Friday, September 23, 2011

it's all over but the sharing...

Please, Aimee, can you show us pictures from your birthday? Why, yes...yes, I can.

The cupcakes:
They had Cinnamon-Caramel Cream in the middle, iced with Chocolate Ganache, topped with Sugar Pearls to make them snazzy.  Pink candles because I try to add a little girly in my family's fun every once in awhile.  :)

My Beautiful Boys:
I forgot to mention that Rhett told me "Happy Birthday" at least a dozen times yesterday and, AND, Noah got up all by himself yesterday morning.  This is huge. It meant I didn't spend 10 minutes trying to drag him out of bed. 

My Sweet, Handsome Husband:
Seth got contacts a few weeks ago and is lovin' them.  What do you think? Do we look 17 years older from when we first started dating?  Maybe I really don't want an answer.  Hee. Hee.

The end:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

blessings abound

Today I turned 34.  I've had a very nice day so far.  My husband has given me a small gift everyday this week from flowers to Empire State Building legos.  Ah, to be a mom of boys.  So sweet. 

My boys both said I don't look a day over 20 something, which I think is the best birthday gift they could ever give me.

It's cool and rainy and my friend took me to Panera to have coffee and a bagel.  And she didn't even know it was my birthday!

Facebook makes it seem like you get all these cards in the mail wishing you a happy birthday.  I think it is my favorite part about facebook.  I should probably wish people a happy birthday more often on fb.  Hmm...  Although I did get real birthday cards in the mail and that is even better.  I let Rhett and Noah open them for me because I really get a kick out of watching them try to open envelopes.  They just can't do it.  Hilarious.

I've already gotten several texts from family and friends.  Sweet!

I made cupcakes last night and I'm going to fill them with cinnamon-caramel cream and ice them with ganache later today.  This recipe is actually a cake and is the best cake ever.  I wanted to make cupcakes out of them to see if I could do it. 

Modern Family was new last night and Parks and Rec is new tonight.  So our many other shows.  I love Fall Premiere Week (which most of the time, always falls on the week of my birthday)!!

It's also my brother's bday and I love sharing that with him.  He may think that is terribly cheesy so I won't tell him.

Above all, I realize that the older I get, the more I realize that there is a lot of terrible, sad things that happen every day and that you should celebrate the good things.  Love your family and friends.  Be thankful for them.  Be present. 

Oh happy day!

Monday, September 19, 2011


This past weekend, one of my great-aunts passed away.  I haven't seen her in at least ten years but I was quite fond of her, mostly because of good memories from my childhood.

She lived in San Antonio and had a very neat house.  We visited it when Mom had to take Jana or both Jana and Krista to summer camp.  Her yard was full of wasps, that Krista and I had the surprise of finding out once while racing down a small hill.  We started running for fun, then both started running for real because our ankles were on fire! Wasps were stinging! I think Krista was braver than I was because I remember bawling and I don't think she did.  I don't know how our aunt fixed it, but I do remember that she was quite calm about it.

My favorite memory of my great-aunt was when she took me swimming at her neighborhood pool.  I thought it was quite amazing she lived walking distance to a pool and it was huge! She got in with me and challenged me to swim to her without taking a breath.  She was just a few feet away, so I smiled and jumped in.  After a few seconds, I realized that she was backing up slowly but I was determined not to take a breath.  On and on it went until finally, when I thought I couldn't take anymore, she stopped and I reached her hand.  She pulled me up and smiled.  I looked around and saw that I had just swam the width of the pool! From then on, I could do it because I had done it before. This past summer, I did the same thing with Noah.  He was so proud of himself when he realized what he had done. 

And I thought of her.

Friday, September 16, 2011

a former night owl confesses change

Before school started, I probably mentioned that I would have to start getting up earlier and didn't know how it would go. 

I have found that the first ten minutes are the worst.  That is when most people probably drink a cup of coffee, but since I don't drink coffee, I sit in a chair and read emails from my phone.  Rhett usually is on the couch, curled up in a blanket, because he didn't want to get up either.  Then we finally drag ourselves to the kitchen and I make breakfast (which usually is cereal or frozen waffles) and while he eats, I get his backpack, water bottle and snack ready.  Then I feed the dogs and catch up on the world while sitting outside (it was chilly this morning!) while they are eating.  By the time I go in, Seth and Rhett are ready to go. 

I have ten minutes usually to eat breakfast and read some more before getting Noah up.  I start at 7:30.  On a good day, he is up by 7:38.  I quickly make his breakfast, get his lunch and snack and water bottle ready then go get dressed in either work out clothes (because some days, I run with a friend.  I know! Me, run.) or regular clothes and make up.  Today I was happy because I got to wear jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt.  I am so happy to not be wearing shorts. 

We are out of the door by 8:07 because his bus comes around 8:15.  (Did I tell you?  They finally moved the bus stop closer to my house.  It is just around the corner now.  I feel very bad for the owners of the house where the bus stop is though because their poor lawn is getting trampled on by 40 kids every morning. Yes, 40 kids. Crazy.)

I either run right after or come home and do a few things before going to school to volunteer (Today, I pass out frozen yogurt to the 5th graders!) or running errands.  Yesterday, I cleaned and organized. 

I am telling you all of this boring stuff because I have a point and I am getting there.

After spending time cleaning out my dresser yesterday, I looked at the clock and it said 12 pm.  I couldn't believe it was just noon.  Surely, I thought, the clock is wrong.  I have done so much and it couldn't possibly be just noon.  But it was.  That is when I realized that getting up early is wonderful.  I feel so much more productive, even when I don't do that much.  I find that I go to bed earlier and I only hit my snooze button once, but still get up before it goes off again.

The second week of school, Seth looked at me after I had just gotten up and said, "You are still getting up early?" And I said of course! If Rhett has to do it every morning, how unfair is it for his mom to sleep in?  And how wrong. 

So there you go.  A former "not a morning person in the slightest" is liking the early morning wake-up call.  Who knew?

However, I still sleep in on Saturday. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Inspriration to Creation: Stenciled Tree Curtains


Last spring, I bought two books about the art of printing.  One book is titled Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils and Silk Screens.  One project that the author, Lena Corwin showed was stenciled "wallpaper."  She made tree stencils and then painted them on her wall to look like wallpaper. 


I took that idea and made curtains for my living room.  Last winter, I took a few pictures of my two trees in the front of my house.  I traced the outline of those trees, took away the many, many small branches, and then made three stencils (two big, one small) out of the tracings. 

I bought 8 yards of a natural-looking fabric (basically a thicker muslin) and cut out two rectangles and got to work with two shades of blue:

Then I sewed the rectangles onto the bottom of the hemmed curtains.  It was by far the easiest curtain project I've ever done, minus the trouble I had with my sewing machine. (Thanks to my mom and Seth for the help in getting it fixed!)

Here they are, framing my heavier, shorter curtains in the living room:

I love how they turned out!  Now onto my next project... :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

visiting St. Louis, quick recap ahead

Labor Day weekend we went to St. Louis to visit our friends. I love St. Louis because they have such neat places tucked in the city. One such place is called The Magic House and it is a children's museum full of cool things:
I could see this hanging in my house. Couldn't you? 
When you walk in, there are all of these glass balloons on the ceiling.  It was such a neat image.
This 'music wheel' played a song by Bach.  Each chime played a different note and Rhett just held a metal stick to the chimes and we listened to classical music. 
They had a whole section devoted to our governement.  Here, Noah is in the Supreme Court. 
Don't they look like they would be really touch judges?  ;)
Another something I would like in my house:  a giant kaleidoscope.  The boys thought of Grandmom because she has a couple in her home (not this big!)

We also went to the zoo, went to a Cardinals game and rode a train in the woods (is cooler than it sounds) and went swimming but I didn't bring my camera to those things.  It was a nice little getaway. 

The rest of the week went by slowly because I kept forgetting what day it was.  'Its only Thursday?!?' I would think.  Saturday and Sunday were sports days for us, with Rhett beginning Fall Baseball.  He only plays double headers on Sunday and for only 5 weeks so it isn't so bad.  And Noah didn't complain at all. 

Of course, I felt reflective yesterday and made sure to enjoy my family.  I need to do it everyday but 9/11 is a good reminder that life is short. 

This week I have some projects planned.  I have already finished one which I'll show you tomorrow that I am excited about. 

I hope everyone has a great Monday!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

august is over, on to september*

I wish I could say, "Happy Fall Y'all!" like I always see those painted signs say but alas, it is still stinkin' hot here. And I'm done with it.  I'm done with the heat, the heat index, the 7 day forecast saying more 100+ degree weather coming, ugh!!!

Really, I didn't come here to complain.  I did want to post because I haven't so here I am.  We are about to have a little 5-day vacation from school (They have Friday, Monday and Tuesday off) and the boys are so happy.  Just when you get into a routine...

Stopping myself from complaining. 

I think most of us are getting over the cold but Seth is just now getting it.  Poor guy.

I donated some clothes today at one of those red bins.  This red bin was in the parking lot of a daycare and of course, I parked right in the way of a parent dropping off their child.  She gave me the meanest look.  I was thinking, "But I'm doing a good deed!" It was punished though for sure.

Well, this is a bummer post.  So...

I leave you with another Flag Football picture.  Rhett had just gotten the ball and then ran it for a touchdown.  Woo!

Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone!

From "On to September" by Dear Nora