Snapshots: November 2012

{1} Play.  Man, have we been doing a lot of playing! This eighteen month old loves to be outside.  Good thing then, that pretty much all of November was in the 70's.  We've been living it up in the front yard, on walks, and on various play grounds around Tulsa.  I'm taking the lead from my little lady, too.  There's nothing like being outside to lift the spirits!

{2} America. Wore my red, white, and blue on election day and sported my sticker.  Going to vote didn't seem like a big deal at all.  Then I got to my designated voting place and the entire process, rather the entire privilege got to me.  I left feeling thankful and truly appreciating God's grace in allowing me to live in a country that gives all of its citizens a right to vote (even if they don't reside in swing states).

{3} Home Improvement.  Taylor and I spent all of our evenings over a two week period renovating our mother-in-law suite, which we affectionately refer to as the "guest suite".  It is a full bed/bath and closet combo that needed some serious love.  It had been neglected by the previous owners to say the least.  However, there's nothing like imminent visitors to give you a good kick in the pants!  The second weekend in November brought us three different couples and we had no choice but to kick it into gear.  We had carpet installed, then spent countless hours cleaning, caulking, painting, and moving furniture to get the guest suite ready.  My proudest moment came when I decided to spray paint all of the hardware instead of buying new.  Taylor thought I was a genius, and everything turned out great!  More pics of our reno coming soon.  I've been busy, okay people???

{4} My loves.  This is the one picture I got from our glorious November weekend with friends (all from the Lone Star State).  Featured here are my sister, Jodi and a bestie, April.  I so regret not getting any pics of Kailey or the guys.  I had a truly blessed and refreshing weekend.  Although I didn't get any sleep, I cherish every day that I get to be with my sister, and every hour spent into the wee morning hours catching up with my friends from college that I get to see so little of.  These women are encouragers and sisters.  I miss them so much, but treasure our conversations about Jesus, hooting and hollering about old memories, catching up on the every day, and relating about any and everything.

{5} Stillwater, America.  I am unusually blessed to have had two hometowns in my life.  One was where I was raised.  The other is Stillwater, where I went to college.  Stillwater is a true small town, home to Oklahoma State University that is its lifeblood.  I say Stillwater is like a hometown to me because five of the most wonderful years of my life were spent there.  The best friends I've ever had were made there.  So many of the best times I've had were had there.  I lived and worked four summers in Stillwater, and two of my sisters (Pi Phi and just plain sisters in life) were born and raised in Stillwater.  Their families welcomed me and raised me during my college years.  We return to all of the home football games during the fall, as do many of our friends, and there is always that wonderful settling feeling in my heart as we drive into town that says, "I'm home."

{6} Loot.  My first garage-saling in months happened this month.  Since the move, our weekends have been filled with painting, cleaning, repairing, traveling.  There really hasn't been much opportunity to drive around on a Saturday and look for steals!  However, this garage sale down the street rendered a lovely doggie portrait and a pair of foo dogs.  I also found out something very interesting about my husband: although he is terribly fond of dogs, and loves our Jake very deeply, he has a strong aversion to animal art.  He made me promise not to hang the portrait in any main part of the house.  It now resides in our guest suite and was promptly complimented by every one of our November guests:)

{7}  Hometown Restaurant.  My favorite place to eat. It's a family owned fast food Mexican joint that has been operating since the 1970s.  It is not owned by Mexicans.  The cheese is neon- yellow.  The food is microwaved.  Taylor thinks it is not so good...  You get the picture.  Yet, I'm addicted.  My mom has eaten there since her college days. My sister and I used to drive home from college to visit our parents and they would meet us there before we even went home.  I still have nights when I wake up craving it, and there are many afternoons when I would pay a pretty penny to have a Dr. Pepper from there. They are THE BEST.  Needless to say, I was a happy girl when mom took us girls to eat there the day after Thanksgiving.  That's probably why it is a special place to us- It was our second kitchen growing up (a fact mom not totally proud of).  If you want to see anyone when you come back home for a visit, this is one of three places that would actually happen (behind the movie theater and Wal-Mart).  Mom saved my life here once when she performed the Heimlich as I choked on a rubbery cheese enchilada.  Jodi once accidentally squirted a squeeze-bottle of salsa down the back of Dad's white Hanes t-shirt.  It has a juke box with songs that have not been changed since I was in grade school.  You want to eat there now, don't you?

{8} Thanksgiving.  My family loves to eat and my sister is a great cook.  She has been the head chef for the last four years. She takes the lead in the kitchen, and that suites mom just fine.  This year I paid particular attention to her stuffing from scratch.  She doesn't follow any recipes- she just knows.  She is gifted and I love learning from my little sister in the kitchen!  I don't contribute a whole lot, but I enjoy the time I spend with mom and Jo.  It's amazing how the same food wouldn't be nearly as good if we ate it without them!

{9} Florence Park.  Since I've had a kid, I've come to realize that Tulsa has a lot of great play places, especially in our area of Midtown.  Lots of our friends from church with kiddos live within minutes, so if we ever get the itch, there is usually someone who can join within a moments notice.  Afternoons like these, when I get to watch Avery play and steal some mommy time with my friends, remind me of how blessed I am to stay at home.

{10} Chalkboard.  I started and finished this project during the commercial breaks of Parenthood
(our favorite) one Tuesday night.  Seriously.  I knew it was going to look good, as well as temporarily relieve my itch to paint my entire house black (see post here).  I wasn't prepared, however, for how much I would LOVE it.  It adds just the right touch of depth and character to this part of the house.  I decided to write our weekly dinner menu on it, but I haven't quite worked out my spacing, font, etc.  More on this later...

{11} Hipster babe.  Did I mention how much fun I was having with this little bug?  She gives me so much joy.  Her little (or should I say big) personality is coming out in new ways everyday.  She loves to sing, try on my things, help me with chores around the house, and just overall act like a "big girl".  Sometimes at night I spend a good thirty minutes going through videos and pictures of her, reliving moments that have already become memories. I could never get enough of her!

{12} Blueprint.  I found several old landscaping blueprints the previous owner left in our guest suite closet.  They date from the late 60s through the 90s.  This particular one is from 1994 when the second owner (those before us) installed some updates in the backyard.  It's my favorite because it has some great color.  I also think it is such a fab find because it's instant art that also means something historically to our house! Just have to decide where to hang it...

{13} Christmas is coming.  I LOVE cards, especially greeting cards.  They are special because in this day and age we can make calls and send texts or emails to say what we want to say; but taking the time to prepare and send a card means so much more!  I love coming home during the month of December to expectantly check the mail, peruse family pictures, and read special greetings from family and friends.  I also love the process of creating our own.  I used pics Shari took of us this year.  I thought the cards turned out nicely!

{14}  Leaves.  We had trees at our old house, but nothing like this.  Taylor loves working in the yard, but the amount of leaves we have here can get exhausting.  Good thing he has a helper:)  We've decided it's a trade off, though.  There are only a few weeks out of the year that we will curse the trees while the rest of the year will be spent enjoying them.

{15}  Decor.  Christmas decor is coming a little slow this year.  I am a bit sad about it, but I've decided to embrace it.  So many people have asked me if I'm all decorated and if I'm having fun getting the house ready for Christmas.  The truth is, I'm overwhelmed!  There are so many things I want to make and do and buy, but there isn't the time, money, or energy to do them all!  I love the creativity that goes into decorating my home and the atmosphere it creates as we anticipate the holidays, however, increasing square footage three times what we used to have means a whole new game plan!  So, this year we've resolved to do lights on the outside, the mantle, and the centerpiece on our dining room table.  Why?  I think it's more important to remain focused on the hope of the season and enjoy the other various improvements that remain to be done rather than stressing about Christmas decor.  I'm hoping to go all out next year, though:)

{16}  Blue.  I just had to include this picture of Avery.  Sometimes I take a picture on my iPhone 4 that is actually really good.  This one just takes my breath away.  Her eyes are actually that blue when she looks into the light.  Since we've been playing outside so much, we've been learning a lot about nature. Identifying trees, rocks, sticks, and leaves.  Pointing out squirrels, birds, puppies, and bunnies.  Learning the difference between a run, walk, and hop.  In this picture she is looking up into one of the big "tees" in our front yard.

I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I LOVE THIS POST! #5 made me tear up! Love you sister!


  2. I LOVE old-fashioned mail too...thanks for including us! And I'm with you on the Christmas decor this year. So with you.