Tag Archives: score


Now, I personally am of the opinion that breakfast is a waste of Sleeping-In Time. The rest of my family heartily disagrees.

Rylie, on the other hand, will eat shredded wheat until the day she dies.  Lay money on it.  Curt and Gideon: cereal fanatics as well.  Curt’s a Special K boy.  Don’t tell him I told you.

When I found this sign in my favorite antique shop Wednesday, I had to bring it home.  She had found it in a Heritage Hill attic on an old shipping crate from the 1890s.  Obviously, it was hiding up there all this time for me.  Can you believe it?

What do you eat for breakfast?



Is she not just the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?  I mean, seriously.  Seriously, People.  Who knew miracles like her were possible?

She’s sitting on a trio of folding wooden theater seats I scored on Craig’s List last week.  They’ll live in the mudroom… when we have a mudroom.  For now, they live in the hallway downstairs.  It seemed like Fate had found me: 3 wooden chairs, 3 lockers, 3 children.

Perhaps we are stopping at 3 kids?  Can you know for sure? Is it appropriate to decide based on vintage furniture finds?  We’re struggling.  Not that a decision has to be made… but, yeah.  Kinda.  My brain needs a decision so I can process life a little better.  I’ve heard a mother never stops thinking “maybe one more” or “what if?”  No getting away from that… it’s just IN you.  I’ll certainly always have that.  Is it possible to know- really know– when you’re at your limit?

I say NO MORE because parenting is hard.  And, I’m tired.

I say I WANT MORE because I’m just tired and parenting is hard.  (And LOOK AT THAT CHILD.)

How can it be the same reason for both?


We’re at high-maintenance ages with some special needs thrown in there for good measure.  This complicates life in general, especially What’s the Plan? conversations.  My brain (and our family) needs a little closure… or, at least sound and loving advice… one way or the other.

So, if you knew, how did you know?


I learned about napping from my college roommate, who would turn on Sarah low and crawl under her covers after an 8am class. 

When I got married and moved in with The Boy, Sunday naps became a regular thing.  In fact, I think most of West Michigan shuts down after Sunday family dinners as people claim couches and cribs for a little respite.

When I was pregnant with Rylie, I slept more than I was awake. 

I love to nap.  I love to steal just a little bit of time… maybe when both kids are sleeping (what?) or occupied with Dad… and simply rest. I am a nicer person for it.  Or, at least quieter.

The pretty, hand-embroidered pillows make the dreams a little sweeter. 

Matthew chapter 11, verse 28 • Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take some time… to breathe, to be quiet, to sit back, to rest.  This world is heavy and often unkind.  Even the strongest grow weak under the weight of their work. 

Pull down the comforter,

turn off your phone,

 and rest.

twist and shout

My home country, Tejas, is known to throw a tornado or two in the April mix of things. Michigan, on the other hand… who knew?!  Way to be crazy last night (Tuesday)!  Thank you to the sirens that sounded in town AFTER the hail and storm had passed. My tax dollars at work.  Amen.  And to our friends down south in AL, MS, GA and further… our prayers are with you as you restore.

Internet in my neck of the woods is down.  Forgive my lack of email-response these next couple of days. How this post even published is a mystery to me.  For today, I’ll give you a quick story and some beauty:

Two years ago, The Boy came home with 6 very sad screens from our very sad rental house. I, being the ambassador for loving the un-lovable of old furnishings, was smitten immediately.  They were gorgeous.  Before he had even stepped out of the truck I yelled, “CAN I HAVE THOSE?!”   He said, “No. No you may not.  I have to fix them and take them back. THEY ARE NOT FOR YOU.”  But this weekend, they were still sitting in the back of the pole barn, still gorgeous blue, still un-mended. 

I decided to take action.

Years ago I was gifted a gorgeous bread towel from a dear friend… it was her grandmother’s and, while of no use to her today, she couldn’t just take it to Goodwill.   I considered framing it with barn wood behind glass, but it seemed so expensive and a bit –much- for such a simple piece. [It says, “Remember the MILLER when you Eat your Bread” – I know, right?  LOVE.]

I gently washed and starched the towel.  Then, taking some brown embroidery thread, I attached it to the framed-screen using 7 simple x’s.  Easily undone should another option come available, simple and rustic for the time-being.

I hung it, without permission, above the bed his father made for us.  I think it’s just absolutely perfect.

If I told you summer through a metal screen is my favorite smell, would you understand?  Or would you shake your head in wonder? DOUBLE high-five if we’re speaking the same language.

awesomeness :: part II

My son (That is soooo weird to say.  Wow.) has incredible abs.  I’m sure all babies do, but remember that our first child was/is a little bird of a thing and this second kid is a hulk.  It’s a whole new world for us.

As requested, here is my daughter (Also weird to say, but not nearly as much since I’ve had almost 4 years of practice.) telling you ever-so-briefly about the horse incident.  You will notice that her sentiment has changed a bit from empathy and agony to indifference.  *sigh*  I’m still typing with 9 fingers but whatever. After reading Lauren’s (LoLo) garage door tale, I am considering my injury a mere step above a paper cut.  A large wild stallion paper cut, but a paper cut.

These chairs are on their way to the Shoebox.  After 5 years of no bar stools, 5 years of searching every online and brick&mortar barstool store, 5 years of having mismatched and slightly broken chairs at the island… these chairs are coming.  In Wedgwood blue.  There’s one for you.  Come on over.

I found Ry a red rider tricycle for $5 at a garage sale this weekend.  She’s still working on the pedaling part.  This photo was taken at 10am.  Yes, that is a half-eaten bag of pink cotton candy.  I’m the world’s coolest mom.

When is it ok to buy new dishes?  I’m guessing 6 years is not enough time since my parents only JUST bought new dishes after 25 years.  But I heart these.  so.  much.

Hey, thanks for all your notes about our vacation!  That was very sweet.  You are all welcome to join us anytime.  Or, if you can wait, come to the barn re-raising in a couple of years and camp out on our property 🙂  I’ll make you some pie and lemonade.  Oooo! Ooooo!  And, we can have a hayride!  And a square dance!  IN THE BARN!


Monday, y’all, we’re gonna have a discussion. A discussion about all the things they don’t tell you about havin’ a baby.  Man.  This is #2 for me and I’m STILL in the dark about half of it.  The past week has been extremely educational for me. 

Today, simplicity.  Things that make your life better.

• the white buffet thing I couldn’t get out of my head after shopping for a dresser… I had to return 2 days later to buy it. It doesn’t do anything special.  It’s made with old, uneven wood and isn’t perfectly level.  But, it holds all my fabric beautifully and looks great against the wood wall in the basement.

• the 3 full-size lockers I found more than a year ago… they’re on the wrong wall and are extremely dusty right now.  But, they’ll hold coats and a vacuum and anything else we want to hide next to the basement door.

• the dresser we eventually found in a different shop… it serves double duty as a changing table.  There’s also an old glass of milk, 2 dirty diapers, and a permission slip for Rylie on there.  Whatever.

Obviously, I like re-using things.  Furniture is expensive.  I figure, why not find a piece that’s already got a story and add another chapter?

• and, finally… your gratuitously cute photo of SuperKid

learnin’ curves

Whew!  All your baby names are freakin’ AWESOME.  It makes me wanna have about 70 more kids so I can use them all.  Kinda.  

Today we’re talkin’ about basements.  Do you have a basement?  Texans don’t have basements because the ground is too rocky.  My knowledge of basements before moving to Michigan was limited to my Grandfather’s cellar.  Scary.  Dark.  A bit damp.  Creaky stairs.  Questionable contents in far away corners covered in ginormous cobwebs. 

Imagine my hesitation when I moved to Michigan and went a Bible Study and saw “Come on down to the basement!” Awesome, I thought.  These people are going to tie me up and kill me. (overactive imagination, sorry) What I found was an oasis of  white (white!) carpet.  Light.  Large sectional couch.  Artwork.  Master bedroom.  IN THE BASEMENT. 

I’ve since learned this was a ‘finished‘ basement.  Our/Curt’s first home had a ‘Michigan‘ basement, which is closer to a cellar but way less creepy.  Still with the bare concrete walls, still a little dark- but it’s where you do your laundry and woodworking and hide all your canned goods.  It’s also where you wash the dog.

(still with me?) The Shoebox at TexasNorth is an old migrant house- a rectangle that someone added a cement basement to about 20 years ago.  You can exit down there (term: walkout)  There’s a door at one end with a nice big window.  I always liked that because I feel less likely to be held for ransom in a basement that has an exit.  So, for the past 3 years that’s where our camping gear has lived and the washer/dryer and various electric tools.  Upstairs has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, and a kitchen/living/dining common room.  It’s little.  Maybe 900 sq. feet?  The basement is equal to that, but not- how you say- finished. You don’t hang out down there.  We have all longed for another place to escape to in this house, especially during the 14th month of Winter.

Until now. 

[It is my opinion that pictures of one’s home make absolutely NO SENSE to those viewing who have never been inside before, and I apologize.  But, I do need to document this time in TexasNorth history.  Put on your creative hats.]

As of Wednesday, half of the basement is a living room, a bedroom, a tiled foyer, and a sewing wall.  We added half a house.  I say we, and I mean Curt… but you know that.   I picked out the paint, though.  It echos the upstairs paint, as does the tile.  The Shoebox is small and craves continuity.

  • Ry now has a serious big girl room that easily transitions into a guest room. 
  • The laundry is closer to my movies- motivation, perhaps?  The tv has been relocated and no longer faces the large upstairs window, making us look like the Griswalds after 6pm glowing blue for all the world to see. 
  • There is carpet and a fabric couch… meaning everything is soooooft compared to the wood floors and leather furniture upstairs. 
  • There are vintage lockers I scored 2 years ago to hold boots and barn coats and marshmallow sticks.  
  • There are recessed ceiling trays in the bedroom and living room, adding height and interest to an otherwise very boring basement ceiling. (Sunday, I thought Worth would appreciate that.)
  • There are yellow walls, blue walls, and wood walls.   This was completely Curt’s idea.  I heard wood panelling and envisioned shiny fake wood of the 70s era.  Erm… boooo.  Now, I absolutely love it.  It’s incredible.  Rough, knotty pine along one wall of Ry’s room and the entire length of the hallway.  You feel like you’re in a cabin.  It’s very warm. Very rustic.  Very un-70s.  Go Curt.  Gold medal for you.

I got a basement.  And carpet.  And a non-random-corner to sew in.  I don’t even know what to do with myself.  Bring on the company and the newest addition to our family.  We have room for you now!

 Come on over!  I’ve got a finished basement!

nyum nyum nyum

[Comments/guesses are closed!]

[Comments/guesses will close on this post Saturday afternoon, as we will be hitting the road that night to return to Michigan.  The results will post Monday morning!]


This is Ry’s word for gum.  She’s a natural with gum… never swallows it, is able to eat large quantities of food without losing it, keeps it for hours.  She gets no points for this on her school therapy charts… along with her harmonica skills and ability to log-roll without going crooked.  But, she’s a good gum-chewer.

•back-story #1•  A year ago, I found a cache of Brown Sheep Company yarn in Goodwill (um, score).  An entire comforter-cover plastic bag full of brand new, quality, 100% wool yarn.  The colors were bright and crazy… and perfect for kids.  The colors match perfectly with a bag of gum balls, and so… the Gum Ball Vest was born. 

•back-story #2• A couple months ago, I fell in love with this pattern and made Rylie 2 of them.  Well, the second one I intended to give away, but I fell in love with it and it became Ry’s birthday sweater vest.  SO, to stay true to the author’s request, I have made one to give away. [Ry’s vest looks short in the photo, but the bottom hem was accidentally rolled up.  The actual sweater, and your sweater, is not that short.] 

sweater-vest specs:  The wide-neck sweater fits a 2-4 year old and is meant to go over a long-sleeved shirt.  It’s 100% wool and should not be machine washed.  It’s bright and crazy and lovely.  There will be a button at the left shoulder, but the buttons are in Ry’s room at the moment and I can’t get in there because she’s sleeping and I am not insane 🙂

SO, my dear friends, all you have to do to win this pink, blue, and purple SUPER FUN vest is guess the number of gum balls in the jar!  The spaghetti jar behind is for reference.  You get one guess each, please, though I’m fine with your spouses and grammas logging on and making a guess in your honor.  All guesses need to be in the comments of this post.  You may go over or under, I’ll take the closest guess.  If there’s a tie, I’ll draw names as a tie-breaker.  The winner will be announced in one week: Monday, December 14th.

Ready, Set, Go!  

L is for…

glider‘l’ is for lounging…  on my newly-painted glider.  ‘member this kid from back when?  Well, I had it sandblasted (professionally for $30… well worth the expertise) and then painted it myself.  I settled on this brown/gunmetal color option and am. so. happy. 

‘l’ is for love…  as in, the Great Love.  I do not speak of it publicly here often, but I do believe in Jesus Christ.  I do believe He is the Son of God.  And I do believe He is coming again but has left the Holy Spirit to guide us until then.  It’s not very complicated for me. It’s not always an easy life, but it is a Hopeful life.  

chickens‘l’ is for laying… as in, chickens laying their eggs all over TexasNorth and kingdom come.  There are three main spots which account for 1/2 the 30 eggs I should be recovering.  1: 2 chickens lay in a hay bale near the longhorn feed, 2:  10 chickens lay in their coop, and 3:  3 chickens are now laying about 15 feet in the air on top of our new, extremely large round hay bales.  I hafta use a ladder to get them every day.  Where are the other 15 eggs, you ask?  I dunno.  Somewhere… out there. Beneath the pale moonlight.

‘l’ is for lawyers…  may I encourage all of you to put your wishes down in print?  It’s extremely necessary.  Did you know that in some states, orphaned children are given to the state first and require family members to ‘apply’ for them?  Emergency medical decisions, life insurance, and power-of-attorneys are not fun to talk about, but it’s best to do it now.  Now, before things are hard.  Now, when you are calm.  Now, when you are not surrounded by in-laws and grandmothers and aunts with opinions of their own.  Curt and I did this when Rylie was 1 year old… a little late, but it’s done.  I cried the entire week we decided on guardians, medical junk, and what-ifs.  There are other official options besides paying a lawyer to draft a will, but be aware that simple pen+paper+witness do not = legal.  Just do me a favor and think about it, ok?  It will make me sleep better tonight. 

blueberry bush‘l’ is for laughter… oh, man.  I know some funny people.  Seriously. You get me through.

‘l’ is for lying…  There is a reason my blueberry bush will not be blooming this year.  The kittens have decided to sleep in it when they are bored.  See that little, green twig poking up in the middle of the barrel?  Yeah.  That’s the bush.  *sigh*  Oh, well. Next year.

Oh.  And, ‘l’ is also for longhorns… which we raise here at TexasNorth 🙂

F is for…

7.12 027‘f’ is for fruit… or, alternatively, fruitcake.  Both are Rylie’s most common nicknames. I can’t really explain it and it certainly wasn’t intentional.  If you hear someone yelling in the next aisle at the grocery store, “Come’ere, Fruit!” you can bet your bottom dollar it’s me.

‘f’ is for flowers… which make me happy.  Particularly, daisies.  Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flowers?  I do.

‘f’ is for fabric… which I love.  Any kind.  All kinds.  From old sheets to retro kid reproductions to lace and linen… I love it.   Anna just brought me back some cotton from Guatemala… which makes me wonder if maybe I married the wrong person.

‘f’ is for farm… on which I live.  Our current living-census includes: 3 humans, 5 barn cats, 1 dog, 35ish chickens, and 10 longhorn cattle.  I am pulling for a donkey in the near future, but there are those that are against me.  Ahem.

bike 1‘f’ is for Friends… a show that defined college for me and still makes me laugh every time I watch it.  Chandler- Matthew Perry?  A comedic genius.  GENIUS, I say.   

‘f’ is for flea market… or garage sale or estate sale or other-people’s-stuff sale, where I occasionally stumble across a major find.  This month, it was Rylie’s ‘new’ bike from the 1960s.  She’ll be able to ride in about 6 years.  Still.  It was FIVE DOLLARS and is red and metal and perfect.  Give me a break.  I will defend myself to no one.


Love y’all.  I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend…

We shall talk about vacation and zoos and gardening on Thursday.