Tuesday, September 16, 2014

double digits

This has been a big week around here.
In a countdown of sorts over the past few days
my husband would say things like
"ten years ago today you were still on bedrest."
"ten years ago tonight we were rushing you to the hospital."
and the crusher -
"say goodnight to your mom for the last time
as a nine year old."
Yes, my first baby boys turned ten over the weekend.
Where did the time go?
Why does my heart ache at this happy occasion?
Their little days are done,
far too many wished or hurried away
by one tired mama.
I only wish I would have known then
how fast the gas pedal of life is pushed down
and time zooms into warp speed
once they start school full time.
When the days become a blur.
Overnight their bodies seem to grow exponentially.
As do our love and hopes for our littles.
You try your best to parent your kids
 better than your own did.
Oh how I pray they know that I try.
Every single day.
One day they will.
When they have littles of their own.
That's when you tend to "get" your parents
because you finally understand
how hard it is to parent,
to be responsible for teaching
another human being...
the difference between right and wrong,
how to turn the other cheek
even when you really just want
 to knock somebody down,
the courage to love another
with no guarantee of being loved back,
the value of being honest
when it might be easier just to lie,
to work hard, to do the best you can,
and how to pick yourself up and try again
when you don't succeed at something the first time.
Teaching these things,
all the while
you're ignored
or thrown up on
or what have you
by these little people
who become big in the blink of an eye.
These littles who drive you mad
then bring you to your knees with tenderness
at the drop of a dime.
These littles you would die for.
Relive time for.
Go through bad days again for.
Just to re-live the good ones.
Nobody tells you how good it will be
when they lay them in your arms
after delivery.
You knew it would be good but
if they told you how hard it would be
you'd never leave the hospital.
No one can tell you until you're there.
At the door of parenthood.
No matter what road you take to get there.
If you're like me
you may have thought that was the hard part.
Getting there to the door.
Oh my.
Who knew?
Who knew that was just the beginning of hard?
And of good,
of hysterical and funny,
of did you hear what he just said?,
of can you believe he just did that?,
and watch what he can do now,
of how a heart can grow beyond size and reason
with the love that you feel for your kids.
I just realized that in a way
our twins are in the middle too.
The middle of their time with us.
Living with us I mean.
Half way to launch.
I'm only beginning to fully understand
what my girlfriends with older kids mean by
"little kids, little problems, big kids, bigger problems."
Growing bodies, attitudes, and outside influences.
Oh my.
I feel like an explorer about to climb a mountain.
Trying to feel my way through parenting up a rocky path.
I hope I listen as much as I preach.
I hope I forgive as much as I need their forgiveness.
I hope they hope and dream as big as I do for them.
I hope I let them go as much as I want to cling to them.
I don't know what I am doing.
Ten years in as a parent.
I freely admit it.
But I'm begging and willing to learn.
{Send advice please.}
I hope they know they can do anything, be anything.
I hope whatever they do in their big beautiful lives,
it will be with grace and love and tolerance.
Of others.
But especially with themselves.
Ten years in and I know
that time will not stop or slow down.
Neither will my love for them.
It continues to grow like they do.
I hope my parenting skills grow with it :)
I just looked over and saw the family rules sign
I made a few years ago following some online tutorials.
I dont think any of us look at as much as we should.
I cant get a good picture of the real deal
but here's one I made quickly on ipiccy...

I'll be pointing this out to them again tonight
and I'll be studying it myself on a daily basis.
Its T minus eight years or so until launch
here in Houston in our house for the twins.
The first ten have been a blur
but a {mostly} happy and funny and joy filled one.
I hope the next ten find us all
trying our best to follow the rules above,
all my boys and this girl included.

I can't wait to see what they do in this life.
I hope we know what to do in helping them find their wings.
I hope we can find the grace to let go and let them fly.
{and hope they fly back to the nest occasionally to see this old bird :)}

Happy Birthday to my first baby boys.
I love you both more than any words could ever say.
 I hope you know that most of all.

Monday, September 15, 2014

little updates

Remember when I posted about new hair products,
one a combo hair spray called caffeine
and the other a new mousse hair dye?
Ok well not to be ugly
but keep the caffeine, ditch the dye.
At least that dye.
Within two days I looked like a raccoon
with a big stripeof grays running down my part.
Beyond attractive I know.
In my humble opinion
{and I'm a devoted fan of Loreal products}
this one misses the mark as far as staying power.
I'm still loving the Olia line by Garnier BTW.
That from a girl who dyes every three weeks.
Miss number two

Safavieh vintage turquoise rug

to put in our kitchen between the stove and the sink.
Long story short I did order it.
Then a couple of days later
I received an email from the o
saying there was a mistake in inventory
and they could no longer fulfill my order.
No worries I thought.
It wasnt meant to be.
o.co has a sweet little thing on their site
where if a product is out of stock
you can put in your deets to get an email if
the item comes back into stock.
So I did.
And they did.
I ordered it again.
I was so excited that it WAS indeed meant to be mine.
Like when you find the perfect finishing touch.
I came home one day and found it on my porch.
I barely got the kids in the door
before I was ripping the plastic off.
To find that it was the wrong rug.
It was the same brand, same color, different design,
one number off the product number I'd ordered.
Oh well.
I was able to return the wrong one.
I decided not to reorder the one I wanted.
I'm good with no rug in the kitchen...

Just more things for the boys to spill something on.
Remember that I did have a rug in there,
this little Threshold rug
but it didnt seem right for the space.

so I moved it out of the way,
on top of our dining room table.
Where it sat for a while
and then the more it sat
the more I liked it there.


still playing around with what to go on top...

I decided on some glass fishing floats.
For now.

Another Threshold find I love is this large tray

I had my eye on for a while.
I saw it on clearance one day online.
And I may have talked myself into buying it.
With the rationalization that I only
had square and rectangular trays.
I know I'm sick.
I just looked for the link and I guess its sold out now.
Maybe it will appear again like the o.co rug.
Or not.
And did I ever show you the piano we scored
on our neighborhood facebook group garage sales site?
We'd been looking for an old used one forever
and finally found this one for a song...

Now we just have to all take lessons.
I'm putting it on the list.
Hopefully it wont take as long as
some other projects do around here.

Whatever you do, whereever you are
I hope you enjoy this glorious day!

house hunters

My peep Joyce is down sizing soon.
Two of her chickadees will soon fly the coop
and so she and the hubs are looking
to build on a zero lot
{I think that's the term for little to no yard}
in a new development nearby.
She knows I love real estate
so I demanded she take me tagged along with her
when she went to look at a new townhome development.
As soon as we walked in I whipped out my iPhone.

The bedrooms were nothing to write home about
but the view from the fourth floor was out of sight.
Wait for it...

Where do I sign?
I like the view don't you?
I felt like we were in Europe.
With a view of downtown Houston...

See it?

I would stay up here all day and look at clouds.


And if that's wrong I don't want to be right.
I cant wait 'til Joyce starts building.
Or at least calls me to tag along at real estate stalking again.
I'm there for my peeps...what can I say?

Friday, September 12, 2014

chess games

And by chess I really mean drapes and wall décor.
You know me.
Nothing is static in my house.
Sometimes it just takes me a while to ponder my next move.
Its hard to believe that its been a year now
and completed the reno by painting
the kitchen island a couple of months ago.
The domino decisions from that
led into a little mini makeover
of our family room area.
You know how that goes...
one thing leads to another.
I want it all to flow and I think it does.
{But I reserve the right to tweak it :)}
Because I'm always adding and deleting.
You might notice a new orchid on the coffee table.
Can I just tell you how long that has been on my to do list?
Now I have a couple of faux ones.
Because I was intimidated by the real deal.
The other day I was at Sam's of all places
and they had these huge pots with two or three orchids.
I got to talking to the florist and I told her I was afraid of them.
We talked and I told her I'd think about it.
Which I did.
For a day.
Then I went back.
Forty something and fearless and all.
She helped me pick one with lots of blooms ready to unfold.
She told me to use a couple of ice cubes to water it.
Then she said what could be, what I hope to be, the greatest tip.
She said when the flowers die to cut the stem at the bottom
then where you cut dab on some cinnamon.
I'll let you know if this works.
Until then I'm loving that plant.

Also notice the turtle shells I scored from clutter in Savannah.
Yes and the Legos that are everywhere.
Gotta love life with three boys.
So this wall has bothered me since I moved
the jazz fest posters that once hung here.
Then I added the sunburst mirror
then a couple of framed sea fan prints
{and moved out the hip chocolate floral and coral
while moving in navys and blues}
but still it never felt right.
Then Mary Ann from classic casual home left a comment
and suggested moving the mirror...
you know how I feel about Mary Ann.
LOVE her to pieces.
Yesterday I was procrastinating on doing room parent work had time
and decided to flip some stuff...
I moved the mirror to above the mantle

{notice the Legos creations were put in their bins too}

and our Mayo painting went on the long wall...

Thinking of moving my blue gourd lamps
from my bedroom to the long console table.

I like so very much.
Especially the way the mirror reflects the light at night.

Ok, the new curtains :)
I was always planning to add trim of some sort
to these white panels.
Of course it was on the list
and you see how long it sometimes takes
to scratch stuff off that list.
Well last week when I was in Savannah
I had time to waste at the airport
and was going through emails
when I saw a West Elm sale.
Specifically I saw these panels...
they reminded me of one of my favorite fabrics
John Robshaw's mani indigo.
Maybe its just my old eyes but either way
the price was right
{meaning if my boys destroy them I won't cry
or not for long any way}
so I ordered them
figuring I could return them if I didn't like what I saw.
They're staying.

Just for giggles
let's do a little run down memory lane.
This is the same room from a few years ago...

Then to this

Dark and early this morning...

For now I think I can safely say
this is where we'll be for a while.
With the curtains and walls at least.
I think my husband will be quite happy to hear it.
What about you?
Do you think its better before or after?

sneak peek

Who else gets up and starts taking pictures
of their home before six am?
Um, yeah.
That would be me.
I'm Nancy and I have an addiction to décor.
I played a little moving game in my living room yesterday.
Here's a little sneak peek...
Notice anything new or different?
I have to say I like the way its going.
Its been over a year since I started trying to figure this room out.
Am I the only one who takes FOREVER to get things done?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

never forget

I know so many people are remembering this day,
September 11, thirteen years ago
and where we were as a country.
It was also my father-in-law's birthday.
He's been gone a little over six years now.
I think I've shared before
that the night he died
we happened to be in the middle of reading
a book of prayers for children.
The twins were nearly four years old.
The chapter was called "Look After My Family."
They were very short and easy to read poems.
We went through a few and then I came to one in particular.
I hesitated to read it to them.
It was a poem about a child whose grandmother had died.
The child prayed to God
and asked Him that,
 if He should see her grandmother,
to please tell her that she missed her and that she
would try her best not to cry.
I read it silently to myself
and then aloud to them.
The poem right before this one
told the story of a child who kept a caterpillar in a jar.
One day the child found the caterpillar gone
and only a black cocoon in its place.
The child thought it had died.
Of course you can guess that soon the caterpillar
became a beautiful butterfly.
The prayer ends with this...
"Help me to remember
that people who die
are a bit like my caterpillar.
In {heaven}
they will be happy again
like beautiful butterflies."
After reading these two poems back to back
one of the boys,
who has always been like
 "the old soul" in a tiny person's body,
asked me -
"Mom? Do you think Paw Paw will become like a butterfly?"
I'm sure he was wondering if he would be happy in heaven.
We talked about how he was at peace
and no longer in pain.
How he was with his family that had gone to heaven before him.
How he would be waiting to greet each one of us one day too.
Shortly after I remember seeing a butterfly in our yard.
Immediately Paw Paw came to mind.
I shouted to the boys that there he was,
checking in on them like in the book.
They were so giddy to see "him."
Still, six years later, none of us can see a butterfly
without talking about him,
without saying his name,
without telling a story about him,
like how he loved a good cheeseburger,
or how he would scratch his sons backs in the morning
as a gentle alarm clock to wake them up for school,
and how he was so selfless as a parent.
I hope he knows in heaven that we always will remember him.
Like the thousands of men and women who died
in the attacks on this day back in 2001
I know they too will always be remembered by their loved ones
and by this country as a whole.
I hope they all know that we will never forget.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

where I've been

Last week was a doozy.
It began with a 15 mile training run on Monday.
Labor Day indeed.
Glad it's done.
It was ok except for the pain in my right foot from plantar fasciitis.
Gotta work on that.
Tuesday I hopped on a jet for Savannah.
It was a quick little jaunt of 24 hours.
Its hard to explain why I went
but suffice it to say, well,
I got some stuff I'm working on.
More on that another day.

One thing I look forward to is this tile mural at IAH


I found a great hotel in downtown Savannah.
This time I even got a little sneak peek at the river.

and an equally beautiful room...

Downstairs in the lobby
I got some stares because of all the pictures I took... 

so I moved outside.
I'd seen this old fountain
{now used as a planter}
when I drove by in the car
but of course went back on foot to get a close up.
I'm in love...

Love it so much I took multiple views. Ha!

I need this fountain in my life.
But the owners weren't home.
I checked.
Oh well...instead I walked around snapping shots
until my appointment time...


 I never tire of Spanish moss hanging in the trees...

I stopped by this old cemetery downtown.
When I say old I mean 1700's old.
I'm embarrassed to say that I grew up here
and yet the first time I ever visited was this past summer.
Its a must see if you ever visit Savannah.

I could be wrong but I think the church steeple below
is the one from Forrest Gump...

The gravestones are so old
that the rain from hundreds of years
has eroded the engraving on most of the markers.
But still its fascinating.

More church steeples,
this one is St. John the Baptist Cathedral...

The brick sidewalk right outside the cemetery.
Pretty cool if you ask me...

A better view of the double spire of St. John Cathedral...

A monument honoring fallen police officers...

 By this time I had to jump in the car
because I knew I wanted to run by a place
I found on instagram
called Clutter.
Hands down Clutter is THE place you need to go
if you live anywhere in the vicinity,
and by this I mean border state,
to Savannah you need to go to the amazing store.
Look at these pictures and you'll see why...

the chemist in me liked these bottles.
And the Anglophile in me was loving on these...

Alas I only had room in my carry-on
so I scored a couple of sea fans
like you see below...

Anything peacock I'm a fan of...

Tortoise shell light anyone?
Wish I could have packed one for the boys room.
Instead I bought the empty shells.
The boys thought I was a rock star!

Hard to tell but the dark brown bamboo is actually a glass topped coffee table.

While I was in there I noticed Emily McCarthy
picking up a set of bamboo chairs.
She scored big time!
Clutter carries great furniture but they also carry art pieces...

and loads of shells...

plus lots of bookshelf styling candy

{Susan, I thought of Marc when I saw these cameras}

I really wanted this green scale
because you know I think anything green goes.

 I grabbed a few shells and had to sprint back to the airport.
One last picture before boarding.

I always cry during takeoff when I leave Savannah.
Never fails.
Because somewhere down there in this picture
is where I grew up...
I think of these waterways
as veins of sorts...
something about this place you see above
is so deeply entwined in my heart
that it physically hurts me to leave.
I'm sure its because my family, my blood, is still there.
I'm always scared that when I leave it will be the last time I'll see my dad.
I hate to leave but I'm always thankful to get back home safely. 
Houston is home now
but Savannah will always have my heart.
Gotta move on or I'll start crying again.
Back to where I was last week...
Thursday I thought I'd play catch up.
The best laid plans right?
School started last week
and I thought it was project time again.
One little hitch in that giddy-up.
This school year a peep suggested
{Joyce...this is all you}
that I volunteer to be their room parent.
We decided to put our twins back together this year.
Long story.
Anyway so I turn in the form to volunteer.
You know how I always say I don't win anything.
Well, guess what?
I got picked.
Which is how I've remained on radio silence.
And so busy that it feels
like its going to be a full time job.
I'm doing it for the boys though.
I just hope they notice or remember this one day.
Last week was also my dear hubby's birthday.
He took the day off and we ran errands.
That's how we roll.
Which is how we ended up at IKEA.
I know.
What a way to spend a birthday.
But we drove right by it so how could we not stop?
I'm rarely out that way.
Plus my husband had never been.
I'd been meaning to buy a desk chair for our littlest little.
You know, since he's a big time first grader and all.
We go inside, my husband thinking it would be quick.
I just nodded when he made that comment.
Like sure it will just take a minute.
You see I'd also remembered this post from Sherri Cassara
and I knew the Ribba frames she mentioned

would be PERFECT for the sea fans I've been hoarding.
I'm officially a hoarder.

I see one and I can't pass it up.
Much like double happiness pots.

And apparently glass fishing floats.
 Oh my.
All this to say,
I'm busy but I'm back
and I'm happy about both of those things.

What's up with you lately?