Archive for ‘September, 2013’

I have had a lot going on lately. Not just lately, over the past year or so, I have organized and planned an entire wedding alongside keeping a full-time job, starting a part-time photography business, dealing with the diagnosis/treatment of my Dad’s terminal lung cancer, grieving over his death (the words alone bring tears to my eyes as I type this), finding/buying a house, and now, remodeling it. It’s a lot in a short amount of time. And of course, I didn’t do it all by myself, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was hard all the same.

The stress has worn me down.

I’ll be honest that I have never been very good at handling stress. I don’t eat right. I feel a flare in my nerve pain. I normally break down and retreat, wanting to stick my head in the ground until whatever it is that is happening goes away, somehow disappears into thin air. I tend to close off and turn into myself, not wanting to discuss the problems or situation, and somehow it has worked for quite a long time. And when I get to the point that it is all too heavy, when I can’t hide from it anymore, I cry. Big, ugly sobs until I can’t breathe.

And lately, I roam craft stores. I don’t have to buy anything (although I have been allowing myself to spend $20 without feeling guilty), but it feels so big and quiet. And empty, too. Going aisle after aisle calms me. All those pretty little things that can be thrown together and made into bigger prettier things.

Life will slow down soon enough, I suppose, but until then I will just keep going through, head first and headstrong. There really is no other way to get to where we want to be.

What do you do to relax and disconnect from the stresses in your life?

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IMG_9840bwI’ve been an auntie for a long time. Since I was 5 years old. My siblings and I, the five of us, are spread out, so it isn’t too surprising that my first nieces and nephews were closer in age to me than my oldest brother.

I love being an aunt. It is one of the greatest jobs I’ll ever have. Ever.  I was thinking last weekend as we were hanging out with Greg’s nephews and niece about just what I love most about being an aunt. There are so many things. I could really go on and on about how rewarding it is, but I picked a few of my favorite things.


  • They listen sometimes better to me than to their parents. Key word: sometimes.  I occasionally have to put on my “mom voice” and get stern, but for the most part, it’s easy.
  • I can buy the little kids all the candy I want (and I am not the bad guy when their parents say “no more before dinner”).
  • Babysitting is more like a play date.  I get to plan something fun and something to keep them interested. I’ve found that the pet store can be both a blessing and curse for this. It’s cheap, and they love seeing the puppies. They also cry when we can’t take one home with us. Sad tears. Big, fat sad please-let-me tears. And don’t think the thought of actually bringing one home hasn’t crossed my mind. Those little lady tears are powerful.
  • I can buy them loud annoying toys for their birthdays. I will most likely regret this when my own kids have birthdays one day, but for now, it’s fun.  I tend to buy a lot of shoes for the little kids too. The older ones get money.
  • They admire me. I love knowing that they look up to me as an example. And it is something that I take very seriously.
  • I get to be their friend.  My oldest niece is 23, and she knows she can call me just to chat or hang out or whatever. When I was in high school, I would go pick her up all the time, and she was my favorite shopping buddy.  I love having a strong relationship with each of them.

I imagine more nephews and nieces in the future, mostly great nephews and great nieces, but it will be in the distant future. Maybe one of my own first.


With Greg out of town, my life has been both empty and full. I am missing him terribly, but I have been keeping myself as busy as possible to keep my mind off of it. It is halfway working, but every time I am excited about something, I wish he was here to see his face to hear about it. And to hug me. I miss that part.

So until he gets home, life will be like this:
1. It’s been a long few days at work. We have scheduled our next audit for January so we are full review mode.
2. Dixie girl misses her daddy too.
3. Working on blog posts in my Moleskine.
4. Chiefs vs Cowboys. It was a great game with my girls!

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I will be honest and say that a Week in the Life project by Ali Edwards scares me. I love it, for other people. For me, no. Not only do I think I would be completely boring, since my days all seem to start and end about the same during the work week (and who wants to see 20 pictures each day of what paperwork I am currently working on at my desk?), but I don’t think I could remember to capture it anyway. I tend to forget things when I am on a roll.

So a Day in the Life project is a better fit for me. Less pressure, and I can schedule it on a day when something is happening that will make it different than any other day.

Below was my Wednesday (I still need to work on remembering to take the pictures, ahhh):

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I originally saw this post on Elise Blaha Cripe’s blog, and when I found the same letter blocks at Joann’s, I knew they needed to be in our new home.

I bought four letters to place around the house. An ‘S’ to go in the kitchen. A ‘C’ for my office, and a pair ‘G’ and ‘C’ for our basement. I’ve mentioned before that I have a thing for monograms, and it turns out that I also have a thing for letterpress, so these were a great fit for our house. Greg embraces my need for letters and text everywhere, which i love about him. I mean, even our wedding shoes had text on the backs.

Anyway, these blocks weren’t made to be perfect, and since this was my very first time using wood stain, I anticipated more streaks and drips. But I was surprised to learn that it soaked in really well to whatever this cheap wood was. It definitely made it easier on me and my slight fault at wanting pretty-close-to-perfect DIY projects.IMG_8100I stained them all in Minwax Wood Finish in Special Walnut, and they turned out amazingly beautiful after two coats. I wasn’t really sure how dark I wanted them to be, but the two coat seemed to do the trick for what I was going for.

After they were done, this project cost about $13 when you take into account the coupons I used at Joann’s and the half a can of stain I have left for another project soon.IMG_8102Another to check off the 10 Projects list!

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Hi all,

Just a small note to give a heads up that soon, I will be changing things around this space. I am moving more toward a photography-based site, but will still have this personal space to blog about DIY projects and family and lifestyle posts. I still want to have this to come to and be myself, but it will be fronted by my photography.

I am still going to be blogging here normally until I begin to switch the look over. And I am hoping with everything in me that the switch is seamless and easy. Cross your fingers for me.

Be sure to check back if any of your RSS feed domains get screwy too.

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Alone among the shade,
he lounged protected
by hovering branches willowy
as the day was soft.

He thought of simple things,
like sunsets on dark horizons
and singing songbirds in the mornings,
smoke suckling at his pores
with every breath.

The day stretched thin
and with a heave,
he limbered upright

off to the world
of complicated

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