Dear Jack,

You had your 7 month birthday this week.

You are the cutest.

You can sit up alone but it’s not smart to leave you for long because you might fall over and hit your face on a chair leg. Not that I would know anything about that.

You are so nosey. You want what everyone else has and if you want it, you reach both of your precious, chubby little hands straight out and pant like a dog.

It might be someone’s phone.

It might be the Christmas tree

It might your Pops face

You have 4 teeth

Food is not your favorite…..yet.

You love to ride in your stroller and you had your first swing ride today

You love your family and actively reach for whoever is nearby.

Sesame Street is your favorite and we all have learned the letter of the day song by heart.

You dance like a rock star

Ba is your word. We all want it to mean our names but I’m thinking probably not.

You are growing way too fast.

I can’t imagine loving you more.

Love,

BB

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Thanksgiving 2017

T is for TIME

We are only given 24 hours in a day. That seems like a lot of time. But is it really? So much time is spent on this little computer I hold in my hand. So much time is spent facing forward staring at a television. As we speed into 2018, I want to be diligent of precious moments we are given.

Ecclesiastes 3v 1-8

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

H is for HANDS

Hands are for helping others

Hands are for holding babies and the hands of the ones you love

Hands are for creating

Hands are for petting the sweet old dog you love so much

Hands are for so much more.

A is for ANSWERS

Do you wait for answers?

Of course you do.

Sometimes the answers are scary and you might not want to hear

Sometimes the answers are exciting and the beginning of a great adventure

No matter what the answer is, grab it with gusto.

N is for NICE

I have a sign in my mudroom that says “Because Nice Matters.”

It does.

It really does

K is for Kiss

Always kiss the one you Love

S is SELF

Don’t forget you.

Take time to rest

Take time to have fun

Take time for you

G is for GIVE

Always give more than you have.

You won’t be disappointed.

I promise

I is for INQUIRE

Talk to people

Ask them about them

Don’t forget to listen. People are so interesting and lead lives worthy of hearing about.

Make sure you aren’t waiting for them to take a breath so you can talk about you.

V is for VICTORY

Celebrate the little things

Life’s victories don’t have to be of gigantic proportions.

I is for IMPROVE

We can all improve somehow.

Is there something you have wanted to learn but are too afraid?

My favorite quote from the movie We Bought a Zoo:

You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.

N is for NOW

Don’t wait until later

Don’t wait until tomorrow

Somethings need to be done right now.

What is it?

What needs to be done right now?

You know you have something.

G is for GROW

As we near the end of this year, look back and see where you’ve grown.

It’s important to grow. Not in pants size but in integrity and in faithfulness. Grow in kindness and goodness.

Grow in giving and in serving.

Grow in _________________.

It’s 4:22am on this Thanksgiving morning. I woke thinking of the day ahead. My brain immediately goes to the preparations for lunch.

The food has already been prepared and just needs to go it the oven. My family is home. They all sleep in the big house tonight. We will gather around a table tomorrow and stuff ourselves silly. I love thanksgiving food.

We will watch a movie together, cause that’s what Kyle and I love to do. We will watch the Cowboys at 4:30 because that’s a Thanksgiving tradition.

We will laugh and we will share

We will savor the time we have as a family because it doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Lives are busy and this Momma and Grandmomma doesn’t want to miss a second

I am thankful for you.

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We celebrate

Almost a year ago, Steve received an award at work. He was 2nd in the nation in sales. He received a monetary award and I immediately put stashed it away for something special.

We began to think about what we would like to do to celebrate.

Steve has been a Dallas Cowboy football fan for as long as I have known Him and according to his family, much longer than that.

He has seen the Cowboys play in person but not in Texas on their home turf.

Why not make a long weekend of it and enjoy some time away?

We picked a game and ordered tickets

We scheduled a hotel and a rental car

We bought our plan tickets and then we waited.

Months went by and finally the time came for us to pack up and leave.

We say goodbye to the family.

A baby trying to get his two front teeth and is making life hard on his parents.

A sleepless momma of a little.

A sick daddy (mine) who has struggled for the most of two weeks.

A mom (mine) worried about the sick daddy but stays the course and is the best nurse you can find.

We don’t worry that our home will be taken care of, but anyone who lives with multi-generations understands as we travel out of state, that we care for one another and when one family is missing………. well exactly that, one family is missing. It’s not that our family can’t take of themselves, because that’s not the case at all. It’s that we miss being with them.

We travel to Texas with agendas and plans.

Most of the weekend has passed before the main event.

Before we left home appropriate game clothing was purchased. It’s not every day you get to celebrate at the Dallas Cowboys stadium.

There were T-shirts and jerseys to choose from but I’m not really a typical T-shirt kind of girl.

However when I saw these star pants, I was sold!

We schedule a shuttle to take us to the stadium.

Wow what a stadium!

Now, professional football tickets aren’t cheap and obviously the AT&T stadium in all its fanciness needs to charge enough to birth a child for a football ticket.

Our seats were…..let me just say……up high. I was able to get a serious cardio workout as we climbed stairs.

The jumbo screen is so big, it wouldn’t have mattered if we were outside in the parking lot, it felt as if we had front front seats.

We were able to see the DCC

And we participated in the National Anthem

We watched as Jerry Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame and we watched as the 1992 Cowboys filed into the field.

My favorite part?

Watching and sitting next to my favorite guy as he experiences and stores away memories.

The game did not go as planned. The Boys did not play their best and it was a disappointing loss. However the evening was everything we hoped for.

We spent time together

We enjoyed and created memories

We were able to check off a bucket list item or two since Magnolia was a big highlight of my weekend

Steve works extremely hard and I’m grateful for the time we are given to celebrate him.

We now sit in the airport on the Monday before Thanksgiving dreaming about our next adventure and excited to get home to our families.

As we have traveled the last 4 days like Trains, Planes and Automobiles we are fingers and toes crossed and bathing in anti-bacterial that the cooties stay away.

Make the most of the time given you.

Charma

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Everything is Big in Texas

When we are out of town, I like to find a church to visit.

We serve and love our home church.

As I started my search for a church to visit while in Texas, my thoughts went to some of the most famous churches in North America.

Lakewood Church in Houston was an initial thought but Houston is too far away.

I am a fan of Kari Jobe and I remembered reading about her home church being in Dallas.

Gateway!

Yep that’s the one we will visit

I’m so excited for the Worship I can hardly contain myself

They have 3 services on Sunday.

We are on vacation, so we opt for the 12:30.

Sleep in

Leisurely breakfast

Get ready and head out for the 30 minute drive

It’s big!

I had read about its 30,000 plus members.

Ok let’s go mingle

The choir files in

Yes, a worship choir

I’m even more excited

Here are a few samples of the music.

So good

So incredibly good

And there was a special guest singer

Mom and Dad would have loved to hear Guy Penrod from The Gaithers.

I cried. It was so beautiful

The teaching was about why we are or are not healed from our sicknesses. I think we were supposed to be there.

Lunch was an adventure.

I love to try new places and I looked up some places from Diner, Drive-in’s and Dives.

We found Chop House Burger in Dallas and made our way into the city

Dallas is full of old beautiful buildings and pigeons that dive bomb my head as I exit the car

We walked the two blocks to the restaurant

I ordered the Chop House Burger and Steve had the Wine House Burger

Both were outstanding!

We headed back to the hotel to rest up for a few hours.

It’s was going to be a big night in Texas.

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A movie and NOT checking out at Old Navy

We woke this morning with not much planned.

The weather shows windy and colder than I like.

Last night we watched 20/20 showing the story of August. A young boy born with facial abnormalities. His story was compelling to watch and the movie, based on his life and the book “wonder” was currently at the movie theater.

Slowly to move this morning we dressed and had breakfast.

We rarely shop at home, so many times when we are away, we will shop for things needed.

Steve shoes was on today’s agenda.

He’s relatively easy and I found a Rack Room close by. 2 pairs of shoes in 30 minutes. Done.

The movie would start around 12:15 and we would need to go to the mall.

The mall? Good grief, I hate the mall. Too many people, not enough parking places and for goodness sakes it’s the weekend before Thanksgiving. People are just crazy.

Here we come mall.

It’s a big one

Steve wasn’t interested in ice skating

We get our tickets, buy our snacks and settle in.

The movie was so good.

I only cried 3 times.

There were many parts of the movie that were thought provoking. Augie’s sister Via was very close to her grandmother. Via was struggling to feel close to the family and thought back to a time she sat with her grandmother. Her grandmother spoke of how Augie needed so many people to care for him but that Via has her grandmother. She was her favorite. As we are away from home, I miss my grand baby Jack. I look forward to the days we sit together and create memories.

After the movie, I wanted to stop at a Old Navy. Lots of sales.

What was I thinking?

There is nothing and I mean nothing in that store that I would wait 50 people to check out.

Online shopping here I come

As we drove back to the hotel, the AT&T stadium is pretty impressive. We will be visiting there tomorrow

We have fun plans for tomorrow

Have a great Saturday night friends.

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A Day in Waco

Steve and I are in Texas for a celebratory weekend. More on that later …..

As we planned our trip, Texas was the plan. As the plans progressed, I asked if we could spend a day in Waco.

As a fan of Fixer Upper, of course a trip to Magnolia would be amazing.

He said yes and today was the day.

The day started gloomy, a chill in the air with lots of clouds and zero sun.

We dressed appropriately and headed out. It was about an hour and a half drive from where we were staying in Arlington.

Turn on some music and enjoy the ride

The silos come into view.

I immediately get excited.

We are here!

Magnolia is directly in the middle of town located on about a half of a city block. There is not a lot of parking so we parked about 4 blocks away and walked.

The area around Magnolia is mostly industrial with a few businesses and restaurant scattered in.

I’m not sure exactly what I expected but it’s location surprised me. I think because of the silos, I didn’t think the location would be so close to town.

Steve asked what I wanted to do first. I wanted to walk. I wanted to take in the whole picture and then pick a place to start.

This is the entrance gate.

The sweet Salvation Army bell ringer greeted every single person wishing them a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.

Immediate inside the gate and to your right is the Silos Bakery Co.

Immediately inside the gate and to your left is the Magnolia Market at the Silos.

We walked through the gate and saw the “miles to Magnolia” picture Place. Yes!! 1048 miles

We continue to walk the grounds and in the middle of the property, there was an area where families could just play. There were corn hole games and beanbag chairs so that families could spend time together and the kids could shake some of their sillies out if necessary.

Immediately across from the play area, under the silos, there is a raised area with picnic tables and if you look carefully, you can see the iconic Magnolia metal letters on the roof

I’m a sucker for old cars and trucks and there just happened to be one nearby

The first store we entered into was the Magnolia Seed and Supply.

Just walking the gardens to get to the store was enough for me. Everything is perfect.

The gardens are perfect

There was the cutest little teepee

And this little building…….I don’t know what it is or what’s it for but I want it.

Inside the store was cute but really small. It was totally Joanna Gaines. Forgive me, but I take pictures of the building and the decorations more than the things for sale

I often take pictures of beautiful brick floors.

And the light fixtures

And this wood. Oh my word.

I sent this greenhouse picture to Becky cause I know she wants one. It was beautiful. Employees only but I stuck my head in anyways

We we left Magnolia Seed, the area right outside is the food truck line up. The options are endless. There is Asian and traditional. There is grain fed burgers and chili cheese dogs. Coffee and coke in cute glass bottles.

The trucks circle the whole outside perimeter of the back of the lot.

In the area in front of trucks there are many different areas to sit. There are tented area with tables

There are beautiful benches with stunning planter boxes.

There is a large seating pavilion with many picnic tables. We ate lunch here later in the day

We headed to the Magnolia Market

We entered through beautiful huge sliding barn doors. There was a woman at the door greeting and counting as we entered. The front of the store is not large and I am sure there is a limit to how many bodies are allowed in.

There were bodies everywhere. People…..many many people. There wasn’t any shoving but honestly? Too many people for me.

I snapped some pictures of some of the things they were selling but traveling by plane, I knew my options were limited

The bottom half of the building was my favorite. It was converted from the grain barn. They have kept some of the original structure and it was so cool.

I bought a few keepsakes.

A coffee mug. Cause you know I like coffee.

Steve wanted a hat and the bag…..it’s my favorite.

I’m practical. I just can’t help it. The bag can be so useful and I knew I wanted it. It was a splurge and when the sweet girl was ringing me up, she asked if I knew the story of the bag.

I said no but I would love to hear it.

The bags are made in Bangladesh by women. Magnolia partners with them and the proceeds go towards the Bangladesh Project.

It was the perfect purchase.

We headed outside, the weather had turned BEAUTIFUL to have lunch and enjoy some afternoon sun.

One of my favorite things about Magnolia is their focus on family. They have obviously taken families with young children into consideration when planning and creating this empire.

Our society doesn’t have enough of playing outside with your kids.

The last and the best stop was the Silo Baking Co.

The Building was my favorite. Everything about it.

Even the line

The sweet girl hands you a menu and a pencil. You complete your order and wait to go inside

I loved the black and white sign

When you enter the building…. the subway tile, the black chairs and oh my gosh, the door to the bathroom was gorgeous!

The herringbone floor and even the ceiling

You walk to the counter and hand the young college students your menu card.

How do I know they are college students? Because they ask where we are from……every person.

We shared we are from Florida. So I ask her “where are you from?” She answers “I’m from Houston but I’m at Baylor University.” She is studying marketing and human relations. She’s doing a great job.

We travel down the counter and retrieve our order.

Perfect packaging.

We asked for a TO-Go since we had just had lunch.

We will enjoy our cupcakes tonight for a snack

Lemon and strawberry

We still enjoyed the perfect outdoor space available for the Silos Baking Co.

With one last walk around the grounds, our day at Magnolia was coming to a close.

It exceeded my expectations.

I was completely amazed at the vision the the Gaines family had. To see two giant rusty Silos in the middle of town and see the amazingness of the now “Magnolia” is astounding.

Kudos Chip and Joanna. The only thing better would have been to meet you in person.

Before traveling back to Arlington we made a pit stop at the Harp Design Co.

Such a sweet little store full of some beautiful handcrafted items

Fixer Upper fans:

Remember the house that Chip and Joanna renovated for the Harp Family?

It is immediately next door to the Harp Design Co.

Its so beautiful. I think I might need to watch that episode again.

Today was only day 1 of our Texas Celebration getaway.

What a great day 1!

I hope I was able to make you feel like you enjoyed just a small portion of Magnolia and Waco!

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From boring to WOW

Boring bookcases is what I had.


They were buried.

They were stuffed with cleaning supplies and golf shoes. 

I needed a plan.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I go to social media to see if my crazy ideas are crazy. 

I asked my Facebook friends their opinion on this –

Like?

Dislike?

Most liked. 

One really liked and asked me to proceed just for her.

So we drug them out of the rubble.

Clean them up 

Do some repairs 

Gave them a pretty paint job 

Build a barn door 

Yeah never did that before but look!! 


I painted the barn door and then hauled this bad boy to her new home.

After a little tweak here and touch up there.

Look what we did!


It might take Dad and I more time than it should

Dad and I might do things wrong the first time 

Dad and I might not be experts 

But Dad and I have fun.

Have fun today friends,

Charma 

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