February 28, 2013

A few changes to the casa.

My new couches arrived a few weeks ago!

I was stoked.

So were the kitties.

All 3 of them took turns arching their backs, baring their claws and just ripping into the new soft fabric with delight.

I was horrified.

And proceeded to do something very nerdy. I covered my couches with old blankets for like 2 weeks, until we could figure out what to do with these naughty kitties.

The new couches were just too irresistible for them. They didn't want to claw the old furniture. Just the new couches. Thankfully I was able to repair the couches. And we spray the kitties with water if they start to scratch the couches. Which works some of the time.

Needless to say, kitties have been spending a little more time outdoors, getting their daily dose of vitamin D. And they sleep in the garage at night. At first it was horrible. It made them whine and cry for the boys...who then whined and cried for kitties. Which made me feel horribly guilty and unsure of my decisions. Pathetic, I know.

Goodness. I had no idea how hard this animal thing could be. I love the kitties too much to make them exclusively outdoor pets... At the same time, I cannot allow them to be destructive indoors. So for now we compromise and they are indoor/outdoor kitties.

And thankfully, the kitties have been behaving better and I no longer cover the couches with dorky blankets...but I will not be surprised if I find them clawing the couches{again} in the days to come. For the meanwhile, things have settled down.

Moving on.

One of my favorite features of the new couches are their metal legs. And I'm very happy with the fabric color.

The boys love the new couches. Tweeds hanging out.

These couches turned out way more comfy than anticipated. They are so soft.

Another new item in my house is this vintage industrial steam punk lamp. I think it's my favorite lamp I have ever laid eyes on.

It clamps onto the edge of the piano. How I love a good clamp.

Next order of business was to order a print from society 6. I stink at picking prints. But I found a compass that I kinda liked.

And here is where I nerd out folks.

I measured and cut a sheet of paper to see what size print I wanted to order. And taped it to the wall for inspection.

Then, in true geek fashion, I photoshopped an image of the compass print onto a digital photo of the above wall^ to see how it would look. Keep in mind, this is all digital at this point:

I also photoshopped this "waves" print to see which print I liked better. Remember,  this is all an illusion. At this point, there are no actual prints at my house.

I debated back and forth and ended up ordering the compass print from Society 6.

A little while later(ahem, less than 24 hours), I regretted my decision and wished I ordered something with more color. But it was too late. With Society 6, it's all done by individual artists, so no refunds or exchanged allowed.

I was STUCK with my compass print.

Which actually is just fine. Not everything in my house has to be perfect. I get tired of being too picky and just want to be thankful for what I have. In the end, it's all just stuff.

So here it is.
The compass print was very plain.  So I added some globes for a little color.

However, in conjunction with all the other stuff on this wall, I feel the globes are too busy...But that's how it is for now. Until I come up with a better plan.

And overall I'm completely content with my little nest:)

February 21, 2013


I was reading my bible one afternoon. And praying in earnest...begging if you will...for more trust and faith in the Lord.

Right afterward, I read Kaylee(of LifeChasers) blog post on Trust. Coincidence?

I think not. I don't believe in coincidences. I loved what she wrote and it echoed my heart in this season I am in.

At church a few Sundays later the sermon was on worrying. Our Pastor Jeff talked about how often we downplay the sin of worry, in comparison to murder, lust, etc...

We say "Oh, but I'm a worrier!" like it's no big thing. Just a cute little pet sin. Somehow in the church circles it seems more 'acceptable' to admit we are worriers...rather than admit that we are liars or thiefs or adulterers.

But when we rip off the mask of worry, what lies beneath is ugly: It reveals a lack of trust in God. It's like we're saying "You are not big enough God".

And though I've been following the Lord for a while, quite honestly this is where I find myself more often than I'd like to admit.

Over controlling.
Lack of trust in God. 

My friends, I can be a bit pathetic in these above areas at times and you need to know that I'm a work in progress. I have not "arrived", so to speak.

My dear mama spoke at a church breakfast in January and she was awesome. And funny. And so real.

She spoke on trials.

And likened trials to a jack hammer, pounding on the bedrock of our souls...breaking up the pieces of rock to expose what's hidden beneath.

Like pride. Or dependence on self.

When life is carefree, I'm tempted to think I'm a pretty trusting disciple of the Lord.

But when the jackhammer starts pounding my bedrock, it exposes worry and lack of trust. I can see it popping right out.

Mom said that as we mature in the Lord, we actually become MORE dependent on God...trusting like a little child.
Twain is completely dependent on me. I mean, look at his hair in the above pic. He's completely  at my mercy. (Don't worry, his hair has since been cut. Phew. This is an old pic).

Anyhow, I would not do one thing to intentionally hurt Twain. Any discipline I administer, is done out of love for Twain...done for his own good.

And so it is with God. Everything He does is for my good.

He loves me...way more than I could ever love my boys. How can this be? My mind cannot comprehend this.

Whenever I find myself fretting over something, I find it helpful to think of God's love for me. I tell myself "If my kids can trust me, I can trust God". Because God is a WAY better parent than I could ever hope to be.
Even when it hurts and life is completely unmanageable.

Because God is good. He can't be otherwise. It's impossible in His nature to be bad.

The devil on the other hand, is the author of every sort of painful, evil thing to hit this planet: death, disease, sorrow, strife.

I don't want to keep practicing and honing my skills of worrying. I don't want to get so good at worrying that it becomes a way of life. Worry IS a sin...can be a habitual sin if we let it.

So when I find myself worrying about something{again}, I flick my wrist. And tell myself to STOP. And instead I pray the situation over to God.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". Philippians 4:6-7

The more I acknowledge and confess my worries to the Lord, the lighter my heart feels.

And though I still have a long way to go, my days have felt so much more peaceful letting go of trying to control things all the time. And slowly learning to trust.

Just wanted to let you know what has been on my mind and heart lately. 

February 19, 2013

on bright pink shoes

There is something you should know.

Since last week, I have been wearing bright salmon-pink sneakers every single day.

I feel positively wild.

Remember my silver sneakers? Well, they are dead to me.

Don't you think they look like old lady sneakers compared to my pink ones?

"What happened?", you might be wondering.

I really did try with these silver sneakers. I wore them faithfully for an entire month. At first they felt ok. But by the end of the month,  the sides of my legs felt strained. Making my knees hurt.

I  complained to Dr . W(my osteopathic doctor) and she said "let's have a look at your shoes". She examined them and said, "walk across the room for me". Which I did. She said "You pronate normally. These shoes are meant for someone who over pronates(turns or rotates). These are all wrong for you. See how thick this heel is is compared to the other? It is forcing your weight to shift to this one side, causing the leg/knee strain".

What a smart lady she is.

"Well humph!" I thought. I went to a special store and they sold me the wrong shoes. Dr. W. suggested I try to exchange them.

I brought them back and explained the rum situation. They were more than gracious and said I could exchange them. Eeep!

The girl brought out 2 pairs to try.

When she unveiled the pink shoes, my eyes lit up. Here was my chance to get some fun sneakers this time around!!!! Recall, last time I was a big dull dud and picked the neutral silver shoes. And I regretted that decision when I saw the workers zipping by in their fancy pants wild sneaks.

My older sister informed me that all the young folks are wearing wild bright sneakers and that they are all the rage. 

So I picked the wild pink ones and have been pleased as punch. Because they look yummy like punch. Never mind the fact that I usually hate the color pink. But these ones stole my heart and I'm a changed person.
I texted my older sister a pic of my new shoes and she put on her wild raspberry pink sneakers to celebrate.

Because that's what sisters do. They celebrate your new pink sneakers even if nobody else cares.

But I have learned my lesson not to get my hopes up too soon. We will have to see how my knees feel after wearing them for a month.

In the meanwhile, I will parade them around proudly.

If you ever get the chance to upgrade to a new sneaker, I highly recommend the bright wild pair. They will add extra pep to your step. 

February 14, 2013

love day

let us love{agapeo} one another  I John 4:7

In Precepts, this week, we learned some of the different Greek words for love.

- love of passion, based on body chemistry, and depends on being attractive to another person.
- is selfish. "I love you because you make me happy"
-looks for what it can get, and only gives in order to receive.
-very conditional.

-brotherly/sisterly love. the kind of love most people have for friends.
-responds to kindness and appreciation. it involves giving as well as receiving, but when greatly strained it can collapse in a crisis.
-higher level of love than eros, because it is OUR happiness rather than MY happiness.

-this love keeps on loving even when the loved one is unresponsive, unkind, unlovable, and unworthy
-is unconditional love... the most noble form and originates in God.
-desires only the good of the one loved; consuming passion for the well-being of others.
- used 329 times in bible...and not really found that much outside the bible.

In I John, we are called to agape love each other. This is the kind of love God has for us.


I actually kinda choked a little when I read the definition of agape love:
Keeps on loving even when the loved one is unresponsive, unkind, unlovable. 

Have you ever been in a situation where you really tried to love someone and they were unresponsive?

I have. It totally makes me want to give up. But I am instructed to keep on loving.

I don't know about you, but I fail in this department. It comes natural to love our children with agape love...that unconditional love...but it seems so much harder to use agape love on other people.

Quite honestly, I think I fall into the category of phileo love with my friends, more often than not.

That is sad. I feel convicted.

And the only way it is even remotely possible to agape love those who hurt us, is to tap into God's overflowing source of agape love. To love others with His love.

Just yesterday I got to practice this. A person kinda hurt my feelings a little(please don't alert the presses, it was really no big deal). And I get to choose whether to keep loving with agape love...or to let the friendship collapse under great strain with phileo love. Love is a choice. Not a feeling. And so I am asking God to help me love this person with His agape love.

On a lighter note, I am excited about my new metal print!

When I first saw these metal prints, I called my little sister Lindsay and suggested she get some. She was my guinea pig, so to speak.

She ordered some and we both liked them so much, that I finally ordered one too! Thanks Lin!

I was also inspired by sister Lindsay to buy these metal shelves. My little pot needs a cactus.

And sweet Loriloo made these cute little wooden people for me as a gift.

Happy Valentines Day! Now go love someone agape style!

February 11, 2013

hume in the winter

We brought the boys to Hume in the winter for the first time ever.

John and the boys had been dying to go to the snow for quite some time.
I had been avoiding going to the snow for quite some time.

The snow and I just don't click. It overwhelms me. I know a lot of you love the snow and I admire you deeply. Really. I'm impressed.

It's just so much work!  If I ever lived in the snow, I would have to have some sort of mudroom. With a bench. And right underneath the bench, I'd put the boot trays. All you would have to do was sit on the bench and take off your boots, and leave them right in the tray.

Duck face had a blast. Even though he peed his pants while sledding.

Finn, looking like a sullen teen.

Calvin, always happy.

Ollie was the champion this trip. He wins the award for most outrageously daring sledder.

We were kind of shocked. He used to be so timid.

He just climbed up the mountain and went down the sled run at top speed. Running over several junior highers at the speed of lightening like it was no big deal. Faster than all his brothers.

The first day, I did not watching the sledding. I was in the cabin watching Pride and Prejedice...the version with Keira Knightley. Here's the thing. I love P&P, but that Mr. Darcy played by Matthew Macfayden was extremely disagreeable. I could not like him at all. I MUCH prefer Colin Firth. And apparently I am not the only one. It's been said that Colin Firth has quite a few elderly fans as well. One of his fans was in the hospital, diagnosed with high blood pressure and was told not to watch any more "Pride and Prejudice". She was 103. Haaaaa.

So I went down today to watch some sledding and about had a heart attack when Ollie almost went straight over the bank at the bottom. (The bank is supposed to stop the kids from going toward the pond). Just about did me in altogether.

"He almost went over the bank!", I yelled to John.

"He actually did go over the bank earlier today", John admitted sheepishly.

"What????!!!!" I said, very alarmed.

"Yes, I was very nervous too", John said. Which is a shocker in and of itself. John is SOOOO laid back it's borderline ridiculous. For John to be nervous is very rare.

"I tried to stop him" John said. "He climbed too high up the mountain and picked up too much speed going down and I couldn't stop him. He just went flying over the bank".

Thankfully Ollie was not injured. He was instructed not to climb so high.

Jeepers. How on earth will I manage 4 boys? And they are still so small. What will they be like as teenagers?

Smiling for the camera.
One would never guess that I actually threw my Sense and Sensibility book at him while we were driving on the way up to Hume.


One of the dumbest fights we've ever had.

He took a wrong turn and kinda got disoriented and needed help with a map on his iphone.

I was reading my book.

He asked me to help with his phone and I thought he wanted me to navigate with the map how to get to Hume.

I politely refused. He got mad at me and criticized me for reading the book instead of helping him. I got frustrated because I can't read maps so I threw my book at him. Not very nice, I know.

I think most of our fights involve maps. And how to raise our boys.

Anyhow, turns out he just needed help trying to get the map to show up on his screen. He didn't expect me to read the map. I apologized for not helping with his phone and for throwing my book at him. He graciously accepted my apology and we made up. See? Totally dumb fight.

Aside from the book throwing incident and a few other misunderstandings, we had a delightful time visiting with John's family. They treated us like royalty.

What did you do for your 3 day weekend?

February 6, 2013

me? in a faux leather jacket?

I did not think it possible that I ever should wear a faux leather jacket.


Whenever I watched the show "What Not To Wear", I always groaned when Stacy and Clinton would ensemble an outfit with a leather jacket.

The outfit always looked so stern and serious. So formal and grown up.

I could not like it.

I went shopping at Target yesterday looking for a fun jacket or thick sweater to wear with my brown shoes. I only have a black jacket. And black jackets don't go with brown shoes, right?

I had been wearing my trusty cream hoodie sweatshirt with my brown shoes and I just felt like I needed something one step up for church and going out. Like I ever go out, but whatevs.

I searched through the racks of Target for some thick sweaters. And all those cute jackets I saw 2 months ago were gone.

Then I stumbled upon an entire rack of faux leather jackets. I kinda scorned them and moved on. Because remember? I don't do jackets like that.

Still no thick sweaters to be found.

"Fine", I told myself, "I will just grab some faux leather jackets and try them on. At this point, I just need something warm that matches my brown shoes. I don't care what it looks like".

I tried on 3 jackets and kind of fell in love. With all of them. Oh dear. What to do...what to do... They were all different and served a different purpose. And they were very affordable($39.99).

I brought some home and tried them on with different outfits.  I may or may not have gone to Target 3 or 4 times trying to figure things out.

Here are my top 2 picks.

1. This brown one. Because of the ruffle on back, obvi.

And because of the eyelet shoulders and sleeves--makes it more girly and romantic and less stern, in my opinion.

I don't even know who I am in this faux leather jacket! Does this mean I am hip now? Please don't answer that question. Just by asking if I am hip clearly means I am NOT.

And yes the pink target tag is still attached. When Finn took these photos, I was still undecided.

2. Distressed mauve faux leather jacket. Forgive these awkward pics. Clearly I am not a model and Finn is not a photographer.

This mauve jacket is not as interesting as the brown one, but I like it because it looks fine with the zipper open and matches my favorite brown belt...which is super crucial...because I wear this belt allll the time.

In sum. These jackets:
are warm.
go with my brown shoes/boots.
are relatively cheap.
make me feel more pulled together when I wear them.

So. What do you think of faux leather jackets in general?

February 4, 2013

guest post: jessica, on grace.

Today you get to hear from my dear friend Jessica{of Changing Seasons}.
I love Jessica.

One of my favorite memories of Jessica happened when she came over to my house one day with her kids. Ollie was having a hard day. Heck. He was having a hard year. He was having trouble sharing his toys and would cry whenever Jessica's son Elijah picked up one of his toys.

Stresssss! I was so mortified. I  just wanted her to like us, but Ollie was acting like such a punk to her son. I thought, she will never want to come back!

Instead of judging me, she took her son aside and said "Elijah, we need to give grace to Ollie. Remember how cranky you get with your toys when you are tired? We try to give you grace when you are like that, so you need to give Ollie grace."

I love that. I will never forget her kindness to us that day.

And even though we now live in different states(boooo), we find ways to keep our friendship alive and well. Jess and I occasionally have long chats on the phone, where we pour out our hearts with whatever we are dealing with.

Because we both struggle. With trials and sins in our own hearts. We both love the Lord, but that does not mean we are exempt from any of life's ugliness. Nope, we are the first to admit that we are far from perfect. But we really do try to live our lives for the glory of God...and often it helps to talk to someone who will tell you the truth, rather than flatter your vanity. You know what I mean? Sometimes people are afraid to tell you the truth. Not Jess. She tells me how it is. She speaks the truth in love.

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another". 
Proverbs 27:17.

Jess is piece of iron in my life.

Even though Jess is younger than I am, I feel that she is more wise and mature in many ways. Part of this I attribute to the fact that she was forced to grow up fast. But mostly it's because of God's grace in her life. I think you will understand more by reading her sweet testimony.
About a year after I was saved my pastor told me that when he looked at me all he saw was God's grace. It was so true. My life is nothing, but a picture of God's grace.  My life before Christ was a complete mess and it was only his mercy that pulled me out and saved me. I pray that my life is a continually reflection of Him. I'm grateful that Davi is letting me share my story.

My pretty much perfect life was turned upside down when I was six. One night I was trying my hardest to convince my oldest sister she wanted to let me sleep with her. I loved the idea of my own room, but in reality I always wanted to sleep with her. She usually let me, but tonight she wasn't budging until my parents stepped in and asked if she would please let me sleep with her. There was something they wanted to talk to us about. We laid there with my dad sitting on the edge of the bed next to Katie and my mom next to me. My mind was occupied with happy thoughts on how I'd won, when my dad told us that mommy was sick.

She had cancer.

The word was new then,  much different than the familiarity of it now. It was unknown, but sounded scary. Katie cried so I did too. I had no idea how much my life would change.

A new normal was created in our family over the next three years. We traveled all over the country for her treatments and spent months at a time with friends and family. I remember drawing picture after picture to decorate her hospital rooms with and I cried many nights wishing she was kissing me goodnight. My parents did an incredible job of making our lives as normal as possible. We were loved and cared for and although it was tough at times it was all we knew. Our life didn't seem that much different than other kids. My parents protected us from so much.

I never remember my mom complaining or even talking about being sick. Now, after reading her journals, I know how many days she spent throwing up and too sick to get out of bed. Her good days consisted of sitting up in bed or possibly making it to the living room. But I never saw it. It felt normal just to lay in bed with her. No rinse shampoo and self-administered shots was familiar in our home.  I questioned why God would let this happen to us, but every time I went to my mom about it she always took me back to the bible. She faithfully taught me and prayed with me.

I know her strong desire was to live and watch her children grow, but she KNEW God was sufficient for all out needs and completely trusted Him.

Her fight ended three years later.

I felt like I died too.

Some how I moved from day to day, but I didn't remember any of it. At first I'd cry so hard I couldn't move, but slowly, I started to push the tears away. I saved them for my pillow. I wanted to feel normal around my friends, but I couldn't move past it. I thought that if I didn't cry for her daily I was somehow betraying her. I remember one day I didn't cry. In fact I didn't even think of her. It tore me to pieces the next morning when I realized. I was so mad and promised myself it would never forget her again.

It wasn't long after she died that I started having dreams. I could see her across the room. It was so real. I could hear her voice and recognize all of her expressions. (These were the things that no matter how hard I tried I was forgetting.)  Complete excitement overcame me and I'd start running to her. Then, when I was just inches from hugging her she would vanish and I'd spot her somewhere else in the room. Every time I got near she moved before I could touch her. It was like a cruel joke. I daydreamed about how she could still be alive somewhere and someday I'd find her.

I knew God existed, but I didn't want to have any kind of relationship with him. I started living in complete rebellion. I was reckless and never thought of the consequences of my actions. I lived moment to moment. I didn't know how to follow God after he allowed my mom to die. I remember wanting to pray and at the same time hating him and wanting nothing to do with him. I feared man not God and wanted to fit in the world. I wanted to be just like all my friends and have a 'normal' life. I didn't really want to live, but I was scared to die. Relationship hurt and I didn't want that pain in my life so everyone, including my family, who loved me so much was kept at arms length. My life was complete chaos. I knew God wanted my heart, but I wasn't willing to give it. I was stubborn, but scared. I believed anyone I was close to God would take away. I lived in constant fear that at any moment I would loose them too.

It's funny, all the ways I tried to hide from pain and suffering only made things worse. I never felt peace or true joy. My grief over my mom turned to an obsession. I started to forget and hurt the people that I still had.  All my choices were leading me on a downward spiral. I lived one step away from consequences I wouldn't be able to come back from.

The end of my senior year of high school I started to feel a need to "live better." I had no idea what that meant, but I knew that I didn't like where my life was headed. I started to see the pain I caused my family and I wanted to stop, but I couldn't. I was too far down a road that I didn't know how to come back from.

I put aside the drinking and drugs for a time, but as soon as life wasn't easy, I had no where to turn. My freshman year of college I met a guy and was quickly back into my same way of life. This time was different though. I felt like everything inside me was crumbling to pieces. I hated it and didn't even find momentary pleasures. I saw the pain in my families eyes like I never had before. I could keep doing this to them. But what I saw in their faces was just a mirror of what I was doing to God.

 I'd run as far as I could run and I broke. I didn't know what else to do, but fall on my face and beg God to take me. I had nothing to offer, but I needed a Savior. He forgave me and loved me in a way I've never known before.

My life wasn't immediately fixed. I had a long road to walk to healing relationships and thinking clearly. I lived in such a fog for so long it took a long time in God's word to start thinking right. God never left me or forsook me though. For every battle I fought. For every long night. He was there. I screwed up again and again. And every time he never left. His faithfulness is never ending.

I never thought that I'd heal from my mom's death and even eighteen years later it can still hurt so bad. There is always a little ache in my heart. But God's given me complete peace about it. I even see incredible blessings he's brought to my life through it. I don't understand it and I don't think I ever will, but I completely trust God's plan in it all. Now when I cry over her there is no bitterness or anger. My tears are filled with just a pure sadness. They are something I can take to God and be comforted by him.
I just want to thank Jessica for coming on here and telling us something so near and dear to her heart. I know that Jess and I would be more than willing to pray for you if you are dealing with something difficult in your life. Feel free to contact us:)