Friday, October 28, 2011

Simple Fall Mantel

I thought I'd keep it simple this year with the Fall decorating. I love love LOVE decorating, but sometimes I can be all over the place with it and it doesn't seem to make sense. I think this is in part due to the fact that I haven't really figured out "my style" yet. I like so many different styles!! :) Hey, maybe that's my style?!! 

This year I've been inspired by making things a little more simple, and decorating in such a way that allows individual pieces to really shine. Not too fussy...but not sparse either. Just balanced. :) Of course I still have areas of my home that need to reform to this model of thinking!...but I'm in process...and slowly I'm getting there. :) 

This is a make-shift mantel I created because the house we are renting didn't have a mantel. (Who would build a fireplace and not put a mantel on it?!).  I've been brainstorming for some time how I could make this work (over a year now) but because I was working with painted stone, it's not like I could just hang a shelf above the fireplace...that is, without drilling into the stone. We tossed that idea around but I really didn't want to bother with having to fill in the holes after we left and also, never having worked with stone before and it not being our place and just wasn't going to be worth it. you have it...our make-shift mantel. :)

I really like the way it turned out. I bought the screen at Hobby Lobby on sale and the mantel piece (which is sitting directly on top of the screen) is made from a rough piece of cedar (bought at Home Depot) that I sanded and stained a dark Minwax stain and sealed with a Minwax gloss. I used heavy duty Scotch velcro fasteners for extra security to fasten the screen to the stone and the mantel piece to the screen. It would have been fine without them cause it's not about to fall over or anything, but I wasn't going to chance it with Cole. :)  I know it probably seems a little tacky to use the fasteners, but thankfully, they are not even visible. Oh, and for those of you wondering about how to use the fireplace since it's now boxed in? Well folks, it's Texas. We only build a handful of fires each year anyway, at which point I'll just move the screen, turn on the gas, and put it all back. No sweat! :)

For the decor I used an old Fall landscape oil painting that I found at a garage sale awhile back, 2 little pumpkins from the Dollar Tree, some fall leaves I had on hand, and 2 cinnamon-colored candles (from HL) inside 2 of my glass candlesticks.

And this little beauty? This is Cole's my newest vintage love. It was a birthday gift and I do say, he sure is handsome sitting next to the fireplace! And if a "certain little someone" just happens to want to give those ol' rockers a whirl....I guess it'd be alright. :)

Happy Fall Decorating
and Have a Wonderful Weekend!!


Linking up to:
My Romantic Home
The Shabby Nest

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Absolute Cuteness

Now, I know every mother out there probably thinks that their own little baby must be the cutest baby in the whole world, but I gotta tell you.....

You're all wrong. Okay, just kidding. ;)

But seriously, my little dude just has me head over heels for him. He has the sweetest little expressions that melts my heart like butter and the cutest smiles, features and "isms" that make my heart sigh and all the while I'm thinking, "really? He's all mine? You mean I get to keep him?!!" Ahhh....Motherhood bliss.......... :). How very blessed I am!

Now here's some recent pictures that capture all that cuteness!!!

Note the yellow-ish nose...must be all the
carrots, squash & sweet potatoes he's been eating!

Wearing a sweatshirt that used to be
Daddy's as a baby!

Look who's trying to help
with the dishes!

One of my faves. :) Ohhh...those eyes. :)

Happiness & glee

He loves him some eating! 

"Helping" with laundry too!

Walking with Daddy...I love those
chunky little legs!!!

Have a happy day!!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Decorated Pumpkins

When I used to work as a floral designer for a company in Dallas several years ago, every year they would make gorgeous dried floral pumpkin arrangements to sell to their high-end clientele. The price of one these pumpkins could cost you a pretty penny too...and in my opinion, they were waaaay overpriced. My solution? Make my own!! All you need are a few materials and some know-how and you're golden. :) 

Here's my debut pumpkin I made about 5 years ago:

Not too shabby for my first try. ;) And here's how you can make your own!!....

Materials you'll need:

*Green dried moss (can get it at Hobby Lobby or other craft stores)
*Dried grasses or wheat, seed pods, flowers, twigs, acorns, lavender, etc. Whatever suits your fancy (from dried floral section of craft store or from your own yard! :))
*Hot glue gun
*Hot glue sticks (probably about 5-10, depending on how much of a glue monster you are)

First you'll want to start with a good, fat pumpkin. This time around instead of using a traditional orange pumpkin I used a "Cinderella" pumpkin because I like it's shorter, squat-ier, fat shape. 

I started by hot gluing the green moss on top to create a "cap" of sorts. This will help all your dried floral to adhere nicely. :)

Next, starting with a section at a time, add your dried floral and other nature finds. Every pumpkin will end up looking different depending on what materials you use, just be creative and let your imagination guide you!  Here's what mine ended up looking like:

In this arrangement I used: dried wheat, dried eucalyptus,
3 brown seed pods, dried green hydrangea, dried lavender,
fall leaves, faux yellow floral, twigs from my yard, some
greenery from my yard, and dried roses. 

I gave this one to my Momma for her birthday (Happy Birthday again, Mom!!). I'm thinking...since I loved making it so much.....I might just make one for myself too!!

If you end up making one let me know how it turns out!!

Happy Fall Decorating,


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Hello Dear Ones!

First of all I wanted to thank those of you who commented on my previous post concerning the loss of our sweet baby. Your kind words were beyond encouraging and have lifted me up during this time. And for so many of you who have lifted us up in prayer, called us, visited, etc. the past couple of weeks.....thank you. It means so much!! It reminds me that we aren't suppose to carry our burdens by ourselves, and so by sharing with you this burden and having seen so many come alongside us we have seen the Body of Christ at work...and it's a beautiful thing. xo.


 Yesterday my two sisters with kids and I set out to the beautiful Dallas Arboretum to explore and enjoy the sights of their Autumn pumpkin displays and flowers. It was SOOO beautiful!! Naturally, being a floral designer and an all-around lover of all things natural, I was in awe the whole time. :) And being there with two of my best friends didn't hurt either! And the kids? Well....they just had a ball (literally, I think a couple of them thought the pumpkins were balls!) in the pumpkin patch! Here are some photos I took to capture the memories of the day:

Cole on the path lined with pumpkins :)

This is his newest thing: he loves to point
at things with his index finger and has the
funniest expression on his face when
doing so!

Just his size ;)

Always a little taste too...

My Little Pumpkin :)

Me & My Baby

Yellow ruffle shoes among heirloom gourds

One of the Pumpkin Houses....there were lots of them!!

Gwen, Gracie & Eli in the pumpkin house
called "Cinderella's Kitchen"

All the pumpkin excitement wore him out!

Goofy little guy :)

Tongue smiles :)

What a fun day it was!!! I hope you enjoyed the pictures and if you
live in the area...let's go again! (I know I plan to!) :)

Happy Start of Autumn Festivities!!!


P.S. What fun Autumn activities do you enjoy with your family??? Please
share and maybe I'll get some good ideas!! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

To My Unborn Baby...


I mustered up the courage to take a test. Nobody knew but me & God. And as I waited for the results I think, "this is too soon! If this turns out positive, then this is just too soon! I'm not ready to have be the mother of I? God, what are you doing?" 


I look's positive. My stomach jumps into my throat and I feel all anxious and nervous. I live in self-denial for awhile then decide to go back to making dinner and just sort out my feelings and all the while thinking, "this can't just can't be!!"

I tell your big brother, he won't tell....he's only nearly one. But I needed to tell someone!! I waited a little while....a day and a half to be exact...and then I tell your Daddy. Well, your big brother did with a little help from a note attached to his back that read, "I'm going to be a big brother!" Daddy is elated. :) We embrace and share looks of "are we ready to do this again?" all the while knowing....yes, WE ARE. 

This is God's plan.

God's surprise!

God's gift. 

We head out immediately, big brother in tow, and head straight to Sonic. We share a Sonic Blast and start talking details. Details of you. Details of you and big brother. Details of US....a family of 4.


A couple of weeks go by. All is well. I take my vitamins every day...I exercise, eat well, and take care of big brother & Daddy. Daddy carries in all the heavy grocery bags...and I take a nap every afternoon. You make me so tired! But I'm glad, cause I'm your Momma...and I get to take care of you.

We share the news with family and friends. Everyone is so excited! Stories of siblings born close together are shared, advice given, hugs & grins received and passed around. All is well. All is happy. All is good. 


We start planning. We make out a budget for what you might need. Our minds are focused on the future. We talk about where we will live. We talk about you and big brother and the great friends you will be. We talk about you...all the time. I think of you, all the time. Every choice I make is with you in mind. I think, "I can't have that, I can do that, I can't do that, I can have that....." and it's all a joy, because it's all for you. 


10 weeks. 

Inhale, heavy exhale.

"What's the matter?" I notice some signs. A sign that things might not be going as planned, that you might be having some trouble. I cry.

Your Grammy takes me in for a last-minute appointment. All seems fine. All is explainable. All seems well. But I am not. My heart's a-flutter, my look solemn, my eyes off in a different world. Something does not seem right.

I take blood tests...several times. The results are not good....they are whispers that something is not right. I cry again. And again. 

I feel I am losing you. I feel you are going....but I don't lose hope....I NEVER lose hope. My heart won't allow it. Daddy won't allow it either. He is a pillar of strength and encourages me to never lose heart. He never does...he always believed in you. Always.


10 weeks, 6 days. 

We go in for an ultrasound to see if we can see see how you are. Our hearts are heavy. A million thoughts and scenarios go through my mind...but I try and push them out...holding out for hope. HOPE. 

I lay on the table while the sonographer puts cold jelly on my tummy so we can see you. I don't mind, I just want to see you. My heart pounds so loud I am certain everyone can hear. Daddy holds big brother close by. We wait.

We see you. You're so tiny...but you're there. Daddy says he can see your tiny arms and legs. I see them too. Still, the news is not good.....she can't find your heartbeat. She tries again....Nothing. My worst fears are confirmed and I look across at your Daddy. My heart weeps. 

The sonographer leaves the room and I sob. Daddy holds me close and I sob and sob and sob.

They say there is no charge. I frown. :( Like a walking zombie I find my belongings and we walk to the car....then I cry aloud. I am angry! Why!!!??? Why did this have to happen! There are people out there who are aborting their babies and I want mine and can't have it!! I feel like spitting in someone's face! I want someone to feel my be mad a the slap someone who would dare to hurt a baby. I am angry! 

Daddy sees that I am on the verge of doing something irrational and directs me to sit down in the car. I sit. I cry, and I sit. 

My thoughts turn to numb as we head to see our midwife. I sit quietly. I stare off. I am very quiet. Daddy wants me to talk to him, but I am all out of words for the moment. I am still. Grave, and still.

We talk to the midwife. There is nothing to be done. She prepares me for the days ahead...tells me what I might experience, and I am sent home to wait for a miscarriage. There's no life, they say. It's all over, they say....and I weep.


I never ever didn't want you. I wanted you from the moment I saw those 2 tiny little pink lines. When my mind cried "how?" my heart cried "yes!" The more I thought of you, the more I imagined our life with you. Your Daddy and I had dreams for you...dreams with you, dreams of you. It just doesn't seem real that you won't be with us.

I am still waiting for you to go...but in my heart I hope it's all a mistake and that you'll never really go. Maybe they are wrong! I feel the signs that you are going, but my heart won't allow me to go there until it's all over. 

A few days go by.

I sit quietly and place my hand on my belly. You're still in there and I think, "this is the closest I will ever get to holding you." I cry aloud...deep sobs....and my body can't contain it. I hold my belly, not wanting to let go. I feel closer to you that way. I whisper to you that all will be alright...but you don't hear never will. 

A couple more days go by. 

We attend a wedding. There are lots and lots of babies there. I hear the message, I see the happy couple, I see the children playing on the grass and I think, "life is precious...each baby...each person...a miracle." I cry again but I am okay. God fills me with peace.


I always loved you and I always will. I know where my Hope lies and in Whom. I know where you really are and that you are safe. I am still waiting for you to go, am pained each day by this slow releasing, but I am okay....cause I know you're okay. You're more than're in Heaven.

I love you always my Sweet Baby.


Your Mommy