22 March 2012

Spring Wreaths {Project Pretty}

Welcome to another edition to Project Pretty.

This week’s project was inspired by Chelsey from The Paper Mama. She created a fantastic FREE printable full of does and toadstools in various sizes, along with a floral bunting banner –perfect for adding a bit of whimsy and spring to your home. This project also went perfectly with our Little Red Riding Hood party.
While Chelsey made really cute terrariums, I decided to transform the three wreaths in my hallway bathroom. If you remember, I made these moss wreaths back in December, so all I had to do was add the printable does and swap out the ribbon.

Basically all you need is a wreath form from any local craft store, a package of moss, and a hot glue gun.

  • Begin by hot gluing your moss around the wreath form, little by little until your entire wreath looks like a blanket of moss.
  • Cut out your printable (I printed two sheets for three wreaths).
  • Hot glue toothpicks to the backside (this with be your “floral pick”)
  • Click here for The Paper Mama’s detailed instructions. 
  • For ribbon, I actually used natural unbleached muslin that I ripped into strips and very loosely tied into floppy knots –this way gives it more of a whimsy, carefree feel. 
  • Hang and voila!

Happy Spring and Happy Crafting,


17 March 2012

Moving right along.

Besides the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, there’s nothing significant about the Number 12. But, for us it’s a tiny milestone. It’s 12 days that I haven’t seen my husband; 12 days that my children haven’t seen their daddy; and 12 days that we’ve been 1,000’s of miles apart.

However, there is a bright side --it’s 12 days down and 12 days less to go on our deployment countdown. We’re settling into a life of our own --keeping with old schedules while forming new routines that work for us as a "single parent home" to function and thrive smoothly.

I was raised in a single parent home; my father left when I was seven and I haven’t seen him since. In many ways, my unfortunate childhood situation has prepared me for this military life, a life of continuous deployments and fully taking the reigns while they’re away, being 100% in charge of the family and household. It has taught me how to be the glue and to keep everything held together when there’s a constant missing piece. I’ve seen the struggles of my mother, I’ve seen her failures and successes, and as our deployments have come and gone I’ve learned and grown from them throughout the past ten years of being a military wife. Unlike the typical single parent, I have a light at the end of the tunnel --my husband will come back, and we will be a complete family again. And that alone is worth living day to day with my head held high.

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
--Dalai Lama

Since moving to Oklahoma, I’ve been trying to live by the saying, “You can’t move forward, if you keep looking back” …or something along those lines. It has really helped me to stay positive through the storm and to write our family's next chapter. And so in order to move forward and steer steadily and victoriously through until the fall, I’ve been reflecting on Ron’s last weekend with us -- trying to memorize the little moments and embraces, the smiles and laughter.

Here’s a happy moment…

let me tell you, Brother does not want Sister's lovings!

And here’s another one…

one of my favs from the weekend

If you’ll excuse me, I have a little girl dying to read her book in the hammock and an antsy little tot begging to play in his sand table.

Be the glue, hold it together, and look above for brighter days.


07 March 2012


We starred at each other as the early morning dawn stretched through our window, shifting our bodies into bold silhouetted lines. Neither one of us moved. We remained frozen with rapidly beating hearts, soaking in the moment as William slowly breathed in and out in a calming rhythm. My breathing eventually became in sync with his and my heart relaxed to a slower beating manor, steadying myself for the inevitable. I begged time to stop, to freeze this moment, but we knew that our final hour was quickly approaching.

I told myself that I was going to hold it together. I was going to keep myself composed and strong and be a rock for my kids, but that didn’t go as planned. One look into Krysta’s huge quarter-sized eyes swelling into tears and I lost it. I was done. Finished. The lump that has been burning my throat for days dropped into my stomach releasing the flood waters to burst through the dam, leaving me in a sea of tears.

We tightly hugged, kissed our last kiss, and said “see you later” and “I love you” and “I’ll see you in the fall”. We turned to part ways, and I watched him as he disappeared through the double doors.

And then, just like that he was gone.

Evenings are the most difficult to bare during a deployment. It’s the part of day when Ron walks through the door from work, where Krysta comes home from school, and where we gather around the table for dinner and homework. We have a routine; a routine that runs like clockwork. We all work together like the turning of wheels and gears and rivets, spinning and turning effortlessly —if one piece is missing, we can’t properly function.  Finding replacements and re-rigging our routine is our first step to a successful deployment. Realigning the hndassort and swpassort (the legs on the face of the clock… and yes I actually researched the correct terminology) is what we’re focusing on this week. Day by day, time will continue to tick-tock until we can reunite as a whole family.

Until then, we carry on.


05 March 2012

The Dripping Hourglass

I sipped my morning coffee while looking up at the only remaining party decoration, a woodland themed wreath, which hangs above my table. I’m reminded that my grand scheme of distraction has come to an end. The party is over, the dust has settled, and now I’m left with the sting of reality…Ron is deploying.

My breaths are becoming heavier and short as the days and hours slip by. I haven’t broken down or released the waterworks, I’m just numb. I’ve played this game, danced the dance, and I’m wise enough to know what’s around the corner. It can’t be stopped, it can’t be slowed down, and there’s no going back.

It’s like being on steel tracks when the train is moving at full speed. Frozen. Or in the middle of a tidal wave and not being able to paddle out. Helpless. Or being trapped in a shark’s tank, feeling vulnerable.

But when push comes to shove, I’m going to let that train hit me, and allow that wave to carry me under, because when I stand up on the other side, I will begin to feel again, the numbness will subside, and I can begin to rebuild and reshape my household until my better half returns.

The buildup is always the hardest –emotionally building up for him to leave, mentally building up for his return. Minutes cruelly stretch into hours, and hours linger into weeks. It’s a mental game of tug-a-war; I want time to freeze and capture the quickly moving moments, but yet I want the deployment clock to start ticking and the hourglass to flip over so we can begin the 6+ month countdown and anticipate his homecoming.

As military wives of deployed loved ones, we’ve been put into an unimaginable situation. A situation where the only guideline to follow is to carry on. A situation where it hurts so much that we have to force ourselves out of bed. A situation that brings equal parts of pain and pride.

Pride is stronger than pain, and good trumps evil. That in itself is worth carrying on and standing tall, standing proud.

We mustn’t fall.

"love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1Corinthians13:7

Much Love,

04 March 2012

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf's party and photoshoot (otherwise known at THE BIG DAY)

I’ve been going non-stop for days, possibly weeks. Cutting, hot gluing, hanging and tying; making sure all is in place and the mood is just right. I have not one, but two special little lives to celebrate, so I wanted to make sure each babe felt equally important on their big day. We opted for a combined theme of “The Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf.”
I wanted to mainly capture the woodlands in which the story took place, so we displayed an ample amount of wood slices, wildlife, and moss --appropriate for any Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf.

It was epic –celebrating two beautiful birthdays for two beautiful babies, at the same time. A wonderful day that was surrounded by all things good, filled with all things meaningful. Friends and family gathered from as far as Hawaii and as near as across the street to help bring in Krysta and William’s big day. There were laughs and smiling faces and loving moments that I will forever cherish. Because after all,  it’s not the planning, the setting up, or the anticipation of the big day, but rather the memory-making and the gathering of friends that I love so much about life events such as these. It’s living and soaking up the little moments that I strive to capture.

To see party d├ęcor’ and photos, click here.

And you know I couldn’t do a themed party without doing a themed photoshoot! Here is a photo overload of my Little Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf…

Be still my heart.

I can't imagine my life being and living any other way than to be surrounded by my babies. It's soul-satisfying to witness them take in all the wonder and excitement and beauty of the world, and in turn, for the world around them to ever-so-carefully sculpt their little personalities in big ways.

Happy Living,