Happy for a Friend

There are two things that I might love equally.  Monograms and a "Happy" for a friend.  I love to love on other people with a happy.  It's definitely one of my love languages!

Squirrel Moment: If you have never taken the Love Language Test or better yet, had your children take it, STOP right now and go do it.  It will reveal so much to you about the way God designed your heart or the heart of your littles.  My Lei Lei is a strong gift giver.  You can't come in our house without her "fashioning" something quick like for you.  When she was teeny she started this.  It wasn't until I read Gary Chapman's book that I realized this was how she was showing love.  Now it is such a blessing to me when I see her do this for someone.  I would have missed that part of her heart without the insight from The 5 Love Languages. SOOOO thankful for that book.

Back to the subject.  I have several precious friends that have fall birthdays and I am always looking for something personal and thrifty enough to fit my birthday fund (-:

On a recent rabbit trail from Pinterest to Etsy I discovered a great little shop! (I would love to say those rabbit trails don't happen much, but when you have "Self Diagnosed Adult Onset ADD", that happens hourly!)

Oh My Word Designs (love the name) has some really cute things for yourself or your besties and she was SO easy to work with.  I had my three little tortoise shell cuff bracelets in no time and when I opened them she had included an extra little monogram for each bracelet! I literally squealed with delight.

I was gussing them up to deliver this weekend and thought it was just too cute and frugal not to share! I added the extra monogram to a little card and voila, a sweet little happy that cost $16.00!!

Can't wait to celebrate a special birthday this weekend in Atlanta with my dear friend and I know she will love her new bling!  


Having a Ball Since 1924

As Mother and I were brainstorming and pinning and brainstorming and pinning for Mamie's big soiree, we saw so many cute ways to celebrate milestone birthdays. Pinterest really is my brain's bestie. Now I don't have to remember where I saw what.  I can devote all my energy into where I put what!

When Mother unearthed this photo of Mamie with the Maytag we kind of had a theme.  I LOVE a party with a good theme! We would use things that would have been in her home growing up.

Mamie was a child of the depression and victory gardens and while my generation thinks Mason jars are for presentation and decorating, to her generation they meant survival. When we saw this party we knew this would fit Mamie to a T.

Mother is a collector of all things old so we had plenty of old doilies and linens to work with.  The only hiccup we had was what to use on all the church tables.  One very successful trip to Joann's and the problem was solved.  Look how precious this VINYL table covering is! 7.99 a yard and I am almost sure Mother used a coupon.  Does that just scream little old 90 year old Mamie or what?

I absolutely loved getting this party together for Mamie and the little details were so much fun for Mother and I.  We wanted her cake to have a special place of honor so we made a burlap base for it to rest on.  As we were making the base AND burning our fingers with the hottest glue that has EVER come out of a glue gun....

SQUIRREL: Hot glue travels rapidly through the little squares in burlap and will take the first 6 layers of skin right off your pitiful little fingers. Any Up fans?  Doug is my middle name. Seriously.  

As I was saying,  when we were burning ourselves, Mother squealed that she had Mamie's mothers brooch, so we secured that lovely gem to the lace we used on the base.  I loved the way it turned out. Minus the burnt fingers!

I knew I wanted to try my hand at some cookies so I ordered a Mason jar cutter and used a flower I had to make daisies.  No joking.  They might have been the hardest cookie I have attempted yet, but after much self criticism, I was happy to take them to Mamie. She loved them and that was all that mattered.

We scored a yard full of free flowers because Mother's neighbors hydrangea was in full bloom and exactly the color we needed to pull everything together.  Just love it when the Lord shows you he's been in the planning of the details too.  

I made a few little printables that we used on the flowers and the favors and I will share those later. My girls loved the favors by the way.  I ordered a HUGE bag of butter mints because nothing says sweet, little, old grandma more to me than Fish Camps and butter mints.  If you don't live in the south that might not make any sense.  I don't even know if they have Fish Camps above the Mason Dixon but they are alive and well in North Carolina.  That is a childhood memory for yours truly. 

As Lei Lei was passing these out she circled by me and said, "Mama!  All of Mamie's friends LOVE the mints.  Some lady just asked me if she could buy the leftovers!"

We ordered 30 balloons and tied black and white pictures from Mamie's life on the ends and we used more pictures to adorn a big 90.  She took all of those home and it was so sweet to watch her looking at them. Lots of memories. 

One last little detail was a favor that we placed on the tables and benches where we dined.  As I was working on this I was amazed at what a full life my Mamie has lived.  90 is a big number!  

Her precious Mother lived to be 101 so I am hoping I have my Mamie around for awhile longer, but either way, I know she has lived her days to the fullest and left her family huge shoes to fill. God has been her comforter and her strength, her provider and her joy and she has told me that with every breath since I was a baby girl.  It was our honor to shower her with a day full of specials times and special friends. 

Here's your party favor and thanks for coming!

Mason Jar Favor Tags 2.5 inch circle


Jesus Friends and Mamie's Prayers

My precious grandmother turned 90 years young this week.  My family gathered at her quaint country church to celebrate her, and remember all the blessings she has spread across our lives.

I was so blessed to see her with dear friends.  Some of them well into their 90's and they wouldn't have missed her celebration for all the tea in China.  Sweet 96 year old Viola told me, "Honey, I have been saving up so I could be here!"  By saving up she meant napping for energy!

As I was watching her with her beloved group of "seasoned southern sisters" I remembered her words to me early in my marriage.  "Honey, you need some Jesus friends.  Friends that will pray for you and carry you through and that love the Father.  I will be praying for those friends for you."
The Lord is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.
Psalm 145:18

Well I knew she was right but I was a newly married "22 year old baby" and had no idea the wisdom she had just spoken over me. 

These "Jesus friends" she began to pray for would be, and still are life lines for me.  Oh how they would carry me in the years to come.  Of all the things my adoring grandmother has blessed me with, her prayers are the things that have changed my life the most.  

So this is kind of how it went.  I had a group of social friends that I just had a ton of fun with.  We were all in our mid twenties, newly married and busy starting our lives as wives and mothers. 

Out of this group God began to knit together a group of friends that would move beyond Bunco and tennis, and would slowly begin to chase after his wisdom and grace. 

None of us knew the things we would face together.  Health scares, HARD times in our new marriages, infertility, sick children, addictions,  aging grandparents and parents, losing loved ones...the list goes on and on.  My wise old Mamie knew it though.  See had lived through the great depression, sent her husband, son, nephews and brothers off to wars, buried two brothers AND her husband and spent the majority of her life as a single mother.  She knew the HOPE that only God could give and her prayers were hemming me in with beautiful friends in the Lord.  

As I look at the faces on this page, I get a big 'ol lump in my throat thinking about how many floors they walked, tears they cried and requests they made before the Lord.  The thing that always gets me though is before my Mamie started praying, we were all up on the surface of life.  Decorating, cooking, shopping.  All the things that girls love to do. Now don't get me wrong!  There is nothing wrong with surface dwelling.  Sometimes that might be all that keeps you from running crazy in the woods.  Sometimes life is REALLY HARD and talking about Lilly Pulitzer, red currant candles, smocked dresses and gardening is therapy!  That part of our friendships never went away. God just knocked a big peep hole in all of that, and allowed us to see a place in our friendship, that he was giving us that would grow us all to be more like him.

So fast forward 14 years later when God opened the door for us to leave Georgia, move to Texas and leave these beautiful friends behind, I thought my heart would actually break.  I literally had to tell myself everyday, "I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see."
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.  And he went out, not knowing where he was going.  
Hebrews 11:8

I had seen and tasted God's goodness and provisions and I knew my Mamie had prayed everyday for those Jesus friends, but I felt in my heart that this was it.  I had used up all of God's goodness towards me because he had blessed me so abundantly. I decided when we were hauling it towards the Lone Star state that I would be resolved to friendship through Facetime and I would be lonely and pitiful. Oh I was a pathetic hot mess! Just writing those words makes me giggle at how I thought I could actually use up all that God wants to bestow upon his children!

After I had my pity party (it was not pretty), I began to slowly look for God's blessings and reached down deep with all my courage and drew out what Mamie had taught me.  The prayer for Jesus friends.  See I knew she was STILL praying, but now I knew it was time to put on my "Texas size" big girl panties and get to praying for myself. I honestly have a vision of God just getting a big grin when he heard me say, "I am ready to see what you have in store for us here."

We lived 3 years in Texas and those years truly blessed me.  You see we had no family there so our friends became family to us.  They loved on us in ways that I still can't find words for.  God gave me some of the most precious Jesus friends I would ever know in those short 3 years, and they have changed my life forever.  
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 
2 Corinthians 9:8

This picture sums it all up.  This is right before we left Texas, moving back east to be closer to family.

See those sweet, amazing women praying for me? Is our God beyond anything that we can ever describe?!? He loves us all outside the lines and his desires for our happiness will just bless our socks off sometimes.

So my sweet Mamie...she's spent a lifetime praying for her family. 

She was with me when I accepted his invitation and she's been with through 4 decades of Jesus friends.  She has modeled lots of things for me and has been steadfast in her love for me.  This week when we celebrated her it was about so much more than a milestone.  It was a legacy.  She has hand delivered to all 7 of her grandchildren a hope in him that is grounded in obedience, and a personal relationship with him.  She has passed the torch to us and it's our turn to pick up the mantle.  I am honored to pray for Jesus friends for my girls and my nieces and nephews and I can't wait to see how the Lord will show up and show off in their lives.  Thank you Mamie for teaching me well and loving me so.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:5 

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