A few things on Tuesday 10.29.13

1. October has been a whirlwind. This past Friday was my favorite part. The day was jam packed with a trip to the pumpkin patch, a lunch date with with boys, the Fall Festival, and the cutest little monsters (Mike & Sully) you've ever seen.

2. Speaking of Mike & Sully, we have now watched Monsters University 328 times.

3. The holiday card design shop will be open on Friday. This is the project Katy & I have been working on. I think this one is my favorite, but to be honest it's so hard to choose! It's been so much fun to work with Katy and create these card designs. I hope you'll find a design perfect for your holiday cards this year.

4. The boys are getting BIG! They kind of require incentive for photos (ahem, lollipops), and they are constantly cracking me up. This is such a fun stage (most of the time), and I'm humored by Charlie's imagination and Jack's silliness. Also they are BOTH into drawing now, and Charlie told me yesterday he was an artist too. <3

5. There were a few new prints added to the shop this month along with note cards.

sister print here & here
this print, new cards here & here

6. Do you have your eye on a Pen & Paint iPhone case? You can save 30% on these through 11/3! Use the code FFSALE. 

7. Some good words from Helen Keller today - "Keep your face in the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow."

a time to heal

I shared this last Tuesday (on IG, twitter, and Facebook).
I was reluctant to share there or even here that we had lost Baby #3. It seemed so wrong to have to share our loss with the world. But at the same time, I knew I couldn't not tell people it happened. I also knew the community of people I have connected with through social media care, and by sharing I knew they would pray for us and encourage us. However, I had no idea how much.

I have never felt so loved in my life.

Every single comment, private message, email, text message, handwritten note, phone call, hug, tweet, and prayer has been felt. I honestly believe the prayers and thoughts of others have helped carry us through this sad time. I have told others before during their time of loss, "I pray you will be comforted with peace that passes all understanding." I never knew what that felt like though until now.

Each day is different. Some days are hard. Some days are normal.
I am still healing physically and I know the process to heal emotionally will be ongoing.

I have to say again, thank you. Thank you to everyone who took the chance to reach out, to send words of comfort. I even had a friend who said, "I don't know what to say, but just know I am thinking of you and praying for you." I reassured her, that's all she needed to say. This is wonderful post about what to say to a friend who has experienced infant loss/miscarriage. And this is a beautiful reminder for those of us who have experienced loss.

a few things on Friday 2.8.13

1. We have an addition joining our family! Baby #3 should be arriving in the late summer.

2. Charlie has declared the baby's name is going to be "Bubbles". When asked why he said it's because he loves blowing bubbles. Okay then.

3. I have already been asked if we will find out Baby #3's gender. We will. This mama needs to know if we will need to buy lots of pink or if we can use all boys' baby clothes.

4. Have you heard of this? Mr. Pen & Paint subscribes, and he shares happy news with me every week. It's a good way to stay encouraged about what's going on in the world.

5. Also, Mr. Pen & Paint (who is a middle school teacher) has started a People are Awesome Project. Every day he shares videos or stories with his students to remind them there are people in the world doing awesome things. He shared this video with them, and I thought it was cute.

6. I usually only wear my engagement/wedding rings and a ring that was my mama's, but every time I see these I get googly eyes.

7. Encourage someone today. Actually every day. When you encourage someone you never know how far it goes. I'll keep reminding you because it reminds me.

Pen & Paint Print

Happy Friday y'all!

right now

Team Hop custom family portrait by Hunter Haines
This is us right now.
Daddy with his nose in a book and always up for board games. 
Mama with pens in one hand and paint brushes in another.
Two little boys who love to dress up as super heroes (thank you superstore for $10 pajamas with a cape).
It's never quiet at our house unless the boys are asleep or unless they are getting into something they are not supposed to. Someone is always whining, crying, laughing, jumping, running, roaring, or growling. It's fun, crazy, and tiring.

I absolutely love how Hunter captured us. We don't look picture perfect as we would in a photographed portrait. We are our quirky selves (and to be honest, my legs have never been that skinny and that makes me love this even more).

We framed and hung this next to our other custom family portraits by my friend Shannon. We plan to have more drawn over the years by other artists. I can't wait to look at the wall of illustrations over the years. I think it will be something really special for our home to have a gallery of hand drawn portraits. 

I also think everyone should have one made. Seriously.

snapshots of our week 10/6 - 10/12

Sunflowers were admired.

Silly pictures were taken. 
Jack was totally unimpressed, 
and Charlie had to take a picture in ever single cut-out.
Pumpkins were picked.

Baby pumpkins were painted.

Scarves were worn... with tank tops.

Scarecrows were made.

Last Saturday morning we decided to take the boys to pick out pumpkins.
It was perfect - a bright, sunshiny day, still cool outside, and best of all we beat the crowds of other families (the pumpkin patch was offering free hay-rides that afternoon). If you are a parent of small children, you know what I'm saying. We let the boys choose their baby pumpkins to paint. I chose a white pumpkin just to look pretty, and Robbie chose the big pumpkin for us to carve.

This week we enjoyed Mr.Wonderful being home for extra days with Fall break. We painted pumpkins and made scarecrows to add to our little bit of Fall decor. I couldn't hold off making soup any longer despite our warm afternoons, and we enjoyed taco soup last night for the first time since winter. The only thing I think I'm missing is a candied apple from the fair and much cooler weather.

Hope you are enjoying Fall as much as we are.

Oh, I almost forgot, we have a winner!
Abby I will contact you soon :)


Family is not an important thing;
it's everything.
-Michael J. Fox

I am already sketching this quote.
And I am just busy being a mama.
The other day I had to be reminded being mama is my job first and for most. It's before anything else. I am thankful for a husband who can keep me in check. I am thankful for a family that keeps me busy. There is never a time when I don't have things to clean, cook, fix, the list goes on. And though it is exhausting and demanding I am so thankful.

our week(s) in Instagram 5/5 - 5/17

whew. two weeks in pictures = random and imagine me spilling this all out like the micro-machine guy - don't act like you don't remember that commercial ;)
no clothes are necessary for lunch at out house, and these boys will eat an entire bag of sun chips if I let them . if you leave a basket of clean laundry in sight these boys can unfold and scatter it in 5.2 seconds . the bugs are in full effect in South Georgia so we use No Natz to try to keep them away (it works for me but those gnats won't leave the boys alone) . Etsy tweeted me!!! (that means they tweeted one of my listings to all their twitter followers and posted a link of the listing on their Facebook page - it was a big deal for this girl) . rice krispie treats are something I will never make again - I made a huge mess and had an anxiety attack in the process and of course the boys didn't even like them . the custom order turned into a print . mud baths = mid-day bubble baths . a new version of the camera print . breakfast for dessert . baby pears . packing up lots of orders and very, very thankful . cardboard rocket ships . Jack the artist and tea for me . our garden is growing - flowers on our potato, garlic and squash plants . expanding a sketch I did a few months ago (I'll be listing this one soon in several colors) . silly time with my boys . sombreros in the morning . be still and know print . allergy relief = meds, hot tea, and drawing . 869 uses for old things (on of my mother's day gifts and it was perfect for me) . my gift to my mama . Charlie the comedian . our first "fruits" from the garden

we only have one more week before Mr.Wonderful is off!
are you ready for summer?

updates, pen & paper

I have been asked how life is different with me taking a break.
If I must be honest, and I must.
I don't think anything is different.
I still haven't finished all the things I have to do.
Life is still chaotic. I do have two small children. Boys, I remind you.
I do exercise daily. Okay, almost daily.
I do make up my bed. At least by 3:30 PM.
Oh, and I go to bed before 10 PM.
Those changes have occurred. So exciting.
But for real, taking a break has been a good thing.
I have learned a lot. I have been encouraged a lot.

In case you have been reading for a while I did want to share some stuff:
Charlie turned 3 in January. 
We had a fabulous Mickey Mouse party.


Apparently when you turn 3 you get an attitude and you become obsessed with Legos.
He is very opinionated. Like his mother, whoever she is.
He also has started Speech Therapy at a local school 2x a week.
I never shared before but he started ST at home back in August.
For a parent whose child has a speech problem it is an amazing thing to hear them say things you never imagined. 

Some of the things he says the most:
"Mama you mad?"
and in relation to his new attitude-"I told you I wanted..."
They don't sound exactly like that, but it is clear what he is saying.

Jack has become a very feisty 18 month old.

Don't be fooled by the picture of what appears to be a sweet little girl playing dress up.
He had a check-up with the cardiologist last week.
His ASD & pulmonary stenosis are the same. Which is a good thing because it hasn't gotten any worse. However, there was still mention of surgery to patch the hole in his atrium in a year and a possible stent for his pulmonary valve.
We will go back in May 2013.

And in case you were worried I stopped creating,
I have not.
I found a note pad and some pens stashed in my closet
along with a really nice set of watercolors.
Sometimes it pays to have a husband who likes to explore creative avenues.

I have been sketching.
It's fun, and unlike paint I can put it down or pick it up when I like.

I asked on InstaGram and Facebook if
people had a quote/verse/phrase they would like to see in a sketch.
I want to know if you have one too.
It can be silly, sweet or serious.
If I choose to sketch yours I will share it and let you know.

That's all for now.
Happy February, almost March!

InstaFriday 12/16/11 - 1/5/12

Friends in real life.
We get together once a month to craft and be silly.
It is such a wonderful time. 
I think everyone should get together with their girlfriends to do something like this.

Two weeks of Daddy home! It was awesome.

One of the crafts my friends and I chose to do was monogramed glasses.
Super fast craft. Like under 10 minutes. 

Day date in Tallahassee ♥.
I love this man.

How we wrapped presents.
I never have gift tags so using letters worked out great.

A serious discussion about Santa coming down the chimney.

My very beautiful coffee cup from Alison and a pretty little mug rug she made.

We are all saddled up for adventure.
Charlie got real cowboy boots for Christmas from my mom.
{I laugh every time I see this picture.}

The biggest painting I ever did.
It's 30x40 inches and almost as big as my kitchen table!
I made it for Alison and demanded she pick it up in person.

AND she did :)
You should know she lives 7 1/2 hours away.
And she is like a foot taller than me.
And I am standing on a step stool here.
And I saw her three times in 6 months.

I know, he's sooooo cute.

Packing up all the red and green.
Isn't this wreath my sister made for me awesome?!
I didn't want to put it away.

That's okay Charlie, all the Play-Do colors are meant to be mixed together.
After finding Play-Do in my shoe, hidden in corners of my kitchen, and in the toy box I decided we will save this toy for later.

Yes, this is the same yarn I used when I first learned to crochet.
I undid the "project" for the last time and am almost finished with it.

Life with boys.

Happy Friday!


This is the second (or maybe third) time in 
Team Hop history a Christmas card hasn't gone out.
Well, I waited too late to get free ones from a Shutterfly offer like last year.
Then I just waited too late to even get some from a one-hour photo center.
And honestly, the thought of spending extra money on postage and cards wasn't at the top of my list.
What was at the top of my list?
Spending time alone with my husband. So instead of sending you Christmas cards we went on a day date and everything in the world was right.
But I do have a sweet Happy New Year card for you.
[see above]
I am excited about 2012.
I will turn 30 this year. What what!
I will learn new things this year.
I will be happy this year. Not that I am not happy now, 
but I want to be even happier.
That is our theme (yes, we pick themes for each year).
2012 is the year of happiness, so watch out and 
put a smile on your face.
Happy New Year friends, Happy. New. Year!

merry and bright

Me: Say, "Merry Christmas!"
Jack: Cheeeeee
Charlie: CANDY
Well, I was promising they could have a Hershey Kiss if we took a picture.

We are wearing Christmas pajamas all day, eating candy canes, finishing up Christmas gifts, and enjoying time with Mr.Wonderful home.

I hope your week has been merry and bright so far.

InstaFriday 11/4 - 11/10

-last Friday = one of those days
-time change = yuck
-steppin' up
-room temperature water 
(which I like and I actually have a few IG friends who do too)
-this little piggy had waffles
-leftovers from a night of crochet, paint and Netflix
-120 brownies, half with Oreos inside 
(I couldn't make it to 160, I was too tired)
-boys and leaves

What a week!
Happy Veteran's Day.
Hope you had a wonderful week and have a nice weekend.

Happy Halloween

Charlie really likes Bugs Bunny 
so Jack agreed he should go as Elmer Fudd.
They have the act down to an art. 
Charlie will prop up against a wall, cross his legs and pretend to eat his carrot. Jack chases him around and innocently tries to hit him, you know in a brotherly-love-15-month-old kind of way.

Happy Halloween from Bugs and Elmer.

he and I

We were alone ((translates without children)) for 55 hours.
Yes I counted. It was so fun to take a little trip up to the place we will from now on call "Nooga" (Chattanooga, TN).
We rode in the car without anyone crying... okay I cried a little when we first left because I am not away from my children very often, and it was a step for me to go so far away for two nights in a row. 
My totally awesome parents held down the fort (I am 1001x grateful).
We wanted it. We needed it, but still it was a little emotional for me.
No shame.
We slept in until 8:30 AM. We ate dinner on a boat.
We got lost a time or two.
We enjoyed amazing wedding festivities (including dancing hilariously to Footloose and a few other songs).

My dress was $12.97 and my shoes were $16.98.
This is how we do it.
Just the two of us.

What did you do this weekend?

away we went

Sometimes you decide you need to visit 
So, what do you do?

you get driving directions to their house 

you pack up your new crochet project and 
your family and you drive a very long way.

(these two pictures were taken within 
10 minutes of one another,
as in the nap lasted 10 minutes)

But it's all worth it because you get to have fun like this and

you get to meet sweet people like this and
(pictured left to right)
Alison of aPearantly sew
yours truly
Christa of Sugarfoot Speaks and her sweet little Miss E

you get to stay in a nice place like this and

you get to to take cute pictures of your kids like this.

We went to North Carolina to stay with Alison and her family.
It was a fun adventure with very little sleep as are all of our family trips.
We have pinkie-promised that our next meet up will be without children so we can stay up late and sleep in late and be grown ups.

here I am.

Last Friday someone started running a fever.
I thought it was teething. When Sunday came and the fever was still there we found out I was wrong.

FOUR times a day for TEN days.
Seriously. I don't remember the date and you want me to do this.
So, if you are wondering where I have been, I have been force feeding giving doses of medicine.
We are on day... Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, okay, day 5.

And we are just fine despite that face.
I honestly just lost track of the days.

We have been sharing lots of snuggles:

I have been painting lots of places and some new things:
[Last week.]

[This week.]

We have been playing with our food: 

Spending some time with Mr.Wonderful
playing games

 and taking a date-trip to Fresh Market.

And I have enjoyed using my new pretty coaster from Mosaic Madness
while reading a book (something I haven't done in over a year!).


I guess we all need an [impromptu] break sometimes :)
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a
nice holiday on Monday.
Tuesday I have someone fun for you to meet - she was the inspiration behind some of our food play.

Happy Friday!

smiles {you know what I like}

Things I like:
1. crusty, wobbly smiles
2. blurry smiles because someone never sits still for me to take a picture
3. silly smiles
4. I am not going to look at the camera and smile

Things I am not sure I like:
1. 2. 3. 4. the buzz cuts... it did make it easier on me not having to cut hair all summer, but I miss their "pretty" hair
2. Charlie looks so much older

Is this real life?

Guess who I met (in real life a.k.a. not over email/blog/twitter/text/phone call)?

We didn't go to a conference. We didn't meet for dinner or coffee.
We took a family vacation.

Alison is very tall, and I am showing you with a ridiculously ugly face how much taller she is than me.
She took photos of our family since I didn't even pull my camera out the entire time (I was enjoying our visit too much).
She made me this amazing chevron print bag. It is perfect, just like her and the 25th apple pie that was consumed this weekend.

We drank lots of coffee because my our children don't sleep and because Alison really likes coffee.
Our boys played together: Charlie and Grayson, Jackson and Jack.
For some reason her husband didn't end up in any pictures - we still love you Scott.

Okay, this picture is pretty much just for vanity purposes. I was waiting for Alison to arrive, and I had on make-up.


And this one was because I was very much in love with the collection of coffee cups in our cabin.
I wanted to take this one home, but I didn't. I promise.

I am so glad we are friends in real life now.

dip in the pool

Summers are hot here.
The kind of hot where you can go outside from 7:30 - 9:00 AM, but after that you will melt.
To stay cool we go for a "swim".
Charlie spends the 30 minutes going in and out and in and out and in and out getting grass in the pool and trying to pour water on Jack or me.
Jack spends the 30 minutes trying to get the grass.
I spend the 30 minutes trying to keep grass out of the pool.

You know, it's just a relaxing dip in the pool.