Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Color Blind

An actual conversation with my toddler today…

Grace Louise: “Blue play-doh, blue play-doh,” pointing to the new jar of play-doh she wants to open.

Me: “You have blue play-doh. See? What color is this play-doh?”

GL: “Pink.”

Me: “No, it’s not pink.”

GL: “Yellow.”

Me: “No, it’s not pink or yellow. What color is the sky?”

GL: “Yellow.”

Me: “No, the sky is blue and so is the play-doh. What color is the play-doh?”

GL: “Pink.”

I open my computer to write this down because I really can’t believe we just had this conversation…

Monday, September 26, 2011


Shortly before I was pregnant with Grace Louise I began having sort-of anxiety attacks- basically shortness of breath perpetuated by the very thought of the symptom. It went on for a month, until I was certain it was anxiety and learned how to deal with the onset of the symptoms. I never struggled with this again… until Friday. I wouldn’t say that I have a lot of stress in my life, by any means. I did notice, however, that I had been focusing a lot on my “to-do” list, allowing it to have reign over my thought life… What am I doing now? What needs to be done next? What is the best order to complete these tasks? How can I get more tasks done in one day?

Can you say OCD??? I think I have a more severe case of this, called OCDWT. OCD with Toddler.

I am very blessed this Monday morning to feel completely peaceful and content. After noticing the shortness of breath on Friday afternoon, I shut my computer, prayed, and spent the rest of the afternoon laying on the floor playing with Grace Louise, followed by a bubble bath (only somewhat relaxing with a toddler), an evening alone with my husband, a chick flick, and a fairly early bedtime. I committed the rest of the weekend to limited computer/technology use, lots of good company, and a Sunday of rest with family. I’m also rereading a book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, that offers great perspective on balancing work, rest, and worship.

It’s true, folks. No one came and arrested me for failing to use each moment of the day completing things on my list. I didn’t die and I don't regret a second. As a matter of fact, detouring from the ordinary was refreshing! I am feeling recharged and refocused. Actually, I’m currently enjoying the breeze and glistening sun off the lake while GL is pretending to kill “dators” with an over-sized bubble wand. Who wouldn’t be relaxed, right?!

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…” -Colossians 3:15

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mother Mother Ocean

At least two times a year you have to be on the water- Memorial Day and Labor Day. We spent Labor Day this year fishing the sound of Pine Island with great friends. We went down a day early to spend with each other while mom kept the baby, bracing ourselves for the longest stretch we've ever spent away from her. Time together is so necessary for the health of a marriage, so we try to prioritize that for our family.

The first day on the water, a slight overlook in the sunscreen department left me in a long-sleeved shirt and hat, vying for the shade offered by the t-top. Thankfully, my skin was spared and we geared up for a second full day (with plenty of sunscreen) on the water with Jeremy and Erika. A few keeper fish, lunch at Cabbage Key, a relaxing float in a Cayo Costa lagoon...

This is such a cool picture only because Charlie Weis (who?), the offensive coordinator for the Gators, is in the boat in front of us. It was never officially confirmed (Jimmy would have me say), but the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming. Other than the fact that he looked just like him, he arrived to his fishing cottage a few doors down from us in a limo and drove a King Ranch Ford with a Gator tag. I think so. Yeah, so I'm a bit starstruck.


Throw those babies back...

That's it. I'm getting mirrored lenses for my costas so I can be cool too.


What an awesome play date we had last week at Beans and Brushes, a local coffee house, children's boutique, and pottery painting shop. Aunt Missy, Trey, and Joanna were great company and the combined artistic abilities were out-of-this-world amazing! Check 'em out...

And a little post-painting hugging, of course!

Joanna is a bit aggressive with her love.
Check out Grace Louise's face! She's can't wait to have a sibling to torture!

As always. Good times with friends!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Welcome to the Castle!

Bringing everyone up to speed on the Hurst living arrangements... over the summer, we made our first move since coming back down to Polk County six years ago. We are renting one of the most unique homes in Lake Wales, commonly known as The Castle. Since only royalty lives in castles, we had to hike up the social caste to become king, queen, and princess. Not such a bad life, I tell ya!

I've run into many people who are curious about what this house looks like on the inside, so I've decided to offer an exclusive inside look ;-) The owners recently did some remodeling/updates and we painted (by we I mean me, Jimmy, and many awesome friends and family), totally transforming this formally dark, dated space.

The virtual tour is missing a few neat rooms- the office, upstairs kitchen (we've never used it, but its there just in case!), laundry room, woodworking shop, and the round storage room. Gotta leave some reason for you to come visit us in person! (truth: they were not clean enough to photograph or I just forgot them!)

Front yard view. The garage, wood shop, and pole barn are to the left. We have neighbors to the right and state park to the left. We're in the back of a community, but love the secluded feel offered by these towering oaks. This yard would drive most people nuts. It's huge and completely random! I personally love symmetry in my life, and in landscaping. There's something about the eclectic-ness of this yard, though, that makes it Secret Garden-like... estate-ish, whimsical. Fig, hickory, lowquat trees. Even bamboo! A few dainty palms. Tropical elephant ears and fern. Oh yes, and the gaudy patch of palm-thingys on the sides of the driveway reaching to the skies yelling "Look at me! I'm the ugliest bunch of tree you'll ever see!" I cut those out of the picture. (And hope to cut them down eventually).

The foyer, also known as the dungeon for those who misbehave. Kidding. It's just a little foyer that happens to make a big statement.

View from the front door. Its a very open space, always very bright and airy thanks to the sets of sliding glass doors facing the lake. All of this used to be dark wood paneling... yuck! This pic also includes our amazing 10ft dining table Jimmy's parents helped us buy from Craigslist... yay for a great deal! We wanted this home to be a place where many could gather, eat, and fellowship together. It is just that!

To the left of this area is the kitchen... I somehow missed a picture of that too. Newly remodeled, which was SO in order... a red padded 70's style bar and black and red tile flooring is simply not acceptable in this decade. We are enjoying the new non-70's style bar and appliances. It even has a great place for Grace Louise to sit and help. My little sous chef!

Master bedroom and bath. Loving the robin's egg blue. Trying to bring the tranquility of the water indoors. Its working.

Notice the stone wall. Every bedroom has one. Like it or not.

This is the living room where we do most of our... well, living. It's open to the kitchen and dining area and offers exceptional views of the lake! Still searching for a perfect (and affordable) club chair(s) and ottoman for the corner. My future reading spot by the window.

Guest bedroom. Complete with your own private bath, in-room vanity, balcony access, and sleep number bed. Personal kitchen available upon request. Please, come stay. :-)

Grace Louise's bedroom. The hardest room to bid farewell at the old house. I am so happy with how her new room turned out, though. Plenty of room for teaching and learning, playing, and sleeping. She even has her own bath and vanity! The Princess Quarters.

View from the back porch. The beautiful lake and typical summertime Florida sky, thunderclouds brewing. We spend a lot of time out here, fishing and playing... looking forward to spending even more as the weather cools.

The balcony doesn't get used much now, but two chase lounge chairs with comfy cushions are on my Celebration Yard Sale list. I hope to rest, read, stargaze at night with my hubby, in the big balcony space to the left.

Hunters, take note! This is how its done. The turkeys come to you. Open the kitchen window in the morning, and between sips of coffee... BANG! Thanksgiving dinner.

Oh, come on. We're sportsmen. We wouldn't do that.

We do throw feed out for the animals- turkey, squirrels, birds, fish, even some owls. You'd think Dr. Doolittle lives here... We love watching the animals and Grace Louise delights in her chore of feeding them everyday. "Come on, mama. Feed da animals. Come on, daddy. Feed da fish." Wish you could hear her say that. Just presh.

Well, there you have it. The Castle and all its glory. We are enjoying living here. It's such a neat place and though we don't intend on staying here forever, we look forward to the next few years of filling this big house with lots of love, laughs, and adventures!