Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meet Our Newest Blessing!!

Caroline Elizabeth
Made Her Debut At 3:11 p.m. Thursday, January 22, 2009
Weighing in at 6 lbs 10 oz, 19" long


Mommy & Daddy To Be

I know many of you are familiar with the Carly Simon hit "Anticipation". The chorus goes like this:

Anticipation. Anticipation
Is making me late, is keeping me waiting.

That's just what I have been doing since last night at 7:06 p.m. when our daughter called to tell us our grand-daughter, Caroline Elizabeth had decided she wanted to make her debut in January instead of February. Sooooo, all night and all day I have been waiting and waiting and waiting. Anticipating, and anticipating and anticipating. I am so thankful for telephones, text messaging and emails!!! Being 740 miles apart is not an easy thing to deal with anytime let alone when your first grand-baby is about to arrive! Mother, Father and Baby are doing fine at this point, it's just been a long night. Things are moving a little slow, but I just received an update that they are starting to make some progress now. Little Mother's biggest complaint is that she's starving!! Her last meal was at noon yesterday and she says as soon as she gives birth she want a big Coke and something greasy!! That's not her normal very health conscious diet. Please pray that things go smoothly and quickly with no complications. I know patience is a virtue, but it's hard for a first time Grand-Momma to demonstrate patience at a time like this! I'm not anxious, just eager and excited for her to get here! As soon as she does I'll introduce her to you all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Day At The Beach!

Pictures Can Be Enlarged By Clicking On Them

What could be better than a day at the beach?! I know many of you are longing for the first signs of spring! Thanks Terrie at Terrie's Lil" Piece of Serenity for those wonderful Robin pictures and the sound effects to go along with them. For many of you it's been days, weeks and even months since you've seen the ground. Snow, as picturesque as it can be gets old after days, weeks and months of shoveling and plowing. I know, I had my share of it for 4 years. So, I thought I'd bring you a little bit of sand, surf and sunshine to look forward to or to dream about. Crank up the heat, rub on some Coppertone, Panama Jack or Ocean Potion, turn on some Embers, Beach Boys or Drifters music, put on your shaggin shoes and shades and your ready for a day on the strand! Grand Strand that is...Sunny Myrtle Beach, SC. Just thought you'd like to know, it is a sunny day here on the strand, but I'll definitely be cranking up the heat here as well since the temperature has only made it to 21 degrees so far. I know, I know... some of you would love for it to be a nice toasty 21 degrees. Have fun pretending, it won't be long now. Spring is only 64 days away!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Inspiration That Started It All

Good morning friends! I know most of you enjoy decorating your homes and making them a reflection of you. I may have gone just a "step" too far in that area. I'll let you be the judge. I've always wanted to paint a wall in a way that would personalize it. I faux finished a foyer once and was very please with that, but that wasn't the whimsical type of painting I had seen in pictures and always envisioned having in a room of my house. Since the children are all grown there were no "children's" rooms to get creative in I had to look for another room and an inspiration piece. I was unwrapping a special going away gift from one of my "Doodles" (I'll introduce you to them later) and voila, there was the inspiration I'd been looking for. A colorful wooden flip flop dangling from a hand-painted sign that said "Life Is Good At The Beach"!! What could be more perfect, flip flops (one of my very favorite things), the beach and all my favorite colors. Now, where to hang this inspiration piece and what to paint. Since my decor is pretty traditional with a little country French, the beachy, tropical colored flip flop didn't really fit in anywhere, but there was one place it might just work. My laundry room! What better way to make laundry day enjoyable than to be surrounded by cheerful colors and your favorite things. The first thing I needed was paint so off I went to the craft store and bought multiple bottles of acrylic craft paint a rainbow of colors. I already had brushes of all shapes and sizes so now all I needed was a pattern and a ladder. Making a flip flop pattern was fairly simple. It was basically drawing a figure eight. Once I had my necessary tools it was time for the fun to begin. I decided I would paint a border of flip flops around my laundry room ceiling. Step one was to trace the pattern at equal increments all around the room. Step one wasn't too bad, now for step two, step three, step four, step five............... are you getting the picture? It was one of those projects you start and shortly into the process you begin to think, "WHAT WAS I THINKING"?!!! I wanted every one to be different and have multiple colors and dimension I forget you have to wait for every color to dry before you can apply another one and some colors take more than one coat. Days later when the last embellishment was complete I stepped off the ladder and took a look at my handiwork (or insanity) and was very pleased with the results. I also added my favorite verse (which I want to re-paint with a finer line- one of these days). Would I do it again? Yes, absolutely! Not only does it make me smile while I'm doing laundry it's become sort of a novelty to my friends and family. Everyone likes to pick their favorite flip flop. So let me encourage you to be adventurous, grab a brush and some paint and go for it! You might just be glad you did.

****Enter To Win******BONUS*******FREE******It's You're Lucky Day**********

Now that I have your attention I want to give you the opportunity to be included in an exciting "Pay-It-Forward" challenge that I discovered on my friend Judy's blog at Just A Little Something For You. If you've never visited her blog you simply must stop by and get to know her. She has so many creative ideas I know you will love in addition to her always inspirational posts. It's been a pleasure meeting her and I know you will feel the same way. I was so excited to learn I was the first to leave a comment on her paying-it-forward post and can hardly wait to to see what I'll be receiving! I know it will be wonderful whatever it is. I can't wait to see who will be the first to leave a comment on this post and who I'll be paying-it-forward to.

Here’s how this works…. the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on this post will receive a hand-made item from me. Those 3 bloggers promise to post this challenge on their blog (meaning they too will ‘pay-it-forward’, creating a handmade gift for the first 3 bloggers that leave a comment on their blog!!) That's a lot of hand-made love being passed around! :~) Here's the part I got really excited about...the gift can be anything you choose and any price range and you have 365 days to make & ship your item. Good luck and have fun creating!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

You're Invited!

It's not enough that I can't keep up with one blog, I have to create another one. When I starting blog number one, "Grand Occasions", I fully intended for it to be attached to my company web site and be a "business" blog, but I discovered so many wonderful bloggers that I had so many things in common with that it evolved into more of a "personal" blog. What's a girl to do? If one is good then two must be grand, huh? I'll let you know soon. Since it's been awhile since I've gotten anything posted on my "personal" blog I thought I'd post an invitation for you to visit my brand new "Myrtle Beach Weddings & Events" blog. Now that I have them both up and running and I've been able to download pictures to my new computer I should be a blogging maniac or at least a regular contributor. I appreciate you visiting Grand Occasions and have enjoyed meeting each of you. I hope you all have a very productive week. I'm looking forward to visting many of you in the next few days to see what you have been up to.

You're Invited to Visit The Grand Opening of "Myrtle Beach Weddings & Events" Blog Spot

You've Just Said Yes!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

With Love

Pedicure Given With Love By Cousin Amber Baby Sock Corsage Made With Love by Cousin Amber Girly Pink Bunny Coat Given with Love by Cyndi
Afghan Crocheted with Love from Aunt Marsha
Canvases for the Nursery Hand Painted with Love by Granddaddy
Diaper Cake Made with Love by Aunt Marsha Hat, Scarf & Mittens Made with Love by Amber #1

It's less than a month now and I'll be a Grandmomma!! I was just thinking about all the beautiful gifts our daughter received at her baby shower and how special they all were and thought I'd share just a few of them with you. We haven't had a baby in the family for quite some time so everyone is excited to say the least. From the moment we heard our family would be getting an addition we began sewing, crafting, painting and shopping for an assortment of things especially for the little blessing that would soon be joining us.

What is it that makes a gift special? Is the amount the giver spends that makes it valuable? Perhaps it's the brand, designer label or the store it was purchased from that gives it distinction? I believe it's something far more priceless than any of those. Not that a gift that would fall into any of those categories would not be special (I have received many "Special" gifts from all of those categories), but it's not those things alone that gives it value, it's the giver of the gift and the thought that was put into choosing the gift that sets it apart. Have you ever wanted to give a gift, but felt you couldn't afford a suitable gift? Have you ever spent more than your budget would comfortably allow to purchase such a gift? It's easy to fall into that materialistic trap and try give a gift that is equal to Mrs. Joneses gift. Those darn Joneses seem turn up in all of our circles, don't they? Allow me to say a word about Mrs. Jones. I have known several very sincere Mrs. Jones that give with love from the very bottom of their hearts. She may just have a larger budget than others and she would never want anyone to feel their gift was inferior in any way. We need to remind ourselves what's really important when giving and receiving a gift. Everyone I've met in blog land has a variety of talents and creativity they can use to create the perfect gift. Whether it's something handmade, home cooked, a service your can provide or something you purchase. Whatever the gift, regardless of the cost, if it's made or given with love it's always just right.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's A Southern Thing!

We southern girls have some habits that might be considered strange to girls in other parts of the country, but which are perfectly normal to us. We like "things" and find many of these "things" to be necessities and not luxuries. When we hear the term "things" our minds often are quick to think non-essential or extravagant, but that's not always true. One such "thing" that is absolutely essential in the daily life of a Southern Girl is the beverage napkin! I always keep a variety on hand and change them to match my decor, my mood, or the season. I never knew they were anything but a normal part of life until I lived in New England. One of the dearest friends I made while living there said to me one day, I always use a paper towel for my beverages, is that improper? I assured her that it wasn't and that I use an occasional paper towel as well. She told me how much she loved using my "special" napkins, but that paper towels are just more practical and affordable and she thought it was a luxury to use beverage napkins. After that we started referring to my napkins as "Southern" napkins and to hers as "Yankee" napkins. That conversation took place in the summer and a few months later when I was thinking of something small with a special meaning I could get her for Christmas I immediately remembered the "Southern" napkin conversation. Since she loves the beach and collecting seashells I began my search for beautiful beverage napkins with a shell motif and a pretty holder to put them in. Of course that was a simple thing to find and had a variety of shell napkins to choose from. I couldn't resist dropping by "The Pig" to pick up a roll of decorator "Yankee" napkins to send as well. A few days later I received a call from her thanking me for the gift and letting me know she keeps them on her nightstand and uses one every evening with her cup of hot tea! That's been two years ago and not only am I still sending her "Southern" napkins for birthdays and Christmas (this year the were white with the SC symbol of the Palmetto and moon), but she's started to buy them for herself as a little "luxury". Once more it just goes to prove you can find pleasure in the simplest of things.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Peter Rabbit Baby Shower

I love Tablescape Tuesdays and am looking forward to participating before much longer. In the mean time I thought I'd share a couple of pictures from my daughter's baby shower. We love English Cottage Style and Peter Rabbit so what better theme to go with for a baby shower. Peter Rabbit has been around a long time and is a vintage favorite so Peter Rabbit items should be easily found,right? Wrong! Found, yes, but not easily. Normally our Marshall's, T.J. Maxx and Tuesday Mornings has a variety of Peter Rabbit items, but not a single one when I'm in need of them. Bargain shopping is one of my favorite hobbies and the hunt is what makes it so rewarding, so hunt I did. I searched on Ebay and Google. I called friends and relatives in other states to recruit their help. Besides the obvious, Peter Rabbit himself, I needed a white picket fence and a watering can. Even in the South watering cans and picket fences are hard to come by in November. I found one little lone watering can at Old Time Pottery, but there was not a single table size picket fence to be found, so I made a quick stop by Home Depot and asked for 8-10 paint sticks which I painted white and hot glued together. I found a pot full of artificial cabbages at a local florist shop, invitations on Ebay along with a quilt block I used for a backdrop for the gift table and fabric with an all over Peter Rabbit motif to make a table topper for the coffee bar station. I printed my own return address labels, name tags, what do you predict and advice and well wishes cards along with labels for the favor boxes. I stumbled across a Peter Rabbit Anniversary Barbie along the way and of course Grandmomma had to be the one to buy her first Barbie! I used scrapbook paper and printed pictures of Peter Rabbit characters to make an adorable banner strung on pink double faced satin ribbon that was hung across the fireplace. My daughter's best friend from WV even managed to find a Peter Rabbit frame and a stuffed Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck at her Kohl's. At Wal-Mart On-line I scored a Peter Rabbit CD set and a DVD of Tales of Peter Rabbit and Friends. In just a few weeks we had everything we needed to turn our house into Peter Rabbit Cottage plus there was a story to go with every item we used which made for great conversation. Half of the fun of entertaining and celebrating is being creative and doing it yourself. It doesn't need to be perfect or expensive, it just needs to come from the heart and that always makes it priceless.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year & Welcome To My Blog

With 2008 only a memory I am reminded of just how quickly time goes by. Truly, life is like a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanisheth away. It's been said that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Each of us are surrounded by breathtaking moments daily, but many times they go unnoticed because we are too busy looking for grandeur and fail to recognize the truly extraordinary in the simple things. The world we live in today has become such a fast paced, materialistic, got to have it now society that we don't slow down long enough to smell the roses and if we did stop to smell the roses along the way they would probably be in the floral department at our local grocery as we dashed through just to grab a couple of things and not on a rose bush in our own yard that we've cultivated with our own two hands. We no longer invest time into things that don't produce instant reward. We have to constantly keep our guard up to not be swept away with this raging tide of materialism and business. We don't mean to be swept away, it just happens. We make our list of priorities, we learn to say no (sometimes) and we vow to slow down, but somehow we go from the shoreline with the gentle waves tickling our toes to being pulled under by the riptide. As this brand new year begins and we have 365 clean pages, actually 360 now, to fill any way we wish let's try and remember that the best things in life aren't things, focus on what's truly important, look for creative ways to make the most of what we have and enjoy all of our blessings.
I'm excited about my new blogging adventure and look forward to sharing tips and ideas and with you and offering bits of encouragement. Since this is all new to me, please bear with me as I learn what I am doing and feel free to give advice. It is always welcome. Last year's venture was designing my own web site. They say you should never stop trying and learning new things, so here's to a year filled with new knowledge and new friends.