Monday, October 26, 2009


Um, maybe not the move you're thinking of. Lemons and Roses has moved to Wordpress. Here's the link. I think I'm pretty excited. There's not much up there yet and I'm still working on my Blog roll and such but I think I like it better already. Things will stay put here indefinitely, although I intend to move it over at some point. So, sayonara Blogger, you've served me well. Hello new beginning.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Rough week. But I'm thankful to be done with it. There are some things that I just can't do anything about and I have to be ok with that. The bottom line is that God is my strength. I will find strength in no other place and His word is true.

We (actually mostly me since Travis was sick) watched our friends kiddos this weekend while their parents are in India picking up their newest daughter. We were really just giving their aunt and uncle a break because they've had them for a week. We had pizza and ice cream, watched movies and played video games. They ran around outside playing "melt" tag; it's like freeze tag only you melt onto the ground when you're tagged. The only agenda for the time they were here was to have fun. Mission accomplished. It was a bit stressful at times but I really felt honored that I could be a small part of helping them while they're picking up their daughter. I even got to talk to them for a bit while they were there via a video chat. Not that the point of that was to talk to me but I took the kiddos back to their aunt and uncle's house so that they could see and talk to their parents and little Dorothy. I was able to say "hi" and tell Dorothy that she's beautiful. She just stared at me but that's ok. It was still very cool. And yeah, this kid is gorgeous. I can't wait to really meet her.

Then Sunday was spent mostly cleaning in between lying on the couch. Travis was better but not completely and I think I have a little touch of what he has. Which when you think about it is a miracle. I usually get whatever anybody has but worse, so for that I'm really thankful.

And now I'm going to take Amanda to work. I've been working on this post for 3 days but have been interrupted a lot. So here you go and I'll post more later.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I love October. I usually hate it because I'm hiding the kids eyes from scary decorations at the mall or at various other stores. But it's not bothering me so much this year. I'm not sure why. Fall is in full swing here and the temperature is beautiful. We actually had freezing temps a couple of nights this weekend. And I love it.

We went to the park last night for family night. We only had about an half hour before the sun set and we spent our time holding Chloe up and pushing her around on her "new" garage sale find, roller blades. We did actually go garage sale shopping the weekend before last. And I did find some cool things. Besides Chloe's roller blades (they're probably Barbie, I can't remember) I also got a computer desk for $5 (painting project to follow) and brand spanking new running shoes for $15. A guy in a subdivision down the street from us is a sales person for Adidas and had all manner of brand new shoes for really cheap. I was going to buy the same shoes in a different color from Costco but they were $22 dollars more. So I was willing to have purplish trim instead of turquoise. I was also given a piece of art with the desk. The owner just wanted to get rid of it and being the creative soul that I am, I thought I could do something with it. I'm still thinking about it but it may end up at Goodwill. It reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright but Amanda says it looks "so 80's". We'll see.

I'm contemplating some changes. Not huge ones but maybe blog ones. It's the things that are going on here plus health problems that my dad is having that make me wonder what I write for. I originally did this to keep in touch with family and friends that are far away. So that people could see pictures of the kids and hear the funny stories that you miss when you live far away. Occasionally I'm willing to post deeper thoughts but what's it for? I'm not super-inspirational-has-all-the-answers girl. There are enough blogs out there that do that. And I guess I'm just really sad when I look back at the things that I've written. How hopeful I've been in the midst of everything and not realizing why things were so tough. It seems like a lie. I'm tired of lemons and most of the roses I've been given were tools of manipulation (ex-boyfriend). I think I'm tired. So do I just put on a game face and keep going? Post about cooking and decorating and cute kid stuff and forget about everything else? An escape because I like writing sometimes? I'm not so good at a game face. I feel like a phony and I hate feeling like that. Do I scrap it all and start over? Maybe. I can't really imagine not having a blog. I know I can't just leave it hanging out there undecided, that would drive me nuts. I don't feel to weird writing all of this since there are only about 2 people that read my blog anyway. So I'll decide something relatively soon I think. Until then, I'll enjoy reading your blogs and listening to your lives.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Three Years...

I just realized a little while ago that today is the third anniversary of us closing on our house. It was Friday the 13th, 2006. I laughed when I found out what our closing date was and wasn't superstitious...but now...hmm. Things have definitely changed a lot and some things haven't changed at all. I don't think we even thought we'd still live here at this point. It is funny how time flies when you buy a house as opposed to renting. When we were renting we always felt under the gun because it seemed like our lease was always about to expire.

The girls have changed a lot since then. Chloe was 5 and halle hadn't turned two yet. Last night they were trying to wrestle and it made the house feel so very small. I wish they were still this little.

This is what the eat-in area in the kitchen looked, that was a lot of scraping. Please remind me to never buy a house with wallpaper again.

And the kitchen...blech. The only thing that's really changed is the wall color, the floor and the island. I really thought I'd have the cabinets painted by now. I really, really don't feel like doing it. I even have all the hardware...but I still can't seem to make myself do it.

The floors...the wallpaper...the's kind of hard to believe we bought it like this. We had no idea what we were in for.

And the bathroom. I would have put money on us having replaced everything by now. Ah, the naive first time home buyer. And so concludes our tour of our house three years ago. Even though it's been frustrating to live with all the repairs and remodeling, I'm still thankful that we live here instead of an apartment. And our life is much richer for other things, like being closer to our church and the people that are walking life out with us because we're here. So maybe I'll go bake some anniversary chocolate chip cookies. That'll be my excuse anyway.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Swing of Things

It's funny that even though autumn is my favorite season, I don't have a lot of decorations for it. Come to think of it, I don't really have a lot of decorations for any season. I'd like to have different wreaths for seasons but I never get around to it- or to be more precise- my wallet can't handle buying one and I haven't found any budget friendly flowers and such that don't look cheap. So I mostly decorate with color or plants. Not a lot, but enough for me to know that it's there. I bought these bud vases last year with the intention of putting cranberries inside with a taper candle in each. That plan was thwarted by an unexpected visit to my parents for my grandmother's funeral. So today I put that plan into action with a filler that's less smushy- as in- I can't smoosh them. That's also probably close to my last tomatoes. The plants still have green tomatoes on them but we're getting cooler and cooler at night so they won't last much longer. Which is probably good because Travis is getting tired of eating them...because he didn't like them that much to begin with. Live and learn. Next year it will be red tomatoes.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Here You Go

Mary suggested that I crop the photo of the church...I rarely think of that. So here you go. I'm wishing there were no power lines and that they didn't have that outside light on but, oh well. I still like it. Now if it was just in focus...

Moving Forward

I think that I don't know how to say this well but in essence my attitude is one of moving forward. I don't really know how to do that but I do know that it's Autumn, my favorite season, and I intend to enjoy it. I can't pretend that things aren't what they are but I can choose to go forward in spite of it.

For instance, Chloe, Halle and I had a ceremonial lighting of our Autumnal candle a few days ago. Silly? Yes, definitely. But it's those silly little things that my kids are going to remember and will do with their kids. It wasn't anything more than me excitedly saying "Girls! Are you ready for the ceremonial lighting of our Autumnal Candle"?!?! to get them jumping around looking for the lighter. Which we all held and lit the candle at the same time. Actually, I can make anything fun if I say it like it's going to be so.

And did you notice my baby pumpkin? Once again I haven't gotten a full-sized pumpkin out of my pumpkin patch. It rained for what seemed like the entire month of September. And while initially the rain was good for the pumpkins, eventually they got too soggy and the vine aborted another smaller pumpkin. So I cut this one loose before the vine could abort it. The pumpkin body count this year is 2 dead and 1 small pumpkin made it. There is actually one more small, small pumpkin growing out there but I don't hold out much hope for it. I will probably do something silly like cover it with a blanket when it's cold outside just to give it a fighting chance. Because, well, it's what I do. I'm not sure I'll try growing them again- although it's pretty darn addictive once you try. It's one of those things that you think "if I just did these things differently I'd have 40 pumpkins"! We'll see.
I had several pictures in my "brain queue" to post about. Then the "train wreck" happened. But it doesn't make these things any less special to me. So these should have been up about a month ago but I'm posting them anyway.
I love, love, love the front doors of this church. I don't even remember what kind of church it is, it's just one of four within about a two block radius here. There are some architectural things that I just love and these types of doors are one of them.

Chloe had her mile run a few weeks ago and she finished in about the same time as she did in the spring. But she didn't have a running buddy. I plan on being her running buddy next spring. When I was walking yesterday I did jog just a teensy little bit- maybe a 1/4 mile total- but I don't feel sick today. I'm thinking that I could jog a mile by April. Chloe does much, much better with a buddy.

The beginning of September we decided to go for a walk. But the weather was seriously not cooperating. We decided to drive for a bit to see if we could out-smart it and ended up in Leiper's Fork. It just so happened that they were having an outdoor jazz concert. So we found a porch swing on the front porch of the local art gallery and swung for a long time, listening to jazz and talking to each other. Chloe and Halle decided to tell jokes, which were only funny because they're cute. Then we walked for a bit. A really little bit because Leiper's Fork is really small. I loved the contrast of the white church against the angry sky. I just wish it hadn't been evening service time. There is much more going on- like a bedroom remodel- that I'll show you pictures of later. I also fully intend to make caramel covered apples (thanks to a recipe from my new Food Network Mag) and to make the front stoop (I really don't know what you call the front if you have stairs but no porch) very autumnal. I feel like I'm behind on that, which is a bummer because I love it so much. And I'm going to enjoy coffee, and little girls giggles, and the leaves changing, and my being-restored health. And I'm going to breathe...and live...for the first time in a very long time.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Catching My Breath

The last two and a half weeks have been crazy. And for the most part they've also been very unpleasant. Has is only been two and a half weeks? The great train wreck of 2009 and then Dad's surgery have left me tired emotionally but it's also put God's grace at the forefront of everything. I heard Him say two weeks ago "I'm bearing the brunt of this for you". And He certainly has. I would not have gotten through this without Him. So where are we? I know that we're in a much better place now than we were three weeks ago. I kept hearing God say that our anniversary was a new beginning for us...and He was right. It just didn't happen the way I expected it to.

We didn't go out of town like we wanted to. Thankfully the place we rented not only has reasonable rates but they also have a generous cancellation policy. So we can go any time during the next year and we'll have a credit of what we already paid. I was bummed that we weren't going and I felt like I was being punished but I had to put that aside and be thankful that we were spending our anniversary together. Honestly, I couldn't have done that myself. I have a bad habit of pouting when I'm really looking forward to something and then it doesn't happen, so I'm just going to give God the credit for that.

We did have a wonderful night though. We went to the Olive Garden for dinner and though I've been sort of anti Olive Garden it was really nice (how can you be ok with the Olive Garden when you've been to Ellendale's?). We had appetizers and the most fantastic glass of wine ever to cross my lips, a really nice entree and we took a slice of pumpkin cheese cake with us. I really couldn't have eaten another bite. I highly recommend that you high-tail-it to the Olive Garden if for no other reason, for the pumpkin cheesecake...mmmmmm.

Then there was a surprise. Travis told me to take a change of clothes since I was all dolled up for dinner. He said my jeans and tank top that I'd been wearing would be fine and that I should take tennis shoes. I thought we were going hiking. I was wrong. No, he was taking me to Arrington Vineyard. If I'd known that I wouldn't have taken a tank top and flip flops (I forgot the tennis shoes), I would have dressed a little nicer. But the new Amy decided to just go with it. When we got there I was wearing a dress and 4 inch heels- you can't walk in the grass in those. So I slipped my jeans on under my dress, no problem. The problem was that there were people parking all around us and I couldn't get my shirt on. Ok, I can do this, glad to have an enormous mini van. I slinked to the back and laid down in the back seat, unzipped my dress and tried to get my head out the side (it's one of those side-zipped dressed). And well, my hair got caught in the zipper. So I was laughing and saying ow, ow, ow. Then I started to get a crick in my neck and laughed harder...hahaha...owowow...haha..owow. But I finally managed to get undressed/dressed, slip into my flip flops and head out to the vineyard.

We had a nice time not drinking wine because we'd already had some. I really don't do well on more than one glass of wine. We swung on a swing hanging from a tree limb and enjoyed the cool but humid air. We enjoyed some live music and walked to the car in the rain. The people that worked there thought it was very romantic...and it was.

And the ring? Well, it's big and purple and gaudy and I wasn't even sure why I wanted it so much but I really did. I showed it to him weeks ago and said I really, really, really want this ring. It's an amethyst set in silver and I just fell in love with it. I finally realized that I liked it so much because when I was a kid my parents took us along with our grandparents to go "gem mining" in the smokies, I think. They came away with a handful of rough gems that weren't worth much but I loved looking at them. I'd ask my Mom from time to time if I could look at the gems and she'd patiently go over each one and tell me what they were. This stone reminds me of that. And it reminds me of us. Imperfect but beautiful.