mantle love.

we are still waiting to hear from the realtor...

so i thought i would distract myself with a totally unrelated blog post...

did you know...we take down our Christmas goodies on the day after Christmas.  I am always so ready to get my house set my focus on spring and forge ahead into the new year with a fresh, clean house.  

here is my new mantle...a la etsy. 
frame prints are from box64 studios...a Christmas gift from my SIL.
hokies sign from go jump in the lake.
pray sign, that i ADORE, is from burley girl designs.
bunting by me.
clock from target ages ago.
jar of shells from Boca.  a place we just bought our tickets to...*swoon*.
paint color is crystal aqua from valspar...someone always asks. :) 

have you started your post holiday decorating?  do show and tell.

what i wish. num 16.

Welcome to "What I wish I could tell you" anonymous platform for bloggers to share what they don't feel free to share on their own blogs.  If you have a story/thought/ache/hurt/feeling/secret/prayer request you want to get out, feel free to email me at ricracandpompoms @  You will remain anonymous to all but me unless you choose otherwise. 
The author of this entry has chosen to stay anonymous.  Say hello to anon #16: 

What I wish I could tell that you have no idea how great he is. I mean, you do, because you have two other children, but in my eyes, you really do have no idea. He is everything I could have ever hoped for in a child....he's energetic, he's full of life, he's silly, he's brave, he's tenderhearted, he's so loving, he's perfect...really, he is.
I wish I could tell you that I think you are brave and I wish you could know that I really think that other than it being the "right" thing to say at that moment. To watch me walk in your hospital room, only  minutes after giving birth to him, and pick him up must have been gut wrenching, but you did just that. You watched me feed him, you watched me love on him, you watched me take my first picture with him.
I wish I could tell you that in my heart, I could never love him like you did. We watched you walk out of that hospital that day with nothing while we were taking home our miracle. I honestly think that decision you made to give him to us is more love than we could ever try to show him in our lifetime. I promise with all that is in me that I will tell him of your love and how much you loved him. We already do. And while he doesn't completely understand yet, I know that God is working on his heart so that he can understand one day.
I wish I could tell you that I adore him and love him and you could know that he feels like mine. God started working on my heart long before he was born and just because I didn't give birth to him doesn't mean I don't love him and cherish him like I did.
I wish I could tell your sister who stood at the nursery window and watched him get his first bath while we also watched that we love him. She was so skeptical of the whole thing - she didn't want to see her nephew go to another home. I understand her feelings. But I wish she could see us with him, how we love him, how we adore him, how much EVERYONE loves him, then I think she would understand your decision. I think she would finally know you made the right decision.
I wish I could tell you so much more than this. I wish I could tell you that I think of you everyday. I know we send you updates yearly on him, but when someone else reads them before you do to make sure we didn't give away "identifying information" it just doesn't seem as real or heartfelt. We love you and are have been so blessed by your decision.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. There is nothing I could do to ever tell you enough or show you enough how much your decision means to ALL of us.

Want a turn to share?  Email me at ricracandpompoms @ 
Feel free to comment and encourage or just relate and assure.


You know...I hesitated a lot to share this.  

Only because so many times on this journey I am on, I have shared, only to be scolded about how ungrateful I un -God glorifying I am.  I don't believe those things about myself...but it causes just enough of a sting to make me wince.   

But you know what? This is my journey...and to me...documenting the trail is just as important as the end result to me.  I want to be able to trace my finger along the path that God has taken me once we get to that "Ah-ha!" moment.  

Yesterday we found out that a position we were hoping Doug would get was given to someone else.  It was a position that would have taken us home.  HOME.  And it was ripped right out from under us.  My chest was tight for the rest of the day.  I cried and grieved for hours.  It was and is SO painful to know that we will continue to be trapped here in Cville for who knows how long.  I truly hate this place.  It is a painful, ugly reminder to me of so many hurts at this point.  So many rejections and so much pain.  I can't wait to leave this place in the rear view mirror forever. 
But now I have no idea when that will be.  

While I struggle to understand the point of it all...I KNOW that God has a plan for us.  Even among the tears I am hearing the small whisper that is telling us to "wait".  I KNOW that there is something good waiting for us.  And now we have to figure out what to do in the meantime. 

Do we put our house on the market and then rent a house to make ourselves more mobile?
Do we stay at a church that we are OK with but our children LOVE? 

I honestly don't think I have it in me to start again at a new church.  Even though there are things that bother me about the church that we are at...I feel like those things are things that we will find at any church we visit in this area.  I think they many be Cville things.  

I honestly don't know how I can continue from one day to the next here.  It's a struggle that I can't explain...I think you would have to have been in a similar position to know what it is like to be stuck somewhere that you don't belong.  I don't feel abandoned by God...I don't feel forgotten.  I know that He has carried me this far and that He will continue to do so.  

It is just the unknown that hurts.  
The longing for close friends.  The need to feel loved by my pastor.  The want to be part of a community and not shut out by closed groups of people.  The want to be with people who put faith in action.  

I told Doug yesterday that I am beyond empty.  
I am so far below the "E" mark that I can't even see it anymore.  
And I see no near filling station.     

I am just praying that the bottom is near so that we can begin the climb out and up.  

For now I am trying to focus on Christmas...and the great news that brings.  I am trying to be merry for my children so that their lives are not effected by my struggle.

For now, I remind myself that God is in control...that He has a plan...that He is trying to get me where He wants me...

For now I recite Psalm 27:14
Wait with hope for the LORD. 
Be strong, and let your heart be courageous. 
Yes, wait with hope for the LORD.

what i wish. num 15.

Welcome to "What I wish I could tell you" anonymous platform for bloggers to share what they don't feel free to share on their own blogs.  If you have a story/thought/ache/hurt/feeling/secret/prayer request you want to get out, feel free to email me at ricracandpompoms @  You will remain anonymous to all but me unless you choose otherwise. 
The author of this entry has chosen to stay anonymous.  Say hello to anon #15: 

I wish I could tell you that, sometimes, I question who you are. Sometimes, I wish I had made a different decision seven years ago.

I am still so in love with that eighteen year old boy who was so full of faith and drive and potential. I don't see that faith anymore. It makes me so sad that that part of you seems to have disappeared. I don't know if your education has challenged it or if you simply have grown away from it. I wish I could tell you, it seems like you have lost part of yourself.

You are brilliant. You are the smartest person I know, but in so many ways, you are foolish. You take all of us for granted. You have a wife who loves you more than you will ever know and three beautiful daughters who think you are the most amazing thing in the world. But, you are too busy. Too busy with work and finding time for yourself to see that we are all just waiting. Just sitting here waiting to be important to you again. Your girls are growing so fast. They are learning so much everyday and getting so big.

I wish I could tell you how amazing they are. Your girls. They are so full of life and wonder. I see it being crushed in them, though. Not just by you, by me, too. I am getting burnt out doing so much of this on my own. I wish I could tell you that I pray that they don't marry men like you. I pray they find men who love them just as they are. Just as God made them. Men who will love them and show them they love them.

I wish I could tell you how much I still hurt over the baby we lost. How much I question if I did something to cause that loss.

I wish I could tell you how isolated I am here. We are finally close to family and, because of you, I am more alone than ever.

I am not perfect. There is no question in my mind about that. I loose my temper, I get upset, I make mistakes. I know I do, you are quick to point them out. Not all of our problems are your fault. I bring my own basket of crazy to the table. I wish I could tell you, though, that when you think I am mad, I am usually just sad and hurt. I wish you knew how much I hate for you to see me vulnerable. Even after all this time and all we've been through.

I wish I could tell you the world is not black and white. No matter how badly you want it to be that way. There are not always clear rights and wrongs. You have to accept the shades of gray.

Most of all, I wish I could tell you how much I miss you. I miss being happy with you. I miss holding your hand. I miss feeling loved by you.

Want a turn to share?  Email me at ricracandpompoms @ 
Feel free to comment and encourage or just relate and assure.

button Christmas tree art.

 Today's craft will have to be done over two one you make the tree and day two you assemble time to make it doesn't take that long you just have to wait for glue to dry. :)

 Some things you will need:
cardboard triangle and size or shape you would like
frame that is bigger than your tree shape
piece of fabric cut to fit your frame with iron-on backing ironed on
glue (white and hot)
embroidery thread
 I started by covering my cardboard tree shape with glue, any thick white glue would work.
 Then I had Moses (and Doug) cover the glue with buttons...adding more glue when necessary.  I did mostly green but you could do any number of color combos.
 When the triangle was covered and the glue was dry enough...I added a coat of mod-podge and covered it with glitter.  I let it dry over night at this point.
 Then, I got Moses to write "joy" for me...and traced it onto my fabric using embroidery tracing paper...then stitched over that in red.
 I assembled my frame by first hot gluing the fabric into the frame...then adding the glass then the frame backing...then using more hot glue, I glued the tree in place. 
 A cute cooperative effort...if I do day so myself. :)

 You could also stop with the tree and add a ribbon to hang it as an ornament.  I think it would make a great little gift for a teacher or relative.

Happy crafting!

snowman pops.

I found today's craft on Flexible Dreams. 
I thought they would be a good treat for Moses to take as a gift for his friends at school...and who doesn't like to play with food?
 You will need:
large marshmallows
wooden skewers
black frosting or brown 
(in a tube with a tip-I had wanted to use an edible pen but couldn't find just one)
oreos minus the cream
orange tic tac or orange icing for nose
fruit tape
stick pretzels
 Moses' job was to skewer the marshmallows...three on a stick.
then...using the frosting as "glue"...stick an oreo lid on top of the snowman
...then "glue" a rolo on top of that
...stick pretzels in for arms
...cut a 6-7in piece of fruit tape in half lengthwise and wrap around as a scarf
...add eyes, mouth and buttons on...add nose.  and done.
 A little tip for order to let things dry standing up, I taped two empty cereal boxes together and poked holes all the way through with a knife, then stuck a skewer in each hole.
I think these would be super cute for a kids Christmas party...or birthday party. :)

Cute, happy, fun and easy. 


baby Jesus envy.

 Today's craft is brought to you today by my baby Jesus envy. 
Several of my friends on facebook have children that go to the same preschool as Moses but have different teachers.  All of their children got to make these adorable baby Jesus' in class...and I was totally jealous.  Until I realized that we could make our own.  
We started by reading a story about baby Jesus.   
 Here is how we did it...first I used some heavy muslin fabric and sewed a simple peg shape (rectangle with a rounded top...I left the bottom open, turned it right side up and let the boys stuff their babies with filling.  Then I sewed the bottom closed.
 I think the ones at the preschool were made by using a pantyhose filled and tied off...but for some reason the idea of using a pantyhose completely weirded me out.  But you could do it that way if you are more normal than I am and don't want to sew a stitch.

 Then I let Moses draw a face and some hair on his.  Be sure to check on a scrap of fabric to see if your marker will bleed...I used sharpies and had no problem.
Then cover a small box with brown paper...make sure your Jesus can fit inside.
 Then we shredded some yellow construction paper for hay.
 Then cut a square out of can use any fabric you wrap Him up in.
 The boys REALLY loved doing this craft.
Neither Hoho nor baby Jesus have ever been so cute.


make these now! handprint snowman ornament. :)

 I'm trying to be a good mom this week and do a bunch of Christmas crafts with the boys...I'm hoping to have the turn out well enough to share you can join in the fun. :) I promise they will all be EASY and not take too much time. :)

First up are these adorable five finger snowmen.  I found the tutorial over on Full of Great Ideas and thought they were ADORABLE and perfect for my boys age.
 Here is what you one black and one orange sharpie.  My snowman making technique is a little different than the original tutorial. :)  
white acrylic craft paint
sponge brush
round ornaments (i used glass ones from Target)
egg carton for drying
 I painted each boys right hand...
 ...then placed the ornament in the palm of their hand...then told them to hold it like a ball for one second then open their hand back up.  They did it perfectly with no problem...even hoho. :)
 Repeat with all of your ornaments and children.  A little tip...if you are doing two children...maybe do the left hand of one and right hand of the other...makes it a little easier to keep track of tiny hands. :) 
 Once the paint is dry...go back in and add your snowman details. :)
 They all end up being matter how wonky. :)
 Event the thumb. :)
 Be sure to write the name and year on the bottom.
 Cute. Cute. Cute.
 Some of hoho's snowmen were a little wispy...but still cute.
 Add a ribbon...
Add a ribbon and hang or give. :) We are giving one to each of Moses' teachers.

Have fun! Be sure to tell me if you try these so I can come see. :) 


the perfect gift.

My love language is gifts.  Do you know what yours is? You can go HERE to take a test and find out...and if you haven't read the book, I highly recommend is a great resource for learning how to best show others that you care about them by loving on them in a way that makes THEM feel loved.  It really is one of those "change your life" kind of books.  

Anyway...since gifts is my love language...I kind of delight in finding the PERFECT gift for someone.  Something that I KNOW they will love...I am usually pretty good at it (I think)...but ironically I am pretty bad about finding that perfect gift for my own husband...I think that is because his perfect gift usually involves ginormous TV's or Yankee's season tickets... 

But back to my point...when I found out that you could personalize a Flip camera with a photo of your own...I KNEW just who would LOVE one, and would never buy one for themselves.  I can hardly stand the wait to give it to the lucky recipient.  Lucky for me we will have to give it to him this week because we won't see him again until after Christmas.

This gift is for our Uncle B...and it is perfect for him because 1) he is always taking footage of our boys...with a video camera that is old enough to kill someone with...and 2)he LOVES my boys.  I am not so secretly hoping that he will shed some man tears over it...but I won't need to see the to know that he will LOVE this gift. :) 

Have you ever been given a perfect gift?  What was it?

20 minute crafter. Christmas t-shirt inspiration.

 Moses requested a Christmas with a tree and a star to be exact...
 Using the method from this 20 minute crafter...this is what I came up with.  The only difference was that instead of using a single piece of fabric I actually sewed some strips together in a wonky style before I used the iron on backing and cut out my shape.
 Of course hoho had to have one too...and Moses says he will only wear his to school.  Oy.

The shirts are from Old Navy for about $4. :) 

Happy crafting!
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