Tag Archive | Texas

I’ve Gone Mad … Mad for Plaid

img_2334

December 13, 2016 – Is it really possible that we are already half way through the month of December and just twelve days shy of Christmas day? The year 2017 is peeking around the corner!

Confession time: I have not been as devoted to writing on my blog as I would have liked this past year. A series of other priorities managed to finagle a way into my life and consume my thoughts. Funny thing about writing, when you’re consumed by thoughts one of two things can happen; it can all come flowing out of you  without any hesitation or it can stay bottled up inside you like a surge of water searching for an escape route around a dam. Unfortunately, the latter has become my struggle.

capture

Recently, following a great deal of reflection, I have come to the realization that writing has always been a really significant part of my life. It is a validation of my own thoughts and beliefs, no matter how crazy they may be. So, as the year 2017 sneaks in at an alarmingly rapid pace, I am making my first resolution. I will to be more dedicated to posting on my blog consistently. Here’s to resolutions and making them last!

img_0983

I have not let everything that I enjoy doing in my free time slip by the wayside. I still enjoy ‘crafting’. And, as the month of November rolled into December, I discovered that I have a growing obsession with PLAID….. not just any plaid, but flannel plaid. Oh my goodness, I have made plaid curtains, plaid table runners, plaid pillows, and plaid tote bags. I have appliqued plaid deer and vintage trucks on drop cloth and denim. I ordered most of my precious, flannel prints from fabric.com but when I couldn’t find the necessary  buffalo check, I began purchasing twin flannel sheet sets to satisfy my addiction. Living in Texas, where you can pretty much wear flip-flops twelve months out of the year, it is refreshing to surround myself with a fabric that is representative of an actual season – winter!

So, today as I make my way through this frigid 66 degree weather in Texas, I will proudly strut around in my plaid scarf, carrying my plaid tote bag, while sporting a new pair of flip-flops.

 

img_0981

With Love,

sunflower

 

These are a few of my Favorite Things

I absolutely, positively, without a doubt, LOVE SUNFLOWERS! I have a dear teaching friend that helps feed my obsession by driving all over the Texas countryside with me to take pictures of the fields when they are in full bloom. This year, due to the rains we had in early spring, the blooms were exquisite!sunflower 1

Each one is beautifully unique!

_______________________________________________________________

This past weekend, I was able to go on a brief getaway to the coast. It was a great escape from the everyday ‘stuff’ and I couldn’t help but feel a wave of sadness wash over me when driving back home yesterday.

When packing for a beach vacation, it takes a lot of planning. Of course, the no-brainer is to throw in a couple of bathing suits, cover-ups, and flip-flops; but strategically packing the unfinished craft projects that you want to complete can be a bit tricky. On this particular getaway, I had decided that I wanted to sew some canvas bags. I had been buying coordinating fabric for this particular project and was super excited about trying out a pattern I had found online.

IMG_0654

 

I did tweak the pattern a bit, but for a great step-by-step tutorial on sewing tote bags Amanda from www.crazylittleprojects.com is your gal. I can’t wait to try her messenger bag pattern next.

IMG_0656

Just think of all of the possibilities! Beach Breaks – they’re not just for sand and sun anymore!

beach

 

 

With love,

sunflower

 

 

praying for JWR

The Days that Time Worked in my Favor

At the beginning of any extended vacation time  from work, there is a spring in my step, an unrealistic to-do list of Pinterest projects to try, and a feeling that the world is at my feet because time is on my side. I can easily organize the responsibilities of laundry, cooking, and cleaning with a lighthearted attitude.  I am so sorry  for those that  have not been able to feel that luxury of ‘time’ every once in a while because the opportunity to refresh is so important for one’s health.FullSizeRender (3)

This weekend, my husband surprised me with a road-trip for my birthday and our anniversary. Our definition of road-trip is: get in the car and drive to some undetermined destination.

FullSizeRender (1)

We spent two days driving to small towns, roaming around, talking, and laughing. Letting go is good and we both know that we have got to take these mini-vacations more often. We have decided however, that Siri will always travel with us in case we need assistance with gas station locations, hotel choices, and restaurant recommendations (that is a whole other story and one that we will laugh about together for years to come).

FullSizeRender (2)

With Love,

Penny

 

 

On the First Day of Vacation, My True Love Said to Me….

“I really need you to come down and help me with a food drive that we are having at work from 10:00-2:00” Grrr! Those were the words that  my husband said to me on the morning of my first official vacation day. He is such a romantic….literally, my heart just fluttered at his request. So…. in 97 degree heat, we trudged downtown, bagged canned goods, loaded them into vehicles, and delivered them to the local food pantry.

Honestly, it was a great experience, and I enjoyed working alongside with the people that he works with day in and day out. They all gave up their Saturday to participate in this gift of service, which says a lot about their sense of community and loyalty to their employer. I was especially impressed by two high school students that were working at the food pantry . They brought shopping carts out to us and helped us load and unload all of our bagged items. Both of them were so willing to help and truly shared their sense of service with us. In a world where the media portrays the negatives of our society as ‘the norm’, it was so refreshing to see ‘norm’al teenagers working for a cause.

With Love,

sunflower

 

 

Cropping…The Greatest Invention Since Sliced Bread

Seriously, whenever I take a picture, I look at it afterwards and wonder how I could even hit ‘click’ (or push that little circular doodaddy when I am using my phone because I don’t even own a real camera anymore) without seeing all of the distractor factors that take away from the image that I want people to really focus on. I get so frustrated with myself for not being more observant beforehand. For example, yesterday I stepped outside to take a picture of our American flag hanging alongside my father-in-law’s  flag (as he was a Vietnam Vet). Even though I see  the front of my house at least four times a day, I  guess that I have been oblivious to the few remaining Christmas light hooks on the gutters or the poison ivy vines struggling to stretch across to a high traffic area where they can wreak havoc on  ‘people with sensitive skin’until I witnessed it through the eye of the camera lens.So, of course, I have to take my frustrations to a whole other level because I just can’t let sleeping dogs lie (or is it lay?).

IMG_1737

My dog, Reeses enjoying a nap on my Bandana Wreath Project

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could ‘crop’ out the the parts of our lives that have been awkward or embarrassing to us? We could just go home each day and view all of the events, then tweak them by cropping the visuals or clicking on delete for spoken words that spill out without careful thought! That’s right, just crop out those distractor factors or daily regrets. I know that I would certainly feel better if I didn’t have to spend time at the end of each day reflecting about its events.

?

2016 High School Graduation Cake – Sweet Girl is Baylor Bound in the fall 

This morning, I delivered my final graduation cake for the spring of 2016. I can’t lie, it felt wonderful to wash the icing residue out of my hair and off my face before I drove off to deliver it. #2jobsrenoughjobs!

IMG_1748

Graduation Celebration following Church Services

Now it is time to wrap up my last week at school for the summer. Phew! I have so many unfinished projects around the house that I know my next couple of weeks off will fly.

IMG_6365

Cupcakes for a Cutie! Senior 2016

IMG_3017

This responsible young lady ordered her own cake and was so appreciative when I delivered it to her. I love working with such gracious, thoughtful young adults.

image1

Fortunately, I didn’t have to make any of my deliveries by boat this year. 2016 will go down in the books as the year of Flash Floods in Texas!

Blender

 Whoo – hoo! It’s time to put my handy-dandy mixer away for a week, and celebrate a clean kitchen.

For the remainder of the afternoon, I will be kicking my feet up, relaxing with my slippers on (even in Texas during the month of June, my feet get cold), and watching the Hallmark Movie Channel!

IMG_0597

IMG_1744

 

With Love,

sunflower

Storms and Showers

IMG_0205

Creatively Blue

‘Tis the season for showers – showers other than rain showers. I am talking about baby and bridal showers. If you happen to decorate cakes as another source of income like me, shower season is a busy, busy time.

IMG_0199

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When there is busyness, no time can be wasted on the inconveniences of Mother Nature. So, what’s a gal living in central Texas to do when there are cakes in the oven baking and it is storming outside, but she desperately wants to  re-paint some much neglected wooden frames? Just sitting around waiting for the oven timer to go off is not an efficient use of time; therefore, it makes perfect sense to set up a painting station right on the living room floor. It would be ridiculous to do it at the kitchen table because of all of the cake items in the way. Besides, it is easier to watch episodes of Fixer Upper in the living room.

cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

. 

Life is about seizing the moments, not waiting for storms to subside and oven timers to ding!

sunflower

Graduations, and Showers, and Birthdays, OH MY!

My memory just doesn’t serve me well from year to year as I always forget how stressful the month of May can be! I am starting to think that I am going to just have to pencil in the word ‘sleep’ on my calendar in order for me to even take a break.

What’s on the agenda for this upcoming weekend? My oldest son, Corey,  will graduate from Texas A&M this Saturday. Whoop!!!!! All of you Aggies will know that expression!  We are certainly proud of him, as he has finished up his degree in Construction Science – and – stay tuned for the really exciting part, HE ALREADY HAS A JOB!!!! I don’t know about you, but I have been alarmed to hear about the number of college graduates that can’t find employment. Yikes!

 

Taylor and Kori's Wedding Pictures 021(These are our two boys with their great-grandmother.)

Along with graduation on Saturday, there is a memorial service for my father-in-law who passed away just two weeks ago.  He was a Vietnam Veteran so we did have the military service earlier and I was able to attend that, but due to the conflict in scheduling, my husband will go to the memorial service and I will go to the graduation ceremony. By the way – if you have never attended a military internment, it is a very moving experience. It is a service filled with tradition, honor, and respect……absolutely perfect for those that have served in our armed forces!DSC_0054(Above is my father-in-law at our son’s wedding a year ago)

Next on the agenda……Sunday is Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.  How many of you will attempt to go out to eat with your families after church? I have a feeling that this year, we will just celebrate with a nice, quiet meal at home. The crowds at restaurants on Mother’s Day are just too much for me to handle! Sadly, my poor mother has the misfortune of following up this busy, busy weekend with her birthday. It is like deja vu! Just last year, we did Graduation, Mother’s Day, and her birthday all in the same week, too!

Jeff, Mom, and Grandma

(Happy Birthday, Mom!)

Next weekend, a friend and I are hosting a bridal shower for a very dear friend’s daughter! Currently, I am searching Pinterest for table decorating ideas, creative food recipes, and fun games to play. Below is a copy of the invitation I created using Smilebox.

001 invite (1)

Celebrations are certainly a lot of work, yet they are an essential part of our lives…….None are completely free of complications; sometimes, there may even be open awkwardness or discomfort. However, they are always a sign of moving forward and hope! That is what the human spirit is all about!

Happy Mother’s Day….Graduation Day….. Birthday…..Wedding Day…..Anniversary….or Celebration of a life that has passed!

Taylor and Kori's Wedding Pictures 056

With Love,

sunflower

P.S. I began writing this post before graduation day so I am sharing a picture of what happens after sitting through at least four hours of commencement ceremonies!

IMG_0838

(Corey and his room-mate Patrick……..photobomb by Sophie the dog, who has put up with a lot during her college years with these two as room-mates.)