Friday, November 30, 2012

Goodbye November!

Goodbye November!
We're ending you with brownies, wrestling, bubble blowing and a Winter Train ride tonight!
It's been lovely.
Thirty days to remember what we are most thankful for.
But now it's time for you to go.
We're ready to start celebrating the Birth of our Savior!
Until next year!

olive pillow c/o: Olive Handmade
doll on bed c/o: Babe in a Blanket

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Grand Scheme

Everyone is sound asleep over here.
The babes tucked into their beds...
Travis asleep next to me on the couch in his usual spot...
the Christmas trees are glowing.
This week has been a hard one.
Our little house has had a rough month of sickness.
It's been one thing after another.
Stomach bugs, fevers, colds.
This week was my turn to be hit with a fever/cold that the kids had been battling.
And it's been tough.
What energy I had left disappeared.
Which means my house is a disaster.
I woke up this morning feeling so discouraged.
I lay in bed thinking about everything that needed to get done in addition to loving on the babes.
Laundry to put away, tons of dishes to do, a house to tidy.
The list that is already a feat to get done while feeling 100%
might as well have been someone asking me to climb Mount Everest.
And I lay there feeling guilty.
Guilty that I didn't feel well enough to get my chores done.
Guilty that I wasn't doing the fun holiday crafts I had planned this week with the kids.
Guilty that they have really just been entertaining themselves all week.
That darn mom guilt gets me every time.
I read a blog the other day where the writer said she "doesn't do mom-guilt".
I wish I could say the same.
I'm not sure how to "un-do" the guilt.
Ya know?
Right as I was wallowing in my mom-guilt in bed I was immediately brought back to reality by three little people all waking up at the same time.
And our day began.
And then my mom called.
And said to pray.
Pray for a friend of the family who was being induced today with her second.
The dr.'s have been saying since she was 20 weeks along that their son had severe birth defects.
They were told to prepare for the worst when he was born.
That he may not make it.
And just like that my reality of dirty dishes and laundry piles didn't even matter.
I'm sure that our friend would have given ANYTHING to have been told that their little guy looked perfectly healthy in the womb.
In the grand scheme of things...
my week of having a runny nose and fever...
of having a load of chores that seems never ending...
doesn't matter.
My babies are healthy.
My husband is healthy.
We are so blessed.
Now for the best part of the story.
We prayed.
And prayed.
All day.
That the Lord would provide a miracle with this little guy.
And guess what:)
He did.
The little boy was born PERFECTLY HEALTHY this evening.
The little boy who should be on life support.
Our God is a God of miracles.
And one happened tonight.
I am beyond grateful to serve a God who cares about us.
A God who STILL performs miracles.
I've written it before and I'll write it again and again...
if you're not sure about the God that I'm talking about I'd love to share the Good News with you.
Seriously... e-mail me...
thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com
I would love to share with you about the God that has changed my life.
Hope your Thursday has been good...
thankful for each one of you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

December Sponsors+Thankyou+Meet and Greet!

Is it just me or is it hard to believe that the last month of the year starts on Saturday?!
November was a good month.
So much to be thankful for.
One of the things I was telling Travis I was thankful for the other night is you readers.
Each and every one of you.
Thankyou for following along with our family.
For encouraging me.
Thankyou for the sweet e-mails you send that take me weeks (or months;) ) to reply to.
Thankyou for taking the time to leave comments.
I read and appreciate each one.
I am thankful for the blogs and small businesses who financially support our family each month.
It has been a blessing.
December advertising will be a little bit different.
Starting in January my blog will be changing just a bit.
New advertising opportunities and a new layout.
I don't want anyone to forget about the Holiday Gift Bazaar that is going on!
I really want to encourage you all to support handmade shops this holiday season!
For December I will be offering two seperate kinds of ads.
If you have a HANDMADE BUSINESS that you would like to promote for December
I would love to add you to the Holiday Gift Bazaar page
as well as put your ad (200x150) on the right side of the blog.
The cost will be discounted from the original Holiday Bazaar cost since there is only one month left.
E-mail me for rates!
thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com
if you have a
that you would like to advertise I have something different for you!
I will be doing a VERY limited number of 200x200 ads specifially for blogs
along the top left side of my blog.
In addition to the 200x200 ad you will have your own Feature Post showcasing your blog.
E-mail me for rates and to reserve your spot!
Now for a little bit of fun...
I thought it would be for everyone that has a blog
to leave the address in the comments along with a sentence or two about yourself!
I would love to know more about you!
And it would be a fun way for everyone to find some new blogs to read!
Hope your week has been good...
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Not so much...

On Thanksgiving my sister-in-law was talking to me about my blog.
And about how she was so proud of me because I seemed to have it all together.
And how she was bragging to a friend about how I had it all together, had time to blog, tried new recipes, did crafts with the kids...etc.
And I receive e-mails regularly from women asking how I have it all together.
What's my secret.
All of that to say.
That's the problem with the blog world.
It is so easy for someone else's life to look perfect and picturesque.
The pictures are just so.
The words make everything seem like life is wonderful.
I've posted on this before.
I think maybe a couple of times actually.
But every now and then I think it is a good reminder.
I'm like anyone else.
I love to read blogs that are uplifting and positive.
I tend to stay away from blogs that are negative and whiny.
Which is why I try not to post alot of negative on my blog.
Not because negative things never happen to me.
But because I choose to highlight the good.
But just like anybody else I'm full of flaws and imperfections.
And for kicks and grins I thought I'd share some of them with you.
Let's start with the picture below.
The kids and I spent most of the morning outside enjoying the 74 degree weather.
What you don't see in the picture below...
me without a trace of makeup on, bags under my eyes, a pile of tissues next to me
 and my hair in a messy bun (and not a cute bun mind you).
I've been fighting a nasty cold that the kids have had the past few weeks.
And moments after I snapped this picture our dog ran into me
and I spilled me hot chocolate everywhere.
And it may have made me a tad fussy.

 I am 100% completely unmotivated to get my house put together.
I was on a "nesting" kick.
And then it completely fizzled out when the two weeks of sickness hit our house.
Remember how I was doing a load of laundry a day and keeping up?
Yeah...that hasn't happened in a week.
So today I spent the morning tackling half of the laundry.
My dining room is half painted.
I started last week painting the red walls white.
And then fizzled out.
We put up our Christmas trees this weekend.
And the rest of my decorations are just sitting in their boxes in the middle of my bedroom.
Oh and I might add that the rest of my dirty laundry (waiting for it's turn tomorrow) is sitting on the floor next to those boxes.
It's a disaster I tell ya.
That's just a little sampling of life lately over here.
Far from perfect.
Quite normal in fact.
So should you ever think my life is perfect...please e-mail me.
And I'll set you straight as quickly as possible :)
Hope your Monday was good!
Winner of the Red Barn Candle Company Giveaway is...
Laura from Bits of Splendor!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tree Day

The first Saturday after Thanksgiving is Tree Day at our house.
We designate the whole day to cutting down a tree and decorating it as a family.
This year we tried a new tree farm and it most definitely did not disappoint!
They had a covered wagon ride, petting zoo, tree maze and a great playground.
This was the first year that the kids were really into picking out the perfect tree.
And it was also the first year where we didn't have to carry a baby through the fields.
It was kind of a weird feeling having all three walk along by themselves.
We picked out a sweet little five foot tree this year.
The perfect height for the kids to decorate by themselves!
On the way home we stopped and filled our bellies up at a new little burrito shop in town.
After burritos we headed home and tucked everyone four and under in for naps.
Part of our tradition is that while the kids are napping we
 put the lights on the tree so that when they wake up it's ready to be decorated!
This was also the first year where I let the kids decorate the tree entirely by themselves.
I just sat on the couch and handed them ornaments.
It was kind of a bittersweet moment...realizing they were big enough...
but also realizing that they aren't little toddlers anymore.
About halfway through the decorating Colt lost interest.
Emma on the other hand was SO into decorating the tree.
I loved watching her find just the right spot for each ornament. :)
It's been a great day.
A memory making kind of day filled with lots of laughs, fresh air and quality time.
All three babes are sound asleep in their beds for the evening.
Travis has fallen asleep on the couch next to me.
And my brain is slowly shutting down too.
Off to bed.
Here's to the beginning of Christmas season...
I think it's going to be a good one:)


Friday, November 23, 2012

Feature Post- Babe in a Blanket

Babe in a Blanket has the most BEAUTIFUL gifts for any little in your life!
Misty made a gorgeous doll for my Emma... I can not wait to give it to her on Christmas morning!
The work and detailing in the doll is incredible and one of a kind.
I would highly recommend!
Click here to see more of Misty's work!

Feature Post- Sherbert Lane

Sherbert Lane is my new go-to shop for headbands for my girls!
Sheree has an awesome selection and is so wonderful to work with!
Click here to get a great discount as well as to see more of her products.

Feature Post- Letters of Wood

I am in love with this shop!
Letters of Wood is the perfect place to find a gift for the hard
to shop for person on your Christmas list!
Head over here to find out more about what they have to offer!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve

Pies have been made...
outfits are laid out...
breakfast table is set...
babies are bathed and in bed...
The day before big holidays is equally as exciting to me as the holiday itself.
I love the preparation and anticipation of the next day!
Emma helped me make the pies this year.
We ended up with pumpkin and my all time favorite... coconut cream.
And because I know some of you will ask...
the little shape cutters for the pie crust are from Pottery Barn four years ago.
Aren't they fun!?
Enjoy your Thanksgiving day tomorrow!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fresh Cranberry Salad Recipe

This recipe is one of my Thanksgiving favorites!
My mom has made it for as long as I can remember.
My favorite part is the crunch of the walnuts and celery.
So good!

2 Cups Water
3/4 Cup Sugar
3 Cups Fresh Cranberries (12 ounces)
1 Package (6 ounces) orange-flavored gelatin
1 can (8 1/2 ounces) crushed pineapple (I like to add a bit more)
1/2 Cup Chopped Celery
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
Heat water and sugar to boiling in a saucepan; boil for 1 minute.
Add cranberries.
Heat to boiling; boil for 5 minutes.
Stir in gelatin until dissolved.
Stir in pineapple (with syrup), walnuts and celery.
Pour into a serving dish.
I just used a 9x9 glass dish.
Refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Feature Post- Eclectic Joy

If you have any women or teenage girls on your Christmas shopping list then
the Eclectic Joy shop is your ticket!
I adore Cory's selection of scarves!
Head over here to see more of what Eclectic Joy has to offer as well as get a discount code!


Listening to: All you "no Christmas before Thanksgiving" people quickly avert your eyes.  I've been listening to Pandora's Christmas station non-stop.  I adore Christmas time. And one tiny month isn't long enough to celebrate and soak it all in if you ask me :)
Planning: What pies to make for Thanksgiving. The classics of course. Pumpking and Pecan.
But I'm wanting a third.  It's a toss up between apple/cranberry OR coconut cream.
I love pie. Like ALOT.
At our wedding we chose pumpkin pie over a wedding cake.
That's how much I love pie :)

Wishing: For a three hour uninteruppted nap!
Thinking about: Curtains for my dining room.  We have been without a dining room table for over a month.  I sold our old one.  And found a new one. But in between football season and busy weekends we never had a free moment to pick it up. Until TONIGHT! 
Travis was able to pick it up and bring it home.
But back to the curtain situation.
The room was painted a dark red and is now in the process of being painted white.
The table is black.
The chairs are going to be painted white.
So I'm working with a pretty blank canvas as far as the curtains go.
I am wanting something inexpensive yet fun.
I'll report back once I figure it out.
Craving: A Whataburger cheeseburger with onions only, fries and a Cherry Coke.
It's a good thing there isn't one in our town.
Or else I'd be a million pounds.
Looking forward to: Thanksgiving day.  There's nothing sweeter than spending a whole day reflecting on all we have to give thanks for.  So much.
Since becoming a mom Thanksgiving always makes me feel weepy.
That little factoid could also have to do with the fact
that I'm usually always pregnant and hormonal on Thanksgiving ;)
But regardless. 
I am so thankful for my sweet babies.
So thankful that the Lord chose me to be their mom!

Smelling: a mix of Spiced Pumpking candle and Evergreen something or other Scentsy.
It basically smells like a mix of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Just depends which way you turn your head to smell;) 
Working on: Getting our house in order for the holidays.  My goal was to have the house completed and put in order by the time Thanksgiving was here. 
I'm super close!
Reading: Re-reading "The Mission of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson.  Such a good one.  Always encouraging yet thought provoking.  I highly recommend it!

Feeling: Little Eloise kick around in my belly!  I feel like she's had a big growth spurt the way she's been moving lately.  I can tell that it's getting tighter in there :)
I still can't believe we'll have another little person added to our group in just a few short months!
Making me happy: Travis is home! He has been at the Texas coast fishing all weekend with a group of his friends.  I'm so glad he was able to have some time away doing what he loved but I missed him!  I always sleep terrible when he's gone. 
So yes... I'm happy that he's back home where he belongs.
And happy that I'll get a good night's sleep :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Feature Post- Bella Carta Boutique

Christmas is just around the corner!
Which means it's time to start thinking about Christmas cards.
Bella Carta Boutique has a gorgeous selection...
find out more about what they have to offer as well as get a great discount code here!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Quiet Mornings

It's been quiet and cozy here today.
My poor boys both woke up with fevers.
Both sickie yet in good spirits.
You know those mornings where you know it's cold outside
but it's just sunny and the perfect amount of warm in your home?
It's been one of those mornings.
We started our day off right.
Lucky Charms for them and pb&j english muffins for me.
It was a morning where I just let the housework sit.
Left the dishes in the sink and the beds unmade.
I lit a new candle, popped in a movie and we all curled up on the couch.
I'm thankful for today.
Thankful for this Thanksgiving season.
Thankful for quiet mornings to just soak in my babies being little.
Thankful for a warm home on a chilly morning.
Thankful for a fridge and pantry stocked with food.
Thankful for a bouncy baby in my belly.
Thankful for a husband who I adore.
There's alot that's been on my heart to share with you all.
But the babies are all napping now.
And I'm exhausted and think I'm going to curl up for a nap as well :)
The weekend is going to be a good one.
A little time with my sister, some Christmas shopping
and some visiting time with one of my dearest friends!
Can. Not. Wait!
Hope your week has been good...
what are you thankful for today?