Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Little Dust on the Boots

Since we have been in this little town, we have loyally supported the South Carolina High School Rodeo.  We look forward to it every August.  We pull out the boots and jeans, get some hot boiled peanuts, and cheer on the riders.  I can't think of a better way to spend a Friday evening with my boys, and the riders always put on a great show.
      
I actually met my husband on a horse farm years ago.  Matter of fact, we ran into the owner last night during the festivities.  It was sweet to see him and one of his children.  It was a reminder of how quickly the years tick by.  Kevin and I have always wanted our own little piece of land with a couple of stables.  I would love to cheer my guys on some day in the rodeo.



We were hoping to enjoy the night despite Irene, the hurricane, threatening to ruin our fun.  We got lucky and she only blew a cool breeze to make the event even better.   
There is just something about the smell of hay hitting your nose and all the fellas in their white hats.  Is there anything much more American?


My little cowboys enjoyed every minute.


 
   

The sights and sounds of a High School Rodeo



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Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Fashion Fun

Tonight, we are making our annual visit to the local Antioch Rodeo.  Jack Rabbit is so excited.  He plans to wear his leather chaps and vest that his Mamma (my mom-pronounced like nana but with Ms instead) made.  She actually made them for my little brother when he was a boy about the size of mine, now.  It is sweet to see Jack in them. How clearly I remember my brother sporting his cowboy duds ALL the time.  More than once I got a kick in the shins from the boots.  

Anyway, I thought my fashion post today should reflect our Rodeo trip tonight!  From Antrhopologie, I think it would be fun to wear these duds tonight!



I think a blogger momma could pull this off!  It looks perfect for the goat catching contest!

~ B Charmer



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Little One



Little One you play so hard
  run so fast, go so far
The world has so much for you to see
So many things for you to be

Sometimes you're a soldier brave and true
Sometimes a cowboy through and through
Sometimes you fly and wear a cape
or wear your boots for hunting apes

No matter what each day seems to bring
Your little smile makes my heart sing
The tears, the smiles, the muddy shoes
All make up the sweetest you

And when you close your eyes to sleep
In my heart I wish to keep
the memories of your innocent play
the joy of You every day

~ B Charmer




A Coffee Break

     Well, it is my midweek day off and Jack is at school.  The baby is napping and I barely know how to function in all this quiet!  I should be cleaning, doing laundry, or baking cookies for an after school snack.  Instead, I am enjoying a cup of coffee and thinking about fall.  I hope to decorate outdoors a bit this year.  I love perusing all of the great ideas on the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine website.  I really do enjoy getting this magazine.  It is my only magazine subscription, and I look forward to finding it in my mailbox every month. 

I really like this idea for the front entry.  You can find lots of inspiration for being festive, and you don't have to be a subscriber to enjoy the website.


  Well, I am off to the kitchen!  I promised a little redheaded boy today that we would have jello for our dinner dessert!  Pretty easy to please, but I better get it in the fridge.

~ B Charmer


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boys


I snapped these pictures during bath time.  When I use the Bumbo seat, these two can get their evening bath together.  They absolutely love it.  One word of caution...Bumbo's float!  If you get too much water in the tub, baby goes bobbing by in his rubber seat.  It was kind of hysterical, and baby seemed to love the ride.



~ B Charmer


Monday, August 22, 2011

At Long Last

I remember this day... being reunited with my fella in a Spanish airport after months of being apart.  We were just a little happy to see each other.
I think the looks say it all.  We were pretty thrilled to finally be together.

Sometimes, I have this same look on my face when he finally makes it in from work, especially on days when baby is teething.
Good night friends.
~B Charmer


McBlogger and My McMusic Miracle Story

It is a first.  The heat has driven us out...well, sort of. 
It is a lazy Sunday afternoon, and the baby is napping, cars are going in circles on TV, and the Jack Rabbit is bouncing off the walls.  He needs a place to run around, scream, and burn some little boy energy!  However, it is too hot to really enjoy the outdoors at home.  His little face turns the color of beets in about 2 minutes of outdoor play here in the sunny south.  What is a mom to do?  McBlog, of course!
We are in the cool playland at our local McD's.  He has befriended some other little fellas, and they seem to be chasing down dragons or something.  I get to catch up on blogs and writing. Our faces are still their normal color, so I think it is a win-win!
This past week was whirl-wind week for us.  I am sure most families had a busy week returning to the groove of school schedules.  For me, it marked the end of maternity leave, the end of summer, and the first of leaving the baby in someone elses' care.  Oh, and putting a classroom back together.  Learning this new schedule is going to take some work.  I have decided that moms really are some type of superhero.   It takes so many faculties of my brain just to get everybody where they belong everyday and back home!  I make 3 stops every school morning before 8.  Hopefully, I remember lunches, bottles, diapers, backpacks, computer....and the list goes on.  I am really looking at some organizing ideas to simplify this routine.  It is sort of like packing for a trip every morning, or the night before.  Overall, it is going really well.  I feel very blessed to have my oldest in a great preschool, the baby with a trusted friend, and me working a very doable schedule.  I really could not ask for more.
When I found out about my new schedule, I posted this.  I never shared how it all came to be, so I thought I'd share the whole story.
When we had our first baby, I was working in a law firm.  I had taught for a few years prior, but we moved, and I ended up in the office world.  I knew when I had Jack, that I really wanted to stay home with him.  We had just bought the house we are currently in, and we didn't realize the amount of work it was going to require to make it livable.  So, I put in my notice and worked most of pregnancy with the high hopes of enjoying the life of a stay-at-home mom. 
The rest of the story involves a lot of home project nightmares, job changes for my husband, and some pretty bleak times.  It was getting difficult to make everything work.  We had much more to do in our home than we thought, or the inspection ever led us to believe.  These things were major money drains.  They were all things that HAD to be done.  After a whole year of staying with the baby, I knew I had to go back to work.  We had to change something.  We had to do some things to the house if we kept it, or if we sold it.  I needed a job. 
I applied for so many things.  I heard both the overqualified and underqualified speech so many times, and I was getting discouraged.  I needed something, anything to help us out.  When the summer came around, and I still had not found work, I started going to EVERY private school in the area to see if they had any openings.  I will never forget how it all played out. 
I finally got an interview.  I was trying to forget the feelings that I was having about leaving my baby and just focus on the moment at hand.  I prayed so hard.  I don't know that I have ever prayed so earnestly in all my life.  When I went to the interview, it was all I could do to speak.  It wasn't nerves over the job, rather it was nerves on this job not working out, as well.  I kept reminding God how He promised in His word that He would provide.  I told Him that I would trust and know that if cared for the sparrows, then surely He cared for my family. 
The interview went fine.  I waited on the call.  When it came, the principle said he really didn't have any openings that matched my former teaching experience, but if something came along, he would let me know.  My heart started to sink.  I prayed again, right there in my living room beside my piano where I have spent so many tender moments with God.  I poured my heart out to my maker to help me understand His plan.  Moments later, the principle called back.  He said that fourth grade was available, and if I were willing to try something new, he would be happy to have me.  I KNEW without any doubt that it was an answer to prayer. 
I had less than two weeks to find care for the baby.  What a crazy experience that was, but I just kept telling myself that God had figured things out so far, and He would just keep doing it.  Then, the next worry was the pay issue.  I was told that paychecks were only given monthly, and I would have to work two months before I would be on payroll.  What were we going to do?  How was it all going to work?  I started to fear, but I just kept rereading God's promises.  I was certain that my job was a gift from God, and that He would find a way to provide.  Then, the miracle happened.  I checked the mail, and there was a large check from the law offices  that we used when we closed on our home over two years prior.  Somehow, there was a mistake, and they owed us money!  This is where the tears came pouring in all over again.  My God provided, and He did it twice.  On the first week of school, my boss said that he had worked some things out, and I would be on payroll immediately, and that I would get my first check in two weeks.  I cannot tell you how affirmed I was in God's provision of this job.  He knew my heart, and how I struggled.  I kept thinking that if I had enough faith things would work out for me to stay home.  He kept whispering to my heart that if I had enough faith, I would trust His plan for our family. 
I am in the beginning of my fourth year at this school.  At the end of my first year, I was asked if I had any musical abilities that I could draw upon to take the music position.  Wow.  God sure is good.  My boss had no idea that I got my start in music and that music was my life.  He did not know the children's choirs I had worked with or my college experience.  Someone just mentioned my name to him, and he asked.  I sent him an email and told him that I felt very deeply that I would be best used in the music classroom. And, the rest is history....sort of!
When Lincoln came into the picture, I didn't know how everything would work out.  Why I even began to worry is ridiculous given God's track record with our family's story.  I got brave, asked to revise my schedule, and the result is so lovely.  I kept a job I loved, managed to afford care for the boys two days a week, and get to be with them the rest of the week.  See, I think God knew we would get to this point, if I would just keep trusting.
How clearly I remember getting my job.  How clearly I remember reminding myself that it was a gift from God during those times when I was unsure.  How sweetly I have watched as God has taken this journey and has brought us all this way in just four years.  I KNOW I am right where I am supposed to be for this moment.  I KNOW that I can trust God with my future, my family, and my faith.  And when I start to doubt, one look at the piano in our home reminds me every time!
Let's make music...

~ B Charmer


Monday, August 15, 2011

Classics

Audrey is smiling because she knew even then that her classic style would outlive her.  When I think of classics, she is at the top of my list.  She has the effortless, beautiful look.  She was always very tailored, yet not overdone.  I see her and think of things like freshly pressed cotton and glossy heels. 




Classic pieces in a great wardrobe are must haves. I am working on rebuilding my wardrobe.  Having babies does a number on a gal and her closet!  I am determined to make my closet reflect a bit more of my personality.  It is time to say goodbye to the elastic-waist-band-comfy pants of maternity and maternity leave.  This working gal needs to revamp her look!  These are some things I think are classics that I am going to re-add to my wardrobe.

A Great Pencil Skirt

This is great to have in black, but having any neutral colors work well.










A Trendy Trench

Trenches come in all shapes, colors, and patterns.  The most important part of the trench is the fit.  Finding the perfect length for your body shape will pay big dividends.  Long trenches generally do little for a great overall look.  Usually, a mid-thigh length trench will look the best. 



A Great Pair of Trousers

The perfect pant for work is definitely the trouser.  Again, the look depends on the shape of your body.  I am only 5'3'', so I want to elongate as much as I can.  I like a little bit of a wider leg with a gentle flare or boot-cut.


A Crisp Button-down
A good shirt will always speak for itself, and it tells everyone that you have it together!


The last piece on my list of classics for today is a good boot.  Boots are perfect for so many outfits.  I like so many different boots, but these represent some good choices.




Ahh, the classics, for me at least.  I am so excited to be working on my collection.  What are your favorite pieces that you can't live without?  I know...I didn't even mention denim, but that is a whole other post! 

 


Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Finds

Well, I had my fun.  Shopping with babies is a bit challenging.  Two minutes in, we had to take a bathroom break which required a sales lady informing me they did not have public restrooms.  She was short and sweet with her statement, but I was determined she did not have children, yet.  Telling a woman with a baby in a stroller and a four year old doing the potty dance, that the nearest bathroom was several (outside) shops down at the Barnes and Nobles was like popping my little shopping bubble.  Little did she know that the book store was supposed to be the treat for behaving in Mommy's store.  Also, she did not realize that the restroom is right beside the children's section...which is THE place for my four year old.  I wasn't unkind at all.  I smiled and said thank you...but all I could think about as we were dashing down the street was her saying that they did not have a public restroom.  We all know what that means. 

After all that commotion and assurance that we WOULD go back to the bookstore, we finally made it back to Mommy's store.  I found it funny that the same helpful lady greeted us into the store moments later without even flinching.  She smiled and said, "welcome to our store, we hope you enjoy shopping with us!"  Even Jack looked at her like she was stuck on repeat or something.  We both sort of chuckled. 

Back to the finds...

I struggled.  I really did.  I wanted to buy at least one pretty thing that just made my day.  I looked and looked.  However, I just could not bring myself to pay the prices on the things I was most interested in.  I combed the sales isle and nothing jumped out at me. I am not sure if that makes me frugal or just plain cheap...but my school teacher salary requires that I get more bang for my buck, if I can at all.  I am not sure why I can advise others to treat themselves but I cannot do it myself. 

But...I was DETERMINED that I was going to do something for myself and find something that made me smile.  And I did.  After I frowned greatly from hearing that this store doesn't carry shoes!! WHAT?? 

OK so I got lucky and snagged this little ensemble in the clearance isle.  This little set was very sweet and feminine.  I did not go to find undergarments, but these are pretty.  The picture makes it hard to tell, but both pieces are made from eyelet.  The only set available just happened to be my exact size!  It was meant to be! 


And...
I blogged about this a while back.  I loved it then, so I decided to make it mine.  Anything worth daydreaming about is worth having.  I can say that it is lovely, and I am thouroughly enjoying my coffee in it as I type.  Insert ahhhhh.



So, I did treat myself.  The cup is full of happiness, and I am sure to feel pretty with my new finds underneath.  All in all, it was a nice shopping adventure...baby boys and all!

~ B Charmer



I am Going to Buy Something!

Today, I am at the beach with the boys and my aunt.  Right now, I am sitting cozy in the room with a sleeping baby while Wild Man is romping in the waves.  Just hearing and seeing the water does good things for my heart.

Here, at the beach, I have access to one of my favorite stores, Anthropologie.  I love going and looking and dreaming.  We have only had this store for a couple of years.  The last few times I have been, I couldn't really buy anything because I was pregnant.  Well...today, I am definitely not pregnant, and only 5 pounds from my prebaby weight...so...

I am going to buy something!    Truly a treat for me.  I will be sure to share my treasures!

~ B Charmer

Friday, August 12, 2011

Brothers

These two already speak a language of their own.  Jack brings out smiles in Lincoln no other can.  It is sweet to see the bond of brothers forming.  My two boys...the sweetest thing.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

What's Your Style?

These lovely items popped up today compliments of Anthropologie. I thought it was great fun with all the back-to school hubbub in the air!  So...which workspace style is you? 

This compilation is called, Eclectic. A little vintage, a little contemporary. 


Here we have Whimsical.  All things bright and cheery!


Finally, we have the Rustic look.  It is quirky with a great utilitarian flare as well. 


So, the reaction words today match the desk looks!  Vote for your favorite! I am still trying to decide on mine...
~ B Charmer



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Memory

Do you have days that are just sealed in your memory?  The images so clear that they could never be forgotten? I remember the day this puppy became mine.  I was weeks from marrying my husband.  I was painting the home that we would soon share when he arrived with this little love in the front pocket of his Carhartts.  I melted.  
I remember that day so clearly.  We were so cozy in our little space we would soon share.  All was right with the world.  We loved on her, bought her all the essentials, and just added to the anticipation of sharing our lives together.  It was such an innocent and youthful day.  Little did we know, or care, what adventures were to come in life.  We had our home, our little Lab, and stars in our eyes.
Many years have passed since that day.  We are no longer the kids we were then.  We have since moved several times.  We have changed jobs, lost loved ones, and had babies of our own.  We have done life together for several years.  Many times I look back on that sweet day of puppy and red ribbons.  It makes me smile.
 A While back, we lost our puppy to a disease after having her for seven years. She was the sweetest dog and friend.  I cried like a baby when she left me.  I was brokenhearted. When my husband made it in that evening I ached to see him in those old Carhartt overalls with her little face poking out.  He looked in my eyes, and so clearly I saw him just like I saw him that day.  My love...my friend.  He gave her to me in the beginning, and he buried her for me in the end.  I knew that very moment that I would always see him like I did that sweet day.  
 

A Memory.
A Promise.
A Lifetime together.
My puppy, Cocoa.

Cocoa's first puppy.
~ B Charmer


Monday, August 1, 2011

Just For Kicks

When I need a chuckle, I pull this out and it makes me smile.  Ahh... my little country boy! I love the big finish.
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