July 30, 2009

The Heirloom House

This could be a good name for our place if we were in the business of naming our place...more to come on that in a later post. However, we do have many heirlooms floating around here. We adore them and are so glad that we have a house filled with pieces that hold history. we love old stuff, not for its shear coolness factor but that old pieces hold a story.

Here are some of our pieces and their stories.

The white cabinet you saw back on this post belonged to my great-grandmother on my mom's side. We called her Grand Ruby. She and her sister took my mom to church when she was younger and then helped her get to the Christian college where she met our dad. On the left is how it looked when my mom got it after Grand Ruby died. On the left is how it looks now in our dining room.
Now, for inside that cabinet....

This thing is filled with a mixture of our wedding presents and things my parents were given as wedding presents.
Some things belonged to our mom's mom, or MawMaw, if you will. See there that glass shoe in the bottom right side, those three teacups across the middle, and that pink depression glass set on the bottom shelf. Oh how my sister and I would admire that pink depression glass when we visited Mawmaw for Spring Break and the Holidays.

Well enough of my stuff, let's move to heirlooms from hubby's family.

This beauty hangs above our bed and looks eerily like Jacob's best bud, Sydney. We are not sure where it came from. Jacob thinks that it was drawn by his great-uncle maybe. All we do know is that it is a charcoal drawing that was in his grandparent's farm house in Pennsylvania. It has a gorgeous frame around it too.

One of our most valued treasures is this book. And while it is new, it holds years of photos and heirloom memories. Jacob's grandmother (with help from uncle and cousin-in-law) created and gave each grandchild a book of the family tree. It simply tells the story of Jacob's grandpa and grandma and the legacy they built of loving God and doing His will.

There are several other pieces in this house that have stories to go with them. There are so many others but I didn't want this post to go any longer. So, I'll give you them in list form.....Mawmaw's white Bible that Jonny gets, the bed my parents had when they first got married, part of dad's coin collection, Jacob's grandpa's work log, mother's pearls.

Well, like I said in my last post, I am glad that these things are in our house, but more importantly I am glad that we have pieces that mean something and tell a story of the people who once owned them.

We also have a great heirloom meatloaf recipe from Jacob's other grandmother......oh, it is so good. I'll be posting it soon, so be on the lookout.

Head on over Emma Calls Me Mama and enjoy all the heirloom pieces.

Wedding Party and Flowers Day

So I have decided to jump on the bloggy bandwagon over at Kelly's Korner and
link up to the Show Us Your Life parties she hosts.
This week is Wedding Party and Flowers.

I chose white tulips, green berries (whatever that 'h' word is), and some yellow roses. Family members carried yellow roses in memory of my mother. I ordered the tulips online and my stepsisters made the bouquets and boutonnieres.

Now on the the real stuff. We had one of the best wedding parties EVER. We were surrounded by all the people we love and our day couldn't have been any better. Let's get the show on the road so you can see all these wonderful people.

Here's the whole gang, posing for our casual shot outside.

This is obviously me with each of my bridesmaids.
We had a serious picture and of course a silly picture.
These are the sillies. Love them!

This is one of my favorites. I do not like that we are not together
but this was the best of us outside.

And on to the boys. Aren't they handsome?
This is one of my favorites too.

Here is Jacob with each of his boys doing the silly thing.
The pictures don't lie, these guys are so much fun!
You will not stop laughing when they are around.

We had just a few kids in our wedding, all nieces and nephews.
The kids are not into at this point. You should see the rest of these shots!

There is a story here......The photographer placed us and then told the bridesmaids to find a
random spot and just focus on it. I was to remain looking at the camera.
Notice, the redhead just to my right.......

"Did you turn all the way around, Emily?" Oh mercy, we were laughing so hard!

July 29, 2009

Wonderful Wisdom

"This is what the Lord says:
'Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom,
Let not the strong man boast of his strength,
Let not the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the Lord who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight'
declares the Lord. "
Jeremiah 9:23 -24

Lately I have had some issues with my blog and the purpose for it. Originally, I claimed that it was to get acquainted with the blogging world so as to introduce my sister and her home business. What I didn't claim was that around that same time my grief counselor suggested that I start journaling to relieve the myriad of emotions pinned up inside my head and heart. This posed a bit of a challenge for me. I have never been a big journaler and knew that I would fail myself again if I resorted to pencil and a bound stack of blank paper.

In comes the blog. I had always found blogs somewhat baffling. Why would you want to display your life, your thoughts, even you out there in the never, neverland of the internet? I mean, Facebook, that's fine. It's keeping up with people you know, right? But a blog? Why in the world would you do that?

Well, I found some people I actually knew who had blogs and I conceded. Their backgrounds were so cute and you can stay connected with people you know other than on Facebook. (Go figure, right?)

So, the blogging obsession began. First, it was a story about something little that happened. A funny story that would be worth remembering. And while I wanted to do what my counselor had suggested, I wasn't quite ready to open my heart and my it a true blog-ary. You know with that whole, "Dear Diary, today I...." feel. No, so I thought I would just blog about what I was doing around the house. That way there would be no negative for others' to bear. No, there was enough of that and I needed to know how to deal with those feelings on my own without involving others. That was the whole point of journaling - not pulling others down with my negative thoughts and to release some things that I wanted to tell those that I could no longer talk to.

Well, over the last few weeks, I have felt a nagging at my heart. We are not talking about a gentle pull on my heartstrings. This was more like an elephant swinging from the ropes of my heart making it extremely heavy. As I looked back over the things that I had been blogging about, that's just what they were things. Not many people, not many relationships, not much faith. Just things. It made me sick.

I had been boasting about the "rare and beautiful treasures" that filled our home. And though that they are, there is way more to it. I realized last night, after reading the verse above, that in boasting about those things, I was really wanting to boast about my parents, about how much I miss them, about how when I look at all of those things I see them. You see, those things are not just things to me, they are memories and stories trapped in physical vessels. Those things are not so important to me as what they represent.

My heart has been screaming to tell their story and to boast about how they instilled in me, my sister, my brothers a frugal mind. To boast about how they taught us that the stove is not just a place to cook, but that your children can remember it as the place where you met and kissed and the world stopped for a minute when you saw your spouse for the first time in eight hours. To boast about the white cabinet and how it belonged to my mom's grandmother who took her to church and taught her about God. To boast about how they taught us that the table is not just a piece of furniture, but a place for the family to gather and share time together. To boast about Daddy and how he tried to rise above his early life circumstances and persevered to make a better life for us. To boast about how they taught us that food is not just food, but a blessing from God that should be savored and appreciated.

You see, I don't really want to boast about things, but I want to boast about what those things represent. Love. Good Stewardship. Gratefulness. Of those I am "proud to be in the possession of."

Isn't it wonderful how God provides what we need when we need it? From the food we put in our mouths, to the money in our pockets, to the verses of His word that we read?

last definition taken from dictionary.com

July 27, 2009

So in Love

This man is incredible. He wants to make all of my dreams come true.

Here's how I know:

Example 1: When were dating (about 6 weeks into it), my roommate forced me to tell him that I loved cotton candy and wanted it at my wedding one day. I received my very own personal cotton candy maker for Christmas (about 4 weeks after I had told him.)

Example 2: I had always wanted to go to NYC. I knew it would be like one giant playground. He took me there and proposed with Brooklyn Bridge in the background. (He thought about doing it in the Toy-R-US and on top of the Empire State building, but that moment just felt right for him.) It was perfection!

Example 3: I am watching t.v. and he is on ebay. I nonchalantly mention that I want to go on a cruise. Within the minute, he has prices pulled up for a cruise. I cannot remember now what triggered the change in agenda, but he started looking up train tours. (oh yes, I mentioned that we could go on a cruise that leaves from New Orleans and ride the train from here down to there.) Anyway, when I was single I dreamed of going on kind-of-a original 13 Colonies train tour. I wanted to start down in Savannah and work my way up the east coast stopping in key cities rich with history. (I'll say it for you - I'm a DORK!) So, there was hubby last night going through the long task of piecing together the stops and route that would fulfill this dream.

The tickets alone came out to $508 for both of us. That does not account for any hotels, meals, and tours we would want to take. So, we probably will not be taking this trip any time soon.

BUT, we can stay at home and make each other happy just looking up the places and dreaming can't we? You can bet your bottom dollar.

July 24, 2009

Better by Accident

First, you have to start with a blank slate. My find: the bathroom wall.

Next, you gather things left by previous homeowners and flippers and cool stuff bought at an estate sale. My finds were a rusty antique door plate ($2), glass knob, and two skeleton keys.

Then, you need to gather thrifty backdrops. My finds were two small wooden circle things for $1 at a yard sale, a yucky 70s-style oval frame at Goodwill for $2, and a piece of gorgeous scrapbook paper at Michael's for $.59. Oh yeah, you also need to grab Ivory/Antique White spray paint and some glue that you have around already.

Put it all together and what do you get. New wall art.

Now, we are not finished. You have to go to bed, not be able to sleep, hear a loud noise, get up and check for robbers, find the glass knob on the bathroom floor, laugh at yourself, look up and see something better than you did before you went to bed. My find: this.

Hubby said he likes it better this way too.

July 23, 2009

Make an Entrance

With all this dating hubby and I have been doing, why not go back and do this?

Please laugh, cause you know I sure did when I saw it on a friend's facbook page.

Can't you just hear us saying our vows now? "Me, you and the dancefloor. Forever."

July 22, 2009

another wonderful wednesday

"But because of his great love for us, God,
who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even
when we were dead in our transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
in order that in the coming ages he might
show the incomparable riches of his grace,
expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."

Ephesians 2:4-7

For Love. He chose the way of the cross where mercy triumphs over justice because of love.

The Shack
by Wm. Paul Young

July 21, 2009

a date with my boyfriend

What a beautiful weekend we had. The temperatures dipped back under 90 degrees and the breeze was nearly constant. We put aside house projects and chores and just enjoyed each other instead. It was loverly!

Friday was spent on a double date with my former roommate and her beau. We had a cheap and easy date night with BOGO pizza and two-for-one drive in movies. Oh yeah, our friends did leave to get Off! while we were at the movies.

Saturday was a full date day. Hubby made coffee while I got ready for us to head to the flea market. we stumbled upon some fabulous booths outside stocked with antiques and lots of vintage finds. We had a blast showing each other the cool things we spotted. We walked away with a just a couple of things.

That evening we prepared our dinner together. We prepped the food together and hubby lit up the grill. While thoroughly enjoying our savory appetizer, Hubby expressed, "This is my favorite kind of date." It made me melt like the cheese inside the bacon wrapped jalapeno I was eating.

Appetizer: Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos and Coconut Lime Shrimp

Main Meal: Cedar Plank Salmon, Cheesy Grit Stuffed Tomatoes,
and Roasted Asparagus and Summer Squash

That food was so amazing. We ate the appetizer outside by the grill while the salmon was cooking. We are living the life, I tell ya!

Sunday night hubby asked me on another date. I, of course, said yes, especially when it asked me to go see Harry Potter with him after church. We hated the price, but loved the movie. A good wrap to such a wonderful weekend. He even certified it as a "real date" by opening the car door for me. (We determined when we were dating that this is how you know it is a real date and not just a night together.)

I am glad he gets to kiss me goodnight still too. That's one of the best feelings in the world.

July 20, 2009

Ah, now that fits

This blog has been in the fitting room for some time now. Trying on different dresses to wear and show off. Finally, we have found one that has the perfect vintage feel and fit. Love it! It reminds me of a funky little apron that you could find in grandma's attic. It's fun and funky - my favorite combo! Yay, for a good fit!

Yes, yes, I know. Crazy I should get so excited about a blog background right? Just another reason that I need to get a job.

July 14, 2009

Count your Blessings, Name them one by one

Today has been a blessed day.

1. I got to talk to my mother-in-law for the 2nd time this week. Short but sweet.
2. The dermatologist called to say the mole they removed was normal.
3. I passed the two Praxis tests (with flying colors) that I took in June. Three down, one to go.
4. Was able to buy a small pillow at Target to celebrate the above. Of course, it was on clearance.
5. My sister-in-law called to say that something big with the boys might happen today.
6. My husband is grilling right now.
7. Facebooked with an old friend.
8. Got an email from my favorite aunt.
9. Emailed my student teaching cooperating teacher. Love her!
10. Laughed at my hilarious husband.
11. Had one of our tomatoes with lunch. Yum!
12. This list could go on for ages.......

Life is good!

July 12, 2009

Price My Space Party

There's a party going on round here.....The Nester is hosting a Price My Space party today to round up steals, deals and just altogether good stuff and to see what we paid for it all. I really like her point that there are certain things you should spend good money on so they will last you forever, and then there are those things that you can bargain and thrift to your heart's content. Here's our dining room, all priced out.

1. The white cabinet (blogged about in the last post) has been in my mother's family for four generations now. I recently revamped it after sloooooowly working it on it over the last four years. Here's the breakdown: paint from another project, knobs $.75 per pair at BB&B clearance, paper 15 cents each at Hobby Lobby - 12 pieces, left over spray paint for hinges - free. Total = $4.80

2. The plate wall is another recent change in the room. The most any of these plates cost was $1.00 each. I painted the one in the middle with chalkboard paint. (And gave my sis a matching one.) The hangers were more than the plates themselves. Total = $ 16.50

3. My window "mistreaments" are not my favorite, but they will do for now. I tried a variation on a theme of the ones I created for the living room. You can read about those mistreaments in this old post. They are made of placemats, grosgrain ribbon, witch stitchery and hot glue magic. They serve their purpose well covering the u-g-l-y miniblinds that stay raised most of the time. The placemats were $4.99 for 4 (I only used three), grosgrain ribbon $1.99, witch stitch stuff $1.99 ( I ran out on the last set) for a total of $9.00 with leftovers.

4. These black chairs were a necessary purchased that later turned to love. A few years ago I accepted a position doing contract work for a graphic design/communications specialist. I needed to set up a workspace for days I would be working from home (I was living with my dad and stepmom at the time.) I used my sofa table I had in my apartment as the desk and was on the look out for chairs at Target. I was thrilled when I found one black chair on clearance for $15.38. I hauled that box home in flash only to find out I had purchased TWO chairs. Shut your face! So, good deals. They are pretty good chairs and will hang around for awhile I guess.

5. The Big Deal purchase of the room is the table. It was a huge splurge and it was all hubby's idea. I had knots in my stomach even after we brought it home. It is the Harvest table from Pottery Barn. We got it at the outlet for $499 a couple of months ago. It still retails in the catalog for $999 at least. It has another leaf that can be inserted to make it ginormous. It has no scratches or dents that weren't originally burned into the table. (One thing I love about it - it's rustic charm.) And it is SOLID. I know it will last us forever and that makes me feel better. I did not like the thought of getting rid of my parents table even though it was unfinished and I had to keep a table pad and cloth on it always.

6. Accessories on the left of the room - Total $28
Glass Urn thingys - family heirloom
Black spindles - about $15 at Hobby Lobby for both, had them in my apartment
Cream Urn - $6 something years ago Target clearance
Moravian Star - Christmas present from stepmom
Laugh sign - $7 at Hobby Lobby, was half price
Decanter - family heirloom, was my grandfather's
Crystal vase - a Mother's Day present I gave my mom when I was a teenager
Stuff in the cabinet - various wedding presents and family heirlooms

7. Accessories on Right side of the room, Total roughly $5 out of my pocket
Milkcan - mother's family
Plant - from dad's funeral
Wooden shelf - dad bought at Hobby Lobby for $15 but never put up in his house
Gold H - $5 at Hobby Lobby, half price sale
Votives - left over from our wedding
Sliverware Shadowbox - great-grandmother's silver, old shadowbox I gave hubby

8. These upholstered chairs were hand-me-downs and were given to my parents for a wedding present along with their old dining table. They used to be covered with this great seventies style green vinyl. Stylin'! You can see some great old pics of the chairs in my previous post. I am in the process of recovering them. Here's the redo breakdown: drop cloth $20, stain $9.00, upholstery tacks $5, foam and batting $19. Total $53 for 4 chairs. Nice! The other two chairs you see there are yard sale find, one was $3 and the other was $2. They are just hanging out here until get all of the other chairs covered. Total for side chairs $58.

That brings our Grand Total for the Dining Room to about $635......oops, I forgot the paint I got on sale for $16.52 at Lowes and then used my $5 rebate. So the total is really about $648.

After looking at some other rooms, I do not feel like that is all that bad. Most of it besides the table has been spent over time too which eases the blow. I know we have spent more than some people would to decorate their homes. I feel like if we do it now while we can, then I will always have pieces to work with later. I love that our pieces are unique and not like anyone else's. I love that they have a story and that they add character to our home. It's what makes our little house such a reflection of our little life that we love.

Head over to The Nesting Place to check out some other rooms and what they cost. It is really interesting to see what other people pay for decor and just the story behind the various rooms.

Family Treasures

Jacob and I were blessed to begin building our nest with rooms full of furniture. We have even had extra, extra furniture store in our garage and attic. Needless to say we have not wanted for much nor have we needed anything. Several of the pieces we have in our home have came from family and some we bought before we knew each other.

I always think about how much stuff we have and how so much of it has been obtained for fairly reasonable prices and many pieces for free. It makes me like our home even more - the fact that we haven't spent a ton of money on it and it looks as nice as it does. Mostly this is because of the furniture and heirlooms that have been passed down in my family. I thought I would share a few of the hand-me-down pieces we have in our dining room the way they looked before.

These pieces don't look quite the same anymore and I'll share how they look now in a later post.
Item #1: Old Milkcan with Lid

Do you see that milkcan in the background? We've had that as long as I can remember. I ran across this picture the other day. That's me on the old loveseat. I have no idea where the milkcan came from, only that it has been passed down on my mother's side of the family.

Item #2: Green Vinyl Covered Chairs

Here are the chairs (look in the background) that my mother's parents gave my parents as a wedding present. You can see the chairs better in the picture below as well as the table they gave with the chairs. Dad rebuilt the table top years ago and it is still unfinished.
The table sat in our dining room until 2 months ago. It is now in our attic.
Now, the chairs are out of the attic and in our dining room.

Item #3: Grand Ruby's Cabinet
I believe we got this cabinet after my grandfather (mother's father) passed away in 1991. It originally belonged to his mother, my great-grandmother, whom we called Grand Ruby. I have had it since about 2003 when dad moved to Georgia for a short stint.
I love my brother's face in this picture!

Well, the milkcan still looks the same, the chairs are in the middle of being recovered, and the cabinet has been in the makeover process since about 2005. No worries, it is just about finished now. I love that the dining room (and whole house) is filled with so many family pieces. We are surrounded with memories and have things here as reminders of the people who used them daily. I think it gives our house such a unique character.

July 9, 2009

tater red mystery

If you have ever heard of Memphis, then you have probably heard of Beale St. Just as you turn onto that street from Second is B.B. Kings, which you may have also heard of. Just past that is Tater Red's. And if you have heard of that.....well, you just deserve to know that you are special. Tater Red's is a quirky little shop filled with all kind of goodies. The actual name of the establishment is Tater Red's Lucky Mojos and Voodoo Healings. And from what I understand Tater Red is a real guy. Like, really real. Anyways, apparently some connections of some connections round here know Tater Red. They even know him well enough that a couple of years ago I got to try Tater Red's Mater Pie. Yep, you read it right, Tater Red's Mater Pie. (Are y'all readin' this as if you were Paula Deen? No? Then go back and start over.)

You see this story isn't really about Memphis or Beale St or even Tater Red's crazy little shoppe. It's about the Mater Pie. I need to find the recipe for that Mater Pie. It must have had some voodoo powers of its own to cast a spell on me like this. I need that recipe. I have a good mind to march down there with a basket of tomatoes from our garden and voodoo him into showing me how to make that pie.

Until then, we will just keep fixin' (yes, I said fixin') our tomatoes like this. And maybe make up some other crazy concoctions. Hope you are enjoying fresh tomatoes as much as we are!

How about Fried Green Tomatoes? Yummy!

Or how about Roasted Tomato and Feta Burgers? Just slice the tomato, drizzle with olive oil and pop in the oven at 425 for about 5 minutes. My new favorite!

For a post actually having to do with Memphis,
check out Olive Rue's recent visit.

July 8, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday

Well, my goal for this week is to blog more than just on Wednesday.

This past weekend we headed out of town to visit hubby's brother and sister-in-law in Atlanta. We had a fabulously long weekend just hanging out with them and their family. We went tubing down a river, we ate ribs, and we played baseball. We had good times.

I am amazed by them. They do not know this but I talk about them all the time in Bible class and how their faith amazes me. By the end of this year, they will have gone from a childless, fairly fresh-out-of-college couple to having three children. They spent the latter months of 2008 preparing to become foster parents and in January of this year two of the sweetest boys were placed in their home. Then, in April they found out they were expecting their first child. They are amazing parents and I admire them so much for how they are allowing God to work through them.

Today is a BIG day in their world. The future of those two sweet boys will be determined which will in turn determine the future of brother and sister-in-law. A very BIG day indeed.

I cannot help but be reminded of having faith like a child when I think of them. They are following their father's will wherever it leads them....and I believe they will move mountains.

"He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a child like this on my name welcomes me." - Matthew 18:2-5

I hope their Wednesday is Wonderful!

July 2, 2009

Good Ole Fashion Road Trip

Okay, so maybe we aren't going that old-fashioned. But we are packing up and heading out to Atlanta for the holiday weekend. It should be a fun-filled and altogether fabulous weekend with family. There has been mention of a drive-in, there will definitely be time with some littles and just quality relax time with brother and sister-on-law. We are super-pumped.

July 1, 2009

How wonderful is it that we get to approach the throne of God in prayer? We get to come into His presence and he asks us to do it boldly and with confidence. Ha!

"In Him and though faith in Him we may approach God
with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help
us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Something dawned on me in Bible class this past Sunday....my parents used to pray for me fervently. Now, we do not have that...especially our younger brother. We all need prayer, but he really needs it right now. It is even more up to us to approach God on His behalf to help him because our dad is no longer here pouring his heartache out to our heavenly Father. Then, something else hit me. There are lots of people who have no parents praying on behalf of them. I have heard that parenting is the hardest thing you can do and then again it is the thing that can draw you the closest to God. You have to take your petitions to Him because you realize you are not in control. God is. I know God has great things planned for my brother. I pray that Jonathan will be able to see that. I understand that I probably will not enter God's throne room with the same humility and fervor that my father did. He knew he could do nothing and that God could do far more than he asked. I cannot be afraid to go to God on His behalf - God wants me to come talk to Him about it and everything else for that matter! How wonderful is that?