Saturday, September 15, 2012

101. Celebrate the completion of this list

The actual 101st thing is to celebrate the completion with the girls. Who are these girls, one might ask? My 3 sisters and my step-mom. We all started our lists together. So celebrating together was 101 on all of our lists. However, things change. Life happens. You get married. Have babies. Move houses. Renovate houses.  Some of them didn't finish their list or have changed their list and their start/end dates. So instead of celebrating with them, I've decided to (once again) change this up to celebrate with Matt. He has been the most important part of getting this list done. He's spent his hard earned money on some things on this list. He's spent his time doing things with me he'd rather not do. He's stayed home watching our girls while I got to go do really fun things. So it's only fitting that I celebrate the completion with him.

This is the last blog post on this blog. Bitter-sweet. It's amazing that I did it - I actually completed the list! With loads of help from many different people, which is one of the things I've loved about this adventure. It brought Matt and I closer. It made me a better mom because I could do some things outside of motherhood. I got to know friends better.

I learned so many things - here are but a few:
  •  I am more than a mom. There are many titles that define me - not just mom. I am first a daughter of the King. I am a wife. I am a fruit and veggie canning wannabe. I am a reader. I am also a mother, but not just. I knew it somewhat before, but now I really know it. 
  • I can start a business! I never would have thought I'd be interested in or able to start my own business. 
  • I hate cross word puzzles. I want to like them, but i just don't. 
  • I LOVE Wicked. I want to see it anytime it's in Charlotte. Which happens to be in 2013 when I will take my two bigs to see it so they can fall in love too.
  • I'm addicted to CFA half sweet-half unsweet tea. And I'm okay with that.
  • I like autobiographies! Never thought I did, but I actually do. I'm so thankful for all the ladies in book club who continue to widen my horizon with books.
  • Bridge has changed my life. It's the best game ever. I will be one of those old ladies in the retirement center who plays bridge with her friends every day. Which reminds me of my Grandmother...Grammy. She went to be with her Lord and Savior in July 2012. Grammy, if heaven permits you to read blogs, this post is dedicated to you. Matt and I always wanted to play bridge with you and we look forward to the day in heaven when we can.
  • I love dresses! I thought I hated them, but I actually love them. Oh, and boots. I love boots more than dresses. Put the two together and you have something better than coffee and scones, peanut butter and jelly, or chocolate and caramel.
  • Bulk cooking has changed my life. Seriously - thanks to Chris V. for this gift.
  • I adore flea markets. I hate Chipotle. 
Well, there you have it. Thanks to anyone who ever read any post. I appreciate you coming on this journey with me. Special thanks to my sweet husband and children who have been along for the ride without getting to have all the fun. 

Above is the very last picture of my blog of 101 things in 1001 days. Notice the paper and pen in front of the Prosecco? It's the beginning of Matt's list. And the legacy continues...

Monday, September 10, 2012

79. Photography series on each kid

Thanks to Derek R. for this great picture!
When I first put this on my list, I had envisioned me taking great pictures of my sweet little girls. Who would all have their hair beautifully braided or pig tailed. With precious boutique dresses and unscuffed Mary Janes on.

Ha. Good one. The joke is on me. The day I get all four girls to look as cute as they possibly can is the day I get a medal. My girls have super curly and thick hair. I can get my 3-year-old to keep a pony tail in her hair for exactly 3 seconds. My 5 and 7 year-olds would cooperate, but to get their hair to cooperate is a different story.

They all have some pretty cute dresses. They also all have some pretty strong opinions about what they like and don't like to wear. They like the ugly dresses and don't like the cute boutique ones. Go figure. And the day I can get all 4 kids to dress up without getting something gross (food, dirt, poop) on their clothes, I want another medal. Or perhaps I'd just get a jail sentence...since it would take something drastic and scary to achieve the cleanliness.

On to another problem - shoes. I try, really try to teach them the difference between church shoes and play shoes. I fail. Their dress shoes end up looking like they were in the middle of a war.

My last problem (and probably the biggest) is the lack of a quality camera. My point and shoot is fine for what it is - but it takes a great camera to take great pictures. One day, I'll get that camera. I don't have it yet though.

So, where does this leave me? Well, I have great friends. Who have not only a great camera, but amazing eyes for great pictures. And lucky for me, our family goes to Holden Beach together every year with these amazing friends. So, I hit them up to take some pictures of my girls throughout the week. The beach solved all my problems. Shoes - not needed on the beach. Hair - no one expects perfectly braided and combed hair at the beach. Wild and crazy beach hair is actually pretty cute. Dresses - don't need them at the beach. Besides, kids in bathing suits are so much cuter. You know, little bottoms showing and stuff.

And now for a few of the pictures. Thanks to Dana D. and Sarah H. for some of these amazing photographs!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

14. Read all the books of the bible

I've been a Christian since I was a senior in high school. I'm now 33 years old. I'm embarrassed to admit that until now, I had not read all the books of the bible. There were a few books in the Old Testament that although I read parts of them, I've never read them all the way through. I can now say that I have read the entire bible. Understand it? No. Love it? Mostly. I am one of those crazy (insert sarcasm) Christians who really does read and love the Old Testament. So many people today want to separate the "Old Testament God" and the "New Testament God". Yet, God does not change. He is the same in the New Testament as He was in the Old Testament. A Holy, Loving, Compassionate, and Gracious God. It's sometimes harder to see in the Old Testament, between all the sacrificing, fighting, war, and threats of destruction. Which is why I said that I "mostly" love it. It's hard to understand why God did a lot of the things He did in the Old Testament. Then I remember that God's ways and thoughts are higher than mine. I can't possibly understand the why behind it all. So I don't get so frustrated when I don't get it.

I'm glad I put this on my list to do. Historians and sociologists tell you: "To understand the present (and future), you must understand the past." And it's true. Reading the New Testament takes on a deeper meaning when you pair it with the Old Testament. But in order to pair it with the Old Testament, one must read it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

4. Weekend away with Matt, 34. Go to a wine festival

Matt and I have been married 12 years, this August. And this weekend was his birthday. Two great reasons to go to the mountains! We went to a music festival at Chateau Morrisette. We spent two glorious nights at a bed and breakfast. I had a whole three days worth of meals that I didn't cook or clean up after. We did wine tastings, sat on a lawn drinking wine and listening to music and watching drunk hippies dance, went antiquing together, saw deer on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and got up close and personal with a hummingbird while eating our breakfast on the porch.

Black Dog sangria at the festival
Grapes at a vineyard
I am so thankful I put this on my list. Those people who are fans of wine (those who aren't fans just haven't had the right wine yet!) should take a trip to the Chateau Morrisette vineyard. Or even the Shelton Vineyard in NC. And when you go - let me know so I can come with you. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

28. Take a cooking class

Meet Jackson from Williams-Sonoma. He is a jam canning expert. He showed a group of about 10 of us how to make and can three berry jam. I learned the difference between water baths and pressure cookers. I learned why ball jars are the best jar to use. I learned how to make jam without the pectin.

Here's the jam before canning it:

Guess what my next big purchase will be?! Yes. Canning supplies. Matt usually has a big garden with lots of extra veggies that we end up cooking and freezing. But I love my freezer space, so if I can the extra I save my freezer space for my bulk cooking meals.

Overall, I had a great experience at the Williams-Somona cooking class, which by the way was free and they offer a variety of classes all throughout the year. Next time, I'll bring Matt along and make a (free) date out of it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

56. Go to bed at 10

My usual bedtime is after 10pm. Way after 10pm. Ever since I was a teenager, I was a night owl...preferring to stay up and be productive, then sleep in. I do my best organizing, planning, cleaning, etc at night.

My bedtime this week is 10pm. Yikes. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Beginning tonight - July 5, I will be going to bed no later than 10pm for a week. I'll shoot for a 7 day week, but settle for a 5 day week.

Gotta go. I have less than an hour to get the kitchen cleaned, house picked up, and some home school lesson planning.

UPDATE: I did it. Sort of. Close enough. For 5 nights, I mostly went to bed at 10. Lights were out. Some nights, I was actually able to go to sleep right away. Others, I couldn't. To be honest, I only really loved the 1st night. The others were work to make myself go to bed at 10. Another negative - the house. Disaster. Evenings are usually when I pick up from the day. Clothes get folded and put away in the evenings. Dishes get washed. Dishwashers get unloaded for the next morning.

Going to bed at 10 made it so that I didn't get all that stuff done. So while I may have woken up a little less grumpy, I came downstairs to a dirty kitchen. Which in turn made me grumpier than if I had just stayed up until 11.

Overall - I checked this off just to check it off. It didn't change my life or schedule at all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

84. Host a swap party

I love books. I love wine. What better thing to swap than books and wine? I had a few friends over and we ate, drank, talked books, and had lots of fun. It was a great opportunity to try out some of the fun recipes I've pinned, but haven't had the occasion to make. Mini cannoli, strawberry shots, avocado egg rolls, and more. And it was a great opportunity to find some fun new books to read.
Thanks sweet friends of mine for making this a great night and another check off my list! (And thanks to Matt for helping me prepare all the food!)

Monday, May 14, 2012

25. Golfing with Matt

Well, yet another one will need to be altered. When I put this on my list, it was to do something fun with Matt that we did when we were in college. We played golf. It was a fun memory that I thought would be fun to recreate.

Once again, life has changed this list. Here's the number one thing I've learned from doing this 101 things in 1001 days. Life happens. People change. What you think you'll want to do two years from now may not be something you will actually want to do two years from now.

Matt and I have no interested in playing golf. Or watching golf - not even on tv. So, I'm exercising my right to change this to...

Going to the symphony. The only experience I've had with a symphony orchestra is Pops in the Park. Fun to be sure, but completely difference from the Charlotte Symphony at Belk Theater.

This was amazing. It was a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. He wrote it when he was completely deaf. He was brilliant with the things he composed when he could hear. Pure genius when he couldn't. There was a huge choir and four soloists (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and the whole thing was beautiful. The Nicene Creed sung in Latin was absolutely remarkable. I have nothing but good things to say about the Charlotte Symphony. 

The conductor was like a mad scientist. He looked the part. Imagine the conductor in the picture above, but with grey hair. And just a little bit crazier.

My take away: I love the Symphony. I know the difference between a symphony and an orchestra. And I love tapas restaurants (we went to Dandelion Market in Uptown).

And yes, I know this isn't even in the same vein as golf. But, it was something I did with Matt (and a dear friend, CV) so it counts. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

56. Read from 8 - 10, then go to bed

OK, so this one's dumb. I think my reason behind it was to not get sucked into a good book and read until 3am. However, I have 4 young children. I don't have the luxury of sipping tea and reading a good book during the day. Reading into the night is how I get my books read and I will have to embrace that for now.

The question remains...what to do to #56. I'm not keeping it as is. I'm pretty sure I don't even have 1 whole week of nothing to do in the evenings.

It must be changed to something in the same vein or that makes sense. So, I'm changing it to...drumroll please....going to bed at 10 for 7 days straight. This will be difficult. I clean the house in the evenings. I meet with my 2 dear friends to pray for one another in the evenings. I go to book club in the evenings. I do a million things in the evenings that I can't do during the day. I frequently go to bed past 10...way past 10.

Not sure when I'll start...can't be this week. I have bridge on Friday night. We stay up late. Very late. Next week is Ingrid Michaelson concert. So, it can't happen then. The following week I'll need the evenings to get ready for our vacation and get our house ready for the renovation that will happen while we're away. The week after that, we'll be on vacation. The week we get back from vacation, I'll be putting my house back together from the renovations.

Life. Is. Too. Busy.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

43. Spend all morning yard saling by myself

I love a good yard sale. I get things dirt cheap that I would otherwise probably never buy. And I love being by myself since I'm an introvert.

So, my sweet and loving husband gave me the morning off of life today to go to breakfast by myself. Zada Jane's + a good book + no one I know = a great morning. Afterwards, I decided to go yard saling. I got some great finds - cross stitch frames for the Pinterest idea I saw that I love (but am totally not paying full price on). I got a bed for my kid's American Girl dolls. I got a Vera Bradley sleep overnight bag for my girls. And a Van Gogh art book. All for $10. Amazing. I might make this a monthly routine - thanks Matt!!

18. Attend a major sporting event with Matt

Background: I dislike sports. Forget the fact that I played Varsity soccer in high school. I dislike sports. Unless it's horse related or the Olympics. Matt loves sports. So, I put this on my list so we could do something together that he enjoys. Because he's done his fair share of wine festivals, rom com movies, and shopping with me. 

Bobcats V Celtics. Celtics won, which is great since Matt's from Massachusetts. And now I can check this off. And while we had a great time together, I think Matt would probably rather do to a sporting event with a dude who can carry on a conversation about the event.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

69. Do my Christmas shopping at Flea Markets

I put this on my list so I'd get more creative in gift giving. And to get out of the gift card mindset for a year. I love gift cards. And I'm fine with giving them if that's really what would make that person feel loved. I just want to make sure that's the reason I give gift cards...not out of being lazy.

And I love flea markets. Such fun. So, I went to The Potato Sack Flea Market a few months ago with a sweet friend. I bought for a couple of my family members, but not every one.

The Potato Sack is coming again to Charlotte this weekend (well, Thurs-Sat) so I've made plans to go again. This time, without my baby and on Thursday. My friend and I brought our little ones (super fun, but not easy!) and we went on the last day of the sale. There was still a ton of great things, but I'm guessing a lot of the better things were sold on the 1st day of the sale.

In any case. I'm checking this off now because I've already bought some things and will be buying the rest in 2 days. I won't be able to post pictures since my family may be reading this.

81. Make cookies from childhood

I love family recipes. I love the history behind them and the fuzzy feeling of fond memories you get when you make the recipes.

Like so many families in America, my family is broken. I have a mother, a father, a step-mother, and an ex-step father. I consider all of them my parents. That's 4 different legacies of food.

What I remember from my dad growing up was bags of frozen mixed veggies that we doused with butter in order to eat. It seemed like we ate that, tv dinners in front of Nick-at-Night (one of my all time favorite memories), or Pizza Hut.

My step-dad was a good cook, very gourmet. Of course, being a teenager filled with angst, I didn't appreciate it. I even resented it. I wanted cream of something soup casseroles and take out.

My step-mom is a cook. She is creative in the kitchen. I have memories of her chicken casserole, green beans boiled to death, and her chocolate log roll. I'm thankful she came along and married my dad...for so many reasons. But, the fact that he didn't have to eat tv dinners is on that list of reasons.

My mom cooked ok. Before she met her 2nd husband, she was a single working mom...very busy. So, I don't remember much of the meals from that time. I was also very young. I do have pretty sweet memories of her making me breakfast. Sausage and pancakes (pre-vegetarian days of course). After my mom got remarried, my step-dad did most of the cooking and mom did all the fun cooking. I have fond memories of this strawberry pecan jello. She was the one who introduced me to Granny Smith apples with Munster cheese together. In fact, she has been the most instrumental in exposing me to different foods throughout the years...even today.

When I was a little girl, she made these cookie things. I think they were actually a kind of candy, not really a cookie. All I remember is peanut butter rolled up in some kind of a powdered sugar mixture. I LOVED them. My mom made them and when I was reorganizing her recipes years ago, I came across the recipe, so I copied it.

Fast forward too many years to actually say out loud, and I have 4 little people in my house. I'd love for them to have the same fuzzy feeling over some family recipes. Which is why I put this on my list.

I wanted to make them again to see if I still like them and something I want to pass on to my kids.

No. It's not. I either made them horribly wrong or I liked some pretty horrible things as a kid. Either way, I'll be asking my mom to make them again next time she's in town.

Because like so many family recipes, I can just never make it as good as my mom, step-mom, dad, ex-step-dad.

Monday, March 19, 2012

10. Write letters to my girls, 2012

Morgan, 7
Ava, 5
Kennedy, almost 3 

Emmaline, almost 1
Here are my sweet little girls. Love, love, love them. I want them to know what they were like as young kids and I don't trust my memory.

I've written 2 per year since I started this list and sometimes it's been hard. And sometimes I've repeated in my 2nd letter what I'd said in my 1st.

Anyway, I just wrote my 1st letter of the year to them. I've decided to do something a little different for the last letter. I'm going to have this blog printed and bound for each of my daughters.

So I'm not checking this off yet so I will remember to do it (see 1st paragraph - I don't trust my memory!).

63. Redo upstairs hall pictures

I finally did it. I don't have a before picture of my hall. It wasn't terrible, just not beautiful. There were outdated pictures hung and some of Morgan's framed art...from when she was a baby. That's how long I've needed to beautify my hall. My 2 youngest kids didn't even have pictures up.

So, when I acquired a large, old wooden window, I knew exactly where it would go. So now I walk down my hall, glance at my sweet little girl faces, and smile.

Monday, March 5, 2012

61. Play bingo

I love Bingo. It's my favorite game. I get crazy competitive. And mad if you interrupt my game. There's a place that has Bingo every Friday night - but that's not where I went tonight. I went to Chick-fil-a. It was family night and they had Bingo. And while I still want to go somewhere where the prizes aren't stuffed cows, I'm checking this off for now.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

3. Plant a rose bush

Fresh picked flowers are one of my favorite things. However, they are a luxury since they are so expensive. So, I put this one on my list so I would have fresh cut roses.

Then something sad happened. A sidewalk is being constructed in front of our house this summer or late fall. Which means I'm going to have a bunch of construction workers traipsing through my yard and garden. I'm not planting anything long term until they are done and my yard is put back together.  I'm quite sad about the sidewalk. Our street is not heavily trafficked with pedestrians, but as a "neighborhood improvement" project, it's happening. We tried to get petitions signed, but not enough people were interested. Perhaps it's because it's not their two mature and beautiful Crate Myrtle trees and vine with yellow flowers on the mailbox getting destroyed. 

Anyway, I've been wondering what should take the place of planting a rose bush - and had no inspiration. Enter Pinterest, mason jars, and my husband.
These pictures were my Pinterest inspiration. Mason jars, hung on a wall, spray painted. That way, I can put roses in them. No, the roses won't be fresh cut. But I'll get around to planting that bush next year, after all the construction is finished.

Here's my take on planting a rose bush:

This one is downstairs.

This one is in my bedroom. 

My sweet husband is almost soley responsible for making this list happen. And once again, this one is no exception. I picked out the hardware and jars. I spray painted. But, he hung. And thought of the idea to count this as my number 3. Thanks Matt for all your help and support!