Thursday, December 31, 2009

a fine 2009

this year in pictures:
the revolutionary iPhone revolutionized my life!

lilah's 1st taste of food
loves carrots
family vacation in san antonio
(carter at sea world)

dr daniel r. poulsen II
celebrated our differences & 6 years of marriage

lilah sophia's 1st birthday party post

my brother peter gets married & i get a sweet sister in law, beth
blogging my cravings works!
first this:
then these:

the salon lady reminds me i'm not getting any younger

but, this had to be funniest moment of the year (click if you missed it):thank you Lord for the MANY blessings you have given us.
you are SO very present in the details of our lives.
and you, my lovely readers. you have made this blog more significant with each comment, email, contact. thank you for reading & sharing my life!
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow everywhere!

Our last day in NY & we woke up to snow everywhere! Hooray!
Woke up & bundled up & went out to play.
Carter ate up every minute of the snowball fighting & the sledding.
Lilah, well she didn't like it. But we sure to enlarge
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

(click image to enlarge)

Photography & Card design by Cyndi duPont Photography
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Superheros in my shower

Opened my shower door this morning to find the usual suspects:
shower gel,
sugar scrub,
soapscum (UGH!),
wait! superheros?!

Isn't it just the sign of toddlers living at home?
Earlier in the week my round brush was in my sock drawer, the remote was in the pantry, & my shoe was in the hamper. That's a 1 year old for you.
Right now, when I'm running out the door & need my other shoe it's not so cute. And when I've got wet hair & an appt in 20 min, it's super irritating to finally find my hair dryer in the toy box. But, one day, I'll read this post & miss this stage. I just know it. At least that's how I grin & bear it!

PS: The soapscum in the shower picture is ultra-embarrassing, living w/hard water poses all kinds of wars for a housekeeper...housewife, I mean.
Okay, so tell me about your little re-arranger!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Satin Sheets are Slippery

Like most daughters, I spent a good portion of my adolescence trying to change my mom.
Embarrassed by her clothes or her comments; you name it!
She was a single mom, focused on finishing school and getting us through life, but I felt her focus needed to be more on what she wore & how she did her makeup like my friends' moms.
One year I went to Lord & Taylor & bought her a black velour outfit for Christmas. If she was going to keep wearing those worn-out, faded-black stirrup pants & the Buffalo Bills sweatshirt (gag!), I was going to have to step in!The black head-to-toe look was ALL WRONG for my mom. It did nothing to accentuate her blond hair & pretty green eyes. She put it on that afternoon if I can remember correctly. She was smiling & proud to wear what her kid picked for her. Poor mom, I knew it from the moment she stepped out, this wasn't for her. "But all black is supposed to instantly slim & sophisticate?"
It would've been perfect for me.
Not her.

This might have been my first lesson in
giving what they want, not what you would want for them.

A couple of years ago I slipped up again. Thinking, "gosh her cookware could use a complete overhaul" I convinced my husband to spring for some quality cookware that we couldn't live without. Nice, right?
Except, she doesn't cook.
A year later she still had that spatula that gets used daily at our house, in the packaging!

TD Jakes writes a chapter titled "Satin Sheets Slide" in his book The Lady, Her Lover, her Lord. The message is the same; a woman may give her husband satin sheets thinking it is the ultimate in luxury, when in reality "satin sheets slide".
They aren't warm, aren't breathable, and wrinkle like linen.
He says spouses make this mistake all the time.
Giving what they would want rather than what their partner would want.

I'm shopping like most of you are for the perfect gift for everyone on my list.
I'm trying to keep in mind that I may LOVE little more than my espresso roast coffee, but my mom only drinks tea. While I would love to open an impractical, romantic, more-than-we-agreed-to-spend gift on Christmas morning,
my husband would feel warm & fuzzy if I stayed on budget!

What do they really want?
Not, what do you want for them. You know what I mean?

*My cousin uploaded this image of my mom before she started wearing the Bills' sweatshirt & I just couldn't wait to use it in a post. I realize it doesn't really match the title or message, but isn't it wonderful? Pin It

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Day!

We are still collecting holiday traditions for our young family. The few we have, I really look forward to come December. We trim the tree & decorate the house on Thanksgiving Day/weekend.Last year we did a Gingerbread train (click here to see last year's masterpiece).
This year Carter picked out a Gingerbread house. (which somehow turned out lots sloppier than last year & i had anticipated the opposite. hmm...)
We've added a book this year to tell the story of Jesus' birth.
The cover (pictured center) will hold pages from a Nativity coloring book I picked up.
Each page telling/teaching him a part of the story.

The construction paper links are new this year too. Anticipation is the point of this one. We linked 24 strips of Christmas colored paper together & will remove one each day until Christmas.Best of all, when Dec 1st came so did a snowfall! In Texas!
Dan was sick & stayed home. I had no plans that couldn't be canceled.
We had our very own Snow Day!
All of the crafts above were done while Lilah napped & after Dan had plenty of rest so he could join us. It was THE BEST SURPRISE!
Hot chocolate & hot coffee in snowflake mugs kept us warm by the fire.
If only every Dec 1st we could have a Snow Day!!
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Give what you've got!

When I think of charitable giving, money is the first thing that comes to mind. Then, maybe "write-off" or "Goodwill". How about you?

A couple of months ago I felt like God had spoken to my heart.

"Give what you've got!"

Over & over this same message has come to me in various forms since then.

I've been on the receiving end of people "giving what they've got" for as long as I can remember. Everything from tuition paid for youth camp to a brand new car before college. In these economic times, money is tight, but that doesn't rob you of the blessing of giving.

What do you have that you can give?

First idea that came to mind was my attic full of baby clothes & supplies. They are washed & neatly folded according to season & size. Most of their labels are Gap & Gymboree, but I bought them at WalMart prices-which is a big thrill for me!

I want whomever receives these things to appreciate the value, so the benefit of my bargaining doesn't end with my kids. I've been storing them in case I happen to hear of someone who needs them.

No more waiting, I needed to "give what I've got"!

Within days, I had most all of it given to the perfect recipients. The way these people came across my path & the stories of how fitting the stuff ended up being could fill the rest of this post, so I won't share details (maybe a first for me!)

What else do I have that I can share?

Our family went to the Drive-In (an interesting experience with a 3 & 1 year old!)

to see The Blind Side

A true story. The Touhy family gives what they have to "Big Mike", a homeless African American boy.

The Touhys gave him a home. A family. Support. Protection.

Michael Oher leaves the Touhy family home to play football at Ole Miss. He was 23rd pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft! He is currently playing for the Baltimore Ravens.

Hearing this story begs the question:

What do I have that can make a difference in someone's life?

Recently, our family was blessed again by someone "giving what they had".

This family happens to have lots of frequent flier miles leading to free airline tickets.

I didn't know this when I came back from visiting my family in NY & shared how much I now missed my kids playing with their cousins & how refreshed I felt after the conversations I had with my brothers & sisters. Weeks later, she offered what felt like a million dollars to me-her airline miles.

The timing couldn't have been more perfect.

  • Thanksgiving was shockingly hard for me to spend without extended family.
  • I had just surrendered what schemes I had to go home for Christmas to our family's budget & savings goals.
  • and of course, God has been sending this message "Give what you've got" to me.

What have you got to give?

*image: click here for purchasing gift tag by farouche on Etsy

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful for...

I was asked to guest post on another blog about what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. The images that flashed in my mind first seemed to shallow to admit, especially considering the venue. I mean, of course, I'm thankful for more significant things...
Transparency got the best of me!
Truth is, I am thankful for they way these things have enriched my life!
Come on, I could have made a whole collage of just iPhone apps I'm thankful for.

I'm also thankful that Thanksgiving is just one day a year because, I can hardly stand being away from our INCREDIBLE extended family.
I think I went into another room and cried like 4 times in the past couple days!
Thank you for your missable-ness!
Normal days so far from home are much easier than holidays. Pin It

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Turkey Cupcakes

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Carter & I caught a gal from iVillage making these cupcakes on the Today show a while back.
We were hooked.
He's been looking forward to making them for Turkey Day at PDO (Parents Day Out).
Want to make them too?
Click here for step-by-step instructions.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Guest blogger for Lori

I'm a guest blogger today at
You can click here to read my entry inspired by friends & how crucial they are in my life.
And since the friends I speak of in the entry happen to be my faithful readers, I figured you may want to hop on over & find yourself in the entry.

Lori has been on my Google Reader since I found her blog. If you're a mom, I think you'll enjoy it too.
Here are some links to a few of my favorites:
Why you start without me?
What would your T-shirt say?
Get the Mud!
In His Steps Pin It

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday, Monday

We've turned ourselves into busy people over the course of a few months. Even when we're not dashing from here to there or passing off kids & to head to this or that thing on the calendar, we're on our heels with Miss Lilah walking & destructing anything at any given moment! It's a fun kind of busy for the most part.
Except for when the 3 year old yells, "Lilah is having coffee!!"
And I turn to see her holding my mug of freshly fixed coffee. She's walking across the living room while it splashes over the rim of one side & the next leaving a trail on our carpet. Cleaning the carpet isn't my kind of fun-busy.

I took a photography class to learn the functions of my camera. I have a feeling I'll be using the little icons that match what I'm shooting on the automatic side of the dial for years to come.

I have been iPhone-less for almost a week. I know now why I tried so desperately to avoid this situation.
I have been self-solving & visited a Genius Bar in NY last month, but I had to resolve to sending it in for a replacement.
Dreaded. How can I be without it?
You can't imagine how inconvenient life is without your iPhone unless you're forced to experience it.
My replacement iPhone comes FedEx today.
Can hardly wait to be back to my old self again.

Since I was living old-fashioned, logging into a computer to view mail & making grocery lists on paper, I also entertained myself the old fashioned way: reading a book. I nearly reached the last chapter & I don't want the book to end, so I'm resisting. I already know how it ends because I saw the movie, but still. I just don't want it to be over. I've enjoyed having it to go to when the kids are sleeping & Dan is occupied. Do you ever feel like that? Pin It

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trinity Church Women's blog

Okay, I'll admit, when we moved here about 4 years ago, I had heard that Shane Bernard had gone to Trinity Church & I was a big fan, so we checked it out (of course, he wasn't there, but I figured they'd have good music!) They do.

After visiting other churches in town, we settled on Trinity as our home.
First thoughts were: the worship leader sounds a bit like Brian McKnight & the young guy sounds like he could record with the Passion worship leaders.
The Pastor preaches the Word, and boy does he know it, quote it (& I would read along to see if he was really that good!)
Then I found that his wife also knows her Bible. Very cool. I love when there's a powerhouse woman cased in this perfectly feminine package.

I've enjoyed being a part of the Worship & Creative Arts team, and now I'm honored to be a guest blogger on our newly launched Women's Ministries blog.

Today is my first post, with the month long topic being PRIZE. Check it out here.

Now, I'm praying that remains as transparent & true to the way it vacillates between the shallow & the serious, knowing that any church member could be reading! I need this outlet. Need not to be screening my thoughts based on this or that person. That's hard for an "I-want-you-to-like-me-gal". You know?
Ok. Check it out. What do you think?
I want you to like it!!!!!
Transparency? Check!

Picture: Ruffled Edge Mirror: for purchasing Pin It

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guess he told me

Me: Carter, you know some kids don't get to have presents under their Christmas tree.
Carter: Why not?

Me: Some parents don't have jobs. They don't have enough money to buy their kids toys. Do you think there is something we can do to help those kids?
Carter: (without missing a beat) We can give them my toys. Like my Batmobile,...

Me: Well, don't you still play with your Batmobile? We can give them some toys that you don't play with anymore.

Carter: No, mommy. I like my Batmobile. They would like my Batmobile. We should give them a toy they would like.

Embarrassed thinking I was going to be the teacher on the lesson in giving.
I was prepared to convince him to part with the toys he's had for over a year & next to never touches. And I honestly never thought of giving away a new toy. The Batmobile is one of his favorites.
Maybe this is why Jesus praises the childlike heart. (Matt 18:2-6)
Simply, Carter wanted to give away a toy he'd like to find under the tree.

*Is 11:6 "...a child shall lead them."

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Retail therapy?

You know that wall or corner of your house you haven't filled yet? The one you know how you want to decorate but haven't found what you had in mind or had the $ to buy what you really want to put there yet. That one. That was my bedroom wall. Large, contractor-neutral-painted wall, with a high ceiling & a unique angle.

I found what I wanted to put there when I really wasn't looking a week or so ago. AND I got $200 off the retail price! Hooray! It just fit in my trunk, sweeping just past Lilah's head in the backseat. (Lord, don't let a cop pull me over for obstructed vision & child-endangerment!)

I was out shopping when I probably shouldn't have been. But I had that itch. The shopping itch. Do you get that itch? You just want to SHOP!

Maybe it isn't just an itch after all? Maybe it's medical like this article in Parenting magazine suggests
Hmm...What do you think? Medical excuse for shopping?! Who knew?!

I thought it was the red cups that just came out at Starbucks & the Christmas decor in the stores putting me in the mood. I was thinking new shoes or some Fall decor on clearance.
Whatever the reason, I finally filled that sad, vacant wall in my bedroom & for just over $100. Pin It

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Finds:

I did an internship at the Dream Center in LA in the summer between freshman & sophomore year in college. My first time in SoCal after growing up in upstate NY was thrilling. I loved the Santa Monica strip & Venice Beach & enjoyed walking down Rodeo Drive & imagine myself on the set of Pretty Woman.
We had at least one free day & the first time I got a hold of a friend's car, I headed straight to Pasadena. Why? I had to find this house, of course. I was 11 when this movie came out & watched it incessantly until Sleepless in Seattle came out & I had to switch on & off between them (until You've Got Mail came out) Somewhere I had heard that the actual Father of the Bride house was in Pasadena. It is, but I never found it (this was before iPhones & Google & the blogosphere)
Since then, I've fallen in love with several movie houses.
Do you also watch a movie over & over to take in some of the details you may have missed the first time because you were distracted by the dialogue?
I know I'm not alone.
If you're with me, indulge if you dare in!
Blogger, Julia even has a quiz to see if you are hooked on houses?
I'd pass up dessert any day of the week to indulge in a home tour on her site.

I LOVE, LOVE Erica's Hampton's house in Something's Gotta Give (below)
I got the last 2 pictures from Architectural Digest's slideshow of the set-yes the SET! Can you believe it's not a house?

Nancy Meyers has impeccable taste. I also LOVED The Holiday.
Take a tour of both Amanda (Cameron Diaz) & Iris'(Kate Winslet) houses on her site
& Graham's (Jude Law)'s house here Set for cutest little girl linew/an English accet ever "You don't like tents?"
Here's Amanda's living room in LA:
And here's Iris' living room in London: folks!
She has many tours of my favorite movie homes under the Movie Houses tab.
If only the soundtrack played while you scrolled through the home!

Celebrity homes are there too. I was giddy to get a look at Hampton's Home of Sarah Jessica Parker. And adored Reese Witherspoon's charming place.
Of all the celebrity homes, my favorite remained one that I happened to catch years ago on Cribs. It's for sale...or at least it was this summer. Here it is below:

This is the Franklin, TN home of Leann Rimes, of all people. I love it!

Okay, enough induging for today!
Now I've shared my dirty little secret with you.
I'm Tina. And I'm hooked on houses. (I was in one a couple weekends ago that I'm thinking of asking to photograph for my own little home tour on because the details were in plenty. Right here in my little Texas town; you won't believe it!)
Better than indulging in your kids' Halloween candy, guilt-free (as long as your children are sleeping & chores are done).
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

(Click to enlarge)
NY is teaming with pumpkin patches & apple orchards where you can play & pick & pray your kids smile for some winning Fall pictures. As you can see there was plenty of smiling at this one from all of us-(my mom & dad went with us to this one). You may also notice the bottom center picture which was my attempt at capturing a winning shot of my 2 kids surrounded by orange balls & hay. Not successful. I included it to make you feel better if you also didn't get the shot you wanted this year!

This one had SO much to do, especially on weekends where it was more of a fair w/the fair food & rides. We visited on a weekday & got to feed the animals, climb, slide, & pick our pumpkins. Carter got his first bee sting & I was very grateful for the wet WNY mud anywhere I stepped b/c the stinger came out & the crying was minimal. We made another visit to a pumpkin patch the next week with Dan's side of the family in the Finger Lakes, NY. (LOTS colder that day!)

(Click to enlarge)

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

She's this beautiful for a reason

(Click to enlarge)
This post is really more for me than for you.You may benefit too, especially if your 1 year old is beautiful for a reason-and I'm not talking about her future in print.
This one is not for you, who have struggled to get or stay pregnant or you who have lost a baby. I can only imagine your heartbreak & the judgement you'd feel toward me for this post. Understandably so. I lost a baby & remember how life became instantly more valuable & instantly out of my control at that time.
This post is for me. Birth-control of sorts. It's a reminder that yes, she is beautiful; perfectly pink & her rubber-band arms & legs are delicious.
But she, like Carter until her age, is miserable being a baby. She cries most of the day. Sometimes screams unprovoked by anything we can see.
Trust me, I've looked for the pin that MUST be poking her.
She is a great eater & sleeper. It's the in between that she doesn't enjoy. I wish it were that she were hungry or sleepy or sick or wet or even bored, so that I could fix it.
But she is simply...well, no that's not right. If she were "simply" anything that would mean I had discovered her issue & am on my way to Googling it's remedies.

"Lord, I thank you for Lilah. She is healthy & we are blessed to have her!
Still, I pray that you remind me of these tough baby days around this time next year should Dan & I start thinking about having more,
(since 2 Christmases ago we certainly had forgotten how
really rough our baby days with Carter had been.)
And if there's some sort of patience or whatever you are trying to beat out of me through this experience, please help me to see it & learn it soon.

And really, thank you for Lilah. She is beautiful. And when she smiles or giggles, my heart swells.
You did that on purpose, huh? (You're funny, God) Well, it helps. It erases the picture I have of her eyes pouring out tears, mouth-wide opened
& screaming what I hear as "you STINK at this mom thing"!"

Don't believe me?
I thought you may not so I brought the camera in when she woke up from her nap.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Strong Museum of Play

First stop in NY,well...after family living rooms & dining tables covered with Buzzy's pizza & Buffalo wings, Dunkin Donuts, and Wegmans, of course, was Strong Museum of Play.

Truth is, playing took precedents over pictures at this place. As you'll see in the collage below, it was a feast for the eyes, so getting the kids to look at my lens was nearly impossible. There was SO much to do & see there, we didn't even make it to the Toy Hall of Fame. The highlights were the Wegmans' grocery store, Sesame Street with Elmo's world, and Bearenstain Bear Country.

Their kid-size Wegmans was outstanding. Details! Details! Details! Down to printing your receipt!

Each area had something for Carter at 3 & something for Lilah at 1. BONUS!
Something for everyone! This place just goes on & on & on...the train, the post office, the theater, the story land, even the Marvel Comics exhibit that Dan & Carter broke into before it was open to the public the next week...
We had a blast!
We drove a bit over an hour to get there. I'd drive even more. Well worth it. If you're anywhere nearby.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Speaking of technical difficulties

We boarded our 3 stop, 8 hour day of plane riding with a 3 year old & a 1 year old armed with technical support. Leapster2 bought with this trip in mind, a DVD player, and high hopes for a short nap from both of them, iPods stocked with songs & audiobooks to take us away mentally IF the naps never came.
Turns out the DVD player hadn't charged the night before, the Leapster2 wouldn't turn on, Dan's iPhone had to be replaced & all of his songs were erased, my iPhone quickly became the stand in for 3 year old entertainment.
Carter did awesome! I mean really, I'm amazed. Long flights for 8 hours with no DVD player or Leapster & he sat still, ate through the snack bag & just looked out the window or started conversations with me.
Lilah, was a different story. Fussed most all of the day. She would only sit with Dan, so he had no relief except for that one flight when she screamed herself to sleep on his shoulder. I noticed her face was right in the sun & decided to move her to his other shoulder...& she woke up! Sorry, Dan.
I'll never understand why the grey-haired folks seem to look over their shoulder at you & the crying (ok screaming) baby on your lap. Really? Do you think that I'm witholding some magic solution to this problem that your judgemental stare will prompt me to pull out?
What a day.
We'll take it though. We both agree we had the best visit back home with family we've had since we moved away 4 years ago.
More to come on that... Pin It

My apologies

My apologies to my faithful followers. I appreciate you so much & didn't want to tempt you to delete me from your Google Reader, so I set up to have some of my pals guest blog for me while I was out of town. had some technical difficulties and only a few of them ended up posting as scheduled.
I trust that you enjoyed these few-I did. For those that didn't post, they are stored away for the next time I need them. Pin It

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guest Blogger: Starr Cliff


It’s so fun when babies are born, and everyone dissects who they look like:

“I think he has your chin.”…“Those are definitely your feet. His toes are long and finger-ish just like your freaky toes.”…“He has your nose for sure. There’s absolutely no denying that’s your honker.”…“He has your beautiful big brown eyes.”

So fun!

It gets even more fun when they get a wee bit older and start to smile and laugh and do more than just lay around:

“Oh! How sweet! She has your laugh!”“Wow, he looks just like his Daddy when he smiles.”…“You make that same face when you’re sleepy!”

I love it when I see a picture of my four year old daughter, and it reminds me of a picture of myself when I was her age. It thrills my mom and my grandma too – they love to see past cherished images re-lived through their grandkids.

But about the time my kids hit three or four years old, I began to seriously take note that my kids look like me in more ways that just sharing my smile…..

My four-year-old daughter slammed her door in anger a couple days ago. It was a bad choice on her part. She didn’t show self-control. She wasn’t respectful toward her brother, whose face the door was slammed in. She acted out of anger and not out of love. So her behavior had to be corrected.

[gulp] [sigh] [gulp again]

Everything in me wanted to just let that solitary act of door slamming pass by unnoticed.

Her childish, angry, door-slamming behavior was learned from….her mommy. [and did I mention – “gulp”]

When I’ve had enough – enough of an argument, attitude or heated conversation – I have been known to slam a door. It’s sort of my signal to my husband that I’m done for the moment. I’m D.O.N.E. Ladies, you know what I mean. DONE. I’m angry and need to resume at a later time. So instead of saying, “I really just need some time to think about this and get my emotions under control, and we can talk later”, I instead quickly depart the area, head to my bedroom, and slam the door. I’ve found it communicates the same message, in a much more profound way. A side benefit is that it needlessly escalates the situation to new, much worse, level. Mature, huh?

Now the slamming of doors doesn’t happen often mind you (honestly, it doesn’t!), but enough that in Lauryn’s short four years of the planet she’s heard the slamming of a door 3 or 4 times.

Seeing that behavior in her was nowhere near as fun as seeing that we share a smile.

Our children are little mirrors, reflecting back to us all the things they see us do. Both good and bad.

I had to correct Lauryn the day of the door-slamming incident. I did it with much grace and sincere apologies for being a poor example. But I had to correct her nonetheless. And it was really tough.

I’m quite certain I will exercise a little more self-control the next time I’m angry.

Let’s just hope I don’t replace the door-slamming with something equally immature for her to copy. I hope I don’t start cussing. That could be embarrassing.

You can follow Starr Cliff at
Lost in Laundry. She was one of my first local friends, and can be thanked for linking me to most of my favorite gals in town.

*detailgal note*
Tina added the Mirror because I've been crushing on it & Starr didn't like any mirror images she found. For ordering: Elise Frameless Mirror, Pottery Barn
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Guest Blogger: Kate Adamson

Guest Blogger: Kate Adamson writes...

Four-teen-er: a mountain over 14,000 feet, and a status symbol of induction into Colorado’s famous outdoor life.
Time: Last Saturday Place: The Decalibron (a series of 4 fourteener peaks in Colorado) Who: Me and my church hiking group Experience with me: 50-60 mile an hour winds causing such bad wind burn my face is still raw and peeling. Sloshing through two feet of snow. Gardening gloves instead of snow mittens. Gravel flying through the air pinging my ear drum. Hyperventilating as a result of the chest congestion from the swine-ish flu I had two days earlier. Knees killing with each step. Functioning on two 4-hour-sleep nights. And, literally five minutes into the 3-turned-to-9-INSANE-hour hike, discovering the postman delivered (Is that kosher for a blog?) And absolutely NO WHERE to take care of “things” except behind two little small rocks. Brutal. Very, very, very brutal.

But, I finished! Despite it all, last Saturday will probably be one of my favorite memories of fall. If I have learned anything over the past two years, it is this--that perseverance through hellish circumstances forges within us not only a depth of character, but rewards us with a gift that is only gained through the fight--joy. The joy of looking back and knowing we didn’t give up. Out of the four of us who did the whole hike, I was last. Trudging along and feeling bad for holding everyone up, I felt like the ole’ ball n’ chain. Often in our circumstances it is tempting to compare how we are handling life in contrast to others. Maybe it’s with those who have more time, more money, more friends, more love in their marriage, more opportunities at work, or just that they don’t have to deal with all our problems. But, what we often forget is that perseverance is no respecter of persons--it doesn’t matter when we finish, but just that we do.

To me, joy isn’t happiness, but rather, it is a inner sense of knowing. Knowing that we can o
vercome what is in our path. Knowing that God can handle our disappointment, our anger, our hurt, and our doubt--and that He will never turn us away, no matter how much we yell at him, blame him, or run from him. Knowing that in the face of certain loss, hope always exists. Knowing, that in the end, a beauty--a glorious, majestic beauty--is what we will see at the top. For, there is joy on the other side of this journey. The other side of the mountain, wind, and chapped face. On the other side of finishing. Pin It

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

guest blogger: lori bunk

Special Guest Blogger: Lori (Carlson) Bunk writes:

One of my favorite things about Friday mornings is getting my coffee, checking my email and finding out what Tina has posted in her “Friday Finds.”

Have you ever lived vicariously through another person?

Ever since college, I have always been in love with Tina’s sense of fashion and creativity and have sometimes wondered how she continued to always be spot on. I remember manipulating her into my room the night before our Junior/Senior banquet in college and begging her show me how to do my makeup.

I still use the tips she gave me to this day! (She also shared with me her brilliant tip on how to get a smooth shave for a formal dress, but I’ll just keep that one to myself for now). I’m definitely a jeans and hoodie type of girl, so I’ll leave the fashion and culture to Tina, but I do love finding new and exciting things to do with my kids.

Since Tina asked me to be a guest blogger, I wanted to share some of the fun fall things I’ve found that I will be trying this next month.

It’s no secret that although it’s the hardest job on the planet, being a mom can be super fun… and I’m enjoying every minute of it (well, except the 30 minutes right before naptime). Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Mug Cake

Candy Box Robots

Coffee Painting

Apples on a Stick

Thanksgiving Turkey

Love Lori's ideas as much as I do? Follow her ideas on her blog.

Here she is with her 2 very lucky kids!
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You're in for a treat!

Hey, it's me.
I'm taking a little vacation & wanted to share with you, my awesome readers, some of my awesome friends as guest bloggers while I'm gone.

for luggage (i won't be using but looks much more chic than mine) Pin It
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