Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rainy Days and Littles

This is right now.
Central Florida is on about day 8 (or 100, what's the difference!?) of her Sun Rebellion
While there have been moments in which she has teased us with a break in the clouds, it has rained much more than those afternoon showers she's famous for. 
See? A little tease of color?!

If I seem a little blah, it's because I'm Vitamin D deficient. And by deficient, I mean pale. 
Enough about me. 

I'm really thinking about our local moms of Littles right now. 
The ones who have been on lock-down because you just can't see it's worth it to load up in the rain to go anywhere. 

I know you are worried about too much screen time, too much fighting, too many Cheez-Its, and Lord knows there's been too much Candyland. (For you, not them.) You've done that crafts, the dance parties, and read all.the.books.

You don't really want go to Chick-Fil-A playground every day or the mall, because budget. I get it. The free movies are great, but when one needs to go to the bathroom, you have to load everybody up.

I remember. 

This is when the Band of Sisters is so important, and I do pray you have one. Even if you can just go to one another's homes it breaks the monotony. Or go to the free movie together so you can divide and conquer. Maybe swing by and pick up a tweenie or teen to be a "Mother's Helper"? 

(Updated: I just saw this list of indoor activities today on Tampa Bay Moms Blog.)

But, what if that's even too much? 
What if your road is flooded & you couldn't get out if you wanted to?

Throw away screen time rules for a few days. Embrace the movie day. Build a fort. Make it a whole thing. 
Yes, I know you're worried that the violence of the Serengeti cheetah killings will be desensitizing, but it won't, it's educational. Circle of life and whatnot. I know Jeff Corwin drives you bat crazy, but go ahead, press play. Then, give yourself permission to stick an earbud in your phone and watch a little Gilmore Girls on the side. We won't tell. 

By God's great grace, this rain will eventually stop (Soon, please!) and you can hit the pool again, go to the library, and the even the grocery. 

The point is, give yourself a little grace. And maybe a little stash of chocolate wouldn't hurt. 

Praying for special blessings for you today. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

14 Truths on her 14th Birthday.

Another birthday in the house. Big Sister is 14.
I'm so excited for her future. This kid is the real deal.

I'm not the mom that cried at kindergarten or cries as my girls get older,
although all these baby teeth pics are killing me.

I do, however, get a sense of urgency.
I am keenly aware that, while I hope to always be a sounding board, my in-house influential days are numbered. I'll never not be their momma, but ya know. There are so many things I want my girls to leave the nest with: good flossing habits, a healthy body image, a solid foundation of the Word, and knowing that their parents are flawed people in pursuit of Jesus. I want them to know how to cook some basic meals and keep a house and make it a  home. I want them to know how to speak up for themselves, to call "Bull" when necessary, to know their worth, and to write notes. I want them to live well and love well, to value people over things.
So many things. So little time.

I have a general rule about making promises to my kids (I don't love it); I like to keep us all flexible, but for such an occasion, I thought I'd list {updated} fourteen promises she can be sure of today, tomorrow, and most days...

1. The more you know the Truth, the more you'll recognize a lie.
Plaster your memory with the Word. 
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your Word. 
I will seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 
Psalm 119:9-11

2. The issue that you have the hardest time with today will be the very thing that will bring forth your victory in Jesus.
Your weakness is His strength. It's His specialty. Ask me how I know.
"My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness."- Jesus
2 Corinthians 12:9

3. You will never regret being classy.

4. You will not immediately understand every decision I make over these next few years.

5. Most of your regrets will be the things you didn't do, rather than the things you did.
Be brave. Cheer for the underdog. Dance. Go for broke. Big risks yield big rewards.

6. Jesus in you will always shine brighter than the lipstick on you.
But, I'm not opposed to lipstick. :)

7. It is possible to love your body and want to improve it.
Be strong, be healthy, and be ready to GO when the Lord calls you!

8. Encouraging others (especially girls) doesn't mean that you are less than,
it means you are strong enough to lift them up.
Be a cheerleader for your people. 

9. The second mile is the best mile.
Go the distance. Even when you don't have to.

Member that time you ran a triathlon!?
10. Your heart will lie to you.
Your gut is usually right. The Word is always right.

11. Confidence is not the same as arrogance.
Confidence is an attractive quality, wear it well.

12. When in doubt, overdress.
Cause, ya know, mud.
13. You can never out love me nor out sin me. 
This is not a challenge. Please don't try.

14. Your best days are coming.
Keep a good pair of shoes handy cause you are going places. 

Happy birthday, Sister. I love you more than strawberries.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

13 Ways Home Improvements Are Nothing Like HGTV

Spoiler alert: Our kitchen is finally finished and we love it.
This was a combination of hired in and DIY.

Let me tell you something, HGTV is not reality. It is nothing like real home improvement or renovation projects. I mean, it's similar in that at the end you may have a new room, but one travels a very different road than those shown on the HGTV.

13.  Not one person wore safety glasses.

12.  Not one of the tile or cabinet guys were "television attractive". 
I'm not saying at all that another human is ugly, but you know what I mean.
No Property Brothers or Paige Davis. Which is probably good,
cause that would have been distracting. 

11.  We wore our work clothes. 
There were no hoop earrings or wearing my good jeans.
I mean, really.

10.   Most of the time, there was no more than two people 
working in my house at the same time.
I did not, at any time, have a team of neighborhood volunteers show up to
demo cabinets or rip out tile. I did have a friend show up and help me clean,
though, and that was life-giving.

9.   None of the couples I've seen on HGTV ever seem like they are 
needing a marriage counselor. 
Listen. Two truths: 
My Spouse & I have a solid, happy marriage. 
There were times in this process that murderous glances were exchanged, words were spit out rather than spoken and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.  

8.   We are spending 100% of our own money. 
There is no going "over budget". We don't have a sponsor.

7.  Major decisions aren't usually left up to an 11 year-old.
By major decisions, I mean she got the final say on how to
cut the corners of the granite, whether or not we were going to cut off part of
the counter, that sort of thing. Maddy is the real deal about designing and decor and whatnot.
So, when the cabinet or granite guys had a question, sometimes I deferred to her.
When the tile guys wanted to know what pattern we wanted the tiles to lay,
I interrupted Spanish for 5 minutes to ask my 6th grader.
Yay for homeschooling, cause I'm not sure that would have been an excused absence.

6.   Our DIY parts are truly DIY. 
There is no one standing over us guiding us along, giving us expert advice. 
We have to consult Youtube for expert advice. :)

5.   The workers on HGTV show up on time.
Enough said. 

4.   HGTV projects almost always finish on time.

3.   When the project manager and the homeowner disagree, 
the homeowner doesn't usually take a "mental health break" at the beach 
to preserve said project manager's life.
This happened. The fact that I'm not writing this post from a
jail cell proves that the beach break was a good call.
No murder charges for me. Yay!

2.   Most homeowners are not living in the project home.
It's awkward having strange men in your house working all day.
We work in our home, so it was just weird. 
The makeshift school room.
I failed to get a picture of the bookshelf with the toaster oven & microwave on it.
Good times.
1.   Our home improvement project is actual reality.
We did not stage it. The photos below are our ACTUAL
new kitchen that I really want to kiss on the mouth.

This was the original kitchen. 

Cabinet construction.

You haven't lived until you get your jelly from the fridge in the living room.


We have counters! 
This was my only decision I made that I went against Maddy. She chose the backsplash on the left.
She didn't hate the blue, it just wasn't the "safest" choice, so she was leaning toward the neutral.
I took a chance a went with the more coastal looking blue. 
We wanted to do as much of the work ourselves as we could,
and since my Spouse can do anything, he put the backsplash up.
This is pre-grout.
Here it is!
Pretty snazzy.

We went coastal with the napkin rings, too. 

I love the kitchen. Love it. This townhouse is still a work in progress, but we are progressing! 
So far, we've had ceilings retextured & painted, all painting done (every square inch), the kitchen & dining, new blinds throughout...There's more odds & ends, but I can't think of them right now. :) 

The girls' bathroom is nearly finished. I'll get y'all some pics of that when I can. 
For now, I'm enjoying this kitchen!

Thanks for stopping by!