Saturday, October 29, 2011

a little halloween preview.

kentucky continues to treat us so well. we love it here. it has really been a great visit. we have had so much fun with our family and ava with her cousins are priceless. it would be nice if we all lived in the same place. here are some pictures of our trip so far. a little fun at the mall. a surprise birthday dinner for allison and an elementary school dance party at my nephew's school. ava loved it. she wanted to dance on stage. i am not ready for that yet...

enjoy your saturday. ours has been good. started with ava sleeping in. some pedicures with my aunt who is in town from chicago. some shopping. now watching u of m football. more halloween festivities tonight. more piggy to come. i love the fall.

don't waste your saturday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ava loves her cousins.

kentucky never disappoints. i love it here. it was sad leaving angie and her sweet little silas but it helped that we were headed to see my sister's and my nieces and nephews. it made it easier to leave because we knew where we were headed. louisville.

it was my oldest sister's birthday on tuesday so we entered with balloons and champagne upon arrival. then some sushi with allison and her girlfriends. visit was starting off well. there is something special about hugging your sister when you walk in the door and you both cry. it means this love is deep. what a gift she is to me. i really am so thankful. we love a good birthday. it was pretty relaxed. a night on the couch watching bridesmaids with my big sister. can't beat it.

ava slept in this morning. love it. sometimes she surprises me. headed to starbucks to see sara and meet little baby cash for the first time. picture to come. ava loves baby cash. then it got even better when we picked up jack and ella from school. o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d does not even describe ava's love for big jack, wade, ella, little jack, and cash. i love it. there really is nothing better than seeing them all together. we miss you little drake. not much to share but some pictures. we are having fun. ava's misses her daddy. i do too.
we love a little birthday.
  this was the picture sara sent me while we were driving over to there house for all the kids to play. waiting patiently by the door for little ava to arrive. then they all smothered each other for the next two hours. it was perfect. 

i love that this trip happened. i love that it was not really planned and then it just happened. 

make the time for this. for your family and the people you love the most. it has been such a precious time so far...more to come this week.

do not miss our sponsors from this month. offering some great deals just for you. check um out HERE.
if you would like to advertise your goods with us email me at

when possible...make sure your kids know their cousins. it melts my heart to see them love each other.

Monday, October 24, 2011

we are away.

i have been going back and forth in my head over the last month or so about taking a road trip with ava to kentucky to visit family and friends. justin is gone this up coming weekend so i thought it would be fun for ava to celebrate halloween with her cousins. i was going to drive and leave thursday and come home tuesday. well on friday morning our plans changed a bit. i bought a one way plane ticket home from ky to va and made the drive with justin's mom and ava yesterday. she was headed back after spending a week with us. so now my five day trip is now a nine day trip! woo woo. since our trip was extended we made a much needed pit stop in lexington to see some dear friends. last night just the girls sat and talked about life, babies, and the Lord. after everyone headed home angie and i decided to stay up until 2am and talk about where we are at now. our pain. our struggles and how the Lord is meeting us in the midst of it all. she is a good friend. all these ky girls are so good to me and ava got to be around them too. bonus.

since my time is limited and words are few because i want to hang out with my friends and angie she is going to help me with my short hair and style it since i have no idea how to do my own hair.

our day today. a little bookstore. which i miss so much. i have such great memories of the time justin and i spent there when we first were dating.

it's been a good day. kids are napping. more from kentucky comin' your way this week. it's gonna be good. 

don't waste your chance to take impromptu little trips. being with friends that matter the most and family. oh, man i love kentucky and the people in this state. excited for a week with my two out of three sisters and ava playing with her cousins. ahh. seriously excited.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

what does the rooster say?

something cute for you this weekend from ava. 
please try & ignore my voice if you can. i had no idea i sounded like that.
watch the short video HERE.

Friday, October 21, 2011

don't waste your space: our new house.

i love to decorate. i may not be the best or the most creative but i definitely enjoy it. it has been so fun to see all our furniture in this house look so different simply by being in a new space. when we discussed moving i told justin that where we lived really mattered to me. after living in the river house i know now that i do better in a place where i feel comfortable. a place i am proud of and excited about. somewhere i want people to be. what i love is that it is not about having a big brand new fancy house...just a home. a simple place we love to be. the location is perfect. it is a fun area with character and lots of life. students. professors. families. young couples. i really like it here.

i have loved the process of making this house into our home and the decorating process along the way.

the first room we will look at is our living room.

i am sorry i did not take any pictures of the projects along way. only the final product. i will work on that for next time. also our camera lens is getting fixed so all the pictures were taken on my iphone. i have never claimed to take good pictures but seriously the lighting and the quality are pretty bad.

i have bought nothing new for this house...yet. but used all our furniture. just changed it up a bit.

1. the bench (bought at a thrift store last year. painted it white and changed the fabric on the cushion. the trick is having an eye for what something that could be.)  it used to be used at our kitchen table covered in a cream and red damask print. but in this house with a new color scheme we covered the bench with a cream and yellow stripe. it was pretty easy.

*measured the surface.
*bought the fabric and stapled it over the old cushion. i did take the damask off because it would have showed through.
*the trick is to hold the fabric tight before you staple to keep it from rippling (it may take two people) and it's done.

2. next thing we did was re-purpose one of our espresso bookcases from target. we were given two as a gift from justin's mom when we moved to chesapeake. there original purpose was being used on either side of our t.v in our condo. we put pictures, books, and decor on them. in the townhouse they were used as nightstands in our bedroom. in the river house they were used in ava's room for her books and pictures. now they have been split up. one is the living room and the other is in the basement.

*measure the back of the bookshelf.
*bought fabric. i found an inexpensive piece that was not enough for anything big but perfect for the bookcase.
*came home cut the exact size i needed and we taped it around the back. what was nice about these bookcases is that back of the shelf was very easy to remove. just unscrewed a few screws and screwed it back on. we chose to tape it on so that i can easily change it up as i want to.

3. spray painted two glass lamps. we found these lamps last year for like $3.50 each and just bought new drum shades for them. my sister in law, sara painted them red for the river house. i am not using any red in this new house so i knew i needed to change the color. i was not really worried about this project because sara did it no problem last year.

not the case this time. not at all. it was a huge hassle.

finally decided on a color. i chose slate blue. my mom said make sure you spray lightly or else it will drip. i didn't listen. i sprayed too much and too close and ruined them. so i had to used cheap black spray paint and painted over it and then with paint thinner wipe all the color off the lamps. i used a little sand paper too. they were then the original gross tan color. this was challenge because the lamps are glass and therefore you need a specific type of spray paint. because the slate blue paint did not work i choose to go with the exact brand we had used for spraying them red. my color choices were real limited. but i did want a pop of color so i went with bright yellow.

*started with the original glass lamps. no paint on them
*use painters tape to cover the hardware.
* sprayed them with light coats of yellow. i needed two cans because i had a hard time getting it even and bright enough.

although these ended up being way more work than i had anticipated i love the color and did not have to buy new lamps. love it.

4. bar stool. our good friend susan got us this bar stool for extra seating on the porch at the river house. we covered it first with red fabric and then covered it with this yellow chevron. i love this fabric. i bought it a while back from a clearance bin at a fabric store. it was an odd shape but i bought it anyways and it works perfect for the stool.

*we cut the size we needed and holding it very tight to keep it from rippling we stapled like crazy. done.

the two benches and the bar stool have been perfect for us since we often have a lot of people in our living room and it is not that big. we put felt pads on the bottom of all our furniture so we can easily slide them and move them around as we need to and the hardwood floors stay protected. for example, yesterday morning at 7am we had area prayer here for young life with some of the leaders and we had 20 or so people in our living room. the extra seating is nice and they serve dual purposes. they are cute. the large bench has storage under it and the small bench is great side table to set things on. the bar stool is really just another place to sit. but i can't get over my love for chevron.

5. curtains. i did not like any of the window treatments when we got into this house. so i gently folded them up and placed them in a bag and set them in the attic. we are renting this house so all the decor we are doing is simply cosmetic. things we can take with us when we leave or minor inexpensive options. i could not afford window treatments for the entire house so we needed to prioritize. thankfully all the windows have the privacy shutters that i think are quaint and cute. i decided that treatments on the large bay window in the living room would be the most important area for curtains. we first bought some tan drapes from bed bath and beyond. i sometimes buy things because they are a good price. not because i love them. i have decided that it is important to love something. by no means do i have much money for decorating. so i am very cost savvy. but i do not think that means using items you do not love.

*measured window treatments.
*bought fabric. awesome waverly fabric from the clearance section for $5 a yard. that is real inexpensive for good legit fabric. i went bold. way more color than i tend to use. but i am trying not to be scared of color.
*bought real cheap curtain rods from walmart for 97 cents.
*sewed. my mom did it but taught me on the way.
*then hung them up.

5. little bench. i bought this bench from country boy in norfolk, va. i love it. my friend ali introduced me to it. it had a real cute floral print on it. real antique looking. but they were not my colors. so we recovered it.

*used left over green and white fabric from the bookcase.
*we add a little more cushion with an old towel.
*we stapled the new fabric right over the old fabric. real tight. trying to keep the pattern straight.
i love a staple gun. everyone should own one.

6. pillows. we did not make any but we bought them this time. but my mom did add a cute button to add some flare. the pillows are from target. the red was only $4.50. great deal for a pillow. they are perfect because i wanted to bring in some of the colors from the floral curtains.

7. bird cage. i think they are cute and kind trendy right now. i bought it at a thrift store this past spring. it was red and black. perfect for our place on the river. then my friend borrowed it for a wedding and painted it cream.  i love the color so it was one less thing to paint when we arrived. my mom bought hydrangeas from micheal's and placed them in the bottom of the cage in the colors from the curtains. i bought the little bird from a store called a ten thousand villages. this place has a great mission. i thought it was cute so she hangs in the birdcage and ava is obsessed with it. i try and tell her not to touch it but she does anyways. i really don't care. pick my battles.

the mantle is not done.
yup we like large prints of ava. seriously. we do. no art work really for us. not that we do not like it or appreciate it. but with a photographer in the family you can't pass up the stunning pictures she has taken of ava over her little lifetime.

what i love about our home is that it feels like us. i think you can create a space that reflects who you are and not spend a lot of money. it is so thrifty to use spray paint to switch something up or use new fabric for a quick and easy change.

sneak peek of a project in the guestroom. i think i looooooove the color.

don't waste your space & enjoy the weekend.

ava is getting some extra special attention from her roma this week who came in for the week from ky. they have been crafting, baking, going for walks, and reading a ton. nothing like time with your roma.

Sometimes you can find a Kmart coupon for a lot of these cute decorating ideas.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

long over due.

i have said this before and i will say i again but it is so very true. what we write on this blog. the pictures we share and videos we make are just a small window into our life. you can not possibly document everything or share every little piece of your life. i do not think we are meant to. but i do love that this has become a place where we share our lives. what we are learning. how we are growing and where we are headed.

but sometimes things get missed. it was just such a busy july and a whirlwind of a summer. i did share this first part so start there. here we go. 

i did fly out at 8pm that night. but around 6pm justin offered to keep ava at home so i could really get away and be with my friends. although the sweet but challenging aspects of traveling and trying to connect with friends you barely see with a little ava running around..sounded sounded way better to make this trip solo. after a few mass text messages to friends we had the next three days covered for when justin was working. thank you girls for rallying and making it happen. it honestly changed this entire trip for me. it came at such a great time because the night before i left we had shared the news of our upcoming move to harrisonburg with our young life committee. they are not just a committee but family. these people not only helped us through cancer this past year but honestly made it possible by cooking meals, babysitting and cleaning. i literally ached in pain as we talked about where the Lord was leading us and that we were in fact moving. i know now that people. especially people you love just need a second to process and let things settle in. but those moments were heart wrenching for me. so after many tears and some severe anxiety my husband said...

"please go. rest with your friends. i got ava."

i did hesitate for a moment. going back and forth in my head. it is funny as a parent. even when you want a "break" you really do not always want to actally follow through with that. but sometimes it is necessary. it was good for me. justin and ava too. they had some really special time together those four days. so i left. all by myself even though it felt odd like i was missing something. but she was safe at home.

our time was spent at my friend Britt's parents house in rural ohio who literally treated us like we were at a bed and breakfast. honestly. the beds were "turned down" at night.  extravagant meals were made for us and brought pool side. it was incredible. we spent our time in the pool. talking. eating. shopping. watching movies. doing what girls do best. being so intentional with one another knowing our time was limited. we shared life. husbands. work. about babies. the difficulties in getting pregnant. the loss of a baby. cancer. marriage troubles. new relationships. in many ways we were all shocked to see how much as happened in each of our lives from the seemingly careless days of college just five years ago.

what i cherish the most about this time is that this is it. for me this is the only time i see these girls. some of my best friends in the world and we only get a few days once a year. but we do it. we make it happen and we will do the same thing next year. even when life gets crazy and money is tight we make it happen. maybe next year it will be all 6 of us for the first time ever.

there is something so precious about being known. like really known. the honesty and the vulnerability to share what is hard. ugly. bad and sometimes even embarrassing. right along side the joy. but with these girls you have it all. after moving a few times since college i know how much i cherish being known. having history with people. i know every relationship starts somewhere and you build from there. i am experiencing that right now in our new town. i am looking forward to being known here too. but there is something easy and relaxing about being with people where you can be you. just you. all the good and the bad. they love you for all of that. that is what i took away from this time in ohio. that the Lord brought us together back in 2002 on first timmer at calvin college in grand rapids, mi. our leaves were meant to intertwine and grow. even from four different states we a continue to share life with one another. when months go by in between phone calls or emails stop for while. we know we are all in this together. we pick up where we left off. that is just what you do. i love you and cherish you.

a glimpse of our trip.

we take our mexican food seriously.
 we headed to a little random hippie town nearby.

he sang for us. on the street right outside the grocery store. classic hippie town and a tree was wearing a sweater.
i had to imitate what a nice man from the aveda salon did to me as he demonstrated how there product would transform my hair.

we came and ate this fancy meal.

my sweet friends gave me that necklace as a memento for this past year. we had given bethany a necklace similar to this when she lost her sweet baby leyton in july of 2009. the necklace even had dwyc (don't waste your cancer) engraved on the back. i love it. thank you. it is perfect. it will always remind me each of you and the way you loved me and cared for me through cancer. in so many different ways.

we spent the rest of the night talking. hoping it would never end. but it did. like they always do. but our time was sweet and necessary and rejuvenating. i know it was for me. thank you for being my friends and loving me the way that you do. i have many many relationships that are important to me. it is hard to maintain some of them and time gets away from you and life happens. but i know it is imperative to make the time. make it happen. do what you need to do to and not waste the relationships in our lives. we may not always do it right and we we will fail. period. but i believe our hearts were made for friendships that last and run deep.  just be real and intentional. i am beyond grateful for the many friendships in my life that i know run so so deep.

don't waste the people around you.