Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall Around Our House {2015}

  As someone who always loved school and then became a teacher myself, I've just always loved the fall season! The awful humidity of the summer has gone, the cool breezes have begun to blow in, and to me, everything starts to feel new again  - with all the promise of the start of a fresh new year.  It's no secret if you know me that I'm super sentimental, and fall is just so chock-full of memories and traditions that I like to try to keep.  I love all of it and most of all Thanksgiving weekend.  It is far and away my most favorite four days of the year!

And the rest of the fall, with all of its coziness and focus on family,  just makes my heart happy too. I love when my house gets filled with all the warm colors and textures of the season! Just thinking about it makes me smile. :) 

If you've known me for a while, either in real life or here on the blog, you know that I don't have much money each year to spend on decorations.  There's a wonderful blogger I read who gets lots of gorgeous things each year from Pottery Barn...while I would LOVE to be able to afford that stuff, even on clearance, it's usually not an option.  A long time ago I wrote a post sharing some tips about how to decorate seasonally, and I would reiterate here...when money is tight, focus on a color, add candles, and shop all year round.  A good smelling candle on a pretty orange plate can cost you just a few dollars and will go a long way toward making your home feel seasonal!

And as far as shopping year round...you will feel a little crazy buying that faux pumpkin at a garage sale in May, but you will be so happy to unearth it come September - and be even happier it only cost you 50 cents when all the new decor in stores costs much more.

I also have a small house, so there's nothing "grand" here - just little bits of the season woven throughout my home.

Be prepared...I uploaded a lot of photos! ;)
Grab a cup of coffee or some hot cider....and come on in! :) 

I would say nearly everything I've purchased on clearance, made myself, or bought at a yard sale!  And yes, I use many of the same things from year to year, just switched around or updated... :)

A few months ago, we were gifted a piano!  As a music teacher, I love this for many reasons...not the least of which is that I now have another space to decorate seasonally! Haha!! ;) The black and white photo is of my mother-in-law back in the 50s...I saw it at her house this summer in a pile of old photos and I just had to have it!  It's the sweetest little picture of her, and she has played piano her whole life so I thought it was only fitting that she be framed on top of our piano. :)

I made this Geo Mesh wreath earlier this year and I love it! It is so easy to just add a ribbon and have a "new" wreath multiple times each year.  Lots of videos on YouTube if you want to make one yourself! :)

Hot coffee and Southern Living...good afternoon in my book. ;) 

 Something new I added this year was this adorable wood and burlap garland from Target.  Only $3 in the Dollar Spot!

At the Dollar Tree you can find little faux orange candles (the battery-operated kind) two for a dollar!  Such nice ambiance when you have kids and don't necessarily want a real flame right near where little hands get washed.  lol

I found this fabric last year at Hobby Lobby and my mom sewed up cases for me.  The combo reminds me of candy corn and I love them.

We are so lucky to live behind a small farm and we are given these glorious farm views all year long - here is our gorgeous backyard last night!  The farm starts right behind the rock wall that borders our property.  Ahhh!! Fall bliss! :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I Think I’m Back!! {No Really This Time…}

Oh my goodness.  Can a blog be brought back to life after a year’s sabbatical?  Maybe? Possibly? 

Well I’m about to find out if it can be done, aren’t I? :)

2015 has been the most emotionally draining year of my life…yes, even more than the incredibly sad and nerve-wracking early months of 2013 leading up to Olivia’s heart surgery – which I had previously thought was the worst and hardest part of my life.  Luke has been dealing with an extremely rare and challenging issue that I’m not sure if I’m ready to delve into publicly yet…but let’s just say that this past April saw us flying across the country to Arizona out of desperation to see a (quite literally) one-in-a-million doctor who could treat him for a weekend intensive session.  The end of January through mid-April of this year were some of the darkest, most soul-agonizing, literal on-our-knees sobbing and praying months we’ve ever lived through. 

And here we are six months later, in mid-October.  You could say we are a little very battle-weary and scarred, but after 9 months of grieving and sadness we are finally feeling like our heads are above water again and we can face the sun. 

Is that cryptic enough for you?! lol  Sometime I might be brave enough to write out all that has happened to us this year, but for now I’m just happy to have finally clicked open Windows Live Writer after thinking about it approximately 498 times in the last 12 months…and to be here typing. ;)

I hate that there’s been such a “blackout” of our lives since last year and I want to start recording memories again here.  So I’m going to try again to do this thing. ;)


So, what does life look like for us now? 

Ummmm…we are older and more tired! Ha!!

Us at PF Changs’ in September celebrating Chris’s 32nd birthday

Chris works for the same company and continues to be my solid rock through our crazy life.  He also makes me laugh every.single.day.  I would be lost without him!

I still sell for Thirty-One and I HOMESCHOOL now (no one was more shocked than me! LOL).  I also try to keep this crazy crew of ours together, clean, and fed. ;)

The kids at the pumpkin patch last Saturday – Luke is going through a phase
where he is like, literally incapable of smiling and staring at the camera
simultaneously – so this was basically as good as it was gonna get! Haha!

Luke is in first grade now and loves to draw and create with whatever he can get his hands on.  He is sweet and compassionate and funny and sensitive and is so good with Olivia.  He is, of course, not a perfect child, but he has such a good heart.  He will often spontaneously give me hugs,  and tell me he loves me and that I’m the best mom ever (ha! Bless his heart!) – and he loves to pat Livi on the head and give her a squeeze and say to me, “Mom, isn’t Livi SO cute?!”

He asks incredibly insightful questions about the world around him and some super good theology questions, too, which keeps us on our toes! lol (Today in the car it was, “Mom, why is God always an adult but Jesus came to earth as a baby?”  SEE WHAT I MEAN?!! LOL!!)

 He loves Legos, anything Minions, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Wild Kratts (he has always had a love/fascination with animals).   He and Liv are the best of friends, let me tell you -  everyone always sings the praises of same-gendered siblings, but these two are 3.5 years apart and play together all day long.  It’s the best! (Don’t misunderstand me – they can fight like cats and dogs, too! They know how to get under each other’s skin! lol But mostly I’ve been shocked at well they play together. )

And Miss Olivia makes us laugh every day with her two-year-old antics.  Her most recent thing is when you tell her something will happen in say, five minutes, she says, “No, two ow-ahs (hours)!”  and holds up two fingers.  ;) She is so incredibly cute right now and the three of us get a kick out of her daily.  Luke had a speech delay and didn’t really speak much until age 3, so we are LOVING hearing a little two-year-old’s voice and thoughts each day around the house. 

She is currently obsessed with her dollies and babies, coloring, Dora the Explorer and Peppa Pig.  She also loves to pile as many toys and gadets as humanly possible into her little Minnie Mouse pink shopping cart and push it slowly around the house like a little granny.  Hehe! She is super active and praise God has had great cardiology check-ups the last 2.5 years.  We had her most recent one in September and were told her next surgery is hopefully still a decade away!  Hooray!  

So that’s life with us right now.  Busy with church, small group, homeschool activities, and just plain old life!  I’m so happy to be back! I’ve missed my blog!