Thursday, January 14, 2016


It's Parker's 16th birthday and all I can think about is exceeded expectations. Almost every blog post about him is about that, too. That says it all really. He has always been the joyful surprise in my life. Smarter, more clever, stronger, more handsome, and wiser than I could have ever dreamed. 

Parker you keep us laughing with your quick wit and you are a champion oldest brother. I love watching you play sports, you have so much talent for being part of a team. You help me wrangle the minions and only sometimes, become one yourself. 

Cheers to 16 years! Have courage as you navigate these next few years that will shape your future. As always, we will be on the sideline cheering you on.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Christmas past

I have been using Google photos lately to back up my photos online. They have a neat feature that puts together a collage for you. These two popped up right around Christmas. The last collage is one I made from this year.

Still making gingerbread houses and being our weird selves. I love a good timehop.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

2015 felt difficult, cultivated growth, and stretched our hearts. 
These are some of the photos I manage to snap through the year. 
Cheers to 2016!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bathroom Redo

   If you have ever spent time with my husband, you will eventually learn of his distaste for social media. I love Instagram and the connections I have fostered through Facebook. I experiment with Twitter, mostly as a follower of people that interest me. And this blog has been an 8 year digital scrapbook of sorts. Social media has become a daily interaction for me.

   Despite his reservations about our family's presence in cyberspace, this post has my husband's full support. Whenever we do a house project, he asks if I am going to put it on the blog, if I have taken pictures for the blog, etc. Which is ironic because I am usually so caught up in the DIY that the documenting is the last thing on my mind. Having said that, here is what I captured of the basement bathroom redo from this summer.

   This is best I could find for a before picture.

   The floor was not damaged downstairs but the linoleum that was in there left a lot to be desired. I had been swooning over penny tile for awhile so I thought this was our chance. Matt and his mom were so great, in a matter of days they patched drywall, added texture,  and painted.

   That piece of ceiling above the toilet is where I noticed the ceiling sagging and upon investigating, my entire hand went through the ceiling. I joked in my distress that the sh*t had literally hit the (bathroom) fan!

      If we were not in a rush to get out of the hotel we were staying in and we did not have a strict budget, we would have had the entire bathroom drywall replaced and textured by a professional. It would have been more than the insurance was going to cover and somehow I imagine another crack at this when our 4 children are older. This shower gets a lot of use!
   As I mentioned, I really wanted the penny tile. We found these hexagon shaped small tiles at Lowe's and decided to pair the white tiles with a charcoal grout. Less cleaning! Matt and I had no experience tiling, and it shows. We also felt sore for a week after this. The cleaning up of the grout really got shorted because we both were achy from laying the tile.
    I like the floor but we were in way over our head. I think if we had it to do again I would stain/paint the concrete floor that was under the linoleum. It was in great shape and would have been quite functional for the heavy traffic in here.

    We had a plumber get the toilet and sink hooked back up. We do not mess with plumbing around here, especially when it was a leak that started this whole disaster.
Matt hung an additional piece of molding when he replaced the baseboards so that I could have many hooks along the wall. I thought it added interest and functionality. We have never had any luck with towel bars at our house, too many boys that want to be Tarzan. Originally everything was a standard white. I liked how clean and bright it was because there is no natural light in there.
   But as we lived with it, it was apparent that we are not in the bright and white stage of life. I found a nice gray, Silver Screen by Glidden, that still kept it light. The real kicker was the shower curtain I found at World Market. It brought the whole vision I had together.

   It is hard to photograph this small space but here are my best attempts. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

home sweet home

   When we purchased our home 16 months ago, there was no back yard. And there is still no back yard. I know, anti-climactic. The idea was to get going on a brick patio this summer, fix the wonky fence, and throw down some grass seed. Instead, our upstairs bathroom leaked into our downstairs bathroom in June. We spent the summer repairing the downstairs bathroom. We decided to DIY it as much as possible and that is why we haven't finished the upstairs bathroom. DIY is exhausting and takes so much time. Not going to lie, it was a huge bummer. The house was remodeled before we bought it so we were not planning on any major overhauls, other than the back yard.

   I am trying to put on my gratitude glasses and shift perspective. I did hang twinkle lights. Everything looks better with twinkle lights. I did plant some pots and manged to grow flowers, herbs, and  eggplants.
   I did manage to sip tea outside on summer mornings when the hot air balloons were drifting overhead. I did manage to paint the front door a few times.

   (She told me she wanted to be red.)
   I did plant some lavender to trying to keep the neighborhood cats away. I did enjoy watching the boys mow and weed whack.

   I did savor many meals Matt grilled up. Or one of his many perfectly golden marshmallows in a s'more. I did enjoy hilariously told ghost stories around the fire and the sounds of Kaleb playing the guitar.

   I did go on stunningly beautiful walks through the nature reserve that is just blocks from our home.
   I did give our bedroom wall a moody makeover.
   I did hang up the #summerselfieseries I enjoyed with Koen this year. The laundry room has never made me happier.
   And lastly, I did relish every bouquet gathered from other people's gorgeous yards. Ours will come someday, along with a new upstairs bathroom. As the only female in this tribe, the days of two toilets can't come soon enough!