I give you

zee (That's French talk.) Zookeeper...

and zee (That's french talk too.) Zebra.

Oh what a night.

Oh what fun.

Oh what a spill he took in one of the driveways in our neighborhood but jumped right back up, shook it off, and ran into the doorway of the house next door with his friend, Gage.

Oh what a crazy amount of candy we brought home.

Oh how I smiled every single time they were "Awwwwed weeeeed!" (That's Southern...not French.) over.

Oh how I have so many more pictures to share.

But oh how I need to call this last day of October, Halloween, a night.

a post in which I air our dirty laundry...sort of


Yesterday was good. Really, really good in spite of the fact that Jake had his moments...lots of them, and I had mine too (i.e. As I stood in Lowe's...in front of hundreds of paint color options...I locked my eyes with Jake's and said, "Right now, you're driving the train of nuts, and I am. one. of. them." And because I wasn't two aisles over where I'd like to have been because there was no one on it and I could have actually raised my voice and then walked off while I looked both ways and acted like I was one of those people who were trying to figure out who exactly just said that, I mumbled instead with this super serious face.).

But because we know we can't win 'em all, because our front doorway screams, "Fall, you are here. And we welcome you.", because we escaped the "bears" that were sleeping in the woods on our morning hike, because we fail but give forgiveness, and because our garage is box free, our Saturday definitely gets a "V" for Victory.

It's kind of the same victory I felt this morning, as we pulled out of our drive on our way to church.

We've missed the last four (maybe even five) weeks because we've been moving and Jim's departures for North Carolina and Atlanta have been in the mornings on two of them, so this morning a true sense of accomplishment washed over me, and I secretly high-fived Jim as he drove us from our neighborhood.

This weekend among all the staining, trimming, mowing, and fan-installing, we did laundry (four loads to be exact).

And in this house, this is where we do it.

And because I'm good like that, I'll air the dirt, and tell you how I put it all together...

wall color...Silvermist by Sherwin Williams;

hamper and baskets on top of the cabinets...Old Time Pottery;



button art...frames - Pottery Barn, buttons - Hancock Fabric, scrapbook paper - Michael's, idea - Sarah Richardson from Sarah 101 and Erica...a friend and coworker with creative skill like nobody's business who suggested a random blue button amongst all the wood tone ones just to tie it all in to my wall color;

window treatment...DIY tutorial - Pinterest, Fabric - King Cotton, Foam board - Michael's, Staple gun - after searching high and low...our garage, Duct tape - Target;

wire basket...local furniture and accessory boutique.

And now if you'll excuse me, there are still towels in the dryer pictured above that still need to be folded.


Saturday Shortly


It's early. The sun is still low, but we are not. Yesterday was a day called Friday - the day we all exhale. The five days we work are done, and the two we live for are here. Jim and I just know - because we're adults, and we're good like that. Jake's knowing comes in the form of a question, "Is it a school day, Mommy?" while he rides in the shopping cart at Sam's, and his voice carries over the next four registers as he shouts with excitement and starts chanting a little something from yesterday's pep rally. Parker...well...it's always a good day for him, and today he'll spend a few extra hours of it with the monsters that live on the toes of his pajamas.

We came home yesterday to Halloween wrapped in one cardboard box and one huge bag with bullseyes printed on it. Bullets (also knows as beads of sweat) were starting to pour on that on. But they are here...thankfully. The material Jake's is made of is different than I expected, but Gymboree never lets me down. He wore his Zookeeper hat longer than the few seconds it would have taken him to "Go show Parker, Baby!" and was all in all pretty fired up about the zebra Parker will be as his "animal".

This morning Jim will replace the ceiling fan in our living room (because we want something that looks more special and because he's got those kind of skills), we'll meet Sarah to sell her the swing that we took off of the back porch at our old house (because of the layout, we just don't have a place here at our new one), and I'll keep wondering how much longer Erin will last on Sweet Home Alabama if they keep doing activities that involve feeding animals to other animals and if Paige and Mandy go on one more hunt to bring home the bacon (or in the case of this past week's episode that I watched last night...the venison).

Should be a good one!

Little Hands


Today I'll hold my
babies hand and walk
beneath the sky;
we'll take our time and
wander, and watch the robin fly.

We'll stop along the
way to smell a rose
that's sweet, And
leave some footprints
in the dust made by
tiny feet.

But those tiny feet are
growing and those
hands are growing too;
Just yesterday it
seems you were so
small and new.

The memories tucked
deep in my heart are the
only things that last.
For those tiny baby
hands and feet will grow
up much too fast.

 (Patsy Gout)

what i'm loving wednesday


Happy Birthday sung in words on the Facebook wall of one of my very best friends

plans to have lunch at our favorite Japanese restaurant made with Jim on the fly

watching my boy be clocked throwing 11 mph pitches at the UA Student Athlete Halloween Extravaganza


Summer turned to Fall on our Red October Glory tree that's planted in our front yard

multiple phone calls yesterday to wish my mom the happiest of birthdays - just because I never got tired of saying it...and meaning it

wearing sweaters that clothed not just me...but him too...and remembering he was there this time last year

pumpkins...and everything I need to make a wreath to hang on our front door...

which awaits me.

Happy Wednesday to You!

"I want my ooooooooown cossssstume!"


A trip to Toys R Us, one to Target, and one to Birmingham...half hour conversations with neighbors on the sidewalk, "Yes, he's my oldest...the one in the Transformer costume which he's been wearing since the minute we got home with it this afternoon." (from Target)...and football throwing...just a few of the ways we've played out our weekend.

Five loads of laundry are still in progress, and our living room floor is still crowded with plastic blocks and beyblades.

This past week's episode of Sweet Home Alabama has been watched and Summer has been replaced with Fall in Jake's closet.


but somehow not.

Until this past Tuesday, plans for Halloween were non-existent. I ran into Heather at Michael's during my lunch break, and we talked about costumes and the lack of desire to acknowledge the 31st of October at all. A conversation with Jim later that night and thoughts of regret (After all - this house and these boxes and the need for organization will be here. But holidays and Parker's first Halloween and their first Trick-or-Treat as brothers will not be. It will come and go, and this "first" will not come this way again.) turned into google searches for "couples" Halloween costume ideas.

I found ideas for a Pirate and Parrot, Lion Tamer and Lion, and Zookeeper and Animal. A few websites later, and an actual Zookeeper costume on order, we had our pair.

My mom, Jake, Parker and I went to Target later that night in search of the "Animal" Parker will be, and he said, "But Mommy! I want to pick out my oooooooooown cossssstume!"

"When they go on sale, Baby, you can have any one you want and wear it any day any time. But this year, on Halloween, our Zebra needs a Zookeeper. And since you're his Big Brother, you have to be his Zookeeper."

Three dollars off and this coming Wednesday designated as Superhero dress-up day for Homecoming week at his school means we brought it home this afternoon.

"Hello, Optimus Prime!

Yes, you really do look awesome, Buddy!

What's even more awesome is your rendition of I'm in the Lord's Army.

Yes, Sir!"





was my backseat driver between the hours of ten am and four pm

was the king of our shopping cart at HomeGoods and Hobby Lobby

crashed Big Brother's room

made music to the tune of "Ma-Ma-Ma" for my ears to hear for the first time

got onto his all-fours and rocked back and forth more than he ever has (Crawling, we have almost reached the milestone that you are.)

fell asleep to the sound of my heartbeat

and made me feel like the luckiest Mommy in the whole wide world!

What I'm Loving...Wednesday


I'm loving you, Wednesday! Because I'm over half way there.

And I'm loving memories of Harvard U.

I'm loving the way he grips my fingers and caresses his chest with one hand and holds his bottle with the other.

I'm loving two more sleepovers with the best bedwarmer I could ask for while Jim is away.

I'm loving breakfast for lunch...and dinner.

I'm loving a card that reads, "I want to welcome you...We are so glad to have you in the neighborhood." and a mum that sits in our doorway from DeeAnn.

I'm loving two straight date nights with my two inch angled brush...

one completely.painted.kitchen!

"I'm just the Grandma."


Two weeks ago when Sheila and Terry came to our door to deliver an invitation to a Get to Know Your Neighbor cookout they hosted and today when our security system technician came by to see if we were ready to swap over our account, she said, "I'm just the Grandma."

She's my help and comfort. She's strength when I don't have enough.

She's a reader of bedtime stories and a sayer of prayers.

She's a traveler of eighty plus miles one way and a singer of Jesus Loves Me's.

She's the reason my kitchen is one more evening of painting away from being Willow Tree green.

She's a thousand Thank You's and that's still not enough. She's staying until Thursday morning.

She's a piece of my soul.

She's my mom.

She's loved. Very, very much!

She's anything but just.

the skinny

Our vehicles are clean inside and out. The breakfast area of our kitchen has a new table with six chairs around it. I went out by myself yesterday to Michael's, the mall, and Target and made a pelmet for our laundry room window. Jim left this morning for Charlotte. He'll spend his week in the states of North and South Carolina. Jake sung the two lines he knows from the chorus "Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord" and tackled me in our backyard during a game of football. I soaked our blinds in our bathtub one window at a time, dried, and rehung them, and I fell asleep this afternoon to the sounds of 27 Dresses. Parker left part of his lunch on a rug, and I used some serious elbow grease to wipe it clean. I met my mom at Wal-mart. Yep, she's back. We ordered pizza for dinner and assessed mosquito bites on nine month old legs. We tag teamed toenail clipping and two loads of laundry.  I'm wearing a Spiderman band aid on my left middle finger because I sliced my skin open with a knife while cutting the foam board I used to make the pelmet to hang over my laundry room window. I'm watching reruns of Family Ties and weighing the pros and cons of getting out of bed to move Jake into his. I'm beat.  Goodnight!        

Muffins With Mom


The first meal of our day yesterday...ordinary turned extraordinary.

Maybe it was because I felt proud - that yes, I'm on this journey called motherhood...that he belongs to me and I belong to him...that his agenda has had a sticker on every block for the last four and he hasn't had to change his color for unacceptable behavior all week.

Facepaint for a dollar at 7:45, a walk in a line down the halls of his school, and "Sit next to me, Mommy!"'s until I did...all before 8am.

He ate blueberry, and I ate banana nut.

His teacher assigned an art project that she shared with all of us. They each colored the hair, face, and collar of a woman and answered four questions about their mom. One: Where does your mom work? Two: What does your mom do at work? Three: What does your mom wear to work? Four: What do you like to do most with your mom?

Jake's response with this: "My mom works at Alabama. She sells stuff at work. She wears an outfit to work. My favorite thing to do is playing with her and feeding the birds."

Close, Baby. Very, very close. And because I didn't tell you already - sharing a muffin with you makes yesterday's breakfast the best I've ever had. And even though I did tell you but a lifetime is never enough - I love you.



Before new coats of paint were applied

before new carpet was installed in every room except for two (because it was just replaced before the previous owner's moved out)

before our furniture was moved in

and before I put the lid down in the half bath 

here's the..

living room and foyer

(Baby in his car seat - bottom right corner)

boy's shared bathroom

half bath


 and dining room

 (Do you see Jake?)

master bathroom

and bedroom

upstairs bathroom


and rec room.

Before tonight, I had no idea I have no before photos of our laundry room, or two of our bedrooms, or the front, or the back.  Sigh.

And before I absolutely crash...