Monday, November 22, 2010

I Shave (Almost) Everyday

What? It's winter, you say? Well, yes, that's true...but I need to feel some sort of girly beauty. Where the heck is this coming from? Let me explain. If you're not a mom, you might as well click away from this page to spare yourself. Also, if you're prissy, you won't understand my ways. If you get up everyday and do your hair and put make up on, you'll find me lazy, or weird.

This post is for those mothers who know what it's like to not have the time (unless you want to give up sleep, no thank you), or lack the drive to doll up.

Don't get me wrong, I love to look pretty and feel like my husband should take me out. I do find time get all shnazzy for fun, but my everyday life does not include make up and a flat iron...shocked? You shouldn't be. If I'd put on nice clothes, they would just be covered in finger paint and spaghetti sauce. If I did my make up (other than a touch of mascara to not look washed out), it would just get rubbed off when two very handsome boys insist on sloppy kisses on my cheeks. If I proceeded to straighten or curl my hair, it would just get put up in a pony tail because it hurts to get pulled when being wrestled to the ground by tag team WWF wrestlers named David, Parker, and Graham.

You ask, "Don't you feel better about yourself when you take time to look nice?" Not really. Since I find enough things to do that satisfy my girly need to indulge in fashion, I don't feel like I need to prove to myself everyday that I can be eye-catching. I know what I can look like, not to mention I'm all about practicality. If I'm doing dinner and shopping with friends, then yes, I have a blast trying on clothes for an hour only to end up wearing the first thing I had on. I love to put together outfits and try new make-up trends, but I also like the freedom to feel ok about myself with the basics: T-shirt, jeans, and the face God gave me.

Speaking of jeans, that leads me to the title explanation. I choose to shave my legs everyday. I might miss a day here or there, but generally speaking, I shave every time I'm in the shower. I feel like it's my little boost of confidence. It's my reminder that I am a beautiful women, even if I don't look like I did pre-children with places to go and people to see. I know underneath my jeans are smooth silky legs that are a part of the frumpy mother-figure I allow myself to be some days. They serve as a little hint to the beautiful confident woman that David married almost seven years ago.

If you like to do yourself up every morning, more power to you. I don't feel there is anything wrong with that choice, I am just trying to explain those of us who don't.

You may use these verses for encouragement if you have low self-esteem. I choose to use them for excuses to not spend more than 5 minutes in the morning. :)

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

So yes, I let my hair air dry today. It looks ridiculous. However, my legs are nicely shaven. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

on the road again...

As you know, Parker spent last week in Florida with my mom. I'm not sure who was more worn out by the end, but it seems they equally had a terrific time. In deciding where to meet to pick up my little buddy, we considered two things. First, where is a good halfway meeting point? Secondly, where is some place we can enjoy a day with our oldest buddy. Charleston seemed perfect. No one had to bend my arm backwards for me to agree. Despite having been there 4-5 times in the past few years, I'm always game for a little southern carriage ride (as tourist-y as it is).

Another great thing about Charleston is that we have family there. David has second and third cousins who have lived in North Charleston for years. We have never really been able to spend much time with most of them so it was nice to get to hang out. Thanks so much Betsy and Bruce for letting us crash your pad for a night. You were so kind and we really appreciate your hospitality. Also, thanks Michael and Emily for spending some time with us. Can't wait until we can get together again. You all are always welcome in our home. You just have to find a reason to come to ol' West Virginia. Maybe if I make some Mac and Cheese, I'll get y'all up here. Well, at least I know Michael would come.

David and I left on Friday morning and headed south. We got hungry just outside of Charlotte. I know that the best way to find a fun restaurant is to ask someone who lives there. I remembered that a friend from high school currently lives there so I sent her a tweet asking for a suggestion. She recommended a BBQ joint named Macs. It was delish! Thanks again for your two cents, Audrey. I have to admit, though, that I was a bit concerned about where you where sending me when we drove past a small ghetto to get there. The funny part was that on our way home, Parker said he was hungry again when we were right outside Charlotte and guess where we took him? Yep, we hit Macs up twice. We sat outside in the beautiful weather and had a lovely lunch.

It took us about 7 hours to arrive in Charleston, SC. First destination? The beach. How can I not stop by the ocean when it is so close?? Who cares if it was 60 degrees out?

Saturday, we met up with my parents in the morning and got Parker back in our possession. (Sounds a little like drug smuggling.) We spent the day going to the South Carolina Aquarium, taking a carriage ride, eating at some yummy restaurants, and walking some beautiful old streets. It was such a good day with my two-thirds of my boys.

I forgot to bring my camera this weekend, so I had to use my phone.

Our drive was really pretty since NC and SC still had some fall leaves.
 Me wishing that I owned one of the boats behind me.
 Beautiful sunset.
 My toes were freezing!

 I love the ocean.
 Headed back to our car a bit colder than when we left it. I have a love/hate relationship with sand. It's beautiful, feels great between your toes, and makes the beach experience complete. However, it is obnoxiously everywhere once you've touched it.

 I love the big bridge behind us. So pretty.
 Hello, big ugly shark, please stop starring at my son.
 Parker's favorite part of the aquarium was the touch tank. Every five minutes I heard,  " Mommy, can I pet the sting rays again?"

 I don't typically like fried bread, but these hush puppies had crab, shrimp, and parmesan cheese in them. Thank you, Bubba Gumps, for the best flavored calories this weekend.
 Parker with the mules that pulled our carriage. Aren't the cute?

 On our way home.
The past two traveling weekends have been exactly what I needed, but I can truly say that I am glad to be home. I need a break from the suitcase.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

ivy league decor

I love the Holiday season. The sights, the smells, the parties, the traditions, and the list goes on. When it comes to decor, I really love Christmas. Though I enjoy Thanksgiving and appreciate a national holiday centered around thankfulness (something our country could use a little more of), I'm not super into fall decor. I indulge a little and maybe I'll do more in the future (since I'm aware of my constant evolution of style), but the craving for turning my house upside down comes when I hear the sleigh bells ring. I get giddy when digging out my christmas boxes to reveal all my after-Christmas shopping treasures from last year. Some people freak out about early Christmas decorating because they feel as though those of us who start busting out wreaths in early November are "skipping" Thanksgiving. This is what I have to say about that. Lighten up. I am not skipping Thanksgiving, I am just skipping Thanksgiving decor. I am very THANKFUL for my Savior being born and I want to celebrate as early as possible ;)

Speaking of Christmas decor. I kept seeing these vine-looking Christmas trees in stores and I thought to myself, "Self, you can do that." I love to make things, but rarely think about all the logistics of what it will take. Luckily, this time, all that was needed was sticks, vines, and spray paint. Sweet. I have all of those things on hand, or at least on hand or out by back door. I marched up my backyard hill yesterday and pulled up ivy vines. I grabbed a few sticks and sawed them to equal length. I got out some twine, a hot glue gun, and began. It was soooooo easy! This was my goal.

I started with these beautiful ivy vines. (The pictures are rather bad since they were taken on my phone with an over-the-limit caffeine hand, but you get the point.)

 I stripped the leaves and began wrapping them around three sticks I had put together in a teepee fashion. The top of the"teepee" was secured with hemp twine. (Don't mind my cluttered basement in the background...I've been in project mode.)
 I continued to work my way up the sticks by tucking in a new vine when an previous one ended. I secured the vines in place with hot glue ever so often.
 I made it to the top and decided to saw off the top of the "tee-pee". By this point the vines and hot glue kept everything together and the top twine mess was no longer needed. I took the brown and green non-uniform tree outside and gave it a good coating of gold paint. Almost done. I felt as though the tree was a little sad and needed some sort of embellishment.
 I got out my ornament box and found this bad boy. I removed the metal part that allows it to hang from a tree, hot glued a little stick inside, and attached it to the top of my almost-finished woven tree.
 I love how it turned out. Imperfect. I actually like how it has more texture than its counterpart at the store. I now have to find a Christmas home for my project. The mantle, dining table, built ins? We'll see. As for now, I have to go clean up the mess I made in the basement. No fun.
 Have you done any Christmas projects in the past that turned out beautiful? Do share. Maybe I'll start something else so I don't have to go clean.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What flippin time is it?

Let me start with a recommendation. Don't travel to a different time zone the weekend daylight savings time ends. It will mess with your head. It will make you and your husband discuss for hours what time it "really" is, the time your body really feels it is, and what time it would be back home. It's confusing. It's obnoxious. Moving on.

We had a great weekend trip to Nashville, Tennessee, and have already decided we want to go back and spend more time. What landed us in this southern city for a weekend? My dad has this dream/goal of going to all the Florida Football away games. This would allow him to yearly visit a new SEC city/stadium. He decided to get David and I in on this adventure, and who thinks my husband would ever turn down anything footballish? If you raised your hand, you are dead wrong. I figured if they get to have fun and it involves traveling, then count me in.

My mom was up visiting me last week, so Dad just flew in here and we all took the trek down to Tennessee together. We had planned on Parker going to Florida for a week with my mom and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get him down there. We will be meeting up next week in a city still yet to be determined. What will our adventure be next weekend? Stay tuned. I know Parker is going to have a great week with my mom, buy my house is sooooooo quiet without him. I miss him already, but I'm going to take this opportunity of only having one child and tackle some projects that I have needed to do but had trouble accomplishing with both boys.

Graham stayed with Nana and Poppy, so David and I could have a small break. He had a great time and didn't torture them with any late night parties, thank God. Thanks, you two, for taking good care of baby Graham. So thankful for helpful, trustworthy in-laws!

Here are a view pictures from our weekend. Go Gators!

 The weekend and MeMaw wore him out. Mom and Parker played at the Nashville Science Center while we were at the game.
 Tennessee Titan Stadium
 Downtown Nashville.
 Have a great week everyone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

david and the lamb

I'm not really into Halloween. I've never been, and am pretty sure that I will never be. I don't like ugly things and to be quite frank, everything about Halloween is ugly (in my opinion) except the candy. Candy is pretty. I like it. In addition to the candy I steal from my children since I don't really allow them to eat many sweets, I enjoy one other major part of Halloween. Costumes. I like to get dressed up, and not just to look pretty. Having children enabled me to have two new bodies to embellish as I desire on Halloween. It sounds more cruel than it actually is. I allowed Parker to have some say in his get-up, but I don't think it's a three-year-old's duty to make all the decisions for his young life :). I'm the mom and I think I should get some privileges for carrying them 9 months and for being cut open twice. (Sorry if that seems a bit gory, but this is a Halloween post.)

When I first asked Parker who he wanted to be for Halloween, he said Lightning McQueen. I was overjoyed (written with the most sarcasm that the word overjoyed can contain). I looked for the Lightning outfit, and when I saw it, immediately decided that Parker would not get his first choice. It was ugly...and boring. I'm all about allowing my child to be an individual, but I feel guiding him to better decisions is part of my job as a parent. Being a boring little car for Halloween fits in the "wrong" decision category in my book. (I hope no one reading this is taking me too serious.) Anyway, I then asked him to think real hard about who else he liked and wanted to dress-up as. His response the second time, verbatim, was "David and Goliath." I felt as though I could work with that answer. Though slightly impossible to make my little man both a shepherd and a giant, I took creative liberty to DIY a variation of his desire to be the heroic Bible character combined with the scary foe. He would be David the shepherd boy. I have a fear of sewing outfits with sleeves, but I conquered that fear with this project that required me to follow a pattern with sleeves. I was proud of the outcome, but I'm sure that a real seamstress would have scolded my work. Parker loved it...that's what really matters.

Of course this meant that Graham had to be tortured with a sheep costume. It was a must. David couldn't be a shepherd without a sheep! I wish you could have seen Graham's reaction the first time we stuck him in his fuzzy ensemble. He was furious. He hated it. We laughed our heads off.

Parker is involved in a Wednesday night Awanas program at a local church and they wanted the children to dress as animals, so I picked up a lion outfit for $5.00 at Target. He was a cute lion and insisted on roaring the whole night. Normally I put an end to loud nonsense, but how could I tell him to stop when he was dressed as a lion? Exactly. I didn't. I allowed it...for one night only. That's all my patience could handle.

In addition to his Awanas dress up night and the city-wide trick-or-treat night, Parker's preschool had a trunk-or-treat parade for the kids to show-off their festive garments. I wasn't able to allow Parker to take his home-made sling shot or his brother for props at school, so I stuck a little stuffed lamb in his robe pocket. He loved it and repeatedly told his teachers that he had to protect the sheep from the dogs.??? Whatever.

Here are some pictures from our three days of fun. I apologize now for the barrage of pictures, but I'm feeling slightly indecisive tonight and I think they're all blog-worthy. You have the right to exit my page at any time when annoyed ;)