Winter Blues-kinda

I daresay I had a bit of the winter blues the the last couple weeks. I left my Christmas stuff up until the 14th trying to combat the feeling but in the end the holly jolliness of my tree was bringing me down. Just reminding me that Christmas had passed. It took a break from the 40 and 50 degree days we'd been having and a light dusting of snow to make me realize I was craving the cold. I just want the seasons to be what they are supposed to be. Is that too much to ask? 

The sunshine and higher temps had me confused and wanting to go dig in my garden. But it was still too cold and obviously too early for such. At the same time It was too warm to just stay inside. See? Confusing. I was becoming a bit of a basket case. I told Jerrel, "I think I have seasonal affective disorder!" (I understand what the disorder is and that it's not what I have nor is it really a joking matter) He simply replied, "That's a real thing." Thanks for the encouragement dear. 

But like I said the temps have turned frigid-for now. A dusting of snow has fallen and I seem to have my groove back. My trompin' in the snow, rosy cheek loving, hot tea drinking, groove back. That doesn't stop me however, from dreaming about dirt under my fingernails and the signs of tiny sprouts in my garden. Just this morning it was snowing just perfectly and I was thoroughly enjoying the sight while looking at my seed catalog. Basket case I tell ya. 

I was itching to do something "gardeny" and I remembered I had saved some parsley from our herb garden. I cut and hung it up in November-that's how mild our weather has been. So I prepared it for my spice rack and felt fulfilled with growing, preserving, and then using our own parsley. 

Then I went to put the jar away and I felt terrified. The shelf was a disaster zone. I like order and neatness but I'm not always particular or patient enough to keep the order. I know Jerrel had this cabinet all organized at one time but since then the cooking responsibilities have totally flip-flopped. I cook about 75% of the time now so it's more my domain and the messes are my fault. Just comes with the territory I guess. So when I opened the door I couldn't breathe. I had to immediately organize. That's how I work. One moment it doesn't bother me the next it's too much.

It was like a Space Bag commercial TOO MUCH STUFF NOT ENOUGH SPACE. Actually that is kinda my entire life. 

I got it all taken care of and categorized and my OCD husband is happy, happy, happy. 

Any bets on how long it will last?

We have bundled up and tromped in the snow, enjoying the brisk air. On one trip to the mailbox I took the camera out and Chester looked so pretty-I mean handsome that he was the focus of my shoot. If you want to get the full experience of what it was like taking these pictures just keep saying "Sit. Sit Chester. Stay. Stay Chester. CHESTER SIT." That dog is a NUT.

You're welcome for the peek into my life. 

The two honyaks just kept inching closer to me and getting cuter. Neither can sit still to save their soul.

Pretty soon I had this:

Which turned out to be my favorite picture of the escapade.

I've spent much of the week at home and it's been wonderful. Can you tell? I'm especially chatty today. I have accomplished so much. Both necessities and hobbies. Today I'm heading in to see a sweet friend and her fellow dictator. We call our children that and we are allowed to.

Because we are the Mommas that why.



30 Years

I remember being a little girl and asking my mom a very important question. I have no idea if she remembers this conversation but I sure do. 

I know I was little because I remember looking up to her as I asked. I remember the wide trim around the doorway and the green carpet of our living room. My brothers were off somewhere and I think this question came out of the blue because we were just standing in the middle of the room. 

I don't remember how I worded it but my question had to do with if my parents where going to get a divorce. This question wasn't because of some turmoil in my own home, but a friends. Which friend, I again do not remember. But what I do remember? My mother's answer. 

"No, we won't ever get divorced. Daddy and I made a promise the day we got married." She referenced the picture I'd seen before of them standing at the front of a little country church saying "I do." It flashed in my memory. Just that simply my Momma answered the question and sent me on my way. 

Back then that answer was satisfying. As I got older I unfortunately learned most people "make that promise" when they get hitched. Sometimes though, things still fall apart and promises are broken. But through that simple answer, years together, and living those vows I see that when you say what you mean and mean what you say. It can work, but not only work it can thrive. Of course there are the proper conditions or channels to make marriage a success. Choosing well, building a foundation, making time, enjoying each other, accepting each other, trusting the Lord. among other things that make it all happen. But did and do my parents do especially well?

Chose well.
Work hard-for each other-not solely for their own gain or accolades.
Continue to choose each other.

Many moons have passed since they said "I do" in that country church and since I asked that deep question to my Momma. But now as a married woman myself I see the importance of the commitment. I totally understand as to why that simple answer Momma gave was more than enough.

30 years is a long time and I pray I'm able to enjoy the same milestone with my husband. So very thankful for all my parents years together. Happy 30th Anniversary!



Refinishing Woes

So this summer I bought a piece of junk. Or treasure. Or antique. However you want to put it. It was rough. It needed an overhaul, but it was awesome! 

I'm afraid I was a little optimistic when I bought the piece. 

It's a bakers table. Right there, the name had me. It has possum belly drawers. I mean, just the descriptors had me swooning. People kneaded bread on this table. Bread that nourished their families. I love thinking about the story of a piece like this. It had worn places in the top, knicks and cuts. Character. Character from years of use. My use was much less nostalgic, I needed something to put our TV on. So I bought the piece. Thinking, quick strip, quick sand, quick paint, done. HA. Big 'ole HA! 

I tried to strip the piece, It was goopy, it was gunky, it was a dead end. Then I found a peek of the finish under some of the alligator skin-like paint. It was beautiful and I was all in-even though I didn't know what that all meant. 

Because you see, I've never refinished furniture. I've done a little paint stripping, a tiny bit of sanding, and I'm a professional with a spray paint can, but this was over my head. WAY over my head. I decided to try and sand because the paint stripper was frustrating me. I was at the point of believing I couldn't make it worse!

The sander and I could not get along. I wasn't strong enough to control the thing. 

I had a baby in a bathtub...but a sander? A sander was too much, but that's besides the point, it wasn't the tool I needed right then anyway-now I know that. So my attempt to love and restore this piece was cut short. I walked away annoyed, overwhelmed, and a little torked. 

The bakers table sat on the deck for two weeks. A punishment of sorts. Finally, I hauled it in the basement to a corner and walked away. I thought "Maybe it's a fall project." then I thought "Maybe it's a Winter project." 

It turned out to be a Winter project, but not for me. Jerrel got a sander for Christmas, he'd been itching to use. One night he was talking about it and I casually said, " know honey...if you are really wanting to try out your sander...likeiknowyouwantto...that baker's table is downstairs. It's not too big, just might be the perfect project to perfect your sanding skills."

Hook. Line. Sinker. Now my basement looks like this. 

But my baker's table is looking gorgeous! Four days of work so far. See here's the thing about marrying a man that is particular. A "I complete the mission." kind of person. My kitchen sink is always clean, his closet is like a show room, and his projects? His projects aren't done until they are DONE.

I accidentally locked the basement door one time I came up from checking on the progress. Later I heard knockings. "Jessica, can I please come up? Please, don't lock me down there again."

Nope, a deals and deal. Finish the table then you can come up.

Just kidding. I let him up and fed him supper. Today we picked out stain as he is JUST about to that step and I can't wait. I know that table is just going to come to life again.


P.S. The sander works marvelous!


Midnights and Mornings

It would surprise anyone who really knows me to learn that I make breakfast for my family. But not only do I make breakfast, I enjoy making breakfast for my family. As evidenced by the picture below my breakfasts are neither fancy nor extravagant but considering where I've come from? They are pretty good. I cut up strawberries for goodness sake and I took the time to burn that toast!

I grew up in a house of night owls. Generally when you are a night owl you are not a morning person. It's just simple physics...or something like that. My family home in the mornings was quiet. Very quiet. And not a peaceful, serene, oh what a beautiful morning quiet. No, it was more of, if you want to get out the door alive don't talk to me, look at me, or breathe on me kind of quiet. We found our breakfasts the cereal boxes because my mother making breakfast would have meant my mother looking at us... Occasionally she would fry us an egg or two or make us some muffins, typically though she got the gallon of milk out and we were good to go.

We were ok with that, we didn't want to chat. As I entered highschool I began skipping breakfast all together and that's about when I started noticing this other kid. His name was Jerrel and his Mother made him breakfast. It became a game to ask what his dear Momma had made him, his Dad and his brothers for the most important meal of the day. Things like waffles, pancakes, stuffed french toast and cinnamon rolls were his norm.

So when this kid and I decided to get hitched forever we had an understanding. He doesn't do midnights and I don't do mornings.

But somewhere in the middle of it all we've come to some sort of compromise. Some sort of middle that seems to be working and we seem to be liking it. Instead of midnights, Jerrel does around 11 pm. Instead of early morning wake ups with breakfasts I do midmorning wake ups with breakfast. I still need my time to feel human but I find it while slinging that hash...I've never actually make hash...wait yes I have.

These days I plan breakfast meals. I've done dishes before 10:30 am most days, cleaning up the breakfast mess. But that rhythm for the day is nice. We've got food sticking to our ribs for the morning We've had nice peaceful quiet time around the table to start the day. And I'm beginning to find that all of us around that table is one of my favorite places to be, even if it is in the morning and people are looking at me and trying to talk to me.

Here's to breakfast.



2016 New Year

It's looking like a tradition for me to write a post on the New Year. Maybe it's the extra motivation that comes with the change of date. I just went back and read the post I wrote exactly one year ago. 

And it was good. 

And so true. 

And as I sit here trying to churn out a post for old time's sake...I got nothing. 

And I'm not sure why. 

We had a fantastic year. We celebrated Millie's first birthday. We got chickens (something I'm obviously very proud of). We spent copious amounts of time out at the lake. Millie met all kinds of milestones and continues to humble, test, and inspire us. Jerrel and I continued to grow and delight in our marriage. We seriously love our life. At the same time though, we can't help but wonder what's next. A little bit of restlessness is rustling in our bones and though we aren't really talking about it we both can feel it. It's time for a shake up of sorts and we have some things we aren't sharing just yet but they are going to make 2016 another great chapter in our book. 

So my New Years post doesn't seem as strong this time around. It's not as emotional but that's no indication as to the kind of year we have had. It's been crazy awesome, fantastically blessed, and wonderfully full. So very thankful for it all and so excited to see and share what's coming next. 

Happy New Year!