Forever Gifts

   Mike's Valentine Gift

One of my all time favorite blogs, Dixie Delights, did a post on special "forever" birthday gifts she 
gives her sons on their birthdays rather than the usual toys.  We all know how our kids get plenty of toys from grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends.  She buys them a gift that they will carry with them and hopefully cherish and use when they have families of their own.  One of her gifts to her boys was 
a house portrait.  She linked an artist on etsy who does pin and ink drawings as well as watercolors.

Mike spends a lot of time taking care of our house, especially in the yard.  He's very proud of it and gets lots of compliments for his hard work.  As we age (don't you just love that expression) we are beginning to think more often about what to do in the future.  Do we want to downsize? 
Do we want to move to a new weather friendly location?  What do we want our future to look like?  We don't have all the answers yet but we know some point in our future we will have to make a decision.  When we first got married we lived in Mike's house for a few years but it was really never our home.  This house we had built.  We went through all the decisions of what we wanted and needed.  Some decisions we choose well and others not so much but I know this will be the house
 that always represents "our family home".   I thought it would be a great idea to have a 
painting so that we would always have it as a reminder should make to decision to move on.

I commissioned a watercolor and the artist did such an awesome job.  We were so happy with it.
The watercolor itself is 9x12.  It comes with a white matte which makes the portrait 12x16.  I thought I would easily be able to find a pre-made frame in that size.  After searching Michaels, JoAnns, Kohls, Walmart, Target and Hobby Lobby, I just could not find a frame that I was happy with.     In order to have a custom frame made it was going to cost about $140.00 which wasn't in my budget.  A very sweet employee in the framing department at Hobby Lobby suggested that I just get an 11x14 frame and have a new mat cut.  Now why didn't I think of that.  I knew a wanted a pewter color frame because I'm going to hang this in our bedroom and am planning on a "renovation" this year.   The colors will be grey, white, silver and an accent color not determined yet.   I found the perfect style and color 11x14 in frame at 50 % off from Hobby Lobby for 14.99.  I decided the have the matte ($6.00) cut in black to play off the future wall color.   So for a total of $21.00 I got the custom look I wanted.  

The artist, Paul Young has an etsy shop.  Not only does he do beautiful work,  he was professional and made sure I got my portrait in time for Valentine's day for my sweetie even though
I didn't make the order until January.

I want to thank A from Dixie Delights  once again for her constant inspiration
and resource list.  I just love her traditional and southern coastal style not to mention
her very sweet children and family parties.  Thank you for my new tradition of
forever gifts for my husband, children and grandchildren.


Valentines (better late than never)

I'm really going with the "simplicity"theme this year in my seasonal decorating.  I added a few new ideas to a few of my old favorites and spread little touches throughout.

I made this with a heart styrofoam wreath and tule, cut in strips and tied around 
the shape.
Easy but somewhat time consuming. 
Very happy with the results.

I gave my daughters, sisters and friends some homemade sugar scrub and put into
cute little mason jars as little token of what they mean to me.

Wishing you all the blessing of love on this special day.

Remembering to be grateful in all things

911.  grandkids smiling for pictures

912.  my grandma and papaw enjoying their shared birthday in heaven today with jesus
913.  mike's new hearing aids 
(he can finally hear well after 22 years)
914.  lent
915.  trip next week to see my northern grandbabies
916.  taylor who amazes me constantly with her courage to try new things
917.  my little sister's engagement
916.  gno birthday's for two of our girls
917.  blogging friends who encourage and inspire
918.  a beautiful weekend with cold snuggling weather
919.  my sister-in-law done with her radiation treats


Playing Catch-up

I really had great intentions on posting more often.  I don't really have an excuse, just nothing interesting to say.  Playing catch up with some fun events.

I took Ryan out for a birthday lunch.  Loved playing catch up.  I told him he needs
a hair cut but he's letting it grow for a specific event in March and he promised he'd get it 
cut afterwards.  Am I ever gonna stop being "that" mom.  The one who suggests to her all grown up
son that he needs a haircut, shave and all the other "suggestions" that I'm sure he doesn't need or
want to hear but always listens to with a smile.  Love this boy.

Happy Birthday Bubba

Had a fun GNO in January at Kathie's house.  We've been doing alot
of craft nights since last September.  This night we made pillows.

I made a cute silvery gray pillow for my bedroom reno that I'm planning this year.
I'll be adding a flower with a rhinestone pin in the corners and will update a
picture when I finish.   

I didn't get pictures of everyone (or their finished results) but I wanted to show what cute and 
delicious treats that Kathie's daughter, Krysta, made for us.

Button cookies and cupcakes with fondant spools of thread on top

Other exciting happening:

My BFF (am I allowed to say that at my age) drove into town all the way
from Mobile for a much needed and long awaited weekend together.

our dog Koby loves his Aunt Janet

We had a two day visit:

stayed up "really late" at night talking
mike took us to the movie, identity theft  (really funny)
quick hobby lobby shopping trip
janet treated us to lunch
girls day shopping together
yummy salads at the mall

oh yes janet, i did post a picture of our lunch  ha

she made her famous fried rice for dinner when we got home
she makes the best in the world as every member of my family has 
declared time and time again

yep, i put a picture of your fried rice too

after dinner we had a late night marathon of season 1 of "the walking dead"
i know, what is a person my age watching this show
i admit it, i'm a closet fan of the show and janet is a true
kindred spirit.  janet had never seen the show and loved it, hence the marathon

sadly she had to go home to be with her family the next day but
happy to say we've already planned my next visit to her
until then bff, phone calls and texts will have to do 

the quality of the pictures above are awful because i have been
using my cell phone.  so easy to use but i always hate the results.

Remembering to be grateful in all things

903.  visits from best friends
904.  girls night out crafting (my favorite)
905.  eli's 1st birthday

906.  spending time with my sisters at a cooking class
(thanks Michelle for setting that up)
907.  a sweet valentine from Dylan for my mom

908.  my sweet friend how made a cute outfit for my granddaughter who loves twirly skirts

909. God who is always willing to give second and third chances
910.  two friends expecting grandbabies in September