Blank Inside

One of Dave and my favorite comedians is Brian Regan.  A couple of years ago, we even got the chance to see him live.  He’s got clean, wholesome jokes about random stuff that you’ve never thought about.  Like cards that are blank inside.

When I sat down this morning to write, this bit immediately popped up in my head.  Myinitial thought on blogging was that I had nothing to say.  I’m blank inside.  Wow, that actually sounds really depressing… But I’m going to see it as a clean slate for the new year.  I don’t have much to share this week because we didn’t do anything.  My time was taken by mundane “get back to real life after the holidays” chores.  We finally got the Christmas decorations put away, but now I’m staring at my seemly empty living room, wondering what I had out before the garlands, bunting and Christmas decor took over the house.

Next week starts the marathon sewing sessions to prepare for the upcoming craft shows.  So I know I’ll be sparse online because of that too.  Every year this happens….and I feel guilty and sad that blogging has to go on the back burner for a few months while I concentrate on my other hobby.  So bear with me these next few months if I go MIA!

And just because, here’s the other joke that consistently pops into my head.  Here’s Brian Regan on “Dora the Explora”.

Have a great week!

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Sunday Scripture: Slow

I generally don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.  I’m just like the next guy, where I can’t help but feel rejuvenated every time that ball drops….like it’s an excuse for a do over.  And as much as my Type-A personality craves order in my life {and an excuse to reorganize},  I am usually able to reign myself in and and not officially create resolutions.  Because, when life sets back in and those resolutions get put on the back burner, there is nothing but disappointment.

However.

I do think the transition from one year to the next is a good time to reflect on your life for a few moments.  And when I did this, I realized that  most of what was on my heart this past year had to do with clutter.

Physcially, I feel like we have accumulated a lot of “stuff” and it’s started to give me some major anxiety.  We’re already working on that a bit in the house…more on that later…

 But also, I feel like our social and emotional clutter has gotten a bit out of hand lately as well.  We’ve been super busy socially, both kids and adults…so much that I couldn’t tell you the last weekend we were all at home spending time with each other.  And I’d love to tell you that that will stop…but the truth of the matter is that I just added two more things to our plate by signing Jayna and Millie up for softball and dance, respectively.  But because I believe that sports and extra curricular activities are important for them, it’ll stay on the calendar.  But I plan on really picking and choosing some of our other social activities.  We have very limited time to spend together as a family during the week, so weekends need to get back to being for us.  Not for some random classmate’s birthday party.  So please don’t take offense if you invite us to something and we rsvp with a “sorry, we can’t make it this time.”  We love you, but family comes first.Sunday Scripture: Slow {slowing down in the new year...physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually}

But more importantly, I feel like emotionally and spiritually we need to slow down as a family too.  I’ve been noticing more and more that the kids respond much better to almost all situations when I am calm.  I may still show anger or frustration, but if I am calm, they are more receptive.  I will never forget one of the “mottos” of the camp that I used to work at as a teenager.  “Seek to understand” was one of the discipline techniques they taught us….find out what the situation is before you react.  And as a parent, it’s some of the hardest advice to follow.

Our knee-jerk reaction is to yell at someone.  And I’m finding that now, that the girls are a bit older and more responsible, that a lot of the times we get mad and emotional for no reason.  Dave will get frustrated with Millie crying {again}, and snap at her, just to find out that she actually hurt herself.  I”ll grab a toy and put it away when the girls are arguing over it, rather than stopping to find out what the conflict is, and encouraging them to figure out a solution on their own.

And I know we aren’t doing them any favors by doing this….it’s just a bad habit.  But the kids are just as bad at snap judgements and unnecessary emotions.  But….they are kids.  They are learning.  It’s our jobs as adults to teach them how to appropriately respond to situations, and I think we need to do a better job modeling this for them.

And finally, spiritually…obviously we all need to find more time to study The Word and pray.  But in this case, I think that all of this slowing down is interconnected….by seeking to understand before reacting, we are modeling purposeful behavior, which carries over into intentional prayer and quiet time.  And so today’s Sunday Scripture is a perfect reminder.

Today’s Sunday Scripture image was created by @meaningful_word and found on Tumblr.

Have a blessed week!

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Holiday Recap 2015

Happy New Year friends!

I know I was MIA over the holidays….but hopefully you were too busy with your families to really notice!  We hosted Christmas at our house again, with both Dave and my families coming into town for a few days.  The week was a blur of wrapping paper, Christmas cookies, giggles and snuggles….couldn’t have been more perfect!  So here is my little Holiday Recap:Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsWe held our annual Christmas Eve Brunch for our friends again this year, down at the Farmhouse {our community center}, and once again, Santa made room in his schedule to squeeze in one last visit.Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsLincoln was pretty tolerant of Santa, but this was the year that Millie was really intrigued by him.  Santa always sits the kids down and tells them the story of Baby Jesus’ birth and how Santa plays a role in Christmas too.  Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsHoliday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsAnd sure enough, it didn’t take long for Millie to make her way up and stand by Santa’s side for the rest of the story!Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsBut the highlight of our party this year was that we were able to get a ton of family here in time.  In addition to my parents and grandma, we also managed to get about half the cousins on my mom’s side of the family in one big picture too!  Hard to believe that this is only half of us!Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsChristmas Morning was delightful when the girls realized that they lucked out with two American Girl dolls each!  Santa brought them new ones, and Mommy and Loo Loo also gave them the dolls that we had as kids, including their whole wardrobe!  Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsSo we spent the morning unwrapping, and undressing, and redressing, and combing and playing with the American Girls.Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and Pigtails And as for Lincoln, he was more interested in the fruit and cracker tray that was put out for breakfast than toys, but he lucked out with a bunch of new balls and a push mower from Santa!  The kiddos loved spending time with all of their grandparents, and we loved having a full house again!

My parents took the girls for a couple of days so that Dave and I could renovate the playroom {and make some much-needed room for dolls!}….it turned out beautifully, but I still have a few finishing touches to make on it before I can show it to you…that’s on my to-do list for this weekend.

On Tuesday, we swapped out the girls for Lincoln, and my parents whisked him away to FL while the girls, Dave and I made the trip out to the Smokies for New Year’s in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  We’ve visited Gatlinburg several times now, both as a family {before Millie was born!} and with friends {to ride the Polar Express!}…but nothing like this!Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsThirteen families from our neighborhood all rented one ginormous house and partied all weekend!  A total of 57 people in one house! We celebrated New Year’s together {at 8pm too for the little ones!}, watched Clemson rock the bowl game together, and spent time snow tubing and shopping together. Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and PigtailsYou can see more highlights from our vacation if you check out {and follow me on} my instagram account.  Needless to say, it’s back to the real world now…the laundry is mountainous, the Christmas decorations are still up and I am still recovering from the late nights on vacation.  So, these have to take priority for the rest of the week while we get back to the grind.  And as for the first part of the year?  It might be a little slow for me here on the blog as I’m once again really going to concentrate on increasing inventory for Flowertown Festival and Etsy.  And since I’m doing some appliqué and embroidery now too, I’ve got my hands full!Holiday Recap 2015 from Palmettos and Pigtails

So hang with me this year, as I get back into routine.  Be sure to subscribe by email so you’ll know when I post, and follow me on Facebook and other social media to see more of my day to day life…it’s way easier to update that than write a whole post!  As for us, we wish you and your family a blessed 2016!!

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Over that Hill

Success!  I managed to surprise Dave for the big 4-0.  Which is no small feat, considering his birthday is today, the day after Christmas.  It’s hard enough remembering separating his birthday from the other holiday festivities on any given year, but I wanted to make sure we weren’t just celebrating this year….we were blowing it out of the water {or blowing it over the hill??!?!}

Anyway,  I rented out a local boat club {think redneck boat club….} and had a few of our closest friends and family gather there one rainy evening a few weeks ago.  I send Dave golfing with a buddy, recruited some friends to make and heat up BBQ, mac and cheese and baked beans, and picked up a couple of cakes from Costco.  We smooshed into the tiny building right as Dave walked up, thinking he was a little late to our Bible Study’s little Christmas Party, and

“Surprise!”

Needless to say, I was too busy coordinating and enjoying the party to take any good pics, but here are the cakes!  {You know, the really important stuff….}

But the best part of the night was the look on Dave’s face when he realized that all those people were there to celebrate him!

Happy birthday Dave, we love you!!!

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A Friendsgiving Celebration

We are transplants.  Dave and I both grew up elsewhere and moved to the LowCountry as adults, so we are considered transplants…and most of our friends and neighbors are as well.  So with most of our family living far away, we rely heavily on the support and love of our local friends…our little “village.”  So important and so appreciated!

So, we were thrilled when a small group of our friends decided to have a little “Friendsgiving” Celebration right before the Thanksgiving Holidays.  We ended up traveling to Florida this year, but were happy to help throw a small potluck together at our neighborhood’s Farmhouse, and just love on our Framily a little….ok enough of the portmanteaus and mashups….on to the pictures!

Potluck Friendsgiving Dinner

Our decor was simple…a few of us brought some of our Fall-themed decorations {pumpkins and bunting and such}, for a little effect….but we wanted the emphasis to be on each other, not a Pinterest-worthy party.  For a table-cloth, we used a roll of brown butcher paper.  We set out Sharpies for the adults and crayons for the kiddos to decorate.

A couple of turkeys at our Friendsgiving Dinner

All of our kiddos were 6 and under {Jayna was thrilled to be the oldest…which obviously made her the bossy babysitter by default!}, and were so, so easy to entertain while the adults socialized.  I brought some toddler toys {Duplos, trucks and balls} for the littles, and glowsticks for the “bigs” who just wanted to RUN outside!

A bunch of turkeys at our Friendsgiving Dinner

I also found these cute coloring pages that turned into funny turkey glasses.  I think everyone {including many of the adults!} made and wore them!

Dave smoked 3 turkeys for the crowd, and everyone else brought side dishes and dessert to share.  I made Mulled Apple Cider in the crockpot and couldn’t pour it fast enough after dinner…so I packaged up the spices and sent some home with everyone.

A little jar of Mulling Spices for Hot Apple Cider was the perfect party favor for Friendsgiving Dinner

 It was a hot mess of hot cider, ladies’ laughing, pecan pie, kiddos running around and the men huddled around the fire pit.  It was perfect!

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Two Veterans and an Airplane

This week we were honored to be able to go visit the Charleston Air Force base with some good friends.  And although Dave is a Navy Veteran, he was as excited as the kiddos to get togo inside of one of these huge planes!

Chelsea and Kyle are some friends of ours from church that we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the past year.  And they are just one example of the amazing military families that we know.  While Kyle serves our country, Chelsea stays at home and home-schools their three children.

Celebrating our Veterans from a C17 at the Charleston Air Force BaseGetting to actually board and tour one of these planes was just incredible.  I had NO IDEA how huge they were.  Celebrating our Veterans from a C17 at the Charleston Air Force BaseAnd being inside and realizing that this one plane carries hundreds of heroes, was amazing enough…but to see numerous planes lined up on the tarmac, at this one base…put things into perspective a little bit.Celebrating our Veterans from a C17 at the Charleston Air Force BaseThe sheer number of soldiers and military personnel protecting our freedom currently, not to mention the countless veterans who have made our country what it is today.Celebrating our Veterans from a C17 at the Charleston Air Force BaseThe kids are too young to understand the magnitude of service these brave men and women provide, but hopefully this experience will foster a great appreciation for everyone in uniform.Celebrating our Veterans from a C17 at the Charleston Air Force Base

So, from this very proud and appreciative family….Happy Veteran’s Day!

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Top 10 Things to Do in Summerville in the Fall

It’s finally Fall in the South!   The weather has cooled down a bit, the mosquitos are gone {for a couple of weeks, anyway!}, and FOOTBALL season is here!  There are a ton of exciting activities going on all over the LowCountry, but today I’m gonna focus on the {not so} little town of Summerville.

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 It’s small town southern living at it’s best!  Here are my Top 10 Things to do in Summerville in the Fall. 

Click here to see my Top 10 Things to do in Summerville, as featured on Charleston Moms Blog!!

Enjoy the Fall in Summerville!

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Puke, Pumpkins and Projects

Good morning!  Yes, I’m already up…it’s been a weeklong whirlwind of company, sickness, birthdays and projects {hence the oh-so-catchy title of my post}.  And I’m up early prepping for my 4 year old’s field trip to the pumpkin patch, while double checking on my 6 year old {who puked again last night, yet doesn’t seem sick at all}, and praying that the baby sleeps for another hour after fussing on and off all night….so I can get a cup of coffee please.

It’s been that kind of week.  After being at home all week two weeks ago due to the flooding in our town, I was looking forward to sending my stir-crazy kids back to school so I could finally get some work done.  But alas, some sort of stomach bug snuck into our household and hit us one at a time throughout all of last week, ending with me over the weekend….and you know if Momma is down, the household is down. Dave did a great job entertaining my parents and sister who were here last week, attempting to celebrate my birthday, and generally holding down the fort…but I’ll admit that last week was rough.  And we still may not be out of the Lysol-induced haze yet….we’ll see if she keeps her breakfast down.

But.  I am really excited to show you Jayna and Millie’s Halloween costumes, which are both almost done {with tutorials, no less!}…both were surprisingly easy, I’ve just been taking my time finishing them.  Hopefully I’ll have them up by the end of the week to give you some inspiration if you need a last minute costume.  Easy, I promise!

And my Flowertown Festival application is due by the end of the month, so I’ve ALREADY started working on what I’m gonna make for this year’s festival.  Busy, busy, busy.

Not to mention Dave has been covered in sawdust all week…which can only mean that our playroom reveal is coming soon!  The loft/pirate ship/playhouse/indoor treehouse/library/cave is done, with bedding {and a fitted mattress sheet tutorial!}…be sure to check it out.

So, I’m taking a much needed week off to disinfect my house, finish up these projects and be ready to start showing them off next week!  Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’ve also been over at Charleston Moms Blog…sharing my famous Halloween Spider Corkscrew Bow Tutorial and some Halloween Costume Ideas for Couples!

See you next week!
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Waiting for the Dove

It’s been a tough week here in South Carolina, in my town, in my house.  Although we are so, so blessed to be safe and dry, I can’t say the same for many of our friends and neighbors in our town and the surrounding areas after the storms and flooding.  Here’s footage of a neighborhood less than two miles away from mine, where several of our friends live.

And it continues even now as the water levels are rising, roads are crumbling and dams are breaking.

But, we finally had a beautiful, sunny day…about 65 degrees today.  My kiddos got outside to ride their bikes. We drove into town for lunch with friends.  We sat with neighbors on a back porch and laughed.

And yet I still found myself complaining about yet another day off school tomorrow.  Another day cooped up at home with three stir-crazy kids.  Another argument over toys.

Clearly, I need to take a deep breath. Count my blessings.  Thank God for the sun; for the roads that are still safe in my town: for our dry house and dry toys and dry clothes;  for my family safe and sound; for the neighbors that kept watch for each other as the storms brewed.  And I need to spend less time complaining and more time praying for all of the thousands of people who have lost everything.

So take a moment with me to thank God for our blessings, ask Him to watch over the heroes out there who are helping, and to send prayers to all those affected by Joaquin.  Amen.

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4 Must Have Items to Avoid Meltdowns at Disney

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #onestopshopforbaby #CollectiveBias

How to Avoid Toddler Meltdowns at Disney-4 Items you MUST HAVE #CollectiveBias #OneStopShopForBaby #ad

Now that we’ve done Disney with a toddler three times, I consider myself a semi-expert in knowing what to pack to keep baby happy during those long, hot days at the parks.

And after a recent trip to Babies”R”Us for diapers, I realized that it’s really a one-stop-shop for all of the must haves for traveling with baby!  Really, there are just 4 things that you must take with you to avoid meltdowns at Disney:

How to Avoid Toddler Meltdowns at Disney-4 Items you MUST HAVE #CollectiveBias #OneStopShopForBaby #ad#1.  A stroller.  Yes, I know you can rent one in the park {for ~$15 a day}.  But have you actually seen those plastic buckets they expect your kids to be comfy in?  Not to mention that you have to leave the Disney strollers in the park {and lug baby and gear through the parking lot without it!}. Nah….bring your own, or rent one in Orlando to be delivered to your hotel {a whopping ~$60 for a week for a DOUBLE!}.  And splurge for the jogger, for crying out loud!  Maybe you’ll be inspired {like us!} after having the treat of pushing a jogger for a week, to go ahead and purchase your own!

How to Avoid Toddler Meltdowns at Disney-4 Items you MUST HAVE #CollectiveBias #OneStopShopForBaby #ad

#2. A stroller fan.  Get one that has the soft blades, or a good blade cage to keep those little curious fingers safe.  The air circulation inside the stroller will keep baby infinitely happier on those hot, sweaty days.  And you can always “borrow” it for yourself since it’s easy to clip onto various stroller surfaces, like the stroller handle.  Don’t forget to bring a small screwdriver and extra batteries!How to Avoid Toddler Meltdowns at Disney-4 Items you MUST HAVE #CollectiveBias #OneStopShopForBaby #ad#3.  A sippy cup/bottle leash.  These simple little straps are genius and absolutely one of the must haves for traveling with baby.  They attach easily to the stroller {or high chair, or carseat}, and then velcro around sippy cups, snack traps, lovies, etc.  It’s a great way to ensure that nothing is lost over the side of the stroller while you are trying to snap the perfect picture of your big kids high-fiving Mickey Mouse.  How to Avoid Toddler Meltdowns at Disney-4 Items you MUST HAVE #CollectiveBias #OneStopShopForBaby #ad#4.  Huggies Little Movers Diapers.  I know every mom has their diaper allegiances.  We are a Huggies family…always have been, and love that we can get ours quickly at Babies”R”Us {see photo above}.  And with the new Little Movers being the driest feeling diaper ever {and the Leak Lock protecting Baby for 12 hours}, this is for sure, another one of my must haves for traveling with Baby.  Disney does a great job with their air-conditioned and quiet Baby Centers, complete with a Disney movie and high chairs for multi-tasking with the older kids.  But let’s be honest, most of us aren’t willing to trek all the way to a baby center multiple times a day….which means that the new Huggies Little Movers’ ability to absorb on contact is essential for being able to enjoy multiple hours of Disney fun without stopping for a diaper change.

How to Avoid Toddler Meltdowns at Disney-4 Items you MUST HAVE #CollectiveBias #OneStopShopForBaby #ad

And, if you’ll just let me brag on my boy for just a minute….we are almost walking.  Like, SO close. Like, by the time I publish this, he may be off!  Lincoln has officially turned into a toddler over the course of our vacation.  He climbs all over everything {from piles of pillows, to strollers, to luggage carts!} and crawls faster than I can chase him.  And now that he can walk plow across the room, he thinks he is HOT STUFF.  So after spending a day at the Disney Parks, then feeding him vacation food and getting him riled up down at the pool….I was naive enough to think I could actually get him settled down in his pajamas and ready for bed.  It was like herding cats. Don’t believe me?  I documented it for his future wife:

As you can see…our little guy is very active!  And you can see why the New Little Movers Diapers from Huggies are essential to all the rolling around….the elastic area around the legs keep everything “contained” while we have fun!

To find out more about Huggies’ New Little Movers Diapers, follow Huggies’ Facebook page or follow Huggies on Twitter.  Wanna try them out for yourself?  Here’s a coupon for ya…how will you play in your Huggies Little Movers?

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