I am photo dumping . . . Ella is 10 months now and had a good time seeing her Mimi and Doowah (my mom and dad) a couple weeks ago . . . the first pic is of her kissing (and by kissing I mean biting) her daddy on the plane.
People who are grieving sometimes say it feels as though they are under water. The depression and despair, the numbness and “disconnected from reality” feeling. I returned yesterday from a trip to Seattle where I attended the funeral of my 29 year old cousin. And today I found out one of my dear friends has suffered a tragic loss.
Its easy at Easter when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ to say “death, where is your sting?” But when it rocks your own personal reality it’s much more difficult to bear. We know death has lost it’s sting ultimately because Jesus defeated it forever, but pain and suffering are inescapable when we lose someone we love.
A passage that has resonated with me the past few days is Colossians 3:1-3. I was listening to a song that talks about how God is a mighty fortress and it says “We will set our eyes on you” and it made me think of this passage. . .
Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
I felt the Holy Spirit gently whisper to me the reality that we are all dead to this earth. All those who have placed their faith in Jesus have died to this world and our lives are hidden with Christ in God. Some people just get to experience their real lives sooner. This perspective somehow comforts me and I hope can offer a twinkle of relief to others who are grieving. Emotionally it may feel like you are drowning or stuck in slow motion. Or that your heart is sick and dying. Inside of that pain is where God meets us, even if we don’t see or sense it yet. The reality is that all of us are dead. We can set our hearts and minds on things above, where our real lives wait patiently for us, hidden in the God who made us all and loves us deeply.
So I got this idea from another blog called House of Hepworths, but I’ll give you a brief tutorial of how I did it. She has a ton of pictures on hers so if you need more details just click the link and read her post . . . I’ll make it short and sweet because this is the simplest thing you can do if you need a curtain rod quick!
- set of 2 or 3 brackets (these are cheap from target or walmart, etc. I went with black.
- piece of electrical conduit (10 feet for like 2 dollars at lowes or home depot!)
- spray paint (I used back Rustoleum flat protective enamel)
- 2 wire coat hangars
- curtains (I used 3 panels)
Measure the window or section of wall you want the curtain to cover, and go buy your electrical conduit at the hardware store. You can even have them cut it there for you, I got mine at Lowes and they didn’t even charge me to cut it with their heavy duty pipe cutter.
Spray paint it outside, and you are welcome to use my husband’s genius idea of suspending it over the grass with 2 wire coat hangars. (See picture) It allows you to paint the whole thing without getting your fingers in it or smudging the paint by trying to turn it. You probably want to allow a day for it to dry, at least 6-8 hours. This is the hard part for me!
Hang your brackets, make sure you use a level and get them in the wall really snug. Don’t want any curtains falling on babies or furniture!! Here are the pics . . .
There you go! Its done! I didn’t worry about the ends of my curtain rod being open because as you will see in my next post, its so high that you don’t even notice that the ends are open, especially because its black (I spray painted inside as best I could to make it dark). But if you want something on the end, you can use your imagination. A ball, a round piece of wood or cardboard painted the same color as the rod, a large gem glued on there . . . be creative!
I know there are no pics of the finished product yet, and that is because for me there is more to do! For my next DIY I will show you how to use cheap and easy lighting to spice up your curtains!
Yesterday I woke up to find the text messages on my phone that stop your heart. There were three in a row from my mom so I knew immediately something had happened. I saw the last one first “Kendall, Kyle passed away a while ago. Call me when you are up. . .”
As the details unfolded for me I came to learn that apparently he had stopped breathing in his sleep. He was just a bit younger than me.
Kyle was walking a hard road. He had been dealing with unfortunate problems and chronic pain in his arm and hand for a long time. This pain eliminated his dream of being a pilot, and not only that it was severely impairing his quality of life, especially in the last 6 months. At the time he died he was in Los Angeles with his wife and 2 young kids as well as his mom, my aunt Carolyn. They were staying in a hotel because Kyle had traveled there to see a specialist and was recovering from a procedure the doctor had done to help his pain.
Kyle I just want you to know I am so thrilled for you that you have no more pain! I know we hadn’t kept in touch recently and we had our own lives, but I had so much fun with you when we were growing up. Some of my best ever memories of the Coosa River involve me and you in camo gear traipsing through the woods building forts and exploring uncharted territory. We would play outside ALL DAY, canoe over to the islands, skip rocks, make our parents hearts skip a beat on the rope swing, climb the waterfall, eat lunch in our swimsuits, ski behind the elvis boat, and see how many of us we could cram onto one of those water biscuit things. Aunt Jo was the most reckless driver of all, wasn’t she? Ha. We loved her new boat but there will always be a place in our hearts for granddaddy’s elvis boat.
I remember the time we were out in the canoe and someone came out in the elvis boat to toe us in, and then that boat ran out of gas. We called a fishing boat near by and he toed our line of 3 all the way in. Me and you were in the canoe trying to go straight but the rope would fall on one side or the other and we kept going side to side! It took forever to get back in!
And how about the time we camped outside in Selma? That may have been my very first time camping, and you and me wore our head-to-toe camo and our space center mesh ball caps. I woke up that morning and had to pee so bad I couldn’t stand it but I was afraid to walk back up to the house by myself. I guess I finally did or else I would have floated away! We rode on the red tractor and played on the swing outside in selma. We went swimming in Miss Carrie’s pool. We ate at McDonalds because you loved it, and I distinctly remember a meal at Pizza Hut where you ate so much you were moaning and moaning but someone said something about ice cream and you said you had saved a little spot! You ALWAYS had room for ice cream and you never had a shortage of drama. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.
I’ll miss you my friend . . . I’m so thankful for the memories we have and the forts we built together. I know you’re on the biggest adventure of your life right now and loving every minute. Our God is a brilliant creator and you must be bursting with joy and anticipation for your family to experience what you’re experiencing now. Love you Kyle!
Last week we traveled to South Bend Indiana to see David’s grandparents who had not yet met Ella in person. We had a wonderful time. Though I must say sleeping in the same room with a 9 month old is much different than sleeping in the same room with a 5 month old!! It was challenging!
Here are some pics from our trip!
I have completed my first DIY art project for our new place. We’ve been in this house now for about 2 months and there is hardly anything on the walls!! It’s driving me crazy. We decided to change the look of our decor from our last place. We went from Southern/Kirkland/Mission theme to a Contemporary/Colorful/Modern look. I have to change things in our home. I get so sick of the same colors and wall art. It’s in my blood. The most difficult thing about that is finding the money to make a change! That’s why this spring we’ve had a purging party. We did 2 yard sales and sold a bunch of stuff on craigslist to make a few bones for the home decor pot.
DIY projects can be so inexpensive. First, here is a list of what you’ll need. You can buy all these supplies at Michael’s or your local art/craft store.
- Canvas (you can find them 40 or 50 percent off at Michaels or bring in a coupon. They also have a Michael’s iphone app now for scanning coupons at check out. I bought two 24″ x 36″ size for about 20 bucks each because they were half off.)
- Acrylic Paint (around 1 to 2 dollars per bottle)
- Brushes of varying sizes (1/2 inch wide up to 2 inches wide, you can get a pack of 3 decent ones for around 8 or 10 bucks)
- Scrapbook paper of varying colors/prints (anywhere from .40 to 1.50 each)
- Mod Podge (This serves as your glue and your top coat. I used matte finish, I think it was like 6 dollars for a 16 oz bottle)
To get started, you’ll need to paint your canvas. I used purple and yellow because those are the secondary and tertiary colors in my living room. Hint: In a room you want to have approximately these proportions of color:
- 60-70% main color
- 20-40% secondary color
- 10-15% tertiary color
For my living room, these are green, yellow, and a plum-ish purple.
Here are the paints. These are 2 oz bottles and I used almost a whole bottle per canvas. You want to be sure you have good coverage and no white is showing through. I also did a sort of textured finish with my top coat. Sort of a purposeful sloppiness 🙂
My little apprentice.From this angle you can see the texture a bit. I just did it with my brush full of paint and sort of slapped it on there in swirly motions.
I always have a few small canvases around to test colors/textures and clear coats. I use them over and over. Here, I used a piece of the scrapbook paper as a test to see how the Mod Podge would do since I had never done this before. I glued it to the canvas with the Mod Podge and then coated it on top to make sure it would dry clear. It did! Also wanted to make sure after I sealed it that it wouldn’t peal up. Next, choose which colors and patterns you want to use for your design. After your canvas has had time to completely dry, cut and arrange the scrapbook paper on your canvas just the way you want it. Be patient and try different things, because once you apply the Mod Podge, you’re committed.When you have the arrangement complete, its time to begin glueing them to the canvas. I would recommend glueing one or two shapes at a time, because if you clear all of them off you may forget the way you had arranged them! The other option is to take a picture and use that image to guide your placement while glueing. Put some Mod Podge on a paper plate or other disposable surface and start by glueing one end or side of your flower stem. Put the Mod Podge first on the canvas, not on the back of the paper. Its ok if you spread it out too far because remember, it will dry clear.
*The danger here is that you may end up with bubbles if you aren’t careful. Scrapbook paper comes in regular paper weight which is super thin and then a “not quite cardstock but thicker than paper” weight. A little thicker is better because it won’t bubble as easy. Have you ever seen someone’s car who tried to tint their own windows and it looks like the glass has boils? Not good. You don’t want that to happen so use your finger or a flat edge to gradually stick it down from one end to the other. Circles have to be done differently but we’ll get to that in minute and I’ll show a picture of that too . . . Cover the stems with a thin coat of Mod Podge.Next, the bigger shapes. I’ve got all circles of varying sizes, and one square. Do it the same way as the stems, applying the Mod Podge to the canvas first. What’s different here though is that you want to cover the entire area at one time and then place the circle on top. Use your finger(s) to start in the center and work your way out with a circular motion. Press it down going all the way to the edges to avoid bubbles.Lastly, after the designs have been glued to the canvas and have had 15-20 minutes to dry, cover your entire canvas with the Mod Podge. It will look very cloudy and messy but don’t freak out! It dries clear! This stuff is amazing.There you have it. A pair of paintings that can add color and creativity to any space. And the best part is you have total control over what picture you create, what colors you use, how busy or tame you want it to be. Here is what I did with my finished product:
Last week we were on vacation in Alabama on the beloved Coosa River. We were there about 7 days, long enough to totally unplug and accumulate some great pics of Ella having her first Coosa experience! She was delighted to meet her cousins Jax (almost 3) and Aurora (11 months). These are my sister’s kids. Jax has seen Ella on Skype and has been so excited to meet her in person because he LOVES babies.
I have a ton of pictures but unfortunately at the Hibiske household we are having technical difficulties tonight. Hopefully they will be resolved this weekend and I can upload more pics and videos from the trip . . .
Here is an awesome summer meal that is quick and easy and also semi healthy! I found this recipe on my allrecipes.com iPhone app (amazing and free) called spinach and feta pita bake. I’ve made some variations and it has become one of our family favorites. It is so great for summer meals when you don’t have much time (and/or energy when its hot!) and want to do something simple.
Here are the ingredients:
4 pieces of garlic (or regular flavor) naan bread
1 jar of sun dried tomato pesto (6 oz)
1 to 1 1/2 cups sliced grape tomatoes
3 oz sliced mushrooms
6 oz (3/4 cup) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
First you start with laying the naan out on a cookie sheet or baking pan, and you spread a layer of sun-dried tomato pesto onto the naan. Sun-dried tomato pesto has a strong flavor so take that into consideration in the amount that you use. A 6 ounce can of pesto will be plenty if you want to make four pizzas. After you spread the pesto on the pizzas, add the grape tomatoes and sliced mushrooms. You can vary the amount to your liking.
After the mushrooms and tomatoes, sprinkle about 1/8 cup parmesan cheese on each, and follow with about a fourth of a cup of the feta cheese (I use the fat-free and it tastes great) on top of each naan. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil before putting it into the oven. It adds a bit of flavor and keeps everything moist. However If you are really watching your diet you can lessen the olive oil or leave it out altogether and it will turn out just fine. Season with black pepper to taste.
Bake at 350 for 12-14 min and enjoy! Each naan is approximately 500 calories (If you use regular feta as opposed to fat free). This recipe is a crowd pleaser and tastes way too good to be so simple!
Well there are 3 men I am celebrating today. One is my dad. The other is my husband who is now a dad. The other is his dad. What a great day.
When I finished the last post on my mom for her birthday, I started thinking about my dad too. What a great man he is and what a great father he has always been for me and my sister. For Fathers Day I made him a t-shirt that says “DOOWAH” because that is his grandaddy name. We put Ella’s footprint on it. We made one for David’s dad as well.
When I think about my dad I am more and more thankful the older I get, because it just isn’t that common anymore for people to have good dads. My dad is faithful to my mom (been married 34 years now), respectable, consistent, hard working and willing to sacrifice for our family. No man is perfect, but you know what? I never once doubted his love for my mom. I never once worried that he would leave or divorce her. I never doubted that he was faithful to her. That says something.
I wish everyone had a dad like mine. Thanks Daddy. I know I told you in my card but you kept my world at peace when I didn’t even know it. I had nothing to worry about but what kids are supposed to worry about. Cleaning their room, homework, friends and kid stuff. Your character paved the way for me to be free to grow into the person I am. And I knew what to look for in a husband because you showed me!
The man I married has become a dad, and that has been the coolest thing ever! I knew he’d be a great one, but it is so much better than I even expected. He is so involved, so sensitive to Ella (and to me) and such an awesome companion in this parenting thing. There are times when I think about raising her by myself and I can’t imagine it. I have so much respect for his dad too. David grew up with a wonderful example of what it means to be a godly father. I have so much respect for both his parents because they also raised a son with cerebral palsy and did an amazing job of balancing the needs of both children. David’s dad would camp out with him on the living room floor every Friday night for years. Thanks Poppa for loving your family. Thanks for demonstrating what it looks like to walk with the Lord in steadfastness and let it impact every area of your life. I am reaping the fruit of your faithfulness over the years! It means more than you know.
My heart overflows with thankfulness for the dads in my life. What great blessings. I love you all and I’m so grateful for you today!
It’s true, I love moving. I could do without the chaos of living among boxes for weeks but the newness it brings outweighs that for me. I love purging, I love selling, I love reorganizing and I love the challenge of decorating a new home.
We get the keys on Wednesday the 30th and will move most everything on that day (hopefully). This will be our first time moving with a baby. She’s still not mobile, so that is a plus for sure. We don’t have to pin her up because she’s just now figuring out how to roll over. No crawling on her near horizon. Next will be figuring out that after she rolls to her tummy she can actually roll back instead of crying! Can’t wait for that one 🙂
So here is a picture of what used to be our dining room but is now the “staging” area for boxes and things. More updates to come!
I have so many pics I have to post some! Friday we spent the afternoon in Santa Cruz and had a great time together just hanging out. Me and dad have also had a great time just hanging out at home with Ella.
Yesterday we picked David up from the airport and went to the city and it was the most beautiful warm clear day I have ever experienced in San Francisco! Here are some pics from the past two days…