Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday: House Edition

Today, I'm sharing the current state of our living room. We spend lots of time in this room, and I adore it--especially because it has light!

When we moved in, there was no light in the room (who has a living room with lights?) and the windows were covered with window tinting. You know what that equals? Dark and dreary.

Here's what it looked like? Can you even see it?

Now, it looks like this:

(The "Be Thankful" print is new in the shop)

What we've done:

  • installed LED recessed lighting (best decision ever!)
  • peeled off window tinting
  • installed blinds
  • hung curtains
  • painted the walls Behr Silver Drop (totally love the color!)
  • ripped out the carpet and staples

I am still looking to replace or recover that darn red chair (it is just too spunky for me right now), but I am loving the "bones" of this room. It needs stuff on the wall and some furniture rehab (although I don't like matchy-matchy furniture, I also don't like when it's not cohesive). So, definitely some things left to do--but I think it's good to give it time to evolve and come together; I'm not in a rush :)

See other Throwback Thursday posts here. And also (shameless plug) there are some new Thanksgiving(ish) prints in the shop.

I'm loving the simplicity and non-orangeness of them ;) Happy Thursday!!
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

When it all feels messy {and a free print}

Do you ever just have moments when you stop, look around, and just plain get overwhelmed by the state of your life?

Well, I sure do.

Recently, I've felt like I've been in a little bit of rut. I feel like life hasn't looked "normal" (aka routine or tidy) in months. Between moving, travel, and suddenly having this busy, moving toddler, I feel like so many things are new and fun, but they are also disorganized and chaotic.

It doesn't help that we are still eating around our bitty patio table and walking around on the plywood subfloor in the kitchen. Even though those are external things, it starts to stir up a lot of internal messiness in me.

I get all grumbly and complainy when I'm tired of cooking meals in a very chaotic kitchen with about 2 square feet of counter space. And then when I have to hike myself outside to wash my pots and pans, I really feel the orneriness rise up in me.

I just want things done. And clean. And, yada yada...

And then I just start wishing for a house with a big, finished kitchen and quartz countertops and a huge island. And then envy and discontentment rise their ugly heads. Truth is, I don't really even need all of that--but I feel like I want it because it just seems so much simpler than what is actually staring me in the face.

Not only is house stuff feeling messy for me, but other circumstances that have been a little disappointing for me lately--such as not being able to go the Influence Conference.

I put all kinds of little hopes and desires into this weekend, but our budget simply didn't cover the extra costs of conference. A few months ago, it looked promising, but then extra costs came up with our dog and the house and depleted any extra we had for me to go.

And even though it was so fun to give away a conference ticket, it was hard for me to give something that I really wanted to keep. I felt like I had worked so hard to make enough to go that the reality that it hadn't worked out really felt bitter and disappointing. Honestly, for a few days, I felt kinda blah because it felt like such a failure.

(DOWNLOAD FOR FREE!! I recently retired this print from the shop)

I totally think that it's okay to feel disappointment and sadness because I can't go to the conference. However, I really don't want to sit in that. Because the idea that I'm a failure (or that I failed) because my shop didn't make enough for me to go, isn't true. I don't know why everything didn't "work out" for me to go, but it's not because I'm a failure or because God doesn't want good things for me.

It's so easy to let the messy parts my heart clutter up the truth. The truth is that God is for me. He created me with a purpose. He does have good plans for me that often look different than the ones I create. He knows me intimately. I am significant to Him.

So, today, even if it's easy to let the mess overwhelm me, I want the truth (not the lies) to determine my attitude.

Thanks for letting me air a bit of my dirty laundry ;) And thank goodness for new days and a God who shows us mercy each and every day!
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Friday, September 5, 2014


About a month ago, our kitchen looked like this:

It was functional, but we had to deal with the flooring in the dining room (since it's gross, likely asbestos tile, and needed to be covered). Since the dining room and kitchen connect, we decided that if we were going to fix the flooring, we needed to tackle the kitchen as a whole. Long story short, we removed the cabinets on one side and ran into a few minor quirks when we started to install the new cabinets. Basically, it just meant that it took a bit longer than anticipated.

(We added a few extra cabinets to gain some extra counter space. Also, you can see our gross floor that we uncovered when we removed the orange carpet)

Now, they are installed and ready for countertops (thank goodness!) and Josh (who has become Mr. DIY) is thankful that the most tedious part of this project seems to be done.

We still need to remove the other side of cabinets, but since there is no connecting and leveling involved, that side shouldn't take super long (fingers-crossed!)

And then there is the flooring. We wanted to tile this weekend, so Josh removed 90% of the tile while Luke and I were in Minnesota. But, upon returning to Texas and going to the store to pick up the tile we ordered, we learned that they only got 22 pieces of tile instead of 22 boxes (but we were charged for 22 boxes). So, now we are walking around on plywood for another 1-2 weeks while we wait for the tile order to get straightened out.
(Luke loves collecting items and leaving them wherever)

In the meantime, I'm trying to stay optimistic and dream of the bigger picture. I know that it will probably be months before everything is finished, but I'm really really hoping that I have a kitchen with countertops, floors, and a sink by the end of September.

This weekend, I hope to make a final decision about the color of the cabinets (I know it's weird that I don't have everything 100% planned out!), so I'm doing some color/stain samples and lots of pinning.

Right now, I'm leaning towards doing stained lower cabinets and white uppers. Even though I was pretty set on an all white kitchen (I love white kitchens!), these images struck me.

Plus, if I hate the stained lowers in about 6 months, I can always paint them :) In the age of dirty baby hands and lots of cabinet banging, I'm thinking that stain might be easier to upkeep.

Honestly, it's easy for me to get overwhelmed with all the choices and feel like choosing finishes, flooring, and countertops are world-changing decisions. But, you know what? They aren't.

It's a kitchen. I told Josh last night that in the end I want a space that is family-friendly, functional, and pretty. I want it to be a space that cooks meals for families with new babies, potluck dinners, and everyday meals. I want to enjoy candlelight dinners after Luke goes to bed with Josh on our handmade table. I want it to be lived in and well-loved.

Keeping the perspective that the kitchen/dining space is more about the memory and the making than the pinterest-worthiness or latest and greatest is definitely helping me from making this more than what it really is. 

It's a kitchen.

So, what's your vote. Stained or painted?

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