Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thank Heaven for Garbage Trucks

Dear Mr. Garbage Truck Driver,

I am writing to say thank you for the 15 minutes you buy me every Tuesday between 10:30 and 10:45am. If you look closely, you'll see an adorable little boy- not quite 3 feet tall- fascinated by the mechanical arm on your garbage truck. He listens intently as you drive closer and closer up the street to our house. He watches in wonder as you pull up in front of our driveway with your engine revving and pistons pumping. He stares in awe as you make your way down the street, stopping at house after house collecting trash from those big, brown barrels.

And this, Mr. Garbage Man, is why I love you so!! 
For 15 minutes every Tuesday, my busy bee, 
my tornado of activity
my dumper of all things dumpable...
He stays in one place. 

Suddenly, the dishwasher gets unloaded without toy cars flying down the door-turned-race track. Suddenly, the towels get hung up and the bed gets made. Before you know it, this mama has her morning chores done and can sit on the floor next to her little man soaking up the moment...you know, the moment where the biggest thing in his world is how cool your truck is. 
It's the moment where this mama remembers "people over projects" and thinks about how next week when you come, maybe little man and I will just stand and watch your truck together!

**So thanks, Mr. Garbage Truck Driver...from your biggest fan's happy mama**

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Spring Wreath Makeover

About this time of year I start to envision myself as a Paul Revere of Autumn. I want to yell through the neighborhood as loud and excitedly as I can " Fall is Coming...Fall is Coming!!" But I also care what people think about me...so I usually just hang a wreath on my door and call it good. **wink**

I found this great tutorial recently and was inspired to make my own version for fall using some autumn leaf garlands and an old & dusty floral wreath that was screaming for an upgrade. You can check out the original wreath tutorial here.

Here's my sad spring wreath with the squished white flowers:



I knew that I wanted to personalize our front door wreath this time around, so I found a wooden letter P in Michael's $1 section. This is what it looked like before...



and after I painted it....


and after I bedazzled it with chocolate brown felt mini pom-poms!!



Then I removed all of the white flowers and greenery from the wreath. This is what remained:


A wonderfully blank canvas ready for some fall fabulous-ness!!

I took my fall garlands (you can find these at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and even the dollar store), and wrapped them loosely around the wreath. I hot glued some of the leaves into place to cover empty spots and areas where the stems were showing through. 

Did I mention I *heart* Fall??


Once the leaf garland was in place, I hot glued my chocolate brown "P" ( ok, that sounds ridiculous but unfortunately my last name's not Jones!) to the wreath and added some yo-yo and rolled flowers for extra pretty factor!

Here's the finished project:


The rest of my fall decoration- pumpkins, acorn dishes, cinnamon apple candles- will make their debut after Labor Day. Even though I'm more than itching to get them out today...like right now!!
Watch for my Why I Love Fall series in the coming weeks and enjoy these last few days of summery bliss!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Linking Up

Linking up today over at The Wiegands!!
Photobucket

Attitude

I knew from the moment Blake sneezed his mouthful of soggy Fruit Loops all over my clean shirt and flat-ironed hair that it was going to be one of those days. My little guy's favorite way of expressing his extreme dislike of any given situation is to throw his Bo-Bo (bink, paci...) as hard and defiantly as he can. By the time we'd finished running a quick errand this morning, he'd chucked it probably 10 times in the car- and I was done. I was so sick of picking that dumb thing up, and I looked at his sweet face and yelled,

"Either knock it off or I'm throwing Bo-Bo in the garbage!!"

 His little face was so shocked...I felt like the worst mommy ever and I started bawling right there in the driver's seat. Which just shocked him even more! I sat there thinking Ok, who's the adult here? You're yelling at an 18 month old over a pacifier for pete's sake....get it together woman!!


Oh how I wish I could just walk peacefully and calmly through life!! To meet every situation with a soft answer, a humble attitude, a joyful heart. But it's not a field of perky daisies every day, now is it?? I long for my life to reflect grace, and yet so often I feel I'm reflecting something far from it.

Before Josh and I got married, we had marriage counseling with our Pastor. He had us take personality assessments-which was actually really helpful and really shocking to me! While my personality in some areas is overly submissive and compliant, my attitude (on a scale of 1-10) was at a 9!!

I prefer the term spunky or spitfire

But whatever I call it, at the end of the day, if my heart's full of contention, anger, frustration, and pride...my God calls it sin.

And so many areas of my life are affected by that attitude! By my perspective. So many days I think about what I have to do instead of what I get to do. I have to do laundry, I have to teach piano, I have to scrub the bathroom....

As a stay at home mama there's so much I get to do!! I get to feed Blake breakfast, play, and read books. I get to have a good meal ready for Josh when he comes home after a long day. I get to go to the park, the store, just out for a drive! So many, many things in life are blessings in disguise. But I only see them if I'm willing to be still, to soak it up, to lay down my attitude and take up the joy of serving others. 



The funny thing about little boys is that one minute they are fighting against everything- the car seat straps, the mommy's hand, the word "No"; and the next minute they are planting a big, wet kiss on your cheek. It is humbling. To be forgiven so quickly and loved so unconditionally.

Tomorrow is a fresh start, a clean slate...I'm thankful that Blake is too little to remember today's failures. 
And when I fail, I can seek His grace.
And I'm thankful that when I succeed, I can give God thanks.
And when the day is done,
I can place my head on my pillow and rest.





source: pinterest

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Vintage Mischief is the creative genius of my sister Bri...it ought to be a little boy's clothing line, in my humble opinion. But it describes these two to a tee! They are classic all-boy... rough & tumble, curious, and full of mischief!

source: Colleen Thiel Ogburn photos


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hope

The other night while Josh and I were driving down to Ohio for the weekend, I heard a radio broadcast talking about hope. It picked me up. It made me feel less like I'm alone, and more like everyone struggles with the "downers" sometimes. Even if for no apparent reason...

Most of the time I can't really even say what exactly has me feeling so
restless,
discontent,
so disquieted...
but I know that I feel it and I usually know how I got there.
I tend to talk to myself. Not like out loud where you could hear me (Ok, sometimes in the car when I think I'm less conspicuous until I see someone staring at me at a red light.) But I have these conversations in my head about life, and dreams, and frustrations, and dissatisfaction's. Before I even realize it I've talked myself into being upset about something that really isn't even a real issue! ( This is where you leave a comment saying you do the same thing and make me feel more human and less like I need to be admitted somewhere...)

The truth is in talking to myself I am either going to speak words of truth or words of deceit. I can fill my mind with what is true, what is good and lovely....or I can spend my days believing lies.

This week I am committing to truth. I am committing to talking to myself with authority. I am committing to confronting the lies I find repeating over and over in this silly brain of mine, taking capture of them, and marching them on out.
"Why are you cast down, my soul? Why are you disquieted and disturbed within me?
Hope in God!"

I wonder how different life would be if we hoped more and fretted less. If we believed in real truth, and refused to listen to anything else.
Maybe we'd shine more. Maybe we'd do bigger and bolder things. Maybe we would love more freely, and give more abundantly.

When your heart is filled with hope, your life is filled with peace.


Monday, August 22, 2011

My Crush

fact:
when you have a crush on someone,
you notice every single detail about them...
no matter how small.
and when they do something for you,
you feel so touched...

no matter how simple it was.

Thanks for a LoVEly weekend babe** Road trips with you are the best!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Front Porch

Today I'm linking up with Gussy Sews...an absolutely gorgeous blog full of inspiration and whimsy. I love the ruffly tote bags, clutch purses, and other loveliness that Gussy Sews offers in her store!! You can check her out here!

The inspiration for today's link up is the Front Porch...a perfect place to sit and chat- so let's do it, kay?!

This is the house I grew up in on the west side of Grand Rapids, Michigan:

I will always think of it as home. My sisters and I spent hours on the enclosed front porch playing house, barbies, roller-skating... it was divine! When we were little, my older brother Owen, and 3 of my sisters- Katie, Colleen, Brianna- and I loved to Spring Clean the front porch. (Ok, that's probably another element of big family oddness...just so you know*) We'd get out the bucket and rags, and we'd argue over who got to spray the windows with the Windex. The older ones usually won out!


I have so many happy memories about that porch...on the hot summer nights before central air, we would all pile into sleeping bags and sleep with the wrap around windows open, bringing in the cool night breezes.

It was the perfect place to watch a thunderstorm, sit with my nose in a book, or nosily watch the neighbors without them knowing (wink*). I remember lots of times seeing my mom out on the porch visiting with a neighbor who'd stopped by. And the front porch kept all our Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies chilled in the winter months when we ran out of fridge space.

At a time in life where cookie cutter housing developments are the norm, and you're more likely to see a tiny front stoop than a big ol' rambling front porch, it makes me miss the friendly nature and open invitation to stop by and visit that a porch brings! I dream of a big farmhouse with a wrap around porch, wicker chairs, friends visiting, a cool breeze, and mason jars of lemonade. Someday friends...someday!

Here's some more inspiration...be sure to stop by Gussy and enjoy her bloggy bliss! And if you're a blogger yourself, link on up girl!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hiding

I am an expert at hiding. When I was a little girl, I had the best hiding spot for the after dinner games of hide and seek my siblings and I would play. Up in my sisters' closet, I would squeeze into the very back of the highest shelf - high above the dresses, stuffed animals, and art projects. I fit perfectly in the spot where the roof line slanted down to the top of the closet. And I would wait...wondering when the "seeker" would discover me!

The times spent running wild through the house throwing open closet doors and looking behind furniture as a kid are some of my sweetest memories. Now that I'm older and I've lived through some of life's less kind moments, I realize that my hiding doesn't involve a child's game anymore. It involves my heart.

I am a private person. In more than one of the "talking to myself " sessions I've had recently, my thought has been Um, do you realize you're writing a blog?? What do you think you're going to accomplish by telling people what kind of makeup you wear? Nobody cares, and you're going to wind up a BIG FAT FAILURE!

This is the story of my life...second guessing comes almost as naturally to me as breathing. And by golly one of these days I am determined it's going to stop! Does anyone else ever feel like the world's biggest dork? That's me. And so I hide.

I keep a certain distance from people. Sure I can be friendly- I try really hard to be. But I know there are times that I end up feeling disconnected from others and lonely by my own doing. What am I so afraid of? Rejection, hurt feelings, a wounded spirit, someone finding out who the "real" me is. The list could go on and on, and at the end of the day I am comfortable keeping people at arms length.

The trouble with knowing the ugly truth about yourself is that there's nowhere to hang blame's hat except on your own hat rack. It's mine....I own it. And what I'm learning is that it's okay to be vulnerable and honest and open. For every one situation that leaves me feeling stupid, insecure, fat, a cheap copy of someone else; there are a dozen others that leave me breathless at the humility, grace, and kindness of the people I am surrounded by. And that inspires my heart.

I guess that's why I keep writing, I keep making little trinkets and painting old furniture. Because I feel inspired to find out who God made me to be. I feel inspired to live without fear. I feel inspired to grow and give to other people simply by sharing what I feel and I see and I experience. Not because I've got great wisdom or insight...but because I can boast in nothing but Jesus Christ and His work in my life.

That's not something to hide! That's something to celebrate, to express openly and freely to His glory and to the encouraging of the ones He graciously allows me share my life with. Sometimes I need to be reminded that I am not bound to the past ..."take these shackles off my feet so I can dance...I just wanna Praise You, just wanna Praise You!"

These are 2 songs that always encourage me when hurt and shame point the accusing finger at my heart...I hope they'll do the same for you!






Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Polderman Family A to Z

A: age:: Mo and Josh- 28; Blake- 17 months

B: bed size:: Queen for the mama and daddy. Crib for the little.

C: chore you hate:: doing dishes, mowing the lawn, picking up

D: dogs:: someday (maybe)

E: everyday essential:: makeup. Android. Milk.

F: favorite color:: blue

G: girl or boy:: girl, boy, boy

H: height:: 5' 6". 5' 10". 2' 10"

I: instruments you play:: piano. guitar. kitchen bowls and toy piano

J: job title:: mama, piano teacher, blog writer. daddy, CAD Drafter. toddler, kiss giver, hammer pounder, tantrum thrower

K: kind of snack:: chocolate. chips & cheese. goldfish crackers.

L: live:: near Grand Rapids, MI!

M: must watch:: NCIS and Duggers. NCIS and American Pickers. Bobby( Barney) , Thomas the Tank Engine, and Veggie Tales

N: nicknames:: Mo, Josh, Blakers

O: olives:: black only, by the can

P: pet peeve:: slow drivers, politicians, the word "no-no"

Q: quote::
" The good news about Jesus is that He comes to all, including the plain and ordinary. He comes to anyone with a heart humble enough to accept Him. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you can have Jesus in your life. Don't think you need extraordinary qualifications- He accepts you as you are." ~ Max Lucado

R: righty or lefty:: all righty (as far as we can tell!)

S: siblings:: 4 sisters, 3 brothers. 1 sister, 1 brother. 0 sisters, 0 brothers- for now ;)

T: time you wake up:: between 8 & 9. 5:30ish. around 6 and around 8-9.

U: university attended:: GRCC, PCC. Cornerstone University, GRCC. school of cuteness.

V: vegetables you dislike:: none!. most!. most besides sweet potato and carrots.

W: winter:: like it til my birthday!. dislike it since the snowblower died. never heard of it!

X: x-factor (an unknown, but vital quality):: problem solver. remembers everyone he meets. can melt hearts.

Y: yummy food:: pasta and bread. Monte Cristo. blueberries, cheese, and goldfishies

Z: zoo animal fave:: tigers, lions, monkeys

Now it's your turn...pick a letter (or 2!) and leave a comment with your answer! I love getting to know you!! Enjoy this sweet day **

Our $150 Bathroom Makeover

When Josh and I bought our first home almost 2 years ago, we weren't looking for all the bells and whistles. Our goal was to find a starter house that we could make our own over the course of a few years. Let's just say we've done some projects we didn't think we'd be doing so soon, and some projects we thought we'd be doing...well, they're still on the to-do list!

But we recently finished a much-needed makeover on our home's one and only bathroom. The entire house had a nasty 80's vibe going on, with country blue and mauve everything- mini blinds, speckled counter tops, zig-zag wallpaper, even the shower curtain! The bathroom was what I'll call "country kitchen chic"-you can see for yourself....




Yes. That is an oak wood toilet seat. It went with the vanity, mirror cabinet, towel holders...do I sense a theme here?!

I try to look for inspiration in the little things when I'm planning how to redecorate a room. Sometimes that's a piece of fabric, a knick-knack, or a picture. For the bathroom, it was a little sign I picked up at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 when we still lived in our apartment. I knew that it was exactly the direction I wanted to go in!


I love the simplicity. The shabby chic-ness. The gospel truth that Yes, happiness is a hot bath! And this is where we ended up when it was all said and done:

And here's how we completely changed the look of our bathroom for just $150!!
1. Paint- Custom color Behr paint from Home Depot : $35

* This may have actually cost slightly more given the fact that we brought home like a bazillion of those little $3 sample cans before finding the right shade*

2. White toilet seat- Costco: $14.99
3. Shower Curtain- Aldi: $9.99

(Never underestimate finding great things in odd places! I wouldn't have thought of buying a shower curtain at a grocery store, but there it was!)

4. Vanity Light- Home Depot: $34.99
5. Towel Bars & T.P. Holder- Home Depot: $14.99- $19.99

We painted the vanity and nabbed the black mirror we already had from our bedroom. It still could use some additional storage, but over all I'm so happy with how the bathroom turned out!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rolled Flowers and Winners

Fabric flowers are everywhere I look these days! So I've been searching for some different flower techniques to turn into necklaces and headbands. I'm thrilled with what I've found! The rolled flower is one of the coolest things I've seen recently, and I am in love with it's simple loveliness.


I'm also working on what I like to call The Giant Pom-Pom...it's made just like the smaller pom-poms that I use for my necklaces, only it's about 4" wide! I think they're going to be AdoRaBLe for the little girl headbands I'm making.



The regular pom-poms each seem to turn out a little different from the next depending on the type of fabric I use and how big or small my starting circles are. I made these yellow checkered pom-poms to use up some leftover lightweight fabric, and I think they are some of my favorites!
If you'd like to know how to make pom-poms, check out this tutorial!



This weekend will hopefully involve turning most of these fabric flowers into uber cute necklaces, headbands, and who knows what else! I'll be posting the finished products on the Today Is Sweeter facebook page if you're interested in having one for yourself...

And now for the Necklace Giveaway winners!!
Our two winners for this giveaway were Erin and Katie! Yay!! Email me and let me know which necklace you would like! ( You can follow the Contact Me button above).

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, left such sweet and encouraging comments, and shared this blog on Facebook! Keep on the look out for more upcoming giveaways! And have a very HAPPY weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lipgloss & Forgiveness

Those guys just stole my purse!
That was my thought as I started frantically looking under the passenger seat of my car. The one that less than 15 minutes earlier had my cute little black clutch purse sitting right on it. In plain view. I did think twice about leaving my keys in the ignition and my little purse sitting on the front seat...but I'm only going in for a few minutes I thought, as I headed into my Mom and Dad's house. And I mean, who's going to take anything? The big golden retriever??

So in I went. And soon I was in almost hysterical laughter as my Mom relayed her paranoia over the guys doing roofing work on their house that day. Call it woman's intuition. Call it the Holy Spirit. Whatever it was that had my Mom convinced the guys were scammers and she'd better have my little brother's copying down their license plates & watching their every move....she was right! Fast forward 10-maybe 15 minutes, and out I went to my car, intent on getting home to put my sweet boy to bed. Instead, I found my purse missing and the roofing guys taking off out of the driveway. They sure packed up fast. And for a split second, as I saw them pulling out of the drive I thought, Hey! Get back here....my purse is gone and I'm pretty sure YOU'VE GOT IT!

But I didn't. I guess because seriously, who is that brazen? And I assumed surely I must have taken it in the house. Or left it at church earlier that night. Or maybe it just fell under the seat.
Two hours later, after a visit from the Sheriff's Deputy, a trip my Mom graciously made back to the church to double-check, phone calls to the head roofer, phone calls to the bank to stop our accounts...my little purse was still gone and there wasn't much else we could do.

I headed home in silence with Josh- and a sick feeling in my stomach. My debit card and check book were gone. My month old Blackberry was gone. My amazingly adorable clutch purse and SuperShock lipgloss were gone. We drove slowly along the road shining the headlights onto the shoulder, hoping maybe we'd get lucky and they'd have chucked my purse out the window as they drove. No such luck.

I didn't sleep too well last night. This morning has been a hustle and bustle of activity- getting a new driver's license, closing our bank accounts...my parent's roof still not complete, or done correctly. It leaves us with a sad, angry, overwhelmed feeling. I'm trying really hard to not be shallow- they are just things missing. But they were things I liked-maybe even loved (ok, I really loved my phone and lipgloss!) And I am reminded through this whole situation of 2 things:

1. Live with open hands. If I don't value and cherish my earthly things higher than I should, it's easier to let them go when I'm not clenching my fist around them. Yes, it still stinks that they were stolen, but it's not devastating because I know where they ranked.

2. Forgiveness is not easy sometimes, but it's what I'm called to. Somehow it actually seems easier to forgive the BIG things in life (an injustice we have no control over, a broken heart...) than it is with the little things. Maybe because we can see and feel the effects in such a real, tangible, physical way along with the emotions. But forgiveness is forgiveness either way, and I have to choose it to live it!

At the end of the day, God knows- He sees the unseen things. Maybe it was so we could talk to people at Secretary of State this morning as I waited for my number to be called. Maybe it will be used in the life of whoever took my purse to show them their own need for Christ. It's not my responsibility to know all the answers. But it is my responsibility to forgive, and to see things through God's eyes, and to trust.

So I'm trusting that God will protect my identity, our bank accounts, my parent's investment in their roof. I'm trusting that good will come out of this situation even if it's something I can't see. And most of all- I'm trusting that my purse snatcher will feel just as fabulous in that watermelon lipgloss as I did! (*wink*)


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I realize that this probably disqualifies me for Mommy of the Year, but sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do!
Because I work from home right now (on Wednesday afternoons), there are times that I do whatever it takes to sneak in 15 more minutes of work time after Blake gets up from his nap. Even if that involves leftover Easter eggs filled with M & M's....Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Crafty Name & A Giveaway

It's Here! It's Here! The very first Today Is Sweeter Giveaway! I have been working into the wee hours of the night this past week creating oodles of Yo Yo's & Pom Pom's. I am SO excited about them that I want to share my happiness with YOU!



So I'm giving away these two lovelies!


....and here's how you enter:

1. Follow/Subscribe to my blog.
2. Leave a comment (say hi, tell me why you LOVE this blog, tell me which necklace YOU want to win...you get the idea!)

Optional "Extra" entries:
1. Share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter
2. Blog about this giveaway on your own blog

Leave a comment for each extra entry you complete letting me know where you shared! I'll pick the winners using Random.org and announce on Friday who's going to be wearing new jewelry!


Now for the second part of this post...If I were to start selling my new little creations sometime in the near future (maybe in craft shows, maybe on Etsy), I need a business name. I have a few thoughts and am looking for input!

Here's my list:
1. Stay with Today Is Sweeter (keeping it the same as the blog)
2. The Hidden Thimble
3. Spunky Rooster
4. Carrot Top Creations

I'd love to hear what you think! (Just don't crush my humble little ideas too bad, mmkay!) And if you've got any suggestions...have at it!


Pardon Me...and An Announcement

Ah, progress...it never seems to come quickly enough! You'll notice I currently have no header (the top banner thingie that tells you where you've arrived/ a.k.a. Today Is Sweeter). It's in the works...but I'm having to educate myself uber fast on writing HTML code, and there's a sink full of dishes and laundry to do!! I promise it's going to look better soon though, and in the mean time Please Pardon My Mess!

Check back later tonight for my first ever GIVEAWAY!!! You won't want to miss this (and I don't want you to miss it either!) And hopefully by then this work-in-progress will have gained a little more *beauty*!



Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Hat for Everyday

For the last few months, our mornings have rarely begun without first finding the perfect headgear for the breakfast booster. Most mornings Blake ends up next to me in the "big" bed to drink his bottle of milk (and I squeeze in 10 more minutes of my much loved sleep!). From this spot Blake usually ends up spotting Josh's Detroit Tigers hat and eagerly points and jabbers until I get it off the over-the-door rack for him.

Other mornings the first hat Blake grabs is one of his beach hats, or his University of Michigan ball cap, or one of his hand me down Gap caps...you get the idea. But no matter which hat he decides upon, it's a morning must have before he can eat his waffle and juice!

I suppose he comes by it naturally...Josh loves that Tiger's hat even more than Blake-if that's possible- and I've been known to throw on a ball cap on those days my hair has decided to rebel. And I have to say, I think all those hats just make Blake's big brown eyes even bigger and browner...which I *Love*.

Since mere beach hats and ball caps are for amateurs, my little also has found that a sand bucket, a box for blocks, and mama's kitchen bowls work great too! So hats off to you my sweet boy...you melt my heart!