Saturday, June 30, 2012

Let's Be For Real

Sometimes I really worry about how messy I am. I mean I’m really really messy. I try to keep it under control. I concoct detailed plans for how I am going to keep my house, car, closet, office, purse or whatever else maintained but they always inevitably fail. 

I can clean. Just call me two days before my mom comes for the weekend and you will find me cleaning. It will look pristine and I will make her think I’ve got it all together when I’m really just pretending. But who am I kidding… she knows me better than that. She saw my bedroom when I was 8, 11, 16, 22. My problem is maintaining it.

I worry because 84% of the time our house looks like a hurricane blew through and we don’t even have kids… or a dog. Our carpet would make you think otherwise. 
I’m hopeful though. My number has improved since we got married. Andrew is a big help. My college roommates would laugh at me giving myself an 84. They definitely lived with Charlotte who was a mess 98% of the time. 

But they are all neat freak anomalies. And everyone else we know seems to be too. Andrew and I have said more than once that we are not sure how we gravitated to such OCD organized roommates or how they put up with us and are somehow still our friends. I think we absorbed what little skill we have from them, thanks guys! 

We’ve started packing for New Orleans. It’s been refreshing. I’m simplifying. Purging. Every item that lands in the big black trash bag or storage pile or yard sale pile feels like a tiny triumph, moving me closer to the day when I will have a place for everything and everything will be in its place.

I’m obviously delusional. That day will never come. The reality of a perfectly organized life has eluded me long enough for me to know it’s not a reality at all but an alternate world found in the pages of magazines, in well-crafted blogs, and at my friends’ houses. 

I’m OK with that. I’ll continue to look to beautiful pictures, Pinterest boards, and all my friends for guidance, not to make me feel inadequate but to give me enough motivation to keep my spaces from spiraling into total chaos. That works for me. See...

Maybe in New Orleans things will be more orderly. Maybe my number will continue to improve. Maybe not.  In any event, I’m going to be for-real about it. Chances are, if my home is looking rockin-awesome, I will take a picture of it and show you because if I took photos every time it was a hot mess this blog would get very very repetitious.
So here’s to being an 84 and having a home that serves me… not the other way around!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Turtle in the Road... It's InstaFriday!

Hey Y’all! Today I am linking up with Jeannett for InstaFriday where we share tidbits from our week in pictures! I am so thankful for FRIENDS this week. I know it’s a little redundant since I wrote about friends in my last post but this is my blog and I’ll be redundant if I want.
I really think God is working it out for Andrew and I to spend quality time with all the people we love before we move to NOLA. I'm serious. It's just working out without us even trying. LOVE IT <3!

1.      Thanks to hurricane Debby, I happened upon a soft shell turtle in the middle of the street in my neighborhood. He was more than a little freaky looking. I did some in-depth Wikipedia research and found out that soft-shells are largely aquatic so this little fella was most likely lost. I had no idea who to call and I was too scared to pick him up so I left him. Hope he made it!
2.      Here’s my token food pic. There was nothing remarkable about this apple other than the fact that it was GINORMOUS. I know you can’t tell by my sub-par photography skills but trust me… I couldn’t even finish it and if there is anything I am NOT, it’s a wimpy eater.
3.4.5…  Last night was hands-down the best part of our week. We got to visit with some of our youth kiddos from Nicholson who were down in Bainbridge for a mission trip. Randi and I kept cracking up because we had to keep swatting gnats trying to take a picture. The other pic is Andrew and one of our brother-sister duos, Brooklyn and Dayton. After we took these I completely forgot to keep taking pictures because I was wrapped up talking to my sweet babies and hearing how their lives have been and I am totally OK with it! Y’all, I can’t tell you how proud I am of these kids.

Shout out to: Ronnie, Randi, Brooklyn, Dayton, Matthew, Alex, Lauren, and Paige! I love you and miss you and am proud of you! Andrew and I could not stop talking about you last night. You are all such amazing-smart-talented-wise-compassionate-strong-handsome-beautiful-funny-dedicated-loving-pleasing disciples of Jesus. It is so obvious you are making a difference and growing into people of influence! I just love you, love you, LOVE YOU!

Life is so good right now. I’m trying to savor every moment of this time. Lord knows it hasn’t always and won’t always be this good. PTL for seasons in our lives. Some of them are so so sweet!
life rearranged

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Good Times, Great Friends

What a wonderful weekend! A weekend like the one we just had is a rarity. Andrew and I have 3 couple friends that we are very close to. I really consider them family. Andrew grew up with Kyle, Sean and Daryl in Bainbridge, our home town. All four boys were involved in a lot of the same things and were even in a praise band together at church. Miraculously, they all managed to get a girlfriend in high school and what’s more….. they all married them…. within 9 months of each other! So the four of us girls (April, Mandy, Celia, and I) went from being teeny boppin groupies, watching our boyfriends in the band, to bonafide wives! Granted, since we all started dating so young we all had to endure 5+ year- long relationships that spanned college. But I think we would all agree it was worth it! And it certainly made for a close friendship amongst us.

These day’s we are super spread out so we barely ever get to see each other. Kyle and April live in Birmingham, AL with their PRECIOUS new baby Eli. Sean and Mandy live in North GA between Athens and Atlanta and Daryl and Celia JUST moved back to Bainbridge from Jacksonville, FL.

Andrew and I spent this past weekend at Sean and Mandy’s house with Kyle, April, and Eli for a mutual friend’s wedding in the Atlanta area. Daryl and Celia weren’t there so it didn’t feel quite like old times. WE MISSED Y'ALL!! Also, this was the first time we had a baby in the mix so that was a little different (when different means AMAZING)! I can’t tell you how great it was to be with our closest friends for more than a couple hours around the holidays.

Sean has a pilot’s license and wanted to take us all for a flight around Athens, our old college town. GOOO DAWGS! I have to say I almost missed out on this opportunity because I am a world class scardy-cat. I was slightly panicked just looking at the plane. I could barely muster a smile for a picture.

I was too embarrassed to be the only one on the ground while my friends and husband were flying so I got on board. And heck- if Andrew was going down in a plane I was going down with him. I know that’s a little morbid but those are the things scared people think. I am SO GLAD I did it because it was a blast!

I could tell Sean was a great pilot because he kept saying things like, “breaker breaker 6725 niner ascending northwest all clear” or something. It was beautiful seeing our campus and football stadium from the air. Certainly not an opportunity that comes along every day!

We got to visit Sean and Mandy’s church, grill out, go canoeing, and go to the wedding where we saw a whole host of other long-distance friends. It was such a great time. I know we will make tons of new friends when we go to New Orleans but there is just something about the old ones. I love how we can get together and pick up right where we left off. I know it sounds corny but I think I will always treasure the time we spent together this weekend and I know for sure I will think about it in the moments when things in New Orleans seem hard. Love you guys!

Monday, June 25, 2012


I feel like I have jumped on a lot of bandwagons lately. I like to think that I am not afraid to do my own thing… but the truth is I love a good trend just like the next girl. Here are a few that I am DIGGING right this second.
I cannot get enough zig zags. Usually prints are NOT my thing. I tend to prefer solids and simplicity. But the Chevron trend has taken hold of me in my wardrobe AND home. I got this ahhhhmazing rug for NOLA for my bday and that bathing suit cover-up that I wear as a shirt (doing my own thing) from Target. I didn't realize I looked like such a dork when this picture was taken. Is there a fashion law about double-chevroning? It's meant to be broken.

2.The Hunger Games.
I won’t lie; I’ve been known to follow a reading craze. But seriously, I could not stop reading these books. I just finished Mockingjay last week and don’t know what to do with myself. Any suggestions for summer reading material that will be this riveting?

In case you didn’t know, I love the blog life. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner. As much as I love writing posts, I love reading them even more. Here are some of my at-the-moment faves from around the web. Give them some love!

What bandwagons are you jumping on this summer!?

Friday, June 22, 2012

InstaFriday: Week in Pictures

I love me some InstaFriday's where I can link up with other awesome bloggers and share tidbits of my week in pics from my cell phone. Y'all know it really works for me since ALL of my pictures come from my phone.  I’m not complaining!
This week was colonoscopy week. I took some hilarious pictures that I won’t be sharing but trust me, they were good.
The day I got back to work we had a dance group called the Senior Strutters come in and perform. They are a group of senior adult women who line dance for entertainment all around Valdosta. Their most senior member is 90, and let me say they were fantastic! I mean they really could shake a leg. They performed for a solid 45 minutes. Here is a little shot of them doing the Wobble… yes you heard me correctly.

Andrew made an amazing bacon cheese burger with BBQ sauce. One thing is certain, my man can grill a hamburger. We can’t get too used to this sort of eating but it was well worth it!

I got a little crazy eating cherries but otherwise… it was a pretty uneventful week.

Only 36 days until moving time!! Have a great weekend!!

life rearranged

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beach Trip 2012

Helloooo Dolly! I'm back from a whole week of vacation. We spent 5 days at the beach with Andrew's side of the family and I spent 2 more days having a colonoscopy (TMI?). Fortunately I am going to be A-OK and hopefully will not have to relive that experience for another 25-30 years.

I'm having what I can only describe as an anesthesia hangover so I am going to limit my typing and just post some pictures from our trip. In a nutshell, it was perfect :) 

By the way, Old Navy has bathing suits and shorts 60% off today through Saturday in stores only. Thats where you can find me if you need me this afternoon!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Time of Rest and a Salsa Recipe

… for God gives rest to His loved ones. Psalm 127:2
PTL! I read this verse yesterday and the timing could not have been more perfect.  A time of rest is coming for Andrew and me this week and I think it is just what we need to get us over the hump before moving time. We will be leaving tomorrow for the beach with Andrew’s family for four glorious days. Wahoo! I will be off work an additional two days because I have to have a minor medical procedure (no worries, nothing serious!) and as much as that stinks, I am kind of grateful for additional days off. Is that strange? I hope not.
I had the most delightful birthday weekend with my family. I got to spend Friday and Saturday with my mom, Don, and William Paul and Sunday with my dad and Nancy. The whole weekend involved a lot of really good food and family time. I told my mom yesterday, I’m not sure my blood sugar has come down yet from all the sweets I ate. We will probably celebrate again at the beach with my in-laws so I am trying to be super healthy before we leave. When it’s all said and done I think my birthday will have rounded out to about three cakes, two pies, and a bucket of ice cream. Of course I didn’t eat it all myself, but I feel like I did. Yikes!

My mom said she would kill me if I ever put her picture on the internet, but who wouldn't share a pic of a mom as cute as mine!?

One of the food highlights was this AHHHHHmazing homemade salsa, made by my not-so-evil stepmother Nancy. The recipe was created by her friend Becky who blogs here. Enjoy my friends; this might be the best thing that will ever hit my blog.

8 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 med Vidalia onion, chopped
2 tsp chopped jalapenos, chopped (you can use pickled)
4 tbs fresh lime juice
4 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Mix well and chill.... the salsa and yourself!

Anywho, I will probably be MIA for about a week. My vacation plans do not include blogging; however, they do include playing with my precious niece and nephew, savoring every moment with my beloved in-laws, enjoying more good food, finishing Mockingjay, and squeezing in at least 1 run on the beach (hold me to it!). Our family is already down there and as you can see, Caleb is thoroughly enjoying himself!
I hope to return to you tan and relaxed. Until then, hasta la vista baby!  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Birthday Partay!

I'm writing this post in pink because that is how my heart feels today. My unbelievable hubby threw me the greatest birthday party with about 16 of our closest Valdosta/South Georgia friends. It was so fun to have them all in one place. I'm so filled with love for them today and grateful for the chance to spend time with ALL of them at once!

I was so excited to use my real camera to capture all of the love but of course once people started arriving I couldn't find it ANYWHERE. This morning I was brushing my teeth and found it on the bathroom counter. Oops. Luckily my sweet friend Caryn sent me this little moment. It's not techinically mine but it will do for an InstaFriday pic!

Gosh I love Andrew. Man. There is no one in this world that loves me like he does. I don't know where his well of love comes from but it sure runs deep. It's not even my birthday and it has already been the best one ever :) Happy Friday!

life rearranged

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Roller Coaster Ride

Just wanted to do a short little post. Things are rolling along quickly and slowly at the same time. I know I translate my excitement about moving to New Orleans very clearly on the blog but it has not been all sunshine and furniture redo’s the past couple weeks.
I am just as excited, at peace, and ready as ever but I have been extremely emotional, irritable, and overly sentimental lately. On an ordinary day I am likely to be more emotional, irritable and sentimental than the average person but over the past two weeks it has cranked way up.
I had a verifiable meltdown deciding what I wanted to do for my birthday {this weekend!} because I felt an urgency to spend as much time with ALL of my precious family as possible. God bless my dad who endured it. I’m sure he is thoroughly freaked out.
One day all I wanted to do was clean out my drawers and the next day all I wanted to do was procrastinate.
I got teary leaving the Y on Tuesday thinking of how I am going to miss all those sweaty people I’m so accustomed to seeing every day but barely know by name.
My mama gave me some good advice. She told me to keep doing all the things I normally do that make me feel good {i.e. exercising, spending time with God, eating right, going to bed early} because if I don’t, the emotional weight of all the change taking place is going to seem much much heavier. I think she is right.
My sweet husband has remained his patient, steadfast self and I am so grateful. He even planned me a surprise birthday party taking place tonight, but knowing I’m not big on surprises, sent me an invitation in the mail so I could look forward to it!
Overall I feel like I am on a roller coaster ascending the first big plummet. Riveted yet apprehensive. Praise Jesus that I can take a death grip on His hand, knowing it will be the ride of a lifetime.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY Furniture Painting

Let me start with a disclaimer – Andrew and I are in no way an authority on furniture painting. This was our very first attempt at a big furniture redo. You can read about the dresser we thrifted here. It turned out great so I am going to share it!
Some things you should know before you begin:
1. DIYing furniture requires some research. We read a TON of articles before we ever started or bought the first supply. We also talked with the owner of the thrift store where we purchased the dresser as well as our dependable Home Depot paint man. Between these resources we felt confident in pressing forward. Without them we would have ended up with a big old mess. Some articles we found helpful can be found by clicking here and here. And also here.
2. DIYing furniture can sometimes be as expensive as buying new, especially the first time. We began with zero supplies so we had to buy EVERYTHING. The total cost of our dresser+supplies was around $120. This is much less expensive than the pieces of furniture we like that are new; however, it wasn’t “cheap” (by our standards).
3. DIYing furniture is not for the faint of heart. We quickly learned that if we wanted our dresser to look good we had to be patient and take our time. We ended up spending about 10 straight hours out on our HOT driveway working on the dresser from start to finish. At the end we were both sun-burnt and exhausted. I even had a bleeding wound on my finger from the paintbrush!
How We Painted a Thrifted Dresser:
1. We purchased supplies. For this project we used a sanding block, 5 different paint brushes (2 cheap ones for primer and 3 good ones for paint), oil-based primer, mineral spirits, and 1qt of latex semi-gloss interior paint. I forgot to take a picture of it but we used Swiss Coffee by Behr.
Our little setup.

We used Kilz Original primer in white.

These are the cheapo primer brushes. The paint brushes were "best" quality rather than "good."
2. We lightly sanded the dresser to remove the sheen from the old finish. We didn’t have to sand it like crazy, just enough to take the gloss out. The primer is the main work-horse for getting the paint to stick.  
Sanded and no longer shiny.

Sanded drawers. Gotta love those nooks and crannies!

3. We wiped the dresser down thoroughly with a damp cloth and let it dry completely. This step is really annoying but important. If you skip it, you will wind up with a gritty surface from the sanding particles. I also hit the insides of the dresser and drawers with a round of Febreze. I have no idea if it did anything but I could not stand the musty smell it had! 
Wiped off and fresh as a daisy.
4. We used cheapo brushes and applied a very thin layer of primer to the entire dresser. We used brushes that we intended to throw away because the oil-based primer is nearly impossible to get out. The primer layer needs to be so thin that you can still see the old finish peeking through. For those of you who bake, this is like the crumb coat when you are icing a cake. 

5. Once the primer was completely dry, we applied a very thin first coat of paint. As you can see in this picture, the top drawer is primed and the bottom drawer is primed+one coat of paint. That first coat should be so thin that you can STILL see the old finish barely peeking through. 
6. We then applied 4 more very thin coats of paint, allowing the dresser to dry completely between each coat. We also sanded rough spots between coats which helped the finish remain smooth and even. I can’t stress how important it is to apply several very thin coats rather than a couple thick coats. The finish will look more professional and will be a lot stronger. Here is a little before and after action!


We had a good time with this project and are very happy
with the result. I think we will love it throughout our time in
New Orleans and beyond! Send me a message or leave a 
comment if you have any questions or TIPS for painting
furniture. Knowledge is power and hearing from
you only makes us better DIYers!
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