Monday, February 21, 2011

Trash Trucks are entertaining...

I love how simple it is to love and entertain an almost 2 year old. We spent three hours on the front porch yesterday morning - waiting for the trash trucks, eating breakfast and looking for the neighborhood cats.

I also love how much my heart longs to spend time with her doing whatever the heck she wants to do. I had to work a lot this week and I have been frantically busy starting a lot of new projects at night so the day at home completely engrossed in this beauty was so good for my heart.

Update on the floors...we still aren't 100% sure that the dog won't scratch it up terribly so we have moved back in and are living on it for a while before doing the molding to make sure we don't have to start completely over with a different type of stain. So far it has held up under week one...please God let this work b/c I had fun doing it but there is nothing more frustrating than having to start completely over on the exact same job.

I am so excited because I am about to leave now to go set up the guest room my mom is letting me completely redo in her house. I am also very glad that this week should be a week of some finished ideas and I will get to show you! AND I should have time to write more.
This week I should have lots of pictures of some finished stuff...and some time to actually write.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Messes are a sign of progress...right?

I am so ready to finish something...
I am tired of looking at mattresses in both living rooms and clothes piled high balancing on those mattresses, and because it so out of order what's the point of cleaning really. So nasty floors, shoes all over the place, just complete clutter...

Today we put the very last finish on the floors and God say the same they will be finished and ready to live on by the time we get home on sunday.

I have so many projects I want to start or finish but need to finish our room and the studio redo first. I haven't even shown you the studio is going to be AWESOME. I am just having to learn that everything takes longer than my mind imagines it will.

Jerod and I are headed for a weekend at Pine Cove - it's our annual marriage retreat. Love it...extra special this year because Jerod will be leading worship for the group. I am so excited to hear and watch him do what God made him to do. He is so great. Yea - I am already starting to feel all mushy about my man and we aren't even there yet...better watch out honey!

Hope you all have a great weekend...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pictures and a quote

We had another snow the last two days have been spent Valentining it up...(when you have your own blog you can also make up your own words :) )

First we made cupcakes...Cana loves cooking and I love that Cana loves it. She drags the chair to her little corner and makes a very minimal mess considering her 20 months. She was not willing to be photogenic while we were baking so the only pictures were faceless...she would turn away and throw a hand up. The girl is ready for paparazzi.

As much as she likes cooking she likes watching and waiting (hopefully a sign that she obtained more patience than me). We put the cupcakes in the oven, she got her container of cheerios and sat eating and watching.

She had no interest in icing them, but when the sprinkles came out - well that was a different story. Two cupcakes were adorned with an entire bottle of red sprinkles and then she had the most fun playing with the leftovers in the pan.

{Swirl, swirl, swirl}

After all were colorful and valentiney (another one of my words)...we delivered a few to Mammaw and Pappaw and Miss Angel. Nana and Pops you get yours tomorrow once the ice melts.

Today I got a little bit of the crafty Valentine's bug and made a few hair clips to give to the little girlies in our life and a cute little card.

I am learning to love felt. It sews easily, it glues easily and it's bright. I have always thought of it as kind of cheap (and it is but not in the way I use to think of it.)

A little note on the status of the concrete we thought we were done on Sunday minus the baseboards, uh but no...
It looked finished, it felt finished - but then the corner of a piece of tape barely brushed the surface and there was the original concrete color shining dully back at us. We weren't {aren't} sure if it is a sealant issue, a drying issue, or something completely unknown. All this cold can't be helping. The Starkey Solution for now: We applied two more coats of the sealant, and haven't walked on it or barely looked at it for 24 hours. Tomorrow it is going to sit another day completely untouched and then Friday we are going to put three coats of a floor finish on it and then let it sit untouched for two days while we are out of town before trying to move in. Fingers looks so good - I just want it to work.

I found this quote today and I love it...
"Find something that you love, find a way to make a living at it and you'll never 'work' a day in your life" Enjolik R. Oree-Bailey

I read this and felt like there is so much truth to this...I believe that God wants us to live like this in the passion and the gifts that he has so particularly and uniquely and intentionally put inside us.

I hope this little girl finds lots to love and gets to do it her entire life!!

Hoping for a sunny ice free day tomorrow...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ice is Gone...Back to Work...

So I made it to work today and to give testimony to how thankful I am for the provisions God has made in my job I write this post. Since we moved back to Dallas I have been on a career / identity roller coaster. { This might be a little lengthy in information but hang in there please because so much of this leads to the entire reason I am blogging this } When Jerod and I moved back to Texas from Nashville I immediately (like literally immediately - we moved here on a Saturday and on Tuesday ) started working at Republic Title as a temporary receptionist at the Lakewood branch office. I was going to work there while looking for a job in my field. After months of looking, interviewing and not finding anything that fit what I was looking for I went full time as the receptionist there. I never in million years imagined myself working there. This is the company my Dad has worked for since I was like 18 months old and I spent high school summers working for him, but we don't always end up where we expect...amen anyone?!?! After a year there I moved up and became an escrow assistant and then a year and a half later I went to work in our commercial division doing 1031 exchanges (no need to even explain that because I only did that for a year before moving on to a commerical escrow assistant). Then I got the break I was unknowingly waiting for..a marketing position back at the Lakewood office. I started there in June of 2008...I loved it. Planning parties, taking clients and potential clients to lunch and dinner, start non profits that generate business, etc. all things I LOVED doing. In September I found out I was pregnant and kept working as hard as my body and emotions would allow. After having Cana I went part time and it wasn't feasible to do that job to its fullest part time so I resigned...months later after working myself out of my responsibilities and through a merger, I finally ended up working in a temporary situation with my Dad in the accounting department at our Corporate office. I never thought this would be what it became but I loved doing it. There was so much freedom in black and white answers, being done with tasks at the end of the day and taking nothing home with me mentally. This move let me start to really be me at home...I had time to create, craft, paint, decorate rooms, design rooms, etc. I am so happy right now and last week found out that I get to permanently stay in this department. God has such a funny way of weaving us through such webs to get where we can be our best, but I truly give Him all the credit for getting me here. There is not as much identity in this job for me to claim and be "proud" of but the return is the blessing I have of finding my identity in the gifts and the things God made me to love. I have learned that I am good at more things than I am supposed to commit my life to doing and it took me a long time to figure that out. It doesn't have to be about money, it doesn't have to be about being popular, but it does have to be about peace. Today as I was shredding papers (not the most glorious task)

I was so thankful that I get to wear these to work now...
JEANS...I swear I am so much more efficient at work in jeans...
and I have time to go to Hobby Lobby at work and pick up a few fun things to do with Cana tomorrow...and a few fun things for me too :)

All that to say...I am so thankful for the journey God set me on years ago. I am thankful that He allows us some wiggle room to mess up and to find our way again with Him because it is oh so sweet. I have found freedom from my brain, from perfection, from people pleasing, from false identities, all by letting Him free me up to have time to create. Art, colors, making a home beautiful and personal, many things make me see God in these things and allows me to believe that there is so much more to life than a Job. This blog is for me to have the opportunity to share with anyone who happens to read that God is pleased with creativity. God wants me to slow down and take time to teach Cana that there is beauty in more than careers and teach her how to enjoy the beauty in the world in a Godly view. There is so much more for me to share how I came to this but for now I want you to just know I am happy where I am.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Results of Many Days Together Inside

Is that really the sun??? it was so nice to finally wake up this morning to the sun (well that's not really true - it was still dark when I was awakened by the beckoning upstairs, but the sun is what appeared an hour later) These gray days were fun, adventurous and sweet, but I am ready to see the ground again.

The floor is coming along amazingly - we LOVE it!!!! So much so we are trying to decide when we can rip up the floors in the den and kitchen so we can move the stained look out past our bedroom. We have cleaned, etched, and put 2 1/2 coats of stain we just have to put the sealer on, finish the baseboards and move back in. When we got started I was so nervous - I said to Jerod -"if this is doable why don't more people do it themselves?" So the fact that I hadn't ever read about how to do it on blogs or anything I was doubting our skills, but it was unfounded - we rocked it out! The cleaning and etching are the biggest job, and if you had tile or a flooring with glue previously it would have been even harder. Once you get to the actual staining well that's easy. After the first coat we got a pattern and application method down that we liked. So more pictures and tips on how to do it yourself to come when we finish but for now here are pictures of stage 2.

Now I want to have a mushy mommy moment...look at this face.

This beautiful one - I don't even know what to say about her - she leaves me speechless because she either is being so sweet or so funny. This week she had my favorite "first" so far...she was sitting next to me on the couch drinking her morning milk and watching a nick jr. show when all of a sudden she stood up put her arm around my neck and said, "ahh mama" and gave me a hug and kiss unsolicited. She chose to express love and oh. my. gosh. nothing better. I love this little girl.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stay Tuned {and cross your fingers w/ us...}

Last weekend we decided we had had it with our carpet in the bedroom. Jerod has been most disgusted and frustrated and irritated and mad and need I say more about the floors in our new house than anything else. I have tended to just ignore them and keeps my eyes looking at eye level as much as possible. But last weekend - it was decided - rip it up. This weekend - it was decided - lets try staining it ourselves. (Under the carpet was only concrete)
So off to Home Depot we went and here we go...

Stay tuned for updates and results...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stuck Inside! {and loving it}

I love Texas ICE (well as long as it comes during the middle of the night and I have no pressure to be anywhere but inside my warm house with hubby and baby and dog.)

Cana loved the ice...I suggested we move to the mountains to make her happy and Jerod exclaimed without any pause "NO I hate this" ... he may have hated the negative whatever it was wind chill but we were both loving this...

This past weekend this big girl moved into a big girl bed {Sigh - she is getting so old} ...she had been requesting to take all her naps in the guest bedroom and doing great so we figured why not?!?! She made this transition a little faster than I was ready for her - her quilt isn't ready yet - nothing like a little postive pressure :) Since that wasn't ready to personalize her new big girl room I figured she needed something, so I made her a little girly lamp to go on her nightstand. Here is the before and after...



Then of course I couldn't leave the Mister out so I made him these...I don't really love chocolate and I loved these. They are easy, very few ingredients and not too sweet. Go make some - you will be glad you did - as will your whole family.

  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (scooped into measuring spoon, then leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons (11/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon (generous) salt in medium bowl. Stir butter and next 5 ingredients in another medium bowl until smooth. Stir in flour mixture, then nuts. Cover and chill until firm enough to scoop, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
  • Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment. Measure 2 level tablespoonfuls dough; roll between palms into ball. Place on prepared sheet. Using fingers, spread out dough to 3-inch-diameter disk. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 5 inches apart.
  • Bake cookies 8 minutes; reverse sheets. Bake cookies until flat and beginning to darken around edges, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to rack (cookies will crisp as they cool). DO AHEAD Can be made 4 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  • Place rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Place chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Heat chips in microwave in 15-second intervals until smooth, stirring occasionally. Place cookies on rack. Drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Let stand until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.