Monday, July 21, 2014

A dear friend of mine shared this handy dandy list and I thought I'd join in on the fun. Besides, who doesn't love a list?!?

Currently I am...

Making: chair covers...still. Now that I've finished one, the mystery is gone and I'm having a hard time being motivated to do the other one

Cooking: blueberry scones for a playdate...they are seriously one of the most delicious things I have ever made

Drinking: more coffee than I should

Reading: a lot of Psalms for my anxious and fearful heart. I can't remember the last time I picked up a book. Any suggestions?

Wanting: the rest of the summer to be full of 75 degree days

Playing: my cello. Ha. Not really.

Sewing: I'm a sewing machineless dreamer : ) though I can imagine a lot of pillow covers would be on the roster

Wishing: I could hire someone to schedule appointments and take my kids for their check ups

Enjoying: this summer with my babies...it's the first time in a long time that I've had fun with them

Liking: picnics whenever we feel like it

Wondering:  what to do for Maddox's birthday...which was last week...

Hoping: that we don't melt in this weeks weather....phewww

Marveling: at Gods great mercy and my great lacking in this season of life

Needing: to go on a date with the hubs

Smelling: spit up. Zara is a pukey baby. All the puke all the time. 

Wearing: anything that's flowy. flowy. flowy. It's hot out and we don't have AC : ) 

Thinking: that I should probably go to bed but Neal isn't home yet and I hate going to sleep alone

Feeling: thankful for the women in my life who are so quick to encourage me and lift me and my family up in prayer

Bookmarking: birthday party ideas for a certain almost 4 year old. Can it be? When did she get so big?


Sunday, July 20, 2014

We've dreamed of living in the city for a long time. 
Now we're in it.
And I'm afraid. 

I didn't realize what a country girl I was until we settled here.
I didn't realize the depth that my anxiety could go until we moved here.
It's busy. It's loud. There is more crime. 
These are not things that I'm used to or comfortable around. But I will be.

I've been reading Psalm 23 and 34 a lot. I've been learning, in a new way, to trust the Lord.

I find myself day dreaming about fields and cabins in the woods and riding my own horse on my own property. Funny how that works. Are we ever satisfied? 
I don't think so.
Not so long as we seek our longings in the flesh.

There are a million things I love about being here. I want to focus on those things. 
I want to learn to love like Jesus, even when I'm uncomfortable.
I want to be close to Jesus. Always. 

This is the view from my bedroom window. It's one of my favorite spots in our house...I love that I can see a long stretch of rooftops : )


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I really want to remember this summer. I really want to remember our first days in this home. It's a season of so many new things for me. As a mom, as a wife, as a woman, as a follower of Jesus, so many things are new. I'm learning a lot in all of those roles, more of which I want to share once it finds it's way out of my heart and into words. This summer I feel like I'm enjoying my kids so much more than I ever have before...it's been really sweet. At the same time, deciding to stay in an area permanently has uprooted a lot of insecurities and areas of fear that I've somehow managed to sit on for a while : ) It's a process. So, life is refreshing and sweet and hard. I want to remember these days. I want to remember our first home, before it's "done". I want to remember this process. Here's a little tour of our blue house. I wish we still named our homes. I have no idea what we would call ours but I think the idea is nostalgic and sweet. 

I all of a sudden realized I wanted pictures and so I ran around with my phone and snapped some. Maybe one day I'll wait for just the right light and go take actual ones but for now the "nap time special" will have to do : ) 

This is our living room. It's what you see when you walk in the front door, which is on the same wall as the windows on the right of the picture. 

Same room, other side. There's the front door and the coat closet over on the left.

From there you walk through the dining room (or the kitchen which has two entrances) and see the family room at the end of the house and the kitchen to the left.

This is the dining room. It's one of my favorite rooms in the house. I'm excited to collect knick knacks for the built ins. (Ps Kristin...I finally have a home for the tea set you bought me!)

This is the other side of the dining room.  The little shelves on the right were there when we got here (so was the chalkboard wall) and they're perfect for my cookbooks...which I never use ; )

This is the kitchen. I'm going to pain the cabinets all white and add hardware...eventually...maybe in the fall. I'll probably paint the walls white too...because I just can't help myself. I really would paint every.single.room in our house white if Neal wouldn't hate it. 

The other side of the kitchen.

This is the family room. This is where we spend most of our time. It's the only room that's not original to the house. The home next to ours is a big brick colonial that's just stunning. Our house was actually built by the same owners as a "Mother's Suite". This addition was put where a screened porch used to be which is why the french doors are still there and there is a peek through in the kitchen that used to be a window. In the dining room you can see the area that would have been tile or something when it was an entry way. They matched the wood really well...though I'm not sure why they didn't use the same wood in the addition. These little facts are fun for me : ) I've never been so excited about cold weather before...that fire place is calling my name. I grew up with a wood burning fire place and it just screams home to me.

Here's a picture from the top of the stairs. I love these stairs. I dream of sleepy babies wandering down. I dream of Christmas morning. I dream of big kids stampeding with their friends. I dream of echoing laughs and sneaking down for just 10 more minutes of play time before bed...


Right at the top of the stairs is this sweet little nook. I didn't realize the book case was a built in until we got here on moving day...yay! It'll be a perfect reading nook for the kids once we find a little chair and some floor pillows.
This is my favorite room in the entire house. This picture is from when it was still staged so just imagine all of the "stuff" gone and that's what it looks like now. When we were looking at listings I came across this photo and just laughed out loud. I said to Neal, completely sarcastically, "Look, I'm done. I found the one I want. We can quit now." I really never thought that we would live here. If I could design a bathroom from scratch, it would look exactly like this. 

This is our messy bedroom : )  I thought it was painted blue the whole time and on move in day I realized it was grey. Win! Actually, someone told me it was grey and I ran up the stairs because I didn't believe him. It's probably good that it is because otherwise I would have painted it white. Since it's already there, the grey can stay.

This is a little walk way from our bedroom into the bathroom. There's shelving on the left and a sink/vanity on the right. I love this. At first I thought it was a bit strange to have just an extra sink but I really enjoy it. This is our main bathroom (there's one in the basement but that's James' and we don't use it) and so I like having a closed off area for our toothbrushes and other personal things so that when we have guests they're out of the way. Eventually I think we might put a stacked washer and dryer where the shelves are. Apparently that's an easy thing to do? I wouldn't know : )

The doors still have their original crystal knobs. Sometimes they're finicky but you couldn't pay me to replace them. 

Every room has our stuff in it but still doesn't quite feel like my own. Paint will help thought I couldn't be happier that we didn't have to paint right away. The colors that are here are all really pretty but aren't quite what I would pick. Neal asked me not to paint for at least 6 months. He's a wise man. I tend to tackle too many things all at once. He's a one project a month kind of guy : ) It's a good thing for both of us.

I didn't take pictures of the kid's rooms because they were sleeping. I also didn't include the attic. I'm really excited about that space. There's a staircase (a rather steep one) from Maddox's room that goes to the attic. All we need to do is move the insulation and drywall in order for it to be finished. The floor in there is the original wide wood planks. Neal wants to carpet it but I can't bear to cover it up. That space is one of the things I'm most excited about for the future. It's a full attic and has sweet little dormer windows on each side and the original chimney on one side. Once finished it could add at least 2 more bedrooms and maybe an office space. I also didn't include any pictures of the basement. It's partially finished and where James lives. One of the reasons we bought this house was the potential that the basement has. It has a separate entrance and with a few changes will be a full apartment. It already has a bathroom, laundry, a living space and a roughed out kitchenette. We just need to add a wall to make a separate bedroom, put in an egress window and put in the plumbing for a kitchen sink.  We're excited about the rental possibilities. 

So that's our home. We love it. We like that there are upgrades we can do but nothing that is pressing. We like that we still have room to make it our own. We like that there's plenty of space to grow into. The previous owners lived here for 12 years I think. She looked like she was going to cry when she talked about raising her family here, bringing her babies home here and learning to love the neighborhood. She told us that she was so happy that a young family was buying her house. I'm pretty happy about it too. 

 I'll take you outside another day. That's a whole other adventure. I want to have a green thumb. It sounds so nice. I'm working on it. I love to pull weeds so I figure that's a good start : )


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

There's a to do list ten miles long in my mind :  ) Living in a permanent place means that all of my stored away projects that just weren't worth it in a rental have come to the surface. I'm itching for some good DIYs. I realize this kind of thing isn't everyones cup of tea but I love it and I want to document our projects. I thrive under pressure and with a to do list. We'll see where we end up! I'm excited to share with you. I'm excited to learn new skills. Neal is good at balancing me out...I have this completely unrealistic expectation that everything should look "perfect" within a few months. How ridiculous. He's kind to remind me to calm down and relax when I get too neurotic focused. Right now our priority is furniture; finding pieces, redoing pieces and making each thing our own. We bought a few things new which felt strange since we've always bargain hunted. It felt odd to just pick what I like. Currently I've tackled a few reupholstery projects. It's a lot easier than I anticipated. The worst part is removing the old fabric. There are soooooo many staples and nails. Here's a peek. This isn't the best picture of the chairs. I took it when I was documenting 'before' pictures of the house but you can see the one I haven't started yet and a bit of the one that's almost done. 

Then there's this beast in our family room. We snagged it for $3 from a thrift store and I really like it's shape and lines. It smells old. So the current fabric has to go...that and there's a big hole in the back. It's more complicated than the other two chairs so we'll see how it turns out. If I have any success I'll try to post a tutorial of some kind : ) If I can do it so can you!

On the right of this picture is a desk I'm in the middle of working on. I'll share it when it's all done. It's probably one of my favorite projects so far.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

What a precious gift this girl is. We adore her. She has the sweetest grin that takes over half of her face. She is growing growing growing and fits into 3-6 month clothes. She sleeps in our bed and wouldn't have it any other way. She eats up any attention she gets, cooing and giggling...sweet 3rd baby. She's easy going, not very fussy and just loves Selah and Maddox. Her eyes are clear, bright and blue, just like her sisters. Her hair still seems reddish and I'm hoping that it stays : ). Her little face is so beautiful. Her little life is a blessing. I can't imagine us without her. How does this happen every time? Lately I've been struck with how many moments I just want to pause, hold on to, and remember well. But I know I'll forget. I know I'll look back on these pictures in 6 months, one year, two years and wonder where the time went. I'll wonder what life was like and why I was so stressed out. I want to be a woman who grasps ahold of what is eternal and lets my hope lie, rest, and stay in that. My babies are a daily reminder of how fleeting life is. It changes so quickly and I can be anchored or I can be blown about. I'm learning to be grounded and to enjoy what's around me. It's been a long time coming. I'm thankful for these little souls, though the days are hard, I choose to be thankful for them. They make me better. They really do. What a gift. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

These are new days for us. These are days we've never navigated before. Days of 3 babies and new homes, unfamiliar streets, settling down, days of learning new normals. The move went pretty smoothly. The days after moving were probably the hardest. It felt like months of stress finally piled up and I lost it - weeping when even the smallest thing went wrong.  Now, a week into our house, we're all unpacked and I'm feeling like life is doable. Praise God. I'm thankful for the faithful help of family and friends...we couldn't have done any of this alone.  I love this home...so unexpected and so wonderful. I'm excited to share it's charms with you.

I'm so glad that we moved in the spring. All of our neighbors are out and about and we get to enjoy the weather while getting to know our community. The people on our street are so kind. Selah and Maddox are smitten with the kids two houses down. They knock on our door, ask to play and are so very sweet with our kids. We love them and are thankful for near-by friends for our kids.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers in this crazy season. We are excited for a summer of calm...or at least a normal amount of crazy instead of the recent amount ; )


Saturday, May 3, 2014

As always the days and weeks after baby is born seem to fly by while the ones leading up to birth are sooooo slow : ) Zara Jayne is one month old and we are besotted. She is the sweetest little bundle. She has similarities to both Selah and Maddox but looks very different from either of them. I love her head full of hair and her clear blue eyes. I love how she smiles when she wakes up in the morning and how she snuggles next to me at night. She's definitely our biggest baby, already wearing 3 month clothes! I have know idea how much she weighs but I'm guessing close to 11lbs. We'll find out next week at her 6 week appointment. 

She sleeps pretty well at this point. She's down for the night by ten (we hope) and wakes up around 3 to eat. Then she eats once or twice more before getting up for the day around 8. Ironically enough as I edit this, last night was the worst night yet. That's what I get for saying she's a good sleeper ; ) She eats like a champ and loves being carried or worn. (Ps I bought a Baby K'Tan and LOVE LOVE LOVE it). 

It's still kind of surreal that we have three children. Selah is so soooo helpful and sweet. Maddox is so loving and gentle, though if anyone is stressed with the transition, he is. Both kids are more emotional than normal but I expect we'll level out eventually.  This feels like the hardest transition yet as a family. I feel like emotionally and physically this one has been the most difficult for me. And here we are buying a house and moving on top of everything else…things seem to happen all at once around here. Again, I am learning how weak I am. Again, I am learning how desperate I am for Jesus. Again, I am learning to put my hope in the man Jesus when I have nothing left to give. I am thankful…though I don't always feel it…I am thankful.

This is what I get when I say "smile guys!"...

And this is what I get when I yell "POOP!"

Their little faces are just so gorgeous...

She looks like a ginger!!!! I think it's just the lighting : )


One too many pictures gets me this face

And this….this might just be my favorite picture of all time.