Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
Psalm 63:3

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

turning a corner?

Ah, friends.
Things are getting done around hee-yah! I have neglected to show you the impeccable work that our friends, the Buss' helped us complete. They came for the weekend and lit a fire under us. The boys were able to dig and place all the posts for the fence around our 1/2 acre yard....whew! That was July.

KJ has since wrapped the posts with livestock fencing and built gates. Eventually there will be a
middle rail added, but for now, it's doing a great job keeping all our critters in.

I've finished some long-lingering projects.

My current color palette: gray with touches of turquoise, yellow, spring green, and orange...loving that combination. {hello, ubiquitous gray sweater and turquoise beaded bracelet}

Now, our visitors have seen that light fixture in our entryway...U.G.L.Y. Metal pieces are brass and the angled outer piece is oak. I wanted to pitch it as soon as Sweet Man hoisted his sweet behind up the sweet ladder and took it down. But Mrs. Buss helped me brainstorm a fix for it. I still kind of want to pitch it, but it has a bit of a reprieve with a little silver spray paint and left-over curtain fabric.

Our split-level entryway...awkward! There just isn't enough room for much. I left it bare for several months, but mail and keys and shoes were being left on the landing anyway. So, instead of beating them, I'm trying join them by placing that old mosaic table Sweet Man and I made years ago.


I hung pictures! The pictures that I took down before we left for Houston, y'all. Most of them are pictures of my babes, but caught up in the project I printed new pictures, y'all! Like memories from 2010. Progress! {Ignore the wonkiness, please.}

And now a sweet story: We're in the market for a couch or sectional for the living room...there are no cushiony spots for our sweet behinds upstairs. I spotted a lovely green beast for a song on Craigslist, being sold at a weekend yard sale. I showed Sweet Man and we made plans to whisk our babes out of bed Saturday morning to be there at opening. 

Wah-wah...the sectional was already sold...apparently a popular item. But we stayed and gazed at some beautiful French country/vintage/handmade items. Our host, Cecelia, happens to be a prolific artist who was preparing to move to Oklahoma. Not seeing anything of interest to them, my family stepped outside and I found myself in a room with Cecelia and an older woman...both lovely ladies. The older woman turned to me and said, "I'm going to tell you something, woman to woman. You make sure that you are doing something for yourself every day so that you don't end up like me. I see you taking care of your husband and kids, but you need to take care of you."

Now, gentle readers, I do puh-lenty to take care of my own needs, downright selfishly sometimes. Not a problem for me. But I was touched by the sharing of her story in that moment. Mother of 4, heartbreakingly burying two children, surrounded by possessions laced with memories that remind her of pain and heartache. She has just recently realized that she was too busy giving herself to those around her to have anything to mark moments for herself, projects or momentos. She captured Cecelia and me in that moment with her wisdom. With tears in our eyes, we asked some gentle questions. She confirmed that she is living with the hope of Jesus, allowing Him to heal her heart, teaching her to live. She spoke for a few more minutes.

I hugged her and thanked her for her precious words, that speaking them gave purpose to her pain. And giggled as I remarked that obviously I was not there to get a couch, but to get a word.

I didn't leave empty-hearted or handed...I bought this perfect piece for our entryway. I love it for oh, so many reasons.

You know you are all welcome here...even if we don't have a place for your sweet behind to sit...and we won't necessarily put you to work.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

pumpkin spice coffee recipe

My master plan for this most recent Saturday morning included 3 things:
  1. Zum-bah!! (Say it with the emphasis on the second...)
  2. Quick stop at the library to pick up a much desired What Alice Forgot {still trying to keep up with my book club from home...miss you ladies!}
  3. a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks
That's a far as my planning took 10:30am...ha!

The first 2 don't disappoint, but the 3rd did. Hrmmph.... In fairness, I asked the barista to lighten it for me, so maybe that was the difference...less sugar and fat?

So, to truly satisfy that craving, I made my own Pinterest-inspired PSL this morning. You can, too!
  1. make a simple syrup with equal parts water and sweetener in a saucepan {I used sucanat, but you could also use brown sugar, white sugar, or even maple syrup or honey}
  2. bring to a low boil and take off the heat, let cool
  3. in a container large enough to hold and store all ingredients, add 1/8 c. pureed pumpkin
  4. add 1/4 t. pumpkin pie spice {you can also combine your own with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves}
  5. pour your cooled simple syrup into the container and shake
  6. add a smidge to your hot coffee with or without cream 
  7. keep in  fridge
I'm enjoying mine right now and I hope you try it. Delish!

Friday, September 20, 2013


Just sharing some pics of our week!

embracing the chaos ~great school on Tuesday!

she asks me to teach her how to knit every other day {we'll get there}

a little soggy after our kayaking

a hike with Daddy before his trip {sycamore tree at Triangle Park}

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

coping skills

What a week! Sweet Man has been away on business - 5 days. It used to be easier for me to parent on my own, but this trip threw me for a loop. That safety net of support in Licking County was so important to me. I thought about running "home" for a few days, but logistically, it didn't make sense. We stayed put in Dayton.

Sam and I had a horrendous school day Monday. Four hours of work became 8 hours. Fourth grade's no joke, but a day's work should never take him that long. He found constant sources of distraction - the dog, a toy, a snack, a piece of paper...I don't know...I was busy distracting myself.

I finally chased him out of the house to the park because I could not bear to fight about it any more. And took away screen time for 4 days. (Just who am I punishing. I didn't think that through, did I?)

Josie needed me more than I could satisfy...mostly as a playmate.

Our neighbors here, who have befriended us, are moving to a new town this week.  During any other week, I would probably be bummed to say goodbye.

But this week that fact sent me over the edge into a very real fear, right into feeling very lonely and sorry for myself. Those thoughts spun me up right quick and I was close to holing up in a closet and going to sleep for the week.

But of course, hiding was not going to fly. I have these precious people with me. I needed a plan to cope, so I did my best. I'm not suggesting that your plan would be the same...but mine worked for the night.

I prayed...and asked others to pray for us.
I hugged the kids and sent them to bed.
I enjoyed a glass of wine and a few too many cheap, store-bought cookies.
I watched "Call the Midwife" on Netflix.
I made a plan for the next day.
I let the dog out one last time.
I checked the locks.
I slept finally.

Tuesday was different, thank God!

Sam and I used a timer to stay on task. We didn't fight. I didn't yell or speak in a condescending voice. We ate good food: fresh eggs and oatmeal for breakfast, veggies at lunch. We took frequent chicken chasing breaks. Josie did her schoolwork quickly and well and found independent entertainment.

School was finished by 1pm! And that victory meant we could spend our afternoon at a park where the Dayton Parks Dept had organized a kayaking event. Local outfitters were there and let us take their kayaks out for a spin. So fun! {We're in the picture somewhere!}

Remind me next time I start sinking: GO OUTSIDE, AMY! Vitamin D and fresh air will do you well!

So we will survive...already halfway through the week. And Friday will be a piece of pie as we are at school all day and Sam goes to his Lego League meeting in the evening. I'll have my partner back by dinnertime and that will make all the difference.

{This clip helped cheer me up, too:}