Wednesday, June 11, 2014


...taking a break from this space.
...not really sure if or when I will be back.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

{where i'm at...}

via facebook
via pinterest
via pinterest
....just some thoughts I'm thinking. 
....maybe it's a mid-life crisis.
....maybe my soul is just ready to grow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Whoever said "lightning never strikes the same place twice..."

...was full of shit.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

{slowing down.}

I've got a little garden growing...reminding me that good things will come to those who wait.

I've got a jar of sourdough starter growing and thriving on our kitchen counter...reminding me that waiting for treasure is way better than instant gratification.

...and both are reminding me....

Sunday, May 18, 2014

{8 years.}

That's how long I've been his wife.
That's when we said "I do."
He was 21, I was 22.

It's been beautiful. It's been real.
It's been everything.

It's not always a fairytale.
We almost lost the happily ever after once.

But you gotta fight like hell,
and if it's worth saving,
you will save it.

Thank you Lord,
for the boy that walked into my heart
on that random summer night.

via etsy

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

{me. in a nutshell.}

I found this on pinterest, but it led me to this lovely blog.

{recipe: rainy day chili}

 {It was a kinda-cold, stormy day...and that makes me want some chili.}

  • 2 lbs. ground chuck
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can fire roasted (diced) tomatoes w/ green chilies
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder (or more if that's how you like it!)
  • 1.5-2 tbsp. mexican spice blend
  • 1 cup hot water 
how to:

  • (in dutch oven) toss chopped onions and cook over med-high heat until soft.
  • remove most of the onions (set aside, leaving a few to add flavor to the beef) and put beef in the pot.
  • brown the beef. using a mesh strainer, drain off fat, then return to pot.
  • toss cooked onions back into the pot
  • drain and rinse both beans and add to pot
  • add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • add all spices and hot water
  • stir together, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
{...didn't get any photos, but will add a few next time I make it!}

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

{Because, sometimes...}

Your pup likes watching Harry Potter just as much as you do. She settled front and center to watch it on the new tv.

Friday, April 18, 2014

{Good Friday.}

via pinterest.

 {from the Gospel of Luke:}
13-16Then Pilate called in the high priests, rulers, and the others and said, “You brought this man to me as a disturber of the peace. I examined him in front of all of you and found there was nothing to your charge. And neither did Herod, for he has sent him back here with a clean bill of health. It’s clear that he’s done nothing wrong, let alone anything deserving death. I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.”
18-20At that, the crowd went wild: “Kill him! Give us Barabbas!” (Barabbas had been thrown in prison for starting a riot in the city and for murder.) Pilate still wanted to let Jesus go, and so spoke out again.
21But they kept shouting back, “Crucify! Crucify him!”
22He tried a third time. “But for what crime? I’ve found nothing in him deserving death. I’m going to warn him to watch his step and let him go.”
23-25But they kept at it, a shouting mob, demanding that he be crucified. And finally they shouted him down. Pilate caved in and gave them what they wanted. He released the man thrown in prison for rioting and murder, and gave them Jesus to do whatever they wanted.
26-31As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus. A huge crowd of people followed, along with women weeping and carrying on. At one point Jesus turned to the women and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children. The time is coming when they’ll say, ‘Lucky the women who never conceived! Lucky the wombs that never gave birth! Lucky the breasts that never gave milk!’ Then they’ll start calling to the mountains, ‘Fall down on us!’ calling to the hills, ‘Cover us up!’ If people do these things to a live, green tree, can you imagine what they’ll do with deadwood?”
32Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.
33When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.
34-35Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”
Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”
36-37The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”
38Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.
39One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”
40-41But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”
42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”
43He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”
44-46By now it was noon. The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout. The Temple curtain split right down the middle. Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last.
47When the captain there saw what happened, he honored God: “This man was innocent! A good man, and innocent!”
48-49All who had come around as spectators to watch the show, when they saw what actually happened, were overcome with grief and headed home. Those who knew Jesus well, along with the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a respectful distance and kept vigil.
50-54There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.
55-56The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


how do you do this, if you don't know where you've been planted?

...that's where my thoughts are today.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

{50 things. challenge accepted.}

One of my absolute FAVORITE sites/magazines posted this today...and I think it's a lovely little list of reminders. So, I am going to challenge myself to each and every item. Feel free to comment if you accept the challenge!

To spark your own love affair with life again, here are 50 simple ways to welcome joy back in:
1. Have monthly picnics in your favorite park.
2. Bake with the intention of sharing.
3. Swing on a swing set.
4. Write anonymous love letters to those in need with The World Needs More Love Letters.
5. Volunteer reading books to children at your local library.
6. Try a new DIY project like beautiful shebori dying.
7. Send postcards to those you love.
8. Take a Sunday drive with the intention of getting lost.
9. Join a community garden.
10. Trade cookbooks with friends to discover new cuisines.
11. End the day by naming 10 things you’re grateful for.
12. Compliment strangers for the sole reason of making someone else’s day.
13. Say ‘I love you’ and mean it.
14. Devote Saturdays to doing only what you really want.
15. Wear your favorite lipstick and heels to run errands.
16. Get a pedicure.
17. Subscribe to a new magazine.
18. Shop at your farmer’s market as a way to get to know your community.
19. Ride your bike to run errands.
20. Light candles at the breakfast table.
21. Give yourself permission to stay in bed longer than normal.
22. Take a social media fast for two days or more.
23. Sun-brew tea in a windowsill or on a porch.
24. Declutter your space.
25. Wear glitter and sequins often.
26. Search out the perfect lake and rope swing.
27. Make a pot of midday tea.
28. Hang your laundry to dry in the sun.
29. Decide your “someday” is today.
30. Make a running list of fun things to do for each season.
31. Give yourself reasons why you can and will.
32. Snuggle more.
33. Leave inexpensive flowers on someone’s doorstep.
34. Choose faith over fear.
35. Give $5 worth of gold coins to a child.
36. Unabashedly ask for what you want.
37. Each day, use a new word like some from this list.
38. Host a wine party.
39. Have a glass jar full of positive affirmations.
40. Learn how to preserve food.
41. Have s’mores inside around your fireplace.
42. Create a signature perfume for yourself.
43. Make a fort out of sheets just like you did as a child.
44. Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect.
45. Take more baths.
46. Discover new music.
47. Return a favor.
48. Eat healthy foods that make your body scream YES.
49. Invest in yourself.
50. Love genuinely and love often.

{putting pen to paper.}

via pinterest

I've never hidden my love of reading.
Everyone knows that I'm the girl with a book in her purse.
I'm the girl that reads while watching tv.

I'm also the girl that has a few stories in her heart and dreams of sharing them.
 ...even though she's scared to.

So here goes.
I will write everyday.
These stories will be told.
I will not be afraid.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

{my happy}

when is my soul truly happy?

when i am home with my husband.
when i am lost in a great story, be it book or movie, or even a song.
when i get compliments on something i've made.
when i am with my family.
when i am in the word, and it speaks right to my heart.
when i complete a new challenge, no matter how big or small.
when i am dressed like a lady, and treated as such.
when my home is clean and full of delicious smells.
when a guest feels comfortable, safe and loved in my home.
when my hands have prepared a meal for us.
when i see a beautiful bird or a lovely flower and can stop to appreciate them.
when i am able to bless a loved one...or even a total stranger.

on these things i will focus.
i will stop trying to FIND my happy, or even CHANGE it.
it's already in me. it is enough. i am enough.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

{God's not dead.}

click here to watch the trailer.
I am so very glad that I got to see this last night.
My heart wouldn't be where it is today if I hadn't.

It made me laugh. It made me cry.  It gave me goosebumps...more than once.
Mostly, simply made me think.
I know that it is a fictional story, but it was written based on real events happening in our nations schools.
this truth breaks my heart.
I want to believe that if I am ever challenged as Josh is, I won't back down. I will share my faith in the Lord with as much conviction as he does. With so much passion, and determination and strength.
As deeply as the film touched me, it was what happened while the credits rolled and the theater emptied that has inspired me. Shaken me to my core.
We were on the very top row of an almost-sold-out showing and as we were gathering our things, I glanced past my friends and saw a girl, in her late teens, maybe early twenties, barefoot, on her knees and with her hands outstretched in prayer. 
I'm not usually one to approach a stranger, especially when they are right smack in the middle of a very personal moment...but I was pulled to her. 
I knelt beside her and without a word, put my arm around her shoulders. Startled, she opened her eyes and looked over at me. Without even asking who I was or what I was doing, she wrapped her own arm around my back and simply explained that she wanted to thank the Lord for His anointing on that film.For it's message and for it's truth.
We knelt like that for a few minutes while she prayed aloud to Jesus.
We said "amen" and gave eachother a gentle squeeze. I whispered for her to have a good night and stood to rejoin my friends (who were patiently waiting for me at the end of our row.)
I never got her name, but my soul got so much more. 
Everyday of my life, I will aspire to live with her amazing, unabashed, simply beautiful love for my Lord and Savior.

God is alive.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


  • more music
  • more dancing
  • more art. period.
  • more coffee sipping
  • more herbal tea
  • more laughter
  • more love
  • more flowers
  • more star gazing
  • more delicious foods
  • more reading
  • more writing
  • more foreign films
  • more confidence
  • more gratitude
  • more of a servant's heart
  • more listening
  • more seeing
  • more faith
  • more travel
  • more passion
  • more compassion
  • more dreaming
  • more doing
  • more romance
  • more living
  • more moments
  • less gossip
  • less envy
  • less taking this life for granted.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

{the eve of my 30s}

Today is Sunday.
Not just any Sunday...
...the last Sunday of me as a 20-something.

I look forward to the next decade of my life with (slightly overwhelming) anticipation.
Why shouldn't I?
My twenties brought me the love of my life, a marriage that gets better as the days go by, several new nieces and nephews, new family, new friends, reunions with old friends, clarity, new hobbies, interests, memories, love, LIFE.

They also brought me closer to the woman that I am meant to be.
We haven't been officially introduced yet, but we have some mutual friends and are traveling in the same circle.
I am certain that when we do finally greet each other, she will be absolutely delightful.

{on sundays}

feast for the eyes, the soul and the body.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

{for Lent}

I am not Catholic, but I do like to participate in the "giving something up during Lent" tradition.
 This year's goal: to give up bad-for-me foods and to choose productivity and growing over being lazy and stagnant.

Day 1 (yesterday): had bad salmon for lunch and ended up leaving work a couple hours early and staying home today, miserable with food poisoning. C'est la vie.
Once I managed to keep some plain jane, oven baked fries down, I started a pot of (fresh, from scratch) beef stew and got part of the pantry cleaned up...that's about as productive as I'm gonna be today, and I'm okay with that.

Last year's goal wasn't to give something up though, instead it was to spend those 40 days reading through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I succeeded and then went on to read through the rest of the New Testament.
I recently started reading through the Old Testament, picking up where I had left off a few years before, with the Book of  Ezra. I am now on the last chapter of  Nehemiah.
I sat down this afternoon with my planner and mapped out how long it will take me to read through the rest of the Old Testament, averaging about 10 chapters a day. I should finish on Easter Sunday! I think that's a pretty cool coincidence.

Here's to goals that grow us and teach us and make us better than we were yesterday.

Monday, March 3, 2014

{"just keep living." }

"There are three things that I need each day," he said as he came to the stage after kissing his wife, Camila Alves, and hugging his costar and fellow Oscar winner, Jared Leto. "One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to and another is someone to chase."

McConaughey continued with a heartfelt speech about his faith, family and his motivation to "just keep living."

"I want to thank God because that is who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know were not of my hand or any other human hand. He's shown me that it's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates," he said. 
"To my wife, Camila, and my kids Levi, Vida and Mr. Stone: the courage and significance you give me every day when I go out the door is unparalleled," he continued. "You are the four people in my life I want to make the most proud of me."

And then he thanked himself – in a way.

"To my hero, that's who I chased. When I was 15 years old, I had a very important person in my life come up to me and say, 'Who's your hero? I said, 'I've got to think about that. Give me a couple of weeks.' … I said, 'I thought about it ... It's me in 10 years,' " he said. "So I turned 25, 10 years later – that same person comes up to me and says, 'So are you your hero?' and I'm like, 'Not even close, because my hero is me at 35.' "

Continued McConaughey: "Every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I'm never gonna be my hero. I'm not gonna attain that. I know I'm not and that's just fine with me, because it keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing."

"So whatever those things are," he said, "whatever is it we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we're chasing, to that I say, 'All right, all right, all right.' To that I say, 'Just keep living.' " 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

{Taste: raspberry-orange-banana bread}

Recipe will be shared when I'm done devouring.

{Sound: Hanson}

My car is so smart. She knew exactly what I wanted to hear when I left work on this gorgeous Friday evening. Volume was cranked. Sunroof was open. Happy weekend!

{a journey to minimal: the numbers.}

So far, the great purge of 2014 is seeing some good numbers. For example:
4 (not an exact number as I took a few to goodwill a while back): hefty bags of clothes and linens
5 bankers boxes full of books and magazines
10 purses/bags
a few: trash bags, thrown (happily) into the can.
1 32-piece set of dinnerware
3 boxes of various decor items/ holiday stuff/ unused, randomness

...I will keep updating this as we go!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

{Taste: chicken panini}

Herb focaccia. Grilled chicken. Pesto. Provolone. Spinach. Tomatoes.
At Jason's Deli.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

{Sight: houseplants}

It's simple really. House plants are lovely. And I have a serious case of spring fever.

Monday, February 17, 2014

{a new day. a new routine.}

It's been said that doing something the same way, at least 7 times, will form a new habit.
There are 7 days in a week... I'm thinking that that is not a coincidence...
Yesterday, I spent the day washing, drying and folding the piles of laundry that can usually be found all over the house. As I folded/hung up each item I considered it carefully before keeping it or adding it to the big, black hefty bag that will make it's way to Goodwill when it's full. If you've read my recent post about embracing a more minimalist lifestyle, then you know that our first step towards that peaceful life is our wardrobe.
We both have jobs that provide us with "uniforms" (David gets full outfits of shirts, shorts and pants that he HAS to wear and I have 6 shirts that I CAN wear, if and when I want to...5 polos w/ company logos and a t-shirt).
I have decided that it is in my best (minimal) interest to put these shirts to good use and wear them daily. Not only will I be better representing my employer, but it will also save me from worrying about what to wear for at least 250 days of the year! Paired with shorts, jeans, capris or even skirts and I'm done.
As for the Mister...I will get back into my newlywed habit of laying his uniforms out for him each night. It's the least I can do. He gets up so early and works so hard all day. I honestly don't know why I ever stopped blessing him with that routine.
So here's how my daily routine has been for far too long:
Wake up at the last minute, wash hair as quickly as possible (without actually bathing myself), throw on some clothes (hoping that I look presentable), rush out the door without eating anything, drive 30 minutes to work (stopping for fruit for the lobby basket and a frozen breakfast bowl), get to work later than I would like, drink coffee, eat "breakfast" and do my job, all at the same time (while still feeling rushed and irritable). Go through my day, ready to be back at home where I can plant myself on the sofa and be as lazy as possible. Head home, usually cruising through a drive-thru for "dinner" and then spending the rest of the evening on the couch in front of the television, making a half-hearted attempt at conversation with my husband, while snapping at the dogs for being annoying (when really, they are just so happy to have us home). The weekends are spent cleaning up our laziness from the week before, or sleeping to avoid it all...usually stuck in the house, never getting out and enjoying ourselves and the world around us.

And here is the new plan:
Wake up the FIRST time that the alarm sounds, enjoy a simple breakfast with coffee or hot tea, have some quiet time with the Lord, dress simply and easily, drive straight to work (without rushing or stopping!), have extra time to get the morning reports done, spend the rest of the day doing what I do and mentally keep myself as relaxed as possible (which really isn't hard since I'm a very laid back, go with the flow type lady), stop at the store for any dinner ingredients we might need, and grab the lobby fruit- if I wasn't able to do so on my lunch break, get home, prepare and completely enjoy dinner, spend quality time together and with our sweet pups, clean up after ourselves, shower and prepare for tomorrow. Do things immediately and efficiently and with purpose. Make the most of the day we have been given, not relying on a second chance to get it right.

Morning #1 is in the books. Let's see how it blesses the rest of my day.

How can you rearrange your routine for maximum bliss?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

{less will be more.}

I spent the weekend  reading everything that remains by Joshua and Ryan. AKA the Minimalists.


For the past several months, I've tried planning home decor projects, cooking projects, reading projects...I've planned a whole new (bigger, better) wardrobe for myself...I've thought about our plan to buy a bigger house and fill it with lovely things...

But...I haven't had much follow through. I didn't understand why though. I mean, I've always been good at shopping and spending money (even when there wasn't any to spend) and filling our home with...stuff. Meaningful or not. Mostly, not.

This past week, I stopped with all the daydreaming/mental money wasting and started really listening to my soul.
It wants less.
It wants calm.
It wants me to see that what we have is so much more than enough.

Yes, we want a larger house...but to fill it with family and laughter and memories. Not...stuff.

I counted the hangers on my rack in the closet...only my rack...not David's and not all the extras in the laundry room...about 140. Seriously.
I am not any kind of fashionista. I wear the same few things over and over.
Why in the hell do I have 140 things hanging in my closet and still more clothes in piles around the house?!
"Just in case" mostly.
I'm so done with that!
I'm cleaning out my closet. Literally.
There will be absolutely no more than 40 hangers on my closet rack at one time...and my side of the dresser will actually be used.

This is just the first step.
The Martins are going minimal.

No more of this:

so much, packed so tight. overflowing.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

{taste: biscuits}

Greek Yogurt Biscuits
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons very cold butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (we like Fage)
  • 2 eggs
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Using your hands (and working quickly), mix butter with flour mixture until crumbs are formed. You want to keep little pea sized clumps of cold butter in your dough because this will create little air pockets in the biscuits as they bake and make them nice and fluffy.
  3. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs and then stir in the Greek yogurt.
  4. Add the egg and yogurt to the dry ingredients on low speed until a dough ball forms and pulls away from the edge of the bowl.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough about ten times.
  6. Roll out the dough to at least 1 inch thick. Using a 3 inch round cutter or the rim of a glass, or even a fun cookie cutter (stars?), cut out your biscuits and place them on a Silpat lined or greased baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. The tops of the biscuits should be golden brown.
Using the star cutter, I was able to get about a dozen biscuits...and managed to save 2 for the photo! Yay for adding a little whimsy to a simple meal :)

{gratitude in february}

1. for sharing our stories. and hoping that it helps another.
2. for love. a whole month of it!
3. for morning messages from the Lord.
4. for being able to cheer my favorite when he's down.
5. for warm jackets. and leggings.
6. for thursdays.
7. for friday night bubble baths.
8. for dine-in theaters. with recliners.
9. for clarity. and books that I can't put down.
10. for determination.
11. for clear roads. and safe driving. others aren't so lucky this morning.
12. for precious, tiny 2.5 lb baby Lewis. I adore him already.
13. for waking up to a new day.
14. for a day devoted to love.
15. for hours spent with my husband...even if it's because we are car shopping :/
16. for the smell of clean laundry.
17. for new routines.
23. for minimalism. and less junk.
24. for bosses that respect me enough to ask my opinion.


via pinterest

Saturday, February 1, 2014

{the evolution of me: a teenager}

Adolescents are not monsters.  They are just people trying to learn how to make it among the adults in the world, who are probably not so sure themselves.  ~Virginia Satir, The New Peoplemaking, 1988

In 7th grade, Fall of 1996, my world was once again rocked.
We moved from what I knew as home (Keller) to a town so completely different (Haltom City) that I actually experienced culture shock. Keller was slowly growing from a sleepy little town into  cookie-cutter-houses-slightly-upper-middle-class-suburbia (it would go on to be named "one of the best places to live in America") and HC was...well, full of already-old-lower-middle-class homes and businesses. This was in those fabled days before everyone had the internet and facebook. I wouldn't personally know anyone that had a computer with internet for about 3 more years. We had a phone though, and as best I could, for as long as I could, I stayed connected to my 2 best friends, Shannon and Leesa. Leesa and I grew apart soon after, and Shannon's family was uprooted and moved to Louisiana. I'll admit, I was a terrible penpal. Shannon, if you are reading this, I apologize for not holding up my end of us. I met and made some new friends, sure, and a few have endured to this day, but inside, I was miserable. I felt lost. I felt unnecessary...and combined with a family that I didn't like or understand...well let's just say I was sad. Very sad. I hid it well though. 
One sunny day in May of '97, I sat alone in my room. Per usual, my radio was on and I was sitting crosslegged beside my bed. The family dog snoring somewhere nearby. 
I had a bottle of aspirin next to me and a sharp knife, just in case.
As I mustered up the courage, trying to give myself a sort of suicide peptalk, an unfamiliar tune weaved it's way through my sadness and tears and my hungry heart listened.
"You have so many relationships in this life,
only one or two will last.
You go through all the pain and strife, 
then you turn your back and it's gone so fast."
"So hold on to the ones who really care,
'cuz in the end, they'll be the only ones there..."
My breath caught, I started shaking. There was a tiny flicker of hope and even happiness in my heart. I had ones that cared. I had aunts and uncles and cousins that I adored. Hell, the love I had from my granny alone would have been enough. I had a baby niece that might need her Aunt Amy some day. So, I latched onto that song. I threw the bottle of pills at my closed bedroom door. I cried. A good, raw cry, the kind that cleanses. The kind that heals. I then carried the pills and knife out to the kitchen. I went back and sat by my radio. waiting and waiting for that beautiful melody to come through the speakers again. Blank tape at the ready, and when it did, I hit record. 
A month or so later, I was spending summer break with my granny in her tiny little trailer on Lake Tawakoni. She didn't have a CD player, but she had a cassette player. So, seeing my love for that song (and probably just wanting hear something ELSE from that old boombox, she took me to walmart and bought me the full album on cassette. If you haven't figured out what the song is- it's "Mmmbop" by Hanson.  You read that right. That "annoying" song from the  summer of '97 is the very thing that saved my life. Scoff if you wish, but it did. 
To say that I wore that cassette out would be an understatement. It was eventually replaced with a CD version and looped 24/7 from my tiny corner of this great big world.
That little song and a love for the band of brothers singing it led to new friendships. It bonded us. We were a sisterhood. Life looked good again.
High school came and went. Laughter was heard, tears were wiped, hearts were broken and mended. Memories were definitely made. 
I met my 2 best girlfriends in the world, Ashlie and Heather within the classrooms and hallways of that school.
On the first day of 9th grade, I walked into my English class rocking some pretty awesome red Doc Martens. As I sat in my seat, the girl next to me exclaimed "Zac Hanson has those! Only in yellow!" I turned with a grin and showed that I was also rocking a Hanson shirt. We would go through the next 4 years so close, that we were often mistaken for sisters. I even introduced her to her husband when we were just 16!
Heather and I didn't really meet or become friends until sophomore year. I like to believe that our friendship is the reason that my family had moved to Haltom City. She only lived a few blocks away and we would walk between our 2 houses daily. Eventually, we would drive. Today, she is my sister. Married to my brother and mother of one of the most perfect little boys to ever grace this earth. She is my soul's true mate.
I met the boy who completely held my heart for 6 whole was completely unrequited love, but eventually we would grow very close. I also met the boy who would eventually introduce me to my husband in that school...driving past Haltom High School still brings such a smile to my soul.  
During the summer  before my senior year (and then a week before my 18th birthday) I lost my grandpas. One's hand I was holding as he took his last breath, surrounded by his loved ones; the other went alone, sitting in his front yard. A perfect illustration of how their lives had been lived. Heather, Becca, Brian, Kevin, Ben, Chris and will never truly know how you all carried me through that heartache, but I say thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I love these people and these memories dearly and can not even imagine going through this life without them. 
To think, I could have missed out on some pretty amazing years, and some of the greatest people, had I given in to the sadness of a lonely childhood.

Stay tuned to hear about my roaring 20s.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

{touch: bed linens.}

I am on a mission. I want to not only use all 5 of the senses I've been blessed with... I want to indulge in them.
I want to literally stop and smell the roses (and any other scent that crosses my path...)
I want my taste buds to tingle from the delicious (and maybe not so delicious...)
I want my fingertips to brush the fabrics that make this world soft, my feet to feel the cobblestones and sand and woods that hold it all together.
I want my ears to delight at the sounds of  life. music. nature.
My eyesight may not be 20/20 but I've still got it, and I want to truly see my days.
I'm done with breezing through on autopilot. It's time to really live.
jersey sheets, Target. $39.99

I will no longer wish that I could find my life's passion.
I'm simply going to be passionate about life.

I spend the majority of my hours sitting at my desk, working.
I spend the second largest amount of hours in bed.
I can't really do much to change my desk situation (for now), but I sure as hell can make the place where we lay our tired bodies the most cozy of places. That's where I'm starting.

We replaced our worn out pillows with fresh ones from Ikea. When we noticed the dogs had put a hole in the comforter, I grabbed the plush, kingsize "throw" blanket from the sofa and spread it all the way out. It's not thick, but man is it soft! It's working pretty dang well. We put a set of jersey sheets on the bed...if you want cozy and warm, get yourself some jersey sheets! I'm sleeping like a baby.
Gosa Pinje (king) pillow, Ikea. $16.99

We also got rid of our big, cold, hard wrought iron headboard and hung a few chair cushions from World Market in it's place! Added some major softness when you want to sit up while reading or watching tv. They no longer have ours in stock, but here's a similar style.
chair cushion, World Market. $14.99

The mattress should probably be replaced soon, but that's gonna be a large we'll see.
Next up for our bedroom will be:
smell~ our room stays pretty closed up (we have blackout curtains and a window unit), so it needs fresheners.
sight~ we tend to be really lazy with laundry and clutter...enough said.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

{the evolution of me: childhood}

What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.  ~Cynthia Ozick

I was born in the Spring of '84. My mother was in her early twenties, my sister was 6 and my brother was barely 2 1/2. Our father was in prison. I found that out when I was a nosy little 10 year old, snooping through a suitcase of old things in my mother's closet. If I've ever been told the reason for his imprisonment, I have forgotten. It's not important to my story anyway.
We were poor, but I didn't notice. We had a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. I didn't have a nurturing mother, no, she was too busy working nights and providing the necessities for her young family of four. But I had my big sister. She taught me the art of sitting in one spot, tuning out the world and devouring a good book. I'll be forever grateful for that.
When I was in kindergarten, we (with my mom's boyfriend) moved out of the apartment world and into a mobile home park. A real house!
Shortly after the move, I met Shannon. She was a few years older and her brother was my sister's age. I don't remember if we met on our own in the neighborhood or because Ashley and Michael had started dating. We were instant friends. Inseparable for the next 7 years. Together, we were greatness. She showed me that it was okay to be 100% myself. Almost daily, we would carry her boombox out to the drive way and in front of the whole world, we would dance our little hearts out. Olivia Newton-John. Paula Abdul. Janet Jackson. We rescued every stray cat we came across. We watched soap operas that were way beyond our years. We even let ourselves play with dolls and toys. We didn't care one bit what anyone thought of us. We were so cool. She was the first person that I sang with. We spent a huge chunk of our days singing. And we were good. We are still friends to this day.
One stormy night (I don't really remember if it was storming outside, but man was there one brewing in my little 9 year old world), my mother broke her boyfriend's heart. And that broke mine. After 4 years, I thought of him as "dad". She told him that she didn't love him, that there was someone else and that we were going to live with him instead. My brother took a weekend fishing trip with him, but other than that, he disappeared from our lives. I hated my mother for that. I hated her for many years.
All of a sudden, I was forced to live with a man that I didn't know, who wasn't nice and who had 3 bratty kids of his own. They were jerks. 2 boys and 1 girl. I wasn't the baby anymore, I was the 5th of 6. If I wasn't at school or with Shannon, I was in my room. Reading, snuggling with my Rusty Cat, living in my own little world. I dreamed of my real dad. What he looked like (which according to my uncle, was exactly like me, and that's why mom didn't love me like she should have), where he lived, did he ever think of me... if he had another family...if he was even still alive. My brother and sister had some memory of him, but I had nothing.
My childhood wasn't sad though. I had Shannon. I had friends. I had aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents that loved me. I had my books and my cat. I had an absolutely perfect first kiss and my first real love when I was only 10 years old. 2 different boys, 2 beautiful souls, both with equal share of my innocent little heart.

Friday, January 3, 2014

{gratitude in january}

1. for a new year. 365 blank pages.
2. for good tunes. played loud.
3. for my David. Happy birthday love.
4. for no-work-saturdays. time to just veg.
5. for little "roadtrips". Ikea is so fun.
6. for recipe victory. finally got a favorite dish just right.
7. for inspiration. wherever it may be.
8. for laundry rooms. i really should use mine more.
9. for foggy days. they are too rare.
10. for bourbon. sometimes, you just need a glass.
11. for hindsight. and clarity. and memories.
12. for the excitement of a vacation. soon.
13. for Mondays. trying not to greet them with a bad mood.
14. for an end to a losing streak. and a hubby that folds laundry.
15. for phone calls with sister. even when they aren't for good news.
16. for nephews that need us.
17. for V
18. A
19. C
20. A
21. T
22. I
23. O
24. N
25. for a safe and smooth flight home.
26. for a long day of loving on the pups. they were soooo missed.
27. for a job that I'm happy to return to and coworkers excited that I'm back.
28. for being happy.
29. for tissues with aloe.
30. for income tax W2s. a little bonus.
31. for a lovely beginning to 2014.

{Me and Martha.}

Well, it is officially 2014, which means my year-long project has begun. Sort of.
We've been in that after-the-holidays-funk, so we haven't really tested ourselves in the kitchen. That will change this weekend! I was going to cook my way through Martha's Cooking School book, but then I thought, wouldn't it be more fun to live this year through her monthly "Living" magazine instead? I mean, she covers everything appropriate for every month on the calendar- cooking, crafting, good thoughts, good things, etc. I'll still use the book, but the magazine seems like a better fit.
Problem- it's now the 3rd of January, and I still haven't seen this months edition on newsstands or lighting up my kindle screen :/
What's a girl to do?
I'll tell you what I did. After a crap day at work, I stopped by Michael's (conveniently located at the end of our street) and picked up a few things for something I had in mind. Not a Martha craft per se, but I definitely think she would approve!

(...until I get home from work, and can get better ones, this photo from my phone will have to suffice)

I took a wooden picture frame (10x10) and replace the generic picture with a sheet of burlap and the glass that the frame came with. I topped it with some birch wood slices (for coasters) and 2 small (faux) magnolia buds in that beautiful blue vase. I think it makes for a very pretty little setting!
Decorating goal for 2014: bring more of the outside, in.