Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Melissa (Mike) Moren

See this beautiful woman? She is my grandma (mom's mother). She died when mom was 12, so I never had the privilege of knowing her- but I like to think this picture tells so much of who she was. She's in a boat reading a book. She's giving us a smirk over her shoulder as if to say golly this is the life. 

Grandma Mike had a rough go of it. She lost her house to a fire, she lost her husband to an aneurysm when mom was 2, she lost her son to an auto accident when he was 16. She was left to raise her 6 surviving children on her own in an era when working women were not anyone's ideal. She fought hard and gave my mom some pretty colorful memories- like potato chip/mayo sandwiches and swimming in flooded alleys. Mom was the youngest, with her next sister being a couple years older, so it was just the 3 of them for a while. Though Mom doesn't talk about her growing up years much, when she does it's with a surprised grin over the life they lived. Surviving and making the most of every situation- just like grandma in this picture improving a day on the lake with a book. 

My circumstances don't compare to Grandma's, but I pray that with every bit of bad news I hear, every crisis I face I would face it with tenacity- and a determined smirk to carry on her loving legacy.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Master bedroom one year later...

It has literally been over a year since I used the internet for blogging. I've had blogger's block, okay? Well usually my head is filled with so much jumbled up content, I get overwhelmed and just mentally hit the 'delete' button in my brain, followed by 'yes, delete all'. I've been living in the easier realm of Instagram with quick blurbs about my kids and house. But I recently became inspired to write.  Like really write.  About my kids and house. ;)

While reminiscing over Moxie, I saw my bedroom from last year. OMGoodgrief. It wasn't the worst, but it has changed a. lot. Andrew finished the bed (that we've talked about since buying the house 7 years ago!) and wired new sconces from this Etsy shop. I painted the walls and wardrobe BM Moonshine and picked a few new textiles for the room.

Hand- painted drop cloth curtain is standing in as a summertime coverlet for the bed.
The bed and built ins are BM Simply White.

Killer handmade sconces from SazarecStitches
Andrew has a collection of pipes, so I included the most ornate ones in the shelf styling. Classy?..can't tell..

I picked up this giant oil painting for my sister at an antique sale, and somehow it jumped up onto my bedroom wall. Sneaky art..
If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this little painting sitting in the TV cabinet. The only time we really need (yes need) a TV in our bedroom is at Christmastime, when we want to end each day with a nostalgic movie. So hopefully we'll get a telly in the next 6 mos.- though I'd love to fall asleep to the summer Olympics in A FEW WEEKS!

We changed out the hardware on the wardrobe for these glass beauties.
I ordered these West Elm curtains for Winston's bedroom, but they looked so cozy in my bedroom... I think I might be klepto when it comes to housewares/my bedroom.
Settle in for a pillow story. I had gotten this fabric remnant a long time ago when looking for upholstery to use on a different project- there was only a small scrap of it, but it was so pretty I had to have it. After stashing it a while, I brought it out to use on a 'make your own Roman shade with a mini blind' tutorial, but that ended up being a little hoky with my burgundy mini blind (fresh out of the free box at a garage sale) being visible from outside so I took it down shortly after its debut. Then when I wanted to add depth to the the bedding color scheme, I searched it out and found it folded up in the cabinet, still attached to its burgundy friend. *pause* I bought an awkwardly ugly, long decorative pillow for 25 cents at a garage sale a couple years ago, just to reuse the stuffing. I had that gem in my hands last week, ready to rip it apart to marry it to my dear old fabric scrap, when I thought it'd be nice to have some piping for this new pillow. I was going to set it aside until I'd gone to Walmart to get some, but the heavens parted and I noticed the gold velvet piping on that doggone awkward thing I was holding and thought, "I'm 'bout to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse." It worked. 

Most of old pillow= most of new pillow. And trip to Walmart avoided. 
I guess sometimes it's worth buying and hoarding garbage. Sometimes.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Celebrating 5 years

On years: this little lady is happy to be 5.  Her mother, however, is not pleased.  How?!  It does seem strange that we moms are always lamenting the speed of time.  Could we ever just get used to the fact that time is not slow, it's fast?  Maybe the confusion lies in the irony of days dragging...but years racing.

On school: last Sunday in church we had a gal visit who's moving to SE Asia to help develop an alphabet for a people group (population 1,000,000), that doesn't have a written language.  Did you know there are people like that in 2015?!  It's changing my perspective as I add George to my classroom of little homeschool nerds this fall (Oliver has been the only official student, though we always have a few in the background giving us their opinions, pretending to be astute).  In the past I thought of the basics of kindergarten as just that.  Basic.  Important, but not as clutch as the later years when knowledge comes in deep layers of life learning and book study.  But knowing there are so many in the world who don't have the opportunity or means, I'm realizing reading is a gift.  So to kindergarten teachers like my dear cousin Jill- thank you for your patience and perseverance in positively impacting the lives of the next generation.    

Anyway, my sweet Georgianna Lynn is helpful, hope-filled, and always eager to wear 'wed' (red) lipstick.

She wanted a queen birthday party, so her majesty got just that.

Oh hi, caught me going old school with a flip phone and a wink.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Love Seats

We'd been living with a larger-than-life red couch in our basement for a while (first new furniture purchase of our marriage back in 2003), which was not ideal since our house is smaller-than-life.  I was trolling good ol' Craig's List for two matching love seats/settees for the living room, thinking we'd shuffle the main floor furniture to the basement, sending Big Red to happier hunting grounds.  I was super excited to find these quirky mid century guys in Minneapolis, and after a rigmarole trying to arrange for pick up, we finally got them the day before G's birthday party (I'll do a feature of her party some time..).  With so much extra manpower sitting around, Andrew had party guests help rearrange the furniture.  Resourceful, that's my man.  The pink sofa and chair from the living room went to live in the family room, and the red couch got a spot on the lawn for a good week (where it was rained on, dried out, and rained on several times), before making its way to a more permanent storage facility.  

Right now I have a piano bench draped in a wool camp blanket sitting in for a coffee table (the old table went downstairs).  Not ideal.  But I want to have a 3'x3' ottoman made and upholstered with the blanket.  I think the ivory wool would be a good bridge between the gap of natural jute in the rug and the simplicity of the furniture/color palette.   Plus I love the touch of bright blue, yellow, and poppy.

Have we talked about the chair?  There's a story here too, but it might be boring so I'll use as few words as possible.  Had a rocker ordered when pregnant with Oliver 9 years ago, found out it couldn't be upholstered in the fabric we chose so canceled the order, used this baby from my dear grandmother for all 4 kids, either keeping clothed in its natural brown faux velvet, or draping with with a quilt..or dropcloth..or sheet (keeping it generally pretty classy), after Winston was born decided enough was enough, let's get something nice, found this fun spool glider on Craig's List that was also clothed in some pretty rough fabric, picked some new (painfully expensive..but awesome) metallic ivory linen and had it reupholstered.  Whew.

I also hadn't realized how many transformations our living room has had in the 6 years we've been here.  I may have a problem.  It's evolution.
Photos by Photograph Social.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ode to Old Oliver

Since Oliver's half birthday is looming, I thought I should finish and share the piece I had started for him in January.  I enjoy writing, but get caught between my head and the keys when the subject matter is as deeply meaningful as my kids.  I'm not good with feelings.  I'd rather stay dry than start the waterworks that come at the realization of tender reality.  My oldest child, my first born son, turning 8.  I guess that's why I didn't finish his birthday rant 6 months ago... but here:

Dude!  I can't believe you're 8.  You weigh 40 lbs.  I remember when I was that size.  There are so many things I want to tell you and I want you to know and believe... these are the things I usually bombard you with on the daily.  But my deepest desire is that you would come to truth on your own, through discoveries you've made while being inquisitive, conclusions you arrive at after weighing the options.  You've given your life to Jesus, which is all I could ever ask...and yet there's more.  Believing and obeying Christ's calling for your life will fill your sweet little heart and mind with love and truth until you radiate His light.  I know it's sometimes difficult for you to love your sisters (girls are tricky), but when I see you lead them and love them my heart bursts with joy.  God put you at the front of our little pack for a reason.  I pray that you would understand and find joy in your purpose.  I love you, Wubs.

Here's my quick flip-book style pictures of birthday morning.  (His nana and papa had taken him on a pre-birthday day adventure to the western store and gotten him leather chaps and cowboy boots, so January and February mornings started with the full gettyup.)

Not so Pinteresting cake...but it was delish.
Post-hockey pizza party with the cousins.

Be on guard.
Stand true to what you believe.
Be courageous.
Be strong.
And everything you do must be done with love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Three Scary Words

DO  IT  YOURSELF.  You can often spot a DIY a mile away.  Just because you can doesn't mean you should is my anthem, because some things should just be left to the professionals.  Pinterest has everyone following 'easy DIY tutorials' only to crush our dreams with a big fat FAIL.  And I'm easily defeated.  "Jack of all trades, master of none" could be tattooed on my body and it would never go out of style for me...it's not just a fleeting trend, it's my life.  That being said, I DIYed my bedroom curtain right down to the rod.  Let me show you.  

Here we have a canvas drop cloth + bits of ribbon, a foam brush + fabric dye, a pencil + ruler, a brass hand rail + brackets.

I followed this example for painting the pattern on the canvas using a 1" foam brush and fabric dye.

Andrew customized this brass RAILING (whaa?!) that he found in one of his catalogs, along with the brackets.

The view from behind- I loosely followed a tutorial for the back pleats (the gal said to use hot glue, which made me nervous, so I sewed the ribbon tabs with my machine), and used some 2" cotton ribbon I had in my wrapping drawer.

As you can see, the curtain is far from blackout, but I'd rather be awake when the sun is anyway, so it's really not a problem.  Andrew may have a different opinion...

I forgot to have my photographer take close ups of the curtain and rod, so my iphone skillz came in handy again.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Happy summer, one and all!  We've been extraordinarily busy, but I just had to pop in and show all the work Andrew has been getting done in the midst of memory making.  "Family fun time" is what my father-in-law called yard work/home repair when Andrew was growing up, which sounds ironically familiar to me too...such memories. :)

I'm going to slowly share photos instead of scaring you with 3 million like I usually do.

Our bedroom.  It's small.  But I think I've finally tweaked it enough to enjoy it for now.  Andrew will be building a platform bed with drawer storage underneath, along with hutch nightstands to the ceiling on both sides of the bed.  But for now- mismatched nightstands and minimal storage are working together for a more 'eclectic' vibe.

The white and charcoal striped bedding is from Ikea, along with the linen pillow covers.  Pale pink quilt from Target.

Andrew and I teamed up on the curtain and rod, I'll be back tomorrow with a close up.

I do have a garage screw/nail tote mounted to the wall organizing my jewelry.
All photos courtesy of Photograph Social.