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Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I'm sitting here at my computer.  The sun is blinding me.  Everything is back to normal finally.  Our power was restored last night at 8:00.  To say that the last week was eventful is an understatement.  There wasn't a shred of normal to be found.  First the weird earthquake experience and then a ONE WEEK!  Too weird.  Oh and to make things a little worse Honey threw his back out.  He was in so much pain...when it rains it pours right?? 

The hurricane was like a severe Midwest thunderstorm minus the thunder, but it lasted a whole lot longer.  We started Sat. morning with rain and a little wind and then by the afternoon the rain was pelting and the wind was gusting.  The gusts were the scariest part.  Of course our house is surrounded by trees, so our biggest concern was tree damage.  Our noses were pressed to the windows...our breath held anticipating the worst...praying for the best.  The trees swirled and danced.  It was really strange.  Never saw trees blow in every direction all at once. 

After the storm blew over we took to our car to survey the damage.  We had none...praise GOD!  Our woodsy neighbors were not so lucky.  It was evident the power wasn't coming back anytime soon.

We are so reliant on electricity.  It's sad to say, but without it we felt powerless too.  We did absolutely NOTHING for 3 days.  We layed around lethargic and a little grouchy.  The girls did splendidly in entertaining themselves...thank heavens.  Honey and I bought a ton of magazines and vegged our brains.  We stared at the walls.  We ate junk food.  We played games.

In that aspect it was fun.  It made us come to a stand still.  It made us stop and slow down.  How often do we do that?  We went to bed at 8:30...slept to the sound of tree frogs and crickets.  We never do that!  Our windows are never open, because I have allergies.  We have noisemakers on at night to help us sleep.  I have to say it was refreshing sleeping with a slight breeze, absolutely no covers on...only critters and a distant humming of a generator to help us fall and stay asleep.

We lost all of our food.  Ate way too many pretzels and poptarts.  About day two in I decided to weigh myself.  Not a good idea.  I've gained 14 pounds since April!!!  Ugh.  It makes me so mad at myself.  Stress makes me turn to food and not care about what I eat...I have to focus so hard to make right choices.  It's just not easy.  But I've made up my mind to start paying flip that switch.  So from that minute on I chose to drink protein powder shakes and zone bars instead of poptarts;) 

Last night we found a generator.  Felt like we hit the lotto to have gotten one before they were sold out again.  When we drove back into our neighborhood the street lights were on!  Isn't that hilarious??  We ran into the house ecstatic to see feel air conditioning.  It was a very grateful moment.  I don't think any of us will flip on a light switch or open the refrigerator door without saying a little prayer of thanks for a while.  And that's a good thing.  Sometimes we need a wake up call.  Something to make us stop and appreciate what we have and to remind us of how truly blessed we are.

Have a blessed day.

40.  hot coffee
41.  a washer and dryer
42.  blow dryer
43.  air conditioning
44.  television
45.  refrigerated food
46.  cool sheets
47.  honey went back to work today.
48.  toast
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

off grid

Hey girlies. I'm writing this from my cell weird is that? We made it through the storm. The big dead tree is still there and our basement is dry...whew!! We lost power yesterday at 3pm. Praying it will return soon, but a little concerned it could be many many days. Completely kicking ourselves for not buying a generator. That was really not smart...oh and we have maybe 4 D batteries to tied us over...yay;) Hey we are having an adventure. Just wanted to let you know that we are still here, a little hot and grouchy but blessed nonetheless. Thank you for the prayers. I'll post more when the power finally returns. Love ya.

Hot butter...glowing phone charger...intact home and family
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Friday, August 26, 2011

calm before the storm

Being from the Midwest has it's perks.  We usually don't have earthquakes, mudslides, forest fires etc... We definitely never have to worry about hurricanes.  Every year I've sat in my comfy living room and watched from afar all the hubbub surrounding the upcoming storm season.  Aside from some violent thunderstorms and the occasional tornado we are fairly safe.

Now we live in Virginia, 100 miles from the coast, and it's a little less comfy sitting in my chair watching the news.  GEESH!  Can they make a big deal about something or what?  I wasn't afraid until I turned on the tv, now I'm slightly freaked out!  We have no idea what to expect.  When a storm rolled through back home it lasted maybe an hour or so...apparently the wind and rain can last an entire 24 hours during a hurricane.

Apparently in the past they've gotten nailed and had a lot of flooding.  The winds left many areas without power for days upon days.  So immediately my mind goes to our finished basement.  The builder assured us it's leak proof.  There's not even a sump pump!  Then there is the giant dead tree along the back of our property that makes my stomach knot up a bit.  Oh and the fact that we are smack in the woods with power lines running along the trees.  I'm just wondering how in the world we'll get out unscathed.

Among my mental stress and worry is a chaotic house.  The electrician finally came and put lighting in my studio...YAY!  It's the constant house mess that's getting to me.  I really just want everything all wrapped up nice and neat:)  We are trying so hard to get all the projects done and have everything in it's perfect little spot, but guess what?  A storm could come through and destroy all our hard work.

Isn't that just the way life is?  We are not in much as we want to be.  Life is messy.  It's flawed.  Sickness comes, marriages often fail, jobs are lost, bills loom large, storms can's stressful and complicated and very imperfect.  It requires faith every day just to trust that God is bigger than anything that we could ever face.  It requires letting go.  So that's what I'm doing.  I'm trusting Him in this next little storm in life.  I'm letting go, and just a little disclaimer here...if you don't hear from me for a bit you know what happened;)  It will all be fine...deep breath.  Love you girls. 

Have a blessed weekend.

40.  dinner with a new friend.
41.  rainbow butter cookies in a sweet little jar.
42.  movie rentals and poptarts to tide us over.
43.  a beautiful home to be stranded in;)
44.  a glorious sunset sky tonight.
45.  again friends who text and call me with concern.  so grateful for them.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

quakin' in Richmond

What an interesting day.  Hmmm where to begin??  First of all we survived the 5.9 EARTHQUAKE!!!  I'll start the story there.  I met up with another blogger friend today for the first time.  She was showing me all over Richmond and we had just finished lunch and decided to get some yogurt. 

We are sitting there gabbing and all of a sudden I felt this vibration, almost like we were sitting by a subway train or something, you could hear it too.  It kept getting stronger and stronger and I looked at my new friend and I was like can you feel that??  By this time the back of my legs were tingling from the vibration and the walls were shaking...glasses tinging together.  I looked across the street and I could see the glass on the building reflecting light from moving.  We immediately got up and ushered the kids outside to see everyone else on the sidewalk in kind of a daze.  It was the weirdest feeling.  Above the commotion I'm like UH NO ONE TOLD ME YOU HAD EARTHQUAKES HERE!!!;)

It was exciting and crazy and too weird for words really.  I tried calling Honey, but all the phone lines were jammed up.  He worked from home today and was taking Fergie for a walk when it happened.  He said it was like a gust of wind went through.  Strange.  Everyone came out of their houses and just looked confused. (That's one way to get them to come outside...ha!)  I'm just thankful it wasn't damaging or harmful to anyone.  I remember when all the devastation happened in Japan.  I was glued to my computer watching videos of the earthquake and now I know on a small scale how that felt.  Surreal. 

Okay so enough earthquake talk.  Maureen showed me the art scene a bit and took me to the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.  Uh can you say right up my alley:)

Rooms filled with every kind of creative medium you can find.  They hold side by side (adult with kids) classes in the winter that are FREE!  Eureka:) 

She took me to Maymont Park too.  It's a beautiful property that used to be owned by an affluent family and they donated it to the city.  It was amazing.  Japanese gardens, bamboo forests, huge climbing trees, koi ponds etc...  None of my pictures did it justice.  So I'll wait and show that to you another time.  I was a really neat place to visit.

Before she dropped us off we went to her home and she showed us all her critters.  She lives on a beautiful piece of land with a lake and room for all of her sweet animals to roam.  It was weird to just walk around with these animals right out there in the field.  Inside the fence...just right by them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day.  This lady is fascinating on so many levels.  We are completely opposite...she's been in the Air Force and teaches a class at the VCU on Homeland Security.  She's traveled the world and experienced so many different cultures.  She's ran ultra-marathons (50 miles) and is a BEEKEEPER for heaven's sake!  I mean could we be any different??  But yet despite the differences I kept thinking how much fun I was having in her company.  Conversation was easy and she was interesting.  I guess that's what I'm learning so far in my experiences in Richmond.  I'm moving outside my box.  I'm not playing it quite as safe anymore.  Everything is new and exciting.  The ground is quakin' a bit and it's a good thing. 

Have a blessed day.

34.  provision and protection from the quake
35.  a new friend
36.  pizza that made my eyes roll back in my head.
37.  excitement about the future.
38.  hearing embarrassing stories that made me laugh so hard.
39.  worried friends and family that make me feel so loved and cared for.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

there i said it

I got the call you never want right before I went to sleep last night.  My favorite Uncle had a massive heart attack over the weekend and died.  He's the first of my Aunts and Uncles to pass.  I sat there on the phone completely numb.  Death is shocking like that.  It makes everything else seem unimportant and trivial.  It puts your world off it's axis and pinpoints what's really important.


My Uncle Gene was loud, opinionated, and outspoken.  He filled a room with his larger than life personality.  He was generous, had a heart of gold and was fun.  I loved being around him because he was fearless in talking about what he thought.  Didn't matter if you agreed or not, he knew what he thought and he shared.  As I became an adult he actually made the effort to get to know me.

He came to visit us last year in Minnesota.  He sat at our kitchen table, played wii with the girls, showed me his work on the computer, slept in our spare bed.  It was the last time I talked to him.  What makes me the most upset is that I have no idea if he was a believer or not.  He might have been...we never talked about faith.  Why is it that you don't necessarily think about a person's soul until you find out they are terminally ill or have died?  Every time I woke up last night he was the first jolt of reality to hit me...Uncle Gene can that be?    


I write this blog day after day.  I share my heart and my faith.  You sit at my table, you dine with me and my family.  You sleep in my spare are somewhat a part of this family.  It would be an injustice if I never asked you about your faith.  Do you have the assurance that when you die eternity in Heaven will be your home?  What if death came today suddenly?  Have you made the decision to ask Jesus in your heart?   There I said it.  Please think about your soul.  Life is short.  Eternity is forever. 

Have a blessed day.

31.  a new day.
32.  the blood of Jesus that covers my sin.
33.  breath and life.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

experiencing the world

I'm holed up in my office right now....typing away.  I've been listening to the chatter of four Mexican men laugh and gab while they work.  That's right they are working for me:)  I've always been a do it yourself kind of gal, but this girl is tired.  Nine moves will do that to ya. 

One of the conditions of moving to Virginia was an agreement with my honey that this time we would hire someone to paint the house.  YIPPEE!!!  I admit I feel just a little guilty hiring someone to do what I can do myself, but nah I'm over it.  Who am I kidding?  This is freaking awesome!!!!!

I'm a little beside myself actually.  What will take them 4 days would have taken me 4 months.  So the most stressful part was picking out colors for every room.  It's an investment painting your house.  I don't want to screw this up.  I think I did pretty good.  Honey was absolutely no help at all.  I got nothin'...just blank stares and crickets chirping in the background.  Where are my girlies when I need them???  Anyhoo we went with lots of soothing grays and blues. 


So last night I was fixing supper and little chick bounds into the house from playing with the neighbor girls and proudly proclaims they've been in the woods.  Now not to sound over protective or anything, but I'm not necessarily comfortable with my little one playing in the woods.  This woods thing is pretty new to me and all.  There are critters out there.  Lots of them...and spiders and such.  I asked her why she would want to go in the woods and play and she blurts she's been thinking of the perfect answer...I'm experiencing the world.  Well there you have it.  She's experiencing the world.  Who can argue with that!

So I while the painters were here today I decided to check out what's been going on in those woods, and I have to say it was a delight to see.  I followed a little red haired girl in.  She was more than eager to show me what they've been up to:)

There is a whole living room...complete with cooler and pretend beverages.  Oh wait maybe they have beverages too.  Hmmmm;) 

They've been busy decorating;)

It's a wonderful thing...this experiencing the world.  This playing house and making things pretty.  That's what I'm doing too and it feels so good.

BTW I got the sweetest package from a reader this week.  Many of you have sent me house warming gifts and I so appreciate it, but this one made me laugh SO HARD I just had to share.  A while back someone wanted to send me holy water to bless our house with.  I'm not Catholic or anything, but hey I can always use some holy water, so I sent her my address and when it came in the mail yesterday there was NO water.  Nada...nothing!  It must have evaporated or something. 

I don't know why this made me laugh, but it did.  So thank you sweet Sheri for making me laugh.  God knew I needed to.  Not even going to read anything into the no holy water thing, or think about how this sweet woman had her priest bless this water especially for me and then went to such love and care to wrap it and mail it all the way to Virginia and then there was nothing in the container.  Nope not even going to think about it;)   She included candy too God bless her!!!

Have a blessed day.

24.  rice crispy treats.
25.  the sound of paint rollers on my walls.
26.  sweet neighbor girls with red hair.
27. thrifting with a new friend.
28.  laughing until it hurts.
29.  for thoughtful people who send me stuff, write me notes and call me.  so so grateful!
30. for my Lord who hears my heart's desires and who will give them to me in time:)

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011


They say that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.  Not sure who "they" are or if this is a true statement, but it seems slightly off to me.  We pulled out of Minnesota one month ago.  Can't believe it's only been a month.  Feels like we've done at least 6 months of living in those few short weeks.

Every morning when I wake up I'm reminded immediately of the huge change we made to our comfortable lives.  The trees outside my bedroom window greet me as if to say hello this is your new home.  This is where you are and where you will stay for a very very long time.  I say that because we are here.  There isn't a plan B.  If I think about that scenario for too long it freaks me out.  How in the world did we do that?  How did we decide to uproot and leave everything we knew for the complete unknown??  Knowing we would be here for like...ever!  Talk about some crazy faith, or just some major crazy. 

There is a window of quiet in the morning.  I'm still getting used to the East Coast time difference.  I can't call anyone because it's too early where my people are, so I have no one to talk to except God.  I know He loves this.  This desperate hour when I'm lonely and He's all I got;)  It should be my first inclination to run to Him, but it's not.  I need to start a routine of opening my Bible and starting my day right.  I'm just not a morning person.   

The trees are growing on me.  They really are beautiful.  As I go over the hills and through the woods...I sing that song to myself daily;)  It's changed the course of everything.  When I get in the car I can't just zone out and daydream anymore.  I have to be focused.  I have to concentrate or I could seriously drive right off the road.  That is what makes it feel like we are so far away from everything...the paying attention.  Maybe that's why it feels like these last few weeks have been SO long.  Because we can't just coast through life any more.  We have to pay close attention.  No wonder I'm tired all of the time;) 

I spent the other morning in the DMV.  I was putting it off and Honey just kept nagging at me to get it done.  It was the last tie to Minnesota.  I remember like yesterday when I went in to have the MN driver's license done.  It was raining and I so wanted to look pretty for the picture.  When I got it in the mail a few days later, I literally squealed with delight.  I think it was the best picture I'd ever had taken!  I loved it.   Fast forward to VA and the cranky government worker lady behind the counter telling me not to smile.  What??  I HAVE to smile...I look awful if I don't.  I just know it's going to be this weird half smile...half grimace look on my face.  I'm sure I'll be squealing when it comes too, but not in a good way:(

You don't realize how much work goes into moving every little thing you have and resetting up another house until you do it.  The weekends are full of hanging curtains and changing out lights.  I love lights and knew that would be a way to make this brand new canvas ours.

I'm so grateful to my Honey for working so hard and spending his free time on house stuff.  I know that's not really his thing.  He'd much rather be playing his drums...which he has yet to set up.  He's been such a trooper.  There is something so appealing about seeing him on a ladder.  Got to say that is what "works" for me;)  It must be my love language.  Seeing him help me.  Love it! 

It's coming together.  We are progressing.  Even my dreams are mellowing out a bit.  When we first moved in every night I had dreams of vampires chasing me through the woods or lions attacking my tent.  WHAT??  Hmmmm...think there's a little anxiety there? 

Last night I just dreamed about my friend.  That's almost harder.  I miss the face to face connections the most.  I guess God knows that and gives me time with them in my dreams.  There could be worse vampires and lions;)  So grateful for how He's helping us.  Each and every day we are moving forward and habits are being made.  Routines are forming and it's getting easier.  Not too shabby for just one month in a foreign land.

Have a blessed day.

17.  getting things crossed off my to do list.
18.  IKEA
19.  little girls keeping me company.
20.  sunny days.
21.  dvr programs to watch with my peeps.
22.  sweet frog.
23. packages on my doorstep from precious friends.

Light fixture is from IKEA.
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Monday, August 15, 2011

The Oilcloth Addict

You know how when you are in blogland you can kind of fall down a rabbit hole and pretty soon one thing leads you to another, and then you go to that place and you end up somewhere else??  Well I fell down that hole and I'm so glad I did.

I happened upon the coolest picture of a covered table here.  The table was covered in the prettiest oilcloth fabric.  It was like a eureka moment for me.  I knew I had to learn more.  I'm in the process of pulling together my studio, and girls it is going to be FABULOUS!  It will be by far my favorite room in the house.  I can't wait to show it to you.  But it's not finished, so you can't see it yet...I'm funny that way. 

My search of oilcloth on Etsy brought me to the most amazing store called The Oilcloth Addict.  She had tons and tons of cloth to choose from and immediately my head started to swim.  Heaven!  Then I saw she lived in Richmond, VA and I just knew!  I knew I had to meet this gal.

She just wrote a book and it is full of awesome oilcloth projects like labels, bibs, aprons, totes, pillows, party banners etc...  Seriously there isn't anything you can't make with this stuff and it wipes clean.  I'm going to cover my work tables in my art area with it.  YAY!!

So the girls and I loaded up and headed into the city to meet her.  I was slightly nervous.  It was my first time driving into Richmond by myself.  We live in the burbs.  There are toll roads and I HATE toll roads.  Then I got lost and I HATE getting lost.  But this gal was worth the drive.  She was pure sweetness.  Her name is Kelly and she is the mastermind behind that awesome store and another one called Modern!

She had an awesome chalkboard fabric.  Have you ever heard of such a thing??  I love chalkboard anything, but fabric?...AWESOME!!!  I'm going to make banners or something with it.

She had me try it out...I wrote hello.  I looked down a minute later and Big Chick had written God is bigger.  Made me smile.  Love that my girls know He is bigger.  That's pretty amazing to me.

So there you have it.  One awesome adventure.  Lots of inspiration.  Go check out Kelly...oh and if you want to meet her for yourself she's selling at the Country Living Fairs in both Columbus, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia this Fall.  Oh how I wish I could go to those. 

Have a blessed day.

11.  doing it afraid.
12.  meeting a new crafty friend.

13.  the orange red moon outside my window.
14.  cheese puffs.
15.  Chick-fil-a
16.  curtains getting hung.

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