I Will Always Remember ‘The {Perfect?} Easter Morning’……

I will always remember Easter morning from last year.

I had a great plan….

I got up early on Easter morning

to cook my family some fun, homemade

blueberry pancakes in the shapes of Easter eggs, chicks, and bunnies.

The table was set….and ready for fun.

Everyone’s lovely new clothes were waiting to be donned.

It was going to be a great day.

I started cooking the pancakes….

and it just wasn’t working.

I had beheaded bunnies, chicks with no body, and

completely destroyed Easter eggs.

The eggs burned while I was trying to get the pancakes

working….I wondered if I could convince my family

that it was a new, cutting-edge dish….charcoal eggs???.

I was determined to have fun-shaped pancakes….

but we ended up with plain, round ones.

How I got blueberry batter

in my eyelashes, I’m not sure.

I forgot to cook the bacon.

{But the table still looked really pretty.}

We always get new outfits for Easter…..

we’ve done this since our children were small.

Not to impress anyone; but to be an outward expression

of what Easter stands for: Brand New Life.

Those lovely new duds were all hanging and ready.

My youngest daughter just started wearing mascara….

it’s a learned skill to handle, ya know.

And the make-up remover?

Well, it ended up all over her brand new dress.

And her nails that were chipped and looking

like a mechanic from fun in the yard?

Due to the pancakes…we didn’t get to re-paint them.

My other daughter’s new dress just wasn’t working

with the camisole that wouldn’t stay up….

I hoisted it up with twine and hair barrettes in the back.

She was freezing and put on leggings with her new

dress that had ketchup stains on the knee. ?????

{How does ketchup get on your knees?}

And then donned her winter wool coat.

I love the new nail polish I found this past week

and had painted my toes and fingernails with it.

It will look gorgeous with a tan…..

but with winter white skin?

Yeah, well, I looked like the crypt-keeper.

We’ve been rearranging closets and cleaning some areas

out around here…so somehow all the sheets and blankets

have ended up in my closet….on top of my shoes.  ???

I couldn’t find my shoes for church…you know, the ones that

were perfect with my new outfit.

It was at this point that my prayers turned to:

“Really, God? Really???!!”

We finally made it to the car and headed to church.

And I looked down at my ring.

My beautiful ring that Handsome had made for me by a local jeweler…

my engagement ring…

flanked by two wedding bands that he also designed and had made.

I had meant to clean it this past weekend.

No doubt it had blueberry batter in it!

It’s a very large amethyst….and so it gets all kinds

of dirt, etc. in it that makes it cloudy.

Still beautiful….but nothing like when it’s cleaned.

Sparkly, deep purple, can-see-the-facets clean.

Dang!

So, here we were……

the girls and I looking like the crypt-keeper and her daughters

that had fallen off the apple cart.

{Somehow the guys managed to escape any fashion fiascos.}

Beheaded bunnies flung all over the kitchen…

looking like a crime scene.

A shoe explosion in the bedroom.

My lovely plans to bless my family

blown to bits!

But it was when I looked down in the car at my ring

that I heard a still small voice.

You know….during the time that I was  trying

to get my attitude straight before getting to church.

{So I could smile and say ‘Fine’. Because I was afraid

that someone was going to ask me how I was doing

and I was going to break down and yell something like

“THE BUNNIES DIDN’T WORK!!!!”

And then they would need to call the behavioral

health professionals for back-up.}

It was when I gazed at my ring that the still small

voice said…..

“Daune, you’ve had the perfect Easter morning.

This is why I died. You don’t need to be cleaned

up and sparkly to come to me…..you come just as

you are…wherever you are. No need to clean up first.”

We can bring our mismatched, rag-tag, chipped, cloudy, dirty,

barette-hoisted, bad attitude selves to the cross.

With all our failures and disappointments.

That’s what Easter morning is all about.

He will clean me up to where I sparkle and shine…

with the facets that he has placed within me

reflecting His love to my family and others.

So, that’s when I realized that I had had the

Perfect Easter Morning.

True story.

Blessings to you~

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Finding the Lovely…..{Week 5}

Where are these weeks going!?

We’re preparing to host about 15 teen girls for the weekend….

so, off I go to the grocery store!

Finding the Lovely

Lovelies from this week….

the hot chocolate station

freshly made salsa

daffodils on the sill

slushy date with a daughter

pansies…everywhere!

and johnny jump-ups!

Handsome..the four-leaf finding king

tie-dye car wash

brushes! Oh, how I love them….

a fun family game of Chinese checkers

the chairs that we are getting ready to paint

putting together some treats for all the girls spending the weekend with us

a yummy dinner

the first clover blossom of the season

paint colors for a daughter’s new bedroom {she picked the top left one!}

a quiet trail

Have a fabulous weekend!

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The Way Things Are Remembered…….

A while ago I was telling my 3 children about the wonderful, huge closet I had when I was young.  I explained how it was so tall I couldn’t see the ceiling…and I pretended it was my castle. I told them that it was so big sometimes I felt like I got lost in there and that I created entire worlds.  It was so big that when I pretended it was a store….I had departments! I was sharing how I wish we had closets that big in our cottage so they could have fun in them like I had fun in my huge closet.

My Mom was there when I was telling this story.

She chuckled and I asked her what she snickering about.

She said that she thought that was so special that I remembered my closet that way.

I was perplexed….I mean it was the ONLY way to remember it. It’s how it was.

And then she said that she thought it was so special that was my memory of my magical closet…….because in reality that closet was so teeny that her and my Dad had to bend down to get in…and there was not even enough room for them to fit in it without turning sideways.

I said “Uh. uh. !!!”

“No. way.”

And she said ….. “Oh, yes…that’s how it really was.”

Wow.

Even after being faced with reality…..I still remember how big that closet was. I was the princess of the entire kingdom. I knew my kingdom, after all, you  know.

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{source}

After that conversation it got me thinking….I wonder how my children will remember things. Will the teeny closets be huge? Will the things Handsome and I see as hindrances, inconveniences, and ‘less-thans’ be remembered to them as wonderful things?

When we remember we are seeing with the heart. Our heart always overrides our eyes when it comes to memory. We remember not so much how things were or how they happened….but how they made us feel.

That teeny closet made me feel like the princess of the castle….so it will always be remembered that way.

I see our growing as a family over the years as a necklace. From the very beginning each special memory is a bead. As our children grow and eventually launch out on their own I hope we will be sending them out with a beautiful, full necklace.  Full of gigantic closets, feelings of being Princes and Princesses, having the best home in the world………not because of how it was decorated, but how they felt inside it. Loved.

I hope they will maybe remember those days over the years that I’ve thrown a crazy MomFit as their Mom was so fun she actually put on a circus for them. {OK. OK. I know, that’s pushing it…but memory is a powerful thing…and it could be possible. Right?}

I hope to send them out with a beautiful necklace…years of wonderful feelings of being loved no matter what. Years of great memories. A necklace they will cherish all the years of their life. One that even when I tell them how small the closet actually was it will not tarnish or lose its shine. It may even get brighter.

Your closet Princess~

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Finding the Lovely ….. {Week 3}

I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day! We’ve been busy around here with some fun projects…..but aren’t quite finished yet.

This was a hard week. Anyone else been there? But….there were still many lovely things happening in the midst of the hard.

Finding the Lovely Week 3

1. My favorite store! 😉

2.  Heart-shaped BoBerry biscuit. If you do not live in or are from the South….this may be foreign to you. I implore you to try them one day when you are passing through.  I only have them once-in-a-while…but the week of Valentine’s each year they are in a heart shape. An extra lovely:  see the little hand?

3.  A bowl full of lavender-filled hearts.

4. Vintage Valentine’s

5.  Pillows….waiting….

6.  Two crazy sisters that fight over the front seat daily!

7. I’m forgiven……so I’m dropping my rock.

8.  Woke up to beautiful tulips on Valentine’s Day….my favorite! {How did he know???}

9.  Went to change the toilet paper on Valentine’s Day….and found this. =) God was sending me a message…even in the toilet paper. I’m loved. I’m His favorite Valentine. 😉 hee!hee!

What are some lovely things from your week? Anyone else have a hard week….but could still see the lovelies?

Hope your weekend totally refreshes you~

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Heart Rocks…….

Many years ago Handsome started giving me rocks that he would find in the shape of hearts.  Not ones that had been cut or shaped into a heart…but natural ones. My heart rock collection has grown ….. and continues!

It’s like a little Godwink when you look down and find a piece of nature that has been shaped into a heart.  {My pastor’s wife dropped by one day and left me a potato that was shaped like a heart. It was fun to find it in the mailbox, and then display it in the kitchen. It lasted several months! ha!}

heart rock collection

They have come from all over the nation….and some from other lands.

It’s like Valentine’s year-round! =)

Do you collect anything from nature?  Or is there one thing in particular that you have always collected, and probably always will?

There are some things that I collect for a season….and then move on; but heart rocks, vintage shave brushes, and ‘P’s’ are something that I always have and probably always will collect.

You can see my post about Collecting P here

and Collecting Vintage Shave Brushes here

Happy Beginning of Valentine Week!

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Finding the Lovely {Week 1}

Last year for the month of February I had fun with a weekly post called ‘Finding the Lovely’. You can check out last year’s Finding the Lovely posts here.

It was part of being intentional about finding and SEEING the loveliness each week and capturing it spontaneously….on my phone’s camera. To stop and SEE all the fun, lovely things that happen each week. It’s fun…why don’t you join me!? I lt was great at the end of the week to look back over what I’d quickly documented…..and have proof of all the wonderful, lovely blessings that have happened throughout the week. Even if I feel like it’s been a rough or ‘bad’ week…..when I look back over what I’ve documented, it’s proof that even rough weeks are full of loveliness.  And at the end of weeks that I think have been wonderful….I get to look back over and remember. There is always loveliness to be noticed…it’s everywhere.

I challenge you to try it. As you go through your day capture things on your phone’s camera….anything that makes you smile or that you think is lovely, fun, etc. At the end of the week go back and look through all those things. Focus on the lovely. The gifts. The blessings that find you each day.

For the next several Fridays I thought I would share my Finding the Lovely right here.

For this week…….

Finding the Lovely - Week 1

Art brushes….they make my heart sing!

Getting the first spoonful of peanut butter =)

A little spring on the table on a super cold day….

Words of comfort and encouragement

A gorgeous sky on my early morning run

Getting to do some mini art with my new art pencils for someone that needed encouraging

A wonderful gift of 48 vintage, wooden, folding chairs….have always wanted some of these!

A barn full of treasures…waiting to be loved again

A daughter’s beautiful music….it always ministers to me

Belgian waffles for dinner

A fun daughter….love spending time with her

Having a frappuccino girls’ afternoon date!

A fun game of Chinese checkers with the whole family

Ice crystals sparkling

Chinese delivery in front of the fire during an ice storm

Daffodils saved from the ice and sitting on the sill

May you have a weekend full of finding the lovely~

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The Honor of Being a Memory Keeper……

We had a great weekend! It just went by too fast, as usual.

We had the great honor of being invited to walk through a friend’s family farmhouse and outbuildings….ones that will be demolished in the next several weeks.  I think it has been almost 20 years since they have been lived in…..but such treasures to behold. We loved hearing the stories about each building and the people and the rich lives that were lived there. I also remember Christmas caroling at this farm as a little girl.

To make it even more special….we were invited to take anything that we would like. What an honor! This included the actual wood on the walls and outside……just incredible!

Each building was full of such wonderful, valuable treasures….ones that held great stories and had been overseers of a family living life….the fun times, the hard times, the seasons, the little ones, the grown ones, the generations. The in-laws, the out-laws……. all sitting down together and having ham from the smoke house and fresh eggs from the chickens.

The huge horse barn…still with hay in the hay loft and troughs, the smoke house, the large chicken house and run, the pack house/barn, the farmhouse, and the hallowed home of a special worker that lived on the premises for most of his life.  Such a special, special place.

We didn’t take it lightly that we were offered such a treasure….to not only get to hear about the wonderful memories created here; but to actually get to be a small bit of the ongoing story. To be able to gather treasures and continue to use them …….. when others share their special family items with you, it is an honor…because you get to be a memory keeper. It’s like taking a small flame from a large fire and using it to start a new one…..

Even when the original fire goes out….it lives on in the new fire.

I wish I could share every picture that I took this past weekend…but there are 150! I’d shut down the internet! So, here is a little peek. I won’t share pics of all the treasures that are now with us…..but I will be showing all the fun things that we do with them over the year.

Isn’t this wallpaper lovely?

vintage wallpaper in farmhouse

The wonderful hallway telephone alcove is now with us…..and we have some fun ideas about where we are going to put it in our cottage. {And we may or may not even have a vintage telephone that still works that might be put in it….and used. =)}

vintage phone alcove

Another beautiful wallpaper…….

vintage wallpaper

The floors, ceilings, and walls are covered in gorgeous wood….much of it will be reclaimed and used as a wood floor…..won’t it be gorgeous. Tongue and groove..hardly any nails in any of the boards.

reclaimed wood

Be still my heart!  This is the outside wood siding on all of the outbuildings….isn’t it gorgeous?  We brought a load home…..Handsome is giddy.

reclaimed barn wood

This is the ceiling in the horse barn….you should see the beams! They just don’t make wood and beams like this anymore. WHY!? Why has our wood gone wimpy?

vintage barn wood

The large barn/pack house….. I wish I could just scoop it up on a trailer and move it to our yard. Seriously. For real. I would do it. I considered testing the whole “Up” strategy…..how many balloons do you think it would take? I’m perfectly willing to give it a try.

farmhouse barn chicken house

There were bird nests everywhere! Some even on top of the curtains in the living room. As we walked through the house and buildings…there were no rodents or bugs, not even spiders! {Here is the South…that is almost unheard of!} I think it very special that there were only evidence of birds living there….birds stand for life.  Even though the family wasn’t living in this farmhouse anymore…the birdsong filled it with life and vitality as it aged.

If this farmhouse was going out…it was going out in style, holding on to the joy. No amount of weather, time, or vandalism can take that away.

bird nests

Here are a few treasures we gathered…..the skeleton key has already found a home on top of the piano…..

skeleton key

In one of the upstairs bedrooms we found all sorts of fun ephemera…..even an old motel room key. {How cool that we knew the original owners of the motel a waaaaayyyyy long time ago!} Vintage coupons, trip logs….and when I saw this banner, “Miss Danceable”….well, you know I HAD to have it! Printed the year before I was born. Prophetic, don’t you think? *wink* *wink*

My favorite in this picture is what appears to be a little ball of thread….but it is actually a small, tatted doily…..I will be reshaping it soon. Tatting is a lost art and is very hard to find.

found treasures

The dining room chandelier will now proudly hang in one of our rooms….we are deciding which one. I feel some Paris Grey chalk paint coming on…….

vintage chandelier

I love the vintage wiring…..it is cloth-covered. I am all about vintage light fixtures….but always have the wiring checked….and REPLACED before actually installing and using a vintage light fixture. When Handsome takes the wiring out….I want to do something fun with that, too. He will be putting all new wiring in, so it will be able to be used safely. NEVER USE VINTAGE or OUTDATED WIRING!!!! 

vintage wiring

Here is some more fun vintage coupons….I plan to use these in upcoming pieces of artwork. So many neat things you can do with them……

vintage coupons

Beautiful vintage books! You know how special I think these are! Ideas for these have flooded my brain……..and if it wasn’t for some sweet tea….might have shut me down!

vintage books

And this cute, little vintage basket is now our fatwood holder…….

vintage fatwood basket vintage fatwood basket on porch

I’ll stop there for now……and show more later. What a special weekend…….

Here’s to the newly ignited fire….

Yours Truly~

The Memory Keeper

Celebrating the Letting Go……

Today I received something in my inbox that spoke deeply to my heart….because for the past several weeks it is almost exactly what has been written in my journal. I will share it at the end of the post.

In the fall No. 1 Son went off to China. Several years ago when I helped him pack for one week of summer camp… I knew. I knew it would be the first of many letting go’s. He’s like me….he loves adventure, and travel, learning new things, and being exposed to all kinds of people in all kinds of places. We’ve always been kindred spirits in that way.

But the China trip was the first big trip without us…and it was for longer than a week. I wanted to let him go. But I didn’t want to. But I did. And I’m glad.

We’ve always travelled together as a family….and it has been a wonderful launching pad for a budding adventurer. We’ve been able to be there as he learned how to navigate foreign places, big cities, countrysides, planes, trains, taxis, subways. How to handle being out of his comfort zone in a strange place. How to relish and enjoy every minute…and work through the mishaps. We’ve been there with him…showing and teaching. And he’s a good student. It was still hard….that letting go.I wanted to go with him.

I’m told that a good mom works her way right out of job?

When he returned from China he was so excited to give me a present. He had spent hours in a pearl factory in China picking out just the right ones for me. {He’s meticulous with his gifts and always puts his heart in them.} They were expensive. He spent his hard-earned money.

When he went to get his suitcase it had been broken into by a worker at the airport. The insides were a shamble and the pearl necklace and earrings were gone.

Oh, his face. I know how much of his heart he put into that present for me. I mustered up every ounce of self-control I could muster and encouraged him [and reminded myself that murder is a sin]. Thanked him.  And shared with him how I had learned the same hard lesson when I began to go off on my own: to never put valuables in your checked luggage. That was on the outside….on the inside my eyes slanted, ears became pointed, nostrils flared, fangs grew, and I may or may not have had slobber slinging from my jowls. I’m a mom….and someone had messed with one of mine. Ages of children do not change this Mom Fierceness.

More letting go. For all of his life I have encouraged him. Given him pushes when needed and held him back when needed. {If I ever run into that airport worker…he may need to hold me back! ;)} I know his strengths and I also know his tender spots. I’ve been able to protect those tender spots…physically, tangibly; but over the past year or so I have had to let go and realize I am entering a time of only being able to protect them with prayer. {The  best protection, anyway….but, you know, I’m a Mom. I like to do it myself. I like to see to it.} I will have to work on my trust while letting go….many of my prayers for No. 1 Son lately have been “God, I know YOU will see to it. Thank you.” 🙂

For weeks now I have been sitting down with him filling out college applications. Now that the scholarships, offers, and options are rolling in I realize there will be another big letting go. Even if he stays at the university here….it will be a big letting go. He brings his essays for me to look over….he wants my opinion and corrections. Without even reading them I know they are incredible. He’s a wonderful writer. But he wants to make sure. He says they have to be perfect. I remind him that his excellence is more than enough.

There’s so much more I want to teach him! Did I remember to tell him to always wear black socks with black dress shoes? Have I made sure that he knows the One that he can always run to? Have I taught him how to choose his battles and how to know when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’?

This mom thing. This letting go thing. It’s exciting and hard all at the same time. I mean, can God really take care and protect him better than me, his Mom? Maybe even better?

Oh dear. It is such a wonderful, exciting, hard time!

As a boy-child…..Always by his side….teaching him the ropes…..

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Here’s the post that spoke my heart:

How to Be the Parent You Want to Be: 40 Things Every Child Must Know Before They Leave Home 

Learning to celebrate the letting go…….while wiping the slobber………

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