Thursday, March 31

apples

Cora is a little bit of a picky eater. I was hoping that she would be a more adventurous eater than her brother, but alas, it is not so.

After putting little apple slices on her plate about a gazillion times, this week she finally decided that they were OK. Yesterday, at dinner she kept pointing towards the apple bowl on the table. I started to slice it, but she wanted the WHOLE apple.

When your picky little eater wants something healthy, you give it to them! Stem and all.


After she pleased her momma by eating an apple, she thought she might push her luck in other areas:

The face. Look at that face!

Wednesday, March 30

winner + painted cabinet

First thing: thank you for everyone who reads my blog. It is a fun outlet for me, and I really enjoy doing it. There are so many amazing, creative blogs out there, so the fact that you stop by mine really means a lot! Thank you!

Let's get to the winner! I used Random.org for my results, and it chose LINDSAY as the winner! So, Lindsay, just email me your picture choice (peaches, Pyrex, horses or lilacs) and I will get a fun little package mailed to you! I love fun mail.

Thanks again for all the comments! I love comments!

Now on to a fun project I have been working on:

You know how I have been wanting to paint my kitchen cabinets. Well, that is on hold for the moment. Andrew argues that the cabinets are perfectly fine as is (he's right, they are) and it would be a huge job (um, yes it would). So, to keep the painting wolves away from our door for awhile I set my sights on a smaller project.

This one was fun. Andrew couldn't say anything about it because:
A. It wasn't "his" furniture. This cabinet belonged to my mom and she gave it to me.
B. This cabinet wasn't an antique. Game on.
C. I kind of painted it in secret at my studio. (Oh yes, how dangerous that I have a place where I can paint things in secret!)

Our house doesn't really have an entryway. You walk right in the front door smack into our living room. There isn't anywhere to put my purse, mail, keys, etc. I felt like we needed a little "landing space". I was using a cabinet at my studio to hold toilet paper, etc in my bathroom, and my mom suggested that it would probably be the perfect size for my little landing space. She said I could paint it if I wanted. If I wanted?! Well, yes I want to paint it!

I picked a wonderful green color called Crushed Oregano. Valspar, from Lowes. It is kind of a spring green, olive color.

Of course, I forgot to take any "before" pictures. Darn! I thought about going through the steps on how I did it, but rather than re-invent the wheel, I'll just tell you which directions I followed. Click here. In a nutshell, I sanded, painted, sanded & distressed, stained, and finally finished with a coat of polyurethane. The cabinet turned out beautiful. The stain step made all the difference. It knocked the color back just enough and made it look so rich. Love it!


I don't feel like the pictures do it justice. The lighting in our living room is so strange and cave-like, it was hard to get a really true picture.

Andrew said he even liked it! Gasp!! I was just hoping that he wouldn't hate it. I am so happy because my completely tan and beige living room now has a little jolt of spring green. I am thinking about what I could paint next...

Tuesday, March 29

post # 500

Post # 500? Really? I couple days ago I was surprised to see that I was coming up on this number! I can't believe I've written in this little space 500 times!! I guess I have been blogging for a while. I remember starting the winter before Max was born, in 2007. Crazy!

To celebrate this little blog's birthday, I thought I would give something away. Fun, right? Just leave a little comment for me (anything, as long as it is a nice one!) and I'll put your name in a drawing to win one of my photographs! You will be able to choose your favorite from these four:





I'm going to keep the giveaway commenting open until noon tomorrow, March 30. That would be noon Indiana time, in case people are reading in faraway lands. Smile.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!

Monday, March 28

little teepees

Our yard is currently full of sticks. Some from winter storms, and most from our recent apple tree pruning. A yard full of sticks is wonderful when you have a little guy who happens to really like sticks. Here are some pictures from our teepee building fun:



On the latest teepee we built, we got very advanced and tied the top together with twine. I mentioned on Friday about how that particular little teepee withstood quite the hailstorm. The cats did eventually tear it down, though.

Look! We even put little pavers (rocks from the driveway) around our structure. Fancy!

I think things like this are so fun! I love that sometimes toys are not necessary: that you can have fun with just the stuff around you. Sticks and rocks leave lots of room for imagination!

Thursday, March 24

dear spring, please come back!

What the heck, Spring?

Just two days ago I was building little stick teepees with Max and checking out all the new little green things everywhere, and then yesterday I was pulling up my coat collar as I shoved my little babies in the car! It was cold!

Spring always tends to do this: make a little showing, flirting a little, then taking off. We'll just have to wait a little bit longer I guess.

I hope it comes back soon, because Max and I like to make teepees. We made a pretty good one the other day. It survived the hail and rainstorm, but not the cats.

As soon as spring returns we will try again!

**A random and unrelated note**
Last night Max helped me make this cake. I am currently trying to figure out how to eat some for breakfast without the kids finding me out.

"Keep eating your bagels children! Pay no attention to your mother eating chocolate cake!"

Happy Friday!

me + cora

If you read blogs very often you will notice that a lot of bloggers have "link parties". If you are not a blog addict like myself, this simply means that you follow along with a particular blog and do a certain something on a particular day. For instance: lots of blogs have project-type link parties: you redo a piece of furniture (just an example), and add your link on the bottom of their blog post then other people can see what you have done.

As if you need more things to look at on the internet.

Anyway, I have never linked up to any of these little parties before, but today I decided to because it involves something that I think is very important:

Looking through all the pictures I have taken, there is hardy any of me in any of them. I mean, out of the thousands of pictures on my computer, there is probably a handful of me. Not good! I don't want to be missing in my pictorial history of my family! It is hard to get in the pictures, because most of my days are spent alone with my kids. There isn't anyone else here to take my picture. Well, I'll just have to get more creative and use my self timer more, etc. Also, many times I don't want to be in the pictures because my hair is crazy, or I don't have any makeup on. I think I shall try to get over that. Hopefully when the kids are looking at pictures from their childhood they won't care if I have makeup on in them or not.

So, when I read this blog post this morning, I was more inspired than ever to get myself behind my camera and capture myself in my own life. I really wanted to link up to this post today, so I grabbed a couple pictures of me and Cora to use:




These were all taken with the little camera thing on my laptop. (Hence the very grainy and low quality look!)

If you don't read The Anderson Crew blog, you should. It is very good!!

Wednesday, March 23

a clean table

Something I just love is a clean kitchen table. Crumb free, wiped off, nothing but a pretty bowl of fruit sitting on it.

Sadly, it doesn't happen too much. The table is usually covered in magazines (totally my fault) art projects, crumbs, partially eaten granola bars, random papers, stuff that needs recycled, hats (Andrew!), etc.

This morning I cleaned off the table. Wiped it off. Ah. Love that. I should do this every day! It is really not that hard. Maybe even every night, that way when I get up a nice clean table greets me. What a concept!


When the table is clean I can deal a little better with my "kid mess" everywhere else. "This doesn't look too bad!" you say. It is only 10:00 am. It will get worse. Look closely. There is cereal in the crayon jar. Goodness sakes. I was so happy because I thought Cora actually ATE it. Nope.

I think I shall go sit at the clean table now.

Tuesday, March 22

underfoot

Our little kitties are now grown up and are our little companions everywhere we go outside. Mostly, they are Max's little companions. They follow him around as he plays. It is so cute to watch him go across the yard and have a little herd of cats trailing behind him.

(For the record, our herd of cats only consists of four. We recently had them all fixed as to keep the herd a small one!)

Here is one of the four: Sadie. She is a lap kitty, and loves attention. The other day when my mom was over I thought she and Cora were going to duke it out about who got to sit on her lap. Cora does not like to share her Nana.

The composition of this picture is a little on the odd side, but hey, I like it. I like what I like, and sometimes I'm not really sure why: I think I like this because it is a little strange, and I love that sharp focus on that eye. (That would be Lucy, the "pretty ugly" or "ugly pretty" one.)

I'm sure I will have lots more kitty pictures as the days continue to get warmer. They are fun to photograph, plus it gives my kids a little break from the camera!

Monday, March 21

garden planning

On Saturday my mom (my perpetual sidekick on all things home improvement) and my stepdad (Papaw G) came over to get the garden all planned out. We started with drawings:

This year we are going to give raised beds a go. Mom and I think that they are so pretty, and we are hoping and praying that they are easier to weed. We pledge this year not to let the weeds take over. Right now I can hear Andrew and Papaw G laughing and nudging each other. No, really guys! We promise!

Don't you just love graph paper?

Here's a photo of one of the finished beds. So nice!! I am so anxious to get them all filled up.

Max had the best day. He dug and dug and dug. Then he practiced driving his gator up and down all the rows. He was outside from 10:30 am to about 6:30 pm. Once he was inside he turned into an exhausted puddle of whines, but it was ok. The boy loves to be outside.

Cora was unimpressed. She napped through a lot of the process, and once we did make it outside she just wanted her Nana to hold her. I'm sure she'll warm up to the idea of dirt digging soon. (This photo of her is a little soft on the focus--but I still love it!)

Friday, March 18

liberate creativity


Good morning everyone!

Today I am doing a little guest post over at a newish blog called Liberate Creativity. This blog features all kinds of crafty goodness, and different bloggers do tutorials on all kinds of projects. Today I am featured with a distressed wooden frame tutorial.

Check it out if you get a chance!

Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, March 17

green + stripes + running = a really long post

Happy St Patrick's day to you!

I really love the color green, and I also love stripes, so I thought this photo would be appropriate for today.

Plus, it was actually taken today, so that is a bonus. So cute that Cora and I are both wearing our stripe shirts today.

I am proud of myself for actually uploading (or downloading, I can never remember which is which) a picture on the same day it was taken. I hardly ever do that!

Another "proud of myself" moment from today:

So I have been running. For about two months I have been "training" for the Mini Marathon in Indianapolis.

This is a big deal for me, because I have always hated to run. Remember "mile day" in gym class in high school? I was sure that was some form of torture. I think I ran--if you can call what I did running--a sixteen minute mile about every time. It might have even been a twenty minute mile. I don't know, but it was horrible. Help me out MC people: was is sophomore year that gym class was first hour? Talk about insult to injury.

Well, for whatever reason, I have decided to run. And if this girl was going to run, she needed a goal. So my friend Holly talked me into signing up for the Mini. I have been doing pretty good with my training. I honestly thought I probably would've given up by now. When I started I could only run for about fifteen minutes, now I've gone upwards of about forty five. Yay! (I am still a slow runner, so that translates to about 3.5 miles.)

Fast forward to today:

Max was playing outside. Cora girl was inside taking her nap. Max is now in love with umbrellas. Against my better judgement I let him play with an umbrella today. It was really windy out there, and up on the hill where we live it was really windy. I probably don't need to tell you what happened. The umbrella flipped inside out and started blowing away. Max started running after it. Crying. (Note to my mom: it was not the new Cars umbrella, thank goodness. At least I did have the foresight to have him play with the old umbrella!) He runs and follows the umbrella to the edge of the field. It is blowing away tumbleweed style.

I get out there and tell him that it is no use, that we'll never catch it. Max cries harder. For a moment the umbrella gets hung up on a corn stalk and stops.

I decide to run after it. And for the first time in my life I felt sort of fast. Athletic even! I felt like a superhero mom. The cornfield is not easy terrain people! I caught the umbrella and gave it back to Max. He was so happy. I was so happy. I wasn't even that winded!

Hooray for running!

I will try to remember this later tonight during my run on the treadmill...

Wednesday, March 16

just a photo I love

I know I just posted a few photos of Cora's BFF Charlee the other day, but I need to share one more:

Her mom and I went on a little fun outing to take some one-year pictures. (We snuck in lunch too, and I felt a little guilty because I left my own children at home with my mom. I have learned that pictures of other children are much easier if my own kiddos are not demanding my attention, or trying to be in the pictures!)

Anyway, we got a bunch of fun ones. This one might be my favorite because:

1. It is very "contrasty". I don't know if that is a real word or if I made it up. Anyway, all it means is that there are areas of the photo that are very dark, and areas that are very light. I have always loved photos that are like this.

2. I love photos that are almost silhouette-like.

3. I am a fan of negative space: I love it when the subject of the photo (little Miss Charlee) is off center, and is balanced by more empty space.

4. Ummm, just look at that little Pebbles style ponytail sprout on top of her head. How could you not love that?

Fun times.

Hope you got outside to let the sun shine on your face today. We went out for a while and it was so wonderful. Tomorrow is supposed to be even better as far as the temperature goes, and I am so excited!!

Tuesday, March 15

under my umbrella


It is so fun to look at the world through the eyes of a child. I think that this is one of the best things about being a mom: new eyes with which to see everyday, normal things.

Things like umbrellas.

Max used an umbrella (I think) for the first time today. He thought it was wonderful. He loved how it worked. He loved how the wind blew it around and how he could hide under it.

He really wanted to open it inside. I explained that it sis bad luck to open on inside, and besides that it is dangerous. Poor Cora wouldn't stand a chance: she'd be poked in the eye in no time. (Especially with that poor umbrella in the picture. It is dangerous indeed.)

Note to self: get Max an umbrella that is in a little better shape...

Monday, March 14

hello, my name is Abby, and I am trying to get my act together

It took major sorting and several glances at my calendar to get my February pictures all figured out! I finally did it:

A cold/snowy/icy month for sure. I really do hope all of that is behind us. The birds have been singing for a couple days, so that is a good sign. Plus, our cats have been romping around and playing instead of laying in a ball of fur on the porch. Another good sign that warmer days are soon to come!

Thursday, March 3

cake is good

Cora's best friend Charlee (yes, she has a best friend already!) recently had her first birthday party. We went. We ate cake. I took pictures:

The hands in the cake get me every time! I love it when they squeeze the cake!

Oh Charlee girl. Those baby blues are so pretty.

The aftermath:

I could have now included photos of my children inhaling their own cupcakes from the party, but you all have seen that before!

Tuesday, March 1

fun last friday

Last Friday we took our (third!) annual winter family fun trip to Monkey Joes. It was so good to let the kids run around and really play for a couple hours! Oh spring, come fast! These kids are ready to go!

This picture isn't the greatest, but I love that little determined face on Cora. It took her a while to warm up, but at the end of the playtime she was loving a particular little slide. She climed up, and down. Up and down. Over and over.

No wonder she fell asleep on the way home!

On a different note, today is a beautiful first day of March, don't you think? In like a lamb. I am so excited for spring. Who isn't at this point?