In the past few days, I have tried to process the events in that little school in Connecticut. I cannot begin to imagine the depths of sorrow in which the families of those sweet children are bound at this moment. Like so many others, I have felt anguish ... unbearable, sickening grief ... anger and wonder ... profound sadness. I have come to realize that we don't have words that encompass the full experience of times like this. I cannot imagine we will ever have words to truly express the deep, deep pain that takes our breath away ... that is so endless we can't even touch the bottom of it.
However, I know the love of God is greater. Greater than our pain. Greater than our fear. Greater than our weakness. Greater than any nightmare. The love and power of God is truly endless. Truly limitless. It reaches beyond everything else that exists. And it is the only thing that does.
I am made peaceful thinking of those sweet babies being flooded with light, that glorious light like none other, and being lifted into Heaven, ushered by a team of angels. And in that moment and forevermore, they will bask in the everlasting glory and love of the Father.
I refuse to let myself become consumed and overcome by the awful, evil details of that brief and very worst moment of their lives ... but to instead practice my faith, lean not on my own understanding, love their families, and pray they are all granted the peace that only comes from Him.
Those are words I could use to describe our life these days. Some days I feel like I've got time in my pocket, and other days I am just sure I've misplaced it, before I've even gotten to lay eyes on it. We continue to enjoy exploring beautiful Texas. Amelia and Jack are growing and learning so much these days.
Just before leaving Georgia, I dug up and packed up as many plants as I could possibly stuff into our truck. The week prior to our move, I actually priced out U-Haul trailers, but one-way rentals were ridiculously expensive. I'll admit that I was tempted ... but in the end, I bid farewell to a lot of my pretties. Despite hearing mixed messages as to whether or not they actually survive and thrive in Texas, I brought two peonies with me.
Well, I am happy to report that my transplanted peonies not only survived, but bloomed this year! And I was thrilled to discover two peonies from the previous owner coming up through the leaf litter. I actually talked to the previous owner today, and she used to ice her peonies in the winter (something I did in Georgia with my lily of the valley), but I didn't ice these peonies nor hers (since I didn't even know they were there). Needless to say, I am beside myself ... if you hadn't already guessed. :o)
Some clippings from some of my "inherited" roses and one small branch of confederate jasamine are enough to scent the whole living room. I love spring flush!
Hello, friends!! I hope y'all had a wonderful, blessed Easter! We had a beautiful, full day. Two egg hunts, Easter baskets, brunch, and bonnets, service and Sunday supper. Sunday Easter supper. And then we all took naps!
Jack and Amelia fixing to sing with all the children up front
Amelia just before I discovered she was under a pew getting a quick bite of Easter candy before service.
The Easter Bunny brought a few little fun things for their baskets...
Y'all, I just cannot look at this picture without getting tickled. Amelia Kate was just so serious about her gloves and her purse and that hat. Oh my. Jack couldn't take pictures as he was too busy spotting airplanes.
Now that the holiday is over, I suppose I can rest up this week since all of our meals are already prepared. Dozens upon dozens of hard-boiled eggs, egg salad, devilled eggs .... ;o)
... because I'm betting by the time this holiday is over, I will have lost them on account of all the sweets I've consumed.
This past weekend, Jack, Amelia, and I attended a holiday cookie exchange, so I just whipped up these pretty little macarons to take with us.
Only kidding. :o) The beautiful little things are the handiwork of THE Rebecca Masson of Houston's Fluff Bake Bar.
The pinky red ones are peppermint, and I cannot remember what the white ones are. But they are even better than they look, if you can believe that. Can you see the sparkles on the peppermint ones? The white ones look just like great big pearls. They are incredible!
Mike met Rebecca at an event recently, and he brought me home a box of those macarons, fluffernutters, and these ...
Once again, I forget what he called these, but they are chocolate with some salty pretzels (I think??) mixed in. They are shockingly smooth in texture and , unfortunately for my waste line, irresistable. In fact, we had already both been into this bag before I bowed it back up to take a picture of it. I'm fairly certain there are only two left ... and that is strictly due to will power.
If you live in or near Houston, I would highly recommend these as stocking stuffers. Or party favors. Or whatever else you can think of. I fully guarantee you will not be disappointed!
As for the cookie exchange, I took Neiman Marcus bars or, as they are known around here, Texas gold bars. I think I like the latter name better. Whatever they are called, they are easy as brownies to throw together. I got this recipe from Kiki, and it has never, ever failed me. Or her. And it won't fail you either.
They are made with two cups of pecans and a box of butter pecan cake mix. (And two sticks of butter, a box of powdered sugar, and cream cheese ...)
I did make sure to leave all of them at the party. However, I came home with plenty more sugar.
There's a little sneak peak of my pink kitchen. ;o) I have white twinkly lights on the backs of the counters, and it feels so festive. Everytime I walk in it, I feel like I'm in Nigella's kitchen.
It just makes me want to spend all my time in the kitchen.
But I won't blame it all on the white twinklies. My pink oven is a little bit to blame.
That is what I have said to Mike all along. Poor man. There is no doubt the thought probably crossed his mind to just steal away in the night and leave me in good ol' Georgia. But, thankfully, if that thought did cross his mind, he didn't pay it any attention.
Because he delivered me and Jack and Amelia in Texas.
To be more specific ... Dallas.
It had been our plan for months to settle in a small town outside of Austin, but at the 11th hour (literally), our stars realigned and led the way to Dallas. At the risk of sounding premature, I must declare that I am falling in love with this city! I keep fighting the urge to pinch myself. Because, just in case this is all a happy dream, I sure don't want to wake up from it. We were blessed to have found a little house in one of the old neighborhoods right in town. It is the best of both worlds. I have everything that downtown Dallas has to offer, but I feel like we are living on a quiet, little street in some quiet, little town.
Our neighborhood has turned out to be nothing but wonderful. On the day we moved in, I met more neighbors than I have ever known in all my life. Everybody came over with offerings of help, advice, cookies, dinner, and wine. According to the life-long Dallasites I have met, that is very typical of this area.
Packing up our Georgia home was surprisingly easy. I only cried at the very end when all of the rooms were emptied, and I was doing the last (of at least 5) final walk-throughs.
Just before we rode away, I drug Mike up into the attic to help me write each of our initials on a rafter. I, of course, chose an inconspicuous spot on a rafter way in the back ... but a place that would eventually be seen. Seen, Lord willing, by someone who loves that house as much as we did.
As for our new little abode, I am finding it suits us very well. The first time I saw it in person was just before the moving trucks arrived. I was happy to see I had inherited twelve rosebushes and the most gigantic rosemary plant I have ever seen. The roses are scraggly as all get out, but by nature I am attracted to diamonds in the rough, and I wouldn't have been near as happy about those roses had they been perfectly manicured.
Like the outside, the inside of the house has proven to hold other little pieces of charm...
I also happened to inherit a pink kitchen. Yes, pink. Mamie pink. A 1950s Mamie pink kitchen, y'all. And well, it just deserves a post all it's own.
As for Jack and Amelia, they have handled the move without any hiccups. They have big neighborhood full of sidewalks, a backyard with a great climbing tree, and they are sharing a room with twin beds. And they are as happy as clams in butter. As a mother, I don't guess there is anything I need beyond that.
We have been suffering from a bad case of wanderlust, and so to remedy it we have a little time away planned in the not-so-distant future. Somewhere in my aim to ready our gear, I decided my trusty boat & tote was in high need of some decoration.
And, behold ...
As you can clearly see, it's a leather personalized tag. I ordered it from an Etsy shop called "Of The Fountain" whose owner is a fellow Georgian now living in Boston. There are some ready-to-ship items, but most of it is custom. Here are some of the other tags offered in this shop ...
Are they not beautiful?? I'm sure they last a million years, so I can only imagine how incredible it is going to look once it gets some good, honest wear to it.
I really liked the one with the latitude and longitude coordinates, but I couldn't think of what place I could use for it. I also think the last ones pictured would be perfect for so many things ... groomsmen gifts, Christmas tags (or even to hang on a stocking), or maybe even take-home place cards at a party. Endless possibilities...
I know what some of the people on my Christmas list are getting. And they are probably reading this right now ... surprise! ;o)
For whatever the reason, I am having trouble establishing the link to the shop, so here is the address:
Our long weekend of fun ended today when we dropped Auntie Lisa off at Hartsfield-Jackson this afternoon. I wasn't sure if Amelia was going to let her get away, but after explaining that Jake (Lisa's dog) was missing her and likely laying in the floor crying, she was alright. Although, if the child hadn't been in a five-point harness, I would bet she woulda tried to climb into a suitcase.
On Saturday, we girls ventured up to Roswell for a little shopping.
I picked up some jingle jangles, which I'm always in the mood for ...
... and wouldn't you know I found exactly what I set out to get! Don't you love when that happens?? Because we all know that only happens a few times in a lifetime.
I have been on the lookout for a small-ish table for Jack and Amelia for them to do some of their "work" and maybe even eat some meals. My criteria: small, but large enough to for them to use for a while, very sturdy, and pretty (of course).
And here she is:
It is a pretty little piece that makes me smile. Hopefully, it will serve us for many years.
This morning, I found Amelia downstairs practicing her letters. They are crude and out of order, but they are the product of her sweet little efforts.
On the Jack Jack front, I am trying to piece together a few ideas for his new room in our new home in Tejas. I am not one for a themed room, but I do like a little direction and cohesion.
His room will have a pair of painted twin beds. And maybe one day, he'll have a brother to go in one.