Monday, September 23, 2013

Inexpensive Plate Wall

Are you looking for an inexpensive wall decoration?  I had a huge blank space on the wall going up our stairs.  It was calling out to be filled, but I couldn't figure out what with.  I had toyed with using framed family photos, but then I stumbled upon a picture on Pinterest that I just loved.  It was a plate wall.  I have always loved plates.  In fact, I have quite the collection.  If you helped in my recent move or if you are my husband, you know and may be a tiny bit annoyed by the ridiculous amount.

I used some of my own plates, but had the most fun purchasing a few unique new ones, much to the chagrin of Mark.   I love all of the fun plates out there for cheap or you could use family heirlooms to make your wall extra special and sentimental.

I looked at a few stores and online for plate hangers, but ended up devising my own way of hanging them, which was much quicker and way more affordable.  I purchased a package of picture hangers at Target and used hot glue to attach them.  So easy and they seem super sturdy!  I didn't plan on using these plates again for serving purposes, so it didn't matter to me that the hot glue was permanent.  If you want to reuse yours, definitely invest in actual plate holders!

I plan on collecting more plates with time, so it's a work in progress, but I'm really in love with the results.  I especially love that the whole project, from start to finish, was less than $10!  I don't think it can get any better than that!

Warm Drink, Anyone?

You know me and my warm drinks!  I just love them.  The other night at my photography class, my friend served the best cider.  She shared the recipe with all of us, and I thought I would pass it along to you, because it is THAT good.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

On A Boat

It's been too long, friends!  I hope all is well with you.  We've been busy.  This weekend was especially fun, because we were able to see some old friends.  On Friday evening, one of Mark's best friends from college, also named Mark, called to let us know that he had proposed to his girl friend and she said yes!  We already knew his girlfriend, Lindsey, from living in Florida, but we didn't know them as a couple.  We were so happy for them, and even happier when we learned that these Californians were actually at a lake house with Lindsey's family near Knoxville, Tennessee for the week.  That's only a few hours away, so we decided to make the trip to go see them.  

We had a blast.  I was a little nervous on how the girls would do on a boat, but it was love at first sight!  We were able to convince Kiki right away that tubing with daddy would be a fun idea, but Rosie was completely against it.  We asked her over and over if she had changed her mind, and she let us know, that she had definitely not.  That is until the last few minutes before we headed back to the dock.  All of a sudden she wanted to do it and we couldn't believe it!  Of course, Mark hopped right in with her and she was all smiles the whole time.  She would have kept going forever, but it started torrentially raining and we figured it was time to call it a day and we headed back to the house for hot chocolate.    

Kiki and Aunt Lindsey

Rosie and Daddy


Loving the boat!  "When are we going to go fast again, Mommy?"

Going fast

Loving the bumps!

Kiki and Daddy 

Look at them go! 

Rosie helped Uncle Mark drive the boat 

Kiki really enjoyed the wind in her face!  

Mark slaloming 

Mark and his skis 

Rosie and Daddy.  See him back there?   

Fun with their new friend, Valerie.  

Friends, after a day on the lake

The girls have talked about the boat all day today.  They can't wait for the next time.  On the way home from the lake, I started looking at the pictures I took on my phone and noticed a lot of pictures like this one...

Kiki, with her hair in her eyes.  

This wouldn't be a problem, if I could get her to keep a bow in her hair, but she just can't do it.  I got inspired to cut her some bangs, so tonight, after their bath, I did it.  Why, oh why don't I learn?!  This is NEVER a good idea...ever.  True to form, I ended up cutting them WAY too short.  I can hardly look at her without laughing and then cringing.  I really should NEVER CUT HAIR!!!!

She finally let me take her picture.  For the longest time, she kept her head under a pillow. 

Checking herself out.

Mark was a little taken back by her new look, but he helped me to realize that hair grows pretty quickly.  Hopefully, really, really quickly.

In other news, today was the first day of fall and we were more than ready to welcome it.  I know I've mentioned it on here before, but I LOVE FALL!  I mean, I really, really love everything about it.  The pumpkins, the changing leaves, the clothes, the drinks--perfection.  It was a little chilly tonight and to celebrate, I drank a big ole' cup of cider while curled up on the couch.  Yay:)

Our Fall Mantle 

The girls are still struggling with sleep, which means we all are struggling with sleep.  Nighttime is pretty rough, but we are working on it, and hopefully, getting closer to figuring it all out.  They may wear us out, but they are still pretty delightful.  Tonight, during dinner, Rosie looked at Mark and said, "Daddy, I really love constantly."  While outside playing today, she noticed the fall wreaths I had put on the front doors.  She stuck her head inside and yelled, "Mom, your wreaths look great!" and went right back out to play.  Kiki then proceeded to stick her head in and yell, "Mommy, your doors are pretty!"  I love that they notice the little things.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sweet Dreams

The girls have really been struggling with sleep lately, especially Kiki. They both used to be such awesome sleepers, so this has come as a surprise.  Kiki climbs out of her crib about 20 (or more) times a night and it's become quite stressful on Mark and I.  Naps and bedtime are horrible to the point that were are becoming frustrated and we have to restrain ourselves from getting mad.  Things came to a head last night when Kiki did not go to sleep until after 11pm!  Her normal bedtime is seven, so this was nuts!  She just kept climbing out of her crib and coming down.  At one point, we found her laying on the stairs!

Where we found her last night.  It was too cute to get upset at!  

I did some major research on sleeping strategies late last night and today we had a game plan.  It started out with wearing them both out as best we could.  They both, of course, woke up early, so we fed them, and took them right out on a walk.  We pretty much played them outside the rest of the day.  Naps were better than usual, but still took some time.  Sleep did occur, and that's better than the new norm!

After that, we drove to Candler to pick up a new bed for Rosie!  I found this antique iron bed on Craigslist that I just loved.  We decided that Kiki definitely needed a toddler bed, and decided to give her Rosie's old one.  Rosie was ecstatic to get a "big bed like Blythey", so the transition was pretty smooth.  I also decided to stay in the room with the girls for a few minutes after putting them to bed tonight.  I laid by Kiki's bed and held her hand for a few minutes and it was like a miracle!  She fell right to sleep. From what I've read, I will need to do that for a couple of nights until they get the hang of falling asleep on their own.  Prayers that this works!  It was a much less stressful night, that's for sure!  

Early this morning we had the girls playing hard outside!

Rosie seems to be in bed heaven! 

Loving it!

Kiki looked a bit more skeptical.  

Rosie's new bed!  It's pretty huge! 

Kiki's new bed!  It's so tiny! 

I guess time will tell, how this whole thing will turn out!  At least the first night went smoothly!  Whew! 

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.  This one flew by!  I'll leave you with a picture I got of Rosie this afternoon.  Have a good week! 

Fair Day!

On Friday, we headed to the fair with Elizabeth and David.  They were leaving to go out of town and wanted to go before they left, so we ended up being there on opening day!  Yes, it makes us sound like we are major fair people.  This is our second year going, so maybe we are fair people!  In sad news, there were zero fair foods consumed by me.  The kids got some ice cream, but the adults abstained and I have to admit, I'm still a little bummed about that.  Maybe next time! 

The girls really seemed to enjoy themselves.  There were so many animals to see, and they even got to see their first pig race, as well as their first duck and goat race!  Who knew?  

The Carousel was a hit!  

Kiki's icecream:(

Ice cream Beard


Maryann sported an ice cream beard, too! 

The gang 

This made me smile.  The meanest bull's name was McKinley:)

Isn't this guy weird looking?  They are bred for their beef.  Even the hump is eaten! 

Llamas!  We love llamas around here! 

The only ones who would let us take their picture. 


My chicks watching the chicks

Pot-pellied Pig Race!

Goat Race

Friday, September 6, 2013

Silver Linings

We are starting our day much better today!  I think it has a lot to do with my attitude and I'm trying to see the silver lining on everything.  Thanks for your sweet calls and texts!  I appreciate your support!

I've been given some great advice!  Some involved us getting out more and some involved us staying home more.  I'm thinking a happy medium of the two might be our best bet.  When we first moved to North Carolina I hung out with friends almost every day!  Being a natural homebody, this was a change for me, and it was so fun!  It was just what I needed, coming to a new state, far away from family.  I quickly got very comfortable with the area and the sweet people!  But with time, comes change.  The free time that we all once had, went away when kids started school and other obligations popped up.  I, not having any kids at school yet, found myself with a lot more time on my hands.  I reverted back to my homebody self.  More recently, I've realized I do need to get out more, because without much adult contact, one starts to feel lonesome and maybe a little bit insane:).  So, I'm trying to be open to getting out and getting involved.  Oh, the woes of a stay-at-home mom!  Who knew ?

Today, should be a fun day.  We are heading to the fair when Mark gets off work.  I think the girls will love seeing the animals and if there is a funnel cake involved, I won't argue.  Right now though, it's almost ten and the girls are still in their pajamas and I'm sipping coffee in my robe.  There are some major perks to this stay at home stuff!        

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Woman's Work

Friends, I knew that being a parent would be hard.  I saw the anguish on my students' parents' faces on the hard days, I had way too many friends tell me it was the hardest work they had ever done and I knew everything my own parents went through, but I really didn't realize just how hard, until I did it for myself.  Not that I even slightly regret it, or would change it for anything, it's just hard.  Whether you work in the home or outside of the home, it's all consuming to raise little people.  The responsibility of  rearing Godly, thoughtful, sweet, kind, truthful, gentle, loving, compassionate people is a huge task.  It's daunting.  Today, I've felt like a big fat failure.  I don't know if it was the all the crying, whining, hitting, hair pulling or just general discontentment from my kids that put me over the top, but the whole day was hard.  I know that both of the girls are at hard ages, and although I desperately don't want them to grow up, I wouldn't mind us getting past these issues.

When poor Mark got home, he found us sprawled out on the couch watching the one thing the three of us can agree on right now, "Little House on the Prairie."  I'm hoping Charles, Caroline, Mary and Laura can impart some sage lessons and wisdom to us.  At least dinner was ready and the house was clean, except for  every piece of plasticware from the cupboard (cups, forks, knives, plates, etc.) that the girls got out to play with on the fireplace.  I finally had decided to choose my battles and I figured if plastic cups made them happy, than they made me happy, too.  We needed Fritos to go along with dinner, so Mark sent me to the store, so I could have some quiet time.  I have to be honest, I spent like ten minutes in the halloween candy aisle.  I actually had a huge bag of mini Snickers with almonds in my basket, but restrained myself and put them back...until I got to the checkout aisle.  I couldn't resist their Buy2Get1Free offer and came home with these...

Drowning my sorrows in chocolate. 

I know that my attitude isn't great and I apologize!  I have a feeling that my raging bout of poison ivy isn't helping things.  I had to go get a steroid shot in my bootie today, and now have oral and topical steroids to take.  Poison ivy isn't something to mess with and I've learned that the hard way.  Hopefully, it's on it's way out! 

In other news, I've taken a lesson from one of my besties, Kaylee, and have started selling things on Ebay.  She's made an art of buying things for cheap and selling them for a profit and I decided to try my hand at it.  IT IS ADDICTING!  I had my first sell on Tuesday and I want more!!!  I've listed a few more items since and I can't wait to see what sells.  I'll keep you updated!

I've had the hardest time figuring this week out.  Labor day is really through me off.  I totally missed Zumba this week, because I didn't realize what day it was.  Somehow, I made it to Pilates and Yoga so I'm counting those as major accomplishments.  I still can't believe tomorrow is Friday!  Friday sounds good.  

So, again, sorry to vent to you all, but thanks for listening (reading).  I know what a precious gift that motherhood is and I'm beyond blessed, but I thought I'd be real with you that there are wonderful days and there are also really horrible ones.  This day was more on the horrible side, but there's always tomorrow:) 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Just one more thing...

Elizabeth is trying to teach me how to french braid the girls' hair and for some reason I'm having a hard time, much like piano and guitar.  Something in my brain just doesn't connect.  Anyway, I'm practicing and I am, slowly but surely, improving.  On Monday night, I fishtail braided Rosie's hair and when she woke up I took it out and I must say, I love the results.  The perfect crimp!  

I tried braiding Kiki's hair today, which was hard to do in between all the mayhem she was working on (breaking things and pinching Rosie).  I barely got two little braids in, before she was off again on another adventure, but she was really proud of the results and spent quite some time in front of the mirror. 

                  Kiki's first braids!