Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blessing #129 - My porch

Recently, I fixed up our back porch.  Now, I had all these amazing before pictures to show.  Honestly! However, all of my before shots were brutally deleted by my oldest son. 

Why did he delete all my before pictures? He was playing a game making trains and he wanted to take pictures of all his trains. 

So I will just so you the after picture and try to explain everything.  Here is the porch....

I just love it! It's so bright and cheery! My first job was to stain the wood on the porch.  It was terrible and looked nasty.  It took me a few days to stain the whole porch, but it was worth the effort.

Here is the rundown of everything I used....

Shad and I found this glider in someones yard.  It looked like they were going to throw it away, but it wasn't on the curb.  We left a note on it and asking the owners if they were throwing it away and left our number.  The next day they called and said we could pick it up.  It was in roughshape, but I spray painted the frame and painted the slats with some paint I already had. 

The coffee table was something that the former tenants left in the yard.  I think it may have been a part of a cage or something.  I spray painted it white and WaaLaa a coffee table. 

The tray on the table is just an old cabinet door that we had laying around.  A fresh coat of yellow and it fits in perfectly. 

I found the pillows I used in the glider at Kmart in the clearance section for $6 each.  They are not outdoor pillows, but I figured if they fade, I can just recover them next year in outdoor fabric. 

We found the rockers at Goodwill for $15.  They were originally a natural brown, but a few cans of spray paint later, and they are a bright white. 

We found the table in between the rockers in our neighbors trash.  They were throwing it away! It was a natural brown, but I love the pop of teal it brings.  It's one of my favorite pieces on the porch. 

The sign is just an old piece of wood I found in the barn.  Nothing says "Relax" like a giant sign telling you to do so!

Here is the price run down....

stain - $25
pillows - $38
rockers - $15
spray paint - $14

Total cost - $92

I took me about three weeks from start to finish.  I love the new look we have outside. As much as I like the way it looks, I love that we got most of the items out of the trash and from Goodwill!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blessing #128 - Gaps

Nine years ago today, Shad and I said "I do" and started our journey together.  Today, (like last year) I am taking a moment to stop and think about our anniversary, marriage, and of course Shad. 

Twenty years ago, a great Italian philosopher name, Rocky Balboa said, "She's got gaps.  I got gaps.  Together we fill gaps."After nine years of marriage, I have learned Shad and my gaps. 

I am an early bird while Shad is a night owl. 

Shad loves to find old furniture, and I like to fix it up.

I avoid confrontation, while Shad welcomes it with open arms. 

I will happily live in denial avoiding the obvious, while Shad doesn't mind saying, "Hey! There's a problem!"

I make gut decisions, while Shad, after careful research and reading all the online reviews will make a decision.

I say, "Brush it off.  It's nothing.  You'll be okay." Shad says, "What if it's the rare drug resistant flesh eating bacteria I saw on that show the other night?"

Shad prefers all conversations to be deep and meaningful about things like "feelings," while I prefer more fluffy conversations about "Who should Emily chose?"

See! We work better together.  Without Shad, my life would be much more shallow, but Shad has always been my wake up call to reality (whether I wanted it or not).

We compliment each other.  If I was 57, Shad would totally be 33 (sorry for the math joke).  Sometimes I may get annoyed that he is so different from me, but maybe we are different for a reason.  It's their gaps that hold two puzzle pieces together. 

Nine years ago today, I said "I do" to a wild and crazy guy that I love with everything that I have.    Shad, I love you very much....gaps and all!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blessing #127 - Thoughts on Skydiving

Since I went skydiving, I have sat down several times to write a post about the experience.  I tried a few different angles, but I just couldn't get my thoughts in order.  So here are my random thoughts about skydiving in a random list.

1. When I asked Shad, "Hey, would you mind if I went skydiving?" I was really asking, "Hey, can I strap myself (very tightly) to a complete stranger...probably a man, and throw myself out of an airplane...voluntarily.  Oh! And could you stay on the ground and watch our kids as I do it, and hope and pray that my parachute opens?"  It takes a strong man to say yes to that question.  Fortunately, I have a strong man.

2. As tough as you make think you are by going skydiving, nothing makes you look more like an L 7 weenie than taking a few puffs from your inhaler before you suit up. (+2 points for Sandlot reference)

3. The day before I jumped, this story came out about "80 year olds Skydiving Trip from Hell."  I did not read the whole story because I was too scared.  I just assumed she lived because the headline didn't read, "Grandma Dies Skydiving."  I mentioned this to my tandem partner as he was fixing my straps.  He said, "The problem is when the door to the plane is open no sounds like go."  I looked at him and said, "Well, if we get up there and you hear me yelling, 'banana' that means no. Do not leave the plane."

4.  If you ever go skydiving, pay the extra money and get the video.   I'm cheapy cheapskate and I wasn't going to do it, but a friend on facebook that had skydived encouraged me to get the video.  I'm so glad I did.  Having the video really showed Shad and the boys what it was like.  They got to experience it with me. Shad was actually surprised by how calm I was.  I think I earned a few, "my wife is awesome" points.

5. There is a very simple answer if anyone says, "You shouldn't skydive. You are a mom and that's selfish,"   The Duggar Mom, mother of 19 kids,  did it! Yes! All of life is full of risks.  Is skydiving a risk? Yes, but for me the benefits outweighed the risks.

6. After you skydive, from that point on if anything ever happens to anyone while skydiving, everyone will make sure and tell you about it. 

7.   When I was picking a company that I was going to jump with, one of my requirements was whether or not they made you wear a jumpsuit.  Some skydiving places have you jump in your normal clothes, but Skydive Delmarva has jumpsuits that go over your clothes.  It's a small thing, but it makes the jump feel more professional, and if there's one time I don't want to go casual, it's when I'm jumping out of a plane. 

8.  When people hear that I went skydiving (because I bring it up in as many conversations as possible), they have one of two reactions.  People will say, "You are crazy," or they will say, "I have always wanted to do that!"  I think there are two types of people in the world.  Those that want to go skydiving and those that know they don't want to go skydiving.  There doesn't seem to be many in between people. 

9.  I was terrified...TeRrIfIeD the last few days before I jumped, but once I got on the plane the excitement (or temporary insanity) took over and I felt nothing but excitement. 

10.  During free fall, it did not feel like I was falling.  When you are two miles in the air, the ground isn't rushing to your face as you fall.  You don't have any building or anything to give you perspective.  It feels like you are flying.  It's absolutely....100% amazing. 

11. One of my favorite parts of skydiving was being above the clouds.  When my tandem partner first pulled the rip cord, we were even with the clouds.  He even went over to one so I could reach out to it.  When I get really excited, I have to narrate out loud to myself what is happening.  I just said over and over, "It's my thirtieth birthday, and I'm touching a cloud!"

12. If skydiving is something you've always wanted to do....DO IT!  Life is filled with too many, "I wish I could haves," or "I always wanted to's." Skydiving is one you can easily cross of that list.  All you need to do is save up your money...and courage.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blessing #126 - Herb Garden 2 point 0

I have never really cooked with herbs so I've never really been interested in having an herb garden.  Then one of my favorite people at my church gave me some dill, chives, and basil. 

I bought some basic black planters for $1 a piece from Walmart to match the planters I used for my "hi" planters.

I planted all my herbs, and put them on my porch.  Then one day, I was working in my garden and Collin was playing on the porch.  He was so quiet that I got a ton of work done...I should have known. 

I could see his back as he played, but not his front.  After I finished working, I walked up on the porch.  As Collin turned to greet me, I was mortified to see him holding all of my the roots.  Yes, he had been playing quietly because he was destroying my herbs!

After that incident, I set out to find more herbs.  Fortunately for me, many of the herbs were on sale.  I got my basil and rosemary for 50 cents a piece.

After replanting my new herbs, I thought about making some vinyl labels for the planters, but then I just thought I would try to write the names with chalk.  I love the outcome!

When it rains, the chalk comes off, but it's super easy to put it back on. 

When I was looking for a way to display my herbs, I knew an old rusty metal crate that I got from the Junk Bin for $2 would be perfect. I loved the rust.  As much as I loved the rusty look, it blended in with my floor.  I lightly sprayed it with some white spray paint I had just to make it pop.  I still wanted the rust to show through.  I bought a blank switch plate at Walmart for 48 cents and painted it with chalkboard paint. 

I grouped all my herbs and "wallah" herb garden 2 point 0!

I love this herb garden. It combines so many of my favorite things...


It's a favorites overload!

I just have to keep my eyes open.  I think he's already planning how to destroy herb garden 2 point 0.

If you have any favorite recipes that involve parsley, dill, rosemary, basil or sweet mint, please send them my way!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Curse # 42 - The Dreaded Question

Warning: Before you read this please note that I am sharing a very embarrassing moment.  I almost didn't blog about it.  In fact, I didn't even tell Shad about it until earlier today.  It's very embarrassing, but it is also equally funny.  Funny won out and I decided to share it with you.  I figure we are good enough friends by now that you won't make fun of me too bad.

There is one question every woman dreads hearing...

What is your age? --- nope

Would you please step on the scale? --- worse than that

Can I please see you license and registration? --- even worse

Saturday, I was in Home Depot getting some supplies for a project.  As I checked out, I started a casual conversation with the checkout girl.  Nothing big, just casual, "It sure is hot today," etc. Then all of the sudden, she says, "This may be rude...but...."

Now, right there was my first hint.  I should have know right there to stop her.  When someone you just met starts a sentence with, "This may be rude," I can assure you, it's not going to end well.  After the ominous introduction, she dropped a nuclear bomb on the conversation and said....

"Are you pregnant?"

I'll pause for a minute so you can gasp and say, "Oh no, she didn't!"

I'll wait......

Oh yes she did!


Who asks a stranger that?  Now I've mentioned before that my mind has a fifteen minute delay, and I'm not fast on my feet.  On further reflection, I have decided that if anyone ever asks me that question again I am going to try and make them feel as awkward as they make me feel (the golden rule of awkwardness).  I came up with two answers to this question that will do just that. 

1. shhhhhhh! The father doesn't know yet, but we are leaving for the Maury show on Saturday.  Fingers Crossed!

2. No, I'm just really bloated because I'm PMSing like a beast.  My husband calls it Psychotic Menstrual Syndrome because of my violent outbursts. BOO!.....Just kidding! I wouldn't REALLY hurt you...{whisper}....not really. 

Those answers would have been awesome, but because of my fifteen minute delay brain, I didn't think of them right then.  No, my answer was even more awkward than the question.

Checkout Girl: I don't meant to be rude, but....Are you pregnant?

me: No, it's the pants.

Seriously! What kind of an answer is that?  "No, it's the pants."  The checkout girl just looked at me and repeated back my answer, "It's the pants." Except, she didn't say it as a statement.  She said it more like a question with a giggle and an upward inflection at the end, "It's the pants?" At that point, I had to resist the urge to smack her.

How does she ask me that question, and I end up being the one looking like a moron?

I almost started to explain to her how I forgot to wear a belt that morning and my pants had been falling down giving me a bit of a muffin top...okay....a lot of a muffin top.  Then I realized that I really didn't want to discuss my muffin top with a stranger so I just let it go. 

However, I did carry the conversation on...

me: No, it's the pants. Besides, I'm buying spray paint.  I don't think that's the smartest thing to get when you are pregnant. 

Checkout Girl: Well, I wouldn't know.  I smoked when I was pregnant. 

I'll pause just so you can let that soak in. 

In a matter of seconds, this complete stranger asked me if I was pregnant and then told me that she smoked when she was pregnant.  This girl had a black belt in awkwardness.

How did her suprise confession make me feel?  Appalled? No, not really.  I drank caffeine when I was pregnant, and those that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. 

Strangely, her confession made me feel relieved.  It made me realize this lady had no filter.  That little switch inside her head that says, "You shouldn't say this," was obviously not flipped. 

Yes, she insulted me, but consider the source.  She was sweet, but she didn't have a  filter. 

So let this be a lesson, if you see a woman that looks like she swallowed a watermelon buying a onesie in the baby section at Walmart wearing a tshirt that has "Got Milk" across the chest and she is lamaze breathing because she is in the middle of a contraction....even then....For your own safety, do not ask, "This may be rude, but are you pregnant?"

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blessing #125 - Everyone Needs an Aunt Ruthie

When we visited North Carolina, the boys and I got a chance to visit with my Aunt Ruthie.  (I blogged about her once before.)

During this visit, I enjoyed watching the boys with Aunt Ruthie.  It reminded me of playing with Aunt Ruthie when I was a little girl.

When you are "working," and you ask Aunt Ruthie to help.  Aunt Ruthie doesn't say she's too busy or it's too hot.  She grabs a shovel and "works" too.

During a car ride, Aunt Ruthie isn't concerned with the scenery.  She would much rather make faces at you.

Aunt Ruthie is always there to cheer on your great ideas.  

Aunt Ruthie knows how to find cool things, like rollie pollies, and she doesn't even scream when you try to smash them. 

When you take a picture with Aunt Ruthie, and you try your signature "go completely limp and slide out" ninja move, she doesn't get upset.  She just keeps smiling. 

During our visit, I had the best time watching my boys love Aunt Ruthie.  I couldn't help but think of her accident in October, and how far she has come since then.  Her determination and drive is truly inspiring.

I'm so glad that my boys and I get to have someone like Aunt Ruthie in our lives.  I think the world would be a better place if everyone had an Aunt Ruthie.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blessing #124 - The Bottle Bush

Why hello there!

Did you miss me?

I know. I know.  You don't even have to say it.  I know that your day was not complete without my self indulgent ramblings.


I know. You don't even have to say it. 

Over the past month, I visited my family in Georgia and went on a vacation with Shad and the boys.  It's been a fantastic and restful month, but now I'm back in the real world and back to blogging. 

During my trip to Georgia, I saw an awesome yard display that I knew I needed to copy. 

I collect bottles and glass.  A year ago, Shad and I even went in the woods and dug a bunch of bottles out of the ground.  I use my bottles as much as I can, but they mostly stay in a cabinet.  That is definitely against my junkin' beliefs! If you are going to take the time to collect something, take the time to enjoy it!

While I was in Georgia, I got to visit a friend's house.  We'll call her Mrs. Potter's House because that's her favorite thrift store.  Mrs. Potter's House collects federal mirrors, scales, and many other items.  As you walk through Mrs. Potter's House's house it is very apparent that she believes in using and displaying her collections.  My favorite collection of Mrs. Potter's House was her bottle collection.

To display her collection of bottles, Mrs. Potter's House has a bottle tree.  A bottle tree is a tree with bottles on it. The name pretty much says it all. Here is an examle of one, but Mrs. Potter's House's was better.  Trust me!

The bottle tree is a southern tradition that was brought over by slaves from the Congo.  It was believed that the bottles caught evil spirits or "haints" as my dad would say. 

I loved the bottle tree, but I loved the bottle bush even more!  A bottle bush is basically bottles on tomato stakes.  I know it sounds weird.  It's hard to describe.  You should have seen Shad's face when I tried to explain it to him. 

Rather than try and explain it, here is my bottle bush...

I just love it, and I get to enjoy all of the bottles I have collected.  This is much better than sticking them in a cabinet!

My bottle bush makes me smile every time I pull up to my house.  As far as catching, just might be working.