Thursday, January 28, 2016

What Does Your Home Say About You?

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There are many things I'd like to change or rearrange in my home. Right now, we need a new sofa, and I am dreading the process and transition. I'm also starting to feel the urge to paint things. Oh, boy… But there are certain corners in my house that I love all over again all the time, those spots and angles where I feel like I got it right somehow.

I've confessed here before that I keep my decorating magazines FOR YEARS. Seriously. And there are certain homes and vignettes that I go back to again and again, much the same way I return to certain blogs over and over.

What does this mean? That I am too cheap to buy new magazines? Definitely not. I have way too many, though not all of them become a part of what I call the "permanent collection."

I think it means these corners and spaces tell a story of some kind. They make the viewer feel they are being invited inside the lives of the people who reside there. This is my theory anyway. Here are a few corners I still like!

I love this desk and the painting and the silver box and the faux pears and the corner cabinet and the new (old) chair and that pink striped pillow.

I love the fresh, clean look of the white dental molding and the Tiffany lamp and the yellow chair, and I still really, really love the draperies I had made for this room.

There isn't much flowers and candles can't fix. They can lift a dull room or a bad mood.
I also love the match holder, a recent find.

Usually, I try indoor plants during the winter months. Sometimes this goes well.
Sometimes not.
But I like this little guy in my window.
What do plants say about a home?

While my family room (see below) drives me crazy this time of year because it is WAY TOO SMALL, I never
tire of the vistas on this hill.

Living in the country has many perks, and this is one of them.

What does your home say about you?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sick of Snow? Then Take a Look at My New Lamp!

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Apparently, you can never have too many lamps. I've blogged about this previously. How many lamps is too many lamps?

Putting up the Christmas tree involves rearranging things. Y'all know the deal. So, I ended up with the living room lamp in my dining room for a while. I have to admit, I like seeing that glow when I pull into the driveway.

The tree came down. The lamp went back to its usual place, but I missed its cheerfulness in the dining room window.

Buy a new lamp is the solution, of course. Some women are shoe people. Some women are lamp people. I'm a lamp person…and maybe a pillow person…

Check out this curvy girl! I love the light green next to my walls, and the colors will work elsewhere in my house if I decide to switch things up down the road.

As you can see, we are in the midst of clearing out from the Snow of 2016! It's only been one day, but I already have cabin fever.

Wishing you all a happy, productive, snow-free week!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

These Girls of Mine

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While I'm glad to have the tree down and the decorations tucked away, 
I am missing my time with these three.
Oldest daughter flew in from California for a nice long visit, 
and it was heavenly 
to have 
all three girls
under one roof! 

It was also a little strange.
They are sisters, after all.
I have no idea what it's like to have a sister.

But it's a special bond (and a weird one), and I am a lucky mama!

The best times are when we are all together.
Nothing special.
No big deal.
Watching movies.
Eating popcorn.
Talking about everyday things 
doing nothing at all.

But it's everything to me.
It's all I need to be happy.

These are my people!

 Here's to family time in 2016!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year, New Sofa?

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It's time. When your sofa has been in your husband's life longer than you have, it's time. When every single time you plop on the sofa and it groans, it's time. When you have a sentimental attachment to your sofa, like, think of it as a member of the family, it's time. Yes, it is time for a new family room sofa, which means I might actually have one by this time next year. We take a long time to pull the trigger on such purchases.

You've seen the images. Oh, it looks fine.

But beneath that cheery slipcover is a nest of dust mites and pet dander and probably petrified goldfish from Y2K.

We've reupholstered. We've slipcovered.

Alas, it's time to say adios, amigo.


Ah, the angst!

My husband wants a print of some sort. I want neutral. I've promised, sworn, vowed, and declared that if we get a print, I'm redecorating the rest of the room—new rug, new paint.

Feel free to weigh in on this decision!
I hope all my blogger buddies had a wonderful holiday.
I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Linking up with Savvy Southern Style!

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 and Forgiving Myself

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It went by in a flash, this Christmas holiday, and now here I sit on a dreary Monday morning, dog beside me and computer in lap. Oldest daughter is back in California, and middle and youngest girls are in school. Later, I'll head to work myself, even though today is supposed to be a non-teaching day. Part-time is rarely ever truly part-time, but I knew that when I made some professional changes this year. And, overall, I am less stressed and more present for my kids, which was the goal. Who knows what 2016 will bring? Surely I do not. My philosophy is you might as well dream big, so that's what I'm doing, though to me confessing such big dreams would be like telling your wish when you blow out the birthday candles. I plan to keep my big dreams between me and the Big Guy, thank you very much.

Each morning I continue my practice of gratitude, and this has been the biggest change for me over the past year, a far more successful resolution than the other one I made in 2015, which was not to curse. The not cursing thing lasted until a very stressful (and not at all relaxing) summer break, and then I was back to swearing again. Now that the tree is down and all the decorations are tucked in their plastic bins, maybe I'll try the no swearing thing again. Or, maybe not. But the gratitude resolution I am sticking with in 2016. When I'm in the car alone, I list all the things I feel grateful for—body lotion or food or good health. All of it, no matter how seemingly trivial, counts. It's a prayer mostly, my way of acknowledging that in spite of my complaints, I really do see and appreciate the countless blessings in my life.

Appreciating the blessings doesn't mean I don't get to ask for things I desire. If I'm being honest, I admit there is a long list of requests, but not seeing what's already here all around me seems…well…tacky and thankless and not all all the point of a good life. 

This morning during my gratitude session, I lamented to God about a mistake I made at work. It was unintentional, completely and utterly so, and it happened a year ago. It's a mistake I've apologized for more than once, including a handwritten letter to the person, but I sense I am not forgiven, which I hate. I hate that I wasn't perfect. I hate that my actions, in this case my inaction, caused another person pain. I hate that I feel I've lost a work friend, but at the end of the day there isn't much else I can do. So, this morning I let it go. I forgave myself for not being perfect. I forgave myself for making an error. I even congratulated myself on doing something that used to be very difficult for me, admitting I was wrong. In this case I was wrong, not egregiously so, but wrong nonetheless. 

The sun is beginning to show itself from behind the clouds. The dog just groaned and shifted her position. The heat clicked on, and the ice is clattering in the ice maker, which means I am thankful for heat and a refrigerator! In a few minutes, I'll make the bed (I have a warm, safe place to sleep!) and put away the breakfast dishes (there was breakfast!) before heading out to face this first day back to reality (I have a job!). 

Later today reality will creep in, and I will probably curse and forget this pretty moment of good will and clarity, but I hope I carry something of these few minutes with me. I hope I remember that it's painful not to be forgiven, and it is petty and a sign of moral weakness not to forgive. There is righteous anger, of course. And I believe God understands our righteous anger, but the little stones I hold in my heart must do some sort of irreparable damage. One by one I will try to release them.

I guess this means I have my resolution for 2016, to be more forgiving, to remember that everyone is mostly doing the best he or she can. A tall order, I realize as I reread this. Oh, I can picture a couple of stones that will likely need to be wrenched from my hard, tight fist. But I can also imagine the lightness that will come with letting go, and after way too much cream-cheese-bourbon-pecan poundcake, I could stand to shed some weight, even if it's only metaphorical.

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