Saturday, April 28, 2012

Full of Surprises...

my mom's birthday was monday.  she turned 77.   no gift would have been big enough to thank her for all the help she (and my dad) have blessed us with since cancer temporarily rearranged my life.  the largest, most beautiful flower arrangement from FTD wouldn't have cut it.  so when my sister and brother-in-law asked me to drive out to arizona to celebrate my mom's birthday with them, i had to say yes.  i actually had a doctor appointment scheduled on her birthday, but i didn't let her know that i rescheduled it so i could surprise her.  

when we arrived at her house, she was at her bible study.  so my dad tucked my sister and brother-in-law away in their office to await her arrival.  after they jumped out and yelled, "surprise!", i then walked into the family room and said, "hey mom, have you changed the sheets in the bedroom?"  her expression said, "what?  you're not suppose to be here!"  
i loved it! 
 i do love surprises.  

my parents live five minutes from laughlin, nevada.  if you've never been there, think vegas on the colorado river.  us girls sit in a row of chairs for say, oh 19 hours, and play keno and draw poker machines.  we rarely get up to go to the bathroom, eat or drink.  we're diehards.  or insane.  one or the other.  all i know, is that i was a big loser. 
but no need to dwell on that part of the trip. 

but on this trip we added a twist.  we went antique shopping.  bullhead city (where my parents live) is an older folk's haven.  so I figured there must be an abudance of goodies in these shops.  And i found a few. 

first off, the prices were so very similar to our prices here.  disheartening.  but i found a booth with 50% off.  i yelled, "bingo!" and i wasn't even in a casino!

i first spied this mirror tucked behind a bunch of old picture frames.  i offered it to my sister first as i thought it would be beautiful in her home.  she had no where to put it (as if I did!), and it really caught my eye.  though i didn't know exactly where it would go, i couldn't pass it up.  it was $55 with 50% off.  yay!
so this $27 mirror found it's way into the corner of our dining room.

looking above me, i spotted a chandelier that was stunning.  i've just recently thought about replacing my candle-lier with a chandelier over my bath tub.  though this one had a broken saucer, it was only $125.  with 50% off!   can you say, "Score!"  and in all honesty, i almost passed on it.  i walked away mumbling, "i don't really need that."  ten minutes later while walking through another antique store, i looked at my mom and said, "you know we need to go back and get that.  because you know me, i will call you when I get home and ask you to drive back there and get it.  and then I won't want to wait until july when you and dad come back and visit to hang that baby."
  so back we went.   
it was $65!

and i couldn't resist getting a picture of gregg, without whom i couldn't exist!

and always on the hunt for something cute to put roses in, i found this little "home sweet home" bucket for $6 and this red transferware sugar bowl for $5. 

but in all honesty, i enjoyed the time at my parents' home more than antique shopping and losing my money on keno.

you see, my parents retired to arizona 20 years ago.  and they brought all of the furniture i grew up with to their new home.  so when i'm there, such fond memories flood my thoughts.  

my mom has had the same coffee table for probably 40 years.  i colored at that table.  i watched i love lucy at that table.  the cups i drink out of when i'm there are the same ones i drank out of when i was 10 years old.  and the sugar is in the same yellow tupperware container it was when we made sugar cookies for christmas in 1977.  there's still a label made from masking tape on it marked "sugar."  hopefully, it's new sugar.  (i'm kidding, mom!)  i know she reads my blog.  

and this cracked me up when i saw it on the side of my parents' fridge.  i painted a bunch of wooden flowers and attached magnets to the back of them when i was probably in seventh grade.  and my mom still uses one!  too funny.

but the best part of all, is the music my parents play throughout their home.  when's the last time you heard debby boone's song, "you light up my life" or sammy davis, jr.'s song "the candyman?"  i feel like i'm in fifth grade all over again. (am i dating myself, or what?)

and each night i went to sleep in their guest bedroom, i was overwhelmed with emotion.  i was so grateful to be well enough to be there.  so grateful to be able to celebrate her birthday with her.  in her home, not mine.  so grateful for the good memories of my childhood that my parents had blessed us with.

between that and a $65 chandelier, i had the time of my life.
thanks, mom, for a great trip. 
 i hope to do it all over again on your 78th.
(by the way, does this lady look like she's 77?  i think not!)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

new letter boards...

well, with a little help from my beloved handyman gregg, we have a new look in our hallway.  
(gregg can measure and hang way better than i can!)
remember i told you that i love the number 5 and had a new project in my brain?  well, it got done sooner than i expected.  

down came the old quilt that hung on the wooden rod for the last twelve years, and up came some linen wrapped bulletin boards.  you like?

i apologize for the bad forthcoming photos, but given that this hallway is upstairs and quite narrow, it's tough to get a good angle and a good photo.

i found these great metal letters at and ordered them in my family's initials.  ed and i represent the capitals, jake and rachel are the lowercase.  and, of course, God represents the number 5.  
four of us plus Him equals 5.

i thought about taking the rod down, but loved the dimension it added.  i went to the do-it center and found a package of black nail heads for $2.99 and used them to hang the letters.  the letters already come distressed as if they were found on the side of an old building.  and i already had a huge roll of the black grossgrain ribbon.  i love that it's wide enough and substantial enough to see when you walk in our front door (and look up).

and remember i said i love gregg? 
he figured out how to get this frame to hang still while tied with a 
ribbon onto the rod.  
his secret?

he used a piece of cardboard box and cut a little tent out of it and hot glued it to the back of the middle of the frame so it rested perfectly between the frame and wall.  

i found this bench at a local antiques store.  it was $50 and red.  it sat behind our downstairs couch and i loved it.  but things don't stay in one place very long around here.  so i painted it white and placed it in our hallway. 
 it fits like a glove.  i don't think i'll ever move it. 
and twigs just had to get in the photo.  i bought her a new pink and rhinestone collar yesterday.  i think she was trying to show it off.

the top of the bench holds baskets of books.  the old tool caddy belonged to my girlfriend's dad.  i love that she gave it to me.  i think of him every time i see it.

and my favorite little vignette up here are the two silver frames with jake and rachel's silhouettes in them.  jake's kindergarten teacher made these for all the moms for mother's day.  i asked him to make another one for me of rachel. 
 i adore them.   

i love our new letter boards for three reasons:

1.  it reinforces to my kids that family is so very important. 
every time they walk down the hallway.

2.  it's a great conversation piece. 
 i'm sure many will see our four initials and the number five
 and say, "what gives?"

3.  and after someone says, "what gives?"
 it's a great way to share 
that God is at the heart of our family.

have any metal initials lying around? 
 if so, celebrate your family and God 
somewhere in your home 
for all to see.


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