Thursday, July 26

:: Kindergarten Q's - Parrish ::

 As we approach August I really can't believe the summer is already almost over and (gulp!) Parrish is about to head off to Kindergarten.  I'm trying not to be a complete ball of nerves about this.  Sometimes I win the battle, other times...well, let's just say I don't!  (At least I can partly blame these pregnancy hormones!)

Anyway, a few months ago Parrish took a tour of his new school with his Tiny Blessings classmates.  The school mascot is the knights, so they have these really cool suits of armor outside of the entrance to the school.  I can't believe that little body is going to walk into that big school!  (sniff sniff)

 We walked through the lunch line (luckily it was chicken nugget day!)

Cannon was the only parent who actually bought and consumed the school lunch.  He said it was actually pretty good.  I snagged a few tots and they weren't bad!  

We visited all of the extra curricular classrooms (here we're in the gym) like music, art, computer, etc.  I know it made me feel better to see where my baby boy will be spending his days once he starts in a few short weeks.

Anyway, I decided I was going to TRY to start a new tradition of asking him questions at the beginning (and if I remember, maybe even the end) of each school year.  A pre-school interview of sorts...because I don't want to forget a thing!

It went like this:

M: How do you feel about starting Kindergarten?
P:  Not so good because I don't like school.

M: Is there anything you are excited about at school?
P: Computer class

M: What backpack and lunch box did you choose:
P: A dinosaur spike back pack and a blue camo lunch box

M: Who are your best friends?
P: Kaden, Davis, Reeves, Max, Michael, Luke, Cade, Trotter

M: What do you hope you learn in Kindergarten?
P: Computer games and learn how to read

M: What is your favorite color?
P: Black and blue.  No, just black.

M: What is your favorite food?
P: Cheesey bread (from area 41)

M: What is your favorite song?
P: Dynamite

M:What was your favorite thing we did this summer?
P: Going to the lake with Trotter and riding the tube

M: Who is your favorite super hero?
P: Hawk Eyes from The Avengers

M: What is your favorite sport?
P: That's a tricky one.  I think tennis.

M: What is your favorite tv show?
P: That's tricky.  Scooby Doo.

M: What is your favorite book?
P:  I've never actually had a favorite book.  I like a lot.

M: How do you feel about baby Knox coming?
P: Good

M:  What do you look forward to doing with him?
P: Just being bored together.  Just kidding.  Playing together.

M: What do you want to teach him?
P: How to ride a bike.

The other day he asked me if he really had to do to school EVERY day.  He is not thrilled with the idea.  I understand.  After 5 years of being at home or 3 mornings a week preschool it will be a big change.  But I hope at the end of the year he can say that he liked Kindergarten more than he thinks he is going to!

I've been steadily praying for his teacher(s) and principal all summer.  That they would recognize and focus on his strengths while helping him with his weaknesses.  I pray that the pressure will not be too great and that he will feel loved on while there.  I pray that he will be kind to others and others will be kind to him.  I pray for his little heart.  I pray that he will trust in Jesus and take his fears and concerns to Him when they arise.  I pray for his friends and the new influences around him as well as the influence he will be to others.

It is scary as a mom to relinquish control of your child's days and activities to someone else.  And as a family we have a lot of change on the horizon.  Can you imagine me on the 1st day of school? A ball of baby hormones with no sleep and my first born walking into his first year of Kindergarten?  I feel quite certain in saying that it will probably not be pretty.  But I truly can't wait to see him continue to grow and develop new social and school skills this year and in the years to come that will carry him into adulthood.  I know God has great plans for my baby boy.

"The child Parrish grew and became strong; he Parrish was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him."
Luke 2:40

When Parrish was born the wife of our Sunday school elder gave me a book I love called "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children."  In the book there are blank spaces for you to fill in your child's name as you pray that verse over them.  Since then I often try to insert my children's names into the verses.

On the baby front, I am scheduled to be induced in 2 weeks on Wednesday, August 8th because my doctor needs to be able to control when I have had my last shot of heparin (a blood thinner I have been giving myself twice a day since we found out I was pregnant because of a gene I have that causes my blood to clot too easily).  First and foremost, please pray for a safe delivery and a healthy, content baby Knox.  Pray for our hearts as we welcome him into the world and into our family while also dealing with the intense emotions of missing Olivia and thinking of the short time ago when we brought her home from the hospital.  The days ahead are going to be filled with great joy and great sadness.  We know that in advance and covet your prayers for us while we continue to walk this path.

Wednesday, July 11

:: It's done! Baby Knox's Nursery ::

Knox officially has a space all his own - his nursery is (mostly) done.  I am excited about how it turned out.  It's always so much fun to see a concept in your head come to life.
The changing table was one of the first pieces I had made for Olivia Charles Antiques and we ended up keeping it for ourselves.  It found a home at our family cabin on the Coosa River, but we reclaimed it once I decided it would work perfectly as a changing table for Knox.  

The silver mint julep cup is Parrish's, the vintage train bank was in Cannon's nursery, and the lamp was an inexpensive find from Home Goods.  I love that it mimics the lattice pattern of the rug and fitted crib sheet.  The "K" card has Psalm 34:13 printed on it - "Keep your tongue from evil..."  This is one of the first bible verses I memorized together with Parrish.  The alphabet bible verse cards were a shower gift from a friend and the plan is to switch them out often in both Parrish and Knox's rooms.  The cards are as much for me as they are for them.  Little reminders of God's truths as I go through my day looking after the little ones he has blessed me with.  You can purchase them at Favorite Laundry.

I got the primitive drying rack from one of my favorite booth's at Hanna Antiques (they're having their anniversary sale right now, btw) and love the form and function of it.  I've hung baby booties and the cute sock monster my friend Deanna made for Knox from it.  I think there will be endless possibilities for using it...I can see Knox's hospital bracelet on display along with other special pictures, baby gowns or momentos.  

My original plan for the Blah Blah owl mobile was to hang it from the ceiling, but Cannon came up with the idea of tying it to the drying rack.  Knox will still be able to grab it while I'm changing him and we've secured the rack onto the wall so well I'm pretty sure a tornado could go through the room and it would still be there.  The antique baby carriage print was in Parrish and Olivia's nursery.

The vintage sign-letter "k" is from my favorite  I have seen similar letters at antique stores, but I went the easy route and bought this one that was pre-lit.  The less steps in the process the better, right?
The rocking horse was mine when I was little and already has a hole in the wicker from Parrish's toddler years.  He loved riding that horse.  Heirlooms are no good unless they can be used and enjoyed in my opinion, so I'm sure that Knox will finish off the wicker destruction when he's old enough.  
Knox's nursery is small, which means I didn't have a lot of wall or counter space to display pictures and I had a lot I wanted to put in the room.  So when I saw this Umbra Vine Mobile in a magazine feature being used as an outdoor chandelier it gave me the idea of turning all of my b&w family photos into a mobile for the baby.  It's perfect because it holds 50 (or more) photos so I was able to put lots of Parrish & Olivia, our family wedding pictures, and pictures of us as babies, etc.  Since babies can't see color as newborns the b&w is perfect.  We plan to raise it as we lower the mattress and Knox gets old enough to start reaching for those pictures!  But for now it will give him something sweet to study while in his crib.
The crib by Bratt Decor was used by both Parrish and Olivia and I love it as much today as I did when we purchased it almost 6 years ago.
The antlers are from Parrish's room at our old house and the mirror was handed down to us from Cannon's parents.  I love the carving and the sturdy, masculine lines of the frame for a little boy's nursery or room.

Our old glider took up a fourth of this small room when we moved in so luckily I was able to get my sister-in-law Christy's old glider that's petite proportions work great in the room.  The cream canvas fabric is original...I just gave it a good scrubbing with Oxi-Clean.  (As a side note - did you know you can combine oxi-clean powder and warm water using an electric mixer to make a foam that can be used on delicate upholstery?  It works great.)  I found the green and grey wide-stripe velvet fabric at King Cotton and was in love.  Unfortunately, it cost a small fortune so I hatched a plan to just recover the glider's seat and buttons to keep costs down.  Luckily I had some left over and was able to use it for a fixed roman shade in the room as well.

I used the green geometric fabric on the ottoman as well as the changing table pad.  My seamstress friend was able to build the ottoman or pouff out of remnant foam she had left over from other sewing projects.

The only thing missing is this lumbar pillow I found on etsy to put in the glider.  I hope to get it soon.  The designer of the pillow is going to hand stitch Knox's name in green with the antler.  I can't wait to see it and again, carry some of that grounding black color to another area of the room.

I found this precious round side table when I was pregnant with Parrish.  I love that it rotates and holds books by the rocker for easy access.  The handmade octopus from my friend Autumn's sister-in-law's new company (Cotton & Quill) was a purchase by Parrish at the West Indies Festival.  She designs and prints her own fabrics to use for her products and they are really amazing.  The sheep and block were also in Parrish & Olivia's nursery.  The block was from my sweet friend Courtney - she had it carved with all of Parrish's birth stats.  Love.
The blanket (temporarily) draped over the crib was hanging on my nursery wall when I was a baby.  I love begging vintage family items from grandparents to incorporate into nurseries (or other rooms in the house).  The mix of old and new gives the room that collected look that keeps it from looking like a furniture show room and being surrounded by things that have special meaning to you makes a house a home.

The fitted sheet is Cloud Bamboo by Serena & Lily.  The crib skirt fabric was on sale at Hancock Fabrics.

I found the black wooden boxes behind the changing pad at Hobby Lobby.  They are great for holding diapers, creams, lotions and other baby necessities within arms length.  I used three back-to-back to give the appearance of one longer box and use one for diapers, one for paci's and other gear, and one from diaper creams & lotions, etc.

We made the light fixture from an old fishing basket I found at Hanna's for $24.  Cannon groaned when I brought it home and told him that we were going to make it into a light fixture.  He is used to this and tries to pretend like it drives him crazy, but I think he is secretly excited for a new lighting feat to conquer.  This one turned out to be pretty easy because we were able to use the flush mount light fixture base that was already there.  We just removed the globe and screwed the basket into the base after removing some unnecessary plastic pieces from the basket.

A lot of you told me that you were confused about where we had installed the bead board in the room  after reading my last post about the nursery's progress.   I'm hoping these pictures give you a better idea.  We installed a trim band at the tops of the doors and windows around the room and then used our Olivia Charles Antiques bead board above it.  The walls are Benjamin Moore's Silent Night (I hope that name is appropriate after Knox's arrival but somehow I think it will be more like wishful thinking) and the trim and distressed bead board are Benjamin Moore's Rock Gray.  The ceiling and tall chest of drawers are painted Benjamin Moore Oregano and we left all of the doors in the room the original off-white color.

Over the last month I have helped 4 clients pick paint colors and I would love to help you, too!  Also,  
if you are interested in purchasing antique lumber from us for your own home project, we can do that!  We can even paint it in your desired color and then distress it or just provide it in it's raw fashion.  We also take orders for custom furniture pieces topped with bead board like our changing table.  If you have an idea we can probably make it happen.  Just email me at and we'll see what we can do.

The nostalgic little boy holding his teddy bear is a music box from Cannon's baby days and the rattle was given to Knox by my aunt.  

And I couldn't resist a little fun with Knox's name by framing the old press photo I found on ebay of Fort Knox.  The plan is to hang a free bible verse printable I found over at above it, but I haven't gotten around to that yet. 

Isn't it pretty?  I love the reminder of the verse first and foremost but think the reference to watching over goes well with the image of Fort Knox and the black background will carry the black from the changing table over to this wall of the room.  If you haven't checked out and have a baby on the way or are decorating a big girl or boy room, please do.  She does fabulous design boards and provides lots of inspiration for designs as well as fun, free downloads.

This chest of drawers was in Parrish & Olivia's nursery but got a face lift with a coat of Oregano paint.  The lamp is one we made from an old mercury glass bottle I got at Renniger's using a do-it-yourself kit from Lowe's.  The shade is burlap and a good balance to the shiny silver of the base.  You can't see them very well in this picture, but the stack of fabric blocks were a gift from a friend's mom and are handmade.  I'm smitten with them.

The angel painting was in both Parrish and Olivia's nursery.  It is bittersweet to look at it.  In ways it's a comfort to us because we imagine God sending his angel to carry Olivia to be with him in heaven, but in other ways it's another reminder that she is not with us when we so desperately wish that she was.  But I decided to keep it up in the room because Parrish loves to talk and think about Livy's angel.  

For something different we hung it from black chain to give it the look of being hung from a picture rail.  I think it turned out great and definitely plan to use that hanging technique again.

Now that the nursery is complete, all we need is our sweet baby boy to bring the room to life.  I absolutely cannot wait.

As we get closer to Knox's due date excitement is my main emotion, but of course the worry is there too.  The baby gear being pulled out, a constant reminder of both what we lost and are about to gain.  Before bed each night when things quiet down is when I tend to let thoughts of the fears and unknowns take hold of me the most.  The only thing that helps is reading God's word.  Each night before I go to bed I think of this verse:

I will lie down and sleep in PEACE, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.  
Psalm 4:8

I know I will be repeating this verse to myself every night as I lay Knox down to sleep.

Sunday, July 8

:: Bacon Green Bean Bundles & Happy Bday CC! ::

 Today is CC's bday.  I think she got the surprise of her life that we're painting her golf cart her favorite cherry red as her present.
 Parrish had been prepping for days for this party and picked out some trick candles that were supposed to relight.  Turns out only one worked and the candle that was supposed to play "happy birthday" was a dud.  Poor guy - he is really into "joking" or "playing tricks" these days...little devil.
What really prompted me to blog today was the goodness that was the Bacon Green Bean Bundles I made for the bday lunch.  Seriously, these were so good they deserve an entire blog post devoted to them, but I of course forgot to snap a picture.  So click here and you will find one, along with directions.  You have to try these.  They are divine.

I also made this tomato and goat cheese tart recipe from Pinterest that I had been eyeing for a while.  Of course I didn't go to the trouble of making my own crust (the roll out kind from Publix in a tart pan tasted just fine in my opinion) and the rest was so simple and yummy I wanted to pass it along as well.  So happy cooking!

And yes, the party hats were Parrish's idea and we are that corny that we wore them for cake.  What can I say?!

Saturday, July 7

:: Kids Lava Lamp, Mentos/Coke Volcano, & 4th of July 2012 ::

 Hope everyone had a happy 4th of July.  We enjoyed the fun activities in our neighborhood.  We decorated Parrish's bike and he followed the fire truck around the town center with his friends (sans training wheels and very proud, I might add) in the town parade.
 Afterward we had yummy watermelon slices at the park (because it's not the 4th of July without watermelon) and met up with the grands.
 That night we headed to Spoonwood Lake for a cook-out and fireworks.  I love this picture of Parrish staring up into the sky in awe.
 As you can see, there was plenty of reason for awe inspired looks....the show was pretty spectacular.
 And because it's just no fun if you don't do some fireworks of your own, we headed to our back alley with our neighbors to do sparklers and every other cool looking firework they had for sale in a trailer off highway 280!
 I had to include this picture of our friend Gentry bc he was giving me a hard time about paint colors yesterday - I told him this was payback...he was dubbed the "Puerto Rican Statue of Liberty" that night.

So we had a fun day, but I marveled to Cannon that afternoon that it never ceases to amaze me how the most benign of holidays can knock us down.  I mean, it's the 4th of July, but all I could think about was the Chelsea fireworks 2 years ago with a 6 month old Livy wrapped in my arms and how she will forever be 9 months old in my head when I'm supposed to be able to see her as a 2 year old, bopping around in her frilly red, white and blue outfit.  I never see these episodes coming...I don't anticipate that all holidays will be hard...I certainly didn't think this one would be...but somehow they are.  Even the inconsequential ones.  This is our new reality.  But we just keep putting one foot in front of the other - not because we WANT to, but because we have no other choice.  One day I hope that doing the motions of life will become easier and that it won't always be this raw.  I hear from others that it gets better....I am waiting.

 And while I wait, I am blessed to be able to do fun things with my sweet boy to keep my mind from all the memories and should-have-beens.  I think all the time that I am so grateful that baby Knox will be here when Parrish goes to Kindergarten in the fall.  I just don't know what I would do without Parrish all day if I didn't have this baby to look forward to and take care of.  He is my constant companion and I am relishing our time together this summer.

So I saw this make your own lava lamp experiment on (where else?) Pinterest.  It seemed fairly simple and Parrish was game so we tried it out.  The only thing I had to buy that I didn't already have was Alka Seltzer tablets.  If you've got alka seltzer tabs, vegetable oil, water, food coloring and a clear empty bottle, you are good to go!

You basically tint the water with the color of your choice, top it with oil, then drop in a tablet and watch it go!  When the fizz from the tab runs out you add another one to keep it going or you can store it for more lava fun later.

I followed the instructions from here and here if you'd like the step-by-step info or the science behind it all.

Parrish wanted to take the experiment further by seeing if it would glow in the dark.  So we headed to my closet, turned out the lights and back lit it with his flashlight.  Turns out it glows very well indeed!

And because it was a long holiday weekend and we had nothing better to do, we decided to try out another experiment - the mentos and diet coke volcano!  As you'll see in the video the volcano got me!  It's a short-lived show, but Parrish still loved it.

To do this you'll need:

-1 roll mentos candy (any flavor is fine)
-1 2-liter diet coke (or regular, but I read regular is stickier than the diet)
-a rolled piece of paper to wrap around the mentos to (hopefully) get the whole roll in the 2 liter all at once (obviously I failed at this!)
-your running shoes on!!!

Place the 2 liter in grass or somewhere easy to hose down and open the top.
Wrap mentos candy in a roll of paper and use this to insert the whole roll of candy into the 2 liter at once

The mentos/dc volcano will only erupt for a few seconds so don't blink!  :)

Monday, July 2

:: Living Room Reveal & 1st Client Paint Pictures ::

Obviously this pregnancy has me nesting like crazy because we've accomplished 3 big home projects during the course of the last 6 months and although I am thrilled with all of them, the living room might just be my favorite because it took the most planning, time, and forethought.  The above picture is the "after."  
 Here is our living room before.  As you can tell the space is not large and the oversized tv was perched on top of our old dining room buffet.  The buffet was too deep and took up much of the small room so before we moved in I began devising a plan to find some antique pocket doors that we could hang on a track in front of a slender bookcase to conceal Cannon's xl manly tv when we weren't watching it.  One of my pet peeves is when a tv is the focal point of the room.  I realize it wouldn't be a functional living room without one, but I love finding creative ways to conceal them when they're not in use.
Here is the living room project in progress.  Our ultra talented friend and carpenter David (comment if you want his contact info!) met with us about this project several times and I know spent many hours exercising his brain drafting on paper how all of the moving parts were going to come together to function properly.  It was a brain teaser for us all, but the end result was worth it.
 One of my favorite features is that one side of the bookcase now acts as my china cabinet.  Most houses in our neighborhood are big on charm, small on space, so our great room consists of an open concept living room, dining room and kitchen all in one long room.  I love how this floor plan lives, but there is not much room in the dining area for a traditional china cabinet without shrinking the space.  This solution is perfect because it is directly adjacent to the dining room.  I store china on top and my silver chest and family photo books on the lower shelves where I don't risk little hands getting into china that can break and hurt them.
I had books covering the bookshelves in our old house and loved being surrounded by them, but when we moved I reached that point where I was sick of packing and wanted to donate everything that wasn't completely necessary.  Unfortunately a lot of those books went into the donate pile because we didn't have any bookshelves in our new house.  I was missing all of those books as I decorated our new bookshelves, so I had to get creative and use my cookbooks instead.  Turns out I love the colors of the books and their proximity to the kitchen for ease of access.
 I found the framed lettera at Tracery Interiors in Rosemary Beach and got one for each member of the family.
The drift wood was also a find while walking on the beach and the little birdie, a gift from a friend.  It's funny because Parrish keeps collecting more "drift" wood for my shelves now that we're home from the beach.  He'll find a stick and gather it for me to decorate with.  It's so precious I haven't had the heart to tell him the difference between driftwood and yard sticks.  I'm not sure how to explain why I'm happy to decorate with one type of wood but not the other.  In his eyes, ALL sticks are beautiful!  :)

 The small antlers are left over from Parrish's room decor at the old house, the frame with a picture of our sweet Olivia is from our Olivia Charles Antiques line and can currently be purchased in our etsy store (see "frame" link above), and the bronzed boots are Parrish's camo boots from Wal Mart that he LIVED in as teetering toddler.  

If you look closely you can see that we used our left over grasscloth wallpaper from the 1/2 bath and sunroom to cover the back of the bookcase behind the tv.  After hanging it ourselves (which took 2 hours with 2 people!) I now understand that wallpaper professionals are worth their price in gold.  I found myself glad that we didn't have enough wallpaper to cover the remaining bookcase backs, as I had originally hoped!
 The vintage blue locker bins were also purchased at Tracery when we were on vacation and will store dvd's, Wii games, etc.  The new space is everyone in our family's favorite place to relax.

After I posted that I am starting a paint selecting and decorating business a few weeks ago I got some calls from friends and blog readers wanting me to help them with their spaces (if you're also interested in this service, just comment on this blog or email me at for more details)

Above are the before and after of one of my very first paint selection clients.  (Excuse the grainy cell phone photos - I failed to bring my camera over so the homeowner had to snap a few on her phone) Before her walls were BM Wheeling Neutral with white trim.  She wanted to keep the light, open and neutral feeling she already had while giving it an updated, personal touch.  So we selected BM Tapestry Beige for the walls and BM Coastal Fog for the trim, fireplace mantle, and bookcase backs.  I love the depth the mantle now gives the room.  Painting a mantle a coordinating color to a room off your living room, or as in this case the same color as the trim (since it wasn't your basic white anymore) gives added interest and depth to your room and ties it all together with a designer look.  It would be an easy DIY project for a weekend.

Stay tuned for more pictures of this beautiful home...we also selected colors for her playroom turned shared boys room and are currently working on selections for her kitchen renovation.  It is going to be amazing!