My family

My family

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!!

I am so thankful for those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could enjoy freedom.

Now that it's officially Summer in Minnesota - woohoo!! - it was time to pick up the traditional flag t-shirts from Old Navy.  

These puppies are part of a care package headed to Texas soon for my sweet baby boy and his sweet girlfriend!

Garrett and Delanie can both vouch for the fact that it's an annual beating  tradition for this mama to take Flag Shirt pictures.  I say it's a tradition.  The kids say it's a beating.  :)

Seriously, y' sweet are these two???  

My sweet little hellions  kids in 2004.....

Garrett = 10 yrs old
Delanie = 6 yrs old

Looking at the picture above, it's hard to believe these cuties were complaining the entire time.  Garrett didn't want Delanie touching him.  Delanie said her legs were too itchy.  

It took about three minutes for me to blow my top!! :)

Doesn't the picture below say it all?!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Pinky's Road Trip

A few weeks ago, I got this text from Delanie......

And just like that my baby girl was all grown up!  


That weekend, she and her pal trotted themselves up to the hair salon.......solo......without her mama.


I agreed on one condition:  she had to text real-time photos! :)

To be honest, I'm a little surprised she chose pink.  I was expecting blue or green.  

Four hours and two color treatments later........voila!

Isn't she the cutest thing ever???

For the life of me, I don't know where she got this brave, independent streak.

Probably from her MiMi!! :)

Speaking of her MiMi.....she learned one of her MiMi's (and mine!) favorite songs for my Mother's Day gift.  Louis Armstrong's "What a wonderful world".  

Sweet, right??

That night was her first Center Stage performance.  

At the end of each school year, Delanie's high school puts on a musical.

This year's theme was Road Trip.

It was usual! :)

See that pink head on the far left?  That's Delanie!  

The school is super strict about taking photos during the performance but I had to sneak this one in.  

As soon as I clicked the photo, there was an usher tapping on my shoulder shaking his head no.  

After the show with Willem......

And Sam.....

And the Senior boys......

And the entire gang......

So there it is.  I have my very own Pinky Tuscadero!  :)

(Only the adults old enough to remember Happy Days will get that one!)  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Show & Tell Thursday

It’s time for Show & Tell Tuesday  Thursday again!  

I'm running a bit late with this post.  :)
This time it’s about the best vacation ever.
To date, I would have to say my favorite vacation was Maddens in Brainerd, MN during the summer of 2014.
Side note:  Minnesotans consider Brainerd “up north”.  That phrase cracks me up!  As if Minnesota isn’t “north” enough.  J


Jim LOVES Gull Lake.  I mean, he seriously loves that place! 
If he could retire tomorrow, it would be on Gull Lake.  In fact, every time we’re there, we look at homes for sale. 

Maddens is a full-service resort located on a peninsula that juts out into Gull Lake. 
It looks like a postcard!

During this trip, we stayed in the cutest cabins right on the lake.  It was perfect! 

Several times during our stay, we rented a pontoon for fishing.  Then every night, we would walk down to the beach and build a fire. 


This is my all-time favorite picture of Jim.....

Maddens is the only place I’ve ever seen Jim completely relax.  You can tell by looking at this face that he could stay there forever. 

There is nowhere he would rather be than on the lake with a fishing rod in his hand. 
That works for me!  I pack a few books and completely veg out in the sunshine. 
It’s incredibly peaceful. 
But…….we have big news!! 
This summer, we are headed to Italy for a few weeks!!!  Eeeks!
Let me back up some….

Jim & I got married on his parents’ anniversary in 2009.  Neither one of us wanted a big wedding – we were more interested in the marriage than the wedding – so we had our friends and family gather in our living room. 
Jim had just changed jobs so it wasn’t the right time for a honeymoon.  In fact, we spent our wedding night in the house with Garrett & Delanie. 
Looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Two years later, we moved to Minnesota. 
To tell you the truth, people from the South go on vacation to see snow like we get up here so it’s felt like we were on vacation since we made the move! :)
Fast forward a few years and we decided it was time for the honeymoon. 
And just like that, we’re headed halfway across the world to Italy!!
We have the flights booked but that’s about it.  Every second we get, we are checking out hotels, tours, etc. 

The first half of our trip will be spent in Positano on the Amalfi Coast.  It’s stunning, right?!

The second half of the trip will be spent in Rome.
I am already itching to get inside those beautiful cathedrals!!
Stay tuned for all the details!!

Friday, May 20, 2016


Several months ago, my hair stylist – Kelli at Urban Eve and I were chatting about the occasional stores in our area.  Kelli’s salon had just moved to a new location so she asked if I had ever gone “up the hill” to Hamel, MN to visit their boutiques. 
Just like that……a love affair was born!
After my appointment, I drove up the hill and found the sweetest little boutique called Art2Heart.  It just so happens that it was open late this night (the only night of the week!) so I went in to look around.  Terri the gal at the front desk – showed me around and filled me in on the store’s history.

Art2Heart is a nonprofit organization run completely by volunteers that helps fund charities in Minnesota as well as Haiti, Peru and other third world countries.  

As Terri told me the history behind each of the items for sale, I found myself completely in awe!  It took exactly .23 seconds for me to decide that this was something I needed to be a part of.  It felt like God had led me directly to this place.
Here are a few of the inspiring stories behind Art2Heart’s gift shop…..

These metal signs are made by an outreach program in Haiti.  They are cut (by hand!) from old oil drums.  Then a team of 4-5 young men hammer (by hand!) the raised/embossed letters.  They work barefoot in an unpaved parking lot without chairs/tables/desks.  The signs are sent back to Art2Heart to sell.  The profits go straight back into housing and education for the group of Haitians. 

The women in this photo live in Peru and are part of the Mostacillas De Fe organization.  They embroider/sew/knit/crochet everything from dolls to tote bags to scarves and sell them in the store. 

This is only a few of the outreach programs that Art2Heart leads to spread the love of Jesus Christ. 

The third Thursday of the month, Art2Heart hosts a Creative Night.  Jen Swift – one of the most talented, outgoing and beautiful women I’ve ever met – runs the program.  She is a true artist!  Her creative vision is simply amazing. 

The first Creative Night was in April and we made string art.   Jen leads the group in making the projects, then the items go onto the showroom floor for sale. 
It was so much fun! 
I’ve been looking for a place to be creative and meet new friends.  God knew that and took me straight to Art2Heart!
When I say that Jen Swift (Art2Heart’s creative go-to artist) is talented, I mean she is REALLY TALENTED!!  Like there’s nothing she can’t do.  I said those exact words to her last night.  Her sweet response was, “There are a few things I don’t know how to do but I’m going to figure out how to do them!”.

Last night at Creative Night, we made wind chimes with hand-me-down silverware, rusty fish hooks, beads, metal cupcake tins, etc. 

I wish the photo did the wind chime justice.  It is gorgeous!  J
I had a great time visiting with this wonderful group of women and was honored to have my creation put on display and the profits used for helping others. 

Speaking of my creations, the store asked if they could carry my signs on consignment!  Eeks!!! 
They loved the signs I had on Etsy and wanted 10-15 displayed in the store. 
Awesome, right?!  J 


A few weeks ago, I dropped off the first batch of signs. 
I have to admit……when I walked into the store last night and saw my signs on display, I started crying! 
I felt like I was right where I needed to be.
The consignment is a standard 60/40 structure.  Sixty percent of the proceeds to go MS and forty percent go to Art2Heart’s outreach missions. 
I wish I could plug all of the inspiring stories into this post.  Check out the gorgeous things in the gift shop…..

Women make these bird cages by hand-bending industrial wire. 

Jen’s dad made the pallet signs above.  He used reclaimed barn wood and paints “For He so loved the world” on them.  He uses the profits to help fund an orphanage in India.
I could go on and on and on!  I’m just so excited to have found this special place and look forward to be a part of their mission.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Etsy update

The  Etsy store has been keeping me super busy lately!
After this post back in February about pulling out of Mama’s Happy, it took quite a while to get back into the craft room.  I had no motivation and my pride was still store from what I viewed as rejection. 
Since then, I’ve really tried giving it to God.  I know He has a plan for me and I want my actions to align with that plan.
Scrolling through Pinterest one night, I saw this….

Several things hit me:  1) that perfectly described my “fear” of rejection, and 2) that lettering is GORGEOUS!
Pretty soon I was practicing my brush lettering every chance I got…… in front of the TV, on my lunch break……

A few weeks ago, I came across an advertisement for the Minneapolis Craft Market.  It is held every Sunday afternoon at a brewery in either Minneapolis or Saint Paul. 

Jim and I had a few hours to kill one Sunday so we headed downtown to check it out. 
It was pretty awesome! 
After praying about it, it felt like the right thing to apply to be a vendor.
And…….my first showing is May 22nd!!  Eeks!
P.S.  I’ve decided to go in a different direction with my designs……using my newfound brush lettering skills!

Since Jim has been traveling quite a bit for work, I’ve been painting my little heart out. 
Step One:  Base coat

Step Two:  Lettering

Step Three:  Framing

I’m slowly but surely building up my inventory with the new “look”. 
The goal this week is to get these suckers painted & ready for framing….

So, if you need me I’ll be in my jammies……watching Netflix…..eating Hot Tamales (required for sign painting!)…..paint brush in hand…….trying not to think about how nervous I am to do the show.