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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court Decision - thoughts

Because the tag line of this blog says 'a little of everything,' I had to comment on the historic decision by the Supreme Court, ruling in a 5 to 4 vote that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.
And my comment is that it doesn't bother me at all.

I could give a long explanation as to why a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, me, would support it but I won't do that because for me it's simple:
I want people to be happy. We were not meant to go it alone in life. And no one's marital status has an effect on my family, period.

What does have an effect on my family
is the economy of the United States and Congress' revolving door of lobbyists who are given special privileges and are allowed to make policy that ONLY benefit the companies they lobby for. That is what is detrimental to my family.

Opponents say that this decision will weaken the family. I say that companies who slash benefits, send jobs overseas, skirt around paying taxes and pollute the environment are weakening the family.

I could go on and on but you know where I am on it. Everyone deserves to live a good life in the way they've set out for themselves, that's where I am.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

@Home Again - A shop in a co-op

So a few months ago my friend Starr and I decided to open a little shop. We looked around for locations, mulled a few over, tossed around budget numbers and ultimately decided on opening a fairly large space inside a co-op rather than our own storefront for now. About 13 years ago I had a space inside a co-op in Utah. After working for an awesome interior designer, I felt that she had given me great inside info about how to start my own home accessories/vintage store and she really encouraged me to branch out. Not long after I began mine, my husband was transferred to Washington DC and I had to close out. Fast forward 13 years and I finally get to try it again!

We didn't go into this haphazardly, we really set goals and a vision of where we want to go with this which I'll address at some point because it may help if you're thinking of opening a shop. The market may seem saturated but there are ways of separating yourself from the crowd.

After frantically sourcing accessories and reworking/redoing furniture, we opened on April 1st and have stayed busy ever since. Its been a lot of work and so much fun, even with kids' chaotic schedules, family life and each of us holding down jobs outside of this venture as well. It truly is a partnership which I enjoy and appreciate so much.

We have a variety of new and vintage accessories and furniture and are constantly sourcing items. I try to really have one of a kinds. It doesn't surprise my husband when he opens the car door and finds another piece of furniture. Its amazing what you can fit inside of a Durango, like a 10 ft kayak. (That wasn't for the shop.) I do have a 1960's Drexel bar table in the back of my car right now, though. I couldn't pass it up after spying it at a thrift shop. A problem for me is that I mainly buy what I like and I want to keep just about everything. I also buy some things that are not my taste but I know someone would like it. Researching trends, antiques and guestimating what will be up and coming really is the fun of it I think.

I need to take some newer pictures but this gives you an idea of where we started. Lots more to come!

Getting ready to paint
Taken as we were setting up in late March. This is just a corner of the space. It's a little crowded now.

Have a great day,

Monday, June 8, 2015

A random snapshot of thoughts/happenings

So I said I was supposed to have all this time to get back to blogging...

Jon still lives in Arkansas and I don't, this is true. We'll be there over the summer so that will be a blast. We'll just go back and forth until we figure out what we want to do.

Charley graduated from high school last week! I am so happy for her to move on and discover what she really wants to do. So that's 2 down, 3 to go. Cliche or not, the time does go quickly.


A major spring cleaning mode has hit. While Jon was home last week, we cleaned most of the garage. Now I'm going through each bedroom and pulling out everything no one uses or plays with. I took two bags of kids' clothes to consign at a cute little shop in my town. She gave me 50 bucks right then. Sweeeet.

Baseball and soccer just ended...thankfully! I love that my kids are in sports, it was just a challenge to be at both games at the same time. I know to have a better plan for next year.

End of year school carnival

My friend Starr and I opened a little shop in a co-op on April 1st. It's been going well. We have been really busy since merchandise is turning over quickly and we hate to have an empty space. I still have a part time job as well as Starr so between the two, we have full-time jobs! I left my life sucking full time (corporate) job on March 1st and even though I'm just as busy but have less money, I enjoy this so much more and can schedule everything around my kids' schedules.

Starr and me with a load of barnwood 

I feel like doing more on instagram so if you want to peek in, find me at @lauramontgomery1, the shop is @athomeagain

I finally started reading "All the light we cannot see" I love to read but can never make the time. So this summer I'll sit lazily by the lake while the kids fish and read to my heart's content. (In between helping reel in a fish or two.)

Our back yard in Arkansas and the boys fishing

I've decided to really save up for a trip back to Japan. I want to take Jon to see my old mission stomping grounds, visit Buddhist temples, see old friends and have real sushi, udon, sukiyaki...we'll just eat our way around the country. I'd like to climb Mt. Fuji again too. It's going to be a slow savings.

Is it hypocritical of me to complain about people complaining on Facebook so much?
Probably, yes.

I sat and talked with my friend Jaime at a get together a week ago. She moved away last year. It filled my heart to just catch up face to face even if it was just an hour. Now if I could just do that with other friends who have moved, it would be most perfect.

Isn't it great, though, if you haven't seen your friend in a while and when you meet up again, you feel as if you just picked up right where you left off? I love that.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Going to Razorback country

So last fall Jon's company transferred him to Arkansas. He's been coming home about a weekend a month since then except for December when he took a 2 week vacation.

The first thing Jon did when I called to tell him I quit my job was buy me a plane ticket to Hot Springs. So two weeks after that, I was on a little vacation.

It just so happened that the day I flew out of PA, was on the biggest snow storm we had all year. Eight to ten inches. I was worried that I would miss my flight. Of course nothing had really been plowed between my house and the airport which is about 20 miles. I put it into 4 wheel drive and carefully passed everyone on the freeway. I followed tracks of a semi truck who paved the way. I made it in half an hour.

It never fails that I get the full pat down when I go through security, every. time.
So I stood there while the agent kept saying, "I'm using the back of my hand" when she felt my backside, sides of the breast. I was thankful for the warning.

It took an hour to de-ice the plane which was fine by me. I was sitting in between 2 gentleman; one a Delta pilot and the other a father of 5 from Nebraska. They were both nice and we chatted the whole time. I made the pilot laugh when we were talking about roller coasters and he said he preferred to stay on the ground. I replied, "Said the Delta pilot." which made him slap his knee at the irony. Coincidentally enough, each of us stopped at Subway before the flight so we ate lunch together in our row, kinda fun.

Takeoff was a little bumpy and there was a lot of turbulence. A plane had just skidded off the runway at Laguardia earlier that day so that was on my mind. I noticed the pilot wasn't white knuckling it, so I felt pretty good even when the plane swayed back and forth and the attendants had to suspend snack service.

After a long day of layovers and flying, I grabbed a rental car and drove an hour up to Hot Springs. It was a pretty drive going up to the mountains, hills more like it. But nonetheless, pretty. It was dark by the time I arrived to Jon's hotel so I couldn't see much of the town but I saw lights reflecting on the lake that his hotel overlooks. And a lake nearby is always a good sign.

A Take on the town later!


An old sign in the very cute town 
of Hot Springs, Arkansas 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Out of the ashes

This sad, little blog will be born again! 
I've had a lot going on in the past few years. Who hasn't? But really, there was no time to carve out much for anything, so I let go of a job that was sucking the life out of my family and was offered another one. This one allows me flexibility and creativity. friend and I signed a contract today on a little space inside of a co-op! So between the two endeavors I'll be full time again but on my own terms, own hours. Now I can get back to a much more fulfilling life. 

Sometimes one has to take that leap of faith and let things fall into place afterwards. It's almost like giving yourself some breathing room to allow new things to come up. 

A favorite past time of B's

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's on my mind

Oh my gosh, I am so bad at blogging these days. Time seems non existent. For blogging anyway. But here are the random thoughts going on in my mind...

THE salute seen 'round the world. Aren't there more important issues relevant today? I'm kind of worried about the rising cost of tuition, the scam that is student loans, mental health and our involvement in the middle east. The salute from a civilian President is not even necessary by the way. Reagan started it.

Don't you love it when you get a message from someone saying something that fills your heart with joy? And when you read it you are in awe because it was just the thing you needed and you know that friend didn't know you needed it? I LOVE that.

I'm so tired of mommy wars. I thought we were past that. Here's my advice: let's all just do our job no matter what it is we choose to do and quit trying to convince everyone it's the greatest job in the world. Let's just work hard and feel confident with a personal satisfaction of a job well done. Does it really matter what anyone else thinks? No.

I have a craft planned for the kids this weekend using leaves. I am so excited. I love Fall! I love the crunch under my feet when I walk on leaves and acorns. I can't resist bending down to pick up their beautiful little forms. At work when we are closing up, we do a bag inspection. And when I opened a pocket of my purse there were acorns in it. My lead associate said,
"Are those acorns??" and laughed and laughed.
Why yes, doesn't everyone collect them?

Jon and I were in Hilton Head for a few days visiting old friends from when we lived there. I had forgotten it was heaven on earth. I drove by the kids' old elementary school, our old house, had breakfast at the Squat n' Gobble, and met up with a few friends. We hit the beach early on one of our favorite, less touristy beaches. I was out in the ocean for hours just bobbing around. The surf is not crazy crashing like it is in the Northeast and the sand is soft and silk like. I just floated and let the waves slowly push me to shore. What a beautiful creation our oceans are.

On an unfamiliar but particularly rough day recently where I was feeling very sad, Blair said, "Look on the bright side, you still love us." No truer words were spoken. Usually in those situations one tends to think about how much they're loved so as not to feel all alone which is how one should think and know. However, her  words hit me so profoundly that I knew it was directed by the Spirit. I needed to remember that my capacity to love could stomp out the actions of others that cause me stress and fuel me to be a better human being. So with that I got to work. Inspired thinking from an 8 year it.

I finally bought spray paint for a quick lamp redo in Blair's room. I could totally be happy as a graffiti artist. Except that I can't draw. And my finger gets tired of holding down the spray nozzle... Ah vell.

I'm making cupcakes this weekend.

Did I mention I love Fall?? I could say that over and over.

Do you ever say a word over and over and then it loses its meaning?

I'm glad Clooney got married.

The end.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happenings that probably aren't that interesting but it's what's going on around here

The end of the school year was a flurry of activity. Reese finished up baseball season with a perfect losing record. The team really improved despite the losses. They had fun and more importantly, learned a little more about life, having to work together and be dedicated and loyal to a team. We were really proud of Reese for sticking through it. Now he's looking forward to fall ball and going in to middle school.

Trae finished up his first year of  Kindergarten and T-ball and loved it. Trae man loves everything. He is the best kid that way. Anything and everything is the "best day ever" for him. It doesn't matter what it is. He was one of 3 kids to be selected to all stars. So much fun. He already went to 2 Vacation Bible schools this summer. Again, it was the "best summer EV-ER!" so far.

Blair Noel played soccer and was great! She really enjoyed it and just looked the part of a soccer player. She also finished up her 2nd (3rd? Oh my gosh, I can't remember) year of Girl Scouts. I hope she sticks with it. I only made it to 9th grade but loved it all those years. She's heading into 3rd grade next school year and was a favorite among her teachers for being that one that always helps others in class. She is now giving Trae summer school lessons at the kitchen table. We are getting her room together this summer. I bought her new curtains and we went to Sherwin-Williams and gathered sample colors for her walls. She really wanted blue, just blue, so we came up with a nice color scheme that I think will be really pretty, one that's not all blue.

Charley went to church Young Women's camp for a week and then on to Girl's state for a week after that. The weekend she came home I didn't even see her. She was so exhausted. A good, had-a-blast exhaustion. She was president of her Seminary class this past school year. Her teacher said she was the only one that comes in happy that early in the morning. It's always been that way. As a baby I would go to pick her up out of her crib and she'd be lying there, smiling, waiting for me. Friends are really important to her so she is spending a lot of time with them this summer before her last year of high school when she won't have as much time to hang out.

Unfortunately last week, we made an unexpected trip to Texas for Jon's father's funeral. It was quite a shock but Jon's at peace with it now. The good thing is that you reconnect with family and make plans for future visits and not just at funerals, which seems to be the way it's been the last 10 years.

The service itself was nice, not very long. Jon recalled some funny stories and moments with his dad. One was when they were living in Laredo and Jon, at age 4, challenged him to eat a dog biscuit. They both sat on the back porch and ate some. He recalled his dad's quirky sense of humor, how he was so proper and had a great work ethic. And he highlighted his father's protectiveness of Jon's mother and the tender and loving way her treated her. That's where Jon learned it.

We all went to a restaurant afterward and sat for hours; laughing and mingling. Just the way dad would have wanted. Charley and Belén could not attend which was disappointing but that's the way things go sometimes.

While we were in Texas, we made sure it was fun for the kids. I took them down to the Riverwalk while Jon and his siblings worked on boxing up their father's belongings. I spent many summers in San Antonio visiting my grandma and cousins and the Paseo del Rio is a must stop. I swung by Comfort, Texas which is one of my favorite antiquing towns in the Hill Country. We usually take a trailer if we drive the Durango but we took my little car to save on gas. The trailer comes in handy when I find just the antique and can haul it home. Of course this time we didn't do that and I found just the antique. Oh well. We made stops along the way at hotels to rest and swim. We found a water park in Arkadelphia, Arkansas that was such a good deal we plan on making that a traditional stop on our way to and from Texas now.

The kids enjoyed seeing their cousins and filling up on Mexican food (I can't find anything half-way decent in PA, except my own of course ;) ) and Texas barbecue! We went to Rudy's in Austin on the way home to have lunch with our nephew and his wife. The food was so delicious but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. They even have a web cam where you can watch them cut the brisket. Texans are serious about their barbecue.

Sadly, I was not able to visit my mom's side of the family, the Hernandezes. It was a tight schedule to say the least. I was only able to take a week off of work so there was no extra time to do much else. Hopefully next time.

That's life in a nutshell right now. Off to cleaning up the house, putting things back in order and prepping for a long week at work...until next time.

~ L