Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Month in Photos | November 2011

1. K getting her POLYVORE on!  She curated this outfit all on her own via mommy's closet.
2. Newest addition in these parts.  Yay!
3. E sporting his Bible Heros costume for church.

4.Thanksgiving Day 2011. Sweetness.
5. Backyard football on Thanksgiving
6. Have I mentioned K is learning to write?  It's quite impressive.

7. Hulling pecans with Papaw Gaylon
8. Thanksgiving activities...boy style.  Yikers!
9. Compliments of the chef (Nanny Susie).

10. This little girl loves her some Christmas!
11. The home alone face...outfit curated by K right out of the Christmas decor box.
12. The boys disappeared during decor time and this is what I found...mini roller coaster assembly.

All photos via the iPhone.

Merriest Wishes as we enter this Christmas season!

Blessings,
Anna

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mommy Moments | A Mother's Prayer



Everything a mother wants for her babies right here in one song/prayer.


~ Verse ~
My sweet baby on loan from above.
No better treasure could I more love.
I stand here beside your bed as I pray
Ilay my hand on your head and I say:

~ Chorus ~
May you grow up to serve Him
All of your days.
May He lead you and guide you
In all of your ways.
May His hand bless your future with
Friendships that last.
May you cherish your youth
And not grow up too fast

~ Verse ~
I stare in wonder at your tiny frame.
Just to think that God knows you by name.
He knows every hair on your beautiful head.
He knows your thoughts before they are said.

~ Prayer ~
May God grant you peace
In the midst of a storm.
May God give you strength even
When you’re forlorn.
May you answer the door when
Jesus comes knocking.
May wisdom guide when
Your mouth is talking.
May discretion protect you
And keep you pure.
May you never stumble
Or fall for a lure.
May your heart remain humble
To the very end.
May uprightness and truth
Be what you defend.
May the world not ensnare
Or change who you are.
May the light that's within you
Shine like the stars.
May angels surround you
Body, spirit, mind.
May favor and peace be yours to find.
May rejection and pain
Never reach you.
May your spirit grow bold
For what you’re called to.

~ Closing ~
As you rest in God’s care I will rest, too.
Knowing that Jesus is watching over you.
Amen

Ethan & MaKenzie | 2008
Ethan and MaKenzie,
Being your mommy has brought me great joy.  You've molded me a new person and I have a new outlook on most everything in life.  Every word of this song is what I feel for you.
Love, Mommy

If you would like to contribute to the Mommy Moments series, please send me an email at annabledsoe@comcast.net or notify me via the Anna & Co. Facebook page.

Blessings,
Anna

Monday, November 28, 2011

Inspiration | A Beautiful Mess

"Logic gets you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
~Albert Einstein~

On the surface, this gives me great anxiety because everything is out of place.  However, I love witnessing raw imagination at work.  It's amazing the places you can go with a few dining room chairs and a duvet.

Do you remember "going places" as a child?  I do!

Blessings,
Anna

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Simple Things Sunday | Christmas Wishes

Sometimes simple happens and it's beautiful.


May you be able to find beautiful in simple things throughout this Christmas season.

Blessings,
Anna

P.S.  I clearly need a lesson in extreme low light shooting.



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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Design | {Freebie} Keep Calm Thanksgiving Collection


I know it's last minute guys, but I didn't want this Thanksgiving to pass without giving my readers a little gift for this very special season.  I know I can't be the only one that is last minute. So, if you need an entry embellishment or a buffet table sign, just frame one, two...or all of these little (8x10) guys and you're set.


Happy Thanksgiving from Anna & Co.


~ Notes ~
Collections is best if printed on medium to heavy weight card stock.

Also, I would love for you to share how you used these printables.


Go "like" Anna & Co. Facebook to stay connected with upcoming Christmas freebies.

Blessings, 
Anna

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Inspiration | Be Yourself


"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to change you is the greatest accomplishment."
 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Blessings,
Anna

Monday, November 21, 2011

~ Goodbye 'Ole Friends ~

Okay, I'll warn you, this post is overly sentimental if you want to drop off and dismiss this overly cheesy farewell.

Excuse me while I document.

Ever have those moments, days, weeks where you just reflect on the special things that seem to be slipping through your fingers?

I guess that is why I'm so passionate about documenting all these times that will one day only be a memory.

People and things change, but not memories.

Memories remain the same forever!!!

You see, we have been going through a bunch of old things and getting the house ready to sell.

One of mine and K’s recent projects was to go through the toy closet upstairs in the bonus room and shed some clutter.


As I sift through endless baby toys and stuffed animals I find myself remembering.


No, this isn't just a pink pig… it’s “PINK BABY” and she’s been there through every sleepless night, every nap and every boo boo.


Nope, not just another Minnie Mouse, this Minnie came into our life from K’s very first trip (2008) to Disney.

Then there is Woody.  I can remember Ethan’s 1st trip to Disney (he was 4), he came running to me with Woody upside down and asked me to put his name on the boot. For real, it happened.  Every time I pull that string and hear "Howdy Partner"...I get caught up in a memory.  I can still hear the words "To Infinity & Beyond!" in the cutest little 4 year old voice EVER!!!


So, needless to say…there will be a few items we hang on to a little bit longer because “E and K” just can’t let go right now. *wink*

However, we have two bags full of toys that we have all settled in our souls to move from our possession including Ethan's first "real" car.  It was washed and prepared for it's next owner.

~ Ethan 2003 ~

~ Ethan 2011 
Yes, we know that another child will be blessed and will love them just as we did.

So, goodbye ole’ friends!

Forgive my cheesy departure documentary, but it's memories...my memories.

You can relate, right?!

Blessings,
Anna

Thursday, November 17, 2011

{Freebie} - Merriest Wishes Christmas Tags

~ get them here ~
I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet...calm down.

I had to create for a local event with a focus on Christmas and I thought I would go ahead and make available since shortly after Thanksgiving will begin the month long Christmas celebrations of office events, school parties, brunches & lunches.

These tags were designed for cake pops, but you can used them for any type of candy, cupcake toppers, treat bags, labels/stickers, etc.


Merriest Wishes from Anna & Co!!!

~ Notes ~
EK Success flourish punch and half size hole punch were used in tags above.
Collection is best if printed on medium to medium/ heavy weight card stock or adhesive.

Also, I would love for you to share how you use these printables.

Blessings,
Anna

Go "like" Anna & Co. Facebook to stay connected with other Christmas goodies.








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Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

~ I Still Love Lucy ~

~ I Love Lucy - Job Switching ~
Have you ever seen this episode?  It’s hilarious!!!  Do you love Lucy?  I love Lucy!

I didn't get the humor of I Love Lucy when growing up and my parents would watch it, but I grew to LOVE LUCY by way of different avenues of exposure as I grew older.

It first aired in 1952.  24 years before I was born.  Yikers! 

Some may say that it’s dated, but I say it was far more than just a comedy and its timeless humor lends us to some hidden little jewels of wisdom.

This episode’s story line is where Ricky and Fred switch roles with Lucy and Ethel.  The two men cook and clean and the women work in a chocolate factory.  You can imagine what happens right?  Both duos end up in a heap of a mess.
 
Why...because we were designed differently for a purpose.

No, I’m not making the blanket statement that women should stay home and the men should work...so please don’t misquote me.

I work full-time for a very large corporate office in the city.  I’m around suits and white collars more than I care to admit.  However, 84% of the employee population are women. Times have changed since this episode aired over half a decade ago.

At times I feel split.  Split right down the middle.  I can't imagine I'm alone.  When I’m at work, I’m thinking about what I should be doing at home and when I’m at home, I’m thinking of all the things that await me at work.  I can’t do either job to its fullest when I’m half there.   I catch myself pondering if this is what was intended for me, for all of us with a pair of X chromosomes.

Yes, I do believe that women are beneficial to the workforce and bring another layer to design, construction, strategic thinking and analytical approaches.
 
I also believe that half of them do it with their heart somewhere else and they are running themselves ragged trying to meet the demands of today’s world…just like this girl.

The next ballgame, the next school play, the next teacher meeting…..

Oh yeah, then there is dinner, cleaning, baths, homework…..

Not to mention ladies functions at church, holiday lunches, birthday cards…

Let’s layer on top that we are constantly told we aren’t enough and if you want sexy buns and long healthy locks like the girl on the cover of Cosmo, then turn to pg.72 where you will find you have lunge, crunch, pluck, nip, tuck and starve…not to mention quit your job and family to find time to be that beautiful.  Oh yeah, and apparently you've been doing all the wrong things "in bed" too!

No wonder men say we need help…. WE DO!!!!  We need help doing all those things.

Now, for the men...

With the declining economy and so many businesses on the brink of extinction, I’ve heard more than once lately that men have a tendency to couple their identity and their worth with their job.  I truly believe this was designed intentionally.  No, not that their worth is tied to anything, but that they have a drive to perform in the workforce and if that is hindered they may fall victim to feelings of an unfulfilled purpose just as women do if they can’t fulfill the needs of their family.

All this to pose the question… are we getting it wrong?

This media driven, fast paced corporate rat race…is this it?...the way it’s supposed to be?

Where women have traded their aprons for navy suits with a hint of girly around the cuff.

I’m just saying that I believe we were designed differently for a reason and if we veer too far from the intended, the feeling of fulfilled purpose may be lost. 

You may call it old school, but I call it fulfilling my intended purpose.

Now, I know that I hopped all over the place with my ranting above, but that’s where I sit…on the fence just waiting for someone to tip me either way toward which side I should be on and fulfilling my purpose.

Your thoughts?

Are you in the work force?  Do you have a family? Do you feel a split sense of purpose? Do you love Lucy?

Would love to hear from you.

Blessings,
Anna

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

~ 13 Things You May or May Not know about Me ~

Well, it’s my birthday and I’m old, simple as that.  You know when your kids start saying “Mom, back when you…” that you are old.  I still feel 21.  I really do!

Instead of wallowing in depression, I thought it would be fun to list a few things my readers may not know about me.



So, here it goes…13 things that may or may not be moderately interesting or border on the edge of TMI.

1.       I love to dance…seriously LOVE to dance!!!  Nope, you won’t catch me with a hair brush as a microphone, because I’m not a dreamer singer…I’m a dreamer dancer.
2.       I'm a designer wannabe.  I day dream of being a full-time designer as my career and am certain this is what I should have studied.
3.       Mint Chocolate is my favorite ice cream.
4.       I own less than 100 pair of shoes and more than 50 with flip-flops weighting somewhat heavy in the extreme casual percentage of total.
5.       I play with my ear when I’m concentrating and have been known to do the same with my wee ones lobes.
6.       Once upon a time I ate 7 lemons… in one sitting because I love them so.
7.       I’ve been wearing invisible braces for over a year now and will be in them until the summer of 2012.
8.       I stare when I’m tired.  So, if you catch me staring at you, it’s probably because I’m zoning out and not because I’m wondering how much you paid for that ridiculous sweater you are wearing.
9.       I’ve never read the manual of my camera.  I know, hypocritical of me since I proclaim to love the art of photography.  Oh well, we all have our faults.
10.   I fell out of a moving vehicle when I was 8 and was run over by a van (don’t panic, just my arm…still quite painful).
11.   The organizational freak in me gets somewhat of a high on neatly folded crisp white towels.
12.   I love sports.  I really do.  I love to throw football.  I love swimming.  I can shoot hoops.  I played volleyball in high school.  Don’t worry, I still weight heavily on the girly girl stuff.
13.   I do three and a half minute lunging segments to Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” clean version simply because it’s the perfect beat for a one billion lunges.  My Zumba trainer introduced this perfect lunging rhythm in a recent Hip Hop class.   Feel the burn!

Ok, now that you know some of my secrets, what are some of the quirky things that you do that no one knows.  C’mon, this is fun!

Blessings,
Anna

Friday, November 11, 2011

~ eleven ~


             
1. Origins Ginger Sugar Scrub
2. Eucalyptus Mint Oil
Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue
4. Neutrals
5. Fonts
6. Interesting Legwear
7. Chocolate Mint Ice Cream
8. Cake
9. All Things Design
10. Peep Toe Heels

Last, but certainly NOT least...

11. My iPhone


Do something fun on this historical Friday!!!

Blessings,
Anna

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

~ Say Cheez-It ~

I believe I’ve mentioned how overwhelmingly gorgeous these parts are during this time of the year.  The crisp air, warm color scheme and sound of the wind forcing falling leaves to the ground is almost too much to handle.

It’s Fall in the South!!!

I’m fortunate to have placement just minutes from the city, but to also enjoy the luxury of a smaller town environment in a small suburb right outside of town. It’s the best of both worlds.  I work in the city and come home to my “Mayberry”.

Just one mile from my home, there is a gorgeous retreat that we visit occasionally when simple is on our mind.
Yes, those are horses
K and I spent a few hours there recently.  K met some new “friends” there.  I’m fairly certain their names were “OH DUCKY” and “C’MERE DUCKY”. 
Who new 4 Cheese Italian Cheez-Its would render such an impressive following.  Perhaps I need to give away a few boxes on the blog. *wink*


While there, amongst the duck calls, wind whistling and sunlight shining through the trees, I was reminded that there is a GREAT BIG GOD far beyond that beautiful blue sky I was under and He was responsible for the visual beauty that was making my heart flutter.

I recently asked God to remind me of Him in everything I do.  My tendency is to forget, overlook or over simplify everything around me.

Stop…

Look around every now and then, the details are pretty amazing!!!

Blessings,
Anna

P.S. I promise Ethan is still alive and I still mother and love him.  He’s a little harder to nail down and photograph these days.  Ethan, I hope that you’ll be reading this one day and know that mommy loves you more than I can even describe to you in words.

~ The Me I Want To Be ~


via pinterest

I’ve been thinking and questioning a lot lately if I’m really doing or being what God designed for my life.

I’m currently reading the ibook sample of John Ortberg’s “The Me I Want To Be”.  I always read the samples before I purchase.  That gets back to the terrible curse of indecisiveness and knowing details before I take the plunge.  I'm fairly certain this one will end up in a purchase, because I’m relating so close to these writings.

In John’s words:
God did not create you to be anybody else.  He pre-wired your temperament. He determined your natural gifts and talents.  He made you to feel certain passions and desires.  He planned your body and mind.  Your uniqueness is God-designed.

Here’s the good news:  When you flourish, you become more you.  You become more that person God had in mind when he thought you up.  You don’t just become holi-er.  You become you-ier.

Flourishing means moving toward God’s best version of you.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.You are not your handiwork; your life is not your project.  You life is God’s project.  God thought you up, and he knows what you were intended to be.


I can’t wait to ready the rest of this book.  This is exactly what has been dropped in my heart lately.  I truly believe that if you are outside of God’s plan for your life, it will NOT flourish. 

It was mentioned in a morning sermon recently at my church that if you pick up someone else’s bow that wasn’t fit/designed for your hand, then you most likely will be unsuccessful in your battle.  

So, my personal goal is to be who God created ME to be because I’m unique by design.  I was cut from a unique pattern and to try to change God’s intentions for my life would lead to failure.

The challenge: Be the best version of YOU…the you God created.

via tumblr
I think Einstein was on to something, the same could be said that if you live your whole life trying to be someone else, you'll live your whole life feeling failure because it's not what was designed for you.

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree… they will flourish in the courts of our God.” 
Psalms 92:12-13

Blessings,
Anna

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Monday, November 7, 2011

~ A Rainy Day ~


Have you heard the saying “What are you saving for…a rainy day?

As I am targeting things in my home to purge for a local event at my church, I concluded that I could be found guilty of saving a few things for a rainy day.

A day when….well, I don’t know.

The person I want to be doesn’t like this mindset, but the person I am tells me to be conservative and to save.

I’m the frugal one in my crew.  I typically don’t buy impulsively unless I know that I really love something.  I usually have to take time to process a decision lest I plunge into a sea of anxiety from forced decisiveness.

Do you understand what I’m saying?

Let me help you.

You know when you buy a candle and you adore it so much that you sit it in a place that you’ll pass by every day so you can visually enjoy and smell its aroma?  However, you don’t light it because you love its beauty and smell and you are saving it for those special occasions.

Ever done that?

How about a brand new set of kitchen towels that you never use because you love them.  They match your d├ęcor perfectly and you wouldn’t dare have them lose their original appeal.

Silly, huh?  I think so too.

Well, I admit it.  I’ve done it.

However, I’ve learned a little bit in life when looking back and wondering what in the world that young silly girl was thinking and concluding or adding up all the silly mistakes I’ve made along the way.

I've learned there are days I was cleaning on a sunny Saturday when I should have been enjoying the day with my firstborn, working when I should have been playing, sitting idle when I should have been dancing, talking when I should have been singing and saving when I should have been indulging.  

You get my point, right?

In the little time that I’ve been a parent, I’ve learned time doesn’t come back around a second time.  Once the moment is gone, it’s gone.

Every day when we wake up is a new day, a day that God has given us to enjoy the beauty and blessings around us.  So, here’s to burning your favorite pretty candle and using those kitchen hand towels this week.

Today IS THE special occasion simply because it’s a new day and we are blessed.

Now, go find a pretty candle to burn and if you don't use it, lose it!!!

Blessings,
Anna

Sunday, November 6, 2011

~ Days of our Lives ~

I had the privilege of staying home from my normal full-time job recently with Kenzie. My care giver had fallen victim to the sick bug. Let’s just say a fun filled day with a preschooler is somewhat tiring.

For about 8 hours it was K and I doing whatever we wanted while our crew and the rest of the world were occupied. I compare it to the vacations that aren’t really a vacation because there is so much going on. Yes, it was a day off work, but not a day off.

First things first, K is NOT a breakfast person. So, before you judge me, she needs to be awake a while before she decides she wants food. So, we just hung out in the a.m.

I love her “I just woke up” face. Cuteness!!!

Meet our friend the TICKLE MONSTER!

We did a little bit of school work to get her brain going. Did I mention she’s writing her name?  Love!

Then it was on to her daily art activity. This little girl loves art time. Yes, we are still in our jammies.
 
Self Portrait!

Outdoor Brunch

Craft Time

Pink-ilicious Home Mini Pedi

Zoe sun bathing (this one is just for fun)

Are you tired yet?  I am!!!

It was time for the boys and K wanted to set the table...with her tea set.

Needless to say, I think my day might have been a little easier at work, but certainly not as enjoyable.

I hope you enjoyed "our" day!!!

Blessings,
Anna

Friday, November 4, 2011

~ October 2011 - Month in Photos ~

Unbelievable that it's November.  Just a couple more than a few weeks away from Christmas!  Did I just type that?  Oh my!  I know, I know...let's get through Thanksgiving first.

October was challenging to say the least.  The stomach bug attacked our home and it was a nightmare.  K, Allen and Aunt C (sitter) were all vomiting.  I was washing, cleaning and gagging for a good portion of the month.  Oh, not to mention that prior to that I had a double ear infection and in bed for 2 days. WHAT?!

In addition, Allen did some work that required traveling twice this month and I was left to juggle the wee ones.  Joyous times I tell ya!

Here are a few photos that I managed to capture in October amongst the chaos.  I must disclose, that Ethan stayed in his room a good portion of the month and managed to dodge the illness.  Poor thing.  I regret to say that he isn't even pictured below, but he was alive and loved just the same.




 1. Fall is here and if you've ever experienced Autumn in these parts, you know how gorgeous it is!!!

2. Ball with the boys.  (I can't believe I don't have E in this photo *sad face*)

3. We read mucho in October.  This was the selection K wanted me to read to her in one round.  Yikers!!!


4. I think I've told you before that K is a little resistant to change.  She's demanding the temps stay pool appropriate.

5. Bitty flowers in bitty hands are the best.

6. Best buds stick together, even on the bad days.  This was during the ugly bug.


7. More reading, but this time with daddy.

8. Choice book of the month.

9. Really?!

Now, let's rock November and remember to stop and GIVE THANKS this month.

Blessings,
Anna
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