Thursday, November 25, 2010

It really is - me!

I frequently hear that I never post photos of me. And I don't. Truth be told, I have so much weight to lose, I can't stand looking at photos of me. Nonetheless, today I decided to have hubby shoot some of me so now at least, I have some. So this is me, today. Ü

Below: Serious. I am almost always smiling, & if I catch myself not smiling, then I smile. I don't need a reason. Ü Hubby may have been talking to me here & that's why I'm not smiling. Wait, that doesn't sound right. LOL ;o)

I do, I do have teeth! :)

I feel very awkward doing impromptu photo shoots, because I never know what to do with my hands. That's why I typically put them under my face.

Below: Someone decided to steal my thunder, thus ending photo shoot. Whew. Not only did Bray crack me up, but I think it's funny you can see my Seventh Generation cleaning products on my kitchen counter. Teehee. :)

Happy Thanksgiving! Ü

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My little Christmas happy place.

More to come.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kitchenaid mixer or not?

'Tis no secret I am swiftly on my way to becoming the next Julia Child. Or Paula Deen or Martha Stewart, or whomever (professional chef) tickles your fancy. ;o) Ok, maybe not. But. Should I splurge? First let me show you my current beauty, that is approximately 10 years old. ÜAin't she purdy? Might I add she works just fine, is easy to clean, is very reliable & wonderfully hideable. Just like any good woman. Ü

But alas - these are beauties, too. And the color options rock.

So expensive, so bulky & I would think, not near as simple to clean. Also, just another appliance to add to the countertop. I am not a fan of cluttered counters.

Help a girl out, here. Do you have one? Is it worth the money? Could you live without it? Please, do share. I have a decision to make. Thank you. Ü

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Goodwill goodies.

Had quite a productive day at Goodwill today. I was there 2 hours (teehee :) - browsing thru the clothes takes a while. Hubby told me today I need to back off the clothes some & buy our children new clothes. LOL I think he be correct. Ü

Because I am ridding 98% of the plastic in our kitchen & replacing with glass, I'm now on the lookout even more for white glass plates/dishes. I was hoping to find some everyday drinking glasses too - but the selection was piddly. I'll buy new ones. Here we go:

White rectangle plate/platter - $1.75

Round glass bowl (really loving clear glass!) - $2.00

Hot pink vase (Jag's room!) - $1.50

White vase which I love but chipped during washing (grr! That's the 2nd vase I've chipped! From now on I will lay a towel in the porcelain sink to prevent accidental chipping) - $2.00

Free standing chrome towel ring (perfect condition - I priced them online & they sell for approx. $15 & up) - $1.75

3 random Scholastic (♥ Scholastic!) books

15 stainless shirts - including VANS, Polo, Justice, Disney, Target

Total: $50
-$10 discount
Paid: $40 for everything!

Happy Goodwilling! Ü

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's a monumental day.

Typically I don't blog about our house (meaning, the actual structure). But today, I make an exception. Today is our 5 year anniversary! Ü

Yep, we made it! We've now lived in the good ol' Money Pit for 5 long years. Honestly, I can't believe it's been 5 years (did I mention 5 long years?). 5 years (5 long years) ago, I never would have thought we'd still be here. I figured by now the house would have either fallen down, burned down, or even possibly, we just may have assisted in burning it down. ;o) But it, & we, are still standing. And that's a good thing.

If you've ever been screwed over by a previous owner, your own realtor & her personal "inspector", & lived thru the living hell that entails, you understand our monumental day. Not only did the house begin to fall apart, literally, the day after we moved in, but money was going out way faster than it could even begin to come in. We were under such a tremendous amount of stress, hubby was missing entirely too much work due to house issues - I wasn't even sure our marriage was going to survive. We were not in a good place, due solely to our 'new' house. But we made it. And I am so thankful. And I know he is too, 'cause Lord knows he'd never find anyone like me. Ü

For grins & giggles, let's recap all we have replaced in the last 5 years (5 long years):

The house alarm. Which broke the day after move-in. Paid hundreds to an alarm company who told us a "rat", in the attic, ate thru the alarm wires. Only to discover, it was a squirrel. A squirrel I named Hank. Who lived in our attic, on the other side of the wall and/or Audi's head, for 11 days. Because the pest control company, who we also paid hundreds to, couldn't trap the darn thing. So, our previous neighbor ended up shooting the squirrel (with a gun), in our attic, & alas, our problems were solved. Until we discovered Hank was a female & a tramp, & was having a party with her boyfriend in our attic. Yes, we had 2 Hanks. Again, our previous neighbor shot that one (with a gun), in our home, down in the master bedroom return vent. Let's just leave it at that. No worries - if you doubt my story, I certainly have photos. Ü

We discovered a leak behind our refrigerator which in turn, ruined our hardwood floors. We had to remove said hardwoods & we walked, in winter, with babies, on concrete for 6 weeks, until we had them replaced. I won't tell you what that cost. $.

We discovered the upstairs toilet moved all over the floor. Paid a plumber to check it out. Who obviously was inexperienced & had no clue what he was talking about. Or, he just didn't want to do the job. Or, both. Suffice to say, the toilet was just properly fixed last month. More $.

The microwave quit working. I had to heat bottles, so we went & bought a portable one. In the meantime, we paid a contractor who was able to repair ours. More $.

Our oven(s) worked, but the digital panel didn't. I had to beat on it every time I wanted to cook something, in order to see the temperature/timer/etc. We paid a contractor to order the part & fix it. He did. But really, he didn't. The oven panel is still not working. I still beat on it. And the knob always flies off. And I use many naughty words. Anyway. More $. And more $ again, when we decide to fix it. Again.

Pool pump went out. Had to pay a pool company to fix. More $.

Pool vacuum cleaner broke. Replaced. More $.

The gutters were trashed & had to be replaced. More $.
The disposal broke & had to be replaced. More $.

The heat upstairs didn't work & we had to pay a company come out to check it & do some tweaking. Twice. More $. Twice.

A drawer in the upstairs bathroom broke to pieces. It's still broken & missing (removed from cabinet). Looks awesome. Hasn't been fixed yet, but will be soon (by a professional company). More $.

The previous owner lied about the pool being replastered - it never was. Thus resulting in the pool pitting & discoloring horribly. Was retiled/plastered a year or so ago. I won't tell you what that cost. $.

Had to pay another pest control company to come & seal all holes in roof/siding/etc., to prevent, well, more critters from entering & partying in our attic. I won't tell you what that cost either. $

Numerous, numerous pool issues that thankfully hubby has been able to tackle & repair on his own. More $.

Downstairs heat went out, about 3 1/2 years ago, during one of the coldest North Texas February's on record. 5 of us lived upstairs for 5 days until we could locate a company who specializes in our type of unit (GeoThermal). Motor replaced. More $.

Within the last year or so, we had water pouring thru our downstairs ceiling (light fixture, actually) when it downpoured. Paid a company to locate & repair issue. More $. Only to discover, it's still leaking (but not as bad). More $ to come.

Dishwasher died & replaced. More $.

Oh, I saved the best for last. After moving in, hubby got the flu. Now. If your husband's ever had the flu, & he's anything like my husband, I needn't say more. My husband having the flu wasn't the worst part. The fact that we lost all plumbing while he had the flu, was the worst part. Yah. More $.

We love & appreciate a beautiful yard. So, in between the above happening, we completely pulled & renovated our front yard(s) landscaping. It was a jungle when we moved in! Now it's nice, neat & trim (or it was - it's looking a little shabby right now). It took us a few years to get it that way. I won't tell you how much that cost. Or, how much I now despise working in flower beds (which is why ours is looking a little shabby). Ü $

I'm sure there are other issues that I'm just not recalling. Or possibly, I've permanently blocked them from my brain. :) I'm also aware some of the above happened over time, & not immediately after we occupied the house. But it makes it juicier to list them all together & makes me feel like we overcame/survived even more. ;o)

I hate this house I've grown to love. And now, I do love it. So does that mean all the above was worth it? No. Teehee. Ü

I think we've earned this monumental celebration. I foresee a nice, chocolate cake & party hats tonight. Oh who am I kidding. I ain't no Kelle Hampton. Kids are getting Taco Bell tonight. Ü

Happy Anniversary, Money Pit! ♥

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jaguar's room - almost finished!

Now with pink lights & the canvas prints I found at a garage sale for $10! :)

Manual, no flash:

Automatic w/ flash:

What's left to do:


Vanity or desk.

Photos of the completed project! Ü

Friday, November 12, 2010

My littles when they were littler.

Below: Bentley (3 1/2) & Audi (1) - 2.13.05.
Below: Audi (1) - 2.8.05.

Below: Audi (1) - 3.15.05. He still has this very same frown. Love it.

Below: Bentley (3 1/2) - 3.9.05.

Below: Bentley (3 1/2) & Audi (the next day he turned 1) - 12.30.04.

Below: One of my very favorites! Bentley (4) & Jaguar (almost 4 months) - 4.29.05.

We purchased our very first digital camera Christmas of '04. Not knowing Jaguar would arrive the first week of January '05. :) All of these photos are snapshots - we barely knew how to work the camera. Ü

Thursday, November 11, 2010

From sadness to light.

That is what her son, Michael, wanted for Marie. To see her transform from "sadness to light".

I love Marie Osmond. I watched her interview today on Oprah. My heart breaks & hurts for her. The love she has for her son is so obvious. He passed away in February & it doesn't appear her grief has eased any. It probably never will. She was so strong today when she told her story. As usual, she carried herself with such dignity & class. She is so beautiful inside & out & I honestly believe she is one terrific, loving mother to her children.

As heartbreaking as it was, I tried not to cry today. Instead, I focused on her story & I listened. After watching her sing her beautiful song, dedicated to Michael, I was struck. Struck with one revelation:

Life is short. The future is unknown. The little things? Let them go.

The little things don't matter. The memories made along the journey, do. Marie now has to live with memories of Michael because that's all she has. That's really all we all have.

Bentley not eating his veggies & forgetting to turn in homework? It doesn't matter.

Audi's constant tattling & elevated ego? It doesn't matter.

Jaguar not eating her lunch & goofing off in Kindergarten when she should be focusing? It doesn't matter.

Mercedes skipping naps, rising at 6:00 a.m. daily & frequent tantrums? It doesn't matter.

Sure, those things matter. But not in the big picture. Is it really worth devoting so much time & energy (& misery) on issues that won't last forever? Until today, I thought so. Now, not so much. It's ironic how you can see or hear one thing, & it so profoundly impacts you, that changes are implemented immediately. That's what I admire so much about inspiration. Inspiration is everywhere, free for the taking. It's up to us whether or not we grasp, appreciate & apply the gift of inspiration.

My greatest fear in life has always remained the same - that my children will grow up hating me. I remember, from age 5, hating my mother. Now that I am a mother, I am terrified my children will grow up hating me. As time has moved on, I now have two greatest fears. Add to the first, that I am very fearful something will happen to one of my children. This is a discussion my husband & myself have often. I have informed my husband should anything detrimental happen to any of my children, I will need to be medicated. My thought process can't even comprehend something happening to my children. My children are my life. How would I live through it? Could I live through it? My mother tells me I will, because I have no other choice. Marie Osmond is so strong. As she stated today, she has to be. She has other children that need her.

My parenting is something I am constantly analyzing & changing. Am I doing it right? Am I doing it wrong? Am I being fair? Too harsh? Am I losing sight that my children are, well, children? Are my expectations too high? I am stern with my children. And more often than not, I catch myself repeating the pattern of my childhood. I don't desire to do that. I desire to loosen up. Slow down. Breathe. Play. Live. Laugh. Have fun. Build beautiful, happy memories that last a lifetime. And we do all of those things. But as I was reminded today, do more. Now. Stop sweating the small stuff. Break the rules. Let it go & enjoy life. There are no second chances & we get no do-overs. We'd better do our best to get it right the first time. I am a firm believer that never, ever, ever is it too late. It's never to late to begin again, to say you're sorry, to give that hug you forgot to do this morning. It's never too late to make good on a promise that escaped your mind amidst the busyness. It is never too late to declutter & reprioritize life because it may just be the only chance you get.

Soon after Michael's death, Marie returned to the stage because as she said today, the stage is her "security". Good for her. Good for her for doing what's best for her, & for doing what brings her comfort & peace during such a painful time in her life. I don't know Marie Osmond personally, but I'm praying for her. I would think anyone who loses a child would need & welcome all prayers. I commend her for sharing her story, for finding the strength to carry on, & I wish her & her family love & all the best.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baby Jaguar.

I'm working on all of my photos & when I see these I get lost in the memories. Such a sweet, precious time. Such a sweet, precious baby. So hard to believe she's now a feisty, sassy almost 6 year old. Ü

The below photo was taken one day after bringing her home (Born 1.1.05. Introduced & home 1.5.05. Photo 1.6.05.). She was 5 days old here. They say newborns don't smile. Malarkey. She's looking right at me, smiling, while thanking God for bringing her into our family. But we are the lucky ones, & we still thank God for bringing her into our family. ♥
Below: 5.3.05.

Below: 5.23.05.

Big eyes & little hair. Ü She's just as adorable now as she was then. ♥

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fetching toys & redecorating blog.

Let me introduce you to our foyer.

Notice the light above & the plant ledge on the left. Toy. Magnets. Ü

A tiny zoom of the light fixture:

Um, yah. Some of those toys have been in there 5 years. And they will stay, because we don't have a ladder tall enough to reach. Suffice to say, that sucker's never been cleaned. Ain't gonna be, either. Teehee. ;o)

Below we have exhibit B. Feel free to lean whichever way you deem necessary, to view said photo, since it appears I was laying on my side when snapping the photo. What the heck? Was my face crooked that day? Good glory!

Hubby was able to retrieve some frisbees & toys off the ledge. Not likely to happen for another five years, though. Throw low little people, throw low. Ü

A few things I'm contemplating:

Redecorating my blog! When I post photos, I upload twice. Once to Photobucket, once to Blogger. I do this so I can have the larger photos. But. I created my own layout & I think now Blogger possibly has some new layouts that support large photos, without having to upload twice. So, I'm going to check those out. If those don't work I'll come up with something else. I hope. :)

I think I'm going to start a link party. Many bloggers hold link parties & I love them! I love being able to click on other blogs & read what they are about & view their photos. However, I don't think I'm going to have a particular subject (i.e. furniture restoration, tour of homes, crafts, Etsy, etc.). I'm leaning towards subject-free. Just a simple introduce yourself & your blog! Whatever may tickle your fancy.

Tomorrow we are up & gone bright & early - Bentley has his very 1st narration part in a Veteran's Day program! The video camera is charged, has a new tape ready to go & I'm so excited! Woot! Ü

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Victory in Jesus - Bo Steele.

I don't know who he is - but what I do know is that I'd pay good money to go listen to him sing. Amazing! Can I get an amen? ♥