Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Random Deep Thought...

I am always a little hesitant to read Kelly's blog when the title is "Prayer Requests." Don't get me wrong, I think that it is awesome that she uses her blog and it's 10k+ followers to pray for those in need, and to witness for Christ. But there is so much sadness and heartache in this world, especially as it grows smaller each day with the connections we all have online. Yet I read it, every time. And cry, every time. But then I scroll down my blog roll and read about a joyous wedding or the birth of a healthy baby, and it just makes me think about the verse in Psalm 139... Psalm 139 1You have looked deep into my heart, LORD, and you know all about me. 2You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. 3You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. 4Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say, 5and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side. 6I can't understand all of this! Such wonderful knowledge is far above me. 7Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight? 8If I were to climb up to the highest heavens, you would be there. If I were to dig down to the world of the dead you would also be there. 9Suppose I had wings like the dawning day and flew across the ocean. 10Even then your powerful arm would guide and protect me. 11Or suppose I said, "I'll hide in the dark until night comes to cover me over." 12But you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you. 13You are the one who put me together inside my mother's body, 14and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt. 15Nothing about me is hidden from you! I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below, 16but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do. 17Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding, much more than I could ever imagine. 18I try to count your thoughts, but they outnumber the grains of sand on the beach. And when I awake, I will find you nearby. 19How I wish that you would kill all cruel and heartless people and protect me from them! 20They are always rebelling and speaking evil of you. [a] 21You know I hate anyone who hates you, LORD, and refuses to obey. 22They are my enemies too, and I truly hate them. 23Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking. 24Don't let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true. "Even before I was born, You had written in Your book everything I would do." WOW. How powerful. No matter what the heartache, no matter what the trouble, GOD will carry us through because He knows what is going to happen. And no matter what the amazing joy, GOD will rejoice with us because He knows. He knows everything. So no matter what we are going through, GOD is there, and to Him we can turn for peace, comfort, thanksgiving, anything... What an amazing GOD we serve. And if you don't know Him, I'd love to tell you about Him.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What Parents are REALLY for....

This blog post has been circling my little online world (via facebook, mostly) for about a week now, and I just love it! It is so very true. So powerfully simple. And so important (I think) for mom's and dad's to read and understand and want to do for their children. Because making your kids happy is easy... teaching them to be content is not. But it is like the parable about the fish- Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. The hubs and I will not always be around to give Ava what she needs, give her guidance and direction, but God will. And teaching her to seek Him and His will is and should always be and our #1 goal as parents. And that is tough...because as adults, as parents, and as Christians, it isn't always easy to follow His will ourselves. But if we are unwilling to do it ourselves, how can we teach it to our children and expect them to seek Him first. After all, "monkey see, monkey do" and "actions speak louder..." You get the point! :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just for the sake of posting...

I don't really have anything exciting or important to say. But I just felt like I needed to post...well, something! So this post ended up being mostly about Ava and her clothes. ;)

Let's roll "list style," shall we???

  • Can you believe it is only about a month until Easter?!?! Me either!!! I am so looking forward to Easter this year as my whole family will be together. Ava is going to look so cute!!! I think she is still too young for egg hunting, but she has a cute PBK basket and this PRECIOUS little outfit....
Yes, I know Easter isn't about the outfit. But you have to admit, it is DARLIN'!!!

  • We have a big day coming up! It is almost April and almost the end of a very long and trying year for my family. And when that big day comes, this little outfit is what my sweet girl will be wearing!!! Isn't it the cutest thing EVER!?!? The shirt is from Personally Stitched (it also says "Daddy's Dustoff Girl" on the back), the bow is Sweet T Bows (check them out on Facebook!), the skirt is baby gap and the Capri leggings are Gymboree. Oh, and the sandals are Payless. But I think we are going to have to rethink those, since they are still too big. She has some silver maryjanes that may be the winner... I can't believe how cute it all looks together since everything was bought/made by different shops! PERFECT!

  • Ava has always had the biggest yawns, and I have always thought that they were so cute!!! I caught this one the other is like she is saying "Oh mom! Don't take a picture of THIS!!!!" HAHA! Sooooo cute!

  • This was tonight, after dinner. She is always so happy, and she is especially happy following a big, yummy meal! Tonight's menu: ham, cheese, cheese ravioli's, baby Cheetos puffs, and baby apple dices.

  • Here is Ava's birthday outfit!!! Isn't it just adorable!? This is the same thing as her other outfit- everything came from a different location, but it all works just beautifully together!!! The shirt is again, Personally Stitched, and the bow is Sweet T Bows. The pants were given to her by our dear friends, Shane and Emily. Emily got a similar pair for their little girl, Cayden, who is just about a year older than Ava. I wish that they lived closer (they live about 4 hours away) but I know that no matter the distance, Cayden and Ava will be the best of friends!!!

  • I don't have a picture for this, but I do ask for your prayers for Cole. I can't really elaborate (and this doesn't really have anything to do with our April event for those who know what that is) but something important for him and our family is coming up next week. It was supposed to happen today, but things didn't work out that way. Please just pray that the Lord's will be done...something that is hard for me personally to pray for because I always am willful and think that MY will should be done. But I know and fully believe Jeremiah 29:11-13.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Little Post About a Little Girl

Okay, are just going to have to bear with me or just look away... One of the reasons I kept blogging was because I think it is a great opportunity to journal my thoughts and memories. So this is one of those "for me" posts...

Sleepy girl!

Cute new summer shoes!

Lovin' her lunch.

Tiny Ava (appx 6 months old) giving mommy kisses while Skyping with Daddy at the "office."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Here We Go *AGAIN* (Color Update)

Well, I did it. I made a color selection. *Shudder* I think. Oh, I don't know. I am suddenly second guessing myself! Which, with a third trip to Lowes in as many days and a gallon of freshly mixed Valspar/ Allen+Roth Evening Stroll sitting in my garage, is not good! But I am going to do it. And see what happens. Worse case scenario, I just repaint. Again. Ugh....

So I tried to find a color swatch to show you, but alas, the color is new (as I guess all Allen+Roth Valspar paints are, since they were NO WHERE on the Valspar website!). So you will just get to see my sample wall #2. #1 was all rejects. Bleh.

Now these are mostly still wet in the picture, so the colors are all a little deeper except the top left. But my color choice, Evening Stroll, is top center.
I really wanted something more blue than green, but that still had green in it. I was a little worried when I posted this picture on Facebook, and my "real life" friends all picked another color. In fact, EVERY OTHER COLOR except the one I liked. But I thought to myself, "Self, it is your room, and you see it in person and not on a computer screen via an iPhone photo, so you have to decide." So I went for it. And my choice was confirmed when one of my most stylish friends, Kristin, agreed with me! Not that I don't think all of my beautiful friends are stylish, but seriously. If you saw pictures of Kristin's house, you would swear it was an episode of HGTV or some design magazine. :) Hi Kristin!
So now I just have to paint. Ugh. I considered doing it today. I may still. I have a couple of hours before Ava gets up from nap, and a few hours between her bedtime and mine. But I have been working like a dog around the house the last few days and just kind of want a break. Plus I have a ton of laundry to fold and put away, and that is an easy "sit on the couch and watch TV chore." So painting might be Sunday. Tomorrow is supposed to be super nice and not too warm (like 72) so I am going to mulch my last remaining flowerbed tomorrow. That is the plan, anyway!
Have a wonderful weekend!!! And, if you are in Arkansas, can you believe this weather?!?!?! Enjoy it!!!!!!

Oh, and by the way, I officially started weight watchers about 2 1/2 weeks ago, and I have lost SIX pounds!!! WHOO HOOOO! I still have a long way to go before I reach my overall goal, but I am so excited about this!!! Good motivation to keep going!!! Sorry, just had to celebrate!!! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Color Quandary...

I am in the middle of a color quandary. I would first just like to say that I am usually not a wishy washy person when it comes to color. If you have seen pictures of my house, you know that I am not afraid of color. I like it, I use it, and I go for it. And I am spot on (for what I like) 99.9% of the time. Well, I have hit a 0.1% wall. A while back (over a year ago) I painted our guest room a gray color. And it was a miss, I think. A BIG FAT MISS. It came out looking like auto primer. And while I had hoped the tan carpet would just disappear, it is very glaring (again, to me). And while we are being flat out honest, the room is uber monotone, and needs some color. I love the bedding and really don't have a reason (or budget) to redo the whole room. So I have decided to paint. Again.

Here is pretty much how the room looks now. Note: You could still smell paint fumes when I took these pictures. And it still looks just like this, except now I have a chair in the corner. We don't use the room a lot! :)

See the GLARING tan carpet. GLARING. I think because it is the only color in here.

One wall is all doors- entry and closet.

Love this bed. It is an antique iron bed (aka HEAVY) and belonged to my great grandmother, then my grandmother. It is still technically my sister's, but I have had it longer than she did at this point, so I am claiming duel ownership!!! I tried adding some pops of lime in there, but it just wasn't enough.

I guess you could say I am a little "brush shy" this time around because I am painting over a bad color choice, and I don't have a lot of time to paint and repaint, so I want this to be the last time a paint roller touches these walls while "Brewer" is still on the door!!! ;)
I have about 6 color swatches painted up on the wall, but so far this is my favorite. It is Benjamin Moore "Azores." It is one of their Pottery Barn Spring colors. I love the swatch, don't you???

But once it goes on the wall, it is very...saturated. And bold. And while the room needs color, I am just not sure that it needs that much color. Like I said, I want this to be the last paint job in there, and I do NOT want to paint to sell. That is a big requirement for me. I will give a painting allowance if I just HAVE to, but I'll be darned if I am going to paint walls and not get to enjoy them!!! LOL!!!

SO I think we are going to make run #2 to Lowes in the morning (yes I know they don't carry Ben Moore paint, but they can look it up and do the same color in Valspar. Did you know that?!?! AWESOME!!!). I think I am going to get a sample of this pretty fella...Buxton Blue. It looks like (from the picture) that it goes on a little more muted than the Azores. Plus, if you look really close, in the sample picture for Buxton Blue, there is a picture of a baby and it says "Baby Ava 1 Year" Hello?!?!?!?! Oh my word!!!!! Perfect!!!!

In other news, I picked the invitations up, addressed the envelopes, and have them pretty much ready to go. All I need to do is stamp them. I bought regular stamps, but I am tempted to go to the post office and get some cute stamps. But then I am left with 60 regular stamps. That is a lot of bills!!! But they are forever stamps, so that is good. I don't know if I will have time. I am flirting with the idea of going to a fabric store here in Little Rock that is just fabulous and looking for some curtain panels or just some fabric to make cheat curtains for my dining room. The longer I live with those in there, the more I hate them. And I spend a lot of time in that room now because of Ava. So I don't know. I have three weeks give or take until the big day, and I suddenly want the house to be perfect!!!! :) Speaking of, I am going to go clean our bedroom and bathroom now! Toodles!!!
Oh, and PLEASE feel free to suggest a color to me! Advice is always welcome!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ava's Pictures and SO Much to Do!!!

Whoa. I have SOOO much to do- makes me want to just crawl in a hole somewhere and hide! Seriously, my list is so long I don't know WHERE to start! I know where. CLEAN MY HOUSE!!! I mean REALLY, it is so bad!!! But I sit here planning a worthless trip to Lowes (which I am thinking about aborting now) and writing a blog post. And Ava is napping. I really need to learn to make better use of her nap time. Especially with the "big day" coming up in just over a month! I don't want our lives to be in a crazy mess when that day comes!!! (For those of you new to my blog- something BIG in our lives is happening around mid-April. I mentioned it a few posts back, but I will spill the beans-again- when I can! And no, it isn't another baby.)

I have, no joke, three to do lists going. Yes, THREE~ UGH!!! One is people to call about getting a stump taken out, one is my house/cleaning to do list (which includes a TON of projects and project planning items), and one is Ava's birthday party to do list. Speaking of, I checked one BIGGIE off of that list last night! I finalized and ordered the invitations! YAY!!!! I am so excited! I think they turned out fabulous!!! If you spot a mistake, which I don't think there are any, please DO NOT TELL ME! I would just rather not know, since they have been ordered and I am paying a ridiculous amount, correct or not! HAHA! They are 5x7 Landscape folded cards...


Top Inside

Bottom Inside


It let me add text and pictures without any additional cost, so I thought WHY NOT!!! I designed them myself and used Bedford Camera to order.

I had pretty much finalized the invitation design and was just waiting on Ava's pictures, which Blakelee Bean with H&H Photography was sweet enough to do for me! We also had a studio session with Beth Martin, who has done our pictures since we got married! I get to see those adorable shots next week!

There are so many precious pictures that Blakelee took, but it would literally take me 100 years to upload them all to blogger! If you are my facebook friend, you can check them all out there. But here are just a few of my favorites. Which were so hard to decide on because they all were awesome!

Getting a little paci help from momma!

My big 1 year old!

Deep in thought....

I love that you can see all of her teeth in this one! Her top teeth are still so small that you rarely get to see them!!!

This is classic Ava. She has a thing for shoes, and will chew on any she can find. Even her own!

This one just makes me laugh! She was cracking up over something. I think the wind. She thinks wind is the funniest thing ever!!!

My beautiful girl.

I think of all of them, this is my favorite. Something about her eyes and the look on her face. I always think she is beautiful. But in this one, she just looks stunning! It just takes my breath away!!!

This is my other favorite! In fact, you will see that I used it on the front of her invitation! I love those little rosy cheeks and that sweet little tuft of hair sticking out!

This one is so Ava too! Rubbing her hair (typical for Ava!) and with her "spiky ball." She loves those balls!

Happy girl!!

Her favorite thing- Pulling mommy's hair!!!

* I don't know why my spacing is so funky. I have the hardest time with Blogger!!! I think I need a class!!!***

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Pa Jim...

Well, it is March! Spring is in the air, and my what would have been my Pa Jim's 86th birthday is March 12th. We lost my Pa Jim on May 20, 2008, and not a day goes by that I don't think about him or miss him. Some days so much, I physically hurt.

I was the "baby." The youngest grandchild, and youngest girl, so I was just a TAD spoiled by my Nana and Pa. I have so many memories of them as a child- they used to keep me in the summers or when I was sick. As his March birthday approaches, and I think about how much he loved me, how much he loved Cole, and how much he would have loved Ava, I thought it would be appropriate, if for no other reason than for Ava and our other future children to read, to share some of my fondest memories of Pa.

* Pa Jim was a proud Marine. He joined just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He was just 16 at the time, but lied and said he was 18. He never talked about the war. He saw and did things I am sure he didn't want any of us to have to know. He was a Marine Sharpshooter (a metal that now resides in the case with the flag that adorned his coffin), a Purple Heart recipient, and one of the bravest and most stubborn men I have ever met! :)

*Being the proud veteran that he was, he served in the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) for many years. He worked closely with both George Bush (Sr.) and then Gov. Bill Clinton, and had photos of himself with each of them hanging in his home. Although he did take the Clinton picture down for a time because he got mad at some legislation regarding veterans that Clinton supported! :)

* I used to go to the "air base" (LRAFB) with Nana and Pa as a kid, and I LOVED it because I knew I would get at least one barbie. Usually two or three, some barbie clothes, AND clothes for me. And I would always get a bag of powdered doughnuts for the drive home. And if I was REALLY lucky, Burger King! HA!

* On those faithful trips to the air base, Pa Jim used to always get a haircut, always pick Nana out something "pretty for herself", and would always chat with the other veterans.

* One trip to the air base was especially memorable, because as we were leaving, we saw several young airmen taking the gate flag down for the day. As a proud Marine, my Pa Jim got very, VERY angry when he saw the young airmen drape the flag across some bushes to untangle the cord. He made my Nana pull into the visitors lot, and got out, and proceeded to yell at the young airmen. He yelled to us about the incident all the way home, and yelled some more on the phone to who knows who when we got back to their house!

* Pa Jim loved hunting and raising honey bees at Ramsey, our "home place." He and my daddy used to suit up and rob the beehives for honey. It was SO good! My dad is 6'6" and my mom used to have to duct tape his bee suit because the pants and sleeves didn't go all the way down.

* The Ramsey House is surrounded by the Ramsey hunting club. We used to go to church with a member of the club that told us Pa Jim was known to the hunters as "Old Man Archer" and the rumor was that he would shoot anyone who came on his property. Rumor or not, they took it seriously. Which was good, because he probably would have!!!

* I mentioned that my Pa Jim was a Marine Sharpshooter. Well, my dad tells the story of hunting with him as a teenager with some friends. And my dad said that my grandfather's gun was under the seat of the jeep, while his and his friends' guns were laying on the hood. Several deer crossed into a clearing about 300 yards away. My dad said by the time he and his friends noticed the deer, Pa Jim had his gun out and was firing. He killed two or three deer by the time my dad and the other boys had picked up their rifles.

* My Pa Jim used to hold his pinky finger in the air anytime I left. I knew exactly what this meant- He was wrapped around my finger. And I was wrapped around his...

* My dad wanted to serve in the Air Force and go to flight school, but he was too tall. I have three male cousins (there are 5 grandchildren, my sister and I and our male cousins) and none of them served in the military. So when I started dating Cole, he was the first person in our generation to be, in any real capacity, a member of our family. I think it was my dad who told Pa Jim about Cole. Dad wasn't sure how Pa would take to Cole, being that Cole is Army and Pa Jim was Semper Fi all the way. But Pa Jim thought about it for a few moments, then said "Well. James (my Nana's brother) was in the Army. So I guess he will do." :) He and Cole shared something that no one else in our family shared- the love and dedication to our country that only a combat veteran can understand. And I love that they shared that. And that Pa knew I would be taken care of because he knew that Cole is an honorable and worthy man.

* In Little Rock, there is a TV station that does a thing called "Dialing for Dollars." And during the noon broadcast, they call people and if the person knows the dollar amount and "up" amount that was shown just before the call is made, they win that dollar amount. Well, Pa Jim took dialing for dollars VERY VERY VERY seriously. When it was DfD time, we had to all be quiet and wait for "the call." Well one day my Aunt Bonnie (Pa Jim's sister) called during Dialing for Dollars. And of course when the phone rang, Pa thought it was the TV station and answered excitedly. I guess my Aunt Bonnie started talking because Pa got very red and said "Dammit Bonnie!!! It is noon! Dialing for Dollars!!!!!!" and hung up on her!!! HAHA!

* When I was in college, I used to be requested to bring Pa Jim peanut brittle (and almond and pecan and cashew) from the town where I went to school. Well, Pa Jim always paid me back. Times about 50!!! He was generous to all of his grand kids, but I think me especially, as I was his Bug.

* Pa Jim was 100% disabled during WWII, and had a pin put in his leg, so he always set of metal detectors. Well I don't recall where we would go on a regular basis that had metal detectors, but I remember several times that when he would set them off, he would tell them he had a plate in his head (which he didn't). And no one ever questioned him. I think people knew better.

* For all of his stubbornness, he was a kind and gentle and caring man too. But I have his jealousy to thank for my existence. My Nana tells the story that, after the war, she had been dating Pa off and on, but he would never commit to her. Well she was in town one day, and saw Pa Jim walking down the street. She happened to be with a friend of hers, a boy who was also a distant cousin. She decided then and there that she was going to MAKE Pa Jim decide, so she started to flirt (shamelessly, apparently) with her friend/distant cousin. Well Pa Jim saw, and did NOT like it! He marched right up to them, pushed the poor boy away, and said "that is MY girl! You stay away from her!!!" and they were together ever since. For 61 years.

* My Pa Jim was an ordained Baptist Deacon for 57 years, and a 32nd Degree Mason (which apparently is a pretty big deal). One of the only times- in fact, the ONLY time, I remember him getting onto me was during a funeral. It was at Immanuel Baptist where he was a member for 49 years. I was probably 12, had never been to a funeral, and was smacking my gum. He let me know with one quick look that I needed to "swalla" that gum. Of course, after we left, he made Nana pull into a gas station, and came out with several packs of gum for me! :)

Pa Jim, I love and miss you so very much. It breaks my heart that you never got to meet my sweet girl Ava here on earth. But I like to think that, before babies are sent to live on earth, they are with Jesus in Heaven. And if that is true, then I know that she was blessed with a Pa Jim hug and kiss before I ever saw her. And I know that we will all be reunited again someday. I love you. Love, Your Bug

Pa Jim's DAV photo

Our second to last Christmas together.