Friday, April 24, 2015

i knew it would happen

I knew that when I called out my younger sisters
for never leaving comments on my blog
that I'd get a text from at least one.
Boy did I.
World's longest in least in my text history.
Number four (to my number three) said:
"Because it is soooo much easier to text than leave a comment! 
I don't have my password book at school with me
while I read your blog [during lunch].
Not that the book really helped me anyway because
apparently I changed it at some point!
So I had to reset the password.
Well then I couldn't find the reset email
so I had to go through my spam!!
 I feel violated!
 I finally find the email,
reset the password to find 467 emails
 and finally I begin commenting on your blog....
Until for whatever reason the screen goes blank on my phone
 and when I get back to your blog page,
 what I've typed (but did not finish ) is PUBLISHING!!!!
Oy Vey!!! .....
You brighten my day and make me laugh
giving me the strength to go back to my 25 love bugs and teach! 
I've missed you!!!"
With that I let her off the hook about commenting.
Still wondering about number five.
Giving them some hello pete makes me smile.
Is that wrong?
That's what older sisters do right?
Especially after all the grief they've given me about my premature grays.
I forgot about a couple of recent finds that i'm completely loving
so let's add on to the list from yesterday ok?
I found a new Tracy Anderson video one day on amazon.
It found me really.
Does it creep anybody else out when websites make suggestions to you
based on your browsing history?
In this case I was ok with it though since I LOVE me some Tracy Anderson.
Her new Method Express is OFF. THE. CHART. AWESOME.
Broken down into six - ten minute workouts
she wastes no time in getting down to business.
Translation you're gonna sweat and your heart is going to pound.
I'm addicted.
Wish I could say that same about sticking to a "diet"
but that's a four letter I can never get behind.
Can't have it all I guess.
I've been indulging in a little retail therapy.
This little tunic may be on its way to my house.
This look is so me its not even funny.
I've been called the t-shirt queen because I love nothing better
than shorts or jeans and a t-shirt.
Glamorous I know.
At least its not an In-&-Out t-shirt.
Because when my babies were little that's all I would wear.
Did I ever share that one of my husband's so called friends
gave us every  In-&-Out t-shirt and sweatshirt that was in existence
at the time we married and how I thought it was the worst gift ever.
Until I had kids.
I didn't care who threw up, spat up, or messed up on those shirts.
They were the best.
But now I've moved on to little bit nicer t-shirts.
In my humble opinion.
Love me some Lands End and Loft lately.
Can I also just say,
for those of you who love to look at catalogs,
is it just me or are places like J Crew and Lands End
not just hitting it out of the park for kids lately?
Next time you're perusing those catalogs or websites
look at the kids sections and tell me you wouldn't wear some of it.
Don't think I haven't checked the sizing charts
to see if I could squeeze myself in to a child's XL.
Alas...not on your life but I had to try.
While I'm confessing these too may arrive shortly...
Super cute.
Blue and white.
Under $40.
How could I not?
Lands End is great by the way
because of their great sales,
free shipping over $50,
and free returns at certain Sears stores.
Make sure you sign up for their emails
to get frequent codes sent to you.
I usually sign in to my account,
put things on my saved list
and then wait for a promo code.
{She said to the hubs who's favorite word is budget.}
So that's what I bought recently but here's what I'm wanting to buy...

You know I love me some World Market
and these accent tables are making me happy.
No, I don't need one
but wouldn't they be cute
to put outside and rest a drink on
or put your feet up for a little siesta?
They're having 15% off outdoors until 4/26
with the code "SUNNYDAYS"
Somebody grab one or two and let's have a party outside.
I'll be right over with a margarita machine.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

happiness is a choice

Thank y'all so much for your kind words,
both in the comment section
and by email
and in "real" life.
In the midst of all this I,
 my whole family really,
have been blown away by the love
that has been shown to us recently.
Thank you.
{insert happy kissy face emoji here}
My husband and I use a certain analogy with our kids
when we talk about our immediate family of five.
We talk about us as a family being in a boat
and each of us has to do our part
in rowing the boat to get to where we're going.
If one person isn't doing their best,
isn't getting along with others,
maybe doesn't have the most positive of outlooks
then we're not moving the boat forward.
Honestly I feel like I'm in a boat by myself right now.
I know I'm not even paddling.
I don't know if I want to move one inch right now.
You remember how my husband made the comment
about things happening in threes?
Unfortunately they did.
One great aunt passed.
Then a friend, someone I looked up to very much.
The life span of these three ladies was from 22 to 90.
I'm trying to digest all this but simply, it sucks.
You know that.
I know that.
Although I'm not sure which way to paddle
I know my family is with me,
my sweet gaggle of guys,
and I know my friends are surrounding me
in boats of their own.
I know they're all tugging the lines to make sure
I don't get too far out to sea.
I know this for sure.
I know none of these women who passed recently
would want us to sit around and be sad.
I'm thankful, as one minister said at one of the funerals,
that none of them are in pain any more
but knowing that we still have to grieve
for it is only human to do so.
I'm desperate though for change right now.
I want the happenings of this past month to,
oh how I hope this does,
it simply must really,
change my heart in certain ways.
I'm going to save my translation of that for another day.
Today though, I'm choosing happiness.
At least I'm telling myself happiness is a choice
and its mine to choose so try I will.
This thought came to me last night
when I couldn't sleep and I was watching tv.
There's a new guy in late night tv
and he was doing a countdown list of sorts.
He made me smile in fact...
so herewith are five things that make me happy...
I love it.
He's funny, self deprecating, he's not afraid to do stuff differently.
Plus he has a British accent.
I'm an Anglophile.
I'm in.
Catch it on CBS at 12:30 am...or DVR it and watch it the next day.
I think he'll make you smile too.
2. Paisley.

Specifically from Target.
I would have deemed Target number two but
I'm not so happy with them right now...
I love their collaboration efforts
but why don't they make more stuff
instead of making it a feeding frenzy every time
they roll out a new joint effort
because it seems they never make enough to satisfy the demand.
I've never seen things last beyond 24 hours in store or online.
Have you?
The latest case in point...Lily Pulitzer.
The only thing left "Lily" in my regular store was
the ad sign hanging above the front door.
Everything else - gone girl gone.
Oh well, I didn't need a new shift dress anyway.
Although I wouldn't have turned it down either ;)
Back to happy though...
I love it.
If that wasn't enough Target also has this paisley perfection...
Makes me think master bedroom reno is in order.
3. Beauty products.

Yes, they make me happy.
If that's wrong I don't want to be right.
Couple of new products I've tried lately...
holds hair, resists humidity, not crunchy.
enough said.
I got a super sample somewhere...probably from Sephora
since I'm a sucker for their promo codes.
But it just sat in my makeup drawers
since I love my regular Ole Henriksen and
But then I got low on each and before I could reorder
I pulled out said sample.
What took me so long?
This stuff is incredible.
It had better be since its a bit pricey...
if I find a good deal on it I'll let you know.
Not that I'm giving up my other loves...
I don't know about you but I'm not going down without a fight...
I just slather on one at a time and allow for a little drying time
for everything to sink in before applying another.
It take a village doesn't it?
And multiple products :)
 4. Cooking shows make me happy.
I'm hoping one day something occurs through osmosis
and I become a better cook than I am now.
I love the Pioneer Woman and have this recipe for
breakfast quesadillas bookmarked on my computer.
Other favs are Barefoot Contessa and Extra Virgin with Debi Mazar.
Who used to be a makeup artist/actress in Hollywood.
I love that she's like a chameleon and had so many careers.
5. Blogs

As you can see from my lengthy blog roll
reading blogs makes me happy.
I've been pretty bad about leaving comments
on other blogs lately
and responding to those of you kind enough
to leave one here on my blog
but please know I am going to try to rectify that
and that I appreciate you taking the time to do so.
Even my own sisters don't leave comments here...
they text me instead and I'm not sure why...
maybe they'll leave me a comment to defend themselves. :)
Now that...that would make me happy indeed :)
See...I'm smiling already.
Hope something on this list made you smile
or feel free to share your personal faves in the comments below.
I eagerly await fresh finds.
The thought of which makes me happy with anticipation.
Thanks in advance :) 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

the way it was

I've been trying to make myself post for a week now.
I keep seeing things to post about but they seem trivial in a way.
Plus I feel like I need to address the obvious.
Sitting here I can only think of how I would give anything
to go back to the way it was three weeks ago.
Make that four.
Four weeks ago was great from what I recollect.
But somewhere between then and now
has pushed us into a place I don't like,
not one tiny cotton picking bit.
 Last month started out "normal" what ever that is.
I knew the end of March would bring
the anniversary of the death of a sweet friend of mine.
I think of her often but
I thought about her all day that day.
I made sure we played "Fly Me to the Moon"
and we danced and sang in her honor.
Then a blogger I follow,
a young mom of four,
passed away after a battle with cancer.
She shared back in December their decision to start hospice care.
It still took my breath away when I read the words of her passing.
Weirdly enough this was at the dinner table.
My husband asked me why I gasped out loud.
I told him and he made a comment
about how things like this come in threes.
I thought somehow that the week would get better.
It did not.
We got a text with news that I hoped would never come.
Someone dear to us started hospice at home.
Immediately we volunteered our guest apartment
to our friends for their family or guests to stay in.
It may not sound like much
but for me it was all I could think to do.
I didn't know how to help our friends,
no covered dish or card was going to help ease their journey.
But I could open my home to let their family be close
but still giving them privacy.
The guest room had been on my to do list forever.
Just never enough time or money to do it the way I wanted.
Suddenly it moved to the top of the list.
 My sweet friend Laura went with me
on a mission to update the room
which we did in a whirlwind 24 hour turnaround,
the likes of which I'd never done before.
She was a trooper I have to tell you.
I couldn't think at all.
I'd just look at her and she'd help me
figure out things that normally
would just roll right out my mouth.
We did this on a Monday.
By Tuesday the room was ready.
 I love you Laura.
I thought that would be the hardest thing I did all week.
Two days later our world changed.
It still doesn't seem real
but everything in us hurts
so I know its true.

One afternoon as I was walking to pick our boys up at school
my phone started ringing.
I have a wildly loud obnoxious ring on my phone.
Piano riff.
I quickly saw it was one of my brothers in law.
I didn't answer it because at school pickup there are hundreds of people.
Its not really the time or place to talk on the phone.
I put it back in my pocket and told myself to remember to call him later.
I grabbed one kid and was walking to get the others.
The phone rang again.
This time a different in law.
Strange I thought.
Maybe she's in town too.
I thought it was all about going to dinner together.
I rounded up all my boys and started walking to the car.
Then I heard the text ring a ding.
I looked at the words and only really saw one.
I called my husband.
I changed his life with my message.
His goddaughter, our niece, had been in a car accident.
Call your brother I said.

The next hour was a whirl wind of phone calls.
Snippets of news from various brothers.
My husband rushed home.
He had been given the number of the emergency room doctor.
We sent our kids upstairs to watch tv as he dialed the number.
We both listened as the doctor listed her injuries.
I only understood broken hips, multiple facial fractures.
My husband is a doctor.
He knew too much.
He hung up the phone looking absolutely gutted.
I said its pretty bad huh.
It shocked me when he said "it would be better if she died tonight."
I got so mad and told him he wasn't God, he didn't know.
He said "Nancy, I heard every word that doctor said.
You may not have understood it but she is brain dead."
They were prepping her for life flight.
She was flown to a trauma hospital near Waco.
I went outside not knowing what to do.
I called my friend Joyce.
I was crying so hard.
She kept telling me to stop, calm down, talk slow.
I was trying to ask her to help me send our friends an email.
I didn't know what we were going to do with our kids.
She said "I'll be there in ten minutes."
In less than that she was there.
Her first words were "GO!"
We grabbed some stuff and left.
Right at rush hour.
It took us over two hours to get out of Houston.
The longest two hours I can ever remember.
We were each in our own little worlds in that car.
My husband angry at the traffic between us and her.
I was just silently wishing what he said wasn't true.
As the sun was setting I finally noticed the sky.

There was a distinct line across the sky.
Like a clear division between heaven and earth.
A few minutes later I looked up again.

It is hard to see from this picture but right above the road we're on,
up in the sky there was one little cloud
that was catching and reflecting the light of the sun.
The only cloud doing this in a cloud filled sky that evening.
Just one.
I think she's gone I whispered to my husband.
I think so too he said.

We finally got to her bedside in the ICU around ten that night.
I can still see her now.
Her petite little person, barely five feet tall.
Her wavy brown hair still with a braid off to her left side.
She was on a ventilator, machines beeping.
Briefly I was taken back to our boys' stay in the NICU.
Remembering the sounds of their time there.
This was no place I ever thought we'd be again.
Not with someone so young.
She was a beautiful being.
She wanted to be a nun.
Even right out of high school.
The convent she wanted to join urged her take some time,
to experience "real" life first.
She worked summers at an ice cream shop,
graduated college in three years,
was deeply religious and faithful and true.
I became her aunt by marriage when she was barely ten.
She read from I Corinthians during our ceremony.
She was extraordinary.
She was petite.
She was a giant.

Over the next twelve hours the kind hospital workers
prepared my brother and sister in law for the worst.
They graciously and lovingly took care of their first baby girl.
Throughout the night family and friends arrived.
Both of my niece and her family.
There must have been at least thirty young college students
there in the packed waiting room.
Parents of her friends arrived too.
Throughout the night they ran tests
to confirm that there was nothing that could be done.
I think they were giving family time to let reality sink in.
No one slept but rather kept watch on the doors
leading into the ICU.
Two would go in, two would come out, two new would go back.
It was like a dance of people who loved her.
Each going in so hopeful,
coming out in sorrow.

My sister-in-law was incredibly strong that night.
A mother warrior standing tall like an iron rod.
Only in the wee hours of the next morning,
when the medical team as a whole did morning rounds,
did she bend over at her middle,
hands on her knees,
tears in her throat,
to say that they had decided to turn off the machines.
She generously and graciously suggested that if anyone wanted
to go say goodbye they should do it now at that moment.
The whole room of fifty plus people moved as one.
We all went through the doors we had stared at
and passed in and out of throughout the night to see her
and filed into her room that was as tiny as she was.

For the next hour we all stood at her bedside.
The only sounds in the room were the machines
and the occasional ruffle of tissues and sniffles.
A nurse came in to explain what would happen next
as the machines were turned off.
She went quickly after that.
No alarms sounded but a doctor and two witnesses
came in and made their pronouncements.
Her friends then all left so the family could have privacy.
followed by the parents of some of her friends.
Next her grandparents.
Then her uncles and aunts.
My husband didn't want to say good bye.
He didn't want it to be his turn.
I told him he'd regret it all the days of his life.
He was in a pained way I'd never seen before.
I had to physically push his body toward her bed
where he bent over and kissed her forehead.
I squeezed her hand and kissed her cheek as I whispered in her ear.
I asked her to be an angel to our boys.
I told her I knew she already was one.
We left her siblings and her parents alone with her.

For a while the crowd that had gathered by her bedside
now was outside her room,
none of us knowing where to go next.
Our only thoughts were to get home to our boys.
We wanted to tell them in person.
We made it in time to pick them up from school.
We waited until we got home even though
they kept repeating questions about how she was.
My mini-me knew.
He kept asking if she was ____ but he never said the word.
Finally we got home and sat them down.
We told them there was a car accident.
We didn't know the details then.
We told them we couldn't explain anything,
only that she was gone.
We all sat there and cried together.

A short time after, my sweet peep Joyce
called to say she had something for us.
We went outside to wait for her
where the sweet sunshine of spring
kissed our foreheads and somehow, at least for me,
made it seem like she was watching us from above.
Joyce pulled up and jumped out with a bag
of five pints of ice cream.
You didn't have enough while I was here last night.
You only had one little pint she joked.
Your kids need more dang it.
Aren't girlfriends the best?
Mine sure are.
They fed us every day and night for over a week.
My boys kept saying "Mom, you have the best FRIENDS ever!"
Boy don't I know it.
Joyce reminded us that it had been report card day
and she shared that what they do
on report card days is a reverse dinner...
or in other words dessert first
or in their case sometimes dessert only :)
My husband and I just looked at each other.
Done we thought.
Going forward we're going to honor
the day of our niece's passing
with reverse dinner - ice cream for every body.
She would have loved that.


Monday, March 30, 2015


I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago.
You can see it here.
I ended it by saying you just never know...
if I'd only known then what last week would bring.
I have so much I want to say right now.
But I can't.
It might be a while before I can.
We lost our oldest niece on Friday.
She was 22.
Please pray for her parents.
Her siblings.
Call your parents if you're blessed enough to have them still here.
Hug your kids a little bit tighter.
Even if they're grown and tower over you.
If there's someone you're at odds with, let it go.
Call them up especially if you don't want to.
Life is short.
Sometimes too short.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

chinoiserie + campaign

We're almost done with our 40 day clean out.
It hasn't gone totally according to plan
but I've managed to go through the main parts of our house.
It feels, organizing, trashing, donating.
Some stuff I've even been able to sell
on a local online neighborhood garage sale website.
{That money is for Round Top finds by the way :)}
Through another neighborhood site
 I've even made some new friends because of the 40 bags.
We donated all the clothes and shoes
that my husband no longer wears
to support a local veterans group
where they outfit them to go on job interviews.
The sweetest lady came to pick up everything
and we chatted for a long time.
Turns out she's a clothing stylist.
I'm sure she looked at me in my jeans and t-shirt
and was like oh yeah you need my services.
I think it was the universe talking to me.
One day I might take her up on that.
Right now I've got bigger fish to fry
because now that we've cleaned the big stuff
we're moving other stuff around.
Not to move move mind you.
That's on hold for a while.
We're still looking for a lot mind you.
But right now, this house, this is right where we need to be.
Long story for another day.
For now we're blooming where we're planted
and that's a good thing.
in trying to make this house "work" for our growing family,
and by that I do not mean we're adding people,
our boys are just becoming massive human beings
and with all the growing up comes opinions
on how they want their rooms etc.
I know.
Like I thought I was the only decorator in the family.
Apparently not.
Now these guys are telling me what color to paint
and how to arrange their rooms.
Which is how, in looking for a desk for our youngest,
I stumbled on a fun article on PBK about throwing a
And again, NO, I'm not pregnant I tell you.
But I might consider it if somebody
would throw me this shower and give me everything in this picture...
I'm tied about what I love most -
all the blue and white or the white campaign dresser...
now also available at PBK.
Where was this campaign stuff when I was looking a few years ago?
Not that I would spend a grand on this piece.
No offense PBK but I'm happy with my thrift store score
even if my husband still kids me of how
we all sat contorted for 18 hours
with our legs pretzel twisted like origami shapes
on top of suitcases because I bought it in South Carolina
and made everyone miserable on the trek homeward
for it to happily sit in my entry way.
{It was white but I painted it this peacock blue.}
I'll take a $50 score and some elbow grease over $1000 any day.
I'm not judging if you wouldn't.
In fact they have other campaign pieces here.
And Adrienne {my cute pregnant girlfriend}...
both for baby and bigger kids.
Just saying :)
If you have a girl :)
And as if that wasn't enough goodness already
I found something else.
Let's call it a marriage made in southern chinoiserie heaven,
sit down,
drum roll please...

A pagoda monogram.
perfect for you Emilie 
if you have a baby girl one day. :)
No pressure, just saying.
If I were going to have another little,
I would be in serious trouble with the hubs
because I would all over PBK right now like white on rice.
Would you?

Monday, March 16, 2015

a public service announcement

You may know that I have a thing for blue and white.
If you know me in real life
then you know I wear a lot of navy blue,
solids and navy & white stripes.
I might buy them in bulk.
Did you know
{by the way}
goes live soon?
If you love navy & white & stripes check it out.
Ok, that's the first PSA.
Get ready for the second.
You may want to sit down for this...
I know.
A big thank you to my blog peep Tery
who tagged me on instagram with the tip about these.
The cutest shop called Beaufort Linen Company carries them.
I was in immediately.
Before even asking the price.
{They're $56 by the way plus $5 shipping
if you're not near Beaufort, NC.}
In exchanging emails about the necklaces
Christina from Beaufort Linen Company shared that
each necklace is hand made by
a mother-daughter duo in NC called z.z designs.
Love that don't you?
Just when you thought it couldn't get any better than that.
It did. 
Try two double happiness beads.

Quickly I thought of the calendar.
Mother's Day is coming up.
So is my anniversary.
I know just what my husband will get me.
Unless he's reading this.
In which case I'm open to additional gifts.
Absolutely kidding.

I ordered one with two double happiness
and a white tassel but I'm thinking
this may be the start of a new obsession collection.
If you see one you like give them a shout.
I spoke to the lovely Christina today about my order.
She shared that if you want to customize one
z.z designs can do that too.
Warning...z.z designs also makes oyster necklaces.
I'm sorry.
I had to tell you.
Something this good cannot go unshared.
 Do yourself a favor and check out both of their IG accounts.
Sign up now to be notified when 
Beaufort Linen Company's online shop goes live.
I think my husband may not like that I did.
From what I've seen on IG this shop has got it going on.
Pure eye candy.
I already warned Christina on the phone
that if I'm ever near Beaufort, NC
I'm bringing a UHaul van with me.
Sounds like a road trip to me.
Who's with me?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

lighting love and a story i forgot to tell...

I love a good light don't you?
When I was debating what to use in our master bedroom
I considered this lovely by Regina and Andrew...
but it was too long
and with three boys the last thing I need is
 another target for batting practice around here.
It might even give true meaning to the phrase
swinging from the chandelier.
It still makes me swoon when I see it though but I've moved on.
Or so I thought.
Because I saw this...
and this
and this this one too...
and yes I know these are more for a dining room not a bedroom
but still all this lighting love has got me
contemplating the master chandy again.
If you know who is reading this
{the hubs}
I'm not changing the master chandy.
Not yet anyway.
Its on the list.
Yes, I know we have other fish to fry first.
Calm down.
We'll talk later.
And yes I still love me some overstock.
Even though things didn't work out like I'd dreamt between us.
Did I ever tell y'all that story?
I don't have to ask that really.
I know that I didn't.
I was too embarrassed to tell I guess.
If you've been a reader for a while you may know
that I have professed my love for the big many, many times.
One day, a few moons ago,
somehow, someone from overstock left a comment for me.
Maybe I had said in a blog post one day that overstock should hire me.
Not allegedly this time.
I said it.
Anyhow... this lady from the O
left a comment with her email address.
It took me a while and some prodding from my friends to email her.
Because seriously her comment was enough for me.
They said they'd do it if I didn't.
My girls don't play.
So I did.
Emails were exchanged.
A telephone call was set up.
I was a wreck for the week leading up to it.
I wish I could say that I was completely myself during the call.
But alas I was a dud.
In that I really didn't know what to say.
Because I'm not one to sell myself.
Except to my in they know who rules the roost.
Remember that sign in my old kitchen?
Rule 1: Mom's the boss.
Rule 2: See rule number 1.
But to a complete stranger I'm not going to gloat
or rattling off my achievements
like someone running for office.
Nope, that's not me at all.
Plus I can be a bit shy if I don't know you.
The final kicker...and this may sound strange but
when I don't know what to say
 I babble.
Perhaps incoherently.
Yeah, let's go with allegedly.
I was dreaming that during this call they'd ask me to write for their blog.
I think I'm a better writer than a phone chatter :)
I don't think they even have a blog any more,
at least I don't see it on their site.
Instead they thanked me for my frequent shout outs to them
and mentioned being a part of their affiliate program.
Basically where one would blog about a product,
use a special link code,
then get paid every time someone clicks through.
My girlfriends were so funny and sweet when I told them about the call,
 saying they'd push the link button a hundred times a day.
But I don't think it really works that way and honestly
 I don't feel comfortable doing links for $$ here.
That's just me.
Please know I'm not judging people who do.
People I read and love do affiliate links.
So while they're talking affiliate links
I'm thinking what about your blog?
Hire me for that!
I'd love to point out products I've found on your site,
things that if you don't know how to search for it,
you may never find it,
seriously super good stuff.
But I didn't know how to ask for that chance.
So I just kept saying "so just do what I'm already doing now?"
I said that a few times and every time I said it
I was thinking "um, that sounds so stupid. stop saying it!"
In the end it was like a don't call us, we'll call you.
It worked out for the best in the end.
I know it did.
Here's the funniest part of the story.
I think its classic and so apropos.
On the phone they said they wanted to me a gift card as a thank you
for saying such nice things about them.
At the time I was helping a friend of a friend out
who was kind of down on her luck in a way
and was trying to sell her house.
I was helping her stage her house for sale.
Again, me, the big dreamer that I am
thought it might be enough to buy some nice things
to use to stage this girl's house
{which by the way sold within three days on market}.
Not so much.
{No offense to the}
The amount written on the card was enough to
buy a crock pot for another friend's wedding shower from their site.
Only when I tried to buy said crockpot online
with said gift card
it kept saying the card number wasn't valid.
I even called customer service and the guy punched in the number.
Several times.
No go.
Then he started questioning me as to where I got the card from.
Which of course got me all paranoid because I thought
this customer service rep thinks I'm trying to rip them off.
I explained the whole long, drawn out story.
I'm sure the guy thought I was a complete wacko.
Much like the other two O employees I spoke to on the phone I'm sure. ;)
Instead I bought the gift with my own card.
Credit card that is.
Of course I tell the hubs the whole story when he got home from work.
He's a wise guy.
He just sat there shaking his head.
He goes, you should have known.
Nothing in this life is for free.
Forget the empty gift card and move on.
I knew he was right.
I've moved on from the thought of blogging for anybody but me
but I still love deals I find on the O and elsewhere
and if you don't mind,
I'll keep sharing them here with you.
Maybe not the embarrassing stories but the deals for sure :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

guess who reads my blog?

I know.
I know.
MIA for over a week.
One of my littles was sick.
Ugly sick.
One word can sum it all up.
That's all you need to know.
He's finally better and back at school.
I'm getting stuff cleaned up and done around here.
My 40 bags in 40 days cleanup had
a little hitchin its giddy up
but I'm making progress and I'll take it. :)

I've been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now
but now that I'm writing it I realize
its something I should have said a long time ago.
 Its hard to believe that nearly four years ago
when I started this blog
that anyone would read it
besides my sister in Georgia.
Now two of them read it.
Although they never leave comments.
{Ahem. Just saying ;)}
Mainly it was because I didn't tell anyone I had one.
Then slowly I told my peeps one by one.
Then they told a friend or two.
Then bloggers I love like
Katie Clooney of preppy empty nester,
Leslie Anne of Fairhope Supply Company,
Christine of Suburban Charm,
and last but not least,
Mary Ann of classic casual home,
all added me to their sidebar blog rolls.
 Slowly but surely I've gained readers
and I hope each and every one of you
knows how much I am flattered and appreciate
that you choose to spend a little time "with" me here.
I see my stats occasionally and while
I don't have a million readers like some blogs,
just like true friends,
I'd take one awesome true one
rather than have a hundred fair-weather friends.
Thank you my peeps :)
Each and every one of you,
whether you comment or not,
I know you're here and I appreciate you reading.

Whether you're a regular reader
or just stumbled upon me
like I do to so many blogs
{where I click through from other people's blog rolls}
you'll know that I use the word
Mainly when it comes to things I've bought,
or things I want to buy,
Because I've had my suspicions for a while now
that among the people who read my little old blog
 my dear husband was one of you.
Little things he'd say or ask about.
But I never really had proof.
Until a few weeks ago.
 I came home from errands and found a package on our porch.
I picked it up and saw the return address.
Then I saw it was to the hubs.
Who does he know in the people's republic of China?
Must be Legos I thought.
He's always buying the kids replacement parts for ones
that have gone into that secret vortex
of disappearing and lost items,
like the one of sock of a pair you've never been able to find.
Somewhere in our house is the mother load
of missing game pieces, socks, and Legos.
I pity the people that buy our house eventually.
If they ever find our vortex of missing items that is.
So I bring the package inside and I rip it open.
We're married right?
No secrets right?
Plus again I think its Legos.
I'm rolling my eyes as I open it,
thinking its great how awesome of a dad he is
to replace the umpteenth missing piece of whatever,
but really?
what are we teaching them about responsibility if
stuff goes missing because
they're not keeping their stuff together where it belongs.
Then I think I've got to be the meanest mom to be thinking these thoughts.
I should stop thinking so much right?
Then I pull out a box from the package.
It has the words FOREO on it.
I've seen that word before I think to myself.
Where have I seen that before?
So I open this plain box with FOREO on it.
And then it hits me.
I see the picture of what it is on the box.
Crap. Uh oh.
He reads my blog.
Because inside the box that was
 inside the packaging was this...
 I called him at work immediately.
I said "hey, who do you know in the PR of China?"
He was confused.
"What? I'm swamped.
Can you just tell me what's going on without riddles?"
"Do you read my blog?" I asked point blank.
He started laughing.
"It finally arrived?"
He said he'd gotten numerous emails because the package
was held up in customs.
Apparently they ship it directly from the manufacturer.
Fresh off the production line.
Yes, its here, and I thank you I said but you shouldn't have.
"Well, you said you wanted it for Valentines Day on your blog
and I didn't know what else to get you."

I will say I felt guilty using it.
Like I was being a traitor to my clarisonic brush.
Then I thought well, I'll just alternate.
Which I have been doing.
But seriously let me tell you
the Foreo Luna is da 'bomb.
Little bumps that would never go away have vanished finally.
Probably off to that vortex I was telling you about :)
I'll give a better review soon if you like
but seriously if you don't have a skin cleansing device
definitely check out the Foreo Luna.
Plus they have a mini version for a little less cha-ching.
And what's not to love about that.


Friday, February 20, 2015

don't wait

I don't think I've ever shared it here
but I have another blog.
Well, one I started for someone,
its not "mine" per se,
rather it belongs to a friend
who is battling a recurrence of cancer.
I started it with the intent of it being like a prayer chain.
I didn't know what else to do for her.
She's like Grace Kelly + Martha Stewart + Julia Childs
rolled into one woman.
No joke.
 My cooking skills are not worthy,
her home immaculate,
but writing or a blog?
I got that.
I started it and got my friend Holly Mathis to help me
with the banner since at the time I had just started this
and didn't know how to play around with blog templates. :)
It went live and like the game of six degrees of separation
and thanks to the amazing technology of today
people from all over the world were praying for her.
Now my friend is not the type of person to shout things from roof tops.
I might be that person.
If I love you I'm gonna tell you.
Sheepishly I took my laptop to her
{me being one of the last hold outs for a smart phone}
and showed her what I had done.
I told her I would never share her name or anything
that could identify her family for privacy's sake.
I told her how much I wanted to do something for her
but didn't know how to help.
I told her that I felt that God put it on my heart to do for her.
I told her it was ok if she wanted me to delete it.
I was open to however she thought best.
I left it with her and told her to talk it over with her husband.
Shortly after they decided that they would use it
to share updates with their friends and family.
Her husband now writes the entries and I simply post them.
This was three years ago.
Now I know unfortunately that there are other ways
like caring bridge and other sites to do the same thing.
I say unfortunately because now I have to use two hands
to count my peeps that are battling health issues.
My warrior friends.
All women.
Women are truly warriors aren't they?
There's a reason I'm telling you this I promise.
So earlier this week my friend's husband sent me an update to post.
 I get them on email and my heart stops every time.
She's been living with cancer for three years now.
Fighting it head on with a grace that I've never seen before.
But then again she fights it the way she lives.
In posting the latest update I have to go through an email address.
Honestly I only check it during the posting process.
Its not really "mine" to check you know?
Normally its friends of my friend volunteering to help in any way.
This week there was one that I didn't know what to do with.
This person didn't mean harm or foul.
But she asked for the real story.
As in should she make a trip to specifically see my friend
"one last time"?
She said she couldn't ask our friend directly
because although they corresponded regularly
my friend never ever not even once mentioned her health trials.
She said she didn't think she could ask her husband directly
because that was just too hard a question to ask.
So she was asking me.
Without knowing it was "me"...I'm just the stranger behind the blog.
I didn't know what to say.
So I sat on it.
 I got to thinking about a few summers ago.
It was close to a year after my friend's diagnosis.
We were about to leave on our annual pilgrimage to the south to see my peeps.
I can't remember exactly what was going on
but we knew my friend wasn't doing so well at that time.
My husband, very well meaning, told me that I needed
to go see her before we left.
He was afraid she was going to die while we were gone.
He knew I loved her and he didn't want us leaving
without me having that with her.
He told me to go tell her goodbye.
I drove to our church in tears with my then three year old wild child in tow.
Church staffers were like what in the world just rolled in when they saw me.
I was in search of a minister friend who also knew my friend.
Sorry to say friend so much but I don't want to use real names.
So I find my minister friend.
We go in a room and I lose it completely.
I'm bawling my brains out,
my little one in absolute shock and awe at the sight of me.
I tell my minister I don't want to leave.
I can't say good bye to our friend I tell her.
So I just wont go on my trip.
If I don't go, maybe it won't happen.
I tell her how I bought a book for my friend.
I'd bought one for my mother-in-law the year before.
It was an "all about me" book where you fill in the blanks
and answer questions, kind of like a get to know me book.
I'll spare another long story but in sum it brought
my mother-in-law and I together into what is now
a very beautiful and loving relationship.
It was a gift that brought peace to us both.
I had wanted my friend to have it but not to be offended by the gift of it
but rather for it to be a gift that keeps on giving,
the story of her life so that her future grandchildren would have
her story, in her own handwriting.
I lay my heart on the table in front of my minister.
I put the question to her of whether to give or not give it to our friend.
Together we decided it was a gift of love,
not one of pretending to read the future.
I asked myself if I would regret not giving it to her.
The answer was yes.
I had to do it.

I waited until the last possible moment before we left.
I took it over to their house.
Her husband answered the door and said she was resting.
I knew we were leaving and there wasn't time to come back.
I thrusted the book at him.
He looked at the title.
Perplexed doesn't begin to describe the look on his face.
When I get nervous I ramble.
At super sonic speed too.
Its just a book I said.
You know.
Like an all about me book.
Ha ha.
Its a silly book.
My mother-in-law just did one.
I got one for myself too.
Got one for y'all too.
Ha ha.
That's me weird nervous giggling by the way.
Secretly inside I'm thinking
please don't think I don't believe in your wife's strength
or in God
or in His plan.
Please don't be mad that this is something I feel compelled to give your wife.
He said thanks and went back inside.
We never talked about it again.
I'm glad it did it though.
I know she has it and if she feels the need she will write her story.
We went on our trip and for two weeks I held my breath.
On the way back to Texas we stopped in Barney, Georgia
and bought a box of the most delicious peaches I've ever had.
We took some to my friends when we got home.
Turns out peaches are her favorite.
Last year as we drove home to Texas from Georgia on I-10
I pointed out the exit where you make a right and go to Barney.
I reminded him that peaches are my friend's favorite.
He kids me about my sense of navigation.
Because it was 140 miles total out of the way.
Its the little things you do for love I said.
This would make her smile.
He rolled his eyes at me and drove the detour.
All 140 miles.
He's a keeper.
Which is why when I got that email earlier this week 
I asked him
how he thought I should respond.
He was like nope, don't go there.
Whatever you say will be said again.
Her husband shares her story not you.
Any details should come from him.
Then he said something so true.
He said no one is promised tomorrow.
If this lady wants to visit she should make the trip,
not because you tell her to,
not because she thinks something will "happen" soon.
He was right and I knew it.
You do something if you feel compelled to do it.
Because your heart is telling you.
If something weighs on you,
won't leave your mind,
you can't shake a feeling,
that's your inner most you talking to you.
You should listen.
He said, yes, she's sick and its bad.
But tomorrow
 she or you or I,
any of us,
could get hit by a car,
have a stroke,
die instantly.
Young or old,
no one is promised tomorrow.
Recently a woman I used to run with lost her daughter.
Her daughter was in the prime of her life.
She was living the adventure of a lifetime.
Brave, young, fearless,
a glass not empty or even half way but full if you will
with so much of life to look forward to.
I will not pretend to know what her family is going through.
They were able to donate some of her organs,
knowing that she was a big believer in organ donation.
In this way she will help others to live
and will continue to live on
in the hearts and memories of those who knew her.
 I've been thinking a lot about her.
Weird right?
I didn't know her personally.
I saw her pictures on face book and read stories about her
that her sister and friends shared.
She was beautiful and lovely and well loved.
I think of this young woman and
I just keep saying to myself you just never know.
You just don't.