Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Secret Prayer Pal

I belong to a group at church called Secret Prayer Pals. Over the course of a year, a gaggle of us women hold up a special and secret pal in prayer and send them little cards and encouraging words through the mail. At Christmas we all get together over breakfast and reveal our secret pals and exchange a gift with them. I do believe that my secret prayer pal reads my blog, and so thank you thank you thank you to her for the gift left on my front porch on my birthday!

It was lovingly wrapped in a fabric bag (some of the little gifts inside were in smaller fabric bags) and tied with fabric trims of rick rack and lace. Here are the pretty contents, all so very personally chosen! (Not included in picture are some lavender lotion and a roll of kickin' purple packing tape).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday Gifts and a Big Boo Hoo

Here are a few gifts from the weekend, the biggest gift being my Harleigh Barley coming home. She and two girlfriends drove from Statesboro and arrived Friday evening at around 5:15. I had a poo poo platter waiting for them and we stood around the kitchen island talking and eating. No sooner than they arrived did they have to head out to the Braves game where they were meeting about 30 other GSU students in the Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM); the whole group — including Harleigh, Anna and Tannis — had planned the trip weeks ago. After the game (and the must-do grease-grab at The Varsity), Anna and Harleigh came home to Chateau Gahan, while Tannis went to the BCM at Georgia Tech, who was hosting the GSU group for the nite.

Saturday the three of us shopped, had lunch, visited my grandmother, and topped the evening off with a dinner at Grace 17.20. I hit the sack at 10:00 and the girls stayed up laughing and talking with some visiting home-from-college girlfriends of Harleigh's. She and Anna got up this morning, packed the car, and headed to meet Anna's parents at their home church. From there they went back to "The Boro."

And then . . . this emotional pillar of strength who has stood confident and tear-free since dropping her baby birdie off at school, turned into a big, mushy pile of pathetic boo hoo. Someone told me that them coming home on a visit and leaving would potentially be WAY harder than the initial drop-off. Couldn't be more true. I loved hearing her laughter throughout the house. Smelling her shampoo and perfume. Seeing the bed all rumpled with quilts and clothes. The running here and there. Calling her pet names out in public. Having her grab my hand and squeeze it as we walked to the car from lunch. Talking about everything and nothing. And then . . . she was gone.

I faced the emptiness (of the house and my heart) and took Gideon for a long, long walk, talking to him almost non-stop, about everything and nothing.

On to things that aren't gonna make my eyes well with tears . . .

Such a lovely outpouring of love for my 50th birthday! The office gave me and a co-worker (her birthday is the 9th and mine the 10th) a surprise breakfast party!! We both turned the big 5-0. Lots of flowers and gift cards, sentiments and hugs galore. I truly felt loved.

When I came home on Friday I had a fabric-wrapped package waiting on the front porch. From my secret prayer pal at church. The fabric wrap and ribbons gave way to lots of little surprises. I'll share more in a later post. But here is just one of the lovelies inside. This Napco bud vase. This secret lady knows what I adore.
Kathy, unknowing that I'd been lookin' for something to corral my mail, got me this paint-by-number-esque letter holder. She filled it with baby's breath. I switched out the baby's breath for real mail, and relegated the white flowers to my ceramic basket on the living room sideboard.

Some of the many flower bouguets got turned into little ones. Here, one in my bathroom.
My sister Karla stopped by on Friday afternoon (she works in the same office complex I do) and gave me a gift she got for me awhile ago: when she saw these tile coasters she thought of me. This is often the case in our family. We'll see an item, get it, and sock it away for the next birthday or Christmas. These are soooo me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chapter II

Despite the hecticness at work and the myriad of volunteer commitments, I've managed to take this week and focus on slowing down. And I've succeeded in creating a calm. Tomorrow I turn 50. And I've promised myself (and now many, many others who will hold me accountable) that I'm going to lose all the weight I've gained in the past 10 years. And this peace-of-mind that I've worked all week to achieve is helping me to ease into weight loss and the reality that if it took me 10 years to put on, it will take some time to come off. I vow to not only get myself healthier physically, but to grow mentally and spiritually. Yes, I've reached the ripe and mature age of 50, but I still think I have long strides to make in becoming a better person. Why not now. And Harleigh going off to college has been a huge encouragement to make this change in my personal life. I see her, where she is now spiritually and socially and I wish I had reached that stage earlier in life. I think it would have made a difference in the decisions I made. So, why can't a middle-aged woman look to an 18-year-old and know that as much as she's shaping her daughter, her daughter can shape her. Welcome, 50, with open arms.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Groovy Lamp Redo

Harleigh will be coming home this next weekend and so I've been doing little things to make her bedroom and bathroom feel like home despite a good bit of her personal belongings being gone and in her new room at college. Her bathroom's been begging for a lamp for awhile and so I decided to do a makeover on a lamp I've had tucked away. My mom gave me this lamp years and years ago. She had it in her kitchen and I've since used it in mine. The shades have seen their last day; it's impossible to get them any cleaner.
So I spray painted the lamp base orange and then tore off the paper shades. To make new shades wasn't an easy feat since the shade frame isn't one solid piece. Rather it's two separate pieces — a double ring at the top and a single ring at the bottom. I cut the old shade off and made a pattern. With some scrapbook paper and ball fringe, the lamp has gone from beachy country to groovy bohemian. And I see more redos of this lamp in the future!

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