Seven Years

People always say that life can change in an instant.  And for me it did.  Seven years ago today I delivered, loved and lost our stillborn son Matthew.  I was completely overcome with grief, literally running through every fiber of my being.  Three days prior confirmed what my mommy heart already knew… my baby had died.  I had to wait those dreadful days to be admitted to the hospital and, after eighteen gruesome hours of labor, I gave birth to our tiny and perfect son.   It was Thanksgiving Day and we spent it in the “fetal demise” wing of Emory Hospital.  I keep a small box of his meager memories, and they are the most precious “things” that I own.  We later learned from Matthew's autopsy that I passed a blood clot through my cord.

how I told Honey I was pregnant with Matthew…

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I share this story each year mostly because I never want to forget him.  I have three sons and am blessed enough to have two of them still with me.  I carry Matthew in my heart every.single.day.  Most people that I meet have no idea that there is a third.  So I write about him and tell all of you about him.  Because he is very, very real to me.
I also share my story because, more than anything in the world, when I was going through this immense loss I desperately wanted to talk to someone that had been there.  My family and friends helped every way they knew how, and for that I will forever be grateful.  I have not forgotten a single act of kindness during that time.  But I longed to talk to someone that had walked this road, and I needed to hear that I would be whole again.  And while I cannot make sense of losing a child, I can now clearly see what a gift the passage of time truly is in healing a heart. So, if you or someone you know ever needs someone like I did during that time, please, please just ask. 

And the last reason that I talk about Matthew is to help explain why I do all of the things that I do for John and Whit, day in and day out.  I just know how much of a miracle those two children truly are.  My blood clotting disorder was not unique to Matthew.  I went through my pregnancy with John blissfully unaware and delivered a healthy eight pounder two weeks early against ALL odds.  He only had a 20% chance of making it, I later found out.  My pregnancy with Whit was high risk and riddled with grief and worry.  On top of the blood clotting, I had a host of other issues with my placenta and everything else.  Even treated, the doctors gave me an 80% chance of a successful pregnancy.  But I prayed for that child like I’ve never prayed before.  Ever.  And he came safe and sound at nine pounds a whole week early.  So, I do my best to fill each and every one of the days that I have with them with love, joy and happiness.  I know that each day is a gift and that one day they will leave my nest.  I now know that is what I was put here to do, and it took losing Matthew to realize this.

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I decorate our house for Christmas in November every year.  The first time I ever did it that early was when I was pregnant with Matthew.  The day that I came home without him we lit up all the trees for the first time and it made me smile when I thought I might never smile again.  So, every year since, we decorate in mid-November and light everything up for the first time on Matthew’s birthday.

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Today I remember all babies born and lost too soon, especially my dear friend S’s twin boys, and the daughters of friends RD, ET and AG.  Little Matthew lived a very short life, but it was one filled wholly with love, joy, wonder and adoration.  He never hurt, never wanted, never knew meanness or anger.  Just love.  And that's exactly how I remember his life cut short.  With love.



Closing Up Shop

I’m just popping in today to let y’all know that I’m closing up the etsy shop until the 29th to enjoy Thanksgiving with the family.

I suppose it's also a good time to let y'all know that we will wrap up for the year on December 11. All items must be ordered by December 11 and will ship out no later than December 19.

All Disney autograph books and gift sets must be ordered by December 11 and will ship out on December 15.  (Books ordered by Nov 28 will have an earlier ship date of Dec 3.)

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All notebooks, notepads, mousepads, pens and mugs must be ordered by December 11 and will ship out by December 19.



All necklaces, bracelets and jewelry must be ordered by December 11 and will ship out by December 15.

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My shop will stay open for digital orders through the new year.  Orders placed for all other items will begin to ship on January 5.

Thanks to ALL of you that have supported our little business!!


Santa Baby

I’ve been an awful good girl, Santa baby.  Slip a few of these under the tree…  (I know, I know, it's still a week till Thanksgiving.  But a girl can window shop, right?!?)

Taupe + White Chevron Cross Door Hanger - Bronwyn Hanahan Art

A Lisa Papa Lumbar Pillow like Bestie R's (except I want the blue bird!)

Fuzzy Lilly Appliqued Blankets

Women's Lilly Pulitzer Monogram Quarter Zip Pullover

The "Girly Girl Oyster" Painting

Just Mousing Around Vera Bag by Vera Bradley

Southern Living

So hurry down the chimney Christmas night!



Every time I wear my UGGS I laugh.  I mean, they are so darn ugly. And they are the best thing I ever got from Victoria’s Secret (THANK YOU Haven Gift Card!!!).  The baby has even taken to them.   (In the event you are new here, this lovely room is my master bathroom.)


I picked up two new Keurig varieties at Target last week.  The Vanilla Bean is a little sweet but still good and the Gingerbread is a new addiction.  YUMMMMYYYY!!


My favorite part of Friday is when John comes bounding in with his “letters from home” journal  I just love reading about his week and I adore writing back to him.


At long last, THIS finally happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We are Disney annual pass holders. 


Our early evenings are looking a lot like this lately.  It gets dark so early and the littles are like crazy mad men in the witching hour before Honey gets home from work.  Popcorn and a movie seems to do the trick.


I have looked periodically for a good cross cookie cutter and finally found the winner at Target!!  I sure wish I had this for baptisms, confirmations, Easters and Christmases past.


World Prematurity Day was earlier this week and our family couldn’t help but think about and celebrate sweet Jay Bird who entered this world at only 3.5 lbs.  There is a special place in my heart for ALL babies born too soon.


Bestie M celebrated a birthday this week and the other bestie M and I were so excited to pop in while her students were at PE for a little birthday celebration. 


HKL Designs has done it again!!!  I picked up a few items from her this week and THIS sweet surprise was in the bag.  Hello, lover…


Also on the ornament front, my sweet IG friend Betsy gave me a big old box of these beauties.  They are SO lovely on my living room tree that I kind of want to leave it up all year.


I spent my evening scratching my head over third grade math.  I sure am glad we never had math vocabulary… er make that any vocabulary… at Georgia Tech.  John says “mommy, it has to be parallelo or ogram or I need you to tell me what to do with the extra o.”  I have since found out the real answer and it is not what I thought!  (para is the root word)


I then spent a glamorous morning cleaning out my washing machine.  It wasn’t super stinky or anything, but I got this cleaner with some sort of a Tide deal at Target and wanted to use it.  One thing led to another and I was scrubbing the tray with a toothbrush.  Yeah… that actually happened.


Had lunch with baby girl.  I mean, I could eat.her.up.


I particularly love to do her up like Cindy-loo-who.  Mostly because it drives Sister batty, but also because CeeCee knows it does and laughs hysterically.


Whit carried home a thankful book today.  First page… I am thankful for my fans because I like my fans.

Second page… “I am thankful for gravity because it keeps me down.”


Last page is not pictured.  He is thankful for his house.  It originally said “because it nice” but he apparently changed his mind because he erased that part.  LOL. 

On that note, I’ve got a zillion little things to do around here.  Starting with the din din dishes.  waaaahhhhhhh.


Barefoot Pumpkin Cupcakes + Holiday Tour

So I didn’t manage to get supper on the table last night (well, other than a hodge podge of leftovers), but I DID concoct a fabulous dessert: Ina’s Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting.  I cannot find the words to convey how yummy these were!!  This would be a perfect addition to an Apple Cider Bar, or a great break from the traditional pumpkin pie on turkey day!!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Makes 10 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (2 1.4-ounce bars)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.
2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.
3. Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use a level 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
4. Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits.

Maple Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

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In other fun news, I will once again be participating in the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes starting at Evolution of Style on December 1!!  Mark your calendars because last year’s tour was full of inspiration and eye candy.  It all culminates in a link party on December 16!

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With that, I’ve got to get cracking on this day.  After I down one of those pumpkin cupcakes for breakfast, that is…


Happy Everything Mini Mickey

One of my all time favorite decorative items is my Coton Colors Mini Happy Everything Plate.  There aren’t many things in my cabinet that can take on so many different celebrations with just a quick change of a topper!  The company makes darling attachments for everything from holidays to sports to seasons to just plain every day, but they don’t have one for Disney.  Since we celebrate the Mouse so frequently, I set out to make my own.  I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out and can’t wait to use them as a count down before our next trip to Disney!!

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For less than $6, I got four 5” wood Mickey silhouettes from this shop on etsy

Mickey Mouse Ears Cutout 312 Shapes Crafts, Gift Tags Ornaments Laser Cut Birch Wood Various Sizes

While I had all the paints out for my custom painted TOMS shoes, I threw a base coat of chalkboard paint on two and then dressed up the other two with Mickey’s signature red “shorts” and a couple of buttons. 

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I started out with the intention of using them as Christmas ornaments, but think I’m going to hold off on that and might use them as place cards or plate attachments for a while longer.

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I simply glued a small strip of velcro to the back of each one to get it to attach to the base.  Since these are so lightweight, it is just enough to hold them secure.

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Disney + Happy Everything just makes sense together!
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