I am so ready for cooler weather!

For about a week it seemed that we were headed in the right direction but then this past week has just been icky and warm.

I hear that this weekend is supposed to bring lower temps though and I am so excited about it!

Normally I am all about the colors of autumn. The rich hues and deep tones are just beautiful to me.

But a few weeks ago my friend and styling wizard, Jessica, asked me to come over and do a photo shoot of her beautiful fall home decor for her blog and her neutral color palette was just so gorgeous!

You can check out her post here but I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite photos and things she did to welcome the season into her home.

Little side note...I am a sucker for HGTV and Claire was home sick this week and for the first time I watched a few episodes of Fixer Upper. What a neat show although some people's budgets are eyebrow raising! (I am also a sucker for baking shows. Even, if not more so, the kids baking shows. We watched some kids bake off show that is hosted by Valerie Bertinelli and I have made pie crust from scratch, homemade bread, and an onion tart.)

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Like most of us Jessica and her family live in a nice neighborhood in a track home. Meaning the houses all look very similar. When she had me come over one of the things I noticed right away was a change they had made to a wall in their dining nook area. The simple shiplap board added so much texture and character to that space! This is how she has it normally decorated.

For autumn she added just a few touches that add a little zing without being too much.

 She also kept it simple when it came to her table settings but I love the elegant look she created.

The whole thing came together in a picture perfect fashion that thrilled me and my camera. I mean, seriously. Look at this.

The thing that I really loved about Jess's style was how she incorporated little touches throughout the open floor plan of her house. On one side of the living room she has the piano she painted and graced with some lovely fall tidbits and on the other side of the room on her fire place she added a smattering of autumnal fun.

In her formal dining room she kind of upped the classy with her beverage cart. A mix of textures and sparkle add just the right amount of pop.

My favorite (just slightly beating out that wonderful glittery pumpkin on the bottom) is the white pumpkin with white hydrangeas. The little bit of green from the leaves and that fabulous wooden pedestal bowl just pair so well together!


The really great thing about all of Jessica's fall decorating is that she remembered that she has two little boys and made a special place for them.

This little tepee creates the funniest spot for the boys to play and read.

She also added a cute little colorful thankful banner for their space too.

All in all the house is welcoming and full of beautiful little touches of autumn. I can't wait to see what she does for Christmas!

I am in a love hate relationship with my blog right now. I love blogging and in the past it has been one of my favorite things. There were the occasional dry spells but for the most part words and thoughts flowed easily. I enjoyed having a platform to share my thoughts and opinions and pictures. And I really enjoyed the interaction either here in the blog comments or on facebook.

But lately it has been so hit and miss and part of that is just the season we're in. You know, the election season.

My own thoughts crowd out civility in my head sometimes so I am not surprised at how full of vitriol conversations become.

Vitriol: cruel and bitter criticism

It's not just that we are critical of one candidate or another. The criticism of both is full of ugly fear and hatred and turns easily on to anyone who disagrees.  In my world if you aren't on the Trump bandwagon then you must not really love Jesus and unborn babies. And I am so over it. You do not get to make that judgement. Just like I don't get to call into question your love for God if you plan to vote for Trump. Or in some cases, Hillary.

I don't know for sure exactly what I am going to do come election day but I know what I am not going to do.

I am not going to let fear guide my actions.

I am not going to let hate for one candidate push me into the ungodly arms of the other.

I know who she is and what she stands for and what she has done.

I know the man that he really is and what he truly stands for and what he has done.

There is no lesser of two evils here. Evil is evil and most of us are just deciding which evil is easier to swallow.

They are us.

I will go into the voting booth and I am going to mark a ballot in such a way that I can stand before God and give it to Him as an offering. If I can do that by voting for one candidate or the other or neither one then that is what I will do.

And you should do the same. Your vote is your offering before God.

In the meantime I will bow my head in the face of my own sin staring at me from a national level and seek repentance. I am going to ask God to dig a little deeper and probe a little further in my mind and in my heart to root out my own hypocrisy, evil, and wicked ways.

And I am going to outright reject the bumper stick slogan I saw the other day because friends, it's not that Jesus wins, it's that Jesus has won.

We should live like it.

Thursdays have become something of a refuge for me.

The three older kids have running practice and a sweet friend keeps Claire until it's over.

And that, my friends, means that I don't have to pick anyone up until 5:15 in the afternoon.

That is glorious is what that is.

Today was particularly productive. I got a ton of work done on a project I am helping the kindergarten class with and I mopped my floors.

Glorious, I tell ya.

I passed Rob coming home as I was going to pick up the kids and thrilled at the idea he was going to get home before all of us.

Before backpacks exploded on the kitchen table and in the living room.

Before there were landmines of sneakers and socks.

Before lunch boxes were haphazardly taken care of.

Before step stools were pulled out to block the pathway so that the whiteboard could be used for chronological order studying.

Before something got dropped or spilled on the newly cleaned floor as starving children descended as if they had not eaten in, oh, I don't know, forever.

In short, he was going to walk into a quiet, peaceful home before our very own level four hurricane made land fall.

I was excited because he usually doesn't get to see the fruit of my labor when it is at it's stellar best. It's usually visible under the aforementioned piles of child produced shrapnel.

And even though I was excited I remembered Proverbs 14:4 and chose to also be thrilled at the noise of my kids talking about boni libris and common place quotes as I scooted around the step stool, tidied up the kitchen from dinner and tripped over back packs and sneakers.

Life may be messy with the our level four hurricanes in residence but I wouldn't trade it for a clean manger.

At least not for long anyway.

PS If anyone has a large cabinet that they no longer need and/or want and it would fit right there in that spot under our television just let us know! We've been looking for months and haven't found one yet!

PPS Sarah still lives at home and does bump the hurricane category up to a level five with her college stuff but she is house sitting for some people so she isn't pictured here. She's doing it all week. My apology to my friends who have had children move away but I imagine this is a glimpse into how life will seem when she does move away and can I just say that I am not much of a fan of not seeing one of my kids everyday?

On Monday I shared one of Sam's memes with y'all. Everybody seemed to be amused so I thought I would share a couple more with you.

He has made a lot of them. A.Lot.

Not all of them are as funny to us mere mortals as they are to him but that's because his world is funnier than ours I think. But the ones that are funny to us show a glimpse into his world and I love that.

Some of the subjects in the memes repeat. When Sam finds something that gets a laugh he works it.

And for a kid that cannot have his green beans on the same plate as his chicken without panicking he loves to mash up the funniest people and characters.

He loves Grumpy Cat. One year we even had a Grumpy Cat cake for his birthday. He also enjoys Lord of The Rings. And Barney was a friend back in his younger days. Put the two together and well, you have a Sam meme.

Sam is a huge fan of SpongeBob. His favorite character is Patrick. What happens when Patrick meets LOTR? This.

Nothing and no one is safe from Sam's meme maker. Michael Phelps? He's got him. The first is one he made after watching Civil War this weekend.

This is what we lived with for days after Laura Bretan lost AGT.

He also went a little old school classic to share his dismay about his favorite act leaving the show.

The boy is pretty funny, don't you think?

Lady Summer reigns over long hot days.

Boldly, she leans into the heat and breathes it in.

Without apology she dares you to do the same.

Beckons you to follow along the edge of the shore. To give into freedom, to build sand castles, to play.

She urges you to reach with both hands to grab hold of time even as you feel it slip through your fingers.

Even as her days begin to wane, she laughs as she slowly slips away.

Leaving behind thoughts and memories offered up like treasure to be enjoyed from the sea.

Looking for something?