Friday, July 31, 2009

My Wedding

Today over at Kelly's Korner, everyone is showing their wedding flowers and bridal party. I was going to skip it, but after a rough day with the baby, I needed to take some time out and do something non baby, non work, non cleaning, non pressure related. So yay!

I got married to my handsome groom May 21, 2005. I was 19 years old and he was 24. The wedding was a whirlwind of drama. We both came from broken families and weddings bring those broken people together. It was really tough to plan, especially since there were so many people who didn't approve.
I really don't remember planning much.

My likes for the wedding:
Yellow and green
vintage garden feel

And I got it. I don't remember planning any of the details. In fact, I just hardly planned at all.

I woke up the morning of my wedding, fell down a flight of stairs with excitement (for real) then I realized that I had no decorations or idea of decorations for the reception hall, and a variety of other little details missing. I grabbed my Aunt Helen out of bed, she used left over cheese cloth and magnolia leaves. I shucked shrimp in my veil and loved it:-)

I loved my wedding because even though there was drama and unpleasantness, when the day came, everyone worked together to get it done.
My Aunt Nana made my dream wedding cake. My Aunts and Mom and sisters and wives of groomsmen decorated everything and cooked.

I had 550 people show up to my wedding and we (my family) cooked all the food. And there was a lot of it. We also picked flowers from my grandmother's garden, my mother's garden, the side of the highway and random people's yards (with permission of course). I loved that it wasn't matchy, that it was like an old fashioned wedding.


We just basically decorated everywhere with whatever we had. This statue was in my childhood garden and I begged my Mother to bring it to the wedding. Isn't it beautiful?

Notice the mason jars of daisies lining the pathway, my mom did these at the very last minute and it was just the sweetest touch.

I really wanted to fill the space up behind us without using one huge arrangement. So I came up with this idea. We rented columns for very cheap and draped white cheese cloth and my aunts created those BEAUTIFUL arrangements with hydrangeas brought up by some of my Charleston aunts.
My grandfather, who did the ceremony, my handsome groom, and his best man/brother.

This is the whole wedding party.

Here are my bridesmaids. 3 younger sisters, my college friend Rebekah, my friend Meg from camp, and my cousin/best friend Kathrine who was my maid of honor. I also had my little sister Sarah Grace as my flower girl, along with two other cousin's little girls (only one made it down though).
I LOVED my bridesmaid dresses soooooo much! I think I was the only one though. My sisters call them the "lamp shade dresses" .
They were vintage looking, unique looking, YELLOW:-). They were brocade and it looked like beautiful ribbon layered. I got them from Nordstroms for $80. I remember calling them and freaking out because they were on sale, and I wanted to make sure I got the right sizes held for me.
I remember the salesman saying, "Honey, I don't think anyone WANTS these dresses!"
Well I loved them:-) And I think my girls looked like beautiful girls at a garden party.
I will say that this dress did appear in a MOVIE!
Diary of a Mad Black Woman... I don't know what that really means, but it's still cool right?!

As for the bridesmaid bouquets, I realized about an hour from the wedding that I had forgotten about the bridesmaid's bouquets! So we had a lot of daisies left over and someone made some up.

My flowers were the only ones we bought. They were yellow tulips. I loved them.

All in all, the day was truly about the most important thing, marrying the love of my life. I promise you, I love him a zillion times more now than I did that day 4 years ago.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Wedding Dress

I told my husband over breakfast that today at Kelly's we were showing wedding dresses. He said, "Crap! You can't fit in yours!" I laughed so hard.

Today over at Kelly's Korner, everyone is showing their wedding dresses. I thought I'd join in the fun!

May 25,2005

My wedding dress fit me like a glove. I went shopping for it several times with friends, and was about to buy a plain, strapless, unoriginal gown because i thought my dream of lace was too expensive.
But I went to one VERY VERY junky wedding shop with my mom. I almost didn't go in because it was so sketchy. We looked through the sales rack and found this jewel for $300 because it had been discontinued. Sad thing was, it was a 6 and I was a 10 because of my large chest. But I tried it on anyway and it fit perfectly because of the open back. I loved that I found my wedding dress with my mom and the fact that it was the one jewel in a room full of horrific 80s dresses:-)

I loved my dress, but most of all I loved getting married to Noah!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Little Setback

I feel like today I went through a small battle. I'm worn down and beat up.
Today was TERRIBLE.
Barclay started crying at about 4 am this morning and basically just stopped. And if he wasn't crying he was clawing and biting at my face, hands, nipples, whatever he could find.
Car rides didn't put him to sleep, crying it out didn't put him to sleep, walking fast with him in the front carrier didn't put him to sleep. I let him basically cry for 1 1/2 hours, with small breaks of check on him, and he only napped for 15 minutes after that.
He was so horse from crying so much tonight that when he breathed in he was weezing and making this awful noise.
I almost took him to the ER because it sounded like he was dry drowning or that his airways were closing up.
But, I have no trust in doctors anymore and no trust in myself.
He is now asleep, I've checked on him about 10 times and now I'm looking back over my day.
It was just really awful. I hate days like this.
Everything goes wrong. It rained, it poured. I was in and out of stores doing errands I've put off. I felt alone all day. I was rushed, what little housecleaning I did, seemed like it didn't even put a dent in things. I was rushed, I was hot, I didn't have time to shower, nothing I wanted to get done got done, nothing. I am just always in a rush, barley getting anything done. And everything just gets messed up while I try.
By the end of the day, I was just yelling over Barclay's screams begging him to be quiet. I hate that I did that. I know he can't help it but I was just so TIRED of having to listen to non stop crying. I know it's probably just a small relapse on the road to recovery for him, but it was rough. Yesterday was just such a good day. And the night before was pretty much better than I could have ever imagined. Only to get to today and go backwards again. Back into that dark woods that I thought I'd escaped.

I'm also really discouraged with my business I'm the kind of person that wants to be the best at what I do.
But more and more I feel smothered with how many phenominal photographers there are out there. They are constantly coming up with new ideas, new techniques. I feel stagnant. Although I get inspired so much by the people I work for, I'm never just itching to do buy the next product, or do what everyone else is doing. I'm realizing that maybe I am not cut out to compete for the whole rest of my life to be at the top of the pack. The all or nothing person in me, makes me think my only other option is to not do it anymore. But I just can't not do photography. I feel like everyone's already done it all. There is nothing new to be "created" in a photo.
I want to be better. I am getting better, but I'm also so tired, I don't feel like I have the energy to put into it.

I'm not going to lie, tonight I felt totally depressed. I just sat on the couch and cried while I watched emotional dancing on So You Think You Can Dance. I just felt sorry for myself.

I'm praying that tomorrow will be good, because I don't think I can handle another set back. God does know what I can handle though, and he promises never to go beyond that.

Nesting Gone Terribly WRONG

Well, I have something that I've been needing to work on for...I don't know...8 months?! Barclay's nursery is a royal mess and it keeps getting worse.
I was never one of those mom's who's nursery was pristine and waiting for the newborn. Nope. Mine was completely unfinished, messy, I didn't even have my cradle set up. That I had to do at 11pm at night the night we got home from the hospital. Not fun!
Unfortunately I was SICK for almost my whole pregnancy. I just had a little relief in months 7 and 8. So I never felt like cleaning...except...
I had my huge nesting stage over in KOREA! My husband and I went to visit my his brother who lives and works at a South Korean boarding school. I went at 7 1/2 months pregnant until 8 months pregnant. Let me tell you, his house was CLEAN, organized, shelves labeled, etc.
And when I got home, no nesting...
I started a new nesting phase about 1 month AFTER giving birth. Just when I didn't even have a spare hand to do it.
Anyhow, enough excuses. This is what the nursery looks like right now.

Yikes! It's horrible! I'm surprised I haven't killed myself going in there in the middle of the night!
I have to admit, the shelf that we set up, broke and that is why a lot of stuff is on the floor...but there still was a lot of stuff on the floor before that.

Yes, that is a blow out diaper from this morning. But I didn't have time, or make time to dispose of it properly since my diaper pail was full.

I really wanted to put these pictures up so that I can say, that I want to have this baby clean, organized and in working order in the next week! So look for pictures by next Wednesday, and if you don't see can write me a condescending comment. Deal?

I have two questions for you moms out there:
1.I have recently started doing cloth diapers part time, and hope to do them mostly full time. If you do cloth diapers, how do you go about storing the dirty diapers until you wash them? I have a diaper pail for disposables, which I hope to be slowly but surly phasing out (but never completely), and I got another diaper pail at goodwill that I thought I could maybe store cloths till washing.
2.Do you have a good way of storing, sorting, clothes grown out of. I had a nice little Tupperware box, then I have two, and now I need three. Is this what you have to do till their 18? For other children that may come along?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hello, I'm Helen Joy and I'm addicted to Yard Sales.

I must admit, I do not think I will ever set foot in a goodwill again (ok we all know this isn't true), but seriously, I have not really had the wonderful experience which is a yard sale, until this past weekend. I've been to a few but mostly with my mom as a little girl. I went to a Unitarian Universalist "Church" yard sale. I've always been curious about what kind of people attend a church where the sign outside reads. Embrace the trees...find your balance...and other things of that nature. Well, the people were really nice, the book collection, QUITE interesting. But the finds were incredible.
I'm not joking when I say I cried several times that day because I was so excited! I think I called every one I know.
I really was in the mood to shop and spend money. So for about $25 I got all this:

I got this cute silk, note pad (where you can replace the paper) for free. It's the perfect size and really quite precious.

I teach violin and my Suzuki book 1 was pretty beat up (it is 15 years old) and so I picked this new one up for 50 cents.

I got the old, rusty shoe rack for 50 cents. I've already spray painted it white and will use it to display either towels or a quilt. I'll post pictures of that soon.

HUGE nice wooden, black frame that I don't need to spray paint. It's for a 16x20 photo:-) $2

I went on a little glass jar binge this week. I found so many beautiful ones. I actually bout 7, but have given some away already to friends who need them. I kept these three to myself and I'm so excited about what to fill them with! $2 each.

I got this beautiful gold plated necklace for $3. I absolutely LOVE leaves. I'm very picky about jewelry and so it is rare that I find something I like and would wear

My 11 year old sister is OBSESSED with the sixties. She asks me questions all the time about it, and I wasn't even alive then! She also is a huge puzzle fan. I found this puzzle for $1. We'll have so much fun doing it.

I found this good basket for 25 cents. Took the handle off...and

Now I have a place to keep Barclay's bibs in my cabinet.

I got this cute bird cage for $2.

And put it in my entry way. I think I'm going to buy some moss or ivy to put inside of it. It think it's really cute though.

I bought this tiny life jacket for $1. It'll be great for Barclay next year.

I saw this little wooden pinoccheo doll. I thought it would look awesome in Barclay's "classic little boy" room. When I got home, I looked him up and saw that it is from the 1960's from Italy. They aren't going for much, plus he doesn't have feet, so I'm going to keep him and enjoy him.

I found this unbreakable, new french press for 50 cents. I'm giving it to my sister who needs one and loves coffee.

I found this large wooden soldier for 50 cents. I am very lacking in the Christmas decor department so I try to pick up some cute things here and there for Christmas, even though it's forever away.

These are European, wooden toys, that are usually very expensive. They are of the brand Beeboo. I saw them in a bag for 25 cents and picked them up. This is a balancing puzzle and all the pieces are there. I really love it!

These are original, signed artwork of sail boats. They are professionally framed, but I'm going to probably paint the frames white and the mattes red...maybe. But I love them for my baby boy's room and they were $5 for both of them.

I've been meaning to go buy a little stool for myself. Since I can barely reach my top cabinets. I go this for free:-)

I found this beautiful, new milk steamer for 50 cents. My husband loves him a Latte so I was so excited to find this so we can make them at home!

I found this dress up Larry for 25 cents. He had marker all over his face, but magic eraser took care of that! It is so cute and fun and I know a very sweet little girl who absolutely loves Larry who will be receiving him in the mail this week. I can't wait for her to play with him!

I found this heavy metal "b" marked 5 cents. When I went to check out the lady just gave it to me for free. I think she just wasn't good at math. I'm going to spray paint it red for Barclay's room:-)

I have been wanting some white shudders for a LONG time. I want to put them on either side of a large painting or picture and it goes perfect in my newly painted brown room:-) They were both $1 total. Yay!

I also bought a $3 excersaucer for a friend who needed one!

On the way home, I pulled over to a yard sale which looked like they were giving up. I looked around and saw nothing until I saw a sign on this that said, "For Sale"

Barclay's room is a mess right now (post soon to come). His white shelf broke and so I've been on the look out for a non cheap shelf. I found this at the end of the day, I asked if she would take $6 for it and she did! I'm going to repaint it white and soon that room shall be clean!

Thanks for visiting and make sure to check out everyone else's find over at Rhoda's!

Out of the Haze

I feel like I have just walked out of a very long stay in a very dark woods. The past 5 1/2 months have been the most wonderful and the hardest months of my life! I feel like I've been unable to deal with anything. I feel like I've avoided people, bills, basically real life.
Every morning I woke up with no clue what was in store for that day, all I knew is I had been awake most of the night and I knew I was too tired to do much that day.
It really has been rough. REALLY rough.
Prior to having Barclay, not getting at least 8 hours of sleep equalled a grouchy me, headaches,and pretty much an awful day. Fast forward 5 1/2 months and I have not gotten more than 2-3 hours sleep at a time since Barclay's birth. I think it's incredible that:
a.I'm still alive.
b.People still want to hang out with me.
c.I'm still alive.
I've been worn down, I haven't had the energy to exercise. I haven't had the energy to do anything except the bare minimum. That included feeding Barclay, doing my work, and sometimes a load of laundry, and of course my very needed therapy...blogging. All my days have run together, it is just one big blur. Nothing with Barclay is a blur, because I've made sure to remember and treasure every moment with him, good or bad, but everything outside Barclay is a blur. Everything else is hazy.

I just to give a quick run down of Barclay's health, because so many people have asked me:

-At 2 weeks old, figured out he and I had Thrush. Had to get on antibiotics.
-At 3 weeks, he was screaming so much for several hours at a time and was inconsolable. We took him to the night pediatrician and he told us,
"He has reflux, put him on previcid."
I was so tired and didn't really question him. I had no idea how many babies they "diagnose" with reflux, without trying to figure out if that is really it.

-Previcid helped a lot. But he was still crying quite a bit. So I got of milk for 2 months, I got off Gluten for 2 weeks. No change.

-His problems started getting worse around 3 months. I took Barclay in several times for his Pediatrician to only comment on his healthy weight and give me another way to take the previcid (take half at night, half in the morning, double the dose, etc.).

-I tried: ground up papaya tablets, Reliv, Probiotics, blackberry wine (just a little for him and a lot for me), natural stomach tablets, and some I can't even think of right now.

-He started getting so bad that he was up screaming half the night and nothing worked to calm him down. At 3 months, I started basically sleeping with Barclay in the guest room just to survive.
-I also noticed that he could only poop while standing up. Once a day. And it seemed painful.
I finally switched doctors to a very nice man who LISTENED to me. He told me he thought it might be a blocked bowl, or a narrowing of a part of the upper gi tract.
I finally felt validated.
-We were sent to Mission hospital where Barclay drank Barium and had xrays of his upper Gi which was very painful to watch.
RESULTS: He had no valve to control acid, and a possible hernia.
-Next test, they had to put him to sleep, put IV's in his head! and do an endoscopy.
RESULTS: Xray had been false, every thing looked good. He does have quite a bit of inflammation and acidic burning in the stomach

-Barclay had a bad rash for two weeks, we took him in because he was screaming and it was welting. They sent him in for an ultrasound of his kidneys and bladder.

-Next test, a 3 hour stomach emptying test.
Barclay drank my milk with some radioactive stuff in it (I know I'm cringing thinking of it)They did a scan of him 2 minutes after drinking, 1 hour after drinking, 2 hours after drinking, 3 hours after drinking.
Results: Perfect.

-I felt totally stupid. All that money, all that pain, and nothing was wrong! Well something was wrong, but nothing they could find was wrong.
(I think back and wonder if I should have tried more natural stuff, I wondered if I was a bad mother for just letting the doctors take over. I was so tired and so hazy, I didn't have the energy to question or fight. But Barclay's pain was so evident and so constant, that as his mother, I felt it was my duty to search out all possibilites of severe problems. Because I would have felt awful if there was something truly dangerous wrong with him and I had dragged my feet.)

-I notice 3 weeks ago that Barclay was pulling at his ear, I took him in for an ear infection and he said he had no infection. Barlcay still had a terrible rash.
-I pulled him off of Prevacid myself, he was screaming but it was a different kind of screaming than usual.

-I took him on Friday to the Ped because his ear was swollen red, scaly, he still had a rash and several other places that were starting to grow, peel, bleed. He was also bleeding out of his ear.
RESULTS: Infantigo. Severe middle ear infection, and rash.
Treatment: 5 different creams and medicines.
I also start feeding Barclay Kefir with rice cereal mixed in, along with other veggies.
1 day later, I start seeing a difference. Big time.
He also for the first time in about 3 months was able to poop laying down (this i think was the Kefir).
RESULTS: Naps. No screaming at night. Happy happy baby. Happy happy mama.

Last night was the first night in 2 months that I have slept the entire night with my husband. Barclay woke up 2 times but I was able to feed him and put him down and that was it. I then went back to my bed and slept with Noah.
Barclay woke up cooing at 7 instead of his usual screams.

Today I woke up in my own bed, NOT totally exhausted. Noah brought Barclay to me to nurse and we had a very sweet time with the three of us.
I then got up, drank tea while Barclay played, did some work...and I know that Barclay will nap for two hours from 10-12. Because he has done it the past 4 days.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am going to drop a feeding for Barclay if I can, because I know he can go without it. I'm pretty sure in the next week or so, Barclay will be able to sleep through the night because he isn't in pain any more.

I have felt very defensive of myself lately. People think that I am too soft, hold him too much, don't let him cry it out. Let me tell you, I've let him cry it out all the time. Sometimes for an hour, mostly because I couldn't get out of bed. But nothing worked.

Barclay was in pain. Either stomach, bowls, or ear. He was in pain.
He isn't anymore. I don't know what happened, except that God healed him and it was nothing I did right or the doctors did right. It was God's mercy to me as a very worn out Mama who was starting (just barely) to feel a little bit bitter.

I'm not saying it's going to be easy as pie from now on (although that would be nice:-) )
I'm just saying that this morning I woke up and felt like I maybe could make it. That maybe I could have a semi normal life, that maybe I had more energy than just the absolute basics.

And maybe I could have the 5 kids that I've been wanting...

Praise the Lord!

To my friends and family. I'm sorry I've been out of touch, moody, and haven't replied to phone calls, emails, facebook messages. I'm sorry I haven't sent out my thank you notes for many sweet gifts. I was in a haze. But I think I'm back.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I am so twitterpaited with Barclay. I love him so much!
Today has been the best day ever. He cried, but I could console him, he giggled, he napped. It was wonderful!
I do not know exactly what is working, but something is.
I seriously could eat him up he's so yummy.
I am like a love sick puppy, but I don't care.
It's 11 pm and I'm being silly and waiting for him to cry so I can hold him again. Even though I'm so tired.
Silly me...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thrifty Finds and a Makeover

I went to a couple local thrift stores last week and wanted to share my finds:-)

I found this pineapple for $5.50 it is iron and actually pretty big. Since I'm from Charleston, SC and the pineapple is a sign of hospitality...and I didn't have any in my home. I thought this was perfect!

I can put anything in there that I want. I'm thinking a tall green candle, but if anyone has any suggestions....I'd love to hear them.
I thought about spray painting it white so you could see something in it better, but I really like the black.

I found this beautiful thing and knew it was a gem! It is raw silk in turquoise and champagne. I wanted to buy it for me, but I knew it belonged to my friend Reba. It was made for her, and she just bought a new house and this will go perfectly. Isn't it stunning? It was only $3.

Isn't this the ugliest lamp you've ever seen? I thought so, until I saw that it was 1/2 off $5. Than I looked a little closer. If you take that horrible shade off and thought about spray started looking pretty good. And it is really really tall. I have a pet peeve about short lamps...they don't make sense to me!

You can't tell but this was fake wood and it was really ugly. I really liked the carvings on it though.

And here is after a coat of white spray paint.

Look at the detailing! I was a little concerned because when I was spray painting it, it wasn't covering everything, but as I stood back, I saw that it just made it look weathered! I LOVE how it turned out!

Top part. Now all I have to find is the perfect shade and I will have a beautiful

Head over to A Soft Place To Land to check out other makeovers.

And to Rhoda's for thrifty finds.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dear Body

Dear Body,
I'm sorry I've neglected you.
Teeth, I'm sorry I'm too tired to brush you sometimes and that in the middle of the night, I sometimes eat and don't clean you.
Hair, I'm sorry that I dyed you yesterday on a whim and left it in 10 minutes too long because I forgot.
Face, I'm sorry that I've not washed or hydrated you except once a week for the past 5 months.
Legs I'm sorry that you haven't been properly shaved in months.
Skin, I'm sorry I never use lotion anymore, at least I use soap.
Body, I'm sorry I've eaten things that aren't for your best good, and I'm sorry that often times I don't get you moving like I should.
I know things have changed and I now have something wonderful to put a lot of my energy into, but I'm realizing that I need not forget myself.
You have to last me the rest of my life!
Love Helen Joy

So You Think You Can Dance

I absolutely am in love with the show, So You Think You Can Dance. I look forward to it all week long and think about it all week long. It is inspiring, daring, and always makes me cry good tears:-) I love crying good tears.

I just watched tonight's show and wanted to write my opinion about the dancers. Especially because my friend Rebekah reads this and I want her to know who I am liking! And it's too late to call her!

My favorite couple before tonight was Randi and Evan...They were adorable and I loved their Mia Michaels "French Rivera Butt Dance".

My favorite girl and all time favorite contestant: Jenine and she's been my favorite since the beginning. She's so emotional when she dances, yet she's technical, she drips feminine intrigue, and she's a rockin dancer!

My favorite guy: Ade. That guy is so strong, manly, and he makes it look easy.

Here is what I think about everyone else:

Melissa-I LOVE Melissa. I just love looking at her. She's like a beautiful breeze. She glows all the time and has the most graceful moves. I love her.

Randi by herself: As I said before, I love Randi with Evan, but alone, she so flat. I think she's spunky and cute, but I think she feels awkward a lot in her dancing and it shows.

Evan by himself: He's so cute! And he makes me smile. His style is just not my favorite. He's just a little to peppy for me. Like, if I were in a room of men, I would not choose him to dance a nice romantic dance with.

Jason: He's talented and quiet. Before tonight I never really felt either way about him, but his dance with Jeanine tonight gave me chills. I now like him a lot.

Brandon: I think he's found a new dance that he does even better than contemporary. Hip hop. He moves in such interesting ways, and I love how well he adapts to every dance he is given.

Kayla: She's got gorgeous legs and exquisite extension, but for some reason, I don't care for her that much. It's almost like she's a bit fake. It also drives me crazy that in her solos she doesn't pause for affect.

Kupono: He's mysterious and I think he's really sweet. As a dancer...not my favorite at all. I do love that whenever he's excited he does a little leprechaun leap.

Janette: She is good at everything she does. EVERYTHING. But for some reason, I get annoyed with her interviews. She comes alive on stage, but off stage, she's just too much for me.

I think Randi and Kupono are going to get voted off this week.

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Neat Beach People"

Growing up, I was very blessed to have Grandparents who lived on the front beach. My whole childhood is scattered with memories of running out of the front door and into the ocean. I didn't really realize how blessed I was! I remember running around covered in sand, and every time that I felt like getting a drink of water, I would run up to the house. If I needed sunscreen, I ran back to the get the idea. I remember watching people on the beach. They had a chair, 2 towels (one to dry off with and the other to lay on), a cooler of snacks and drinks, a radio, a magazine... I called these people "neat beach people". They were always looking good, never sandy, never without their needs at arms reach. They fascinated me.
I remember telling Noah when we were first dating how much I wanted to be a "neat beach person", the next time I saw him, he had bought me an adorable straw beach tote that had flowers printed all over it. He said it was the start of being a "neat beach person":-) I loved that bag so much! I ended up using it all the time, even to carry all my school books in...which is how it ripped to shreds one day. I still have some patches of it that I cut out and saved. I'm going to do something with it just makes me so happy to even see it.
Now that I'm grown up and visit many beaches that my grandparents don't live on, I have discovered that no matter what, I am not a "neat beach person". I don't think it can be learned. I think I will always be a mess!

Yesterday I took Barclay with two of my sisters to the beach on the Eastern Coast of NC. It was crazy! The wind was blowing like crazy, the sun was beating down, we had to bring EVERYTHING. It was quite the journey just to get there. Followed by discovering the float I bought Barclay and planned on putting him under it's umbrella had a hole in it...I guess that's what I get from buying it from a sketchy lady at a yard sale. By the end of our trip, I was covered in sand, and watermelon juice, my baby was covered in sand and was exhausted because he wasn't able to nap in the wind, all of our stuff was covered in sand, including our towels so we couldn't dry off.
Today I have a list of 3 things I must purchase if this beach trip today is going to be enjoyable.
1.Bathing suit for me that doesn't expose my chest...It doesn't when it's dry but it does when it's wet.
2.Baby tent...or something like that to block the wind and sun.
3.Baby hat that fits him and buckles under the chin.

So there I was sitting in the sand, covered in 23 years old. I was looking around at everyone else...and they had it together! How is this possible and what am I missing?
I wonder if people look at me and say, she's a "fun beach person". I bet they do! At least I'll tell myself that:-)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm Scared

I'm scared.
Because I looked at Barclay today and he didn't look like a baby anymore:-(
I have tried to savor every moment like everyone keeps warning me. And I have. But time doesn't stop. I don't think I could have treasured his newborn months any more than I did, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with how much he's grown up.
Today he started scooching. I left him for less than 5 minutes on a quilt in the living room and when I came back he was under the coffee table.
I'm scared to even sleep lest I miss a moment.
The love I have for him is welling up in me more and more every day. I know in public I look like a love sick puppy. And that's OK with me!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk

This morning I took Barclay to the hospital one last time for testing on his tummy. I needed to bring a bottle of breast milk so they could put some stuff in it to track how he digested. I was way too tired last night and this morning to pump, so I did what every multitasking mom would do...I pumped on my drive up to Asheville. SO dangerous and so scandalous. I couldn't really cover very well and also couldn't do my blinker very well. I did, however, get it done:-)
They used most of the milk, but I did have about 2 oz left over. I know it's not a lot but that stuff is GOLD to me. So I carried it downstairs with me to the cafeteria in hopes that I would find a way to save it till I could get home.
Since I had an hour before he had to have his second scan, I got some coffee and grits at the cafeteria. I could not, for the life of me, find the cream for my coffee, so I sat down and tried to drink it with just sugar. Yuck. Then I noticed something...a coincidence?
This is what I saw...

Don't worry! I did not do what you think I did. Although I was very tempted!
I ended up giving the bus boy that cleans the trays a nice different surprise by sending down the assembly line...

I do have to tell the story of my mother, and if you are a friend of mine, you've probably already heard it...a couple hundred times. But I just have to share it on my blog.
When my mother was breast feeding me, she pumped some milk and stuck it in the fridge where we were staying at my Dad's parents house. One morning she woke up to the whole extended family eating french toast in the dining room. My mother went to the fridge to find the milk...and it was no where to be found.
"Mother (she said this to my Grandmother), where is my milk?"
My Grandmother giggled and pointed to the dining room. "I ran out so I used it to make French Toast for the family. Look how much they are enjoying it!"
And indeed they were...
My poor mom was horrified!
BUT it makes a great shocking story to tell:-)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Thrifty Finds:-)

This past week, I stopped into our local Salvation Army to Browse around and came out with some great finds.

I bought this handmade iron candle stick holder for 75 cents! I think it'll look great with some green tapered candles!

I found this beautiful milk glass bud vase for 50 cents. It's so creamy and I actually only have 1 other bud vase.

I found these awesome iron keys for $1! I love them and have "collected" a couple of key related things. These are pretty big too.

To show you their actual size, I put it next to the nearest thing to deodorant. So they are nice and big. I think I'm going to hang them next to my front door.

My Grandmother used to wear these types of combs in her hair all the time. They are the essence of femininity to me. I just got my hair cut short, so I think I'll wear it once in a while. It was only 25 cents.

Picture frames are usually overpriced at Goodwill in my opinion. I saw this precious little frame for 50 cents! it was beautiful white, needed no painting. Just another ribbon. I thought the pink ribbon was a little cheap and dirty looking.

I think it looks so good! I love the pop of color on the frame!

And the best find, in my opinion:-)
I was browsing Craigslist and saw these brand new, never opened Robeez leather shoes. In a boutique near my house, they go for $30! I got them for 5 and they fit my baby perfectly! I'm definitely going to have to do a photo shoot with them on.

Yay for good deals!

Visit Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality to see everyone else's great deals for the week!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Welcome Sign of Home

When I was 7 years old, my family moved to The Canary Islands for almost a year while my Dad built a dome over there. We were on the beautiful Island of Tenerife with crystal clear water, white sand, topless people...well that's another story.
Anyhow, it was a beautiful place, but no one spoke English and no one was friendly. We tried to learn the language which was a mix of Spanish and Africans. But everyone laughed at us. Even though it was an exciting time, it was also a lonely time. I can't imagine how my mother made it! At least I had 3 sisters to keep me occupied.
It was July 4th over there an we were sad because no one else was celebrating it over there. So we dressed up in red white and blue, said our pledges of allegiance and took a picnic on the road. We drove until we came to a cliff that overlooked the ocean. We unpacked our picnic and ate it as we watched the sun go down. Right when we were getting ready to leave, the sky broke out in THE BEST FIREWORKS I'VE EVER SEEN! It was amazing! We had no clue why they were there because no one had even mentioned America's Independence day, but they were and it just brought such a sense of home to a poor, lonely little family in an unfriendly place.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Funk

I've been in a real funk lately.
I don't want to cook.
I don't want to answer my cell phone.
I don't want to move.
I don't want to make decisions.
I don't want to clean.
I don't want to shop.
I don't want to blog.
I don't want to sleep.
I don't want to wear clothes.
I don't want to talk.
I don't want to think.
I don't want to be inside.
I don't want to be outside.
I don't want to drive.
I don't want to pay bills.
I don't want to check them mail because of more bills.
I don't want to watch movies.

I can't figure out anything that I want to do. It all seems like too much trouble.

I think I'm just feeling overwhelmed and I feel like if I do one thing, the world will crash down on me.

I just figured out one thing that I would like to underwater.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Worshipping Him

As a new mom, a working from my home mom, and most of all, a mom to a fussy fussy baby boy. My time is not only limited, it is STRESSFUL. I feel like even when the baby isn't crying, a baby in my head is crying. I never feel like a have a moment to spare.
I've never been the kind of person to do a regular devotion time every day. I KNOW how important it is to be in the Word, but to me, I do it out of guilt, not passion and that really bothers me. There have been a few times where I have not been able to put the Bible down because I feel like it is alive and full of wisdom. I haven't had one of those moments in a long time.
I know also that sometimes, well actually a lot of times, you just have do to things you don't like to do or feel like doing.
I always had a lot of guilt surrounding me in regards to my Faith and also my daily walk with Christ. I wasn't doing it enough, or my heart wasn't right, or maybe I just flat out dreaded it.
A couple of years ago I let it go and felt freed by the fact that God doesn't base his love for me on my actions (PRAISE HIM!). Since then I think I've enjoyed too much freedom and barely done a daily quiet time since.
I am coming to realize how much it means to the Lord when I choose to spend quality time with him. But as I started this post out, I don't feel like I have the time.
Not to mention I feel WORN DOWN and pretty much like I'm hanging on to one last shred of life. I'm so tired and so discouraged and so frustrated.

These are three things that have really lifted me up lately:

1.PRAYER- I've said it before, but I'm not really that into prayer. I get so distracted and I don't feel like I do it very consistently. I hate feeling like I only pray when something goes wrong. I also hate it when I tell people, "I'll pray for you" and forget about it. I've really stopped telling people that.
I am also and skeptical how so many people who tell me they pray for me, really do pray for me. Not that I'm judging, but I just know how I am.
I hate not being 100%. I hate not being able to pray for it all and praise for it all.
But I realized that I can pray when I think about things. So if someone asks for prayer, I have started praying right then for it silently. Then every time I think of it, I "think" a prayer. Also, if I'm doing something and want to praise the Lord, I just do it then.
What a burden it has lifted off of me and what a difference to constantly be in communion with the Lord. I no longer feel the burden of having a "prayer time"-which could last hours for my 100% self.

2.Christian Music-
Because Barclay is constantly least is seems. I no longer like listening to music in the car. I love listening to nothing. Popular songs and songs that I usually enjoy...just grate on my nerves. I hate to say it, but I think the Christian Radio Station here is just sad. YES they have good programs and YES they have good songs, but there is no variety to it. I'm sure to hear the same songs over and over. Once in a while when I'm just barley making it, I'll turn on the Radio and a song that hits my heart is playing. I get so much encouragement from it. I have also started listening to Pandora on my phone. I have a station for Christian songs and have found my spirits being so uplifted by the words to many many songs that I have never heard.

I've really been trying to read Barclay a chapter out of this Children's Bible every night. Our friends JD and Annie gave it to us before Barclay was born and let me tell you. This Bible should be read by all. It is simple. clear. and relates EVERY story in the Bible to the big picture...which is Salvation through Christ. Just in that 10 minutes that I read this to him, I feel God speaking straight to my heart and using his word (in a simple simple form) to spark a passion in my heart.
I'm being serious when I say, you should get a copy for yourself.

Something that I really want to get back into is dancing. I love to dance. Always have. The closest I feel to God is when I hear a song about Him and I just can't help but dance to it. It gets in my soul and I can't express what I feel except through very meaningful movement. I used to do it all the time to my first Third Day album. I would find myself crying as I danced because the words were hitting home so much. I've decided that in addition to needing a little more exercise, I want to start dancing more because I want to worship the Lord.

I'm just so thankful that God cares enough about this tired, worn out, mommy enough to reach my heart in ways that are simple and frequent.


I did a photo shoot recently and we did it on a farm. These little guys were just 2 days old. I couldn't help buy identify with that mama pig just a little bit:-)

I just have to do a post about nursing again. I did one early on in Barclay's life here, but it has changed so much and I just have to put it into words.

I think nursing is in my top 3 wonderful things about being a mom so far. Of course I do it all day every day, all night every night, so I better enjoy it! But for real, it is the most tender and sweet thing. I treasure it almost every time (excluding awkward times when I'm hot and in public and trying to not flash the world:-)

About a month ago, Barclay started rubbing me. His sweet, soft hand just goes back and forth over my chest. It is SO sweet! I hope he never stops doing that! OK. That would be ridiculous, but I guess I'm saying...I'll cry when he stops doing it.

It's gotten to the point where I can't really talk that much while nursing. He comes off very frequently just to look up at me and smile or even give a little giggle. It's like, "Wait, I don't want to miss anything!"

He has started making different sounds than he used to. He now sighs in ecstasy and almost gets breathless sometimes because he's so excited. He is usually very aware when nursing and is always looking around. Whenever he's tired, his eyes will droop and droop and droop and roll back in his head. It is just adorable!

Nursing has been one of my greatest joys these past 5 months. Almost a light in a dark world of pain, crying, and frustration. It's a time when the world stops and I get to enjoy my sweet baby and give him at least 10 or more minutes of comfort. Although I think it comforts me just as much.