Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking back on the year of 2013, the one thing that stands out to me is how deeply blessed I am. I have the most wonderful husband and I love him so much. His heart is so big and so full of love for our family.
So, instead of using today to reflect on the year in its entirety, I am soaking up all the ways I've been blessed in 2013 and anticipating what God has ahead for our family.
PS: I plan on using this more in 2014 :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lazy Thursday

I'm having a lazy day. I wish the kids and I were out taking advantage of all the leftover snow, but, the little girl is sick with a viral infection. I'm praying that none of us catch it. I've been advised to keep them separated. Ok doctor. That's easy. So far, the six year old's new birthday presents are keeping the boys entertained, except that our house now looks like Kevin McAlister has been here. While they're making a battlefield of the entire downstairs, the little girl and I are cuddled up on the couch watching princess movies. We've been pretty lucky, lately, with our well streak...I sure hope she feels better soon. 
I've been enjoying looking at all of the beautiful, festive homes on my favorite blogs. Dixie Delights is one of my favorites to look at for ideas during the holidays. She goes all out at every holiday. So fun! Perhaps I'll get around to taking some pictures of our unprofessionally holiday-decorated home sometime soon.
I finished up Sadie's Christmas and Santa yesterday and still have the boys' left to do. We've always been last minute Christmas shoppers and I'm completely ok with that. This year we're getting the boys bikes. I'll also be checking out JM Cremps. They always have super cute little boy wonderfulness.
This year, Sadie's getting a dollhouse. I'm not sure who will be more excited- me or her :)
Well, I better get back to "Tangled"!

Monday, November 4, 2013

There is nothing I love more than a Virginian fall. It's the perfect backdrop for Thanksgiving. There is so much I have to be thankful for this year.
Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in the craziness of our days, that forget the blessings all around me.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

...sugar is sweet and so are you.

Photo: This is what she wanted to wear today. It has been fitting for her today. I can, now, say that with a smile. #everybitoftwo #sadieistwo #whatablessedness
One of these days, you'll be grown, my sweet little one and you'll do whatever you want to do because you can. I hear ya. At two and a half, you know that deep in your soul. I know most two year olds think they know it, but you really do. Believe me, I'm behind you 100%. The day will come, as "they've" (You know if you are the "they" and if you are the they, you should keep the wisdom to a minimum. I say that with all the love.) told me, where "all too quickly" you really can "Do it ME SELF!!!" And you will and it's going to be the most beautiful thing in the world to watch. I can't wait to see what the Lord has for you, precious.
You're a spit fire and I don't worry about you a bit. You will always be ok. You can take care of yourself and you're confident in that. I pray, as your mother, I never squash that. God rolled so much fun and so much goodness into one tiny little being. I'm still learning how to harness all that spunk. Bear with me, sweet girl.
I had a defining mommy moment today. I think it was somewhere between fit one and five or that phone call to Daddy...I lost track ;)
Thank you for being my daughter. My very own daughter. I know you didn't pick me, nor I you, but thanks for sticking by me through the good and the bad. It was truly a match made in heaven.
I love you forever and always no matter what,

Monday, September 23, 2013

Painter's block.

I've hit painter's block. It wasn't intentional, but I haven't painted or refinished something in about a month. There are still those dining chairs and window seat that are begging for a good recover. The fabric's here, so what's stopping me? I need to get on that. But this weather just makes me want to drown my house in pumpkins, sip on cider (hard or hot), slip on a cable knit sweater, and watch my babies play in the leaves. Maybe I should get on that instead. Yes, that sounds much better.

Isn't fall just the best? I love it. The colors make the season feel so magical.

Happy Monday!


kid's craft via

Friday, September 6, 2013

The fabric

I am so excited! The fabric for our dining chairs and window seat arrived yesterday. It took me forever to decide on a fabric. There are just too many choices! I was going to do a print on our dining chairs and a solid on our window seat, with some accent pillows in the chair fabric. In our forever house, with our forever furniture, that would have made perfect sense. The honey suggested that I cover the dining chairs in something that could be easily sold :) He knows me.
So, I settled on a beautiful, heavy linen fabric. It's a light brown/gray and I love it. I think it's really going to freshen up our window seat. Especially when I add some throw pillows. I'm pretty sure I'll use blue...Maybe buffalo checks?...Something easy on the eyes. I may do two bolster pillows. The kids are always up there and they often crush the blinds with the bigger pillows.
When we first moved into our house, the window seat was covered in a dog hair-covered, badly faded rose-colored gingham. Under that was this awful, out of date Laura Ashley mistake. We quickly recovered it in a cheapo cotton fabric that we found in the sale section for like $5 or something. The kids, gingerly, call the window seat, "The fabric" and when I think about changing it, it makes me a little sad. A little. But I'm still changing it :)
"The fabric" is where our middle and youngest children were introduced to their siblings, so it's a special place.
It's where we took that beloved first family of five photo that we'll forever cherish.
I don't ever want to keep something just because I have a memory attached to it. Thank goodness for pictures, right? I want to keep it because we, as a family, love it and it works for us. Changing the fabric will be a little sad, but I'm excited to brighten up our dining room/school room with the linen. You can never go wrong with linen.  
Now where's that staple gun?...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ages ago

This is one of my favorite pictures of my husband. This is the day he became a Dad. My heart swells up when I think about who I get to parent alongside. This man is probably one of the most patient people on earth. Our kids love him to pieces.
Do you ever have one of those moments when you realize that how blessed you really are? I had one of those this morning and I'm going to take it in today.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


I may be smiling in this picture, but my body is saying otherwise.
I don't want to say this, because I.HATE.HIKING.
I need to do more hiking.
Now, I'm going to go apply more heat to my aches.
(Love you, honey.)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Today is a weird feeling for me. As I sat at our dining table this morning, sipping my cup of coffee while two remote control cars jammed at my feet below, I saw all the little ones walking to school. It hit me differently than I thought it would. You see, today would have been my son's first day of kinder. Today I would have sent him off to school and life would have been different around here. Easier? Maybe. Quieter? Have you met my two youngest? But I would have gotten a solid 2-3 hour every day. Crap, is it too late to change my mind? Hold those doors! :)

A little over a year ago, my husband and I felt the Lord calling us to homeschool. I'm pretty sure when I say that to most people, it automatically puts me in the "weird" category. I know this :) I did that and still do that, to a degree. Old habits die hard. The call to homeschool was felt with great resistance, in the beginning. Homeschooling isn't a five day a week thing, it's a lifestyle and it was hard to imagine that being "us". I had to hear it in my soul for a while until I could verbalize it. I think I still need to hear it in my soul. I never pictured myself homeschooling. I didn't feel like I was equipped. I didn't own a denim skirt. Denim cut-offs? Yes. I didn't bun my long hair. But do I rock a top knot? Daily.
Last night as my husband and I were going to bed, he said, "Sometimes you're just dealt the cards and you have to make sense of the hand you're dealt." True dat. You don't really get to pick your life. As much as you want to believe that, it just isn't true. Of course we make decisions that effect our lives and do some of the picking, but sometimes things just happen and we have to go with it. Now I know better. Now I am knowing better.

Even though my baby isn't at school today, like yours may be. I still feel like our hearts are intertwined because we're mamas and there is nothing like a mama's love. 5 and a half years have truly been a blink. I'll be out running some errands today. If we see each other, let's hug. Being a mama is tough sometimes.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Busy Bees

We ran a ton or errands yesterday. Staying busy has helped ease us into Daddy's new hours. We're all going to bed later. We have lunch later, dinner later, bath time is later, and we're shooting to wake up later. So far, the littles haven't gotten the memo :)
Yesterday, while we were at the mall getting our big's hair cut, I decided that I would swing by Gap- with all three kids and, simply, try on some jeans. I love their jeans. They're more expensive, but they last for years. I bought some from Old Navy a little over a year ago and now they're all ripped up and not in the good way. Plus, one of the back pockets is ripped. In the fall and winter, jeans and dresses with leggings are my mom uniform. Jeans are just easy.

You can never just swing by a store and browse with a bunch of children. It's not like they were pretending to be mannequins in the store window or hiding in the racks or anything....Nope :) Mine have their opinions about every piece of clothing I picked out. In hindsight, it was helpful. I remember going shopping with my grandmother, back in the day- when all things about me was awkward. She really taught me not to look at the size, but just focus on how it feels. It really helped to have someone there that loved me. It was a real confidence builder. Surprisingly enough, my three babies were just as encouraging and honest :) 

So, after the most crazy shopping experience ever, this is what I came home with:
 Always skinny jeans
The wording is awesome!

Sexy Boyfriend jeans
There is nothing sexy about these. I'm still trying to figure out why they named them that...They're my trendy mom jeans.

Red legging jeans
Because red is a neutral and I needed a fun option.

And a couple of easy tops.

I don't have many clothes and I prefer that. I purge my closet, like my house, every few months or so. I have a few things that fit right, so I stick with them, and just mix and match.

Next time, though, I'm going by myself :) 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Run 'em ragged.

Yesterday, we went on a picnic and went hiking. It was a wonderful day to be outside. They were in there happy place. It made for such a perfect Monday.

We also made a stop at the teacher supply store. In other words, I went shopping while the littles tore it up and Holden ran crowd control. The looks are now taken with a grain of salt. I got it done and that's what matters, right?
As Dane Cook says, "I did my best!..I did my best!.."
We've pushed bedtimes back to later. Last night was even pretty late for our usual 7 o'clockers. Since the hubby's new job hours have kicked in this week, we decided that we needed to tweak bedtimes. It's bittersweet. Bitter because the littles are still waking up at their normal before the sun, you're definitely not ready to wake up yet times. However the big is taking well to the new switch. Thanks to a loud box fan and PBS Kids, the littles keep fairly quite, once you get 'em downstairs. The key is to get to them before they can rise and shine their big brother, which seems to be our middle son's goal every morning. He loves his big brother.

It makes sense to me: go to bed later = sleep later.
We're just not there yet.

Why do they get up so early????
I better make some more coffee.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Yesterday we skipped church and spent a lovely day in DC. We rarely skip, but this weekend was different, so we gave ourselves permission. We spent the entire weekend celebrating the hubby's big promotion. We soaked up our little family. We ate out, drank champagne, and talked about how much life has changed in our 9 years of togetherness. It's been a whirlwind, happy life. No year has been predictable. Just when we start to freak out and throw up "WTs," God is faithful and shows us a glimpse of His better plan.
So, today, we're looking ahead with excitement and praising God for this sweet life He's woven for our family.  
Now...How to survive the longer hours?...
Crockpot = Genius :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

To paint or not to paint

I had my eye on this gorgeous antique chest of drawers for about three weeks and I finally bought it a couple of days ago. It was just as beautiful in person as it was on Craigslist. Regardless, I knew I was going to paint it. Some things I will never paint. One of those things is a church pew. Someday whenever I can afford one, I will put it in my someday long entry/mudroom and I'll never let a brush touch it. Some things shouldn't be painted because you want to keep that story intact and to paint it, would change the character of the story. With that said...I just knew this chest of drawers would look even better painted.
I had a bit of trouble deciding on a color. When you're painting an antique, it would totally suck to screw it up, so that was making me anxious. So, I went with my gut and painted it in "coco" chalk paint. It was already dinged up and weathered, which made for perfection in the distressing area. I wish you could see the weatheredness (not sure if that's a word) of this piece.
One of the requirements I have when selecting furniture pieces, like this, for our home is that they can serve more than one purpose. If you know me, you know that I am constantly moving things around. Nothing stays in one place for long, that's for sure. Even if you're not one to change things up often, it's nice to be able to invest in pieces that can work in different places. If I were having another baby, which I am totally not- really- I would totally rock this in my nursery as a changing table. Would be darling!

And here it is. I love it. How am I going to part with this one?...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dining Room Chairs

We finially found some lovely dining chairs on Craigslist. I couldn't believe we got six of them for such a good deal.

They ended up being much larger than I had expected, but sturdy, so they'll work. When they're all around the table, it kind of swallows it up, so I like the look of four chairs around the table better. I think I'll use the other two as accent chairs on either side of my new chest of drawers.

The chairs will be recovered. I just haven't been able to decide on a pattern. The current fabric is in good condition, just out dated. When I recover the chairs, I'll also recover the window seat and throw pillows. The room is a gray-blue color. If I could paint it again, I would. I would paint it a warm white. It's such a bright room. It's probably our favorite room in the house.

I'm leaning towards blue fabric, with maybe a yellow accent pillow on the window seat for a punch of color. I will be following the "geometric,organic, small scale" rule of thumb while combining fabrics in our dining room/homeschool room.

Here are all of my fabric choices. They are either from Warehouse Fabrics or Calico Corners.

Fabric for chairs/accent pillows

SLICK ROBIN - Abstract/Geometric - Shop By Pattern - Fabric - Calico Corners
Slick Robin by Calico Corners.

Window seat~
Window seat and back of pillows: Rustic Linen Natural (RUNNAL)

PLATEAU - REVERSIBLE FABRIC LEMON - Yellow - Shop By Color - Fabric - Calico Corners
Plateau Lemon by Calico Corners

CONTORTED - ROBERT ALLEN FABRICS HONEYSUCKLE - Yellow - Shop By Color - Fabric - Calico Corners Honeysuckle by Calico Corners

Accent pillows~
Throw pillow or Window seat: Traditions Corn Yellow/Linen (TRSCON)

Throw pillows: Spring Mix Ultramarine (SPXULE)

Throw pillows/ Chairs: Amaya Monaco Blue (AMAMOE)

And just because I adore this fabric...I probably won't use it, but I love it. It's so happy. Put a monogram on it and it would be perfect!
accent pillows/chairs

So there you have it- my sea of fabric choices!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mariah Dresser Before and After

You can never take enough pictures and that's how I feel about the Mariah dresser. I know I took more pictures of her, but I just can't seem to locate them. Oh well. The ones I do have are post cleaning, so they don't do her justice.

Many of you have asked where I find the furniture pieces that I redo... My most favorite finds often come on trash day. The kids already know the drill on Tuesday and Friday mornings. They have good eyes for Mommy! I have sweet friends who spotted this dresser in their neighborhood (thank you).

At the time, I thought I would just have to re-trash it, but after lots and lots of cleaning, sanitizing, and cursing the gods, I started to see something. Most of the time, I don't know the story behind the furniture piece I am working on. I like to let my mind go as I'm painting and create a prior life for the piece. It's weird, I know, but fun. It had good bones and nice curves- which equals perfection, in my book. This dresser had a shady past with scars to show for it. One of the drawers had "Mariah" carved into it, which gave me a name for my made up story. Of course you can't see it now, but it's there. Underneath all of the pretty and fixins, there's a scar. It made me think about all my scars and stuff that made me who I am. Some pasts are shadier than others. Sometimes things happen to us that we had no control over. Other things we did intentionally at the time, never realizing they'd come back to bite us years later. With all that said, the way God's grace covers all of our imperfections is incredible to me. They're washed away, not just covered up. In that, there is no shame, just an abundance of forgiveness that will forever change us. 

Here is the dresser/buffet before:
This was my original color choice, English Yellow.
It looks like a dull yellow here, which would have been perfect, but in reality it was incredibly bright, even with antiquing wax. Mariah was nearly neon and I knew that wasn't what I wanted, so I decided to give her a coat of Miss Mustard Seed's Lucketts Green milk paint and I am happy with how she turned out.
Drum roll...
And here she is, full of soldiers, cowboys, and princess stuff! I'm loving all the storage space. I can't wait to paint something else in Lucketts Green! Isn't it the most happy color ever?