of the difference between Noah's Ark and the
sled.  He didn't budge.  I have a strong feeling
there might me a calf in front of the fireplace
with a big red bow on Christmas morning.
 
Yep, I see it coming. 
 
*now he wants a herd of goats.
 
No comment.
 
*fall is definitely in the air and I am loving it.
I am determined not to complain about this rain
as we need it so desperately.  BUT, I have
a complete muddy mess on my hands.  There
is a water line dug across my front yard.  An electric
line and water line in front of and to the side of my
chicken coop.  And, a phone line and cable line from
my house to the barn.  It is a mess!  I can't even
begin to paint an accurate picture here.  And, I don't
want to take one, that's for sure!
 
*walmart does not have my pumpkin spice
coffee creamer.  not that i could have any of it
as i'm on the diet from down under.
 
*cinnamon cider is burning. 
 
*boys are playing legos and star wars stuff.
 
*hard loss for our HOGS yesterday.  thankfully
no new injuries for us.
 
*big week ahead:  tons of deliveries to make, new
orders to place, edits, a report, 2 family sessions
2 bridals, and a very special wedding.   those
are the big ones - still mouths to feed, clothes
to launder, animals to take care of, church, wrapping
things up for my studio, Bible study.....  
 
I think I'll just go make myself another pot of coffee.
Without creamer. :(

Ya'll have a great Sunday!

{love notes: 2012 edition}

What ever happened to check yes or no?

Simply:  do you like me? check the box.

The end. 

But, no.  We have received a bevy of love letters since Kindergarten.  Although they've taken quite 
the turn this year.  He brings them home almost daily.  Most of the girls he has never even had a 
conversation with. 

One of our latest ones.....

Evan,

I love you.  I think you are hot.  But, I am too young to date.
I dream about you when I am asleep in bed.  I daydream about you when 
I am in my class.  

Me + You = Love. 


Oh.my. 

I realize we are only in the 2nd grade and there are no extreme worries or concerns here.  But, wow.
I'm sorry, but what 2nd grade girl writes a note like that?   How times have changed and are changing.

I prefer the yes or no check the box themed note.

And, I will say that it has spurred me to pray even more for my boys and their futures.  And, whatever
girls come into their lives.   Yes, we are in 2nd grade....but in a blink we will be in 8th, then a sigh and we will be in 10th, another blink 12th.

Depressing, but true.

Tonight I watched two little boys in the back of a cattle trailer meeting their new bottle calves.  I told a dear friend, I sooooo want simple for them.  I want them to live and breath His creation.  I want to keep
them little boys for every moment that I can.  I want to stretch it to be perfectly honest. 

I know that many may view that as unnecessary shielding them, if so, so be it. 
I just plan on my shield being that of some heavy duty prayer.
I sit here and watch protests in Egypt.  An election that makes me cringe.
A world in which Christians are mocked at continuously.
Where values are thrown to the curb.  

It breaks my heart.

I want more for my boys.

He wants more for my boys.

Just give me Mayberry and a Bible any day of the week.







Sunday, September 9, 2012

{rear-view mirror style}

just some quick snippets for my memory of the past week.
 
*the school routine was much easier on all of us this week.
Thank.you.God.
 
*although I had few sessions over the past weeks, I am pulling
another all nighter tonight.  Kicking fall off officially tomorrow. 
 
*VERY thankful for the rain and cooler temps this week.  
Could have done without the scary front line wind storm I found
myself in the middle of, but, I tucked and ran. 
 
Well, and hid to be perfectly honest.  
 
*studio is humming right along.  All sheet rock is up. 
Walls get finished this week.  Flooring picked out {although
I need some opinions in a very bad way}, two more lights
to order.  Electric hooked up {and sweet hubby also
ran electric and water to my girls to make things easier for me}
 
*i FINALLY found a homemade laundry detergent recipe that
I LOVE!!!  So excited.  I made a few tweaks and am thrilled.
 
Should one be thrilled over laundry detergent?
Probably not, but saving HUNDREDS of $ a year.
That does make me very happy.  My laundry product
bill was simply PITIFUL!
 
*i missed a very special baptism this morning because
we were finally able to lay my sweet aunt wanda to rest this morning. 
My brother made her the sweetest headstone.  She would have
been very proud of it.  I am glad she is at peace, but
it was so hard.  Just the three of us there in the cemetery
this morning.   Always so hard to say goodbye.
 
*i have an extremely busy week ahead.  Five sessions, 
a trip to NWA to hear Amy Grant speak, lots of edits and orders,
boys to love on, dogs and chickens and cows to take care of, 
studio and barn clean up and decisions, a yard to mow {in a
bad way} and the normal humdrum of life. 
 
busy, but very grateful.  
 
  
 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

{take 2?}

oh me, oh my!

what a week!
considering i thought it was the third week of school 
all of last week instead of the second, it was a mess.  

nothing tragic happened, thank you God.
but, it was way past chaotic.

even for me.

let's see....

i averaged about 3 trips to GW per day.
in one day, i filled over $150.00 in gas in my vehicles.
i already need to refill one of those said vehicles.

i missed MY birthday lunch! 
i'll leave it at that because it is still
too traumatic for me to even "go there."

a tooth for the stinkin' toothfairy got lost.

again.

at least it didn't get put into the washing machine.

again. 

i was informed N needed a tie dye shirt on
wednesday night after we had passed the store.
he reminded me thursday night as it was needed
for friday.  i gathered supplies and although it
was fun {INSERT:  do not try to tie dye a 
shirt outside on the patio during a tropical storm}
and, was up at 4:30ish washing the shirt.  
their team lost regardless of our effort to get it just right.
oh. well. 

i hosted a wedding shower last saturday.
i got the final serving dishes hand washed just yesterday.
i hope to get it all put away today.

carpets shampooed last week for that same shower.
little neighbor boy tracked in RED CLAY on his 
muddy boots yesterday while selling us potted mums.

potted mums  already purchased for the shower have
entered a critical state of dehydration ALREADY.
That is three sets of ferns and mums Resting In Peace
way too soon. 

NEVER, EVER, EVER decide to touch up
your painted walls the morning of a big shower.
Regardless of asking for your wall color in flat as 
used before, a mistake or change to the formula may 
have been made.  Don't avoid doing a test spot just in case
because you are running out of time.  Because you
could have such spotted up walls that you have to 
repaint every.single.one from top to bottom.  

It can be a very painful learning experience.  

But, on a positive note.

The Hogs play today.
WPS!!!!

My walls go up next week!

I've had some great moments with the boys 
this week.  Priceless. 

I started back to Bible Study {although it wasn't 
on my calendar until September} and am 
turning lemons into lemonade due to a time change.

I've had lots of time cleaning this week. 
{translates into therapy for me}

My fall calendar is busting at the seams, but
I'm ready to embrace it. 

I've been burning fall candles and dreaming
of crisper days.  

I've been planning some projects on our 
farm this fall that will come into fruition next spring.

I am grateful for friends I love and adore.

I am thankful for my sweet little family.

So, with that, AMEN.  The week
was so bad after all! 








Monday, August 20, 2012

{i've fallen off the wagon}


I watched one scramble to catch up with his friends to
ride the shuttle bus to the Middle School campus. 
It was a very bittersweet sight to behold.  Tears sprung.

I kissed another one smack dab on the lips while
he would still let me and walked out with Scott.

 A new school.
A new year. 

Then, I strategically swung through the drive-through
at McDonald's and ordered a fully loaded sweet tea to
drown my sorrows in.   I will be sipping this
glass of sugar for the next few hours. 

It may make me feel a little better.

Maybe.

I will be back later for a happy post.
For now, I want to wallow.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

{ba humbug!}

to the end of summer.

But, I will put on my happy face for them and
embrace the beginning of the new school year with a smile.  

Tonight, I may be quietly saying
ba humbug to myself a time or two.
Or maybe, three.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

{pausing}

I really wanted to write this when my mind was less
frazzled, I didn't have luggage to be packed, a house to clean,
and a list of MUSTS before we leave that door tomorrow, but,
I couldn't let the day pass without pausing for a minute to
celebrate today.   It is a big day for you, Honey!

Not only our we celebrating our 19th Anniversary, but
you are now 40!  I can't believe it!  Where has the time gone?
I have been very reminiscent over the last few days - if it took
just a blink to get us here, it places perspective on the blink we
have left together.  It simply goes so fast. 

I have to giggle because of how we have spent our day.
I have barely seen you on this anniversary of ours as the
original plan was to be celebrating it on the beach.  That
got scratched.  So, instead we both worked like crazy today
trying to get things in place to finally make it to the beach.

And, then, your BIG day.  I laugh again at how understated it has been.
It has been just how you want it.  When I think of what
you did {or, funded my friends to do for me last year} the comparison
is absolutely stunning.   Again, I have barely seen you because
you have taken advantage of a good day that you've had to
get us out the door.  Thank you.  Instead of a house full
of friends - you, me and the boys will be eating pizza,
brownies and sipping on a 2 liter of Mt. Dew tonight.   It
would make me horribly sad if I thought you were disappointed
at all, but you are not, this is how you wanted it. 

I think we've learned a lot over the years.  We should have
as we were mere babes when we first met! 
We've had so many ups and downs and I think we are
both at a place where we are very happy and content.  And,
most of all, still in love.  It's easy to get on autopilot and go through
the motions, but, I think we've grown in so many ways that 
we don't want to settle for that at all.  I found a perfect card
{even though you have not seen it yet, ha!} and I couldn't have
said it better myself....

"Remember the thrill of it all when we first started out?
Me, too.
But that was only the beginning. 

When we first fell in love,
we believed we'd always
feel exactly the same way,
every minute, day in and day out.

But, then learned
that love is a choice we make
again and again.

We choose each other
over all the distractions.
We say yes to tomorrow,
even when we're shaking our heads
over the way today might be going.

We decide that love
is what matters most.
For me, that means standing by
the best choice I ever made...
You."      

Scott Walker.

There is absolutely no one on this planet that I
could have imagined my life with but you. 

No one I would have wanted by my side when....

*I didn't always have the confidence that I could make it
through school with so many of the obstacles I had.
*Each job change or career path that was before me 
 - you were always by biggest fan.
*All the years I couldn't go to the cemetary alone, you
were there beside me.
*With each baby that we lost - you were my quiet comfort.
*When we were told we would never have babies - you
held my hand and then wiped my tears when they spilled
in that elevator in Little Rock.
*You did that same very thing in the hotel room in San
Fransicso - you wouldn't let me give up hope.
*You gave me the home of my dreams at
the mere age of 23  - and told me this is where we would
grow old (& we are thankfully!}.
*You held my heart through our adoption process.
*You held my hand through our delivery.
*You wiped my tears when I lost my sweet Grandpa. And,
you totally got why my heart was so sad for so long and
often wanders back to that place.
*You have told me the sweetest words I will ever hear
- that I am a great mother.

That is just a glimpse.  You truly hold my heart and
I am excited with the direction we are going.  We continue
to defy those odds we were told after the accident. 
And, that makes me very, very happy!

I love you and happy, happy birthday!

{it's official}



I've got my 'traveling' outfit laid out for the wee hours.

A very important component for me....it's all about being comfy.
Laying it out makes it official; that, and the fact I dropped the girls off.

I am praying that I can leave all of the work that will be left undone
behind me.  And, forget it.  REALLY forget it.  There are
late deadlines but, I am hoping the outcome of the time I spend on
the edits will soothe their frustrations.  I wish I could just have
a few weeks without the unexpected{S}....then maybe I could halfway stay
caught up.  That, and learning to use the naughty word of no. I have
worked like a madwoman but we got hit hard over the past week
with multiple illnesses and multiple requests that were not on the agenda.  
We should have left Sunday, but it will be Wednesday.
  
 I am hoping to forget it all because....my boys {or my littles, as Dixie Delights calls
 them} simply deserve that.   I want to there present with them 100%. 
 I have one night of sessions, but that is it.  This time, I plan on dumping that
 last trip on its head in comparison.  I need to "be" and "be still" with them
in a tremendous way for not only my heart, but my sanity.

Well, I'm wrapping up my have-tos and hope to be in bed at a decent
hour and then we will begin our last hurrah for summer.  Sad
to see her go, but am going to squeeze every last bit out of
her that I can.    Be back soon!!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

{behind closed curtains}

Unless you show up unexpected, you would never know
that all of this stuff for the studio sits haphazardly
behind closed curtains.  Those curtains save me.

These pictures do not even do justice to the overload. 
And, some of the overload has already flowed into the barn.
There is no room left in the inn.

Garage doors:  check

Heating and air:  check

Electrical:  check

Insulation:  begins tomorrow

Barn doors:  begin next week

Walls start going up: in one week.









Soon, maybe soon, this storage room will revert to
days long ago when it was a simple dining room. 

And, for clarification, most of anything in there that is bright is
actually just a prop besides the rugs and they are in various
places such as entry, bathroom, etc.  Everything else for the
studio {in the boxes} is very light and airy. 

A wee bit excited...  

{the shopping experience}

I wish I could avoid.

Back to school shopping.

That first day bell ring is looming.

Sales Tax Free weekend begins tomorrow.

I went ahead and plunged today. 

Very, very sad face.

As the boys race past me just now wrapped
in their wet towels from the pool.

Sigh.  

{a new beach has been discovered}

First, I am about to surmise that a relaxing beach vacation
is not in the plans for us this year. 

Tropical Storm Ernesto is gaining strength and expected
to hit the Gulf of Mexico early next week.
The Gulf that we are suppose to be in early next week.

At, this point it is a wait and see because the path is unknown.
Will it turn to the left?  Turn to the right?  Convert its power
into a hurricane as expected?  Dissipate? 

That kind of unknown makes it a bit difficult to plan.
I feel de ja vu from last September. 
We decided last minute not to go. 
According to our friends, it was probably for the best.

To go or not to go?

While I'm on the subject of beaches, let
me share another favorite summer find of mine.

Instead of actually going to the beach,  I may have to simply resort to eating
one.   Pure yumminess in my spoon!
I may be living on this beach all winter long.


{picture per Amazon}

Over the summer, we have really worked hard at a new eating plan.
We have all lost of bit of weight {except skinny E, he's on the low side anyway,
so I have to make sure he gets enough calories!}
Our eating plan has simply been healthier with attempts to steer away
from all of the processed foods and lean more into natural, increased
whole wheat, more fruits and veggies, organic,  etc. 

Noah has done extremely well with this, we are so, so proud!
And, he is very invested in the change as he is currently
asking questions, making wise choices, eating so well.
By no means is he on a diet, just a complete diet change.
He loves Kashi cereal and I found this flavor on Amazon. 
The boxes are smaller, but apparently still contain what you would
get in other boxes just without all of the air as it is very compacted. 
A bit pricey, but I'd rather pay extra for something more
wholesome for the boys than have them eat more inexpensive junk. 

Oh, my goodness!  It tastes so much like no bake cookies it is unreal. 
Given, a 1/2 cup of this awesome stuff has 230 calories, but when
paired with skim milk and a piece of fruit it's all good. 
And, it's so dense it is very filling.  Super high in fiber and high
in protein as well. 

Very, very good, I might add.  
In more ways than one.
Which makes it even better.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

{I can only smile}

This was my devotion tonight after that lengthly play by play of
my frustrating day...click below:


Coincidence?

I  think KNOW not.

Nite girls! 

I am going to bed early tonight,

it's a bit BEFORE two.

{1:56 am not 11:56 as my posting time says}


{these are the days, right}

that I want to remember.

Right?

Well, for the sake of remembering when I am no longer capable,
I'm going to dissect my day.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.  

Let me preface this by providing a little background knowledge.
My hectic pace of sessions is over for a while.
I had been so looking forward to the week that began for me
on the calendar Saturday morning.

Saturday morning arrived and I was SICK.
Really, really sick. 
I succumbed and melted in the couch for the entire
day.  I tried my best to embrace it realizing I was
probably getting some much needed rest, but my
horrendous headache kept reminding me this was
not a chosen day of leisure. 

Sunday was better, but still far from great.
The fatigue and congestion were overwhelming.
I again, gave in.
What choice did I have?
I remained down for the day as a huge wedding
was looming for Saturday in which I had to be 100%+.

Monday: much, much better.
Instead of getting to work on all of the things I
had planned on being crossed off over the weekend,
I ran errands. 

Lots and lots of errands.
I was too wiped out by the end of the day
to accomplish anything on my work list.
But, I tried and worked very hard into the
night to get the house ready for a little
get-together for my Bible study for Tuesday morning.
I kept noticing nausea, but it would get better  but
it finally got to the point it was wickedly relentless. 

Stomach bug. 

I finally went to bed at 4:30 am.
My alarm went off at 6 - horribly sick.
I later starting texting messages that we would
have to rain check the day. 

I stayed in bed not even moving to the couch until 10:30 am.
Another day gone.

Again, the wedding weekend was looming but I also
needed to complete A LOT before hitting the road
in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
I was quickly running out of that lovely white space on my calendar.

Wednesday, another complete day of errands and have-to's
away from my desk.  More car trouble,
swung my mechanic.  Easy fix.  I finally arrived back home at 10:30
 or so last night.  I worked by simply returning messages, assembling wedding
 packages, etc until about 2:00 am.  That is  the prelude to today.

At this point, I am beginning to panic in a huge way.  But, today,
I have to be NO WHERE except make a late afternoon delivery.

Ha!

My alarm went off at 6:01 am {that ":01 is another story for another day}
Having gone to bed at 2:00 am, I wasn't doing too well with the
whole alarm going off thing.  Not one little bit.
I roll out of bed at 7.  Check email and read my local blogs.
Heart is crushed, realized I failed to get Noah to Secret Church last
night.  Decide not to even tell him. :(   Declare myself
as the absolute worst mom in the world.   

 I go to my car to retrieve a package.
I spy Kit Kat, Evan's beloved.  Sick feeling
in my stomach as something has just not been "right" with
her for about two days.  Still eating and drinking, but something
is amiss.  So, I sit on the back porch with her to observe.  

After about 30 minutes, I felt even more sure of my thoughts
although nothing to back it up.  I have no clue what the
respiratory rate for a cat should be, but I knew hers was up.

Call to vet.  Appointment made for early afternoon
as they agreed she should come in.  

Boys up, breakfast made.

I make myself ignore the kitchen.

To desk about 9 am: complete an order, return
numerous messages and emails.  Schedule appointments
after multiple conversations and date changes.  Work
on creating my must do to do list that must be completed
before departure on Sunday. 

Sigh.

Calls to arrange car repair for tomorrow.  Different car.
Expensive repair.  Text client  re: the potential effect of car repair on
Sunday's out of town trip. Converse with client via text of the
potential effects of the tropical storm that is swirling out there
 and may be headed for the Gulf of Mexico.  

Hmmmm.......that may throw quite the kink.  Too early
to make a decision.   Will be tied toTWC for the next few days.
To pack or not to pack?
Search for a final light for the studio that is needed.
Give up.

11 am: shower and ready for the day.

12:15  lunch for boys. 

12:45: back to desk, answer more messages - plan
next edit.

12:55: gather KK with the assistance of Evan's special KK
call that only he can do and the only one she responds to. 
Place a very reluctant cat in carrier and head out.

Listened to cat crying all.the.way.there. 

1:30-4 vet's office, dx:  virus.  Meds to administer. 

4:00: check voice mails and respond to messages.

4:10:  drive  on into town to pick up supper as I won't be home.

4:25:  head home with an exhausted, very quiet cat.

5:00 unload cat.

5:10 go through deliveries received from UPS, Fed Ex {x2 per Scott}
and the USPS.   Inspect portraits, several printing errors that will
require reprinting. {a VERY rare finding indeed!} Package portraits. 
Start communicating with client re: delivery location and time. j
No time to type up an official invoice, texted her the total per her request.
Format and burn and package her CD.  Fill out a print release. 

5:30 feed boys.  Instruct boys not to go outside and go through
our normal instructions as Daddy is down with a migraine. 

5:45:  head out for delivery.  Meet at Hobby Lobby.

6:10:  head to a car wash, stopped at Pier One and picked
up pillows for the studio, drive past car wash and go home.

7:00: arrive home.  Administer meds to cat {not an easy feat},
check barn progress today, feed and water chickens, get boys
set up to swim in pool. 

7:30: sit down at desk and begin to edit.

Stare at my to do list.

Feel defeated before the actual defeat.
8:00 remember I need a sample of my desk to have paint
matched per builder.   Unable to get into desk box, enlist
Scott's help.  Phone call.  Answered more messages.
Received an order and conversed regarding same.
Returned a call inquiry about a wedding, confirmed
that I was booked for June 22, 2013.

8:15 :  realized I failed to get a wedding packet in the mail today as promised.
Print and assembled a new one.  Drive to Hackett, mailed.  Quick stop
at DG for laundry detergent and milk.

8:55: home, begin to edit again.

12:55 still editing.  And, will be as long as my eyes will stay open.

Ugh! I feel like I am spinning my wheels and have been all week long.


In the art of full disclosure. 

My house has imploded.

But that sure is a cute little guy in the midst of the clutter.

The picture is only....

a portion of the kitchen.  

a portion of my house.

Hmm....there is some cat food there.

Dirty dishes. 

Paperwork that needs to be put away and taken to Sheila.    

Partially opened portrait packages that need to be inspected,
packed and mailed and/or delivered.  Tomorrow.

My new cute camera bag that arrived today in the
multitude of packages.

Cereal that arrived via Amazon. 

A greatly overflowing trashcan.

A bridal portrait that needs to be framed.

A bridal portrait that needs to be delivered.  Tomorrow.

Okay.  I've been on the verge of being completely overwhelmed today.
Well, actually all week long.   I could totally tip in the direction.

But, see that gold frame back there with the scribbling?

Be anxious for nothing; but in everything through prayer
and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING make your requests
be known to God.   Philippians 4:6

So, I am going to ignore the incessant buzzing that 
the only load of laundry I have done for the day is finished
being washed.  We still have to dry.
  I am going to step away from my desk.
I'm going to forget that I have to be at Smith Chevrolet
at 7:00 am and be shuttled.

I know we all have hectic days.  I know we all have
hectic stretches.  But, I think I am so disappointed
in how it has been so polar opposite from all that I had
planned.  And, even more disappointed in my reaction
 to all of it.  It has really stunk at times and I've
pretty much thrown my sucker in the dirt more than once.

That verse up above.

It's true. 

It's the perfect plan.

So,
I'm going to pray.
And, have my quiet time.

Because these REALLY are the days. 


     



Sunday, July 29, 2012

{I will miss you}


smell of sunscreen that lingers
at my backdoor. 

I'll enjoy you for now. 

{no, ma'm}


I just got a text:

"do chickens like sprinklers?"

no ma'm, they do not. :)

not one little bit.

lol.

but, they also don't realize they will likely
succumb to the high temperatures either. 

so I mist and sprinkle regardless of
their unhappiness.

An unhappy chicken is better
than a dead chicken.


{a day of rest}

although not at all planned.

I'm in a forced state of rest thanks to this
pesky sickness.  But, it has been a great
reminder to stop and smell the roses.
If only my stopped up nose could smell.
I am truly feeling better today.  Not as much coughing, throat
is no longer excruciating, and I've been up and
around more today.   I've read a lot {Sally Clarkson}
and caught up on blog reading as well.
I desperately need to be back at it by tomorrow.
I'm hoping!!  I have a great week planned with
no sessions in order to get completely caught up
on all edits {my list looks WONDERFUL}, remaining
orders and deliveries, invoicing, a little get together
here with my Bible study girls, a wedding
Saturday, making sure my
animals are all taken care of {yikes,
will be making a phone call tomorrow}and....
lastly...
pack for our last hoo-ray of summer.  
One evening of work will be involved but that is it.
I am not even taking a computer, period. 
I will not likely check my phone with the exception of 
the check-ins at home.  Since our last little
excursion was not all that we had hoped for  - as
my work schedule trumped any sort of vacation,
I have big plans of doing pretty much
NOTHING this time around.  It was a definite
learning experience for me.
THIS time, it will be much, much different. 
I'm going to make my boys {all 3} proud.
We need to refresh before the chaotic school year begins. 
This mama needs to soak up these last days
of summer with my little ones. 
And, oh, how I am looking forward to it!!! 
Now, I'm off to turn the sprinkler on the chickens, it's
crazy hot out there...


Saturday, July 28, 2012

{girls, I need your help}

To trim in white, or not to trim. 

These pictures are hard, but the roof is a dark charcoal gray and
the large tractor doors in the back are a cherry finish as will be the 
front hay loft door as well as the big barn door in front.

They will have the traditional X's on the barn door and
a cupola {with a chicken} will be on top. 

I still think the trim around the door, hayloft, my studio entrance, etc
should be trimmed in white to give it more of a barn apperance as
everyone thinks we've built a house when they drive up.

I'll wait until the doors are up to make the final decision, but
that should happen this week. 

Any thoughts?  I really need help on this one.