Wednesday, July 24, 2013

and we're off

we are officially on vacay.  off to syracuse we go.  i'll catch you up as soon as we get back.  

have a great week!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

girl trip 4 mix-tape, volume one

***know what's funny?  i average 25-40 pageviews per post (a pageview is how many times people have clicked on your post, if i'm not mistaken).  i don't normally share my blog updates on facebook, but i did for our family pictures because i wanted to tag our photographer.  ummmm, 195 pageviews!!! holy cow!  should i keep fb posting?  decisions, decisions.

***the band widespread panic is in town so my hubs is off pretending he is back in college (go get 'em, honey!)  i figured to stay on a music theme, i would share my first installment of music from this year's girls trip.

***i got a little theme-y with the "mix-tapes" this time and since we were headed to the hill country, i thought we should most definitely have a little country music accompany us on our road trip.

***the girls thought i hid a clue in each song, so they were listening intently and drawing all kids of crazy conclusions.  actually, i only strategically included the first two songs.  the rest are just songs i like (none of which indicated where we were headed).

***here's the playlist on spotify.

1) play a train song- robert earl keen, jr.
(i accidentally tricked the girls into thinking the trip involved a train, so i threw this song in as an opener.  just for giggles.)
2) southbound 35- pat green
(why yes, that was the direction we were headed.)
3) wagon wheel- old crow medicine show
(the original is always better, am i right?)
4) right down the line- bonnie raitt
(oh man, the more i hear this, the more i love it.  saw her at jazzfest.  girl crush since.)
5) she's like texas- josh abbott band
6) one chord song- stoney larue
7) good times- charlie robison
8) one more night in brooklyn- justin townes earl
9) truth no. 2- dixie chicks
(my favorite dc song, and quite possibly one of my favorite songs ever.  i miss these girls.)
10) hell on heels- pistol annies
11) i can get off on you- willie nelson
(i couldn't find a good live willie version on youtube, so here are my boyfriends the avett brothers singing their version.)
12) in my arms instead- randy rogers band
13) every girl- turnpike troubadours
14) strawberry wine- deana carter
(since i spent my seventeenth year with the majority of the women on this trip, i thought i'd include this oldie but goodie.  this song was such a BIG deal when we were in high school.  we felt a kinship to this song, considering we were also seventeen and drank copius amounts of strawberry wine.)
15) sangria wine- jerry jeff walker
16) springsteen- eric church
(i love, love, love this one.)
17) you never even call me by my name- david allan coe
(a college anthem...that is if you attended college in texas.  a bar closer every time.)

what do you think?  what would you have included?

stay tuned for volume two (woot!)


Friday, July 12, 2013


at the lakehouse over the fourth of july holiday, i read this peom by jake adam york in the editor's notes of southern living magazine.  not my first reading choice, as i had already read all of mom's us weekly's and people mags, but i ended up dog-earing this poem and a recipe or two.  this poem made me feel nostalgic (not sure if that's the right word but it's the only one i can think of that comes close).  i am proud to be southern and i love food, especially food prepared by my family and particularly if it's a recipe that generations of my family have enjoyed.  it made me proud that i make my great-uncle pete's old army pancake recipe for my boys every weekend.  it made me miss my mawmaw and want more than anything to hug her neck and taste her peach cobbler and fried chicken again.  it made me miss my pop who would use a slice of white bread as a utensil to sop the brown gravy from nanan's smothered chicken off of his plate.  it made me think of paw-paw to whom no meal is complete with out either a fresh sliced onion or tomato or both.  this poem got me.  i hope you like it, too.


Because my grandmother made me

the breakfast her mother made her,

when I crack the eggs, pat the butter

on the toast, and remember the bacon

to cast iron, to fork, to plate, to tongue,

my great grandmother moves my hands

to whisk, to spatula, to biscuit ring,

and I move her hands too, making

her mess, so the syllable of batter

I’ll find tomorrow beneath the fridge

and the strew of salt and oil are all

memorials, like the pan-fried chicken

that whistles in the grease in the voice

of my best friend’s grandmother

like a midnight mockingbird,

and the smoke from the grill

is the smell of my father coming home

from the furnace and the tang

of vinegar and char is the smell

of Birmingham, the smell

of coming home, of history, redolent

as the salt of black-and-white film

when I unwrap the sandwich

from the wax-paper the wax-paper

crackling like the cold grass

along the Selma to Montgomery road,

like the foil that held

Medgar’s last meal, a square of tin

that is just the ghost of that barbecue

I can imagine to my tongue

when I stand at the pit with my brother

and think of all the hands and mouths

and breaths of air that sharpened

this flavor and handed it down to us,

I feel all those hands inside

my hands when it’s time to spread

the table linen or lift a coffin rail

and when the smoke billows from the pit

I think of my uncle, I think of my uncle

rising, not falling, when I raise

the buttermilk and the cornmeal to the light

before giving them to the skillet

and sometimes I say the recipe

to the air and sometimes I say his name

or her name or her name

and sometimes I just set the table

because meals are memorials

that teach us how to move,

history moves in us as we raise

our voices and then our glasses

to pour a little out for those

who poured out everything for us,

we pour ourselves for them,

so they can eat again.

speaking of fourth of july and eating too much, we went to the lakehouse and had the most amazing time despite the jet-ski breaking down, a nasty wasp sting, rogue fireworks, and lake levels too low to get the boat out.  here's a peek:

how was your fourth?


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

nine years

nine years ago today, i married my best friend.  it feels like just yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time.

we wanted our wedding to be a party.  we were just a few years out of college and saw our wedding as the perfect opportunity to get all of our favorite people in one room and dance.

as you know by now, we are big music nerds, so deciding what music we wanted to play at our wedding reception was a task that we embraced.  we found a great dj and he wanted to meet with us to get an idea of what kind of vibe we wanted.  we gave him some ideas (some which were dumb, like no dollar dance.  were we idiots?  did we not understand that people give you money to dance with them?).  we specifically wanted some hip-hop mixed in to get people dancing (the electric slide did not count).  our conversation with the dj went something like this:
(please don't click these links with children in the room.)
dj: what kind of hip-hop songs are you looking for me to play?
us: well, off the top of our heads, maybe this (the clean version, please).  and this one, for sure.
***long pause***
us: but there are some songs that are great to dance to that wouldn't necessarily be appropriate to play considering grandparents will be in the room......
dj: like what for instance?
***another long pause***
***uncomfortable silence***
us: well....(in a whisper) this song.
dj:  never heard of it.

so. embarrassing.  

why would we utter that word to a perfect stranger?  why would we assume he would play that at our wedding?

we were young and dumb and ready to party.

and a good party it was.

happy anniversary, dance partner.  


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

family pictures

ben's picture was taken professionally as a newborn, at 6 months, at 18 months, and at three.

crosby had his picture professionally taken when he was a week old.
(those poor second children.  everything they say about the second is true.)

that's all, folks.

needless to say, a photo session with our baby started feeling necessary, so we called up our friend melissa preston, owner of mel marie photography to snap some pics of the fam.

melissa and i went to high school together.  she was that gorgeous girl, a couple of grades older (you know, that girl.  the one that girls like me idolize), the kind of girl that was insanely popular with her peers for good reason.  she was/is kind and cool and smart and easy to talk to and talented out of her mind.  seriously.

these traits have followed her into adulthood, making her one of the best people to make your family comfortable enough to take an authentic, candid photograph.  she captures the personalities of my children the second she lifts her camera to her face; it's second nature.

if you are in dallas and are interested in checking out her portfolio, click here.  
then hire her.
you won't be sorry.
promise, promise.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

snapshots: back hall and playroom

hallelujah, thank you baby jesus, we have a fourth bedroom in this house.  which means basically that we have a bonus room in which to store all of my kid's shit (for lack of a better word).  in other words, not. my. living. room.

there is no rhyme or reason behind this home tour, i started by showing you the front of the house, and now we are jumping straight to the back.  three bedrooms and two bathrooms are on the opposite side of the house.  a fourth bedroom, bathroom, laundry room and garage are all located off the hall in the back of our house.  

let's start with the playroom, shall we?
this is the view when you walk in the door.
what we did:  installed hardwoods, painted the walls, assembled some shelves, hung some art and old window panes.
what i love: that there is a designated room for all of the kids stuff.  the daybed has a trundle, which makes it perfect for guests and/or future slumber parties.
what i don't love: we store all sorts of junk in there simply because we have a place to put it.  it's time for a toy overhaul.  don't tell my kids.
 when we moved in, all we knew is that we wanted a wall of shelves.  thanks, ikea.
orange bins: target
vintage window panes: from an antique shop in downtown mckinney (years ago)
 orange hooks: found in parents' garage.
quirky prints: curiosities (love that place).
pant hangers: ikea (idea stolen from a blog)
 poster: bought in tulum, mexico (pre-kids)
 bedding: made by my mom.  the pillows represent our family from texas, georgia and new york.  thanks, momma.
 knobs: bargain bin at anthropologie.  these beauties inspired our wall color and the color scheme for the whole room.
 wall color: navy blue.  (if you are interested in the exact color, i'll ask chris).
stackable toy boxes: land of nod (from ben's baby registry)

this is the back hall which houses the entrances to our bathroom and laundry room (on the left), garage (stright ahead) and the playroom (on the right).
what we did: installed hardwoods, painted the walls and added new knobs to the playroom and pantry doors.
what i love: the art and the graffitti.
what i don't love: none of the remaining knobs match (drives me nutso) and the "boob" light on the ceiling.  i already have plans for that puppy.  i'll keep you posted.
 in our last house, we painted ben's closet door with chalkboard paint.  in this house we decided to use it on all of the hall walls.  let me just tell you how perfect it is to distract your toddler while you are cooking or for small, impressionable houseguests who think drawing on the walls is awesome.
 i saw these wires on a blog and purchased them at ikea.  we use them year-round to display the kids' art and schoolwork.

 key hook: anthropologie
 a little reminder never hurt.
 guests tag the walls.
 i stole this day-of-the-month idea from a very creative momma at ben's school.  the goal is to display something to represent what you did or what you plan to do on any particular date.  it's a nice visual representation of what you have actual done (especially when it feels like you haven't been doing much at all on these long summer days).

 knobs: anthropologie.

have you ever done anything as silly as plan an entire room from a cabinet knob?  it's not the only room we did that with either!  how do you get inspired?