February 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my momma's birthday. I know everyone thinks their mom is the best, but my mom really is. She is and always has been my rock, my friend and my role model... as well as my problem-solver, creative mastermind, baker, cake-decorator, seamstress and financier (he he he). She is the picture of patience, understanding and poise, and I couldn't imagine my life without her. Just about everything I write about on this blog is because of a skill she taught me or something she has encouraged me to pursue. Should I be blessed with kids someday, if I'm half the mom she has been, they will be lucky kiddos. I certainly am.

I love you, Mom!!!

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February 15, 2010

A Splash of Color

My master bedroom has already been through countless iterations since I moved in May.  I recently decided I wouldn't be happy with it until I...

a) painted the walls 
b) built a girlie canopy  
c) got a fabulous rug

Painting will not only require landlord permissions, but disassembling and moving my furniture out of the room for a few days, an incredibly tall ladder and probably $60 worth of paint.  Building a girlie canopy I thought would be easier, but alas, my idea with discount window sheers won't work without assembling hardware, which I'm not willing to do.   Something about hardware I installed myself above my head while I dream sweet dreams is not a restful thought!!  

So, I decided to lust after gorgeous rugs online and hope one was on clearance.  Well, it wasn't at all what I was looking for...

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This little guy was just over half off at $9.99 and most importantly, it made me laugh.  (If you haven't figured it out yet, the sole purpose for buying a lot of things is that it makes me laugh or smile spontaneously.)  So, I purchased it.  Wouldn't you know?  It made a HUGE difference over the grey rug that used to be there!!!    

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I've decided color is exactly what that room needs, and maybe I could get by with it not being on the walls after all.  I'm going to try my hardest to save up a little cash and scout clearance sections so I can buy a bit of colorful bedding.  Stay tuned!!  

February 12, 2010

I melted.

I’ve always felt loved by my family. Their greatness stands the test of time and trial, for sure. But this past week, they’ve also proven to be the cutest, most creative family EVER!

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First, my mom sent me a bunch of Valentine’s Day goodies, along with this amazing hand-crafted snowman runner made from old quilts from my grandmothers. I love the vintage fabrics and the history behind it…. even if I’m not sure if previous generations of Garens or Shirdens made the quilts or if my Grandma Garen picked them up at a farm auction (she was a bargain queen suitable for “Hoarders” I’m sure), but either way, it holds a very special meaning – and my momma made it, too! So, I melted a little when I got to display it in my home.

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But it doesn’t stop there! Last night I came home to second package from Indiana! In it I found a lot of homemade “Goodies by Nikki” fabulousness from my sis-in-law.

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But wait - one last thing! This made me totally, completely melt. I love you too, A.J. and Zoe!!! I hope they know that in their aunt's eyes, they will always, truly be my little angels! This magnet will now ALWAYS be on my fridge!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m not typically one to really appreciate the romantic sentiment of the holiday, but it is a nice excuse to take a moment out of our busy lives to show each other how much we care, and to remember how much, even us single girls, are loved by our family, our friends, and of course God!!

I hope everyone reading this feels as loved as I do today!


My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:12-13

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39

We love him, because he first loved us. - John 4:19

February 9, 2010

Dealing with the White Stuff


In Chicago, we get pounded by a blizzard and you know what?  Everyone hikes up their Hunter boots and keeps on moving, even despite a totally dysfunctional public transit system!  This city is hard core and I LOVE it.  This morning everyone got to work, and tonight, everyone got home.  It was a slow commute, but we made it happen.  

As I type, the snow is still coming down and I can hear a cab laboring to pull away after dropping off my downstairs neighbor (I assume... we're really the only two on the block that take cabs frequently) and there's another neighbor shoveling.   The city never sleeps!  After growing up in an area that freaks when the four-letter s-word is used in a weather forecast, it's refreshing to see an entire city buck up and take the winter weather by the horns.  I'm proud of my city.  And after six years of residence and finding my way through the snow this morning without falling flat on my face (because I couldn't tell where the curbs were under all the snow), I think I can claim Chicago as my own.    

In the coming days I'll share yet another iteration of my master bedroom decor, the progress I'm making on my quilt (finally) and a few projects I'm working on for others, including curtains for Covenant's nursery.  I've been quiet because I've been working on a far less exciting endeavor - project get in shape for spring weddings.  It's coming along slowly but surely and I'm trying to recall how to balance this ball in the air along with all the others.  

Happy snow days to those of you who aren't Chicagoans!!    
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