Saturday, December 24, 2011

Warm Wishes from the South

Everyone is doing cute recaps of their year, and it make me think back over our year. The fact of the matter is, it would be easy to focus on the non-banner nature of our year. There have certainly been lots of challenges for our family and we are still in the thick of it. But you know what, after being in a funk for a few days over things that are happening, I can only think today how honestly lucky we have been. My children are all healthy and at home. My husband has healed from his surgery--from a illness that fifty years ago probably would have simply killed him. We have clean running water, indoor plumbing, comfortable beds, good food, and all the support of so many. It's a wonderful life. No doubt about it. There are challenges, but I know that is normal. So today I am taking a vacation from my problems bob, because there is too much to be grateful for this time of year.

 We love y'all. Here's to a better 2012.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I came on to my blog to write up what is going on, and it seemed to blah for a post around Christmas time.

So....maybe I need to take a blogging break. Aren't you so proud of my self-editing?? This is seriously a miracle. My second name could probably be TMI Tilly.

So until I have something nice to say (and seriously, let's pray that days comes soon!) I don't think I can be trusted to say much at all.

I do truly and sincerely hope you all have the loveliest of Christmases.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

random stuff plus a "had it lying around the house" project

I apologize for the cell phone pictures, but that is what I've had on hand these past few days. Convenience beats out fancy photos 9 times out of 10.
 Wave hello to my little lamb. She was the star of of her preschool Christmas program. Well....besides the Star star obviously. The great part of John losing his job? He actually got to come and see her program and she was SO excited. I was too. I handed over the baby to him and enjoyed myself immensely.
 So before the great job debacle, I bought this amazing frame at Goodwill last week. It was empty, so I took my time trying to decide what I wanted to use it for--a fancy chalkboard? (you know I love those), just a plain old picture frame with an amazing family picture in it, or something else. In the end I had already planned on making a little corkboard inspiration wall for myself next to where I edit photos, and since I had the cork tiles on hand we turned it into a bulletin board. Easy and cheap project since my project days will be on hold for a bit.
 Look Teagan, your postcard made the inspirational images/papers bulletin board. :) Also, don't you like that quote? I got it from pinterest. (are you on pinterest? If so, we should follow each other. I love that place. It's like I get an inside picture into my friends minds and they have the best taste!)
 And this came from pinterest too. I like the idea of tying all of my worries to a balloon and letting it float away. Just let it go. You'll feel better. I know I do.

Next on the agenda is two in person interviews for John tomorrow, one phone interview tomorrow, and another phone interview on Wednesday. We hit the ground running folks. We don't mess around, no sir. :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This is just one of those posts that sometimes you have to write. Sometimes there are sunny days and sometimes there are some gray ones. Some days the blessings are easy to see, and sometimes they are a bit disguised and you have to look a bit harder. That's ok, because that is how life goes.

So, John lost his job yesterday. A week before Christmas. Right after he got back from a business trip that he has yet to be reimbursed for (okay, I am bitter about that part...I know they will reimburse it eventually, but could it have come at a worse time of year?) Were we shocked about it? Absolutely. Did we panic? Uh, yes. Did I do the ugly cry? I plead the fifth (no one should be outed on the ugly cry). Do I know what the future holds for us? Absolutely no idea.


Do I feel peaceful today? Yes. Despite my usual propensity to freak out to the nth degree, somehow I am calm today. I feel like I have gotten the captain's portion of courage and peace and strength.  I don't know where it is coming from, (okay, well of course there has to be some heavenly interference on my behalf on this) but somehow I know it will be okay. That doesn't mean that I don't have moments where the reality of our situation hits me and the bottom drops out of my stomach. That doesn't mean that I look at the presents under our tree and feel kind of sick. I have those twinges. But overall, I can't believe how calm I feel.

Our plan is to try and find John another job here in Charleston because we are fairly sure we would not be able to sell our house for the amount that we would need to sell it at this point. Does that mean we are 100% not going to move? I don't know. But for now, we are trying to exhaust our options here. I am optimistic that someone will want to scoop up a genius programmer like my husband.

The good news is that thanks to a friend in church we were able to have John's resume hand walked into a great company that emailed him the same day. He then set up a time and talked to them today as well. He finished the programming test they sent him and said that they will set up an interview with him next week. That interview was just the boost we needed to help us feel less frightened by the whole process. Someone likes his resume enough to call the same day. We can do this.

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all.  ~Emily Dickinson  


Monday, December 12, 2011

bet you didn't know

bet you didn't know that I skipped town this week. I decided that being a single mom was for the birds and went to go visit my aunt and uncle and cousins down in Florida. It was the best move I could have made, and I almost didn't go because the drive with two kids by myself freaked me out. But we survived it and had a really great time. If you know my Aunt Venita, you already know why I had a blast. She is one of the funniest and funnest people to be around. Thanks to my Orlando family!

We got home on Saturday and John finally came home on Sunday. I sincerely and truly salute all of the moms that have husbands in the military that leave for months at a time. I don't know how they do it. One week had me begging for mercy. Now you know how much a wimp I am.

And now....Christmas is almost upon us. I am feeling pretty happy about this, but also fairly broke thanks to my impromptu Florida getaway and John having to pay for his business trip and then be reimbursed (ugh, seriously amazon?? You can't afford to just straight out pay for your employee's business trips? Especially around Christmas?) But the Florida trip was worth it, so we'll just tighten the purse strings a bit. Being broke around Christmas seems fitting anyway, doesn't it?

Lastly, I made Maddy's gift for her preschool teacher. Did I show you the inspiration? I didn't take a photo of my finished product mostly because it looked just like the original. It looked cute and her teacher made the cookie dough there at the preschool during the time Maddy was there! I took that as a good sign. :)

I bought the containers and labels (and got the idea) from Garnish. Cheap, cute, easy. The trifecta of preschool teacher gift awesomeness.

So how are you feeling about Christmas being this close? What are you doing for your kids' teacher gifts?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the big switch (oh boy)

So we switched the kids rooms because Grant's room shares a wall with the entryway and it was constantly waking him up (and shared another wall with the living room, where we hang out all of the time). I thought I was SO smart.

Fast forward two days when I realize that now I can no longer flush my toilet without waking him up at night. I can no longer open the "push only" doors into my bathroom without waking him up.

Moral of the story, your baby is going to wake up and make you want to tear your hair out no matter which room they are in. The only solution is the padded room for mom. The end. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

a little christmas finery

So just for a reminder, here's where we started. Not too bad, but I wanted something cozier for Christmas.

So after the pinspiration, we got busy:

 I was quite proud of how I figured out how to make the top row of molding look chunkier. I'm easily proud of myself as you can tell.
We had some sad times along the way (uh, I thought we had a bucket of that brown from the previous owners, not so much...we had to try and color match and that was kind of tricky, but we figured it out in the end). Plus, cutting the holes for the power switches turned into a bigger project than we hoped too. Me + Math= Sad Times for everyone. But luckily caulk and paint cover a multitude of sins. (aka don't look too close). The most excellent news is this project was super cheap. We paid twenty dollars for one sheet of beadboard and had them cut it down to size at Home Depot. We had the top trim, and the boards and small trim were only a few dollars each. I already had the paint.

So while I was making over the space, it kept bugging me how little light there was by the front door. Also, these standard light fixtures are pretty ugly. Since I now know that John can switch out light fixtures (ha I bet he wished he had kept that information to himself!) I was on the look-out.

I found this lovely for $15 at the Habitat for Humanity Restore. With a little paint I still had leftover from my headboard makeover, I had this lady looking better in no time.

I took out the glass because the beveled edges aged it, and I think it looks good without! Now it has four 60 watt bulbs and there is tons of light (and it looks about 7000 watts times better).
 I know what you're many pictures can she take of a light. SO MANY! hahaha
There are those three wreaths. They were only 2.48 at Wal-mart. I thought that was pretty amazing.
These little school chairs are still some of my favorite things in my house. Maddy uses them to put her shoes on.

this is where this project ended up, along with some college textbooks.

And after looking at the inspiration photo, I felt like I needed something above the beadboard. I decided to put Maddy's silhouette up and make Grant one as well. Have you ever tried to make a silhouette from a baby picture when they have little to no neck, and forty to seventy adorable baby chins??? Yeah, it's hard folks. But I still like how it turned out. :) (though I did have to order more black ink after all of the tries. The final product I ended up cutting out of construction paper!)

So now on to the rest of the Christmas decorating extravaganza!! We got that "canvas" looking picture from Wal-mart. They now do faux canvas art for a pretty good price. It definitely isn't as nice of quality as a real canvas, but I would say I like how it turned out overall. I mostly just love having a big picture of my family over the mantel.

I also love these little yo-yo things. I found the garland at k-mart of all places. I bet if you are a seamstress like my Mom you could make one of these in about five seconds. I, alas, have to pay for my cuteness.

I never forget to add copious amounts of berries to every surface. What Christmas is complete without flying berries I ask you??

Oh, another picture of the front area, well okay, if you insist.

We get a new disney ornament for special occasions in our family. We have one for the year we were married (we went to Disney World on our honeymoon), one commemorating our first date that John bought me, one for Maddy's first Christmas, one for last year when I was pregnant with Grant, and now this is Grant's first Christmas. I usually like to get one that says "baby's first Christmas" but couldn't find one, and this ornament is SO much cooler. It does all sorts of fancy tricks. Even our dog can't do that many tricks. (though that is a weak standard to be honest).

You know I'm all about the free art. I found these from an old Etsy item that was sold of vintage Christmas cards. There were probably five that sort of matched and looked like cut outs. I loved them and just printed them from the computer. Here's the link.

and lastly, what Christmas post would be complete without a look at Maddy's rendition of that beautiful night. The nativity definitely needs a mythical creature or two, and a goat on a palm tree, don't you think??