Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Blog Relaunch! - Sounds So Official...Basically, Just a "Hi Again!"

Hello again friends!

It has been so long since I have paid any mind to this little blog of mine. For some reason, it has been on my mind and heart to start blogging again. Not like I did a ton before this 2 and a half year break...(has it really been that long?! Why does time pass so quickly?!) Maybe it's for me and my family...a little space to record our projects and daily happenings. And maybe for someone out there who needs some encouraging while in the trenches of motherhood. I know there are tons and tons of incredible blogs out there, but I figured it is time to listen to this little nudge and sweet encouragement from friends and dive back in.

So! Without further ado....I present my newly updated blog with lots of pretty flowers and fonts :) Looking forward to meeting you and sharing the ups, downs, ebbs, and flows of motherhood because, my goodness, does it have it's fair share! 

There probably won't be fancy pictures and breathtaking photos, but there will be real life. Real DIY - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Real budgets. Real wins. And probably some real loses. Real ways to show that this life isn't perfect, but it can be so so good.

Grab a cup of coffee...or if you are like me and don't actually drink coffee, get some hot chocolate or apple cider (pretend it is coffee) and cozy up to take a look around. I hope you see something you like!


We've added a few little sprouts to our clan ;) 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Heavy On My Heart

My blog is not usually that of a political platform or a way for me to broadcast my opinions. I hope that I live in such a way that those things would be clearly evident in my every day life. (Besides, blogging about DIY crafts and cool projects are way more fun and less stressful). However, I feel that ever since I read the article about Dr. Kermit Gosnel, I have had this subject very heavy on my heart. 

If you are not aware of who Dr. Kermit Gosnel is...HERE  is an article about who he is and what he is on trial for. But be warned that it is disturbing, horrific, and once read...cannot be un-read. I had a hard time looking at my newborn after reading the article without picturing the disgusting actions of this man. 

No matter how you feel about the "rights of a woman over her body" or whether or not you are pro-life or pro-choice, this man has clearly committed acts of murder and this shouldn't be thought of anything less than infanticide. But it has me wondering...what about the women who felt that their only option was to go to this man, in these unclean and dangerous conditions? My heart hurts for those little babies, but my heart, body and mind ache for those women. I know that the arms of my Heavenly Father are holding those babies tight, but who is holding these mothers? 

It is so sad to me that women who become pregnant with unplanned and unexpected pregnancies think that abortion is their only option. It is even sadder that abortion is so easily available and accessible. Most of these women aren't even told about other options when they inquire about abortion -- and I would know. 

Because I was one of them.

I was 18. Away from home for the first time. And I got pregnant. I panicked and one of the first things I did was go to Planned Parenthood. It still makes me sick to my stomach with sadness to think I even entertained the thought for as little time as I did. I went in, they gave me paperwork, and made me listen to some recording about their "policies". I was never IDed and I was never told that abortion was not my only choice.  I wasn't even asked how old I was. The rest is a little blurry because I threw the papers and ran out of that place as quickly as I could. The whole experience lasted less than 10 minutes. I am thankful that I had been raised to know the difference of right and wrong on this subject and even though I was scared to death to tell my parents, I knew abortion was NOT an option...let alone the only one. I am also thankful for my husband who spoke two words that confirmed our decision to keep our baby and not abort: "Please don't" he said and we never discussed it again. 

I guess I feel compelled to write this because I think these women are deceived by the media and Satan and even by judgemental people to think that they need to abort their baby in order to "fix" the problem. But that isn't the case. There is adoption which is a beautiful way for a baby to still be loved and raised by parents who can't have their own babies physically. Or the option of keeping your baby and raising it. It was a mix of the three for me that made me think I needed to have an abortion before "embarrassing" my family. But as a society and especially as Christians, I think it is time to take a stand and show these women the love and grace that God has shown me and tell them about their other options.

My life has become a beautiful example of God's grace and forgiveness and what it can do to a person. Beautiful, transforming, ever growing. It hasn't always been me. The hardships and fights that are still so seemingly fresh, even after five years, are still a constant struggle to forget about. And still there are hard times: when someone does the math of Henry and my anniversary and how old our son is, or the dreaded talk that I will have to have with my son one day and explain things, and even the preconceived notions that we are only married because I got pregnant (-which couldn't be further from the truth). But it is worth it. The beauty of being a mother and the miracle of my son, who I can say with confidence saved my life, is one that could have been taken away if I hadn't been aware of my options. 

These women are missing out on 'what could have been' because they walk into a clinic, even one like Dr. Kermit Gosnel, and walk out with no baby and no knowledge or resources of other choices. I pray that these women have found the comfort and healing that only Jesus Christ can provide. If you have had an abortion, there is forgiveness and freedom from your sorrow. If someone is thinking about an abortion, I pray that they will be encouraged to truly think about it and their other options. And I pray that God would put someone in their path who is bold, but loving enough to tell them abortion is not the answer. 

My husband has been by my side through this journey and has stuck by me through everything...even when family didn't step up to the plate. But they came around, some more quickly than others, but they came. My parents were sad and disappointed, but they never disowned me and helped me tremendously. I know some women aren't as fortunate as to have the father and family that I did who love my children and supported me, but there are other supporters out there: a church, an organization, a friend, but more importantly- Jesus.  

There are places out there like The Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center who can help and counsel anyone  who finds themselves in this position. They were a huge resource to Henry and I and we are very thankful for them. 

Again, my intention is not to shove my opinion on anyone, offend anyone, and especially make any women feel guilty. All I want is to share a little bit of my story in the hopes that it offers women in the same situation a new perspective. 

But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.

--Psalm 13:5 & 6

{My oldest son: who changed my life and showed me what love really is}

{The joy that he has grown to be} 

{An older brother, a friend, a son, a joy, a constant reminder of God's grace}

{What my family has grown to be and all because of God's plan for me!}

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Latest Obsession: Burn Tool

Waiting for this baby has made me a little stir crazy. I have a ton of crafts and projects that I want to tackle, but no energy (and lack of movement due to my ever growing belly) to do them. Finally I got my hands on one of these burning tools and it has been wonderful! I have gotten to do a couple signs and projects that I've been meaning to get to. 

This is what I used and I love it. It has several different attachments to create different looks and perform different tasks. It heats up quickly and has a great grip to make writing easy and comfortable. 

My husband and I found this awesome piece of drift wood several years ago at our favorite spot on the James River. It was our favorite hangout spot while we were dating and our kids have grown to love it now, too. I love finding pieces with such character that actually mean something to us. So I decided to use it as a sign for out front of our house! And with the burning tool, it turned out just like I'd hoped :)

{The finished product}

Now, I just have to find the perfect place to hang it out front!


I had a ton of wooden slabs that I used to decorate at my college graduation party. I use several of them around our home in different ways: a place to put bowls on, arranging vases and/or candles on, hot plates, etc.  With this tool, I transformed some of the slabs into beautiful, simple signs that can be hung on the wall or set on a shelf. 

The burning technique offers a different look than what painting the word on there would. It adds depth and a beautiful color. The imperfections of the wood match perfectly with the imperfections of using this tool--(I'm still getting used to it, so there are probably more imperfections than need be, but I do love it!) 

You can use this tool on wood, leather, fabric, almost anything! It is now a must have for my craft room!!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Take on a Makeshift Nursery

This little in-between area has served my little family well! It lies between our master bedroom and kitchen and is where our stairs are located. In the year that we have lived here, it has been white, lime, green and now tan and white striped. It's been a "catch-all", an office, a craft room, and is now turning into our make shift nursery. This is what the area looked like when we first moved in.

This is looking from the kitchen into the room and on into our bedroom. They had a huge curtain hung up over the stairs to keep the heat down stairs. It actually was really nice fabric and I was able to save it and use it for some other projects :)

There is a closet and a an under the stairs closet. I love all the storage this little rambling house has to offer!

This is the view from our bedroom looking through into the kitchen.

This is what it looked like as my craft room. I loved having a space all to myself for my crafts, scrap booking, and sewing. It's a bit messy in this picture (and usually was), but it was a great space! 

This is the process of turning it into a nursery. I used "oops" paint that I bought at Wal-Mart a long time ago. It was less than $6!! Couldn't pass up a lovely color like it and it did come in handy! 

Figuring out what was most important to put in the space was the hard part. Since the space is limited, I had to decide between the dresser/changing table, crib, nursing chair, etc. 

The boys helped me get ready for the next boy to become a part of our family :) It was very sweet how much they wanted to help!

I had wanted to do our living room in stripes, but since we didn't do it right as we moved it, I knew it would probably never get done. Thankfully, we did it here and now I know how much I {love} it and can't WAIT to do it when we own our own home one day! Maybe something a little more subtle, but getting off track now. Back to the nursery...

I settled on the crib (obviously the most important) and a chair so that I can nurse there in the middle of the night instead of bringing the baby back in bed and risk falling asleep. Been there, done that...and with three other kids during the day, I know I'm going to have to nurse quick and get back to sleep to get some energy! 

This is an old salvaged wooden shutter that I just love. I love the shabby, rough finish contrasted with the crisp, clean walls. Also, I didn't even have to paint it and it matches the blue in the rug perfectly! Once we settle on a name, I will probably paint it on :) But for now I love the simple look of just the shutter.

No flash..

And with a flash...I can't decide which picture I like better so I thought I would just add both! Also, the chair will be re-upholstered one day. But for now, I love the little sanctuary that awaits our little guy to be born! It is still a work in progress and I will add more as we do more :) Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Annie Sloan: My New Favorite Paint!

            I just recently fell in love with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I had been hearing so much about it, but not until I finally tried it did I really understand how much easier it makes my projects! Annie Sloan's goal was to be able to finish a "piece a day" and with the quick drying, forgiving paint, you really can! It really cut out the parts that I didn't quite enjoy about refinishing pieces (sanding, stripping, etc.). So here is a project (that with regular paint, I wasn't looking forward to) that took a couple hours one evening and helped transform my craft room!

           I have been putting off organizing my craft area...I wanted it done, but I didn't want to do it. Last night my husband took all the kids with him to the grocery store and I had the house to myself...what a beautiful thing! So I buckled down and thought, "chalk paint, no kids, and American Idol? I can totally knock out this craft room!" And so I did...and I am so thankful I did!

           My mom found these pieces of wood that were kind of "cheapy" looking and I wasn't really sure what the purpose of them were. But with some chalk paint, distressing, and a coat of clear wax they turned out to be awesome shelves! 

           I used AS's Aubusson Blue and finished it with Clear Soft Wax. I didn't have to sand or prime...just paint! I like the distressed look, so I did a quick couple quotes with a dry brush so that the wood would show through.  

           After I painted and waxed, I used a very fine grit sand paper to add the distress on the edges. Because I had waxed first, I was able to sand it right in my living room without making a mess.

           Here is what they look like all hung up! I keep my shipping and correspondence supplies in them as well as some decorative pieces. Always balance practicality with your decor. If it's easy, then you'll do it. Meaning, that if your organization is reachable, efficient, and easy to get to then you are more likely to stay organized. These are so easy and I love the way they look!  

I should have taken before pictures...but it would have just been embarrassing! I'm so thankful for nesting and energy to be able to finish some of my to-do-list before this baby comes in less than 5 weeks! I hope this inspires you to pick that one thing you've been meaning to organize and tackle it! Go for it! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Humble Home-made Holiday!

I was convinced this year to have that "Country Living" Christmas look with my decorations and I was convinced to do it on the smallest of budgets. With thrifty finds, handmade creations, and a mother cleaning out her Christmas decorations I was able to do it! (Well at least I think I was able to do it) I even got my favorite of compliments- "Your home is so homey"...! Sure, it might have been from my best friend, but hey I'll take it :) We have a little more space in our new home this year and I felt like the decorations I had were not enough to make it look "Christmasy" I got to work! I also had to be mindful because I have 6 little hands grabbing anything and everything so most of my decorations are incorporated above the waist height wise. Here are my finds and some ideas and I hope they give you some inspiration!

I used some ornaments and twisted jute twine to make an ornament garland to hang in our living room. I love the fanciness of gold and red paired with the rustic of the twine. And any decoration out of reach of the children is always good ;) 

It would also be cute with any other kind of ornaments or even snow flakes! 

I've saved a bunch of Christmas cards over the years so I punched some holes in them and they also make a beautiful garland! 

I loved the way it turned out and its nice when friends recognize their Christmas cards up there!

Of course I have to have my wooden signs :) My home wouldn't be complete without them.

The wreath was made by my sister-in-law last year for Christmas and is so simple and beautiful. I just love it!
I keep this bucket by the back door and change the contents for the season...this time I just cut some branches from a couple evergreens on our property. It adds a subtle fragrance as you walk in the door!

The wreath was a 50 cent thrift store find that I will probably add to and most of the other decorations were given to me from my mom or found at the Goodwill. I got a whole box of candle sticks for only $2! I've used some in my room and I was thankful that there were Christmas colors in there :) 

More cut branches to add a pop of green and a lovely scent in the kitchen :) Since I am not a fan of the wood stove portal cover, I am thinking about adding doiles or wrapping paper to the back of the window!

Our kitchen chalkboard all ready for Christmas! I love the change and it just makes me smile whenever I look at it! It's simple and the kids can't reach it is the perfect decoration!

I have several other decorations that I still need to upload to the computer, but these are probably my favorite! Also, I will probably be adding more since we are going to be throwing a Christmas dessert party and I cannot wait! Plus...I need more glitter and Christmas is the perfect time to have a bunch in the home :) So this is just the start....decorating in this home is an ongoing process ;) 

{What is your favorite decoration that you or your family do at Christmas time??} 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Getting a Head Start on Christmas!

I absolutely love seasonal decorations...but I don't love the prices (and for some reason I love them one year and don't the next). So this is the first of many home-made Christmas decorations! :) 

Every year I say I will go out and shop the day after a holiday to snag all the deals and yet somehow I never do. So I have been keeping my eye open in stores for decorations that I love, but could easily make at home with my own twist. I saw something similar to this years ago in a Country Sampler Magazine at my mother-in-law's house. Of course they wanted an arm and a leg for them so I made my own for free! 

My Materials:
  • Any fabric that you want to use
  • Scissors to cut the fabric
  • Christmas lights

I cut strips of fabric that I had just laying around. They varied in sizes from about 2 1/2 - 3 inches in length and 1/2 inch in width. I didn't measure or get all fancy, I just cut strips. Plus, I love the look it gives it at the end!

And cut a bunch! I used 3 strips in between every light bulb. Depending on how long your strand of lights are, will determine how much fabric you'll use. Also, if you want a more or less full look you can vary how many pieces of fabric you use between each light bulb. Completely preference!

Since I use jars for everything, I just stored the strips of fabric in a jar since I have 3 little kids running around and this project was a little time consuming. 

My before lights! I used white since I had very colorful fabric and I love the classic white anyway. You can use any lights that you love or have laying around. 

All I did was take the fabric and tie it around the strand of lights! It is lights and garland all mixed up into one! 

The more fabric you use, the fuller it will look. 

This is with just two strips of fabric in between the lights and gives it a less full look, but still looks awesome on the tree!

An up close shot of our newest addition for our Christmas tree this year! 

Depending on the type of fabric you use will affect the look of your tree. I used very country fabric and patterns. If I had burlap left, I probably would have used it. But you can use a fancier fabric if you like your Christmas tree to have a more elegant look! That is what is wonderful about DIY projects, you can make them all your own and add or take away anything! What ever is appealing to you will be perfect on your 
Christmas tree :) 

I love the outcome and I love what it will add to our Christmas tree. Since most of our ornaments are already handmade, this light garland will fit right in! I'm so excited to see it on our Christmas tree this year! 


This could also be made into a wreath or a little extra added to your other decorations!

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