Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Final Thought For the Day

About 10 minutes after Richard came home tonight he called to me in the kitchen, "Hey Mary Katharine, I want you to come see something I have here on the computer.  It reminds me of you and me."  Richard is always smiling, so saying that he had a bit of a smile in his voice does not really differentiate this moment from any other.  However, he had a bit of a smile in his voice.

From time to time Richard has something to show me online.  Usually it is pertaining to Alabama Football and some new recruit that we have just signed or are trying to sign.  And these moments are pretty much contained to after I get out of the shower around 10 or 11 at night.  To get a invitation at dinner time, and so soon after he walked in the door, I was curious to say the least.

You know how sometimes you can look at something, but the first glimpse of it is just a quick over view and while you don't get the whole picture, that "in an instant moment" can either completely draw you in or turn you away?  What I saw completely drew me in.  It was definitely one of those, "Wait, let me take a better look at this" moments.  Here is what I saw.

Okay, so we are a military family.  Because all of you reading this may not be military and because all of you do not really know us, I might have just lost you.  I hope not.

This photo does remind me so much of Richard and me.  He is looking at her.  She is looking away.  Both are smiling.  They are young.  He is Army.  They are in love.  It just reminds me so much of us.  The mannerisms that illuminate from the photo are identical to ours.

So what's the point?  Well, the point is that I love Richard and sometimes it's just like it hits me all in an instant how beautiful my life with him has been.  We all have our own life stories and I can assure you that every military wife has theirs ...

I recently had a younger military wife (a navy wife) ask me my opinion on military life.  She and her husband are at a point where they can either continue on or "get out."  (I've always loved that term ... are we imprisoned or something??!)  What was my opinion, she wondered?  Hmmmm ... you know these are the type of questions that can go in lots of directions.  I don't know.  There have been so many times that I've dreamed of what my civilian counterparts have.  That is so natural, isn't it?  I can say, though, that I've never fully been diagnosed for the "grass is greener" syndrome.  And that is not to say that the military life is the best.  It's been quite difficult at times and far from the best, believe me!  But for me, it's been my life with Richard.  It is our past, our girl's beginning.  It's been tough, but it's been good because I've had my best friend with me along the way.

A neighbor asked me earlier if Richard has that same "happy" smile when he walks in the house ... the same one he has outside.  Oh, yes ... yes he does.  Always.

The above photo can be found here on Vanity Fair's online sight.  If you have a minute, read the article.  It'll give you a little insight into our new Commander in Afghanistan.  He's a good man.  It's a great read.

And btw, Richard likes Petraeus ... just a little (and that's totally an understatement).  He thinks he's "a modern day Eisenhower, " and was completely honored to be able to meet him while in Kuwait last summer.

Goodnight to you all.
Love those God places in your life.
Love what God gives you in life.
Live each day to His glory.

To God be the Glory.


This is the first house we've ever lived in where all of my girl's rooms look like they need to be revived.  With moving in and Richard being deployed last year, I didn't have a lot of time to even care about them. I'm at the point now where I am daily scanning the local Craigslist for new beds and dressers.  However, with a move date of next summer, it almost seems daunting and a waste of time/money all at the same time to get the upstairs organized and "together."  I mean is it really worth it to spend so much time for such a short time and then to only have the huge possibility of having to redo it all again in a year?  And if I don't invest and get their rooms together, will I be setting a bad example as a mother?!  Other than having multiple rooms to get together, can you see why I've not made much progress?

My brain hurts from all the thinking and considering and wondering and contemplating.

Today I found this on Craigslist.

I think something similar to this, (I really like the pulls) but bigger,  would look nice painted navy or a dark kelly green and paired with this bed from IKEA ...

that was made up with some preppy linens along these lines (also from IKEA, and I wouldn't go all stripes, maybe just an accent something ... but the linens did sort of pull the bed and chest together in my mind and I think with the right lamp and paint color and linens it could work nicely).

 I think it would be a fun room for my 12 year old, who isn't really into the tween scene and shares my affinity towards the style of Ralph Lauren, JCrew, Jackie Kennedy and Robert Redford.

You're not seeing it are you?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another Weekend

Another great weekend comes to a close.  I got a sweet (and uncommon these days) note from my 12 year old Friday night.  It was written backwards because Leonardo DaVinci wrote backwards (Hanson Ellis is my living encyclopedia) and it was a lovely surprise.

Richard and I found a relatively cool spot on the back porch yesterday and talked and talked over coffee.  We also stayed up way too last night watching a movie and talking (something we've done routinely on Saturdays over the duration of our marriage ... we don't have a lot of "routines" so this is a favorite of mine) and I baked this

today while he worked on his graduate work at the kitchen table.
I think it is a great last hurrah before we start back this

tomorrow.  (could that 10K have been any hotter?!!  The look on my face really says it all.)

Thanks Edie for the head's up on the wonderful cake!
And goodnight to you all.
I hope you have a truly great week and enjoy each moment to the fullest.  
To God be the Glory.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Feeling Crafty

I've been sneaking away every second I can and diving into the internet in search of all sorts of things to make our 2010/2011 school year PERFECT.  (and no one is allowed to comment on that last word ... I am confident that after last year's near disaster, coupled with my determination or bullheadedness, whichever you prefer, this next year is going to be the year to remember ... or not, but at least I'm trying to be optimistic!!)   Part of my searching has been for crafts to do throughout the school year.  I have this link on my homepage and if you haven't clicked it yet, you are missing out.  I absolutely LOVE this craft blog.  It is like the whole craft blogging world in one place!  I could get lost for hours, HOURS I SAY, clicking on one project and then another and then another.  Great stuff is to be found.  Seriously.

Yesterday I came across these little cardboard dolls and then found this great craft on cardboard fractions, which OH SO THRILLED my mathematician's heart ... so this morning I thought, "how about grabbing that empty diaper box out in the garage and making a barn", which led to animals and then a farmer ... and we had fun, but I will admit, dolls would have been easier, quicker and just as entertaining:).  If you know me, you are fully aware of my slight tendency to be extreme in all situations at all times.  It is draining, and I assure you not a personality trait anyone should ever wish to have.  (and if Richard actually reads this, it wouldn't surprise me if he left an affirmative comment!)  But I will admit, my extremism has made for, if nothing less, an interesting life ... one that is full of adventures and as much as I might like to shake my extremism (as Richard would call it) I just can't stop myself most of the time.

I've made a mini playlist for your enjoyment if you wish to make your own diaper box barn.

Old McDonald, Ella Fitzgerald
Farm, Imagination Movers
Pig On Her Head, Laurie Berkner

These songs are sure to have you in a barn making mood in no time!

1. Get your diaper box and have your 12yr old put that Swiss Army Knife she got for her birthday to good use.

2. Go get The Animals of Farmer Jones off the bookrack in the nursery.

3. Sit a minute and delight in the illustrations found in great children's books.

4. Have the same 12yr old start making the box into a barn.

5. Find your 8yr old to draw farm animals.

6. Be amazed at the progress of your 12yr old.

7. Assemble the barn.

8. Have your 6 year old start coloring the animals.

9. Wash your 3 year old's hair and then let her color some animals, too.

10. Return to your 12 year old.  Watch her intensity as she cuts out the doors and windows.

11. Take some cute photos of your 3 year old playing with the farmer.

12.  Now take some photos of her playing with the chickens.

13.  And let's not forget to photograph her with the pig!  
(she likes this little activity, can't you tell?!)

14.  Oh, look!  Here comes the 6 year old wanting her photograph taken with a chicken.

15.  And just when things get going, tell your 3 year old it's nap time, and consequently brake her heart. :(

16.  Leave the barn on the table and enjoy trying to guess what you're husband will say when he walks in the front door from work.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One More Thing About Momma's

Momma has magazines.  Whenever I go home, I can't wait to grab a cup of coffee, go to this room

and sit and talk and flip through all of the magazines Momma has collected since my last visit.  I used to get magazines.  Wait, let me rephrase.  I used to get magazines for me.  Now, our mailbox is full of magazines for all the little people (babybug, ladybug, high five, highlights, cricket, hidden picture puzzle, which way usa, top secret, american girl, etc.).  My only style exposure magazines come from anthropologie, pottery barn and serina and lily.  Basically, the free stuff:).  But at Momma's ... oh the options are always endless.

While thumbing through this weekend, I found these pages in the April issue of Country Living. 

I remember several bloggers participating in a link up on the one room that defined their style. I was impressed that so many people can narrow it down. I guess I've really neglected focusing on our home over the years. Not intentionally, mind you, but I have just had to put all that aside for various reasons. The blogging world has been such a good motivator, encourager and inspiration for me to begin to start tackling that part of life again. I loved Kacy's house. Such a home. I loved how the photos showed how they lived. All the beds were not made ... food was on the table (real food that they would actually eat! not something brought in to "show" the place). I found myself just studying the images ... every millimeter of them. I'd like to think that if I were settled ... if I had a minute to think (really think), then I would probably say that my style would be very similar to the Hughes. A stylish home. A beautiful home. A home filled with memories.  

A beautiful home and a beautiful family!  She's got my five girls and two boys, too.

I really like the green beds.

If you think you recognize Kayce, maybe you are familiar with her woman's and children's clothes line.  You can check her blog out here and her merchandise here.  

Because We Could

We made a stop here for the weekend.

It isn't often that we have the opportunity to go home for Father's Day, so we decided to seize that opportunity this year while we had it.  It was as much of a treat for us as I'm sure it was for Daddy to get to see him and go to church with him this past weekend.   Daddy is quiet.  Daddy is simple.  Daddy loves God and has a heart for Him that is very real and sweet.  You can check out his website and his books here.  I love my Daddy and enjoyed seeing him this weekend.   But my one regret?  Of all the images I captured, not ONE was with him.  Can you believe??!!!  I'll get him next time:).  For now, enjoy these captured moments of some of the things we like to do when we go to Tuscaloosa.  

In the 15 months we've driven this route home, I've never seen a train on these tracks!  We were thrilled to see this train, and it reminded us of our days in KS.  There was this long train track that we used to drive alongside when we lived in KS.  The girls used to beg us to roll the windows down so they could hear the train on the track.  When we saw this train we instantly rolled the windows down, thinking, "This will be like old times!"  To our surprise the train blew it's whistle and scared Olivia to death ... yes, the fun was over:)!!

Momma had homemade ice cream waiting on us when we arrived!!

Blurry image, but a sweet captured moment in my mind.  The girls love the slip and slide at their Gran's!

Whose big girls are those??? :(

Even Ellie enjoyed her little vacation to 2 Windsor Drive.

Hanson Ellis taught herself to play the piano and loves going to Momma's so that she can play on the one my brother and I played.  And no matter what she is doing, whether it be playing the piano or doing her math in school, Olivia always seems to find her and climb up beside her:).

And of course, Hanson Ellis always finds her favorite chair at Momma's and sneaks off to get lost in a book.

Nothing like a little Beauty Shop with Gran!

We always enjoy walking along the beautiful Black Warrior River.

Patterson and her roly poly.

We stopped at a local antique shop that is one of Momma's favorite and they had a new little kitten.  Of all the things to see there, this was our favorite!

Then we were off to downtown Northport.  I love this one little street ... such a time gone by gem!

We made a stop in this shop, which was not much bigger than Momma's dining room.  A very overwhelming 20 minutes for me and the shop owner:)!  Each girl was allowed ONE thing.  Patterson picked the cleaning set.  Her comment on the way back to GA in regards to the set, "Now I can be like Snow White!"  Who would have thought??

Lunch at Mellow Mushroom in downtown Tuscaloosa.  I love being on University Campuses!! (especially this one ... ROOOOOOLLLLLLLL TIDE!)

And finally, more fun times at Gran's.

I still can't believe I didn't get ONE photo of Daddy.  Definitely next time!
I love you Daddy.  So happy to get to see you this weekend!!