Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nature's Shabby Chic

Last Saturday I was cutting grass, something I love to do, and as I passed a birdhouse in the corner of my yard I noticed something hanging from one of the doors.  This is actually a bird condo as it will house 4 nests and at the present time there are "No Vacancies"!  When I looked up I saw the sweetest thing...a piece of shabby old lace hanging from the birdhouse.  How precious....even God's little creatures like to make things fancy!!  My friends on Facebook have deemed these birds "Southern Belle Birds" and I have to agree.  We all need a little "fancy" in our lives.  My very first thought was, "Thank you Lord!".  I needed this little bit of serendipity at that very moment.  Sometimes our hearts just get so heavy with the burdens of this world we often forget who to give our troubles to.  I'm one who looks for signs...and for me, on this cool fall morning...this was my sign.  It was like God just stopped me in my tracks and said, "I'm still here!"  It's little gifts like this that make my heart sing and remind me He is never out of my reach. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Seeing Your Daughter as a Bride.....It's Bridal Portrait Day!

Well, the day has arrived when the reality that my little girl is getting married has become not only a thought, but a vision.  She is a stunning bride, and as I see the beautiful woman she has become, a big lump forms in my throat.  It's bridal portrait day!  What an exciting event!  It was fun picking out the dress, going for all the fittings, picking out the shoes and all the bling that will compliment the dress...but it's quite different when your beautiful daughter has her hair and makeup professionally done and slips into that gorgeous gown, complete with veil, shoes, and all the bling....and as she slowly turns around, all of a sudden you are swept back to the day she was born and you wonder where have all the years gone?  There is no other person in all the world, not even daddy, who can understand the feelings that engulf a mother's heart.  Yesterday was that day for me.  It was an exciting day with picture perfect weather...but I will have to say there were many times when that lump in my throat caused me to fight back the tears....happy tears!  With every click of the camera I was reminded of other firsts along the way, each one as much a part of me as if they all happened yesterday.

We started our day at Boone Hall Plantation...what a fitting backdrop for a southern belle, not to mention, Brooke's favorite movie "The Notebook", was filmed there!  After spending a couple hours at Boone Hall we headed to downtown Charleston....aaahhh...I love that city!  Now picture we are traipsing up and down every street in Charleston, me holding up the the train of her dress, Brooke holding her bouquet and maneuvering her every step on cobblestone streets, while cars were tooting their horns, yelling CONGRATULATIONS!, BEST WISHES, YOU'RE A GORGEOUS BRIDE!  It was so much fun, it was like everyone was celebrating with us!  A special moment was when we were working our way down a side street, I think it was Tradd, and the cutest little couple met us head on.  In a heavy Irish accent the wife of the twosome said, "Oh my goodness, did you just get married?"  "Oh no", replied Brooke, "I am having my bridal portraits made today!"  "I'm getting married in July."  "Oh heavens, we don't do that in Ireland...we just arrived a few hours ago and what a wonderful surprise we have today!"  Well wishes and blessings flowed from this couple!  With that and tons of excitement  the sweet lady opened her purse and rummaged around until she pulled out her change purse.  "Oh I have to give you something!!!  You need an Irish coin for good luck!"  What a sweet and thoughtful gesture!!  Tears welled again!!  Sniff, sniff!  I had to give her a hug!  A special memory to the end of a perfect day!  Okay...I made it through all the pictures...but, as I was driving back home to Columbia my mind began to ramble...soft, sweet music playing added to the sentimental moment...and I began to wonder.  I held up pretty good today...but what about the day I watch as she enters the church and walks down the aisle.  I really don't believe I will be able to contain myself...but one thing I know for sure.... the tears I shed will be tears of joy!  

Thanks for sharing my sentimental moment...more stories from a sentimental mom to come!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

I hope you all have had a week full of blessings!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Planning a Wedding Can Be Stressful....But Oh So Much Fun!

After 5 1/2 months I have finally found my way back to my can be stressful when you're helping your daughter plan a wedding. I say stressful...but it's fun too! I have been married 31 years and needless to say, weddings have taken on quite a different spin from "back in the day"! Remember when a reception was in the church fellowship hall and you had cake, nuts, handmade cream cheese mints, cheese straws(every southern bride has to have them!) and punch? Then we beefed it up by adding meatballs, fruit, and canapes to the menu... and's unbelievable what is served at weddings today. We've planned a truly southern fare complete with shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, tomato pie tartlets, sweet tea in mason jars, and much, much more! It's all about the detail or my day as long as your bridesmaids' bouquets coordinated with their dress you were doing good! My house has turned into wedding central with each room holding boxes of treasures for this wonderful occasion. I've ordered from Ebay, Etsy, Oriental Trading, and floral supply houses, not to mention the engraving company for invitations (Reaves Engraving in Laurinburg, NC...they are wonderful!!! I ordered my invitations from them 31 years ago!) and soon I will be placing the last and final order for personalized koozies...according to my daughter
a must for every wedding. I have spent my days at school and my evenings are totally devoted to cutting, sewing, stamping, printing, googling, hot gluing, silhouette cutting, folding, molding, pinteresting, and painting! And finally, when I lay my head on my pillow at night I pray, "Dear Lord, please help me wake up feeling like I've slept 10 hours when it's only been 5." God blessed me with my one and only daughter 28 years ago and she is all the world to me. The joys of being a mother to this precious gift far out-weigh the hours of work that I've put into making this day the most special day of her life. And if it's not perfect, it's certainly not because I haven't tried my very best to make it that way. I have been blessed, and now she is being blessed by marrying a wonderful young man...and I gain a son! God is good...what more can we ask?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pumpkin Topiaries Just In Time For Thanksgiving!

I  l.o.v.e  topiaries!  All kinds of topiaries!  So, I have a habit of making them for all occasions and Thanksgiving is no different.  I love the little Jack Be Nimble Pumpkins you find in your local grocery store and every year I have to fight the urge to buy tons of them for decorating.  The problem is....what do you do with them after Thanksgiving?  This year I refrained and only bought a few and since the Thanksgiving season is coming to an end in just a few days, I needed to do something with my pumpkins instead of having them piled in a bowl on my table.  I decided on topiaries!  They are very easy to make and after the holidays I don't feel quite so guilty throwing them away since I had already poked holes in them.  Here are a few easy steps:
Supplies you will need:
You will need a miniature pumpkin, 1/4 inch wooden dowel, and a container. You will also need a little oasis or styrofoam for the pot, some Spanish moss as a filler and a piece of ribbon or raffia for the bow.  You can use any kind of container...I chose a little terracotta flower pot that I am going to paint using a crackle finish.  I love the effect of crackle and it's so easy to do.  You will need 2 colors of acrylic paint, crackle medium (you can get this at AC Moore or Michael's) and a paint brush.

First paint your bottom coat of paint.  This will be the color that shows through on the crackle.  Let it dry.
Next, paint a layer of your crackle medium (it's sticky) and let it dry.

Next, paint a layer of your second color using short strokes.  Paint only one coat and don't go back over where you've already painted.  As you start painting you will notice it crackling.  Isn't it cool!!  I love this stuff.  When your pot has completely dried spray it lightly with a clear acrylic sealer.  Now sharpen one end of your dowel rod and insert it up into the little pumpkin.  Fill your container with oasis and then stick the dowel into the pot, use some Spanish moss as a filler and finish off with a pretty bow!

I hope ya'll are all enjoying the preparations for turkey day on Thursday. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year and I can't wait for my Georgia family to arrive and the festivities to begin!  And, believe it or not, I've been listening to Christmas music for a few weeks now and have already changed out all the CD's in my car to my favorite Christmas tunes.  I've been enjoying everything from Mannheim's Steamroller, to Martina MacBride and James Taylor and some nice Christmas piano tunes!  I love this season and hope you all are enjoying it too!  Until later . . .

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday - A Day Late!

Thank you to all the veterans who made the choice to take a chance in order to change our lives.
We are forever grateful for your willingness to serve our country. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

I have always been fond of collecting and sharing quotes, inspirational thoughts, poems, scriptures, and words of wisdom.  Over the years I have saved scraps of paper where I've written these meaningful expressions, stashed them in envelopes, tacked them to bulletin boards, and sometimes tucked them between the pages of my Bible.  Several years ago I decided I needed a little more organized method for my madness so I purchased a nice little leather journal.  It was very inexpensive but the words within its pages are priceless.  There are some days that I just need a lift so I pull out my journal and just read through some thoughts, and then there are days when a burdened friend needs a little encouragement and I've turned to my trusty "Reflections" journal to find the perfect quote.  Whatever the need may be I have found my collection to be the medicine for many wounds.  I have to share a quick story with you about how this all started, many years ago when I was in fifth grade.

I grew up in Atlanta and as most people know, Atlanta is the home of the Coca Cola Bottling Company.  Every year the Cola Cola Company would give all students a Coca Cola tablet and pencil, and every year I just couldn't wait to get mine because I always used it to "play school".  It was the perfect thing to use for my grade book!  Fifth grade was no different and the morning I walked into my classroom and saw that stack of tablets on Miss Davidson's desk was like winning the lottery.  My mind was churning as I thought about how I was going to create my new grade book!  It's hard to believe that a fifth grader loved to play school but, that was back in the good old days when children really knew how to be creative with their playtime.  Anyway, as I remember it, after we had our morning devotional (yes we had those back in the day too!), the pledge to the flag and sang "My County 'Tis of Thee" I saw Miss Davidson quietly pick up the stack of tablets.  A big smile came over my face.  She passed a tablet  to each student and then turned on her perfect 3 inch pumps (yes teachers actually use to wear heels...all . day . long!) and said, "Boys and girls, this year we will be using our Coca Cola tablets to collect "Thoughts for the Day".  Wait a minute, did I hear her correctly?  Certainly she wasn't telling me how I was suppose to use MY tablet?  Oh but she was!!  She gave us all an ink pen and said it was also time for fifth graders to learn to write properly, with perfect penmanship, in ink!  My day was ruined!  I wanted to cry.  But I didn't....I took my tablet an began to write.  Every morning there would be a thought for the day on the board that we would have to write and occasionally, even memorize.  All that being said you know what?  I still have my Coca Cola tablet and it is one of most prized possessions.  I keep it here in my room at school and I can't tell you how many times I've pulled it out just to read some words of wisdom, copy a verse, or more times than not....just to travel back to  my fifth grade classroom and reminisce about the teacher who inspired me more than any other teacher I have ever had.  The teacher who taught me more than readin', ritin' and rithmethic!  She taught me about citizenship, about giving to others, about being a good person.  Now that my friends, is a good teacher.

Now, to my Thoughtful Thursday . . . I share with you the quote above. I've had this one for some time and read it often.  Just like I thought I had plans for my Coca Cola tablet . . . there were other more important plans for it, and I do believe God had a hand in it, and I believe His plan was the best plan.  I enjoyed our visit today.  Ya'll come back soon!     
My Coca Cola table - 1965
My journal now.