Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! It was a crazy day here. This year was my first year hosting the big day. Thankfully I wasn't in charge of the turkey or dressing.  Instead I took on the side dishes. I also let Alan's restaurant bake the pies. I was nice like that.

Here's just a peak at what was happening in my home yesterday....
This could have also been dubbed the cheapest easiest decorated Thanksgiving yet. Magnolia leaves were the star of the show.

 I clipped some magnolia branches and hung them on the door with ribbon. This was probably my favorite detail of the holiday.

Ada's turkey from school hung out with a pumpkin. I love construction paper holiday decor. Seems I'm down to only one child to provide it.

And she was all over helping in the kitchen. She cooked up some potatoes and green beans. Such a talented girl.

Our way too simple version of a Thankful tree was writing what we are thankful for on a magnolia leaf with a gold sharpie then thumb tacking them up on the cork board.  Super easy, kind of cute and the kids loved it.

This was one of my favorites, 'God' was the winner. 

Clearly Alex has a lot to be thankful for. 

And this super sweetie not only wrote 'parents' but also 'grandparents'. Glad the boys focused in on relationships.

Isn't he cute?

 The table was set with a roll of Kraft paper from the Dollar Store, candles and magnolia leaves. Again, overly simple.

Place settings were labeled with a gold sharpie on a magnolia leaf.

The kids had their own spot on the front porch. (Thank you weather.) Kraft paper and crayons. All they really needed.

The night ended in laughter as I taught the bunch of heathens that is my family a simple little game. They (my dad) droned on about playing a game. We ended up playing three rounds! I'll have to post on that later. Too funny.

And who doesn't want to see pilgrims in a post about Thanksgiving? So here's some cuties...

This was the preschools Thanksgiving show/feast last week. Adorable. And to prove that my daughter also has her priorities in line, here's what she's thankful for....

Now it's time to deck these halls!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#1 Small Town in America

Hey y'all! Hope everyone is ready to get their gobble on! I still have to figure out what the heck I'm cooking.....and I'm the host of our family shindig. No worries. It will all come together in the end.

I was a little quiet this past week partly because of some serious crud hanging out in my lungs, partly because we're trying to get our home company ready and partly because we've been having so much fun in town.

I thought it was time I officially introduce you to my town. It is a town worthy of a proper introduction after all....

Little Blog of Mine, this is Madison, Ga. The "#1 Small Town in America".  I'm pretty sure that poll came from a travel magazine a decade ago but I dare you to challenge it's factualness today around these parts.

This is the town "Sherman refused to burn", again....If I were writing an essay on the matter I might wouldn't grab my facts from the Chamber of Commerce. Nonetheless...this town is truly special.

This is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone. Seriously. Where the only traffic is a tractor or the car pool lane. The town honors it's high school football team as much as it's veterans. The candy shop owner directs traffic at the school. Tour buses are a regular occurance. Movies, shows and commercials are shot here. Where hay bales, cow shows and guys in big trucks are the norm. This town is straight up small town, country living, Bulldog loving territory. And I've been sucked in!

Where I grew up Atlanta was my backyard. We rode Marta to get to concerts, we worked at the Mall of Georgia. Something was always under construction. And you budgeted an extra 15-20 minutes on your drive just for traffic.

Now traffic kills me. I'm spoiled.

Any who... last week our town held an "Are you Smarter than a Morgan County 5th Grader?" Oh what fun! The event was held at our church and was one of those situations when all flavors of society were in one room. So some pointing and explaining who was who.

 How do you like my shady iphone pictures? geez.

The lot of "celebrities" to play against these 5th graders was quite the list. The doctor, Mayor, high school football coach, and a whole bunch of people I didn't know, although they did introduce everyone. But my favorite was my friend, Erin, ...the "stay at home mom" as the host put it. OK, we'll take it. But she's so much more than that.

Let's just say it was a fun family night. Andy might be a little scared they'll do it again next year. Oh...and just so you know....I did keep up with my own tally sheet. And "I am smarter than a Morgan County 5th Grader." Thankyouverymuch.

Come Friday night, the kids and I were freezing our butts off as we watched the High School's football team play their first Playoff game. It was a nail bitter. Oh My. If I knew anything about writing sports I'd be all over explaining this game. Let's just say, we held them off at the 2 yard line with 4 seconds left in the game...for the win! Edge of your seat stuff people.

The names of the high schooler football players were spead along Main Street pre game week. I don't see them taking them down anytime soon.

Poor Ada had fallen asleep on my chest when I had to do that inevitable "Holy Crap, we just won the game" jump. You know the one? Where you 'bout put a hole through the bleachers and through your neighbors ear. And you take your small child up and down with you. She survived.

 Player names at the Post Office. And who need photoshop when you have images like this? 

Well. That's all I've got for today. Time to get my Turkey loving game plan on.

Are you small town or big city?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Happy Birthday!!

To my middle Love, Alex. This boy of ours is 8 years old today!

I love that he is still so innocent and loving. I only hope his 8th year brings him as much joy as he's brought us.

We were extremely fortunate to celebrate his occasion with family and friends this past weekend. (I love the feeling of family gathered in my home) We had a great time!

 We started the weekend off with a sleep over with some of his buddies. They had a great time. One of them gifted Alex the game called Headbands. You place an item on your head and have to guess what you are. They loved it.

Luckily Alan was able to take time off. The boys got a kick out of the tractor rides.

We switched to family mode on Saturday. Alan's mom got in on the head band game early.

 Favorite part of the weekend was when Alex saw his new BMX bike from my mom and step dad. He had been wanting that thing for a while. It's a very nice bike. Alan may or may not have put one on his Santa wish list. I just wish I could have caught this moment from the front.
I think he likes it!

Alan's parents gave Alex the game of Ladder Ball. This is a totally addicting game. Similar to horse shoes or corn hole I guess. Everyone got in on the fun. And I totally love the idea of outdoor games.

 There may have been a few headbands challenges happening on our front porch that day as well.

It's always easier when you aren't the one guessing! My mom, sister, niece and I may have found this game a bit too funny. Could have been the wine. Not for the niece, of course. Her giggles were pure innocence. Love her.  

And of course, there was cake. Alex was able to blow the candles out the second time. Ada helped the first time. Such a helpful sister!

Sunday was a true day of rest. The kids and I did manage to hash out a few more games of Ladder Ball. That is not my game.

I am so thankful to have family that is able to come and love on my kids. And I was also graciously accepting the beautiful weather. What a blessing this weekend was.

What did you do this weekend? Ever play ladder ball?

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I don't know about you, but that is such a heavy word to me. Gratitude.

Last week I was hit with some sort of anxiety attack. I had all kinds of ideas of self doubt and overwhelming lists pacing through my head. I had a major/minor freak out. Enough to wake up Alan and call off a girls trip. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. Ever.

I was able to regroup throughout the day and managed to make the girl's trip. But while my heart was still racing and I was hovering near Alan for comfort, we migrated outside so he could burn some yard debree. While we were standing in the front yard I looked upon our house, as if a stranger. Had it not been less than a year since I was actively praying for a new home, more space for my family? And here we were.

From the outside everything looked peaceful. From the outside, things were almost as they should be. But I knew the truth...on the inside were piles of laundry, filthy toilets, birthdays to plan, meals to prepare and creative ideas in which I couldn't seem to find the time.

I had learned a long time ago not to judge a life by a home's exterior. I have had friends with large beautiful homes that are now divorced. And friends with the strongest of marriages and faith that have downsized. I am fully aware that it is not the home that make the family. But the relationships inside.

Yet at that moment, as I was on the outside looking in, I caught a glimpse of what others might think of my life. (Not those close to me, I'm a pretty open book). Eye opening. Look at what I have to be thankful for.

I do have a home to raise my family in, a family that is alive and healthy. A do have a large yard that we can make memories in. I do have an abundant amount of events to plan this season, because I have family and friends to share my days with. And I do have a full blown mess to tackle in my home, because lives are being lived here.

So today, now that I am back at peace, I can look from the inside out and see all I have in which to be grateful.

Click above poem for link to free printable
What do you have to be grateful for?

Monday, November 5, 2012

basement progress

OK, I actually just cleaned it. But that's progress right?

Move in, summer and Ada's party left quite a wreck in this basement of ours. And to be able to just put stuff away would have been nice. But I had yet to tackle that office of ours so every bit of crafty supplies came straight our of a box with no home to return to. That left our office an even bigger wreck which then migrated out to the basement living areas.

But, the other day I was able to tackle the monstrosity of a mess and get our basement back to livable.

Looking towards the back wall.
 Our fabulous Ikea sofa. Love this thing!
The back area will be more of a play/craft area for the kids. The restaurant table on the back wall needs some attention. We're going for a bar height work surface with stools under neath.
I have no idea what I plan to do with this wall.  

Still loving my Craigslist Ikea bookcase. And the $5 bins are extremely helpful.
I've been trying to collect some of these old soda crates for something I have planned down the line. Right now they're corralling random items around the basement.  

The dress up clothes have moved from Ada's closet to the basement. I'm sure she'll move them everywhere anyway.
Yep, that's Chubbacca and Yoda hanging with some Army men at the Fairy's cottage.
This piece is the middle section of the entertainment center we purchased for the last house. The two side bookcases are upstairs surrounding the fireplace in the living room.

The floors in the space will be the biggest obstacle slash pain in my butt. I'll get to that another day.

But doesn't she look pretty all picked up?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

our halloween wrap up

Anyone else think October was the quickest month ever? Sheesh. Everything led up to the big finale....
This is the only shot I got of Ada in her Halloween parade. She ran up to me and I ended up having to walk the parade with her.
But wasn't she the cutest cat ever? The tail was by far my favorite part.
 After school a friend and I took our girls to the pumpkin patch for some photo fun.
 Kitty chasing the mouse. Adorable.
They love each other.

Next up was Alex's school party. He loves when his mom comes in to help. A big change of attitude from when I walked him in on the first day.

Every Halloween needs some mummies.

And, of course, before you trick or treat you must take the front porch shot.

A werewolf, "nice cat" and pirate.

Andy was the most adorable werewolf. And I loved that he was still completely into dressing up. I'm hanging on tight to these days with him.

Hope everyone else had a fun Halloween!