Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Good afternoon, friends. It's been a rough weekend here in the mountains.

Without going into too much detail, last week, I found I was pregnant with our third child, but the prognosis was not good. I was told to basically prepare for a miscarriage. I went home, hopeful, but bracing myself. I lost our baby the day after Thanksgiving and am still healing and grieving. Putting up the "Happy Homemaker" post today gives me something to do as I sit and rest and recover and grieve.

The weather: Rain, rain and more rain. I suppose that's good because if it was sunny out, I would want to go out and do things and right now, I am supposed to REST.

Looking outside the window: It's gray and wet outside, and is supposed to remain that way until Wednesday night.

Right now, I am: Typing up this post, and debating getting something to eat.

Thinking and pondering: Oh, all sorts of things. I'm debating putting up the Christmas tree this weekend, and being more than a little sad. I'm also intensely grateful for everyone who reached out to me this weekend.

On my bedside table: Water bottle, Kindle, pen and paper, glitter, cardstock, glue, craft supplies.

On my TV this week: Things to make me laugh, because it's either laugh or cry...and I don't think I have any tears left.

Listening to: Don't laugh, but Uptown Funk. I need something happy-ish right now.

On the menu for this week:
Um, grocery shopping. Our week kind of stood still last week. so...
Monday: Breakfast for dinner
Tuesday: Asian Ribs in the Crockpot
Wednesday-Sunday: To be announced.

On my to-do list: Light cleaning and rest.

Happening this week: Hopefully, a quiet week. At some point, I have to buy groceries, and we have a Family Fun day planned on Friday.

What I am creating: More pieces for Winter Remembrance. Also, a birthday-something for my Daddy, who will turn the big 6-5 this Saturday!!!

My Simple Pleasure: Laying in bed, reading a book, something I did a lot of this weekend.

Looking around the house: Ella is having a snack, and sorting through clothes for her cousins, and The Sphinx is asleep next to her.

From the camera: 

This was my tux therapy earlier. My best friend remarked that I looked sad, and I guess I must. But this picture is just such a lovely reminder that animals comfort us and feel our pain.

Prayer List: Mom, Dad, kid brother, everyone who's having a hard time this holiday season.

Bible Verse, Devotional:

Have a blessed week, my friends.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


48/52: Oh, this kid. My heart.

48/52, Sunday: It's been a rough weekend here, friends. But these two are my strength right now.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Turkeyless Thanksgiving of 2015

I blogged earlier this week about not doing the traditional turkey dinner this year. I'm tired, I've got a bad cold, and I just wanted one year to enjoy my family. Also, Gabe worked all day, and it just isn't Thanksgiving without him.

So, Ella and I made a few crafts, and worked on some pieces for Winter Remembrance while we waited for Gabe to come home from work. I was determined to at least have dinner as a family.

When Gabe did get home, I served up a delicious pizza (which was actually homemade, and not frozen, like I was previously planning to do.). The toppings were grilled chicken, pepperoni, peppers and cheese. It was incredibly yummy!!!!

Afterwards, we watched Peanuts movies and took silly family pictures. It was by far the most low-key Thanksgiving we've had, but it was probably the best one.

And one of just us...

Today, Gabe had to work again. Ella and I visited our local Humane Society, with the purpose of seeing Toby the tuxedo cat. (because I've got a soft spot in my heart for the tuxies)

Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with lots of love and family!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

4 Months Ago....

Four months ago, I went into the Humane Society, still grieving for Tom, to pick up a black and white cat (Sphinx) for Gabe and Dave, who I wasn't sure I would ever have a bond with.
Oh, how wrong I was. 
Over the past 4 months, Dave and I have learned much about trust and friendship. 
The big gray cat who used to hide in our "junk" cabinet has shown a larger-than-life personality, and the kind of loyalty practically unheard of in cats.
The girl who was so sure she never wanted another cat opened her heart again and let in a cat who'd been through way more than anyone, human or animal, should.
I have people ask me "Does he always look this mean/smug/jerky?" LOL
He's anything but.
A few weeks ago, I had one of those nights where everything went wrong, and then, I broke 3 eggs while making dinner. I sat down on my kitchen floor and cried. And this "jerky", "smug" cat, all 14 pounds of him, crawled onto my lap and put his head on my shoulder.
People say I did a wonderful thing rescuing Dave.
I don't think they understand that he rescued me as well.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Good afternoon, everyone! I am so very late in posting this, but it's my day off and I slept in a little bit longer than I had wanted to, and then we had a flurry of morning activity. Goodness, it's always busy around here!


The weather: Deceptively sunny. It's cold, ya'll!!!! We had some tiny snow flurries yesterday and Saturday night. Technically, we're overdue for snow, and I'm sure it will be beautiful once we get some. But, I'm going to enjoy every sunny day we have! We have some snow coming in the next few weeks, and part of me is a little excited!

Looking outside my window: Deceptively sunny, like I said. Dave is in the backyard, sunning himself. He likes the freedom of being outside, but doesn't go far.

Right now, I am: Watching Ella read a compass and typing up with post. We're studying geography and her Grandpa Bill was kind enough to send her a compass a while back. It's getting plenty of use!!!

Thinking and Pondering: About my non-turkey Thanksgiving. I've cooked every year since we arrived in NC, and I'm not doing it this year. It's not a protest, or rebellion...I just want to enjoy my family. It's already on the schedule that Gabe will be working this, I'm going to go hang out at a friend's house and help her with the whole turkey thing and then I'm going to come home and be a "bad mommy" and let Ella stay up until her Dad comes home and then we'll all eat frozen pizza and watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

On my bedside table: Glitter. And lots of it.

On my TV this week: Pretty much every Peanuts cartoon ever made. I'm in a nostalgic mood :)

Listening to: Ella explain where North is to her cat, Magpie, and Taylor Swift "We are never ever getting back together" (Ella's request)

On the menu for this week: 
Monday: Turkey Taco Soup
Tuesday: Broccoli Casserole
Wednesday: Chicken and Couscous
Thursday: Frozen Pizza (don't judge!!!)
Friday: Breakfast for dinner
Saturday: Steakhouse soup
Sunday: 1-pot Spaghetti

On my to-do list:
Finish Lessons
Go to the bank
Go to the library
Pick up a small gift for a friend
Drop off said gift
run to Gram's

Happening this week:
Today: see above
Tuesday: Headed to Boone for retail therapy
Wednesday: school, work, studying
Thursday: Thanksgiving festivities at friend's house, family stuff
Friday: REST, catching up on housework, special project

What I am creating: A small craft for the children in our church's PeeWee Club, Christmas presents and that special project ;)

My simple pleasure: 

Kasztanki, a candy from Poland that I absolutely love. A box came from my Mom and Dad this morning and absolutely made my day. They even sent a few small ceramic owls for Ella's collection, and dried mushrooms that they foraged for in the forest near their house. (Don't worry, they are 100% safe and edible, my parents are experts on this sort of thing). Another thing that lifted my spirits? Seeing my kid brother's handwriting! (Yes, he will always be my KID brother. I'll be 100 and he'll be 95 and he will be my KID brother still!)

Looking around the house: The Sphinx is asleep in the living room, Ella's finishing her assignment and everything is bathed in sunlight. It's pretty much everything I've ever wanted: a house with kids and cats.

From the camera: 

Oh, Sphinx. We had a TIME on Saturday. She somehow made her way up onto our roof, and couldn't get down. Gabe was at work, it was late, and I kept hearing *something* on the roof. Turns out it was The Sphinx. To make a long story short, I got her down, but it took a while. It involved a chair, a box, and some dry food as bait. I think she's learned her lesson (I hope!) because she's stayed at ground level since.

Prayer List: This whole world. We're in a mess, friends, and only God can fix it.

Bible Verse, Devotional: 

Have an amazing week, friends!!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015


47/52: Saturdays are for messy hair and bike rides

47/52, Sunday: A little sailor style dress on a cold, cold day :)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Important Lessons

Yesterday, we delivered soup to people who are home-bound. It was part of Ella's school lesson.
Because some lessons cannot be taught in a classroom, nor can they be found in a textbook. 
There are no courses in kindness, no lessons on God's love. 
My 9 year old daughter spent time making a "Happy Thanksgiving" card to each person on our route.
One lady teared up and hugged Ella fiercely and a man told her he would hang up her card on the wall with his "other valuables."
She saw farm animals and played with several friendly dachshunds. She offered each person on the route a friendly smile and asked them about their families, and fell into easy conversation.
Some of the people on our route get next to no interaction with others because they live far away from town, or their family members have died...or, in far too many cases, family just doesn't care.
To have Ella know that these people need love and to see her reach out to them and offer a listening ear...
I know she is learning the right things, and I am proud of the person she is. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Good afternoon! It has already been a day and a half here in my little house in the mountains, and that's why I'm so late sitting down to write this post. Hopefully, the rest of the week will continue on smoothly!

Moving on...

The weather: It's awesome, fall-ish, cloudy, but blue sky is peeking through here and there. I'm enjoying the last days of Autumn before Winter hits.

Right now I am: Typing up this post, putting the finishing touches on my Meal Plan for the week, and lamenting over my to-do list.

Thinking and pondering: For the first time in about five years, I am taking a break from Thanksgiving. Gabe will very likely be working that day, and all of the people who I'd like to spend a holiday with are hundreds of miles away. Also, I have so very much to do with projects and with my school and Ella's homeschooling... So, I'm probably going to cook a very nice just won't be a turkey. When I was working  a million hours a week, I did soup every Thanksgiving and that worked out for us. I'll post about whatever I choose to do.

On my bedside table: A mess, but it's mostly books and some DVD's from my in-laws that I need to label for my parents.

Listening to: Reba (the TV show), in the background. When I was pregnant with Ella, I loved that show. Maybe she listened to it from the womb and developed a liking for it, because she absolutely loves it now. It's nice to have something to watch together. :)

On the menu:
Monday: The Chicken Alfredo I was going to have last night. Someone actually brought me over dinner last night!
Tuesday: Denver Steak, Potatoes, and Peppers
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken and Couscous, veggies
Thursday: Zuppa Toscana
Friday: Breakfast for Dinner: Frittata
Saturday: Chicken Stew
Sunday: Turkey Spaghetti

On my to-do list:

Happening This Week: 
Monday: Library date with Ella, Housecleaning, Sorting out clothes to send to the cousins
Tuesday: Work, Another Library Date
Wednesday: Work, Grandma's House?
Thursday: Cooking soup to deliver to shut-ins
Friday: Soup going out for delivery
Saturday: Mommy-daughter date day with Ella
Sunday: Church

What I am Creating: Something for the other blog. I can't say anything yet.

Looking around the house: My calla lilies are doing surprisingly well.

My simple pleasure: Cooking. Honestly, I love it. (Even though a day off from it is nice sometimes)

From the camera: 

I found this blooming in the yard today, and the sight of flowers was much needed after the day I've had.

On my prayer list: My parents, kid brother, and a former neighbor who just lost her baby granddaughter. Also, my family in Texas (Gabe's parents) and Oklahoma (Gabe's sister). Also...this whole world. Paris, Beirut, China...everybody. The United States included. This world is a scary place.

Bible Verses, Devotionals:

Have a beautiful week, friends!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2015


46/52: Ella met a Wooly Worm, and he says this winter will be just like every single other winter we've had here in NC. Shocking ;)

46/52, Sunday. We had to bring out the cold-weather dresses this week!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Hello, all!
It's seriously the Mondayest Monday ever, right down to the weather. 
But I have a million things to do, so I'm ready to snap out of this funk!!!

So, let's get on with Happy Homemaker Monday!

The Weather: Rain, rain, go away!!!

Right now, I am: Overseeing school, typing this post, while I tend to plants and clean a kitchen. Multitasking at its finest!!!

Thinking: That while the rain surely does make for a dreary day, I have so much to get done, it's probably good that I'm stuck inside so I don't get distracted by pretty weather!

On my reading pile: Coursework for school, and "Burial Rites" by Hannah Kent. Also, "If Angels Fall" by Rick Mofina. Tonight I will get somewhere in his book!!!

On my TV: nothing! no time to watch it!!!

On the menu for this week:
Monday: Grilled chicken, couscous, and veggies
Tuesday: Garden vegetables, mac and cheese (I try to meatless when we can)
Wednesday: Pot roast, more veggies, mashed potatoes
Thursday: Italian Beef Sandwiches
Friday: Breakfast for Dinner
Saturday: Pizza Soup
Sunday: Chicken Fettucine Alfredo, with broccoli

On my to-do list:
*Clean the bathrooms
*Help Ella sort her clothes, to see what she's giving away to Goodwill
*Catch up on ALLLLL the stuff that needs to get done

What I am creating: I can't say right now, but just know that it has something to do with the announcement I made yesterday . More on this soon. 

Looking around the house: I realized I haven't even eaten breakfast yet. Mannnn, "oversleep" by 15  minutes, and your whole day is out of whack. Sigh. 

From the camera: 

I caught Sphinx in a rare moment of not wreaking havoc and instead playing very nicely with Ella. 
Also, the smile on Ella's face...oh, my heart!

On my prayer list: My Mom and Dad, my kid brother, my sanity. This is shaping up to be quite the week already. 

Bible verse, Devotionals: 

Have a great week!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2015


45/52: While she may look exactly like Gabe, she's clearly inherited my taste in quirky shoes.

45/52, Sunday: Just because Mom has to work on a Sunday doesn't mean she can't dress up.

*Deep Breath*

I'm going to do something that has been on my heart for a very long time.
Here goes.

I'm starting a second blog, dedicated to helping people through their losses.

After many, many tears and prayers, I'm finally ready to do so.

It will be a safe place to speak out about the loved ones we've lost.

It will be a place of remembrance and honor.

Most of all, it will be a safe place, where no one will feel judged in their grief.

Come with me to Speak Out and Remember .

Friends, pray for me.

This is years in the making, and this is where my heart is...helping others heal.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

General Chaos Update: November 2015

Life's been a whirlwind here, but this is how I thrive, so I probably wouldn't have it any other way :)

We are now a 3 cat household: Dave (my big guy!), The Sphinx, and Magpie aka Pie

This is my favorite picture of Dave. It was taken when he was still at the Humane Society. He's been with us for nearly 4 months now!!!

This is where Sphinx can be found when she's not raising all kinds of the window in Ella's bathroom, looking out at the world disapprovingly.

Pie is our newest family member. She's sweet and shy, although she and Sphinx have hiss-fests. I'm hoping that resolves itself sooner rather than later.

Gabe has been working an insane amount of hours, and between his job and my jobs and school (for all 3 of us!!) that leaves very little for family time. opportunity has come up and it would mean a massive improvement in that, please pray!!! I miss my husband, and I don't want to be a work widow (anymore than I already am)

I've been trying very hard to make sure that we, as a family, are eating healthy. I try my best to buy organic, and really really pay attention to what we eat. (It's a far cry from where we were a few years ago).  I made sheet-pan fajitas last week and they were amazing.

Fall is definitely here in NC. The wetlands across the street from our little house look very different than they did when we moved in this May.

Sometimes, I have a hard time with Fall, and everything dying. Today, while on a walk, I had to remind myself that plants and trees have to die to live, and that most of a plant's growth happens during the winter, underground. And God made everything beautiful in its time. Even the bare trees are lovely here.

This place is still crawling with ducks...they don't actually ever really leave. I have pictures from a few winters ago, of ducks walking on ice.

I was thinking today, of the differences in our lives in the past year.
Last November, we were gearing up for a move. And we moved, indeed. To the house with no's something I can laugh about now, because the place we live now is so awesome.
Last November, I was in a constant state of anxiety. My husband and I were both stressed beyond belief. We were packing up a house and it was just stress, stress, stress...all.the.time.
To be here, in this house, on a quiet street, with a STOVE, lol...
to be able to go out on my deck at sunrise and not have to worry about the cops looking for my neighbors...
to have a yard that my daughter can play in, and to NOT be in landlord hell (I actually have a landlord that I can include on my facebook!!!!) and have amazing neighbors...
we are blessed. we are thankful.
A year ago, I couldn't imagine what bad thing would happen the following day. A year ago, I prayed for faith and the ability to trust Him.
He's carried me through the last year, carried us all, really, and gave us this good little life.
Despite the chaos of the everyday, I am thankful for this little life.
Praise God :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Good morning, everyone! It's good to not feel like I'm going to keel over...I think a 48 hour virus visited me this weekend. But, it's gone now and I'm honestly ready to hit this week running...mostly because I have no choice! ;)

The weather: Rain, and lots of it. Clearing up later in the week, just in time for me and Ella to take a trip out of town, which we desperately need!

Right now, I am: Overseeing schooling, baking cookies for us (and for Gabe to take to work) and typing up this post.

Thinking: About all of the things I have to do this week, and about a very special project I am working on. Also, I think Ella and I need a crafty project to do today. It's gray and rainy and terrible out there.

On my reading pile: Recipe books, "If Angels Fall" by Rick Mofina (I love me some crime books)

On my TV: Ella and I wanted to watch The Halloween Tree because it discusses The Day of the Dead (it's today! we're studying it)

On the menu for this week: 
Monday:  Breakfast for dinner (it's usually Friday, but we switched things up this week)
Tuesday: Fajitas
Wednesday: Pork roast and potatoes
Thursday: Pulled Pork Nachos
Friday: Garden vegetable macaroni and cheese
Saturday: Potato Soup
Sunday: Spaghetti bake

On my to-do list: 
Finish School
Organize kitchen shelves
Find a good gnocchi recipe

Looking around the house:  I can't wait to get all of my cookbooks/recipe magazines on the shelves in the kitchen. :)

From the camera:

My guard cat. I absolutely love my big guy!!!!

On my prayer list: My Mom and Dad, my kid brother, a friend and her family, my sister from another mister, who can't seem to catch a break this week.

Bible Verse, Devotional: 

Have an amazing week, friends! 

Sunday, November 1, 2015


44/52: Even with hair in her face, and an oncoming cold, she is ridiculously photogenic.

44/52, Sunday: Annnnd there's that aforementioned cold, setting in.