rainbows

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:  I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between you and me and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”

-Genesis 9:12-15

The covenant between God and the earth.

S.


If you know me, you know I love rainbows.

I’ve always loved color, but only in the last few years have rainbows been an obsession.

The day I sat down and read through Genesis, I was overwhelmed with understanding when I read those verses.

Signs.

Over and over.

Everywhere in my house.

For years, the signs were there, but I just didn’t understand.

R A I N B O W S.


November 2014, we surprised the kids with a new puppy.

We told them that they could pick out a name for her.

They chose Rainbow.

No arguments.

R A I N B O W S.


The day after I read through Genesis, my 98 year old grandfather passed away.

That day I saw a rainbow in the clouds.

And, the next day.

And, the next.

Everywhere I looked, for days, there were rainbows in the clouds.

R A I N B O W S.


On March 23rd, our dog Rainbow had puppies.

When we moved out to Oregon, one of our dreams was to raise dogs.

It had been put on the back burner for lots of reasons, but when we got Rainbow we knew that we would be having at least one litter with her.

She gave birth to EIGHT puppies.

It was amazing.

The kids were on spring break, and my in-laws were visiting and got to take part in the excitement.

Eight puppies.

Red.

Orange.

Yellow.

Green.

Blue.

Indigo.

Violet.

And, Pink.

R A I N B O W S.


When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on earth.

-Genesis 9:16

let go…

 

When the beginning of 2016 came around, I had a plan for the year.

I reworked a website, made lists, sent e-mails, and thought I had it all under control.

February came around and I fell apart.

Comparison stole my joy.

I saw others who were doing what I wanted to do and wondered why I couldn’t just make it happen.

I beat myself up.

I cried.

I stayed in bed.

I felt sorry for myself.

Then I saw signs…literally. One of my favorite artists is a sign maker. I have her signs all over my house. She posted a new one that was simple “Look for Signs”. Shortly after that, she posted one that read, “Be still and know”.

That’s when I knew. I had to let go and let God.

I had heard these words before. Heck, I had said these words before, but I hadn’t really put them into practice. I hadn’t put the “let God” part into practice. This time, He wouldn’t let me skip the “let God” part. You see, this is His plan, not mine. I was trying to control His plan. When I let go and gave Him control it was freeing.

Yes, MY plans are not taking shape the way I planned, but I believe that He has bigger plans for me.


I call myself a perpetual student of life.

If I could just got to classes and learn new things for the rest of my life I would be happy.

I love to learn new things.

In March, I decided that I was going to learn something new.

I decided that I was going to read the Bible.

At first, I thought I would follow a one year reading plan.  I started in Genesis. I read through it in a day taking notes, highlighting, and trying to figure out the ancestry. Wow, people lived for a LONG time when God first made the earth.

Within a couple of days, the whole catching up to March in the one year plan felt daunting.

However, an instagram friend mentioned she was following a study of the Proverbs 31 Woman by Gretchen Saffles of Life Lived Beautifully on periscope. I purchased the study and followed along. This was perfect for my introvert heart. I felt like part of a community, but I didn’t have to interact face to face. You see, I love being in a classroom. I sit right in the front row, take great notes, and soak it all in, but I’ve never been great at class participation, group projects, or even socializing after class.

I followed and participated in that study for the next four weeks. I learned to give myself quiet time learning that part of the bible each day.

I let go of the plans I had made for myself and let God lead me to Him.


I’ve spent more time reading in the last few weeks than I have in years. In fact, just yesterday I started Big Magic in the afternoon and finished it late last night.

I’ve also read The Best Yes and Love Does. In reading both of those I took notes and highlighted like I was studying for a test.

I’ve continued reading the bible with additional bible studies I have purchased through Life Lived Beautifully.

I’m not sure what God has in store for me, but I’m willing to listen.

“…it seems that what God does most of the time when He has something to say is this…He doesn’t pass us messages, instead He passes us each other.”

– Bob Goff, Love Does

 

{before and after} home is in the kitchen

we moved into our current house eight years ago.

we’ve done a lot of work on our home, but parts of it still need some major updating.

when we moved in, i took photos of all of the rooms in the house. i didn’t write a blog back then, but as an interior designer, i was used to taking “before” photos for client projects.

i knew that this house would be an ever evolving project of my own, so wanted to make sure i had photos.

i have written a post about our backyard using our “before” photos, but i haven’t written about any of the interior spaces with the before photos.

we are in the process of working on some additional updates to the house, so i thought it would be fun to start some “before and after” posts.

so, here it goes…

9-kitchen 2-2008

one of the reasons we bought this house eight years ago was because it wasn’t updated. yes, you read that right. we looked at houses that had been updated, but none of them had been updated the way we liked. and, even bigger than that, none of them had the lot that this house has. you can always change the interior of your home, but you can’t add to the lot it sits on!

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the view from the kitchen window has changed a lot over the last eight years!

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we updated all the appliances first.

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then, i added our mason jar pendant lights.

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in 2013, we {i} painted the cabinets…

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and, we had laminate flooring installed on our entire first floor.


fast forward to twenty-sixteen…

1-kitchen 2-2016

2-kitchen 2-2016

3-kitchen 2-2016

4-kitchen 2-2016

5-kitchen 2-2016

6-kitchen 2-2016

7-kitchen 2-2016

these photos were taken at approximately the same time of day during february…eight years apart!


after living through the transition over the last eight years, i needed a side by side…

before and after 1

before and after 2

before and after 3

before and after 4

before and after 5

before and after 6

before and after 7

you guys, the majority of the change came from PAINT!

yes, we put in new appliances and floors, but the big change came on the walls and cabinets.

that being said, if i had it to do all over again, i would have gone about the painting differently. three years ago my kids were three and five and home with me most days. i did this all over the summer with them home! so, the paint job is far from professional, but it makes a big difference!

i cannot go into HOW to paint your cabinets…there are a lot of other places to figure that out, but what i can say is if you think it will make a difference in your kitchen {and home}, it will. there is no question about that.

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well, that was a lot of fun. i am excited to visit each of the main rooms in our home {before and after} in the next few weeks!

home is…eight years and a little paint.

{twenty sixteen} happy friday!

wow. it’s been a while.

i am not sure why the big break. i really have a lot i want to blog about, but i just haven’t made the time to be here.

and, then it is hard to just jump right back into it. i feel like, “where did i leave off? what do i write about now? is anybody even going to read this anymore?”

at any rate, i thought i would just jump right in with some random because that’s a good place to start, right?

my newest collection obsession…
{a beautiful mess} Elsie's Rainbow Glassware Collection

this is the beginnings of elsie’s collection over at a beautiful mess. isn’t it…beautiful?

i don’t have a spot to display that many glasses, but we are hoping to add some open shelving in our kitchen and i would like to display (and actually use) a small collection there along with our fiesta ware.

this is the beginning of my collection…

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{i also brought home that beautiful vintage school desk}

after i posted the photo above on Facebook, my aunt texted me this photo…

aunt peggy

she said that my grandmother had collected them at estate sales and that she would send them to me! i am so excited to add these to my collection!

in the light

in the light 2

anyway, that’s a little bit of what i have going on right now.

happy friday!

 

{twenty sixteen} summer road trip

i’m really excited for our summer.

it’s still four months away, but well into the planning stages.

one of the adventures i am most excited about is a road trip i have planned.

my family lives in colorado, and we are past due for a visit there. not to mention, it’s a fabulous place to to spend a week in the summer!

the kids and i are going to hit the road and explore on our way from the state of oregon to  colorado and back.

my plan is for us to stay in historic hotels in the cities we stop in along the route. i have most of it researched, but need to finalize the details and start making reservations!

once we get to colorado, we will stay at my parents beautiful house in the foothills west of denver.

from there, we can hike on beautiful trails in their neighborhood, swim at the pool with a view of mt. evans, venture into denver for a colorado rockies baseball game, head up to boulder to visit my alma mater, check out rocky mountain national park, and head up into the rocky mountains for some crisp mountain air.

i cannot wait for this adventure to explore new areas of the west with my kiddos!

easy christmas card photo books

I just finished putting our Christmas card photo book for 2015 together. We now have SEVEN years of Christmas cards collected into little flip books! I looked through the archives and found my original post about how I put them together.


One of my favorite parts about Christmas is receiving the cards from all of our friends and relatives. I especially like the photos.

They make me smile from the day I receive my first card until the day I finally take them down from their display…which is usually one of the last things to come down.

Over the years I have been saving the photos in a drawer in my desk. You see, my aunt had albums full of christmas card photos and every year I loved to sit down on Christmas day and look through them. Although I didn’t know all the people, I learned to recognize the familiar faces year after year and enjoyed seeing how families had grown, adult children had gotten married, etc. My plan was to eventually start some albums of my own.

As I was trying to find space in the drawer in my desk for our cards from Christmas 2012 I finally decided to just put the books together. I mean, for goodness sake, all I needed was a hole punch (I used a 3 hole punch and a single hole punch), some chipboard, some rings, and a glue stick!

easy christmas card photo books

All of my cards were organized by year, so I started punching holes.

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{That’s my mom and dad in Italy}

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I used two holes of a three hole punch so that I would eventually be able to line up the cards that were differing sizes and shapes.

easy christmas card photo books 2

Then I cut some chipboard that I had from the back of some thrifted frames that I won’t be using. I cut the chipboard a little larger than the largest card…three of the books ended up being 9″ x 6″ and one is 8″ x 6″.

easy christmas card photo books 5

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I punched holes in the chipboard and glued our christmas card to the front.

easy christmas card photo books 4

I also made back covers for the books so the cards are protected on both sides of the book.

easy christmas card photo books 9

This year our card was a post card and I wanted to include the back of the card, so I put it on the inside of the back cover.

easy christmas card photo books 1

In less than an hour (it actually took 2 days, but I had to start and stop multiple times for various reasons…kids, dogs, cats, husbands, etc.) I had books from the last 4 years put together!

easy christmas card photo books 10

For now, they are in our basket of photo books in the family room. I think, eventually, I will put them in the attic with the rest of the Christmas decor so they will be a fun tradition to pull out of the bins each year.

easy christmas card photo books 11

 

{twenty sixteen} first ramblings

10 years ago  i woke up…

in a new house…

in a city i had only visited once before…

only knowing a handful of people…well really, fewer than you can count on one hand.


this morning i woke up…

in our home of almost 8 years…

in a city that feels like home…

with my children snuggled up under blankets…

and, my husband on a conference call in his home office.


twenty sixteen.

already giving us surprises…welcome ones.

today,  the kids were supposed to be headed back to school, but they are not.

we are enjoying a slow morning.

a dusting of snow, freezing temperatures, and then freezing rain on top of that has shut down our city.

as much as i am ready to get back into a routine, get the house clean, and figure out what i am going to do with this brand new year, i am thankful to have one more slow day to spend with our family.

home is…new year surprises.

{at the craft table} vintage wreaths

my holiday crafting is in full swing.

while i am not ready to decorate for christmas, i am definitely getting ready to decorate for christmas

this weekend i pulled out some of my vintage stash and made some really whimsical wreaths…

 

vintage santa

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toyland 5

toyland 4

toyland 3

toyland 2

toyland 1

looking forward to sharing more holiday craftiness…including some pics from our {mother-daughter} crafternoon from last friday!

home is…playing reindeer games.

hello, november!

wow.

october is now just a memory.

and, here we are…

dark at 5 pm.

wearing jackets and rain boots.

flag football season is over.

thanksgiving is coming.

christmas displays and merchandise are all over the place.


my husband and i celebrated his fantastic year at work and our 15th anniversary at a fabulous resort near playa del carmen, mexico.

it was our first kid free getaway in over 6 years.

i have been blessed enough to go on some pretty fabulous presidents club vacations that my husband has earned through his hard work. this one was, by far, the most amazing one we have ever been on.

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it was a quick trip…three full days in paradise. one full day of travel on either end.

my parents came to stay with the kids and the dogs.

we returned to happy {but tired} kids and tired {but happy} grandparents. i know they all had a fun adventure of their own together.


the first week back was filled with hours spent volunteering at the kids school.

art lit.

baby girl was star of the week.

normal volunteer hours.

AND

finishing up the rest of our family halloween costumes…

Image 5

it was a dark and stormy halloween night here in portland. we braved the downpour to go up and down the street.

ryan was the yellow brick road, the little guy was the tornado that landed dorothy’s house on the wicked witch of the east, i was the wicked witch of the west, and baby girl was dorothy.

one of my favorite family costumes to date!


i was hoping to have some much needed “normalcy” in our routine this month, but the kids had three days off from school and then we have thanksgiving late this month!

so, we’ll just be THANKFUL for our extra time together…i figure there will be nothing “normal” about our routine until next year given the coming holidays…but that’s what makes life fun, right?!