simple happiness everyday.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

a cup of tea.

Amazingly this morning, I was ready way before I had to wake up my children up to dress them for Church. I actually had time to sit down and have a cup of tea... that never happens to me. Usually we are rushing out of the house at 7:15 am, and why a cup of tea? Anyone who really knows me, knows how much I love coffee in the morning. But, for whatever reason, I opened the cabinet for a teacup and I was overwhelmed by sweet, joyful memories of my grandmother.

Every morning was the same whenever I visited Grandma P. I would wake up each morning hearing the tea kettle whistling. And my grandmother would sit at her kitchen table, adorned with beautiful place mats and cloth napkins (usually pink) with a proper cup of tea, not a mug, but in a china cup on a saucer with a dallop of milk or cream. Usually, by this time in the morning, her lips were already coated with pink lipstick which would leave its mark on the cup. She would read the newspaper and look out of the window from her 9th floor apartment. I would join her with my own cup of tea and we'd sit and talk, just about everything.

I loved her apartment on the 9th floor. It seemed like everything was pink and white and floral and always in its place. I loved how she called the living room couch a davenport. I loved her sense of fashion, it seemed like her drawers and closets were overflowing with jewelry and scarves and handbags and shoes. Her nails were always painted pink and her hair was always done.

My grandmother will always be special to me for so many reasons.

I vividly pictured her this morning as I reached for that teacup. I sat down and quietly enjoyed my cup of tea with cream, not alone, but with memories. It made me truly smile. I still miss my grandmother tremendously, yet memories such as these will always be a part of my heart as I know I am such a part of her.

Has that every happened to you? In an instant, you are overwhelmed by memories of a person or even a place?

Friday, February 26, 2010

happy (snowy) friday.

The northeast has been hit by another blizzard! Oh, how I wish I were there. I really do miss the snow and its beauty as it falls. Down here in the south, there isn't much, maybe a dusting each year. However, a couple of weeks ago, just before our trip to Oklahoma... it did snow, really snow!! I love to look at this picture of our backyard taken just before we headed out of town.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

quiet whispers.

Sia sleeping with her new Kai Lan night lite

It doesn't matter if they even know that while they are sleeping, I kiss them gently on their heads, quietly whisper a simple thought and say "I love you." It is my nightly ritual before I can actually get into bed and fall asleep.

For me, it brings a completely peaceful end to each and every day.

back at home.

It's been a crazy kind of week trying to settle back into our daily life after a week away from home. I've been feeling a bit under the weather and have had a slight case of the blues- missing my husband and daily life with him. Slade hasn't been feeling well either. He has strep and I wish the two of us could just climb under a blanket together on the couch. But, with a house and family to take care, it's hardly possible to have that comfort right now.
As for the girls they are happy to be home and in their bedrooms again. They have been happily listening to music all week and singing and dancing in their rooms. The two are really silly together and it makes me smile. I love to listen as they play house or school, which is what they do most of the time. Their relationship makes me happy, as I know what it is like to ALWAYS have a sister by my side and I couldn't be more thankful that they have one another too.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

a bright & happy idea.

Aren't these rainbow cupcakes from Baking Bites so vibrant, happy and fun? Add a shamrock on top and they will be perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

traveling home.

I am so very thankful for my three children, who are such wonderful travelers during such long trips in the car.

Friday, February 19, 2010

a visit to the job site.

We couldn't leave Oklahoma without visiting Jeff at his job site. When I look at the magnitude of the project being constructed, I am completely proud. I know he puts much more than 100% into his job each and every day. His ambition and strive to succeed are just a couple of the many reasons why I love him so much.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

tulsa zoo.

Today, we visited the Tulsa Zoo with some friends here in Oklahoma.

Isn't it fun to visit a zoo in a completely different state than the one that you live in? Here are some of our notes from the day:

Slade liked the giraffe (there is only one).
Sia enjoyed watching the otters and penguins.
Elle said her favorite thing was the tigers sleeping.
As for me, I am always completely amazed at how large the animals truly are and how much care must be given to each and every animal at a zoo.

wooden blocks.

Very few toys were brought along with us to Oklahoma. Usually on trips, we bring coloring books, paper, crayons and markers. It keeps my kids busy. However, at the last minute, I put a container of wooden blocks in the back of the car.

I enjoy watching the imagination that my children use when playing with blocks. During our time here in Oklahoma, I have seen them build houses and castles and garages and bridges. They knock them down and within minutes build again. Sometimes, they sort them by colors or shapes or even find totally different uses besides just to build and create.

Today I heard the girls having a conversation with one another using a block as a telephone which they each held up to their ears. And Slade, the boy that he is chose to use the blocks as grenades that he launched from the table.

I love that wooden blocks are basic and simple yet they can bring such an immense amount of creativity to a child's mind. Sometimes I believe, the more simple a toy is, the more enjoyable it can be.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

create love.

Check out Starbucks Love Project. For every love drawing you create, 5 cents will be donated to the global fund to help fight Aids in Africa. The kids and I created these drawings yesterday and they were posted on the gallery of hundreds of drawings from around the world.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

lazy days.

morning view from the apartment in Oklahoma

It has been a lazy few days here in Oklahoma. We haven't left the apartment since we've arrived. In a way, it is refreshing to just stay put. No schedules to meet. No where to go. Or places to be. It's just us, being together. We've played games- lots of games. And, I've been able to do some reading.

It's given me the freedom to cook meals I haven't made in awhile. Yesterday, I took the time to make polenta and portabella tamales and a pot of shrimp tortilla soup. It's challenging to cook in a kitchen that is not my own and to utilize the tools and ingredients on hand, but so enjoyable to cook without being on a schedule.

Today we're venturing out. Meeting some friends. Maybe we'll do a little shopping. And, see some new sites here in Oklahoma.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy valentine's day.

We are spending Valentine's Day together as a family in Oklahoma. And, I am loving it.

Jeff and I are making dinner together tonight... angel hair pasta with crab in a spicy arrabiata sauce
and gorgonzola toasts..... yum! Can't wait.

Happy Valentine's Day to all. How are you spending your Valentine's Day? I hope your day is filled with love and happiness.

Friday, February 12, 2010

valentine cards complete.

Slade's class valentines were the last on our list to complete. We finished them last night, just before bed. Slade originally wanted to make his valentines including a foil-wrapped chocolate race car, but unfortunately we ordered them online and they still have not arrived. Hence, the reason we were so last-minute.

So we browsed the web and used this neat idea from Family Fun.
We created a cell phone Valentine, writing a text message and using old-fashioned candy buttons for the phone's digits.

more valentine treats.

I made cupcakes and brought them into Elle's Butterfly class for a Valentine treat. I individually packaged each cupcake so that the children could easily transport them home. I also tied a the tag on with a fun Valentine straw. So fun and yummy!!

for the love of teachers.

Slade, Elle and Sia gave these packages of Lemon Heads to all of their teachers.

Because I am the room mom in Elle's preschool class, I wanted to give the teachers a small gift from all of the children. I had asked each of them why they love their teachers and incorporated them into a small plant blooming with hearts. A great representation of the love their teachers give to help them grow. We love our teachers at St. Michael's!! It was so much fun hearing what all of the children had to say... so sweet and endearing.

i love you notes.

As Slade was eating breakfast this morning, before heading off to school, he busy writing these notes for his sisters. He left them on the counter for them to see when they came downstairs. How sweet is that? He has such a huge heart for a little boy. (Sia added to hers before I could take a picture!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a night with the girls.

It's been awhile since the six of us have gotten together. I have been saying it for months... "let's get together, just us girls." The holidays came and went. The kids had a school break and then went back. Families were visiting. Husbands were out of town. So finally, we settled for a Tuesday night in February after the kids were in bed to, here at my house.

Amazingly, my kids were in bed and asleep unusually early and I was quite happy at my accomplishment. The plan was to have pizzas, and yes, usually I make them on Fridays, but thought it would be simple dinner for the us girls. It would give us time to casually eat and chat.

We talked and laughed and talked and laughed some more. I think it was the therapy we all needed. We all have completely different personalities and all of our lives are completely different right now, sometimes we don't see each other for months, yet when we are together, we rely on each other for support, comfort, advice and inspiration. We talk about whatever comes to mind and sometimes we might laugh (really laugh) or cry.

I am truly thankful for my friends. The six of us have formed a bond of love and friendship for life. It was such a great night. The next day, it made us all wonder...
"why don't we do this more often?" So, I think we should, at least once a month.

My friends, were definitely the comfort I needed on a Tuesday night in February after my kids went to bed. Thank you so much.... I love all of you so much for so many reasons!!

Monday, February 8, 2010


The house was quiet again today. It was the perfect time for me to begin all of the Valentine ideas that I have been thinking about, but haven't really had the chance to sit down and work on.

Sia and Elle worked on their class Valentines, which they will exchange later this week. They all wanted to give their friends at school a treat along with a Valentine, so we came up with some ideas to incorporate both. Slade and I will work on his class cards later this week, as we are still waiting for the chocolate foil wrapped race cars to arrive.

Valentine cards and packages are ready to be addressed and mailed to our families

Sia's Valentine's for her preschool class consisted of a package of teddy grahams, with a card that reads "bear hugs" from- and she signed her name on each one

Elle's 4-year old Butterfly class will get a little package of butterfly kisses! We made a butterfly on the front of the card using a heart-shaped, the letter O and and exclamation point stamps. And then, we added some glitter to the wings. The back of the card reads "hope your day is filled with butterfly kisses" the card was stapled to a little bag which we filled with Hershey kisses. Cute, huh?

What ideas do you have for Valentine's Day? Have you found any great ideas on the web? I truly enjoy making Valentine cards. Do you make or buy yours?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

sunday morning doughnuts.

Just about every Sunday after Church, we stop to buy doughnuts. This Sunday, the girls were very excited to see that the chocolate frosted doughnuts had pink, red and white heart-shaped sprinkles.... just look how happy!!

happy weekend.

The house has been full of people again and I am loving it. It is truly wonderful when my in-laws come to visit, even if we do nothing in particular at all. I love the company. We have spent time cooking and eating, talking and laughing, learning new things (maybe I will take up knitting) and just enjoying the time with one another.

I love how happy the kids are. The endless hugs and kisses they want to give their Baba and PopPop are extremely sweet. They love them so much. As do I.

The time we are spending together this weekend is nurturing and strengthening
for our family. The compassion and happiness among all permeates throughout our home and it brings me much gratitude. I am truly blessed and I openly embrace such joyful moments.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I am loving my husband.

I love the calmness I feel when he is near.

I love the strength of his arms around me.

I love when he knows what I need without even asking.

I love the silly moments he shares with the kids.

(they love to make their daddy laugh)

I love the tender moments I see with the girls,

like painting Sia and Elle's toenails just because today.
I love the way he tells Slade he is proud,
very proud for the son he has.

I love all his hugs and kisses throughout the day.

... just a few reasons why I am loving my husband today.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

i love books.

It was the theme at the preschool this week. And today, the girls had to dress as a storybook character. The ideas were endless, yet they both settled on characters they are crazy about right now. Elle decided on Strawberry Shortcake and Sia wanted to be Olivia, from the books by Ian Falconer. So, we went through their closets and my craft drawers and came up with their costumes. I was very happy with the way they turned out and Elle and Sia were all smiles as they headed off to school.

Monday, February 1, 2010

children inspire design giveaway.

I am loving this original art giveaway at Children Inspire Design. It is a 12″x12″ recycled collage piece, made completely from scrap papers on a salvaged wood plank. Her name is “Growth”. What a wonderful happy addition to any child's room.

Children Inspire Design offers a line of stylish, eco-friendly and culturally diverse wall art, wall cards, posters and stationary full of whimsy designed to help children learn. Each eco art image is made from recycled papers, scraps and earth-friendly inks-- definitely creative recycling.