Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mother's Day Flowers

I just realized that I never did a post on the beautiful hydrangeas Hubby gave me for Mother's Day.

Hydrangeas were our wedding flower. I ordered my wedding flowers on the internet, and thought I was purchasing this lovely lavender variety. The day before my wedding, the flowers showed up, and they had sent the wrong ones. Nikko blue was not what I had in mind, but it was still beautiful! 

You can't go wrong with hydrangeas...

I took this picture of my bouquet over two weeks after Mother's Day, which is a testament to how beautifully these flowers hold up. I've clipped their stems and refreshed their water daily, to prolong their stay with us. When they started looking a touch droopy, I floated them in a sink full of water to give them a boost. They were very thankful.

And speaking of Mother's Day flowers, any time my sweet Asher finds a flowering weed, he plucks it and hands it to me with an enthusiastic, "Happy Mother's Day, Mama!" 

It's been Mother's Day for almost three weeks, now! 
How lucky am I?

My "Mother's Day" assortment in the window

I lead a very happy life.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The blueberries are beginning to turn blue.

Soon we will be able to pick them and enjoy their warm, fresh-from-the-bush juicy goodness.
I've never grown blueberries before, but I love them so much, I decided to pick up a couple of bushes to add to my garden.

Speaking of the garden, I had to do a little rearranging.

I absolutely loved the previous location for my pots, up against the fence on the far side of the yard. (read: away from the children playing with trucks on the patio)
But, I didn't realize that my once full-sun location would turn into an almost full-shade one when the leaves filled in on the massive White Ash up the bank on the other side of the fence.

It would have been nice if I had thought of that...

But, they've found a new home and seem happy there, which makes me happy. 

And the boys don't bother the pots too very much. Lately they've been entertaining themselves with the sprinkler, which is why this post has no pictures of them. Instead of putting them in their swimwear, I took the easy route and they sported the "just diapers" look this morning.
Extra vitamin D, right?

The blueberries are not the only source of garden excitement. The tomatoes are starting to form. How fun is that? 

My tomato bushes have grown so much, it was time to build some supports for them. This weekend we took a wonderful evening stroll on a trail called The Huckleberry in Blacksburg, and I collected some nice tall sticks to use. This morning I tied them together with some cotton string, and am so pleased with my "free" brackets.

It was a happy morning in the garden with my boys.

Ahh, May. I love you.
Even though you make me sneeze...


P.S... Isn't it lovely to find weeds as beautiful as this in your garden?

Memorial Day

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day, and made sure to cultivate a spirit of gratitude to those who have fallen fighting for our freedom, as well as to the God who has written such a great nation into His story. I feel blessed to be a part of it, and am so thankful to have the freedom to worship the One True God without fear of persecution. 

One nation under God.

Memorial Day Cookout
Riley grilled, and this time it wasn't pouring rain!

We enjoyed some grilled burgers, mac-n-cheese, fruit salad (red, white, and blue style!), chips, and then topped off the celebration with some festive rice crispy treats. 
(Have you tried dark chocolate M&Ms? Dangerous...)

His smile is evolving...
Story time with Daddy

My dad sent me this picture of my Grandma's grave:

She served our country faithfully as a military wife and mother for 20 years while her husband, my Papa, served as a Master Sergeant in the Air Force. (Which, at the time, was the highest rank an NCO could receive! She was very proud.) While she didn't die serving our country, she certainly lived for it, and it made my heart glad to see her grave being so lovingly cared for this weekend.

Happy Memorial Day to you!
God bless you all!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Garbage Greatness

The Garbage Truck.
One of the greatest sources of entertainment for two wide-eyed boys imaginable.

Trash day! 

The dumpster is right across the parking lot, so the boys get a front row seat.
(And it happens twice a week!)

Does it get more exciting?


Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Riley!

Despite preparing for a massive, comprehensive final in one of his least favorite classes, Riley managed to squeeze in some time for a little birthday celebration!

Daddy opened gifts and cards (with enthusiastic helpers, of course!)

And then he came to my rescue as an unexpected storm decided to show up five minutes after I started the grill up...

We kept the boys quarantined in the house with a gate, so they were still able to be "with Daddy" as he worked the grill... in the downpour... under an umbrella. 
He's my hero.

Notice the huge puddle of water at the edge of the porch!
During our 50 minutes of grill time, 45 of them were a torrential downpour. 
Sunshine and clear skies otherwise! 

Ironic? Do you believe God has a sense of humor yet? I'm convinced.

Riley came in soaking wet, but the chicken was fantastic.
We laughed and took pictures. What else can you do?  

So, I married a younger man. Today he finally caught up to my ripe old age of 27. (haha!)
I made him a rich chocolate cake with homemade cream cheese frosting (which is most irresistible! I'm proud of myself for leaving enough to frost the cake with...)

And, while I have him beat by 7 months, he is most gracious. He really only remembers to tease me about how old I am the night before his birthday.

I've got one up on him, though. He's been finding gray hairs on his head. 
Thank you, medical school...

I really consider myself most blessed to be married to such a wonderful and godly man. He is wise far beyond his years, kind, strong, loving, and a wonderful example to our sons.  

If they turn out like their father, I will rejoice and be exceeding glad.

Happy Birthday, my sweet love and best friend!

xoxo forever

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Cautionary Tale

Should you be tempted to complain, upon dropping three eggs on the floor, that there is nothing worse than cleaning raw eggs off the floor, be warned: God’s sense of humor may reveal itself a mere half hour later when your toddler is forced to eat his lettuce and, after making the customary dramatic gagging noises and faces, decides to climax the show with self-induced upheaval of his entire dinner. 

Ahh, I thought of something worse than raw egg…

"Asher, what happened?"

"I burped."

Not quite... 

As a side note, I am enjoying some very clean floors tonight. 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Arugula Harvest

It's time! I can't believe it. 
Seems like I planted those little seeds yesterday... and now look at them!

I harvested our first bunch today to enjoy with our dinner.

Of course I had a helper...

He got a little confused about what part we are supposed to eat...

Yum. Dirt.

For dinner I used some arugula leaves on my Chicken Alfredo Pizza.

Pizza. I thought that would be an easy meal to make. But, after baking the gluten free pizza crust, making the alfredo sauce, hand-grating the cheese, marinading and grilling the chicken, harvesting the arugula, boiling the broccoli, dicing tomatoes and chopping the fresh parsley (also from my garden), I was worn out! 
And so was my kitchen...

It was worth it.

 I served it with an Arugula and Watermelon Salad. 
Thank you, Barefoot Contessa, for another stellar recipe! 
(You can find the recipe here.)

 Here I am with my master garden helper, ready to enjoy the vegetables of our labor.

We ate out in the garden. It just seemed fitting.
Delicious! And so very satisfying.
What fun to grow food out of the ground!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Up... and off!

Gray is becoming quite the mover...
It seems like he's picked up walking overnight.

So long as he's not in a hurry, he prefers to toddle around, shrieking with joy about his newfound trick.

I have two toddlers... how did this happen? 
I'm most certainly not mature enough to handle this!

Grayson loves to be on the move. He's always trying to get somewhere, and in his world, up is best.
If I happen to take the time to blink, I find him here:

Well, hopefully I find him there. I would be lying if I said he hasn't made it up the stairs and around the corner to play delightfully in that white porcelain bowl full of water that Mama never lets him touch... yuck.

So, to give myself a break, I whipped up this little cutie last week:

Since we have that lovely banister at the end of the stairs, the standard kind of stair barricade didn't work. I didn't want to pay to get a new one, and saw this idea online somewhere. I grabbed some extra fabric sitting in my closet stash, bought four wooden dowels, and set to work! About an hour and a half later, I was screwing this into the wall under the stairs... I love the end product! 

And... it works!

Also, it rolls up nicely for easy passage when little boy is sleeping. Big boy, at least for the moment, isn't generally tempted to sneak upstairs to explore. 

There's plenty of mischief to get into downstairs...

So, this works to keep Grayson safe from stair-related dangers.
However, I'm not sure what to do about this...

Or this...

Silly boy.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May Day!

Happy May Day!

Ancient celebrations of the first day in May were a tribute to Flora, the goddess of flowers. The pagan traditions were rightly forsaken when Christianity conquered Western civilization, and were replaced with a smattering of Christian and secular festivities. 

Dancing around the May Pole, braided hair draped with fresh flower crowns, singing and feasting and rejoicing in God's goodness to bless the land with April showers as we welcome all those beautiful May flowers... doesn't that sound like a wonderful way to spend the day?

For years people have celebrated May Day with little baskets filled with flowers and sweets that they would hang anonymously on their neighbors' doorposts. 

Asher and I thought that sounded like fun.
(And much easier than planning a last minute May Day Party!)

We're bringing back the May Day basket!

This morning Asher and I made a colossal mess in the kitchen crafting, and then snuck up to our neighbors' doorsteps to leave these sweet little surprises for them to find when they returned home.

We of course made one for us to enjoy, as well. 

To keep the pansies fresh, we stuck the ends into a tiny ziplock bag stuffed with a wet paper towel.

Mama treated herself to a little May bliss as well...

They're nestled in my favorite place for flowers to reside... my kitchen window. 
It makes dish washing so much more enjoyable!

Why have I never thought to snip pansies before? 
They're so cheerful!

Grayson slept through our sneaky little shenanigans, but indulged his mother with a smile after the fact.

Happy May Day to you all!