for moms who are more.

life little pleasures

thursday:LLP’s, Jones Design Company.

I’ve mentioned on here before how much I love checking in on the ladies over at The Creative Mama for all things, well… mommy and creative. They continually bring something to the table that is fresh, and helpful, and beautiful to boot.

This morning as I fumbled around in bed for my phone, I saw the latest tweet and headed over to TCM blog to find an amazing woman being featured; Emily Lex of Jones Design Company.

Emily is a lover of all things creative, design, paper, home, and most importantly she loves Jesus and is a great mama to her kiddos and wife to her hubby.

The post on TCM has a few before and after room designs that she had done. They were stunning. But what drew me to click on her site was the sentence that read, “I also really love her post about time management.”

Dunzo. I was at her website within mere seconds.

I am a sucker for 1) all things self help and 2) a fellow mommy who blogs about her life struggle with the dreaded term, ‘time management’.

What I read, I wasnt prepared for. I was expecting a checklist of sorts, “do this, get rid of this, organize your entire life and then you can start this checklist, get a nanny and a housecleaner”, etc. What I actually came across were 9 totally do-able, totally down to earth, totally normal and ATTAINABLE goals to keep in mind when trying to manage your time.

Please,before going any further, read her post about time management and then come back to me.

There. Feel better dont you? a little more “as it turns out, im not as crazy and manic as i thought” huh?

1. some things can wait.

2. do little things as you go.

3. multi-task

4. stay focused when it matters most

5. delegate and ask for help (and then accept it)

6. create a schedule

7. limit tv watching and internet searching

8. let go of guilt

9. grab hold of the really valuable moments.

the two things that hit me most? First,  creating a schedule and sticking to it. Obviously I’m bad at this. And honestly, its really difficult when you’re children are young like mine are. Nothing is ever planned, there’s no schedule that they adhere to day in and day out. Its also difficult when you work from home, and when you’re currently living paycheck to paycheck i.e. needing to work your tail off whenever you have a spare moment.

Hopefully Ben will find a job. Hopefully I’ll learn to have a schedule around my kids non-schedule. Hopefully we’ll get out of debt and wont have to ship out everything we get in so I dont have to work all the time. But if none of that happens how we need it to happen, I’ll refer to #5 and #8 and it’ll all be ok.

The second thing, is how she referred to the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible when she was talking about taking a hold of the real moments. All of my life I’ve been afraid of missing out. Convinced I’ve been getting the shaft. Tortured by the guilt of trying to do it all and it never being enough. Wrestled with working my life away whilst the world happens around me. I know someone like this, exactly like this, and I pray for her…constantly. That God would release her from her chains that she’s wrapped around herself, that she would know real love and real peace and real rest and that Jesus would literally just give her some breaks now and again. That he’d bless her despite how much she worries He wont.

And I’m her. I am that very girl that I pray for. I am Martha.

2011 is looming and all I can think about is the many things that need to change around here. How I need to change. This new year I hope to actually be disciplined enough to keep any goals, let alone resolutions.

Emily, thanks for being normal.

And to close, the most amazing thing about this post on Time Management from Emily, is that she gives you two free downloadable pdf’s at the bottom of the page; how to balance work and children, and how to delegate.

And, the “I can not do it all” jpegs? Also available for download, so you can print them. I just placed an order with my print company for a million 5×7’s of these to put in strategic areas around my home. And one big one to go in my office. Obviously.

Emily and her husband also do a workshop called Be Inspired, all about starting and maintaining a successful small business. If any of you ladies are interested, definitely check on info for that here. I believe registration for the current one is closed, maybe you could contact her for info on the next one!

I hope her post inspired you ladies, I truly feel like it has changed my life. Or it will change it…very, very soon.


thursday: LLP’s, hgtv.com

seriously?

when there is a website like hgtv.com out there, how is anyone…anywhere…EVER…supposed to get anything done? I could browse the site for hours and hours on end…

Today I want to share some pictures of some easier-than-you-think DIY christmas decorations and neato ideas that wont break your bank account and dont look like your grandmas craft attic either.

First, some gift ideas!

This is one of my faves. This is something I love to do, but I’ve usually done it with an old box. I’d like to try this with an tin cup or jar id otherwise throw away. Take magazine clippings, old cd cover jackets, scraps from posters, notes, anything to bring together a cohesive but eclectic look.

I love this idea! take a ball from a pool table and make it into a wine stopper! someone, anyone, get me one of these~!

Now for some easy and cheap decorating ideas!

This ones so simple, cranberries or what have you, with a matching candle in a bamboo or wood bowl? We all have this stuff lying around, or most of it!

Ok this one I fibbed a bit about…its not easy…and it might take some $$…but I really want to make it a project of mine for this coming year in preparation for NEXT Christmas. Its a super creative way for kiddos to countdown to Christmas. Read what the girl who shared it said, “Each envelope has a ‘coupon’ inside that is redeemable for something special (i.e., a family game night, a cup of hot chocolate, a piece of Christmas candy, Mom reading a book, etc.),” she says. It’s not only a fun family activity, but a creative piece of holiday decor, too.

SO EASY and super cute. I have tons of cookie cutters and im looking at some christmas ribbon on my table currently not being used. String em up!

Incredibly simple and very classy I think. Throw some epson salt into some mason jars as faux winter snow, or whatever jars you have, and pop a votive down in there. Done. Beautiful.

This is something that as I get a bit older and have more friends with kids and families, I’ll want to do. As it is right now we dont get a ton of Christmas cards in the mail (people, I’d love one from you to see who all my followers are! email me and I’ll get you my address!), but as the years go on and I DO get a ton in the mail, I think you’ve got to have a creative way to display them and this hits the nail right on the head. Plus its easy and cheap! Take thick ribbon, nail it in a overlapped star pattern, use some painted clothespins for hanging, VOILA!

This ones super cute. Right now, (dont laugh), my tree skirt is black..yea..super festive..and it is made up of my old moby wrap from when josiah was a baby, and a scrap piece of black fabric. I mean SCRAP…This girl took a cute apron and wrapped it around her tree! I’m gonna score a huge christmas apron and do this same thing.

Hows about an easy centerpiece idea that is wintery and beautiful? Yep, love this. Throw some branches in a tall vase and before you can say “holler if you hate crafting”, youve got a gorg christmas centerpiece.

 

Well ladies, one of lifes little pleasures TRULY IS HGTV.COM. So go browse and find some homemade handmade goodness that suits your style. Happy Thursday!


thursday: LLP’s, holidays.

ahhhhhh this is truly my favorite time of the year.

my two favorite holidays…thanksgiving, and christmas.

for thanksgiving every year, ben and I take the roadtrip up to Jasper, TN (right outside of Chattanooga) and visit all of bens family. the time is pretty much consumed by hikes, bonfires, lots of cooking, lots of cutting down trees, tractor rides, 4 wheeler adventures, caves and bluehole trips, more cooking, tons of eating and eating some more, maybe a shopping trip, sleeping in, card games, and manheim steamroller gets busted out for early christmas listening.

christmas is spent with my family in deland. truly my favorite memories in life are christmas with my family. 6 siblings, now spouses and grandkids running around everywhere, and my parents holding down the fort…its the best time. The Carpenters, Bing Crosby, The Chipmunks and The Beach Boys all serenade us with christmas tunes, we make bon bons and spend a day putting together a christmas eve buffet, the younger ones open a present on xmas eve, we stuff stockings and make killer apple cider, read the christmas story in the bible on christmas morning, eat apple and rasberry turnovers with orange juice, open presents, then spend the rest of the day going thru lots of stocking candy, putting things together, listening to music, taking naps, and cooking christmas dinner. My dad usually writes us all a special letter that makes us cry, and its truly a day that I look forward to every year. Things have changed since we’ve become older, and all of us brothers and sisters arent all together on the big day anymore but we atleast get to see eachother and enjoy one another.

As i’m a parent now, youd think I have all this together, right? all the traditions I want josiah and darby to have…the moments I want to create and spend with my honey, but every year I struggle and I feel I fall so short of truly making these holidays memorable for my little family.

Plus, somehow every christmas, we tend to be going through some insane financial crisis…figures:)

So this year i’m really really trying to make it count. I busted out the bins today and plan to start decorating the house. Pandora christmas station and the Christmas Music station on the TV have been playing all day. I’ve already bought lots of cans of pumpkin and some gingerbread mixes, and am putting together an adult christmas party. I feel good about all of this, but also a little sad…dont you wish that you could just let your parents do Christmas for you for the rest of your life? But we grow up. We become adults and have our own families. I’m so thankful for the traditions and memories I have from growing up…so thankful for mom and dad instilling in me the importance of family time around the holidays…I have great examples set before me to make the holidays with my OWN family something super special.

What are some of your christmas traditions? comment…i love hearing what other families do for such a special time of the year.


thursday: LLP’s, brick and mortar

Brick & Mortar:

Brick & Mortar is a collective project of graphic design, photography, film and fine arts. Our mission is to create a space and physical presence in our community that will grow creative and artistic visions and projects. We want to create a space for these things to thrive, and for the people involved to learn what it means to be fully alive.

Two former clients of mine, Allie & Lynsday (twin sisters, and both now married!) are in on this super cool operation and I am looking for a way to get involved. I think projects like this and people with these kind of dreams and ambitions are so rare in this world today, and I love when an idea is brought to life through persevering determination. Community is what keeps us all sane, and I love an excuse to get me away from my computer and out into the art world.

If you’re in the Cocoa Beach area, check out Brick and Mortar…especially if you’re an artist or musician. I cant wait to contact them to see if Kallima Photography can do something cool there.

 

follow them on twitter for event updates! @Brick_Mortar or email them at, hello@brickandmortarbuilt.com

You can also read the story of how Brick and Mortar came to be, HERE.

Please check them out!


thursday: LLP’s, iheart ipad

iheart ipad. inever ithought ione iwould ibe imine.

ok im annoying myself.

i simply cannot believe i have an ipad! i have said before that i wanted one, sure. it would help me a ton with client meetings and consults, true.

And just like when Ben brought home the iMac wrapped up in his arms, I again asked him who he robbed to get this ipad.

If I dont tell you how he gave it to me, he might be upset.

He was on his way home from work. I read on his twitter that he had a present for me. (sweet! i thought it would be like, a frosty from wendys or something equivalent). He walked in, I said…whats my present? He said, the new B&H catalog came in. (thats photo talk for those of you who dont know what B&H is)

he left his leather bag where the supposed new B&H catalog was, right by the couch where i was sitting. i didnt open it.

he went to the kitchen table. “babe can you bring me my computer out of my bag?”  sure. i opened the bag and took out the computer and brought it to him. sat back down. “actually can you bring me the papers out of my bag too”. really? i just sat down. fine. get up, get papers out, bring to him. sat back down. “babe can you just bring me the whole bag?” GEEZ BEN can i climb mt everest and bring you down a snowball from the powdery white at the top, GRACIOUS. got up, brought him the bag.

as i was walking out of the room, he placed something on the kitchen table and said, “theres something for you over here”. what? “theres something for you OVER HERE, GOSH rebekah”.

ipad.

WHAT??? who did you rob?

here is the ipad. what a week its been. i get a new car for my kiddos to fit in and then a new ipad for the business. thank you Lord!


thursday:LLP’s, grandmommies and nanas and tanas and mimis.

what would you do without them?

they are good for endless hugs and kisses, endless “good job!” [s] and “yay!” [s], incredibly baby whisperer skills and countless diaper changes and rocker times.

Grandmommie (my mom) is loving and snuggly with my kiddos. She always sees the good in every little thing, even late night dirty diapers, and just laughs and giggles and nuzzles them until they’re tired of her..which is never. She loves to make blankets for them and talk sweetly in their ears.

Nana (Bens grandma)..oh if the world could have more Nana’s. She is the matriarch..the most beautiful and graceful of women…and so mesmerizing that my kiddos as babies just stared and smiled and coo’ed at her. they were beside themselves..didnt know what else to do but simply lie sweetly in her arms and gaze at her.

Tana (Bens mom) is the one you want to PLAY with. She will get on the floor and roll with you…tickle you, tell you like it is, but still knows how to get my kiddos to relax and sit for a spell. She somehow always figures out the most comfy positions for babies…they seem to just “lounge” on her like shes the most comfortable thing they’ve ever been held up against.

Mimi (Bens stepmom) is the one they listen to. She loves to talk and reason with them…what a patient angel. “You’re a sweet girl arent you? yes yes you are. Such a sweet girl.” She takes them on walks and makes sure they have the latest and greatest gadgets. She will hold them for hours on end with not a word of protest…like she never wants to let go.

Taime – Tana – Bens mom, didnt know I snuck this shot of her but I couldnt help but be so thankful to see her loving on my Darby out on the back porch yesterday.

And Nana…ben snagged this one this morning..

 

grandmommies and nanas and tanas and mimis. the world is such a sweeter place with all of these women in my kiddos lives. for those of you who don’t have your own kiddos yet, there is no way to accurately describe or depict just how many butterflies you get, just how quickly your heart starts to skip beats, just how fast you are likely to tear up, when you see your mama hold your baby. or your daddy hold your baby. it stirs the heart ladies.

i never knew my grandparents, really. saw them, visited them in hospitals and nursing homes..but never knew them. im so thankful that my kiddos are building relationships with their grandparents and great-grandparents NOW…and so thankful that I get to have a Nana still after my grandmothers passed away.

if you dont have a grandmommie or nana or tana or mimi, find one. they’re the best.


friday: little blessings contest winners!

hi ladies and happy friday! I’m having a bit of a rough day and I gotta tell you, looking at all of these pictures again to make my final decision really cheered me up.

I cant thank all of you enough for your submissions…I received SO many emails and 9 out of 10 of them included thoughts and stories and praises and thanks…all for our little ones.

Some of you who emailed have lost a baby…and for that, I applaud you for your strength in sending me a picture of the blessings in your life.

So I could not, repeat, COULD NOT narrow down to only two. There are 3 winners…

I chose these images because they spoke to me on an individual level…moments unscripted, real life, truly times to gaze at and remember…

ALL of the submissions were special moments ladies, and again..thank you for taking the time to send them my way. I cherish them.

Without further ado..

1st place – Brittany Daniel, for sending me this sweet image of her little boy Brody.

Brittany said, “My cousin Lisa carried a baby for nine months and gave birth about two weeks ago on September 29th. From what i heard, everything was going fine and a couple minutes after birth the baby lost her heart beat and they could not revive her. When I heard what had happened, my whole body hurt for her. Even though she lives in Penn. and we rarely talk, all i want to do is hug her. Thanks for this post and reminding me of my blessings. Keep Lisa in your prayers. Heres a photo of Brody, pooped, after his first trip to Disney yesterday. I was about to go to bed, but remembered your post, and made Bret turn on the lights. The peaceful, sleeping moments are my favorite.”

Brittany thank you:) and congrats! a feature on the rad mom blog SOON and a $15 Target GC are headed your way! (just as soon as you email your address to me! haha. radmommahood@gmail.com)

2nd place – Julie Tchvidjian, who sent me a picture of her with her DARLING almost 5 year old, Ruby.

Julie said, “My kids…my 3 most amazing blessings in the world:) thanks for allowing me to revisit some of their younger days. they totally brought tears to my eyes remembering their younger years. feeling. so. blessed. CHERISH the moments with jos and darbs…it will be gone before you know it.”

Julie THANKS:) and I know where you live…so congrats on the $10 Target GC headed your way!

And an honorary 3rd place win goes to Magen Cook, who sent me this picture of her daughter, Finley.

Magen said, “You don’t know me, and I realize this might be weird, but I follow your mom blog (and, of course, your photography blog). I used to go to church with your sister, Allison (years ago) and you shot the wedding of my friend Megan Malone. And, because Tallahassee is so small, I think we know a lot of the same people. Anyway, I have been a long admirer of your photography, but more recently I have loved following your rad mom blog. I love your honesty, especially. I have a 10 month old daughter and it’s exciting to get an inside look at all the things that other mom’s go through. I have laughed with you, understood EXACTLY what you’re talking about, and prayed for you. Hopefully that doesn’t creep you out. Anyway, here is a picture of my little one. Her name is Finley and she is a riot. She came to this world early and small, and she has been a testament to God’s faithfulness in our lives from day one.  She is an absolute joy.”

Magen, I loved this image so much…it brings you to your knees, right? Please email me your address, radmommahood@gmail.com. Congrats on a $10 Target GC 🙂

Thanks everyone for participating and for making this first contest about more than the prizes. You all blessed me so much!