Why People Hate Holidays

I’ve been there and I’m there. Life is going great as I get ready for Christmas, then a few little things happen. Hurt feelings, poor expectations, bizarre stressors and before you know it: meltdown.

This is 100x magnified as a mom. There are already so many feelings. The birth story of Christ put me over the edge before I had kids but now you can just forget it; mention Mary and I need a pack of tissues. So I’m blessed with these kids I’m obsessed with and now Christmas is no longer seen from a recipients perspective but as a giver. God gave his son and I could never give mine. So, like I said, lots of feelings.

Then there’s the pressure. We don’t have enough going on in life so we decided to host Christmas. I’m actually really excited to do this but it is some serious work! Add to that an unrealistic kitchen renovation deadline and some tears could start to well up.

 (Our half-done backsplash 😁)

Then today happened. D came down from the attic to find Elle had escaped her crib. He came downstairs to tell me and who do I see but my sweet girl pressing her face up against the glass to the sunroom. “I just woke up”. good try, kid it’s been exactly three minutes. She escaped again. Clearly she figured it out so I decided that in the midst of D putting the kitchen backsplash up we HAVE TO BUY A BIG GIRL BED. TODAY. So off we go to IKEA, with a friends toddler in tow. I allowed myself to ponder for three minutes of my drive there that my precious two year old has outgrown her crib and the tears are flowing. So we get there and sit on all the mattresses and pick one. We go down to get it and they’re sold out. So we have a discussion 🙄 in front of the IKEA guy and decide we will get the cheaper one and exchange it within the 90 day period to the one we actually want. Because it’s so easy to exchange a mattress when you own a Homda CRV.

Fast forward an hour to D setting the bed up. He puts the mattress in the bed and it falls to the floor.
 Did I mention we were supposed to decorate our Christmas tree today?

 Yep. Look at this poor room. Things coming and going.

I put Jay to bed, picked up some burgers at Red Robin because clearly, I have no food in the house. Elle asks me to snuggle on the couch and like every day, I’m brought back to planet Earth where I’m a character in a bigger story and am stressed about things that matter zero in the grand scheme of my life being a vapor. She asks me to scratch her back. She still needs me. Even if I put a deposit in for preschool yesterday and bought her a bed today, she’s still a peanut.

The kitchen will get done-even if it’s not by Christmas. We will someday sleep again even though Elle has way too much freedom in a real bed. Goodwill will take my living room tomorrow so I can breathe again. Elle will maybe forgive us if she has back problems from this crap mattress. It’s all nothing. A blip. The golden years, people say. Be easy on yourselves, loves. Elle told me today she “wuvs King baby Jesus”. The moments will always matter more. Go scratch a baby back-it’s the best.

And for crying out loud just look at this kid. (D has a thing about glasses and hats. If they are in the general vicinity of a baby he must experience them together. Exhibit A: Jay wearing protective glasses)


Quick Sunroom Update

Hey Friends,

I’ve been getting lots of great feedback from my favorite things post. Check it out for some creative gift ideas!

On to the good stuff. We are hosting Christmas this year and I was looking at our sunroom with dread. It sold us on our house but the paint was not kind to the eye.

Yes, that is a brick(ish) color on three of the walls including the window frames. Then it’s a cream color on the 12foot high brick wall.

It was really not showing off the room! So we decided to hire my cousin to paint the room (he’s super affordable, let me know if you need some painting help in the Baltimore area). So we settled on the Sherwin Williams color, Sea Salt. We used the kitchen color, Benjamin Moore’s white dove for the woodwork. We LOVE it!

It looks mighty blue in some of these but it’s really a blue/green/gray.

Don’t mind Jay there just being a dreamboat! We’re unfortunately going to have to put the blinds back up until we can save up for some kind of window treatment. I’m loving the windows now that they’re defined so I hate to cover them!

Let me know what you think! Any window treatment ideas??


Kitchen Renovation: Part 3

We’ve been busy bees around here! check out our before pictures here and the plan here.

This week has been a bit chaotic! We’ve  been living with a torn apart kitchen which can get a little overwhelming. Luckily, we’re on schedule!
Down to business:

  • Countertops were measured! Now they will be delivered in less than two weeks!
  • The rest of our hardware was delivered! What do you think?   I’m totally loving it! And I installed all of it myself which makes me love it more!
  • I may have changed my mind again with the paint. It’s looking like “white Dove” by Benjamin Moore. I can’t even talk about the hours spent at hardware stores and Pinterest. This somehow leaked into a hunt for the perfect tattoo for my 30th birthday which is in 18 months. 
  • The lovely table stuck to our wall is gone!    Look at that extra space! I see dance parties in my future.
  • The floor is in!      

Do you see the progress?! We only have less than three weeks until the deadline so it is time to buy some paint!

The next kitchen update will be the great reveal!


Kitchen Renovation: Part 2

So this past week has been super productive. Check out this post for all of the before pictures of the kitchen.

First off the countertop. We started off wanting to make a concrete countertop. My Padre did it in his rockstar house but said it was “hell on earth” to do. We thought through a neat Formica that looks like marble, then granite, but we ended with Quartz for its durability. We purchased it locally from Jeffress Stone and have had a great experience thus far.

D took advantage of a free Saturday and took out the existing countertops with his Dad.      
Although we were warned that its a nightmare, it took them about three hours to get it all up. I was thoroughly impressed! To remove a tile counter you have to first remove the tile which is adhered to plywood. Then you unscrew the wood from the cabinet. Sounds easy; is not easy.

Second, the hardware. Do you see the new drawer pulls above? We chose the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot. We chose different hardware for the drawers than the cabinets and really love how it turned out so far(still waiting on the cabinet hardware). Such an inexpensive fix that totally changed the look of our cabinets.

Next-we talked through backsplashes ad nauseam. I was pretty sold on white subway tile with dark grout but D ended up having to leave our tile backsplash up since it was behind the cabinets. He thinks that it would be too thick to tile on top of it. We had some crazy ideas but ended up choosing to do bead board. The more pictures I see, the more excited I’m getting! It definitely will lend itself for the more farmhouseish look I’m going for in this house. We may even get fancy and do a design! We have a bit of a holiday time constraint so it could end up plain which will still look great.

Onto the floor. We’re waiting for it to be delivered still but we purchased “sawcut Colorado” from Allure. We used the same product, different color in the rental bathroom and really loved it. It’s great with water and is floating, so it’s easy to replace a piece if necessary.

Lastly, I started dabbling with paint samples. I got Polar Star from Valspar and Modern Gray from Sherwin Williams. Polar star seemed too silver/icy but I actually loved Modern Gray. The link makes it look tan but it really is just a warm gray.

Ok. I think that’s all for the updates. I can’t wait to share some more progress next week!


Kitchen Renovation: Part 1

I’ve been bursting at the seams to start the new house renovations and this week it all began.

Here’s the back story: the kitchen is  mostly fine. It was probably done in the mid 90s which apparently lends itself to lots of tile. Tile on tile on tile.

  Tile floor
That first picture is the tile floor. A very “ahead of the times” herringbone ruined by a not great finish. That second picture is the tile countertops which continues into the backsplash. I am a germaphobe. I can’t live with the countertop without wondering when we will all get salmonella or worse from the grout. Yuck.

Next up: hardware.

 Hardware is pretty easy. It’ll be a quick fix. As is the paint.

Finally: eat in table.

Excuse the chaos, please! Just put the kids to bed so nothing is pretty. This is a big table/chairs in a little room. I get the first swing at this bad boy! I’ve actually been using this a ton but I really think it’s because I’m so scared of the grout. The kitchen will feel a lot bigger without it and I can’t wait!

We decided to keep the cabinets. There really isn’t anything wrong with them and although we probably wouldn’t stand in a store and pick them out oday, they really are fine. The appliances are pretty dreadful, especially that stinking enormous fridge. No sense in wasting money so we will let them die one by one and replace them with stainless at that time. Unless a faithful blog reader wanted to donate a couple thousand bucks. Totally kind of kidding.

Stay tuned for the plans coming next week!

Renovation, Rental, Uncategorized

The BIG sigh of relief

I’m breathing deeply again. House officially rented and Dee is done repairs, our new home is starting to come together, we’ve begun hosting things at our home again which although is hard work is definitely life giving for our family.

Nap time today had all kinds of feelings. One of the “major players” in my life had a major surgery yesterday. The big C word is no small thing but today is all about gratitude. Witnessing the waking up from surgery marked the end of a lot of questions, fears, wondering, and expectation. A whole lot of “ifs” were all laid out concerning God. He and I shared lots of bare naked moments the last six or so weeks and not once did He leave me. I went to the If:gathering a few weeks ago and Jen Hatmaker mentioned meeting God after the shock of a loved ones C diagnosis and proclaiming “He is still good”. Later in the conference another speaker mentioned her own battle with C and how her prayer changed from one of healing to begging for the absence of fear no matter the outcome. This was so timely for me.

I came home last night snuggled up to the hubs which was a bit miraculous in itself with the way I’ve been so stinking stressed(cold) lately. We took a sigh of relief, fell asleep and slept like we didn’t have kids. Until of course 4am when Jay was crying for milk 😁.

Raining or not, it’s a beautiful day today full of crazy promise and expectation.

Let me leave you with my favorite story:

Daniel 3

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[a] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this”

May we all walk around like not a hair on our heads has been singed in the midst of fire.

Renovation, Rental

It is finished (kind of).

So we have been in the new house for 11 days! feels like way longer, probably looks like way less! Shout out to my hubs…Dee has spent every waking, non career hour at the rental getting it ready for our guy to move in. Seriously, hes been getting home after midnight each night from working so hard over there. As of Saturday, its paid off! Lease signed, security deposit in hand, keys in his hands, done, fineto. Exceeeept..our tenant is going out of town for a few days so Dee will go over there probably tomorrow to touch up one tiny bit of paint and make the dryer turn off when you open the door. Then we’ll really be done.

From my perspective–totally worth the chaos to now be getting rental income. Ask Dee in a few days when hes had some sleep if he thinks it was worth it thus far. Of course I cant really say its worth it since we don’t know if he will be a good tenant but all arrows are pointing to yes!

In my short stay at the new house I have learned a few things. Its funny the things you don’t realize make your life SO much easier until they are gone and vise versa.

  1. I miss my mail slot. Its so nice having mail delivered to your living room. Dee and I REALLY miss it. He may put one in.
  2. I miss having a door that automatically locks behind me. It really saves a ton of time when you have two littles.
  3. I miss overhead lighting–self explanatory.
  4. Most importantly I miss a garbage disposal. I can deal with a lot of “yuck” with two babes in diapers but having to dispose of scraps of food that are water logged and stuck in the drain for a few days is just foul. I just gagged typing that sentence. I’m really having trouble. I may be using some of my “funny money” to buy one because I CANNOT. Dee is having a field day watching my daily interactions with the kitchen sink. Bleh.
  5. I LOVE having a finished attic with a light switch. It is so nice.
  6. I Love having a shed. Its unreal.
  7. I love the extra square footage. Our house feels like double the size.
  8. I am terrified to clean it. We are still finding homes for everything so there are still boxes and random crap I want to get rid of littering the house. Once that is all sorted through the realization will certainly hit that I do not want to be scrubbing this house but its all part of what I signed up for. The good news is, Elle loves to vacuum so I’m hoping to put her to work.

Ive been lacking in the “Raising” portion of our “rentals, renovations, and raising…”. Lets just say that Jay is in a FUNK. He is my sweet baby. He smiles and sleeps and coos and hes awesome until about five days ago when something has gone horribly wrong in his personality and he is just angry. He can’t be soothed, wants to cry, barely wants to eat (I’m serious, he’s essentially wasting away in his nine month clothes at a mere four months of age!). If you pray, please pray! He is so sad and pitiful and it is no fun for anyone involved. Elle has been a total dream, though. She hasn’t watched a tv show since we moved (except for when I was at a conference and forgot to tell Dee how she hadn’t watched any) and I think it really was making her an irritable toddler. Anyway, I think the kids are overall adjusting well to the new house. Elle is obsessed with her “sunny room” and I couldn’t be happier about it.

On to the conference. I went to a simulcast of the If:Gathering last weekend. Holy Canoli it was just SO good. I have a small obsession with Jen Hatmaker and she was one of the speakers. She did not disappoint! The whole conference walked through answering the question “what would our lives look like if we really believed God”. Not just believed in God, but believed Him and what he says especially as it pertains to us. It was so good. It had a huge personal takeaway:

‘What are my kids seeing me passionate about? Do they see me light about about things and if not, why?’ At this point I’d say not a whole lot but a friend was there and named a few things she saw in me that helped a bit. (Thanks, M!)

Anyway, it was an awesome conference and I highly recommend it.

I think that’s all for now. I’m scheming for inexpensive kitchen updates and just bought dirt cheap end tables and a coffee table. I may be trying my hand (for the second and hopefully more successful time) with chalk paint. Posts coming soon…