"Perfectionism is slow death." Hugh Prather

Do you believe that perfection will make you happy? Do you subject others to your ridiculous standards? Do you "do nothing" because it won't be perfect? This blog is in dedication to the ridiculous lengths I go to in search for perfection, and the insanity I encounter along the way.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A New AdventureThe Front

Front View

Deck off Living Area and Master Bedroom, as well as 3 car shop and 2 room office building

I have been silent for a long time eh!?  I have let new interests do the walking and talking and haven't been inspired to say much.  There are some seasons as well, where silence is definitely a virtue.

The last few months we have been heavily into "home buying".  We sold our house immediately through a family friend, so we took that as a sign from God that larger territory lay ahead.  The process has been a constant blessing as well as nerve wracking.  We have not closed yet.  There is work to be done on the house and we have not settled on a contractor yet.  I need so much hand holding because I have never really made these kinds of decisions on a large scale with this much investment. The amount of money we will be spending is not like an impulse purchase that can be returned with buyers remorse.  What if I end up hating cream cabinets?  What if I get talked out of that wood butcher block and then kick myself.  Or what if I INSIST on the butcher block and then end up hating it!  These are cosmetics, I know.  But the money is only here once, spend it right or it will be a LONG time before it's here again.  Coupled with the fact that, until the house is truly ours, the hours spent pouring over decor holds a sort of deflated joy.  Fear, that old foe, keeps me from freely enjoying it until I can truly call it "our baby".

These are all things I daily lay to rest, but more like a body laying on the road that you just try not to look at.

When I walked into the house, after about 10 minutes I started to cry...but let me back up.

Last summer I tried to search for a house.  I was tired of trying to make things work in a house we were not intending to put money into.  Too many board games, too  many puzzles, too many clothes, too many towels...even after constant purging it just seemed like I was loosing ground.  I am sorry, but a person is entitled to more than one towel.  But our neighbor got cancer.  And all of a sudden lack of space did not matter.  These neighbors, the ones money will never buy in a new location, were struggling and we wanted to be there.  Needed to be there.  And the fear of change started to grip me.  You may not like something, but it is familiar and there are qualities that you DO cherish.  But overall it is stealing your joy.  So I waited until a diagnosis of remission was given, and started to hunt again.

So there I am, standing in "THE house", crying.  I had not been looking for months, it was not a terribly hard process other than time consuming.  Perhaps that is what overwhelmed me.  I know God loves me, but when something tangible appears, it is overwhelming.  Like when your parents give you a car on your 16th birthday when your grades are only so so, but they know you are trying.  I see all gifts as from above as I know my grades are only so so, but I am trying.  So my gifts are not based on my performance, but on His love.  To feel His love in this way, well, I was in tears.

Then the real work starts.  $$$$$ and all things related.  Other buyers.  Will it pass inspection?  Will we be able to file our taxes in time to make the closing.  Up a hill then down a hill.  So thankful for the grace of good friends.

The space is larger.  MUCH larger.  Inside and out.  This was top criteria, though I know part of it is me just feeling I need space in general.  And more square footage will not guarantee that.  But that's my own issue, and something that will have to be worked out eventually.  So I settled that it would be better to do it in more space than less, at least in my mind.

Home decor runs the gambit.  Better Homes and Garden tells me I am Polished Casual.  I can appreciate frump in other peoples homes, even welcome it.  But a dust ruffle or slip cover aggravates me in my own house, so looks like this furniture will have to go.  There is also not a slipcover out there to cover what the cats punished, capiche?  Also, if it doesn't have a function, even as decor, I can't appreciate it.  If it doesn't hold something, bring light or cast my reflection, then it is a dust collector.  Unless it hangs on the wall.  Then at least it is off the table!  But mostly I just struggle to arrange trinkets and have no "flat space" that hasn't been inhabited by a laptop, mail, kid art or clothes.

Most of what I am seeing in interior design is minimalist.  White on whiter white, shabby chic to the point of  the need of public assistance and DIY's that are better off don't.  I am not a "turn other people's trash into treasure" kind of girl.  If it is in the trash, I assume it's one use is used up.  I don't look at plates and candle sticks and see "Jewelry holder slash cupcake tray!"

Lord I make myself tired!  Have I worn you out too?  Well, it is that TOM and a good rant was due.  Back to Pinterest and Google images until my eyes are crossed and sore.  Wish my Bible had as many miles as my hard drive...

Monday, September 19, 2011

World Changer

This weekend we took the Youth to World Mandate at Antioch Church in Waco, TX at the Ferrell Center. This is our 4th year going and each year has brought different revelation for me.  While I was impacted all weekend, 2 things were a real stand out for me.  A video about the impact of one college student sharing the gospel with his dorm neighbor.  That ONE conversation, over the course of maybe 2 or more decades had GLOBAL impact.  It was a visual of what ONE person, telling ONE person could do.  So many lives changed and impacted for not only the Kingdom, but issues that press daily lives of people suffering all over the world.  Never think that you can not make a difference because you are just one person.  Our words of encouragement to the hurting can transform lives, who go on to transform the lives of others.  Touch a life TODAY!

The other was a speaker from Hillsong Christine Caine who rose up a campaign to end human trafficking called the A21 Campaign.  It is true when she says that it is very hard to connect to the suffering of people who are in slavery all around the world when we are sitting there, like I am right now, in Starbucks.  Drinking a good cup of coffee after a workout, all the buzz of free people in activity as I go on to my next blessed life activity.  But when Christine spoke, it was very clear that she had made a connection with that very real truth....27 million people are enslaved in Human Trafficking all over the world, more than any other time in history.  And she was certainly able to connect me in that moment.

And the big question...SO WHAT?  I can tell you that I did not want to walk through the threshold of my home for fear that I would be immediately be "sanitized".  So often I wonder why I never quite feel "fulfilled" even after I have accomplished everything I had on my "To Do" list. Perhaps it is because the list only really encapsulates what i have accomplished in a very one dimensional way.  But if I were to put someone else on that list....a peace like rain falling down.  Something inside sighs and it is no longer dragging myself up for another day of todays, but as the theme for the weekend suggests, a Run To The Battle, a sudden thrill for victory in my days.  I WILL engage.

I am not sure how my life will be used in the days to come to be a world changer, but for today, I will seek for just one.  Just that precious ONE!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's been so long!  I feel like everyday on the calendar is filled with new things and I am not sure how I feel about it.  I signed Ava up for ballet and I called today to make sure I hadn't missed the first lesson.  The studio was closed and so I left a message with a little "too much information", like "I am in a panic because I think lessons may have started today and I can not find the brochure you gave me...yes, I am one of those mothers, I'm so sorry...please call me!"  Creepy me.

I am still attempting to potty train Ava, but obviously not too diligently because success has been...slow.  I still use pull ups, I am tired of cleaning pee off the floor. Gross, right?  Want to come over?  Yeah, me either.  MDO (Mother's Day Out) is less than 2 weeks away and she is going back whether they like it or not.  They are the whole reason I even started to try training her! Drat those potty training zealots.

I posted an album on Facebook of my canning experience at Clark Gardens but I will post a couple here too.  It's funny, because I am sure pioneer woman would have killed for a Walmart, and I am longing to sow some pioneer oats, or at least take a class.  Whether I actually can anything on my own remains to be seen.

I think everyone is ready for fall, it was such an inviting entrance!

This was one of the fountains at the gardens.  It was raining that morning so everything seemed a bit moody, it was wonderful after weeks and weeks of drought.  Makes for good pictures too!

Just a little pond life

This is Mary, our instructor.  She is Mennonite and my new dear friend.

We canned peach jam and it was wonderful!

She did a pickling class in the afternoon that I did not stay for, so many people can great pickles around here but this was the prep

These were the jars to be put in the bath

There were several peacocks on the property and they just wandered around.  Not afraid of me one bit!

After taking the class, Mary, the instructor, has become a dear friend.  She was raised Amish and became Mennonite.  I am not sure how all that works, but I guess the Mennonites allow electronics because she drives, has a phone and uses internet.  But in every other way she is "plain", and her presence is restful to me.  She knows how to "visit", which I LOVE.  I have a feeling I will be having some very odd entries in the future regarding exposure to local agriculture.  At least very odd for me.  Something about sharing fat chickens.... She offered to make bread with me and we have been sharing recipes...I hope she will be a regular :)

Mary home school's her children and I asked her about her curriculum.  She gave me a resource that I was very excited about.  I have several books on he Charlotte Mason method.  But was not aware of any actual curriculum.  Well guess what Mary uses!  This is the resource she gave me, Queen Homeschool.  So far all of her children have had dyslexia and she gave me this very interesting resource that has worked with her children.  The book The Gift of Dyslexia uses clay to overcome it.  Pretty interesting, I hope someone googles this and has success!

I have also been reading the book One Thousand Gifts.  This book has had an effect on me over the weeks and I am very grateful that a friend asked me to read it with her.  I have been asked to read self help books in the past, and while I have good intentions, it never seems to happen.  This is NOT, by the way, a self help book.  It is just the account of a woman transforming her life through thanksgiving.  I have spent years in 12 step programs being told to make gratitude lists.  This book is about more than just gratitude.  It is a very enlightened read and I highly recommend you get a highlighter, a friend and a cup of coffee.

Right now I am off to listen to Week 1 of Homeschool Boot Camp, yet ANOTHER resource before I pass out....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Accidental Tourist

I really wish I had posted this several days ago instead of keeping it to edit.  I am up and can't sleep because I have some things on my mind.  So, just know, I have some things on my mind, and I will post again.  That being said...

I have looked at some blogs lately and I am still amazed that there are women out there who have time to live their lives AND chronicle it...daily.  Because I am a writer at heart, I keep hoping this will be the case for me, and I am sure that I COULD write everyday, but you wouldn't want to read it!  There are days when I don't want to read my life.

So what's been up lately?  I am sitting in a rocker with my elbows glued to my sides because there is not a surface in this house that I can actually put my forearms down on.  Once again I left town without cleaning house, came back to a fender bender which is now a full blown, jaws of life wreck.  My husband and my children appear oblivious.  I guess if there are crumbs on the floor, that is where they are meant to be right?  Ugh. (Since then my husband has said "Do you want Hannah to come clean?"  That was a rhetorical question, Woo Hoo!)

Where did I leave to?  I went to Youth Camp for 5 days.  We have attended this camp for 3 years, though it has been around for 20.  It was the last year, as leadership is on to other ventures which I am equally excited about.  Kari Jobe did the praise and worship,  Her name will mean nothing to you in the rock world - think...Gwen Stefani?  Young, newer to the pop world, insanely popular.  Only singing for God.  The whole week was once again, awesome.  And not in the VBS, play games and sing Kumbaya kind of way either.  This camp is faith moving, core rocking, life questing....well, you just have to see it to believe it.   To see kids won to Jesus is one thing.  I mean, it IS church camp.  But this is more than an alter call.  This is TRANSFORMATION.  We had some chains broken that week.  I have a burden for their young lives for sure.  When you come along side youth, their yoke is palpable.  I have spent 35 years in the desert with that yoke and the last 10 years clawing it off.  The stress for them is high in all areas, among their peers and plans for their future.  I realize here is where making a difference in ONE life, really matters.

Praise and Worship

Rock Island Family Church Youth and some friends!

The day I returned from camp I was signed up for a 5K Mud Run.  Yes, insanity.  I was really stoked about it until the night before.  Then by that morning I was sick.  All the negative thoughts and fears came rushing in.  I was a king crab that morning and nothing went right.  When I finally got their, much to  my relief it was a bit unorganized, so I felt right at home!  I found my peeps and that is always a huge relief, we are in it together!  There were 18 obstacles of which I did every one!  I was in better shape than I thought.  I literally thought it would take me 3 hours.  Literally.  It only took me 45 minutes!  I guess all those bootcamps payed off!  The scariest were the high climbs.  I wish I had a picture of me doing one.  I would get to the top and completely panic, closing my eyes saying "Don't look down, don't look down!", then I would fling my leg, no, what's the word?  More like...flailing!  Then come back down.  Aside from the smell of dung, even though they say it's mud it sure doesn't smell like it, I am doing it again in September!

Me, scaling hay bales!
Me, coming out of a mud pit right AFTER swimming through a pond!
I posted an album on Facebook, but these were the obstacles Wesley got pictures of.  The 2 little kids to the left on the lower part of the embankment are my kids cheering me on!  Again, if I can do it, ANYBODY can do it.  Literally.  I mean, a one armed monkey, a 3 legged dog...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Favorite Things

I have lamented pretty seriously over my inability to bring together my sense of style in our home.  Some of it is timing, some of it is money (!!!), and most of it is motivation!  As I looked around I realized I have been successful in a few areas, and so I am sharing some of my favorite things around the house.  It really helps to break it down sometimes in order to feel grateful!

This bed is under a tree in my front yard.  The small grasses are very restful and the spiked purple also makes me think of magical forests

I love the bells on these flowers.  The shock of pink are flowers seen growing wild along the road.  I made sure to get more of those.  What you are NOT seeing in the wood violet that has taken over and makes me crazy!

I can take no credit for these canna.  They were here when we got here and come up faithfully every year!  I have even given quite a few away.

I successfully transplanted these lambs ear and they seem much happier.  The other flowers attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.  What you are not seeing is the pathetic jackmanii clematis that is trellised next to this planting that NEVER blooms because it doesn't get enough sun!  I would have to move the whole trellis...yeah, that is not happening this season.  Or last season, or the season before for that matter!

These roses are in a pot and are VERY fragrant.  I am thankful that if we more I can take them with me!

This little charmer is my oak leaf hydrangea.  She is my FAVORITE plant in the whole yard.  I am not sure why as she is not very showy with blooms, but when she does bloom, they are a paper white and also make me think of the woods of my youth.  She had a baby this year hiding behind the screen door!  What you are not seeing is the pathetic ferns I tried to plant around this shrub that got burned out and can't seem to decide if they want to fully come back!

I had these greek keys added to new door frames and changed the yellow in my kitchen/dining and I love it.  It is hard to tell the color here, but it is a total departure from the mustardy color it was before.  What you don't know is I added these around the doors probably 2 years ago and we are just getting around to painting them!

I got this little bird on sale at Christmas one year on Pottery Barn online.  I gave myself permission to keep her out all year and it has made me very happy to do so.  The color I chose for the kids room is this robin's egg blue by recommendation from BH&G and they said it would go well with silver accents.  They were right!  I may paint the dresser black...need to man it up a bit as Samuel is in there too!

I tried to buy a quilt for the kids beds and they were sloppy looking and too hard to make on the bunk bed.    It occurred to me a "throw" blanket would be a better match and it definitely is!!  I love this blue and it is so soft.  I got it at Home Goods!

This is Ava's basket weave blanket and I love it.  I got it at the 2nd hand store and when I opened it the label was World Market and the tag was still on.  It was only $6.99.  I threw out the idea of matching the kids blankets and it seems to have worked out.  They compliment and it is kind of monochromatic with the wall color.

I finally moved Samuel's mobile into their room!  I love it and hope it sticks around for awhile.  Another Christmas sale item from Restoration Hardware online.  And when I say sale, I mean it, like $20.

I almost tripped over this at the 2nd hand store.  I need a little step stool for the kids to get up on the ladder for the bunk bed.  I had a gray plastic one from Walmart that I was using and HATED  it.  Functional but U G L Y.  This just seemed sweet and it was small.  4.99!

We put a daybed in the spare room and until recently have not been satisfied with bedding and was going to change the paint.  First I found the spread, which is actually a comforter cover and shams at 2nd hand store and just use it as a blanket.  The trundle was an eyesore, but I didn't think about a dust ruffle until I saw the one that matches the other sham under the other pillow.  All sets were Pottery Barn.  Total price for all less than $25.  The two patterns work for me as the colors compliment and I had JUST heard to match patterns you use one bold or large, and the other understated or small.  The advice came at the right time, and now I don't have to paint!

I hated my bedroom.  And I am still working on it one piece at a time.  I love the wall color but have changed the bedding and window treatments several times.  I want it to feel like a hotel with a little personal touch.  The last curtains were kind of a plum and everything in the room was a solid, no patterns.  It just seemed like each thing stood out on it's own and did not go together.  Another 2nd hand purchase for $8.99!!!!  I love them because they are lined, go with the clock, have a pattern and are more soft in hue.

Cats.  Ugh.  The biggest concern when it come to the bed.  I kept changing the comforter cover which is annoying because the thread count in this down comforter is over 500!  So soft and again, I like more of a hotel feel.  So I decided to try to bare it and chose all white pillows and shams too.  We purchased 2 "hotel pillows" from Bed Bath & Beyond, a splurge that was well worth it.  I need a cover to protect the comforter from cat hair and found this throw (the 3rd one!) and everything seems to be coming together!
I hope you like some of my favorite things!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shamu and Other Hijinx

We survived the family trip to Sea World!!  For a place that should be the happiest place on earth, there sure was a lot of crying!  No doubt other parents having "high hopes" of little Johnny having a Disney Day and wondering why it looks more like Jaws.

I decided to have NO expectations, and they were truly met! lol First, before we even leave the house, it is pouring.  And it poured for almost an hour into our trip.  We were going to visit friends first, thankfully, so we headed their first.  This turned out to be a blessing as their awesome oldest son Josh babysat while the adults went to dinner!  They also have a son close to Samuel's age, David, so there were plenty of TOYS!  Nothing worse than visiting with toddlers and having no TOYS!  David had a bunk bed, just like our kids do, only Samuel insisted David sleep in their too so Ava just crawled on up on Samuel's instruction and slept with him.  She loves her Bubba!

We woke up and it was...RAINING!  So we decide to take that day to do the " necessity", yes folks, the time share sit in.  We had gotten these tickets at a reduced price with hotel at the Home and Garden Show last year through Wyndham.  I had forgotten that little detail, so I was not being a good sport about it.  They took us hostage for over 3 hours!  We really liked the sales guy, and it always bums me out because we know we are going to say no, and then after spending 3 hours building relationship, it's bon voyage.  He even invited us to a Messianic service!  We would have loved that.  But I digress...

I picked the restaurant for dinner, which was challenging with my new "diet", yes, I know, another one.  As far as food, TX is still Mexico, so those were the choices.  I thought the kids might enjoy a Mariachi.  OK, I wanted Mariachi.  So what!  As I said, expectations were low, thankfully, because Ava gagged on a chip and proceeded to throw up.  No problem.  Moving right along.  She was fine after we got her cleaned up and had no problem eating ice cream later!

We decide to go to Riverwalk, where Samuel's makes friends with some teenagers on a boat while we are waiting to get on.

He's pretending to shoot them with the light up gun we got him at the restaurant and they are pretending to be dead.  He could have done that all night.

The next day was...BEAUTIFUL!  Great day for Sea World.  We met our friends again.  Here is where, again, low expectations was a must.

1. Samuel hated the splash park
2. We spent most of our time locating food, standing in line for food and finding a restroom
3.  The kids were not impressed by the shows
4.  The kids had more fun on the playground

So, needless to say, Sea World will wait for another 4 or 5 years when they can ride rides and enjoy show.  I, on the other hand, had a GREAT time!  I loved the shows, I hate rides so I was not sad to miss that, and we got to feed dolphins!  The kids DID love that.

Here's a few memories:

Sunday was the final ceremony at AWANA so they had some entertainment for the parents.  This is the first time we have seen the kids, um, participate? In any kind of production.  I was a ridiculous, over the top excited parent.  I made a nuisance of myself in the aisle, stepping over people, standing up, trying to get 1000 pictures.  I will only subject you to a few :)
Getting ready to go in "uniform"

Ava making the little hand motions to the song

Getting her certificate of completion

Samuel also playing along in the middle!

And then adding his own dance...?  People kept laughing, so of course he kept doing it!

Getting his certificate too!!
There's more, but it's midnight and I need to get in bed.  Kids are great...so great...