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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

our new backyard in sepia

Our new backyard is less like a yard, more like a courtyard. It is very different than our old backyard that was huge and sprawling, green acreage. Here we have stucco, brick, mulch and wrought-iron gates. We love our new house and have a corner lot. A great deal of the yard is our front and on the side. This back yard area is very unique and is growing on us. Most of the yard is a stucco-fence that is about 8 feet tall. It has ivy everywhere you can see. There is even a built-in fountain (see it behind the camera hog?). The neatest part is our master bedroom on the 2nd floor has a patio that looks out onto the backyard.

There is a bridge that cuts across the backyard that Miley runs over about 2,999 times a day.
There is a huge tree that the deck is built around. It is a beautiful shaded area with tons of potential.

An owl lived here before we did.

So did this man. He kinda freaked me out the first time I saw him, but he is growing on me. Nice bone structure. Ha!

And finally, here's my favorite spot.

I love our new yard; especially in sepia.

Monday, September 27, 2010

the market day festival

I kinda felt guilty for leaving Dylan and Chris at home to work on the backyard fence, while Karsen and I went to a fun, street festival. Kinda, but not really. See the obvious pain on our faces?

We were happy to get out and about and enjoy some of the beautiful fall weather we've been having here in OH. The downtown area of where we live is soooo cute. Columbus is huge, but we live in one of the suburbs that is known for it's cute downtown area with historic store-fronts, awesome schools, friendly people and just overall small-town "feel".  I feel so fortunate that we ended up exactly where we are!

They closed off the streets, and people, strollers and dogs were everywhere. Karsen had a wonderful time dog-watching, while I took my time poking around, looking at antiques and people-watching too.  Here is Karsen patiently waiting for her homemade lemonade. I love the colors in this picture.

 We walked from one end to the other and back again; we did not miss a booth. We taste-tested all kinds of treats, looked at handmade candles, soaps, and hair bows. Karsen bought a sparkly necklace. As we walked around, I noticed the super-cute houses that were tucked in and around the downtown area.  I snapped this pic to show Chris. It was so charming! We love older homes and have always dreamed of buying one and re-doing it from top to bottom. Too bad neither of us are very handy. Ha! How cute is this house?

We had a great time, and were very happy when we got home. Our fence was finished! The boys worked hard, and we played yard.  We were all tired,  but in a good way.

It was the perfect, Autum afternoon!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Girls' day!

We are off to a street fair...lots of walking around aimlessly looking at all the booths with art, jewelry, and hand-made crafts. And the food....lemonade, kettle-cooked popcorn, and other over-priced vendor food! YUM!  Hope you have a fun Saturday planned too!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy first day of FALL

Karsen, Fall 2006
I can't believe today is the first day of FALL! I have no idea where the summer went? It was a (crazy, hectic, busy) blur! This time of year has always been one of my favorites. All the browns, yellows, and golds that pop up everywhere you look.

Dylan, Fall 2006
Lake Lure, NC
I don't know that there is a more beautiful place than the mountains of NC this time of year. I am thinking back to a few years back when we hit the road for a long, leisurely weekend road-trip....We rented a beautiful cabin in Lake Lure, NC. The leaves were beautiful and the weather was perfect! We spent a day fishing.

Mommy & Dylan, Fall 2006

Then the next day we "hiked" up Chimney Rock. Maybe not the best idea with a 5 and 7 year old. It was such a beautiful place to be though.

Our cabin was gorgeous, and we throroughly enjoyed our long weekend in the mountains of NC.

Us, Lake Lure 2006
Everyone is telling me that OH is gorgeous this time of year too. It does look promising. The leaves are starting to fall, and our backyard looks like there is yellow confetti everywhere. I am looking forward to picking out pumpkins, sipping hot chocolate, and snuggling in front of the fireplace. HAPPY FALL!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New and Improved


(reluctant to pose because the sun was "burning her eyeballs out")

(ready to smile now with Momma's shades)
According to her "It feels awesome!"
She loves her new hair!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday afternoon

I actually just had my first whole weekend here in Columbus. It was very low-key; we did not have alot planned, and that is exactly the way I wanted it to be!

This is where we spent part of our Sunday afternoon. We all checked out as many books as we could carry. Dylan was amazed at the expansive Star Wars collection. I walked around imaginging myself reading in peace and quiet for the next couple of weeks. At least until my next rotation starts. Sounds like heaven. Chris even checked out a book about the history of Charleston, SC. Karsen had sweet, girlie-girl books (like the ones I used to read) and found a cozy spot in the library to read until we were finished roaming around.

I looked up several times, saw the kids patiently waiting here by this sign, and decided to catch a candid pic with my phone. It was a great trip to the library, and there will surely be many more.

Friday, September 17, 2010

5th grade, circa 1988

Quick, who will be the first person to say something about my BANGS? Oh my, evidently, we used a great deal of Rave hairspray that year. Yep, that's me in the 5th grade.

Chris saw my picture and asked me why I was so surprised? Didn't I know he was about to take my picture? Did I forget it was picture day? LOL. He was laughing at me! Then I pointed out that I was in the 5th grade and already wearing a bra, and how Karsen was not too far from that age....he stopped laughing then. LOL.

Karsen knew right away that it was me. She said we had the same hair. LOL, Aw, we do. <3

Dylan said, "No offense, Mom, but you were wayyy prettier than I thought you would be." Um, thanks for that compliment?, Dyl, I think?! LOL ?!?!

5th grade, VW elementarty in Raleigh, NC~our family had just moved from the country life to the big city when my Mom re-married (a horrible man). My teacher, Ms Jones, was very mean, and I was bound and determined to let her know that I already knew everything she was trying to teach me. That bought me a trip to the principal's office.


Dirty Dancing was made the year before, and I wore Keds (without socks like on Dirty Dancing) and jean shorts (like Baby). I started a club that year on the playground. My "exclusion criteria" for members bought me several more trips to the principal's office. My sister and brother and I started competitively speed-skating that year. We won a few trophies. My siblings and I lived at the pool all summer long and swam like fish. My cursive hand-writing was "perfect". I loved a boy named Hamilton, and competed with him for highest grades in the class. I did not actually speak to him until 4 years later. By then, my heart had moved on. 11 years old.

It is hard to believe that was 22 years ago, I remember it so clearly. I have changed so much, but in many ways I haven't changed a bit!

Fashionally challenged & here's to trying new things

Well, anyone who knows me knows that I am a summer girl at heart. I will be happy in a jean skirt, flip flops and a tank top everyday for the rest of my life. Seriouly. It is basically why my blog is called Deciduous Heather in the first place.


I am seriously going to have to do some major shopping to prepare myself and my wardrobe for a real, live winter like the one we will have in about 6 weeks or so here in OH! I own nothing seasonally appropriate.


I don't even like cold-weather clothes. I feel confused and lost in them. If I were ever to commit a horrible crime, the worst punishment that I could imagine would be sentenced to go shopping for blue jeans!  NO! Don't make me do it! I am sorrry! I honestly despise shopping for and trying on blue jeans. It makes me cry, and it never ends well.

This week, I have been organizing and unpacking and I know that I need to buy some clothes. I have been looking around some, but I am so fashionally confused. It is a challenge to find things that fit. It is also a challenge to NOT spend $50 on one sweater! Gasp! Let alone one sweater that I dont even like that much!

And don't even get me started on BOOTS? I have dress boots, but I don't have a casual, ever-day wear kinda boot. I kinda like these. I have big, gorilla feet and I think BOOTS just accentuate that quality. LOL I do need to get over that personal hang-up or I likely won't make it through the winter. Frost-bite would be pretty bad, huh?

A hat? Seriously, I need a hat? AND a scarf? Have you seen this noggin?? It sure does not need to be accentuated by any type of thick apparel. LOL~ Ok, I don't really think my head is that big...

I just realized that I need a personal shopper. Or...maybe I will just hibernate. I have a ton of hot chocolate stocked up, so it would be totally do-able. Hmmmmm, LOL. **To be fair, maybe there is hope. I do happen to like everything in that last picture, especially the pocketbook, but that won't really keep me warm, will it? Sigh....Maybe I need to climb out of this box that I have subconciously put myself in and just go wild and crazy. Maybe I should (*gasp!) try something new and see what happens.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

If Mama ain't happy...you know the rest

My hubby knows that I feel somewhat neglected in everyway possible after this last year of trial and tribulation and transition. I need a haircut. I need like one month of sleep. I need to gain a little weight (stress=losing 5-7 pounds). I need to rest/relax/recuperate. I need help with the whole "life routine" after carrying the load for the last year. I need just a little teeeny tiny bit of time for me...

I think as mothers we have all felt this way from time to time. You feel like you are at the absolute bottom of your own priority list. Well, I am working on shoving myself ahead of mundane things like laundry and mopping. I think I deserve it. ;) After all, if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

So today, for me and only me, I:
  1. took a multi-vitamin
  2. ate breakfast along with two cups of strong coffee :)
  3. caught up on my blog
  4. made a hair appointment for later this week
  5. ran with my husband at lunch (loved-it-oh-so-much) 
  6. shaved my legs
  7. washed my hair and took the time to make it all pretty
  8. opened the windows and felt the breeze blowing in
  9. hummed as I made a new dessert for tonight (ok this one is technically for everyone...i will share, i promise)
  10. took time to do absolutely nothing in between
Vacuuming and laundry can wait until tomorrow. I needed some attention and time for me! Thanks to my sweet hubby for coming home at lunch to run with me; he can always push me further than I think I can actually go. It is so much easier than doing it all along. As is life. Sigh. I feel a little less neglected now.

Goodbye for a little while

Well, I am home from another quick trip to NC. What a whirlwind the last month year has been! I am thankful that I was able to make the trip to home to see my family and tell my sweet Grandma goodbye for a little while.

With Grandma*, December 2008
*scanned picture

Her funeral was nice. They played the requisite "Amazing Grace", which always makes me cry. Grandma looked beautiful. It was especially tough of the family because even though she was 86 years old, she was actually hardly ever sick until she fell on July 25th. It was difficult to watch how quickly her health deteriorated after that. Maybe the alternative would have been much worse? I count it a blessing that she lived such a long and full life and did not have suffer for years on end.

The best part was seeing a ton of family I hadn't seen in a long time. My Daddy came to the funeral which was nice, because he and my mother have been seperated since I was 7. It felt nice to have them both there, and I even got a "family" pic of the 6 of us; my mom, dad, brother and sisters. THAT hasn't happened in a looong time. I will post that later this week.

I am home now and very happy to be. I love my family and North Carolina; it was bittersweet to tell everyone goodbye for a little while (again). We already have plans to go back for a long Thanksgiving weekend, but I am thrilled to know that until then we can FINALLY settle down here and adjust to our new home here in O-HI-O (did I say that right?! lol). Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We're not in the Carolinas any more...

 There are several things that keep reminding me that we are not in NC anymore.


They have the most beautiful and ugly trees here. We have one like this in our front yard. 


There are NO mosquitos! We have spent more time outside since we have been here then we did all summer in NC. The kids and I all get huge welts when we are bitten by mosquitos! I haven't seen one!

There aren't alot of bugs period. No gnats flying around your face when you are outside. Not alot of flies either. I know this seems silly, but it is something I noticed right away.

No humidity. WOW~ My hair is very thankful.

    The downtown area is so sweet. It is not far from our house, and there is a farmers market there on Saturday mornings. I can't wait to spend a day down there meandering around.
    The leaves are already starting to fall. Autumn evidently arrives a little earlier here in OH. There are yellow leaves strown across our backyard, and Miley seems very happy to not be dealing with the NC heat.
    Fall is whispering that winter is on it's way. We're not in the Carolinas anymore!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Grandma Mable

Dylan and Grandma, Feb 2010

RIP Grandma Mable
August 7, 1924-September 7, 2010

She gave it a good fight but never recovered from the terrible accident she had in her home about 6 weeks ago. After fighting off infection and having a series of mini-strokes, her kidneys started failing yesterday. She passed away this morning at 5:09am.

I saw you before I left NC. I was able to hold your hand
and kiss your cheek and say my goodbye,
 I could tell your pain was finally subsiding,
but only because you were slowly moving on
to a place where there is no pain.
I love you and will miss you, Grandma.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Love is a great thing, a great and thorough good. By itself it makes what is
heavy light; and bears evenly all that is uneven.

It carries a burden which is no burden; it will not be kept back by anything low and
mean; it desires to be free from all wordly affections, and not to be entangled by any
outward prosperity, or by any adversity subdued.

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength,
pleads no excuse of impossibility. It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it
completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love would faint and lie down.

Though weary, it is not tired: though pressed it is not straightened; though alarmed, it
is not confounded; but as a living flame it forces itself upwards and securely passes
through all.

Love is active and sincere, courageous, patient, and faithful. 
Thomas A. Kempis, 1379-1471

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Deliberating and Destination: North of the Mason-Dixon line

Well, my presentation is done. I am not going to lie, I was really freaking out this morning. Like heart racing, doing stupid stuff (for example, my cell phone rang in the car, and I turned the radio ON before I answered it!). Hmmmm.

1:00pm came and I was the first presenter. I stepped up the plate and introduced myself and I was OFF~ I talked and talked and talked.... And UMMMMM evidently (according to my feedback) I talked REALLY fast, and they could tell I had practiced (Um they told us to). So much for rehearsing it, evidently it just made me wayyy too efficient.  Long story, short:

I talked for 19 minutes for what should have been a 20-25 presentation. They deliberating for AN HOUR about failing me OR taking points off. At the end of the torture they told me they were just taking points off and they gave me an 88.2%  a B! I was happy, mad, relieved, angry at myself, and just tired....GRRRR! I had done the presentation so many times at home in front of the kids, in front of Chris, in front of our german shepherd, lol, whoever would listen! AND I always ran OVER, so I guess I over-compensated bigtime. HA!
It's done and over with now. That last hurdle has been (although somewhat dramatically) cleared and now I can truly look ahead! I am just relieved it is behind and grateful that the faculty decided not the cruel and fail me. (GRRRR!) I learned a great deal about my topic, and that is the important part of school, right!? Learning, right? (Can you hear my sarcasm from way over there?!) I thought so! Hmmmph!

So, this weekend now consists of cleaning this house and getting it ready for our renters. Now that things are gettig close, every motion, every errand I run, every call I make to cancel service...etc...feels almost bittersweet. I don't know if it is because I am worn-down-to-the-bone-dead-dog tired, or if it is because I just love NC and it feels weird to be leaving.

So, although it feels bittersweet right now... it also feels very exciting and hopeful! I have been counting down for so long and I am just HAPPY it is here! My goal is to get on the road in the morning! Destination: NORTH of the Mason-Dixon line! I'm ready.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Deciduous Heather