Saturday, October 10, 2015

#2,118 Surprise Visitors.

Oh y'all. Just like this time last year, my dear friend/pen pal/faith mentor, Lisa and her family, whom I only met thanks to this blog, surprised me with a lightning fast visit on their way back home from Florida to Indiana. My heart lept out of my chest when I was mid-meeting with our website designer and Ben walked in with a crew following behind him and said, "I've got a surprise..." After a difficult week, it was a fantastic gift to hug them each, to be "real friends" as she and Doug say. 

We said goodbye after only a 30 minute visit since they had to get to Alabama for a high school football game, but I'll take it. Now we have to get serious about planning our first Indiana adventure!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

#2,117 First Peek.

Oh friends. Today was very hard. It's not worth discussing here because it's 100% about the uncertainties of self-employment and I know it's something that time will solve, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier in the meantime. I'm trying to focus on last night's devotional from Streams in the Desert and slow down. I'm trying to remember the last lines of the poem there:

The Father reigneth! cease all doubt; Hold on, my heart, hold on, hold out.
I'm holding on and holding out the best I can, even if it means talking through every worry to my hairdresser this morning and shedding a few tears at bedtime, I'm holding, and that's good enough for now.

There was a very bright spot in the day though because I got to take my first sneak peek at the brand new website that will soon take the place of this blog. Everything old will be there, every boring post about late night walks and what's happening around town, but we're kind of adding rooms to the MSGT house where all the things we love and the sum total of our endeavours can all live together. I sure hope you'll be updating your bookmarks when we make the move in the next couple weeks, and in the meantime if you'd like to join the email list that notifies all of you sweet friends the minute it's here that would be great!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

#2,116 Mrs. Dot + Small Group Hangout.

Several years ago, daddy met Ms. Dot through an elderly former patient whom she was taking care of following a surgery. Her incredibly sweet spirit and kindness toward this woman made her unforgettable, and he got her phone number for the future. A while later, he gave her a call to see if she might be interested in helping care for Mammaw who was still very independent, but it wasn't exactly safe for her to be alone all the time. From the first day Ms. Dot knocked on Mammaw's door, she's been like family to us all. She's celebrated babies being born, milestones and disappointments, she held Mammaw's hand through brutal illnesses if we couldn't be there 24 hours a day. She's a saint, if you ask me. When Mammaw went to her nursing home we all felt so heartbroken at the prospect of losing Ms. Dot. It only took a few days to realize she was an answered prayer for Jim and Mallorie who've struggled with finding someone to watch Lucy two days a week. I sometimes get to go over and visit with she, mama, Lucy and Walker and today was one of those days. 
She still goes to spend time with Mammaw on Saturdays at the rest home. I love this lady so much.

And these two cuties took turns sliding over and over and over and over and over and it never got old. They're learning how to share and be kind and it's kind of a miracle to see it happen. Isn't it wild to see babies turn into little growny people?

And tonight at church we got to our class and realized Paul and Rebecca, our study leaders, were in the pumpkin patch with the kids watching Charlie Brown... But we didn't go home, we just sat in the quiet room and hung out for an hour, talking about everything (mostly this, weirdly), eating homemade caramel pecan cookies.
Sometimes a hang out night is the very thing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#2,115 Matthew + Planting + 33 Supper Club.

Today had several high points, all worth mentioning. For starters, we made another instagram friend into a real life friend via lunch at PDI with Matthew Magee, whose 15 second video posts as his alter ego (when wearing the Eternal Fox hat), Orville von Rawhide, make us laugh till we cry:

Then after work, I finally planted fall flowers in the gazillion empty pots that have been sitting forlornly on my porch since July when all their tenants up and died in the heat.

And finally, this month's supper club was at Jim and Mallorie's where she surprised him with a Friday Night Lights-inspired 33rd birthday cake. Because, you know, 33.

Happy (early) birthday, cuz!

Speaking of great TV shows, I surprised Ben with one more late birthday gift.

If you can guess the show that poster is from, I'll give you $5 and a bowl of chili.

Monday, October 5, 2015

#2,114 Bow Ties.

From 5:30 till 8:30 tonight, mama and I worked on the first 2 steps of assembling a huge invitation order. Ben swooped in to tie bows on the last 5 cards, though. This is the "blog-worthy" picture:

This is real life:

Our fingers are gonna hurt tomorrow. Look at this cat, coming in and tying prettier bows than us:

The last steps will be completed later this week, but for now I'm enjoying marveling at the lace bands mama stitched by hand and the 200 ribbons we figured out how to tie, one card at a time.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

#2,113 Surprise + Plein Air Supper.

After a nap this afternoon, I went over to the studio to get a head start on work I've got to finish up tomorrow and I came home to find sweet Ben wanted to surprise me and deep clean the kitchen. And deep clean he did.
I've literally never moved out all the furniture to clean. NEVER.

And then for dinner, we had the most incredible night under the stars in Josh and Emily's kitchen courtyard. Wrapped in sweaters with 1940s French jazz that felt like the soundtrack to a Nancy Meyers movie playing quietly through the open kitchen windows, we had Em's homemade spaghetti and meatballs beside the fire. Her kitchen feels like a Williams Sonoma display, which puts it at the top of my list of favorite kitchens ever.

There were some tall tales told from our college days and sweet babies sitting like little grown ups, pulling on the dog's ears as she'd saunter by in search of garlic bread crumbs.

And on nights like this, I wish that autumn was unending. Well, every night, actually.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

#2,112 The Coldest Loblolly.

Never in the history of Loblolly Festivals have we ever had such cold weather—and it was FANTASTIC! The sun never came through the clouds, so I didn't take any gorgeous pictures like in years past (see here, here, and here), but I did what I could with the 2 MB of memory left ony my sad little iPhone. Like, for instance, John Walker's second Loblolly, where his uncle Ben is the mascot:

Plaid Scarf Coalition!

The crowd buying all the handmade goodness:

Me following around Mr. Loblolly whose job was to have his picture taken all day:

Corn dogs! Funnel cakes!

Caramel apple cider + whipped cream and caramel!

Pictures with the butcher!

My favorite college gals, Mary Hannah, Lindsay and Kay:

And Michael, our favorite tintype artist who made his annual trek to visit and take portraits all day:

Including our first-ever successful portrait together:

Followed by the weekly Ole Miss watch party at my parents' which was an incredibly dismal upset loss to Florida, but it didn't dampen our spirits because ranch stew! Fire pit! Pumpkin pie!

Then we finished our night on Jim and Mal's patio with our buddy Austin who's in town from Jackson for the weekend, where Ben built a fire that got so completely out of control we couldn't actually sit near it for fear of being set afire.

Good times.

Friday, October 2, 2015

#2,111 Maple Day.

When I woke up today, the floor felt cold. IT FELT COLD. Ben was gone doing radio interviews as the lumberjack all morning, and I was making breakfast in my double lined flannel robe and slippers with the windows open, shivering because it was only 60 degrees out and cloudy. In short, the absolutely perfect 100% ideal weather. I don't know if my breakfast was just as excited about it as I was, but something had the house smelling like maple in a way that lingered and made me excited to go take a long walk then go straight to work. The sun never came out, the wind blew, the windows stayed open, and I couldn't wait to leave the shop to be out in it again, pulling my huge Ole Miss sweatshirt close around me for the walk back home.

Finally, after work I took a shower and put on something warm and cozy to go out for breakfast-supper.
 Where Lucy was so excited to see Uncle Big and tell us about seeing Ariel at Disney World.

And finally, a brisk walk with the pups who were SO excited to get out in the weather too.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

#2,110 Dean's Dinner.

About 10 miles north of town there's a tiny little roadside smokehouse called Dean's, where the drinks are served in tin mugs, the tables are dressed in vinyl and you can get one of the best steaks in Mississippi for a just a few bucks. We like to come to Dean's about once a month, and would probably come more if it weren't so packed every night. All day I ate like a bird so I would be adequately hungry for our dinner date with Emily, Ross, Laura, and Laura's daddy since Jim, Mal and Josh were all out of town tonight.

It was worth every growl of my hungry stomach this afternoon to eat the entire BBQ chicken smokehouse potato by myself.

And Mr. Daryl was sweet enough to share some of his sweet potato fries with me, too.

P.S. I only ate 2 fried pickle slices, which is a real testament to the depths of my self-control efforts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

#2,109 Pumpkins Are Here.

I woke up this morning determined to conquer the MOUNTAIN of clean laundry that we've just been pulling from the dryer and piling on top. I walked into the laundry room and saw my favorite big fat fluffy butt, who ran to me and kept me company while I folded and Chevy looked on, totally suspicious of it all.

Later today, I helped Ben make some furniture deliveries...

And he helped me by making a nifty frame with twine so I can clothespin and photograph my textile products for the new shop. For some reason, it was really busting my brain to think of a solution for this, and he sweetly toted this up to my shop an hour later, not to mention the little staging table he made me last week that it's sitting on. Bless.

And then we went to church to help set up the pumpkin patch! AHHHH! They're here again!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#2,108 Archery.

For Jake, a manly post today!

Because he seemed to be a natural and had a lot of fun in Waco when Chip showed Ben how to shoot a compound bow, he got one for his birthday and took it out to my parents' tonight after work to do some target shooting before it got dark. Me, mama, daddy and Hooper pulled up bag chairs and listened to the crickets chirp and watched him shoot, and every time we were baffled that he nearly hit the bullseye each time even though he's brand new to archery.

He nearly split his arrow on the second try from 30 yards away.

In other news, I painted my nails deep red today. It makes me feel fancy even when I happen to know my socks don't match.

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