Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blessing #114- Beloved Sweethart

A few weeks ago, Shad and I found a coffee table in the trash...wait

I can see I'm going to need to explain.

The table wasn't technically in a trash can, but someone set it out on their curb beside their trash can to throw it away. 

Don't judge!

The curb is just the lazy man's Goodwill. 

Anyway, I jumped out of the van to look at the table and realized that the legs were broken beyond repair, but the table top was still in good shape. 

I loved the shape of the table top and I knew it would make a great sign.  (That ghost like reflection in the table top is Colli Bear expert photo bomber)

I pulled the legs off of the table and the table top has stayed in the mudroom for a few weeks. 

Monday, I was working on a project out in the mudroom when Shad came home.  The table was turned around, and just sitting there.

Shad and I talked for a while, and then Shad said, "Hey the table has something written on it."

The inscription says...

Made by Warren Franklin Reid April 4, 1938 For His Beloved Sweethart Rachel Emily Day

Immediately, I had a million questions. 

Did Shad say 1938?

Did Warren really call Rachel, "Beloved Sweethart?"

Do you spell it Sweethart or Sweetheart?

Was this a table that Warren made for Rachel to ask for her hand in marriage?

Did  Warren make it for Rachel and they broke up, but she kept the table all these years, until her jealous husband had enough and threw it out on the curb?

Oh! Did Warren make the table and then go off to war leaving Rachel behind with only a table to dust to remember him by.

Obviously, since we've gotten DirectTV, I have watched waAaAay too many Hallmark movies.  

I've tried to do some research on the names, but so far I have just had dead ends. 

I looked up "Warren Reid" in the phone book and decided to call.  A woman answered and I explained my situation.  She said, "Oh that is so sweet, but I know it's not this Warren. He has a really long middle name." I asked her if he possibly had any family members that it would belong to.  "He's from Japan." We both laughed. It was pretty clear cut, that was not my Warren Reid.

I realize that the easiest way to solve this problem is just to go to the house where we found it, but I can't remember what house it was. "(Wow! That really shows just how much trash Shad and I get off the curb.)
That is where I need help.  If you've ever done family tree research, or even if you are just a good googler, can you help me find Warren and Rachel?

Hallmark, if you do someday decide to make a "Beloved Sweethart," I know you like to use 80's and 90's stars in your movies.  Migh I suggest, Danica McKellar (a.k.a Winnie Cooper) to play me.   Winnie writes math books now, and  I feel that she would best understand my motivation.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blessing #113 - Hand me downs

Last week, I was looking for a shirt to go with a pink cardigan that I got as a hand me down from a friend. 

The last time I went to Georgia, my friend Hope went through her closet and cleaned it out.  I was outside the closet door, and she would throw the clothes out at me.  I got two trash bags full of some great clothes!

Anyway, I was looking for a shirt to go under the sweater, and I just didn't like anything I had.  Then all of the sudden, I remembered a shirt that Shad had.  Hope's husband had given Shad a bag of shirts, and told him just to pick what he wanted. 

I thought I would try this pink shirt because it was the color and the look I was wanting. 

This shirt is far from flattering by itself.  However, once I put a sweater with it, and my orange belt from the Goodwill fashion show, I loved it!

I would have shortened the shirt, but my sewing machine is broke. 

Collin had to jump in and get in a picture. I was making faces at him in the mirror...but I guess that is obvious.

I love this outfit. It just seems to yell, "Spring!" These hand me downs definitely have a new life!

I'm sharing this post with The Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blessing #112 - Miss Yearwood

When I was six years old, I had three life goals...

1. to make it through the first grade
2. to grow up and become a veterinarian
3. to someday be taller than Miss Yearwood

Some kids had growth charts  where they marked their height, but I had Miss Yearwood.  Miss Yearwood taught children's church every Sunday, and almost every Sunday, I would check to see where I stood on Miss Yearwood. 

"Miss Yearwood, I'm up to your chin!"

"Miss Yearwood, I've made it to your ears!"

"Miss Yearwood, how's the view from down there!"

At barely 5 feet, I didn't have long to wait before I grew as tall as Miss Yearwood.  Any time I picked on her for her height though, Miss Yearwood always gave same answer, "Dynamite comes in small packages!"

I really don't know how old Miss Yearwood was when I met her.  I know she had grey hair and she would often talk about her grandchildren, but I never liked to hear about them.  I guess I was jealous.  Miss Yearwood climbed trees and did all things cool and adventurous, and I always liked to think that I was her favorite kid ever. 

Miss Yearwood would often sing in church, and she remains as one of my favorite singers.  She never used music, and she didn't have a soft soprano voice, but she would sing "Hand in Hand with Jesus" with such strength that I can almost hear her singing as I type this. 

Miss Yearwood never got her driver's license, and when I was scared to drive when I was 15 and 16 my argument was, "Well, Miss Yearwood's never had a license, and she does just fine."

When she first met Shad, it was a big deal.  Shad was the first boy that I had ever brought to the church for everyone to meet, and Miss Yearwood did not make it easy on him.  As soon as he saw her, Shad said, "Miss Yearwood, I've heard so much about you."  Miss Yearwood said nothing to him except, "Turn around."  Shad looked confused, but he had enough sense to do just a Miss Yearwood said. (She has a mean headlock) As soon as he was done with his turn, Miss Yearwood looked him over and said, "You'll do," and walked away. 

That picture is of Miss Yearwood and I the night before Shad and I moved to Maryland.  You can tell I'd been crying in that picture.  It was extra hard to say goodbye to Miss Yearwood.

A few years ago, Miss Yearwood went to live with her daughter about an hour away and no longer goes to Ridgeway.  Every time I go home and go to church, I miss her so badly.  I grew up living away from my grandparents, but I think God gave me people like her to fill that void.  However, Miss Yearwood never really seemed like a grandma.  Though she is much older than me, she always seemed more like a friend.  She's timeless.  No matter what her age, her youthful spirit and joy shines through.  In fact, some people call her Miss Cheerwood, and the name fits her.

In children's church, Miss Yearwood taught me the books of the Bible, countless songs, and many Bible stories, but I also learned a life lesson from her.  Just because you grow up doesn't mean you have to lose your fun. 

Update: On May 19, 2013, Miss Yearwood passed away. Yesterday, I cried because I was sad that I was never going to see her again, and sad that my boys would never get the chance to get to know her, but I kept finding myself smiling when I thought of her in heaven climbing trees.

Over the past year, Miss Yearwood's health had gone down.  Shad said it best when I told him of her failing health. He said, "You can't contain her. A bird like that was meant to fly." Her spirit was far to big for the body that was failing her. 

Yesterday, I started thinking what did Miss Yearwood's first day in heaven look like, and if you would let my imagination run I'd like to share it with you.  

At some point yesterday, as all the angels were singing.  I bet they looked around and asked the others, "Who is that new voice?" Then they would all stand back, stop playing their harps (because Miss Yearwood never needed music), and listen to her sing.  

Some people say that when they get to heaven they want God to give them a voice like an angel, but I think Miss Yearwood still has her same beautifully strong voice.  Yesterday, I think all the angels stopped and listened because they heard something in her voice more beautiful than their perfect tone and pitch. They stopped when they heard the sound of a woman who went through some battles.  The sound of a woman who poured herself out into the lives of the lucky children of Ridgeway Baptist Church.  The sound of a woman who spent her whole life "Hand in Hand with Jesus."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Curse #36 - I don't want to!

When Brandon was about Collin's age, a random stranger walked up to me in a store and said,

stranger:  He said he wants you to put him down.

me: Excuse me (taking a slight step back)

stranger: I speak toddlerese.  You have to pay attention to the vowels, and he just said, "Want down!"

me: Oh! That's interesting. (taking two more steps back and still not putting Brandon down) You have a nice day.

Life Rule 547,652,876: When a random stranger tells you to put your baby down...,.don't.

Anyway, I always just cosidered the woman crazy, but now I'm starting to think I can speak toddlerese. 

Warning: After you read this, you are going to think I'm crazy...correction craziER...but Collin says, "I don't want to," all the time. 

He only really says "dada," and on rare occasions, "mama," and now, "I don't want to."

It started when I asked Brandon to do something and he said, "I don't want to." Of course, B got in trouble for that, but I was even more shocked when my tiny little Collin said it  just a few minutes later. Actually, he said, "I ooown annn newwww," but I'm telling you it means,  "I don't want to." 

The first time, I just thought it was a fluke, and that somehow, Collin was mimicking Brandon, but now Collin says the phrase all the time.

The other day, I asked him to hand me the remote after he took it.  He looked me right in the eyes and said, "I ooown annn newww." I know I looked crazy, but answered him back, "Don't you back talk Mister."

Last week, as the boys were playing outside, I picked up Collin to take him in, and I heard it again, "I ooown annnn newwwwwwwww." 

Of all the phrases he could have picked up maybe, "I want more please," "Put me down," or even "I love you Mama," he had to pick up, "I don't want to!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

50 for 30 - Week Skinny Jeans

A few years ago, I knew I had gained weight when these size (none of your business) jeans did not fit anymore.   Stubbornly, I had worn them much longer than I should have and I had the muffin top to prove it.  One day though, I stopped wearing these jeans, and put them in the back of my closet. 

These jeans have survived numerous closet cleanings.  Every time I saw them I would think, "When I lose the weight, I'll wear those size (none of your business) jeans again!"

In October, I tried those jeans on as motivation, and I've been trying them on every time I lose five pounds.  When I got discouraged, I pictured myself looking all awesome and fantastic in my size (none of your business) jeans.

So one day last week, I tried on my size (none of your business) jeans...AND THEY FIT!

Well, let me clarify. 

If by "fit" you mean I was able to get the jeans buttoned after inhaling very deeply, and once I got the jeans buttoned I couldn't technically exhale or really move my legs because of the tightness of the jeans.....then yes, the jeans "fit."

In the brief seconds that I had the jeans on, I proudly looked at myself in the mirror. 

I had done it.

 I was wearing my size (none of your business) jeans, and one thought was running through my head. 

I don't even like these jeans!

They did not even look good.

The only thing I really liked about the jeans I had been dreaming of for three years was that they were size (none of your business), and no one else can even see the size tag!

Talk about a let down!

I'm still trying on the jeans so I can see how much I'm losing, but I've decided now that sizes in clothes is relative.  From now on, I'll just focus on what looks good on me. 

Weight Loss since last check-in-  1.9 pounds

Total Weight Loss - 23.6 pounds

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blessing #111 - Meeting a Goal

Remember in January when I set some goals? Well, I didn't reach all those goals, but I did try. 

One goal I did accomplish was to organize my fridge.  After drooling over all the refrigerator pins I could find, I set out to get my own fridge in order. 

The before shot is pretty sad.  It was the end of the week and the food supply was running low.  I think I see a tumbleweed rolling in the back there. 

 Of course, I had to make labels for the fridge.  I can organize all day long, but if Shad doesn't know where stuff goes it won't last. 

 Here is the door now...

The "fixin's" label may sound strange, so let me explain.   I started to make a label that said "condiments," but then I remembered that Shad giggles like a junior high boy every time he says that word. 

In order to save myself from all the jokes, I just made a fixin's label. 

Inside the fridge, I used some bins from the Dollar Tree to separate some items. 

The labels are 39 cent wooden plaques from Michaels.  I painted them, put a label on, drilled a hole, and attached them with brads.

Here's the finished product! 

I'm loving how nice my fridge is looking now!

Maybe I didn't meet all the goals I set for myself in January, but my fridge looks great!

If you like the vinyl labels that I used in this project, I am selling them in my etsy shop!

I'm sharing this at Works for me Wednesday at We are that Family and Young House Love's Pinterest Challenge.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blessing #110 - a {new} mantle

I've been itching to do some work in our house.  I've developed a twitch every time I look at the dark paneling in our dining room and kitchen.  There's so much to do though I just end up feeling overwhelmed. 

The last time I felt that overwhelmed, I decided to decorate the mantle to spruce up the house. 

I loved displaying my glass collection, but it's been a few months and I was ready for a change. 

Saturday, I started shopping around my house for what I could use for a new mantle look. 

The last time I went to the Crumpton auction, I got this mirror in a lot with another item I wanted. (Collin is an expert photobomber. Somehow he managed to slip in this picture at the last second.)

I cleaned up the mirror, painted the frame orange, and I painted the mirror with chalkboard paint. 

That's right! I said chalkboard paint. 

Yes! I may or may not have a problem with my chalkboard addiction.

Everyone has their vices, mine just happen to be mason jars, burlap, and the overwhelming need to make everything a chalkboard

When Shad saw me pull out the chalkboard paint, he said, "Not another chalkboard!"  I just pretended like I didn't hear him and kept working.

In the end, I love the new look...

The other items on the mantle I picked from around the house. 

I really like the new mantle look, and it's helping me to feel like I'm actually getting something done in the house even if I still twitch when I see the dining room walls.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Blessing #109 - "It's barbecue" and other motherly lies

Brandon is a very picky eater. I have tried every tip I've come across to make him eat better, but so far I've been unsuccessful.

As a child, I was a very picky eater, and my mom's rule was "just eat one bite."  Today, I still have flashbacks of the gagging sessions every time I see a lima bean. 

Guess what Mom?

I still hate lima beans.  They still make me gag! (Sorry, I just threw that paragraph in for my mom.)

Anyway, B is picky too, and getting him to eat can be very difficult. 

Lately though, Brandon has been more adventurous and has been trying roast beef, cube steak, and pork loin.  Why?

expert parenting from


my culinary skills...well, maybe, but probably no

Brandon has been eating different types of meat because I've been lying to him.

Let me explain, Brandon loves his Poppy (my dad), and by default B loves anything that Poppy loves.  When we found the motorcycle boots in Goodwill, the first thing B said was, "Motorcycle boots! My Poppy has a motorcycle!"

I've blogged before that my dad is a barbecue connoisseur, and because Poppy loves barbecue, Brandon loves barbecue.  When we go to Georgia, B loves to go to all the barbecue restaurants, and even has his own opinion on which one is the best (Zeb's).

The lying began as we ate roast one day.  I shredded B's piece to make it easier for him to eat.  He had never eaten roast voluntarily before, but on this day, he looked at the roast and said, "awww barbecue!"

If I were a better mother, I would have stopped and explained that the meat was roast and not barbecue, and probably used the opportunity to teach him touching life lesson or at least a lesson on the finer points of barbecue.  However, in my shame as a mother and barbecue lover, I said, "Yes! That's barbecue!"  The name change worked, and B ate a ton of roast that day. He bragged that it was the best barbecue ever, and I simply said, "Why, thank you." 

A few weeks later we had pork loin, and I shredded B's piece again.  As soon as he saw it, he yelled, "barbecue!"  Again, I didn't tell him any different, and he ate a bunch. 

Knowing the barbecue method has been successful, I used it on Saturday to get him to eat cube steak.  When B saw it, he said, "What is this?" I paused wrestling with my conscious, "It's barbecue!" He was excited and ate three servings. 

 In the past, I would have considered my behavior blasphemy against barbecue, but right now, I'm using what works.

Yes, my five year old thinks that any meat chopped up is barbecue, but I'm not about to tell him any different any time soon. 


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blessing #108 - The Goodwill Fairy Strikes

Spring is right around the corner, and I have had a major question on my mind.  What am I going to wear?

I know that sounds shallow (and it probably is), but you have to understand that last spring and summer I had nothing to wear. 

Maybe that's an overstatement, but it felt like it.  I wore this denim jacket about every other day.    It just seemed like I couldn't find anything that I liked to wear.

Yesterday, I went to Goodwill to look for some fabric for a project, and I had one of the best Goodwill days I have ever had...EvEr!

Here's what I got (just focus on the tops and not my jeans and boots....and ignore my hair for that matter)

I'm not 100% happy with this striped sweater (1) and navy tank (2) together.  It needs something else, but I don't know what yet. 

The silky coral multi-layer tank (3) and the white tank (4) underneath look good with my grey sweater for now, but I don't know what I'll pair them with this summer. ***I was getting tired of taking pictures at this point. 

Even though this brown Ann Taylor shirt (5) is long sleeve, it's sheer and perfect for warmer weather.

I put this coral sheer sweater (6) with a ruffled top that I already had. I may end up putting this sweater with a more simple shirt and a belt, but I don't know yet.

I loved this sheer polka dot belted shirt (7). It's cute by itself, or I may have to pair it up with something else. I guess I should also cut the Goodwill tag off.

I love this little black jacket (8).  I don't know if this ruffled shirt is it's permanent friend, but it's working for now.

This peachy/coraly t-shirt (9) looks great under a sweater I already had.  Can you tell by all these outfits that I've been a little obsessed with tangerines and coral colors?

I saw an outfit like this on pinterest so when I saw this striped shirt (10) I knew it would look great with this belt and sweater that I already had.

The Goodwill Fairy really hit big, and I feel like I am ready for spring now.  I may even be able to retire my denim jacket...but I do love that jacket.

I found many of these shirts on the same rack.  They were on a rack fresh out of the back room.  It must have been a donation from a woman my size with impeccable taste!

If you add it all up I got these 10 tops for $41.64.  That's the price of one shirt elsewhere! I've been saving up to get a new camera, but I had to break into my new camera fund for such a good deal. 

Somebody else was blessed by the Goodwill Fairy yesterday.

A really nice Goodwill customer saw me with my two boys and said, "Hey, there are some Harley Davidson boots if you are interested."  I looked at her and said, "My son is wearing a pair of snow boots right now.  So yes, we are interested." 

Four dollars later and I have one happy, HaPpY little boy, but he was too busy looking tough to look happy in this picture.

I'm sharing this post with the Pleated Poppy's What I Wore Wednesday and Real Momma, Real Style on Momma go round.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Curse #35 - Doctor Jerkface MD

A few months ago, I mentioned the problems I had been having with my health.  I believe I ended the post with the phrase, "Please pray that I find a good rheumatologist."

Did you pray?

Did you?

Because the rheumatologist I found was a jerk!

Now, I hate to talk bad about people...(Shad always makes fun of me because any time I say something bad about someone I have to preface it with that statement, but I guess that's the southern in me. )

Back to the point. Now, I hate to talk bad  about people, but this doctor was not a very nice man. I believe I've used the word jerkface to describe him on more than one occasion.

I could go into details about things he said and his general rudeness, but my main problem with him is that he didn't answer questions!  At my last visit with him, I asked him three direct questions.  Somehow, he managed to brush off every question without ever answering them. 

He spent a grand total of five minutes with me on the second visit, but if I didn't ask questions it would have only been two minutes.   I drove 50 minutes for him to tell me something he could have told me over the phone.

Last week, I talked to my general doctor (who is awesome) about the situation.  She said that she has had several complaints about the same doctor recently. She has had so many complaints that she has stopped referring patients to him. 

Strangely, this made me feel a little better that I wasn't crazy or overly sensitive.  He was rude to everyone, and not just me.

Once she heard my situation, she decided to do exactly what the rheumatologists was going to do and order more bloodwork in six months.  If my antibody numbers go down even more, I'll be good, and if they go up again, she will refer me to another rheumatologists.

My antibody numbers are looking better.  They are still high, but they are better than they were.  This is a good sign that it's not lupus.  I've also had a good month of health. Of course I got a stomach virus, but everyone got that plague. 

Anyway, I feel better about the whole situation knowing I don't have to go back to that doctor.  Maybe he's going through a rough time, but I'm just glad I don't have to go back to him. The whole experience has made me even more thankful that I have such a great general doctor.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blessing #107 - Washing dishes

Remember when I moved and I complained a few times about having to wash dishes in this house. 


It was more like 10 times?

Well, who's counting. 

Yes, when we moved into this house I was not looking forward to washing dishes.  I had to wash dishes our first year of marriage and I hated it...HaTeD it.   I hated it so much that the first question I ask any time we have looked at a different rental home is, "Does it have a dishwasher!?!"

Surprisingly though, washing dishes hasn't really been that bad.  I would not go so far as to say I "enjoy" it, but it's not that bad.

 Originally, I planned on using all paper products, but I loOoOoOove dishes and eating off of pretty plates.  The work is worth it to me.  I try not to let the dishes pile up, and then it's not so overwhelming.

Since I spend so much time at my sink, I decided to pretty it up a bit.  First, I put some daffodils in my milk of magnesia bottles from last year.

Then I labeled some soap dispensers from the Dollar Tree.  I think Shad is going to have an intervention for my labeling addiction soon.  Yesterday, I labeled the trash can (not even kidding).

These little touches really brighten up the whole dish washing experience. 

Oh! I almost forgot the best part of washing dishes, my view.  I had such an amazing view at the old house, but this view is great too. 

With a view like that, who could hate washing dishes?

Blessing #106 - Model for a Day

Friday, I did something I never thought I would do.  I, Stephanie Lankford, being of klutzy brain and wobbly ankles, walked the catwalk in a fashion show.  But not just any fashion show, Goodwill of Delaware's Second Annual Second Hand Chic Fashion Show (I really don't think every one of those words needed to be capitalized, but it makes it look more official).

Goodwill of Delaware is my absolutely favorite Goodwill.  Their marketing team comes up with the best ideas like a You Tube commercial starring local celebrities, a Halloween costume contest (that I didn't win), facebook fans of the month, and the fashion show.  When I found out that the fashion show was looking for models, I had to apply for Shad and me. 

Unfortunately, Shad couldn't make it (story too long and boring to blog about), and I really missed him.  Shad and I are a tag team like peanut butter and jelly, butter and toast, or the Animal to my Hawk.

For the show, the models had to walk down this set of stairs, and for someone who has fallen down two full sets of stairs in my lifetime, I was terrified.

To make matters worse, I had on higher than I ever wear heels.  Now, I know what you are thinking, "Those heels don't look that high," but I don't wear very high heels.  Walking down stairs in heels was a recipe for disaster.

Apart from the shoes, I absolutely loved my outfit for the show.  My stylist Kim did a great job (That's right. I just typed, "my stylist").   Kim has a facebook page here, and she is AmAzIng.  She picked two outfits for me, and at the last minute she merged both outfits together to make this.  This total outfit (dress, jacket, belt, and shoes) cost $20. 

This is Kim and I on the night of the fashion show. Kim is my fashion hero.  She made the whole experience so much smoother. 

When I walked the catwalk for the fashion show, I had to stop at three different places and...strike a pose.  There were a few professional models that were practicing there moves before the show, and I realized I was in waaaaaaaay over my head.

As a community service, I restaged my three poses just for you (just in case you ever have to model).

#1. The "Ta Dah! It's me" pose - This is the pose I used when I first walked on stage.  It showcases the dress and the orange belt.

2. The collar pop - Yes, I learned so much watching the Fonz on Happy Days.  I had to resist the urge to say, "Ayyyyy," when I did this.

3. The "Would you like to buy a $10 watch?" pose -I wanted to show the cute lining of the coat so I used the "Would you like to buy a $10 watch?" pose. Be careful if you use this pose that you don't open up both sides that would be "the flasher" pose.

In the end, I made it through the show without tripping, and I had a great time. 

The fashion show was totally outside of my comfort zone, and I loved trying something new.  I love being a mom, but every so often it's is nice to do something new and different.  Thanks to all of my Goodwill friends for letting me be a part in such a fun night. 

P.S. This morning I drew a name for the junk drawer organizers, and the winner was Jamie!