Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Allie - 4 years old

I can't believe Allie is 4. I didn't cry the whole week. Not even when Facebook reminded me what I posted 4 years ago. She was so tiny and squishy. But I kept it together until Sunday rolled around. She moved up to the 4-5 yr old class and when she lined up without even looking back at me, it really hit me how grown up and independent she is. So of course I walked back into big church and immediately started crying into Brian's shoulder.

I remember there were moments where it felt so easy. She would sleep so much, at 5 days old we thought "This parenting thing is a piece of cake". And honestly, it was when she was that small. I still maintain that potty-training was the hardest thing I've ever had to do as a parent. It's between that and disciplining her. Those newborn days were so simple. *Sigh...

Sometimes when I see her sin come out, I can't help but feel like a failure as a parent. It's easy to blame yourself but it's also silly. I didn't put the sin in her heart. Yes, it's my job to teach her to be fighting it but she is not going to be perfect, no matter how hard I try. The moments that keep me going and encourage my heart the most are when I see the grace in her life. When she says "Yes, mommy" with a good attitude. When she lovingly helps Maddie instead of aggravating her. When she cleans all her toys quickly and efficiently and then says "Mom! Look! It's all clean!" with such joy. She's not even bragging, she's genuinely looking for the smile on my face and the hug I sweep her up in to thank her.

Oh Allie. Someday you'll be a mother. I can't even fathom that. Someday you won't need me to direct you anymore. You won't need the correction and instruction. You won't need me to tell you what's right and wrong. What's rude and polite. What's kind and unkind. I pray that you will lean as heavily on God's Word as I have. I pray that you don't attempt perfection but that you constantly repent. I pray that your eyes will be open to your sins. That you will be humble in correction. That you will be kind in your words and actions. That you will be submissive yet unwavering.

When you're a mother, you'll see I did the best I could. You'll see how imperfect I was. You'll see the mistakes and flaws but I think you will appreciate that I honestly gave it my best shot and prayed that God's grace would cover the abundance of shortcomings. And I hope that you will always come to me with your burdens. Mothers... we bear the burdens of our children even if they don't want it. But I hope I can always offer comfort, wisdom, and if nothing else, bring your burdens before the Lord on your behalf.

I'm so thankful for the last 4 years that you have been in our lives. It feels like you've been around forever and yet not that long. It also feels like you've been 4 forever because I can hardly remember you as a baby. You are growing so quickly into a young lady, I'm sure I'll blink and you'll be driving. It's a sad thing to see these years flying by but it also brings so much joy to see the Lord at work in your heart. I love you so fiercely.

Monday, August 29, 2016

How to style your coffee table: Mom's of toddlers edition

I saw the headline of an email from Lulu & Georgia today. "How to style your coffee table" it said. I didn't bother opening it. I laughed out loud and then decided it was enough to be a blog post.


HOW TO STYLE YOUR COFFEE TABLE: 
Mom of Toddlers Edition

Mom Coffee Table


  1. Scribbles. Let's start with a good base. Your coffee table should already have some random crayon/color pencil/pen/marker scribbles on it. Please don't attempt this yourself - the true artist needs to shine here: your toddlers. It will be the start of layering items to break up the monotony.
  2. Snacks. Doesn't have to be goldfish crackers but that's the most basic snack that is easily spread around and solid orange will be a nice break from all the other colorful elements going on. 
  3. Obnoxiously colorful books. A favorite in our house for decorating the coffee table are Dr. Seuss books but you can also use any classic book, bonus points if it makes noises!
  4. Random clothing. This can be your clothing that your toddler was wearing moments ago or the outfit she had on earlier or the underwear she was wearing until her potty break and then ran away bottomless. If you have girls, you'll probably want to throw in some sort of princess attire to bring a feminine tone to the space. 
  5. Duplos. It doesn't have to be Duplos -- this is merely representative of any sort of colorful set of toys. Don't put the whole set here - you just need a few random pieces strewed haphazardly around. 
  6. Parts of a tea set. This is probably more geared towards moms of girl toddlers who often have tea parties -- I don't know, I've never had sons. Just make sure the set is missing one purple spoon that will drive you crazy every time you see it. We want a stressful item to bring sentimentality to the table. 
  7. Parts of other toys. This is usually kitchen items in our house but it can be whatever you want! This is where you get creative. Random pieces of a puzzle would be ideal as the final touch of chaos. 
  8. Stray art supplies. These should be leftover from letting your toddler decorate your table in step 1. You just need a few crayons (preferably broken with half the paper torn off) to add the finishing touch to your stylish coffee table. 
That's it! Once you have these items on your coffee table, it really sets the tone for the rest of the house and will show that your decor style is a really lived in, laid back style.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Our bedroom

I'm toying with the idea of painting one wall in our bedroom a deep grayish navy blue. Worst case scenario: if I hate it, I have to repaint one wall. Not too terrible. Most of the things in this moodboard are things we already own that I've been collecting slowly over the last few years. When I bought that storage bin at Target, I didn't know what I was going to use it for but I'm so glad I snatched it up anyway (on clearance too!).

We bought the Hemnes dresser when we moved to Oceanside (our previous dressers were Malm which had been moved 3 times in 5 years and would not have survived another move). I saw these brass Martha Stewart knobs but I don't know yet if I want to swap out the existing knobs. I'll have to test it out but for $30, it would be a subtle update that would tie into the brass lamps. I still haven't jumped on the rug but that's because Brian isn't a fan of rugs in the bedroom so I might just get a runner for my side of the bed. We'll have to see once the floor is in. I'm thinking Brian can probably take a cool picture of the ocean (since he sees it every day at work) and I can get a large print to hang above the bed.


Our bedroom

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Full bathroom

The strange thing about remodeling these places is that we haven't always done what we want. Sometimes we have to make decisions based on what's most cost effective or durable. The last house ended up being okay and everything was nice and new and pretty but there were a few areas where I would've definitely done things differently if it was our forever home.

We're kind of in the same boat with this place but that doesn't mean I can't still try to put our spin on things especially since we'll probably be here awhile. So while I won't pick the $9/sf hexagon tile that I really want, I'll still try to stick with neutral color themes that will translate well for the next owners. 

Last weekend was my nephew's birthday so we took advantage of my sister's close proximity to an Ikea and the Ikea Family sale to snag the cabinet for the bathroom. We're not 100% sure what will happen with the master bedroom sink nook yet. In the meantime, we still need to get the full bathroom up and working before we move in.

The bad news is that Brian didn't like the ridges on the light gray cabinet from Ikea. The good news was that we found a brand new (plastic still on) light gray cabinet in the AS IS section at Ikea for half the price. The other good news is that Brian okay'd my idea to build our own wooden drawer fronts. We'll do white paint in here because there are no windows so we need as much light in here as possible but I think the dark tile will contrast nicely and the wood accents will warm the space up.

Plus, you know, the girls' pink towels and multi-color bath toys always help bring color in too. 


Full bathroom

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Still indecisive

Well, we have a new home! We're not moving anytime soon because there's quite a bit of work that needs to be done first (like remove carpets and popcorn ceiling, paint, etc.). But I am in super planning mood and shopping like crazy! But not for super fun stuff, like clothes. :D For boring house stuff like flooring and paint colors.

Speaking of paint colors, I'm torn. I want to just do everything white because a) it'll save money b) it'll help the downstairs and bathrooms look light and bright since they don't get a ton of natural light, and c) it's easier than picking colors for each room. But then I saw all these pictures of rooms with dark navy accent walls or light blush pink half walls and started thinking it might be cool to do something like that? I'll save that for another post.

Anyway, while I was working on some moodboards, I saw a rug from Target that looked very similar to the one I blogged about from West Elm a long time ago but at like 1/8 the price! The muted colors were perfect for the girls room while still incorporating some pink which will make the girls super happy so win-win-win. I will be returning my previous purchase and this one is already on the way... (plus it's on sale with an additional 10% off!)

And an updated moodboard because it's really more for me than anything.


Girls room

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bathrooms

Instead of sitting here anxiously worrying about whether or not we get this house, I thought I'd plan the bathrooms because they'll be the first up for renovation and require the most work. Even if we don't get this place, odds are the place that we do get will need a bathroom remodel so I might as well put the footwork in now.

Upstairs is one full bath and right next to it, in the master bedroom, is a sink nook. Brian had the brilliant (albeit a little crazy) idea to take the sink nook out and wall it all up to make a second bathroom. If we do end up doing that (which he says would be easy and add to the resale value), I want the bathroom designs to be seamless in their design. They don't have to be exactly the same but the look I'm going for will be mostly white (no windows in either bathroom) and clean lines with a little bit of texture brought into each one. Both bathrooms have to be super budget friendly since we're basically trying to do 2 bathrooms on a 1 bathroom budget.


Bathrooms

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Help my unbelief

Having an unknown future can be so daunting. The temptation to doubt God's sovereignty and goodness is strong. I know what I have to tell myself. I know that He is good and loving and gives grace for every trial. I know that He has a perfect plan for our lives and nothing that happens is a surprise to Him. I know that He will always provide, no matter how dire the circumstances look.

But still I fail. I doubt. I worry. I get frustrated and angry. The future as I know it is unknown and it's not enough. It's not enough to know that He will provide, I want to know how. It's not enough to know that He will give grace through trials, I want to know when those trials will happen. Not enough, not enough, not enough.

I text'd my older sister my fears and concerns to ask for prayer and she reminded me of Mark 9. The father who's child was demon possessed who asked Jesus to cast out the unclean spirit. Jesus tells him that anything is possible for someone who believes and he replies "I believe! Help my unbelief."

Tears come to my eyes just thinking about that reminder again. How many trials has the Lord brought us through in the past? Every single one of them. Never did He leave us to wallow in our pain and despair. And yet here I am. Faced with another trial and unable to believe that He is capable of it again. Without God to sustain our faith, it would fail every time. So my cry this week has become, help my unbelief! I do believe! I know what you have done in the past and I need help to remind myself of that when present worries plague me.

Sometimes it strikes me as odd how vulnerable my blog posts can be. Strangers whom I've never met can be reading my innermost thoughts and struggles. But on the off chance that someone out there is struggling with this as well, I hope that it can serve as a reminder. We serve a loving, merciful God. We know He is sovereign and righteous. We deserve death and separation from Him and yet He calls us to be His children. With truths like that ringing in my ears, how can I doubt Him?

We find out later this week if everything will go through with the house. There are a lot of factors that could throw this whole thing down the drain so we have prayed for wisdom and discernment (and of course that it would all work out smoothly!)