Friday, December 19, 2014

Bathroom Remodel


My husband and I bought an older home that needed updated.  Fixing up an old house has been a bucket list thing for us.  My favorite thing about this whole DIY remodeling our home thing is how fun it is to see what my husband comes up with.  Carpentry is my husband's hobby and stress reliever and I had no idea how good at it he was until we started on this house.  He amazes me.  Here is what he did to our downstairs bathroom.

Before pictures:  I am so terrible at before pictures.  We just jump into the project and totally forget.  I had to dig up an old photo of the bathroom.  That kid is awful cute, but the bathroom really isn't.  It doesn't look too bad in the photo but the sink leaked so the vanity had water damage.  The tile is broken and outdated - gold flecks.  The mirror window thing was just a waste of space. The floor was hard to get clean and had paint all over it.  Everything was old - it needed updating


Here are the after photos:



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thanksgiving

Our fall has been unusually busy and it has left me feeling tired and drained. 
 
My parents came into town for Thanksgiving and declared themselves the support staff.  They stayed for over a week and were totally amazing. They cleaned my refrigerator, cleaned out the vents of my dryer, did laundry, dusted, vacuumed, organized closets, organized the playroom, baked, entertained my children, babysat while I went to work, and continually told me they were proud of me and I was doing a good job as a mom.
 
I enjoyed a week of less responsibilities. I relaxed more and spent a lot of time doing nothing. It was heavenly.  I felt rested and refreshed. 
 
After break, I was ready for the Monday morning try-and-get-everyone-out-the-door-in-a-somewhat-sane-manner chaos. One son decided to forgo getting dressed in order to play and had to be reminded multiple times to get real clothes on. When it was time to leave, my other son couldn't find his gloves and was crossing his fingers that he left his boots at school over the long break because there were also no where to be found. Then my youngest son decided that he needed to pack about fifteen extra things in his backpack.  Okay, maybe just one extra thing but he totally could have packed fifteen extra things in the time it took him to pack the one.  Then once his backpack was ready, he took a firm stance against going to daycare. He wanted Nana and Papa come back into town and take him to Chuck-e-Cheese again.  Please help me because we do not have time for these negotiations.  But, I handled it all with the calmness of a rested and refreshed woman.
 
I didn't ask for my parents help.  They just noticed that I could use a break.
 
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the people in my life who notice. My beautiful family and friends who make me feel loved and encouraged by noticing. My heart is deeply grateful for you all.
 
 
And speaking of noticing, the lovely Cindy from Inspire Me Mama featured my post on Let Your Faith be Bigger Than Your Fear.  Her blog is a good one to put on your reading list.  I would love it if you would check out her blog and my guest post. Thank you Cindy for noticing my blog.  I also have noticed yours!
 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

photography

Friends. 
Beautiful souls who get me. 
My writing club. Amazing women who understand my need to have a creative outlet through writing and photography. They understand that I better see how God’s beauty surrounds me through words and pictures and reflection on how Jesus daily shows up in my life.
This group has enriched my life. We are all so different. We have such different personalities and write completely different genres. But our differences create a place where I always learn and receive quality feedback on my writing.  The women believe in me, encourage me, and challenge me.  Every month I look forward to meeting with these wonderful women.
One of my writing club friends needed pictures for a project she is working on.  Of course, I wanted to take them.  Just for fun and as a reminder to myself of how blessed I am to have these women in my life, I posted a few of the pictures I took here.
Good friends.  The people in your life who make you feel smart, funny, connected, understood, and beautifully happy.  Totally priceless.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Let your faith be bigger than your fear.

I recently spoke at MOPS.  My first official Mother of Preschoolers speaking engagement.
 
I felt led to speak at MOPS and loved every minute of it. I continue to feel led to speak and share my faith journey and how God has come alive to me in my everyday life through motherhood. 
 
But…
 
Alongside the strong feeling of being led to do something, often comes a feeling of fear.
 
Because, what if I cannot do what God has called me to do well enough? God is awesome, so isn’t everything He leads equal to His awesomeness? This thought can immobilize me and make me talk myself out of His leading.
 
But, doesn’t God sometimes call us to do things that are average or mundane: to get up every day to go to work; to help your kids with their homework; to text someone encouragement; to buy a friend a cup of coffee; to listen to your son tell you why he chose every single Lego he did to make his creation; to assistant-coach your son’s basketball team because they needed someone, even though you got cut from your 6th grade basketball team; to show up daily , even when you don’t feel like it…. 
 
Awesome is good, but sometimes so is the average, mundane and just okay.  So how come I can hesitate because I fear that what God has called me to do, I might not be able to do awesome enough? God can move through moments that seem mundane and insignificant and simply not amazing.  God is bigger than the idea that everything has to be awesome. 
 
And how do I know what I am called to do won’t be good enough unless I try?

So fear can crawl back into the shadows. I don't need it.  None of us do.
 
Let’s be done worrying that we will fall short of what God has called us to do. Let’s not let fear hold us back. Whatever is on our heart – whether it is little or big or tough or easy – let’s listen to God’s leading. 
 
Let’s let our faith be bigger than our fear.
As a side note: I took this picture of this twisty tree in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.  Heaven just might look like Colorado.

Linked to: these blogs and Christian Mommy Blogger

Saturday, November 8, 2014

fall photography

Fall.
A transition season. 
My favorite season.
I don't always love change - it can be hard and uncomfortable.
But, fall...
...fall reminds me that change can be beautiful.

 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Help your children daily see and feel what it means to be a child of God. So valued and loved.

"Freckle Face," an older boy had repeatedly called my son at recess. 

Of course, my son came home upset.
 
How can two small words coming out of a thoughtless kid's mouth put a rift in all that we have been trying to teach our son about how valued and treasure and loved he is?
 
As parents, we all try and teach our children to have self-worth and self-belief. It stinks when the world works against us.
 
A fire was lit in me. My kids need to understand what it really means to be a child of God.  So valued and deeply loved.

 So, I wrote a bedtime devotional activity to do with our children and am sharing it with you.
 
Each week we focus on one truth God tells us about what it means to be a child of God.  We read the same scripture verse all week and we write down one way we see God show up in our life and reveal that truth to us during our ordinary day.  We say our nighttime prayer and our kids go to bed thinking about how valued they are by Christ. 

It is short, simple and powerful.
Life can be hard and we can't always shelter our kids.  But we can help them write on their heart - where it cannot be erased - how important they are because God intentionally created them and calls them His children. They can daily put on God's armor, so that when the insults fly and the challenges come, they can still be confident of who they are.
 
I am so passionate about this.  I would love it if you would pass this information along and share this post.  As mothers, let's link arms and teach our children that they are valued, deeply loved, and children of God.
 

DOWNLOAD THE FREE BEDTIME DEVOTIONAL HERE

 
Introductory letter is in pdf form in the devotional, but posted here also so you could copy and paste it into a word document and personalize it:
My Dear Child,
                We have been thinking a lot about what we want you to learn most while growing up in our home. There are lots of great things we want you to learn. Important things like reading, writing, how to clean your room and how to be a contributing part of this family, but there are things that are even more important.
            We want you to know that you are a child of God. God loves you and intentionally created you with your unique gifts and talents. Jesus wants a personal relationship with you. He is with you every day in the ordinary. He shows up right where you are: at school, at the park, at home, at church and when you are hanging out with your friends. He wants you to see Him, to feel Him, to know Him and to invite Him into your heart and into your life.
            God calls you His child - His treasured child - and He wants you to know what that really means. God makes a lot of promises in the Bible that teach us what it means to be His child. We are going to read a promise each night and think of one thing in our ordinary day that points us to seeing and feeling God in our everyday life. We are going to let God write on our heart, where it cannot be erased, what it means to be a child of His.
            People and life situations will sometimes tell you differently. Not everyone understands that everyone is a child of God. Sometimes people get too busy or careless and send the wrong message to others, whether they mean to or not. They might say that you are not good enough, or smart enough, or fast enough, or tall enough…
             Even dad and I, as your parents, sometimes accidentally tell you otherwise. Your dad and I love you more than life itself. We love you to the moon and back. We love you so much that it takes our breath away. We try our best to be great parents, but we are human and we sometimes we get tired or crabby or stressed. We might even sometimes make you feel not good enough, or smart enough, or fast enough, or tall enough…but we do not mean to. That is why we want you to know the truth of Jesus’ message.
We want to share God’s truths with you so that no matter what, you will know what it means to be a child of God. You will know how loved and cherished you are not by just your family and friends, but by God.
            My prayer for you is that you invite Jesus into your heart and grow in your friendship with Him. No matter what life throws at you, we want you to remember these truths. Deep in your heart, we always want you to feel God’s joy, peace, love and beautiful hope.

                                                                                                Love,

                                                                                               Dad and Mom

Grateful to be linked to Christian Mommy Blogger & these blogs.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cute photo ideas using old Halloween costumes.

If you want to check out some fun idea for costumes head over to Simple Moments Stick.  My three boys - in all their super hero glory -  are one of the featured costumes over there. The pictures are from just two years ago, but oh how they look so young!  Time - sometimes good comes out of you, but sometimes you are my enemy.
 
Also, I found a great picture floating around the internet. A little girl was sitting on a stool, reading a magazine and all her princess dresses were on a clothes line behind her.  She was taking a break from all her royal responsibilities.  It was so cute.  I didn't pin it so it is lost to me, but I thought it was a great way to reuse some of the fabulous Halloween costumes we have.
 
My little superheroes...taking a rest break...

...laughing at how many close calls they had in their adventures...
 
and posing for their fans.
 
Adventure is so important to my boys.  These photos tell a little bit of their story and speak volumes to me as their mother.

 
Linked to: these blogs and Christian Mommy Blogger