Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Quick and Easy Craft: Prettifying Basic Mittens or Gloves

Halfway to the weekend! It's been a rough week so far, maybe today will turn the tides. :)

I've decided to share some of my sewing projects from Rose & Ruffle on this blog, since sewing is such a big part of my life. Feel free to skip over if this doesn't interest you in the last, ha ha.

Here is a super simple craft idea to transform basic mittens or gloves into something a little cuter, ie prettify them. I used leftover scraps and some buttons I already had in my jar, so this was free. Easy AND free? Hooray!

Decide what shape you want. Choose something fairly simple to cut out, like a heart. Using two to three strands of embroidery floss, stitch the shape in place wherever you would like it on the mitten. I thought about doing a few more on the top before settling on just the ruffled edge.

I added the button for extra detail, but it isn't necessary. Or you could sew a smaller shape onto the first, maybe a contrasting color and thread. Totally up to you!

Another unexpected perk of this little project: doing this personalizes your child's mittens, which makes them easily identifiable at school. Everybody knew exactly whose mitten belonged to Isabelle, students and teachers alike. :)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Dining Room Before and After...Still in Progress

I think this room has come a long way since we began two years ago. We moved in when I was six months pregnant (mid-December), and I was able to paint the window trim white, but everything else remained the same until a few weeks before Levi's first birthday. That was stressful and a lot of hard work, but I have no regrets about pushing ourselves to get it done before the big day. It made a world of difference, and I actually loved this room for the first time.
We hadn't even put the covers back on yet, ha!, but I remember feeling ridiculously happy about how it was all turning out.

I was thrilled with how it all came together for Levi's first birthday party. Posted HERE.

The white trim was a big improvement, and we removed the lower grids, for Levi's baby shower. You can read the whole post HERE.

That summer, we hired a company to replace our windows, and I feel it was so worth the investment.

Oh dear, I guess this post is jumping all around. This was literally the second week we lived here. Wherever there were nails (or really big screws, as were everywhere here), I hung up something with zero guilt or hemming and hawing. After we painted, it was months before I could bring myself to put a hole in the wall.

Fast forward two Christmases...
The above shelf was installed a couple weeks before Christmas after debating for over a year about to add to the wall right there. I just couldn't commit! I finally pulled up my big girl pants and pulled the trigger. It's from Target (online) and was on sale for just under twenty-two bucks. I have loved it since day one. (I did switch the tables since it made more sense to keep the drink station underneath the cup hooks.)

And here is how the space looks today...

I don't normally share this particular viewpoint or angle because I just don't like it. ha ha

What I mean is, I'm not a fan of this hole in the wall/ pass through. The additional light is fabulous because our kitchen is dark dark dark, but other than that it serves absolutely no purpose. No bueno. I've been thinking about what to do here for a long, long time, and I think we've come up with a plan. We'll be removing the oak woodwork, cutting down the wall to counter height, and adding a new counter top with bar stools on the kitchen side. That will add much needed counter space and offer additional seating, always challenging real estate to find with five kiddos. We'll also be replacing the chandelier and building a sliding barn door for the pantry, hopefully in the near-ish future. I'll keep you posted.

I'm still quite undecided about putting the curtain rods and curtains back up. Maybe some wooden blinds instead? Plantations shutters?  Or just leave them nekked? Thoughts welcome! :)
Happy Friday. Have a fabulous weekend!

Olympic One (paint + primer) "Fog" in Flat
Off the shelf Ultra White Semi-Gloss for trim and wainscoting

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Personal Goals for The New Year

We're three weeks in.
It was a great beginning, but things took a downward spiral quickly when we all got sick (still recovering, ugh), and now I'm in that post-holiday-sick-of-winter funk.
But it's okay. I don't have to throw in the towel, admit defeat, or hang my head in shame. I get to keep trying, keep working towards my goals, and that's a good thing!

So here they are:

1. Spend more time reading and studying the Word

2. Pray for my children and husband with specific and intentional petitions, not just broad "generic" ones

3. Continue to move my body and fuel it with the best nutrition

4. Invite more friends and families over for coffee, play dates, big name it!

5. Dream more. No, really. Dream big crazy dreams.

Interestingly enough, or maybe not, HA, these were quite similar to my goals for 2017. So how did I do last year?

I wanted to do some specific Bible studies last year, and they did not happen. I also was lacking in the reading Scripture department, big time, which has such a huge impact on my day to day life. I still feel extremely unsettled at our "new/old" church, but I'm really craving interaction and friendship and all that, so I'm just going to reach out to a few friends and see about doing our own study a couple times a month. I've also committed to reading the Bible in one year, and I've been doing well so far.

My prayer life still needs work. Some days/weeks I feel on fire, and others, well, barely dim.

Ha, don't ask me about my fitness goals THIS week! Earlier I shared that I felt more in tune with my body and more in shape right after Levi was born, and then as time went on (and sleep got nixed for over a year) I fell into bad habits and my self esteem suffered. I'm doing better. My family gave me a FitBit for my birthday, and I love it! Turns out I'm very competitive with it, ha ha. Now I need to take the time and effort to eat better, and stop snacking on junk!

I think we did well in the hospitality department, and I'd like to keep that momentum going. There's just something so special about coming together and sharing what's going on in your life with friends.

I admit that I get stuck a lot lately. In my own head. Life is complicated, isn't it? I mean, it isn't, but it so is. And relationships. Talk about complicated! I seem to be in a season where past hurts keep coming to mind, and it's hard to get past them. And then it's hard to dream about anything, really, because I'm just plain stuck. I suppose I need to pray more about this one.

So anyway, those are my goals for the year. Do they resonate with anyone else? Does anyone even read this blog anymore? It's been so hard to keep up with everything, but I'm trying! :)

And of course, every New Year I treat myself to one or two new plants to celebrate new beginnings, and to help get me through these dreary winter days. The cats devoured the poor African Violet, but the pink one is doing well. For now. ;)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Ringing In 2018... Happy New Year!

One of these years, I'd like to get dressed up all fancy and go out to some fancy party or restaurant, and just be fancy.


This wasn't that year. ha ha We had my parents over for dinner and played games and just had fun together. Lots of laughter is bound to be a good sign for a new year!

I tried to do lots of little, special things throughout the weekend. Sometimes it's the smaller gestures that mean the most.

Our festive tablescape. Isabelle made the sign for me again this year.

Oh, and these are the temps we've been having for two weeks straight now. Not even kidding. It has only been above ZERO twice in the past two weeks!

I can't remember now what exactly the problem was- isn't that how it always goes- but Sunday morning I was just having the hardest time. Like emotional turmoil kind of hard. I couldn't stop crying in church. #embarrassing #stopitmom

So when we got back home, I threw on a few extra layers and headed out. The sun was shining and the sky was bright blue, but it was freeze-your-snot cold. And then the wind picked up and blew snow everywhere, including your face. Cooooold. 

I left alone and was happy to be alone, but Caleb found me ten minutes later. Honestly, I was annoyed. But then I came to my senses, thankfully, and felt so touched that he would brave the tundra to find me. He said he was worried about me and wanted to make sure I was okay. Aww. In the five or so seconds it took to take these photos, my fingertips were already numb. You can kind of see the snow swirling to our left...right before it smacked us in the face. 

I have a thing for crystal and glass in the sun, too. So pretty and sparkly!

Jonah kept making rainbows all over the wall and ceiling, and Lev was completely mesmerized. So funny.

You gotta have punch to ring in the new year!
3/4 jug Hawaiian Punch, a bottle of Sprite, and scoops of rainbow sherbet - I used my cookie scoop because I don't have a melon baller. So fizzy and good!

There's just something so magical about candlelight. It makes everything look so beautiful.

Isabelle quizzing my Mom a zillion random animal trivia facts. My Mom is such a good sport. After ten minutes, I was like, Okay, I've got dishes to do, floors to sweep, umm basically anything that may need tending to...I'm outta here.

Someone discovered he has a deep, deep love for cream puffs!

This was promptly at nine o'clock. Ethan was on his way out, and I was not feeling too well. I made it another hour or so. #lame Or #old. ha ha

We enjoyed a slow morning on New Year's Day. I was so happy to see the sun shining a second day in a row! Not only has it been freezing, it's been so dark as well.

We bundled up for ten whole minutes outside. But we made snow art. :)
Random question, but has anyone tried to boiling water thing where you toss it into the freezing air? I'd like to try it this weekend...

Mom. It's so cold. (And I'm just noticing now how that little bit of neck is exposed- bad bad bad. I'll have to get him some turtlenecks for outside play.)
But he loves it! He pitches the biggest fit when it's time to come inside.

When the feeling returned to our hands, we played with the play-dough that Daddy made the day before. I love fresh play-dough, especially when still warm, but cold, day old or older play-dough, truly makes me gag. Weird, right?

Isabelle and I also had a hot cocoa date in the family room and watched the Soul Surfer movie while Levi took his nap. I loved it, it was very touching and meaningful.

So everyone went back to school on Tuesday, and yes, I always miss them when they aren't here, but the stillness and calm was quite nice. :) Of course yesterday was a Snow Day and today is already a delayed start, so we have had lots of togetherness this week. And it's Friday! Hooray! Did anyone do anything super exciting for NYE? Tell me and I'll add it to my growing bucket list!

Here are some links to years past...I can't believe little Levi was so tiny last year! Aaaahhhh!


(I don't think I have a post from 2016...I was still throwing up regularly and pretty sure I was in bed by 8 pm that night, so I don't remember anything!)

Skating in the new year from 2015

A Year in Pictures photo recap from 2014

One of my most fun memories, our Day of Adventure from 2013

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