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Saturday, June 30, 2012

A game of good news/bad news

Bad news:  We received a letter from the tax assessors office and while last year our house appraised for 185K, this year, it appraised for 128K.

Bad news:  We took Quinn for his first dentist appointment yesterday and he has 2K worth of work that needs to be done.

Good news:  Perhaps we will be getting money back out of our escrow account because our taxes should drop along with the value of our house and then we can pay for the dental work needed on teeth that will be falling out in the next 2 to 5 years.

See, that's what looking on the bright side is all about.

Friday, June 29, 2012

This guy... ready for us to go back to work.  There comes a time everyday when he just goes in his crate, lets out a huff and lays down.  He can't believe we're still here....everyday.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Catching Up

I feel like I have some catching up to do....

Last Thursday, I took the kids to see the author of the Pete the Cat books (if you have small children, you MUST get these delightful and the kids LOVE them!), Eric Litwin at the Jefferson Civic Center.  We had a great wonderful to run into so many friends there!

{Quinn and Mackenzie...and his silly faces...}

At one point, Eric Litwin asked for a volunteer and Q's hand shot into the air.  I'm not sure what he thought he would do, but being bounced around probably wasn't it....


I have honestly been hesitant to share pics from Q's birthday.  We just had a few friends over for lunch and turns hitting the pinata.  The pinata was the only thing that Q wanted for his birthday party.  I kept thinking I should do a theme, but then when we went to pick things out for plates and goodie bags and such it became clear to me that the theme was simply "Whatever Quinn Wanted."  He has never had a real birthday party before...lunch with Chris's family after church and a poolside cake at my parents', really, I let him pick whatever he wanted and just stopped worrying about what other people would think.

We had Spiderman plates + table cloth, a mish-mash of all things that Q deemed fun for the goodie bags (angry bird tattoos, bouncy balls, dinosaur stickers, noise makers, candy, glow sticks),  + a Spongebob cake.  And he loved it.

I loved that when Mrs. Spry (his pre-school teacher) sat on the kitchen floor to feed the littlest one, all of the boys decided that they needed to sit on the floor with her.  I loved that when he opened his presents, all of the kids had to gather round to see {upclose} what the gifts were.  I love that Quinn loves to have people sing to him.  I love that my boy had the best birthday ever...even after he saw that the neighbors were having a party with a giant bounce house set up in their back yard.

Tuesday was his actual birthday and we spent a good portion of the day at Sandy Creek in the lake and building sand castles.  We had a picnic lunch and played on the play ground.  Then Quinn and I went to the pet store and got a fish tank and fish...his pick...the 20 cent goldfish. 

Like those neon rocks?  Yep, he picked those out himself too!

On Wednesday Quinn had his check up and shots.  And because he was so good, he got to pick a couple little frogs for in his tank.  Heaven for this boy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Owl Sale!

I've got quite a few owls posted in the shop right now {5 new necklaces last night!}, so I think that it's time we have an owl of a sale!

Just add any owl item to your cart, use the coupon code OWL25 at check out and get 25% off your ENTIRE PURCHASE!

That's fun, right?  So, go, shop...and have fun!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hello Monday!

Hello to recovering after such an incredibly full weekend! {birthday party, big girl sleepover}

Hello to a myriad of doctor's appointments...Orthodontist for the girls, 4 year old check up and shots for Quinn, physical for me!

Hello to Sandy Creek!  We gave Quinn a whole list of places to go or things he could do on his actual birthday (Tuesday) and this was his pick!  (Of course, I am pretty sure that it is going to be a little bit more crowded than it is in this picture!)

Hello to family arriving from Chicago! (4 of my mom's brothers + sisters + spouses + children + Gram, will begin arriving next weekend to celebrate the 4th!)

Hello to having a great week in the shop...lots of new things to post!  Yay!

{linking up with Lisa!}

Friday, June 22, 2012


My dad's parents were from Italy.  My grandfather moved to America before WWII, got a job in the stockyards in Chicago, bought a house, saved money and eventually went back to Italy to find a wife.  My grandmother was almost twenty years younger than my grandfather.  She agreed to be his wife, to love and take care of him, to have children for him and to become American.

She took that last part very seriously.  My family was Italian, no doubt, but we were also American.  They traveled back to Italy often and she took with her pictures of all her American possessions - cars, boats, toaster ovens, air hockey tables...  While they were there, they did things like install phones in the homes of their relatives, help with apple picking, buy washing machines.

I had long dreamed of going to visit Italy with my grandmother.  Her whole family still lived there - in a small area northeast of Milan.  That dream ended when she passed away my junior year in high school.  But she left a small inheritance for me.  Not much, but enough for airfare to Italy. 

So that's what I did.  The week after I graduated from high school, I boarded a plane by myself and flew to Milan.  Her nephew picked me up from the airport and I began my stay with my Italian family.  I didn't speak the language.  I didn't know the customs.  I didn't know these people.

There were times where I was overwhelmed and just wanted to go home.  But I couldn't do that.  I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  I had to do this - for my grandmother. 

I drank a lot of homemade wine and was introduced to, I think, everyone my grandparents ever knew. 

While I was in Milan, we visited a lot of tourist attractions, including Duomo, the cathedral in Milan.  It was one of the my gorgeous things I had ever seen.  I climbed all the way to the top, marveling over the statues carved into the building, the golden Madonna at the top. 

The building to the left of it, at the time, was a shopping area and in one little shop I found this print - a huge black and white photograph of Duomo from the early 1900's. 

I brought it home with me and hung it in my dorm room in college with ticky tacky pressed to the cinderblock walls.  Then I tacked it up in my first apartment.  I eventually put it in a plastic poster frame and hung it in the living room of my first home. 

I just had it professionally framed.  The ticky tacky marks and holes in the corners are covered.  It is matted and covered in UV glass. 

It looks like something a grown up would have. 

Not something an 18 year old, fresh out of high school, would buy on a whim in Milan.  But every time I look at it, that's what I feel like, that same 18 year old.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Does this happen at your house????

Quinn has some lactose issues, so one of the many things we switched  for him was ice cream to fruit sorbet.  And really, who doesn't like to say "sorbet" better than ice cream?  It makes me feel fancy.  But really, that's besides the point.

The point being that I stocked up on it a few weeks ago when it was on sale at the grocery store and the other night, while Q and I were home alone, I offered up a fruit sorbet dessert and this is what I found...

Do you see this nonsense????  There is not even a whole scoop left out of either of them!  Ridiculous.  It is Chandler.  This is what she does.  Ugh.

And then, completely separate from the fruit sorbet craziness, Quinn decided to do this last week...

Do you see that Q U???  That is crayola shimmer crayon ON MY CARPET!!!  And I can't get it out.  The picture was taken immediately after it happened...when I posted to facebook for thoughts on the situation.  I then tried a smidge of Spot Shot (did nothing) then tried a smidge of OxyClean (did nothing) and then tried our bissell cleaner (nada).  Big sigh.

We have lived in this house for a little over four years and our carpets were atrocious.  So we broke down and had them professionally cleaned 2 weeks ago.  And then the kid does this.  Big, big sigh.

I keep meaning to call the carpet company again, but time keeps getting away from me.

Quinn and I had this conversation about it...

Me:  Why would you do something like that?
Q:  I didn't know it wasn't a good idea.
Me:  And now?
Q:  Now I know it is NOT a good idea.

At least there was a lesson learned.  Although I'm sure how he missed writing on the carpet being a bad idea.

Do these things happen at your house?  Please tell me that I am not alone.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


linking up again with Lindsey!

 I am not kidding you when I say that these are the shortest shorts I have ever owned.  Ever.  Chris has teased me for years that my Gram wears shorter shorts than I do.  But then I fell in love with this print and had to get them.  I kept pulling them down all day.   And look!  There's Ike!  He thought that Chris was taking his picture.  :)

shorts {target}
chambray button down {target}
white tank top {banana republic outlet}
birkenstock sandals
earrings {ike & co}

 Out to lunch with a friend!

jeans - curvy straight legs (which makes me laugh), I cuffed them {gap outlet}
white top {banana republic outlet}
black leather flip flops {gap outlet}
necklace {ike & co}

I was waiting in the parking lot, listening to (not gonna lie) Carly Rae Jepsen when I thought I should take a few more pictures....a new bracelet!  Yay!  Coming soon to Ike & Co!!!  So excited about these!  {timex watch from Target...originally had a white band and I replaced it with the aqua}

Clasp view...two links attached to one clasp for a chunkier feel.  I love it!

I am also in love with this necklace.  I made it specifically to match the dress that I wore to Chan's recital and have found so many other things to wear it with.  Don't you love it when that happens???

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hello Monday!

This is week is going to be a full, fun one!  And my plan is to not stress.  It is summer.  This is fun.  (Do you hear me talking myself off the ledge????)

Hello to Quinn's Birthday Party week...

While we're not planning an elephant birthday party, sometimes it feels that way.  I am horrible at birthdays...the planning...the organizing...the pressure of having a good time...gah!  And he has asked for a blue elephant pinata.  How am I going to manage that one???

Hello to Girls Sleepover!


Following the birthday party, I agreed to the girls having a sleepover.  I mean, while the dog is boarded, we may as well do it all.  You know, go big or go home.  There will be six ten year old girls in my house.  I plan on spending Sunday afternoon recovering.  Just so you know.

Hello to Chris working!


Chris has a conference to go to three days this week.  Not sure what we'll do without him. 

Hello AthFest!


It's AthFest this week!  One more thing to try and squeeze in, but I am sure that we will make it downtown at some point.  :)

***************linking up with lisa leonard for hello monday*******************

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Have Been Blessed

I have been blessed with four amazing men in my life...

My dad.  He loves shooting (skeet, not animals), doing things right (hence installing a hickory floor in his kitchen himself, replacing the siding himself, renovating an entire Chicago apartment himself, planting 216 marigolds himself), good food, and his family.  For the majority of my life, we've lived almost 800 miles apart, but the distance never felt that great.  I always knew that I could pick up the phone and call him whenever I needed him.  And if I needed to ask for money for a Homecoming dress, that I should call and talk to my stepmom first, wait a day or two, and then call to talk to Dad about him.  The outcome would always be better under that plan of action.

My stepdad.  I have been known to say really stupid things, like, for example, "You're not my father." or in response to the question, "What's your problem?"  say, "You.  You are my problem." and I am not kidding, he loves me anyway.  My mom and my dad are kind of required to love me because I'm their kid, but this man chooses to love me like I am his. 

My father-in-law.  Yesterday, he and my mother-in-law celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary.  In those 39 years, he raised two children and is now a grandfather to six (I think Chandler gets her love of crocheting from him).  He is hard working and kind.  From the moment I met him, he has welcomed me into their family.

My husband.  When we took this picture together a little over seven years ago, I had no idea that this man would become my best friend.  That he would become my husband.  That he would be the father of my children.  But I am so glad that he is. 

I keep typing words (and then deleting them) about how amazing he is, how loving and kind and wonderful.  About how he wants what is best and right and good for his children.  And, well, it sounds so hokey and sappy and well, expected, today.

But I will tell you this...not only is he all those things and does he do all those things, but he also laughs with his children, he has fun with his children, he teaches them and cares for them, and he cries with them.  Every decision he makes for them is with the most thought. 

He understands the enormity of the job of being not just a father, but also a dad, and he earns the title of Dad every single day.

Why I love my dad
by Casey Pendley

I love my dad because he cares about me even when I could be in big trouble.
I also love my dad because if we did not have him we would have a lot more days eating Mcdonalds.
My dad can be on my side or my brother's side, but in the end he will say sorry or give you coke and nuts in our room!
I love my dad because he is the true meaning of sugar and spice and everything nice.

 Why I love my dad by Chandler pendley
I love my dad because he knows what's best for me,
because on some days he lets me craft in peace.
He knew what was best for me by never letting Casey climb the furniture (mom too).
I also love dad because he inspires me in do new things every day (like making ribs).

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Day in the Life

Glimpses into our day, these days...

Kids working in maze books.  Ike has a hard time being left out of floor activities.  He loves it when our kids are on the floor with him.  He thinks they are there for him to snuggle with.

Painting party with friends...

The boys were so funny together....right up until Quinn had a hard time keeping his clothes on.  At one point he came downstairs in his underwear with his knight sword.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sir Quinn the Knight

The week before Gram and Grandpa came to visit, I took Quinn to Toys R Us to have a look around and get some ideas for his birthday.  His was really excited about two things...legos and the boy costumes.  I think he loved the boy costumes because we have a ton of girl costumes at our house and he had never seen one specifically for boys.  So, when Gram and Grandpa left birthday money for Q, he knew exactly what he wanted.

And those two pictures on the end?  What?  You've never seen a harmonica playing knight before?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


linking up with lindsey at the pleated poppy!

recital day!

dress and belt {the loft}

3 strand necklace and earrings {ike & co}

I wore a really cute outfit to Casey's recital the next day, but it was raining, and pictures were sparse.

navy and white striped t-shirt {old navy}
coral shorts {target}
brown roman sandals {rack room shoes}

necklace {ike & co}

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Home Tour::: Downstairs

Our house was scrubbed from top to bottom before our visitors arrived.  Like, carpets cleaned, foyer painted, kind of cleaning.  And (like most bloggers) a clean house = pictures being taken.  So, here we go...

Foyer pictures...

 rug:: tj maxx homegood ($25!)
yellow cabinet:: target
vintage accessories::  countryside antiques, flea an'tique, braselton antiques (little shops in the hoschton/braselton area)

Craft Room...  (this is what was once the dining room, but it hasn't been that room in almost 4 years)
 table:: ikea
cubbies::  target
vintage chair at table
body form::  pottery barn teen
floral chair::  world market
{framed print of duomo in milan...not sure where to hang it yet...a whole story about that one though}

Front Room {library}...

 yellow couch:::rooms to go 
coffee table::: ikea 
pillows::: (from left to right) target, olive, ikea, pottery barn outlet, knitty bitties, target
bookcases:::built ins, custom made by our sweet friend, Drew
vintage plates
vintage vanity

Living Room...
 couch/loveseat/ottoman::: american signature furniture

 kitchen table and chairs::: ikea
placemats::: target

 tv stand::: handmade purchased at Lakewood Antiques at 400
gold geo chairs:::  world market
large clock::: target
 athens artwork wall:::  molly vass, jamie calkin, rem show poster

globe::: tj maxx homegoods
vintage milk glass and orange vase
artwork:  gifts from molly :)

chicago neighborhood prints::: ork posters
chicago line drawing print::: studio kmo
black and white family photographs {a day at Navy Pier}

vintage chicago city street print:::  one of my most favorite gifts ever from my uncle
{another one that could be a whole post story!}

Monday, June 11, 2012

Recital Weekend 2012

So my dad and stepmom headed back up north Thursday morning.  Chan had dress rehearsal for recital Thursday afternoon, Casey had her's Friday morning, then they both had finale rehearsal Friday night. 

They always have recital at the auditorium at Brenau in Gainesville (a women's college).  It is kind of an amazing thing for me because it also where all of my dance recitals as a child took place.

This is Chandler.  By Friday night, that child was driving me crazy.  She is the Queen of "Can We...?"  It does not matter what we have recently done or what we are presently doing or what the near future plans are, 90% of what she has to say begins with, "Can we...?"  Drives.Me.Crazy.

Recitals are always stressful for me mainly for just one reason.  I hate doing hair and make up.  I am terrible at it myself, so you can imagine the issues that I have with doing it on my children.  I have no idea what I am doing and I am also so afraid that they will show up and be told that it's wrong, or someone will say something to them about it looking bad or what not.  If ever I feel inadequate as a mother, um, that would be it.  And we have to do hair and make up for pictures, dress rehearsals and recital.  One would think that practice makes perfect and I would start to feel a little more comfortable with it, but that just isn't the case. 

My mom and stepdad arrived Saturday morning and we all headed off together for Chandler's recital.

Chan was awesome!  She has in a jazz class and her recital piece was to RuPaul's Supermodel.  She was definitely workin it on the stage.  :)  Following the recital, we went out for dinner and then home to watch Ghostbusters.  The girls had never seen it before and well, it seemed like a good movie night.

Sunday was Casey's recital and we woke up to a complete and total downpour.  I hate bad weather on important days.  We have great pictures from Chan's day and almost nothing from Casey's. 

Oh, look!  It's another picture of Chandler!  :)  This is what she did to pass the time while waiting for Casey's show to start....crochet.

And here they are after the show.  During the finale, they shoot glitter on the dancers.  It is a fun thing, the kids love it and usually it amounts to a few pieces here and there.  I watched Casey scoop up piles of glitter from the floor during the finale and cover her head in it.  She had more than anyone else in the show.  My bathroom floor last night was proof of that.

Casey danced in a ballet number to William Tell Overture.  Or, the William Tell Adventure as she often called it.  She also had a fantastically cute tap number to My Boyfriend's Back (a remix version). 

I was really so proud of both of them.  They are so confident on the stage and love it! 

Last night I breathed a sigh of relief.  Summer can now start.  We have been so busy preparing for my dad's visit and recital and now I am so glad to be done with both of those things.  We actually sat down last night and started talking about summer camps....something I couldn't even wrap my head around until after recital. 

This, yeah, I woke up with a massive migraine, which landed me back in the bed until almost one this afternoon.

I think it was my body's way of celebrating the beginning of summer for us.  By making me stay in bed.