"I have come that they might have life and have it to the full..." -John 10:10b

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Well, after much deliberation I've decided to take a sabbatical from the blogosphere for a while. It will be a hard separation for me but I'll still be checking on all my blogger buddies and their adorable blogs from time to time. But I myself, I need some alone time. Call it a summer vacation, if you will.

I'll be back. I can't stay away forever!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The "Best" Saturday Ever!

This past Saturday, my brother Justin drove up with his lovely family in tow! What was going to be a couple hour visit turned into an all day event and I wouldn't have had it any other way! We had a blast hanging out with Justin and Anna and watching the kids run amok all over the house pretending that "those guys" were after them and playing hide-and-go-seek.

It always grabs me a bit to see Justin and Anna and the family they've made together. Anna and I were close in high school and I remember Justin trying desperately to steal her attention from me whenever she came over to our house. And now, they've been married nearly 6 years and have 3 beautiful children.

I love that I have a history with my sister-in-law. That we were friends before she and Justin were and so our relationship doesn't hinge on the fact that my brother married her, but rather that she's my dear friend and I love her...it's just an added bonus that I can call her my sister. I've been blessed in the sister-in-law department. My brothers have good taste!

And all of the kids get along so well. Eva and Autumn are only a few months apart in age and Devon, being 2 years older than them, is so patient as they not only express themselves as almost 3 year olds, but as little girls. He doesn't mind dress-up or playing house, as long as it keeps them happy.

He's much like Justin in that way. He may kill me for putting this on my blog but he used to let me dress him up, make-up and all! He'd sit there and let me do my thing until I was satisfied and shown him off to my mother, who was always proud of his forbearance and to my dad, who was probably a bit concerned, and then he'd promptly go wash his face and change back into his Ninja Turtles T-shirt.

And Autumn is such a little fire-ball. She's happy and energetic and loves anyone who will let her. I love watching she and Paul together. It's amazing how quickly she's able to see through Paul's quiet exterior to find a daddy who is happy to give her a cuddle. It's probably from a life of being able to bring her big, tough, Marine daddy to his knees for a good tickle-fight.

And little Baby Violet. So precious. It's so fun to look into her chubby baby face and see a resemblance between her and I. She's not mine, I didn't carry her or give birth to her, but she's a part of me and you can see it in her sweet little face. She looks so much like Justin.

So, it was a good day! There were toys strewn everywhere and the kitchen was a wreck, but it was so worth it. It was such a good visit! I can't wait until the next one!

Eva holding Morgan

Justin holding Eva

...and Autumn

Justin holding Morgan

There was a lot of holding...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

To Buy or Not To Buy

It seems just about everyone is buying a house these days. It's a buyer's market, so they say and the interest rates are at an all-time low. It's tempting.

As I make plans to personalize our home here on the outskirts of Ft Meade, sometimes I get a little down. I want to make this home ours as much as possible, but living the military life means that our home here is temporary and in a few years, a new family will move in and it will be as if we were never here. Sometimes I just wish that I had my own place to really make mine.

Many of our friends have recently bought homes and are making plans for them and I have to admit, I get a bit envious at times. Not because I don't love where we are right now, but because I know that it's so temporary.

I've even gone so far as to check the local real estate listings, but to be honest, there's really nothing that I've fallen in love with (at least nothing in our price range). And on top of that, we're not to keen on the idea of settling in Maryland (if we were to buy and just rent it out when it came time to move). We'd really love something in Northern Virginia and that means saving for a few more years (or decades).

All I know is that I don't want to buy a home until I fall head over heals in love with one. So until then, I'll continue to make each of our temporary homes feel like home as much as I can. Even if that means painting over some things and patching in some holes when it comes time to move.

But I'll keep daydreaming. I just hope that when it comes to buy, I'll find something that lives up to those dreams...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Return of the Pig-Tails

I'm so glad that Eva's hair is finally getting long enough to put them up in pig-tails. I just love a little girl with pig-tails. It's so girly but so playful all at the same time! It says, "I like to pick flowers but I can climb a tree with the best of 'em!" And I'd say that describes Eva pretty well. She's all girl and her emotional state could sometimes be compared to the Goliath at Magic Mountain, but she's an energetic little thing who doesn't mind getting her hands dirty. Pig-tail perfection!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Daddy's Arms

I'm not a cuddler. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good cuddle, but when it's time to go to sleep, I need my space. Paul has accepted this about me and I think even enjoys a little space of his own when it's time to hunker down and get down to the sleeping business.

Every now and then, I'll wake up in the middle of the night and for some reason, I need to be held. Sometimes it's because of I've had a horrible nightmare, others it because I'm just randomly scared for no reason, and then there's times when I just look over at my sleeping husband and want to be in his arms. It's a safe place.

This morning, Eva woke up WAY TOO early. I was gently pulled from my sleep by the sound of her bare feet shuffling across the carpet in my room and when my eyes had forced themselves open enough to focus, she was standing at my bedside, her nose mere inches away from mine, her perfectly positioned pig-tails from the night before all lopsided atop her head. "Momma, I want to cuddle Daddy." I reached out my arms and pulled her up into our bed and she immediately made her way to Paul's side.

Paul instinctively enveloped her in his arms and her eyes closed tight as she nuzzled into the warmth of his body. I laid there staring at them, smiling.

I know how it feels my little girl. Sometimes, you just need to be held by the man you trust more than anyone. It's a safe place.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mom's Day

Good Morning! I hope all of you mother's had a wonderfully relaxing Mother's Day. Mine was perfect!

I didn't wait for breakfast in bed (I'm on a diet and waiting is not something I do well), I didn't sleep in and I didn't go out to lunch. I spent my Mother's Day doing something that makes me truly happy. Painting.

When Paul woke up on Saturday morning and read my "Things to Do" post, he quickly heard the desperation in my writing to finish all of the little projects and agreed to let me get to started on the mural in Eva's room. That was the cheapest and most accessible task for the moment. Eva and I rushed out on Saturday night to purchase the acrylic paint we needed (as well as an enormous Disney Princess sticker book...I'm finding Ariel stickers all over my house!) and when we got home, I got started almost immediately! I wasn't able to finish it on Saturday, so Paul was patient on Sunday and took care of the girl's for a majority of the morning so that I could finish the mural.

I love painting because it always makes me think of my mother, which was pretty appropriate for the day, don't you think? As I painted the birds, the flowers and the grass, my mind traveled to every room I ever had (and I had a few...military brat) and how my mother always took the time to make it something I would love. Whether it was stenciling, or wallpaper or just a fresh coat of paint in a color I'd love, she poured love into every room in our house through her talent and eye for design. And in that moment, I knew exactly how she must have felt. Every hour or so, I would stand back from whatever wall I was working on and take a deep breath, exhaling with a smile on my face. "Eva will love this!" I kept thinking to myself. It's nice to be reminded that being a mom doesn't always mean putting the things you love on hold, it just means finding new ways of incorporating them into your life.

I finished the mural yesterday afternoon and I've got to tell you, I'm in love with this room. What do you think? You have to click on the pictures to really do it justice...there's a lot of detail that doesn't show up otherwise, but still, you get the general idea.

Okay, so one project checked off the list. I'm already thinking of what to do in Izzy's room but she has to move out of her crib first...

Breathe, Paulie, breathe...that's a good 6 months away.

Anyway, once we got home from church and the girls were down for the night, Paul indulged me further by presenting me with a gift that must have truly pained him to purchase...the 3 disc deluxe edition of TWILIGHT!!! And then, he watched it with me!!! Is he the best or what?!?

Sigh...it was a great Mother's Day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Things to Do

I'm exhausted. Any one who knows me even the slightest bit knows that I must have something to focus on at all times. Once I accomplish one goal, I immediately move on to the next and it occupies my mind in an obsessive way. I can hear you laughing from here, Kasey!

Anyway, I can feel myself slowly but surely slipping into a frenzy like state, as is my custom, with all of the little projects that I want to accomplish around my home. I just love this house, and as much as I know that it won't be mine forever, it's just too cute not to personalize as much as I can.

I'm posting my "to do" list here so you guys can offer opinions, support and accountability. Also, because I am a list-maker in my inner-most being and putting things down on paper (or on a blog) in list form brings me a sense of peace, stability and order.

1. Paint my room

2. Put SOMETHING on the walls in my room

3. Paint flower/bird mural on Eva's walls

4. Hang more pictures in the breakfast room

5. Put more decor on the walls in my living room and computer/play room

6. Take pictures for entry way

7. Do something with this blank wall, other than painting

8. Hang curtain panel on this window

9. "Privatize" the glass panels around my front door

10. Plant Hydrangea and Vinca in my garden

11. Paint the girls' bathroom

12. Picnic table for breakfast room(oh no...that has not been forgotten)

13. Izzy's room...something different. It just looks too much like Eva's room.

So, whadya say? Any suggestions? I'm open.