i'll take one please.

i just ADORE this print from modmemento.  it serves as a great reminder for me during this crazy waiting period we are going through.  because really, wherever my honey is, is where i want to be. 

you can get the print in the modmemento shop HERE.   
she will customize it to any colors of your choice...i am thinking i want want similar to the example here...with just a kick more brightness. :) 

xo
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true love.

(you can pull it and print it). :)
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never a dull moment.

 hoho's wonderful post-nap bed head. 
~*~
a few funnies from our life lately:
the scene: doug is reading a valentine out loud that moses got from his aunt and uncle:

doug: "...we can't wait to see you. love, uncle brian, aunt alli, kyleigh blake and peter."

moses: arrrrgh. i hate peter.
...
funny because there is no peter. doug just added him in there.
~*~
dinner convo (as we are waiting to hear some big news)*
doug: moses, is (this big thing going to happen)*?
moses: yes, it is.
crystal: honey, he's not a prophet.
doug: ummmm, his name is moses. he has a direct line.
* i hope to share the big news soon.  i just don't feel like i am supposed to yet.  
but beleive me i *cannot* wait.  
you will be amazed if it continues to unfold as it has so far. 
~*~
me: moses hurry up and get dressed or I will pinch your buns. 
moses: those aren't buns. they are two tiny backpacks.
aaron loves these glasses...they are only twice the size of his head. :)

:)
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rookie mistake.

this is my wonderful moses.  or mimi.  or the meemer.  mojito.  mighty mo. 
he is funny.  and wonderful.  and he is growing up too fast.  
but that is neither here nor there for this post.  

above he is wearing his favorite ever pants.  his "can i wear these again tomorrow?" pants.  the pants he sheds a tear for when i tell him i HAVE to wash them.  his "astronaut" pants.  whatever that means.  he loves these pants. 

i hate these pants.  these skinny jeans.  that he almost always pairs with a black shirt.  
making him an adorable little four year old emo, i admit.  these pants that aaron can wear, easily.   

i am not a mom who cares what my kids wear.  they are boys, it's easy.  jeans, khakis and shirts.  they pick.  all i have to do is to make sure there aren't shorts (that he will insist on wearing) in his drawer in january and it's really all good.  oh, and i pick out and buy all their clothes.  so there is that.  i stock the drawers with what i like.
back in the fall moses was not quite big enough for a 5t and too big for a 4t.  i was looking for a 5 slim, saw the 5 skinny and thought "how different could they be...probably the same thing, right?". 

not right.   

and of course.  these are the pants that he loves.  the skinny jeans.  the chock full of skinny emo jeans.  the jeans that i have yet to see any male wearing and think "oh, that DOES look good".  sorry, no. 
the jeans that i have seen him LAY DOWN TO BUTTON. 

lesson learned.  skinny does not equal slim.
on the subject of pants.  he's grown a lot.  and running low.  we went into the gap to see if we could find some deals.  every few seconds we heard "hey dad/mom, look at me" and we would turn to see him holding hands with a mannequin.  he would try to make this face like "what, no big deal, just holding this persons hand".  it cracked us up.  he's funny. 

and we got some great size 6 jeans.  6 SLIM.  

:) 
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what i wish num 18.

Welcome to "What I wish I could tell you"...an 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 @ gmail.com.  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 #18: 

~*~

"What I wish I could tell you is that my divorce is killing me. I have been separated from my husband for 7 months. He is controlling and can be verbally abusive. He agreed to sign dissolution papers and now he is refusing to sign them because he feels that he should be compensated for our house, which happens to be my deceased grandmothers house.


There are some days where I feel like I can't handle life. I love my son very much and if it weren't for him I can honestly say I don't know how I would go on. I can face the fact that my marriage is over, but he won't leave me alone. He parties every weekend but makes sure I am home. He will only get our son if we are getting along. If he is mad at me he won't get him. I worry everyday that he will go to daycare and pick him up and take him to spite me. I have to worry every week if he is going to get him on his day, which is only on friday's at his request. It makes me sick to have to text him and ask him if he is going to be getting his son or not. Between the texts calling me names and the constant worry....I feel like I just can't take one more thing...one more stress...or I'm going to break down. I can get through the day to day tasks like working and grocery shopping or being around close friends. I can't handle going to any kind of get together where there are lots of people. I feel like I'm going to lose it....I feel like crying on those days. I am best when my son and I can just sit in our house and be together...left alone.


I hate it that there are times when I break down in front of my son. He is two and he will come over to me and ask me "ok mommy?" and it kills me even more. I hate it. I hate this person my husband is turning me into, but I don't know how to get a grip on myself. How to pull myself back.


It has taken me 12 years to realize how controlling that my husband can be. Although this isn't what I ultimately wanted...it is what is best. I do still second guess my decisions though. I wonder if things really weren't that bad. Maybe it was all my fault. I wish that we could be happily married but I know now that that is not going to happen between us. I hate that I have to get a lawyer to get a divorce and fight to keep myself and my son in our home because he insists on torturing me for not taking his crap. I am scared out of my  mind for change. I'm scared I will never meet someone else. I'm 30....I want to have another child and I feel like that has been ripped from me because of him. What if I never meet someone else. I will never get to have another child. What if I have to sell our house to give him his share? What will I do? I just can't take it. I do have an appointment with an attorney on Thursday, could you pray for me that it goes well?


To my husband: It is time for you to let me go. You don't want to be married to me, you have chosen what you want and prove it to me every weekend since you left. I will not sit here and be at your beck and call. You can fight me all you want...I will fight back. I hate you for what you are doing to me and our son. Grow up and be a man for once in your life."
 
~*~

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

 this is my friend lauren's caramel popcorn recipe.   i would like to tell you that i wasn't able to rewrite it from memory because i have made it more times than i can count since she posted it on her blog.  but that would be a lie.  i would also like to say that writing up this most didn't make me want to head to the kitchen to make more.  but that would be a lie too. 

do me a favor?  make this today.  you won't regret it. 

 caramel popcorn
 3 bags of microwave popcorn
2 sticks butter; 
2 cups brown sugar; 
1/2 cup light corn syrup (Karo); 
1/2 tsp baking soda; 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp vanilla

pop popcorn and put it in a large roasting pan.
preheat over to 225.
melt butter on medium heat.  add karo, salt and brown sugar.
stir constantly and bring to a boil. 
then leave it untouched for 5 minutes. 
this part freaked me out the most...i was sure it would stick to the pan/burn on the bottom/etc...it did none of those things.
remove from heat.  add baking soda and vanilla.  stir it up until it is all blended and caramelly.  

once it is all well mixed together...pour it kind of evenly over your popcorn.  don't worry if everything is not covered...it will get there. 
put it in the oven for an hour.  every fifteen minutes get it out and stir it up. 

perfect for your valentine. :)
xo
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somewhere over the rainbow.

 if this was a knitted blanket i would deem it my "nervous knitting".  but since it isn't...i can only think of "crazy woman crocheting until she learns to be a better waiter on the Lord".  and that just doesn't have the same ring to it.
 let's just say that in time where i need to keep my hands busy to keep my 
mind from racing...this is what i have been working on. 
as i finished up this blanket for my best friends baby girl...the image of a 
sweet rainbow round came to my mind immediately. 
(and give me a break for having buzz model it.  i have boys and the only 
doll in the house was asleep with aaron when i needed him.)
 and even though i only learned to crochet a couple of months ago...it turned out exactly as i imagined.
 it's made from a mix of cotton, wool and bamboo.  all soft, all cozy, all warm.  all good quality yarns, i have a serious dislike of the cheapy stuff.  
 i can just imagine a sweet little newborn wrapped up snug in it.
 even the "wrong" side is lovely.
 at 30in across, it is a perfect size for wrapping a little babe...to using it for a lap blanket in the 
car seat and stroller...to having a little one need to carry it everywhere.
 it comes from a smoke and pet free house and would make a PERFECT shower gift.  
a keepsake for sure.
i will be putting it in the shop eventually...but if you would like to claim it before it gets there, just send me an email (ricracandpompoms at gmail.com)  

the cost is $65 plus shipping. 

:)
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for you.

this should be formatted to print nicely at an 8 by 10.  
it's adorable in a frame hung in the bathroom. 
you can drag it to the desk top and add it to a word document to print it out. :)

happy tuesday! : )
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another post you never expected from me.

here's a topic that you probably thought i would never talk about.  
it has to do with football.  something that generally, i could take or leave and not really care about.  it's a story about cultural trends.  unlearning what you have been taught by the mores of your community.  it's about learning your lesson and paying your penance.  it's about a second chance and about grace extended.  it's about not wasting talent and using the gifts God gave you.  it's about the pointing of fingers and the judgment we place on others who do things we don't understand.  

randomly, i am talking about michael vick.  
(google him if you need to but withhold judgement for the moment, if you can)

like i said, i am not really a football person.  but i am a fan of the comeback story.  i am a fan of athletes, who are looked up to by many, publicly learning their lessons and showing their fans that they can change and grow as people.  

i am not a football person, but i have gotten into more than one heated debate with others about this football player.  this man, who grew up not far from where i went to high school.  who could have easily been a classmate had this or that detail been changed.  this player who played (what i am told was excellent) college football one town over from where i went to college. 

this man who participated in dog fighting and terrible acts that surrounded this "sport".  people are so easy to dismiss him,  to throw him under the bus forever.  despite the fact that he has paid his dues and from what i can tell, is working hard to make his life right.  to use his bad decisions to teach others. 

people hate him.  hate his actions.  are appalled at the fact that he would ever be allowed to play football again.  they find him despicable and not worth any sort of human consideration.   

and i get that.  i really do.  the things he did were and are wrong. 
a terrible misuse of the responsibility of another being. 

what i don't get is that some of these same people have no problem with the athletes who have raped women or beat their girlfriends...but i digress.

what i think is that people who don't get this culture just don't get how anyone would even think that dog fighting is ok.  what they don't get is that where he grew up...it's a culturally acceptable thing.  
he grew up in an area where animals are killed for food regularly...where hunting occurs for food and sport...where the local police force would show up for dog fights...i can honestly tell you, that if i, in high school, had stumbled upon a dog fight somehow...i don't know if i could have told you that it was wrong, legally...even if i would know it felt wrong as an act. 

i know that i could go back to the town where i attended high school and take a poll...and that poll would tell you that dog fighting is ok...entertaining even. 

it's just the state of things in some areas (of the south?).  

now i am not saying that a wrong should be overlooked. 
i am not saying that dog fighting should be ok. 

i am just saying that you can't understand why someone does the things they do unless you can understand the complex trail that got them to the point of committing some act. 

i think i have compassion on him because i get it.  i understand him in some way.  i can relate.  not because i have ever seen or participated in dog fighting...or any illegal act. 
but because i will be the first to admit that i am still unlearning things that i was taught.  i just came to the realization that it will probably take me the second 18 years of my life to undo the damage and "learning" i endured for the first 18.

i have a feeling it's a similar story for him.  it's a long road to change what you grew up with.  
you can read more about my learning curve HERE.   

i get that you want to be judged for who you are TODAY not who you were in the past.  or better yet not be judged at all.  each day you can rewrite your history and get a little closer to the person you want to become.  i am personally praying that he is on that road. 

 what pains me the most about his story is the self-righteousness with which people judge him.  each person that i have gone back and forth with is certain that they are so much better than him, that their sin is so less wrong.  and often times have said as much.
micheal vick's story reminds me that we are all wrong.  that we are all sinners and blackened with the same shade of gray that sin leaves on our hearts.  it helps me to be thankful that my shame isn't spread out on the nine o'clock news.  maybe if it was, we would all be a little less quick to condemn him.

was he wrong?  yes.  are we all wrong at some point? yes.  
are we the judge?  nope.  

  do i judge when i shouldn't?  yes.  sadly.  but i am on a learning curve there too. 

it just takes one step in front of the other to get on a new path.  and micheal vick reminds me to think twice about my assumptions and to be thankful that my name will most likely never be in a headline. 

and since i am also full of sin, i will pray for his best and withhold my judgement.

isn't that what we should all do for one another?
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school valentines.

 if you asked moses a year ago why he wanted to go to school...he would say "valentines".  he had no idea what valentines day was about...but he liked the idea of getting a mass amount of fun mail.  like mother like son, i guess.  when i saw this idea on [dandee] a few weeks ago and knew they would be perfect for him to take to his class.  
i got the balls from target for $2 for a pack of 16, in the valentines section. 
the treat bags were $2 (i think) from the party section of target for a pack of 50.

i made the tags in picnik and printed them out on card stock.

i can't wait for him to have his dream come true 
and experience valentines day for himself. :)

xo
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thinking.

i am endlessly fascinated with the old testament.  

i love the new testament as well but i really LOVE reading the old testament.  and the more i read it the more i can see that we are no different than the israelites straight out of egypt.

my bible in a year started over at the beginning of january and now i am in the middle of exodus.  and even though i have read it all before, more times than i can remember, i still get excited with each step, my heart still breaks a little with each disobedient move, i am still in awe of every act God performed to show his power.  

as much as some would love to say that the bible was written for "them, back then", i say nonsense.  how are we any different? 

do we not grumble, in the very face of tremendous blessings? 
do we not judge the actions of others based on what we can SEE with our eyes? 
do we not long for the comfort of "back then, when things were normal, if not uncomfortable".
do we not puff ourselves up to believe that if WE had seen the things that God had done then, that we would behave any differently today?

we are one in the same.  a group of humans bound to sin in the very face of God.  we may want to think that we are better, or more civilized or less likely to be so obnoxious.  but if anything, i believe we are worse off.  

our society has widened the gap of what is acceptable by such a drastic amount that we are calling evil good and good evil.  we close our eyes to wrongs to not offend any earthly person, when we should really be more concerned with the One most offended.  we tell ourselves that "it doesn't effect my life so why should i care"...when the truth is that each and every sin blackens the horizon just a bit.  

i kind of believe that things will continue to get worse...the good will get harder to find on this earth...the evil things will continue to dominate more and more and that those of us trying to push our way towards God will have to work all the harder for it. 

but even all of that i think God can use to his good...imagine things on earth getting so dark, that when we finally get to heaven, we are so blinded by the light that it rocks us back on our feet.  just like when you wake up in the wee hours of the morning and turn on a light first thing, your eyes are almost in pain from the brightness of it all.  the darkness will be so seared onto our brains that we will never forget it.  

maybe this present day earth is our second chance at exodus, that right now, our slavery is being bound to a society that is ever hungry for more...that our land of milk and honey will be the earth as God intended it in the first place.  maybe this time we will remember and be obedient and never forget all the good that God did.  that we will say thank you, thank you, thank you.  and never again say "but what have you done for me today?"

regardless...that is my goal for life right now.  in this moment.  to just say "thank you, thank you, thank you".  and live in the knowledge that i have already been given far far more than i deserve. 

happy monday. xo

feel free to add your two cents.  i would love to hear it. :)
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around here.

this has been our life the last two days.  
we *think* it has passed...and we will spend today building them back up with all they can eat applesauce, bananas, rice and toast.  

i am suddenly way more thankful for all the times my husband is home while the boys are sick...it's been a whole different ball game without him here.

i am thankful that God never gives us more than we can handle. 

i am thankful that this is the worst we have to deal with in terms of sickness...when my boys are sick like this it makes me remember and pray for those who deal with things far worse than a stomach flu.

i am thankful that my job is AT HOME.  and i never have to worry about calling in sick to stay home to take care of my boys when they need me. 
i am thankful for a washing machine, nick jr and pixar. 

i am thankful for all the changes occurring in my life right now.  whether i understand them or not...i know that they are God's plan for us...and THAT is something to be excited about.   and i can't wait to share them all with you here...when the time is right.

i am thankful for a slow, cozy weekend. 

xo

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20 minute crafter. freezer paper stenciling.


 have you done this yet?  you should.  and you can.  and it requires no sewing whatsoever.
 here is what you need:
freezer paper (not wax or parchment) 
i found mine at giant for about $3.75 for 75ft
surface that you want to stencil on
image that you want to use as a stencil
(for this example i googled an image of a dinosaur and printed it out on cardstock--if you have a cricut you can cut your freezer paper out right on the cricut!)
fabric paint
scissors
foam brush
 cut your stencil out...and trace it onto the non-shiny side of your freezer paper...
OR cut your image out via cricut with the shiny side on the cricut mat.
 cut out the interior image...the outside of the image will be your stencil.
 iron onto your stenciling surface with a hot DRY iron, shiny side down.  be sure to get all the edges.
 before you start painting...place a piece of cardboard behind the surface you are painting to prevent bleeding onto the back of the shirt/bag/etc.  start with a light coat...you can always add more paint but you can't take it away...and if you use TONS of paint it may bleed. 
 add as much or as little paint as you would like...i was going for a vintage-y kind of look for this shirt.
when you are done, gently peel the paper up...and let dry.  

ta-da!!!  easy, quick and simple!

imagine all the possibilities...bags, pillows, shirts, bibs, etc. :)

have fun!
xo
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right now. part two.

 here's the rest of our house right now...this is aaron's room.
it has a loosely vintage new york theme.  specifically yankees baseball.


 this is the master bedroom.
 it kind of has a soft modern-vintage feel to it.  i love the mismatched lamps (from target).
i read some decorator say that you should never have photos of your children in your bedroom.  i completely disagree.  to us, they are further motivation and reminder of why we work so hard at keeping our marriage wonderful.
 i love my cheaty quilt. and my jars of shells from each beach i've been to.
 and the main bathroom...not too exciting.  but crisp and clean just the same.
just some tiny pops of color.  i made the shower curtain and we redid the floors since living here.

you can see moses' room over HERE.

thanks for lookin'. :)
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right now.

 something just struck me.  the light was hitting the kitchen and windows just right.  filling the house with the beautiful early morning golden sun.  and i wanted to remember it all as it was.  no cleaning up first or making things just so...i wanted to remember everything the way it was right now.  
 our landing zone just inside the back door...featuring my anniversary gift and hoho in the background.
 the view from the kitchen. my new chairs make me smile.
 i love this spot.  this sunshine.  those curtains.
 the preferred method for watching TV.  in his snowpants.  aka "fireman suit".  that he has worn on top of his clothing for more days than i can count.  we haven't had snow for weeks.
 my station.  my pile of ironing in the corner.  my new sewing machine.  i never told you that i took back my other new one and upgraded again to the viking sapphire 835.  i just wasn't gelling with the other one.   
 my favorite photo collages of the boys that i do every year.  reminds me that a year goes by in a heartbeat.  way too fast.  i have a four year old and a nearly two year old.  crazy.

my minimal valentines day decor.  pompom fringe and vintage valentines. 

back to cleaning.  happy friday!
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