Some Friday Web Inspiration

Today I’m offering up some of my favorite recent posts from around the web. Enjoy, and if you aren’t ready to have your heart swooned in any one category, just skip it. Trust me.

These make me ready to have littles:

via oh, hello friend blog

Family Writing Club
How to Make Playdough

These make me wish I didn’t have to work and could spend all day crafting. And also wish that I had a greater attention span.

via design sponge blog

Rosette Necklaces
Rag Crochet Pillows
Spool Hooks

These make me want to redo lots of things in our house.

via design is mine blog

Build me up, Buttercup
Decorating with Wallpaper

And these, more than anything, make me want to throw a summer party. Who’s coming over?

via the coterie blog

Pretty sparkle ideas
Rooftop Dinner

What’s been inspiring you from around the web this week?

Signs of Spring and a One Hour Chronicle


Last night, as the evening storm approached, I walked out to the dumpster, the day’s trash in hand, waiting to be Dorothied to Oz. The back alley at work smells strongly of rotten milk and whatever industrial cleaner they use to cover it up. For quite some time, it caused me to think I had lost my sense of smell, no longer able to tell the difference between freshly clean or freshly putrid. The truth is, I have been praying for rain for a month. While I’ve slept through a few storms in the last few weeks, seen a few signs of lighting in the distance, I have yet to see a full blown storm with my own eyes. And until I smell the damp air, feel the rain on my skin, see the navy colored skies swirling around me, I can’t quite believe it’s actually spring. And now it’s started to pour.

As I make a mad dash to my old red truck, my shoes filling more with water with each step, I can’t help but giggle inside. I pull myself up into the cab, unable to jump in for lack of mobility in my yellow pencil skirt, kicking off my soggy red flats to let my feet dry. As I pull out of the parking lot, I crack my windows enough to let in the cooler air while only letting in a few drops of rain every now and then. I pull my hair, now damp and clinging to my skin, into a loose bun. I turn up the radio to the local blues station, taking in the gray hazy sun and cars and sounds of tires on water. Even seeing the new cars with air conditioning, windows up, perfect paint jobs, interiors untouched by the falling rain, I can’t help but remember that life is nothing if not felt; From the heat and humidity of the day to the drops of rain on my cheek to the sound of old blues music, which comes from nowhere if not straight from the heart.

I pull into a space across the street from our little red door, walking confidently through the now slowing rain, keys in hand, thunder all around me for miles. I notice our old man neighbor sitting in his car, give a nod and half smile in his direction, and unlock the door. Twenty minutes later, in the same soggy shoes, we leave for a date night dinner. Old man neighbor walks in the red door, gives us a quick hello and a, “It stopped raining, it’s safe to go outside now.” I pause briefly, though only in my head, struggling not to pause in the physical, and secretly hope he didn’t mean to use the word safe. I quickly wonder if he might possibly be a witch, the melting kind of witch, though all my knowledge of sorcery from the children’s books tells me he would have to be a warlock. And with that, my mind is on to dinner.

It’s hard to find a restaurant that will open its patio for dining when there is lighting in the area, but all the storm lovers know that this is the best time to be outside, the scent of the storm lingering, the clouds parting just in time to display the sunset, the pink sky in all her glory. We were seated at a yellow table, sound of dripping gutters and damp streets in the background. In the distance I see a man smoking a cigarette on his front porch. I observe him, wondering what he sees from that porch, what his house and heart are like on the inside. What a strange way for us to meet in this life, me and this man. To me, he is just the man on the porch.

And to him, I am just the girl in the yellow skirt. If I am anything at all.

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Three Changes

Hot tea and almonds. The breakfast that signifies that we’re still completely out of food. Must go shopping today.

This morning, I have three thoughts.

1. Mornings are much more beautiful than the evenings. There’s something so wonderful about getting out before the rest of the world is awake, smelling the fresh dew, seeing all of creation come alive for the day. This leads me to conclude that I should go to bed earlier and spend more time in the mornings reading, writing, and walking. This, as we all know, is much easier said than done.

2. Being 28 years old does not make you too old to decide what you want to do with your life. Sometimes I forget that one does not have to make all life and career decisions by the age of 21. Crazy, isn’t it? If you’re forgetting this, read Jon Acuff’s article on why you’re the perfect age to chase your dream here.

3. Holidays don’t have to fit the holiday mold every year. I wish I could make a Jell-o mold joke, but I don’t have one. I can’t imagine them being especially funny anyway. Because of timing and schedules, we won’t be going to either hometown for Easter Sunday. We will, however, be celebrating an Easter lunch with several families in our small group who will also be staying here. And for some reason, it still feels a little like family. Must be the work of Christ or something.

Happy Monday, readers! What are your plans for Easter?

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Sunday Letter

Darling husband,

This week, even more than normal weeks, you have earned the official title of Husband o’ the Year. I know I’ve never been married to anyone else, but even if I had, I think you’d still win hands down. I feel like I haven’t stopped working or going places this week, and I’m in total awe of your ability to make our house sparkly without me asking and your ability to make dinners out of nothing. I still can’t believe we haven’t gone grocery shopping in almost two weeks, but I guess maybe we’re the reason God invented eggs. So many possibilities.

I’m really sorry about losing my house key and having to wake you up at 2am after my adventures of babysitting little Lively. I’m not quite sure what happened to my key, but I think it’s still somewhere in the universe of dog sitting and house guests and Masters gear pickups. We can only leave it in the mailbox so many times before the Mailbox Monster eats it. It was kind of fun to wake you up and see you all sleepy- something I rarely get to experience when you sleep only 5 hours every night. Thanks for listening to my “I’m going to be a terrible mom pajama incident” rant in the middle of the night- I no longer think her screams of terror mean she was possessed, which is great for her. I just hope she doesn’t harbor any anger toward me. Or the pajamas. They were really cute.

I love watching you play softball with your friends. I know I almost stayed home this week from the late game, but I always enjoy cheering for you and hearing the other wives brag on your swinging form. Batting form? I know I sometimes forget to look when you do the good things, but the girls always tell me when to look up from my embroidery and watch you bat. Another reason why living in fellowship is a wonderful idea.

I know we’ve found ourselves with so little time together lately, but this season of life finds us with so many words to write, so much time to work, so many summer parties, and so little space in our schedules for just hanging out. I’m happy to grab those times with you whenever we find the chance, just as long as it involves ice cream.

Forever and ever babe-

Me

On Decisions

If there is a more easily distracted person on the planet, I know not who it would be.

Ever since I was quite young, I’ve found myself always looking toward the next thing. The moment I get bored with something, I start looking for something else to do, usually to the chagrin of family, friends, teachers, and employers. Sometimes it takes ten minutes, sometimes a year, but eventually, the only excitement my heart finds in my tasks is thinking about the next one.

Sometimes it affects me in small ways. Only half the dishes are finished when I get the divine inspiration for a new skirt that gets laid aside when I run out of thread which leads me to Joann’s to buy more where I get the inspiration to make some new pillowcases which leaves the skirt in my unfinished project box. The pillowcases take me longer than planned, which leads to me thinking about cooking dinner which leads me back to the fact that our dishes aren’t all clean and that I need to get food from the store. This leads to half a table of dinner and half a table of random sewing projects.

And sometimes it’s much bigger than that. I get a job that’s exciting for a few months and then it becomes monotonous. I start thinking about the next step which leads me to questions like, “What if I went back to school? What if I had a child? What if I started my own business? What if we moved to [insert state or country of your choice here]? What if I wrote a novel?” usually all in that order and within a five minute timespan.

My husband is so driven. He sets his mind to something and he sticks with it, seeing it to fruition with discipline and unshaken devotion. I. Don’t. Understand. It. I only wish I could decide on any one thing and finish it. As it is, I feel destined for nothing but a swirly, unsettled life.

Oh, to have a heart less restless.

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A Case for Very Small Mirrors

Some time ago, something happened which has made getting ready in the mornings much faster and much more enjoyable. It was quite on accident, and I didn’t even really notice until just recently. We have not one full length mirror in our house.

We have a few mirrors scattered throughout our little space, but none that help at all with full wardrobe decisions. If this had happened with my knowledge, if I had broken the one I had or if a mirror bandit came in and stole it, I would have been quite upset and gone out to buy a new one. But as it is, I don’t actually miss it.

In exploring this more, I have found a few things:

1. Getting ready is much more enjoyable. I spend much less time trying things on. In fact, I have found myself doing something I never did before: pulling something out of my closet, putting it on, and wearing it for the rest of the day. For guys, this sounds ridiculous since you do this all the time, but there isn’t one girl out there who hasn’t piled her bed full of tried-on clothes, only to find that nothing in her closet is acceptable.

2. I don’t really care if I don’t look perfect. This could be a combination of phenomenons. For one, I am married, so I just care a little less about trying to impress people, boys specifically. For another, I have now worked two jobs in a row that allow me to wear jeans to work. I will never go back. Also, the less often I stare at myself in the mirror, the more I like the way I look.

3. I don’t always want to run out and buy new clothes. This is quite fortunate, considering my vow to buy used clothing is still in effect for another few months. I’m not even sure I look good in skinny jeans, but having them on means that I’m clothed. And that’s really all that matters.

I once heard a quote that has come to mind quite often in the last few months. I can’t remember the words exactly or even who spoke them, but they were something to this effect:

“Any time you’re worried about what to wear for a certain occasion, just remember: Everyone else will be too caught up in what they’re wearing to even notice.”

And that, my friends, seems to always ring true.

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On Roadtrips

Some people, my husband included, hold to the idea that getting to any given destination is half the fun. I still hold to the idea that trips aren’t nearly as enjoyable when you arrive emotionally drained with stiff joints and nausea. This only causes him to add another tally to the list of reasons why I’m a senior citizen.

That said, road trips do make for a lot of great conversation, great snacks, and creative ways to pass the time. Husband usually prefers games like 20 Questions while I go more for the low key state tag games. Mostly because I can nap mid-game if I like.

Happy Monday readers! What are some of your favorite road trip games?

What Augusta is for Me

This is the closest we’ll ever get to posting a live blog feed. Becca and I just dropped the boys off at Gate 6, though they would rather have entered directly through Magnolia Lane at Gate 3. That, as much as we can beg for it, will never happen.

It’s now girl breakfast time with Panini pressed muffins and lattes on the patio in downtown Augusta. Motorcycles keep driving down the sidewalk and we’re making small talk with the locals. Something about a nephew and a job and living here since 1968. There are church bells in the background and antique shops calling our name.

This is Augusta for me.

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A Day of Fleas

Ah, First Mondays, how we love thee. Thank you for sharing so many treasures with us, tempting us to fill our little apartment with all kinds of worthless junk. And for affording us the opportunity to come home with really cool treasures that aren’t worthless at all. Depending on your perspective.

Last Friday was our getaway day, which is really only a day that we’re both off work and one of us wants to go somewhere more adventurous than Whole Foods or Joann Fabrics. Last Friday was one of those days. We chose Canton First Mondays, a giant, once-a-month flea market about an hour and a half east of Dallas. And here are some things we found.

1. Jalapeno Cheese Bread made by our friends, the Amish.

They might not know they’re our friends, but I feel such a strong connection with them that I sometimes wonder if I was supposed to be born Amish. It could be all the documentaries I’ve watched, though I’m thinking it’s something more innate. We passed on buying their handmade butter and cheese (still regretting that decision), and are now on the hunt for a jalapeno cheese bread recipe.

2. Globo Globe

The little beauty now sits atop our newly painted computer armoire. Globes have been on my radar for quite some time, though I had yet to come across one I really loved. This was it. It is no good for reference- it still has things like East Germany and West Germany, along with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, but to us it is perfect. Reality has no place in our world. Or our globe.

3. Vintage Ironing Board

      

I waited 9 months after marriage to purchase an ironing board. Yes, it’s sad and yes, I found this one in month ten. You can click here to see the best ironing board we found. Also if anyone is looking for an ironing board from Target, we now have one for sale or lease.

4. Sewing books

I didn’t actually purchase these since I have a cabinet full at home, but aren’t they perfect? I imagined myself as a housewife in the 50’s as I flipped through to learn how to darn my husband’s socks and make cloth napkins. And then I realized I’m really not that different except that I lack the clothing and hair. Me and little Betty Draper- one and the same.

Altogether it was a day of treasure hunting and good conversation and sunburns. Kyle got voted “Husband of the Year” by a lady who, sadly, had to carry her own finds. As she saw us walking toward our car, she yelled, “Now that’s a great husband!” I have to fight the old women off with a stick.

Thank you, Canton, for another successful trip. Long live great finds and long live the Amish.

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When Thrifting is Like Making Sushi

This past year has been interesting for many reasons. Not only did we get married and move to a new city, but we started this crazy marriage blog and decided we weren’t going to buy any new clothing for the whole year. While it has been interesting on many accounts, this last one has challenged us in many ways. As we were coming home from our flea market trip last week, we started discussing what we will buy once our year is up, what clothing we wished we could have bought in the last ten months (not much came to our minds) and how it will change our buying habits in the future.

As we were thinking through the process of buying used clothing, it struck me that it’s sort of like making sushi. Remember the post a few weeks ago? The most difficult part of making sushi is finding the initial ingredients in your store. Once you know where they are, you can make them part of your grocery list, pick them up quickly, and make sushi part of your life on a regular basis.

The same could be said for thrifting. It can be super frustrating if you spend all your time searching for the things you want. But once you find those few perfect places, the odds of you finding something you love increase greatly. You can make more regular trips to a few shops, spending more time choosing between great things instead of desperately digging for anything worthwhile.

This has spurred more conversation about our next year. Should we make a new pledge? Not buy anything new for one year? Buy only clothing new but nothing else?

What’s one thing you would never buy used?

Also, click the Thrifty Pledge below for a link to one of our favorite thrifters.


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