Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Sunday, January 29, 2012

"big suh-pwize"

It is official. Jackson not only has bedroom furniture nicer than ours, he now has a kitchen nicer than ours. No, really, you should see our kitchen and then see his...
Nanna, Pop and Uncle Jordan surprised Jackson with this early birthday present. Or as Jackson calls it, his "big suh-pwize." They transformed an old entertainment center into the most amazing play kitchen ever. Complete with an oven, stove, sink, towel racks, utensil racks, a working light and a giant refrigerator. Needless to say, the kid is in heaven.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


A few weeks ago I read Angela's idea... to share with her husband every day 5 things she is grateful for. I loved it. So i proposed to Dan that we do the same. So, I told him my 5 and he responded with his 3 (...he's such a rule-breaker): me, Jackson & Audrey and then proceeded to tell me that these would be his same 3 every day. Part of me thought that was sweet, but mostly I was just annoyed because he wasn't playing the game! So, the little game sort of ended before it began, but on the up side I've been trying to take the time, in the moment, to thank God for all of the things that I'm grateful for throughout the day. Here are 10 of the things I've been thanking Him for today...

1. That Jackson slept in. I actually had to wake him up because I was getting worried...
2. That Audrey has slept 7 straight hours for almost a week straight!
3. That Jackson was able to see both his nanna/pop and his mamaw/papaw today. Lucky boy.
4. That I have a mom and dad who get as excited as I do to do things for my children (they are building him quite the surprise for his birthday...)
5. For this view from our dinner table. (photo above)
6. For the endless inspiration I have inside of me right now.
7. For coffee.
8. For coffee. (no, not a type-o, I just think it deserves two 'thank yous')
9. That Dan cleaned out the bath tub tonight when Jackson had a little potty accident in there. Seriously gross.
10. For Audrey's smiles when she hears Jackson's voice. Seriously sweet.

Monday, January 23, 2012

{DIY} refinished dresser.

I have a list of about 3 million DIY projects I want to accomplish... things to build, things to refinish, things to make. And since this was the first weekend that our house hasn't been ridiculed with germs since before Christmas (ridiculous, I know), I actually was able to cross one project off! Dan and I had this old dresser in our bedroom that was so outdated and really quite ugly. So, along with my little helpers, I sanded the entire dresser and drawers, took off the old hardware, filled in old holes and then repainted the entire thing and it is now serving as an entry way table. Where, you ask, then am I keeping my clothes? Dan asked the same thing and I explained that I haven't yet figured that out. Maybe I'll build something. To which he laughed and said "oh, minor details...." Minor details indeed. 
Working on the drawers with my little helper. Ignore his wardrobe choice, we were iced in and so anything goes on PJ-like days.

My other helper. She purely serves as eye candy... no manual labor for this Peanut.

I didn't really take a true "before" shot, but you can sort of see here what the dresser used to look like. I.e. old and ugly.

 After! Jackson was pretty proud of all of his hard work. And clearly his choice of style dictates that he can only wear either a shirt or pants, but never at the same time. That would just be silly.

Each drawer is beautifully organized with winter gear, "outgoing" things such as library books, etc. Dan really loved it when I gave him the "tour of drawers" - I'm sure he'll remember where everything goes and use them accordingly. Right.

Monday, January 16, 2012


This morning I bribed Jackson with treats if he would let me cut his hair. We have approximately 10 women in this family who cut hair for a living and yet somehow I decided it would be a better idea for me to do it this time. Probably because I was trying to find new ways to procrastinate from cleaning the house and I looked up and realized the little man's hair was out-of-control-big-time. So, he sat on the kitchen floor inhaling fruit snacks while I chopped at his hair with the same pair of kitchen shears that I had just cut prunes up with 10 minutes earlier.

And this, my friends, is a typical morning on maternity leave.

This is not exactly how I enjoy beginning the week. The laundry piles, dishes in the sink, floors with dirt on them, babies who need baths, mama who needs a shower for that matter... yep, not so much my vision. But we're going on 3 straight weeks with at least one person being sick in this house and I happen to have been the lucky one who has caught every one of those bugs, so it is what it is. I'll go into my typical freak-out-because-the-house-isn't-perfect mode once Jackson goes down for a nap and we'll be back in business by the time Dan comes home from work.

In the meantime, I'm off to watch Jackson attempt to empty every single toy, book and you-name-it out of the pretty little baskets I have them all organized in. It's what he does. And he does it quite well.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Audrey took a nap this morning with her first American Girl doll... who is who? and who is bigger? It's a close call. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

life in a snow globe

I have been waiting for it to snow since we began constructing the addition last March- waiting to see what it would feel like to live in a snow globe, totally surrounded by windows. And yesterday we finally had slightly more than a dusting, giving Jackson and I enough of a reason to run from window to window, watching the snow come down from inside of our snow globe...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

little man, big imagination

I am feeling so blessed to be spending so much time with both Jackson and Audrey while I'm on maternity leave. To be able to keep Audrey at home with me during her first, most precious months is incredible and I'll treasure these days forever. And I'll treasure just as much my time with Jackson. To be able to be here with him while he is in such a developmentally expansive stage is thrilling for me. He blows my mind on a daily basis with how much he is learning and growing right before my eyes. Dan and I both try to seamlessly teach him as much as possible through play, "chores" and conversation and I personally feel that us preventing him from watching television is more than paying off. I am going to spend the time really recapping our growing little man next month when he turns TWO, but I had to capture for now one of the most entertaining parts of Jackson at the moment- his enormous imagination. A few weeks ago he began "cooking" for us... he pretends to cook and mix and bake and then serve to us whatever we request- or whatever he wishes for us to eat. The funniest part of this for me is that he has no play kitchen, he has no play food and we have never played this game of cooking with him. He came up with the game completely on his own, complete with a whirlwind of intricate little hand motions that must convey stirring, chopping, egg-breaking and he has designated the brick chimney as his refrigerator and oven. I'm telling you, the boy knows how to imagine, all on his own, without the help of cute little cartoon characters or catchy little jingles. It is his mind working on its own and it is almost as much fun for us to witness as it is for him to dive into these worlds he creates. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

moon date.

There are some things in life that are so beautiful you find yourself dropping everything to appreciate it in complete fascination. Tonight, God showered us with some of his best work- an amazing sunset that made me drop everything and run out the back door and up the hill, leaving our little man completely confused, to watch the reds and purples flash across the sky because I knew the masterpiece would be gone in a matter of seconds. And then there was the moon. Oh my, the moon. Amazing. Jackson looks for the moon every night- hunting for it from inside. He goes from room to room in hopes of finding his loyal friend peeking from behind the clouds or from beneath tree branches. But tonight the moon put on a show that was worthy of stepping outside, worthy of chasing it down the driveway, worthy of throwing a little-moon-loving-man into the car for a moon date. A moon date with mama- driving through the valley and up the hill to see the moon clear of the trees that surround our house. He loved it. And so did I...

monday morning play date

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