Saturday, September 19, 2015

Big change

Sometimes life is boring and monotonous. And sometimes you just need to mix it up and make it feel crazy and new again. I needed a change of pace…I was craving it and longing for it and crying for it. When you're a stay at mom of 3, life gets HARD and change doesn't always come easily. You can't change the husband, the house, the kids, the job. You can't change much about your appearance either. Except -- HAIR.

So, that's what I did. I went drastic. I loved my long hair. But it became a hassle! An inconvenience and most days I just threw it in a pony tail. Even when I fixed it, it was in a pony tail after an hour.

I went big. Go big or go home, that's what they say, right? I understand that some won't like my decision. But it's still MY hair. :) I'm glad I did it and am liking the change so far. If you don't like it, I'll kindly ask you to just smile and move on. With respect, of course. Because the negative comments really do hurt. FYI.

Okay. The before:


 Look at all that HAIR!!!

The finished product!

 Woke up like this!

All in all, it's a HUGE adjustment seeing this in the mirror. But so far I'm loving it! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Home Renovations

We have been in our beautiful new home now for almost 18 months. It's easy for me to remember that because we moved in on March 21-23 and had Easton March 24. I can't decide if that was the best or worst decision for how and when to move…on the upside, I didn't have to help; on the downside, I didn't get to help. Ha! 

We purchased what is considered a "cookie cutter" home. It has taken over a year, but we are finally starting to make it our own. Some things we have already done are add a backsplash to the kitchen, and add some bead board under the bar. Here are some pictures of the backsplash: 

The completed look.
I did most of the work on this one. 

Of course we've done little things like get some fun furniture: 

My favorite space. 

And paint some furniture, too. 
This was a piece rebuilt and refurbished by my mom -- very special and sentimental to me…so rather than just discard it, I gave it a makeover!

But making this place OURS has definitely been a slow moving process. Marc and I are both very impulsive. The projects pictured above all came about after one of us mentioned in passing that we wanted them to happen, we decided to go to the store "just to look and check out prices" and then we upped and decided to start them THAT DAY. Ha! 
So it was no different for the actual projects that inspired this blog post. (Nevermind that I haven't blogged in 8 months. ;) ) A sweet friend of mine, Jen, texted me a picture of her "mudroom" that her step-father had built for her. It was pretty much EXACTLY what I wanted, only I wanted mine to be a permanent fixture that looked like it came with the house. So I pulled out the graph paper and drew a picture of what I wanted. 
I proposed my idea to Marc, and he thought I was crazy. I suggested we sell this piece that we had bought to go in that space that just wasn't working well, and use that money to pay for the project. He took the bait. ;) 
So we went to the store and got bead board, a window sill ledge (for the top shelf), a piece of crown molding to go under that, another piece of baseboard molding to go under that, and 4 pieces of white wood that were 7"x1"x8', and caulk. We decided to start at the bottom and work our way up. The cubbies at the bottom were the most difficult part, but we pieced them together with the long pieces of wood. When we cut the bench for the top, there was a large gap at the back, so we opted to get another piece of wood (10"x1"x8') for the bench, and cut it down to size. 

(Click the images to enlarge)

The final product!! It was lots of work and took a couple days to finish. We are in love with how it turned out! 

While we were in the middle of this project, my bestie Paige tagged me in a post on Facebook about a pallet wall to spruce up a small half bath. Turns out, just opposite this particular mudroom wall, there's a super plain-Jane half bath. The idea she posted was just a bit rustic for me. So I went to Pinterest and started searching. What I found had the same adorable vibe, but with a more clean-cut approach. Here are the two ideas:

I followed the instructions on the Pinned post (on the right) and went to Lowe's and got some untreated furring wood. They used 1x4s but when I got to looking at the wood, I reeeeally liked the look of the thinner pieces. So we went with 1x2s instead. We measured our wall (9'x3'1.5") and mathematically decided how much wood we'd need (36 pieces). Then we picked out 2 colors of stain that I thought I would like. We also decided to paint the bathroom, so we chose a look/color and ran with it. I wasn't sure how it would all come together, but it's PERFECT! 

Furring wood has lots of imperfections, which makes for a perfectly imperfect pallet wall. Using two cans of stain, we made several gorgeous pieces of wood, and no two pieces were the same. Some we would paint very heavy, some were shiny, some were very "furred", some look weathered because we just used the tiny amount left over from the brush from the piece before. We mixed the colors some and layered in others. At first, I really thought the green stain we chose was TOO green…and the blue wall we had painted was a lot more blue than I anticipated. But once they were paired together, they coordinate so beautifully! 

The hardest part was piecing the puzzle together so that it looked totally random. I didn't want any patterns or anything too repetitive. I'm pretty random, and that's how I wanted this wall to be. :) 
I still feel like it needs something…some kind of decoration for the space. Marc disagrees, but it can't stay super plain in there. The wall is too pretty for plain. Any suggestions? This was a super easy 2-day project. So, do you think you will try it as well? 

Both of these projects together cost maybe $150-200. And Marc and I had lots of fun doing them together. :) 

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Monday Intentional

Sometimes intentional living means deleting a game off of your phone because you can't quit playing it. 

Sometimes it means throwing away most of the 2L bottle of Dr. Pepper because you keep turning it up for "just one more swig." 

Sometimes it means hugging your child when they're driving you nuts instead of hiding in the closet for five minutes while you stuff your face with chocolate. 

Sometimes it means almost doubling the grocery bill to buy foods without GMOs in hopes of bringing your family back to optimal health. 

Sometimes it even means going to the gym and getting on the scale in front of another person, then letting that person pinch your fat, take your measurements,  and hold you accountable for your new intentional commitment to fitness. 

Sometimes intentional living is harder than I want it to be. Sometimes I'm not great at it. I find myself repeating this prayer over and over and over throughout each day: 
"Lord, teach me to be intentional in this moment, because I'm really struggling with how."

Or this one:
"Lord, give me the strength to be intentional in this moment, because I really would rather do it my way."

Or this one: 
"Lord, forgive me for not being intentional in that moment. Help me to see more quickly in the future all the ways in which I can make intentional choices."

Now that I'm concentrating on purposely, consciously, and intentionally making choices, I'm seeing just how selfish I am and have been, all my life really, but especially in these last few years. 

What are you doing today to live with purpose and intention? 

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Verse of the Year

Day 3 of 2015

Day 230 of my 32nd year

Day 11,918 of my life

If I live another ten years, that's only 3,652 days. 
That isn't very many days. 
And I'm not promised a single one of them. 

Oh, Lord, teach me to number my days, so that I may gain a heart of wisdom! 

:: Intentional ::


It's my word for 2015. 

:: Intentional ::

Over the past 3 years, I've been anything but intentional about my life. Sure, I've had good intentions, but the follow-through was lacking. 
* Going through the motions. Numb. Surviving. *
These are words that classify the last three years of my life. There have been MANY ups, happy times, smiles, blessings, laughter, and I am beyond grateful. But looking back, none of that was intentional

The lines have blurred and many of the memories have faded from the last few years. I haven't documented in pictures from my own camera or writings beyond Facebook. 

Housework has fallen by the wayside, and not because I'm too busy enjoying my children. I wish that were the reason. I haven't even been able to decorate our new home to make it "ours". 

The television consumes far too much of my children's lives. It has been a crutch for me. Daily the thought goes through my head: if I can just survive this sickness…this grief…this pregnancy…this newborn phase…this terrible two phase…this life…then we will not watch TV ever again. (Which is not how I feel about it at ALL…it's certainly okay in moderation.) 

Food is mundane. Cooking and grocery shopping are things I've enjoyed in the past. We eat out several times a week and my children eat the same, monotonous meals day in and day out. 

The Lord has graciously given me the desire to be intentional this year. 
We will be intentional about:
Family time
Meal Planning
Making Memories 
Documenting Memories

You might see a few more posts from me this year. So far in 2015, I've read more, prayed more, been sweeter to my children, joined the Y, and blogged more. Not because I'm so good, but because He has given me the desire to live life intentionally

In the next few days, I will travel to Ohio to join my family as we lay to rest my Aunt Brenda. She was a beautiful, soft-spoken yet strong woman who fought cancer tooth and nail. She and my mom were the same age. If their deaths have taught me anything, it's that we are not promised tomorrow. I don't know if I will be here with my family next Christmas. So I will live each day intentionally, so my husband and children know where they stand with me. 

In the next few weeks, I'll be writing my goals and intentions for the new year. I plan to make SMART goals that I can follow and check in with as the year progresses. Maybe I should've done this already, but truthfully, on December 31st, I didn't even want to make new goals or resolutions. So I'm grateful for this new desire. 

Here's to an intentional 2015! 

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