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Author: julie forkner (page 1 of 3)

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is one of my favorite writers. Even though every line has depth, she isn’t exhausting to read. A poet-storyteller, & one of the absolute best, her words are experiential, relatable and inspiring. A brave life lived well, & well documented.

I love reading her words, because my heart relates. When her thoughts, written, and my eyes, reading, form a bridge.

When I think, I have felt that.
the heat of shame
the ache of longing
the sting of rejection
the held-breath of anticipation
the hollowness of loss
the buoyancy of hope

Angelou soared as an author because she wasn’t afraid of depth. She could survive &, then, transcribe her experiences. Depth is where life is truly lived, yes? When we don’t avoid, but allow ourselves to be fully present. It takes a steady, resilient person to be fully present and not be swallowed whole. She did it, & we’ve benefited, & I’m grateful.

I am not a talker. Now, I can fill silence quite well, but being able to vocally convey anything of importance? That has always been extremely difficult. I process through writing, & communicate best that way. This is another reason I adore Angelou. She was a writer who could speak. She conveyed herself (her ideals, her passions, her sorrows) exquisitely. She spoke like she wrote, & that is fascinating to me.

I’m sharing her here today. Some of those words of hers, spoken bravely & with a depth that connects. Hope you are inspired by them, too.






Photo Flashback: April 2014

flowers & dirty fingernails

i had completely forgotten about luke’s “draw all over myself” phase…

& these bellies!

andrew found freedom at alexander park.

my dad & my youngest baby. golfers & fun-finders. kindred spirits.

my nephew’s amazing tricks!

crazy cousins.

light + dark + camera = fun

Mom Sanctification 101

Sanctification Step 1:
Your son calls you a terrible name & admits to it.

Sanctification Step 2:
The Holy Spirit whispers, “Focus on his heart, not on your pride.

Sanctification Step 3:
Your flesh snarks back, “It would be much easier to focus on his heart if I could see it.

Sanctification Step 4:
God reminds you that wanting to rip someone’s heart out is a sin, too.

Image result for amy poehler reaction gif

Sanctification Step 5:
Repentance.

 

Photo Flashback: March 2014

Looking at these photos… oh, life.

Some things are the same: Luke still throws things. Paul still climbs on everything. Ben still cleans up my Great Ideas, & my babies are still gorgeous.
Some are fading: Wooden trains are no longer entertaining. (sob!)
Some have grown & evolved: Luke is still into color & creating & paint, but is now very careful to not spray himself in the face. Our engaged friends are now married & raising their over-1-year-old son. We still go on family adventures, but no one carries Paul. He is our trailblazer.

Oh, life. The days are so long, but your years too quickly gone.

New House Tour

Y’all wanna (finally) take a tour of our new house? We moved in June (or July… I can’t remember), & we’ve made some changes (not too terribly many… yet), but all of these pictures are from the day we put an offer down.


So, here she is! Our precious 70’s ranch with all her mid-century charm.  The butter-yellow paint isn’t doing much for her, but I’m thankful for it. If she wore a more flattering dress, someone else would’ve snatched her up before we had the chance. She was on the market for months&months, & definitely needs work, but she has such awesome character! This is my favorite house so far. By far.

I really love the brick walls that extend out from either side of her, & her garden gate. Doesn’t this remind you of The Secret Garden? It’s blocked with yard debris right now, but I am really looking forward to carving a path behind it – maybe make a little seating area?

I loooove our double front doors. They’re both operational, &  just, plain awesome. I also love the built-in planter area (to the left in this photo, where brick meets stone). I am not crazy about the stairs (they’re too shallow) or the light fixtures (no words) or the tile landing. It’s exciting to think about the changes we can make, though!

I’ll show you more exterior photos in minute, but, first, let’s go inside…

Our house has a sunken living room & I love it! I had butterflies in my belly when I stepped into the house the first time.  There have been a few falls by people forgetting the step, but I hope to remedy this by creating more of a visual contrast.

We do have a (tiny) foyer, but I didn’t take any pictures of it this trip. The picture above was taken from the foyer, looking to the left. The dining room, side porch, kitchen & laundry nook are this way, as well as the coat closet & stairs to the basement.

Here’s the “fireplace”. I am still thrilled that this monstrosity wasn’t actually permanent. The brick wall is still there, & Ben has plans for it.

I love these beams.

Now, we’ve walked to the end of the house, are standing in the dining room, looking back towards the living room. You can see the sunken-ness a bit better in this picture. (You can also see Luke Bishop lying on the dirty floor, totally exhausted by his life. The house hunting process is a blessing for your children. Try it! Just kidding…)

Oh, the kitchen. I love this room the least (for many reasons), but I’m going to focus on the positive here… I love the large window over the sink. It, like the rest of the windows, opens horizontally, which it amazing for visibility, accessibility to the outdoors, & they’re unique (or, at least, they’re unique to me). I’ve never had windows like these & I want to keep them.

The kitchen also has a little nook area. The picture above was taken while standing in said area, & yet, I don’t have a picture of it (…?!?!?!…).

The laundry area is off of the kitchen. I used to call it a room. It is not a room. It’s a nook. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I hate it, but it’s much better than schlepping laundry up & down the stairs.

Here’s another shot of the dining room as you leave the kitchen.

Walk into the dining room, turn back around, here’s the door to the side porch. (The broken blinds are gone. My children did that on accident. I thanked them on purpose.) If you look carefully, you can see a sliver of the kitchen nook.

Ok, now we’ve walked through the living room & are looking down the hall. On the left, you have Andrew’s room, followed by the hall bath. On the right, you have the linen closet, followed by our room. Luke & Paul’s bedroom is at the end of the hall. (Note: hallway is now carpeted & the bedrooms’ carpets have been replaced. Ben may be allergic to the new carpet, but that’s for another post.)

This is Andrew’s room. It has some pretty cool features – the slanting ceiling, the large window that looks out over the backyard. And his closet, y’all. It’s the cutest walk-in I’ve seen. I just love it. I’ll show y’all his closet in another post.

The hall bath. This room has issues.  Cool features include: the harvest gold walk-in shower (not kidding about the cool factor; it is really neat, but idk if it’s staying) & the original mirror. It has this etched, floral detailing that I love for a multitude of reasons. One, being the irony of its existence in such a male-populated space. I refer to this house as female because of little winks like this… They give me a feeling she’s on my side, & that she’s thrilled I’m here, & begging, “Come make me lovely again!” I hear you, lady. (Note: I am not actually insane.)

This is Luke & Paul’s room. They have a great, large window that looks directly at the back of the neighbors house… which is weird, & the reason their room had curtains before any other. See the sliding closet doors? They didn’t make it 6 months with my monkeys. I’m not even mad…

And this is our room. I looooove our wide windows. In the wayyy corner, you can see the sink area. To the left of the sink is the bathroom. I’m not going to bore y’all with photos of those areas… also, I don’t have much (nice) to say about them. There is a strip of marble on the floor over there that I really like, but I don’t have a picture of it.

We have twin closets, y’all. Look! Now, neither Ben nor I are big fans of them, but we have plans. See the pink, though? There are hints of this color Throughout the Entire House. This whole house was once Pepto Bismal Pink. How very southern of this little lady, no?


Well, she’s not going back to pink. That is for certain. Speaking of back… let’s head outside.

Our backyard is decently sized, especially for our school cluster. I want a pool & a garden. Ben says yes to the garden, & no to the pool… But because we’re going to be in this house for many-a-year, if not all-of-the-years, I have decades to wear him down. (I love you, babe, & but somebody’s going to fold eventually.)

Here’s a shot of the back of the house, & my gorgeous, long-suffering husband (pretending to be Sasquatch – just kidding – he was saying something about not taking his picture). We have another porch, y’all!

See my secret garden area? Ahhh! This part of our yard makes me super excited! (& just a little afraid. Reptiles & rodents & poison ivy like that area. An eviction notice is being drafted.)

On the other side of the house, we have our garages & side porch. I love this side of our house, too. The garage isn’t able to actually hold cars (not because of junk, but because of the layout of the drive way). Ben & I are talking about plans. The conversation last night went like this,

Me: I was thinking about the garage… we could finish it! Add a carport, & build a wall where the doors were.
Him: We could get different garage doors; ones that are insulated.
Me: No, no, I mean, we could make a wall… You won’t even be able to tell the garage existed.
Him: No.
Me: Or we could, you know, get garage doors that are insulated… & finish the inside of the garage. We could open the doors for fresh air when we feel like it! Oh, & we could make a courtyard off the garage! Right?! I’ve seen these great remodels on Apartment Therapy, &…
Him: (squeezes the bridge of his nose, releases, then runs his forefinger & thumb across his eyebrows, exhaling slowly) I need to not talk about this right now. Some other time.

That’s not a no! I’m makin’ headway, y’all!!!

Oh! I forgot to show you the basement!!! Here we go…

So, here are our stairs. I don’t hate the woodwork. That’s super fun. (I miss those shoes.) Ok, y’all so, see the portion of wall at the end of the stairs? The part that connects to the basement ceiling? I don’t know the proper word for that part of the wall… I think it’s “Bust Yo’ Head” because that’s exactly what it does. I am 5 foot 3 & have to duck, lest I bust my head. For Ben, it’s “Bust Yo Chest”, so… if you come over, & go downstairs…


Here’s our basement room. We’ve been here since late summer, & this has been a storage room, TV room, school room & it’s currently an office/mix of everything previously stated, but Ben & I have plans. I love the low brick wall, the paneling & the window. I accidentally made it rain in the basement a while back & then sucked the ceiling into Ben’s shop-vac (I’m not perfect. Things happen). The house has a learning curve, what can I say? But, I still love this wacky room.

Here’s the other side of the basement room. The door to the right leads to the garage. The door to the left leads to the crawl space. The turquoise wall is hilarious. Amazing. It’s changing, though. We have plans.

Also, this tile floor will wake your tail up in winter. That floor is not heated. We knew that, but, my word. It’s like this room has accepted some floor challenge to be The Coldest you ever did feel. I send the boys down to grab stuff/let the dog out of her sleeping space most of the time. They’re tougher than me. (One of the many perks of raising boys.)

This is one of the most hilarious parts of our house. Here, my friends is our crawl space. Riiight behind that piece of plywood. Someone built a storage shelf (there, to the left), covering the door. They then busted out cement blocks, making a fancy hole through which we can climb, if we need to do things like… I don’t know? Access our HVAC unit. (Oh, you want to know how many times I’ve changed the filter? Exactly never times.) It’s terrifying, & I LOVE IT because it keeps the kids out of the (potentially dangerous) space.

Here’s our garage! I love seeing this room empty. It’s not empty now. (See our living room’s bottom hanging down? She’s so expressive. Makes herself known.)

We have a storage closet under the stairs. I haven’t seen it in months because Ben’s yard work trailer is parked in front of the door, but I’m excited about discovering it all over again… at some point in my life.

So, there ya have it, folks. A tour of our house! We’ve updated (some things) since moving in. I hope to be able to post more of our progress, but time management isn’t my super-strength. The desire is there, though, so we’ll see!

Photo Flashback: February 2014

14_02a 14_02d 14_02e 14_02f14_02c14_02b

Andrew (10 years, 1 month): learned some jokes can backfire… (ie: slime in your little brothers hair)
Luke (3 years, 6 months): had his first mom-given haircut (of many)
Paul (11 months): was reintroduced to Waffle House To Go. he fell in love all over again.

Moving Photo Outtakes: 06 & 07

Let’s play a game of Eye Spy, shall we? I spy shorts that are orange, Sofia the Furst & a kid who thinks he’s a dog… or at least likes invading his dog’s quarters.

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& this photo is called, “When did my Bishop get to be such a GIANT!?”
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Moving Photo Outtakes: 04 & 05

Pauly Bear & His Ambrosia.

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outtake03

Moving Photo Outtake: 03

The coffee cup says it all.

outtake04

Craigslist Corral: Homeschool Edition

Ok, here’s my next Craigslist Corral. This time, how about we hunt for vintage homeschool decor?

00E0E_k3oIwPvq4fm_1200x900Antique Double Desk with 2 Chairs. $80. (Duluth) // This is awesome. Even more awesome if your kids get along well enough to sit that closely without losing their minds. That’s a win for everyone because this looks super well-built.

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00L0L_8vzCHCjwmqv_1200x900Wood Filing Cabinet. $80 (Bishop) // Bishop is a hike for most people, but for those with either an aversion to metal and/or plastic, or a affinity for wood/well built items, this would definitely be worth the time!dashdivider

 

00x0x_3gLxgI3UEaI_1200x900Large Desk/Hobby Table. $100 (Athens) // This is gorgeous!
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00L0L_cbujQXyn3Ar_1200x900School Desk. (Hull) // This seller says to make an offer, but I had NO IDEA Craigslist had so many antique school desks!! $75; $25; $25; $35
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00T0T_1VNatx98FKD_1200x900Organizer. $100 (Bogart) // This is awesome! Not just for the homeschool classroom, but for a catchall in the mudroom or garage.dashdivider

 

00v0v_7D8FIXfkqe0_1200x900Two Tone Metal Storage Cabinet. $175 (Old Fourth Ward) // Leave it to O4W to have the coolest find in this line up. Oh, Atlanta. Some times I miss you so much.dashdivider

 

00X0X_ggWizTUNjG7_1200x900Vinyl backed wooden school chairs. $40/each (Atlanta) // Aren’t these so fun?!dashdivider

 

00Z0Z_iWYhz1zXFb3_600x450Street Sign. $30 (Doraville) // I don’t know if this is legal(?) but this would certainly be fun in a homeschool room, wouldn’t it!? But it’s huge… 5 feet tall! It would definitely be a statement piece.dashdivider

 

00W0W_apb6w1Aq2G0_1200x900Typewriter. $65 (Stone Mountain) // Want to teach your kids some patience? This’ll do it. Also, it’s cute.dashdivider

 

00101_1IPVSWosTda_1200x900Vintage Filing Cabinet. $70 (Lenox Mall Area) // This could go vintage, glam or whichever way you’d like. Love this!dashdivider

 

00606_ku3PYhRWkS2_1200x900Vintage Automotive Cabinet. $55 (Powder Springs) // I love storage cabinets. Up & out of the way makes my day, y’all!

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