28 April 2011

I'm taking the next couple of days off from blogging to enjoy spending time with my family.  Including waking up long before the sun comes up to watch the royal wedding.  I am so excited.  Go ahead and mock, but deep down most of you are excited too.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Oh and ladies.....

27 April 2011

when do we stop just walking along

I will be the first to admit that I am a worrier.  If there was an Olympic worrying event, I assure you I would have taken home the gold at least a dozen times by now.  However, I have prided myself in being fairly relaxed since Mabry has been born.  At least with regards to her hitting milestones.  My thought was she will hit them when she is ready.  Worrying myself half to death and pressuring her wasn't going to make her hit them any faster.

(The girl is as stubborn as her Mama.)

Lately I have been noticing a very pronounced stutter when Mabry talks.  It is almost as if she gets hung up on one word in a sentence and can repeat it a dozen times before being able to finish her thought.  Sometimes she gets hung up on several words.  It is frustrating to her and it is frustrating to the rest of us having to try to figure out what she is trying to say.

Of course as soon as I get around to writing this post I can't find a single video of her doing the repeat.  To give you all an example.

Sometimes she does really well.  Especially if she is repeating something (like a story) she has heard over and over again.  Like Pete the Cat which is a current favorite bedtime story/song and a video I haven't shared before:

The question I have is should I start to be worrying about it?  Should I be taking her into a speech pathologist?  Is this something every three-year-old-ish person goes through?  When is the right amount of time for something to be going on before you should truly be concerned something is going on?

Ps.  Is anyone else as excited as I am for the royal wedding tomorrow??  I am planning on drinking my morning hot chocolate and eating my cereal at 4am watching it all roll out.

26 April 2011

pallet shelf 101

Yesterday I told you all about Pinterest and my love for the site.  Today I thought I would share with you how I took some inspiration from the site and used it in my house.

I started with this photo I had pinned on my DIY board of a pallet shelf.

Then I started looking for a pallet of my own.  Great places to look include Craigslist, new construction sites and even behind stores.  I found a whole bunch stacked up behind a grocery store and went in and asked the manager if it would be OK for me to take one.  They were more than happy to share with me.  I do suggest you ask first at stores, just to be safe.

I brought the pallet home and looked at it for a long time.  Apparently my DIY induced high of having found a pallet blinded me as to what bad shape it was in.  There were several boards that were cracked, broken and all around unusable.

Pallet 1

Pallet 2

It wasn't until I was backing out of the driveway to run a few errands that I spotted the two ammo boxes Dan had brought home last year sitting on our porch.  These boxes are meant to hold mortar rounds or artillery rounds and are hard to come by.  Dan found these two laying out in the woods behind post.

Inspiration was struck and as soon as I got back home I dragged both boxes into the garage and started taking them apart.

Pallet 3

The only problem was the ammo boxes were smaller than the pallet boards.

Pallet 4

After much disassembly with a hammer, a mallet, some brute force and pure determination I finally had all the boards removed from the ammo boxes and the pallet.

Pallet 5

The next step was determining the size and cutting down all the boards accordingly.  Since this shelf was going in my hallway I didn't want anything too terribly big.  In the end I came up with a shelf that is about two feet tall and just over a yard long.

Pallet 6

Amber helped me attach it to the wall by screwing it into some studs.

Pallet 7

I really like that you can see some of the wording from the ammo boxes on some of the shelves:

Pallet 8

Aside from the frustration of trying to pull everything apart to start has been trying to decide what to hang on the shelf.  It is very much a work in progress.

Pallet 12

Right now I am mostly concerned with what frames I want to use and where to place them.  Filling them with things other than a dove candy wrapper (located in the small round frame at the bottom) and random scrapbook paper will come later.

Pallet 9

The only thing that is for sure staying is the Somewhere Over the Rainbow lyrics I printed out.  (Another Pinterest find!)

Pallet 10

So what do you think of the pallet/ammo boxes turned hallway shelf?  Not too shabby for one day's worth of work.

Pallet 11

25 April 2011

the one where you may have been living under a rock...

...if you haven't heard of Pinterest by now.

Internets, I love this site.  As in big-fat-puffy-heart-first-stop-of-my-day-last-stop-of-my-night love.

If you haven't heard of Pinterest it is a website that allows you to "pin" things you love to virtual inspiration boards that you create.  For instance I currently have the following boards:


Photo Inspiration: pictures of different poses, etc. that I would like to try or that just flat out inspire me to want to be better in my own photography.

Products I Recommend:  there are lots of great products out there and this is reserved for some of my favorites.

Holidays: recipes, decorations, tutorials for all things holidays.

Recipes: I am trying at least one new recipe each time I make up a menu and go to the grocery store.  This is a great way to not only keep track of recipes but look at pictures of all the yummy food.

DIY:  Tutorials I have found or other projects I want to try and tackle myself.

Party:  Ideas for parties, specifically Mabry's birthday.  I am always seeing such great ideas.  It is nice to put it all together in one place.

Inspiring Home:  A collection of things that I find inspirational and appealing.

Wish List:  A list of things I long for.  I love this board because I am forever thinking of things I need or want and then seconds later forgetting all about it.  Especially when an actual holiday or my birthday rolls around.

For years I have been bookmarking websites for all sorts of things.  The problem is I forget all about the bookmarks and when I do go through them I often find myself wondering why I bookmarked it in the first place.  Now instead of bookmarking all I do is click the "Pin It" button write a short blurb to myself and pin it to whatever board I want.

This is also a great place to follow people and see what others are finding and creating.

In short I highly, highly recommend this site.  If you have already joined, drop me a comment and let me know.  I would love to follow you!

Come back tomorrow when I show you a project inspired by Pinterest.

19 April 2011

getting our read on

Mabry and I have been VERY busy this weekend helping my parents.  So there isn't time right now to sit down and write up a decent post.  Instead I thought I would share some of the photos from last week with you.

Library 1

Library 3

Library 4

Library5

Library 7

Library 6

Library 8

Library 2

15 April 2011

some videos for your friday

I hope everyone is gearing up to have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.  Mabry and I have big plans to keep ourselves busy.  I am still working on a few projects and plan to post about them as soon as they are done (or almost done).

For now I thought I would start your Friday off with some videos from this past week.

Mabry has been fighting a nasty cough and cold for much of this week.  Which means no gym for me because I am not going to expose all the other kids in daycare to her sickies.  I'm a nice Mama like that.  The upside is we have spent many a lazy morning just hanging out in bed.  Sometimes watching Disney Junior.  Other times just talking and singing.  Other times still just being plain weird, as seen here:


Oh my word has Mabry's imagination really kicked it into high gear in the last couple of weeks.  I am loving it.  She tends to clam up if she sees the camera, so I have to be sneaky about it.  You can here her singing in this one and talking to her farm animals and robot.  You can also hear her trademark "Nake you" instead of the more traditional "Thank you" towards the end.


The last one was taken yesterday morning.  Dan was able to Skype with us for a little bit and Mabry was begging him to tell her a story.  In anticipation of being able to Skype and knowing the request would be coming I sent Dan an email with all the words to one of the books we had picked up at the library.  That way he could read the email while she flipped through the book.  This did the trick until the story was over.  At which time she proceeded to beg for another story.  I had gone downstairs to fix some food and I could hear Dan reading Mabry a "story" in the form of an ESPN article about the Penn State Nittany Lions.  Apparently we instill the blue and white love from a very early age because she sat there and listened to the whole thing quietly.


Ps.  Sorry that last video is tilted and shot through the baby gate.  I didn't want them to know I was there and filming.  Plus it is really late and I am tired and too lazy to turn the video.

Happy Weekend!!

12 April 2011

nice day for a white wedding

I have been a little absent here because lately my evenings have been spent sorting through and editing photos from a wedding I did last weekend.

Chapel 1 copy

Tom and Jenn's wedding took place in the main chapel on Fort Bragg.  It was perfect (albeit a little windy) weather.

Chapel 3 copy

One of my favorite parts of the whole ceremony was the saber arch at the very end.  Especially when the last solider gently swatted the bride's bottom and announced, "Welcome to the Army, Ma'am."

Williams 14 copy

More photos and other updates on things I have been doing during Mabry's waking hours to come...

08 April 2011

this post was a tiny bit overdo

OK, a couple of months overdue.  I had actually forgotten all about the fact that in January I had promised to show you what I had been busy doing in the living room.  It wasn't until this afternoon while watching a movie with Mabry that I remembered.

My living room has always been some what of a problem in terms of decorating.  I firmly believe that there is just something about the fireplace that throws the whole thing off.  I just can't put my finger on exactly what it is.  Since we moved into this house two years ago the living room has undergone several transformations.  From builder's beige to green, to hanging up all kinds of things on the wall trying to make it work (including doors as shutters), and back to a creamy color again.

Then last fall Dan and I decided we wanted to get rid of our sectional.  We wanted a couch and an over sized chair.  The hope was that maybe we would have more furniture placement options and something would make the room feel right.  We also wanted something that was really deep compared to the old couch and with fewer pillows.

So I listed the old sectional and some other things on Craigslist to fund the new furniture.  We had found something we really liked in a local store and it didn't take long to get everything sold and the new stuff delivered.  Except the new furniture was really light cream colored fabric and when it showed up at our house it had yellow dye all over it.  So it went back and was replaced two more times for the same reasons.  Finally I said enough and returned it all for good.

A few days later I took a trip down to Atlanta to see my family.  While there I stopped into the American Signature Furniture store and found the perfect couch and chair that met all our criteria.  It also happens to be the same couch that my cousin has and I loved it at her house too when I went for a visit.

IMG_1322
Needless to say Mabry and I made the five hour trip home with a truckload of furniture.  We also found a real leather chair in the "As-Is-Clearance" section of a local furniture store.  It had a small scratch on one of the legs.  So the store marked it down from $1300 to less than $200.  We added that to the living room as well.

IMG_1326

Since there isn't much wall space in the room to display things like photos we picked up this leaning bookcase right after Christmas.  It fit perfectly on the wall leading to the hallway.

IMG_1330
IMG_1328

I guess in a way it is good that I forgot about this post.  Just this past week I made several more changes in an effort to tie it all together more.

A few days ago a friend and I built a cornice board to cover up the ugly curtain rod over the window.  Originally I had planed to cover the board with a really busy fabric but then at the last minute decided it was a bad idea.  So my friend gave me some leftover canvas she had laying around.  It was the exact same color as the wall and too matchy/bland.  So I did a little frog taping and painted two brown and two teal stripes onto the canvas.  It still seemed bland.  The next afternoon I took the board outside and with a little more frog tape and some left over spray paint from the shutters painted the whole thing brown except for the teal stripes and just a small stripe of the canvas.  (Ps.  The curtains look almost pink in these photos.  They are actually a very pale lilac color linen.)

I think it turned out really well and is a million times better than the ugly curtain rod I had up there.

IMG_1323
IMG_1325

Since I was spray painting, I also took the little black table we had in the corner and gave it a face lift.  It wasn't until I had the table done and back in the house that I realized it was the exact same color as the cabinets in my office.  Apparently I have a thing for Valspar's Mediterranean spray paint.

IMG_1327

Then while I was waiting for Dan to get on Skype I took the fabric I had originally planned to use on the cornice board (the floral print on the right) and some scrap fabric and sewed a couple of pillows for the couch.  I still have several yards of the floral fabric left and want to make sure I put it to good use.  Any suggestions?

IMG_1329

In case you were wondering, the sweater pillow covers came from the clearance section of LandsEnd this past Christmas (I just checked and they still have some of the brown ones, but no more cream).  They were free to me because I had a gift card and stuffed them with the throw pillows that came with the couch.

There are still a few things I would like to do in the way of photos and other small accessories.  All in all I would have to say that after two years I am finally starting to really like my living room.

Oh and while I was looking up archived posts about the way the living room looked I may have been sucked into watching all kinds of videos of Mabry.  I can't believe how much she has changed in the last two years.  Where has my little tiny voiced baby gone?

06 April 2011

with all this randamity you just jump for joy

Just Jump

Internets, I am not going to lie.  The last two weeks have been rough.  Slowly but surely Mabes and I have been settling into a routine and figuring out what works (and what doesn't) for us.  I have also had a really hard time  finding the time to sit down and really blog.  It may have something to do with the fact that our lives aren't all that interesting right now and so a lot of the time I am not sure what to even say.

I have several things that don't warrant their own posts, at least not yet, so I thought I would combine them into one reasonably sized list of random thoughts.

1.  Over the weekend I did the photography for a wedding.  I have been spending a lot of time over the last few days sorting through literally thousands of pictures trying to get them organized and ready for editing.  I am also in the process of designing and putting together my sister's wedding invitations.    I feel very blessed to have these projects (as well as a few around the house that I will be sharing later in the week) as well as a rowdy three-year-old to keep me busy.

2.  Sometimes, however I wish I could slow everything down.  I wish to spend a day on the couch watching TV and laying under my awesome quilt (thanks AMB!) doing nothing and feeling not an ounce of guilt.  Does anyone else ever feel that way?  Speaking of TV, did anyone else see "Grey's Anatomy the Musical Event" last week?  Please tell me I am not alone in my total dislike of that episode.  It had the potential to be really good, but all that out of place singing just took away from the whole thing.  There was really only one good scene in the whole show and it didn't involve singing at all.  It also really hit close to home and made me cry.

3.  Dan promised Mabry he would let her have a dog.  This was news to me and it wasn't until Mabry started sharing her list of puppy names that I even found out about their little promise.  Apparently our family is in the market for a Boxer or a Doberman according to the two of them.

4.  I should never have tried to trim my bangs back in December.  There has to be a way to make my hair grow faster because months later, they are still too short and look horrible.

5.  My brain is fried and while I know there were other things I wanted to mention, I think I am going to end here.  Happy Wednesday all!

Chesapeake Bay Bridge #93

01 April 2011

edenton, nc

The weekend before Dan left we took a little family trip to Virgina Beach.  On the way up we took a slight detour and stopped in the city I was born.  I lived there until I was about ten months old and have only been back once for a visit the summer before 8th grade.

Fair warning most of these photos are for the purpose of letting my Mom, who I know checks in here, take a walk down memory lane.  Hi Mom!

It was interesting.  Dan kept laughing at the hospital I was born in.  Apparently he was born in the lap of luxury compared to this.  I told him I weighed 6 pounds and was only 17 inches long, I didn't need wide open spaces to come into this world.
Edenton

I tried to tell Mabry about the different places we were visiting.  She was more interested in picking every flower and weed she could get her hands on.  We each had a fist full by the time we made it back to the car.
Edenton

Downtown Edenton is really quaint.  They have a lot of old buildings.  We had a lot of fun just walking around and checking it all out.
Edenton

My favorite spot was visiting the pier at the end of the main road.  Something about being right there on the water is so calming right down to my soul.  Maybe I should pack up and spend this deployment ocean side.
Edenton
Edenton
Edenton

I made a lame attempt at a family photo.  The camera was balanced just so on a little bar.  We were all nervous it was about to set sail on its own adventure.  I think I had better save my money and invest in a gorillapod.
Edenton

Mabry swears every time she sees the wake of a plane in the sky that it is really Buzz Lightyear flying through the air.  She was excited when she spotted him from the pier.
Edenton

This last photo is of the house my family lived in.  I felt really old when I sent a text to my Mom with this photo and she responded with "OMG we planted that tree when you were born."  So that is what an almost 30-year-old tree looks like.  (Don't even get me started about my Mom using "OMG.")
Edenton

I will leave you with this video.  I am sorry that the wind is blowing so hard through most of it.  Mabry was out on the pier searching for mermaids.  She found one while I was filming.  We are pretty sure she was really looking at wave tops out in the distance.  But then again, who knows maybe it was Ariel coming to pay a visit.

in which we take a trip down memory lane to edenton, nc

The weekend before Dan left we took a little family trip to Virgina Beach.  On the way up we took a slight detour and stopped in the city I was born in.  I lived there until I was about ten months old and have only been back once for a visit the summer before 8th grade.

Fair warning most of these photos are for the purpose of sharing them with my Mom, who I know checks in here.  Hi Mom!

It was interesting.  Dan kept laughing at the hospital I was born in.  Apparently he was born in the lap of luxury compared to this.  I told him I weighed 6 pounds and was only 17 inches long, I didn't need wide open spaces to come into this world.
Edenton

I tried to tell Mabry about the different places we were visiting.  She was more interested in picking ever flower and weed she could get her hands on.  We each had a fist full by the time we made it back to the car.
Edenton

Downtown Edenton is really quaint.  They have a lot of old buildings.  We had a lot of fun just walking around and checking it all out.
Edenton

My favorite spot was visiting the pier at the end of the main road.  Something about being right there on the water is so calming right down to my soul.  Maybe I should pack up and spend this deployment ocean side.
Edenton
Edenton
Edenton

I made a lame attempt at a family photo.  The camera was balanced just so on a little bar.  We were all nervous it was about to set sail on its own adventure.  I think I had better save my money and invest in a gorillapod.
Edenton

Mabry swears every time she sees the wake of a plane in the sky that it is really Buzz Lightyear flying through the air.  She was excited when she spotted him from the pier.
Edenton

This last photo is of the house my family lived in.  I felt really old when I sent a text to my Mom with this photo and she responded with "OMG we planted that tree when you were born."  (Don't even get me started about my Mom using "OMG.")
Edenton

I will leave you with this video.  I am sorry that the wind is blowing so hard through most of it.  Mabry was out on the pier searching for mermaids.  She found one while I was filming.  We are pretty sure she was really looking at wave tops out in the distance.  But then again, who knows maybe it was Ariel coming to pay a visit.
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