Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A little bit of Christmas!

Its crazy to me how fast Christmas day is approaching. When I was younger, the period from when I started school in the fall until we were out for Christmas break always seemed like lightyears- and now, I feel like I hardly have time to catch my breath in the same amount of time. I have always loved Christmas so much, and I'm getting a little giddy over a nice possibility that we will see some snow on Christmas!
Today I want to share with you a bit of our Christmas decor. I've always been pretty minimalist when it comes to decorating and its no different when I break out my holiday gear. This has become even more true in recent years, as I find the less I have out, the less I have to say "NO DON'T TOUCH THAT!"

The wall shelves I built when we moved in got holiday treatment with a few live pine sprigs and some ball ornaments. As a side note, I get so, so many compliments on these custom wall shelves- and people are always impressed that they were made for so little money and time. If you have an empty wall in your house I highly recommend taking a few hours and whipping a few out!

The little bird that we brought back from Hilton Head even got a santa hat!

Cameron and I have been busy little bees the past few weeks, baking and crafting our afternoons away.
The other day I cut some Christmas trees out of foam, glued them onto some wood blocks I had in the garage, and instantly we had ourselves a stamp. 

Originally I wanted them so we could stamp on brown craft paper to wrap gifts, but we've found many other ways to use these! I can definitely see us making stamps like this all year. Those foam stickers/letters they sell everywhere? Those would make perfect stamps.

Cameron stamped up his Christmas countdown! 

I have never in my life had a real Christmas tree, but this year I made a real wreath and got live garland for the mantle. While I LOVE the real pine on the mantle, I don't know if I could do a real tree. It has made SUCH a mess dropping needles everywhere.

And finally, our Christmas tree. It actually started off pretty bare but Cameron has been producing ornaments left and right!

My shopping is done (but the wrapping is not), so we're just enjoying a quiet week together before the holiday! I hope you all have a merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


One. Two. Three.

Today, my baby turns four years old! I hear and read a lot of the time, that parents "can't believe" that their kid is turning a year older when their birthday rolls around. That would certainly be the case for Kylie, who turns 2 in January. But not so for this guy, who is CONSTANTLY talking about being 4, 5, 10, etc, that to me, it didn't seem possible that was still 3 until today. After all, when asked his age by a stranger, it's not uncommon for him to answer "64!",  a response guaranteed with a giggle from the stranger.

In some ways, it seems like SO long ago that we brought Cameron home, a 9lb, 8oz baby who was two weeks late. Yet certain memories while in labor (watching the 2008 Victoria's Secret Fashion show, two weeks late, contracting while making no progress can make you feel like stabbing someone) seem quite fresh as if it were only yesterday.

This boy, so smart and so sweet is equally a mama's boy and a daddy's boy. He has become my favorite shopping partner, but would do anything to go riding on the four-wheeler with his dad. I love to spoil him, not (just) with gifts but with love, ultimately teaching him the unconditional love that Christ has for us. He loves spiderman, our 10 year old neighbor-girl Morgan (eeek!), and helping me cook and wash dishes (though he does not like to clean his room). I can't express into words how awesome and silly he is, he's just such a joy and I'm so happy he is my son!


Thursday, November 8, 2012


Almost a month ago, Jon and I were able to sneak in a little vacation, just ourselves, to Las Vegas. It was a much needed relaxing trip for both of us! We both enjoy Las Vegas because we're able to pack in a lot of activity in 3 days. 

We stayed at the Aria this time, and while it was nice, I personally loved The Encore much more. We had such a great time, but it's so nice to come home to our kids. 

Cameron has been a major sweetheart lately. We had a rough couple of weeks dealing with disobedience at the end of summer- and that wasn't fun for anyone. It makes all the difference when he's loving and kind to his sister. They even ask me to take their picture when they are being sweet and affectionate towards each other. 

I am fighting a major, major urge to put up the Christmas tree. Last year, I had it up a few days before Thanksgiving- and I will likely wait at least until then this year too. Partly, because its still pretty warm here- tomorrow is supposed to be almost 80 degrees!

And on that note, I will be royally ticked if we don't get any snow this year. We didn't get any last year, at all. In all my years of living in Kansas, I can't remember a winter where we didn't get any snow. Cameron was pretty sad to get snow boots and not be able to use them. This year, all Im asking for is one, giant snowstorm that brings several feet of snow. 

We are just a couple of weeks away from having our basement completely, totally finished (for real this time!). Last weekend, we had someone come build shelves (something I am completely and totally capable of doing myself, but I digress) in all of the closets and this weekend, we have someone coming to stain all the shelves, the bar top, and all of the trim. The carpet has been ordered and is ready when the stain and finish are done. We already have a movie line-up going for movie nights in the basement! 
I cannot wait for this space- my own little craft closet/office. Plenty of shelves, and a little desk for my sewing machine and laptop. My craft supplies have been taking over the linen closets for far too long! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kylie's Room

We've been at our new house a little over a year now, and I'm starting to make a little progress decorating it. All the blank walls used to bother me- especially after living here for quite some time- but I'm someone who has difficulty going shopping for things just to fill a void. I really have to stumble on a piece, unexpectedly almost. I'm finally at the point where I'm ok not having a beautifully, fully decorated house just yet. In other words: I'm content with slow progress. =)

 That's been the case with Kylie's (now finished!) room. Our kids shared a room at our old house, so the only thing Kylie started out with in her own space was her crib and rocking chair. I shopped quite a bit right off the bat for necessities like curtains and a dresser, but the decor and wall hangings have been slowly added in as I have made or come across them. As a result, I think her room looks "collected", a look that I love.

 Without a doubt, my most favorite piece would be the bookshelf that I almost gave up on. I'm going to be honest here and say, that if I were to do it again, I'd rather just gouge my eyes out buy the $400 Pottery Barn kids version. All that to say how proud I feel to have built and finished it, as long as it took. I hope that someday I have grandchildren that will enjoy this!


I love how the framed gallery has taken shape over the dresser. I've switched out the artwork inside the frames quite a bit- and I'm still not 100% sure I'm set on what's there, but I'm happy with the arrangement. Most of the artwork is mine, even the yellow flower picture (on the window wall) that I painted in High school that i dug out of my parents basement. (thanks for saving that, mom!)

 I splurged big time on the curtains for her room. Since she has a west facing room, and the window is over 10 feet tall, you can imagine how hot it gets in there in the summer (and, how cold in the winter months). I went with white panels from PBK with blackout lining- which helps quiet street noise and keeps the outside temperature from taking over her room. I searched a long time for curtains for her room (I even had cheap Target ones up for a bit- but they didn't keep intense heat out) and I'm really happy with the quality of these ones.

I drew the artwork over her crib after seeing this Etsy version (which was no longer available) and it's also one of my favorite pieces in her room. I think it's so cute! Kylie loves flamingos- one of her favorite stuffed toys is a flamingo named "Squawk".

 In the coming months, we'll switch Kylie out of her crib and into a twin bed. No fancy crib bedding here- just a plain ol' crib sheet. I'm currently searching for the perfect white iron daybed for her. I think it will go great in there, and a daybed is truly the option that makes the most sense in her tiny bedroom.

Lastly, we picked up this sweet chandelier at Lowe's the other day, and I feel that it really just completes the room! Jon totally agrees. It's funny how my husband who, being so "manly" and all is the one who often initiates purchases that involve pink, sparkle and princess. =) I love how special this room feels, and I think it's just right for her to grow into over the next several years!

I hope you enjoyed her room as much as we do! =)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Prayer seeking (once again).

Today I had set out to post all about our basement progress, to show pictures of our amazing tile we installed this weekend. I started writing the first sentence of the post probably a half dozen times, and each time deleted it. None of it seemed the slightest bit important or necessary in light of a tragic event that struck our family for the second time in months.

Yesterday, our oldest nephew Ben was killed in a hiking accident in Washington State. He and another boy (he was hiking with 3 others) were climbing a rock near a waterfall in the Snoqualmie National Forest (east of Seattle) when they both slipped and fell 100 feet. Both boys died. Of the two that survived, one stayed while the other ran over 5 miles for help- and once he reached help, he had to drive down the mountain to get into cell phone service range. Their bodies were recovered this morning.

I cannot begin to fathom the pain of losing a child. Ben had just graduated high school- he was only 18! My heart is breaking for Jon's sister and family, and also the family of the other boy, who was just 16 years old. It's amazing and sad at the same time to read their Facebook pages and see the impact they had on others. Please if you would, keep Jon's family in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve the loss of Ben. I'll definitely be back soon with some happier notes!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back from vacation!

Hey everyone! We are back from a great vacation in Hilton Head Island! And, um... I'm back from a blogging vacation I never intended to take. It has been a great summer and it was awesome to end it on the beaches on South Carolina. I'm already ready to reserve the same condo for next year- it was that wonderful.

So, our condo- it was HUGE. Four large bedrooms, four bathrooms, a giant kitchen, dining and living area. I didn't really take any pictures of the condo but here's the fabulous ocean view that we saw right from every room in the condo. We had considered other places (that weren't beach front properties) but I'm so glad we splurged for this one, because when the kids were napping we lounged on our balcony and enjoyed the sound of the waves. We stayed in the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort area of Hilton Head, in the Wyndham Court Condos.
 View of part of the property from our balcony

 The beaches, while not crystal clear or turquoise waters, were beautiful. We found all sorts of little critters washed up during the low tides.
Brother/sister picture FAIL. I could compose an entire album of these photos. 

Cameron had his first horse ride at the Stables in Sea pines. He loved it even though he wasn't thrilled to pose for a picture! 

Cousins picture at sunrise.

The sunrise- it was so pretty.

 Jon and I went parasailing- a first for both of us! 


We had such a great time relaxing and catching up with Jon's sister and husband, and their 2 girls. It's nice to go on vacation with family- the kids had so much fun getting to know their cousins that they rarely see! We were also able to go for walks and bike rides after the kids went to bed almost every evening, since we all stayed in the same condo.
Hilton Head Island is SUCH a great place for families- but not so much that you couldn't enjoy a relaxing vacation with just a spouse. I could definitely own a bit of real estate there and spend every summer at the beach with my family. Maybe someday!


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