Three Year Old Has Identity Crisis. . .

Learning to pick my battles and all. . . this is what Tank wore to church last Sunday.

Christmas Home Tour 09

Man, I'm tired. Tired but energized. Can those two exist simultaneously?

Last week was crazy. Atlanta to meet PW on Monday, Tuesday to Asheville for an all day meeting, and back to Asheville on Thursday for a full day of shopping. All fun.

Last night we cooked up a heaping portion of Low Country Boil for several good friends and this Saturday we are hosting a church wide Christmas party. Fun times!

While I am inbetween events I thought I would join in on the Christmas Home Tour going on at The Nester and Hooked on Houses, along with "holiday linky Friday" at The Inspired Room.

This year I have aimed to keep things relatively simple. The only thing we have purchased is the tree and my "Joy" sign over the fireplace. Apart from our Christmas stuff packed away in the attic all other decor was pulled together from around the house - inside and out.

So, let's begin shall we. Here is the front entrance. I'm just going to show you around and skip the commentary.

Hope you enjoyed some of my imperfect Christmas accents. Go check out here and here for more holiday fun.

Oh, and I might have eaten an entire can of Pringles while uploading these photos. But I'm not sure. Does it count if no one saw me?

The Ultimate Girl's Day

A little over two years ago, during a small group ice breaker, someone posed the familiar question, "if you could spend a few hours with anyone (and it can't be Jesus), who would it be?"

We circled the room to hear everyone's answers, "John Calvin - I'd love to hear about the reformation through his eyes." "C.S.Lewis - favorite author, his writing has really impacted me." "The Apostle Paul - would love to really know what that thorn in his flesh was." And so forth.

And then it was my turn. . . "Pioneer Woman," I said, "she's a blogger, named Ree Drummond, that lives on a working cattle ranch. I've been reading her for a few months now."
"There are cows. And horses. And cowboys. And chaps.
"She writes about their lives and her siblings and her transition from city life to country life.
*more silence*
"And, Um, I think it's all really fascinating. Oh, and she cooks and homeschools and takes great pictures. I want to hang out there. At the ranch. For just a few hours."

Okay, I know, it was a moment of shallowness for me. I have them with some regularity and I'm okay with that.
My blogger crush on Pioneer Woman started when I stumbled upon her blog sometime in 2007. The day I found her she had written a post about her brother Mike, who is cognitively delayed, with such humor and love. It was clear that she delighted in him and respected him. And I respected that. I connected with this for obvious reasons but quickly found myself enamoured with so many other aspects of her world. My fascination with PW has continued over the last two years as her readership has grown exponentially.

Soooo, naturally, when I found out she was going to be in Atlanta to sign her new cookbook, "Pioneer Woman Cooks," I saved the date. I also grabbed two friends to join me.

One, Caroline, another PW devotee, and the other, Dorothy, a PW virgin. Caroline and I knew we would convert her. We set out from Columbia at 6.45 am and arrived at Border's in Atlanta at 10.15. We were thrilled to be among the first one hundred to pick up our bracelets! That meant we would be among the first called to line up to meet the woman of the hour.

With several hours to kill before we had to report back to Border's we did what any well adjusted, estrogen filled, trio of women free from their daily responsibilities would do. We shopped and ate. Ikea, Trader Joe's (where, by the way, my two friends were carded for buying alcohol and I WAS NOT -this is important for you to know as you read how the rest of the day unfolds), DSW, Anthropology, and a delicious mexican meal.

It was a fabulous day and the cherry on top was meeting The Pioneer Woman.

Ree has the sweetest voice and personality, she was just delightful. And then. Then, something happened.

While Caroline (in the white sweater) and Dorothy and I were standing in front of Ree's table gathering our books Ree said to Caroline, while gesturing to me, "This is your mother?"

Simultaneously the following comments were made:

Me: What?! Mother? No!

Caroline: No, no, no, she's my friend!

Dorothy: *laughter*

Ree: Wait. No, nooo. Of course you're not. You would've been, what, like 12(?) when you had her! No, It was a misunderstanding.

Ahem. Way to recover, Ree.

Of course. . . I forgave her. I mean, she couldn't have possibly really taken a good look at me, right? Don't answer that.

After gathering our books our next stop was to meet Ree's sister, Betsy, and her friend Hyacinth, who were handing out PW t-shirts. They had been chatting it up with the people ahead of us and did not hear the, ahem, misunderstanding concerning my relationship to Caroline.

Aren't they super cute?

While the three of us were picking out our t-shirt sizes and gabbing with these two lovelies Betsy said to Dorothy, gesturing to me, "is this your mother?" (I know what you're thinking. . . "she had to have heard what just went down with Ree. She's playing off that." I assure you she did not hear any of it.)

Again, in unison the following comments ensued:

Me: What the hell? Really? No. . . do I look that bad tonight? Your sister just asked if I was Caroline's mother!

Dorothy: No, we're friiiiends.

Caroline: *laughter*

Betsy: Wait? What? Noooo. . .

Hyacinth: No, no. . . You look like 'A' mother, not 'HER' mother. 'A' mother, NOT 'her' mother. Right, Betsy? You are 'A' mother, right?

Me: (laughing) Um, yeah, that's making it worse Hyacinth.

We all laughed. Some of us more nervously than others. Then we left, me feeling every bit my 40 years. Plus 20.

It was such a fun day! No, really, it was. :) I wouldn't change a minute, or word, of it! But I do think Ree, Betsy, and Hyacinth need to invite me to the Ranch for a girls weekend so they can experience my youthfulness.

Oh How He Loves Us

A year ago our family, along with a core group of fantastic people, made the decision to plant a church in downtown Columbia, SC. We all felt called by God to embark on this endeavor and have been richly blessed through it. Much has been accomplished that, humanly speaking, didn't seem possible this time last year. We are humbled and grateful! Here's a look at some of what has been going on at Riverside Community Church.

winter goodness

it's cold outside

but, inside

the fire is burning

the lights are glowing

handel is playing

and the drink is warming

Fun with Burlap

I had a bunch of burlap laying around.

So, in order to help with my goal to not have an explosion of red and green this season, but, rather, have a more natural and warm feeling throughout the house I found a few ways to use it.

I never cared for the shiney cellophaney stuff covering poinsettia's.

Hope you are enjoying the holiday's!!

I'm linking to Kimba's blog for her weekly DIY party. Check it out for some great idea's.

busy-ness and simplicity

December is going to be busy for us here at Waldenhouse.

I know, big deal.

Who isn't busy in December?

I don't particularly care to have every square on my calender filled.

But this year?

I'm not sweatin' it.

I'm going to do what I can.

Let go of what I can't.

I'm going to scale back my to-do list so that I can be with people.

I am not going to send out family Christmas cards this year.

I am going to Atlanta for a day, with my friend Caroline, to meet Pioneer Woman.

I am not going to dress a "perfect" Christmas tree.

I am going to hang Spinner's homemade garland around the tree.

I am not going to feel guilty about missing workout's.

I am going to spend a day in Asheville with dear husband.

And then I am going back to Asheville two days later with my mom and aunts.

And I am not going to worry about being away from the boys.

I am not going to worry about my home looking perfect for our annual Christmas party.

It is what it is.

I am going to let my boys be boys.

I am not going to worry about the unknowns in our life.

I am going to be thankful for all the knowns.

I am going to enjoy the season.

I am going to celebrate Christ.


Great story!
(click on post title to read)


I came home from a night out with friends to find this:

a tattered blue bowl filled with water containing a handful of angel
hair pasta, white rice, and a popsicle stick.

A sticky note was attached reading, "no toching ples. stil working on it."

Hmmm. . . .

DIY Lamp

In keeping with my mission to turn the things in my home that
I am not crazy about into things I am crazy about I have
done something I never thought I would do.
Use a glue gun.

This little lamp was my project. I have had it for years. It lights up a dark corner on my kitchen counters. It's the right size. The right brightness. The colors are okay. But it's just a little too. . . cutesy for me. So I grabbed some spray paint from the garage, some old burlap from the attic, and my new glue gun.

I painted it olive green and used some brown acrylic paint to add a little dimension to the flower. I took the burlap and glued it to the shade. I only burnt (burned ?) off two fingerprints in the process!

I think at some point I will add some chocolate brown trim to the shade but for now that detail will have to wait. The busyness of the holiday season begins tomorrow for us so the growing list of projects forming in my mind will be put on hold until January as I make way for holiday trimmings.

Until then I will enjoy the new look of my kitchen lamp. I will certainly be spending plenty of time in this area over the next several weeks!

Shopping the House

As a church planter J doesn't exactly rake in the big bucks.
I'm fine with that. Really I am. Except when I
come across the most fabulous piece
of furniture or home accessory from Anthropology. Or
Sundance. Or a myriad of "cottagy" on-line
stores I have stumbled across. Or great finds
from some of my favorite antique shops.
Home items are, hands down, my weakness.
It's only then that I wish we had a little
more cash flow. But we don't.

So, I have had to change the way I look at
cozying up our home. And you know
what? It's been fun. Slowly but surely I am learning
the art of "thrifting" along with using
what we have. And we have a lot. I don't like all
of it but I am getting creative in finding ways
to make changes to those things to make
them feel more like us.

If you have been reading over the last few months
then you know how much I am loving
paint. Sprayed, rolled, brushed, distressed, all of it.
Paint really changes the look of old worn out
furniture and has made me fall in love with
pieces I have had for years.

Lately I have been looking around at my
walls. Some spots I am happy with. Others, not
so much. So today, with the rain coming down
in sheets I decided to shop the house
and make a change to one space that has
been bugging me for a while. I am pretty happy
with the results.


I failed to take a before picture but for those of you that love the before and afters I have dug up an old photo that has the area in question in the background. Please disregard the quality of this photo and concentrate on the picture behind Tank. It's a lighthouse, next to an old wooden house with awooden canoe in front. In Maine I suppose. I have no idea why I own that picture. It doesn't really speak to me and fits no particular theme in my home. It had to go. And the table, it had a lamp, a few books and a clock on it. Blech.

So, I shopped the house. I found a tray. Two old plates.
And some wooden picture frames with outdated
photos that I have been too lazy to update.
And here are the results.

I got a whole new look with stuff just laying around.
Tucked in cabinets collecting dust. The frames were
all stacked in a box because our realtor thought
we had too many family photos around.
Now my items have new life and I can look at the
wall beneath my stairs without cringing.
So, go shop your house. You might be surprised
at what you can pull together to freshen up
your space.

Seventh Heaven

My first baby is seven. But don't dare call him baby.
Or anything babyish.
That comes with seven. Or first grade.
Or having younger brothers.
Or something.
All I know is gone are the days of
referring to him as 'baby' or 'cute' or 'sweet.'
It's okay though. I love Seven on Spinner.
It has come with a sincere zeal for learning. A love of reading.
A bit of a competitive edge. Compassion
for his younger brothers. An ownership of his things.
An increased desire to perfect a British accent.
A developing interest in things that are scary (like his dad).
Artistic ability.A propensity toward headaches and
sensitivity to heat (like his mom, poor thing).
A spirit of helpfulness. A sense of adventure.
And a desire to drive. Yep, already.
Happy Birthday, Spinner!
It's great being your mom!

the cycle

Why is it that at day's end, when the boys are tucked into bed on the fast track to dreamland. . .

my day seems far from over?

And then, 10 hours later it starts all over again. :)

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