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The Studio is coming along and today I wanted to share more updates with you.  Fireman and I were chuckling over our lunch break (me more so than him, I’m afraid) that when you observe room transformations online and on tv, the time frame from the Before to the After always seems to go so quickly. Well, we’re here to testify that room transformations are, in reality, many hours of often-tedious work that makes you feel like you’re not moving forward very quickly at all! But we’re pressing on.  Because in reality we’ve come SO far, and the little things that seem tedious are making are making a huge impact on our Studio space. The biggest news is that we finished the diamond-pattern floor yesterday.  I’m so tickled about it I honestly keep pinching myself.   However, if you follow me in Instagram, you know that my first attempt last Friday…

One of the most daunting projects on my Sixteen Days of Getting my House in Order was painting the kitchen cabinets.  I finished this week-long project early to mid October, so we’ve been living with white cabinetry for six weeks now. My overall six-week-in evaluation?  I cannot believe the difference white cabinetry has made in this space. I thought I would share more details about my process in this post, and also give an update on how the paint is holding up in our busy family kitchen. First of all, there were a lot of beautiful things about the original kitchen, specifically the warm tones of the wood stain and the textured travertine backsplash. However, as we’ve worked to make this home more our style, the dark colors in the kitchen began to clash more and more with the brighter, whiter spaces we were developing in the remainder of the…

I’ve been working on a few small things around the house the last several weeks.  Seems like little projects are all I have time for lately, so I try to jump on them when my fancy strikes.Remember I completed this gallery wall in our stairway in February? As you can see, our stairway turns 90 degrees halfway up (see that bare wall at the top?)I didn’t want to continue the gallery wall onto it as that seemed like too much, but the wall was beginning to really pout and whine because it didn’t feel as classy as its bigger brother.After brainstorming for several days, I did what I always do when all else fails:  paint.Painting a pattern on a wall is a creative and inexpensive solution in lieu of wall decor.  In this case, I chose to paint stripes.Here’s another view looking down from the top:When I first pulled out…

Do you ever have one of those projects brewing around in your mind for like….EVER….and you know it won’t take long to complete but you just keep putting it off because so many other things dominate your time? Well, I finally did it. And just in time for Holy Week, too, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the greatest Hope we have in this world:  A resurrected Savior who loves us, longs to be in relationship with us, and extends unconditional grace each and every day of our lives. Using 650 pt, Monotype Corsiva font, I painted an old scrap of wood with these life-changing words from a song written by Gloria Gaither in the mid-1960’s: Because He Lives    God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus, He came to love, heal, and forgive; He lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there…

This home project was amazingly simple. Usually when I have an idea, Fireman tells me to schedule double the time I think it will take. We were both pleasantly surprised when building our Rustic Shelves took less time than we thought. Aren’t they pretty….yet rustic…at the same time? The far corner of our living room has been an enigma to me since day one.  It’s that area above the piano in the far corner; I snapped this golden picture shortly after cleaning up our Christmas decorations in January.  Although I love the DIY mirror-turned-chalkboard that was there, it still wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  This corner receives a lot of sun in the afternoon and evening, so I can’t place artwork or pictures there because of fading. When the idea of open rustic shelving came to me, I knew I’d reached a fun solution I could change out…

I set two home project goals for spring break.  One, I wanted to install some wainscoting at the bottom of our stairway.  Two, I wanted to make some rustic shelves for a trouble-wall in our living room. I am happy to report we accomplished both in spite of a stomach virus, numerous youth group activities, two birthday parties, and feeding upwards of ten kids in this house most days.  No wonder I was relieved when school began again! I know it’s a little thing, this space at the bottom of our stairs. But every single time we go downstairs, which is several times a day because this is where we come and go to the garage, we pass this space. And every single time family comes to visit, do you think they come to the pretty front door to enter?  Of course not.  They come in this side…

Have you ever noticed the magazine photos of mudrooms and kid-friendly lockers usually look something like this? Pottery Barn Beautiful baskets, fresh greenery, loads of oversized pillows, eye-catching accessories… ….and always a color-coordinated scarf or handbag on the hooks. Well, you won’t find a color-coordinated scarf or handbag in OUR kid-friendly lockers.  Maybe I’m silly, but I tend to keep Mommy paraphernalia in my closet. Fortunately, I was able to pull off some cute baskets.    = I found the rather plain, upper greige-colored baskets at our local Fred Meyer with plans to personalize them somehow.  When I ran across the jute-strung, wooden chalkboard signs at Michael’s for $1.50 apiece, I knew they were just what I had in mind. (Secret:  Although it looks like the signs are hanging from the front of the baskets, this Momma hot-glued them in place for reasons all you other Mommas know…

One of the things I loved about the book “Unbroken” was a relatively insignificant paragraph on page 167 describing Louis Zamperini’s observations while at sea (emphases purely my own):Louie found that the raft offered an unlikely intellectual refuge.  He had never recognized how noisy the civilized world was.  Here, drifting in almost total silence, with no scents other than the singed odor of the raft, no flavors on his tongue, nothing moving but the slow procession of shark fins, every vista empty save water and sky, his time unvaried and unbroken, his mind was freed of an encumbrance that civilization had imposed on it.  In his head, he could roam anywhere, and he found that his mind was quick and clear, his imagination unfettered and supple.  He could stay with a thought for hours, turning it about.I remember reading that passage for the first time, pausing, and reading it through again, more slowly this time.And something…..a longing?….craving?…pulled hard…

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and my beloved sister asks, “Would you like me to keep the kids for the day so you can be home alone?  Clean your house?  Catch up on a few things?” I think I started to cry. Right before I laughed out loud. And then I became so excited considering all the things I could accomplish given a whole, ENTIRE day…. You know.  All those practical, sensible things like ~ A) Clean my house (which is very therapeutic for me when I’m alone) B) Catch up on paperwork C) Plan homeschool lessons D) Organize the pantry E) Finish sanding the lockers Firefighter just built (I stole this husband-naming from author Ann Voskamp, who refers to her husband as Farmer.  I’m chuckling just thinking about the moment the hubby reads it in here.) F) Write Christmas cards G) Exercise But I…

For those of you who know us, you also know our home is looking a bit different these days. With the addition of two little nieces and a nephew, our home is sporting a lot of Hello Kitty, Legos, markers, and matchbox cars. But also a lot of laughter and snuggling.  And I REALLY needed a good excuse to pull out Goodnight Moon again. In the midst of all the busy-ness, we’re doing our best to embrace Alaska’s short-lived fall in all its burlap/caramel apple/russet~orange yumminess. During this season of change, may we maintain an attitude of gratefulness for all we have, and all we will be, in Christ. Happy Fall from our family ~ to yours 🙂 Jaimee