Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday, Blissdom Edition

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy!

I know you are going to be really excited about the hotel lighting.  It was awesome.  Between that and using my camera for pictures, I was good to go.  :)  Day 1 was my traveling outfit {super comfy}.  I failed at taking my picture in what I wore to the Thursday night event {super cute...I will definitely be wearing it again soon} and of  course, I now regret not having taken my picture in the black, "I'm a librarian going to a funeral" dress.  Of course, considering that I was bipolar betty (the nickname Chris gave me) in that moment, I think that not taking a picture is pretty understandable.  


jeans - loft outlet
aqua cami - target
navy blue open cardi - loft


jeans - loft outlet
lemon yellow bubble t-shirt - loft 
striped zip cardi - loft 
lemon yellow ballet flats - loft

jeans - loft outlet
yellow and white striped 3/4 sleeve shirt - loft 
hemp sneakers - simple

Are we seeing a Loft theme here?  I don't really know how that happened...other than the fact that they have had some fantastic sales lately!  :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One last Blissdom post...

So, things were looking up.  (whew!)

And I had my Blissdom moment.

Check.

I headed off to visit my Em and Josh.  You know, Emily...this girl...

{nevermind that boy in the middle...we just taught him...ages and ages ago}

Who also happens to be Mama to the one in the middle...who looks like she could be mine, or that mine could be her's...


Anywho, Em teaches at Vanderbilt (she would be Dr. Em to you) and they moved up there in December and it pains me to think that they are no long 3 miles down the road from my house.

But, I digress.

So, I google mapped my way to their house from Opryland on my ipad, put it in the passenger seat and headed out.  Only something happened and I lost the screen and I was on some interstate, in the dark...so I did the only think that I knew to do...

I called Chris in a panic.

The conversation went something like this...

Chris:  What road are you on?
Me:  I have no idea.  The road just split.
Chris:  Ok, where did the sign say you were going?
Me:  There were like 10 different cities listed on that sign.  I could be going to any one of them.
Chris:  What direction are you heading in?
Me:  No clue.
Chris:  Ok, what's the name of the next exit.
Me:  There is no exit.  The damn road just keeps splitting.  There it goes again!  Another split!  The road just split again!  It's dark!  And I don't know where I am!  And the road. split. again!!!!
Chris:  Ok, is there somewhere that you can get off and use the gps on your phone?
Me:  For the love of God, another split!
Chris:  And now what road are you on?
Me:  I HAVE NO IDEA!!!
Chris:  What is coming up next?
Me:  Oh, oh, look!  The next exit has a list of attractions...Vanderbilt is on it!  I'm exiting!  I'm close to Vandy!

And then I forced Chris to stay on the phone with me until I had parked the car.  And once I parked I called Em and made her come get me.  (Just kidding.  I didn't make her, she had to...it's a gated kind of place.)

Then we went to a little bookstore and Boscoe's for dinner.  We talked Jackson County and education and kids and the fact that I once thought that hush puppies were a type of seafood and about the number of times that Em almost burned the house down.  We talked about all the nights that Em would go to bed early and Josh and I would stay up talking on the front porch of their little white house that they lived in ten years ago.  They are my forever friends.  Seriously.  If the girl will pop blisters for me and be my dance partner at weddings, she's a keeper.

After dinner and laughs, I headed back to the hotel.  (Amazing how easy of a drive it is when you use the GPS.)

I had a text from Zakary to find her at the Girls Night In party...so I did.  We closed the place down and a bunch of us went and found drinks somewhere and hung out on the stairs.  Laughing and spilling and laughing some more.

It. was. the. best.

And it was almost 3am when I went to bed.

Happy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blissom, Part Deux

Remember where we left off?  Walking into the luncheon, I see Zakary, and no joke, I said, "Oh my gosh, it's you!"

Kind of silly, right?

The best part is that she said the same thing to me.

You see, Zakary's blog has been linked on mine through Blogher and then she bought some things from my shop and we've emailed back and forth and she given away stuff from my shop on her blog....you see, I considered her a friend.  Only even though we've known each other for almost a year, this was the first time that we met in real life.  She made plans to come to Blissdom last minute and neither of us realized that the other was going to be there.

And there it was, my Blissdom aha moment.

In that moment I knew what all these other bloggers knew.  The feeling of genuine friendship between bloggers.

{Yes, I realize how lame that sounds.  Not lame, though.  Definitely not.}

And...she had a seat open next to her at the table.  We chatted all through lunch.  (except for the part where Chris Mann from The Voice performed...that would have just been rude)

She introduced me to her other blogging friends. 

The afternoon sessions were better.  I had more time with Andrea, Anne and Virginia (Alison had already gone home). 

Things were definitely looking up.

 {even more to come!  stay tuned!}

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blissdom, Part I

So I packed up my stuff {including these cuties...with each letter hand stamped, mind you}


...and drove up to Nashville Thursday morning for this...

{{{This post is going to be a long one, so you might as well get a cup of coffee and sit down for a few minutes.  And I am apologizing in advance for the length of this story.  I could sum it up, but I think it's an important story to tell.  So, here's the beginning...}}}

I may have mentioned that I was TERRIFIED about going to Blissdom.  Truly.  I think the older I get the more comfortable I am at home, set in my ways, and just, well, not super excited about making new friends.  The twenty-two year old me would have been psyched about this trip.  The thirty-four old me wanted to back out completely. 

So I had that kind of attitude.  Which is never good.

The drive was actually pretty lovely...and a lot shorter than good ole google maps told me it was going to be. 

When I got to Opryland, I called the hotel from the parking lot to find out which entrance to go in...

Me:  Hi!  I'm here for the Blissdom Conference and need to know which entrance to park at to check in for Blissdom and to sign in at the hotel. 
Operator:  You'll need to park in the Presidential lot.
Me:  So I should go past the lots for Magnolia and Cascades?
Operator:  Yes.

And so, that's what I did. 

And I hauled my 85lb suitcase out of the back of my Pilot, along with my laptop bag and purse.  It was then that I realized just how far I parked away from the entrance and just exactly how heavy my bags were.

When I got to the doors, the area was deserted and there was nowhere to go except down 50 super steep stairs.  With my 85lb suitcase, mind you. 

I was sweating.  Which is never good.

I made my way into the lobby where the Blissdom check in was (a completely smooth transaction) and they gave me an ENORMOUS bag of swag.  Seriously.  It also weighed almost as much as my suitcase.

And then the girl told me that the hotel check in was on the OTHER SIDE of the the building.

I almost died. 

Because not only did I have all my bags with me, but she had just given me another one.

And I had to go UP the 50 steep stairs that I had just finished walking DOWN.  With all of these bags.  Like a mule on a cliff.

I was ready to pass out from heat stoke/exhaustion by the time I made it back to my car.

This little escapade lasted longer than the free 20 minute parking and I had to pay $19.22 to get out of the parking lot.

What, what????

I laid my head on the steering wheel and debated just going home.  Turning the ship around and driving back to Atlanta.  Clearly things were not going my way.

They were also not going my way once I checked in at the hotel and found out that my room was alllll the way back on the other side of the place!  And I didn't get anyone to help me with my bags.

Sheesh.

But then I headed down to the handmade market and picked up some goodies from both The Pleated Poppy and Gussy Sews, and I met this cute, cute girl, Alison.

Alison and I spent a fair amount of time together (along with these sweet girls, Andrea, Anne and Virginia) and I was so glad to have her as a friend.

But while I was glad to have Alison and the other girls, I also felt out of place.  I felt awkward and silly introducing myself to people.  I felt terrible having to always text people to see what they were doing and where they were going.  No joke, it was uncomfortable.

But more on that in a minute....

Let me tell you about my "peaceful" hotel room...  Good grief!  I was conveniently located on the 5th floor directly above 3 enormous fountains...


...and the area where the Water's Edge is and boat tours are given.  I could not fall asleep to save my life.  And then once I did, I couldn't stay asleep.  I have to have complete silence.  Chris reminded me that some people buy waterfall CDs to play when they go to sleep.  I am not one of them.  I kept thinking that there could be someone in my room and I would never hear them.  I had to sleep with the pillow over my head and if the pillow fell off my head I would wake up.  No joke.  Awful.  Worst nights' sleep ever.  For three days. 

At one point on Friday I came back to my room to take a nap from my sleepless night, only to find that it was prime boat tour time...which included a woman speaking on a microphone.  Fantastic.

So I was crabby.  And Friday really wasn't my best day to begin with...the sessions felt hit or miss to me, and I wasn't really connecting with people the way I wanted to and well, I was just crabby.

So I ordered room service.  And then took a shower and then got ready {shaved my legs, flat ironed my hair, did all sorts of make up, slid on some spanx} and slipped into my little black dress for the Girls Night Out. 

I took one look at myself in the mirror and decided I wasn't going.

I looked like a librarian going to a funeral.

I didn't feel like myself and really, the evening wasn't something I would normally go for.  I haven't been to a concert in five years.  I haven't had a dressy girls night out since my bachlorette party.  I didn't particularly want to do either of those things and I knew that I was dressed all wrong.

And I didn't want to have a repeat of my cousin's wedding where I felt terrible because I stood out like a sore thumb.

So I cried.

I googled to see if there were any Blissdom horror stories out there to comfort myself with (there weren't) and I checked twitter to see if anyone had tweeted about what they were wearing (they hadn't).

I called Chris.  And I cried to him.  He told me that I could always just come home.

I decided that I was going to check out in the morning and quit blogging.  I was going to close my shop and just go back to being a librarian and a mom and a wife and forget all the rest of it.

See, in the sessions I kept hearing "authentic blogging" and "purpose" and "being present" and so on and so forth.  People always hear what I do {wife, mom, full time job, blogger, jewelry designer} and think that I am some kind of super woman.  But I am here to tell you that I am not.  I do lots of things, but I fear that I am spreading myself thin and not really doing any of them well these days.

So I was going to quit.  And leave Blissdom.  Go home.  Go back to being a librarian and a wife and a mama...and nothing else.

I told Chris that I had made a mistake in coming there.  I made the wrong decision.  I should have spent the money on counseling instead of Blissdom.  Because clearly, while lying in a hotel room, in my bra and spanx, sobbing, cursing about the water fountains and the little black dress, I was in need of some counseling.

I turned out the light at 9pm.  Cried some more.  Got up to take off my spanx (because I definitely couldn't sleep in them...I think I would have broken a rib) and put on jammies.

I had another fitful night of sleep.  Stupid fountains.

But I decided to give it one more try.

I went to breakfast, to the sessions, with intention.  I was determined not to let Blissdom get the best of me.

I had decided to go to Blissdom waaaaaay back in September because I had heard such amazing things about it.  Stories of how it changed people, how wonderful it was, how they had this aha moments there.  I wanted that.  And then I figured that if that wasn't going to happen that I at least wanted to learn something.  To maybe make a friend or two.

I walked to the luncheon alone.  Another girl, also alone, and I began a conversation and as we were herded past tables in the ballroom, an amazing thing happened.

I saw this girl - Zakary - and about fell over.

{stayed tuned for more later!}

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hello, my name is...

Does that make you think of Eminem?  Is it crazy to you too that that album is - omg - 13 years old???  Chris listened to it while delivering pizzas.  I listened to it my first year as a transfer student at UGA.  I would crank it up while spending a ridiculous amount of time looking for a parking space at PVAC.  Just in case you were wondering.  I keep thinking of it because I am going to Blissdom later this week and I feel like I am going to be saying, "Hello, my name is..." a billion times and as long as I don't slip a Slim Shady in there to follow, I should be ok. 

Now, did you follow the link to Blissdom?  Did you see that Joe Jonas is performing?  Chris asked if a bunch of women will be throwing their underwear on stage...I said, "No, they'll be throwing their spanx." 

God knows I'll be wearing mine.  Wearing being the operative word.  I won't be throwing mine on stage.  I don't think I could get it off discreetly enough.  Just sayin.

And speaking of Blissdom, I have been working on my swag to hand out with business cards {in super cute packaging, of course}...


...I am crazy nervous about this week.  Like, ridiculously nervous.  Like, I may need to be medicated kind of nervous.  I don't know anyone that is going and IT FREAKS ME OUT.  Chris keeps trying to calm my nerves by pointing out that even if the trip is a complete bust, I will have a quiet hotel room for 3 nights.  That in itself is pretty awesome.  But I don't know if that makes up for the nerves part.

I plan on finishing this book this week...


...Have you read it?  I loved The Devil in the White City, so I am expecting great things from this.  So far, so good.  I was thankful for some time to read while the girls were in dance last week, because it has been sitting on my nightstand for a good month or so. 

I'm thinking about a starting a book posting day.  I mean, after all, my day job is a being a librarian.  I do happen to know a little bit about books.  What do you think about that?

My favorite dinner last week...


...grilled marinated chicken, roasted asparagus, sauteed red cabbage, steamed broccoli, and you know, minus the leftover fried rice {from valentine's day hibachi dinner} with bacon, I would have to say that it was a pretty healthy meal.  ;)




Winner!







Yay!  You'll be getting an email from me shortly!!!  :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Visit Me at A Little Etsy Love!

Somehow this week I featured two (very different) purse designers.  Perhaps I have spring purses on the brain...  :)  So, pop on over and check them out!

 {lucy jane}
{sassy stitches by lori}

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Little Something AWESOME*** {a giveaway post}

This post includes something that is a little awesome.  Dare I say, legendary?  No, I might be getting carried away.

What I do know is that I wrote my 1000th blog post this week.  Did you hear that?  1000th blog post.  That means that over the past {almost} four years, I have sat down 1000 times and put fingers to keys and wrote.  1000 times I considered myself a writer.  I wonder how that number would stack up against the number times that I considered myself a writer while I was in school.  But that's the teacher in me asking that question.

So, here we go....who would like to win a $20 gift certificate to Ike & Co???  Yes, I thought you might!

You could win yourself something new and pretty...

Here's what you gotta do...

1.  leave a comment with your name + email + follow my blog {if you already follow, just tell me that}
2.  for a 2nd entry, leave a separate comment with your name + email + favorite my shop
3.  for a 3rd entry, leave a separate comment with your name + email + like my facebook page
4.  for a 4th entry, leave a separate comment with your name + email + pin something from my shop on pinterest

So, each of you will get to enter up to 4 times! Woohoo!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday.

Linking up with Lindsey!


These are two of my new favorite outfits...
on the left
brown dress with cream flowers {charming charlie's}
 oatmeal cardi and brown leggings {target}
ballet flats {old navy}

on the right
blue and green print tank {banana republic outlet}
green cardi {banana republic outlet}
grey slacks {limited}
black ballet flats {anne klein at belk}

I really am smitten with these necklines...



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10 Years Later


10 years ago I was released from the hospital.  I had an emergency c-section four days earlier and had physically recovered enough to be sent home. 

My daughters, on the other hand, weighed less than five lbs, were seven weeks early and could not eat without a feeding tube.  They had picc lines and heart monitors.  They were weighed before and after every feeding.  When I tried to breast feed them, their caloric output was more than the input - they exerted more energy than they were getting out of the feeding.  I then made the choice to just pump.  It hurt too much to see them lose weight after an hour's worth of nursing. 

They had iron shots every other day and a plethora of medications for reflux (yet another issue with weight...what they took in, they often couldn't keep down).





They stayed in the hospital for another 23 days.


I stood over their cribs that night...the night I went home without them...and sobbed.  I sobbed big tears, my shoulders shaking, gasping for breath.  I wouldn't be down the hall from them anymore and the hurt was unimaginable. 


I always knew that there was a good chance that they could come early.  I had thought through the c-section, what that would mean for my recovery... I had thought through what it would be like having two babies to take care of...I had not thought through the fact that I would have to leave them.  In the hospital.  That I would go home without them.  I had not thought through walking through the front doors of ARMC without them. 

It's ten years  later and thinking about that still hurts.  Even though I know that everything worked out for the best, I still find myself wiping away the tears.

It was such a hard time...I was so young...they were so little...I wasn't in a very stable relationship...most days I felt like I was on a raft in the middle of the ocean.

It's true what I said about those NICU nurses the other day...they were amazing...Mindy, Ben, Laura, Bev...I don't know how I would have made it through those dark days without them...without knowing that they were the ones taking care of my babies...without them teaching me how to take care of my babies.

It was just hard.

But it is ten years later and my life - and theirs - is so much better.  So much better than I ever thought that it could be.

Just a few more NEW things!

I stayed up until 2:30am Monday morning.  I couldn't help myself.  Apparently this is what I do on my birthday.  I think maybe I am afraid of going to bed because then I will wake up older.  Funny how that happens as an adult....as a child I couldn't wait to be *older*. 

But I digress.

I stayed up and worked on these new things...


And I think these would be just perfect for a spring bride...especially the ones with just a hint of blue..


Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing lots of love to you and yours!

The girls had a ton of fun with this Valentine's Day craft from Dandee...


The best part(s) about this craft was/were that I really didn't have to do anything!  And there wasn't any of the usual standing in the Holiday aisle at Target debating the merits of Littlest Pet Shop Valentines v. Wizards of Waverly Place Valentines....tattoos v. chocolates...red v. pink....  Trust me, the drama in these decisions is pretty ridiculous.  BUT, there was NONE of that this year!  The girls LOVED making the bracelets and picking out their color combos.  And they feel REALLY good about all that they accomplished and about passing them out to their classmates.  And I feel like a REALLY good Mama.  {which is always a bonus!}

ps.  this is my - omg- 1000th post!!!  Expect something awesome soon!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pam Garrison!

Friends!  Have you entered Pam Garrison's giveaway over at A Little Etsy Love yet????  If not, you must!  And if you win, you can donate your prize to me...I would gladly take it off your hands!  :)






Birthdays

We are Birthday celebrating fools in this house...The girls' birthday is the 10th and my birthday is the 13th.  I was actually on bed rest when I had them...my aunt and uncle came down from Chicago for my birthday weekend...and surprise, surprise, my water broke...and, well, you know...when that happens there is just no turning back.  So I had them - by emergency c-section - at 33 weeks {Casey weighed 4lbs 10oz, Chandler was 4lbs 7oz and they were both 17 inches long}.  They spent almost one month in the NICU.  And still to this day, one of my best birthday presents ever was when the NICU nurses found out it was my birthday and moved the girls from separate isolettes on opposite ends of the room into one crib together.  It was a huge surprise, and one that I will never forget. 

But, I digress.

Here's a look at the birthday celebration on Saturday...

We had cupcakes from Gigi's.  I had never ordered them from there before (it's a chain and there is one in downtown Athens).  I called...when through a big rigamaroll about the assortment that I wanted, then gave her my credit card number to hold the order, and just by chance I casually said...

Me:  So what is that total?
Lady:  $114.68
Me:  Reaaaaaallllllllyyyyyy?
Lady:  Yes, ma'am.  Three dozen cupcakes, $114.68.
Me:  Why don't we just make that two dozen? 

Can you believe that????  I think I might be in the wrong business.  Just sayin.

The girls were so good about letting Q help them open presents {even though I'm sure they didn't want to}.  Their kindness may have had something to do with the fact that they each got an ipod touch for their birthday {only because Chris and I found them cheap, cheap on Black Friday} and we told everyone about it so they were completely hooked up with headphones and a dock, otter cases and plenty of itunes giftcards.    {Quinn spent much of the weekend showing off his tech skills to Meme and Pops.}

Speaking of showing off tech skills...


...this is one of my new favorite pictures - Casey and Quinn with Aunt Molly and Aunt Juli.  I love that my children love them.  And that they love my children. 

My parents then spent the night on Saturday and by the time they left Sunday afternoon, Quinn had falen a trillion times over in love with Mems.  He told me so.

"I love Meme the most.  I love Daddy the sweetest.  And I love you just a little bit.  Not too much."

That's what my only son said to me on the eve of my 34th Birthday.  Seriously.  Sheesh.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New!

Whew!  I finally feel like I am starting to catch my breath.  I contemplated putting the shop on vacation mode this week, but now I'm thinking that I'm not.  I am down to very, very few orders that need to be shipped...hooray!  It is an amazingly good feeling, especially since I have a TON of new things that I have to make, photograph and list!  :) 

These beauties are already in the shop....




And there's more to come!  I can't wait!!!

Thankfully, we are off tomorrow!  Crazy, right?  It's my birthday and so I thought I would give everyone the day off.  Actually, if I had done it, it would have been with pay instead of a furlough day.  :)  We really need the day to recover from the whirlwind of this weekend - roller skating, slumber party, family birthday party (post coming soon!), my parents spent the night last night...and to be honest, I am still in my jammies.  I never even got dressed today.  No need when your plan is to do laundry, make jewelry, package orders and eat....OMG the leftovers that are in this house!  (I have a story about cupcakes too...for another post!)

Anywho, Chris and I are watching Breaking Dawn tonight.  I am sleeping in tomorrow.  Chris will be getting up to take Q to school and is taking my car for an oil change.  He knows the way to my heart.  :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

10


The girls turned 10 yesterday.  We gave them lots of choices for their birthday - a big party with lots of friends at the trapeze place, rollerskating, bowling, pottery making, gymnastics, jump zone - or going away for the weekend - or horseback riding...  but this is what they wanted... their two little friends from church to go roller skating and spend the night.  So that's what we did.

Lucy had the best line of the night... "There's the police!  Act natural."  And then they practiced these poses as their "act natural" pose...


We are having a load of people over for lunch today to do some more celebrating.  And then we're taking naps.  :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Astronauts and Sharks

Quinn:  Bees can sting you!
Me:  Yes, but not ALL bees and not ALL the time.
Quinn:  And if you see a shark with his mouth open you should swim away or you could be in his tummy!
Me:  Yes.  I think that's good advice.
Quinn:  I saw a show with an astronaut.
Me:  Oh.  Really?
Quinn:  Yes.  And the astronaut was in the tummy of the shark.

And I think that pretty much covers it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fireplace.

Before.



After.



I think I like it.  I like it a lot.

globe - home goods
P Print - Christmas gift from my Molly 3 years ago
milk glass - various vintage shops in Braselton
fabulous framed prints - Christmas gift from my Molly this year
vintage orange vase - the flea antique {yes, Molly, I listened to your advice and went back for it!}


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Untitled.

I can't even think of a title for this post.  That's pretty sad, right? 

Chan is still working on the crocheting.  I am kind of surprised (in a good way) that she hasn't given up on it yet.  Her latest project was this...a fingerless glove...sort of.  But she was really proud of it and wore it all weekend while dancing around the kitchen.
**************

I went to World Market the other night...and fell in love with pretty much everything.  Seriously.  I definitely NEED these things.  And the pillows would match the new quilt I bought for our bed.


And while I love this couch, I realize that it would be completely impractical while chocolate faces and sticky fingers still live in my house.

These are the orders that are ready to be shipped out tomorrow.  All 43 of them.   I am really, really close to being finished with all open orders.  So close that I can taste it.


The bead show was in Atlanta this weekend. I got a TON of fabulous new things, but I have promised myself that I am not getting any of it out until I have nothing but closed orders in the shop.  :) 

I really can't believe that it is already February!  This is typically our family's worst month.  Does your family have one of those?  The girls are turning -omg - 10! on Friday.  I seriously cannot believe it.  They are having a couple of friends over for roller skating and a slumber party.  Then we're having a little gathering on Sat (catered by moe's - yay!) for their birthday and mine...which is next week.  I am going to be - omg - 34!  Yikes!  I seriously can't believe that either!  :)