August 29, 2013

New Shoes: A Season of Motherhood

Have you ever had a pair of shoes that you loved so much you were sad to let them go?  My favorite summer sandals bit the dust this week.  They were comfortable and went with everything; but the pleather had begun to dry rot and the stench was, well, embarrassing.

It's hard to let a good pair go, even when a new pair holds the promise of new adventures.

I've walked a thousand miles in the "shoes" of mothering my young.  Putting on a new pair of shoes is exciting and sometimes painful.  This week we sent our firstborn to public high school.  It was an exciting, emotional week for me.  It was time for me to try on my new shoes of mother-of-a-high-schooler.  The hardest part was taking them out of the box: dropping her off that first day.

She was excited and beautiful that morning.   
I donned the big glasses to hide my watery eyes.   
On the way we prayed over her teachers and classmates; and a friend to sit with at lunch.  We prayed for her to be a light and joy to others.  I may have prayed for her safety twice.

I held it together until she stepped out of the car.  My plan was to stop by Target to soothe my aching heart with a Chai latte but the tears on my cheeks wouldn't let me get out of my car; so I drove the extra 3 miles to the Starbucks drive thru.  The perky barista exclaimed "have a wonderful day!" as I pulled away.  If she only knew.

I made it to the bank parking lot before the ugly cry erupted. After awhile, it occurred to me that the police might be called because a woman was loitering behind the credit union.  I figured I would just have to own up to the fact that I wasn't casing the joint, but rather, having a very normal emotional breakdown.  

The tears were not because I am sad that she is heading into a new chapter of life, but rather the closing of the book of childhood.  A letting go.  She is ready.  We are ready.  But a momma's heart has to have time to process/grieve/put on her new shoes.  

Since that first day, our new shoes have fit nicely.   She is enjoying 9th grade and I am relearning the joys of carpool line.  

At this point I feel that I need to be honest and bare my soul.
I totally missed the carpool line on the first day.  I thought the bell rang thirty minutes later than it actually did.  So, as I was nearing the school, I got a frantic call from my husband wanting to know if I forgot our girl.  Forgot our girl?!  How could you even think that?!!  Apparently she had tried to call me (which for the record, I never got) and finally called her dad because she had been abandoned had stood in line waiting for 30 minutes with ten other kids whose moms had also failed miserably judging from the looks on their faces.
Lamest new mom-of-a-high-schooler ever!!!

Other than that, our week has been smooth albeit incredibly busy.  My younger daughter made the volleyball team and the practices/games/ travel have begun.  I've put more miles on my car this week than if I had driven to the beach.  

We are adjusting to early mornings, homework, and family fall activities.  Even though my sweet man has taken on the responsibility of mornings, I still set my alarm at 5:45 just in case.  And even though I've taken the afternoon responsibilities, he still calls to make sure I've picked her up.  Why in the world would he worry over that?!   Oh, yeah, about that.
I think it's cute how we are both digging deep to make sure this new phase is done right.  I love that it is a team effort (mainly because "the team" doesn't need me to talk in the mornings).

By this afternoon, the point of exhaustion had been reached.  I made an impulse buy of Pride and Prejudice.  What kind of world to we live in that Mr. Darcy has been reduced to $5?  I gave my girls full permission to rest  and be whisked away by the Bennet  sisters.

I told my sweet boy he could play ... whatever.  Little did I know that the Goldfish box would come in handy for a quiet afternoon.

I'm taking a few moments to gather my thoughts and thank the Lord for His mercy during this monumental week.  I am thankful for new seasons and look forward to the new places my new shoes will take me in this adventure called motherhood. 

August 28, 2013

Farmhouse Master Bedroom

 Welcome to one of my favorite rooms of our new house!

We took a risk with the intense paint color, but we haven't regretted it for a second!
 With a huge white headboard and white bedding, the color is a perfect contrast.
  Sherwin Williams Indigo Batik (SW 7602)

I wanted to add a pop of color and I love a bold pattern... in small amounts so Premier Prints Chipper in chartreuse from was the answer for me.

To save money and leave my options open (because you know I love change) I chose to just add a topper to the Ikea Ritva panels.  I didn't even sew them together.  The curtain rod rings hold both pieces of fabric (curtain and topper) together.  To let the light in, we currently have Ikea sheers behind the heavier curtains.  I can sleep through daylight with no problem, but my sweet man is thinking that some blinds will be a better choice soon.
 Another way we saved money was refurbishing the lamps.  Two buffet lamps from Kirklands were hanging out in the attic.  I didn't like the color or the shade, but the tall height was perfect for our super high bed.
A coat of metal spray paint and two new shades were all they needed:
Total cost for "new" lamps: $15

Eventually I would like to paint all of the wood furniture white.  When I have lots of time on my hands I'll paint my furniture and learn to quilt.  For now, I've learned to accept love it as it is.

If I ever want to change the feel of the room I could easily do so with just a few toss pillows (wouldn't coral be fun?!) and new fabric on the windows.  But for now, the blue and green are soothing and happy.

August 27, 2013

Wishing Away and Holding On

When my fresh-from-heaven firstborn introduced me to 3am feedings, I wished  I could sleep, even for a mere 5 hours.  At first, my sleep deprived mind didn't comprehend the soul-satisfying bond I was missing by the wishing away.  By the time my second and third children came along I realized that sleep was overrated.  The tender moments shared in the silence of the night were precious seconds that could never be replaced.

When my middle child reached the age of four I wished away the temper tantrums.  Yeah, I don't miss them much, but I do miss those sweet little hands with dimpled knuckles holding my face saying "I yuv you, Mommy."

When my girls had trouble staying quiet for little brother to nap, I wished away the noise.  Now I would give anything to hear their squeals of laughter and make believe chatter wrapped in pink princess attire.

When eating at a restaurant took a village, I wished away the need for a high chair and cutting up bite-sized finger food before my own turned cold.  Restaurant dining is much more enjoyable now that they are old enough to cut their own meat and order their own adult-sized food.  But occasionally I miss the sippy cup and cheerio stage.  It represents a time when my children were completely dependent upon me.  Was it overwhelming?  Yes!
I. still. miss. it.

When I took my children to the library I wished away the picture books because I was fearful that my attempts to teach them to be good readers was failing.  We read a thousand picture books, but the chapter books were always the "greener pasture."  Now we visit the library and I'm the only one who stops by the thin books with beautiful pictures.

I cried the other day when I realized my son no longer takes baths.  He didn't announce that he was done with that stage of life.  It just simply slipped into the archives of life.  I yearn to find superheroes lining my bathtub and pull a pruned boy into a terry cloth towel.

This tilt-a-whirl of motherhood can leave us spinning.  Wishing away and holding on at the same time is an oxymoron that lives and breathes.  I've done a lot of holding on this summer because our family is stepping into a new phase of life.  I'm having to let go and hold onto the sweet memories that my heart aches to relive.

To the sweet momma in the trenches of diapers and whiney afternoons: hold on.
Don't wish away.  You will need these sweet memories one day.

August 13, 2013

I Like Fun Fabric

We desperately needed some new pillows... indoors and out.  I borrowed my mom's sewing machine and had fun in my "spare" time over the summer.  Most of my fabric came from  They have an awesome return policy and great prices.

For the sake of time, I made simple pillows with no chording or fancy corners.  The pillows pictured above are in my keeping room... for now.  I love to change things up, but for now, these work great with the newly painted desk behind the couch.

Stuffing pillows can be costly, so I ripped apart my old pillows and used the stuffing.  It isn't pretty but it was still in good condition; just needed a little fluffing.

Hi ladies.  No, I won't steal your feathers for stuffing pillows.

I made these in early June and they have held up great in full sun and a ton of rain.  I love the selection of indoor/outdoor choices at
I find myself drawn to the bold geometric patterns for outdoors and the softer hues for indoors (well, except for my new dining area curtains).
What kind of patterns catch your eye?

August 9, 2013

4 Ingredient Creamy Crock Pot Chicken

This is a combination of my crazy brain and some Pinterest recipes.  The result?  "No offense, dad, but this is the best chicken I've ever put in my mouth!" (9 year old son)

6 frozen boneless chicken breasts
8 oz chive and onion cream cheese
1 package dry italian dressing mix
1 1/2 cups white wine

Place all ingredients in crock pot.  Cook on LOW for 7 hours or until chicken is done.  Stir once the cream cheese has melted.
Optional: add a package of sliced mushrooms during the last hour of cooking time

Serve over rice and wait for your family to sing your praises.

August 8, 2013

New Ball Mason Jars in Blue

Have you discovered them yet?  Ball is celebrating their 100th anniversary with brand new blue Perfect Mason jars.  My first glimpse was in Target a few months ago.  I fell head over heels.  I resisted the urge of an impulse purchase but knew they had my name on them.

And then along came Richella.  Bless her sweet soul.  She posted about the beautiful new jars and the makers of the Ball Perfect Mason contacted her.  The sweet people in the Ball office allowed her to do a drawing/giveaway for a set of jars.

 I didn't win just any ole set.  I won the 64th of the first 100 produced!  It even came with a certificate of authenticity.

Richella had asked her readers how they would use the jars if they won and I replied:
They would be perfect drinking glasses for our new house on the farm.

Yes, they are.  Perfect. In. Every. Way.

Low and behold, the next week, I received a second set of jars from the wonderful people at Ball.  I nearly fell over.  We now have enough jars to serve guests and allow them to truly experience farm life!  

I love the details.  The 100 year anniversary date and precise measuring lines carved into the glass are truly... well, perfect!

 Next time you stop by the farm, I'll serve some tea or lemonade in a gorgeous glass.

 Thank you Richella and Ball for the amazing giveaway.  We are having a ball enjoying them!

If you would like a set of new Ball mason jars in blue, click here.

*this is not an affiliate post.  I just happen to be in love with the product.

August 7, 2013

Farmhouse Dining Area

 When we built our home we opted out of having a formal dining room.  It was a room that used up square footage in our last house and only got used twice a year.  We decided to create a large eating area in our kitchen.  No regrets so far!

It has been a  challenge to make it feel homey because it is in the middle of the living area.

 I decided a pop of color would awaken the space.  Giant buffalo check has always been a favorite of mine.

I played around with my happy wall until it fit with the feel of the dining area.  I have a feeling this wall will be a continuous playground.  By the end of September, I'm sure it will have a "fall feel."

I wanted to keep it light and airy, so I added the pop of color to the bottom of our existing white sheers.  The sheers are Matilda from Ikea.  These are the best gauzy sheers in the whole world.  I love their long length and great price: $20 for a pair!
I ordered three yards of the buffalo check from  I love their return policy!

We've had this old desk forever.  I decided to tackle it with the leftover paint from our pantry door.


I found this free printable online at Creative Cain Cabin.  She offers so many fun, free printables!  This one fits my color scheme perfectly!  The burlap matted frame was a TJMaxx score.

 The dining area is finally coming together.  It took 10 months, but I now feel at home in this room.