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Wow, another February in the books. It was a busy one! Lots of stuff happened–my 37th birthday, our 17th wedding anniversary and lots of other fun stuff! Here is the photographic evidence. 🙂

Brian knows how much I love globes, and he hand-painted this large canvas for me as a birthday gift. SO sweet and I absolutely love it. And him.

On our anniversary, which fell on a Saturday, we just spent the day together having fun. We had a wonderful lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. Then, we went out to Rose Hill for about an hour, just enjoying the sunshine and being in one of our favorite places.

Then we went to Lake Juliette to watch the sun set on 17 years.

Last weekend, we were so excited to be there as Larry got baptized! It was a very special moment and despite Brian getting called out of the sanctuary for work, I was still able to capture it.

He was so happy as he came up out of the water, he threw his fists up in the air and let out a “Whoop!” that got some laughs from the congregation.

Larry and Ginger outside the church afterwards.

What a jam-packed February! March looks to be even busier!

Canada, Stop Breathing On Us!

This month has been the coldest, craziest January that I have ever known. Apparently, the arctic overdosed on some major chill pills and while it was under the influence, a nor’easter took full advantage and together, they had a big, freezing baby that we have affectionately come to know as The Polar Vortex. TPV toddled its way all the way down to the deep south a few weeks ago, causing us to have wind chill temps teetering on the zero line for several days. It was cooooooooollllllddddd for central Georgia, y’all.

So, we hunkered down and dealt with that, thinking, ok, THIS is the major chill we’ll get this winter. Oh, not so. That Polar Vortex was so not done.

Oh, snow it didn’t!!! Yes, it snow did.

We got THREE inches of snow here in Macon! I have never seen that much snow in person, and may not again in my lifetime (not challenging you or anything, TPV). It was crazy. Of course, I took pictures.

And!! I saw today that we may not be done with this freezing, drunken arctic baby. After a brief warmup next week, we may be getting MORE snow! Now that would truly be insane.


It’s 2014!

We rang in the new year at home, with snacks and kitties. I put together a bright and cheery New Year’s mantel with some leftover Christmas decorations and some handmade numbers.

I’m keeping these lights on the mantel a little while longer. Along with the red berry garland, they look wintry enough to me to stay perhaps through February. I made the 2014 myself, just freehanded some numbers on cardboard, cut them out and then glued patterned paper to them. I used two 12×12 sheets per number, and each number stands about 18 inches tall. I had the white pinwheel left over from another project. Brian got me the small globe for Christmas, and I was so excited to add it to my ever-growing collection (I have four now!).

Happy New Year!

That’s A Wrap

What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been! So much awesomeness packed into such little time! I’ll just let the pictures tell the story. The many, many pictures. ;D

A new globe! We saw this one in an antique store and Ginger was so sweet and got it for me as an early Christmas present!

And as we neared the end of the month, just before Christmas, our family received the biggest blessing: Larry came home! My sweet sister, Ginger, met her prince charming more than 25 years ago, but due to difficult circumstances, they were unable to be together until now. Finally, he is home and they are able to truly start their happily ever after!

And we had the best family Christmas in *years*.

So much happiness, much-needed by all of us. 2013 was a very hard year in many ways. Looking to 2014 now. Onward we go!

2013 Christmas Decorations

It’s been looking like Christmas around our house for a few weeks now. I normally wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate, but this year, with Thanksgiving coming so late, I decorated an entire week *before* Thanksgiving. And I’ll tell you why.

We all tend to accumulate lots of Christmas decorations over the years. And Christmas only comes once a year. Why only enjoy that beautiful stuff for 3 or so weeks? It takes so much effort to haul all that stuff out of storage and decorate, and we usually all have lots of money tied up in things we’ve collected, so why not enjoy it a little longer? Get as much use and joy out of it as you can.
For Thanksgiving, we travel out of town to my parents’ house, and then we always bring home leftovers that last at least the whole weekend. Having the house already decorated gave us a much more peaceful and lazy long holiday weekend. It was awesome. And I will do it again next year. The turkey won’t mind. 🙂

Aside from that, since Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, we’re all really decorating and celebrating Christ’s birth **late** by the time we get to November and December, anyway. Jesus was born in the late summer, likely in September. And even that’s messed up, since many of our Christmas decor icons are originated in Pagan rituals and symbols, shouldn’t really be tied to Christ at all, and are even possibly condemned in the Bible. So, all that said, do what you want with your Christmas decorations. Do what makes it special and meaningful to *you*. And do it WHEN you want.

Now, for the decorations! This year, I was determined not to buy anything new. We’ve really been needing a new tree for a few years now, but haven’t bought one. Every year, I want to buy one, but then I come up with so many reasons not to. I love the challenge of making do and using what I have, and trying to use it in different ways each year. This year, I thought about our old tree, the one we bought for $20 at K-Mart when we first got married 16 years ago, and decided to dig it out of storage and see how it was doing after all these years. It is the old-school style, the kind where you put each individual branch into its little holder in the trunk and then you cuss and possibly punch the tree as those branches pop out a million times as you try to light the tree. Yes, I had to light this tree myself, by hand, painstakingly, with EIGHT strands of lights. But, once that was done, it looked awesome.

I even made the tree a cute little trunk using some woodgrain patterned scrapbook paper.

Here’s a wreath I thrifted for $1.99! It’s huge (and came with the berry garland already attached to it!). I hand-wrote the “merry” and then painted it and cut it out. I glued it to white posterboard for stability, and cut it out, leaving a small white border around the letters.

Here, I printed the “25” and cut it out and glued it to a doily. Then I framed it in a thrifted frame.

Got this cute Santa plate at the thrift store for $1. He goes great with my vintage Santa mugs that Mama passed down to me last year.

Here’s a 48-year-old ornament from Mama and Daddy’s first married Christmas.

A little Christmas house I made a few years ago.

Another very special, 48-year-old ornament that Mama and Daddy passed on to me. It had to have its own stand.

The dining room. Those gold tinsel trees were a new buy this year–$1 each at the dollar store.

And I made a coffee filter snowflake garland for over the dining room entryway.

Here’s a little vignette by the front door.

Some fun, shaped bokeh with the outside lights.

Merry Christmas!

Around Here

We had a long, lazy Thanksgiving weekend and it was awesome. I made a yummy frittata with leftover Thanksgiving ham. Mmm!!

Last Wednesday, Elizabeth came over and we made a cute advent calendar for her kids. Can’t wait to see all the fun activities she has planned for them!

I had already put up our Christmas decorations week before last, and have started taking a few pictures (full post on all our decor is coming soon!). I normally am one of the militant not-before-Thanksgiving decorators, but Thanksgiving was so late this year, and it is so much work to get everything done, only to enjoy it for three weeks. So we will enjoy it for five weeks. 🙂 A few things making it look like Christmas around here…

More Christmas pics coming soon!

We had a couple errands to run today at lunchtime, and saw that the local SmallCakes Cupcakery was open! We have been excited to try them! We got the caramel crunch and it was beyond yummy!

Let Go, But Hang On.

One year. The passage of time. Today is one year since our sweet baby kitty, Augie, died suddenly and unexpectedly from a horrible disease. His death began an ordeal for us that we are honestly still trying to recover from, mentally, physically, emotionally, financially. The backstory can be found here.

It seemed that his death set off a year, a chain of events that sent us into darkness. A year of tragedy, of trials, hardships and challenges. Pain, grief, and struggle. I could go back even farther, though, to three years ago tomorrow, when Brian’s Aunt Kris (to whom we were very close) died unexpectedly and tragically. October. What is it about October?

I feel like I’m standing still in October. Everyday for the past year has been tinged with, overshadowed by, October. But the world moves on around me. And this year milestone has loomed over me.

Let go, but hang on.

How do you do that? How do you make your flawed heart, your broken and grieving heart, begin to try to cling to the light along the edges of the darkness? Light and dark have become a rhythm of our daily life, a presence we are constantly learning from. This ever-circling presence forces us to be patient, to be present, and to surrender and accept. You can still grow in the darkest of corners, and eventually, you may be able to see the beauty in your wounds. One day, I may realize that I’ve moved past something without realizing I’ve turned. Maybe one day, even October’s clouds will show me their golden lining.

It is a hard road getting there. And I’m still traveling it.

I will always love and miss our sweet Augie. You see, losing him was the equivalent to losing a child, for Brian and me. We don’t (and won’t) have human children, so from our perspective, and from our experience, this is it. Loving, nurturing and bonding with him, only to have him taken away. I will cry and grieve him and miss him for the rest of my life. That’s what love does to you. He was important, and he mattered. I grieve because he mattered. He always will. And in his sweet memory, we continue on for the rest of our cats, our babies. We let go, but hang on.

“If I never see you again
I will always carry you

on my fingertips
and at brain edges

and in centers
of what I am of
what remains.”

–Charles Bukowski

Now For October Eves!

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is filled with leaves; we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” — Humbert Wolfe

I created a festive fall mantel using items I already had on hand, a few art pieces I made myself, and some thrifted items. I love how it turned out!

I painted the “2” canvas because I love numbers in home decor, and the “2” is for Brian and me.

This large “g” was done in a word processing program, then cut out and adhered to some patterened paper.

Here’s a mixed media art piece I made and framed in a thrifted frame.

Over by the door, I created a little fall vignette on our entryway/game table with a jar of branches with paper leaves, some owls and a couple other things I had on hand.

And I kept the front door wreath very simple.

Happy October!


Wow, it’s hard to believe June is winding down. It’s been a rainy, mild (at least by Georgia summer heat standards) month. We have had some adventures! As a result of those adventures, this will be a very image-heavy post! 😀

Pretty magnolias downtown Macon.

We visited Little Martha Ellis’ grave at Rose Hill Cemetery (again) and I placed some pretty yellow wildflowers in her monument’s arms.

We stopped for a rare treat when we saw the “Hot” sign all lit up at Krispy Kreme.

We posed for photos at the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds tunnel.

We photographed a sweet baby girl’s first birthday party.

We experienced a sunset that moved us to tears.

The corn fields in middle Georgia have been the most lush and gorgeous I’ve seen in years. So much rain this year!

Of course, we appreciated the beauty all in Mama and Daddy’s yard.

We saw the most beautiful early summer sky.

And we drove out to a dark, quiet road to capture this beauty.

What a fun, beautiful month June has been!