Monday, June 20, 2011

This is NOT me... bringing it back!

I know Mckmama hasn't really been doing the Not Me Mondays lately... but I miss it, so today... I'm bringing it back :)

Cause when you have three silly boys, there are plenty of things that certainly do NOT happen.




For example, my sweet babes Ty and Reese did NOT almost make me cry when they came in one morning with this play cake and said, 

"Mom, I made you breakfast in bed."




Nolan, of course, would NEVER proceed to come in after this with his own adorable surprise... 


a water-gun squirt right in the face. 




awww, how refreshing.


At breakfast, I NEVER allow Nolan to make a mountain of milk bubbles in his cereal...


and Ty certainly does NOT show of his quirkiness by only eating dry cereal with milk on the side, never mixed.


 
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Sometimes we go on super fun camping trips:


Where I definitely would NOT let my kids eat smores with filthy hands and faces... 



Nope, I am much too germaphobic for all that. 

And I would certainly NOT let my Aunt Gina 
braid Nolan's hair like a girl:




and I would NEVER take a picture of him giving 
me the dirtiest look a 5 yr old could muster.




But let's not forget the other goofy members of my family...


My Uncle Tim for example, does NOT get the "most thrifty" award this week, 
 

for making his own camping flip flops out of rope and foam.


But, he is in pretty tough competition with my mother... 

Who, 
 
after Reese took off his wet swim shorts and didn't have anything else to put on...



did NOT decide to make a temporary
pair of overalls out of a plastic Wal-mart bag.

(y'all know my mama, she thought this was hi.lar.i.ous.)


We celebrated my uncle Trav and my cousin Christy's birthdays:
.



We only had one cake, so we did NOT just pop a candle into a watermelon and...



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Happy Monday Y'all!  :)


Friday, June 17, 2011

FF: Do what you love...



Kelly over at Kelly's Korner is 
having another link up for people to show off what they make!


My mom, my SIL, and I have a art 
studio and store in the Village of Stone Mountain called SAILOR STUDIO. We create enamel on copper decorative art, jewelry, and stained glass.




**Our ETSY store is here if you want to check it out. 

 We update Etsy as much as we can... but our brick-and-mortar store is our main mode of business :)


We are almost at 400 fans!  
(Which means it is almost time for another Giveaway! )


Many of the people that buy our jewelry are artists themselves... painters, potters, writers, musicians, crafters, and all other types of Creatives :) Our biggest compliment is when someone comes through the store, and says, "Wow, I love this stuff! It's so different!"  




 Simple wrap bracelets with our enameled charms.



That's what we strive for... creating things that you aren't going to see anywhere else. It isn't easy; there is a lot of really cool stuff out there :) 




(Fashion show peice- Anchored: Sailor Studio)
  
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Of course, dealing with the ups and downs of running a business while trying to stay in a creative mindset is sometimes difficult. I spend a lot of time working on the computer, trying to keep up with the book-keeping.... not my favorite thing to do, but at least we are staying somewhat organized around here :)



My SIL and partner in crime...
I try to get a full "art" day at least once a week. I am working on my first enamel wall hanging now- I researched all types of lily flowers and made my stencils. I am only on my second firing, but I am really loving it so far:


Our kiln has been on the fritz because the heating elements are old and we really need to re-coil the entire thing, but haven't been able to take the down time at the shop yet. So we have had to quick-fix it every other day- which is always fun :)



They say if you do what you love, you'll never work another day in your life... I am really starting to believe that is true :)

Happy Friday Everyone!!!
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If you got a free pass (money, building, everything) to start your own business, what kind of business would you have?

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some Lil Thoughts... about Babies.


Linking up for the first time with "pour your heart out" with Shell :)






Just to elaborate a little more on my last post.

If you have been around this blog or me over the last few months, you know that I have had some serious baby fever happening.

Now normally, when I start feeling ready to have a baby again, I barely get the words out and I am pregnant. I am sincerely thankful that we haven't had issues conceiving, but I do not look forward to the 9 months that follow blessed event.

Physically, they are a.w.f.u.l.

I get every. single. horrible. pregnancy symptom you can imagine (plus some you can't); from ALL-DAY nauseau, throwing up, tiredness, skin-issues, swelling, cramps (crazy leg cramps- the worst!), you know... all those super fun things. 

I have never felt like the joyful, jubilant mama-to-be. I usually just feel like a sweaty, sick rolly polly who almost immediately becomes as wide as she is tall. 


I can't church it up... it is just not a great experience for me.


But, I can get past all that... a beautiful addition to the family is worth it.


Still, there is something keeping me from jumping on board the baby bandwagon again.... there are financial things to think about, not to mention we are quickly running out of room at casa de bilsland.

But that is not really what is stopping me.



Honestly, I am nervous.


My pregnancies have been rough physically, but they have also been incredibly emotional and stressful as well. Each one came with ups and downs that I am not so sure if I ready for again.

My first pregnancy came with the shock of twins! I mean, serious shock. We were trying to get used to the idea that we pregnant after only a few months of marriage, but then you add the whole, "oh btw, you are having twins" aspect to it... took a little getting used to. 

After being on bed rest and being hospitalized for high blood pressure, we had the twins the week of Christmas... so, SO thankful that they were healthy and strong. While we were still in the hospital, we found out that my great grandmother had passed ... we weren't able to go to the funeral in Michigan with the rest of the family... and it made the experience somewhat bittersweet.


My pregnancy with Reese was uneventful in itself, but it ran almost completely alongside my granny's battle with cancer. At 67, she passed 2 weeks before Reese was born, and I just remember sobbing and being so mad that she wouldn't be there to meet Reese and love him and be part of his life like she was with the me and the twins.... that was something I remember the most about being in the hospital after we had him. It felt so strange not having Granny there... she was always one of the first visitors and always so excited for a new addition to our (very large) family.


Then, of course there was sweet Evie... I would never, ever take back a moment of my time with Evie, but I can not pretend it wasn't the hardest time of my life. I can't pretend that thinking about the possibility of something like that happening again doesn't make me feel very tired and a little anxious.
 
I pray about these feelings of uncertainty, and I know with all my heart that God is in control, and that He will take care of us no matter what happens.  


 I know this, and I would love to have another baby someday...



But today, 



I'm not sure if I am ready to start down that beautiful, amazing, completely unpredictable, sometimes rocky, road.



Today,



I'm not quite ready for this:







But... 


there is always tomorrow :) 




Monday, June 13, 2011

Rockin the Baby Bump!... okay not really.


 Shell over at Things I can't Say! is hosting a baby bump blog party and I realized I haven't really shown too many baby bump pics on this blog, so I decided to join in and put mine on record...







I was looking on the computer and found a few pics from all three pregnancies.


My last pregnancy (#3) with Evie was the best physically.

I don't know if it was the girl genes or what, but the nausea didn't last as long and I didn't swell nearly as much as my first two pregnancies.

My aunt Steph and my friend Kell were able to take some really sweet maternity pics. I am so thankful that I have them... they are some of my most precious possessions.




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Now my second pregnancy was out. of. control.


Pregnancy #2 - Reese's Pieces


Sick. sick, sick... I was pretty much out of commission for the first 20 weeks of this pregnancy. I went to work, ate, and slept. Thankfully Goose was a stay-at-home-dad at the time so he was able to pick up the slack around the house.


I gained 55 pounds... that is more than I gained with the twins, and believe me, it wasn't just "baby weight" and I was not exactly "glowing." 


I was swollen and chun. ky.




Me and Brit 

Me and my sis-n-law were only a few weeks apart, which made things a little more fun :)


(mom, me, and Brit)


 GI.NOR.MOUS.

I am pretty sure this pic is why I can't go back to being a brunette....
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And then there was pregnancy #1: The Twins

I was 20 years old, 5'1 and weighed around 115 lbs when I became pregnant the first time. I had been married for less than a year, and Goose and I had NO IDEA what we were getting ourselves into...

This was probably around 4 months- not kidding. People started telling me I was about to pop at 5 months pregnant (loved those comments btw). 

The boys had no where to go but straight out... and they did.


This is the only other pic I could find:


 (My uncle Greg thought this was hilarious)


This was around 6 1/2 months... a full 2 and 1/2 months away from my due date.

The boys came out healthy and happy at 36 weeks, but I can't say I have forgotten how loooong those 8 months were... I didn't rock anything but stretchy pants and Goose's t-shirts, and I was sick every. single. day. I don't think I fixed my hair or wore make-up once during that pregnancy...

good times :)



And no, I am not pregnant again... but I am thinking about it... some of these pictures are making me think twice about it  ;)  J/K I definitely still have baby fever.


Happy Monday y'all!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

AIC: Woohooo- One Down!


So I told you guys I would be starting my little Adventures in Cooking project this week. 

I am going to cook at least one good family meal each week and hopefully blog about the outcomes. 

Now before I start, let me explain... I was raised by a mother and grandparents who were very health conscious and particular about what we ate. They ate "organic" before "organic" was cool. We never had soda, chips, sugary snacks, or processed food in the house... and they always explained why we don't eat that stuff.

I hated it back then. I loved going to friends' houses where I got to eat the "good" stuff.

But now, I am very thankful for that up-bringing because I feel like I am pretty knowledgeable about what I should and shouldn't feed my family. Starting out, Goose and I ate mac and cheese and hamburger helper simply because we were poor as dirt, had no idea how to cook, and the boxes had 1,2,3, step directions. ;)


 
But now,  we (and the kiddos) eat healthy foods: a lot of fresh fruit, veggies, and whole grains. The boys don't get special kid meals. They eat what we do, and they usually enjoy it.

But, that being said- I am perfectly fine with eating a bowl of cereal or something really simple every night. 

I have never enjoyed cooking. 

I don't know how to cook hardly anything from scratch and never really cared enough to learn. This cooking project is really for my husband. He loves to eat and he enjoys good, healthy meals which  most of the time he has to cook himself. 


Soooooo, I am going to make the effort to make at least one delicious, home-cooked meal for him and the boys per week...

something new that we haven't tried before :) 

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This week's dinner turned out great!

We started out with an artichoke with lemon butter appetizer: 




THANKFULLY, my sis-n-law came over and helped (she's a great cook). We trimmed the leaves and stem, boiled it, and made the sauce.

Now of course, I had no idea how to actually eat an artichoke.  So I just took a big bite out of one of the leaves and said, "Ugh, this is gross!"... as Brit laughs and tells me that you are only supposed to eat the fleshy part that is closest to the stem.  

Ahhhhh, got ya.  

That part was pretty tasty dipped in the lemon butter.. definitely a fun appetizer to make :)

Next we got working on this Eggplant Parmesan.

Simple enough- the recipe was pretty easy to follow, although I must confess, I didn't make the sauce from scratch (baby steps here ;)


 We popped it in the oven, put together a simple salad with romaine lettuce (had to make it Italian because I forgot the Caesar dressing- whoops! )


The eggplant parm wouldn't brown on top so Brit told me to turn the oven on broil for a few minutes and...



Wha-Laa - Came out perfect!!





(Brit and I)


It was delish!! I can't believe we cooked an entire dinner with no meat, that the guys loved too :) 

Yayyyyyyy! 

One meal down- and I definitely learned a few things :) 


Now to plan something for next week.... hmmmmm...

Monday, June 6, 2011

MM: Tobacco and Bangs

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters



1. Tobacco is... good for something?

Last weekend we went to Ellijay (small mountain town where I lived for a couple years in high school). My BFF Jess went to Belize for a month for school so it was nice to have a get-together before she left. We had a good ol' time down on the farm with Jess's family and a bunch of friends. :)




The kids had a blast swinging and playing "Corn Hole," but Nolan experienced his first bee sting. He screamed like I have never heard him scream before and it was awful. My friend Jess said tobacco is what her grandpa used to put on her stings and we tried it, and guess what? ....worked like a charm. 

Nolan almost immediately stopped crying and said it felt much better. Love those old country remedies :)


2. Where Did You Go?

I was pretty much MIA this week from the internets... whenever we have an event going on at Sailor Studio, we pretty much work 12 hour days for the whole week (yes, my mom, Britni, and I all have serious procrastination and attention issues...)  



We pulled it together, worked from 6 am to 10 pm on Saturday and the Art Stroll at the studio and the Snellville Market were both a lot of fun! We sold all our extra inventory, so we are pretty much at square one with getting ready for the Yellow Daisy Festival... but I'm not complaining! :) 



We grabbed a pic of this sweet woman at the market- she bought these earrings that matched her shirt perfectly!


My little brother even got in on the action and set up a table for his origami. He made his first sales!  :)

 
  (haha, what a goober)


3. Rockin the Bangs



BTW, did you notice my hair? I have not always been the biggest fan of bangs... but I was getting antsy about wanting to do something different with my hair. 

So I cut some bangage... and I'm lovin it.





4. Checkin' the Tweets


Do you tweet? I don't tweet that often, but I do follow some people that crack me up, and reading other people's tweets are a fun past-time when you are bored (or waiting in a forever long line at the grocery store). 

My twitter name is   @alilstory

Feel free to leave yours in the comments... (if you are into that sorta thing :) 


5. I Might Be Crazy


So I explained my lack of cooking skills in this post...


Over the past few weeks, Goose and I have eaten chips and cheese dip or cereal for dinner more times than I can count... sad I know. After watching Julie and Julia (wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be)... I am inspired to try to cook at least one decent meal a week- and I am going to pick something I have never tried before.




Tonight is my first attempt at a delicious family meal... I have the ingredients for Eggplant Parmesan, a Caesar Salad and some kind of appetizer using artichokes... hopefully, I can take some pictures and let y'all know how it goes :) 




Happy Monday!