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Thursday, September 18, 2014

things i'm loving

So, when I look at other blogs, I notice a couple of things I like.
1) Presentation
2) Soul
3) Subject Matter
I am hopeless at number one for the time being. My pictures look fuzzy and my layout is pretty standard. For that, I am sorry, because I know how nice it is to have a clean finish!

But I hope to deliver both 2 and 3. At least, that is why I am here. I like to see personality come through other blogs. If it is flat, no matter how pretty the pictures or how good the subject matter, I have a hard time coming back. It's like having a conversation with someone who just won't take it a step further and keeps everything at arms length. I don't want to invade privacy, I just want to know there is a human being in there, you know? Unfortunately, Americans ( in general!) have perfected the art of hiding themselves from the world. Eyes that look out and will stare you down 'til the cows come home, but won't let you in. There is a woman who worked at one of my favorite stores on the Key that I got to know. One day we were talking about different cultures and she related that while vacationing in Spain, she met someone and knew instantly that he was Cuban by his eyes. Sure enough, she was right. In the words of Michael Franti, "can you say what you mean, can you mean what you say, every single day?"

And here are some pics of things that really caught my eye ( the reason I began this post in the first place! haha). I love to see some recaps of what other bloggers are liking for fun so I thought I would do it, too! I can't remember the sources, but check out the yellow door, the dark blue dining room ( gonna keep that in the back of the mind for the future), and gold grout (and her printed blouse while you are at it)! Awesome!

Have a great day, friends!

Monday, September 8, 2014

things you don't see every day

I was flipping through some magazines and a few things caught my eye. I think they were from Southern Living, but I can't remember. By now you know I am technologically challenged and I can't flip the pictures the right way. I keep forgetting to ask hubby, but wanted to post since its been awhile!

1. The covered desk.

And why not? It is a beautiful way to work, and can be really cost-effective if you buy a sturdy but cheap table.

2. The living nook.

Sometimes living rooms are beautiful but rarely can you imagine yourself really lingering there. But this one is completely surrounded, making it so inviting!! It's like the window seat, only way better. Well done.

3. The cluster room.

You know how family room/kitchens are the catch all but also the places that are seen by everyone? That always bothers me. But this house plan allows for a cluster room off the kitchen and part of the mud room- think grocery bags, laundry baskets waiting to be washed or folded, things you dump from the car like pool toys and backpacks- all this stuff that is too much for the typical mudroom to hold and that ends up in the kitchen. I hope the future of home building takes this route!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

sad funny man


Like you, I have been checking out Robin Williams clips on Youtube. Watching his breadth of material, especially live, reminds us of the depth of his talent. He is a household name. And all of us wish he had had a better end.

I came across this in one of my favorite books by Josef Pieper entitled A Brief Reader on the Virtues of the Human Heart.

... a person, who in the final analysis is in despair, can appear to be a thorough-going optimist in the penultimate concerns of existence, such as the naturally cultural, to others and to himself, so long as he is able to seal off radically the innermost chamber of despair, so that no cry of pain can erupt outward ( and it speaks volumes that the contemporary man of the world has made a real art of this).

I am not smugly sitting in judgement of Robin Williams. I know he suffered more than I will ever know. Pieper's line, "no cry of pain erupt(ing)" reveals something of the physical/emotional/mental agony a despairing person feels. I am merely suggesting that this is occurring more than we realize in the people around us, perhaps even in ourselves.

Leo Tolstoy is probably my favorite author for many reasons. One of the things he highlights in his books is the living on the surface and according to very nuanced but real social rules required by the Russian upper class. This unnatural way of behaving is pitted against some very natural people who either don't know the rules or know the rules and follow them, but loathingly. Anyway, I bring this up because I see the same thing every day in the world around us. We are not dealing with a war at our doorstep or an outbreak in Ebola ( and lets all stop a moment to pray for these people!), but we are dealing with something just as deadly: the lack of a whole, unified existence.

Ok, so that is sad. What to do? Well, if you haven't read the above mentioned book, start there! I am reminded of the inner order we are created to have by reading things like this. Its not a self-help book. Rather, it is an intellectual study of how man is created within himself. And then, as a good friend put it, "spend time in prayer each day, getting to know God and yourself."

I hope you have a thoroughly happy day, my friends!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

using what i got

So, my eldest daughter suggested the name for this post. :) I love sharing this idea with her~ being creative and frugal. I don't know what it is, but I have a mini obsession with decorating, but doing it as cheaply as I can. There are just so many deals to be found!! The only things I got new are the lemon branches ( Target, <$10), the goldish butler tray table next to the couch ( about $80), and the two peacock lamp things on the table that I can't remember what you call~ ha!~ ($20 each).  

I had to add these next two pictures because I swapped things around after sitting on my couch while nursing for a good month. Something wasn't bright enough so that plant and silver framed picture got put there along with that pewter tray from my wedding. Below, I put the chair with the pillow and shaw there to fill out that space until we save for a buffet. There are just more important things on our list right now.

I think I love to decorate my home so much because its my "place." Its where I live, "work," and spend most of my time. I want it to be happy and lovely. It has to have color but also show a bit of seriousness, combining all of the aesthetics of the places I've called home: stately DC, breezy and bright Miami.

How about you?
Have a great day!

Monday, July 21, 2014

then vs now


The arrival of our fourth occurred last month! In the first couple of weeks, I couldn't help but compare welcoming my first 9 years ago with welcoming our 4th most recently. And none of these has to so with them, but more with myself.

At times I wonder if I'm being the mom I want to be. Am I there for my kids emotionally? Am I teaching the necessary values and virtues? Do I show loyalty to my husband, their father, so that they know the meaning of obedience? Do I keep up with the house, providing a pleasant environment for them to call home? All of these things require a self-mastery I didn't easily recognize in myself at the outset.

Nine years ago, I had one child, and yet I had all of the challenges of experiencing motherhood for the first time; the complete sacrifice of my time, my sleep, and even my meals until a later time. In the past 9 months, people have looked at me funny but also with respect that I was soon to have my fourth. They said they could never do that. I can understand them. I remember that time of initiation into motherhood and how hard it was for me, too, simply because of a lack of experience of giving up many of my own ways and plans, something we all go through. But what I recently came to realize with the arrival of our fourth is how after all of these years, I don't mind as much  all of those little sacrifices. It does indeed get easier in some respects.

The fact that I do all of the same things this time around as I have done with each and every baby I've been so very fortunate to have, but with the ease and peace that comes with experience shows that I have made some  progress toward being the kind of mother I want to be. It isn't as hard for me in many ways which means it's become more of a habit to perform all of these little tasks of love.

None of us will be perfect except in heaven. All we can do is try to give of ourselves the best we know how. It is funny how being open to life's experiences, which for me has meant having four children, helps you on toward your goal, naturally. But that must have be God's plan all along. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

music to my ears

Hello everyone! I am taking a little break while the kids have "rest time" ;) during Spring Break. I happen to have Pandora on the Van Morrison station while catching up on some lovely, eye-catching blogs. But I'm most glad that I happened to let my ear follow Ben E King singing Stand by Me, a song we all know and love, because for a moment I heard Beauty. The melody is nice, the words are wonderful, but what I heard was a soulful voice that can inject meaning by the way a note is sung. What a gift music is to us! I hope you listen to some today that give you that glimpse of heaven!

Up next I'll show you what I've been up to around the house as far as decorating. I think I'm making some headway! Have a great day!