Friday, August 29, 2014

Blessing #226 - Brandon Turns Eight


You're eight!!!! Can you believe it? Sure you can! You've been talking about it for months, but as much as you reminded me I always feel surprised when your birthday rolls around. 


How in the world can you be eight?  

It feels like I just recovered from you having colic your first six months, and now you're eight.  

This year has been such a big year for you.  You've grown so much physically and mentally.  You just seem to be becoming a young man.  

One of my favorite conversations we had this year was about tattoos. You love tattoos.  Soon after you turned seven, you got an airbrush tattoo, and refused to wash your arm.  I'm not kidding.  For a week, you stuck your arm out of the shower curtain every time you took a shower.  You were committed to this tattoo!

One day, you had about five temporary tattoos on, and you started talking about getting a real tattoo when you were older.  

Now, I know you well enough to know that if I say, "NO YOU WON'T!" that later, you absolutely will, and besides I don't really mind tattoos. I might even get my own in a few years (shh don't tell Poppy). I did say tell you that a tattoo is permanent. You want to wait until you are older and know you want something on you for forever. 

You thought for a second, "I love Star Wars." 

I replied, "Yes, but you used to love hunting and tractors and what if you had gotten a tattoo of that?"

You didn't argue, but thought for a second and asked, "Does a tattoo hurt?"

I answered, "Remember when you got your flu shot? Well, every dot of color in a tattoo is like getting a shot."

After hearing that, you said in a very grow up voice, "Well, I need to strike that from my life list." 

I couldn't help but laugh and then asked you what else was on your life list. I think you mentioned getting married to your "girlfriend" first. That was just one of many funny conversations we had.  From the time you were a toddler, talking to you has felt like talking to a very small old man.  You are just so sensible and quick witted.   

We've also had many fun moments together this year.  Out of all the moments from your seventh year, my favorite moment happened when we were visiting Mimi and Poppy in Georgia. While we were down there, you learned to ride a bike! Soon after learning, you and I would ride around the subdivision together. 

Riding bicycles with you was a full circle moment for me.  Many of my happiest childhood memories were on a bike riding through that subdivision. To ride those same roads and to make brand new memories there with you was a really big, meaningful moment for me. 

One day, we were riding bikes with your cousins from Alabama.  Being your mom, I could tell you were frustrated that they were faster than you, but c'mon! You had only been riding bikes for a week! Give yourself some slack!  

Anyway, I could tell you were frustrated, but you decided to play it off.  As you peddled to the back of the pack to me, you told your cousins, "Y'all go ahead. I'm just going to hang back here.  I just want to spend some time with my Mom."  Seriously!?! Bulling your way out of something is one of your gifts.  You are so good at bulling, I wouldn't be surprised if you become a salesman, a politician....or a conman.  .  

Even though I knew "hanging with my Mom" was just your cover, I didn't mind, and enjoyed the time with you.  As your cousins rode ahead, you and I peddled and talked.  Somewhere in that conversation, you turned to me and said, "I'm really glad I have a mom like you." 

You didn't say, 

"I'm glad I have a mom that can cook all sorts of baked goodies," 

"I'm glad I have a mom that irons my clothes perfectly," 

or "I'm glad I have a mom that keeps an immaculate house."

You just said, "I'm glad I have a mom like you." 

Brandon you just do not know how much your words meant to me.  That was simply the best compliment you could have ever given me.  

You see, earlier in the year, I decided to stop trying to be super mom.  

At the start of the year, I decided to stop feeling bad about the things I wasn't and to celebrate who I was.  I decided to believe that God gave me just the right strengths that you needed in a Mom, and to focus on those strengths. 

Your words that day were validation for me that I was on the right track.  

In the moment, I told you thank you and something kind back. In the moment, I didn't want to embarrass you by crying my eyes out, but I felt like it (and I did later).  

B-man, I'm really glad I have a son like you.

A son who gets obsessed with tractors, hunting, and now Star Wars

A son who loves tattoos

A son who has a stubborn streak and a strong will

A son who has seemingly infinite energy

A son who has a huge heart that sees peoples needs

B, thank you for your words that bike ride. I will remember them forever. 

I love you so much. Thank you for being crazy awesome you, and thank you for letting me come along for the ride.  

I'm really glad I have a son like you, 



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blessing #225 - A Necklace Holder

Hi my name is Stephanie and I am a Real Housewives of Anywhere fan.

I was trying to give you a little time so you could gasp and judge me, but I will give you a bit more.

I know it's deplorable.

I know it's terrible television, but I have already established that my television tastes aren't that high.

In my own life, I cannot stand gossip and drama, but for some reason watching these two faced women flip tables and argue over if someone is lying about having asthma just fascinates me.

Often in a typical Real Housewives episode, a housewife will be in her closet getting ready, picking out clothes, and recapping the day's drama with her husband.

As I watch these scenes, I really struggle with envy.

Am I envious over the designer clothes, purses, and shoes.

No! C'mon I'm a Goodwill queen!

When I watch these scenes, I drool over the closet organization. It's so pretty, neat, and organized!!!!

Will I ever have a Real Housewives giant organized closet? No, probably not, but I can make my closet pretty, neat, and organized.

I wish I had a before picture to put right here, but I don't have one.  When I started the closet makeoever, I just planned on purging my closet, but then one thing led to another, my ADDD kicked in, and the next thing I knew I was painting everything pink!

Because I purge regularly, I didn't expect to purge my closet much, but this time I decided to only keep clothes that I wear often. When I purge, I normally ask, "Have I worn this in the past year," but this time I asked, "Have I worn this more than five times in the past year?"

As all the bags piled up, I couldn't believe the difference, but I loved my stream lined closet.

In addition to my closet, I have a dresser of clothes, but with this purge, I cleaned out the dresser and put every item of clothing in the closet.

My closet looked so much better with fewer clothes in it, but the closet was a boring space and that's when I knew I needed to make it over.

In my normal state, I am a messy person just ask my mom. I have learned though if I make something pretty, I will keep it clean.  It seems crazy to make a space pretty where the door stays closed all the time, but I knew if my closet was pretty, I would keep it clean.  No one will ever see it but me, but isn't that enough? I am worth a pretty closet!!!

I decided to start with the top of the closet and all that wasted space.  The walls in the closet are plaster so I knew a shelf would be too much weight on the crumbly walls.  If the space couldn't be functional, it might as well be pretty.

A sign with my favorite word would be perfect for the space, and a few hooks made it an awesome necklace holder.

Before, my necklaces just laid around the room or shoved inside a box. Now, I love that I can see all my necklace options now as I pick out my outfit.

I hung all my belts on the hooks that were already in the closet.  Just ignore the magnetic circle things.  I am taking them down.

Originally, I put my earrings in those containers, but I need to see the earrings more.  I think I am just taking the containers down and trying something different.

I tried the circles on the side, but I don't like that either because I need symmetry. If you have any ideas or see any pins to help please send them my way.(Here is my pinterest. )

I'm already working on the bottom of the closet, and I will show that later.  For now though, here is my progress.

No, my closet is not Real Housewives worthy yet, but it is much better than before.

This sign organizes my necklaces, but also serves as a good reminder every morning of my favorite word and my life's goal.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blessing #224 - The Comeback


Could it be?

Yes! A new post!

I know. I know. It's been a while.

The reason for the big interruption is simple. There was no big drama, no juicy gossip, but just a major case of writer's block. Major.

So many times, I sat down to write a post and  just stared at the screen. Finally, I decided rather than beating myself up for the block, I just needed to take a break.

But, I'm back now!

Just in case you were wondering what I've been up to here are a few things I did on my blogging break.....

1. After months and months of not knowing what I wanted to do in my living room, I had a major break through and almost "finished" the whole room!

2. After sitting on a love seat for over a year, we finally found a couch that we both liked!

That's the love seat, and not the new couch.  We were able to negotiate and get the price down dramatically.  We used the money from selling our chesterfield couch and some money I had saved up to make it a great buy.

The salesman tried to get us to buy the matching love seat and tables.  He said, "A lot of times people come back to get the matching set, and it's gone." Shad and I both laughed and explained that nothing in our house matched and that's the way we like it.

Six months later, we still love the couch.  It's a miracle we found a couch Shad and I both like, and it only took us two years! (This post was inspired by our couch hunting adventures)

3. At Easter, I went in to get a hair trim, and got a bad hair cut instead.  Then I decided the only way to fix my hair was to cut it short.  The meltdown was major.

It made this meltdown look like a little tantrum.

How bad was it?

Well, the next week I sent my friend a "thank you for answering all my crazy hair texts" card.

I'm not joking.

I told you with Treat you can make a card for anything.

 4. In April, Shad and I started getting really focused (yes, gazelle intense if you are a Dave Ramsey nerd) and paying down on the debt from Collin's accident and all the testing I had done when I was sick.

Paying down medical debt stinks.

With car debt, you may have a car to show for all your efforts.

With credit card debt, you may have a few accessories or something for your house to keep you company as you pay down your debt.

With some medical debt, you may have a nip or tuck or maybe a face that looks constantly surprised.

With my medical debt, all I got was a crummy allergy and an inhaler!!!

Note to self: That would make an awesome tshirt.

Maybe some day I will write about the whole experience, but for now Shad and I are really growing through it all, working as a team, and learning a lot about each other.

5. Remember how I was trying to lose 50 pounds before my 30th birthday? Well I didn't.

Wah Wah Wah Wahhhh.

However, I did lose the 50 pounds before my 32nd birthday. Yay! It's amazing what not being able to eat an entire food group can do.

I realize the customary thing to do right here would be to post a before and after picture, but I'm not.

When I turned 30, I realized I had spent an entire decade feeling bad about myself and my struggle with my weight. I just didn't want to do that any more.  Maybe one day I will have the right words to say about it all, but right now I just don't have them.  What I can say is that I was awesome before and I am still awesome 50 pounds lighter...........and humble too.

6. This year, I knew my birthday would be scaled back so we could continue to pay on the medical debt.  After having a small pity party, I decided to give for my birthday.

I passed out "shine" signs to different people in my life, and it was hands down the best birthday ever.  I will definitely have to write more about it later.

7. In June, our good friends moved to another state.

 I am so happy for them and this brand new, amazing opportunity that the Lord has provided for them and their family.

Did that sound believable?

Good. That was my "I'm a mature adult" answer.

Sometimes though, I'm not so mature and a lot selfish and just want to say, "This stinks!"

8.  In July, we took our annual big trip south.  We all spent a week at my Mamaw's, and then the boys and I went to GA for a couple weeks.

The whole trip was so refreshing and fun, but my week at Mamaw's was really special.  One morning, my Mamaw and I went to Bojangle's and ate breakfast.  I really need to write about it.

Note to self: Bojangle's post title ideas...."Country Ham with a Side of Love", "Tuesdays with Mamaw", "And I Said What About Breakfast At Bojangles."

Well, I think that's about everything from my break.

Hey look! I wrote a whole post! Woohoo! Take that writer's block.

I'm glad to be back.

Oh! And in case I have never said it, thanks for reading my ramblings and being patient with me.  I hope you had a great summer too.