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Sunday, August 25, 2013

You Are My Sunshine

 Jim and Kathleen met when they were in the 10th grade. Jim recently described the first time he saw Kathleen as, "wowee!! kazow!!" Does that mean 'love at first sight?' : )

They just "clicked" from that first moment. They dated through high school and went to the prom together. When they were 17 years old Jim called Kathleen and sang to her over the phone-

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away." 

Kathleen cried, and it became their "forever song".

They married in 1958 in a double ceremony with Kathleen's twin sister and her sweetheart. {Jim and Kathleen on the right}

All these years later, Kathleen still cries when Jim picks up his guitar and sings these words to her!

You've probably figured out by now that Jim and Kathleen are my dad and mom. When mom told me recently that she was looking for a sign with the words to their song, I knew I could make one for them. Don't hold your breath for my tutorial, because I did not make this : ) I hadn't told her I could make it, I was going to do it as a surprise when we got here to California. But when we arrived, she had already purchased this awesome metal one, and it was hanging in their dining room in a spot that wasn't easy to see.

When I was growing up I made my parents crazy when I wanted to rearrange furniture or change the knick-knacks. See, it starts early :)

 So this past week, they were super generous to let me re-style the family room fireplace and mantel with a little fall-ish look. Not an easy task to find "fall-ish" in southern California in August! I used  their new sign, some cool vintage stuff from around the house (and garage, and shed) some of my dad's old fishing rods and hats and even managed to find a few branches out back that had a fall look to them .

My mom has a very large collection of wooden ducks so I had lots of those to choose from for my theme.

I pulled a couple of wooden chairs from another room in front of the fireplace to create a little game area. 


 Anyone recognize this little suitcase I blogged about recently? My daughter and I really didn't squabble much over it. I ended up packing shoes in it : ) 
Here, I put it on top of the stool my brother made in high school to make a little game table.

Before we arrived, this room had been pretty much unused for quite some time. My parents were so gracious to get two new futon sofas for us to sleep on {super comfortable, by the way!}

It was fun to fix things up a little and hopefully be able to leave the space more usable for them. By the way, that pretty antique dresser with their wedding photo in the first picture is also in this room, opposite the fireplace wall.

After some cleaning and rearranging, this is what I started with.

And the cozy, slightly fall-ish after. Just some subtle changes, but a warmer feel. 

Mom and Dad are about to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in a few weeks! Sadly, my dad is fighting a very serious cancer. After my mom losing her mother and twin sister to cancer some years ago, you can imagine the fear of losing my dad, too.

My dad says, "from the first time we saw each other we just clicked, and we're still clickin'-just a little slower." : ) 

We'd love for them to keep clickin' for a long time to come. They have a very strong faith, but your prayers for them would be appreciated so much, my friends! 

Blessings to you-


Sharing this week over at:

Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Inspiration Monday at twelveOeight 
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm  
The Scoop at the Farmhouse Porch 
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style 
What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House 
Share Your Cup Thursday at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Tutorials Tips and Tidbits at StoneGable  
Be Inspired at Common Ground 
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

California Family Vintage

I can't tell you how strange it feels to share so little over here the past couple of weeks! I'm struggling with that a bit.

We've been in California for just over a week now. The drive here had it's moments, for sure, but those were soon forgotten once we made it to our destination.

It has been a busy few days. We had a family gathering over the weekend and I was so happy to visit with some of my cousins I hadn't seen in almost five years. Priceless!

The last couple of days I've had some fun poking through some of the cool vintage stuff that is found in abundance at my parents' house : ) I thought I'd show you just a few of the treasures I've come across. 

 I can't remember a time when this antique guitar wasn't on display in my parents' home. My dad is a musician, and my mom's grandmother gave it to him, probably around the time I was born. He says it's at least 100 years old!

 My grandfather made this little wooden stool (probably in the early 1930's) when he was a school boy.

 I love these vintage photos of my grandparents holding their kitties in the rose garden!

 My mom is quite the collector, and one of the things she collects is glass hen dishes. I told my 16 year old to make it her mission to count them all up this week! She also has a small collection of Jadeite, so this piece spans both collections. 

I couldn't believe this find! The Dominoes set we grew up with, found in the back of the linen closet-ha!

 Some cool old picnic baskets that were probably my grandmother's.

This was probably the most surprising discovery of the last couple of days. Not the toolbox itself, but finding out where it came from. The toolbox has been in my dad's garage for EVER. When I saw it the other day, I asked if I could empty it, and use it for some photos. He said "sure", and told me that my sister made this in high school metal shop. No way! I had no idea.

I'll share some of my mom's cool collections in the coming days, and we'll be at the beach soon, too. Probably not soon enough for my kids  : )

*A little side note for Carol at Art and Sand-I've been in your hometown 3 times this week. Yesterday my teenager and I hit the IKEA store and In-n-Out Burger, a favorite of ours you can't get in Colorado : )

This is where my 16 year old and I are sleeping during our visit with my parents, and my two youngest are sleeping in my childhood bedroom. On our first day here it was fun to tell them about what the room was like when their mommy was their age. 
My mom generously consented for me to re-style their fireplace area for a few photos today, and I'll be sharing that with you soon! 

Thanks for coming by today, friends! I haven't had a whole lot of computer time, and it has been hard not to be reading much of my favorite blogs, either. But I think I'll be back in the swing of things before long : )


Sharing over at:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Coming and Going.

I feel like I've been sort of MIA over here this past week. Preparing to take three kids on a 12 hour road trip to my home town near Los Angeles has been challenging and tiring, to put it politely. Our van needed lots of t.l.c. to get it travel-ready. As a homeschooling family, I was really geared toward having our "plan" in place for when we return home, but some of the details will just have to be worked out while we're in California. I am only one woman, for Pete's sake! {smile}

If you've been following here for awhile, you've heard me mention that this past year has been a financial disaster. But let me tell you, God has provided for us to be able to make this trip to see our family in ways we could never have dreamed up, and I am so very grateful for yet another "stepping stone of grace" on our journey!

I'm still working to find a purpose and balance to this whole blogging thing. It really is the one thing that's "mine" right now. It's creative and challenging and the bottom line is-it's fun! Before I started blogging (about 10 months ago, now) I really hadn't recognized that was even missing in my life. Something I engaged in just because it was fun. For me.  

Marriage and babies, and all that comes with those things kept my life full  for years, for sure! But after my divorce, and as the kids grow there was somewhat of a blank canvas staring me in the face. I had many MANY sleepless nights (sometimes, still) thinking about what the picture of our new lives would look like. As I stumbled my way into the blogging world thinking, "How did I get here?", something unexpected happened. I began to recognize that blogging fulfilled a need for creativity and connection to other like-minded women, and again, the fun I didn't even realize had been missing.

All this rambling to say that sometimes, like this week, the duties of full-time motherhood must (and should!) take precedence over blogging. I only have two hands, and sometimes I have to lay something down. I pray that when those times come I will choose to lay down that which doesn't have eternal value. It doesn't always come easy to me, and sometimes I mess up big time. 
My kids only get one childhood, and we only get one chance to write our family story.  Part of that story will include the summer of 2013 when we climbed into our van and made our way on a thousand mile drive to make some memories with our family! This time will never come again.

When I begin to feel a bit nervous that I've neglected something over here, God gently reminds me to relax! He's in control of all this! He led me here, and as I'm obedient to tending to the family He has given me, His grace will also guide me in whatever way I need to be tending things over here as well. Even when I miss an entire week of blog parties : )
Big sigh...

What about you? Do you ever struggle with temporarily setting aside something that feels really fun and important to you? 

Thanks for reading and for being patient with me as I stumble along in this world of being a single mom blogger. It wouldn't mean a thing if you weren't here with me!

Blessings to you, friends-