Oh Happy (Adoption) Day!

If I haven’t told you about Kimberly, she became my best friend when I tried to have her baby.  True Story.  Nothing brings people closer like having conversations about my menstrual cycle, her husband’s sperm quality, and a complete strangers eggs.  Anyway, I’m typically not very good at long-distance friendships, but Kimberly and I have shared an experience that most friends have not.  It brought heartache and pain, but it also led to a deep friendship and adoration for the fierce, beautiful, and compassionate woman that is now my BFF.

On Wednesday, I had the honor of witnessing Kimberly and her husband Chris adopt the most precious boy in the world, my godson Carter.

It was a happy ending to what previously had been a long string of disappointments. I’ve known for a long time what amazing parents Kimberly and Chris would be, so it was indescribable to see their hopes finally come to fruition.

 Here we are outside the courtroom post-adoption with Carter’s loving and beyond-excited family, including his grandparents and cute-as-pie cousins.   Of course, Carter is decked out in coat and tie.  Here’s the little ball of adorableness:

And here he is reading with his Uncle Davison:

This week I’ve been feeling extremely blessed.  Yesterday, we worked in our sad, sad yard to try to make it somewhat presentable.  Landscapers and gardeners we are not.  But I was out there in the beautiful weather working until my muscles were sore with my husband and my mother.  My mom was down on the ground, digging and planting.  This time last year, she lived three hours away.  This time last month, she was in the hospital having a six hour surgery.  And yesterday she was out there laughing and playing in the dirt with us.  Davison’s parents joined us for dinner that night and then we had a ping pong tournament in our garage with all three of our parents.  (Day bought a ping pong table yesterday for $40 at a garage sale across the street while I was still in bed asleep.)  And to top it all off, this week I finally got to see one of the couples I love most in this world officially become parents.  I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking of how my cup runneth over.

Happy Easter, everyone!

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Sometimes life is unfair.

I’m sure you already knew that, though.  Last year, my 7 year old precious angel of a niece was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, or Type 1 diabetes.  Type 1 is the one that is genetic and has no cure….yet.  Watching a 7 year old check her own blood sugar levels, tell you what the numbers mean, and take a shot everyday with no tears is very impressive, but also very sad.  No 7 year old should have to be that grown up.  I guess I should be used to it since she’s already wearing bras and talking about “hot” boys.  🙂

Raylin has had a tough year.  She broke her arm, which led to the diabetes diagnosis, and then she got food poisoning that was so bad that they almost had to put her in ICU.  However, she has grown immensely and become quite the advocate for increasing awareness of her disease.  She was featured in a local magazine and this past weekend we went to Walk for A Cure at Darlington Raceway.

Raylin raised almost $3000 for diabetes research.  I believe her team raised the most and it was only her first year!  She also designed her team’s t-shirts, which were really cute.

We had a great time out there walking and spending time with family.  My mom had surgery earlier this month and spent a week and a half in the hospital, but she was out there, walking like a champ.  I am very proud of her!  She has lost over 30 pounds since November and is looking great!

So I guess the moral of the story is when life gives you lemons, you get your face painted and go on a walk with your family.  It makes life feel a little less bitter and a little more sweet.

Because even though I want to lock myself in a room and cry about how unfair life has been for Raylin (and maybe I already did that when I found out about her diabetes), my niece is strong and brave and can teach me a thing or two about dealing with adversity.  So can her mom.

To Raylin–you are my hero and I’m so proud to be your aunt.  I love you more than the whole wide world and back again.

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Today I decided to bring some of the spring that’s outside my home…..



Inside my home:


Seeing those pretty blooms on my table was almost as sweet as coming home to mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies today.

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My Stairs–Updated

So it kept bugging me that my stairs looked a little off-balance, so I added a little something to “center” them on the 3rd step.



Also, these stairs got featured on Home Stories A to Z!!!  How cool is that?  I’m famous. 🙂

To see the whole stair makeover process, click here.  Also, linking up here:


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Goonies never say die

This post is motivated by:

Here is my Pinterest inspiration:

sayings in the stairs


Flippin amazing, right?  Although I’ve seen these stairs featured on a ton of websites, I could not find a legitimate source.  Frustrating.  Most of the features link Pinterest as the source.  Of course, while this  amazing picture was my inspiration, it is also quite a bit above my skill level, so I dumbed it down put my own spin on it.

Now the world is doing everything it can to keep me from finishing this project and posting it.  First it was finding suitable words to paint.  That took about 6 months.  Next I decided to use paint markers instead of paint/paintbrush for better control.  The day the markers arrived in the mail, we took my mom to the ER and I spent most of the next week and a half at the hospital with her.  Of course, when we finally came home, I was very much behind on just about everything at home so I took an hour here and there to put some elbow grease into it.  And tonight, when I planned to do the post, I instead got bogged down meticulously gathering up my tax documents.

But I cannot be delayed any longer.  Here is the before:

If you have never been to our house, our setup is a little unique.  You actually walk in on the second floor, which is the main floor.  Then you can go downstairs to the man cave, craft room/bedroom, and laundry room.  Because of this setup, I felt it was okay to get a little whimsical on the stairs–because you can only see them from the mancave.   There’s not much I hate more in the world than carpeted stairs.  They pick up so much dirt and are impossible to clean.  This carpet actually came up a year ago. That’s how long I’ve been eyeing those red stairs.

The wood up under there was pretty banged up and pieced together, so good thing I wanted to paint.

They actually stayed bare for a couple of months, sadly.  Don’t worry, we did leave the handrail up until we were ready to paint.

Originally, the mancave was a light blue.  We wanted something warmer, so we went with a burnt orange, but we didn’t want the orange to continue all the way up the stairs onto the wall. So we taped off a line at the bottom of the stairs where the orange would end and we painted the remaining light blue wall a neutral white.  Here is my handsome being his usual weird self while puttying and sanding the wall.  We later covered the line that separated the two colors with some molding.

Here are the stairs all painted and purty (the handrail got painted black too).  We used porch and floor paint, but it definitely is not mean to stand up to the wear and tear of stairs, so it definitely needs to be sealed with a protective coat.

Don’t mind the unfinished gallery wall.

And drum roll please…..here’s how it looks now that I’ve pinterized it:



























We don’t take ourselves too seriously around here, so it’s a quote from the movie Hook, a movie that Day loves.  Sidenote:  We have an age old debate going on over here about which movie is better, Hook or The Goonies.  Feel free to weigh in, but I know that Goonies never say die.



























The paint marker wasn’t paint-like as I thought it would be, so it actually looks more like chalk, which is okay with me.  Kind of a vintage-y feel.  In hindsight, since there weren’t enough words to cover each step, I wish I would have started one step lower.  But hey, I’m not about to redo it any time soon, and I still like it a whole lot.

And up close:



























And a little before/after action:

I’m linking up here for the Pinterest Challenge:

Young House Love

Bower Power

Hi Sugarplum

The Great Indoors




I’m also linking up here:

Home Stories A to Z

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dreams to remember

Earlier this week, I dreamed I was turning double dutch ropes with Mitt Romney and I kept messing up.  What does it mean???

Speaking of dreams, this song is buttah.  You’re welcome.

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Yankees (and Canadians) are crazy, y’all

You know you are from the South when you go to your first hockey game at age 31.  You know you are from the South when you stand there in shock, with your jaw hanging down to your boobs, as you watch refs stand right beside two athletes fighting, without intervening.   Does this really happen in an organized team sport???  I mean, I grew up watching football, baseball, and basketball, and I’ve seen the players get thrown out for throwing punches.  And I knew that hockey was a particularly brutal sport, but I had no idea fighting was actually sanctioned (p.s. anyone else think it’s crazy that sanctioned can mean approved or penalized?  Oh, the joys of the English language.) in the official rule book.  In hockey, you get put in “time out” for a few minutes, but actually, fighting is encouraged.

Here are pictures from the Davisons’ first hockey game.  Of course, we took two Michiganders (including one former hockey player) with us to show us the ropes.

The view from our great seats…thanks, John.

The mascot of the Greenville Drive (a little blurry):

Below is the unofficial mascot of the Greenville Drive….this guy banged on the plexi-glass anytime a player (or ref) skated near him.  Most ignored him, but if they did look his way, he simply waved.  Pretty funny.

On a sidenote: I just finished reading a book that my friend wrote, and, in the story, the main character meets Jesus.  For some reason, this is who I kept picturing as Jesus in my head.  Strange.

Here is a picture of some of the delicious food we enjoyed.  Hot dogs, pretzels, and beer were two bucks each.  Naturally such a deal could not be missed.

On our wristbands that indicated we were indeed over 21 years of age (10 years over, sadly!) was a number for an attorney who handles drinking and driving cases.  That’s what you call targeted advertising.  Don’t worry, I drove and did not partake in any alcohol, just two dawgs and half a pretzel.  Judge me if you wish, but I simply was trying to get the true American experience, for research purposes.

And last but not least, here’s a picture of  one of the three (THREE!) fights we witnessed in the last couple of minutes of the game.  Of course it’s blurry because I was freaking out–the game was almost over and I was terrified that we were going to leave our first hockey game without witnessing this fighting phenomenon.  I don’t usually condone violence in sports, but if that’s a major part of hockey, then bygod I paid good money to experience it.  Two of the fights had no passion whatsoever behind the punches, it was purely for the crowd’s entertainment.  And a good time was had by all.

So, to sum things up, never will I ever let my kids play hockey (to be fair, I’m not sure I’ll let them play football either).  The end.

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Public Display of Imperfection

About three months ago, my friend and coworker Stephanie, who is a real-deal artist, organized an amazing Arts and Crafts Show at the Handlebar.  There were all kinds of talented people there: basket weavers, jewelry makers, hula hoop makers, painters, etc.  Stephanie knew Lynne, mom, and I had been dabbling in the craft world so she asked us to participate as well.  I was extremely nervous and embarrassed because hey, these are professionals and I’m a total amateur.  But I faced my fears and wound up having a good time.  And the artists/pros were so sweet and they came by and encouraged us.  Here is a look at the goods.  I designed some onesies (mom had to help with the sewing):

And here’s a look at Barb’s beautiful wreaths:

You can see Lynne’s amazing coasters here.  Not trying to make you jealous or anything , but I happen to own a set.

And here’s what our trio’s booth looked like.  We made a deal not to spend any money on our set up, since we aren’t regular craft fair frequenters, so we only used items we already had.

Sorry for all the obnoxious “watermarks.”  I had been using Picnik, but since it’s going away, I’m trying to learn Picasa and haven’t really had time to play around with it.  I promise I’ll get better.

Here’s a pic of me and Barb manning the booth.  I wish ol’ Lynnie B was in it, but she was behind the camera, er, iphone.  If I look high it’s because I was.  On Advil Cold and Sinus.  Booo colds.

Even if you don’t plan to go in to business selling your crafts (I don’t), it’s good to put yourself out there once in a while.  It’s scary as hell, but I think honest feedback is good for the soul.  It will give you thicker skin, ideas for improvement, or a boost of self confidence.  Win-win-win.  (And the song gets stuck in my head–“All I do is win-win-win no matter what….up down up down up down.” I’m so gangsta.)

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Oh Mockingjay….

What our evenings have looked like this week.  So sad that I’ve finished the series.

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Asheville and Roosters

Usually, when my birthday comes around, I’m like a little kid and I want there to be trumpets and confetti and a parade in my honor.  I must be “maturing,” though, because this year I wanted my birthday to be very low-key, which I found out is impossible.  All I really wanted was to take a day trip to Asheville and check out some cool thrift/antique/art stores.  Instead it went down like this:

Feb. 2, Davison’s parents come into town and take me out to eat at my fave Greenville restaurant–Adam’s Bistro.  It was delicious!

Feb. 4, Lynnie and Johnny B convince me to get out of the house and celebrate, so we go get Mexican food and come back to the house to play cards.  Lesson:  Throwing up in the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant is not fun.  But playing Shanghai Rummy afterward is.

Feb. 11-13, We drive to Dillon to have a joint bday celebration (half my family is born in February), complete with shopping trip with Nichole and “surprise party” given by my 7 year old niece Raylin.

Feb. 18, Mom, Lynne and I make our trip to Asheville and shop til we drop…almost literally.  Whew, tiring but fun.

Feb. 24-26, Davison’s family (parents, sis, bro-in-law, dogs-in-law)  is coming to visit so they can celebrate with me as well.

All this to say, I’m extremely blessed with people who love me, but I’m also worn out!  And March is looking just as busy.

And because no one wants to see a post with just a bunch of words in it, here are some pics from my new fave place, The Screen Door in Asheville.  It’s a big warehouse where vendors have individual booths and sell furniture, art, home decor, etc.  Very cool.  I didn’t end up buying anything, but I did get soooo inspired by the amazing work so I’m hoping to convert this inspiration into my own home projects in the near future.

How many things do I love about the “room” above?  For starters, the end table, the couch, and the lamp behind the couch, but the white lamp, the stumps, and the pillows are also great.

How cool are these animal silhouettes?  The cow out of reclaimed wood and the other is made out of buttons!!

A U.S. map made out of fabric swatches and one out of salvaged wood pieces.

Loving every single one of these light fixtures, the metal dogs and goats, and the big letters too.

More metal art..can’t decide if I like the faces or the iron skillet turkey best.

The couch, the desk, the trunk, the two-fabric combo chair….I’m drooling.

Are you inspired?   We also went to a few other places, one being the Antique Tobacco Barn.  Most of the inventory there was waaaay out of my price range, but this $6 rooster did catch my eye.

I painted him yellow.  And here he is now.

Thanks to this hilarious but profanity laced post by the Bloggess, I decided he needed a name.   And so his name is Fred Armisen because every time I look at him, I think of this craziness.  Here’s Fred in his new home:

I put him next to the chalkboard wall so I can draw speech bubbles coming from his beak.  Obviously.

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