Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Farewell Maeve

I was so saddened by the reports of my favorite author, Maeve Binchy's passing.  She has entertained me for so many years and I credit her for my love of reading.  She had a style of writing that could pull me in from the very first sentence.  There were many nights when I just couldn't put her book down.  

My number one search at any second hand store is probably Maeve Binchy novels.  My heart soars when I come across one that I haven't already read.  I am very sorry that there will no longer be future novels to look forward to.  Deeply saddened.  

The world is a less imaginative place without Maeve.  May future generations be blessed by her talents and books as much as I was.

Maeve Binchy~ May 28, 1940- July 30, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Birds on the Brain

My sister and my brother-in-law are moving in about a week.  So my sister and I have been going crazy with ideas for decorating her new place.  Yes, I'm living vicariously through her these days.  

Right now we're focusing on the small bathroom that will be shared by my mom, my two little nieces and house guests.  My sister, Diana, found her inspiration in a single washcloth that she found at Ross!

Aren't the colors to die for?!?  The little birds had us swooning for a very long time.  These towels (by Jakson) haven't been easy to come by.  I think she has a total of 3 wash cloths and 2 hand towels now.  I came across them on ebay, but the seller wants $90 for 6 towels.  Ummmmm, no thank you!  You bought them at Ross.  We're good.  We'll keep hunting!  ;)

So we came up with a little teal polka dot theme to go with the bird towels.  So far it's looking really cute!  She just needs to add some of the bright orange-red hand towels into the mix and she's in business!

Since the bathroom is really tiny, she's decided to keep the room really light and bright, so this adorable shower curtain that I found at Ross yesterday is out of luck.  Back to the drawing board!

But I did find this cute little soap dispenser that I snatched up!  Here it is with the polka dot towel and the shower curtain before I forced myself to put them back!

But it's ok.  She's right.  With a bathroom the size of a postage stamp, you have to go with your gut instinct and stick with the light and airy palette.

If I could find the curtains that went with this set then we'd be talking!  It's just too perfect to be true.  Hey, it's the chase that we're after, right?  ; P

So we're figuring a teal and white pattern of some sort for the shower curtain.  Possibly polka dots but we saw some cute horizontal wide striped curtains on pinterest.  There's always zig zag or herringbone!  

I really dig this one from Urban Outfitters, but it might be too much when it's altogether in one little room.

We're really going to be racking our brains on how to make this little bathroom space work for grandma and her two granddaughters.  There's really only one small wall that has enough vertical space to do anything brilliant as far as storage is concerned.  

I like the concept of this storage idea.

We could probably find a basket with a looser weave that might resemble a bird's nest!  

We're going for it!  One room at a time!  I'll post photos as we go!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pulling Seaweed

It's been WAY too long since I touched this blog.  All I can say is that it's just me at my very best WORST! *cringe*  I do this a lot.  It's almost like I convince myself that too much time has passed for me to try and pick it up again.  But I am not going to let myself flake again.  I'm holding myself accountable.

So my (now) 3 year old daughter and I were out in the garden yesterday tending to the weeds and she asked what we were doing.  I told her that we were pulling weeds so that the vegetables could grow.  She thought this was brilliant and wanted to help.  She said, "Mommy, I help you pull seaweeds!"  It was so cute I just about fell over with laughter.  These are the little things that remind me that I need to continue blogging.  The quirky little things that she did a few months ago are already lost to me.  I never thought I'd forget them, but now when I try and remember, I come up blank.  

So here I am again, trying to start up again.  Here are a few photos from yesterday's garden tending.

The beautiful fuschias.

This angle of the pumpkin plants remind me of 
Honey I Shrunk The Kids.

I thought I gave the pumpkins enough space but it looks as though these beets might be choked out.

Another view of our doomed beets.

We've been having moving sales to try and prepare for the upcoming sale.  It's by the grace of God that we are still living in this house.  He is so good and knows us better than we can even begin to imagine.  My entire family is moving forward in amazing ways and God has timed it just so.  

My brother graduated from high school, which opens up space at my Dad's house if we need a temporary place to dwell.  My sister and my brother- in- law just upgraded to a 3 bedroom so that my Mom has a place to live.  My husband, Patrick, is doing great at his new job and we now have the option of utilizing his VA loan to buy a sweet little place.  I am humbled by His grace and mercy.  

He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
     ~Psalm 136:23

All the heartbreak and questions as to why my Mom had to lose her home will someday be answered.  As for now, we must be obedient and trust that it is all in His plan and that we will all be stronger and better for having gone through this ordeal.  

My life verse is:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
    and He will make your paths straight.

I really feel like I must cling to this right now.  I have been since we moved to California and were unable to get jobs.  I was touched by it when we were blessed with over 9 months worth of diapers at our baby shower in the midst of fearing for how we would diaper her.  I held on with a tight grip when our daughter was born and we still didn't have a source of income.  I cried over it when I sat at our women's bible study and told them that I was being offered a position at my old job (when all I wanted to do was stay home and raise my baby).  I rejoiced over it when I was promoted after 3 short months.  I pondered it when I made the decision to demote myself to another location.  I  felt overwhelmingly blessed by it when my husband told me that we'd be able to use his VA loan to buy our own house.

Life's obstacles are very much like weeds.  We see them as ugly, menacing plants but sometimes, upon closer inspection, they're quite lovely.  

My daughter picks these for me all the time. 
 Up close, they're stunning!

Designers are constantly replicating the beauty of this dandelion.  A menace in most of our yards.

Even these sweet little weeds I eventually 
pulled out of my own backyard.

The thing is, we think they're "seaweeds" but God sees every little moment in our lives, be it good or bad, as special.  Our first instinct is to try and rid our lives of these difficult moments, but God views them as growth.  When we take the time to see the silver lining, it's all we can do but to fall on our faces and worship Him in all of His glory.

Besides, if we weren't losing the house, we might not have had this moment.

Two beautiful ballerinas dressing up in our old dance costumes that were pulled out of storage during the yard sale.  They spent hours prancing around in these tutus!  Praise God!