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Crafting with Ali

02/24/2015

I love art and doing crafts. I always have. It’s such a joy for me to see my daughter loving art, too. She got a big bucket of craft supplies and a booklet of ideas for Christmas. We’ve been having fun working on these together on these cold, dreary winter days. I’m looking forward to the days she can do these projects more independently so she can work along side me while I work on my own craft projects. But in this stage, I’m just delighted that she’s having fun and getting creative with these projects.

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When our buddy Termain was visiting one evening they sat and did art projects together for a while. He’s an art lover too.

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One day I was able to get almost an hour of sewing projects done while Ali played with Play Doh nearby. Glorious!

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Homestead (Not Child-Related) Happenings

01/09/2014

We’re building a privacy fence in our backyard. It’ll be a modern wood fence very similar to our last house. I did an extensive tutorial on that fence three years ago, as well as the process of enclosing our courtyard at this house, so I will not be documenting our process this time. We managed to get all 23 posts set in the ground just before the great Flash Freeze of 2014. Now Jason’s touring schedule is rolling again so we’ll have to wait for some warmer days to line up with the days we’re both off work so we can start on the pickets.

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We’re getting chickens! Two years ago Nashville passed a new law allowing backyard hens to be raised for eggs. Jason was interested right away but it took me a while to get on board. Now that we have the fence started and Jason got this new book for Christmas, I’m all in. I’m so excited. We’ll be getting our chicks in the next month or two to start raising them inside until we have the coop done and it’s warm enough for them to move into their new house. We’re allowed to have up to 6. We’re planning to start out with 3 or 4. We eat a ton of eggs around here (18-24/week) so I’m excited to start getting them fresh from our own backyard.

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The foster kids’ room (which I’m tempted to call the little girl’s room…or is it the little girls’ room…) is getting a mini makeover. We’re repainting the walls. We got some new art and moved art in from a different room and I’ve moved some furniture around. Bee is gone for 25 days and with the possibility of baby Trust coming, well, I guess I’m nesting. We decided to paint Sherwin Williams Ellie Gray just like the first foster kids’ bedroom at our last house, which ended up being Ali’s nursery. We were very happy with that color and we’re not so happy with the neon green I chose for this house.

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Our master bedroom has been slowly getting designed. We realized one day that it’s sad how neglected it’s been design-wise. Last June we celebrated 10 years of marriage and decided that it’s time for a properly designed room. I’ll share more about it when it’s finished. We started out with a dresser and curtains. We added some art. New bedding. A new bed frame and lamps. Still to go: paint and wall/headboard treatment. Rugs. More art.

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Ali’s room got a mini-makeover too. She mastered climbing out of a pack-n-play while we were staying at my brother’s house for a few days and quickly transferred her skills to her crib at home. She’s now in a big girl bed again (side off her crib for now…eventually that KURA bed in the foster kids’ room will be hers). I’ll post more about that transition later. It’s going so much better this time around. She got a new lamp, owl poster and hot pink dog-butt hooks for hanging her dress-up clothes from IKEA.

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Merry Christmas!

09/10/2013

I know, I know…It’s only September. I used to work at a Michael’s craft store and I was always amazed when the boxes (and boxes and boxes) of Christmas decorations would arrive the first week of October…three weeks before Halloween. It just felt wrong. But I have a very good reason for bringing up Christmas in September. For several years my husband Jason has been dreaming and planning on recording a Christmas album. If you’ve been a blog reader for a while you probably remember when he released a lullabies album in February 2012 called Acoustic Lullabies. He’s had the idea for a Christmas album well before that but put it on hold to create a CD of beautiful guitar music dedicated to our daughter Ali, and the sales of that album helped fund her private adoption. Well, he’s finally finished with the long-awaited Christmas album. I’m so excited about it! It’s really wonderful. I’ve seriously had to resist the urge to set up the Christmas tree because overhearing some of the recording process and then listening to the almost-finished product has really brought on the Christmas spirit at our house. In September. Jason’s not just any average guitar player—he’s been obsessed with the six-stringed instrument for 20 years. He is trained and seasoned in classical, jazz, rock, country, finger-style guitar and you’ll hear all those influences on this album. I’m a big fan.

So anyway… producing an album is an investment. There is an initial expense and then money is gradually recouped through sales. His lullabies album was successful and worth the risk but we despise debt. We decided to try something different this time. Jason set up a Kickstarter campaign to fund the initial expense for mixing and duplication (recording is already complete) through pledges for pre-orders of the album. At the base level a $15 pledge results in Christmas Classics shipped to you when it releases in October. Higher pledges have various rewards like autographed or gift wrapped CDs and bulk discounts. If he doesn’t reach his goal (which covers the cost of mixing and a minimum initial order of 1000 CDs), he doesn’t get any money and the pledges are all voided. It’s an all or none situation. Would you consider pledging money to pre-order this CD? I guarantee you’ll love it. You’ll love it so much that you’ll want to give copies to your kids’ teachers and soccer coaches, your best friend, your hard-to-buy-for-music-loving brother, your chiropractor, your insurance agent, etc.

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On Jason’s Kickstarter page, you can also watch the silly video we made to promote the project, and hear one of the songs. It was late at night and we may have thought it was a little funnier than it actually is…but all is redeemed by Ali’s incredible sweetness at the end.

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Merry Christmas!

Thanks for your consideration.


Weekend Part 1

06/17/2013

After Buzz’s long nap on Friday afternoon, I took him and Ali for a swim at my parents’ house and then we ate pizza and my parents treated us an exhibit at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens called Night Lights by Bruce Munro. I got so many great photos of Buzz, but of course I can’t share them here.

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Saturday morning our original plan for a visit with his mom had to change last minute because the splash park we were going to meet at was closed. Like Ali’s post-pigtails bed head?

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I told her I needed to go to Target and we ended up meeting there and doing our shopping together. It felt like hanging out with a friend. She was so sweet and got Ali and Buzz matching outfits at Old Navy before we met.

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I am so thankful for her kindness and patience, for how much she loves her son and for how hard she is fighting to get him back. He’s one blessed little dude to have his mama working so hard to get him back.

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And then, of course, we went swimming again.


Fluttering Hearts

01/29/2013

Maybe it’s part of my nesting urge. While I was cleaning out the future kids room, I found an old poetry book at I was going to put in the yard sale pile. Then I got inspired and remembered a project I saw on a blog a few years ago. I made a banner with cut out hearts, stapled with pink staples onto rainbow colored yarn. I hug it over the dining room windows, by the front door, and I love the shadows the hearts cast on a sunny afternoon. There is a heat vent on the floor under the window so when the air is running, the hearts flutter around. I’m in love.

Valentine's Day paper heart banner made from an old poetry book - myMCMlife.com Valentine's Day paper heart banner made from an old poetry book - myMCMlife.com

Valentine's Day paper heart banner made from an old poetry book - myMCMlife.com

Valentine's Day paper heart banner made from an old poetry book - myMCMlife.com


Pages and Tracks

07/05/2011

I don’t usually post on media but I thought I’d share some new music and books I’ve been enjoying lately.

A friend loaned me her borrowed copy of Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child by Trish Maskew. It’s a little ahead of the game for us but I’ve found a lot of interesting information on culture issues with kids from different races and ethnic backgrounds and behavior issues with kids who are dealing with trauma, grief, loss, insecurity, anger, fear, etc.

Jason and I are Tina Fey fans so he knew I’d love the Bossypants book he got me for my birthday. I started reading it immediately and couldn’t help laughing out loud a few times. She’s smart, funny, successful and so is the book. I like it. Jason isn’t great at surprises. He asked me, “What is it that you hate about hardbacks again?” That kind of gave it away since I had mentioned I’d like her book. It’s only available in hardback. (It’s because they hurt more when they hit my face, in case you were wondering. I often read until I fall asleep.)

On the road earlier this year Jason had the honor of spending an evening with author Andy Andrews. We weren’t familiar with his books before but Andy generously loaded Jason up with books and DVDs. We both absolutely loved The Noticer. It’s a charming true story all about perspective. It was totally a life changer for us. Andy gave Jason this one free but I think we’ve bought 4 or 5 copies to give to friends. Everyone should read this one.

Last week, I told you about Matt Hammitt (of Sanctus Real)’s song “All of Me”. I got an advance copy of the album Every Falling Tear that I’ve been wearing out. Musically speaking it’s not what I typically love but I was totally sold on the stories. (Releases 09-13-11)

With an iTunes birthday gift from my brother, I got Marc Broussard’s new self-titled album. I’ve been a Marc Broussard fan for years but this is the first album I’ve bought since Carencro. I love this one. Again, it’s the stories. The songs are very real and story like. But with this one, I love the music, too. I found this interview while I was trying to figure out if he and his wife had split up (based on a couple of the songs.)

In recent months I’ve become an Adele fan. I usually prefer male vocalists (I don’t know why) so this is new for me. I bought both of her albums, 19 and 21, and I’ve been playing these over and over again too.

And, full disclosure, I’ve also been collecting kids books. I got a bunch of great ones from friends but recently added a few more classics from a used bookstore. Mostly Dr. Seuss and an old Shel Silverstein poetry book. I can’t resist reading the Dr. Seuss books. Aloud. Alone. In the kids room. They’re just so fun to read and I can’t believe how well I remember the illustrations from my childhood. Thank you, Dad and Mom for reading me lots of Dr. Seuss books.


Owls, mushrooms and flowers

11/22/2010

Over the Summer, Jason and I picked up several small pieces of art at an estate sale with pressed flowers, mushrooms and owls. (Closer up pictures here.) At another yard sale we found these plastic owls. I got tired of seeing them stacked up in storage so I made a hasty decision to hang them in the hallway as a collection. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. What do you think? Too busy? I’m not sure what else to do with a bunch of tiny frames.

The baby owl is living in the hallway with the art but I decided to put the mama and daddy owl in our bedroom, above the cross stitch sampler the Jason’s mom made as a wedding gift for us. Someday I’ll put the baby with the mama and daddy… you know, when it makes sense.