Monday, April 30, 2012

Vote for Jimmy!

Interrupting our normal broadcasting to say...

 I have never done this sort of thing before, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to possibly be one of the five winners of a $100 gift card to Mpix.  ( is a professional photo printing site, so I am sure you can understand how much I could appreciate said $100 to its fabulous store.) This is a Mother's Day contest on facebook, and I'm pretty sure Jimmy has the cutest winning smile. If you have a facebook account and feel like being so kind as to help me achieve this gift, go to this link to cast your vote.

It means so much to me! Thank you so much!

"I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me Mommy."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jimmy | 18 Months

Dear Jimmy,

How is it that you are already 18 months? I remember looking forward to your birth for an entire 8 months (February 23 until October 29, if you want specifics). I could not wait to hold and cuddle and cherish my perfect newborn for.... forever! What I happened to not take into consideration is, you newborns grow up! AND a whole lot faster than any mommy expects, I might add! But what I learned was, there was no stopping you, and that is what's so cool. You introduce me to all the new aspects of your journey in this life of yours with so much energy and eagerness. You have made this anti-newborn thing fun! Each new and exciting stage you enter is somehow even better than the last. You make being a mommy so easy, and so much fun. Oh, if I could only tell you how lucky I am to claim that role in your life. I love you so much.

I know I have not been the completely perfect mother. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would have totally ignored the messy house and the piles of laundry and the unswept floors and the unplanned dinners. I would have spent every single second you desired my presence giving it to you. I would not have wasted a single, solitary moment to cuddle you. I'm so glad that you taught me how babies don't keep, because now I know that toddlers don't keep either. Now I know that when you need me to read you your Drumming on a Drum book, nothing else in this world is more important. Now I know that when you hold your hands out to me, there is nothing more precious of my time than your sweet hugs.

I love it when you decide to bring me a book and beg me to read to you... You snuggle up next to me on the couch and are mesmerized by the pictures and my voice. It is so cute when I read the last page and close the cover, you say "aaaah done!"

I love how you love your daddy. You sense when it is starting to get late and Daddy is putting in a long day for us, every little peculiar noise you excitedly start gasping and saying, "Uh, Daddy? Daddy?" Sometimes I carelessly leave my phone in your reach and you bring it to me and ask again for Daddy. I call him so you can hear his voice. You don't say much, you just smile really big and every now and then you look at me in wonder and exclaim "Daaaaaddy!"

Gosh. How did you get to be so cute?

I love how you love puppies. Your stuffed puppy from Auntie Tabby is your constant companion. Your real puppy, Winston, is your best friend. Every dog you come into contact with you greet with so much happiness, you could care less that they might jump on you or knock you over. They are puppies, and that is what matters, right?

I love how you are so quick to think the ouch-ies that Winston accidentally bestows upon you are cool. Your tears are followed by a complete sense of pride and joy when you see the little bit of blood he can draw when he gets all puppy-rough on you. You run and show your new wound to daddy, and of course daddy thinks you are so manly and tough too.

I love how you love dandelions. You don't even know they are just really annoying weeds. You love to pluck their sorry little heads off and bring them to me. Coming from you, they are like the world's most expensive floral arrangement.... In fact, if I were given the choice between the two, I would choose your bouquet any day! They are so sweet. You have no idea how much it means to me that you like to delight me in that way.

I love how you turn everything into a drum. The tin pail you found, the pots in the kitchen, the piano bench, your potty chair, your big ball... You delightedly pound on it explaining to me, "issa dums, Mom!"

Oh Jimmy, you are the perfect son. I could not wish for a more affectionate, loving little sweetheart. I look at you and wonder at how you are mine. You truly are the apple of my eye. I am so grateful to God for giving you to your daddy and me. 

I love you, little man.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

5 Steps to Organization

Hi. My name is Brittney, and I am the world's biggest procrastinator... Evidenced by the fact that after nine months, I can finally say that we are officially unpacked. Granted, there were two moves in that time frame, but I shamelessly developed the tendency to get lazy and tired of unpacking so I shoved boxes into the confines of out-of-sight-out-of-mind closets until they were stuffed to oblivion and I could not find or do anything without making a complete mess. It completely knocked my creativity out of wack and nothing ever felt really, truly clean which peeves me. 

I spent the majority of my free time for a few weeks recently organizing. It was bad, dear people. BAD. I couldn't even take before pictures. I know I should have, but it was that embarrassing. 

We do not have a lot of storage space in our 2 bedroom, basement-less home, so ridding myself of  unpacked boxes posed a lot of challenges for me While all of the closets in my house (thank God we have several!) have been redeemed, I am only going to show you our master closet since that one turned out the most pretty on top of being functional. (Functional & Pretty I love it when those two words can go in the same sentence, don't you?)

(Hope you don't mind the mobile photos.)

This closet not only contains our clothing and shoes, it also holds...

:: my sewing/crafting equipment and supplies (unfortunately, there is no place to set that up; I just have to bring it all out to the dining room when I have my creative urges) which includes sewing machines, fabric, patterns, ribbon, yarn, buttons, notions, scrapbook paper, paint, etc., etc., etc.
:: currently unused decor items and candles
:: photo albums
:: keepsake memorabilia (including my wedding dress)
:: Andy's old banjo (which he never mastered) and trumpet (which he did master)
:: a currently unused end table that goes with our living room set
:: my jewelry and perfume

I do not like interrupting projects to go to the store and buy organizing supplies. Keeping my budget at zero helps a person get a little creative, like using a box to stack the husband's shoes. Tacky? Eeeeyeah, but it works. And really, who sees in my closet anyway? Oh yeah... that would be you right now. 

 I kind of like my little jewelry set up. I have most of my bejeweled accessories sorted into compartments inside the pretty box. (the large black object is actually a box that holds our wedding album, in case you were being that nosy and wondering what the heck? Is that where they keep their skeleton?)

This little wooden shelf thingamabomboogeydoodlebug I picked up at Goodwill once upon a longish time ago. I have always planned on painting it and doing something cute with it, and still probably will. It is behaving and being very functional right now, and I love displaying my favorite earrings on it...

 ...and favorite perfumes!

This organizing project took several days due to the fact that I had to sort through the items stored in this closet, under our bed and in the extra-large bathroom linen closet and combine them all (and I'm happy to report that under the bed is now free of debris). 

My Five-Step Organizing Technique

1. First and foremost, get your head in the game. Repeat this mantra over and over until it gets in your blood stream: Less is more, less is more... A place for everything and everything in its place... Less is more........ LESS, LESS, LESS is MORE, MORE, MORE.....

2. Completely empty the area you are focusing on first (in this case for me, the master closet). Decide what will go in this spot. Wipe down all surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner and sweep or vacuum.

Do not try to tackle multiple closets at once, even if you have to condense and combine items from other areas as well. You do not want to overwhelm yourself.....too much. Keep it simple.

3. Have a get rid of pile. Make it huge. You can sell, you can donate, you can throw away. If you don't need it, why keep it? If it can't juggle, what's the point? (okay, maybe I wasn't serious on that point, you may end up throwing out everything but the pet monkey and you will probably start to miss your husband and kids. It's just not worth it.) 

LESS IS MORE! Less is more space, less is more clean, less is more fun.  
Less is next to clean which is next to godliness.

4. Create categories. And then create specific, designated space for each category. Everything must have a spot. Use bins, baskets, boxes, jars --whatever is available! Do not make this too complicated or you will never be organized! Remember, everything in its place!

A tip--to keep these areas looking clean and un-cluttered, try not to store items directly on the floor. Put them in a bin, set them on a rack, place them in a box tipped on its side, hang them on a nail....
5. Finally, place items, one by one, into their designated place. Again, ask yourself, do I want it? do I need it? do I use it? is it worth the space it is taking? An exception to the rule is, do not ask those questions to yourself when handling your husband's items. Ever. He will not appreciate that. However, you can pull out things that he has not seemed to want/wear/use and then ask him about each item. He will likely be horrified, but you may be able to purge a few centimeters of valuable space. Do not get mad at him, because when mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy, and that ain't a happy way to live.

I would also like to note that if you are finding any of your spaces (individually or as a whole) crowded, stuffed and sloppy, you probably need to re-think your category. Can you get rid of any of it? Can you rearrange it? Can it go somewhere else?

When it's all done, add a touch of pretty and go pour yourself a cup of coffee and revel in your  utter amazing-ness. You just did that. The other closets and spaces can wait until tomorrow (says the self-diagnosed world's biggest procrastinator). You deserve a break. 

Linking to: 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Real Time | Jimmy & Winston

This is what my house looks like this evening... Jimmy and Winston unwinding from a hearty outdoor romping followed by equally hearty baths.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

From the Archives of 2001

Just this last week I ran across this image I took in the Spring of 2001. It is my baby sister, Tabitha, snuggling with my baby Abby goat kid. Cute, eh? Yes, I was and am a country girl. I love this photo.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How to Love a Dandelion

That Dandelion! Him and his family are so not cool. They take over our yards and make an obnoxious nuisance of themselves with their persistent insistence on growing where they have not been invited... of blooming where they should not have been planted. It's rude. Rude, Dude! And yet, there it is. That mean thing, that. Go away. Leave us alone. Nobody even likes you.

And then.... My sweet son, all on his own, picked me a whole bunch of them. Because he thought they were pretty. He thought I liked them. The very first bouquet my son would pick for me had to be dandelions. And you know what? They were beautiful and perfect, because they were from Jimmy. You can bet I kissed and hugged him and put the plucked heads into a shallow dish of water to display his cute little thoughtfulness.

Having a dish of dandelion heads on my table was like having a little bowl full of sunshine. Jimmy taught me a different way to look at this nasty weed.

Now, when I look out the window at our dandelion field, I see sun drops glistening against the green of our yard. I see nature's little celebration of Spring. I see a childlike joy in the beauty of the simple, little things. I see God's way of saying, Winter is over, and I even put careful detail and design into the little things, like the weeds I gave you. I see a thing to be thankful for, and I am going to go out and party it up with Winston and Jimmy.

Thank you, God, for dandelions and the sweet little boy who taught me to love them!

Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge

Friday, April 20, 2012

He Cleans His Own Messes Too!

One of the reasons I have been obnoxiously silent is because I have been in the middle of copious organizing projects. Every day I complete another project which makes my heart very, very happy and content. I might devote an entire post just in honor of all my sorted-out-and-put-together closets. But for now, a Jimmy moment...

"So Jimmy," I said to my 17-month old Jimmy after he had come to me for some quality Mom-time, "I heard you in the kitchen making a big mess with your drawer!"

 He has a drawer that contains all of his items for eating and drinking and then some, and he has been known for using it to make the kitchen a complete and utter uproar. For that reason I don't always allow him to play with it, but I needed to wrap my project up so knowing he was safely occupied I ignored the mess that was ensuing.

He just soberly acknowledged the fact as he snuggled up next to me.

"Did you put everything back?"

He thought for a minute and then grinned and clapped for himself.

I didn't believe him, but a few minutes later he took my hand as I walked into the kitchen. And there it was... Just as I left it, with the exception of one lid that he forgot, which he quickly ran over and returned to his drawer. He once again applauded for his himself, and you can bet I joined him this time!

He's such a cute little smartie pants... {insert great big proud happy smile}

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Josh & Lori Wedding Photos

Why yes, I did kind of fall off the blog wagon there, didn't I. Here's me climbing back on, with some great wedding photos! These are from Josh & Lori's wedding reception. Gosh, what a perfect day it was! The weather was gorgeous, the lighting was phenomenal, the bride was beautiful, and oh my goodness! the setting was beyond photogenic... Couldn't make this photographer happier! Congratulations, to Josh and Lori on their marriage!

The bride getting ready

Her dress had so much detail. It was gorgeous!

Her hair and veil were perfect!

Check back on the facebook page (BrittneyHobeinPhotography) soon for even more photos!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Puppy for Easter

Our little Jimmy is one of those boys who pretty much needed a puppy the moment he was born. He loves dogs, and they love him right back. We finally moved to a place where we can have a dog so when Spring rolled around we knew it was time to add that necessary member to the family. A cute little mutt-of-a-6-week-old pup has entered Jimmy's life and they both think they are the brother they never had.

So meet Winston... Jimmy's cute little shadow.