grow up

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I do not have a green thumb. But I love to plant things and watch them grow! My girls have inherited this love as well (but let’s be honest, what kid hasn’t inherited a love of digging in the dirt?) and so one of my “small beginnings” has come in the form of “gardening”.

I use that term loosely.

My litmus test of what will be good plants for my yard/garden is whatever is still alive after I’ve forgotten to water it for a week. We’ll get more of that plant.

My mother-in-law sent our 3 year old a little seed growing kit for Christmas, and we had so much fun with it.

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egg carton flower garden

egg carton flower garden

It came with 6 different types of seeds. They all grew. Only one got transplanted into a bigger container and eventually made it into our yard landscaping.

nasturtium

And the winner is: nasturtiums!

watering can

My goal one day is to grow some vegetables, but we’ll stick with the small stuff right now. I’m forming habits and getting my girls outside everyday, and hopefully instilling a love of tending and caring for God’s earth. I get to explain the different types of plants we have in our yard, and they love to help with watering and transplanting and digging and then watching lizards and eventually swinging while I pull weeds.

Baby steps.

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why didn’t I think of that?

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I was honestly very turned off to the idea of blogging, because, who am I? There are millions of other voices out there, lives being lived, people doing amazing things, and documenting them.

Won’t I just be white noise?

I also don’t think I’m very creative. I’m more of a “tweaker”. I take other people’s ideas and “tweak” them to make them my own based on my needs and resources and preferences. And there are tons of ideas out there, but if we’re honest, there is very rarely a “one size fits all”. Just read the comments below any DIY projects and recipes and you’ll see what I mean.

I also realized, that the more I look for ideas online, I love finding everyone’s variations. So maybe “white noise” is what’s so great about the online community. And the world.

I can’t discount my voice without discounting everyone else’s.

So, about this post. I probably should have entitled this one “Small Beginnings; a continuance” or something along those lines. One of my small changes has been to start a blog. It’s much more intimidating than pinning stuff on Pinterest (although I’m relatively new to the pinning world, which still intimidates me). But it motivates me. This blog serves as a great reminder of things I’ve accomplished and special times I’ve been able to share with others. I feel guilty when I haven’t written anything for 6 months, but I don’t stay there because life is a process. It’s full of mountains and valleys. And honestly I don’t like reading blogs that always start out apologizing for not having written anything for months. Well, this is my first time reading your blog, so I wouldn’t have known except you told me. The internet doesn’t control my life, it can enhance it, but it does not take away from it. I can’t let it!

Blogging has also motivated me to learn new things to share with others. And to let my husband know what I’m home doing all day.

 

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Which right now involves a lot of time

[coloring, pretending, playing, tea partying, snacking, learning, singing, dancing, drawing, creating, running, laughing, loving]

with these little girlies.

So, sorry if I don’t write anything for another couple months.

small beginnings

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Don’t despise the day of small beginnings

The more “mom” blogs I read, the more I notice a recurring theme: unworthiness.

It’s not all the time, and it comes in many forms, but when it comes down to it, most moms just feel like we aren’t doing enough. Or at least like we could be doing more.

The good things about these “unworthy mom” blogs is that they are all very encouraging in nature. We are all in this struggle together, and the more I read about other women battling piles of laundry and dishes and crying babies and pee on the floor and a kid who doesn’t do what other kids do, etc., the more I feel like my life is normal and perfectly ok because my kids are well loved and I’m not in this alone.

I do feel, however, that just like browsing Pinterest, simply reading these blogs are only half the battle. Now that I have some encouragement to get me off the floor, I need to start somewhere, doing something, lest I start the cycle over again. I’m reminded of the sanctification aspect of our salvation. God made me alive, and I can rest in Him. Justification. But faith without works is dead. And even though I have confidence in my salvation, doing nothing to work towards being more holy (as He is holy) leaves me feeling like a corpse. Or at least unconscious. I’m all about a good nap, but once you are feeling refreshed, get to work!

I’m hoping to encourage my (4) readers over the next few blogs, by giving a little glimpse into my “small beginnings” that have been taking place over the last year. Or 2. I can’t remember. I will be linking to some encouraging blog reads that have lifted me up, as well as little changes in my family’s life that, though small, have made a big impact on my mental state and sense of accomplishment as a mother and wife and woman of God.

Don’t despise the day of small beginnings. This was a quote from a sermon my pastor preached a while back. It was about getting involved in the life of the church, even if all you’re doing is holding the door for people as they walk in. Nobody looks down on you because you’re not on stage preaching, or you don’t have an organic garden, or your 2-year-old can’t quote Shakespeare. But you will start to look down on yourself if you think that’s where you need to start! Have big dreams but realistic goals. You want to speak truth to a crowd? Go out for coffee with a neighbor and just listen. You want to grow a garden? Plant some herbs in a window sill garden. Think your kid should be smarter? Spend some time reading and singing with them.

#smallbeginnings

bathroom(s) remodel(s)

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I’m very impressed with my husband. He managed to finish a complete bathroom remodel in about 2 weeks (with some help).  I’m talking complete, as in tearing out a full bath, down to the studs, moving plumbing, new air vents, exhaust fan, installing pipes and electrical…the whole nine yards.

And he has to do it again. Well, not the demo part.

Let me explain.

Our house is 2 bedroom, 1 and a half bath. The full bathroom used to be a long, inefficient waste of space that was necessary to daily functioning. And we had to share with 2 (rapidly) growing little girls.  With a little finagling (and a brother-in-law who has CAD on his computer), we came up with a design that turned our one bathroom, linen closet, and our bedroom closet into 2 bathrooms (yay, master bath!)

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(just imagine a really long counter to the right with only one sink)

As you can see, there was no use made of the left wall, and the space was rather narrow. And please don’t ask about the “creative” texture job. It was like that when we moved in and I painted it with leftover paint from my folks’ house. It had been lavender (as you can see where I didn’t paint behind the medicine cabinet). 

Any way, here’s what my husband did (like I said, with help) :

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This view is from the same angle, only the space has been widened (thanks to closet space).  The framing in the center is what will divide the space into two bathrooms.

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And this is a view from our bedroom (used to be closet) and will now be the doorway to our own master bath 🙂

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And this is semi-finished, I think we had just finished the flooring (hence the lamp in the bathtub).

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And there it is! Since this picture, we have put a mirror up, but I haven’t quite finished decorating the bathroom yet. Also, the master bath is still in progress since the priority was to get the family bath done (I stayed at my mom’s with our girls for the 2 weeks our house was a construction site). 

Here’s my idea collage, plus a sneak peek for my ideas for the master bath:

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have you got the time?

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Did you know that having a 2 year old and a 10-month old is time consuming?

And exhausting? 

And completely and utterly worth every late night, early morning, and 5-minute floor nap (from which you wake because your 10-month old dropped a book on your face)!

Aaaaand in the midst of all this…

…we are planning a bathroom remodel (actually turning one bathroom into two).

what were we thinking?!

Needless to say, I’ve been very busy. And tired. And blogging isn’t way up there on my priority list. 

But I’m here now! And I can’t wait to share some of the before and after pictures (and some during). 

Alas, I can’t stay long, as I’m in the “thick of growing babies” (do you love that phrase? I read it here, this blog is amazing, and is also where I got some neat graphic print ideas for our bathroom remodel). 

Live in the now and glorify God.

100 things

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if you google “100 things”, you’ll come up with a few different things.  mostly challenges (get rid of 100 things, only keep 100 things, etc).  i ran across a fun website that was dedicated to art and doodling and creativity, and one of the things i found on this website was a list of 100 ideas.  they were ways to spark creativity and imagination.  i quickly started work on my own 100 things list of ways to be creative, in hopes to one day hang it up in my house where my girls can look at it and be inspired on those rare (read:daily) occasions they come to me, dragging their arms behind them declaring “i’m bored!” i borrowed a couple ideas from this website, then made somewhat more age-appropriate ones for my own list.  

i hope this inspires you today, no matter what your age! creativity should be shameless and  ageless 🙂  

 

100 things 

1. go for a walk. draw or list the things you find 2. write a letter to your future self 3. find a piece of poetry you like. rewrite it 4. find a photo of a person you do not know. write a short story about them 5. spend the day drawing only red things 6. draw your favorite tree 7. write a haiku 8. hang upside down 9. make a puppet 10. read a book in one day 11. illustrate a grocery list 12. write a letter to someone you admire 13. fill an entire page in your journal with small circles. color them in 14. make a mini book 15. create a character based on someone you know 16. recall your favorite childhood game 17 put postcards on the inside of your cabinet doors 18. draw the same object every day for a week 19. cut out all media for one day. write about the effects 20. list your ten most important things (not people or animals) 21. list ten things you would like to do every day 22. write a list of ten things “to-do” and do the last thing on the list 23. create an image using dots 24. draw the sun 25. create instructions for a simple, every day task 26. find a photo. alter it by drawing over it 27. write about or draw some of the doors in your life 28. make a postcard 29. list ten of your habits 30. give away something you love 31. organize your closet (by season, type of clothing, color, etc) 32. put on the fanciest clothes you own. take pictures 33. describe yourself in ten words 34. do a crossword puzzle with the opposite hand. in pen 35. make a word-search 36. write out your favorite song lyrics. frame them and hang them up 37. write a passage of Scripture 38. light a candle 39. have a candle-lit lunch 40. watch a black and white movie 41. make a journal for someone 42. drink only water for an entire day 43. design a house you would like to live in one day 44. don’t buy anything except necessities for one week 45. make a list of what you would have bought, including price 46. give that money away 47. have a picnic 48. create a restaurant menu 49. practice writing the alphabet with the opposite hand 50. find an old piece of furniture you can paint 51. create a crossword puzzle 52. bake cookies 53. paint a picture of your favorite bird 54. make a diorama 55. memorize a verse from the Bible 56. practice talking with an accent 57. design a clock 58. pretend you are a fashion designer and create a line of clothing 59. draw the moon 60. put black construction paper over the end of a paper towel tube and poke holes in the end to make a constellation 61. make shadow art 62. try a new recipe 63. make a list of every person you know 64. imagine what you want to be when you grow up 65. research your favorite animal 66. go to the library 67. recreate a famous pice of art 68. put bird seed out in your yard 69. name all the birds that come 70. make up stories about the birds 71. feed the ducks by the lake 72. paint a picture outside 73. dye hardboiled eggs 74. learn how to sew a button 75. imagine what it would be like to live in another part of the world 76. what about another time period? 77. imagine what you will ask God when you get to heaven 78. write down your prayers in a journal 79. write down God’s answers to those prayers 80. learn about the stars in your sky 81. if you were shipwrecked, what would you do? 82. plant a garden 83. bake a cake 84. be a vegetarian for a day 85. practice another language 86. plan a wedding 87. have a tea party 88. make a card for someone you love 89. make a card for someone you don’t love 90. bake cookies for your neighbors 91. have your neighbors over for dinner 92. give away seven items of clothing 93. make something new out of something used 94. make your own toothpaste 95. imagine that you lived upside down 96. create your own language 97. don’t eat any sugar for a day 98. make recycled paper 99. talk to someone you’ve never met 100. pray for the world

weeks 2 and 3

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Making dinner twice a week is hard! And I’ve yet to try a new recipe, but I think I found one that I’m pretty excited about.  It’s baked potato and cheddar broccoli soup, done partly in the crock pot.  My kind of meal! I just need to get an immersion blender.

My whole family has been sick for the last couple days, except me! And my mother-in-law is coming to visit tonight.  Needless to say, I hope she doesn’t mind the laundry and dishes.  I have managed to keep a handle on disinfecting and washing everything Jovie has sneezed on.  Anti-bacterial wipes are my new best friend.

Oh, I almost forgot! Brian the Bunny has a new home! My good friend, Donica took him.  She loves him just as much as we do, and since she doesn’t have kids yet, she will be able to give him the love and attention he needs.

We are well on our way to making our house a home more befitting of our needs.  My husband pulled out an awkward pantry and put up open shelving in its place.  We put the pantry out by our curb and a lady we know who runs a women’s shelter asked if she could take it because they are starting a food pantry.  I am so excited to see God do things like that! I know it’s little, but the more we give away, the more more we are blessed and able to bless others.  I was also able to give her a box of food and a bunch of tupperware and cookware we never used (this stuff sat in said pantry, behind closed doors for about 3 years).

Wow. This was quite the random post! Well, back to cleaning and disinfecting! I am so excited for Grandma to get here!

Week 1

{on cooking}

I’m pretty proud of myself!  We had 2 home-cooked meals this week (one my husband made) and my (almost) 2 year old ate half a “Greek” salad for dinner!  (I put Greek in quotes because it’s my version of a Greek salad…no beets or olives, extra feta and cucumbers…)

{on de-cluttering}

My husband has been steadily working on cleaning our garage out and everything we’ve put by the curb has been taken within a few days (you know what they say about a person’s trash…seems to be very true in our neighborhood)!

I’m still having to take my resolutions day-by-day.  It’s been fun though because these simple changes I’m making allow for more freedom and inspiration in other areas of life.  For example: one goal was to de-clutter.  To reach that goal, we’ve been making it a point to keep our dining room table cleaned off.  This in turn helps with my other goal of preparing 2 home-cooked meals a week because we are able to eat these at said table like a family.  We get to sit together at said table and eat dinner like a family!

{on sewing}

On a seemingly different note, and possibly another (future) blog post, we haven’t used our coffee maker in 3 days.

Shock.

No, we haven’t given up our sweet, aromatic, with subtle chocolate and nut undertones drug-of-choice.  We are brewing our java using a pour-over brewer.  Best. Coffee. Ever.

This brings me to my “learn how to use my sewing machine” goal.  I am going to make my own reusable cloth coffee filters.  The one I’ve seen to purchase run about $10-12 each.  While that is still cheaper than paper filters, I think I can make them for even cheaper.  Plus, I’ll get to try different kinds of fabric and see which works best for the best brewing experience possible.  I think I just came out of the closet as an official “coffee nerd” with that last statement.

To end this, I just wanted to post a few links to some sites that are really inspiring my imagination!

An idea for my girls’ room.

Organizing my thoughts and ideas for our home.

New pillows for my living room.

Just the easiest/coolest idea ever.

New floors?

Making the best use of a small space, and an even smaller space.

I basically want to paint everything strie.

Play kitchenette for my girls.

Stamps!

 

hello, hello

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Hello, 2013! Ready or not, here you are! And here I am, again.  The beginning of a new year.  This could be the start of something…or I could just finish everything I started last year.  See, you are full of possibilities!

There are things about myself I wish I could change.  Like the fact that I’m not a morning person.  Or an adventurous, spontaneous person.  But, I don’t think those are the types of things you can change with resolutions.  Well, not this year, at least.  I like my sleep.  And my comfort zone.

There are other things, however, that this year I would really like to change!  About myself, my habits, my home, my relationships, etc.  So here they are.  In writing.  For the world to see.  At least, the .0000000000004 % of the world that reads my blog : )

4 simple goals (before 2014)

1. Home-cooked meals-

My goal for this is to cook dinner twice a week.  This would be huge for me since I’m not a meal planner.  And I have 2 kids under the age of 2.

-with one new recipe a month

I really want my girls to have the expansive palette their father has and expose them to food that my mom didn’t cook for me that I now love (like spinach and zucchini).

– that are healthy 

I’ve learned that most of the quick meals I make are not the healthiest and severely lacking in fresh veggies.

2.  Decorate with purpose-

In my 5 years of marriage, my husband and I have never decorated our bedroom! Not even paint or a picture on the walls.  My sister sent me a link to this website, and I have been hooked!  I’m hoping to come up with a design scheme for our bedroom and implement it this year (on a budget).  I also want to add some finishing touches to the rest of my house, and really hone in on a specific style and stick with it.

-and De-clutter

This is something we are already working on.  With an 1100 sq ft house, clutter and unnecessary items make it seem that much smaller.

3.  Learn how to use my sewing machine

I have some ideas for projects that would make decorating my house more personalized and inexpensive…if I just knew how to use the darned machine I’ve had for a year and a half…

4. Designate media time-

While I’d love to blog more, I already spend way too much time on the internet.  So this year I want to implement some media rules for our family.

-and plan family time

Which means more prep-work for me.  I am blessed to have an almost 2-year old who loves to watch movies, but now I’m getting better adjusted to having 2 kids, it’s time for me to step it up and save the movies for rainy days.  And sick days.

{inspiration}

I am really looking forward to this year!

What are some of your resolutions?

goodbye, hello

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These last 4 months have been so busy, let alone 2012! All my best laid plans to stay up after the babies went to bed and complete my to-do lists ended up falling asleep too!

I wanted to post a little ‘year in review’ type thing before posting some resolutions.  I never do resolutions (I’m afraid of commitment, ask my husband).  I thought the new year would be as good a time as any to start becoming the wife, mother, daughter, and friend that I know I can be and desperately want to be.  Not that I think I’m failing or anything, but if your life couldn’t use any improving…you might be dead.

With that said, here are some glimpses into my year!

my Jovie turned 1!

my Jovie turned 1!

my Grandpa went home on Easter Sunday...my Grandpa went home on Easter Sunday…

Jovie got her wings

Jovie got her wings

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first beach trip

first beach trip

Boy or Girl

found out Jovie was going to be a big sister!

baby shower

baby shower

celebrated 5 years of marriage

celebrated 5 years of marriage

halloween with the cousin (my sister-in-law is from Kansas and my sister lives in Oregon)

halloween with the cousin (my sister-in-law is from Kansas and my sister lives in Oregon)

had a photo booth Halloween party

had a photo booth Halloween party

finally got to meet this sweet little girl!

finally got to meet this sweet little girl!

went back to workl

went back to work

caught this sweet smile after one of our walks

caught this sweet smile after one of our walks

had a wonderful Christmas, Jesus turned up...in our hearts

had a wonderful Christmas, Jesus turned up…in our hearts

watched this girl grow, and grow and grow!

watched this girl grow, and grow and grow!

made the ugliest Christmas sweater of all (there was a vote, he won)

made the ugliest Christmas sweater of all (there was a vote, he won)

dressed Jovie up for Christmas eve...she wore tights all night! The shoes are another story.

dressed Jovie up for Christmas eve…she wore tights all night! The shoes are another story.

did I already post this sweet smile? oops...

did I already post this sweet smile? oops…

What a year! And I don’t even have pictures from our Thanksgiving…we invited the neighborhood!  It was a wonderful time of fellowship and making new friends and getting to know old ones even better.

Also, my husband got a part-time job, praise the Lord! So, even though I’ve had to go back to work, God is providing for our needs and we are beyond blessed.

I’m off to write some resolutions.  I pray you all had a wonderful year and are looking forward to the one to come!