Friday, January 23, 2015

Bedside Table Reads

As I've been reading through this book, I had the itch to purge and organize just one little space. Whenever I think about which part of my house needs to be made pleasing, I always go to our bedroom first. It's often neglected and cluttered, but I want it to be calming and soothing. Master bedrooms are often last on the list of decorating priorities, and that is sad. 

I trimmed my bedside books down to a realistic stack of what I want to focus on right now (and looking at the stack, I see that I need some fiction in my life). I think there were three stacks of "current reads" which is completely unrealistic. 

Here's my most grabbed books right now:

Bibles: The Message and ESV
The Screwtape Letters
The Nesting Place
Composition Journal (my favorite brand)
Wisdom of God (not pictured)

Now taking fiction recommendations...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ode To The Loaf

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes us with a baby carriage, then comes John's homemade bread that changes the way I view the world. For three weeks John fed the starter/researched/planned, and last Sunday he woke up at 3am to make it. I'm just not the person to spend this kind of time on one thing, but I'm glad I found a man who does. 

By dinner we had two beautiful golden loaves. 

The moment of truth finally came when John cut into them. For first loaves, he hit the ball out of the park. He was proud. We took several pictures and sent them to our family: oh my goodness! look at this bread! it's amazing it's amazing it's amazing!!!

Then we tasted. 
Fern liked the soft part in the middle.
Burl said he loved it and it was so, SO good!
John and I were amazed.

After tasting, we sat down for dinner and enjoyed the fruits of all John's labor. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

{Craft-ish} Room Makeover

I just made my new favorite room of the house. Just off our living room is a porch-turned room that has played many parts in the eight years we've lived here. Most recently, it was a grand craft room, but it always became junky quickly. The furniture and the overwhelming amount of "crafts" weren't working. Things needed to change, and I love changing rooms! Since elementary school when I would put my furniture on washcloths and rearrange my room, I love finding the way a room works. This is the story of making a room that I love.

Besides needing a good purge, our furniture wasn't working. Our massive table was collecting everything, our shelves were peaking over the half wall, and our homemade desk had stains and the paint was coming off (and not in the cute way). It was a room full of eye sores. Here are some before pictures:

My first step was to pull everything out and purge. I had so many crafts that I hadn't worked on in a few years, so those things went in the trash. We found some friends to pass on the furniture that wasn't working. Then, I brought in a few cheap pieces that I picked up at Ikea (and got the kids help on assembling). 

Specifically, I bought a simple dresser from Ikea and a new desk system. Ikea has build-your-own desk systems that are extremely affordable. There are so many options. I bought legs for $3, table top for $6, and the drawers for around $50. 

Here are the after pictures:

My favorite is our new little desk. It's cleaner and more sleek than what we had before. I loved it so much that I wanted to keep the surface clean, but the girl in me couldn't help but put some cute little things on top. 

The dresser holds all our crafts. The kids were so excited about the bottom drawer, because it's dedicated just for them. Their tape, construction paper, paints, etc are all stored for them.  The top two drawers are just for me. Ribbons, glue gun, my paints, etc are all in there-a smaller version of my previous hoard of supplies.

There is one eye sore in the room, but it's necessary. I have our two strollers folded up against the chair, but that is really the only place that they can be. We use them often. I guess one eye sore is better than a whole room full of them?

Immediately after we finished the room, the kids were eager to do crafts. I set up their little table (we had one of these when I was a kid and I always loved it!) and they spent a lot of time in the room staying busy. 

I guess technically, this still serves as a craft room. I wouldn't call us a huge crafting family at the moment, but it is nice to have a organized space to keep our things. I'm on an all-things-house kick, so this room hit all the right triggers for me. Even if it means cutting shelves in half, I love figuring out how to make a room organized and work the best for us. This room is working well and it's refreshing to walk into this little corner of our house.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cheek-Squishing Headphones

Burl is back in "school," so I'm back to having two days of one-on-one time with Fern. We hit our downtown for some coffee shop-bus ride-library action with some friends this week. 

My kids love the library for so much more than the books. One of the biggest draws are the computers set up for toddlers. Fern helped herself to one and the headphones. Bless those headphones and all their cheek squishing abilities. I could not stop laughing at that level of cute. 

We tell her all the time that she's our gem and we treasure her. 
With that cute poncho (thanks, Marmee) and those cheeks, we could eat her up.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year's Day Brunch

When talking about his time off around New Year's, John and I both listed things that we wanted to do that would make us happy. Since I never got to fit in a meal for our friends over Christmas, I was itching for a meal together. We invited friends and babies over for brunch on New Year's Day. I made a salad, spiced potatoes, quiches, fruit, and John made cinnamon rolls. We served mimosas and f'mosas (sparkling water and OJ for me and the kids). It felt easy and rowdy and full, all things I love about being with friends.

Instead of setting up the big table, we spread out around the house. Burl and his buddies played army, superhero fight, the guys shot bow and arrows outside, and the girls talked inside. Aside from the mimosas, the highlight was probably Uncle Daniel showing up and wrestling and dancing with all the kids. The brunch was exactly what we hoped it would be.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Surprise Wedding

My good friend, Patty, met a guy a few months ago, feel in love, and got engaged. It was fast, but we all supported the relationship and the track that it was on. When she invited us to an engagement party on December 27 (our anniversary), we were ready to celebrate. However, a few of us were suspicious that it was not just an engagement that we would celebrate. We were suspecting that it was going to be a surprise wedding, and we were right. As the night went on, we were more and more expectant, and when it actually happened we were ecstatic. Nothing could have prepared me for that level of excitement. It was by far the biggest wedding celebration that I've ever seen. No one was exhausted by extensive plans. No one had been in posing for pictures all day. It was only the celebration, and it was amazing.

Several people have asked me about the details (and I've told Patty that it has made us sort of celebrities and everyone wants to know about the wedding). Mostly, people want to know about how it came to be. For about an hour, it was a party as usual. Daniel and Patty were welcoming everyone and working the crowd, then Patty slipped upstairs to change into her simple and beautiful wedding gown. The host of the party gathered everyone and said a word of welcome, then stopped and said, "Wait! Where's Patty?" A few of us could see her and her dad at the top of the stairs, she was beaming in her dress and had a beautiful bouquet of flowers. While she walked down the stairs, the realization of what was happening hit everyone. She stopped for a minute at the landing and we all erupted in tears and screaming. We went crazy. (Her sisters and brother didn't even know, which was so great to watch their shock.) Our pastor was there and they stepped up the two stairs to the kitchen and had the wedding ceremony right there. 

Then we really partied. There was so much celebration. 
Screaming. laughing. face hurting from all those smiles. 

We all could not get enough of the fun night and are so excited for Daniel and Patty!