Friday, August 31, 2012

No captions needed...

3 boys unattended + 1 convenient garden hose = speechless mothers
     






Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Big city mooch


It's a rare day for the fact that both of the peeps are napping simultaneously! I'm always so torn on what to do on these occasions because the options are unlimited! Today, I waffled heavily between napping and blogging because my eyelids are a bit droopy themselves from our adventure packed, blur of a weekend...


I choose blogging, because maybe I can re-live the bliss for just a minute while I share the photos with you!
There are a few things you need to know about me first though....
1. In general, I find mooching a sign of undesirable character.
2. I've always found big cities rather intimidating.
3. I loose a little bit of dignity every time I go through airport security.


For the last few consecutive years at the end of August, hubby has attended a trade show at the convention center in downtown Portland. Every time he returns home telling me what a beautiful city it is to behold, I decide it's high time I see for myself what all the hub-bub is about. Except that would mean I would actually have to leave the hotel room by myself and find my way around a big city for a day and 1/2. I'm sure I could do it...


But, even better, finding out an old room mate lives in the city and is willing to take the day off work to show me her town! And she works at the Marriott, so where to stay was a no-brainer!

Next comes the mooching.

Is is really mooching though when it's your husband's business trip and your small and compact, not really taking up much space or eating much food, and he'll hardly even notice your there.



Except that I did eat a lot of food. Who can blame me though, when the eateries have names like "Oven & Shaker" or "Urban Farmer" and serve up brick oven pizza's with toppings you can't even imagine ever putting together! I dare you...peaches, blackberries, ricotta & topped with arugula! Two words: mouth watering.


And then there was the coffee. These people take their coffee very seriously, but what else would you expect from a coffee shop with exposed brick walls, menu's handwritten on chalkboards and nothing to sweeten your brew with except for half and half cream and honey.





Okay fine, I might have made that last part up, but it was some of the best coffee I've ever had. It might have been the quaint-ness of the shop that made it taste so good, but either way, the experience was delightful! 


We didn't even put a dent in the shopping, mainly because we spent so much time eating & drinking strong coffee...but that suits me fine. Best of all was catching up with my dear sweet friend, who is still as much fun today as she was 10 years ago. Her lively laughter is contagious and she knows how to enjoy life.


She was the best tour guide, and with only a short 30 some hours to show me the best of Portland...she did not disappoint! And I can now confirm what hubby has been saying...this city is fabulous! 



If I'm lucky, I detect more mooching in my future. 
And I'm not the least bit ashamed! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chalk Board spray paint: {product review}


I've been known to jump on "certain" decor band-wagons, and not know when it's my stop to get off! I fall in love with something, and want to cover every surface possible, or incorporate it in every room of the house. Remember the Burlap posts? Actually I'm still loving the burlap, but when I'm brainstorming some new craft idea...I don't feel the uncontrollable need to add it in somewhere.

Now it's chalkboard paint. It's the coolest stuff around. You push down that spray nozzle and it's hard to stop with just the intended project. Here's proof of some of the fun I've been having.

BEFORE:

I can't remember if I actually bought this tray or it was a gift, but it's served multiple purposes for the last 7 years. The bottom, if you can't tell, is 4 ceramic tiles that I decided had a bit of a worn out french kitchen look. The good thing is they have a smooth, hard surface...making them a perfect candidate for my need to appease the uncontrollable spray painting! :)

AFTER:

The tiles we're just a tad tricky to actually write on because of the lines, but the surface felt very similar to a slate board! There is no rocket science to the actual painting part. Just like most spray paints, the biggest thing you want to be aware of is puddling. Applying in smooth strokes and thin layers, easily takes care of that though.


For the wood frame, I gave it a little light sanding and just quickly applied some leftover paint from my laundry room cabinets. Although I'm realizing aqua blue may quite possibly be considered one of those "certain" band-wagons that should probably think about getting off at the next stop.

The added touch was some slight distressing, and a bit of stain rubbed on & off of the edges and corners to give it the vintage-y love she needed! 

Next is a fun touch to the boys' room, but I cannot seem to come up with the "before" picture so we'll go directly to the "after".


This was a cheap mirror, with a just a tan frame that I bought on clearance at TJmaxx for our hall bathroom. At the time I couldn't find anything I liked that was the right odd size it needed to be, so I bought this for a temporary fix! Then when I did find the perfect medicine cabinet, the mirror went into the shed for several years!

Candidate #2 will you please step forward! Once again the smoothness of the mirror made it a great surface for actually writing on with chalk! More leftover paint, from my china hutch this time, and the frame turned out a great contrast with the black!


And that's all for now! Or at least until I scrounge around in my shed again and find something else that's begging to be re-purposed. Don't be surprised if it has an aqua blue, burlap-y, chalkboard look to it when it's finished though!

Now go buy yourselves some paint & join the fun!

Friday, August 10, 2012

choosing joy


I've never been very good with words. I can have a heart full of emotion, and a head full of thoughts, but I've always found it a challenge to formulate words to express either of those. Writing is a good outlet for me for many reasons. It gives me time to think about what I want to say, and then if it doesn't sound quite like I want or if the words don't properly express how I feel...there's always the backspace!


But even in writing I find it difficult sometimes to compose post that express the struggles in my heart. Maybe it's more the humility that I lack. I know I've been blessed by multiple blogs of mothers being open about their difficult days or seasons of struggle in raising children. It was never intended to be easy. We're all in this together, and all working towards the same goal.



Lately I've felt like the joy in my day has been sucked right out of me, and it's not even noon yet. I wake up enthusiastically determined to make today better than yesterday, but the efforts are short-lived. I resolve to be consistent in discipline, thinking we've gotten lacks and I'm dealing with the repercussions of it, but it's not effective when administered in frustration. I decide I need a breather from the demands, and pine for an afternoon of mindless shopping or a Starbucks in silence, but neither proved to refresh me for more than a couple hours.


I blame them. I blame their ages. I blame the potty training. I blame the tantrums. I blame this stage of life. I blame the heat. I blame anything I can think of that could possibly be a factor of why I feel like at the end of the day, I've merely mothered for survival rather than with a purpose. 


And then my theories and excuses start crumbling beneath me when I read this. (taken from New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer)
We will never enjoy life unless we make a quality decision to do so.
Satan is an expert at stealing and our joy is one of his favorite targets. 
Nehemiah 8:10  tells us that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. 
In John 10:10 we are told that "the thief" comes to kill, steal and destroy, 
but Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life. Satan is the thief,
and one of the things he seeks to steal is our joy.
If he can steal our joy from us, we will be weak; and when we are weak,
the enemy take advantage of us.



I was allowing my joy to be stolen, not by them, but by the greatest of all thieves. When I feel like I'm taking on water because of the circumstances around me, I can choose joy or choose misery.

Joy and enjoyment are available just as misery is available. 
Righteousness and peace are available and so are condemnation and turmoil.
There are blessings and curses available, and that is why Deut. 30:19
tells us to choose LIFE and BLESSING!


TAKE HEART young mothers....THE JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH!!
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