Monday, November 24, 2008

Their Old Familiar Carols Play

Since Matt and I are heading out of town this weekend for the annual Thanksgiving festivities we were forced to decorate for Christmas a bit early. Good thing we were in the holiday spirit yesterday even after a long weekend of Christmas shopping. Praise Jesus we are finished with that, we won't have to fight the crowds after Thanksgiving. I cooked up some chili on Sunday as well as some hot cocoa and we decorated our little hearts out (well I decorated, Matt did the heavy lifting and mostly worked on building/sustaining our first fire in the new house). We still aren't completely finished but then are you ever really done?

For your viewing pleasure...

Heres to hoping sugar plums dance in your heads...

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Sunny Morning

I woke up this morning in a great mood, even after the 18th time Izzy galloped onto the bed and pummeled me. In my dazed state I gazed around and wondered why... then it hit me. It's Friday AND it's sunny outside! I don't know about where you guys live but here in Champaign it has been downright dreary. But today my friends God gave me a break from the drudge and he gave me sun! Thank You, thank You, thank You. To celebrate I have included some morning sun photographs.
Izzy was enjoying the sun as much as I was this morning, staring out of the office window and barking wildly at the kids getting on the bus down the street. I think she resembles Big Bird in these pictures.
I have been in the crafting mood lately (maybe it's the onset of the holidays). A plastic bag dispenser has been on my to-sew list for a long long time and I finally whipped one up this week. It was my first time working with elastic so I can now add that to my repertoire. It turned out o.k.. I am just excited that all of my plastic bags are off of the floor in my pantry.Anyway, where ever you are I hope it is as pleasant there as it is here. Have a GREAT weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I was tagged by both Amber and Courtney

The Instructions:
1. Choose the 4th picture folder on my computer
2. Choose the 4th picture
3. Explain the picture
4. Tag 4 other bloggersThis is a photo of my Grandma Gardner (my mom's mom) when she was a baby. A couple of months ago Matt and I went to visit with them and I went around photographing there house (and them). It was great. Every piece of furniture has a story. Maybe someday I will tell them.

I tag Amy, Ashley, Dani, and Zay

Monday, November 17, 2008


As a kid I spent the hot days of summer with my head underwater. With tanned fingers and toes I would bob in and out of the blue painted in-ground pool that lay exactly one and a half miles from my parent’s house. There are home videos of me jumping off of the diving board at age 1, fearlessly trusting that my unwinged arms would be caught by whoever was below me in the water. I learned to swim in that pool long before I can remember. Blessed.

It never failed that if Grandma heard someone in the water she would come out and sit patiently in a lawn chair waiting for us to clamber out of the water. When we did, no matter how dripping wet we were, she expected us to crawl up on her lap and she would squeeze us so tight that it felt like she would never let go. I never understood this about her, why on earth would she want to get her perfectly dry clothes drenched on account of me? But none the less no matter who it was and no matter how soaked, she would hug them like she meant it…and how glad I am that she did. Blessed.

In elementary school Grandma was found to be hard of hearing. She had to carry around a cumbersome bag with wires that hung from her ears and were tucked beneath her clothes. She has always worn hearing aids since I have known her and never once have I heard her complain about them. I remember getting scolded by my mom when we would scream too close to her and it would make her hearing aid beep but I don’t remember Grandma ever getting upset. In her forties, Grandma was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). The condition would most likely cause her to be blind within a decade. Although her eyes were failing she never let her tunnel vision hinder her life. She continued to paint ceramics until it was just too hard and she came to all of her grandchildren’s events without blinking an eye. Grandma displayed a graceful strength that I can only hope to attain. She taught me to love God and love others with purity and kindness. Blessed.

Last weekend Grandma was involved in an accident that could have resulted in serious injuries or worse. Luckily she came away shaken up and bruised but in time she will be fine. God has chosen to bless those around her by keeping her safe. Please pray for her speedy recovery.

And as my mom recounted for me…

Mom: “Mary Lou you are just so lucky!”

Grandma: “No, I’m Blessed.”

No Grandma I am blessed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ain't Nothin But Changes

After a very long month of traveling and late nights of testing I am glad to say that things are slowing down a bit just in time for the bustling holiday season. Although things have been crazy with work Matt and I have made a few changes around the ole abode (starting and ending with our craft room/office). We first started with my craft table chairs. A few years ago my friend Kara left me an old IKEA table when she left college. I happily inherited it and gave it to Matty (my then boyfriend) to have as a breakfast table in his apt. above the ice cream shoppe. i didn't know WHAT to do with it when we got married. I already had a great garage sale find for a kitchen table. So i put it in a guest bedroom and it has morphed into the sewing/scrapbooking/painting/everything table. I painted the table white a few months back but the chairs remained the original color. Recently however I painted and covered them to go with my theme (you know a little bit vintage). Here is the before...

And here is the after...
And THIS my friends is our new desk. It feels like I have waited FOREVER for this thing. Well worth the wait. It looked like this when we started...
and after about 15 coats of paint (stupid blood red stain) it looked like this...
But my favorite part of my new desk is that I get a visitor while editing my photos...


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Entertaining Angels

Hey... you should check our some of my new pictures here!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Weekend Recap...

Although Matt and I didn’t do anything super exciting this weekend, these are the kinds of weekends that I LOVE! I got home from Chicago a little earlier than I thought I would last Friday so I got to see all of the cute little kiddies in their costumes. I forgot how adorable little kids in costumes can be, plus, I have never been able to hand out candy before. It was my first time EVER (since my folks lived int he middle of nowhere).

Saturday Matt and I headed to Allerton for a brisk outing with the dog. Izzy was hilarious… she has never experienced piles of leaves before so she dove right in head first. She was COVERED in leaves among other things. Fortunately we had a grooming appointment Sunday. After Allerton we went to a cute little cafe in Monticello and chowed down on some butter and noodles. YUM!

A VERY welcome weekend after a stressful week of traveling!