I am ridiculously inspired by the Quotes category on Pinterest.  Throw a mountain scene behind a Bible verse and I’m in tears.  When I need a quick pick-me-up, I scroll through that category and PIN ALL THE THINGS.  Including my desktop background–

–and the Roald Dahl quote I have framed in my office.

I will have the good fortune to be sharing an office with one of my favourite little mamas, Kaitlyn, starting next month.  We’ve already chatted about how we’ll make our space the most inspiring room EVER and how many huge things we’ll accomplish with such a motivating area in which to work.  I wouldn’t bet against us either.

I’ve been trying to decide which quotes and verses I want to print and frame for my currently blank office walls.  I finally decided I’d just practice my Publisher skills and make some basic artwork myself.  Below are some of my attempts.

inspired by a similar print by BlossomAndVine on Etsy

I’m definitely not a Publisher pro, and I realize there a thousand better programs to use, but I have very limited patience and maybe one (fractured) creative bone in my body.

I’d love suggestions for quotes or verses to use for future art projects!

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I hope you dance.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder

You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger

May you never take one single breath for granted

God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean

Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens

Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance

(lyrics from Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance”)

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Starbucks is my favourite accessory.

My little sister Jessica (who just moved to Auburn for school!) has mentioned thrift store shopping several times recently, and I finally took her on the grand tour.  You really have to know where to–and not to–go to make the best use of time.  For example, if you visit Mission, you’ll find organization like this:

If you’re brave enough to go to Goodwill, the sections look orderly.  But there is one major problem: every section is color-coordinated, NOT COORDINATED BY SIZE.  Which means I have to rifle through two thousand brown sweaters to find one I could even consider wearing.  Not the best of systems.

Then there’s the mecca that is Harvest Thrift:

Mmmm.  Now that’s a store I could (and did) spend a few hours in, even if it’s full of smelly grandma clothes.  It used to be a Steve & Barry’s, and that smell is still hanging around too.

I realized from the moment I picked Jessica up from her dorm that she and I have very different ideas of what dressing for thrift store shopping should involve.  For me, it means pulling out the oldest and smelliest shirt from a previous thrift store dive, cutting out the shoulder pads, and dressing like a polka-dotted hobo.  Oh, and picking up Starbucks on the way.

Okay, so I exaggerate.  Except about the Starbucks.  I never joke about my coffee.

But I seriously did have to take a pair of scissors to shoulder pads and spritz some Burberry Brit on the top to cover up the smell of moth balls.

I didn’t get a great shot of Jessica’s outfit, but you can probably tell that it’s significantly more sophisticated than mine.  Yes, she is wearing a belted dress and crossbody bag.  I don’t think that should be allowed on such outings.  But because she was best-dressed in the store, she was allowed to wrinkle her nose and make condescending remarks about most of the items for sale.

Jessica and I not only wear completely different outfits to go thrifting; we try on completely different things and define “value” in completely different ways.  After loading up our cart for a while, we wheeled the whole thing into a dressing room so we could make fun of each other’s choices.  That’s what sisters are for, in case you weren’t aware.

So Jessica starts pulling out her picks, and she pulls out something like this and looks less like a thrifter and more like a fashion journalist.

She ended up with several outfits like this, all classic and exactly what a keen-eyed vintage shopper should be salvaging from these trips.  Which only made her more pompous when I started trying on clothing.

I’m not going to lie; about a dozen photos were deleted on-camera because Jessica and I couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous I looked and how hard I tried to pull off “old lady chic.”  Survey says: I cannot do it.  I’m almost embarrassed to show you what I did try  on–and buy.  But someday I’ll host a Samantha tea party, and I’ll have the perfect vintage Jessica McClintock dress to wear to host.

Can I just say that I MISS DOWNTON ABBEY SO BADLY?  It might be affecting my judgment.  I’m so close to rejecting appropriate modern fashion altogether and pretending I’m in the 19th or 20th century for the rest of my life?  Violet (the toddler, not the Dowager Countess) won’t know any different if I start now.

Anyway, Jessica and I both ended up with a decent amount of clothing and now that she lives in the same city as I do again, we can share clothes!  The closet-sharing may not have worked out so well 5 years ago, but we’ve gotten nicer I think…

Okay, not too much nicer.  When we got back from Jessica’s dorm, she pulled up my other blog posts and read them in Gossip Girl’s voice.  Everything sounds stupid read like that.

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La mesa del agua.

BJ’s parents gave Violet a water table for her first birthday.  Let’s just say it’s a hit.  I love having space on the patio for Violet to splash away (or at least I will once we can solve the me-getting-eaten-by-ants problem).

Violet isn’t typically in a great mood when she gets home from daycare (read: she screams until she gets Veggietales, Cheerios, or both), so we decided we’d have the table set up for her to play when she gets home.  Best idea ever.  She splashed her little heart out.

I asked BJ if he thought I was preventing Violet from enjoying her playtime with my constant pestering (“Violet!  Look at Mommy!  One-two-three CHEESE!”).  He shrugged, which I think was a yes, but she looks like she’s having a pretty great time in the ten thousand pictures I took.

I don’t claim to capture people at their best.

This was right before she started mimicking the “one-two-three”s.  Sassypants.

Things I learned today:

  • There are few sights cuter than smiling baby girls in jeggings.
  • Ants can bite you even if you’re standing in water.
  • The meltdown that occurs when bringing Violet home from daycare is nowhere near as dramatic as the one caused by removing her from her water table.

At least she got the rest of her splashes out of her system.

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Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose.

One of my most annoying traits is that I can’t stay mad for any significant length of time.  This is annoying to me because I want to get–and stay–angry.  I’m a passionate person; my feathers get ruffled.  In the moment, I want to disown, disavow, destroy, and/or decapitate whoever it is that’s being just so unjust.  But I’m not wired to stay that way.

This trait is annoying to other people because they want to stay angry with me.  They don’t expect to be sharing Girl Scout cookies and deep dark secrets mere minutes after WWIII.  Sorry, friends, you’re going to get whiplash when I drag you along as I bounce back.  And pass the Thin Mints.

One little person has taught me so much about priorities, forgiveness, and sunshine.  When Violet was several months old, we learned that all it took to get her from screaming her tiny head off to belly laughing was a chorus of “MMBop.”  This kiddo is the princess of bouncing back.  Even though I feel I’ve failed her as a mother a thousand times (Violet, I’m sorry for the times I’ve dressed you like “someone out of an 80s workout video” according to your Aunt Jessica), she has a big smile to get me motivated every morning.  Grins > grudges for this girl.

Thank you, sweet baby, for demonstrating how my oh-so-annoying trait of easy forgiveness can be a blessing.  If only I could harness your innocence and possess a fraction of your grace.

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