23 November 2011

be blessed & stuff.

just because it makes me smile.

So, just a few things before the big turkey day...

1. I totally forgot to celebrate my 3rd bloggersary.  It was officially on October 12th.  I cannot believe it's been 3 years.  Wow!

2.  A big welcome to all the new followers I've gotten in the last few days.  You have landed in Crazy Town.  I hope you enjoy your stay.

3. Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite times of year.  It's like Christmas, but without the presents.  And, let's face it...the presents just complicate things.

4.  I hope you find blessings in the little things.  They are EVERYWHERE...if you look hard enough!  My advice would be to look with your heart, not your eyes. 

Happy Thanksgiving, and many blessings!

17 November 2011

The cleaner side of things...

So, now that you know what our house normally looks like, you may want to pop over to 'Life Made Lovely', and see what it looks like all purdy'd up in the 'Home Made Lovely' series Heather has put together.

I think you might like it better.  Or is that just me?  Maybe so.

Either way, hop on over and show Heather {and me, too} a little love. 

16 November 2011

True to my word.

I'm starting to think that people have a HUGE misconception about me and what my house looks like on a daily basis.

I had promised awhile back to dispell those non-truths.  I have delayed this post as long as I could.  Mostly because I don't want anyone to think I'm a mess. 

If my house looks a mess at any given moment, what must my insides look like? 

To honestly answer that question, sometimes my insides are a mess.  Even with all the healing that's occurred on my heart the last couple of years, I still have dark days.  Bad times. 

Don't we all?

 So, here you go.  This is what my house looks like most days. 

A mess.

Sometimes I feel like the messier it is, the happier I am.  The more I've learned to let go of stupid hang ups.  Keeping your house perfect all the time is a source of GREAT stress and anxiety.  It's a full time job of worry and psychoticness.  Trust me when I tell you that.  I've lived that life.

Cleaning the house to tip top shop 3+ times a week for 3 years so that Betsy's home therapists didn't think I was a failure when they came over to work with her was hell.  Because somehow having a clean and tidy house made me have it all together. 

Back then, I didn't.  Not even by a mile.

But, I wanted so badly to control the things that I could because the rest of my life seemed to be spiraling so desperately out of control.  It was a hopeless feeling.  At the time, I thought my cute, clean house was all I had.  I was blind then.  By grief, by sadness, by hopelessness, by desperation, by whatever you want to call it, but blind.

I still have work to do.  Lots.  I know this because you have no idea how badly I want to make a million and three excuses as to why it looks like this.  Which really isn't that bad considering most of the mess is pillows, clothes that need to be put down the laundry shoot, and dirty dishes in the sink, and let's face it my toliets are freshly bleached and tubs scoured out, but for me this is a disaster. 

I want to scream at the top of my lungs to the internets that this is right after getting the kids on the bus.  That this is right before I start to do my morning tidy-up routine.  That I am editing photos like a mad woman {tis the season}, and haven't been staying current on my housework.  That it's get my work done and feed the kids, or have spotless floors.  That it NEVER looks this bad.  That I plan on cleaning tomorrow when the kids DON'T have a half day of school to interrupt the progress. 

But, those are all just excuses.

See? That's what I do.  I am always trying to make excuses for things like this, so you don't think my house is, heaven forbid, messy sometimes. 


I mean, what would that say about me as a person?

Would you like me less?

Would you like me more?

Would I like myself less?  More? 

It's territory I don't really want to explore, but I'm going to.

So go ahead and judge away.

I am human. 

I have four kids.

Wait a minute, are those just more excuses?

As much as I would like to, I canNOT control everything.

A lesson driven home by the birth of a baby girl that would change everything I thought I knew about life.  Thank you, Miss Betsy Jane.

Random fact about me...I HATE a closet that is left open.  HATE, HATE, HATE.  Always have for as long as I have memories. 

Hey, at least Pete made his bed this morning.  That's progress.

Someday, I'll let you see our laundry/storage area.  For now, I'm not that brave.

09 November 2011

Some news.

Next week {Thursday to be exact}, our homestead will be featured over at 'Life Made Lovely'

I am always most flattered when someone I admire seems to find something redeeming about my simple little life. 

In this particular case, Heather {who has amazing style, a penchant for finding joy in the small things, and is one of the most adorable people I've ever seen}, made my day when she asked if I would let you all take a peek inside our home. 

My {emphatic} answer was, YES! 

So, during the time you have to peruse the internets before November 17th, I HIGHLY recommend checking out Heather's blog, design shop {she designed my own blog's header}. and find out more about her 'Joyful Life Library Project'

And check out the other incredible homes already featured in the 'Home Made Lovely' series.

08 November 2011

My 2011 Holiday Wishlist

Because sometimes people Big Daddy needs some direction, and PLENTY of time.

Oh, who am I kidding.  We rarely even do the gift thing. 

So, I will be really irrational and make some of these items DREAM wishes.

Go big or go home.

The gifts are more fun when they're for the kids anyway.

But, just in case...

a trip HERE because I heart it, and haven't been in 12 years
{can we add Scotland & Ireland this time?}

Yeah, right.

And, since I have been a good girl this year, and will be receiving every item on this list, thank you in advance, Big Daddy. 

Wink, wink.

07 November 2011

That time of year.

Well, it's that time of year.  The time of year that I costantly feel stressed, anxious, spread too thin.

Once New Year's rolls around, I can breathe easy.

It's the holidays and everything that goes along with it {baking, parties, gift buying}, the financial aspect of the holidays and never wanting to spend what we don't have which means getting creative, which means making my head hurt, all of the school obligations, the cold/bad weather starts {which I actually love, but it adds 20 minutes onto the commute anywhere making sure 4 kids are bundled}, and all of the unexpected things that you just don't plan on happening because, let's face it, they always seem to happen in force at this time of year. {This is my finest run-on sentance to date.}

Every year, I vow to slow down, say no, enjoy the time spent with family and friends that we don't get to see that often. But every year, I fail miserably. 

Is there some magic spell I should know?  A part of the equation I'm missing?

The real tragedy is, I have so much to enjoy.  So much to be grateful for.  The obvious: husband, kids, health, home, clothes, food, a general want for nothing.  But there is also the not so obvious: a thriving start up business, a husband who has been sober for 6 1/2 months, people who appreciate my gifts of which I love to share, the realized joy of having a child with special needs, the acceptance of who I am and being comfortable in this skin.

So, I have to ask myself, what gives? 

I am alone in this struggle?

I find it so hard to be in the moment from Halloween to Christmas.  And there are so many fantastic moments to find yourself in during these months. 

What do you do to slow down, enjoy, relax?



You could potentially save me from certain doom. 

04 November 2011


I love these shoes.  They stink, they aren't even gray anymore, our puppy has gnawed the insole, but I don't care.  I even have two other pairs.

But, when you love something, you love it.  I am starting to fall in love with my gilded herringbone pair, but I feel like I'm cheating on the gray pair.  Woe is me.

I'm sure you've heard that my hometown team, the St.Louis Cardinals, won the World Series.  Right? Well, we did.  It was a fun night, complete with a victory dance with some amazing people.

On Tuesday, I got a call from the school nurse to come pick up Betsy.  She wasn't acting herself.  About 10 minutes after we got home she basically collapsed and crashed.  Right where she was.  Turns out she wasn't sick.  At least not for reals.  She had TMH virus.  Too much Halloween.  She was golden when she woke up.

I had the pleasure of catching an Avetts' show with some special girls.  I've learned that if you're friendly, you get VIP treatment {.  We happen to meet the promoter {no lie}.  We didn't know he was the promoter, but we had a nice convo with him, and he asked if we wanted to be closer to the boys.  Uh, YES!  He told us who he was, led us through the 'velvet rope', and voila!  It was as if they were performing just for us.  Friendliness goes a long way.  I picked up a couple of t-shirts for my little boys, too.  They thought they'd died and gone to heaven.  Once they're back in the Lou we will be taking the boys to the show.  They won't know what hit them. 

Our family pictures are next weekend.  We have the outfits nailed down, AND the awesomest prop ever.  A red convertible Olds.  Holla!  We're going to a very urban setting downtown, so I'm super excited.  Brenda will work her magic for my family as always.

So, that's what's newsworthy from my instagram.  Have a super weekend!  I know I will be dancing the night away tomorrow at our 'adult party'.  Hahahahahaha!

life rearranged

03 November 2011

The Rock.

Our master bathroom sucks.  It's functional, and that's about it's only endearing quality.  Real problems, right? 

Well, it's just not in the cards for a total gut job.  {Which it desperately needs.}  It's a totally awkward space, and needs to be reconfigured.  The sink area is open to our bedroom which is strange, and that door that you see {which we screwed shut}, is a pass through to Pete's room.  The toilet and shower are to the left and are separated by the sink area by a door.  It's just a little too cuckoo-ka-choo for me. 

It was so bad, I didn't even take before photos.  Which I now regret.  The sink was peach with some sort of permanent toothpaste'ish stain in it, the vanity was a creamy color, with a faux marble finish, and you can still see the pretty floor.  Stunning as it is.  It was lovely.  Plain lovely.

It made me want to vomit every morning.  Right in that pretty peach sink.  Something had to be done.  Enter creative ingenuity.  We had some grayish/tan paint that I slapped on the walls, stupid door, and ceiling.  Then I took this {but was able to purchase the faux bois 'rocker' separately,and not the whole kit at Home Depot}, and some brown paint that we had, and did a faux bois finish on the vanity.

Then, add a white-less-than-$30 drop in sink, and it looks MUCH better.  I added the white deer head for a little towel rack, and moved my old-window-turned-accessory-holder and hung it over the hole where an old, nasty medicine cabinet randomly was.  Big Daddy also changed out the light fixture for my old favorite stand by HERE. {Yes, you can still buy them in-stores, and yes, it's an outdoor light, but who cares? They also look fab spray painted obnoxious colors, which I still may do.} 

Then, the piece de resistance...that mid-century rocker.  It's awr-some!  My mother-in-law was getting rid of it.  YES, PLEASE!  Now, I know a rocking chair seems a bit odd in a master bathroom, but it just works, ya know?  

I 'rocked' the vanity, and 'rocked' the chair. 

What can I say?  I like to rock.

Now, I just need to find an affordable oriental'ish type rug to cover up some of that floor.  Yick!  I think the reds, golds, and blues will really tie into the other colors going on in the room.  I found one I loved at HomeGoods, but when I checked the price it was $99!!!!  For a 4x3 rug?!  Pass.  Hello, Craigslist. 

We have a plan for the shower/toilet area to cover the sub-par tile on the wall, but I don't want to talk about that now.  I'm tired of typing.  But, I can assure you it will be cool & cheap, with a super-fly industrial/cottage feel. 

Someday, we will lay the leftover hardwood where the nastiness now lies, dry wall in the non-functioning door, and we will retrofit an old dresser to fit this bad girl...

In all honesty, we will probably never gut it after doing all of the above.  The hard part will be finding the right piece to fit the sink.  That may take some time.  I am NOT patient, so it will be interesting to see how this turns out. 

Time will tell...

02 November 2011

Hump day ear candy.

Matthew and the Atlas. 

Just really fantastic stuff. 

Had a few of their songs on my ipod, but then I saw them open for Mumford & Sons back in June. 

Wow, oh, wow!

You know, the same show I that I got to sit in the sound booth.  The show that I met Marcus Mumford, Ted Dwane, and Ben Lovett.  And, yes, I stood 5 feet from Winston Marshall, but it's hardly worth mentioning because apparently he was too good to frolic with the fans.  Dumb.  The show that I found myself in the same place as the band after the show for a good hour, and had a nice chat with Ted & my cousin while I was there. It's true.  I would bore you with photos, but this post is really about Matthew & the Atlas, after all.  Okay, just one...

So, where was I?  Oh, yes...M & the A are good.  Really good.  They will actually be here Thursday night.  Not here as in my house, but here as in St.Louis.  Just to clear up any confusion.  I mean, they are more than welcome, but I'm not sure they know who the hell I am. 

My favorite...

And more...

They also do a fantastic cover of The Pogues 'Fairytale of New York'.  Listen HERE.  They are definitely worth adding to one of your playlists.  Good, good stuff. 

I think I have a banjo problem. 

01 November 2011

Halloween ramblings.

So, I don't have a picture with the boys.  They were too busy playing in the fire pit.  We like to keep it safe in these parts.  I have a couple, but you can't even see their costumes.  I can tell you we had a sailor, a doctor, a Quidditch player, and a gladiator.  They all looked great, and more importantly, they got a ton of candy that I can steal while they are at school today.  That is a reward of parenting.  If you didn't know that, now you do.  You are welcome.

Also, I was alarmed and appalled to learn that St.Louis is one of the few places in this great country that require kids to tell a joke before they get their candy.  Always has.  Check this article out HERE.  Do your kids have to tell a joke to get their candy on Halloween?  Please tell me they do.  You hear the best jokes.  Good, clean, funny jokes.

Want to give a shout out of thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for hosting a great little party, and for sending home a TON of leftovers with us.  I wish the kids were off of school today so we could have stayed later, but alas they were not.  Which isn't entirely a bad thing because now I have more opportunity to pilfer their candy.  Too bad for them.  Too bad.