Saturday, June 30, 2012


104 degrees here today. My fingernails were sweating. Brutal.

Yesterday I took off of work early to meet Kasey's mom so that we could go to Camp All-American and see Harleigh and Kasey. We got to see both the assemblies, talk a lot, visit with our two kids, meet their friends. It was a great afternoon. The four of us went to dinner, then Karen headed home, a bit of a drive back to Monroe before dark. The heat knocked me out. I was showered, in bed and sound asleep by 9:00. Here are a ton of pix, some from Karen and others from Facebook.

At "big assembly" it's all the campers. Parents sit in the back and balcony of the auditorium.  God-loving bedlam it is.

Harleigh and the girls in her core leader group.

At "big assembly" the core leaders get to be on stage. Harleigh, with a healthy dose of my genes, has no trouble getting up in front of people looking like a nut. There's no other gene pool I'd rather swim in. Makes our lives fun.

Kasey showing us the human fussball games. How crazy is that?

Kasey's group of boys this past week. Doesn't one kid have to sport a blue tongue from a ring pop? Mandatory.

Once again, the gene pool proves that its fun jumping in the waves.

And as you can see by Kasey's stance, upper right, the two families and their silliness get along just fine.

I have foot surgery next Friday. Made the mistake of googling what I have. What the heck was I thinking? I came across everything from an article about saving money and doing the surgery myself (really???) to people who had the surgery and are now cripples. Harleigh reminded me that when she was taking a lot of laxatives because of a bad case of constipation, she googled "extreme use of laxatives" only to be convinced that within weeks she'd be forced to use a colostomy bag. Needless to say, I'm daunted by the whole ordeal . . . 1) someone touching my feet literally sends me through the roof with anxiety; I told my foot doctor when he went to examine me that I could pass out when he put a hand to my ailing arch, and 2) the aftermath of being in a giant boot (see pic below) and on crutches sounds just plain inconvenient and sore on the armpits. Not to mention having stitches taken out of said sensitive appendage. Eeegads, I'm getting light-headed just thinking about it.

Have gotten a bit obsessed with Instagram and Hipstamatic (pix above). Hipstimatic was so worth it to get more filters.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blogging Friends

Gretchen (over at Bird Nest Cottage) and I have been blogging friends for years. I went to visit her a couple of years ago and just last week she came to Atlanta, a chance for us, once again, to talk face-to-face (instead of just reading each other's blogs and commenting). She was here for Haven, a blog conference. One of the great things about blog friends is that you 1) usually have a ton in common because you follow the blogs you genuinely like/connect with, and 2) when you do see each other, there's tons to talk about (a million conversation starters based on all the stuff you've been reading about each other!).

I got her a little something to welcome her to the big ATL — this chalkboard label spice jar from anthropologie (a store she's never been to, and next visit she makes here we are SOOO going to go). Since I had attached this twig pencil to the top, I wanted to "gift tag" the box in pencil. So dear Laura worked her illustrative magic.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Magical Perfume Bottle

I've posted before about the huge stash of dress-up clothes that I amassed for Harleigh. Started collecting when I was pregnant with her, and added to it over the years. When she outgrew playing dress-up, I continued to add to the tubs, thinking ahead to "what if I have a granddaughter?" When a co-worker gave me this Chambord liquer bottle, I just knew that with a little dressing-up of its own, it could become the perfect perfume bottle for a little girl's vanity. I added some blue water for these pictures, thinking it adds to the magical charm of make-believe.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another Wedding for Harleigh and Kasey

It wasn't that many weeks ago that they were attending one wedding, and this weekend it's another. I love how Harleigh changes up her look whenever she has the chance to do herself all up (and good gosh, Kasey can do a 180 with just a haircut!). She had her highlights done today, and we opted to get her an updo for the occasion, a Hayden Panettiere 'do that she'd seen that seemed to suit her curly locks and blond streaks to perfection.

The two are troopers. The weeks of summer camp counseling, evening Bible studies and early morning boot camps are enough to poop out the toughest of young adults. And they'd been at the Starlight Drive-In last night with 30+ camp counselors and leaders for two feature shows, getting them home at 2AM, only to have to get up early today to tackle commitments. Good for the soul.

I love being around these two. Their adoration for each other makes me feel young and happy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Images from the weekend

My sister and brother-in-law's dog, Gumbo, is deaf and blind. I love the way these pictures turned out.
And there's dear, sweet Grayson, dimples and a smile.

Poppy and his grandson.

Had to capture her hair. 
Naturally curly, perfect big ringlet curly. 
And just by letting it dry naturally. Envious.

And her tender hands with the rings that rarely come off. 
I never tire of reaching over and giving them a squeeze and a gentle stroke.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Home from the Beach

Two-sunkissed sweeties walked in the front door yesterday evening, Kasey dropped Harleigh off after their arrival home from a week in Palm Coast. Got caught up with all the fun details. My gratefulness to the generosity of the Browns. Harleigh is blessed to have not just a great boyfriend, but the family that comes with him.

And of course, I would never think of welcoming my girlie home without fresh flowers in her bathroom and bedroom. Trader Joe's, $3.99 a bunch, so fresh that the sunflowers still haven't opened all the way.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Beach Necessities

Low country boil (love the tin of shells next to the pot strainer), 
jumping the waves, jigsaw puzzles, corn hole, binoculars.

NOTE: When the Browns do their low country boil, they use two kinds of kielbasa, 
one not spicy and the other spicy. 
They cut the not spicy links in a straight cut and the spicy links in diagonal cuts. Pretty smart.

Golden Book Birdhouse

Have a look at what came in the mail yesterday! From my sister to me, Tootie. She made this darling indoor birdhouse and I am in love!!!!!! She simply took a birdhouse and painted it white, cut out the pages from a reprint of a vintage Golden Book, glued the book cover to the roof, and Mod Podged book pages on the birdhouse sides. And all in a beach theme . . . gotta love it.  The below right picture shows one she made for herself that sits on a bracketed shelf.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday at the Beach

Any other time, a Wednesday is a good thing. It signifies the coming of the weekend. Half the week being behind you. But when you're at the beach, it's not a welcome day. It means vacation is entering its second half, it will be time to return soon to routine and work, leaving behind the days when the biggest decision was "get in the water" or "lay in the sun." Here is the day's images from Kasey's mom, Miss Karen. I've loved getting her daily diaries.

I love this one of Harleigh with Kasey's baseball cap on and in her glasses. Can't wait to kiss that face this weekend.

A house on the beach. Doesn't get much better than that. Even overcast, breezy days at the ocean are welcomed 'cause it means kite flying time.

The family, minus 3.

A beach chair, sand under your feet, and a girlfriend to gab with while watching the boys play.

They've had the beach to themselves. And set up a family compound.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Family Beach Vacation

One of the things that connects me and Harleigh to Kasey and his family is the unconditional love of family. Granted, his one is quadruple the size of ours, but they cherish the traditions and simple joy of being together just as much as our little one does. So watching Harleigh join the Browns on their annual family outing to the beach has been heartwarming. Day after day of jumping the waves, building sandcastles, playing card games late into the night, walking the beach, talking talking talking . . . and all in the midst of loving kin. Miss Karen, Kasey's mom, has made it special by doing namesake buckets for all the "kids" (in this case ranging from single digits to double). And her photography has created a daily storybook for me of my girlie's great week with the boy she cares so deeply about and the family that embraces her so.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Week 2

I usually count down the weeks of summer based on Harleigh's 10 weeks of work at Camp All-American, and so we are finished week 2 of our summer. It's been glorious to not only have the girl home, but to have her boyfriend Kasey just a few neighborhoods over, staying with a host family as he, too, works at CAA. I took off work early on Friday to head into camp for their end-of-week assembly, where Harleigh, now as a core leader, takes front-and-center-stage for all the festivities that end the campers' week. As it does every year, it brought back so many wonderful memories of her as a camper here, way back when. I usually find myself tearing up over the most routine, yet for me touching, moments of assembly. And to see my sweet pea as a leader, not just for the children but as a discipling leader of 8 counselors . . . I can't be more proud.

She and Kasey, their sun-kissed faces both tired and alive, talk non-stop about their days, recounting stories of kids and counselors alike. We went out to dinner last night, me enjoying time with them before they head to the beach for Kasey's family vacation. The week will be quiet for me, no doubt.

Pulled one of my watches out of my vast collection today to wear to a morning appt. Love that they don't work anymore, and it doesn't matter. Which is ironic considering that one of my sticklers is not only being on time, but being early.

Gideon and I spent the hot afternoon in the front and back yards doing yardwork. Having "property" was a gimme when Harleigh was younger, but now that she's grown (and I have a dog who could care less about running around acreage; I let him out and he goes to the bathroom then holds court on the back patio), I would much rather have a townhouse with a small courtyard of pea gravel.

After hours pruning and pulling weeds, I got the nod from the man of the house that it was time to come inside for AC and a bowl of water. Inside the walls of Chateau Gahan is where he finds happiness. 

The hot air balloon is a treasure I purchased on one of our family beach vacations. I want to say it was to Marco Island, but I could be wrong. It makes me happy. And especially as it floats in the window against dotted swiss curtains.

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