The Running List

This is a running list of home renovation projects that need to be done. We have come a long way in our mission to make our house a home, but we know that this is where we will be for at least the next couple of years – and we want to make it perfect. This means, creating a kitchen where Trey can cook happily and comfortably, while I sit within view so that we can talk.  It means going to thrift stores and antique stores to hunt for special pieces. It means framing all of those things that I’ve been putting off framing for years and years. It means getting rid of things that don’t serve a purpose or don’t bring me joy. It means that it’s a time to experiment and play and boy, am I excited.

Living Room/Dining room

  • Find entertainment stand or console
  • Table for plants
  • Find another small book case to go with the other two
  • Buy a Swiffer or a mop
  • Cover chair
  • Purchase a bed frame?
  • Donate, toss, or sell anything unwanted
  • Buy curtain
  • Get that coffee table
  • Fix the window
  • Put screens on windows
  • Finish the collage wall
  • Cover the top of the desk
  • Treat table with lemon oil
  • Shelves
  • Find two more chairs
  • Buy candlesticks for candleabras
  • Find a white, linen tablecloth


  • Buy curtains
  • Purge closet
  • Purchase bed frame?
  • Paint the walls white!
  • Shelves
  • Change out the hardware on the bedroom dresser

Guest Bedroom

  • Sort the plastic totes
  • Purchase bed frame?
  • Paint the walls
  • Organize the room and organize the closet


  • Buy a shower head
  • Paint the walls


  • Hang meat poster
  • Buy microwave
  • Buy table/island for more counter space
  • Pry open windows that are painted shut


Mood Board

A few thoughts:

I married my own, personal hero. He saved the day and saved me from melting into a weepy puddle on the floor yesterday by recovering some lost recordings of my grandfather singing me the song he has sang to me since I was a baby. I looked everywhere for these, and pulled all of my tech skills to the front lines for the search. I scoured my hard drive and found backups upon backups, but couldn’t find the recordings. I wasn’t patient enough to wait for Trey to get home, so I looked, failed, and gave up – positive that they were probably deleted years and years ago by mistake. Moments after I had declared them lost forever, Trey waltzed in the door and within ten minutes the recordings were found. Then, I turned into a weepy puddle on the couch.

Our home is coming along, day by day and I like it more and more every time I walk through the door. There are still things that it needs, and changes that we will make – but it’s our home and it feels like US.

I think I’m going to paint Saturday when I’m off work. I need to work on my embroidery, but it has been so long since I’ve worked on anything other than our home – that no matter what I do, it will be a happy vacation from my current norm.

My dad and step mother sold their home, which means that a colossal weight has been lifted off of them. I’ll be making a quick trip to Florence tomorrow to sort through boxes and boxes of Highschool Sarah’s treasures.

It’s time to wake Trey up.

Papa’s Rose Garden

My grandfather is a gardener, nurturing plants and the souls around him. His uniform for as long as I can remember: a chambray button down, tucked into his medium wash denim jeans, work boots, and a sun hat or a Franklin Electric Co. hat. He wore an undershirt, always. Inside the pocket of his jeans: his Case pocket knife and a handkerchief. Inside the pocket of his chambray button down: a tube of ChapStick (original scent), his pipe, a lighter, and tobacco. I never understood why he would wear long sleeves and jeans when it was over 100 degrees outside, but he said that it kept him cool. The shirt would make him sweat, and even the slightest breeze would blow through his shirt, cooling him. I know that he’s right, because I’ve tested it on myself.

I would walk out to his garden with him, and I distinctly remember the way the dry soil felt under my feet, soft from the tilling. I can’t compare it to anything. It’s an experience of its own. I remember that I hated the ants, and picking the vegetables meant that I often pricked my fingers- which he didn’t want. He made me feel like I was helping by holding the bucket, or at least standing by it when it got too heavy to hold. I would spend hours with him, shelling and snapping peas and sifting through them for any duds before we dumped them into a pot.

His years of gardening are over, and it’s horribly depressing for any of us to acknowledge, but it’s a fact. It’s a fact that he will never walk again, and I’d never say that to him, even though he knows it. But, I’m holding on to every single, teensy moment with him, and trying my damnedest to recall every memory of him that I have. I want to sit him down and ask him thousands of questions and record his responses, so that I’ll always know. I’ve always wanted to know every single thing about him, but I’m running out of time now. I want to know what he liked on his pizza, when he could have it. I want to know what his favorite shampoo is, and whether or not he has ever owned a musical instrument. I want to know what age he began drawing, and what he remembers about his mother and her sense of humor. I want to know what his ideal day would consist of, and if he ever took peanut butter sandwiches for lunch as a lineman. I want to know everything there is to know, and there’s so much of it that I don’t want to ask because I don’t want to force him to think about things he can’t have, and things he used to enjoy. But, I want to know it all. I thought I knew a lot about him, but can anyone actually know a lot about a person? There’s so much to know. People grow and change daily. My favorite dessert is now caramel apple pie. It used to be chocolate covered strawberries, before that, cherry pie, and before that it was vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting and sprinkles. It’s not enough to know someone’s favorite everything. What about their relationships with the people that they know and love? What about what they were like when they were nine? What about their favorite pair of tennis shoes when they were little? What about their opinions on sweet gherkins? What about their best friend and what that relationship gives them? These are seemingly small things, but they are important, and part of what makes us who we are.

So, I urge you. Ask your people questions while they can still answer them. Call your grandparents, and your parents and ask them anything you want to know. Ask, and listen, and ask more.


The only things still growing at my grandparents’ house are my grandfather’s roses and some irises blooming down by where his garden used to be. I took a stroll through his roses for the first time in ages, and felt my spirit lift. He always spent so much time tending to these roses, and now, even without him touching them, they are doing exactly as he always told them to.

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He and my mom told the story of this cactus. It sits in a pot, growing wildly amidst his roses. I never even knew it was there, neither did my brother. My mom had forgotten it. My grandfather knew what I was talking about the second I mentioned it. I came up from the roses and said, “Did you know you have a cactus down there!?” He responded with, “yeah, did it have that yellow flower on it?”. He said that it’s over twenty years old, and my mom said that years ago, it was thrown outside because he was worried that all of us little ones would prick our fingers on it. One day years later, he found it growing in the brush and replanted it. My mom remembers him saying, “anything that wants to live that bad, ought to be allowed to.”

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And by that logic, he ought to be allowed to live, too.

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Mood Board

I found my old sketchbooks the other day and giggled to myself as I flipped through the pages. So many birds.

We bought a couch! Our place is finally coming together. There’s a long list of things we still need, but I feel so much better each time I cross something off of my list.

Birmingham is far better than I remembered. I love every single thing about it.


Title and Registration

For years, my brother, Andy has taken me to concerts. Usually, it’s for my birthday, and it’s always so much fun. I think that older brothers are meant to shape your taste in music. I know that Andy shaped mine, and that Trey shaped his little sister’s. Andy loves so many different genres, and I don’t know if you could really classify his taste, or mine. BUT, all I know is that I love Janet Jackson’s Someone To Call My Lover, equally as much as I love The Andrews Sisters of the 1940’s singing Oh, Johnny Oh. And, I love that as much as I love Nikki Lane singing Jackpot, or as much as I love the soundtrack of the new Beauty and the Beast movie. I love quiet lullabies, and sock hop jingles. I love 80’s power ballads, and folky, back porch jam sessions. It’s rare to find something I don’t love, and I think I owe that to my older brother.

Over the years, he has taken me to several different Avett Brothers shows, OK Go, Vampire Weekend, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, and most recently, Death Cab For Cutie.

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I have a million memories that are tied to Death Cab songs. Carefully curated high school playlists burned to CD’s, late night drives home, solo golden hour drives on rain-drenched roads through my hometown, local bands covering their songs at small shows on Florence’s one cobblestone street, while all the teenage girls swoon.

Now, I can add another memory to the collection, and it’s a good one. My brother, my husband, and myself, drenched from cold rain, sipping cold beers that aren’t warming us anywhere near fast enough, while we stand under the roof of Sloss Furnace in Birmingham. It was extra special since there weren’t phones in the air, blocking our view the whole time. It was really, really cold. So, I imagine that once people’s hands found their pockets… they didn’t come out unless it was time to clap- and maybe not even then. It was beautiful, and therapeutic, and the nearby train whistle blowing made it even better.

Also, my brother-in-law is a concert photographer, so I have some truly great close up shots of Ben Gibbard singing my favorite songs on a perfect, rainy night that ended with bacon, eggs, and hot waffles.


Reading: Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Listening to: Trey’s breathing while he sleeps

Excited for: Death Cab for Cutie tonight!

Hungry for: tacos. It’s 8:40 a.m..

Happy about: today! It will be a wonderful day.

Thankful for these three things:, I stayed up way too late researching our ancestors. My older brother. He is brilliant and very skilled at making Pho Bo. Trey’s resilience. He had a cluster cuss of a bad day yesterday, but came home and was hopeful and eager to move on to tomorrow so that he could right the wrongs of the day before.

Thinking about: all of my friends who are pregnant currently. I get to squeeze so many squishy babies this year and am beyond pumped for it.

Feeling bad about: James caught his foot in a tight place yesterday and it took me a minute to reach him to free it. He is missing a bit of hair now, not limping or anything, but it was still just a mess.

Inspired by: this weather. It’s overcast and cool, making me want to wear light wash denim, a big white sweater and a leather jacket while I sit at a lonely cafe and read a book.

Wondering: if I should wake Trey up. I’m an early riser, so I always wake up before him, but it’s a struggle to find just the right time to make him start hanging out with me. (I think it’s time)

Wishing: we didn’t have two fans on when it’s 48 degrees outside.

Also wishing: we had the ability to travel right now. I admire people that can pick up and set off for a far off place for a while, but money is real, as are sick grandparents and younger brothers who miss you very very much.

Also listening to: James’s quick, quiet murmured snores.

Seeing: a ceiling fan, my red and white polkadot bandaid on my thumb, my hands twisted into some sort of raptor-esque position that makes holding my phone and typing easy, an open door, and the top of a tv, all peeping up from a big, white blanket.

Tasting: nothing. Still wanting tacos.

Feeling: cold and eager to start the day.

Interested: in the fact that people read this. People read my thoughts and feelings and then they like my posts. Thanks for reading, friend! I’m so interested in you and your thoughts and current doings, feelings, seeings, etc.