Tag Archive for: Home Decor

Christmas Mug of the Day!

Christmas Mug of the Day!

The great thing about these mugs is that I recall many of them.  Who gave them to me, the time of my life, etc.

My blog of December 3rd ended with a hope that I’d be getting up at 5 (or 5:30) to work out.  Lest you think I’m a rockstar, let me come clean. I’m not. This week has been a bad week for early workouts. I’ve stayed up later than I want to, and unless I can get 7 hours of sleep, the lead on my eyes when that alarm goes off is heavier than any effort I can muster.

That morning I made it to our gym at 8:00, which I truly hate. It messes up my day. I see people with whom I enjoy talking and my 1 hour workout becomes a 2 hour workout, by the time I get myself home and productive, that is.  On this particular day, I faced even more distractions: The Holiday Showcase of local artists.  Ugh! Ugh, not because I hate it, but because I love it!  I found three items I decided I couldn’t live without.  Once I found them, I avoided other areas of the club so I wouldn’t be tempted to spend more money or time.

That experience reminded me of why I love to get my workout in early, when there are fewer friends, and those who are there in the wee hours are there because they feel the way I do: Get in, get out, and they’re not yet awake, so chatter is at a minimum.

However, just as I said in my December 3rd post, nothing is wasted.

I ran into a local mom with whom I’ve connected more in the last year.  She’s going through a divorce, and we’ve had a couple of brief heartfelt conversations.  This morning she made a comment that most likely meant nothing to her, but meant a lot to me.  She said that people like me, who have blazed the trail before her, have given her hope.  Blazed the Trail Before Her.  I worked hard to focus on her words from that point on, but my mind wondered about the hope I was giving, and the perception I’d created, at least in her mind.

I would never consider that I’ve blazed any trails.  In fact, the first year I was the trail, feeling like a long dirt road, on which I was trampled.  After five years, the trail has improved, but it’s been a long process. Three homes in five years does not emote a sense of victory or peace.  Yet, a different perspective would tell me that third home in the series is sign of success.  I recognize some things that have kept me moving, so slowly possibly, that to some it might seem like a transformation, kind of like that child that grows up over night, but we know that it was eighteen years of hard labor.

In my next blog I’m going to share with you some things that I believe got me to this point. Above all else, it’s been God. A father who walks with me daily, who loves me when I cry, scream, and want to give up.  A father who shows me the joy in the my loss, and helps me scale my mountains. 2nd Samuel 22: 33-37 says:

33 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You make your saving help my shield;
    your help has made me great.
37 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.

I’ve deviated from my decorating. In time I hope my blog will have different categories that will allow for the lighthearted as well as a sincere effort to talk life. For now, one page shares it all, so enjoy a few glimpses of the lighthearted: Christmas Decorations!

DSC_0577 DSC_0612 DSC_0624 DSC_0630

I get to go to a party tonight. More lighthearted. Dressing up. Yea!  I’m wearing a favorite dress I’ve had for twenty years that’s probably been worn less than five times.  Somehow it still fits. I’ve purchased a great looking pair of pumps to go with it.  I pray my feet tolerate them.  I hope your day finds you experiencing something that brings out the you, you were designed to be.  For me on this day, it’s enjoying the company of people in the atmosphere of twinkles, good food, and some bubbly.


There are days that are productive, but the result doesn’t feel fruitful. Maybe like a farmer preparing the soil for the seed. There’s  little satisfaction for me until the seed sprouts.  I’ve been preparing for the crop to harvest since August 23rd. There have huge been steps along the way that have given me hope.  Like my friends who got the big TV on the wall. But there it sat, without a connection for another several weeks.  The same friend hung a huge mirror.  Another friend recently hung shelves, hooks and mirrors.  In the midst of that sat stacks of boxes that need to go up into the attic, which requires the big ladder, which is difficult for me to carry.  The furniture in the garage that is taking up space and prevents me from unloading other things that need a home.  All this soil preparation is necessary and good, but I want to see a sprout! Well, today I got to see a good little bud from that preparation, and it was darn satisfying.  For the first time today I was able to see my house look like a home.

For a couple of days I’d had some home décor boxes sitting in the kitchen area to be unloaded and assessed. Today was the day to do that, yet right away I wondered if I would get through the boxes, because interruptions were occurring almost as soon as I got up this morning. All good interruptions, but still, interruptions that could compromise my hopes for seeing that sprout for which I anticipated.  I had three furniture items that were getting some action today either on Craig’s List or by a neighbor who was going to take my blue and white (sniff sniff) Toile couch.

In the mean time, a couple of friends and I were going to go to the Sunset High School play, and we’d talked about getting together at one of our houses beforehand. Since I live closest to the school, it made sense that we would meet here. I hadn’t had anyone over since we moved in because the house just hasn’t felt prepared. But today I decided, it was going to be prepared, enough.

In Shauna Niequist’s book, Bread and Wine, she urges us to share ourselves and our homes without the concern that our homes (or our lives) are perfect. I wasn’t necessarily looking for perfection, but there is a definite level of settlement that I need before I can enjoy entertaining people in my home. But having read Bread and Wine, I was reminded that today was the day, and that no amount of interruption was going to deter me from having my friends over. I would scramble and make due with whatever was created by the time the clock struck 5:30.

At 4:30, this is what my kitchen looked like.


These Staffordshire ceramics are special to me. The one on the right is a replica when I didn’t think I should pay for an original. Then my former mother-in-law gave me an original, which is the one on the left. It’s probably my most precious gift from her.


I don’t have a picture of the state of things at 5:30, but things felt pretty and I got to have my first couple of friends over in our new home. With a couple cheeses, crackers, pate, and wine for the adults, and some over cooked cheese pizza and corn dogs for my friend’s kids, we enjoyed a quick bite to eat before we were off to see the play.

It’s amazing what a deadline can do when you’re within reach.  It’s also interesting what the waiting process creates.  For example, the guy who ultimately got our TVs up and running is a gem.  He’s someone I hope to stay connected with and before he left the last time, I told him, “Gabe, I want to be your friend.”  I hope in some way God will allow that.  Yesterday I discovered another advantage to the long waits.  The furniture and ski equipment about which I felt nostalgia and sadness became a thorn in my side with the space they took up and the inconvenience they created.  By the time the couch left me, I announced an “Adios.”  The void in my heart was small compared to the void in the garage which was gleefully large.  Those long steps lead to the satisfaction of seeing that bud of a sprout today.

After I returned home from the play I noticed this partially scratched off Ross sticker.  No perfection here.  But I enjoyed my home and my friends and that is the sprout that I needed.

Oops... in my scramble I missed something.

Oops… in my scramble I missed something.