Friday, December 7, 2012

What's in a Name

This is Wren.  We also call her Kibnesh, which is her (first) middle name and her original Ethiopian name.  When we first met Wren Kibnesh we were told her name means to "encircle with riches".  Our guide in Ethiopia also mentioned to us that Kibnesh is not a popular name.  In fact it's kind of an old fashioned name, one that you would expect of an old lady.  Probably the American equivalent of Ethel or Gladys.  
Her other middle name is Lee.  Which is also my middle name.  And my mom's and my grandma's.  Girl has a long name   So if all that isn't enough, we've also given her a long list of nicknames: 

Wren K
Wren cakes
Wrenny Roo
The Wrenster

Who knows what else we'll come up with.  Her nicknames are evolving all the time.  Maybe we'll start calling her Gladys.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Add caption

Christmas is my favorite.  I'm so glad we got that pesky Thanksgiving out of the way.  I no longer have to hear but it's not even Thanksgiving yet!  Haters gonna hate.  But now.  Now I am free to decorate the tree (which has been up for 2 weeks already).  Now I can turn on the Christmas lights.   Now it's perfectly acceptable to listen to Christmas music.  Now I can bake Christmas cookies.

Well, actually I can't do that last part.  Just before Thanksgiving my oven done gone and died.  Which was bittersweet because man, I hated that oven.  It had always been a little wonky. But I also hate dropping a load of money on a new appliance when I would rather spend it on fun stuff, like CHRISTMAS PRESENTS and boots.

So, merry Christmas to me.  A new oven is what Santa is bringing me this year.  Thankfully he delivers early, and I should be baking cookies by this time next week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Adoption Art

This post may be a tad overdue.  Like a year or more.  Back in 2010 and 2011 when we were raising money to bring Wren home, we started a little art project for her bedroom wall.  We gave a small 3x3 canvas to everyone that helped to fund our adoption.  We asked them to paint, draw, write - whatever they wanted to do - knowing that it would be for the little girl we were bringing home.  I didn't keep track of the number of canvases I passed out, but I think it was about 30.   

They are now on her wall, looking super spiffy.  They are all amazing.  We know some seriously talented people.  I LOVE them.  She LOVES them.  She studies them, points to them, talks about them.  She knows they are for her.  Made by all the people who loved her before they knew her.  

Notice there is still some room for more pictures.  I know there are a few more canvases out there that people may have forgotten they had (Grandma).  So maybe someday they'll be returned or maybe someday I'll have to get crafty myself and fill in those blanks.  Either way, it's a project I am so glad we started.  So many people from different pockets of our lives - church, work, neighbors, people near and far and young and old.  I'm still amazed and grateful for all of the support.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The never ending stairs

When I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon about a year and a half ago, this was one of the first things I pinned.  It was just the inspiration I needed to get rid of the icky carpet on our stairs.  

So one day, on a whim, I ripped out all that carpet.  My husband was thrilled!  

Hiding underneath the carpet were perfectly good pine stair treads.  Yay!  But they were covered in 50 gajillion  staples.  Boo!  Turns out that pulling up the carpet was the easy part of the job.  Removing staples was not.  Them suckers were in there good.  Not to mention all the hole filling and sanding that followed.  Let's just say this wasn't weekend project that I thought it would be.

see how thrilled Jeff looks?
adorable child labor
So we filled and sanded.  And filled and sanded some more.  And finally had nice, smooth, naked stairs. I decided to paint the risers white and treads black.  All the while thinking and plotting about what clever song or saying I could paint on the risers.  Maybe a bible verse?  Or a Bealtes song.  Something inspirational.  About walking, or taking steps.  I'm so clever.

But eventually I stopped dreaming about the stairs and whatever clever/funny/insprationl mumbo jumbo I could paint on them.  I was down to the final coats of paint and I just couldn't seem to get a nice crisp line in the crease of the tread and riser (all the seams were caulked, so that made it really tricky - painters tape was no help)  It was driving me crazy.  So I quit.  And left the stairs 90% finished for about a year.

But I recently regained the motivation I needed when some furniture delivery men removed our old mattress.  They slid the old boxspring down the stairs. Scraping and gouging each step.  Jerk faces. So I finally carved out some time to fix the stairs.  And I went ahead and used an artist brush to try and straighten up all the wonky lines where black meets white.  

good enough
So if you come to my house, you'll see these pretty stairs.  Only your not allowed to slide furniture down them.  Or walk on them.  
I still have no motivation to paint anything witty on the stairs.  Maybe it'll come to me someday.  Or maybe you have a brilliant idea you'd like to share.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I got to hang up my mom hat last week. I traded it for a plane ticket to Nashville to see some of my favorite peeps. It was such fun! I got to hang with my sisters and sister-like friends. I ate we'll and then I ate well some more. Cheesecake and coffee at 11pm at a Memphis hole in the wall? Heck yeah. Barbara's fried chicken and biscuits in Nashville? Yes 'em. I heart Nashville. Not to mention I was smack dab in the middle of autumn. Surrounded by the rolling rocky top hills in all their fall glory. Every fenced pasture framed with color. Yeah. It was a good trip. You should go there sometime.

Memphis mecca
I40 on a dreary day
home of amazing biscuits

I did miss the children, though. But not until about the 4th day. I didn't think I would be missed. But I was. Well at least by one of them. A simple FaceTime chat started the frenzy. Then there was inconsolable crying and crocodile tears. And snot. "Mommy, I want you here right now" was what really got me. Then we both had crocodile tears. It was nice to missed. Jeff sent me these pictures shortly after.


Happy to have friends that live in fun places and happy to be home.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wren says

Mom, stop freaking out! You're just always freaking out.

Mom.  I need to text Gavin.

I want to see my boys! (impatiently waiting in the pick-up line at school)

Mom!   You go to time out!

Oh, Mom.  My boys are being crazy.

Mom, I pee in the grass like Joey!

Dear God, Thank you for my God, and my daddy, and my Gavin, and my Ryder, and my Joey, and my Ryder, and my mommy, and my Gavin, and my Ryder.  Amen.

Mom, why is you have a big bottom?

You put my clothes in the washing ma-cleaner?

I'm from Eepeeyopeeya.  (randomly tells Starbucks employee)

Mom, walk out of here!  I'm doing stinky work.  (while sitting on the potty)

Golly, she is a cute kid.  From minute to minute, I never know if she is going to make me laugh hysterically or pull my hair out in frustration.  As her preschool teacher told me, "she is just the right amount of ornery."  Tru dat.    

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What blog?

So, it's been a while. I know. My mom may have mentioned it once or twice. I have no good excuse. What can I say, that once a month blogging schedule was just too much for me. But now that I've had a nice long sabbatical I thought I'd give it another go.
this is what my kids look like, in case you forgot

So Wren has grown a bit over the last 6 months. Her closet is bare. (Not really. Aunt Dana, do not send clothes)  Not to mention her shoe selection has dwindled a bit. Her wardrobe is scant, but it is still more than enough. And I must say I like the simplicity. It makes life easier. But don't you dare ask me to whittle my shoe closet down to three pair. It ain't gonna happen.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Is this normal?

This does not include the dress up shoes or the summer sandals. Too much?
* it should be noted that I did not purchase all of these shoes. In fact I am only responsible for 3 of them.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I can sew! Sort of.

I can't believe I actually successfully sewed something.  I followed these instructions.  It was pretty easy, once I remembered how to thread my sewing machine and learned what a zipper foot was.  Yeah, that's right.  I sewed a zipper.  I can hardly believe it myself.

My new blue and white chevron (zippered!) pillows.   Wren didn't even notice my pillows.  She was immersed in a particularly tense episode of Barney.  I think Baby Bop was stressing her out.  

 I've always wanted to be a sewer (seamstress?).  Sometimes my ambition gets the better of me. I read lots of sewing blogs and buy lots of fabric to go with my pile of good intentions.  But I don't sew.  I don't have the patience to do it right.  I prefer short-cuts and iron-on adhesives.

These are the curtains in Wren's room.  We've had them a while now.  Awesome, no?  It was also a pretty easy project.  My first step was just to buy 4 cheapo twin flat sheets at Ikea (2.99/ea).  I used 2 sheets for the panels, and use the other 2 to make the ruffles.   Step 2: cut the first ruffle sheet into strips.  Step 3:  realized I had no idea what the crap I was doing (I briefly entertained the idea of using a hot glue gun instead of sewing).  And my fourth and final step was to call my beloved mother in law and make her do it.  See.  Easy peasy. ;)

I've still got a ways to go.  Maybe someday I'll sew something else.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wrestle Mania

So what do you do when your mean mom says "no TV tonight, boys"?  Well in our house, you go put on your dad's old t-shirt,  stuff it with pillows and don your favorite Mexican wrestling mask.  

wish I'd kept the camera rolling a few seconds longer

nice t-shirts, eh?

Little sister wanted to get in on the action too, but then decided it was too much work. 

don't mind the annoying cackle

Monday, January 30, 2012

New kitchen

I have always dreamed of white cabinets.  A counter depth fridge.  A large single bowl stainless sink.  Oh, the things that make a girl's heart go pitter-patter.

this is not my kitchen.  but I dig it.  

Well, I didn't get any of these things.  But Wren did.  Her daddy made her a play kitchen.  And it's pretty stinkin' cute if I do say so myself.  

don't mind the cheese and the bedhead

We used these plans.  It was a time-consuming project, but not a hard one.  There are still a few tweaks that need to be made like adding a faucet and some touch up paint.  But the girl loves it.  There was squealing and happy dancing feet as her daddy brought it up to the play room.  Wren was excited too.  

Friday, January 6, 2012


I thought I'd share some of the random pics that are on my phone. Some are pretty old. Most are of Wren. And some were taken when my phone was hijacked by little boys.  It's kind of like a 2011 year in review, via crappy iPhone pictures.  So here they are, in no particular order....Enjoy.  

sorry mom

new floors!

the forever long trip home

the best garage sale-ing day ever

self portrait

desperate for firewood

under the carseat.   just keepin' it real.

neighborhood gang

Mexico bound!

The things she does to entertain herself in the carseat......

see what I mean


Wren's room

what I look like when I sleep in a German airport

My mother's day present.  Stolen flowers and a heart shaped rock.  :)

going home.  for the first time.

stair art

marshmallow/spaghetti art

junior plumbers


big gulp, huh?

halloween.  she still loves to wear those glasses.

from aunt B.  :)