Sunday, June 24

:: Blueberry Salsa & A Biking Boy ::

We've been getting lots of blueberries in our CSA box each week, so I am posting this yummy recipe I found in an old Southern Living magazine while waiting for my doctor's appointment last week.  I wondered about the flavor combo, but it turns out to be just the right amount of both salty and sweet.



Blueberry Salsa
(from July 2010 Southern Living Magazine-photo courtesy of Southern Living)


  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup whole fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Toss together coarsely chopped fresh blueberries, whole fresh blueberries, fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh cilantro, seeded and minced jalapeño peppers, diced red bell pepper, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Serve immediately, or cover and chill 8 hours.
  • I served this with plain pita chips and toasted french rounds.  It would also be good with tortilla chips.  I halved the recipe because I only had one pint of blueberries and it turned out fine.  This salsa is also delicious over grilled fish.
  •  
  • I mentioned in my last post about some struggles I have been dealing with lately, and it is true that every day DOES have it's highs and lows.  Being busy helps.  Keeping my focus on Jesus and his little mercies along the way helps.  And having Parrish is KEY.  So many of my small joys are directly because of him and because of Cannon.  

  • Yesterday one of those highs was the pure, simple, joy and pride of watching Mr. P learn to ride his bike without training wheels.  We were at the pool in the late afternoon and decided on a whim to go by the field at the park to let Parrish try riding his bike without training wheels.

  • I had been noting his good balance for a few months.  We used to play a game when he was riding his bike with training wheels where he would try not to let the wheels make any noise (aka balancing).  He could go one or two blocks without a sound so I figured he was probably ready.  We had tried once without training wheels about a year ago and it scared him so badly that I was hesitant to take them off again, but I am glad that we did.  He literally took off on the first run and hasn't stopped since.  

  • After church today we headed to Academy to buy him a kick stand.  He was so proud.  He just kept saying, "I can't believe I did it on the first try!"  He's even self-starting and in true Parrish form is already finding hills to ride down.  He says the slope gives him an easy start.  Oh my.  Just praying for no broken limbs.

  • So last night was pure joy watching him master a new skill.  Looking at his smile was like staring into the sun.  Way to go, Parrish!!

video


Friday, June 22

:: Master Re-do Part 3 & Random Acts of Kindness ::

After almost a year of living in our new home and sleeping upstairs in the guest room to be closer to Parrish, we have finally made the transition to the master bedroom on the main floor.  After always being people who didn't see the need for a King-sized bed because we like to snuggle, we have officially crossed over to the "other side."  Mainly because Parrish tends to end up in our bed at some point early in the morning and the extra room is a must for 3 people.  :)  

This is how the room turned out and we are really pleased.  To show you where we started, here is a "before" picture.



The bed was a hand-me-down from Cannon's parents when we got married.  And while we liked it, we really wanted to make the room our own.  We've focused so much on the rest of the house, so it was time to put some of that energy into our master retreat.  The walls were a dark brown (BM North Creek Brown to be exact) which we have in our main great room and love because it is lightened up by breezy white linen curtains and light grey cabinets in the kitchen, but in the master with all of the heavy dark wood furniture, it seemed depressing.

 So with the help of our super-talented friend and carpenter, David, we added built in bookshelves designed to encase the headboard we made.

The next step was to paint the walls (BM berkshire beige), bookcase (cream), bookshelf backs (BM Polished Slate), and ceiling (BM Wasabi).  We designed the lower half of the bookshelves to be enclosed storage so we could hide our mess instead of putting it on display. 


The bottom cabinet extends 6" from the bookcase so we have a place to set our books and glasses of water at night.  David even thought to drill a hole in the corners of the cabinet to run the wires from our phone and alarm clock through...genius!

 Decorating bookcases is not my strong suit, but I just "shopped" my house to fill them with books, family photos, my collection of baby silver from each of our children and ourselves, and baskets on the lower shelves for storing our tv remotes, hand lotion, etc.

 The top 9 shelves are decorated with antique butterfly prints from ebay.  They are actually printed on fabric and were used in old field guide books.  They were super cheap and easily framed for a reasonable price because they fit into standard 5x7 pre-made frames.


If you don't already decorate with antique prints, I highly recommend it!  Just about anything can be framed and old print pages from antique books just give your home that since of nostalgia that only items collected along the way can bring.  My favorite place to search for antique prints is on ebay, and they always have a great selection at Scott's in Atlanta as well.  To make the most impact, group the prints together.

 Excuse the glaring flash in this picture, but I was trying to show some of the things I filled the bookshelves with.  One of my favorites are these pieces of white coral we collected on a family trip to Barbados years ago.  I think I was pregnant with Parrish when we went.  I remember being so excited to find this white coral all along the beach and have decorated with it several places in our home throughout the years.

Master sitting area before, and master sitting area after.
 We still need to hang the mirror (vertically) for some height, but I love that we're using our larger buffet from the living room in place of the oak chest of drawers because the large wall called for something with a little more bulk.
 I love monogrammed pillows with a coordinating stripe of fabric down the center.  In our case we used left over fabric from our bedskirt to accent the medallion fabric we used for euros and a throw on the bed.
 We grouped together our large framed family photos in our master hallway and I love the impact hanging them all together gives versus hanging them separately (as I had them before).


 We used the popular velvet octagon fabric for our headboard.  My super talented seamstress sewed the fabric together for us and David cut a piece of plywood to size for us to glue 3" foam to the center of, cover with batting, then stretch the octagon fabric over it.  The french brass nailhead trim was so much easier to install than I anticipated because it came on a roll and I only had to nail a head every fifth one. Because of this we did two rows...one by the foam and one on the outer edge of the plywood.



You can see in this picture that we ran electrical for two drop pendants on either side of the bed.  This is really my favorite part, a) because I love the steam punk light fixtures from Shades of Light and b) because we had the electricians install switches with dimmers on the inside of the bottom cabinets.  It is so nice to be laying in bed reading and be easily able to switch off the light before falling
 asleep.


 We love the finished product and are finally enjoying our master bedroom!



  In the master bath I changed the wall color to BM Boca Raton Blue, changed the hardware to yellow milk glass and added the coordinating striped bath mats from CB2.  





 The only other change was our fabulous octopus triptych I hung above our tub.  I had seen this on a tv show and found out the original cost thousands of dollars.  Luckily other people liked it enough to do a knock off poster version on allposters.com, so I was able to order those with an online coupon then use a groupon deal to have them custom framed for half price.

You can also find the octopus graphic for free on thegraphicsfairy.com.

 Other happenings in our family over the last week have included a father's day lunch at the river with Grandaddy Jack (I love this picture of three generations of Prickett boys) and the arrival of the shirt Parrish designed from Bundle NYC.
 The look on Parrish's face when he opened the package was priceless.  He put it right on and is so proud.  Especially of the back label where they printed "Parrish Designs."  He said, "it looks even better on the shirt than on the paper!"


We're in full summer swing with daily trips to the pool or slip n slide parties in the backyard and yesterday one of my friends, who owns a restaurant in Childersburg, brought a baby gift from one of her customers to our back yard gathering.  Apparently this customer has followed my blog since she heard about our loss and prayed for us and asked about us since.  When she heard I was having another baby boy she hand knitted me the most precious baby blanket, booties, and bonnet.  On the card she simply wrote, "For the child I have prayed for, for you".  Cannon and I were so touched by this random act of kindness and continue to be amazed at how we can be having a particularly hard week emotionally (which has been going on a lot for me lately) and someone being the hands and feet of Christ will do something or say something so kind that it is like salve for our aching wounds.  There is so much bad in this world...we are inundated with stories of depravity daily in the news, but it's rare that you hear stories like this.  The small random acts of kindness of strangers that are so unexpected but so meaningful. 

Lately I have been wrestling with coming to terms with the fact that we will never really "heal" from loosing something as precious as our baby girl.  Time passes and on the outside we seem better, but it will always be hard and messy.  We have just learned to function and live in spite of the constant hurt that is in our chests.  I didn't think it was possible for a heart to actually ache until we lost Olivia and now I go to bed with this ache and wake up with it in the morning.  Some days I wonder why I am bothering to put one foot in front of the other because it hurts so bad.  I wonder how I can possibly be expected to "do" another day's details while missing her.  The hurt makes it so hard to be able to function the way I used to.  Little things - organizing schedules, making decisions, and managing daily relationships - that used to come so easily, suddenly seem much harder with this ache in my chest.  Something seemingly small that wouldn't have otherwise upset me can now have the power to send me into a depressing crying jag.

And then I think of Parrish and how horrible it would be for him if his mommy never got out of bed and let the hurt consume her.  I already worry that he has to see me cry so much.  I reason that this will make him a very empathetic person.  I not to cry in front of him, but it's like he has a sixth sense when I am upset because he always seems to find me and when he does, he just puts his little arm around me and rubs my back like I do to him when he is sad.  The other day he said, "we did all we could to save her, mommy."  It breaks my heart to hear such grown up words coming from my baby boy's mouth and that he has to comfort me when he shouldn't have to.  

I lay these worries and so many others at the foot of the throne on a daily basis and pray that one day I will be able to leave them there permanently.



Wednesday, June 13

:: A week in pictures ::

These are the pictures that my sweet friend Terri took of Parrish and my belly a few weeks ago and I had to throw them in because I love them so much.  She took these in 5 minutes flat - I couldn't believe how amazing they turned out!!

Below are pictures from our vacation in Rosemary Beach last week.  It was so nice to stay for a whole week and get to settle into beach life.  We enjoyed having my mom "Tappy" spend the week with us - she let us have a nice date night once night while she and Parrish played, which was great...and Parrish in particular relished the 3 to 1 adult to child ratio.  :)  It was safe to say that none of us wanted to come home.  

We're seriously considering renting a place for a month or two next summer - anyone know of any good month-long rentals in Rosemary Beach or along 30A?  I'm hoping we could do 4 or 5 beach festivals while we're down there  to cover the costs.  Then again, ask me if we'll do this once baby boy arrives and the answer could be totally different, although right now it seems like the best idea ever!

We were so busy at the West Indies Market on Saturday and Sunday selling Olivia Charles Antiques that I didn't manage to snap one picture.  We had to shut down early both days because of storms, but it was still the best selling weekend we've had.  Thank you to all of you who came!





Tuesday, June 5

:: Rattlesnake Round Up, Gulf World & Rosemary West Indies Market ::


Our little garden went from this...

 To this!

 We planted tomatoes, rattlesnake beans, okra, zucchini, and even corn (a long story, but suffice it to say that there is an inner farmer somewhere in Cannon).  So far the rattlesnake beans are the only thing ready to be harvested, but can I just say that they are EVERYWHERE and there are more to be picked when we get home from the beach next week?
We are in Rosemary for a vacation before selling our Olivia Charles Antiques line at the West Indies Market here next Saturday 11-6 (June 9-10) and Sunday10-5.  So before we hit the road we harvested lots of our rattlesnake beans and packed them to cook while we're here. 
 Parrish half helped harvest, half horsed around (it turns out beans make good fake mustaches).
 In the end our "bounty" was pretty amazing.  Enough for two meals.
 We cooked them last night at the beach to have with pasta and they were delicious.  The look on Parrish's face is about how we felt when we picked the beans.  I asked Cannon if it was sad that something so small gets us this excited.  It's the little things that get us.
 For those of you who are wondering what in the heck a rattlesnake bean is...it is very similar to a green bean.  A little heartier taste and need to be cooked a few minutes longer, but your kids wouldn't know the difference.  You can find them very rarely at the farmers market, so if you see them, buy them!  They are "heirloom" which I assume means they planted them way back when.  Cannon can remember his grandparents having them on their farm.  I bought the seeds online.

 Today we took the morning off from the beach and pool and headed to Gulf World in PCB and I was pretty impressed.  It is a VERY SMALL version of Sea World, but that is what I liked about it.  Tons of fun animal shows and encounters all back to back and within easy walking distance.  No shows overlap so you just walk from one to the other and the whole thing only takes about 3 hours.
 We saw flamingos...
 Macaws (which Parrish thought were pretty cool bc of Blue from the movie Rio)
 Sea lions...
 More sea lions...
 Dolphins...
 And more dolphins...
 Red tailed Boa Snakes (I still cannot believe Parrish held that thing!)...

And iguanas.  And a good time was had by all.  Now it's onto more beach, pool, bike, and dine followed by more beaching, pooling, biking and dining.  Just the way a vacation should be.

If you're in the 30A area this weekend, please come by and see us at the West Indies Market in Rosemary Beach.  There are always TONS are great booths with handmade wares and we'd love to see you!