Monday, February 28, 2011

look who's four...


My baby girl turned four years old on Saturday...
Happy, and glad for the gift I have been given being this sweet girls mama.
She has brought more joy to my life in the last four years than I ever even knew was possible.
I have LOTS more pictures to share of her party... so when I get them edited you will be seeing many more!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

the finished project!!!


We worked like busy bees this weekend, and it's done!
Now we just wait for the two pictures I ordered from etsy yesterday, and hang them up and we'll be all done!



The all white that I have never done before, worked really well. I actually feel like the room is more interesting, and more fun now, and it's a lot less color!
I added color with little details and touches that make the room feel fun and playful - since it's a room designed for my kids. I want it to be a place where they can feel happy every day!



The girls both love their new bathroom, and I am hoping that it will keep them out of mine! ;) We'll see about that one, won't we!


It's definitely cleaner, more organized, and ready for them to do all the things they need to!

I love being able to check one more thing off my to-do list!


What do you think?
Do you like how it turned out?
Having this happy bathroom finished for my girls has certainly made my life more lovely!

*linking up with Life Made Lovely Mondays at Blessed Little Nest*

Saturday, February 19, 2011

every word matters...

Just ordered these two lovelies for our upstairs bathroom.
In our home, the upstairs bathroom is our girls bathroom.
I have loved this artists work for a long time, but hadn't had a good place, reason, or excuse to buy any...

everyday matters

...but, now that we're re-doing the girls bathroom, I thought that these two items would not only make a great decorative touch, but an awesome reminder, and blessing to the two sister's sharing the space!

give good

I can hardly wait for these to come!
I am sooooo excited to see them in person.

The artist is: shelli dorfe - check her out! her etsy shop is called studio mela, it's truly LOVELY!

a happy bathroom project...

We are currently working on our upstairs bathroom. Interestingly, it was the very first room in our house we worked on before we moved in six years ago, and here we are again!


Nothing major, just a bit of sprucing up...
it was a bit tired, and many of the things we started six years ago, we never finished.

Luckily for us we had already replaced the sink and toilet a few years earlier. The tub is fabulous and original (although needing some resurfacing). The room had original chair rail but nothing underneath it, so we added bead board to the lower portion. This will also work as the back splash to the tub. I found this really great frame at an estate sale for $7.50, added a coat of cream spray paint a voila, a gorgeous new mirror for above the sink!


Before we started this project the room was painted in two tones of green. I was so tired of it! I was ready for something fresh, and clean feeling (especially since it's the girls bathroom). So, I did something I have NEVER done before, I painted a room white... two tones of white, but still.... White walls, white bead board, white painted fir floors, white fixtures. I love it, it feels like a great, clean canvas to work with.

Matt just finished up the last coats of paint today, (these pictures were taken a few weeks ago when we started the project) so tomorrow, I can get DECORATING! I'm excited... I will be sure to share the finished project with you soon!

Hope you're having a happy weekend too!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

miss lola...

miss lola

meet 'miss Lola'...
the newest addition to our family.
she is a sweetheart.
She loves to be loved.
she is so thankful to have a family!
our crazy factor has indeed gone up around here, but so has the love!

this is definitely it... NO more kids or animals needed. ;)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I had an interesting conversation with my friend yesterday. She told me something that I have heard over and over in my life, and yet I still don't get it. She said that she had to admit to me that before we really 'knew' each other, she always saw me as perfect, all together, stuck-up, and intimidating.

{She didn't say these things to hurt me. And if you're reading this friend you didn't hurt me... you'll see where I'm going with this soon! promise:)}

She went on to say that she always was intrigued by me, but she never knew what to think of me. Now that she knows me... we kind of had a good laugh over the 'perfect' image she once had. She now knows that I am totally human, totally flawed, totally imperfect. She also said she was so surprised to find out how totally down to earth I am, and how I am not stuck up even in the least when you get to know me. I went on to tell her that the reason people often think I'm stuck up is because I am easily intimidated in social settings. Possibly because people have always gotten the wrong impression of me, even since I was little. I have no idea why I come off that way. I have no idea why I would ever intimidate anyone. The funny thing is I am probably the last person on earth to ever think of myself as any better than ANYONE else, and that's the God's honest truth!

Why is it as girls and women we can become defined by what other's think, and often times, by what we think of ourselves?

As a mama of girls, I worry about such thoughts. I wonder at what age, or at what junction someone said something to us, or about us, and it changed us forever. Will that happen to my girls? Is there a way to protect them from that? Is there a way to teach them that they are wonderful and perfect just the way they are?

Anyone else out there reading this ever think about the same things? I mean did someone tell you when you were little that you were a tom-boy, and you became one? Did someone tell you that you weren't very smart, and began to believe it? Did someone call you chubby, and it turned into a weight issue?

I was reading one of my favorite blogs tonight from the Nato's and she was talking about how we view each other from blog to blog. How we often times see each others lives as more perfect than they actually are. We often times compare ourselves to other women, other mothers, other wives, because we don't know their whole story. We often times, don't think about other women as people who feel and deal with the same things that we do. Why is that? Why don't we unite together and for each other? We isolate ourselves from may people that could potentially be a wonderful friend to us all because we are so intimidated by what we think others are. Why do we always seem to compare ourselves and our lives against others and often times think that we are not enough?

Because we are enough...
No we're not perfect.
No we don't always have it all together.
But inside finding out who we are, we can come to realize something beautiful -- that in our imperfections, God has made us totally perfect in his image. It's time we really start to believe that.

Can you imagine what we could be if we could find ways to encourage each other to believe the best in ourselves? What could happen? What kind of great friendships could we form? What kind of legacy could we pass on to our daughters?

Jami over at the Nato's talked about how often times as we read each other's blogs we lurk in the shadows. We look from the outside in, and never take a moment to encourage the woman that we are reading about. Hmmm, that one hit home. I am so bad about this. I like to read my blogs. I have become attached in a weird way to these women, and families I read about, and yet they don't even know me. Weird?! Yes, maybe. I am going to choose to look at all of these thoughts I'm pondering as a new challenge in my life!!! I am going to try and not compare myself against others. Not to presume or assume, I know someone that I don't. I am going to remind myself that all of us mama's out there are all in the same club. We all have hairy days. We all have our own gifts. One's gift maybe being crafty, the next an amazing multi tasking homeschooling mother, it doesn't diminish me because those aren't my same gifts. What a great opportunity to ENCOURAGE someone else, and let them know how GREAT you think they are.

Fellow bloggers out there reading this, does it not make your day to receive a comment??? I know it does me. I have often wondered why I don't get more comments... I have often times gone right back to that old stand by of thinking that other people don't like me or relate to me... I think it's time to look back inward at myself, and realize it's because I'm not out there reaching out. So, I'm going to try and do better. For those of you out there reading this that aren't bloggers... reading out there in the shadows, if you read something you want to say something about, SAY it... start a conversation, make a new friend, ENCOURAGE someone else, because it just might make their day!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

parenting help needed...


okay, the title of this post may possibly be a bit dramatic I admit... but, I would like to know what you might think about the subject.

The subject is my girl Bella. She has trouble verbalizing her feelings. She had a really hard time with her Gigi's death. The hardest part was that she didn't know how to get her emotions out. So, instead she let her feelings make her sick. I let her stay home from school last Monday-Wednesday. Tuesday was Gigi's funeral, and the other days she was having a hard time. I decided that it was okay to just be at home. She went back to school on Thursday, and was invited to have a sleepover at her best friends house Friday night.

Even though I really wasn't sure she could handle it, I let her go. Thinking that maybe a little carefree kid time, was what her worried little heart needed. She arrived home lunch time on Saturday, and was an absolute BEAST. She was so tired, and crabby, and cranky, that she pushed every single button I had, and made me so frustrated I didn't even know what to do. Frustrated enough that I'm still thinking about it, and it's Tuesday night!

Now there is a good possibility that I didn't have the patience to put up with her acting out because I too had a very hard week last week...

Here is my question. How do you handle your kid acting their feelings out in undesirable ways?

How can the same kid that was described as an 'angel' by her friends mother, come home and jump up and down, sniveling, and screaming, because she's sooooo tired? As a mom where did I mess up? How do I handle this when it happens again. Why does this particular child have such a hard time expressing emotion in the correct way? She is such a GREAT kid. She is smart, and sweet, and everything else nice you can think of, but when her ugly comes out, Oooooo boy does it get UGLEY!!!

There's this part of me that wants to be like a military mom who takes every earthly possession away and never let her sleepover with friends again until she can act appropriate. But, in the end, I am not a military mom... I'm just me. The mom that totally yelled back and lost her cool, and told her that it wasn't okay to act like that, and then an hour later was cuddling and acting like nothing happened at all.

The biggest question on my mind... is there a way to teach my girl how to express, and feel her emotions so they don't bubble and burst out of her in such awful ways, or is this just who she is?

Monday, February 14, 2011

to my valentine...


I have had the same valentine for the last 15 years...
Wow, I can hardly believe that.

Now you might think that the luster of love might extinguish over that many years...
But, it hasn't.
Sure Valentine's Day has changed a bit since the very first one we shared. The definition of romance has changed for us as we've evolved. Believe it or not, that doesn't mean that we don't have as much romance or as much love as we did in the beginning, when we had butterflies in our stomachs, and cupids dancing above our heads.


When we became parents, we had to redefine what romance was...
We had to find hidden little moments.
Quiet time to share.

Romance today exists more in knowing each other so well...
Not in a negative way, but in a positive way. The way he knows when to give a little extra because I need it, and I can't say it. The way we each know when the other needs a little space, or time to be, and not to push things. The way that he still looks at me, and I still look at him even after all of these years.


Our love has evolved into a family.
That has redefined what romance is...
But, not what love is, it has multiplied that!

There is more love under our roof, that it is pouring out the chimney top, and bursting out of the window panes.


love lives in every single day that we're together...
I don't need Valentine's day to remind me to say I love you, because everyday I share with Matthew, Bella, Meritt, Addiekat, Emma, Buddy, and Lola, are days spent filled to the brim with love.

Some days there's so much love I can hardly handle it. Even in those moments I know that my heart is full for all the love that God has given to me!

To my Valentine:
Even after all these years, I am so glad that you are mine!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

remembering Gigi...

Love you always...
Miss you forever...
until we meet again in heaven one day.
Thank you for all that you have been in my life!

(turn up your sound on computer to hear the music - view full screen by clicking the box on the bottom right hand corner of video.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

my girl loves to read...

I am so thankful as a mom that I have raised a kid who loves to read. Since day one, it has been very important to me to instill a love of books, of the written word, of escaping into a page. I am happy to say, I think I've done it. She has exceeded my expectations, or desires. She blows me away. I think the day she was brought home from the hospital one of the first things we did was lay her down in the middle of our bed and read her a story.
she loves to read...
At Christmas time in Kindergarten Bella couldn't read a word. By summer she was reading well. By first grade her reading took off. She was placed in the second grade class for reading. By second grade she was placed into a split class so that she could be in the level she needed to be at without having to leave her classroom. I am so thankful that she attends a (public) school that realizes the importance of placing kids where they need to be rather than where they just fit. She has an amazing teacher that encourages the love of books and reading as well. This year, she is reading all kinds of things. More chapter books than I have probably read in my lifetime. She can't get enough....

Her room is filled with books, stacks and stacks of books. Her shelves are PACKED, and organized just how she likes them. Her system (with a little help from me) is this: golden books, vintage books, story books, easy readers, chapter books, reference books, bible books & faith based books, horse books, and art books.

You might be wondering why I'm sharing this, and there are a few reasons. First because I'm really proud of her, and I want her to have proof of my pride written down for her to know and read (today or one day). Secondly, because, I would love to encourage you to read to your kids, to take them to the library, to surround them with books, because even if they don't pick it up right away, with time I can almost guarantee they will! Books are addicting, once you start it's hard to stop. They make your imagination come alive. It's a gift that can last a lifetime! Lastly, I am in no way trying to brag, or make you feel bad if your kiddo isn't a great reader... I promise! Every kid is totally different, trust me I know this first hand. So, I in no way am making any judgements. Just wanting to share my girl. My big, growing fast, seven-and-a-half year old girl... and her favorite thing in life, is her books. Don't get me wrong, she is still a totally regular kid who loves to run and play, draw, create, and be with her animals. But, even when she's doing all of those normal run of the mill things it wouldn't be odd to see her riding around the block with a book in her bike basket, or driving to the grocery store with her nose in a book. Her backpack is filled with books, her bedside is filled with books, her desk is stacked with books. Our house has baskets, and rows of books in nearly every room, and they are always being read. It's great. One thing I have yet to figure out is how she can read 7 or more chapter books at once and keep them all straight... I couldn't do it.

Bella, if you read this, which I know you like to do... know that I am VERY proud of the young lady that you're becoming. You are kind, and smart, and funny, and sweet, and I am so glad that your my kid!