Am I Cool?
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ask your kiddo sometime, "What's it take to be 'cool'?" Their answers are at once hilarious and insightful.

The follow-up conversations about if it's worth it to be cool....if they're cool....who in their class is cool....


This one? Too cool for school.

My namesake.
Saturday, October 20, 2012

Several years back while Googling my own name (you do it too), I stumbled on a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN named the "Starr Cliff" cabin.  Two Rs and everything.

I thought, "Hmmm.  That's neat.  I should get Jonathan to take me there one day!"

But back then we lived about 20 hours away from Gatlinburg, TN.  Now that we live in Georgia, it's a mere 3.5 hours away.  I am starting a full court press for the hubby to take me there for a weekend getaway.  This place is gorgeous!  Think they'd give me a discount?

Evergreen Hidey-Hole
Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dylan carved out a little play space for himself inside this evergreen tree. He allows the occasional visitor, and extends invitations, which I generally turn down after getting one too many spiderwebs in my hair. (That would be just one. One spiderweb.)

Lauryn was not granted enough access to the tree to suit her, and was finally heard muttering "Fine then. I'll just move into my own tree." They're peacefully co-existing as evergreen neighbors at the moment.

Journey thru Georgia State Parks: Tallulah Gorge and Black Rock Mountain
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On our quest to visit all the state parks in our area, last Saturday we marked two more off the list: Tallulah Gorge, and Black Rock Mountain.  Both were well worth the hour and a half drive.  We found a cabin we'd love to rent and stay a few days.  There is an equally charming neighboring cabin for anyone who wants to visit!

As much as I am loving Georgia, I have a bit of homesickness for Texas and Oklahoma, no doubt.  It's hard to think we are so, so far from friends and family.  But when I shared pictures from our most recent day trip with them, I let them know that if God sees fit to place us so far from least He put us somewhere beautiful!  I keep sending them these pictures, as bait for them to make the 20+ hour drive to visit.

Increased Productivity
Monday, October 15, 2012

For some reason when Jonathan is out of town, I go into worker bee mode.  (Not a common mode for me.  My preferred mode is, "That chore will be there tomorrow, so have another cup of coffee and enjoy some more Netflix".)

Whatever the reason, I start checking random domestic chores off my list like crazy when I'm flying solo here at home.  Last Friday, with Jonathan at a meeting out of town, I tackled cleaning the floor mats in the van.  Random?  Yes it was.

I got those suckers out and attacked the many stains (who ARE these disgusting creatures that ride in my backseat?!?) with my kitchen scrub brush, warm water, and Tide.

Aside:  Growing up - it was always Tide or Comet as the two main cleaning agents in my mom and grandmother's cleaning arsenal.  They both took after stains, dirt and grime of any and all types with either Tide or Comet, and sometimes both. Since I naturally grabbed the Tide bottle to clean floor mat stains, I have apparently adopted their strategy as my own.

It turned out to be an okay way to pass the afternoon.  It was a beautiful North Georgia day, and as I sat in my driveway scrubbing those mats I enjoyed hearing the boys calling each and every bicycle or scooter stunt "epic" (they were hilariously UN-epic by the way), saw them immediately run to their sister's aid when she took a spill, and ended up with floor mats that if not quite stainless, are epically better than they were before.

The epic riders rendering aid to fallen little sister.

Little One
Friday, October 12, 2012

Lauryn taught herself to braid her Barbie doll's hair, and today she sat on her bed engrossed in a brush-braid-repeat pattern for a good part of the morning.  Braiding, humming Taylor Swift songs, and having herself a ball.

I love it.  I snapped a pic and texted it to Papaw and Mo because they had sent this particular Barbie with the super long hair to Lauryn for her birthday.  Mo (that's grandma, for the uninitiated) replied, "Cute.  I'm glad she likes it.  I know the Barbie days are numbered."  Indeed they are.  I am enjoying these little girl moments.

Delaying the Inevitable
Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I do not keep, save, hoard, preserve, hold on to, or otherwise retain  stuff.  I am, indeed, anti-stuff. I am not the mom who stresses over throwing away artwork or old clothes and once beloved toys.  Applaud the artwork appropriately - then immediately trash it when they aren't looking.  Outgrown favorite shirts go in the hand me down pile without a second thought.  Old toys?  Get 'em outta here!


My oldest child is going into Middle School next year.  Middle School.  Suddenly there really aren't any old toys to purge....because he doesn't play with toys much anymore.

So when I find discarded things that he once loved, now languishing in the corner.....

...I admit that even this girl, normally so quick to purge, gets sentimental.

This was a project we did together a few years back.  He wanted a "Monster Doll", so he drew one out on paper, cut all the pieces out of fabric in my scrap pile, and I sewed it up for him.

Monster Doll was coming apart at the seams, and hadn't been played with in a long while.  He was headed for the trash, really he was, but unexpectedly I just couldn't do it.  I sewed up the holes in those arms, threw him back in the corner of the boys' room, and delayed Monster Doll's inevitable end for another day.

If only I could similarly delay the arrival of Middle School.

New friends. New wreath.
Monday, October 1, 2012

I got to spend some fun time with new friends a couple weeks ago, crafting a new fall wreath. I've learned that to create any kind of seasonal decorating, I require the motivator of a social event. So I was happy to get the invite!  Grateful for these ladies and their families, and the way they've welcomed us here in Athens.  I am a lover of lunch dates, and happily these ladies have kept my calendar full of them over the last month.  Thankful.

                          photo swiped from  Courtney's twitter page


So...I broke my newly-purchased plastic wreath hanger mere minutes after this picture was taken, when I apparently shut the door a bit too forcefully.  Oops.  I will get a sturdier one next time!

Craft-master-extraordinaire Tara did the prep work for the wreaths (that's a whole lotta burlap squares!), provided awesome wreath-tutoring for the craft impaired among us, and welcomed us into her beautiful home for the evening.  If you don't already subscribe, check our her site Between You and Me; her home is as gorgeous and inspiring as it is inviting.  

So excited that Fall has arrived!  My iPhone holds countless pictures of the changing trees.  Can't wait until they are in full color.

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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