A List Maker's Life: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grab a Brush

Holiday weekends are known for catching up on projects...right?!

This project has been patiently waiting for our attention since February.  Dear friends of ours gifted Anne Hope with a lovely piece of antique furniture for her birthday with the understanding we would freshen it up to make it very special for our girl.

Right away we started our search for the perfect hardware and waited for warmer days to set up our sand and paint shop in the garage.  Our spring garage sale got in the way of our workshop, but we were finally able to get at it this past weekend.  Originally we planned on keeping it white.
However, after being inspired by someone else's bold use of color Anne Hope and I hit up the paint sample aisle with her bedroom curtains in hand.
Once home we sanded until our arms felt like they were power sanding even after it was turned off.  Then we painted until all of our limbs were covered the entire piece was covered.
We added the special hardware we've been holding on to. There is also a beautiful mirror we will attach when she has a room without slanted ceilings.
The finished product is happily situated in the rightful place - Anne's bedroom.

She is tickled...pink!
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On a Whim

I've painted favorite phrases on cast off pieces of wood before.

Hanging above our kids' room 
Above the door we most often walk out

After reading a friend's How To post on painting a piece of discarded barn wood, I decided to "make lemonade" from one of the many the broken slabs of our neighbors' neglected fence that keep dropping in our driveway.

{add a splash of WHIMSY}

This cheerful reminder of Love Does, where Whimsy is the hallmark of a life lived with extraordinary, fanciful, playful love, is currently propped on our freshly painted bathroom wall. post signature

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Signs of a Happy Holiday

#97 pinwheels dancing in the wind
#99 beach volleyball
#100 throwing one more burger on the grill

#104 generations around the table

 #105 a spot in the sun

#106 bubbles
#117 remembering the reason

#107 homemade tire swings

#108 the first catch of the season

#109 the first catch ever!
#110 bright orange life vests

#111 steps in the sand

#112 chocolate mint marshmallows by the bonfire
#113 taking time
#114 saying "yes" 
#115 slowing down

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Welcome Weekend

Today is the first day, in a LONG time, I have felt like myself.

Grades were due today for the ridiculous class I have been wrapped up in since January.  The work on my end was as finished as it could be.  All responsibility transferred to the professor doing the grading.  Not only was it a huge relief, the promise of reclaiming the short hours during the kids' rest time was energizing. No longer consumed with the assignments I should be working on list.

The sun was shining.  The breeze coming in every window. Time to indulge in the want to dos.  The only reason I had to open my computer was to cue up my playlist.

As a warm up I sorted through many favorite pictures of Gavin to put together his birthday month display.  This is something I truly enjoyed doing, especially after witnessing his appreciation during the after school reveal.

With her homework and quiet time behind her, Anne Hope joined me for some crafting in the sunshine.  We decided to turn our dinner date with friends into a summer picnic experience.  We started folding and foofing (totally not a real word, I know) flowers to hang on the pergola.

Following a tutorial we cut and glued rows of mini pinwheels - assembly line style - to create a summer garland.

With the decor ready to roll we set up tables and started in on the food preparation for our picnic party.  {Menu: Pulled Pork BBQ, Broccoli Salad, Watermelon, Chips & Dip, Sparkling Water}

The rain clouds held off.  There was visiting.  There was laughing.  There was ice cream with loads of sprinkles, eaten by the most lovely princesses.

It was a magical day. And you know...when momma lets go for some fun everyone else does too!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Awestruck Wonder

When I in awestruck wonder
consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars
I hear the roaring thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Quite certain I was sparing us both from the disappointment of unrealistic expectations, when Gabe was born I decided his baby book just didn't need the typical page listing developmental milestones. The one with the small blank for proud mamas to fill in the month and year next to each.  I may have secretly been protecting myself from the heart ache of lines left blank or comparing Gabe to his siblings.

Gavin: Sitting Independently, 5 months
Gabe: Sitting Independently, 2 years
Would either line be any less of a miracle? Of course not.

the roaring waves
the roaring thunder
first cry
success on the second try

Why do I find myself defining miracles as extreme accomplishments and events unusual?

After all, I don't see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Miracle (n):  
an unexplained effect in the physical world
divine intervention in human affairs
a wonder; marvel

the sunrise
the flowers bloom
Gavin's first steps, 16 months
the rooster crows
their hair grows
Anne Hope's first steps, 12 months
tiny cocoon
full moon
Gibson's first steps, 14 months
a foot wiggle
a belly giggle
I pull the fourth baby book off the shelf
picture in hand
I tape it to the back cover and add a caption
Power throughout the universe
Gabe's first steps, 19 months

Then sings my soul
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Fairy Important Correspondence

Dear Tooth Fairy, 
Hello, it's Gavin.  You probley remember me.  The last note I wrote was when my first tooth fell out. I lost my tooth again!  I think it went down the drane.  Please write back.  
Senserly, Gavin

Now, while I am off to search for a shiny dollar coin to put under his pillow, here's a little back story quiz for you.

Have you ever heard of Earthpaste
It really does work, but I admit the color is a bit disconcerting.

Any guesses on how long we were without a bathroom sink in our house?  
Well, if you have visited anytime since Gabe's 1st birthday you know we've been using the kitchen sink for everything.   Which means today is a happy day here even if Gav's tooth did go down the drain during the very first bathroom brushing session in 8.5 months.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Little Like Vacation

Imagine with me...

Kevin and I have just returned from a relaxing trip to Central Florida where by day we enjoyed quiet conversation, clear blue skies, sitting pool side, and reading through a great collection of books loaded on our Kindles. The evenings spent strolling the Disney boardwalk, me in a simple sundress, on our way to a delicious dinner for two.


The reality is we spent the week in our tulip lined town where the temperatures are finally creeping back up to those typical of spring in Michigan.  The lively conversations reviewing the events of our days spent running in separate directions must be heard above requests for home snacks, homework help, and argument mediation.  The great books are loaded and waiting bedside for another day.  The Pinterest inspired dinner for six was edible.  Yet, the resort wear worthy sundress still called from my closet, so I slipped it on for a walk around our yard.  A satisfying glimpse of the vacations, simplicity, comfort, lazier days, dinner dates, and board walk strolls to come.

Oh Yeah. 
Bring it on summer.

I chose this Beachcomber Dress in Fiji  from the new line of summer clothes from Fresh Produce in hopes of taking it to the beach.  However, I have already been enjoying it for many other occasions.  Last minute on Easter I ditched my other outfit ideas and enjoyed wearing this dress with a pink sweater on top. It's great to have something fresh and comfortable in my closet. When ordering I hesitantly used the sizing chart on the Fresh Produce site.  When the dress arrived I was especially happy with how right on the sizing was.  The top fit, without being gappy (I don't know if that is really a word) in the chest or under the arms. The weight of the rayon/lycra blend is the perfect balance of comfort for warm weather, but not clingy and see though. It is also easy to pack or fold without worrying about wrinkles.

Since I was playing vacation while everyone else in my house was busy working, schooling, or napping I didn't get any full body pictures of the dress.  Here is the image (in another color option) from the Fresh Produce site.  You can't see it here either, but there is a V neck in the front and back. I like it.

Fresh produce carries a colorful and comfortable selection of cute simple dresses, resort wear for women, and even party dresses.  Fresh Produce makes sizing, ordering, and shipping (to over 200 countries) a breeze.    If you are looking for a wardrobe spruce up at this changing of seasons Fresh Produce offers options for many style types, ages, and occasions.

Make life feel a little more like vacation everyday!

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Disclosure: Fresh Produce invited me to choose any item from their online store in exchange for sharing about their clothing line here on ALML.  All opinions are my own.  

Love Does

Love Wins by Bell
Crazy Love by Chan

These two books have spent months on my bedside table.  The promise that they are full of outside the box thinking and great group study discussion points is intriguing.  Of course, I want to learn more about crazy, winning True love.  Who doesn't?  I've dipped into each of them, skimmed chapters, thought through some portions with highlighter in hand and grappled with how to love BIG.

Then I was sent a copy of Love Does by Bob Goff. I could not put it down.

As I read, I dreamed...
...of sharing whimsy
...of showing love
...of ways to thank the people I see as living secretly incredible lives
...of taking the ideas and facts I've read in those other love{ly} books and DOing something about it.

Now, "that'swhatIstalkingabout!" (an AnneHopeism for you all)

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World is a compilation of stories from  someone who understands love does not just nod its' head and agree when something needs to be done to transform our ordinary world, instead love takes action.  Through his meaningful, whimsical, and sometimes humorous recollections Bob teaches us when Love Does, life gets interesting.

You know the saying, "When one door closes..."  Bob would finish the saying with, "Kick it down!"  He applied this to his personal life by sitting on a bench outside the dean's office for seven days until they finally agreed to let him enroll in law school. Now, his office is a picnic table on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland and some of his favorite clients are children in Uganda's youth prisons.  Intrigued?

Two of my favorite lessons from the book the introduction include:
~You don't need a plan, you just need to be present! (Can I get an AMEN?)
~We need a change of attitude, not more opportunities. (So much for "Well, we would do all of these things if only we had...")

This book is incredible!  Despite being very profound, it is unique and engaging to read. I would confidently say it is the best book I've read. Ever. I really hope you get a chance to read it.  Although, if we ever bump into each other on the side lines of a Little League game, in the waiting room at the pediatricians' office, or watching the Dutch dancers downtown (these are the places I am spending most of my time these days;) you can be sure I will work at least one of Bob Goff's stories into our conversation!

"That's the way love rolls, it multiples!"

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Disclosure: Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson Publishers, Book Sneeze, for allowing me the opportunity to read this book.  They sent me a free copy in exchange for my honest review. I will also note this is the best book I've ever read with the exception of the Bible, which I thought would be understood without being stated specifically above.  Finally, I promise  my blog isn't A List Maker's Life turned Book Review's Life.  When I finish up with some of my blogging commitments I look forward to sharing more about my list-y life and loves!