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

Life... a year ago?

I have had this post sitting in my drafts since last August. I suppose I could just change a few things and it would still be applicable today :D
  • We've had the songs (and corresponding motions) from VBS stuck in our heads all week. Allie was even pretending to be the Leader for lesson time. "Everyone feeling good today? Yeah? Okay! Let's talk about our verse for today!" It's a sweet reminder that her little head does retain all the lessons, verses, and stories that we tell her. Even if in the moment of sin, it doesn't seem like it. But aren't we all that way? Next item on the list: teach her the actual words to the songs so I'm not hearing "thenazing graaaace, the mazing loooooove" So close. 
  • Speaking of Allie, she'll be 4 in less than 2 weeks. I can't believe it. The only thing she keeps asking for is a birthday party and a trip to Disneyland. I'm sure we'll be able to work both of those out (especially before our passes expire). 
  • Brian has this Friday off and instead of getting started on the HUGE list of to-do at the new house, we're gonna take a half day and meet up with college friends in San Diego at the beach. Plus gearing up for a full day of work on Saturday! Those popcorn ceilings have got to GO.
  • Allie overcame her fear of the ocean. Great. The last time Brian took her out, I was basically holding my breath the whole time and I think my shoulders are still tense. She was wearing floaties but they went so far out. She loved it. I was dying. At least I still have one terrified of the water. Maybe I'll feel better when she knows how to swim. And I'm cursing myself for not enrolling her in swim lessons earlier. Being a mother is stressful in so many ways. Like if they're not already in danger of getting run over by a car or dying of pneumonia, let's add drowning to the list.

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