Nesting and Purging and Vintage Treasures

Hello friends!

I have been trying to get into a groove coordinating homeschool for Lilla and speech school for Bette. It is taking much longer than I expected. It feels like we are always coming and going and as a result I find myself squeezing teaching Lilla in here and there. I do not like it. But I think we are on the cusp of finally getting our schedule to a manageable place and I am thankful.

The girls have also been busy. They found about a hundred pieces of ribbon in my desk that all belongs to invitation set I bought, but have yet to use. And they have been having a field day. Lilla has taken to making designs on the floor in all sorts of shapes and sizes, which seems to me just as good as her making designs with rubber bands on her geoboard for math. Ribbon designs on the floor = homeschool math for the day. Check.

Of course, none of the designs stay around very long… because the foot of a little munchkin always seems to find its way to smack in the middle of whatever Lilla just finished working on. Lilla cried at first. But once I started taking pictures of her designs and “preserving” them for her, she was okay with it.

We are also now a one  cat family. There was a small incident with Polo. Jay was washing dishes and I was cleaning the kitchen when all of a sudden Lilla screamed. Polo had jumped from the coffee table and onto the sofa, where Lilla was peacefully watching a movie, and on top of Lilla’s face. He then jumped again, using Lilla’s face as a spring board, in an effort to tackle the other cat. It was terrible and she was pretty scratched up.

It wasn’t malicious. Polo is just stupid. But it wasn’t the first time something like that had happened, and we decided he needed another home. Which he found with Aunt Mimi, who gave him to us in the first place.

The other cat is now getting twice the love. He looks thrilled, doesn’t he?

I have been rounding up fall clothes for the girls. I bought their fall shoes over the weekend. They are from Payless and Lilla had a pair last year. They are indestructible. She wore them all the time and they still looked pretty good at the end of winter. And they are only $10. BAM.

I also snagged a pair of earrings for me from Anthropologie. I love them.

I have also been nesting and purging relentlessly. I think the coming change of seasons has stirred in me a desire to get rid of all the crap we accumulated during the summer that now seems to be floating around our house everywhere. Goggles. Necklaces. Water guns. Stickers.

Whenever I find something that I know the girls could care less about and they are not looking, I throw it in the trash. Because I know if they see me throw it in the trash, it will all of a sudden be their favorite toy that they can’t live without.

But sometimes I get busted. Lilla happens to see whatever I have thrown away in the trash and exclaims, HEY, WHO THREW THIS AWAY?  

Being the mature adult I am, I play dumb. I have no idea, honey. Or I blame it on Bette. Because she doesn’t know the difference and what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. But then the thing that I was trying to get out of the house comes out of the trash can and I have to hunt it down again.

While I was purging, I found in the back of my closet, buried in a box, two Coach purses that were my mother’s. I totally forgot I had them. They weren’t really in style nine years ago when she died, but now they are. I am so glad I kept them.

One is pretty roughed up, but Jay thinks he can polish and clean it up. The other is a cross body bag in perfect condition. I will be using it a lot this fall.

I also came across something a friend gave us in the early days of our marriage. Jay hates it. But I think it is absolutely hilarious.

Don’t you agree?

 

Weekend Tidbits

We did some really fun stuff over the weekend and we kicked things off by going to an alumni dinner at my high school. I don’t do much alumni stuff, but this one was special for several reasons which are listed below in order of importance:
  • The dinner was being held in the cafeteria and the menu was fried chicken. And it is the best fried chicken ever. I know that seems like an oxymoron. How could anyone’s high school cafeteria serve the best of anything? But they do and we went and experienced all that deliciousness again.
  • I saw old friends, some of whom I have known since elementary school, and met their babies and caught up. So many people asked after Bette and about how she is doing, which was so kind.
  • The girls bundled up and went to their first football game after dinner and had a blast.

We went to a fall festival in the town square near our house. Then Coco and I went to an art show, which was followed by a pizza dinner at our house with our hubbies and four rounds of Funky Monkey, none of which I won. Grrrr.

I found a couple of things at the art show, which led to some much needed reorganization around our house. I started with the mantel, because this little painting needed a spot front and center.
The little clay vase was a gift for my 30th birthday. It was on my desk for forever, but little fingers kept grabbing it, so now it has a new home on the mantle. The candlesticks were from CB2 a few years ago and I love them, even though they resemble science beakers.
The porcelain vase was my mother’s and is always moving to a new spot around my house. The planter was a wedding gift.
I picked up a lovely still life at the art show. The original frame was black and silver and did not do the painting justice, but Jay easily changed it out with a gold one we already had. I am still trying to figure out the best spot in the house for it, because I could just stare at those big blooms and soothing colors all day.
We also rehung some small paintings that came out of our former breakfast room, which is now our school room, in our upstairs landing.
Those poor little paintings have been stuck in a corner since July, when our homeschool renovation began. But now they finally have a home and I get to look at them every time I walk upstairs.

Shopping It Up

When the girls were here, we did some serious shopping. Nothing extravagant or outrageous, but with everything on sale over Columbus Day weekend, I was on the hunt to find my girls’ clothes for the winter, including their Christmas dresses.

I am partial to girls white smocked dresses for Christmas, partly because I am from the south and partly because I don’t buy smocked clothing except for holidays. But after five years of that look, I am tired of it. I was leaning toward black velvet this year, but ditched that idea when I realized how expensive a single dress can be.

I found great items at Baby Gap, all of it on sale. The Gap is not exactly the first place you would look for Christmas dresses, but I was surprised by how beautiful their garments were, like the white ruffle dresses above and the black dresses below. They will be perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I have learned that the girls need two dressy dresses to get through winter; one for Christmas Eve and one for Christmas Day. Inevitably, the dress that is worn on Christmas Eve gets dirty or stained and I have spent too many late night Christmas Eves rewashing, drying, and ironing! tending to a dirty dress to make sure it is clean for the next day.
I also picked up some matching outfits for church and parties, like the dresses above. They are soft and comfy and even though I don’t love the sort sleeves for winter, a long sleeve black tee and tights can be added underneath for warmth.
My favorite find was this ruffle dress for Bette. It is so cute I can hardly stand it.

In Perfect Handmade Quilts

Two sweet hearts.

Kelly and Holly.

They came to visit us last week.

Two girls I had never met.

 

Before they arrived.

They were strangers to me.

But they knew my brother.

And they follow this blog.

 

So he brought them to visit.

They do not live close by.

Over an hour away.

 But still they came.

 

They came bearing gifts

Unbelievably beautiful gifts.

Handcrafted gifts.

That we will cherish forever.

 

They brought my girls quilts.
 
Quilts they made themselves.
 
Quilts with plenty of pink.
 
And full of vibrant color.

 

Quilts that are so well done.
 
It is hard to believe.
 
That it was their first attempt.
 
I know, impressive.

 

On the underside of each quilt.
 
There was a surprise.
 
A list of all the verses.
 
From this blog.

 

All the verses.
 
I have been leaning on.
 
And praying through.
 
In this new season of life.
 
 
All the verses.
 
That have comforted me.
 
And brought me peace.
 
And made me cry.
 

Because one day

Not too long ago.

Our lives changed unexpectedly.

And for forever.

 

We heard the news.
 
That our sweet baby girl.
 
Could not hear.
 
And never would.

 

For a long time.
 
I didn’t know what was ahead.
 
And in the beginning.
 
All I could do was pray.
 
 
So my girls.
 
They have not just been given quilts.
 
But they have been given a record.
 
A record of my prayers.
 
 
The prayers that I prayed for them.
 
And the prayers that I prayed over them.
 
Prayers that were from the depths of my heart.
 
And prayers that I continue to pray.

Now.

My girls have a quilt.

A quilt to snuggle up under.

And a quilt to cover them.

 

And when they do.

They will see and be reminded.

That from their earliest days.

They were also covered in prayer.

 

And it means so much.

That two sweet girls would take such time.

And such care.

And give us such beautiful gifts.

 

1 Beach Week Down, 1 To Go

Happy Monday friends! We are still at the beach and had a great weekend. We decided we were a little beached out last week so we took a day off from the sand and surf. Jay, Lilla, and I went to the pier on St. Simons Island and ate lunch and walked around and checked out the local sights.

The pier is a place full of memories for me. Growing up, my family used to rent a condo by the pier for the entire summer. My mother, brother and I left home from Memorial Day to Labor Day and lived at the beach while my dad came down on the weekends.

It was an amazing part of my childhood and something I would like to do for my own children. Leaving home for the entire summer isn’t really for us though, both financially and because we would miss Jay too much, but if sometime in the future we could come to the beach for a month in the summer, well, that would be a big dream come true.

The weather was gorgeous out on the pier, although insanely hot, and we got some great pictures. And I got a few sweet hugs too.

Afterward, Jay and Lilla went to explore and I went to shop. Almost immediately I stumbled up this enormous tank of baby turtles for sale. They were very cute and I was tempted to get one for the kiddos. I didn’t, mostly because my hands are pretty full right now and I don’t think I can bring myself to clean up after one more thing, even if it is just a baby turtle. But the trip isn’t over yet and I may talk myself into a baby turtle before we leave.

When we got home, we spent some time playing and swimming with Bette. My dad stays with her in the afternoons while she naps which gives us a lot of time to go and do things with Lilla. It has been great fun to be able to spend some quality time with just her and we are so thankful to Jack Mike for the opportunity.

Bette likes the pool, but she is only so-so about her float. Sometimes she likes it and sometimes she doesn’t.
 
We went to visit Jack Mike and Julie’s new (old) house. They have spent the last 18 months renovating a historic home here and just moved in. How cute is that house?

I love the entry way and the staircase. The kitchen and bathrooms needed a ton of attention and received it. They all look great. The floors are reclaimed wood and they are gorgeous.


As I walked around, I found a few treasures from my childhood. My mother collected LLadros and years ago started a collection for me. Jay surprised me with a gorgeous LLadro that he found in Spain when he returned from one of his naval deployments back in the day. Jack Mike has passed down all of my mother’s LLadros to Haynes and I, but he still has one of his own. The Professor.

The Professor is so fitting of my dad, who is not a professor, but who is so smart and intellectual and he has read everything. But he is a a teeny weeny bit absent minded, so he is more like an absent minded professor.

While we were checking out the house, I also found this 30 year old picture. Can you guess who it is?