24 November 2010

The Winner & Hump Day Ear Candy.

Congratulations!  (Ha!  You have to watch the video to know if you won!)

Now, all you need to do is email me your contact information to send along to Krystal from Cardstore.com, and a set of photo gift tags or a photo notebook are all yours!

I apologize for my 'less than scientific' way of producing a winner.  In all honesty, it's as random as any number generator, and cuter, too {even if they did JUST wake up}.  Also, please ignore the construction mess.  However, I will say, I, currently, enjoy being able to put Diet Dr.Pepper cans wherever I please, like the window sill.

Now, onto the 'ear candy'...

this Wednesday, I would like to share with you the creative mind and beautiful music of King Charles.

My personal favorite:

Check these out, too  'Time of Eternity', and 'We Didn't Start the Fire' {a rework of the REM classic 'It's the End of the World as We Know It'}.

Unfortunately, most of his brilliant music is not available in the states.  It baffles me that iTunes UK and iTunes US are two different entities.  C'mon, Apple, let's get it together and just combine the two.  This is not the first  or the last time, I'm sure, that I've encountered this issue.

He is an eclectic sort, while seemingly still maintaining all of an English gentleman's best traits.  His blog is pretty interesting, too.  

Happy Wednesday!

And, if you're still confused...#6 is Amy!  Congrats, again, Miss Amy!

21 November 2010

Because I still got it...

and because it's 10 seconds of funny.


19 November 2010


{If you aren't reading that blog, you need to be.}

So, after all of my theological questions and my being hopelessly misunderstood by some of you, I've decided that I really don't need to explain myself.  Either you appreciate me for what I write {even if you don't understand it} or you don't.

I know my heart.  I know it is full of goodness, and even a bit of evil that lurks in dark corners, hopefully, never roused out of its hibernation.  I know my intentions, and my blunders.  I know that there is a plan for me and my life, and no one needs to give me their stamp of approval.  

If you've stuck around this long, I'm thinking you want to see what I have to say and share next, either out of a fondness or a pure distaste.  In the scheme of things, it really makes no difference either way.  I will continue to exist, and write, and trip over myself, and, at times, recover even stronger than before.  

That being said, I've been reading a new book, 'The Life of Pi', by Yann Martel.

It's pretty profound.  At least in my life at the moment. 

I haven't even finished the first of the 3 parts, but it is really poignant.  

Incidentally, I finished 'East of Eden', and am trying to find a way to articulate my feelings about that book.  I'm not sure I can.  Needless to say, I think you should all read it.  

Anyway, upon reflecting about 'the situation' that occurred on the blog-diggity, I came upon a passage that touched me deeply in 'Life of Pi'.  {And, for those of you who are interested, I have thought about THE POST often over the last week or so.  It will stay with me for awhile, I'm sure.  For many, many reasons.}

I will share the passage with you:

"I'll be honest about it.  It's not atheists who get stuck in my craw, but agnostics.  Doubt is useful for awhile.  We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane.  If Christ played with doubt, so must we.  If Christ spent  an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' then surely we are also permitted doubt.  But we must move on.  To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation."

For me, it's the 'But we must move on.' that is quite haunting.  We must move on.  Whatever you choose to lay your faith in.  We must move on from doubt.  Decide what it is we believe in, and stay the course.  Faith.  Belief not based in proof.  Heart over head.  Nature over culture.  

I'm hoping sooner is the time for me to shake off my conflicts about my own faith and spirtiuality.  Because in all honesty, it's giving me a headache.

18 November 2010

First ever giveaway.

It is Christmas card season.

I know a lot of you get exhausted just thinking about it.  I, on the other hand, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sending and receiving Christmas cards.  They are a true highlight to the season for me.  I hang them as I receive them, and they are one of the final 'decorations' to come down in January.

I've been having a bit of trouble this year deciding on one I like, but luckily, the fine folks over at Cardstore.com made it easy for me.  AND, they are going to make it really easy for you this year, too.


By offering you a very pleasant discount.  That's right, just for being a dear reader, you can receive 20% your card order.  All you need to do is enter the code: CSHOLIDAY20.  These cards are the real deal.  They're printed on 130 lb. matte recycled cardstock, and they have super swift turn around time.

Cool, huh?

And, to make your holidays even easier, they are offering one of you lovelies a set of personalized photo gift tags OR a personalized photo notebook (which would make the cutest gift under $20!).  Your choice.

My favorites:
the 'Santorini'

'Hanging Wreaths' gift tags

All you need to do is leave a comment and tell me about the BEST Christmas card you ever received or sent, AND what notebook or gift tags you would choose if you won.  Easy peasy!

I will close this little giveaway on Sunday, November 21st, at noon central time, and announce the winner on Monday.

Good luck!

17 November 2010

Hump Day Ear Candy.

photo of Sam Beam by Kevin Wrenn

This fine Wednesday, I am sharing with you 'Iron and Wine', or, more simply, Sam Beam backed by various bands.

His melodies are haunting, his lyrics will stay with you for days.  He's just one cool cat.  Not to mention, the father to FIVE daughters!

I like to call his music bluesy, southern, soul, chill, folk.

It can get a bit funky, but it's always a mood regulator for me.  

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of accompanying my husband, my sister, and my brother-in-law to see Mr.Beam, and his 'Iron and Wine' live.  {Rosie Thomas helped out with some back up vocals, and she, too, is worth looking into}.

And, yes, I had to go to the show with the 3 plaid losers. 
It was humbling.  :)

The show was beautiful. Stunning, even.  And that man is so gracious to his audience.  It was my pleasure to sit and enjoy.

The following should be enough musical bait to hook you {a Sam staple}...

If that didn't do the trick, here are two songs I shot at The Pageant on Saturday. It's a bit shaky, but the sound ain't too shabby.

I hope you find room on your IPod for a little 'Iron and Wine'.  

I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.

16 November 2010

A sore subject.

Some of you may be wondering about our new house.  Heck, sometimes I wonder about it.  I wonder about it a lot, actually.

What is potentially going to be a source of great joy, and a place where many new memories and traditions will be made, is now a big rusty nail in my side.  HUGE!

My husband is a rock, and I am a sloth.  He gets everything done that he can with us being DIYers and having four little noodles it is slow going, but he is awesome.

I, on the other hand, am perpetually putting things off, because, frankly, I want to be in the new house as little as possible.  Somehow, I think by avoiding all the rehab and reno it will magically get done on it's own.

My theory is really backfiring, because through the whole scientific process, I have observed this to NOT be true.  Avoiding makes it worse.

I think because we left such a carefully loved and cared for home, it has made all of this a bit harder.

Here's what we've been dealing with over the past several weeks:
Funny how I thought the origianl 'retro' kitchen' was the pits.
If I have learned one thing during this process,
it's that to get better, it has to get worse.

As you can clearly see here.
This is the first phase of the big kitchen and surrounding areas project.
Wall removal.
It is a dirty business.

It has made a drastic change to the overall feel of the floor plan.
One I adore.
Every living space is now so open, and airy, and light filled.
But it is still rough.
Oh, so rough.
Woe is me.

Living on one layer of sub-floor has been my big sore spot.
But, a floor doesn't lay itself.
If you know of one that does, email me!

So, the problem with this is that with all the demo nothing has a place.  At night, when I do a final pick up, there is nowhere to put things away.  With 4 littles, this is the tough one, the one thing that may just push me over the fine line between sanity to craziness.

But, here's the deal...
I need perspective.  I need to quite the pity party, whine fest, and suck it up.  
It's temporary.
It will turn out great in the end.
I am one lucky chicken to be able to move into a larger home, and have the means to redo it in the first place.

I am an idiot.

An idiot living on one layer of sub-floor.

And, I'm not referring to the one in my kitchen and family room.

15 November 2010

An announcement.

This is my sister...
Jilly Bean and Me at the "Iron & Wine" concert, 11/13/10

and I like her a lot.
The end.

12 November 2010

Missouri residents: read.

If you live in Missouri OR if you are just plain kind and find this cause worth fighting for, please write your legislator.

Personally, I cannot imagine if Betsy had not had early childhood intervention {she received it from 5 months-3 years}.  These littles depend so greatly upon it.  It is the most crucial intervention they will receive in their lifetimes {those first 3 years}.  


image via 'The Technical Writing Company'

Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Children and youth, ages 3-21 receive special education and related services under Part B of IDEA.   Special Education for Kindergarten – 12thgrade is mandatory under IDEA.   Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education are voluntary under IDEA, but Missouri enacted legislation in 1990 to make it mandatory.   This past year, several states, including Missouri, have considered making these programs voluntary in order to cut costs. 

In the upcoming session, the Mo. State legislature will be reviewing options to reduce state expenditures for Fiscal Year 2012.     If the state leadership considers a withdrawal from the current statutory requirement that all eligible 3 and 4 years old children  receive special education, it must be made by a statutory change.   We know that such legislation would have a devastating effect on children, so we are urging families to contact their legislators to ask their support in insuring that Early Childhood Special Education does not get cut in an effort to balance the state’s budget.  

How can you help?   Please consider writing a letter to your senator or state representative.   Never underestimate the power of your voice!    Legislators need to hear from their constituents; and we want them to hear this message from many individuals!    A sample letter is attached to simplify the process,  but it is important to add your personalized message to the letter; especially if your child is currently (or recently) receiving early childhood special education (see paragraph 3 of the letter).    Including a photograph of your child is even better!  

Who is your legislator?   Here is a link to finding one’s legislator.  You search by home zip code.       

No legislation has been filed at this time, but we will be watching closely as bills are pre-filed in early December.   

10 November 2010

The last 2 days.

Okay, so, back to what this blog is really about...

a whole lot of nothing.

Marcus breakin' it down at The Valarium Monday night
photo via Facebook by Deneicee Carter
{I was there, people.  I SAW that sick belt buckle.}

Monday morning my sister, my cousin, and my friend left for an adventure.

We traveled southeast to Knoxville, Tennessee to see 'Mumford & Sons'.

It was a beautiful drive, ending through hills full of trees all dressed up for fall.

Knoxville is an awesome big, little town.  And, we were completely unaware it is home to the University of Tennessee.  Duh!

We kept seeing people with backpacks all over, and finally asked the guy at the hotel's front desk.

His answer made us really laugh at ourselves, "Um, yeah, there's a college around here.  It's just a small one across the street and a block over, only about 26,000 students.  It's called the University of Tennessee."


The concert itself was phenomenal.  The venue was TINY.  Maybe 500.  Maybe.

Everyone stood.  Everyone sang.  Everyone bounced.

There was amazing energy.

'Lover of the Light', 'Dust Bowl Dance', and 'Roll Away Your Stone' were my favorite.  New(er) song "Broken Crown" was pretty fantastic, too.

All lovely.

King Charles and Cadillac Sky opened.  Both awesome.  Marcus played drums for some of Cadillac Sky's set, then stood slightly back stage left and watched them finish their set enjoying a beer.  So normal.

Jerry Douglas appeared for the encore.  Brilliant.

photo via Facebook by Deneicee Carter

photo via Facebook by Deneicee Carter

photo via Facebook by Deneicee Carter

Then, they had to go and do an 'Avett Brothers' cover of 'Go To Sleep' during the encore AFTER King Charles did 'Lady of the River'.  Be still my heart.


So great!

At the end of the day, it was one of the best live shows I've been to.  

I am very fortunate to have been able to go.

outside The Valarium the next morning.

The End.

03 November 2010

Hump day ear candy.

Meet Joanna Newsom.

She plays the harp. 

If you didn't know, that's cool.

Many of you may not know her.

She might be most famous for dating Andy Samberg.  

Which is sad.

Because she's much more than the girlfriend of one of the funniest guys on the planet.


Her sound is definitely unique.

You'll either love it or hate it.

I subscribe to the former.

My favorite:


Strange, but nice.  So nice.

Have another.

'The Roots' featured her on their single, Right On.

It's amazing.

I link only because it has curse words and such.

You choose if you'd like to listen.

So funky.  So danceable.

{Told you my musical tastes are all over the place.}

Give her a try.

She creeps in.

In a good way.

Trust me.

P.S. The above images came from a Google search.  I forgot to source them, so if that ticks anyone off, I apologize. I'll do better next time when I'm not too lazy.

02 November 2010

Just a bike?

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes
Yes, I know Nie has a Madsen.
Madsen bikes are gorgeous.
{See them all here.}
And, although that is how I discovered these wonderful bicycles,
that is not why I want one.  
Admittedly, I want a lot of the 'things' Nie has.
Anyone else?
But the bike...
oh, the bike.
You see, my dear readers,
Betsy cannot ride a bike.
She scoots on her trike, 
but it's not on a level even close to that of 
keeping up with the fam if we were to bike the afternoon away
A typical bike trailer would not be the answer, either.
They have lower weight limits, y'all.
Our girl is 6 and growing, growing, growing.
Alas, this bike will never be ours
unless some rich old lady buys it for us because
she has nothing else to do with her gobs of cash money,
OR if we were to win one.
{I blame the $1400 price tag.  Boo.}
I'm banking on the latter.
Well, it's more likely than the former, anyway.

Betsy would giggle the day away riding in 
the back of that bad boy.
And my grin would spread ear to ear for seeing it.

If you would like a chance to win your very own Madsen Cargo Bike...
click HERE!
But, seriously, don't enter, because it will totally
decrease our chances of winning.
Just joking!

Kind of.

P.S. GO VOTE!  If you don't, you have no pass to complain when things don't go your way.  Just sayin'.

01 November 2010

I have been {hearted}, and some BOO!

I'm guesting over at 'Joy's Hope' today.


Check it out here.

I hope your Halloween was


If your little chickens had

half as much fun as mine,

I would say it was a success.