Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back–to–school Interviews

Last year, when school was starting back, I interviewed the kids.  I think it’s becoming a tradition now.  It’s fun to look back and see how much they’re growing and changing each year.  It’s also fun to see which of their answers stay the same.





Peyton : Age 6 (1st Grade)

Favorite thing to do : Play Barbies and bake and play in my cottage

Favorite thing to eat : Macaroni and cheese and salad

What do you want to be when you grow up : A baker

Favorite color : Pink and purple

Favorite show or movie : Mickey Mouse and Barbie

Favorite Book : Boxcar Family

What do you like to learn about : Math

What do you like to do with Daddy : Eat Donuts

What do you like to do with Mommy : Bake

What makes you happy : Mommy

What are you really good at : Making beds

Favorite thing you did on summer vacation : Jumping off the diving board in Mimi and Pop Pop’s pool






Hudson : 4 years old (K4)

Favorite thing to do : Play in that pool and play cars

Favorite thing to eat : Mac and cheese and carrots and gummies

What do you want to be when you grow up : I want to be what I am right now. 

(After Tyson’s interview, Hudson said, “I switched my mind, I want to be a police officer.”)

Favorite color : Blue and black and red

Favorite show or movie : Lightning Mcqueen and Monster Truck Adventures

Favorite Book : Berenstain Bears Move

What do you like to learn about : Letters

What do you like to do with Daddy : Eat ice cream

What do you like to do with Mommy : play

What makes you happy : Gigi (his blankie)

What are you really good at : play cars

Favorite thing you did on summer vacation : ride in the van and ride go-carts






Tyson : Age 8 (3rd grade)

Favorite thing to do : Ride go-carts, play video games

Favorite thing to eat : Junk, pizza, ice cream, and cookie cake

What do you want to be when you grow up : A police officer

Favorite color : Bright orange, bright red, blue, and black

Favorite show or movie : Dino Dan and Monster Jam

Favorite book : Boxcar Family

What do you like to learn about : Minecraft

What do you like to do with Daddy : play in the pool

What do you like to do with Mommy : Read books and play games

What makes you happy : Mom and Dad

What are you really good at : Eating junk food

Favorite thing you did on summer vacation : Ride go-carts







Goofy kids… I love them!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Deal of the day

You’ve heard the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.”.  Well when it comes to creating our home, waiting isn’t always my strongest attribute. But I’m learning that waiting is so important to getting an end result that I love.  It’s important to first figure out what you love and usually that takes time and research.  Pinterest is great for that.  And then it usually takes even more time to find what you love at a price you can afford.



We’ve had these Ikea dining chairs for several years now.  They weren’t really my favorite, but I bought them at a time when I wasn’t willing to put the time and energy into finding what I really wanted. I just wanted something immediately and Ikea was cheap and those chairs were good enough. We’ve since learned that buying on impulse just to fill a void in your home is the first step down the wrong road and it ends with having to turn around and do things over.  You lose both time and money that way.  So we’ve stuck with the chairs just because replacing them wasn’t necessary and wasn’t really in the budget.  But recently the bolts that hold them together have been falling out of them one by one.  The holes were stripped, so even after we tried to screw the bolts back in, they would eventually just find their way back out.  We got down to four chairs that were still holding themselves together properly.  Over the last several months, I’ve been looking around to see what style of chairs I loved because I knew we were going to need to replace our dining chairs in the near future.  I paid attention to dining chairs on Pinterest and blogs and I would also randomly pop in on Craigslist to see what I could find there.  We didn’t have a lot in the budget for kitchen chairs, so I was hoping to find a good deal. I honestly didn’t know exactly what I wanted until I stumbled across this next picture.


Gaines farmhouse table and chandy

This is from Joanna Gaines farmhouse.  Have you seen her show, Fixer Upper on HGTV?  It’s my new favorite show.  She and her husband, Chip are so inspiring to  me.  And I love her style.  You can read her blog, here.

Anyway, after I saw that picture, I knew I wanted metal chairs.  I loved the look of the white wood table combined with the vintage metal chairs. And we already had the white wood table.  As usual, first I checked Craigslist.  I found four metal chairs on Craigslist that were originally from World Market. 



The owner wanted $500 for the 4 chairs and a table.  I wasn’t in need of a table, so I emailed the owner and asked if I could just buy the chairs.  I was hoping I could buy 4 chairs from him for around $300, then go to World Market and buy a few more. At this point, we were hoping for 6 chairs total. The chairs were listed at $119 each in the store.  It wouldn’t be super cheap, but by buying a few from Craigslist first, we would at least save some money. 

I didn’t hear back from the seller immediately, so in the meantime, I decided to go to World Market to sit in one of the metal chairs and see how I liked them.

But, while I was there, I saw that they were having a clearance sale on all their summer furniture.  Everything was marked 75% off.  And they had a variety of metal dining chairs marked down from $100 to $25.  I think possibly my mouth fell open in shock at that price.  Holy cow! What a deal!  The problem was that there were only two that were the gunmetal color that I wanted. The rest were yellow, orange, or blue.  A lady at the store tracked down a few more gunmetal colored ones at another World Market and by the end of that day, I had bought five chairs and Tim had three more on hold at other store locations across the DC area. 


Although we first thought we just needed six chairs, we ended up deciding it would be best to have eight since we enjoy having people over for dinner.  And since they were so cheap, we felt that we could afford to buy a few extras.

With added coupons, I got all 8 chairs (across 4 different stores in 2 different states) for $196.10 total.  Originally, those eight chairs would have cost $800!  It was a steal!!  I’m pretty certain I couldn’t have gotten a better price anywhere, not even on Craigslist.

photo 1 copy


And I love the look. The dining area is both eclectic and vintage, with new and old pieces mix and matched together in a way that is unique and fun to me.  photo 2 copy

Monday, July 28, 2014

What Summers are Made of…

Summers are made of

strawberry picking



blueberry pie baking



and baseball hitting



Summers are made of

river rafting



grandparents visiting



and treehouse playing



Summers are made of

pool splashing




lessons in swimming



and slip and sliding



Summers are made of

frozen yogurt snacking



ice cream licking



and lemonberry slush drinking



Summers are made of

back patio eating



friends and neighbors playing



and marshmallow roasting



Summers are made of

book reading



afternoon lounging



and tire swinging


The summer has been full for sure.  I’m thankful for the time together and the memories we’ve made.  Hope you’re having a great summer!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Anniversary in Paris Part 2

I’m back with Part 2 of my Paris trip
(This is a painting that we bought together one evening when we were walking along the Seine River.  I’m not super big on a lot of little souvenirs or trinkets, but I wanted something meaningful to bring home and I loved this painting the moment I saw it. I also liked that it was not just a mass produced photocopy, but was painted by a local artist.)
So, my last blog left off on day 3.  My body hit a wall that day from the jetlag and also from the previous evening’s long walk along the Seine River. I was worn out, stiff, tired and everything hurt.  Tim had to work that day and I felt like I “should” get out and do something since I was in Paris. But a short painful walk down the street to grab breakfast convinced me that I really just wanted to go back to our room and rest all day. So I spent my day blogging, reading, resting, and recuperating.  It was exactly what I needed and I ended up doing a lot of that on this trip.  Whenever Tim was in meetings or working, I read in our room or sat out on our balcony, enjoying the view and people-watching.  I let myself do nothing and be lazy and it felt so good. In my every day life, reading for hours or just laying around is not an option and I knew my body/mind/spirit really needed the break. It was wonderful.
The following day (day 4) was our actual anniversary.  Although we didn’t really do anything super exciting, this was one of my most favorite days. We enjoyed walking around together, eating at the little street cafes, and seeing the sights of Paris. And really, that was the best thing about this trip… just hanging out and being together without kids.  We held hands, we laughed, we talked (without interruptions!), we reminisced, we ate when we wanted to eat, where we wanted to eat, we took pictures of ourselves… it was so much fun just being together.
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Tim and I have always had fun together. We get along easy. He’s always made me laugh.  He really is my best friend, my most favorite person, the love of my life, my dream come true.  He is. But you throw a few (three) kids into the mix and all of a sudden, life gets a little bit stressful. Tension levels can rise at the drop of a hat. There are parenting decisions to be made, schedules to keep, discipline problems to handle, fights to break up, interruptions, distractions, meltdowns and tantrums, dinner times and bathtimes and storytimes and bedtimes to coordinate and make happen every day, and little people that seem to constantly need our time and attention.  And things are coming at us and between us all the time.  And so for these few days, we had NONE of that.  And it was heaven.  It was bliss.  It was just us and it was amazingly wonderful. 
At one point, we stumbled upon this little grassy spot away from the crowds, so we stopped and took some pictures.  If you’re curious, I used an app on my iphone called Timercam to take these.

This is one of my favorite pictures ever…

That evening, Tim’s work buddy went with us to take some fancier pictures of us in front of the Eiffel Tower with my real camera.  I’m so thankful for these (below).  I’m sure you know by now that I am a picture person. 
This one will most likely be blown up and hung on the wall.


And that night, we went out to eat at our favorite little French cafĂ©.  It was delicious.  The French don’t know how to drink their coffee (can someone introduce them to half and half?!), but they do know how to cook.

The next day (my last day), Tim arranged for a driver to take us out to Giverny to see Monet’s house and gardens.  Of all the things I wanted to do, this was on the top of my list.

His gardens are beautiful and I don’t really feel that my iphone pictures do them justice.
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This is his famous lily pad pond.  This was the part I most wanted to see. You can see his house in the upper right hand corner of the picture and the bridge in upper left corner. 
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That night, we decided to do what the French do and get a baguette and cheese and eat it along the Seine River.  Earlier that day, our driver had highly recommended goat cheese, so we decided to give that a shot.  Never again. It was disgusting. 

Leaving was sad and hard. I didn’t want it to be over.

But I am so thankful for this trip.  It meant so much to me that God arranged all of this for Tim and me.  I am overwhelmed at times for His deep love and care for me, for us.  His ways are so intimate and personal for each of us. He knows our hearts, our desires, and our needs and goes to great lengths to provide exceedingly more than we can imagine. Paris for me will always be a reminder of His great love to us.