49 In Life

Keeping House

It’s been a few days, hasn’t it? It’s 6:04 am and I’m not even a full cup of coffee into my day and all I can think about is the song we sang at small group last night… it is so apt to how I feel lately.

Lord I'm tired, yes I'm weak
I need your power to work in me
But I can't let go, I keep hanging on
There must be more

I’m so thankful and comforted by the fact that He is my “more”.  His power is made perfect in my weakness. Can I get an amen from the choir, or at least from all the tired moms out there?

I imagine most kids dunk donuts or cookies into their milk, not the Rover, he’s an aspiring equestrian. Every night  at bedtime I make up the most absurd and elaborate stories about horses on wild adventures breaking their legs, jumping fences, swimming through creeks and angry cowboys and farmers who must chase after them. I’m afraid I’ve set myself up to become a professional story teller, every night he wants something a little more exciting than the night before. The horse’s name is often Rover.





He’s really a special little man, wild on the outside but tender on the inside. If I so much as raise my voice at him, he crumbles into a pile, it melts my heart and I have found myself apologizing to him when he was the one receiving the discipline.


He got his second or third shiner {but this one was accompanied by blood} last week when he jumped off of a desk. I’m not exactly sure why he thought it would be ok to jump off a desk but he did and he landed {or his eyebrow} landed on a toy box and split right open. He was really tough and only said “blood! blood!”. One doctor’s house call later, one steri-strip to tape him back up and he was good as gold. I tell him that his scar will let others know he’s tough guy.

In other news… we had some visitors last week! We always try to treat our guests to the most healthy and delicious meals.


My friend’s name is L.A. {like Los Angelos or Lower Alabama or Laura Ashley} and I am confident that everyone needs a friend like her. She’s completely dynamic and I love her.  She and her girls made a road trip over from Tallahassee and spent 5 of the most wonderful days with us. We were husband-less until the weekend and that’s when we convinced her husband to leave straight from work to come here for the weekend, mind you, without packing a single thing. There’s no way I could do that, I’d have to go home for my retainers and rice bag {except I lost my retainers, if I had them still I’d go home for them, and if I had them still my bottom teeth wouldn’t need braces again}. So while LA was here she decided we’d be productive around the house. Anyone who spends any amount of time at our house will know that keeping house is NOT a strength of mine.  Her proposal didn’t go like this, “oh my goodness your closets are completely out of control, how do you live like this?” but more like, “I’m going to put the girls shoes in their closet.” It didn’t take me long to realize that her trip to their closet was taking way longer than it should have. I walked in and she had everything out of their closets and wanted to know why on earth my kids had so many shoes, I blamed it all on my sister-in-law Jennifer. The best part is, her enthusiasm for well-kept closets was quite contagious and we moved from one closet to the next, to the next, to the next and by the time the husbands arrived on Friday  night we had about 4 black trash bags full of junk and a car full of stuff for the Rescue Mission.  She has the most incredible heart of anyone I know, she’s a true servant, always putting others first and always looking for ways to serve… and a tremendous encouragement to me.


While she was here we manged to make time for a couple fun little things, like putting blue eyeshadow on babies.  And… we are now {self-proclaimed} professional candle makers.



Now, I feel confident that there is a true professional candle maker out there reading, who really knows what they are doing, who may want to provide me with a few tips regarding the fragrance throw. We, honestly, are complete amateurs but had a lot of fun making candles. My fragrance proportion must be off because you have to get really close to smell them, even when they are burning. Professionals call this the candle’s “throw” and I’m afraid if I was to be graded on my candle’s throw it would be an F-. But they’re cute and there’s always next time to improve the throw! The pear  shaped candles are supposed to be “Spiced Fig” {I made that scent up myself}. It’s a blend of brown sugar, fig, and cinnamon.  When you get close it smells really good… the bad thing is you have to get really close to smell it. As soon as I get it all squared away I’ll share my “secret” recipe!

Ok, the rovers are up and breakfast must be made… it’s going to be a big week of restocking the t-shirt shop! Happy Camper women’s thermals are back by popular demand {these are my favorite}, the women’s Bird Dog long sleeved tees size large are also in,  and short sleeved trains are in and will hopefully be listed by this afternoon!

Happy Tuesday!

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  • Jennifer Morena
    January 25, 2011 at 8:45 am

    LOVE the picture of JM with his hair combed to the side!! So so sweet!

  • Andrea
    January 25, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Your posts always make me smile. If I came to visit you, I would clean out your closets too. I’ve been known to do that to/for friends and family. Hope you find the strength to make it through this week.

  • julia
    January 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I am NOT a candle person…but, I really want that candle you made.

  • Amanda
    January 25, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I am glad to know that housekeeping is not someone else’s greatest strength either. 9 times out of 10 there is always a sock, book, pillow (or all of the above) on the floor in my living room and the kitchen counter is COVERED with mail, coats, lunch box, diaper bag…well you get the idea. 🙂

  • Katie Baba-Nielson
    January 25, 2011 at 8:55 am

    i love how the little dude is dipping the horse in his milk. so creative!

    also, war eagle from a fellow auburn alum!!!

  • Kate S.
    January 25, 2011 at 8:57 am

    I’ve been looking forward to short sleeved train shirts! Is a size 2 the same thing as 2T? My first child is almost 3 and wears a 3T and I was trying to decide what size to get. Obviously, this is my first child and I don’t know much about big kid sizes:)

  • Lucy Clay
    January 25, 2011 at 9:09 am

    LA had the best time with y’all. She misses you sooo much! We saw them on Sunday and she filled us in on everything yall did! Such fun!

  • Dianne
    January 25, 2011 at 9:20 am

    You are so blessed and the best part is that you know it! Such a precious family…love you all! xoxo

  • annek
    January 25, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I know JM is a little young…but when my kids were jumping off things (which they did a lot…haha) I’d say I know you’re having fun but look at ________ if you land on that what do you think will happen. Now look over there….etc…They’d look around the area and decide maybe jumping wasn’t such a great idea. It usually worked. Love the horse having milk for breakfast….he’ll need it for his nightime adventures!haha

  • Kelly@TearingUpHouses
    January 25, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Rover is too cute in his little New Balances… and absolutely adorable dunking his horse!

    Looks like you and your friend had a great time – I can’t believe how much you squeezed in to just a few days.


  • Sylvia
    January 25, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Sounds like JM would love the book Rosie and the Rustlers by Roy Gerrard.

  • Meg
    January 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

    my own little rover’s horse like to go teetee in the potty 🙂 love little boys ideas.

  • kim box
    January 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I’ve always wanted to be a candlemaker too, can’t wait to see how.

  • HannahJ
    January 25, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I have a little guy that’s rough on the outside and tender on the inside too! He melts me on a daily basis (although he’s doing his earsplitting screach in my ear right now because I wont let him touch the computer as I type:) Love that you made candels- it’s on my to-do list!

  • Jennifer
    January 25, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Darby–Only another SAHM would understand how completely overwhelming it can be. My husband is gone for seven days and my support system flew South for the winter. All I can think about is how lucky I am it is only seven days and not months and months like most military families. Our children will grow up, we will start getting more sleep, and then we will worry about them when they are not with us and miss them terribly. Can’t win, can we? Smile, you are not alone:)

  • Amanda @ Serenity Now
    January 25, 2011 at 10:21 am

    My hubs left on Sunday for a work conference in Las Vegas. I almost knocked him on the side of the head when he complained about having to leave for work. What I wouldn’t give for a couple of days in fancy hotel and nice dinners out! 😉 You are so blessed to have a great friend like LA who will come and help out. Love that beautiful candle!!!

  • From our Front Porch
    January 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Love the pear candle holder. Could you share where you found it?


  • Cammie
    January 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Amen! I love the 2 Corinthians 12:9 quote!! 🙂 I actually have “Perfect in Weakness” tattooed on the inside of my wrist to be my CONSTANT visual reminder that I don’t have to be perfect, God is my perfection! 🙂

  • Lindsey
    January 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Amen! from another SAHM without a husband this week. and…there is nothing that makes me feel quite like de-cluttering. such satisfaction. and so hard to do with kids. especially toddlers who leave a trail of toys, torn paper, you name it all over the house. i was actually able to start my day with some devotional time. the best. have a good one! 🙂

  • pam
    January 25, 2011 at 10:53 am

    What special friends! Sounds like yall had a wonderful weekend!

  • donna
    January 25, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Seems like you had a great day. Everyone needs a friend like that. I have one back in AL not lower Alabama but Middle Alabama, lol. Love that AUBURN shirt by the way, War Eagle.

  • Beth
    January 25, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Loved the comments about LA. She deserves the praise…cause she’d never say it herself! 🙂 You are lucky to have each other.

  • laurenbtrain
    January 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    two things 1. i got my braces off when I was 15 and wore my retainers EVERYDAY of my life until I was about to get married when at that point I paid good money to get permanent ones put in. I would still be sleeping in my retainers if it werent for my permanent ones!!! 2. can you send LA to my house??? puhleeeeeeese!

  • Mary Beth
    January 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    AMEN from this tired Mama! You know you have a precious friend when they come to visit and clean out your closets.

  • Lauren
    January 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Sweet pictures of your Rover with his horse! I have thought about trying to make a candle in the past, but I have never done it. I am sure it is fun… would love your “secret”. Even if you have to get close to smell it… it sure is pretty! 🙂

  • Chandra
    January 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I love your blog. I love how your faith resonates through your post. I am also glad to see that house keeping isn’t just my weakness. A friend like LA is a great one. Some serve because it’s their heart and others because we have to. I pray to have a heart like LA’s.

  • caroline
    January 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    LA is all of those things. She is a wonderful women. I only wish we were all still close. So glad ya’ll had time together.

  • Jenny
    January 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    For some reason I saw these boots and thought that your sis and you needed these for your Tiger games….https://www.mystadiumstompers.com/stst1.html
    Yall are always so stylish looking at the games!

  • Elizabeth L
    January 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I always enjoy your blog- found you courtesy of Megan Wells Ayers 🙂 A little tip as you head into horsey land. I grew up with Breyer model horses- terrible. Everytime my girls play with them it seems like their legs break off, any my girls honestly are not rough. Now that we’ve been around the block a few times with horses/kids, I LOVE the brand Schleich (at Toys R Us and Target). Look real, not weird fake, and hold up really, really well. They, like Breyer, are pricey but they will hold up to all kinds of adventures. Hope that helps!

  • Beth
    January 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Oh I so needed that verse this week…thank you for reminding me!!

  • Amy
    January 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Here’s an “Amen” fromn this tired Momma. I love that song you posted, so true. Sorry that Rover Boy has suffered another war wound, but love his heart for being such a tough little guy. He is a tender hearted boy too if he has a love for horses. Precious photos. Your candle making is inspiring! Great photo of the wax pouring! Rest up, sweet Darby and have a great week!

  • Kristin
    January 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Darby – that is such a beautiful – and right on target!! – description of LA!!!! She is truly one of the most amazing people I now – and aren’t her and her DH just the cutest things:) I will have to say that now that I know her closet secret I am going to have to host play group at my house next week.

    And now you have to come hang out in Tallahassee- I will even host the girls night out for the group- so I get to now the Darby from all the stories 🙂

    Love your blog

  • Amanda U.
    January 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I spent a year in Branson, MO with L.A., and she IS as wonderful as you describe her! I only wish I had known BOTH of you while we were all at Auburn! Thanks for being such an encouragement, Darby!

  • andrea from Raising Peanut
    January 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    AMEN SISTER!!! Yesterday I almost fell asleep at my desk even though I had about 8 hours of sleep in me. I fell fast asleep last night too without so much as having to read a book or play a game of solitaire or suduko on my iPhone! I hear you Momma!

    I’d also like to say that songs often are such praises and prayers to God. Sometimes they make me cry; often times they bring me closer to Him. Thanks for sharing that wonderful prayer.

    And boys will be boys. My son fell backwards off the couch this week. I didn’t so much as glance up from my magazine when that happened. Altho when I didn’t hear much from the other side of the couch after a moment or two I sprang up!! OMG, I thought maybe he hit his head so hard he actually passed out! Nope. There he sat. Playing with a little toy he found, quietly. He was just fine as I had thought.

    Boys…. what can I say?

  • Katie Canipe
    January 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I’ll give ya an Amen! I’m pooped, and there’s close in the washer and dryer, and I need to still unload the dishwasher! Where’s a live in maid when I need one???

    And ya’ll have a doctor that makes house calls???
    That’s what I need! THen I wouldn’t have to scare our kids doctor with scary pre shower hair and make-up!!

  • Bridget
    January 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    AMEN! I found myself so overwhelmed driving home from work today which is a terrible way to end a full day, 5:30pm…I am strengthened by God and knowing that there are other moms out there, doing it every day. Tomorrow will be no different! Here’s to us all getting up and doing it again tomorrow, with a renewed faith!

  • Minnesotamom
    January 26, 2011 at 12:13 am

    I want an L.A. to come and make me purge my closets! 🙂
    I love your shirts…can’t wait for the Happy Campers to be back in stock (they’re already sold out again in my size); maybe I can get my husband to get me one for a belated birthday gift!

  • Jen
    January 26, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Amen Sister!

  • The Mom
    January 26, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I have always hated housework. And it shows. I can scramble with the best of them and pull off a clean enough looking house, but the drawers and closets always tell the truth. My sister loves to clean and order might as well be her middle name. But apparently I did not inherit that gene. Do not despair, dear one. It is not a flaw, it is likely a gift. Yes, there are the things that must be done in order for a household of 5 to function, and I am sure by looking at your pictures that your children are the beneficiaries of that and more. But when given a choice, I hope you always choose telling the baby his stories, making messes in the kitchen with the assistance of your girls, and playing dress-up with the dolls or making forts out of sticks. My own Momma gave me this saying when my first was born; I don’t think she thought then that I would take it to heart like I did, but that’s another story. Here’s to you and all the other tired moms: “I hope that my child, looking back on today
    Will remember a mother who had time to play;
    Because children grow up while you’re not looking,
    There are years ahead for cleaning and cooking.
    So, quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.”

    May you feel the Lord’s delight in you today…messy house and all!

  • M
    January 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I’m so tired lately too. It’s hard to be the energetic mom my two little ones need. I am in desperate need of a break, even just a few hours. Family is thousands of miles away. It’s so nice to read your blog. Sounds a little crazy, but I find support in your words.

  • ali
    January 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Just stopping by to let you know that I just love your blog! Darling kids, darling t-shirts and darling you! 🙂

    And….we even rooted for Auburn at our house! Partly because I feel like I “know” you…and partly because we love Cam Newton anyway! Have a great day!

  • Diane Adame
    January 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I am in LOVE with your blog as well! Rover cracks me up! I have three boys (all grown up now) and I remember those tired days as well.

  • Ali
    January 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I’d love to see some “after” pics of your closets! What a sweet friend to help you tackle the kids closets! That’s one of those projects that always seems to land at the bottom of my “to do” list!

    ~ Ali

  • Today's Letters
    January 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    dear professional story teller,
    i like your stories.
    i like your pizza (and ranch dressing).
    i like your messy closets.
    and i like your f- candle throw.
    that’s all.

  • Beth
    January 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you. You’re such an inspiration as a mom and a Christian. So refeshing!

  • {darlene}
    January 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    such a gift to have friendships like this!

  • Jennifer
    January 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I’ve missed your posts lately! But completely understand; I went over 2 weeks without posting a thing, finally put one up because my grandma wanted me to get with it! 🙂
    Oh, boys, we’ve had so many cuts and shiners at this house; we are expecting again, and if it’s another boy, I’m just going to laugh (and love it!) The little daredevils!
    Love that you have such a precious friend, now I want to clean my closets and make candles too!
    Have a wonderful day Darby!

  • Stacey
    January 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Darby, I found your blog about six months ago when a Google search for “bow tutorial” led me to you. I’m convinced there was Divine intervention in those search results! I made the bows long ago but have been back regularly for the strength I gather from your posts (as I did with this one).

  • Ashley
    February 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Hey Darby. Blog Stalker here! I loved the pear pots for your candles? What are they and where did you find them? Are they actual candle holders? So cute!!