Monday, January 31, 2011

~ it's all in a name ~

I was so sad last week.
I was trying to post to my blog
and all the sudden my little laptop...
died. It totally. kicked. the. bucket.

I was so bummed and day by day - I kept getting behind with my
Brave Girl's assignments - I had no idea what to do.

My sweet husband came home from work and said - let's go to Costco!
We went and we picked me (us) out a new laptop and
I lof her!

As you know, I love to name possessions.
I posted to Facebook I was trying to figure out a name for my new laptop...

I got SO Many good ideas - most of my possessions are female... I don't know why, they just are.

For example:

We have 3 chickens -
Audrey Hepburn (Black and White)
Elizabeth Taylor (Black and White)
& Maureen O'Hara (Rhode Island Red)

My pretty blue coffee cup named Birdy.

My washer and dryer - Kim and Trixie.

I thought and thought
and couldn't come up with something fun -

went to check my Facebook
and there were so many fun suggestions!

My friends love me!
I wanted it to be a cool name.

Something a bit smart.

maybe even genius.

yet cute and quirky!
And there it was ... the suggestion from one of my High School friends - Danica.
She suggested I name her Qwerty.

At first I was like so fun! then I thought - where in the world did she get that name?

So I asked her -

She reminded me it is the first six letters on the top row of the keyboard!
Genius, right?
One of the suggestions from a friend of mine was Scarlett.
Immediately when I heard that suggestion I remembered that I
had never named my sweet little cell phone (yet another gift from my sweet husband)

So also, please meet Scarlett.
I've had her for almost a year and lof her! She's so good to me.
So there you have it - me and my silly naming things again...

Got any cool names?

Friday, January 28, 2011

~ Unbound ~

I wrote the
following poem a
couple of weeks
ago when I was

reflecting and working through some things that have happened in my life.

I've had to work up the courage to share it with all of you.

 I've had and have a beautiful life and I am brimmed with gratitude.

I'm thankful for the Brave Girls Seminar that has given me tools to appreciate the gifts that were hidden in hardships as well as celebrating the blessings even more than I ever have. I'm learning tools to help me remember and recognize my dreams, my blessings and again, the hidden gifts in even the hardest of times.

Since I've been involved in the Brave Girls Seminar, I've also joined their online community, as I've told you before, and I have met so many women from all over the world who have greatly inspired me. A lot of them are overcoming or have overcame great unfortunate events in their life. It really has made me realize how blessed I truly am. I love to learn about their life, hear their stories, see their art that expresses their life and their love to create, as well as be encouraging to them and for some - I've been blessed to be able to pray for them.

They have all been such a wonderful and encouraging support to me. 

I have dedicated this poem to my fellow Brave Girl sisters.


Long black sleeves cover my ugly rigid scars.
Layers and layers of bandages cover the hurt, the lies, the sadness.
No relief, No answers, No healing to be found.
I trudge through my days with this exhausting heavy load.

The moon shadows my world.
Voices haunt me and paralyze my dreams.
Where can I find refuge?
Who can take away my sorrows?

I watch as my days pass by uncontrollably.
Am I worth the effort?
Why can't I save myself from this nightmare?

Whispers of His Truths sprinkle my soul like raindrops christening the dry cracked earth.
They nourish my inner most brokenness.
His Truths heal my tortured thoughts and my reoccurring agony of abuse.
His Truths correct my self conscious shortcomings.
His Truths take my fear, my hate, my despise and restore my soul's foundation.

No more voices crippling my legacy and aspirations. No more doubts and questions.
I'm scooped up in His arms and adorned with precious petals of goodness, mercy and love.

He removes my choking burdens.
I'm free to breathe.
He mends my wings.
I'm free to fly.
To soar.

To be brave.

~Sami Jo

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

~ here's the new Jetty Rae Music Video - Pssssst! PASS IT ON! ~

She's our best girl!
We're so proud of her!

This is Jetty's first music video -
so everybody give Jetty a HUGE round of applause...
now settle in for a little music loveliness!

Forget Me Not

Pssssst! PASS IT ON!
make sure to pause my music at the very bottom of the screen first!

Congratulations, Sweets!

We love it!
We love you!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

~ a beautiful break ~

We were so blessed
this weekend as our
Granny and Grandad
took both of the boys,

Pauly went for 2 nights and William went for the last night.
They even took them to church on Sunday and
then out to lunch. "Chicken and French Fries!", per Pauly.

We dropped William off at Granny's on Saturday morning just before noon. I was totally dragging my feet the whole morning, not to mention completely and utterly STRESSED OUT the whole night before. This was the first time I had been away from William for more than 2 hours in like a year (or as Ben says 2 years since I carried him around for 9ish months).

I really had nothing to worry about - Our Granny is AMAZING with the kids and Grandad is awesome at keeping them sidetracked. The boys had a great time and we're so thankful for the break.

While the boys were away we went for a little country drive.
I, of course, admired all the old farmhouses and barns. I imagined how it might be to live out in the country again. There is such a whole different dynamic to life when you live like that. I grew up living out in the country, as many of you know, we lived about an hour from any type of effective grocery shopping, medical care or movie house - Yes, I say movie house... don't laugh at me...
okay, go ahead - since I can't hear you.

I'm secure in my quirkiness :)

Ben and I also went for a little walk through our local restaurant supply store. So much fun!
It's amazing the stuff we miss out on with each other when we are just "trying to survive" chasing our boys around.

We went to eat at a local little Basque restaurant/ bar called Bar Gernika.
It's downtown and super quaint.
We shared a Lamb Sandwich that had it's own little au jus broth. On the side we had an order of fries and a few croquetas each.

We went straight home to catch an afternoon nap and then left the house to go to his
work's end-of-year party that evening.
After dinner, we came home and changed into something more comfortable and then went back downtown to the Basque Bar (a different one) and was able to sip some cocktails and just visit.
It was wonderful, just us.
BUT we kept noticing how weird it was to not have our boys with us.
We came home early and watched Chopped because we are just those "old fogies" I've described we are in other posts. We were in bed before midnight and of course because both my boys were gone - I couldn't sleep in to save my life.  It always works out that way...
I worked on a little bit of house cleaning and I worked on one of my Brave Girls projects.

A special thanks to Granny for doing this silhouette of a "younger" me. She did a great job.
I've really been enjoying the Brave Girl's seminar.
I'm super excited to do our next assignment this evening after the boys get to bed -
granted I can get into the office as Pauly locked and shut the door... so we are waiting for Daddy to get home from work so he can save the day.
Just glad the stinker didn't lock HIMSELF in there.
*tee hee*

Thursday, January 20, 2011

~Wiggle Room~

my new favorite.

 Her name is Birdy.

Every time I look at her I think of a pretty bird singing in the morning.

Singing her beautiful
very own.

Now, you might be laughing thinking what a crazy woman!
She names her coffee cups?


I name my coffee cups, washer and dryer (Kim & Trixie),
cars (Beulah the Buick & Baby Ruth the Ford Escort) -
 I take after my mother in that regard....
I always thought it was weird, but now - I love it.

I've started back on my healthy eating trail.

Man! I wanted panycakes this morning with the boys!
But I resisted and ate two soft-boiled eggs and sliced tomatoe...

and I was content.

I'm doing pretty good but I have to say it was super hard to get back in the hang of things.
I despise the headache I get at first when my body is SCREAMING! for carbs and sugar.

I have to make sure that I give myself some a little bit of space when I diet because if I hate it, I won't do it.
I know myself all too well.


So, I let myself have coffee in the mornings - WITH cream and sugar.
2 cups.... sometimes even 3 or 4 if I want it.

I don't overload on cream and sugar just a dab here and there.
Just by doing this makes me feel excited to wake up in the mornings,
excited to hold a pretty Birdy in my hand -
all warm and comfy filled with deliciousness.

Look, she's even pretty and comforting when she's empty...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

*happiness in housework #1*


is the kind of organization

that makes my heart


I sent Pauly to go round-up
of our Daddy's ties.

He took his little Home Depot kids' toolbox
and load by load
 brought me all the ties, well he could find :)

He was so proud.

and SO adorable, I might add.

I moved around Ben's clothing and combined his underware and t-shirt drawer
by transferring his old grey t-shirts to the "rag stash" -
Thank you, Jesus those are gone.
and I established a drawer just for his ties.
I put in cardboard inserts to help keep things
organized and tidy.

It turned out perfect and oh so perty!
happiness in housework.

Now if only poor little William could of stayed awake to see the happy ending...

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Daily chores come and go,
it's easy to get lost in the cycles,
the everyday routines,
and mundane daily repeat.

I tend to get wrapped so tight into my routine. 
Mondays - laundry and new sheets for all the beds.
Tuesdays - house-keeping and Pauly plays with play dough or paints
Wednesdays - Dinner... Daddy's usually home on Wednesdays, gotta have something yummy.... hmmm....
and so on and so on...
Fridays - Red Box Movie Night

Chasing, chasing, chasing the days.

Chasing my boys and I forget to breathe.
 I forget about the abundant blessings.

I forget about the beauty in the every day.

The beauty in every single thing.
 I forget how much God really cares about my every thought,

my every concern.
 He knows my deepest darkest fear,

my likes, my dislikes,

he knows my dreams and aspirations.

He cares about me.

All of me.
 He is my only.

My only dependable Truth.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40: 27-31

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm off to learn to fly...

I'm off to learn to fly...
Really! -
Really and truly, FLY!
How is this crazy woman going to learn to fly, you ask?
Well, I'm not sure yet but, I have a feeling I'm going to learn...


I was blessed with a very exciting gift the day after Christmas. 

Maybe some of you have already heard about the Brave Girl's Club I've been crushing over for the past couple weeks. For those of you who don't know what Brave Girl's is... its a Club that Melody Ross and her partner/sister Kathy Wilkins founded. They put together this club to help women find that inner girl, feel alive again, give you self-confidence to chase down those dreams - it's really just a place to get that every day encouragement to be the best You - YOU can be. It's wonderful.

Go sign up!

Early December I signed up for a free 6-week online seminar called Soul Restoration on this blog. I was so excited because I had heard from Becky at Farmgirl Paints about the camp that the Brave Girls put on but knew I couldn't leave my sweet babes for that long. actually - I think the boys would be okay it's Ben I'm really worried about. Ha! No - there's no way I could do the camp, but this online seminar I could do it and to win the giveaway would be awesome.
I didn't win. Booooo hoooo!

I was blogging around one afternoon and went over to Brave Girl's Blog and was reading a little about Melody on their blog - this particular blog post was something about a miracle in her life - out of the corner of my eye - I saw something about thankful to have my husband  back and I was like what happened?!!!!! So I had to go read it - I was skimming through and Holy Cowgirl!!! Melody Ross' husband! I know him! He came to my house when William was just a wee babe and fixed my sky light! He is a life saver - AMAZING! I'm telling you I was SO thankful for this man FOR MONTHS!!!!
& that blog post - go read it immediately!

Oh! and I forgot to even mention that my husband! Oh yes - my husband knew him - of course because he came to fix our sky light BUT he also knows HER! What? and he didn't tell me?

I rung his neck! then I begged him to share details, details, details!

He had nothin'! well... not enough!

So what did I do? I wrote Melody Ross an email...
yeah - me.
little. ole. me.

I told her how awesome Brave Girls is and that I was starting me a Brave Girl's Camp jar. I praised her for spreading light and happiness and told her how awesome her husband is.... cuz HE ROCKED that skylight and I was still so thankful not to have to worry about it - you understand I'm sure. I attached some pics of us and the boys and wished her and her family a Merry Christmas and sent it on it's way...


I wrote it and never thought twice about getting a return email cuz
that gal - she's got places to be and smiles to spread!

Then there it was... an email from her the day after Christmas!

She thanked me for my email and she wanted to COME TO MY HOUSE to bring me something!!!!

i died.

THEN I Squealed!!!!! eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

then i passed out!

Bless her heart on a Sunday afternoon, she showed up with her husband - after church none the less - and dropped me off a Soul Restoration kit. Not only did she gift a complete stranger but she took time out of her crazy day - on a Sunday AND she drove to my house and hand delivered it!

I cried. then I smiled till my cheeks hurt - then I cried a little more.

I had no words. I just sat there and smiled and let my two boys be the stars of the shows -

I'm super shy under pressure... sometimes. -
Well today I was.
I was super shy, super nervous and so utterly and completely grateful.

So tomorrow it starts and I don't have any expectations but I know there will be art, painting, modge podge, positive words, encouragement and maybe, just maybe some flying lessons...

 I'll keep you posted.


Thank you so very much Melody and Kathy -

for having a vision of a place where women can just. be.
be encouraged. encourage each other. & enjoy!

You both have been blessed with beautiful gifts and are an
incredible example of putting your gift to work.

God Bless you both and your families.

Tootle-loo birdies!

Monday, January 10, 2011

~ Mad Wild Bill ~

Once upon a time there was a little brother named William. William was very daring and wanted to do EVERYTHING his big brother could do. He started crawling quite early so he could get started perfecting anything and everything he could to be just like his big brother, Pauly.

As you can see this got William in trouble this weekend when he took a header while he was trying to crawl super fast to keep up Pauly - his little rear end got ahead of his front end and he went head over tea kettle and thumped his poor little face right smack into the wood floor.

Very sad.
This "go get 'em" personality has got William only a few bumps and bruises - and to be honest I'm surprised he hasn't had more based off of what he is has been doing lately... with help from his brother he is already crawling up on beds - Pauly aids in lining up their little desk chair and then William crawls up on the chair then to the bed, then he dive-bombs off the bed because, let's face it he's SUPER short.

AND he goes up and down the stairs about 20 times a day and he's only 14 months old.

He should be walking full-time very soon....oh jeez, Marg.

This was the face that Pauly made when we were looking at William's lip... and I have to admit it - but my face was almost exactly the same. eeeeewwwwwww! Grwowdy!

As crazy and rowdy as these boys are already - I'm not sure of this little house will stay standing...
We might have a 7 brides for 7 brothers reenactment like when they were all fighting and the
barn fell down... remember?

Dear Jesus, please protect my little house from these rascals. Amen.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

* new background *

I hope my new little background makes you smile! It makes me
so. happy!

I made it myself! I love futsin' around and making my own headers and backgrounds. Sometimes it works... sometimes it makes me want to pull out my hair!

I'm working on a header that would SUPPOSEDLY go with this background right now and I can't quite get it right... so we might just stay plain and enjoy the words... cuz aren't they fabulous?

This weekend things are pretty quiet here. It's our first weekend in a long time when it is just us. My sweet husband let me sleep in till 10a this morning and it was beautiful. I woke up, made us coffee, bacon, eggs and toast  - and hate to admit have been sitting on my rump the majority of the day just snuggling with my boys, working on my blog and watching football... GO SEAHAWKS! ehem...
Just had to sneak that tidbit in....

I've decided tomorrow is going to be a lot more productive - I'm gonna get up before the boys and finally make Pauly the Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins we fell in love with, I've got to get supplies together for my Brave Girl's Soul Restoration Online Seminar! Yay! So excited!! (Tune in Monday when I share with you all about Brave Girl's and what happened!! Oooh you're going to love it.)

Well all you all have a beautiful rest of your weekend and I'll be back here on Monday!!

**edited Sunday morning - for fun I tried out Kaitlin's Applesauce Oat Steusel Muffins and they were Amazing! I wanted to eat all the Steusel off the top of ALL the muffins-eeeeek! Go check her out! She's got a great little food blog. <3

Friday, January 7, 2011

100 things

1. Real name → Sami Jo
2. Nickname(s)→ Sam, Samaria, Samuel Joseph, Samari
3. Zodiac sign → Taurus
4. Male or female →  Female
5. Elementary→ Lovelock Elementary (Nevada), Howe Elementary (Idaho)
6. Middle School → Butte County Middle School
7. High School → Butte County High School
8. Hair color → brown... very boring.
9. Long or short→ just below shoulders but normally put in a bun ... messy bun
10. Loud or Quiet → Loud! unless I'm mad, sad, or nervous
11. Sweats or Jeans → Sweats - lof to be comfy.
12. Phone or Camera → Camera - LOVE to take pics.... you know that :) I NEVER keep track of my phone which drives my family crazy and my husband INSANE!
13. Health freak → I grew up eating elk meat and taters for just about every meal - We drank from the hose and swam in the horse trough... Not Really a health freak - Maybe I should be - eeek!
14.  Besties → Mom, Jodi (sis), Casi (sis), and Shi (childhood)...
15. Do you have a crush on someone? -> I have 3 men in my life. My husband, Ben - my love, my Pauly boy and my Baby boy - I crush on all of them all day, every day.
16. Eat or Drink → Drink - Ice Tea with Lemon and WATER - I <3 water!
17. Piercings → ears. JUST EARS. (I do have a second hole that I do not use)
18. Tattoos → Nope.

19. Been in an airplane? only on 2 occasions
20. Been in a relationship? Yes in deedy :)
21. Been in a car accident? No....knock on wood.
22. Been in a fist fight ? Yes. eeeeek!

23. First piercing? I got my ears pierced when I was just teensy weensy.
24. First best friend? Rebekah Livermore
25. First award? probably one of those sweet blue ribbons you win on field day in Elementary or a fun little prize at church for reciting a memory verse correctly.
26. First crush? Josh Hansen - I thought he was SO cute!
28. First big vacation? South Dakota

29. Last person you talked to? My hubby
30. Last person you texted? My hubby
31. Last person you watched a movie with? Paul and William - How to Train a Dragon
32. Last food you ate? soft-boiled egg
33. Last movie you watched? How to Train a Dragon
34. Last song you listened to? Grey's Anatomy soundtrack (as I'm watching Greys right now - such good music.)
35. Last thing you bought? $20.03 gas at the Stinker
36. Last person you hugged? My husband.
37. Food?  sushi pleeeeease :) and mom - it's Ed u Mommy.... Not whose your mommy. <3 you.
38. Drinks? Iced tea, water - oooh! and I adore coffee! 
39. Store? Thrift, Ross, Anthropologie, Pottery Barn, Hobby Lobby
40. Books? My B-I-B-L-E - I mostly read blogs (if I get a chance to read) but I do LOVE Nicholas Sparks.
41. Music? I'm completely and utterly in love with Jetty Rae's music. I just LOVE music! 
42. Flowers? Daisies.
43. Colors? white, blue, green, grey, tan
44. Movies? You've Got Mail - all time fav then Family Stone and Step Mom 
45. Professional Title? CEO of the Household =)
46. Subjects?  Language and Art
IN 2010 - I... 
047. [x] was kissed in the snow
048. [] celebrated Halloween
049. [] had your heart broken
050. [x] went over the minutes on your cell phone
051. [] someone questioned your sexual orientation
052. [] came out of the closet
053. [] gotten pregnant
054. [] had an abortion
055. [x] done something you've regretted
056. [x] broke a promise
057. [x] hid a secret
058. [x] pretended to be happy
059. [x] met someone who changed your life -
060. [] pretended to be sick
061. [] left the country
062. [x] tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it
063. [x] cried over the silliest thing
064. [] ran a mile
065. [] went to the beach with your best friend(s)
066. [] stayed single the whole year

067. Eating ? nothing
068. Drinking? water
069. I'm about to... watch Chopped with my Love
070. Listening to? husband brag about what a genius that he is for figuring out his rubiks cube.
071. Plans for today? go to sleep after Chopped :)
072. Waiting for? SO Excited about Soul Restoration with Brave Girls! on January 11th!

073. Want kids? I've got 2 boys and want a girl - if   #3 is a girl, I'll be tempted to leave it at that but we'll see... *wink*
074. Want to get married? just one husband is enough! :)
075. Careers in Mind? I'm already a nurse, teacher, cook, personal shopper, personal assistant, house cleaner, and on and on! Ha! Love my job!! 

076. Favorite physical attribute? Lips.
077. Best Quality? Good Listener
078. Romantic or spontaneous? Spontaneous - LOVE surprises!
079. Optimist or Realist? Optimist
080.  Email Thank you or Thank you note? Hand-written Thank you note. LOVE stationary.
081.  Step over the puddle or jump in it! JUMP IN!!
082. Trouble-maker or hesitant? Hello! Trouble-maker ! Ha!!! Actually I'm a big-time "rule follower" but love being lippy.

Have You EVER?
083. Lost glasses/contacts? nope - don't wear 'em.
084. Ran away from home? I don't think so.... hmmm... Have to ask mama on that one.
085. Held a gun/knife for self defense? Yes
086. Killed somebody? No
087. Broken someone's heart? yes
088. Been arrested? no
089. Cried when someone died? of course.

090. Yourself? Go Me!
091. Miracles? happen.
090. Love at first sight? I fell into a deep deep forever love with my sons the first time I laid my eyes on them.
093. Heaven? Yes.
094. Santa Claus? Yes. I think it is important for kids to know the real meaning for Christmas but it's so important for them to imaginative too!
095. Sex on the first date? WHAT?
096. Kiss on the first date? I think I did when I was dating - I would suggest to gals dating now - No! 

097. Is there one person you want to be with right now? nope - there's three. 
098. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life? So thankful and also very thankful that there is tomorrow - where I can keep dreaming.
99. Do you believe in God? With all my heart. 
100. Political views - Conservative

Thursday, January 6, 2011

~ gift to my husband ~

As Christmas gifts this year, I found 3 vintage books at a thrift store...

 I gave 2 of them to my husband and kept one for moi.

My husband loves to read and one of his most fond memories from his childhood is when
his step dad would read out loud to all who would listen.

I bought these books knowing I wanted my boys to share this memory with their dad.

I look forward to those warm, quiet evenings when the only sound we hear
is the calm voice of my husband
reading an old goody out loud to all of us.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

~ forward ~

After I had our second son, Mr. William, I was blessed by a sweet gal named Trudy, who is the wife to my husband's manager.

Trudy organized a time with me and slaved her little heart away cooking and brought us a dinner to remember! She made us Chicken Enchiladas, Refried Beans, Rice and a scrumptious dessert ( I say scrumptious because I don't exactly remember what she made - case of the mama brain :) I just remember it was REALLY good) There might of been something I'm missing... - Oh! Corn! She brought us corn! Ooooh it was buttery and delish! She totally catered to our every single need. She brought Napkins, Paper Plates, she even brought gifts for the boys (because it was around Christmas Time).


I remember making a vow to myself that I was going to do the same for someone else. I had to! I had to play a part in making someone feel the way that Trudy made us feel. 

So today - I got up - started roasting my chicken at 8:30 am, fed the boys banana pancakes, played around on Facebook and then promptly made my way back to the kitchen for the next few hours.

I loved every minute of it.
I baked these cookies.

Tagging along will be this Chicken and Biscuit Stew
 and this Apple - Feta Green Salad.

and when my sweet boys wake up from their nap - I will load them up...

and we will go for a little drive...

to deliver these goodies to a girlfriend of mine who had
2nd baby boy
about a month ago.


Feels so good to do good.


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