Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mattie Mae Designs

Did you know that SheShe (my mama) and I had/have a baby & children's clothes business?

Have you seen that adorable logo on my sidebar and wondered "what IS Mattie Mae Designs"?

Let me tell you the back story of our little adventure - my mama started making these adorable hand-appliqued (yes, HAND-APPLIQUED, as in not done with a machine) onesies for my nephew before he was born in 2009.  They were so cute, that I had to get in on the fun, too!

Anyways, my mama taught me how to sew the appliqués, and we never looked back.  We did a few Christmas shows, had our shirts in a couple stores and spent every extra second we had fulfilling orders and dreaming up new ideas.

Then, Miss Annie Louise came along.  And time was not abundant as it had been before.

Mattie Mae Designs got to be more of a hassle, more like another job, and not as fun as it used to be.

SheShe and I have been talking a lot about how we miss it.  I saved all the onesies and shirts that we made for AL, and I am getting them made into a quilt.  We went through the bag the other day, and we almost cried at how much we missed it.  Looking at all the hard work and creativity and was bittersweet.

So, we have decided to re-embark on our adventure - but this time, we are doing it the right way.  No overwhelming feelings allowed.  No "takes-up-all-our-extra-time" excuses.

Here's where you come into the picture - tell me what you think!  Do you like them?  Do you think they're creative?  Would you buy them, and how much would you pay for them?  Should we even attempt the land known as etsy?  

I think of so many of you as creative geniuses...will you share your knowledge? 

And if you're looking for a fun and unique shirt for your little one (or one to give as a gift), please let me know - I would LOVE to help you! 

Have a great Thursday, y'all!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stop & Smell the Roses - I love to buy old stuff.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Hello, friends!  Thank you for visiting us again for our weekly vlog!  We are linking up today with Mandy from House of Rose - if you don't link up with her, you should!

It's so easy - take a few minutes and tell what you're thankful for or what you are loving this week - link up and meet lots of great bloggers!

Wednesday has definitely become one of my favorite days of the week because I get to see all my blog friends! :)

Anyways, this week, I'm loving me some good ole antiques.

I guess it's because I come from an old-fashioned, southern family.  We all love antiques.

It's hard for us to get rid of anything because it might be worth something some day (although it probably holds more sentimental value than anything).  I love mixing in fun, older pieces into my decor - makes my heart smile.

I used to be an avid antiquer (is that even a word?) - my mom and I would go at least a couple times a month.  It was definitely one of my favorite things to do.  Then I got busy and had a baby and other things were more important than digging through antiques.

The other day, I started thinking about how I missed going to one of my favorite spots, so we went!  And I have been itching to go antiquing to all of my favorite spots ever since then.

Here are some of my latest finds - did I not hit the target or what?!?  I am seriously LOVING every piece I have bought!  By the way, I have been trying to post all of my finds on instagram - do you follow me?  I'm lenawarnock - find me and follow along!
mexican bookends - PERFECT for cookbooks!

Annie Louise has LOVED playing with this metal ironing board & iron! So fun! 

a pretty birdie dish, glass jars, a child's cup & a prayer book (that is just the sweetest)
another donkey for my collection, a great locker basket, a mother hen & chicks and a reminder to keep smiling! 
can you tell I LURVE birds?!?

canisters are great for storage, cookie cutters for AL's barnyard bash & a fun puzzle!

this chickie sits on my kitchen window sill - she makes me smile!

Here are some of my favorite go-to places - if you're in the middle Tennessee area, check them out.  But don't go too much, because you might get all the good things!

The Old Feed Store 
310 West Water Street Woodbury, Tennessee 37190

Antiques on the Square
126 N. Tatum Street Woodbury, Tennessee 37190

The Livery Stable & Bell Buckle Antiques
112 Main Street Bell Buckle, Tennessee 37020
*make sure you eat at the Bell Buckle Cafe - you won't regret it!

Antiques Unlimited
2303 South Church Street Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130

Hylabrook Antiques 
204 Chaffin Place Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37129

Have a great week, y'all! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

God knows.

So, a lot of you read my post about "mama guilt" that I posted on Monday (you can read it HERE) - and some of you sent me emails/messages to let me know you were thinking/praying for me, and I want you to know I truly appreciate it.

Yesterday, I got a text message from our babysitter a little before 6 a.m. letting me know that she was not going to be able to keep Annie Louise that day.  Usually, this would be something that I would FREAK.OUT about.  But not yesterday.

I knew that my mom wouldn't be able to keep her because she was working on that day.  And B was a gazillion miles away in Ohio - it's not a gazillion?  Oh, well it feels like it when your hubby is gone for a week.

Anyways, I would normally freak out when faced with this dilemma.  Not this time.  I knew that God had something in store for me, and I was going to enjoy every moment of it.

And what a wonderful day it was - we ate breakfast together, went to Target, visited with our friends Ms. Lauren & Ms. Emily, ate lunch at Cracker Barrel & did some pretty serious antiquing (hey, I have to train her early).

It was fabulous.

Yesterday, I did not answer any phone calls.  I did not schedule any meetings.  I didn't make any copies.  An unexpected chain of events left me without childcare, but I didn't complain.

God knows exactly what you need WHEN you need it.

Yesterday, I was just Annie Louise's mama.  And it was amazing!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Benjamin's first birthday!

sweet Benjamin
 Probably one of my most favorite and treasured things about getting older is the fact that all of our friends have children or are starting to have children.  Nothing makes my heart smile more than getting to celebrate our children’s milestones within my circle of friends.  
Benjamin and Annie Louise playing before the party!

And we celebrated with our friends, Courtney and Brian, and their adorable son, Benjamin!
Benjamin had a BIG birthday…he turned ONE!
my beautiful friend, Courtney, and her sweetie pie!
Courtney had an adorable theme…under the sea, which was planned all around Benjamin’s oh-so-cute smocked long all (hey, you have to have a theme, right?)!  
It was actually a little rain-y and gloom-y, but that didn’t stop us from having lots of fun!  Courtney had the cutest sea-themed decorations, lots of yummy grub, and tons of activities for the kiddos!
splish, splash!
watch out, Benjamin!
she got you, didn't she?!

Annie Louise tried multiple times to take a dip in the kiddie pools…which was unfortunate because it was cloudy and kind of chilly!  She loved playing in the water table and chasing bubbles with all of Benjamin’s friends!

We had an absolute blast with our dear friends, and we can’t wait to celebrate again!  


This was after they took the cake away! Poor guy!
I guess a cupcake will do!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stop & Smell the Roses vlog - She Reads Truth

Stop and Smell the Roses

Hi, friends!  Today, I'm linking up with Mandy from House of Rose for the weekly Stop & Smell the Roses vlog link-up.

Are you linking up?

Well, you should be!  It's super easy...take a few minutes to talk about something you're thankful for this week and join in the fun!  I have been linking up pretty faithfully, and I have met some amazing bloggers along the way!

Anyways, today I'm talking about a few things - 

1. The Influence Conference (YES, I'm going - you should, too) - here are all the details:

October 11-13 in Indianapolis - here's a short description for their website:

"If you’ve ever wondered how or why the Lord was going to use you in your home, work, community, or online – Influence is a fantastic place to connect and learn. We believe that God has given you influence right where you are, for one purpose: to make much of Him. At Influence we’re going to dig into the common thread of all of us – the Good News. We plan on doing a little teaching, talking, sharing, and celebrating concerning the ways He might want to use you on the individual platforms He’s given."

2. You Version App (find it on your iPhone and download it) - here are the details:

- Once you have the app downloaded, search in the "plans" section for "soul detox" - that's the plan we're following.  We're only on Day 7, so you can still catch up!  Tweet, blog, take pics & put on instagram - whatever your pleasure, share your thoughts about the day's reading!  And don't forget to tag it with the hashtag #SheReadsTruth so others can follow along!  Oh, and you can also follow @SheReadsTruth on twitter, too!

3. Let the Lord BLESS you with this study and with the fellowship with these other women.  You won't be sorry you joined in...promise!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Annie Louise is growing up!

In case you haven’t noticed, I have been slacking on the month-by-month posts for Miss Annie Louise, too!  Yikes, bad mama.  

Here’s what she’s been up to for the past couple months (months 19 & 20)…

Annie Louise, you are getting closer and closer to 2 years old.  
How is that even possible?  
When I visit friends with their brand new babies, my arms (and heart) remember the exact position to cradle those sweet little heads.  It’s like it was just yesterday I was a new mama at home with you, not a clue as to what I was doing.  And here I am today, over 20 months later, and some days I still feel clueless and without confidence.

 You are so fun at this age.  You are full of life and songs and sweet smiles.  Your little personality is really starting to emerge, and I can tell you are going to be my little social butterfly.

Just a few weeks ago, when I was taking you into Wee School, you just waved at everyone that we passed and said the cutest “hi!” I have ever heard.  You have no problems walking right into your classroom and getting busy.  I love that about you – so independent.

You are really starting to notice more things around you.  Like balloons.  Oh my word, the obsession you have with balloons is too cute for words.  It’s like it’s the best day of your life when someone gives you a balloon.  And the way you yell out “BOON” when we see them on the road…melts my heart!

Speaking of new words, your vocabulary has just jumped off the charts!  And you are combining words to form small phrases - I can only imagine what will be coming out of your mouth in a few months.  You try to say everything, and we definitely have a few favorites including:

Annie Louise, you are the light of my life.  Every day is new and exciting with you.  I can’t wait to see more of your personality start to shine through.  You are definitely my little sassy pants.  
Love you,

Monday, May 21, 2012

My battle with mama guilt.

The other night, that ugly monster (known as “mama guilt”) reared her ugly head.  
Ugh, I’m really starting to not like her.  
She’s mean.  And judgmental.  And shakes her fingers at me, all the while saying, “tsk, tsk.”
She knows I don’t like her, but she just keeps coming back.  Keeps making me feel like a horrible woman, an awful wife, and an even worse mama.
This night, was just one of the many nights she strolled into my life and left me feeling breathless and weak.
I had Annie Louise all to myself while Daddy went to Crossfit.  We ate dinner together and played outside…we had a blast. 
I had been having a rough time at work that week, and my sweet doodlebug knew just how to cheer me up.  She gave lots of kisses, even more hugs and many “lub you, mama’s”.  
My heart was just swelling with love.
Another thing AL and I like to do is take baths together.  There, I admitted it.
Please don’t judge me.
We’ve been doing it since she was a little baby, and I absolutely love it.  On the nights, B is gone or out of town for work, we’ll oftentimes take a bath together (hey, it’s easier for me).  
Last night was no different.  
I drew a big bathtub of water, turned on Pandora, and we had a blast.
I noticed how her hair is getting so long, so I dampened it a bit and made a ponytail.  
And it hit me like a mack truck FULL of bricks.
She’s not a baby anymore.
She looked like such a big girl with that ponytail – I mean, only big girls have ponytails, right?
And before I knew it, that scratchy, big lump started forming in my throat.  Hot, salty tears filled my eyes.  And that feeling of “I’m missing everything” slapped me in the face.
Mama guilt had arrived.
AL noticed, too.  With tears rolling down my face, she could tell I was visibly upset.
“I sowwy”  - she said with a scrunched up face (which, by the way, is the cutest thing ever).  Way to make the tears flow even more, doodlebug.
I quickly snapped out of it and gave an “I’ll deal with you later” expression to mama guilt.
Fast forward to later that night while I’m trying to sleep.
Things running through my head include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Am I really missing everything?
  • Will AL think less of me as a mother when she’s older because I work?
  • Am I making the other “tasks” more important than spending time with AL (i.e., cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc)
  • Can I realistically wake up an hour earlier every morning (I wake up at 5 a.m. as it is) to work on things around the house so I have more time with her?
  • Will I always feel this guilty?
  • If we sell everything we own and save like crazy, can I stay at home then?
  • Is this all really worth it?
  • Do I even need sleep?
And for most of the night, I don’t sleep.
I toss and I turn and I weep and I pray…because I have no other solution.
I guess what I’m looking for is advice from those of you that have had a visit with ole mama guilt yourself (and it can be guilt about anything, mind you).  
How do you deal with her?  
What do you do to make sure she doesn’t come visit you?  
For now, I’m desperately trying to find blessings in every single thing that I do, even the things I don’t like to do.  This helps for a short period of time, but mama guilt always seems to find a way to pounce on that little ounce of happiness I am having a devour it.  
Help me?
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. - Corrie Ten Boom

Friday, May 18, 2012

Five Years.

It’s been FIVE whole years since we said “I do” – can you believe it?
Five years.  A big milestone in a marriage, I believe.
Five years. Wow.
In five years, we have seen many, many firsts:
Our first home.
Our first fur babies.
Our first job loss.
There have been many tears and frustrations, and many prayers.  
But even more than that, there have been many smiles and giggles and kisses and belly laughs.
And I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.

 B - 
Thank you for loving me…every single piece of me.  Our vows mean more to me today than they did on that beautiful May day five years ago.  You are the steady, never-failing rock to this relationship.  You love like no one I have ever known.  You are the best daddy, and I love the way you love our precious daughter.  You are my support system, my best friend.  I love you yesterday, today and tomorrow and every day after that…thank you for always being you.
I always thought it was kind of redundant when couples chose this verse to read at their wedding ceremony.  Today, when I read it, I understand why it’s one of the most-used verses for wedding ceremonies.  It’s beautiful and tranquil and endearing and lovely….everything that love is to me today.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A "bird"day party for Annie Louise!

I realize it's been waaaaay over a year since Annie Louise's birthday party, but I just had to post some pictures here since this blog is pretty much the way I keep everything together.

So, here sweet Annie Louise's "BIRD"day party for her first birthday!  I will let you know that I started planning for this party when AL was about 6 months old.  I compiled all my ideas, made a big birthday to-do list and tackled everything as I could.  I bought things when I could (this saved me from spending a large amount of money on one trip), and I tried to do as many things as I could myself (along with my mom's assistance - she's a mastermind)...hello, DIY!

As far as the theme goes, we obviously went with a bird theme.  But I also wanted it to have an old-fashioned, eclectic feel.  I wanted the main colors to be bright and colorful, but I didn't want anything to be too matchy-matchy, think - lots of colors and lots patterns!

My biggest tip would be to hire a photographer, if you can.  Our good friend and photographer, Joy Chambers, took ALL of these photos, and I have hired her again for AL's 2nd birthday.  It was so nice to be able to actually enjoy the day and not worry about getting pictures of everything...not to mention, she's a PHOTOGRAPHER, so she takes amazing photos.  Just my two cents.

Now, all my planning and hard work in pictures for you to enjoy....

we had the party in our back yard - this was the sign that led everyone to the party!

the party sign was a large piece of cardboard that my mom painted (she's good, huh?)

we had lots of various snacks & desserts - these were white chocolate covered oreos...and the cute "towel" is actually an antique embroidered pillowcase!

a party just isn't a party without printed napkins, right?!

welcome table - bird masks made out of craft foam, quilt squares for guest to sign, bird fans (it was hot!) & favor bags for the kiddos!

water bottle labels with the same motif & font as the invitation and other paper goods!

decorated birthday hats - I just bought regular birthday hats & embellished them with pompoms, paper birds & 1s

felt bird garland for the umbrella

the birthday girl herself! my mom made her onesie to match our theme & the skirt was made by our friends at Bella Vista Baby (they did AL's nursery)

I wanted people to remember all the things from AL's first year - so, I made a picture garland of "Annie Louise's Year of Firsts" - I put various pictures from her first bath, first trip to the beach, first Halloween, etc.  All the guests loved seeing all the photos and taking a trip down memory lane!

My dad made this awesome bean bag toss game, and we painted it to match the theme! I wanted there to be lots of games & activities for all the kiddos!

this was the dessert/sweets table.  we draped a large piece of fabric against the house and used quilts, buntings, and lots of different pieces of fabric to decorate the table!

sweet birdie picks we used to decorate mini cupcakes! I just purchased little wooden picks, and we cut out birds out of paper and glued them to the picks...they turned out so cute!

this was over the food table - tissue paper poms and balloons in different sizes & shapes!

cupcakes + picks!

month-by-month pictures of Annie Louise

felt birds hanging from the umbrella

we had quite the crowd, and it was SO much fun!

bird cookie favors for all the guests to take!

year of firsts garland!

quilt squares for guests to sign - I'm working on having these  made into a quilt for AL 

smash cake!

AL's highchair all birthday'd out!

trying to get all the kiddos together for a picture is HARD work!

my pride and joy - styrafoam 1 covered in tissue paper rosettes...very time consuming, but VERY cute!

getting ready to attach the cake....

face hands!  that's my girl!

I would say it was a successful party....
Feel free to leave me any questions about any of the details...I would be glad to help you!

party details:
photographer: Joy Chambers Photograph
invitations, water bottle labels & napkins: The Write Impression
smash cake, cupcakes & cookies: Virginia Claire's Cake Shoppe
"bird"day onesie: Mattie Mae Designs
bird skirt: Bella Vista Baby
decorations/food: LeeLee & SheShe (that would be me and my mama)