Thursday, December 31, 2015

What if my word for 2016 was BLOG. Wouldn't that be dandy?

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Help Wanted

One day a while back, I was driving along, doing the usual things. You know, using my blinker, not texting, straddling the dead animal in the middle of the road, when it dawned on me that roadkill, a word that is so common and normal in my life, wasn't even a word at all 100 years ago. So now I'm always trying to think of words that are a normal part of my life that didn't exist back then. And I don't mean the obvious things like microwave, iPhone, or electricity. I mean words that didn't come along because of man-made inventions, but because of the natural change of the way of living. Does that make sense? I know that sort of overlaps, but I'm hoping you get what I mean.
So far, I've only been able to think of roadkill and trashcan.  There simply wasn't trash back then. Everything had a purpose. Everything came in something that was repurposed into something else until the only purpose left was to keep the kitchen fire burning. Trash was not a word. Trashcans weren't needed.
Can you come up with any more words that would apply?

Sunday, November 01, 2015

3 words

So one of my favorite things is figuring out how to decorate my home. I enjoy waiting for that perfect "inspiration" and then figuring out how to execute it in my own way.
I have realized that I have a problem when it comes to actually putting holes in the wall, though. I can't seem to commit, which is very silly because nothing like that is permanent.
I did finally finish panting the little girls' room so I'm very excited to get in there and start making it homey and adorable.

One more wall and a smidgen to go!
One of my current goals is to come up with three words that represent the feelings I want my guests to have when they enter my home. I know that uncluttered is high on the list for me but I think it may end up being somewhat of a secret, fourth feeling. I do like the sounds of fresh, clean, open, homey, comfortable, warm, natural, artsy,  and inviting. I'll let you know what three words make the cut. Once I decide, I'm going to use words those as a basis for how I style the main rooms of the house.

Am I putting too much thought in to this? Maybe. But I really enjoy it so, oh well.

Let me know what words you think of when you close your eyes and think back to places you've been that you've really enjoyed. I really want your suggestions.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October Catch-up

Hey, guess what! I'm finally not dead tired. It feels so good to be back to my normal speed. Don't get me wrong; I'm all about a good nap, but it isn't an absolute necessity like it was there for a while. 

So apparently the only way I know to blog anymore is to just post pictures and make a comment or two about each photo.  

Claire's right eye looks an awful lot like my right eye did at her age.  

I hope Nora never, ever, ever gets tired of being "just like Daddy". It gets me every time.

 I had a very rough evening a few days back and took a long, long, long walk all by myself. I took off my shoes and enjoyed the feel of the pavement. Sometimes I would also enjoy the feel of the neighbors' sprinklers as I walked past their yards. It probably weirded them out but, oh well. I didn't really care. 

 These two have had such a special bond since the time Nora was born. Claire has so much patience for Nora's stubbornness and Nora overlooks Claire's sassy mouth. They just work together. 

Our homeschool group went to the pumpkin patch and it was fun but so hot. They did have some super cute baby goats to pet and a very nerve-wracking corn maze. 

At one point while we were walking around the farm, Claire said, "Mama, may I take off a pair of socks? I'm so hot!" I said, "A pair? How many pairs did you put on before we left the house?" 


Later on that evening, as we watched the Lamar Warriors make history and beat the Charleston Tigers for the first time EVER, Claire was glad she (I) had carted around those three pairs of socks all afternoon. They kept her toes toasty warm as she ignored the game and buried her head in a book. :) 
Really though, it was a great game and my sister and I have decided I must be their good luck charm since that's the only Warrior's game I have attended. 

It's another week, another set of activities. Happy October!

Saturday, October 03, 2015


This is where I was a few days ago with the renovations. The dining room walls were painted, but not the little, upper light indention. I needed new curtains, curtain rods, the new light hung, a new table (we have majorly outgrown our current one), and a rug. I'm kind of stuck on what kind of curtains I want- patterns wise. Solid? Print? Color? Neutral?

I have to keep in mind that the dining room is somewhat connected to the parlor, and I don't want to overkill both rooms with color and pattern. 

Also, I need someone to come arrange my gallery-wall paintings. I'm getting nowhere fast with that. I even had three other women helping me last night and we couldn't figure out how to make them look right. They will go on the wall behind the table.

This room is my next focus, well,  after I finish painting the girls' room. I want shelves on either side of the piano, and some kind of patterned rug. I also want to put a bench in front of the window and then place some nice, green plants on it. I have an abstract painting that's in Memphis, just waiting on me to come get it, that will hang above the piano. 

 These were the original sconces in the downstairs hallway leading to the girls' room. Ugly, plastic-looking spaceships. 

 Speaking of space...
This ceiling fan made me feel like I lived in The Jetson cartoon. Although, having Rosie the robot maid wouldn't be too bad.

This is where this room stands as of now. One coat of paint on one wall, half a painted wall, two more walls with no paint. And that's what I'm tackling today. This is one of those projects I could easily put off for a long time so I'm going to make myself get to it. We have a rare, free day and I'm going to make it count.

And for posterity's sake, a grand, glorious picture of the old chandler that hung above the dining room table. I mean, seriously, what were these people thinking?

Here's whats happening lately

Week three of school kind of whipped us for some reason so we met with our CC friends (actually, this is the original group of the FS CC campus.)for some more-entertaining-than-usual review. 

Georgia, Nora, Gillian, Eily, Betsy, Claire, Alice, Elaina

The "before" picture of the dining room finally uploaded. This room only needs to things to be officially finished. It will be a while before I get those two things, but it's exciting to think I'm that close to marking it off my to-do list.  (Well, technically there are three things, but one is very cosmetic and costly and I'm not even sure it can actually be done, so I'm not counting it right now.)

My adult coloring book and colored pencils finally came in the mail. It is so relaxing to sit, color, and watch a show in the evenings after the girls are in bed. You should try it. 

Claire turned 9 this past Tuesday. We continued our tradition of a candle in the breakfast food. 

Daddy took her on a date and sent me a picture of this photo booth strip. 

The girls wanted to celebrate them both being 9 for a few days so they got out their paint kits and spent some alone time outside painting. 

Then, BAM! Elaina turned ten. That's right, I have a child in the double-digits. She had cereal for breakfast so we stuck her candle in a piece of bread. :)

On her Daddy-date, they went plain-air painting. She kept saying it was the best day she's ever had. 

We do big parties when you turn 5, 10, 13, and 16. Since it was Elaina's 10th birthday, we had a private skating party at a local skating rink. Thirty seconds in, someone fell and broke their arm, but other than that, it was a lot of fun. 

Elaina had wanted an ice cream cake but we couldn't figure out where to get one so we brought ice cream sandwiches instead. It worked perfectly. 

I actually did not have any time to take photos during the party, so the ones I have are from a mother who brought her children. There are a lot of kids not in the photos but that's ok. We have the memories and they are better. :)

Attendees: Elaina Sacran, Claire Sacran, Eily Sacran, Nora Sacran, Mama and Daddy, Nanny and Pappy, Aunt Rachel, Eli, Luke, Ryan, Aunt Leah and Uncle David, Lillie, Ian, Elsie, Kim, Catherine, and Caleb Hoelzeman, Mr. and Mrs. Barr (Megan), Alice, Betsy, and Rosie Barr, Mr. and Mrs. Good (Lauren), Gillian and Georgia Good, Audrey Green, Alisha (Mom) and Attley Ellis (the next-door neighbors), Sally (Mom) and Kathryn Israel, Mrs. Pickartz (Amy- Elaina's 2nd grade teacher), Regan and the youngest daughter Pickartz. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It's a very normal thing for me to paint on a room while Jason is away. Poor guy almost never comes back to the same house. Something is always different. On this last trip, I worked on the dining room. It was funny because it was the first room that I have ever been nervous about painting. It's like the stakes were higher because it's a nicer house. But once I started working, all my nerves fell away and I was in the zone. I don't have an after picture because we haven't hung the light fixture yet, but here is one picture to give you a taste of how it will look once it's completely finished.

This will replace the existing light fixture.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

School is Happening

Did you know that you shouldn't title your essay until you have written it? And then, the title should come from only the last sentence. Did you know that? Did you? Well now you do.

Today's weather was beautiful. We went to church and then came home and the girls played outside until after dark. And then they only came in because it was after eight and I needed them to clean up and get ready for bed. Almost all of the neighborhood kids were outside with them and it was so fun to watch them all play and really have a sense of community. Have I mentioned that I like living here?

Another week of school is starting. Last week kind of kicked my tail so I'm determined that this week will go a little bit ore smoothly. Elaina had a crazy virus-mouth-sickness thing that slowed us down but as far as I can tell everyone is healthy and we should have a great, productive week.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

An 'accidental" outing with Eily

I've been tired. Very, very, very tired. We have had church all weekend and this afternoon I left to go home and take a nap. But first, I wanted to run downtown and find Jason. Our town has hired amazing mural artists to paint all over the downtown area and the person heading up the program wanted Jason to come do a little plein-air painting. Three of the four girls stayed at church to visit, but Eily wanted to tag along with me. I ended up spending a little time enjoying Eily's company and the beautiful weather we have today.  Then I came home and rested. :)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Life Lately

These photos are just all out of order but I'm hanging on by a thread, sleep wise, so it's what you're going to get. 
This was our first day of school photo. Claire is starting 3rd grade, Nora is mad (PreK), Eily is starting 2nd grade, and Elaina is starting 4th grade. 

This is our first Essentials class at our local Classical Conversations campus.
Josiah Davis, Catherine Hoelzeman, Isaac Jetton, Elaina Sacran, Alica Barr, and Kathryn Israel. 

This is just a picture I wanted to have posted. It has no blogging value other than it makes me laugh. 

As does this one. 

Eily and Barbara
They made a cute pair.

One Sunday, we had to take Daddy to the airport in Fayetteville so we made an afternoon of it at Crystal Bridges. They happened to have a kid's Plein Air event going on, which was very appropriate.  The sun was a little intense. 

Eily's masterpiece. 

The mayor throws a big 4th of July celebration so we went downtown to watch the fireworks, 

We moved to our new house and Eily looked cute in her pineapple pajamas. 

Nora discovered the art of The Selfie.

                                  So, I recently discovered that I have diastisis recti. This is what my stomach looks like on a regular day when I'm remembering to hold in my abdominal muscles.

This is when I forget. 

Rachel and I attacked Mom and Dad's pump house. Michael attacked this rat that we found in the process. 

Nora ran a fever for 11 days and woke up every night around midnight wanting to talk and visit. 

It was adorable and exhausting. 

Daddy is home for quite an extended amount of time and we are so happy to have him around again. School has started. 
The house is settled. 
The days and weeks just keep on passing by.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Few Things

Sometimes it's easy to get carried away with parenting. So you have to take a step back and edit. Kind of like when you decorate a mantle. Throw your big ideas out there and then step back and remove all the excess and unnecessary.

School is around the corner. Guess how ready I am? None. Zero. Zilch.  And Jason is wanting us to go with him on his next trip which means I will have half a day to be ready for our first day of CC.  Nothing like adding a little stress to your first week. We aren't looking to have a smooth start to the year. But if I've learned one thing, it's that the year will still happen and everything will eventually fall in to place.

Jason comes home today. He's been gone a month so we are all very excited. He's never even seen our new home (as our home/he saw it twice as an empty building) and the girls are anxious to show him around the place and point out all their favorite spots. And I know he's anxious to catch up on sleep and family time. This traveling is rough on him because we can't treat his Lymes the way we need to and after this long of a stint, he's really feeling it.

It was 90 degrees at 8:45 this morning. What?!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Night

I wish I was a bedtime expert. Everyone has earned their prizes and that ship has now seemed to sail. So now I'm reverting back to the stern, I'm-going-to-scare-you-from-even-thinking-about-getting-out-of-bed routine. It's not my favorite and it's not the girls' favorite.

Trying to figure out school plans is for the birds. What stress. Which things matter the most? Which things are ok to let go but I just don't know it yet because I'm not to that point in life yet? Does one education beat out another education? Are they all good enough? Are they obviously not good enough? Is my patience and long-suffering going to completely leave me by the end? I think maybe yes on that last one. I feel like it's time for me to get settled on what my long-term plan is but I haven't been able to do that yet.

Our house is totally and officially unpacked. Now I need to move Jason's studio items and then get ready for our Classical Conversations parent meeting and then organize all the cabinets. If I think about it all at once, my chest gets a little tight so I'm trying very hard to just think about it in baby steps. Very, very small baby steps.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Long live the malt!

I hate to go on too much about what I like about living in this house because I feel like it's not fair to our sweet, old house that we had before. The truth is that I loved every moment of living there but I'm not going to lie- there are things about this house that I love even more.  So please just know that if I seem to be overly praising this house (it still needs a name, btw) it has nothing to do with how much I loved our old place. Everyone clear on that? Good.

We got a new refrigerator installed today. It was on the list of things to eventually get but then the old one started leaking stuff out the back and Jason said to us go ahead and bump it up to the top of the list. I knew I wanted one with the middle door, and the cheapest one came with a screen where you can connect to the internet. So now, I feel slightly embarrassed at our refrigerator fanciness when people come over, but I am loving having Pandora playing music all day.

We are basically settled in and functioning with a routine. I still have a lot of decorating decisions to make and I need to organize our schoolroom, but that's it.

Tomorrow the girls have their initial visit with a new pediatrician. I've been wanting to get in with this guy for years so I'm really excited about making the switch. Then we are heading to Little Rock to pick up my cousin, Kathryn. She is going to spend the week with us and help me decorate. She will also be spending a chunk of time with our grandparents helping Grandma take care of her house and of Grandpa. He pretty much needs constant attention these days, unless he's sleeping. Which is a good portion of the time, actually.

I have been dreaming of PW's malted chocolate chip cookies for several days now and I broke down tonight and made some. Well, I'm actually in the process of making them.  It's very pleasant in the kitchen right now. It smells like cookies. The dishwasher is making a quiet humming noise. Michael Buble is playing on the fridge . (chortle, chortle) The countertops are clean and shiny. I'm sitting at the bar enjoying my time on the computer. The only thing that would make it better is if Jason was here with me.

I had a nice visit with some of our neighbors this evening. They have lived here for years and said when their youngest girl was little, there were four different families with girls her age in the cul-de-sac. I think that would be so neat, but right now they are all the middle aged parents of those original young girls who are now grown-ups themselves.  I think there are two families with young boys but we haven't met them yet. We do have good friends with little girls that live just up the road, but they told us today that they may be moving away soon. That always happens to us. In fact, the 6 days that we have lived here are the longest we have gone without someone moving away from us. Usually, they move right before. Doesn't make us look to good, does it. Lol!

That's pretty much all that happened today. Wasn't too bad of a day. Had a visit from some family. Got a musical fridge. Ending the night with cookies. Hard to beat that. :)

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

New Home

We are in. And I have to say that the unpacking is going incredibly well. I need to organize my closet and the schoolroom and then we will be settled. There is still the matter of decorating but my cousin, Kathryn, is coming for a week and she has a knack for that sort of thing. I really, really, really want to paint a couple of the rooms so that they can be officially crossed off the list, but the budget says that's going have to wait. And that's ok. We also have a very empty den because we ran out of furniture. But that's ok, too. I don't mind and Jason won't either. It won't stay empty forever.
We have had a lot of quiet moments in this house so far because ASPHALT. The girls have been obsessed with riding their bicycles and scooters and once again, I have no problem with that. They can ride to their hearts' content. I also have gotten back in to the habit of going to bed with a clean kitchen. I think it's the dishwasher that makes the difference for me. It's like I'm cheating. It's too easy.
I've started bribing my children. If they go to bed five times without any fuss or calling out for me, they get a prize. Well, actually they have to immediately brush their teeth and get pajamas on when I say it's bed time, and then go to bed easily for it to count. No asking for food or having an onset of 100+ ailments. And the bribing is working so I have had very easy bedtimes since we've been here. The prize is nothing major, just things like a new plastic cup (.89 cents at Target) or a tube of chapstick, but it is such an exciting thing to them and that's what matters.
So that's pretty much it for now. I have a ballgame in my near future and I'm going to try to remember to take the good camera. That gives inspiration for new posts.

P.S. Our house needs a name. Help.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Harmony Hill 2015

My brain has just stopped working today. We went to Harmony Hill last week and it's the first year I've gone with the girls that I really didn't take any pictures. I enjoyed just watching the memories happen instead of trying to capture them (I was going to add- all on film- but I don't think that applies anymore.) :)
We've been having a busy summer. We are trying to get ready to move and have had some traveling throw in the mix with all the packing. I have really had a lot of opportunities to practicing not getting overly uptight and just going with the flow of things. I haven't always succeed, but at least there have been a few times where I was able to remain cool and laid-back when I would normally feel my chest tightening with panic. Hurricane Bill coming through the area the one week of the year I live in a tent was a good example of that. Water Everywhere. Mess Everywhere. Non-organized tent. Stinky, wet clothes Everywhere. And through it all I just kept reminding myself that it was supposed to clear up by Thursday and I would have time then to get it all put back together. And I did and it was all ok. So I get to count that one as a victory. Yay for calmness!
I miss blogging but I can't promise that I'll be posting regular yet. It's a season of life where I'm needing to let some things go for a while and the blog is one of those things. But I'll be back. Someday.

There are no pictures of Elaina because I basically never see her when we are at HH. She's too busy socializing'.