A Thanksgiving Mantle

I find when I am focused on a task with a deadline, like say
...planning an anniversary party...
for some strange reason, I decide to start four or five new projects.

I've apparently always done this since no one is surprised but rather ready to stop or help me in my quest to be a crazy person doing ten things at once who should really be only doing say three things:

1. Making Husband's life incredible
2. Keep children alive, fed and unquestionably loved
3. One other random thing that will probably make a mess but look awesome later. 

My mom is usually my main accomplice in these situations. She doesn't always understand what I'm doing but is supportive and helpful in all situations. Which says a lot since yesterday alone I pulled out a glue gun, cordless drill, christmas lights, plastic table cloths and a chandelier. 
(It will make sense later, promise. I mean not later in this post but maybe later down the road...)

She and Bryan have the wisdom to see what CAN be accomplished vs. what I WANT to accomplish. 

Apparently that is a VITAL gift to have. Many of my friends and family have this gift and are always willing and lovingly ready to share it with me. Whew. 

One thing I was able to accomplish was my long abandoned Fall Mantle.

After my Fall Breakdown I resigned that section of the house as a fail and would wait till Christmas to redeem that area to something I would love staring at. 

This last week I was finding myself adding to the mantle. 
A pallet sign here. Pumpkin there. 

Then I found it.


You know, that one thing that you build everything else around.

My piece? My Turkey Platter.

Oh yea. It's cheesy, probably a bit ugly but me and that turkey... 
we go way back. 

I received that crazy bird plate in a White Elephant Gift Exchange in our College/Singles age ministry over four years ago. Bryan immediately hated it but I held onto it. Stuffed it in my China cabinet and brought that sucker back to the White Elephant Gift Exchange the next year. 

Except when the moment came for me to move on... I couldn't.

I stole the turkey back!!! 

Bryan was horrified. I was elated and the bond was forged. 

That turkey plate needed me. It had been tossed from White Elephant party to White Elephant party and it just needed a home (it had been to at least two other White Elephant parties before it made it into my arms).
A crazy, odd, loud home.

Yet, my husband wasn't a fan no matter how much I sang the turkey's praises.

So... when Christmas rolled around I wrapped him up, put him in a beautiful box and took him back to the White Elephant Party. I didn't shed any tears or anything but I did execute self-control and let the bird find a new home. 

Now you are wondering how that bird found his way back to me aren't you?

Well, when things belong together... they just find a way back to one another.

When we packed up to move to Texas many of our sweet friends came to help us store all our memories into boxes. While packing up our China cabinet I lamented over my long lost bird... 

Jenn: "A turkey plate? Jessica, I got that at the White Elephant Party last year!"Me: "You did?! I loved that thing!"Jenn: "I had no idea it meant so much to you! Would you like it back?"

That would be a Heck Yes and Bryan only smiled and nodded. Victory.

The bird was ours once again!

And now Bryan has to look at him on the mantle every day. 
Poor Man. 
Embrace the bird Bryan! It's awesome. 

That's a good lookin bird isn't it? 

At least Bryan only has to suffer it for a few weeks. The other project I started today (which was NOT planning my party... fail) was a giant pallet sign for a sweet Christmas Mantle. 
Let's hope I can pull it off.

Happy November!!

God bless and Much Love,


A week in the life of a crazy...

Last week I boycotted any new craft project.

Wasn't in the mood. Didn't want to make home decor for my never complete casa and didn't have to start working on my new batch of Wedding Signs until November. 

I did have other things to do though.

Two things. 

It's always when you only have two little things to do... that they take forever.

Granted, these weren't like take out the garbage or do the dishes.

It was finishing a a set of family Halloween costumes and writing a Murder Mystery Wedding from scratch. 

And you thought your week was odd... mine was half in Neverland and the other half planning a friend's murder. Yep... 

We aren't really into Halloween.

But... we are totally into dressing up and being silly.

I mean we throw at least two themed parties a year over here at the McCarty House.
So the idea of some family costumes... we were down with that.

Bryan wanted some good costumes since he celebrated Halloween when he was a kid so he still had that cute wonder about being able to dress up and be a hero or a frog. I'm a girl so dressing up is always an awesome idea and I've ALWAYS wanted kids who I'd have to pry superhero costumes off of.

A kid with a vivid imagination is a beautiful and treasured thing.

Well, Elliot informed us emphatically that he would like to be Peter Pan.

Peter Pan... I could do that! And there were enough characters that the rest of us could create costumes around him.

Bryan was obviously going to be Captain Hook and he needed his faithful sidekick...
so Ethan would be an adorable plump Mr. Smee.

While Elliot was Peter Pan I had two options for myself... Tinkerbell or Wendy.

I breifly thought about Tinkerbell and looked up tulle skirts and... there just wasn't much to Tinkerbell's costume... if ya know what I mean?

While I am cute and little and have a Pixie cut... I get cold easily and I wasn't in the mood to wear a nude bodysuit.

So, Wendy it was!

Wendy was going to be the beast of this project.

I was able to knock the boys costumes out during a nap time.
I followed this ladies directions for the Peter Pan costume except cheated and bought tights instead of making my own pants. Seriously people... I am not a pants maker here!
I just winged the Mr. Smee. He had stripes on him! I could do stripes. ;) 

Elliot was super in love with his costume and my little heart soared.
I felt like Super Mom as he told everyone he could see about his Peter Pan costume and he refused to take it off. Joy!

For Captain Hook I found a large ladies' blazer at a thrift store and embellished to my heart's content...

Now Wendy... oh Wendy Darling... I was super intimidated.
I love to sew. Simple things. Like a semi-straight line...

Not dresses. Dresses have pieces and patterns and words I don't always understand... and... and panic attacks... Yet, dresses do not scare my my sweet friend Marci. I called in a panic and she came over early last week and we knocked that puppy out in two days flat. She is amazing. 

Thankfully the week wasn't just full of giant projects. 

On Wednesday our dear friend Jason Fite had prepared a awesome presentation about Martin Luther for our church in honor of Reformation Day. Um... it was epic. 

Reformation Day is the day we remember when the German monk Martin Luther nailed his 
95 Theses to the All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Saxony denouncing the efficacy of indulgences. 

That's a lot of fancy words to say that Martin believed that we DO NOT have to pay our way into Heaven or earn God's favor. That is freedom my friends. 

If you don't know anything about Martin Luther, please let me know and I will direct you to Sir Fite. You will not regret it. 

He really digs the Luther man, here is is dressed like him: 

On Halloween a bunch of our small group (led by Luther above) at our church got together at a friend's house and passed out candy and gospel tracts to all the kids. It was a super high traffic area. I think we saw over a hundred kids and their parents! One of the tracts was this awesome optical illusion, the kids were eating it up! I actually got to play with the trick yesterday and yea it entertained me for like ten minutes... 

Now, that Peter Pan hat did give me lots of trouble... my first version was kind of pathetic as my friend Katie will tell you, she gave me the sweetest look of "Aw, you tried but it still sucks". Man I love her. 
The second time... it hit the garbage quick but the third... Third time was a charm. :) 

Whew... Halloween over. New set of costumes (not to mention the five wigs I bought at Wally World after Halloween for like $3 each) now hang in our Costume closet. 

We have a costume closet. 
I'm not sure if that's pathetic or not. But if Bryan thinks it's awesome than I'll keep adding to it. 

After Halloween we had Family Pictures taken, because nothing says full week like adding the horrifying stress of taking pictures into it.

I have a ton of photographer friends and their wisdom of having photos taken has sunk in so I have tried to do it every year around November. Sadly my main photographer who has spoiled me over the years with her awesomeness moved to Kentucky when I moved to Houston. That's a bit of a travel dilemma... she still is amazing though and if you are in Kentucky, look her up: 

Being in a new town I scoured the Internet for the perfect Photographer that had great taste, excellent shots and decent pricing where I did NOT have to buy each photo individually spending upwards to a thousand smackers. 

Found her. 

She's a beast. Our photos are already done and she gave us a sweet sneak peek! What do you think?

Yea, I of course think the McCarty men look fabulous and I look stupid but don't mind me... that's my insecure and idiotic self-loathing talking. I'm sure no one has any idea what that is... 

But my boys. Oh they were a pain during the shoot. I mean they have beautiful smiles. Did they want to smile for the camera? No.

Maybe next year. 

It's the start of a beautiful friendship between Sarah and I, I can tell.
Her logo is darling. It would look amazing on a wooden sign.... :)

Now... to kill someone. 

Each year Bryan and I re-new our vows with a different central theme. This year, we decided to do a Murder Mystery Play. We are HUGE Clue fans. 

I love to write. And I'm a bit of a control freak... so the idea of buying a mystery play when I could write one myself seemed like a huge waste of finances. The phrase "huge waste of finances" is not my husband's favorite so I tackled the challenge with gusto!

I had done a Mystery Dinner way early on in our marriage:

Yet, that was only 10 people and some invisible person (me) had already been killed. 
This beast would have over 30 guests and the poor soul was going to die somewhere in the middle of my living room between the first dance and the cake cutting.

Did I mention this was going to happen in two weeks and I had to mail out the invite plus the character bios to the six players?

Yes... I have weirdo stress problems.

Yet, deadlines do wonders.

What do you think? 

I'll do a whole post about it on my McCarty Designs blog once it happens. I'm so crazy blessed I've met friends who delight in my weird side and are pretty much up for anything I throw at them.

... Mind if I kill you?

But to finish off my week... I got to celebrate my Six year Anniversary to this hottie:


I can't believe anyone could stay married to me for six years but he still is having the time of his life. I mean look at the Hook costume people... that was his idea. ;) 

I am beyond blessed. 

I am delighted that Jesus uses the example of a marriage covenant to demonstrate to our feeble minds the relationship between Him and us. Because if Jesus loves me more and cares for me more than my husband... than how great indeed is our Father!! Cause I don't deserve Bryan even on my best days (which I've yet to have...) and he loves me... how much more the Father does!!

Mind blown. 

Have an amazing week friends. 

God bless and Much Love,