Happyfull, that peaceful place between wanting more and having too much.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Halloween 2011 will be remembered as
the Year Of The Force...
and just in case it's not clear...
I am Padme, Soleil is Princess Leia, Corey is Obi Wan Kenobi, Shore is Luke Skywalker (Jedi), Bella is an Ewok, and camera shy Toni is Yoda.
(*My favorite thing about this photo?!?
My "camel toe" and Corey's ill fitting "boot covers".  Lovely.*)

And now, I'm begging you, please let Halloween end.
Has this been the longest Halloween season for anyone else?!?!  Goodness.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Here's to you, my sweet girl...

*I'm totally off my blog schedule...Thankful for Soleil posts are suppose to be posted on Thursday, but here I am doing it on Sunday.* 

This week has been filled with all things Halloween.  
Yesterday, before jetting off to a Halloween event at our church, I staged an impromptu photo session with the kids in their costumes.  They happily acted out Star Wars battles and recreated movie cover shots as I snapped away.  

I've been working on getting all of our Star Wars costumes together for weeks now...in one of those mindless frenzies that moms can get themselves into when a deadline looms.  Then last night, after the church activity, Corey and I huddled around the computer and looked through the photos from my earlier in the day photo session with the kids.  While looking through the photos, Corey mentioned how impressed he was with Soleil's participation in this Star Wars theme.  I immediately snapped back,  "she loves Star Wars".  It's true, she does really like Star Wars but after thinking about it longer I really think Corey was right, Soleil has put her own preferences aside to embrace something for her brother.  And she's done it without complaining.

Today I am thankful that Soleil's love for her brother is strong enough pierce through the veil of ADHD self focus and that she's been able to maintain an enthusiasm for something that was not her choice.  

This is huge.  Thank you, Corey, for helping me stop and notice it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New link up. Peek of the week.

Today I'm linking up with Happily Home Sewn to bring you my "peek of the week".
*Notice my new side bar button*

The dog's adorable costumes for our Star Wars themed Halloween arrived this week.
 I purchased both Yoda (for Toni) and Ewok (for Bella) hats/costumes from Handmade Monster.  She did a beautiful job on both of the hats...and rush delivered them to me in record time.  
Check out her Etsy shop if you have a chance...it's very cool.

So my Peek of the Week is Bella modeling her Ewok hat...
And for those of you that follow my blog regularly... 
notice my fireplace in the background, I painted it white!!
Everything is lightening up around here :)

*any tips for keeping a toy poodle/chihuahua's eye area clean?  Obviously I'm not doing a very good job.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2nd baby clothes quilt. progress.

Cutting into the sweet sleepers, little shirts, and onsies is a little painful but seeing all of the squares of fabric afterwards makes it all better.
There seems to always be one that becomes a favorite...
This quilt will also be done in a simple patchwork design, 
the clothing squares alternating with white flannel squares.  
It all just makes me smile...it's overwhelmingly precious.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Going, going, almost gone...

Darn you, Minnesota...fall is so gorgeous here, but it never lasts long enough.  
Just about the time when you really start to get comfortable in your lightweight jacket, the cold wind sweeps in
and reminds you to take one last good look around because winter is knocking on the door with a big ol' can of Whoop Ass in it's hand.
Pretty soon we'll all be putting on our NorthFace parkas again...and not taking them off for six months.

Should I be concerned?

When this is what I find laying on the keyboard after my daughter has been on the computer?
Can anyone say "parental controls"?!? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Them apples taste good.

Minnesota in the fall = Apple picking deliciousness
and this year we especially enjoyed the HoneyGold variety.
They turned out to be very yummy in muffins...
and translated nicely into adult applesauce...
wouldn't that be divine on top of gingerbread with a dollop of whipped cream?

Oh, yes, I think it would.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My house has gone quiet

I'm trying to regroup, recharge, restart...
my house went from overflowing to a little lonely.
The friends have left, the kids are at grandma and grandpa's, and Corey is working...
it's just me and the two furry girls left here.
There is laundry to be done, rooms to be cleaned, a refrigerator to restock.
But I've giving myself a little extra time to soak in all the happiness of the last week.  
All of that stuff can wait.  It will still be here in a day or two.
For now I'm just cozied up in the memories of laughs and moments shared with my friend.
I miss her so much already.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The blog is going to be quiet

This week my favorite childhood friend and her husband are here visiting. 
I'm preoccupied in the most wonderful way. 

Normal life will resume next week.
Until then...OXOXO

Friday, October 14, 2011

Interior Transformation: master bedroom curtains

In the spirit of Finding Happyfull I've been making due with my simple point and shoot camera.  And up until now I really feel like the blog has been chugging along alright without a fancy smancy camera.  Unfortunately today I met a challenge that my little ol' camera just couldn't handle very well...photographing out a window.

The photos in this post aren't pretty.  

Now that the disclaimer has been made, let's get on with the post about curtains...

Our master bedroom has been LONG neglected.  The only thing we've done is paint...a dark chocolate brown that fit with the whole Santa Barbara feel of the past but now is on the list of things to change.
The windows had blinds on them when we moved in.  They're functional but not pretty.  I've wanted to add curtains for years but haven't been able to commit to anything.  And with an overall interior decorating budget of about $0 the last thing I wanted to spend money on were curtains for a room that no one saw but me and Corey.

Then I had an idea.  I found a white vintage chenille bedspread (king size) at Savers (kind of like a Goodwill for those of you in other parts of the country) for $8.00...score!  
I took it home and cut it right up the middle, the long way.  Then I hemmed the cut edge and added a 6" pocket at the top for the curtain rod...
and voila, I have two very shabby chic curtains framing my bed.  

(remember the photos are crappy)

and AFTER:

Cute, right?
Next up for this room?  Headboard.

Embrace the camera: driving to school edition

Linking up with Emily again this week for Embrace the Camera...

My thought behind this photo session?  Let's photograph the quintessential mom+children activity...
driving in the car.  
Oh, the joy. 
*and, just to be clear, we were in the school parking lot when these photos were taken.  The car was not moving*
And this is how they were really feeling...
Shore needed to show everyone that he recently lost some teeth...
Not our best photo session but it's all we've got this week.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Transformation underway

We moved into our current home four years ago.  I'm not a overnight decorator but I did have an initial vision...I called it "Santa Barbara Casual".  Where I came up with that name I'm really not sure, especially since I've never been to Santa Barbara.  I envisioned warm wood tones, terra cotta tile, copper accents, and a lot of black distressed wood furniture.   Kind of like this...
or this..
I didn't get that far in four years...I painted a few rooms, bought a few pieces of furniture, changed out some light fixtures, hung some curtains.  Just the basics.  But I haven't LOVED it the way I had hoped.
A week or so ago I had a pow-wow with Corey about my unhappiness with the way things were or weren't coming together.  We talked about what I liked and didn't like and then tried to remember homes and rooms from our past that we liked more.  We both agreed that the home we liked the best, the one that had felt the most "us" was our first little house in Minneapolis that we rented while I was pregnant with Soleil.  It was just barely 900 square feet and we consciously tried to enlarge it by keeping everything bright and light.  The whole house had a bit of a whitewashed feel to it.  It screamed for shabby chic decor and I happily obliged.

The two houses that we've lived in since that little house in Minneapolis have both been newer, more traditional homes...and they've been bigger.  But what I realized in talking with Corey is that they haven't necessarily felt bigger...and my Santa Barbara decorating was actually making me a little claustrophobic.  

So...I'm heading back to my shabby chic/whitewashed roots and making some changes around here.  Don't expect an overnight extreme makeover, but it's happening nonetheless.  I've decided that I've got to lighten things up and embrace what I really like, not what I think I'm suppose to like for this house. 

It's hard to admit when you've made mistakes.  
Thank goodness I never actually painted the kitchen cabinets black...eek.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Embrace the camera: wedding edition

Are you embracing the camera this week?

Or as Emily says:
are you jumping in front of the camera and actually capturing yourself?
your family wants you too, so what's holding you back?

This week the whole family went to a wedding so we ALL tried to embrace the camera. 

*Corey is growing out his Obi-Wan Kenobi beard for halloween...gotta love that.
It was a perfect fall evening...
My favorite part of the wedding?  Just being with this crew.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Here's to you, my sweet girl...

Soleil is creative.  Crazy creative.
She's got one of those minds that has to work really hard to think INSIDE the box.
She sees things differently.  Like for instance, I only saw a piece of paper...
and she saw a Pilgrim's bonnet...
I thought the $30 American Girl outfits were perfect for playing dress-up...
She preferred to make her own with bits of fabric and paper...
And why would I think we could dash out the door when going to a french restaurant?! 
She knew that she had to dress the part...

Today I am grateful for Soleil's internal drive to create.

It can slow us down (which often pains me initially), and can make a huge mess, but nearly always results in something far better than I ever could have imagined.  

It's so worth it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sometimes I inappropriately laugh in the midst of uncomfortable situations

I really love to fish.  

Just for the fun of catching something...I always release, sometimes I take a photo first (close ups can make the fish look REALLY big).  But maybe if I caught something really humongous I wouldn't release it.  Maybe I'd even have it preserved and mounted...I guess I'm not sure.  It hasn't happened yet.

I don't get to fish very often.  Usually just once a year when we rent a cabin.   Before our vacation this last summer I took the kids out to purchase some new gear.  Along with some new cooler rods we decided to buy a tackle box and a "Starter Kit".  Now I had always been a simple hook and worm girl, but in this kit there were all sorts of fancy hooks, lures, bobbins, fake worms and some stuff we didn't even know what to do with.  The kids and I were pretty psyched about the kit.  The possibilities seemed endless.

Once we got to the cabin, the beach, the paddle boards and the water toys completely overshadowed fishing for the kids.  

Not for me though, I was focused on finding a fishing hole.  The resort was large and spread out, there were lots of docks and boat launches.   For a few days I moved from dock to dock but just never seemed to have any luck. I didn't catch anything.

Corey could sense my disappointment so he surprised me by getting a fishing map of the lake, talking to some locals about where to catch "the big ones" and renting a beautiful pontoon boat. The next day we were going to head out for half a day on the lake and I was going to be able to fish until I caught something.
I was ecstatic.

The following afternoon I packed a huge cooler full of food, organized all our fishing gear, packed swimsuits for the kids and we headed to the boat.  It was a gorgeous day and the pontoon boat we were on was new and fancy.  Corey, his map in one hand, drove the boat in the direction of  what he deemed the perfect spot.  I was excited about the cooler full of stuff so I started getting snacks and lunches out.  I quickly realized that no one was very hungry yet and the combination of wind and Corey's fast driving just caused all of the food to blow around.  I spent the next ten minutes picking chips off the floor and trying to grab paper plates that had gone overboard.  
The kids were already bored.

Finally we reached the ideal fishing spot, the one that was sure to be full of hungry fish...but lo and behold other people had heard about this spot and it was a little crowded.  Corey, undeterred, continued to tool around...anchor...then pull up the anchor...then back up...then circle around...convinced that he could wiggle us into the perfect spot. 

By this time the kids were fighting and whining.  I gently tried to tell Corey that it really wasn't about fishing in the perfect spot, it was about us being together.  All I really wanted to do was fish...and remember, I just want to catch something.  Anything.

Corey begrudgingly agreed to stop all of the boat maneuvering and lowered the anchor.  
In an attempt to get the kids excited about fishing and being on the boat, I took out the fishing kit and asked them to choose something fancy to fish with.  After they chose, I got their hooks all ready and casted out for each of them.  I would get one child all set up and inevitably the other one would need some assistance...and then the other one would need help.  And so on and so on.  Somewhere during all of this Corey decided that he would also try a little fishing and after perusing the cool kit we had he decided that he would fish with the extra fancy lure that had a three pronged hook, yellow feathers, and some sort of whirly thing on it.  He went to work on his rod and I continued to work with the kids.  I really wasn't paying any attention to what he was doing or where he was fishing, he is a grown up afterall.

Somewhere between putting on a worm and casting out one of the kids' lines it happened...WHACK...and time stopped, or at least really slowed down.  Corey had somehow managed to hook me right above my left eyebrow with his super tough, super fancy three pronged lure.  I started screaming, "YOU HOOKED ME, YOU HOOKED ME"!!!!  I was so afraid that Corey wouldn't understand, think that the hook was caught under the boat somewhere and start trying to yank it free.  I pressed my hand to the lure and put pressure on my forehead...

Corey's face went white/green and Soleil started crying hysterically.  Slowly Corey walked over to me and surveyed the damage.  It didn't look good...and it felt even worse.  One of the three hooks was embedded pretty far.  I asked him to try to take it out...he gingerly tried and gave up.  That's when I not so gently told him to get me the heck back to the resort.  Now.

Soleil was still screaming.  She screamed all the way back to shore.  

The resort owner met us at the dock and after taking a quick peek at my forehead told me to get my butt to the ER.  This is when I started laughing.  It was totally inappropriate, there was a fancy shmancy hook dangling from my forehead and all I could do was laugh.

Since Soleil was still screaming, I opted to drive myself to the ER...alone.  

Have you ever seen a Cohen Brothers movie?  Maybe Fargo?  Somewhere back on the boat I swear I got into a Cohen Brothers vortex and began living out one of their movies.

So I'm speeding down these rural roads, all the while the feathered lure whipping me in the face.  And all I could do was laugh.

This story could go on forever.  I could tell you about the 80 year old heavy breathing doctor that had hands that shook or about how the nurse misdiagnosed me as having a hook stuck above my elbow?!?!  

But this story has gone on long enough...

And really I just wanted to share these photos from that memorable day.  

To answer some of your questions before you even ask them:

1. Yes, I did keep the hook.
2.  To remove it they cut it off and then pushed it through, making a second hole.
3.  There is no scar.
4.  I still love my husband.
5.  I forgave my husband.
6.  I went out fishing the very next day.  Alone.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Embrace the Camera...soccer edition

Embrace the Camera...a weekly post inspired by

Corey was in Iowa, I had been doing it on my own all day, and now we were attempting to get out the door to go to Soleil's soccer practice.
All I really wanted to do was take a quick photo of my daughter looking extra "girls rule" in her soccer getup...
but then I handed the camera to Shore.  
And he took it from there.

Real life at our house...