Sunday, November 29, 2009


i find myself stopping on each thanksgiving day to remind myself how MUCH i have to be thankful for.....this year was no different. even when it's sooo easy to get caught up in all the "why me's" or "why us" or "why to my family"??? there are always 2 ways to look at a situation and i have really tried to look at WHAT WE HAVE rather than what we don't......not that my mind doesn't get off track to the negative side here and there, i'm human! BUT i have soooo much to praise GOD for this year.

thankful for these 2 girls who are healthy and who are mine.....some people aren't able to have kids of their own, those who are missing theirs (by death, miles of separation, ect) or who are watching theirs suffer
thankful for these women in my life who can be under 1 roof AND get along.....some people don't have that (and we pulled together as a team to have a HUGE spread of yummy food on the table)
thankful for a new turkey much as we miss my grandpa (this was his "job" that he LOVED doing) we are thankful to have this man with us
thankful for 1 more great-grandmother in our lives who loves these little people to the fullest and whose little people love her right back!
thankful for the simplicity of a child's writing along with a piece of God's creation to make a table look FANCY!
.....oh and there are endless more, but these are the few "shots" i caught on camera.

and to you be thankful that i didn't capture a picture of my FULL belly post meal......i had to put on "comfy" pants it was SO FULL!

i am thankful for this "spot" to place my thoughts. through this "spot" i seem to find that i am daily trying to push for more simplicity and creativity in our lives, and staying present in the moment. i love this blogging world which keeps my mind ever turning!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

grateful gobbler walk '09

with sleepies in our eyes, tangles in our hair, and and layers of clothes on our bodies we headed downtown to brace the early morning briskness of this beautiful THANKSGIVING to join hundreds of other people for support of those people who are homeless and hungry.

we met up with the family
warming up before the walk
a little dancing with the turkey
shaking some laughs out
jumping up and down to get the blood flowing
awesome to be a part of supporting our community
mom got a little tired along the way (not really!!)
it was a wonderful way to start the day! we are about to stuff ourselves into a long afternoon nap and it was a time to remember that there are soooooo many people without homes and without food today
i hope that where ever you are today and whatever you are doing you are able to enjoy this day to the FULLEST!!! I know we are and have already!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

you can never say it enough


It's something that Jon heard on and off throughout this last Friday!

It was a day which started with an early bombardment (while showering) of a "Happy Birthday" song by some amateur singers......breakfast made by his sister-in-law and then on to work where he was taken out to lunch and received a cookie cake and gift card (good work friends)!! And all in between and after and before phone calls where received for wishes of a great day!!
Then an evening with a simple homemade meal of yummy bread with dipping oil
baked spinach and tofu ziti (i MUST post this recipe at a later time as to not take away from this post but it's one that is made OFTEN)
2 girls who dressed in their FINEST dress up clothes and took over blowing out candles as to not cause their daddy to be out of breath!

and receiving some essentials of boxers and t-shirts from a practical wife
(fun stuff came from friends and other family)

and a day ended with a content guy who expects nothing fancy or dramatic or expensive for his birthday. and who said "that was one of the best birthdays i can remember having"

*proof that simple IS better*

Friday, November 20, 2009

Last of the 20's

so we packed an overnight bag and headed out to knoxville last weekend for a certain someone's last year of being in her 20's!!

i can't believe my baby sister is sooo NOT a baby anymore!
it was a full 24 hours of celebration
of playing in a park on fun sculptures
being surrounded by 2 beautiful sisters and 1 gorgeous mom
who is tolerant of: laughs at: loves with all her heart: these funny, emotional, unique and beautiful girls

there's something simply fun about a 1 night stay in a place that is not your home. could it be breakfast in bed with your cousins?? seeing the city lit up at night from the 15th floor?? starbucks readily available 15 floors below?? crisp white bedding that you can lay all over.....have pillow fights with and not have to make it up after??? who knows...
we spent saturday morning meandering around "market square" at the farmers market picking up local veggies....peeking in on the roosters....
popping into a local boutique and having fun with hats
stopping for quick breaks here and there to plop our bottoms down
trying on handmade (by local crafters) scarfs and hats
sipping on yummy drinks while the girls romped around in the grass near by
and listened to some GREAT music!
it was a beautiful weekend spent with beautiful people for a beautiful celebration of a beautiful girl!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the DIRTY truth as.....

encouraged by KARAH. i grew up in a house that EVERY single friday WITHOUT fail was house cleaning day! it became 2nd nature to mom now wonders why i'm a little freakish about cleaning....hhmmm?? i wonder!! even during college and living with 5 other girls my twin and i (she probably would like to blame more of this on me) set up a friday cleaning schedule. we broke down the "house chores" and EVERYONE had one. SORRY if you had your plans around your "chore"! *we threw in a little fun and ROCKED out to some 80's music!!* and again this followed me into my own home.....jon has maybe wanted to wring my neck on occasion! with 1 child born it kinda put a cramp into how clean i was able to keep the house and then with the 2nd child some days are near IMPOSSIBLE to even keep the clutter at bay much less control the dust and soap scum! so while blogging seems to portray ONLY perfection please KNOW that my house knows nothing of that word.

stuff waiting to be put away from a baby shower 2 weeks ago
painted pumpkins from last week still haven't found their show casing home the back ground are life insurance papers which need to be filed
the play room stays this it should!!! quit booing me and STOP throwing tomatoes!!
items to be returned to various stores....which have been patiently waiting here for 2 1/2 weeks
paint and supplies sitting on our bedroom floor waiting to be used on the walls of our bedroom
and bathroom but still no'd think maybe our company coming this weekend would have pushed us in to late night painting parties....NOPE!
so there you have it.....the dirty truth. and please know that my laundry is, most days, piled to the ceilings.....sinks screaming to be freed of toothpaste.....floors begging to be vacuumed and washed. the list is endless. AND thanks karah cause this may just set off some loose crazy cleaning screw in my mind!

while confessing i might as well just say that i have only ONCE in my own house dwelling career hired a house cleaner. AND i regretted every penny i spent as i went back over her work and re-cleaned the entire house. that was about 5 years ago. i have really worked hard to let go of that house keeping perfection, especially for my kids' sake. i've worked so hard that tomorrow.....dare i type this and feel less of a mom/wife????......i have a house cleaner coming. eeeekkkk i typed's out there!! we'll see, i'm trying to keep my expectations low.....signing off before i delete this WHOLE blog out of sheer embarrassment!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pumpkin Turkey's

I walked through the door 2 nights ago, after work, saying out loud...."well that's really sad". I was convinced that we had some hoodlums in our neighborhood and they decided to ransack our pumpkin/gourd collection out front! And might I add I wasn't really sad but quite irate! I was quickly side tracked as Kayden met me at the steps eagerly begging me to come into the kitchen to see "something"!!

and this is what i found....
our pumpkins were turned into canvas's for the evening
for turkey.....
and leaf paintings!
i find myself forever apologizing for my children's lack of modesty....maybe we should move to a nudist colony.....or not...I'll just keep the sorry's rolling!
for several years i was completely oblivious to Jon's artistic abilities but thank goodness that about 3 1/2 years ago they were unleashed! and we've been enjoying them since!

I'm thankful, as I sit here and write this, for the flexibility of Jon's schedule. God's hands were soooo in control of his job changes over the last several years and that is very clear to us today.....not so much then!! I remember BEGGING Jon to stay put at one job all the while he was BEGGING me to just trust that he was making these changes for our family's benefit! He left the car business, (if you've ever been in the business you know it's every letter of the word CRAZY) for good, a week or so after I had about some high stress! I certainly attempted to be a supportive wife while he was looking for work that would allow him home more with us, knowing deep down that he would not leave our family to starve out on the cold streets. But I must admit I wasn't sure of the timing of it all. Going back to work after Emery was 7 weeks old was bad enough in itself but then having to work overtime.....not a happy mommy!!! We stuck it out together and strongly relied on God to pull us through this storm......he did. Jon started working in the mortgage business for the next 2 years......allowing him to be home before dinner time and flexibility to leave work quickly if needed (let me throw in that while in the car business it was 5-6 days a week and not home till 8:00 pm if not later, making me feel like a single mom some days and causing him guilt but more the longing to be home with us). Still I was working a little more than we wanted me to with 2 small kids. Let's back up just a bit, Jon sold a car to a well known realtor in Chattanooga.....they instantly hit it off. They stayed in touch over the years....talking more when Jon moved over to doing mortgages. Just about 2 years ago Jay (the realtor) asked Jon if he would consider joining his team selling houses. I was skeptical.....Jon was excited! He felt it was a HUGE opportunity to grow! We prayed and and talked and talked and prayed and he joined their team last March. God OF COURSE knew what he was doing with Jon because for the past 7 months we've been blessed to allow me to work, on average, 2 days a week (sometimes just 1)!!! We were uncertain, for some time, how we would manage to pick Kayden up from school on the days I had to work. Not a 1 single day has been an issue. Even more job flexibility with this job where he leaves work at 2pm on my work days and can take both girls home. No more late days at daycare....rushing home for baths and bed at 8pm. They even get to slide in some crafty things....some outdoor time....some good 1:1 time with their daddy! It was a rough road some days to get to where we are today but I am reminded again as I type out this story that I must ALWAYS rely on GOD for ALL things. He knows just what we need....ALWAYS! Have a WONDERFUL weekend....if you're having a rough time with something right now try to sit back and pray. Allow Him complete control of your life during this storm.....He will bring you safely to shore. This is a reminder to myself as much as it's encouragement to you....I daily, hourly try to control my life and need constant reminders to LET GO and LET GOD!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

My M-O-M

I've mentioned before, to those who don't know my past, (and just skip ahead if you do!) that my mom was my one and only parent.....involved in the majority of my life that is! But may I SOOO quickly add that I have NEVER felt deprived of love. acceptance. assurance. encouragement. life. GOD. She has been easily 2 parents wrapped into 1 (I call her on Father's Day too and wish her a happy day, she's even received a card or two!!) if not more! As we've branched out into our own little family's we don't get that just mom:daughter time with her as much as when we were younger. So a couple weeks ago Kristi and I received a text from mom asking us out to a movie date night and we happily accepted!! We met up after work.....joking we would ALL fall asleep mid movie (because we just have a great record of that)! We laughed and laughed and laughed.....good for the soul....good for mom:daughter relationships! At the conclusion of the evening we all hugged, said our good-bye's, and parted ways.....BUT we left happier people!

eager movie goers.....none of us go to the theater often
funny funny movie
dinner provided by mom- veggie sandwich beats popcorn and candy ANYDAY......well it did that night anyway!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grandparents Day

This last Friday was "Grandparent's Day" at Kayden's school! A day to completely celebrate and acknowledge these VERY special people who: give ice cream cones to their grandchildren at 10:00 am JUST BECAUSE they finished their breakfast, allow them to stay up waaayyy past their bedtime just because they had that special twinkle in their eye while sapping'ly begging to stay up just a tiny bit longer, have patience x's 5000 people even when they are oh so whiney, buy them something just because they DIDN'T ask for anything, oh the list is endless BUT more importantly because they LOVE these babies beyond life itself and LOVE their time spent with them! They deserve LOTS and LOTS of celebration!!

who needs decorations when the front of the school is packed with this beauty
k-5 put on a program for the grandparents.....kayden's class singing
(please note even through the blurriness that taylor is in the background, this will probably NEVER happen again that we were able to get them both in the same picture!!)
showing off her classroom and eating lunch with aumie.....
gran and papa! what a special day!!
and a just because she's precious picture.....and it DOES help that she is FOREVER posing for me!!!