Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spring Cleaning = Fall Uncleaning

They say you clean in the spring. So I might could say that fall is the season to unclean or make messes. Most of my messes start out as 'projects'. Some projects remain in the Unfinished Mess stage, while some (okay, a few) turn into the completed product I had envisioned.

I was motivated to complete a couple of Unfinished Messes this past month because it was our month to host Supper Club.

Don't get too excited.... my projects aren't real fancy or innovative. Lately, I just borrow ideas from Pinterest to re purpose things I already have stuffed around our house.

Project: Whiten Shelves

We have these shelves in our little dining room. I usually love a hodge podge look, but after admiring some pictures of shelves filled with all things white, I was inspired to create my own monochromatic look. Without buying anything new.

So, I started looking through my kitchen cabinets and hutch and pulled out everything I had that was white. Then, I started spray painting.

I painted wooden vases, glass vases, plastic objects, and even an old set of encyclopedias that I have never been able to throw away. And honestly, they are from the early 80's and their content is just a tad outdated. Now they are whitewashed.... and the absolute perfect object to place on the bottom shelves of my toddler-friendly house.

 I still have lots of space to fill to create the cottage feel I am hoping to achieve, but here is the start to my all-white shelves.

Project: Supper Club

I wish I'd thought to take some pictures of the tables and a picture of the guys, but I was of course too busy having fun. Isaac made sliders. Turkey and blue cheese and regular beef.... they were yummo. And everyone brought a side or a  delicious something for us all to enjoy. Fun times.

Project: Re-purpose Old Shutters

I've had these old shutters in our shed/storage thing for several years now. I bought each one for a dollar. I knew that one day I could do something fun with them.

I painted them. Distressed them. (Mess, and more of a mess.)
Then, I attached strings to the back of them. And hung them. I pretty much like the way they turned out. Wish I had distressed them even more, because from a distance you can't really see all the sanding and dents I spent my time adding. Then, I added a wreath I got from Target, which of course was also inspired by the big P.
We haven't had a headboard since we upgraded to a king size bed about a year ago. Not sure if this will be permanent, but I like the way it looks for now. But, I am always wanting to change things, so who knows!?

I couldn't write a new post without posting at least one recent photo of my two favorite 'messes':)
This is pretty typical of Annette lately. Moo. Dee. Typical girl. She can be happy as can be one minute, and then throw a fit the next minute. PLUS, she insists on picking out her own clothes. Dangerous combo.

Charlie, however, is my Mr. Easy Going boy. Hope he stays that way for a bit longer.

Off to make some more messes! Hopefully, messes that are productive....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Guest blogger Isaac: While Mom was marooned on a peninsula...

It had been planned for a while. Charlie, Annette and I decided to take a long weekend vacation in the great city of Little Rock while mom was left to her own devices with a few acquaintances out of state. We started off Thursday night with a trip to the Fresh Most Overpriced Place to Buy Fish Market for salmon and other ingredients for dad's first attempt at a fennel and red cabbage slaw. Back home we played music while Anne and Chas helped single me shuck corn and cut veggies. All the while, mom was stuck in the heat far away and having to convince others that the game Taboo can actually be fun. The slaw was sub-par; a small blemish to a great day.

In our family, Webster's defines fun as Tazikis, Orange Leaf and Aunt Lauren. Naturally, that was the Friday night plan and it did not disappoint. We thought of Morgan and how much fun she was missing out on.

Saturday we joined Granny for more fun. Garage Sale Fun.    I'm now convinced North Little Rock accounts for over 70% of all annual proceeds from the World's garage sales.
Naps and then back home to load up for Chili Fights in the Heights - the highlight of our weekend, although double strollers go better with one-lane bridges than this location. Several chili stains, painted pumpkins and an eyeshadow surprise later, we were back home playdohing and settling down for bed. Poor mom was marooned on a peninsula. I couldn't imagine how much she must be missing us...

Annual Setzler Garage Sale

It's Sunday and I'm only 45 minutes late to church after a tough morning negotiation session over shoes v. sandals, waffles v. chocolate, etc... After an unintentionally shortened service was the gracious brunch buffet with Nonnie and Doc. Once again the windows overlooking the golf course had to be hosed down after being attacked by Charlie's mashed potato fingers. I'm thankful because I am just imagining how bored Morgan must be about this time.

I sent Morgan this picture while she was in Florida. She responded that this was supposed to be Annette's Easter dress. Sorry... hope no one remembers it.

Mommy got back Monday night and positive reflection over the past few days comes easy. The life I've received is a blessed one and, although far from perfect, is, in its own way, like a vacation every day. It is rivaled only by the lives I was given to love, protect and enjoy. Today I'm thankful for the life I've received and the lives that were given to me.

> Isaac Smith

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkins and Hogs and DVR

Pumpkin Patch Playdate!

I spy Annette in white pumpkins.

If I could have fit all these white ones in the bottom of my stroller, I might have tried to do it.
Love em.

This was our fourth trip to this place.... Once last year, and twice the year before. And every time, we have had so much fun. But this time, it was craziness. I guess the place is getting more popular. AND it was a Friday. So there were like 5 school buses there filled with young children. Who were all running around a lot of land. Makes a mother of two wild toddlers a little bit nervous. It was hard to keep my eye on both of them at the same time while they were running in two different directions. Luckily, my dear mom friends helped me. I can try to help with their kids too, but mostly, I feel like I am in the negative all the time.

Needing more help > helping.

Anyways, we didn't get to do the hayride, which is my very favorite activity at the patch due to the huge number of children/schools waiting their turn. Oh well. It was still a very fun outing.

 I think we will go on a shorter drive to Bo Brooks next week so we can really pick a pumpkin right off the vine. And enjoy bumping around on the hay. I'm pretty sure I like the hayriding as much as any of the kids.

Charlie is determined to squeeze in the wagon with Sam and Liza. He is a hoot.

Then, he decides he can push and pull them.

Skiddish of animals. Like her momma.

Charlie, however, would let the animals lick... and probably even bite him. Boys.

Of course, he finds the sandbox and gets it in every wrinkle and roll.

Love that Ruthie

And then......................
We drove home from the PP about noon, picked up Isaac, and then drove to Fayetteville for the big game.

Isaac's parents were so nice to offer us there house up there for the weekend. We met my sister, Lauren, at the house. It has been 5 weeks since we have seen her.... the longest ever.  Annette and Charlie both said Rah-Rah, Rah-Rah over and over in the most excited little voices. Precious!

 Lauren and I played with the kids while Isaac went to some 'work' related party-meeting-thing.
Wish my 'work' was a little more glamorous sometimes ;)

Isaac cooked us steaks on the grill and we ate a peaceful, memorable, meal at the Fayetteville house (as we like to call it), catching up with Lauren.

On Saturday morning we got Red-ed up and walked up the steep hill to the tailgating area around the stadium. It's such a treat to be able to walk to and from the game from the house. We were able to take the kids to play and mingle for a while, and then we took them back home for late naps around 3.

We had one of our trusty babysitters move up to NWA for school at John Brown this year, so she was able to meet us at the house and watch the kids while we went to the game sans kids. Perfecto!

Lauren tried to get a family pic. Pretty difficult with two wild ones.


They loved boucing around from rock to rock, keeping an eye out for the cheerleaders and Big Red.

 Isaac used to park cars at this house when we were in college. He got to say Hi to his old 'boss' which pretty was neat. Charlie was more interested in going up and down the hill the whole time.

As the kids got more and more tired, we strapped them in the stroller and headed back to the house. Charlie was out like a light  in less than 5 minutes, while Annette fought sleep by screaming the entire walk. People kept saying, poor baby. Ha. On top of the looks and the screaming 2 year old, we got hackled for having an auburn hued stroller. People.

After a successful naptime and handover to the sitter, we headed back up the hill to the game. It was one of my favorite Hog games. We rooted and hollered and high fived and ate corn dogs and saw old friends and enjoyed the beautiful night.

We woke up early this morning, got ready, loaded the car, and made a bee-line towards Little Rock, making it just in time for church.

A quick, memory filled, beautiful fall weekend.

And we had our wonderful community group over tonight. Love catching up with our couple friends.

And, oh my goodness.... Isaac just told me that Amazing Race started up again tonight! My second favorite reality show. (Project Runway, you will always be number 1.)

And the fun weekend continues... to the very last hours:)