Feb 27, 2011

Home date night #3

Maybe we should have just stuck with painting toenails. Tone said he would paint them, and I upped the ante and asked him to highlight my hair as well. Maybe not my best "date night" idea...perhaps it doesn't scream "date" to you?

Now before you judge, we've done this many times before and he's always done a fabulous job. We bought all the stuff to do it last week and never got around to it. The last time he did it and I went in to have my hair cut, the lady wanted to know where I got it done because he did such a fantastic job. Really. No lying.

Last night....he tried a new method. Bad plan.

Here I am around midnight pulling out the foil he put in. It looks like I have two devil horns. And...ew...check out those wrinkles on my forehead. Isn't 31 too young for that?
While bleaching we played a little Boggle. Usually Tone woops me at this game, but I did better last night.
12:30am saw Tone running to the 24 hour Walmart for a box of brown hair dye to fix this. His new method totally over-bleached it and left horribly light roots on top all over rather than light streaks. I told him I was not going out in public (i.e. church the next morning) with hair like that.
(Note: I am not a Padres fan. I think I picked this tee up as a freebie at some ballgame. This is why it is my current shirt of choice while dying hair. Now that that's cleared up...)

We fixed it with some dark brown color applied to the roots (the same color I already have in my hair) and we just left a few highlights. It's so much better and more what I had in mind. We finished the stressful hair debacle evening off with a stiff drink. So necessary.He still wanted to paint my toes. Hot pink because I bought a swimsuit that was hot pink for the summer. Even though summer isn't even close yet. We had an unseasonably cold weekend. Call it wishful thinking.I realize one of the rules for "Project 52" was to dress nice. My excuse: I was cold and getting into something comfy after dying the hair. I heart my flannel pants.

Today for church, I didn't have time to straighten my hair since we were up until 2am on that date. I, um, got up a little late. So it's in a pony tail. But rest assured, the hair looks just fine.
So there is Date night #3. My recommendation is don't do hair. Maybe stick with toenails and a little fun game of Boggle. Just sayin'.

Feb 25, 2011

Some Faves

So my friend Cherish over at Kiwi Freckles posted some fun links for the week. I thought I would do the same.

So today I finally ordered a Canvas print of Tessa's newborn picture from here:
I got it for only $9.99 for an 11X14 inch size. That's a steal, huh? By the way, Tessa's almost 9 months old. It was time.

Some day, some how, I will be doing this painted wallpaper to one room in my house. I'm thinking the headboard wall of our bedroom. This post includes a tutorial and seems pretty "no fail". Knock on wood now.
I will be making these tasty treats at some point. They look/sound too easy and good not to. I mean peanut butter and melted chocolate? Hello.

I will be using drop cloths to recover a chair in my living room. Yes, dropcloths from Home Depot. High class is how I roll. Here is a good tutorial. I'm in love.

As soon as I have a moment to breathe from all this etsy shop craziness, I will be making myself this dress. Of course, I will change up the pattern. I never leave anything alone.

I love this quote.

And last, I'm in love with these latest shoes. Yes, I designed them, and I am on a ruffle kick right now. One little problem. The ruffles take half of FOR-EV-ER to make. I'm brilliant like that when I design things and then have to make and sell a ton of them.

Tone and I are planning for our trip to Hawaii in a month and a half. He pretty much told me he would love to see a two piece on me. So I got this. I had to get a large because I am nursing and there was no way, no how I was going to buy anything that even might hint at me popping out of the thing. *Gulp*. Wish me luck.

Yesterday, I went to the fabric store and found fabric/ideas for 5 new designs of shoes. I was in a very spring and summery mood so expect bright and fun! I can't wait to get started on them. My shop has been looking a little neutral lately.

So there you have it. That's what currently on the brain. What's on yours?

Feb 20, 2011

Home Date #2

Just a few snaps from "pedicure night". Tone's idea. It was his turn.

But first a snap of the pretty roses he had sent to me on Valentines since he was still in training and not home on V-day. It's a week later and they still look perfect. Not bad for mailbox roses, huh?He's a good man. And by the way, we are loving the date night thing. On a date night, I have never flown through my sewing so fast. Just so I can get done with my daily quota and get to the "date."
This date night included making some "White Russian" drinks and since it was raining, we also dimmed the lights and flipped on the fireplace while sipping our drinks. Yes, our newer house only has a fireplace you "flip" on. Totally fake, but we go with it.
If you look really close, you can see the kid toys scattered on the rug behind. Oh well, so much for ambiance. We chose to ignore it and pretend we were kid free and fancy free.

Feb 17, 2011

52 Dates

So we are trying a new challenge this year. I know so many people who are doing the 365 photo challenge. Well, rather than a picture a day, Tone and I are aspiring toward a date a week. 52 in all...at home.
Yee-up. At home dates. An hour set aside each week to spend together doing something purposeful just so that we are making sure we are enjoying each other in the business of life.
It has to be cheap, simple, and purposeful.
You can't do the same thing in one month.
We rotate who's in charge each week.
No children allowed if possible.
Try to make it special. Don't be frumpy and in jammies.

So what can you do at home? Well, I came up with a list of things that I would like to share with you. I hope to post some of these dates and let you know how it is going from time to time. Here are 52 to start you off. I bet you can come up with your own should you decide to play along with us. If you come up with new ones, let me know! For many I included the website where you can get more info.

At Home Date Night Ideas:

  1. Paint/sketch a picture of each other
  2. Play “Would You Rather Game” http://www.simplymodernmom.com/2010/03/project-52-would-you-rather/
  3. Write down and discuss your Bucket Lists
  4. Read something in common. Make café coffee and sit down and discuss as if you were in a café book club.
  5. Do a puzzle together.
  6. “Spa” night with massage and lotions
  7. Draw a picture of each other’s brain. Outline the categories/areas that you think fill it.
  8. Buy a blueprint magazine. Flip through and discuss perfect floor plans.
  9. Play a card game
  10. Play a board game
  11. “Play First Words” game http://www.simplymodernmom.com/2010/01/project-52-first-words-game/
  12. Make paper airplanes. Have a competition. Use this website for starters: http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/
  13. Set up a “photo booth” and take pictures of the two of us.
  14. Watch family home videos
  15. Make mixed drinks – try new “recipes”
  16. Turn the story of how you met into a children’s book for the kids
  17. Look through wedding photos
  18. Magazine collage – words about the other person
  19. Have a fondue night
  20. Play twister together
  21. Read your old love notes
  22. Play Guitar Hero or other video game
  23. Read aloud a funny short story
  24. Bubble bath for two
  25. Have an indoor picnic
  26. Do a crossword puzzle together
  27. Ice cream sundae night go crazy with toppings
  28. Make smores on the grill
  29. Have a theme night. You must dress, eat dinner, and watch a movie with the same theme. Think ‘Western’ and dress like a cowgirl, eat bar-b-que, and watch Tombstone. Think ‘French’ and put on a black and white top, make French onion soup, and watch Amelie. It could be anything!
  30. Light the tiki torches, and sit outside under the stars or better yet, a blanket on the grass
  31. Make a holiday decoration
  32. Make a list of goals you want to accomplish in 1, 5, 10, and 25 years
  33. Miniature golf in a living room obstacle course
  34. Plan an upcoming vacation (real or imaginary)
  35. Dance. Try new steps. Rent a ball or swing dance DVD tutorial.
  36. Make homemade ice cream: http://www.hotdateideas.com/date-ideas/homemade-ice-cream
  37. Read an article or chapter in a book on improving your marriage and do the exercises or assignments included in the article.
  38. Play cribbage
  39. Sort old CD’s and reminisce about what you used to listen to.
  40. Bike ride or walk the neighborhood and discuss all the neighbors houses and yards
  41. Complete a DIY project around the house (small or large)
  42. Listen to an old radio show by Orson Wells or John Houseman telling classic stories: Use this link for downloads for the ipod: http://www.hotdateideas.com/date-ideas/classic-radio-broadcast
  43. Play the 43 kisses game. http://www.hotdateideas.com/date-ideas/43-kisses Cut up the slips and throw in a hat. Take turns pulling them out.
  44. Buy a paint by numbers board and paint it together.
  45. Pick a kind of food you’ve never had before and shop for ingredients and make it together
  46. Make “puppy chow” mix or something like it, put it in cute baggies and distribute to the neighbors http://www.chex.com/recipes/RecipeView.aspx?RecipeId=45860&CategoryId=447
  47. TiVo a fitness workout and do it together.
  48. Write each other a “thank you” note. Be specific about what they are doing that you love. Read it to each other.
  49. Set up an indoor campout in your living room. Light the fire, use sleeping bags. Maybe even include the tent.
  50. Gourmet popcorn and a movie.
  51. Pedicure night – The man too!
  52. Make each other valentines kiddie style with glue, construction paper, markers, etc.

So what did we do the first night? Well, that was last Tuesday before he went back to training and I left for Papaw's for a week. We made a special dinner, set a fancy table (kids too) and gave everyone their valentines. Yes, it was a week early, but we all weren't going to be together for Valentines so we did it early. I gave Tone a packet with this idea in it and this list with some of the games already printed out. Then the kids went to bed, and we got into our liquor stash, made some mixed drinks and played "guess the chocolate". I bought chocolates, and like Forest says, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gunna get." We shared some laughs when Tone bit into a particularly nasty one. It was simple, we enjoyed the evening, and we can't wait for next time.

"Stuck like Glue" - Sugarland

MMMM better...MMMM better...
Absolutely no one that knows me better
No one that can make me feel sooo goooood
How did we stay so long together?
When everybody, everybody said we never would
And just when I, I start to think they're right
That love has died...

[Chorus:]
There you go making my heart beat again,
Heart beat again,
Heart beat again
There you go making me feel like a kid
Won't you do it and do it one time?
There you go pulling me right back in,
Right back in,
Right back in
And I know-oo I'm never letting this go-ooo

I'm stuck on you
Whutooo whutooo
Stuck like glue
You and me baby we're stuck like glue
Whutooo whutooo
Stuck like glue
You and me baby we're stuck like glue

Some days I don't feel like trying
Some days you know I wanna just give up
When it doesn't matter who's right, fight about it all night
Had enough
You give me that look
"I'm sorry baby let's make up"
You do that thing that makes me laugh
And just like that...

[Chorus:]
There you go making my heart beat again,
Heart beat again,
Heart beat again
There you go making me feel like a kid
Won't you do it and do it one time
There you go pulling me right back in,
Right back in,
Right back in
And I know-oo I'm never letting this go-ooo

I'm stuck on you
Whutooo whutooo
Stuck like glue
You and me baby we're stuck like glue
Whutooo whutooo
Stuck like glue
You and me baby were stuck like glue

It may be cheesy - but true!

Feb 16, 2011

Papaw

I just spent a week with family. I rushed to Papaw's bedside on Saturday evening and he passed away Sunday morning peacefully in his sleep with all of us who could be there surrounding his bedside. How does one sum up a life? Many thoughts pass through your head as you sit with one in their last moments in it. My mom didn't leave his side for a second the whole day. Here is a picture of her holding his hand. We watched the clock as he hung on for a few hours longer than the doctors expected. Long enough to pass away on Sunday morning, February 6th, at 3:32am, on what would have been my Mamaw's 92nd birthday. What are the odds that he would make it to her birthday and then join her in heaven?
Here is what was written for the newspaper:

"Walter Joseph Hendrick
Walter “Walt” Hendrick was born on October 16, 1923 and died peacefully in his sleep with his extended family by his side on the morning of February 6, 2011. Walt is survived by his brother Ivan, his two daughters Cynthia Leonardo and Diane Pate, his six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and his dear friend and companion in his later years, Zera Spreadborough and her family.Walt grew up in Berkeley California, but spent a lot of time on his family’s ranch in the Sierra Foothills near Murphy’s. Walt’s roots in Calaveras County stretched back before the Gold Rush, with one relative having the distinction of being the shotgun rider on the last stage holdup in Calaveras County.
After enlisting and serving proudly in the U.S. Navy during WWII, Walt married his sweetheart Bea Landes. They lived in Orinda California, where Walt was a pattern maker. Later they moved to Walt’s “home country” in Angels Camp, where they both lived the rest of their days. Walt was preceded in death by his wife Bea, and his brothers Norman and Jim.
Walt loved his family, he loved the Navy, he loved Model A Fords, but he especially loved telling his kids, grandkids, great grandkids and friends stories about his time in the Navy and silly jokes. He is with his Lord Jesus Christ and his wife Bea. Walt went to his Lord on what would have been Bea’s 92nd birthday."

Funerals are interesting. You are missing the one who is gone, but relish the close family time with those that are gathered. The funeral was as simple, touching, unpretentious, and dignified as my grandpa was.
We stayed at Papaw's house. All of my siblings were able to fly in and be there. I grew up going here all the time. I kept expecting to hear the clomp of his footsteps, the door creak open and the sound of his voice and cough. It was hard walking in the first time and seeing his clothes from the day flung over the chair, his leftovers carefully wrapped up in the fridge, the vestiges of his life now not needed.
But it was wonderful family time with my three siblings, cousins, and parents.
The house is tucked at the end of a mile and half dirt road up in the foothills.
The family is keeping it as a vacation home. I am so glad I get to keep going there over the years with my children. We heard the coyotes yip at night, we caught frogs in the creek, we stopped the car so we wouldn't run over a garden snake, we smelled a skunk who was milling around, watched the squirrels and jack rabbits come up to the front porch, watched the ducks in the pond, shot our BB guns off the front porch at tin cans, and enjoyed the beauty of nature. (Just for the record, I'm still a decent shot when it comes to shooting. There's quite a bit of country in the background of this gal).
Other than my hubby, who was still in training, and Krista's hubby, Thomas, everyone was able to come. Here we all are on the day of the viewing.
And yes, this would be a typical type of photo for our family too. Laughter in the midst of sadness.
The most memorable thing we did was the last day when everyone left except for my mom, sister and I. We knew about a box of letters that my Papaw had written to his mom during his stint in WWII. My great-grandma had kept every one that he had written her and there was a full box from his years in the war. My mom carefully took out and read several over the course of his time in the navy to my sister and I before tucking them back in order and putting them back where we got them. They were so touching. Topics ranging from boredom, to homesickness, his time with friends, tedious work, to appreciation for his parents and hopes for the future. Some hopes were realized, some weren't, but he began and ended his letters always the same. "News is scarce" and "much love". It was the great adventure of his life and he always talked about it. The letters were written with such youthful enthusiasm and hope for the future. He always spoke about the Navy with idea that those were his glory days, but the letters reflected that many days were just humdrum, sometimes boring, and not always exciting.

And now he's gone. We miss him.

Today I am home, and trying to get back in the swing of things. My shop orders are extremely behind, the yard needed massive pruning, I have loads and loads of laundry, the house needs to be put back in order. Time marches on. In the humdrum of the everyday it marches. In the normalcy of life, our hopes and dreams are made and unmade, our legacy is made, and the last few weeks were a reminder to pause, relish the moments, and make them count. Afterall, someday I may look back and think of this time as my glory days. If so, whether they seem humdrum or not, I want to relish each one.

Feb 4, 2011

Staring Death in the Face

I spent a week here:
Since I couldn't leave Tessa at home, my stepdad and I took turns waiting with her in the waiting room while the other one went in to sit with Mom and Papaw. Papaw wanted to see my kids, but being as how he is in the CICU, of course he couldn't. Ainsley sent a valentine for Papaw with me on my return trip.Can I just say I've never seen anyone so sick and hooked up to so many machines in my life? How the man is still fighting is anyone's guess. He shouldn't have made it through the first day, and he shouldn't still be fighting off what he is fighting now. Fluctuating blood pressure, pneumonia, blood clots in the lungs, kidney and liver failure, and who knows what else. He has been there for over a week now. They cannot get his breathing under control and have had to intubate him more than once. He's agitated, in and out of confusion over what's going on, and begging for some relief to his thirst. It's really hard to sit with him. My mom and Aunt are taking turns and they are getting so worn down as well. Yet he just will not give up.

Mom says that on the parts that really matter in life, she needs to make the right choice. The right choice is to sit with her dad as he struggles for life. Her very busy job as an outreach pastor at a large church takes second seat to the hard hospital seat right next to her dad's bed as she explains for the hundredth time in a half hour why he can't have water (it goes into his lungs and causes more pneumonia - they give him IV fluids or ice chips instead). Since her job is based on care and compassion for others, then the number one person to show this to right now is her dad.

I became quite familiar with this bench down in the lower lobby. It was Tessa's crawl space and play area for a long time.I also became familiar with this chair. This is the small waiting area outside the CICU. She got bored with the toys I brought so my journal, miscellaneous plates and lids from the cafeteria, and my camera case/strap made good stand-ins.Watching someone fight so hard for life raises many thoughts in my head. In no particular order:
What makes a man fight so hard to stay here?
Why is the process of dying such a struggle sometimes?
Why do we fear death?
Do we fear death because we fear the unknown of the other side, or because we feel that there is something here that we still need to be here for?
When I look back on my life, will it be missed chances or a life well lived?
On the things that really matter, will I have made the right choices?
Will I have made the right choices on developing the relationships in my life rather than the material, the social positions and status, and personal pride?
I have a child waiting for me in heaven (a miscarriage).
What would it be like to grow up in heaven?
Since I was not chosen to grow up in heaven, I must have a purpose here.
What is that purpose and am I doing it well?
Why is it when we get close to the end of life, we revert to acting like little children?
When dignity and mental faculties get stripped away, what's left to make me, me?
I think when people are dying, they become who they truly are at their core. So have I fostered a lifestyle of selfishness over the years that will suddenly become magnified when I am in the process, or will there be some measure of sweetness?
Who am I if the layers of social posturing and personal pride are stripped away? Who am I at my core?
Hunter and Ainsley seem to take the matter of death in stride and very matter of fact. Not to seem morbid, but we do talk of heaven quite a bit in our home. I feel that one can not get a proper view of the fallen world we live in if you do not a have proper view of heaven. I often explain it this way to them:
All have sinned and done wrong things that God would not want.
Sin came into the world through Adam and Eve because they listened to Satan. God gave them the choice.
Now the world is a mess and bad things happen. Awful things happen.
This was never God's plan and He made a way to fix it.
God is always with us and loving us but He needs to punish sin.
He made a new place the way it was supposed to be from the beginning. This new place is perfect.
He wants us there with Him where we can walk and talk with Him again and everything is good and right.
Jesus was God's plan to get us there. Jesus was punished for all the bad things we did. Then He came alive again and showed everyone He was the winner! You can't stop Him or get rid of Him.
If we love God, and believe that Jesus died for us, then God will be our friend too and take care of us.
God takes care of us here and loves us even when things go wrong while we wait for heaven.
One day He will wipe every tear from our eyes.
God loves everyone. The reason He doesn't destroy this world now is because He is giving everyone a chance to believe in Him and discover that He is real and loving and forgiving.
So terrible things keep happening while God calls for people to come to Him. However, God is still in control.
Our hope is heaven. It's a real place with a real God who is the real solution to the mess we are in.

This may sound simplistic, but my kids get this. My kids and I discuss this several times a week. Not the whole thing every time, but parts of God's story get woven into the fabric of everyday conversation. We came face to face with this when Tessa was found with a tumor. Hunter can definitely discuss and expound on all those points up above. So when I told them Papaw is super sick, and it's probably his turn for heaven, they got excited for him. Heaven sounds super exciting to a six year old.

I have a motto that I pray for my children. I pray that they will:
"CHOOSE WISELY THEIR MASTER, MATE AND MISSION"
Well, how can one do that if there is no concept of heaven? Without a concept of a fallen world struggling with the perfection of what will be and should be, they won't understand that they were created with an eternal purpose in mind and that they are eternally loved. That there is a specific purpose and "mission", if you will, for their life. They need to know that Jesus is Master and Lord of all that is wrong and has the ultimate victory. As Hunter says, "God's the most powerful and He's the winner!" God can look like kinda woosy if you look around and don't know the ending of the story.

Luckily, I do. "He's the winner!"