"Believe in your heart, follow your dreams or just go to Disneyland." Emma -age 4

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The shore.

I am quite simply overwhelmed.

It's like I'm at the beach. My friends and family are there and they are all on the shore having a good time. I can hear them talking and see them laughing. I step into the water. Everyone can see me and they think I'm fine. That I'm just going for a swim. But with every step, I'm swept away. Every wave pulls me farther out to sea. At first, I can manage the waves. I can stay afloat. But before I know it I'm struggling just to keep my head above water. I can feel myself sinking and I am powerless to fight it. And the whole time I'm thinking that someone will notice me slipping away, that I am too far from the shore. But no one can see me anymore. I'm too far away. And besides, they all think I'm fine. When the truth is, I'm drowning. And I can't call out for help. And even if I did, no one would reach me in time.

This is what Depression is like. A slow and painful slipping away. A gradual loss of yourself. And the most painful part is that no one else can see. It is a very private and personal Hell.

I know that this is heavy stuff and that it might come as a bit of a shock to some of you. But I had to write about it. It helps me to do so. And also so you'll know why I've disappeared. This is a very real and powerful part of who I am.

And because right now I am up to my neck in water. And I desperately want to swim back to shore. But I don't know how and I know I can't do it on my own. That's when I look up. And see Him standing beside me. On top of the waves. And I remember that I am not alone. That He has the power to save me. That He has saved us all.

"...the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to them walking on the water. And Jesus spoke to them at once saying 'Do not be afraid. Take courage. I am here.'"

Matthew 14:24-25;27

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thrifting: Why I love it


This week since my Lenten fast is over I've been thrifting a little bit. And man have I missed it! I know that some people think that I'm crazy and that they would never shop in a old, smelly thrift shop. But I'm here to tell you, it's the best!

The evidence is pictured above. If you can't tell what those items are, let me enlighten you. Those are Joe's Jeans chambray trousers. Price? $4. That necklace is from Anthropologie several years ago. Price? $6. And that silk maxi dress? It's a Konrad & Joseph from Anthropologie too. Price? $3.

Y'all! You need to get yourself to the thrift store. Retail on those items was probably close to $400. I spent $13. Convinced?

*In the interest of full disclosure, not every time is that fortuitous. The thrifting angels must have missed me and so looked on me with favor this week while I shopped.*

Monday, April 2, 2012


Hippie 2

So, I pick up my daughters from school today and my oldest says,

"Mom! You look like a hippie! Like from the '80's you know? But in a good way."

She's 12. You'll have to forgive her if she doesn't know the right decade. I'm just glad she didn't call me hippy. Although I'm that too.

I came across this post yesterday and thought I would try it out. My hair was super frizzy and I thought I would spice up my top knot. The scarf was very comfortable to wear all day. I can't wait to try to braid one into my hair next.

*And I know I look slightly awkward. It's no small thing for me to take a picture and post it for all the world to see. But it's good for my confidence building. Right?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Anti-Jessica

This little girl's unbridled enthusiasm never ceases to put a smile on my face. Especially her love for her Allisons (?!), her hair, her cousins and even her whole house. Even on a day like today when I feel the exact opposite.

Some days are hard. Living in a house that is one third smaller than our previous home is challenging. Five people sharing one bathroom, washing all our dishes by hand, no pantry or laundry room challenging.

I miss my old life. My old home. My old friends. I find it hard to like anything about where we are now.

And then I remember my friends who are battling cancer or going through a divorce, my friends who are working single mothers. And about people who don't have enough water to drink or a proper roof over their heads.

And I realize it's just a matter of perspective. Even if mine sucks right now. I can choose to like my whole house, my cousins and even my hair. Jessica's given me the motivation to do so.

*Thank you for reading and bearing with me as I post this. It's helpful to just say it out loud sometimes. And if I can't be completely honest in this, my own little corner of the internet, where can I be? Right? :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cooking the Books: Chicken Creole

Who doesn't have one million cookbooks laying around? Do you ever use them? I'll admit I rarely do. The internet has become my 'modus operandi' if you will when it comes to looking for a good recipe. But some of my favorite recipes have come from books. And I love vintage cookbooks the best. (See photo.) The illustrations are priceless. In one of my books there is a woman dressed in heels and pearls and she is literally running toward her husband coming home from work, his drink in her hand. My husband awaits the day when he is greeted like that. Unfortunately for him, I don't think Hell is going to freeze over any time soon.

Anyway, I've decided to delve into my books more often for inspiration and the occasional dinner. In flipping through the books, I came across some really odd recipes. Porcupines in cabbage leaves, Philadelphia Scrapple and Hot Dog S'mores. (I kid you not on that last one.) But I thought I'd go with something a little more tame for my first effort. Chicken creole.

A number of years ago Jason's dad made me a shrimp creole that was to die for. A spicy, tomato based thick soup. Since then I've been wanting to try one out. In reading the recipe I soon realized that creole is a baked dish and not a soup. Darn. I really had my heart set on soup. So I changed the recipe a bit.

It was really good but my whole family decided it tasted basically like my Chicken Jambalaya but not as good. So I won't be making this again. I'll include the recipe in case you want to make authentic Chicken Creole but I can't vouch for that recipe. Which is why you come here I know. To read about and make recipes I haven't tried. What can I say? This was a cookbook fail.

I'll try the Hot Dog S'mores next time.

Chicken Creole

The Pillsbury Family Cookbook 1963 edition

3 pounds frying chicken, cut into pieces
1/4 c. olive oil
20 oz. can diced tomatoes
3 T. butter
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. leaf thyme
1 T. parsley (fresh or dried)
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. white wine
Hot cooked white rice

In skillet, fry chicken in oil until golden. Remove chicken. Meanwhile in saucepan, combine tomatoes, 1 T. butter, salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme, parsley, bay leaf and garlic; simmer for 30 minutes. Melt 2 T. butter in skillet. Add onions and green pepper and brown slightly. Blend cornstarch with wine until smooth. Pour into skillet, stirring until slightly thickened. Add chicken and tomato mixture. Cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serve over rice.

Monday, March 19, 2012

TxSC Recap

Whew! It's been a busy week. I was so super motivated before the TxSC. I was going to blog 2-3 times a week and take more pictures and... life always finds a way to creep in and take over. More about my Spring Break fun next time.

TxSC was in a nutshell, awesome. I met the Bloggerati (as my husband named them) only it turns out it's a real thing! The lovely women I have been blog stalking for several years now. Kendi, Jen, Jentine, Jessie, Linda and Indiana just to name a few. And they were all as down to earth and beautiful as they appear to be on their blogs. Kendi still being my personal favorite and new BFF. She just doesn't know it yet! Or maybe she does. Hi Kendi! Remember me? I had the fancy notebook paper business card? Hello? Kendi?

I also made some new friends. This lovely girl, Kristi, was the first person I met and we hung out all weekend along with Leslie, who has the cutest dimple. And I met these girls Liz, Laura and Kara. Girls who grounded me and calmed me. And Kristen who can rock a headband like no other girl I know! And so many others.

It was exhausting and fun. Inspiring and challenging. I would go again in heartbeat.

But I'd take more pictures.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A test.

First test. Can I blog from my iPad? If you're reading this it means I was successful! Hooray for technology.

Second test. And this goes back to my earlier Lenten post. I will be attending the TxSC this year. I had the rather fortunate pleasure to meet Kendi a few months ago. Meeting one of your fashion icons is an unreal experience. They're a type of celebrity after all. And it was pretty intimidating. But Kendi was every bit as nice, charming and pretty as she appears to be on her blog. Plus I picked up some really cute things from her shop. Anyway, when she mentioned she was the keynote speaker this year I made my mind up to go.

And with all of the the young, fashionable and uber-talented women bloggers out there, it will be a true test of my new found self confidence. That and the thrift store crawl on Saturday. I'm praying I can remain firm in my no shopping for Lent. Say a prayer for me my friends. I'll need it.

The proof is in the pudding they say. Whatever that means. But here's a photo of me and Kendi. I'm her new BFF for sure!

See y'all at TxSC!

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Beginnings.

Well. Here we are. I've been gone and there's a reason. The biggest is that we've recently moved from a small town to the big city. But there's more to it than that. I'll explain.

So Lent started almost two weeks ago and that's what started it. Some years I don't really feel compelled to give anything up. I might fast one day a week or give up chocolate. Nothing major. One year as a teenager my dad made us all give up TV. That was fun. But some years I feel really convicted. I know there's a thorn that needs dealing with. This year I knew I needed to give up shopping. And anyone who knows me knows what a true sacrifice this is. I don't just love shopping retail, although that's a part of my vice, I love a good deal. I love to shop the thrift stores and sale racks for those hidden gems. I mean who hasn't used shopping to make yourself feel better? (And if you haven't, clearly you are a better human being than I and you can just keep that information to yourself thank you very much.) But for me it was happening way to often. And I have a closet full of clothes I've worn one time and a house full of things I don't really need. Because while shopping initially made me feel better, it didn't last.

And so I became really introspective. What was it that would make me feel better? Maybe Lent should be something more than just giving up the physical and tangible. Maybe I needed to give up something of my very nature as well.

I'm not an overly self-confident individual. I'm a people pleaser. Always forming myself into what others wanted me to be. But never quite sure who I wanted to be. Don't get me wrong over the years I've realized that isn't the way to live. I'm a far different individual at 36 than I was at 26. But at my core, I haven't changed much.

I am an avid blog reader. I love blogs about fashion and crafting. Thrifting and DIY. Food blogs and all the blogs in between. There's so much to be inspired by. It's why I started this blog. I thought maybe someone would want to read what I had to say. But it's a bit of a Catch 22 isn't it? I'm inundated with all the amazing things other people do and I start to feel that I'm not good enough. My nose is too big and my hips are too wide. I have 'man hands.' And most of what I create is just something that someone else did first. And the list goes on and on.

So there's the real thorn. The one that's been with me for far too long. The thing I really need to give up. My lack of self-confidence. My inability to see myself as I truly am. That compared to all the other women and men out there I just don't measure up. What could I possibly have to say or make or do that anyone would care about? I'm not special or unique.

But you see I am. I realized I have my mother's nose. A beautiful woman inside and out who's taught me more about how to love and live well than any other woman I know. And my wide hips have enabled me to give birth to three beautiful daughters. Little girls who I hope will grow into lovely and confident women. And my 'man hands' have created some really pretty things. Even if someone else did it first.

So along with shopping, I'm giving up my very nature. And it starts here. With my blog. Because I have things to say and stuff to create too. And maybe someone out there will want read it, but maybe not. And that's ok.

Because in the end it won't matter how many people heard what I had to say. Only that I had the courage to say it.