Thursday, March 31, 2011

we've been under the weather...

Mama and Meritt

This is what we looked like the day before the 'CRUD' as I've affectionately named it HIT. We were happy, we were carefree... I made the BIG mistake of saying something you should absolutely, never say, under ANY circumstances. That is... 'Man we haven't been sick for a really long time.' - 'Boy we've been lucky this year'. All I have to say is, BOY I'M STUPID! Never gonna say that again.

Because it must have heard it's call.
By the next day we were on the road to our whole family being:

Under the weather

The first Man down was miss Meritt. Who had more snot come out of her than I even knew to be possible. We needed a bucket to catch it!

Then came her sister, who got all sorts of crabby on us, because it was her Spring Break, and it wasn't FAIR.

(Tell me about it... FAIR is definitely not being cooped up in a house with two sick kids during Spring Break - I AGREE!)

The good news is, we had no real plans for Spring Break, so staying in the house wasn't too big of a deal, other than the sheer sanity factor.

The next Man down was Matt, who bless his heart got double ear infections, during his marathon work schedule. His eardrum burst, and now cannot hear, but still has to work 6 days a week around 11ish hours a day. Things have gotten so bad with his hearing, that he has been to the Doctor twice, is now on his second dose of antibiotics, and the girls at his work have had to resort to making BIG signs to hold up across the office for when they need his attention.

So, if your doing your math, that is two sick kids, during Spring Break, one sick husband gone all the time, and one mom left standing.

By this point anyone who knows us was too scared to even come by our home, for fear they would catch the 'CRUD'...

Yay. Fun TIMES!!!
By Saturday, the FOURTH MAN WENT DOWN.
YEP, I got sick too.
Thankfully by the weekend the children were better and my parents took pity on us, and would take the children to entertain them so we could sleep. Although they still wouldn't come in the house, can you believe that :)? How rude... (just kidding)

Mine has lingered all week, although I have now concocted a cocktail of cold medicines that make it easier to make it through the day. Let's see: I am taking, cough syrup, an inhaler, nasal spray, suddafed, aleve, and some vitamins. Seems to be at least making me feel semi human!

I apologize for not being a very good blogger lately.
I haven't been posting too regularly, and I have had nothing very exciting to share.
Sorry, but when the highlight of your day is nap time it doesn't leave you with much material to work with!

I'll try to come up with something great really soon!
I promise!!!
Anything you'd like me to talk about or show you... ask away. Give me a question or an idea and I'll do my best to answer it!

I hope you have been healthy and happy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

a lovely way to start a Monday...



Every Monday I look forward to seeing what Heather of Blessed Little Nest will come up with for Life Made Lovely Monday. It's a nice way to start an otherwise dreary sort of day. Much to my amazement this morning I realized I was the 'chosen one' she featured for her Life Made Lovely Monday series... wow!!! How nice is that??? I can hardly think of a nicer way to start a Monday morning! Thanks Heather!

It really is the little things in life that make it the most lovely isn't it? Sometimes it's just a wink from your honey, or a kiss on the cheek from your child, a little 'miss you' text from a friend, or enjoying a cup of tea all alone. It's the little things that make life sweet! I guess as we press on through life (our own lives) it's important to remember how even doing something simple for someone can make their day!

Thank you Heather, for making my Monday start out lovely. Today was the first day back to school for the kids after a week indoors with the whole family sick. Needless to say this day could have started out rough... instead I started it by drinking a big cup of joe, and reading my fav blogs, where I just happened to spot that you chose me to be this weeks 'Life Made Lovely - feature'. This sweet little something, made my day totally lovely!

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Go check out Blessed Little Nest, it's beautiful and full of all kinds of inspiration!

Friday, March 25, 2011

laundry...


...laundry is a never ending job at my house.

a while back I was reading a blog (i don't remember which one) it was one focused on living green. (which I'm all for) She was saying that to reduce water use in her house. Each family member has 3-4 outfits total, bathes twice a week, and re-uses towels for at least a week... they wash bedding once a month, and other 'necessary' items once a month as well.

Now, I'm sorry... I'm not trying to make a judgement here, but is that nuts?
While I can see how that would reduce water usage, and maybe even cure the never ending battle most of us moms face on keeping up with the laundry. But, whoa. I don't think I'd want to smell those sheets. Just sayin'

With my kids it almost seems impossible to keep them in the same outfit for an entire day. No matter how hard we seem to try, someone always gets dirty. Either with art supplies, food, playing outside, school, etc. As far as the bathing goes, we all do it everyday. The girls occasionally go a day in between, but usually every day. Towels, those last more than one use (most of the time). Sheets and bedding get washed every week... and then there's tea towels, doggy bedding, rugs, curtains, slip covers, and other 'stuff' that needs to be washed.

Between all of that there is always laundry to do. I don't really mind the washing, the folding is okay, but Ahhhh the putting it away, it kills me. Never ending I tell you.

Just about the time I think it's finally done. I turn around twice, and there it is again.

So, here is my question for you???
What's your laundry system?
Are you more like me or the green mom with 3 outfits each?... or are you somewhere in between?

My mom used to tell me, that when I had to do my own laundry someday that I wouldn't have nearly as much... boy was she wrong.

On the bright side, I have a lovely new washer and dryer that make my life much more lovely... and I am not doing laundry in a dungeon anymore. So, there is always a bright side to be thankful for!

Do you have some great laundry advice or system I need to know about? Or are you in the same boat I'm in?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

missing her...

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It's funny how you can miss someone so much in the smallest of moments...
Just wishing that you could spend just one more minute, or have just one more conversation.

I haven't cried since her funeral.
It was hard to feel sad for myself when I know she is in such a better place.

But, tonight as quietness creeps around me, I feel tears well up in my eyes, and my heart aches because I'm missing her.

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Do you ever wish for one reason or another you could go back to the days of your childhood?
Sometimes I must admit it sounds nice.
Especially if I could just spend one more day with her.
She was the best.
She was the most fun, the most loving, best grandma in the entire world.
She ALWAYS had time for me.
She made me part of her everyday life, and in doing that she'll never know how much she gave me.

Most people are too busy to slow down long enough to savor those who are around them. I'm not sure if she did this her whole life, but when I was around, I never felt anything was more important than the time she spent with me.

She included me.
She made traditions with me.
She traveled with me.
She took me to church, and memorized bible verses with me.
She colored pictures with me.
She played games with me.
She played outside with me.
She accepted me, and all of my creative messes that came along with me.
She listened to me.

When I came to her hurt, she would kiss the pain away.
When I came to her scared, she would scoop me up, and cuddle me in her rocking chair.
When I needed advice, she was always quick to listen and slow to judge.

grandma and I on my wedding day

I am not sad that she's in heaven, I am happy she is finally back to that old person I remember so fondly. But, I must admit, I miss her like crazy, and I am pretty sure that I will everyday until I see her again. She's irreplaceable... one of a kind.

There is a piece of me missing without her.
I'm just not sure how else to put it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

spring...

Spring

Finally.... we got a sliver of sunshine today.
Ahhhh. It was so good!
It's amazing, I'm a true Oregonian through and through, but I tell you what, this year the non-stop rain is getting to me.
I am ready for some warmth on my skin, sunshine on my face, and dirt in between my fingers!

spring porch

Today has given me a bit of inspiration to spruce things up around these parts. Time to get rid of the drab old winter stuff, and get ready to jump into Spring!

Love these two photos! (I don't know the source, sorry, googled some spring inspiration!)

Don't you want that chalk board???
I'm thinking a trip to the thrift stores or a few antique shops may be in my future to find a great frame to turn into a chalk board! I think this look would be awesome inside or out! What do you think? Are you ready for Spring???

Sunday, March 20, 2011

a day by the sea...

"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused."
- Rainer Maria Rilke


We have had a long last few months. A death in the family. The holidays. A lot of work... Matt working 6 days a week, and me working my mommy job and my 'real job' (my mommy job, in my opinion is my real job, just so you know)! So, I told everyone we needed a family day! It has been raining cats and dogs for months upon months I swear... so when the weather guy said there would be a sunny day today, I didn't hesitate, I knew exactly how we should spend it. A day at the beach... Ahhhh, yes. A day to play, relax, and take Lola for her first outing to the beach! Unfortunately, the weather guy was wrong, there was little sun, and yet plenty of the wet stuff. Oh, well. When handed a lemon, what can you do? Squeeze it and make some glorious lemonade! So, that's what we did.

Took the lovely scenic drive to the coast.
Ate fish and chips at our favorite little spot.
Did a bit of shopping and a bit of ice cream eating.
Then, it was time for the beach.
We played.
We laughed.
Lola ran, and ran, and ran.
Matt got to play with his new doggy as he has been dying to since we adopted her at the end of January.
The girls played in the water as if it was the sunniest, warmest, Oregon coast day.
I sat in my chair, bundled in layers, and a wool blanket, and had a ball taking pictures of the whole thing!


Lola Bug

Lola traveled like a champ on her first big car ride.
She was in heaven once she was let off her leash to run, chase, and dig.

a guy, the beach, and his dog.

This guy here... he was happy.
Seeing him happy, makes me happy.
He needed a day to be at peace, be with those he loves the most, and the place he loves the most!

being silly on the beach

A beach day was the perfect way to kick off their Spring Break. Especially since there really isn't a whole lot that we have planned to do.
I swear give these girls a beach and they could be happy all day long!
Seeing them happy, makes me happy!
They needed a day to play, to be with both of their parents, and have our undivided attention!

sisters...

I love when I can catch really sweet sisterly moments between these two.
They don't happen all the time, but oh when they do, it makes my heart swell.
Meritt fell hiney first into the water. She was soaked up to her chest. Her sister calmly walked her all the way up the beach to mom and dad to kiss her tears away, and get her to some dry clothes! It was very sweet.

We got dry.
Bundled into the car.
Took the scenic drive back through the mountains, and home.
Ate dinner at one of our favorite spots.
Came home and cuddled and read.
It was a perfect day, with my three perfect loves, and my sweet Lola Bug Girl!


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Linking up with Blessed Little Nest for Life Made Lovely Monday's!

Friday, March 18, 2011

love is...

love is...

We have a huge chalk board in our laundry/craft room. I mean really big. It's a whole wall. I spend a lot of time in my laundry room. No matter how hard I try laundry is a never ending job in my house. Just about the time I think I have conquered the piles, they are back again.

Anyway, this last week, I decided I needed a reminder of what love really is. What God's word says love is. I need to strive to love those I love more like God loves me. These last few weeks have been a little tough. Matt has been working six days a week, lots and lots of hours. It's been hard to have our whole family schedule upside down. I don't like feeling upside down. I also don't like having to do all the parenting. However, my sweet husband doesn't want to be working all of these hours, and isn't choosing to not be with us. He's being our provider. I know that I can't be selfish about how 'I' feel about this because it wouldn't be fair. So instead, I am trying to have the very best attitude that I can have, and be as loving to my kids and my husband as I can possibly be, and in return, despite the upside down nature of our lives right now, I am being blessed!

I had to stop myself at one point last Saturday while Matt was working his third straight weekend in a row from having a pity party. Having a pity party would do no good. He isn't having one. He's choosing to have a great attitude despite unfavorable working conditions, so I decided I would too.

Running a business, and being a full time Mama is a lot on one persons plate. There have been many days lately that there have been no fancy meals prepared... however we still sit and eat food, as a family, and say a blessing before we eat our meal. There are days I can't get to everything on my to-do list... but I still am able to always get something accomplished, and that is one less thing on the list for tomorrow. There have been a few days where feeling positive isn't always easy... but it's always worth it because my attitude is directly mirrored by my children's attitudes. As long as I have love, and I am giving love to those that I love, than life is never upside down. The older I get the more I realize that as long as I have the love of Jesus in my heart... my life is always right side up!

1 Corinthians 13

1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

some of my favorites...

Over Meritt's Birthday weekend, we had very special company! Matt's family came to stay, including our 15 month old miracle nephews. The girls had so much fun playing with the cousins. So to mark the ocassion, I called my favorite friend photographer Meghann of Your Street Photography... and we did a little family photo shoot! Here are some of my favorites. It's very hard to choose, since Meghann doesn't take a bad photo in the whole bunch!

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.
~Erma Bombeck


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We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box. ~Robert Fulghum

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You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

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Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. ~Vietnamese Proverb

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The family is a haven in a heartless world. ~Attributed to Christopher Lasch

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There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

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There can be no situation in life in which the conversation of my dear sister will not administer some comfort to me. ~Mary Montagu

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The greatest poem ever known
Is one all poets have outgrown:
The poetry, innate, untold,
Of being only four years old.
~Christopher Morley, To a Child


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love my mother as the trees love water and sunshine - she helps me grow, prosper, and reach great heights. ~Terri Guillemets

Monday, March 14, 2011

inspiring...

I have two favorite magazines that make me giddy when I get them into my hot little hands. One is my favorite for it's ideas, and style, and decorating glorious-ness (yes, I know that's not a real word!)... and the other is a favorite for how beautifully inspirational it is. I thought I would share my two favorites with you, because as I was thinking of what I could blog about this evening, and my brand new copy of Flea Market Style sits beside me, I thought to myself, doesn't everyone know about this??? Then I thought, oh no, what if they don't. That's when I knew what to blog about! These two magazines are so worth sharing, especially if you don't know about them!



Meet Life Beautiful... she's a lovely magazine about well, life made beautiful.

{Life:Beautiful is a national, inter-denominational, Christian lifestyle magazine that celebrates an active, integrated faith. Built on a foundation of biblical teaching and encouragement for spiritual growth, Life:Beautiful offers relevant information and community for Christian women. The pages of Life:Beautiful showcase everyday experiences and activities, such as parenting, cooking, decorating, teaching, working, volunteering, resting, traveling and offering hospitality—all of which can be used to share the joy of the Lord.} taken from life beautiful website



Meet Flea Market Style, she's a magazine full of my favorite decorating style/ideals decorating with unexpected, vintage, finds found and re-purposed!

"Flea Market Style isn't only about creating a beautiful home. It's also a life attitude that's about looking forward to the day's adventures while honoring the past" Ki Nassauer - executive editor of Flea Market Style

So, if you haven't already met these two, you really need to drive yourself to the nearest local book store and find yourself a copy of each. Then sit in a quiet spot with your favorite drink, flip the pages, (back to front if you're like me) and ENJOY! Soak up all of the wonderful ideas and pictures and feel inspired!

Those are my favorites what are yours? I'd love to know if there is something really amazing out there that I've been missing!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Faith Blogs...

faith blogs

Tonight I received an email that almost brought tears to my eyes... okay it did bring tears to my eyes. I received an email letting me know that my blog has been chosen to be featured on Faith Blogs! Have you heard about Faith Blogs before??? If not, you must go check it out!!! What a wonderful idea. What a great way to connect people who blog and love the lord! I am BEYOND honored... I am thrilled!

For a long time now, I have felt that God has been asking me to use my blog to share his word and his love. I felt he was asking me to do that here at my own little piece of the Internet.

There have been times throughout my blogging journey that I have thought about giving it up. I have wondered why I keep click... click... clicking the keys of my computer when I'm not always sure anyone is even reading this little ole' blog let alone getting any benefit from it.

But, God was tugging at my heart, and telling me to be quiet and wait. That there is a reason and a purpose for why I have started this blog of mine. I chose to have faith that he of course knows better than I do. So, I have stayed. Still click... click... clicking my keys, not for any other reason than because I feel I have been called to use my words, and my life, for something that will glorify my heavenly father. In doing so, I've prayed that my words would also be of some encouragement, or interest to someone else out there reading my words, and viewing my photos, and hearing my stories.

Getting the email tonight from Katie at Faith Blogs telling me that I was chosen, made me smile from ear to ear, because God is good. He always makes a way. ALWAYS. There are times he asks us to be still, or quiet, or patient, and we don't always know why or where he's going with the request, but he does. That is faith. Having faith that HE is in control. That HE knows better than we do. Stepping out of our comfort zones and listening to where we are being called, because he has a plan far greater than we can ever imagine.

I am excited to see where this journey will take me.
I pray I continue to listen, and step out on faith so that I can accomplish everything he's asking of me in my life.
Thank You Faith Blogs for choosing me!


Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch. ~Ramona C. Carroll

Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore

He who has faith has... an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well - even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly. ~B.C. Forbes

Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings. ~Victor Hugo

Faith can move mountains, but don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel. ~Author Unknown

As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. ~Emmanuel

Thursday, March 10, 2011

keeping it real...


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Being a mom is a hard job.
Before I became a mother I always wondered if I would be selfless enough, would I be able to be patient enough, would I have enough love...

There are days I know I should be more selfless.
I absolutely cannot fight or deny the fact that patience isn't my strongest gift.
But, I never ever could have imagined the pure LOVE that I have for my kids.

When they struggle, I struggle.
When they feel sad, I wish I could take that away and make them happy.
I wish I could give my daughters the ability to KNOW how loved they are by me...
If they had that ability they would never be jealous of their sister...
They would never feel like they were somehow not enough...
They would never for a moment question their place in this world, because they would know that wherever they are they are perfect just the way God made them.

Bella has been struggling lately. She's been acting out in ways that are unlike her. She bottles up her emotions and they come out in arguments, and yelling, screaming, gnashing, sniveling, horrible fits.

It breaks my heart, into like a million pieces that I can't seem to do anything to help ease whatever it is that she's feeling.

She's so jealous of her sister, and I'm not sure why...
I can't love Meritt less just to make Bella feel better, not even if I tried.
They are two separate people.
I wish they both knew the depths of my love, but I guess I'll just have to keep loving them each, in their own special way, each day for the rest of their lives and try to show them how much.

I wasn't expecting to be going through some of this stuff quite yet.
I thought the teenage years would bring these things, but not these sweet adolescence days.

I am left tonight feeling like I'm not sure I was enough today.
Yet, I'm not sure I could have given anymore.
Life isn't always perfect.
That's a lesson I want my kids to learn now.
I don't want to build a bubble around them, because... LIFE ISN'T ALWAYS PERFECT.

It's important to learn to be forgiving.
It's important to learn to ask for forgiveness.
It's important to learn how we treat others affects everyone around us.
It's important to learn about grace, like that of the grace that Jesus gives each of us everyday.

I'm learning that teaching life lessons isn't always easy, or perfect, nor does it come with a manual or rules.

Being a mom is HARD.

Good thing it's also wonderful most days.
There would be a whole lot of us giving our two week notices on days like I had today, because I don't think it's really a whole lot like we thought it would be when we signed up for the job.

I guess all that I, or you, or any of us can hope as we lay our heads down on our pillows and wait for a new day, is that we too will be forgiven, we will learn to ask for forgiveness, and that the Grace of the lord will renew us for the next day ahead.

This Mama is calling it a day!
Good-night all.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hey, Hey...

First, I have to share the back story on this... This past summer we went to something called the Willamette Celebration. It's a Christian event bringing together every church around the Willamette Valley for about a 100 mile+ radius. They had varied different events throughout the weekend. One evening we went to one of the many outdoor concerts they had. One of the bands was Superchick. The music came across the land and Meritt went nuts. She was dancing like she was born to be a rocker girl all of her life! A week or so later, both girls were still talking about 'Superchick' - especially Meritt, so we went down to our local Bible bookstore and brought a Superchick CD. The rest of the summer, that CD blasted away in our car, as the girls sung at the top of their lungs in the backseat, and Meritt waved her arms in the air, and danced around like the music was part of who she is.

There is one song in particular that she loves the 'most'! HEY, HEY.
She could listen to it over, and over, and over, and over....... and over. (you get it!) After months of listening, this mama grew a little rattled and weary over listening to the sounds of Superchick, so the above mentioned CD may have gone missing for a bit. Well, the other night the beloved Superchick CD was found and all was happy in our land. Especially when HEY, HEY, came across the speakers. UPPER MAMA, UPPER, that's Meritt's way of asking that the music be so loud that everyone within a 5 mile radius can hear it! So, I did what any good, reasonable mother would do, we opened the sunroof all the way in 40 degree weather at 7 o'clock at night cranked the stereo upper almost as loud as it goes, and rocked out to HEY, HEY.

Listen to the words, read the words... I don't think there could be a better song in all the world to sum up my Meritt. That night as we were driving, I listened more intently on the words of my little girls favorite song more intently than I ever had before, and as I heard her little voice from the back seat sing out, 'be legendary, be you...' I believed with all of my heart, that God is going to do some legendary things with her, because of how 'her' she is through and through!

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I'm linking up with Heather at Blessed Little Nest today on her life made lovely Mondays! Go check her blog out it's oh so cute! Love it...

Friday, March 4, 2011

look for the rainbow!

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It has been rainy, cold, snowing, drizzling, windy, or yucky here for a L O N G time. I am pretty over this weather. It's March. I'm ready for some sunshine. Some warmth. I would like to get out in my garden and dig in the dirt. My kids are more than ready to play outside for longer than 10 minutes, and even the animals are getting a bit stir crazy.

According to the weather man, I don't think my wish is coming true any time soon, so I'm needing to see the bright side of things instead. I'm thinking some hot tea, a cozy blanket, a cat nap, and some cuddles with my oh so lovey lovey doggy Lola. So, maybe rainy days aren't all bad. I love that they give you an excuse to throw on Uggs, turn up the heat, cozy in the house, and NEST! I have a few hours to enjoy all of that, and then I will have 4 girls inside my house for a play date! Maybe we'll make rainbows??? What do you think? That might make us feel a little sunnier on a cool, rainy, March day!

Happy Friday, I hope you too look for the rainbows in life and forget about the rain!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

the party girl...

party girl

We celebrated Meritt's fourth Birthday in true pony girl style at the Carousel. What a blast she had partying on the ponies! The other kids had fun too ;)