Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall is here! (Kinda)

Listen.  I get so sick of reading blogs sometimes and getting caught up in the world of perfection.  You know how it is.  You're not going to take a picture of your dirty laundry and post it on the world wide web, so you scoot it out of the way before you snap the pic.  You're not going to do a blog post about how you can't go to the grocery store without sweating like a hog because you can't seem to follow a list with the layout of the store and so you're all over the place and your toddler is screaming because he can't play with the bananas (he'll bite through the skin and then throw them - leading me to believe an actual monkey would be a step up) and you've dropped Sophie so you have to back track down every aisle while you try and not think about curse words but sing a sweet tune of "When Ducks Get Up in the Morning" instead and find Sophie and checkout - again - only to realize you forgot the lunch meat you came for and your car keys are missing.

No.  No one would ever blog about that.  So know that before I show you my Fall decorating that it took an incredible amount of effort for me to do anything, and that while I'm trying to be a better housekeeper you're not seeing the entire picture (i.e. the smashed goldfish in the background).

I already had this chalkboard and loved this saying when I saw it on Pinterest.  Jo's and my galoshes stay there by the back door so we're ready to water the plants on the back porch.  Well...most of them stay by the back door anyway.  He likes to carry his around the house like a dog bringing his leash to ask for a walk.  Who knows where the other rain boot is.


A lot of my fall finds were from WalMart.  I really love their home goods stuff.  I got the basket on the left from there as well as those fun apple cinnamon scented pine cones with little pumpkins.  The sign on the right was a score from TJ Maxx.  And long after that style of writing is no longer popular I will still display that sign because shopping for it and checking out with it with Jonah made it an incredible conquest.

This basket and fun mugs are also from WalMart.  The mugs are owls, a fox, and a squirrel.  They were under $3 each!  And they're heavy and make my morning coffee even more of a sweet moment. :)

I already had this cake stand and added pumpkins from the dollar store to it.  The candle is the hostess gift from my friend's shower.  I got it on the 11th and look how much I've already burned!  Love it!  

This carved wooden pumpkin came from the TJ Maxx conquest.

I made this burlap wreath all from WalMart materials.  I had no idea what I was doing and didn't even use hot glue.  So that should a last long time.

Here are this season's pumpkins!!  Jonah and I made sweet memories picking  these out.  I let him choose, and he naturally picked two big and two small ones!  Perfect for each member of our family!  He wanted the uglier ones.  I think he was trying to rescue them.


I don't make a practice out of patroning  the art at WalMart, but I thought this was worth it!  It's gloppy and perfect for fall.  It inspired me to do quick little change outs in our powder bath for each season.


This is a Jan Barbaglio (omg) cake stand that Howard's aunt gave us for our wedding and I keep it on our table with the Jan Barbaglio doves his mom gave us.  Right now it's displaying a ceramic pumpkin and giant acorns I've had forever.

These chargers were a wedding present but a few years ago I scored these white ceramic leaf plates at you guessed it - WalMart - for $2 each!  

I've had a lot of fun decorating and trying to act like I'm feeling autumnal when it's 90 degrees every day.

This post was not sponsored (feel free to change that).  It was simply brought to you by a small budget and stores that match it, and my precious little pumpkin:




Sunday, October 12, 2014

Life Lately

We have had a very busy start of school!  I feel like I'm always running to catch up.  Jonah has been sick a lot.  After his hand, foot, mouth disease he had allergies and then a sinus infection / double ear infection, and now he's teething and it's horribly painful for him.  Throw into that a good dose of real live tantrums and walking everywhere (!), and we have a full blown toddler on our hands.  And he's precious.

He loves watering the plants.  That's why they are all of a sudden green.  Thank you, Jonah!


A Saturday morning at our favorite bakery. 


I helped throw a shower for a dear friend's new baby girl! It was a lot of fun.  And a little dangerous. 



These were our hostess gifts - Salted Caramel Corn candles from Bath and Body Works.  Mmmmm.  Amazing.

 Jonah's learning to eat with a spoon...not so much because I am teaching him but because I guess I'm too slow so he decided to take matters into his own hands. 
Have a great week y'all! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Prayers of Comfort

The bad news front is trifold at our house and I am a wreck.  We have 3 different friends going through 3 different kinds of loss and it's so very hard.

I tried to repair the wounds with sugar cookies.

It worked.

Until there were no more sugar cookies on my plate.

So I guess a more lasting m.o. would be prayer.

Please stop and cover my friends in prayer when you read this.  Please.

In the meantime I'll be in constant prayer and heartbreak and longing for the new Earth...the one where brokenness is something we only remember.  Where sin is a lesson we once learned.  Where loss is a concept we have to brush up on.

Come, Kingdom.  Come.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Being British

I love thematic learning.  I credit my mom for that.  We used to have green eggs and ham while 'studying' Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.  It's just ingrained in me now.

So now that I'm reading (by 'reading' I mean one paragraph at a time) about the British royals I have added a new Netflix fling - "Diana," and Jonah received a new book:  

We've been speaking in British accents at home and learning to march like the British soldiers.  All we need now is the new season of Downton!!

Jonah seems to be stressed out by this British project because he's been up a lot at night.  Every night.  And now I know it's teething.  And for some reason I decided this would be the perfect time in life to try and make really excellent, Pinterest-party worthy sugar cookies.  


It didn't go quite like I had pictured in my head.  I'm sure the sugar cookie bears felt the same.

So, this post is ending now because I'm exhausted.

Here's my preciousness:


Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Favorites

Hey friends!  I'm linking up tonight with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!

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#1: Favorite book genre - Biographies!
I knew it would happen eventually.  First, I started being clumsy.  Then, I had the freakishly powerful ability to find anything anywhere in the house.  When I became funny for the first time in my 30 years of life I knew only one thing stood between me and my complete reincarnation as my mother: the love of the biography.  I don't know why or how but all of a sudden it's my go-to genre.  I've never liked them.  Then poof!  I like them.  I know.  It's like if Howard woke up one morning and decided he had a hankering for  guacamole or if Jonah decided throwing food off his plate was actually not productive.  You think you know yourself...

Anyway, I digress.  I picked up the first start in this new literary love affair this week at the library:


I mean seriously.  I can't put it down!! (But I have to more times than I pick it up). It's better than any TV show or movie could be.  Though there is a movie called The Queen starting Helen Mirren that I cannot wait to watch after I finish this book.  I love when a good read becomes a whole shebang.

#2: Favorite toy - Jonah's bike!  
Jonah received a YBike from his aunt for Christmas and it's the coolest toy ever!  You can push it from the front or sit and ride Flinstone style (there are no pedals, toddlers just push with their feet).  It rolls on carpet so smoothly and turns well and has truly helped Jonah feel more mobile and I think it helped him develop his new walking skills!



#3: Favorite moment - Jonah's first steps!
Last week at the library, on my brother's birthday, Jonah took his first steps!  I was totally not expecting it and it was SO fun!!  The other moms clapped for him and the librarians said he made library history that day!  No one's ever taken his first steps there!  We've had lots of ideas for how to commemorate the occasion....bronzed footprints, an oil painting of Jonah in an armchair with a bubble pipe, etc.


I am so thankful for my schedule and that I got to be there for such a momentous occasion!  Earlier this evening he walked halfway across the living room several times and it was just the strangest coolest thing!  

#4: Favorite meal prep idea: A Slow Cooker Swap


So earlier this week a bunch of us girls met at a friend's house and had a slow cooker swap.  I'd never done one before but it was amazing.  You do no prep in advance.  You simply bring the groceries for your slow cooker 'dump' meal of choice minus the meat (something that can be assembled in a freezer bag, frozen, and dumped into your slow cooker before you leave for the day).  

You multiply the ingredients by however many girls come that night, assemble your meal there while sipping wine and chatting it up, and you leave with a ton of meals ready for the crockpot!  


I have 13 meals in my freezer ready to dump in my slow cooker with some frozen meat!!  Well, 12 actually.  We had one for dinner last night and it was amazing.  Amazing!  And I just opened a bag and dumped it right in that morning!  I'm obsessed.

#5: Favorite bible study: BSF
BSF stands for Bible Study Fellowship.  It's an international organization that leads members through a book of the Bible each year and provides a layering of study - individual, group, lecture, and notes.  They hold you accountable for doing your homework and attending so I've always been hesitant while in grad school and with a newborn.  But people keep asking me to go and given that our small town of about 20,000 people has 600 people going to just the evening women's group is something of a testament.

Well, they weren't kidding.  It's amazing.  My town's BSF is one of two pilot programs right now for a new study: Revelation (everyone else in BSF chapters are studying Moses).  It's incredible, and the homework is way more manageable than I expected.  It's absolutely so fulfilling to get fed in this way.  Check it out in your area!  

#6 Favorite photos from this week:



Happy weekend y'all!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

1st Birthday and Catching Up

Dear friends,

When I left you last the stage was set for a spectacular first birthday.  As often happens when we set our own stage, the star of the show actually breaks his leg.  

Well, Jonah didn't break his leg (yet - it's only a matter of time), but the day of his birthday we got a call from his school that he was running a fever.  Thank goodness I sent a cake so he could have a little celebration with friends because next we found ourselves in the doctor's office hearing the words "hand, foot, mouth disease."  Aaaaagh!


He was at the start of the five day ordeal and doc said no party.  So we had  to cancel the huge family bash we had planned for that Saturday.

Y'all.  

Y'ALL!

I'm still dying from it.  I mean it was going to be the first Pinterest-worthy experience I've ever managed to pull off.  I had cake pops and cakes and a place rented and almost every single person on my guest list was planning on coming.  Even my parents from Tulsa and my brother and his NEW GIRLFRIEND WE WERE GOING TO MEET FOR THE FIRST TIME.

Gah.  It was so sad.

My parents still came down and risked hand, foot, and mouth.  Jonah had a pretty bad day the rest of his actual birthday and the next day (Friday).  But by Saturday he was up for a little fun.

You can see the spots by his mouth here:


Poor little guy.  

We cheered him up with the annual Labor Day Parade.  Last year my parents went to this while we were in the hospital having Jonah!  It was fun to get to take Jo.  (We stood on the side of the street that had no people, ha!)


Then we got Birthday Cake ice cream and a cupcake and headed over to Oma and Opa's for an intimate celebration, which quite honestly...turned out to be so perfect and Jonah loved it.  (But I'm still saving his original theme and big bash for next year).


We sang Happy Birthday and Ol' Jo Short and Jonah was precious eating his cupcake in awe. 

Sunday night Jonah had his first sleepover at Nonni and Grandpa's rental house, and everyone had a ball!!


My parents usually rent a house in our neighborhood when they come in and on our walk back down the street from dropping Jonah off, Howard stated that he didn't feel so well.

Annnnd that was the start of a horribly severe case of Hand, Foot, and Mouth for Howard.  Apparently he'd never had it as a kid because it was bad.  He missed the whole first week of school and after running a temp of 101.3 for two days he developed sores in his throat that made it painful to even swallow water.  Nothing brought him relief.  Nothing.  We tried everything.  It was awful.

So we have had a very rough start to our school year, and now that we're finishing up the third week I'm starting to think maybe it's about to get better??  Maybe??  Let's pray it does because this tired is no way to live!  I have blogging to keep up with people!

Jonah, you are loved so much we have to keep idolatry of you in check.  You are even-keeled but decisive.  You are warm and encouraging - simply put you 'see' others.  You really recognize people with you and pay attention to them.  You seem to truly care about what they have to say and how they are feeling.  You are adventurous, but practical.  You are determined, but you don't get flustered when frustrated (just today you pushed a chair around the kitchen and tried over and over to get it across the lip where the linoleum meets the carpet - not once did you throw a fit or whine - you just stayed on task and sighed and tried again and again.  I, on the other hand, stood watching and lamented the fact that we have both linoleum and cheap carpet).

On your birthday you weighed 23.2 pounds.  You say "out" for outside, "dis," for "this," and "Kkkkkkkkkkkk [+ back of throat German-like gurgle]" for "Cotton."  You recognize a lot of words (duck, ball, pat, clap, forehead, dance, cow, dog, baby, cup, plane, lion, paci, shoes, Mama, Papa, Nonni, Grandpa, Oma, Opa), and you definitely think you know how to work the remote control.

You love our Wednesday morning WeePlay class at the library.  You like dancing and singing.  You are most at home when you're outside.  You give the sweetest hugs and kisses.  You chuckle and it brings a whole room profound joy.

You light up our lives.  Thanks for being so good to us.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lights, Camera, Action!

Tomorrow is the big 0-1.  I handled my emotions by eating an entire family of teddy grahams.

Tonight we assembled his new little table and decorated with balloons.

In the living room I took down his play pen and replaced it with bookshelves and his new chair.


And my favorite plan for tomorrow morning's events is this drawer.  It normally houses our boring ol' toothbrushes and toothpaste and it's the first thing Jonah goes to investigate in the mornings.  I can't wait to see his reaction when instead of something to take off the sugar, there's something to put it on!!


Sigh.  I may need something stronger than graham cracker in the shape of a friendly bear.