In just a few days it will be autumn, and while I LOVE the fall season,
I’m also enjoying these last droplets of summertime.

Besides, it’s 95 degrees outside. Pumpkins and orange leaves just don’t work in the deep south yet! And by the time I start fall decorating, everyone will be finished and posted pictures and then I’ll have all kinds of great ideas to browse. :)

So here’s a few little snippets of our last little bit of summer, Twenty-Thirteen.

Happy Announcements.
My sister Ervina made the wonderful announcement that I’m going to be an auntie! Actually, she said she’s going to be a mommy, but, it’s the same thing. :) I’m so so so excited for her and her husband!

Silly Girls.
Quite likely their source of inspiration came from their excitement about their little cousin on the way.  “When is him going to come out of them tummy, mom?” – Olivia

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Tender Hearts.
As a mother, my job is huge. Some days, overwhelming. And I wonder if I maybe missed the boat that went to a convent, because life sure would be a lot easier!! But no, life is just as it should be, and being a mother is exactly where I want to be. And finding little love notes like this make it all worth it. I am so humbled when I see how Jesus can work and move in small children. He is not limited to the intellect and fully understanding – truly, to enter the Kingdom of God there must be the faith of a child.

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A boy that melts me in a puddle.
I just never ever knew that a little boy could absolutely slay me. SLAY ME. I don’t know what it is about him – other than that he’s our son – that completely melts me, but I am undone by him. He’s got his daddy’s crystal-blue eyes, and a funny little sense of humor, and he nods his head so emphatically, and he still loves his paccy, and he can throw a ball better than his sisters, and he has the most adorable pair of red converse shoes. I want ten of him, please.

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Great Honors.
Our dining room was featured on the Pottery Barn blog!! I was completely blown out of the water when someone contacted me to ask if they could use my pictures. I’m super super honored.

The funny thing about it all, that I just keep laughing about to myself, is that I’m all about decorating on a budget. Pottery Barn is a huge source of inspiration for me in decor, along with Anthropologie and Restoration Hardware, but the reality is – we can’t afford to buy much of anything from them! So this chandelier is a real Pottery Barn Celeste Chandelier, but we found it on craigslist for far below asking price. So our craigslist Pottery Barn chandy was featured on their blog. :)

Our dining room featured in the Pottery Barn blog! The Celeste Chandelier in a Charming Cottage Dining Room

Mantel Greenery.
This will probably be the last of summertime on the mantel. Next change out will be autumn, but for now I’m still loving the green and whites of summer, along with a collection of candlesticks.

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I also changed the red panels back to white in the living room, and added more natural accents. I think I finally found what works in there, or, what I like best.  Whites, creams, and a pop of red.

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Friendships.
Maybe it’s because I miss my sisters so much, or because I need friendships more than ever, but I have been so blessed with some dear women in my life. Recently we’ve done dinner out, thanks to our kind husbands and a newly-opened Panera Bread, and other things, just to know we care about each other. I’m so grateful. ♥

Thinking.
This quote grabbed me, source unknown.

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The preciousness of life.
With the loss of my beloved friend nearly a year ago, life has been so different for me since then. Not only the intense ache of missing her, and the loss of doing life together with such a precious friend, but even today, life as I know it. 10 months later, sometimes it feels as though the grief is still only beginning.

As I kiss my children goodnight, I wonder if there will be a tomorrow for us? When I say goodbye to a friend, will there be a next time? I don’t want to live in fear, and I don’t think I am. But the reality is that tragedy touches everyone, at some point. Not one person is exempt from saying goodbye, either their own goodbye or to someone they love. It makes Heaven seem all the more like Home, our real Home. But for today, I want to treasure this moment… It’s a gift.

Mail Delivery.
I got a package in the mail one day, and when I opened it it made me cry. The quote by a favorite actess, the thoughtful kindness, the lovely gift – it was all so timely, on a day when my heart needed it. Aimee creates the most amazing work at Aimee Weaver Designs, and is the beautiful soul behind it. ♥

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Girly Things.
I love to see pink little toes on girls. It shows they have someone who takes the time to just sit and be with them. And it makes them feel all special and stuff. :)

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And next week, I’m so looking forward to time with my far-away Pennsylvania family!

Live in His Sweet Grace today…

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p.s. Just a reminder that the giveaway for A Farmer’s Daughter is still going until midnight on Friday night!

36 thoughts on “The Last Drops of Summertime.

  1. shelly

    You and your pictures just continue to ooooooze with loveliness. I can hardly handle all the beauty!! And Ervina’s announcement just makes me stare each time I see it~it’s SO cute and creative! Have a great weekend with your family. And then . . . gasp . . . I can hardly WAIT for the next one after that. :) Oh, and the art from Aimee?? I am properly jealous. Yes, I am. :) Oh, and of course, if my next baby happens to be a boy . . . and those red shoes suddenly disappear . . . i’m just giving you due warning right now! Talk to you soon! xoxo

    Reply

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      I know, Ervina’s announcement is just the best!! Now I want to think up all kinds of cute announcement for my next time! :) And I can hardly wait for the week after next either!! I keep thinking that it’s just too good to be true, and what if it doesn’t work? But a couple whole days together?! It’ll be too short and so wonderful all at once. :) I cannot wait!!

      Reply

  2. Denise

    I have saved that quote among many others on forgiveness after a divorce from an addict that left us for an affair. I’m almost two years from the divorce date and am healing but at times still have to forgive all involved all over again. It’s so true and beautifully quoted. Thanks for Sharing it here. I opened your blog expecting to see more beautiful pics of your home and saw this too. It’s a sign from God. It was no mistake you posted it.

    Reply

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Your story touches me deeply… I’m so sorry for your pain, for the hard road you’ve had to walk. My heart goes out to you, and yet I see such strength in you through your words, void of bitterness and anger. You are walking a journey no one would want for themselves, and yet I see beauty in you. It’s Jesus, it’s you walking with unclenched hands. Blessings to you, Denise!!

      Reply

  3. Shannon

    I like the cool air of fall, sweaters, pumpkins and all the leaves but I hate to say good bye to summer. Love the post. Little boys definitely are different the girls! I can squish mine one minute and despair with him the next. :)

    Reply

  4. Jenn

    I know what you mean about boys getting into different spaces in your heart than girls. Not better, just different. :)

    How cool that your dining room was featured on Pottery Barn’s blog! I love your dining room, too. You totally deserved that honor!

    Reply

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      You’ve experienced first-hand the boy and girl difference too! I’m not sure what it is about a little boy that melts me so completely, and maybe I felt this way about my girls too but just can’t remember? But you’re right – not better, just different. :)

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  5. Melanie G

    Oh my word! I just loooovee your blog, your house(esp your kitchen) your inspirations etc… and i would just love to win the cook book :)

    Reply

  6. Jenny

    aw… so much pretty!
    i KNOW what you mean about your little boy utterly slaying you. those little red shoes– so darling. my boy- makes my day worth living every morning. i could just eat him up all day. when he flaps his arms because he is happy to see me and makes this high pitched squeal… i would move mountains for him. ;)
    i liked what you said about how you found that you like neutrals with a pop of red. when i read that– i was like, yup, that’s just what i picture for you. :) i was looking at those candle-stick pictures and i was like, what is it about how you decorate that is different than anyone else i know? it’s like you take things that are normal and give them dignity- like they look all special and bright or something. i have to think on it more– but i love how you make all things elegant!
    love your aimee picture. :) i got one too- someday i will blog about it. i love that happy girls quote– it’s a true statement.
    ps. i finally got my computer to let me look at your whole post in one setting. but that’s because i let the screen open all night. ha. it’s my computer- not your blog. but i am soo annoyed because i get all excited when you post and i usually cannot even view it. :( well, got to get my school girl ready for school. have a good day, friend!
    pps. this comment was long to make up for all the times i couldn’t comment BECAUSE MY STUPID PAGE WOULDN’T LOAD. haha

    Reply

  7. Ervina

    Goodness me, I must print out the picture of the pregnant babies and blow it up for my fridge so I remember to always look so cute while watermeloning out the front. :) You never told me about that one — love it. Hudson is THE most handsome little boy baby I have ever laid eyes on. Just two more days till I can squish and hug everyone! CANNOT WAIT.

    Reply

  8. Rach

    I love your blog all over again today!! Your sisters pregnancy announcement, your little boy IS adorable (but not quite as much as mine!!:), that sign by Aimee, and you getting to see your family!!! Love it all. O and lucky you to be featured on Pottery Barn! I am happy for you!! Keep writing…

    Reply

  9. Breana

    CONGRATULATIONS, ERVINA!!!
    Sweet Jesus, I thank you for this Little One! Please bless Mama and Baby with the best of health.
    In Jesus Name, Amen.

    Reply

  10. aimeeweaverdesigns

    I was so excited to see you featured on Pottery Barn! That is squeal-worthy, my friend!! Your thoughts about losing your precious friend always makes me think about life a little bit differently…how I need to prioritize RELATIONSHIPS over my to-do list. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Squeal-worthy – I like that. There just may have been a bit of that! :) Thanks for being happy with me! And yes, I’m still learning to prioritize relationships too…. It seems to be the biggest challenge of life – to make those truly eternal things the most important. xo

      Reply

  11. Michelle

    So much beautiful here. Beautiful because there is so much soul. I’ve always loved that about you and your blog. The way you live life to it’s depths in both the beautiful places and the harder places. But it comes out even more since the loss of your sweet friend. I don’t even want to imagine how painful that was and still is, but I hope that I can learn from you even more how to appreciate life for what it is. Because life as we know it is a priceless gift to be treasured.

    Reply

  12. Kellie

    Congratulations on having your dining room featured on PB’s blog! That is so cool!
    Hudson is a darling little boy! Yes, boys are so, so precious!
    I can so relate to what you said about how your friend’s death has affected you. My mom’s death has changed me so much and I am so ready to get past the grieving. In some ways it’s harder now than when she first died
    And congratulations to your sister!

    Reply

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Kellie, I can so relate to what you are saying too…. Yes, the death of a friend or relative changes us incredibly. Sometimes it feels like I’ve aged so much! But I hope I’ve also been changed for the better. And I feel too that sometimes the grief only hurts worse with time. May God be near you, Kellie! xo

      Reply

  13. Oie

    Delicious post! I know the joy of having a sister who is having a baby – it’s incredible isn’t it!! My sister is due very soon with her second and it’s a close second to having your own!!
    Your Dining room looks beautiful – your children delightful, enjoy Autumn (my personal favourite), we are happy to usher in spring. xo

    Reply

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      I do think a sister having a baby is nearly like my own. :) I’m over the moon excited!!
      And it seems so strange you are entering springtime… A most lovely time, to be sure! I’m anticipating cooler weather and the coming of the winter holidays!

      Reply

  14. Kim A.

    Hi Clarita,
    I haven’t been to your “cottage” in a while. (No time!) But you are inspiring! You are right about sweet little boys! :)
    Thinking of you and many other of Mark’s friends at this bittersweet weekend…..
    Hugs,
    Kim

    Reply

  15. aliza

    Thanks for linking to your tribute to Ruth. How bittersweet to read your memories and look at the pictures again! In a way it seems like such a long time since I’ve seen her. I’m wishing so much that there was a way, this side of heaven, to make things right for you once more.

    Reply

    1. The Cottage at 341 South Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Aliza… you also knew and loved her, and it is still so hard to believe that someone our age can suddenly be gone! This side of Heaven we will probably never understand the why. But the hope of Heaven, and the assurance of it, is a precious and beautiful thing! Love to you!

      Reply

  16. Kassie

    Congrats on becoming an aunt! It’s wonderful!! And how awesome to be featured on PB’s blog! Totally deserving, and ironic that your chandy didn’t actually come from there. :) Also, love the gift from Aimee Weaver. How sweet of her! I love her work; I’ve been trying to decide for months which sign I want that she makes! Happy Fall!

    Reply

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