Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Friendsgiving" & so much to be thankful for

Last night's "friendsgiving" was such a great time! God has truly blessed me with amazing friends-near and far- and it's nights like these that remind me to be thankful for the simple and priceless gifts of friendship and love.

Very intense game of Apples to Apples

Lola and the girls

And, of course, Home Alone, a classic!

I had a great long chat with a wonderful friend who has recently moved, and I realized how much I've lost touch with friends, even ones here in town. She was going through a really hard time emotionally, and I didn't even know. I blame Facebook for a lot of this. Why give someone an old-fashioned phone call or write a letter, when it's all spelled out there for you? Sad reality isn't it.

My top New Year's Resolution was to be a more thoughtful friend. Well, with my inability to say "no" to things that really don't matter, and "YES" to the things that enrich my life and the lives of others, I find myself a year later in the same boat. Time to take my life back! It's been highjacked by needless stress and busyness. Time to get my priorities straight!

Phew, now that I have that off my chest, there really are SO many things I have to be thankful for. I have been blessed far more than I deserve so a loving and understanding God who knows my heart. On top of my fabulous friendships, here are just a few of the blessings in my life:

  • My sweet, sweet loving husband. I was fortunate enough to marry my very best friend, and he loves me endlessly. I'm a hot mess most of the time, but he is patient and kind–what love should be. He makes me laugh, makes me cry (in a good way) and takes such good care of me. Not to mention he's so stinkin' cute it's not even fair! :)

  • I have such a sweet and caring family who believes in my dreams and has uplifted me my entire life. My mom is my rock, who gives the best advice and has such a kind heart. My daddy is so kind-hearted, too. My awesome brother who is so much like me and has become one of my closest friends. He is so smart and witty, and we can share music with each other and have deep conversations til late into the night. He is definitely so special to me.
  • Both of my sets of grandparents love me so much as well. My "Mema & Pa" on mom's side saved their entire lives to put me and my brother through college, and have always been so proud of me. As my Mema is losing her memory, their love story reminds me so much of "The Notebook." They are coming up on their 60th wedding anniversary, and are such a symbol of patient love. My dad's mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, but she has the most amazing spirit and positive attitude. She is definitely an inspiration. 
  • Lucky for me, I married into a fabulous family as well! I totally lucked out in the in-law department. I've been a part of their family for a long time before it was "official." His parents, brothers, sisters & sister-in-laws and all their awesome extended family are so much fun and have made me feel at home.
  • I am grateful for my good job and my coworkers who make my days full of laughter. I am using my degree and earning great experience. 
  • I am grateful for Nacogdoches, the little community that has taken me in and has a wonderful vibe. It's the friendliest place I've ever been, and I'm lucky to call this place home. 
  • I'm grateful for the nice things we've been able to work hard for. Two cars, a precious house, electronics and all the little extra things. 
  • I am grateful for my gifts of creativity. It speaks to my soul, and I'm so passionate about making things with my hands. 
  • Despite my attempts to wreck this component, I'm thankful for my health! But I've definitely got to take better care of this gift. Maybe after all those holiday parties. :)

Looking at that list reminds me that the best things in life really aren't "things" at all. Looking forward to strengthening these relationships, starting with my three Thanksgivings in the next three days! Nothing like a feast to bring everyone together.

From me to you, I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving. Remember the gifts God has given you and the friends and family who make it all worthwhile.


Linking here:

Julie Ann Art

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Thanksgiving Table

Happy lazy Sunday, friends!

I'm finally relaxing and watching the Cowboys game after setting the table for tomorrow's "Friendsgiving" at our house!

Welcome to my kitchen! {This is Kolby, your cute tour guide}
I absolutely love this time of year and I'm happy to have my first-ever dining room table to gather my friends around.

I love to use natural elements and stuff I just have around the house. I just put together this super simple tablescape and love the pops of red.  I picked some berries from our backyard and added them to upcycled vases. The embroidered table cloth, vintage napkins and burlap runners are from our wedding, and I topped off the hand-embroidered napkins with dried tallow berries.

Love our mismatched chairs we rescued from an old barn and recovered! 

I'll be cooking a marinated pork tenderloin (wrapped in bacon, of course!) and spinach roll ups. It's a potluck (my fave!) and I'm lucky to have friends who are fabulous cooks!

We started the tradition a few years ago and it's always one of those magical nights where friends come together to laugh and have heart-to-hearts by candlelight. Most of us in the college town I live in are far away from our families, so its wonderful to give thanks with the friends who have become our own crazy, dysfunctional family. Lucky for me, I'll get to have THREE Thanksgivings after this, too! So blessed.

Hope your Thanksgiving is full of love and laughter!

XoXO- Kayli

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sweet Dreams: DIY Doily Dreamcatcher

Hi friends!

So, fall is in full swing which, naturally means, my schedule is out-of-whack! What a season of weddings, football, traveling and school- and lack of sleep. Where's that hour we got with "fall back"?

So I've finally squeezed in a little time to get into the studio and made a little something I hope will usher in a good nights sleep or two. A sweet doily and lace dreamcatcher!

I've always loved dreamcatchers, and they hold a special place in my heart. One of the first gifts I gave my husband when we were dating was a dreamcatcher he kept over his bed. His family has some Cherokee Indian blood, so I am living vicariously through them. :)

This little DIY project was fun and easy. I stretched a 6 inch doily between a 5 inch embroidery hoop. I then used long pieces of light blue leather cording through the edges and tied off at the top.

From there, I tied on lace ribbon, leather and twine, and adorned it with found beads, feathers and charms. I love the messy, Bohemian look.

Now, sweet dreamcatcher, go to work!

Since I've been away a little while, let me catch you up on my crazy life.

-I'm in the middle of decorating a 30,000 square foot Expo Center for Holiday in the Pines, a Christmas shopping show! It's madness, but it's looking so cute. Pictures to come.

-I'm writing a feature about our ranch wedding and a rustic holiday decor feature for a local lifestyle magazine. I'm excited to start writing for more magazines because that is where my heart really is.

-I'm so excited for the holidays! We're having a "friend feast" for Thanksgiving on Monday, and I'm decorating our new house for Christmas for the first time. Bring on the burlap, glitter and rustic Christmas goodness! Can't to show you some fun wreaths and our sweet tree.

-I'm taking on an all handmade Christmas gift challenge. Any suggestions?

-Graduate school is crazy, and I may be in a bit of a rut (already!) My wild hare says to take an undergrad Art Metal & Jewelry class next semester and go off my degree plan. I always wanted to be an art student, so why not explore that, right? Life's too short!

-I'm considering a move to Wordpress (and am promising to blog more often.) Any thoughts on this?

Cannot wait to share more more of what I've been working on.

Sweet dreams!

xoxo Kayli

Linking up at these fun parties:

The DIY Dreamer
Beyond the Picket Fence
Cowgirl Up!
Project Inspire