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has been moved to new address

for His pleasure

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
for His pleasure

Monday, December 19, 2011

We're Moving!!!

The past 48 hours I've been agonizing about this blogging thing.  Do you know that posting about my life, pictures of myself, writing what I feel is very NOT me?  As in, I have to step out of my normal skin and step into a world foreign to me to talk about myself and the stuff I do every day.

And I'm still not exactly sure why I do it.

My wedding day was one of the most nerve racking days of my life {along with bridal and baby shower days} because I hate attention.  Like, abhor it.  I can talk to you about anything one on one in real life.  But put me with a bunch of people?  I freeze.  Post pictures of me?  That's just weird. 

I could practically be Amish. 
I'm serious.

And blogging definitely attracts attention.  Good and bad.

So I reached a cross road.  What are the pros and cons to blogging and do I think I can continue with it?  I have a lot on my plate.  And I willfully do that to myself most of the time.

For months, Steven and I have been working, talking, designing things in our heads.  Laboring over the path to choose.

And I guess I chose.

Blogging it is.

Hubby and I have been collaborating {as in he does ALL the work while I tell him what I want and don't want} on a new website/blog called annapolis.

It's more me.

It'll be more professional.  As in, no pictures of me painting our house in my underwear. 

Yes.  I DID just say that.

But there's a couple things I want you all to know.  Because I love you.  Yes you, my readers.  I love all of you and having you here!

Annapolis will not be me spilling out my guts.  Annapolis will not be a place to know the real me.   {You can meet me over coffee for that one.}

It'll be a place to receive inspiration.  It'll be a place to see pretty things.  It'll be a place for me to experiment with my photography.  It'll be my creative side.  The story that needs to get told, that I've been suppressing for various reasons my entire life.

But I want you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that annapolis will exist for those reasons.  Please no - absolutely no - false impressions of me.  I am a real person.  We are a real family.  We have our ups and downs, our lazy and unproductive days, our messy and clean days, and our spirit-filled and spirit-quenched days.

I'm excited to enter this new phase of blogging.  And nervous.  There's lots and lots of changes and updates needing to be made over at the new blog.  We're working on getting tutorials and recipes switched over and updated and the content of the posts might be a slightly wacked for a little while.  But it's gonna be a fun ride!

The comments will be closed, but I'm considering getting my Facebook back again in order to keep up with my friends better.  I'll also be posting less.  My husband and kids deserve my attention first and I also want the content of my posts to be more professional, therefore requiring more work to get them that way.

Also, can I say a HUGE thank you to all of you faithful readers this year?!  I look back at my earlier posts and think, "What in the world did I think I was doing?"  I'm sure a year from now I'll be saying the same thing.  But you guys.  You all have stuck with me and my growing pains and I couldn't be more grateful.

Be on the lookout for a giveaway...I have to hit up Chick-fil-A craft time with my kiddos before I can get to that.  But it'll be over at Annapolis sometime today with rules and details following.

Love all of you guys,

mary beth

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shutters Turned Artwork

Our living room has had nothing on it's walls till this past month.  Shocking I know.
I hung our Advent Calendar on one wall.  
I've known I needed something BIG to take up this long wall and found just what I was looking for at a yard sale last Saturday.  {The yard sale was complete with a space heater. :-)}

I bought four of these shutters for $4!

They were a hideous deep brown with even more hideous bright, gold, cheap hardware.

In exchange for a haircut from me, Steven agreed he would "pay" up by sanding these babies down and removing the hardware.

I painted them with $1 oops paint I had and some leftover cheapo Wal Mart paint.  I love the coastal look of these two paints together.  Who says you have to pay a fortune for a good look????

This simple live evergreen wreath has proved to be quite versatile.  

It's been hung outside on our front window.

And it accompanied us on another failed attempt at family photos this past weekend.

Sucking on a candy cane.  Bad mother I know.

Do you have a space you want/need to hang something large?

Don't feel like you need to spend a lot of money!  

Think outside the box and try to visualize uncharacteristic pieces as artwork.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Come Now Our King

I've witnessed the meaning of the birth of our Savior like no other Christmas season before this year.  It's real to me and I see it in a whole new light.  His birth means we don't have to despair when it's not the hype of the holidays all year round.  It means we have hope.  It means there is absolutely more to being a wife, being a mother, being a housekeeper, being a friend, being a citizen of America.  Jesus' birth means I can be a member of the King's family.

The KING, people.

That ought to grip your heart and tug at its' strings.

And gosh, I'm so grateful to be a member in it.

If you have placed your trust in the Messiah's redemptive work on the cross, be grateful!  Don't take it for granted.

Come now our King!!!

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

All I Wanted For My Birthday Was...

I know I'm a dork.  Really I do.  Most girls want jewelry or fine dining.  All I wanted to do for my birthday was lay in bed all day eating these cookies and drinking coffee.  But since I can't legally do that with three kids, I decided we would do something I've been wanting to do for a looooong time: visit the Fabricut outlet store about an hour from my house.   

It was high time I bought some fabric.  I used the last of my neutral fabric on my empty advent calendar...

And my neighbor had to come to the rescue when I even ran out of that.  {Thanks so much, Tammy!}

Taking three itty bitties with you fabric shopping is like signing up for a disaster, but I decided I wanted it bad enough.  So I did it.  And you know what?  God must've known it was my birthday because He put a kids' table with books and toys in that store for my hyper girls.

And they were good as gold.

And I walked out with all of this...

...for $27 and some odd cents.  I would be mad as heck if someone else posted fabric like this and said they got it for that low of a price.  But try really hard not to be mad at me...because it's my birthday. :-)

Those gingham bolts are bubbly...just the way I like it.  6 yards of it for $10!  WOOT WOOT!  They're going in Keller's "manly" nursery.  The middle fabric was $2.25!  It's going towards an upholstery project or a roman shade.  The off-white fabric is, I swear, from Pottery Barn since it's almost exactly like some I've used from there.  It's going towards another upholstered headboard project.  {That fabric was $2.50!}
 I read those prices and I basically asked the worker there if it was a joke.   I am a fabric store junkie and I've never seen fabric this cheap.  

That big, chunky, orangey fabric was just beautiful so I got a yard of it for $5.95.  
And the velvety fabric might go towards reupholstery?... still workin' on that one.  

I will be holding weekly girls' trips to Fabricut if anyone wants to join me?

Just kidding...but I'm headed back as soon as I complete these projects.  Holler if you're with me.

P.S. Any of you who are not fans of textiles just completely skimmed through that post...
...I won't fault you for it.

P.S.S. And for those of you who know me in real life, know that I'm not posting this to get comments saying "Happy Birthday!" 

I am just stoked about my birthday gifts to myself. :-)

That's my "stoked" look.

Oh, and P.S.S.S. I finally listed a couple of these on ETSY...

Check it out!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

10 Things I'm Thankful For These Days

1.  Healthy children

2. Chocolate Chip Cookies

 3. Make-your-nose-red weather.

 4. Good memories

honeymoon :-)

 Shiloh's reaction when we brought baby Keller home from the hospital.

5. Being able to work with my hands to create things I love.

6. A husband who likes to try new things.

Steven made these sushi rolls...don't they look professional? 
{Thanks for the inspiration, Britni!}

7. Blue eyes

8. Jenny 

 Don't be jealous, but that girl is 22 wks preggers in that picture.  

9. That Gywneth Paltrow is singing now.  

Keller and I dance to this all. the. time.

I sing this just a little too loud these days.  

10. The WORD.

My favorite verse lately...

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us." 1 John 3:16 NIV

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

This is NOT Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here...

I love a lot of things, but I really love Christmas.

This year, Emma Claire is starting to "get" Christmas.  Unsure if she would remember last year's,
{since we were in the whirlwind of moving halfway across the country and I can't even remember a whole lot of last year's since I was picturing rodeos and cowboys most of Christmas week}
I set out to "show her" Christmas this year.

We had just pulled out our decorations from the garage and she and I were happily decorating in the Living Room.  She's my interior designer in crime.  Our tree was up and the stockings were hung.  I said, "Emma Claire!  This is Christmas!" with a spread of my arms across the room.

Anyone else getting a sinking feeling in their stomachs about now?

This is NOT Christmas.

As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I knew I needed a heart readjustment.  

We use symbolism, I know, to have meaning for our Christmas trees and our candy canes and our Christ-filled Christmas cards.  And yes.  We use good excuses to explain away the most harried and busiest time of year for Americans...Christians and non Christians alike.  

And yes.  We do have good reason - the BEST reason - to celebrate.

But this.

The decorating, the holiday dresses, the parades, the gifts, the traveling out of town, the stress, the food, the people pleasing.

It is not Christmas.

I was so mortified that I had gotten sucked in.  Sucked in so much that I was making my 3 year old think that this shallow and warped view of the holidays was Christmas.

I am not trying to be dramatic here people.  Warped views of the birth of our Savior are serious.

I got out our little children's bible and turned to the New Testament where Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel.  And I read it to my girls on the couch, unfinished decorations all over our living room.  We stopped.  Sweet Mary {nothing like me!} stood there taking in the angel's news.  And boy what a trooper she was!  I think about her a lot when I think of the Christmas story.  No. I'm not Catholic, but I think we could learn a lot by examining her life and learning from how she dealt with her unusual position.  I always wonder why and how God picked her above all the rest.  What made her special?  What made her stand out above all the rest?  

“Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

That's where the Christmas story started...
Isn't it odd that God chose for it to start there?  With a woman?

We read the entire Christmas story
{which only takes about 5 minutes when you're reading from a Children's Bible.:-)}

And we're going to keep reading the Christmas story over and over again, because I want my girls to know what Christmas really is: their Savior was born.

...and I want my girls to know.

And you know what else?

I want to raise my girls to be like her.  

And I kinda want to say "my boy" too, but that would just not come across the right way.

Besides, he looks like he could use a little Christmas cheer.

 I am NOT anti-Christmas celebrating.  I like the parties and the food and the fellowship it brings.  I like the chance to dress up, to decorate the house, to have days off with my family.  Celebrating is beautiful and biblical.  And you'll be seeing some of it on this blog in the next few days.

But let us live with purpose this Christmas season.  Let us remember what is NOT Christmas...

...and what IS.

And let's pass that down to our children.

And for Pete's sake, let's not get all stressed out about our houses getting decorated to the high heavens. :-)

I've pegged my expectations down a notch this year and told myself, "Mary Beth, you have lots of great ideas for Christmas, but if you don't get to all of them, it is NO big deal!"

Because that is not Christmas either.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

St. Louis

I'm going back in time just for a few days because I wanted to blog about some of our special memories on our trip.  As much as I tell myself I'll sit down and work on our scrapbooks, it hasn't happened in about 2 years.  SO, thank God for blogging.  Amen?!

We left the day after Thanksgiving and the drive took us 16.5 hours.  Really not bad for having three little ones.  They were good as gold and I couldn't have been happier with how things went.  I am so thankful to God for their flexible little hearts. :-)

We took our "big" rest stop in St. Louis because we wanted to get some sight seeing and dinner in while there.  The timing was perfect and the lighting beautiful.

One of my favorite pictures...unedited...taken while sitting in the van at a red light.

The kids were in heaven -- climbing those stairs and running in the grass was just the medicine they needed after car seats all day.

As you can see, Shiloh was just a little ticked that we made her pause for pictures.

They sat remarkably still for these sibling photos.  Aren't they lovely?  

 12 hours in the car at this point and still happy as ever.  That's my kids!!! 
{We are trying to remember the positive after the episodes in JoAnn's today.}

We got to witness this engagement.  So sweet!  That man stood out there under the arch for what seemed like endless minutes, waiting for his girlfriend to arrive.  

Meanwhile, my girls kept running up dangerously close to his candles...I'm positive they were trying to swipe a few of his goods.  I've never been so thankful for that girlfriend...when she finally showed up.

She said yes by the way.

 We finished up with Taco Bell for dinner.  Is that a romantic ending or what?

P.S. When we go back I'm kidnapping Steven and hoisting him on that river boat for a little cruise by moonlight.  Now that's romance.

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