Friday, March 29, 2013


It's been a doozy of a week.
Various emotions are going on
in my head and my heart.
I keep thinking of how our life is so blessed
and how we're back in the routine of things
but how my sweet friend Emily's family
is turned upside down
and forever different.
Their lives will never be the same and I'm sad for their loss.
I keep thinking of her
how good of a mother she was.
After her funeral on Wednesday
I dropped our twins off at a boy scout meeting.
Then it was just me and my four year old
in the car driving around
until we had to get them.
I decided to swing by chikfila to grab a sweet tea.
We're in the drive through line
and my little guy sees
the indoor playground through the window.
"Mama, can we go inside and play?"
No, I tell him.
In my eight+ years of mothering
I've always said no
to spontaneous trips of things like this.
It was always hard
getting all of them out of the car
 and then always having to deal with
a fit being thrown when its time to go.
Then Emily popped in my head.
I knew if it was her
she would have said yes.
So I back out of line and find a parking spot.
This is for you Emily I said softly.
My son thought he hit the lottery.
We went in and he ran to the front of the line
and yelled out his order for a kids meal.
Other patrons were not amused.
We got his food and my sweet tea
and watched other kids on the playground.
We called it a date...a mommy and me date.
Those solo things rarely happen
when you have multiple kids.
How sweet is was
and I knew
Emily was smiling down from heaven.
Later that night
we were playing around on the floor
after bath time.
I was laying on the floor
while Zb was making his stack of books
that he wanted to read.
Then he ran over and asked me to do that thing
where you lift them up on your feet
and they soar like an airplane.
He's a hulk so I could barely lift him off the runway.
I started singing "Fly Me to the Moon."
Then he started singing it
but was flubbing the lines
so I ran downstairs
and grabbed an old Frank Sinatra cd.
He was so excited
when I cranked up the volume
(usually a big no no in our house).
Even my older boys
asked me to turn it down
but I refused.
The music started
and my four year old's eyes
were as big as his smile.
We both sang
as loud as we could
and my twins giggled
at how bad we were.
Then my little Zb
asked me to dance with him...
old school
with his hand on my shoulder
as I knelt
on the floor
and we pretended to channel
our best box step
dance move.
Soon my other boys joined in
and we danced in a circle,
everybody singing
loud and proud.
"Fly me to the moon,
let me swing among the stars
let me see what spring is like
on Jupiter and Mars
in other words, hold my hand
in other words, baby kiss me.
Fill my heart with song
and let me sing forevermore
You are all I longed for,
all I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you"
Soon my husband came in
 to see what the ruckus was
and who was causing it.
He sat down
and was shaking his head at me
riling them up
right before bed.
But that night
 I didn't care.
The boys asked him to join our dance
and soon he didn't care anymore either.
My boys were giggling,
having the best time.
My four year old,
ever the mimic,
"This one's for you Mrs. Emily!"
I'll never forget that night
just like I'll never forget
sweet Emily
and I'll be a better mother now
because of it.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

just saying...

just a little pinterest therapy for my soul going on.
thought this was a good one to share.

lift each other up

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that's what we need to do more of.
lift each other up
especially us ladies...
and if you're living your life, doing your thing
and you start thinking about a friend of yours
or a loved one
or someone
take that as a sign and pick up the phone.
call that person.
don't put it off thinking you'll get to it tomorrow.

prayers please

The funeral for my sweet friend is today.
Please pray for her family especially her children.
They have a special angel now watching over them.
Could you also say prayers for my friend Shanyn's twin babies?
Remember I posted about her last month?Well she got worse and delivered them at 29 weeks.
There was no other choice but to deliver them and save her life.
A boy and a girl :)
Sweet baby James needs extra love and support today...
he had a set back yesterday.
Please lift him up in your thoughts and prayers
and his mama too.
You know it hurts a mama's heart when her baby is sick.
{and babies are any age right when you have kids}
Deep breaths.
Say prayers.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

no words

A sweet friend of mine passed away yesterday.
Her twins are the same age as my youngest.
That's how we met...they were in the same class for the past few years.
She also has a three month old little girl.
I don't know the details.
Only God does.
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it.
My heart aches.
She was the sweetest girl.
A ray of sunshine walking down the halls of preschool.
She loved groupons and pilates.
She volunteered for many things.
She was a good woman.
And a wonderful mother.
Please pray for her children and her husband.
There are no words.

Friday, March 22, 2013


You know that I don't like to pay full price for anything.
But sometimes you just have to...or you'll miss out.
A few weeks back during our trip to SC I brought a stack of magazines
that I hadn't had time to read...among them my favorite More magazine.
I usually dog-ear the page if I like something.
I used to then rip out said page and put it in a towering stack of paper in
the closet that I cleaned out this week
 (after procrastinating about that closet for YEARS).
Anyway now with pinterest {aka where did the last four hours of my life disappear to?}
I just take my stack and pin it.
But I lent Laura my stack of magazines on the return flight.
Normally no worries but I'd seen this dress.
And I kept thinking about it.
Like crazy...cause its right up my alley.
Pull on and go.
Oh and it has a geometric pattern.
In navy.
Once we took Laura home I didn't see her for a week.
I knew the magazine it was in so I went to the grocery store
and stood there looking for it like a crazy woman...
because I forgot who made it.

Women's Long Sleeve Border Printed Shirt Dress from Lands' End Canvas
I'm holding up the check out line and for once I just don't care.
Finally I FOUND IT!
So I rush home to order it.
Are you kidding me?
For a week or so they took it off their site and I thought it was gone forever.
Because you KNOW that my obsessive self checked back every day.
Well baby it's back!
its on back order til the end of April.
I don't care.
I ordered it at full price today baby!
And I hope to the good Lord that it fits!
'Cause this is what I'm wearing to the outdoor rehearsal dinner for my girlfriend's wedding in May!
I was worried I'd have to get a formal dress but she told me this week
 its going to be BBQ in the backyard.
Casual...just the way I like it but in this get-up I'm calling it casual chic!
Click here to get yours too!
Don't forget to sign up for Lands End emails too
since they routinely send coupon codes
that you can't beat with a stick.
Plus they have a terrific return policy. Just saying.


Enjoy your weekend!


You know from last year that I am now an official fan of crocs.
Last year I bought my first pair and spent the whole summer in them.
I'm so glad I made the investment instead of wearing my regular two dollar pair from Old Navy
{which I continue to wear but only at the pool}
I wore these crocs everywhere and with everything
and my feet were pain free :)
I've had my eyes on other pairs but was waiting for a coupon code.
Earlier this week they had a flash sale with 20% off and free shipping.
Look at my score...
Women’s A-Leigh Linen Wedge | Women’s Heels & Wedges | Crocs Official Site
the A-Leigh wedge in apple green.
Color + comfort = me loves!
I love them even more at nearly $20 bucks off and free shipping.
I also bought new clogs for the boys to wear around town
{for moms with little boys they now have lego crocs of all things}
and a pair of these loafers to wear to church...

Be sure and sign up for emails before you place an order...
they send you a coupon code discount for your first order.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

what I want {pretty please}

I just got an email for a private sale at Tory Burch.
I hate it when that happens.
I love the look of her stuff, just not her price point.
I spend a long time contemplating on spending the $$$
and 9 times out of ten by the time I make up my mind its sold out.
Like this shirt that I fell in love with...
but at $90 I hesitate...
because honestly with three little boys the chances of me wearing this often
are slim to none.
Plus there are only two in stock.
Surely not going to last.
Chances are I won't buy anything.
I bought a pair of her flats once and honestly
they're just not comfortable for me.
I've worn them twice.
{If you want to buy a pair of size 8 lipstick red reva flats at a great price leave a comment below.}
For those of you without issues :)
there are some great deals on shoes, handbags, and clothes.
Check it out soon though as it only last a few days. the time I wrote this post my sweet shell from above had sold out.

back on track

Sorry I've been MIA lately...
spring break kind of got me discombobulated but I'm back.
I realize now that I only have seven weeks until...
1. I have to squeeze myself into this
Bridesmaid Dresses by Color by David's Bridal - Guava (normally not a huge fan of satin, but I love the warmth of this colour! and the sillouette is delightful)
via david's
for my dear friend's wedding
2. do my second triathlon.
Yesterday I went to Athleta with my pal Joyce and I did the dreaded bathing suit try on.
Oy vey.
Glad I started my 5am bootcamp again on Monday.
This is what I picked for my swim training.
If you need a good strong suit with a nice cut this is the one.
Wish the color wasn't so bright.
Hopefully it'll distract people from looking at my cellulite :)
This is definite motivation to wake up at 430am
knowing I have to wrangle myself into this. sleeping in for me.
3. preschool ends for my youngest guy and therefore so does my so-called free time
{until he starts kinder in August...more on that life changer later}.
So basically I gotta get my groove on
and tie up loose ends with any house projects I have.
On a good note I spent earlier this week tackling my office closet.
I wish I'd have taken a before photo because you seriously would have doubted
my self-diagnosis of OCD if you'd have seen it.
Its been on my to-do list for YEARS but it was so over-whelming that I kept
pushing it to the bottom of the list.
I still have a bit to go as far as reviewing and shredding old documents we don't need
but I feel like its more organized which means
I can walk in it without pulling out boxes and bins to do so. Ha!
Gonna try to make my "hurry up and finish this" list today.
Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


This past weekend my husband and I took our friend Laura on her first trip to the South.
It was perfect.
To me anyway :)...I hope Laura felt the same way.
Our flight was smooth thankfully.
As the plane descended I opened the window
and the sight of the meandering creeks in the salt marshes below made me cry.
I wasn't kidding in my "about me" section.
I sat there and thought "why on earth are you crying?"
I have, it seems to me, a love-hate relationship with
the place where I come from.
Its in my heart and in my bones.
But it's funny how memories of a certain time
can wreck your whole perception of something.
Kind of like food poisoning.
But those bad memories are fading and its getting easier to go back.
And I want to go back.
I long to go back.
And last weekend we did just that.
For about an hour :)
We flew in since it was the closet airport to Bluffton.
I called my dad from the rental car to see if they were home.
They were out to eat.
I found out the name of the restaurant and we made our way there.
I saw my dad sitting there and slinked around a corner
 then straightened up once I got within his sight.
He did a double take and in true Southern fashion when he recognized me said
"What in THE hell?"
I got him good.
My sweet cute in his buzz cut, now all silver and gray.
I'm glad I got to see my parents and
my sister Mary and her kids too. :)
Laura even had her first glass of sweet tea.
We later made our way over to Bluffton where we stayed with our friends
Jeff and Tracy who have a second home in PB.
We caught up over a wonderful dinner on site.
Is it wrong that I took a picture of the restaurant as we were leaving?
We closed the place down.
This picture does not do justice to the ceiling.
I'll try to do better next time.
Saturday we dragged poor Laura all over creation looking at real estate.
We saw homes for sale, homes under construction, and lots of land for sale.
Our friends Jeff and Tracy are so lovely and well loved that we met so many new people.
Laura said "wow, Jeff knows every body here."
That's the South I told her...nobody is a stranger
 and by the end of our weekend you'll know everybody too.
Which is how we were able to visit two houses under construction...
one with its own bowling alley.
No joke...
Apparently this area that looks like a pool is for the equipment for bringing the balls back.
Who knew?
The pool is upstairs and outside by the way.
The owners graciously showed us was unbelievable.
The main house has one bedroom and there are two separate guest houses.
I would live in the pool house if they let me.
Just saying.
As for places for us to live we both fell in like with one particular house...
more on that in another post.
The race was terrific...perfect weather, gorgeous surroundings, well-organized.
You know its going to be good when the water tables look like this

Yes...that is real cloth fabric...
hands down the fanciest half marathon we've ever done. 
And the bonus?
We both made another personal record best by going under the 2:10 mark.
Lots more pics to come...its spring break around here so free time to post is scarce.
Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ramblings about the reno...

We met with a real estate agent yesterday...
the one that sold our last house and helped us in buying our current one.
She graciously came over to look around
and give us her input as to what buyers are looking for in kitchens
and what competitive houses currently on the market are sporting these days.
I'm happy to say that she loved all the improvements we've done in general.
She'd just come from a new listing of an older home listed $XYZ,000 above our home's
purchase price and said ours blew this new listing away.
We all agreed that our kitchen now is quite lovely
if we want to bump it up to the next level in resale pricing
then this kitchen reno would do that.
For us its the best return on investment.
We are fortunate enough to live in one of THE best housing markets...
as long as the med center keeps booming
real estate around here keeps going with it
{on a bad note so do our taxes but I'll take it.}
 Now that the real estate "expert" has been here
 my husband feels good about our decision to move forward.

So here's where we are on the reno wish list if you will:
The sink that started it all...the Shaw Farmhouse Sink
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Rohl Perrin and Rowe Two Handle Faucet U.4719L-PN 2 Polished Nickel
not sure which finish though...
we've changed all our hardware from brass to oil rubbed bronze
ROHL Bridge Kitchen Faucet with Lever Handles and Sidespray | U.4756L-EB-2
  These aren't cheap but again we're going for what the market comps use...
Note...if you want a similar but quite affordable version look at this one
from of all places and for a tenth of the price...
So to me those are the "KNOWNS" in this kitchen equation.
Let's move now to the "unknowns"...
1. counter tops...

The other great note of our visit with the real estate agent was that she said

quartz counter tops are "IN"
and that buyers, in this market anyway, consider granite to be "standard" 
{that's her op-ed not mine...if you have granite please don't take offense}.
She said thanks to great marketing
quartz products like cambria have really taken off.
In particular she said caesarstone.
I'd been telling my husband this ever since my visit a few weeks ago to the slab yards.
Today he decided this was the way to go.
Sometimes you just have to plant the seed and wait for it to grow.
After looking at honed granite and thinking something like this was the way...
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I did a 180 and am now leaning towards white counter tops.
White granite or Caesarstone in particular...
to get the low maintenance with the look of marble...
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The only downside?
According to the slab yards I visited last week
 these quartz products cost
nearly twice what granite does.

Right now I'm leaning towards Cambria Torquay...
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Casearstone Misty Carrera
seen here in Aubrey and Linsday's new kitchen...
{this post has TERRIFIC tips for counter tops!
A big tip I learned was to ask for a "Mitre edge"
so that you don't see any seams!
If you're doing a kitchen reno this is a must read}


  Silestone Lagoon...
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 Still not sure...
Anybody have one of these quartz products in their kitchens?

2. Backsplash
From my visit to daltile you'll remember
that I fell for a marble backsplash
in a herringbone pattern.
For those of you who don't know this pattern
let me simplify...
Anybody shocked here?
Not if you know me.

and of course it was the most expensive of all the materials I saw that day...
around $33 per square foot.
But you know me...I'll find a deal.
I hope.
It might look like this with our white cabinets and dark ORB knobs...
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or this if the tiles were smaller...
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 Just not sure if we should spring for this pattern
or keep it more simple with subway tiles...
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or marble subway tiles... 
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this pin says the backsplash is Thassos marble tiles 
and the counter tops are super white granite

  or just to throw a ringer...
what about a trellis-looking tile?

 I know what you're thinking.
I too am thinking stick with a classic
but I did find a terrific source for these types of tile.
Wish somebody would hire me to online shop for them.
Just saying.

 3. Hardware

When we moved in we switched out every knob, door handle, and pull from
 brass to oil rubbed bronze.
I still like it and really don't want to spend money on changing it out.
Moving on...

4. Lighting

We're having the dreadful florescent light box above our island removed.

Dreadful because it gives us both headaches.
Its days are numbered.

I've dreamed of using smoke bell jar lights

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or maybe this type of lantern...

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 or this type...

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Now I like this one too from circa lighting...



but you know me...
I'm not spending $1260 on a light fixture
{times two}

I found a similar light

for drum roll please....
{note its currently out of stock}

I just can't decide if it will block the view and be a distraction.
One more thing to consider.

So those are the materials...
still have to consider what this will do to the current paint job.
We used SW Celery in the kitchen because of the green in the granite
and I have my Waverly "lovely lattice" fabric in the window.

{notice how big those new displays are...super huge and $45 each!
A friend bought one and I've since moved mine to another counter.}

I love my lovely lattice cafe curtains but they're faded on one side now...
should've used outdoor fabric.
Live and learn.
So I'm open to new fabric...and since its been two plus years since
I updated the family room I'm thinking now is the time to pull it all together at once.

I'm opening it up to new fabrics for curtains in the family room

Here's the breakfast nook with our new table...

the light fixture and bamboo shades are staying...

but I'm open to something new besides the hip chocolate floral...
maybe apple green and various shades of blue?

and this time if we do new fabrics (?)
then I'm only going to do
a couple of big pillows
and not a hundred little ones :)

and I'm thinking its time to say goodbye to the bean bags and our little table and chairs...

and the harry potter castle on the mantel...
toys spread like weeds don't they?

We're thinking of re-purposing the granite from the kitchen...
maybe hone it down to replace the tiles around the fireplace (?)
and the tiles in the bar command central

But another big question was raised yesterday...
should we get rid of this bar area...

 and lower it to be one big slab at counter height?

 sorry for the woozy picture but you see how its raised?
 One more shot so you can see there's no room to add to the island
like I've seen before where they have a little bar that juts out
with counter height stools...
like this...
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 Honestly I hadn't thought of it before the agent mentioned it yesterday

so I looked and here you see it in the famous Sally Wheat kitchen...
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{its in our neighborhood so this could be considered a comp}

Which reminds me...
would it be a good idea to something like the plate wall above
on this wall in our house?

to hide the thermostat, door bell box, etc that bothers me?
That's just what I thought when I saw the plate wall...
that it might hide a multitude of the builder's "sins" :)

So in sum I'm confused about:
1. which counter top and backsplash material to use
2. should we use pendant lights over the island and if so which ones
3. do we keep the bar height bar area looking into the kitchen or
replace it with one big slab at a lower height?
4. do we nix the green wall color in the kitchen?
5. how about painting the island itself?
6. do we tie it all together with new fabrics for drapes and pillows
in the family room
or keep what we have now?
7. along the same lines can we tie the whole downstairs together
so it flows from entry foyer to the family room
or am I just off my rocking chair completely?

I think this was the longest post I've ever done.
That's a lot to take in right?
I know.
For me too.
That's why I'm seeking professional advice.
I'll give you a hint...

I fell in love with this kitchen and when I thought of my "dream" kitchen
this popped in my head immediately.
Actually her whole house is dreamy too.
Be sure to click through to see her home...
her before and after's are off the chart!
If you don't already read Mary Ann's blog
definitely add it to your list!

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