Wednesday, November 30, 2011

t is for...

the 20th birthday celebrated by my sister
tied up birthday gift for her {in brown grocery sack wrapping paper, personalized by me}

tight siblings
together forever...cousins on the couch at nana's on thanksgiving
the jolly man is here!

the perfect christmas tree
toms sent by sweet buddy natalie {we're on the toms website here!}

{and i can't be thankful enough}
hope yours was one to remember.

giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...{ephesians 5:20}

p.s. i need your help. i'm working on a school assignment on food leftovers. how do you creatively use leftovers throughout the year?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

liebster blog award

{in german, Liebe means love. The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming blogs who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a german word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.}

that's you.

melissa, from my soul is the sky, kindly gave me this sweet award. i am blown away by this honor. melissa is a dear and her blog is one of my very favorites.

here's what you do for passing on this beautiful award:

1. thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. copy and paste the award on your blog.

1. the neesby lookbook

2. xoxo rachel sayumi

3. city girl, country heart

4. flip flops, camera shots, and happy thots

5. siddathornton

love y'all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


her name means "living fragrance," but she is so much more. her whole life is a sweet scent, not just as an example to those around her, but living for Christ as well. you can always tell when marli is in the room by her constant smile, laughter, kind words of encouragement to everyone around her and wherever a group of people are gathered marli will be right there with them. she is a friend to anyone {except for strangers in walmart}. the little babies at church all love marli and she loves them. all the parents trust her with their kids. if anyone needs a babysitter, marli is one of the first ones to be asked.
she is my best friend. there is no one else i'd rather be around than marli. whenever i'm feeling down she knows just what to say and do to cheer me up. one time when i had a big something that needed to be told, i told her {she's the one i'm most comfortable with}, she then went with me to tell mom that late night. i will never forget that.
i am myself the most around marli. we know how to cut up and have a good time. we know how to make each other laugh. our trips to town make my world go round. she's my santa buddy, my walking wallet and the sprinkles to my cupcake of life.
everyone may not have a sister, but i do and i believe she's the best one at that. everyone has a best friend and i do too. her name is marli.

{happy 20th birthday today. i love you to pluto and back and i always will}

p.s. marli has a blog. go here and leave her some follow\comment love for her special day please. <3

Monday, November 21, 2011


my first ever guest post. please read over at eryka's here. 

1) seeing the bama stadium for the first time
2) the players grand entry into the stadium
3) experiencing the fourth quarter after working the concessions
4) bama boys against georgia southern
5) sweet friends: yours truly, morgan, kelsey and marli

{what i remember from my first Alabama football game working in the indian creek youth camp concession stand}

seeing the players make their grand entry into the stadium\\big gold headphones a player was wearing walking in\\the joy in getting in the groove working the concession stand\\the fans everywhere\\the million dollar band striking it up for the first time\\ wearing the mandatory super huge shirt and funny fitted ball cap\\smiles everywhere\\getting to work the nachos with morgan\\smile and "thanks!" from kelsey every time i handed her nachos she needed at her window\\the heat from the cookers rolling up into my face\\piling on the jalopenos\\cheese freely flowing out of the cheese machine\\opening a new bag of chips to pour in the pan\\the constant "roll tide!" heard everywhere\\ the fun of working as a team with morgan\\the yell of everyone when a touchdown was scored\\the smell of hot dogs roasting\\new friends made\\the laughs and jokes with the concession stand team\\spending time with sweet morgan\\the constant need for more nacho plates to be ready\\crimson, crimson everywhere\\seeing the inside of the stadium for the first time\\the flow of the concession stand team working together\\getting to watch the last few minutes of the fourth quarter\\seeing a bama touchdown scored\\the sweetness of a bama victory\\getting only a few feet away from bama's quarterback, mccarron\\knowing this would be a day that would never be erased from my memory\\the sweet joy of texting friends and telling them all about my sweet buddy morgan and the bama experience

Friday, November 18, 2011

5x7 Folded Card

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the best day {part 2}

he waved.

that did it. with sweaty palms and a beating heart she said yes. with some triumph, we made our way down.

Santa was very smart and asked us a bunch of grammar questions {true story}. there was also a lengthy conversation about m&m's and "his job." we then proceeded to stand one on each side to have the photo snapped.

"uh-un. we're gonna do this right. sit right here."

so like two little kids we climbed on each knee. we must have been covering his face because he exclaimed playfully: "wait a second. i'm the star of this show... you can't be covering me up."

finally arranged, the big flash came and the picture was snapped. saying our goodbye and thanks to santa, we each got our free copy from the elf-kids and practically skipped outta there.

a plan was made and the surprise was sprung at supper to the unsuspecting family that night.

"we met a verrrry famous person today."

the picture was presented and lots of laughs and questions followed.

{and so ended one of the best days. ever.}

{read part one here}
{giveaways! the lovely poppy (make sure you tell them "lowercase letters referred me" on this one!), little miss momma, cubette's corner, kristina j., ma vouvelle mode, and not just a housewife}

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the best day {part 1}

she pressed the button and the massive doors opened. these two were not silent as they walked in. sister and sister laughed, giggled and talked as they walked. the inside of Bass Pro Shops loomed above them. signs had been placed and they caught the eyes.

Santa's Wonderland.

Come get a picture with Santa.

it screamed at me and i immediately encouraged the sister for us to go find the jolly man. with somewhat reluctance she agreed. weaving our way through the camo shirts, carhartt overalls, and mossy oak coats we found our well-known way to the back of the store. elves dotted the area here and there who in no doubt felt the utmost privilege in serving the white haired man. ;)

peeking our way around a display pile of cracked corn, we timidly asked each other if we could see him. a grandmother and grandson had been following close behind and we watched as they went ahead. they chatted happily with each other, obviously excited and not the least bit feared in seeing the old man.

i was ready.

"let's do this."

"maybe we should wait till the boy {brother} is with us and get the picture together." the sister said.

"when is he ever with us when mom and pops aren't? {never} then it wouldn't be a surprise for them."


she said she would think about it. i just knew she'd think about it too much and then decide not to go.

a few minutes later... "let's not do it today."

so the stairs were climbed, memories were reminisced {like when the time i was wearing my belt buckle and boots in this very spot and the boy-kid my age fearlessly exclaimed after sizing me up: "cowgirl!"}. the camo was browsed and shoes were admired. we passed the shooting range, checking for any free shots that someone had forgotten to shoot, then wandered into the camping.

she spotted it first. a balcony overlooking santa and his wonderland. we unashamedly watched from above as two kids climbed into his lap with a smile.

i noticed the guy-elf had spotted us. then something totally unexpected happened. santa looked up, and waved.
{to be continued friday}

Monday, November 14, 2011

scenes from the weekend

this little miss spent a few days with us. a grand time spent with her is an understatement.
we played memory match up, she won mostly.
we played mexican train dominoes.
we rode horses and scooters.
we fixed each other's hair.
we ate lots of leftover halloween candy.
we went to a civil war reenactment.
we watched cars 2.
and then we had to give her back even though we didn't want that.
love this little girl muchly.

Friday, November 11, 2011

the garbage buddy

i rinse a dish and place it on the towel laying by the sink. he rushes by with cap on head and a smile on his lips.

"wanna take the garbage with me?"

he grabs the plump plastic bag hidden inside the cabinet and ties it in a knot. heading outside with a spring in his step, i follow. drinking deeply of the fresh air, i slip on my well-worn boots as he chunks the bag into the overflowing plastic trash can on wheels. keys in hand, he heads to the truck with a whistle happily escaping his lips.

the hefty dodge roars to life with the turn of his key. i hastily open the tailgate and leap onto it. he pushes and i pull as we heave together the can up into the truck bed.

i contentedly crawl up on his tool box. he rolls down the window and cranks up the music.

the roaring truck rolls and my heart joyously skips a beat. he drives to the gate and it creaks as I open it. he pulls through and we ride. the music reaches my ears as the wind meets my face. hair blowing, mouth smiling. i duck and dodge tree limbs. we wave to the neighbors.

he sings along and dances as best he can while driving. i laugh.

the sun is sinking and the sky is blue. the trees are tall and the long shaded driveway is sandy.

the words from the stereo reach my ears.

life is a highway, i wanna ride it all night long.
if you're going my way, i wanna drive it all night long.

we reach the tornado ravaged spot. the trees are gone and so is a piece of my heart. i look down into the open window at the boy, my brother. green eyed, dirty blonde, twenty-one and he's not a kid anymore. he asked and she said “yes” and there's a pretty little ring.

it hits me. taking my breath away just as the treeless spot after the tornado. it's an empty place where trees once stood tall and my heart is empty too. he'll be going and our life as brother-sister in the same house won't be a highway anymore. he'll be starting a family and i'll be watching from a distance.

she'll take the spot riding with him on his highway. they'll be taking their own garbage can to the road.{and who will take ours?}

he yells up out the window at me, teasing and cutting up and he jolts me from my thoughts. he switches on his truck flashers because that's what he does to playfully tease.

in a haze, i help unload the smelly can as the music plays. the song ends. the sun goes down. and life makes it's turn before my eyes.

i love her and i love him... and i sure will miss taking that garbage can.

{the morning he was headed to ask his girl to marry him}

{giveaways! modern mayflower (tell them i sent ya on this one!) the crowley party, cubette's corner, cait. create. and love stitched}

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

when the thousandth gift is penned...


my list-dare was completed. the dare to list one thousand gifts (blessings).

over elation just doesn't describe it.

as i stared out that truck window after slowly jotting down that thousandth gift from God, the world looked bright. cars rolled by on that big ole interstate road and i ponder what the people inside them were missing.

had anyone else seen that pop of color in the bright orange excavator against those green trees?

had anyone else tasted the goodness of God when they tasted that free sucker from winn-dixie as i had?

had anyone also stopped to ponder how blessed they were to have such good friends that openly loved them?

do we realize what we're missing when we choose not to count the ways God blesses us every day? do we fear that if we begin to count the gifts that the list would end much sooner than expected?

but the truth i've so hungrily searched for and joyfully found is this: the gift list never ends.

because God is good.

because He wants to bless us.

He chooses to bless us by putting these joy-gifts in our day to day lives.

so i continue my search. and i continue the list. it won't stop at one thousand. or two, or five, or twenty thousand. as longs as eyes are open wide, the gifts will continually be there in my life and yours too. i will continue to write them, by His grace. will you?

1000. happiness counting the gifts brings to life

1001. sitting in the church foyer laughing with buddies

1002. good counsel

1003. reading a Bible verse in my daily reading that applies to my life at that moment

1004. finding a whisper mode on my phone and having no idea what it's for but using it just for fun anyways

1005. trying to group call buddies sitting right beside me

1006. having no worries

1007. brother and i playing jokes on each other

1008. tasty fruit

1009. a cleaned out purse

1010. getting the ironing done and earning some money while doing it


{giveaways! my junk drawer & gentri lee}

Monday, November 7, 2011

loved weekend {in pictures}

-hanging with these two sweeties, miss laina and miss bree
-feeding the horses at the neighbors and feeling tuff's winter coat so warm
-old gas pumps at Posey's store (i love)
-sitting on the bench at posey's with dad, talking to people going in the store
-laughing so hard at this funny boy i love

Friday, November 4, 2011

raining joy

as the seed is spread, so is joy.

i toss seed farther and longer, my smile broadens wider.

the rain comes down in sprinkles and the grass seed sprinkles through my fingers.

i count joys...

-sound of seed falling to ground

-raindrops clinging to horse hairs on barbwire fence

-color, color everywhere! {the glories of fall}

-nest up high in pine tree

i jump into a mud puddle and a giddy glee escapes me. i hold nothing back as i swing the red {more color!} bucket by my side. i beam and so do His blessings.

i scoop seed from brown paper sack and listen to the sound it makes hitting the bucket. in that old shed the antique blue {color!} '69 chevrolet rests beside me and it seems to smile. i smile back and time stops.

i am here, i am living, i am in this moment.

and i long for it to be captured. for this time-moment to forever be stopped in memory. i race to the house through showers of rain and grab it from it's shelf.

as i pull my beanie down farther over my head, i pull the gate open and back to the shed.

momma rain coat red against green field. click.

rain splattered on '69. click.

musty smell of the cab. click.

seed bucket half-filled. click.

as the camera stops time i etch these gift filled moments in memory. this is how life is lived. one grace-filled, gift-counted moment at a time.