Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kindergarten Adventure


Here I am trying to find something profound to say on your first day of kindergarten and I can't think of single thing.

 Instead, I'm searching my memory banks of when I first found out I was pregnant with you, they way you felt in my arms for the very first time, the overwhelming feelings you brought me of love, joy, excitement, and worry. 

Today is the first day you start the journey of finding out who you are. I can't shield you from the naughty, disrespectful, scary, disappointing world this can be. 

Your wings are feathered and it's time to leave the nest to try them out on your own. 

With every progressing year it is my duty to help foster that you take the road less traveled and make something of yourself. That may mean that I have to stand idly by and watch you skin your knee so that you can learn for yourself- and how hard that will be! 

Be kind to everyone even when it's hard. 
Never make fun of someone else to make yourself feel important or to impress the"in crowd" only the weak and insecure do that.
Know that you are NO better but are also No worse than anyone else standing around you. 
Don't judge- that is God's job.
Always try your best even when you get to the age where that might not be the cool thing to do- it makes things easier in the long run and you'll be able to look back so proud.
Ask lots of questions.
Be comfortable in your own skin- you are who you are because God made you special!
Learn how to be a good loser and a good winner BOTH are equally important lessons.
Be nice to girls- someday, one will win your heart and take care of you for better and for worse.
Enjoy life...there is disappointment, sadness, and anger but for the little you'll go through there is always more happiness, excitement, joy, and love to help get you through it. It doesn't always go your way but there is something to be learned from all experiences even if you don't see or understand it in the moment- clarity will eventually come to you.

Have a wonderful adventure son, enjoy the ride!

Waiting outside kindergarten doors before school starts

Still waiting- just happier about it. :-)

A quiet moment of observation- my how you've grown in five years!

You requested this picture after seeing another kid getting their picture taken by the school sign.
So big yet still so small...

Hellllooooo ladies, my name's Samuel Robert Kellen 

A quick good-luck hug from daddy

Finding your hook all by yourself

Finding your seat on your own

Nervous and excited- waiting for instruction

Your very first assignment: drawing a self portrait
Getting crayons and pencils ready....

One of my personal favorite shots of the day:

Starting your work

You thought I had left at this point, you're deep in concentration now.

"I love my mother for all the times she said absolutely nothing.... Thinking back on it all, it must have been the most difficult part of mothering she ever had to do: knowing the outcome, yet feeling she had no right to keep me from charting my own path. I thank her for all her virtues, but mostly for never once having said, "I told you so." 
— Erma Bombeck

Son, I have already learned so much from all my experiences thus far in life that I'm confident in how I want to raise you, what I want to be for you- I hope I don't disappoint in the end of it all. I'll help you and you help me, we will grow and learn together through this wonderful journey called life.

I love you will all that I am and all that I have!

Sunday, August 07, 2011


I must say that being gone from my blog was SO nice and refreshing. I still might choose to lollygag about without as much of a word. Honestly, I got caught in the blogosphere. I suddenly realized that I was blogging for others rather than myself- and it's my stinkin' blog! So, I guess I'll be away for as long as I need until I feel that I can blog for me rather than for whom decides to read my pathetic attempts at journaling. Once that goal can be completed I think that I'll have a more fulfilling and complete blog than ever before and with that my friends, everyone will benefit. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Caroline's Room

I have been meaning to post pictures of Caroline's room for quite some time now and I finally got around to it. This first picture is taken from her door looking into her room. I had originally painted the room a soft blue color for my little boy Isaac. I added the latte colored vertical stripes (NEVER again, vertical stripes are SO much harder to do than a big chunky horizontal stripe) for some whimsy and character. Before we knew it little Caroline was on her way so we sprinkled some pink in the room and wha-la we have a girls room- and the funny thing is that you are seeing this kind of blue for girls' rooms in Potter Barn kids. Who would of thought I was way ahead of the retailer designers? :-)

This next picture is her picture collage wall. I'll be sure to change out some of the pictures as needed as Caroline continues to grow. I found the frames at a thrift shop and used Pottery Barn matting (I used to work there and got 40% off). The cute tree/birdie decals came from Target. 

This is the far right corner of her room. The dresser was something we bought at Target and used to be Joel and I's. Once we moved into our fist home we no longer needed it as ours. I like the black component in the room. It doesn't look like most children room accessories and the pink scalloped pulls I put on it (from Hobby Lobby) add a nice girly touch. Her little light is a tea pot, a vintage lamb that used to be my mom's when she was little. The cute doll house was found at a thrift shop in poor shape.... but with a lot of love grandma and grandpa turned it into a lovely doll house just for miss.

Right side of her room. Textured sheers help soften the light in the room. Pink gingham blackout curtains and flowered valence came from Potter Barn Kids. Normally I stay away from major retail stores but this was a very nice gift to help turn this "boy" room into a room fit for a princess. 

 This is the backside of her room- and yes I tore down her closet doors. It really helps open up the room and give the illusion that there is more room than there really is. Her black vintage looking spindled crib used to sit in here; however, now that she is such a big girl, big girls deserve a big girl bed. This is just the trundle part of the bed and is the perfect height. When she gets a bit bigger we'll put together the rest of the bed. I love the extra storage!! 

Cream baskets with pink polka-dot liners were found at Home Goods. The middle basket was a gift. Vintage oil painting pictures were found at a thrift store. The back of the closet was SO ugly and considering I wasn't going to be using it as a closet I needed a way of hiding the bar that runs across the top. My mom and I came up with the idea of using fabric to help soften the space. Fabric is of vintage nursery rhyme scenes. 

This piece has been around for a long time passed from person to person. It used to look quite country (not my style) but with a little paint and a little fabric this is a great space to add some memorabilia. 

These wooden plaques were going to spell out "Caroline" but after the first attempt not coming out 
not-so-hot, these pretty silhouettes came about. My mom happened to come across these silhouette pictures from a blog and had them blown up to an appropriate size for the plaques. A soft rose pattern scrap booking paper line the back.

And for last, her pretty chandelier! Not the best picture but you get the idea.

So, that's the girl's room for ya. I love it. At some point I'd like to get a smaller area rug for a soft space to play on the floor, but for now it is a nice little place she can call her own. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Power of a Mother & Easter

What are you gonna do? Right when I feel like I'm motivated enough to post more regularly, is exactly when I feel like I have nothing worth while to offer my readers. Life continues to be busy and the constant ticking away of time is yet another reminder of how I wish life would come with a pause button. Caroline was upgraded to a big girl bed this past Friday- A. BIG. GIRL. BED. Wow, since when wasn't she an itty bitty baby anymore? Armed with a twin size mattress, a six piece big girl sheet set, a cute pink polka-dot puppy pillow, and some new mermaid jammies, we were ready to roll.

Going from crib to big girl/boy bed can be a trying time for a mommy and daddy, but I've found that the Super Nanny's approach works wonderfully- that is if the parent can consistent and constant (that can be the tricky part)! When children want to get out of bed and seem to be resilient to all your other efforts try this approach and see what happens.... it is suggested that when a child gets out of bed to pick them up (with no words to be exchanged) and to put them back into bed. Cover them up, give them their security toy/blanket/ binkie/etc. and walk out. Keep it short, simple, and sweet. For littler-little ones, a lot of the times, they just want to know that you are present for them to feel safe and secure... don't, for-the-love-of-8 hours-of-uninterrupted-sleep lay down in bed with them! (I know that probably sounds mean, and really, what's wrong with a little snuggle time? But if this is something you do on a nightly basis the longer you go the harder the routine is to break. I've heard of some people that have their 7 year old sleeping in bed with them!) Simply put your child into bed and sit/stand there. No talking, to singing, just BE. When they start to fuss pat their back, then take a break. If they fuss some more try a soothing ssshhhhh, then stop. Knowing that you are present is all they need in order to feel your love. Isn't it amazing that with one mother's touch, one mother's voice or soothing sound, that a child will stop whimpering the instant they feel or hear those things. Mother's hold so much power when it comes to feeling loved and safe. It ALL begins with us. What an awesome and privileged responsibility that God has blessed us with.

I used to think Caroline looked so big in her crib, but now that her sweet little body is resting on a twin sized mattress she looks so small and baby-ish. 
My sweet angel

So, the Easter festivities were rolling in full force this weekend complete with decorating bunny and egg shaped homemade sugar cookies, stringing Easter candy necklaces, dying eggs, and time with family. 

Kiddies doing their thaannng

 Caroline aka: a hot mess, did more eating of her cookie than decorating...

Easter egg hunt
(Isaac looks like he is already in a sugar induced coma) 

Givin' the egg a shake to see if there was candy or change for his piggy bank

She was showing daddy her pretty new flip-flops

Isaac using their new swirly light spinner to see if there was an egg in the corner.....
turns out it was just a boulder to their super hero castle. :-)

Children out-takes pictures taken after church.

One of Joel and I
(don't you love Samuel's reflection in the mirror)

And the whole gang

Hope you had a beautiful Easter holiday!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Cheesy scrambled eggs, home-fried bacon, and fried new potatoes. Mmmmm. Life is too short to not enjoy good food!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Not a Care in the World

The other day was a hot 92 degrees, mostly muggy beyond belief, until later in the day we were blessed with a gentle breeze promising evening thunderstorms. Earlier in the week I found myself being irritated with my home and all the junk being kept in it, which just kept finding itself more and more on the floor or ledges rather than in its own place. This had me thinking that if more and more "things" kept most conveniently finding themselves in less than desirable locations that: A. We have accumulated far to many "things" for our very modest 1300 sq ft, 3 bedroom home, or B. Joel and I have become exceedingly too lazy in completing our hourly, daily, weekly chores. I decided it was more of A than B which transpired in to a much needed purge/evaluation. I finally got down to business (thank you, Sarah from Clover Lane, to help jump start my 40 bags in 40 days)! First up was the bathroom pantry, then the hall closet, on to the living room, the laundry room, the collect all crap unfinished mud room.... and so it was, three days later, I collected five tubs and two garbage bags of stuff.  Perfect timing for the garage sale that was happening over at Joel's folks and two days later we were $400 richer!

Release, exhaustion, complete satisfaction! All of my decorative items now have a place, the laundry is washed, fluffed, folded, and put away into drawers and closets. All surfaces high and low have been dusted, floors vacuumed and steamed, candles burning, and thus my mind, heart, and soul are content and at peace! I'm soaking up my slice of heaven here on my front porch sitting my bum in my bouncy iron outdoor chair, drinking one of my favorite beers (Fat Tire),

and looking at magazines. Isn't it amazing how those heavenly sunbeams that hit your skin can make you feel or the soft gentle breeze blowing through your hair?

Right now I'm thoroughly enjoying "just being". Being still, being thankful, keeping it simple, and so proud of where I am now and where the future might have me go. My starter house isn't perfect. My house came with plenty bumps and bruises that have yet to be addressed but it's the journey of making your house a home that should be enjoyed right? I'd like it to all happen overnight but reality is quite opposite. There are still projects that need to be painted, the laundry room still has work to be done, the second bathroom still needs to have the shower doors put up, but who cares? It can wait. Right now it is all about enjoying the simpler things. Simple as in the beautiful clear sky, the bright sun, the soft breeze, the sweet delicate blooms of my bleeding heart........ 

the steady bounce of my porch chair..........

 and the taste of my bubbly ice cold beer....

At this moment all is right in the world.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Easter Basket Winner

 And the winner is.........

jgoode said...

Your pics are gorgeous!

Congratulations! Please contact me for your necklace design.

Thank you to the two ladies that took the time to enter my giveaway. :-) LOL....maybe if I'm lucky I'll get three entries next time.