{inspiration workshop} perfect bathroom

today i'm linking up over at Gussy Sews for the inspiration workshop! each week she provides a different prompt for this engaging series and you take her guidance and then put your own twist on it. loveLOVElove this idea. it is such a thrill to be able to pull together as a blogging community and be inspired by everyone, don't you think? head on over to her blog and check out all the magnificent ideas!


Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!



we have two bathrooms in our  house. i do love our master bath connected to our bedroom; the shower is my favorite shower in the history of ever. i realize it is quite silly to profess such adoration for a shower, however it has become my little sanctuary in the house. more of my favorite features of "my" bathroom as it is referred to, (our other bathroom is "rory's". note, separate bathrooms, key to happy relationship.) include, the big mirror and two glass vases that hold headbands and other various hair accessories that little miss s and i share.

i'm obsessed with turquoise lately. how much fun would it be to re-do a bathroom in turquoise? rory often makes fun of my penchant for bright colors, but i blame it on the fact i grew up during the 80's. and plus, life is too short to live in black & white.

a few bathrooms i adore:






a few pretty little touches that would be included in my dream turquoise bathroom:


this ruffle shower curtain made my heart skip a beat


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these trinket boxes are too precious

i would probably paint them silver and put my jewelry in them for safekeeping!

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these two prints from Target are what started this whole daydream
of a turquoise bathroom in the first place
how perfect are they?!




thanks so much to Maggie for starting this inspiration workshop series!
i'm head over heels!
(& apparently over zealous with the use of my exclamation points in this post. ha.)

one little item of business really quick, the Stella & Dot sale is on SALE from now until Monday night. every sale item is an extra 20% off! how exhilarating is this? pick up that piece you've been wanting because once sale items are gone, they will be discontinued and will not be available any longer. Because in our mirror, we see people better than they even see themselves. In our mirror, people look at themselves and say, “Wow.” It is with joy and love that we fulfill our mission to give every woman the means to style her own life. (a little taste of our manifesto)  
my three favorite necklaces are HEREHERE, and HERE. happy shopping and happy thursday!

my sweet rory cleaned the house while i was on a conference call last night.
therefore?
this girl is taking a (much needed & much deserved) nap.

have a day full of color and laughter!
xo.

what she wore

happy wednesday! it is mid-week. are you feeling inspired and fulfilled? i just adore the hustle and bustle of summer, but i crave the down time as well. i'm lucky we are getting a healthy balance of both lately. life is good!

here are some fun photos with what sookie wore. linking up to the pleated poppy because she is the cat's pajamas. you should link up to, go for it!






watermelon & sunlight; the epitome of summer.

Outfit: Kohl's
Sandals: Target
Bow: Target 




Crazy Headband: Target Dollar Bin
Aerosmith Shirt: Gift from Aunt Frankie and Laura
Brown Skirt: Kohl's




Headband: miss ruby sue
Dress: Target
Shoes: Carter's



Necklace: Stella & Dot
Dress: Old Navy
Shoes: Old Navy




we went to the princess festival and girl was tickled to be there

Tiara:  Glamma
Shoes: Carter's


sigh.
no wonder i kiss on her all day long.
i adore this girl to the end of the earth and back.

xo.

thirty two

my sweet guy turned thirty two on june 9th. he makes me feel young (wink). as a part of his birthday i did a little collage on the wall of 32 things i love about him.






1. Your enthusiasm for your business. (Appdicted)
2. The way you treated me when we first started dating
3. Your killer cleaning skills
4. Your dedication to your work
5. The way you support and love everyone in your life
6. The fact you make no apologies for who you are
7. The drive you have to constantly be better
8. The pride you take in our little family
9. This life we have built together out of one email that started on match(dot)com
10. How excited you are for me to write my memoir
11. Your love of yard sales
12. Your intense adoration for seven for all mankind jeans
13. The way you were my rock throughout the scariest time in my life, even though you were petrified too
14. Your support of my crazy dreams
15. When you put work on hold when I need support at a doctor appointment
16. The fact you didn't pay for my coffee on our first date
17. You make leaving love notes fun
18. Your love of survival shows
19. Your courage when you took a job in NYC even though it was a big challenge
20. The fact you can almost out shop me
21. The way you love our daughter
22. The fact you thought labor was going to be exactly like it is portrayed on T.V.
23. How we can be having a conversation at night and three seconds later, you are snoring
24. Your over the moon love of coffee
25. The thrill you get when you find a good deal
26. Your heart
27. Your patience
28. Your obsession with Joe Rogan's pod casts
29. The fact you walked away from a nice paycheck so that you could be a daily part of our daughter's life. Time truly is priceless
30. How much you love 'The King of Queens'
31. The fact you took an idea, crafted a dream, & started your own company doing something you LOVE
32. The way your eyes locked into mine the moment our miracle entered this amazing world

------------------------------

the post it notes are still up on the wall because he doesn't want to take them down. they make my heart flutter when i glance at them. ♥

messy hair means you're here

there are the cutest little hand prints on our backdoor window, a big mess of receipts in a pile on the floor where little miss decided to dump out the contents of my bag, and on the couch, faint remnants of evidence of a finger painting hummus session she decided to indulge in yesterday.

contrary to all of this, i promise i don't let my child run wild.

it is no secret i struggle keeping up with house cleaning when i am feeling less than stellar. honestly, i have days when it is not a priority because sookie is number one and i often need to rest so i don't fall into a vicious cycle of getting sick because i'm not sleeping enough. we have been oh so busy these past several weeks and i am crashing hard lately from pushing myself too far. this is nothing new, an (almost) accepted part of reality... but difficult to explain when people aren't familiar with what cystinosis can do, and does to a body.

(& this is not a woe is me post, just something i need to document so i stop feeling like a failure in every aspect of my life. because i know i'm not but my inner critic is mean and bitchy when sleep deprived.)

the thing is, i can be much too hard on myself and today was one of those days. i reached my breaking point when i opened a medical bill from an er trip in april. i forget what my body has been through and the fact it has been taxed; much beyond what it was ever supposed to go through. it is a humbling and yet frustrating piece of my puzzle. this is a giant glaring piece of valid information that is somehow so easily lost in my heart when i start aching for normalcy and comparing myself to other women and mothers. little miss s has been exceedingly clingy lately, to the point she wrapped herself around my leg this afternoon while i poured a boiling pot of water into a strainer in the sink. stabs of motherly guilt. thoughts like, why are you even bothering to make pasta when she needs you? yes, silly notions such as that. the truth is i would do anything for her, even give her my only working kidney if she needed it.

everything built up today, the dishes, the laundry, the emails, the grocery list, the errands, the obligations; my patience was nowhere to be found and there was a little being who wanted nothing more than to feel her heart beat close to mine while her arms were firmly enveloped around my neck.

i'm sharing a phone call with frankie in south carolina, who is a second mother to me. her daughter laura has cystinosis as well. we are sharing our enthusiasm for the upcoming family conference in a few weeks. i am going into detail how many things i need to get done, the specific state of my less than spotless house, when she stops me mid-sentence and reminds me what i've been given. she reminds me i'm one of a few. only a few other women have been on the adventure i have been on and of those few, two passed away as a result of having a baby.

as soon as i am able to stop feeling like an ungrateful little brat, i move along and aim my chin toward the sky.

rory is working late so he can accompany us to the aforementioned cystinosis family conference. night time duties are mine and i embrace them with my fresh take courtesy of the obvious wisdom tattooed all over my soul.

she takes a bath filled with splashes. she starts to cry. she points to her towel and whines. she is ready for bed. she brushes her teeth. (she insists on doing it herself; and my college educated brain screams autonomy versus shame and doubt, autonomy verses shame and doubt...which one are you going to foster momma?) i clean out her ears. i sing songs to her while i massage her legs with her lavender scented lotion that promises to calm her for bedtime. (it does, most of the time.) i put her monkey pajamas on; the ones with the cute monkey that says "i'm music to mommy's ears" and the sweet summer shorts that are adorned with yellow hearts. i clutch her close to me and notice i haven't combed her hair since exiting the bath. i ruffle her red curls and tell her "mommy didn't comb your hair, but that is okay; messy hair means you're here."

& i realize it is something i should be telling myself on my days when i feel like i can't get anything right. when i'm torn in a million directions by obligations and duties and all i want is to play dolly is in the cardboard spaceship with my daughter. it is something i must remind myself of every single day. messy hair means you're here. who cares about the imperfections when you get to live out so much of the perfection of doing what they said couldn't be done.



 bear hugging the frog 
(frog and turtle both on clearance at hobby lobby)
that chair? was my great grandmother's
i spruced them up a bit
blog post coming soon
they turned out SO darling


 
do yourself a favor and celebrate what you've done with your gorgeous life.
it feels good.

***************


i'm not going to post this every time, but i'm now on topbabyblogs.com and i would lovelovelove a vote if you would like to show some extra love. you can vote once a day and you simply click this link below, then click again where it says "vote for this blog" as easy as that! i'm going to be real; i would be tickled to get into the top 20. thanks sweet readers! you are all amazing.

Top Baby, Daddy & Mommy Blogs on TopBabyBlogs.Com

when daddy is in charge

my heart & soul are literally bubbling over with inspiration these days, so that is not the reason behind my lack of updates. it is simply time. but, i am working on making the time, finding a balance between all of the pieces of my life i am so lucky to get to try to keep up with; i think many of us are trying to find balance.

the other night i was enjoying a wonderful phone call with one of my oldest and dearest girlfriends. rory and sookie seem to think their noise levels need to increase tenfold whenever momma is on the phone (i smirk as i type this because he will adamantly deny it.) i slipped outside to chase after a little quiet.

i went undisturbed a little too long, to the point i started to wonder what they were up to in the house. well, this is what greeted me a mere five minutes after this pondering started brewing...







girl has a lot of hair accessories, you have to give her that. this isn't even the half of it. i burst out into fits of careless laughter and fell a little bit more in love with the both of them and their silly antics.

it is the little things.
when our story replays on our way out of this life, i truly believe it is the BIG stuff, but a billion of the tiny moments interlaced with them as well.

the happiest of fridays to you!
xo.

How To Make An Easy Summer Wreath

I love to make stuff, but try not to take on big projects because a lot of the time I make a big mess and never finish the project. I blame it on my low tolerance for patience. I am much better friends with words than with crafting adventures. But, I found this fun summer umbrella wreath on Pinterest (note: follow me if you would like! I adore being inspired by all of you) a few weeks ago and made it last night. I cannot take any credit for how creative and BRILLIANT this is, here is the link to the original. Show her some love. Her blog is incredible!

This wreath is so easy you might laugh. However, I think it is adorable!


Here is what you need:


Super easy, right? 
A grapevine wreath and package of little toothpick umbrellas.
I could have done it with one package but I wanted to
make sure I had plenty.
I picked up both the wreath and the umbrella toothpicks
at Hobby Lobby 
(my new obsession! One recently opened 5 minutes from me.)
for $4.99 a piece.

Then all you do is stick the umbrella (or if you are feeling sassy and fancy, parasols)
in the little nooks of the wreath.





Keep going until they overlap.

And...


Darling and festive.
Makes me want to runaway with R and S
to a secluded beach far away
bask in the sun
while sipping on yummy liquid calories. ;)
I'm in loveLOVElove!


Linking up with:
Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap
 up           party!



Five Minute Friday: Home

It is Friday again. (Well, at least it is on the East Coast.) Hello you gorgeous doll of a day. I love Fridays; just saying the word puts a jolt in my steps. I missed Five Minute Friday last week in my crazy days of preparing for the 5th annual C.H. Robinson Golf Tournament to support the Cystinosis Research Network. What an amazing and incredible day; more on the event later. But, I'm back this week. Five Minute Friday is good for the soul I've decided; five.minutes,  no more, no less. You write your little heart out and don't worry about the imperfections.


Here we go.

This week's prompt is...


 HOME
Home is everywhere.

This photo represents home to me; a stunning mixture of my two loves, standing in the backyard of my childhood home. Perfection in my heart.


START.

During my childhood home was a spacious backyard, dobermans to protect and play with me, vibrant colors in my choice of clothing and everything else I did. My parents made our home everything they thought it should be, they worked endlessly to make sure we had the necessities and then some. Home was vomiting at least 4 days a week due to medications, then running out to catch the school bus like a "normal" kid. Home was noisy and full of love.

Now that I am grown (although, let's face it; we should and hope to, continue to always grow) with a remarkable little family to call my own...home is stillness and chaos, peace and insanity, noise and quiet all swirled together into one giant dream I never thought I would get to live out. Home is a man who is so brave, he makes me stronger every day.

STOP.

Happy Friday to you all.

11:11



One can garner quite an insight into what is going on in my life by what I wish for at 11:11.

In 1988 I wished for a sibling. In 1994, I wished to make it through my kidney transplant alive, but also I didn't want to wake up during the actual surgery. That was one of my biggest fears. And you know what? With good reason; because during my college years studying to be a Child Life Specialist at the University of Utah, I learned it does happen, and a lot more often than you would think. During the years that followed my transplant, I wished for health and for pesky PICC lines to disappear. Showering while having to cover my arm in saran wrap and a garbage bag was not the most fun thing I've ever done in life. Around 2005, I constantly wished for the perseverance to finish my college degree. For most of 2006, I wished against all reason for the strength to make it through the next hour. my heart did not want to see what the next five minutes held when I was drowning in grief heavier than anything else I have ever known. In 2007, I wished for forever with a man I barely knew, but knew nonetheless was my happily ever after. In 2009 I ached for a healthy pregnancy against all odds stacked so high; I wished to make it through the first trimester, then to the cusp of viability of 24 weeks. I made deals that were hazardous; if I can just make it to 29 weeks, I don't care if I lose my kidney, I'll go through the transplant process all over again, just so long as she gets the best start possible.

These days? These days I wish for grace.

Grace to face health battles while staying a good momma. Grace to show Sookie how thrilling it is to be a woman. Grace to make the best choices with the options and circumstances given. Grace to bloom where I'm planted. Grace to make Sookie's childhood magical and full of nothing but rainbows, cupcakes and unicorns. Grace to use the knowledge I worked so hard for in college and somehow find a creative way to use it for good, even if it will be outside of a children's hospital and not the way I dreamed for so long.

What wishes spark your heart at 11:11?

Happy Birthday To My Love

 This photo cracks me up! He is channeling his inner Backstreet Boy. ;)




I get to spend my life with an amazing man.

He turns 32 today.

He is sweet. He is kind. He is giving. He is courageous. He is unstoppable. He encourages me to be a better person and yet balances this with making me realize I can't hold myself to impossible standards.

He is always trying to improve himself, push forward, and power through the rough patches in life.

During my pregnancy, which was the scariest time in my life, he was my rock; even though he was petrified as well, he never let me see it.



For part of his birthday, I made a collage on our wall of 32 post-its of 32 things I love about him. It wasn't hard at all to come up with that many; in fact I could have easily filled 100 of them up with memories, words, and his myriad of attractive characteristics.

I fall deeper in love watching him love our daughter. His love for Sookie is fierce, constant, and vast. Unbreakable and calm, yet fueled with passion and fire.

It is truly a fabulous little notion to me that we have built this life together; that we started with one email over match.com and found some secret recipe which consisted of our crazy dreams, against all the odds wishes, and we made them mesh into this unconventional fairytale that is so much better than any love story I've ever read.

Happy Birthday Baby!

Living Under June



Oh June, in years past you have given me SO much. More than any other month I believe. The heights of your generosity leave me in awe and push me higher to dream bigger, pull me forward in a swift rush to scoop up my wishes and run faster hand in hand with my wildest dreams.

For June is intricately laced with the most potent hope I have ever known.

Two years ago, June 9th, 2009, Rory's 30th birthday, I took a pregnancy test. Something I never thought I would do. Something that was an experience that belonged to other people, but for sure wasn't going to be a vat of memory in my story...or so I thought. Perhaps my favorite aspect of this story is that Rory bought the test for me, along with a few Power Bars. If that isn't love, well...

One year ago, June 9th, 2010, we received the news that took the weight of the world off our shoulders. Sookie did not have Cystinosis. I knew the chances were minuscule, but I had to know. That day was such a triumph; the tears were flowing out of pure relief.

Needless to say, Rory's birth day has held healing, bold, fantastic properties for us the past two years. I can say the same for his personality since the day I met him. I cannot wait to see what incredible happenings bless us this year.

I do know that this June is crazy busy with family reunions, poker tournaments, members of our Cystinosis family visiting for the 5th annual C.H. Robinson Cystinosis Research Network Golf Tournament, weddings, concerts, father's day, birthday parties, CRN conference calls and physical therapy appointments for my hip. I'm a little overwhelmed with how I will keep up with it all because of the fact I've really been struggling with stamina lately, but I need to keep in mind I'm so lucky we have a jam packed calendar of GOOD stuff. (Well, except PT for my hip.)

I might need to break my Diet Coke free streak in order to find the energy for all of it, but hey...

Hi June. Let's do this.

Five Minute Friday: Every Day

I am so thankful to The Gypsy Mama for starting Five Minute Friday. Each and every Friday she assigns a topic, you have five minutes to let your words flow, then you stop at the end of the five minutes. No editing, no second guessing yourself, no regrets. The directions are simple, the exploration and just letting go is the challenge. 

I love it.



Every Day...


Every day I marvel I get 24 more hours with my little miss. Every day I fight an uphill battle against fatigue, nausea, and a disease slowly wearing my body down. But I continue to live like none of it is happening.

Every day I seek the magic, chase the light, rope the promise with a sweet taste of a kiss.

Every day I hold my daughter close, inhale her scent, let her melt into me and I whisper, "I love you" into her delicate ear, ever so softly.

Every day I'm proud of my mistakes, the lessons I've twisted into sunshine, the battles I've pushed myself to overcome. Every day I'm nestling further into this girl, this woman I've been striving to be, for oh so long now.

Every day I'm living facets of my own quirky, less than perfect but so real I can taste it, happily ever after.

Every day there is laundry, messes, dishes, poopy (cloth) diapers, but with these small minus signs there are pluses paid in return, & tenfold. Because every day there is more hope, more celebrating, more tears from my eyes at the sheer sight of my girl growing up, more triumphs dancing side by side the little victories, and above all, every day there is more love.

Couscous With Dried Fruit & Feta

The other day I was trying to go to the bathroom and keep Sookie entertained for the five seconds it would take me to pee. I hope you all feel a lot closer to me now. Ha. ;)

Anyway, she insists on staying in the bathroom with me so I've resorted to giving her some old issues of my Rachael Ray magazines and asking her if she can find any puppies for me. I stumbled upon this recipe for couscous with dried fruit and feta in one particular issue from last summer and I decided to make it tonight. If it is as easy as chopping up some fruit, then most of the time I can't mess it up.


Couscous with Dried Fruit and Feta

Ingredients:

  • Two 5.8-ounce packages garlic-flavored couscous
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles

Directions:

  1. Prepare the couscous according to package directions. Place in a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Stir in the cranberries, apricots, scallions and feta; season with salt and pepper.

This was a part of the take five feature in the August 2010 issue of Rachael Ray and was sent in by Kelly Roehm.

It was so crazy easy and yummy! Which is my favorite kind of recipe. I loved the mash up of tastes between the garlic, the sweet apricots and cranberries, and the onions and feta. My mouth is watering now just writing about it!





{via}

xo.
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