Monday, December 15, 2014


Jason and I decided we wanted to have a headboard with built in end tables. We have a platform bed which has a matching headboard with several floating shelves for about $200ish. I designed the headboard and Jason built it. We make a pretty fantastic team. Total cost.... $38ish? Just some board, screws, rope, and a lot of patience. Design phase really took the longest. Lots of measuring and thinking and rethinking an remeasuring.... but then it was all started and completed on a Saturday. The best kind of project.



Yes, that is rope. We really wanted to create the feel of floating end tables, but we really thought they needed more support, so Jason came up with the idea of either a chain or rope to hold down that hypotenuse position. We super dig it. Adds a fun texture to such a clean, sleek piece. 

We really love it. Originally we were going to route & whitewash, but we're not so sure about that anymore. We kinda like it as is. We'll see. The current finish is nearly the same tone as the platform bed so it works quite well.

On Sunday we got this bad boy off craigslist.... I just love it. Finally can store my hospitality items instead of shoving them under a table and putting a floor length tablecloth over it so no one can see.

Ah, simplicity. Ah, organization. Brings me mental peace. . . . . Well, a little.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Living Room

B E F O R E [before we even bought the house]

We had grand ideas about this long wall that runs the length of the house from the living room to family room. We wanted to make it a pallet wall with built in shelves, oh yeah. . . oh no. We realized after about 8ish months of living here that would never happen. 

But what would we paint it? We would have to choose a color that would work well in both rooms. I of course loved grey as per usual.... Jason was very keen on all white. My mind: all white? That seems like... a hospital, or a prison, or... well... both.

But I went with it. I mean, I could get white paint from the Habitat Humanity ReStore for so much cheaper than regular paint. Saving money. Yeah. That would make it worth it.

Then we painted it all white.

And I realized I could not, in fact abide it. I quickly realized this. After rolling on coat after coat to cover up that horrid bandaid color. Yes, I so prefer the white to bandaid.... but... it was like putting white ace bandages over bandaids. IT'S TOO STERILE, DANGIT. 

I felt like I needed to cleanse myself of my sins before stepping into these rooms in the morning, the light was so bright reflecting off ALL THE WALLS. It was horrible.

So. What to do. What to do. How can I remedy this and Jason be okay with it?

Hmm. I have a lot of grey paint. Hmm. We both like grey. We both like stripes. Hmm. Grey stripes. Maybe one of them could continue the perimeter of the room? Oh. Yes. I quite like that. I QUITE LIKE THAT A LOT.

I pitched the idea to him. He was hesitant at first. But he knew how much I couldn't stand the all white. He knew just as much as I that compromise needed to happen. So he went for it.


Oh yeah. Bask in the glory of the grey stripes and the lovely blue curtains that my incredibly talented mother-in-law made for me out of a shower curtain that I got at Target. 
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR, PEOPLE. Can you tell I'm so pleased with this room? I just love it.
Here you can see how the middle stripe simply continues through the room (while the top and bottom stripes stay only on the stair wall). Also, check out that lovely yellow dining room in the background there.
Doubt you can tell from this photo, but those birds there are actually 3-dimensional wooden carvings that I got from etsy. I love them. The rabbit is concerned they will eat her. Just kidding.

So there you have it. I have said to some people who have come over "this room - yeah, this is marriage" - it's this thing called compromise & complimenting one another - it's so beautiful.

Next post will be on the family room.... which is about 80% complete... but still buffering, so you'll have to wait until it's fully loaded :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dining Room

So we redid the dining room . . . FINALLY. Now we just need to get the carpet out of there, hang curtains, and get an actual dining set with sideboard. But until then, we do this!




A F T E R 

Now for some pictures that I don't have any before photos of. Let's see if you can spot the thing we were trying to hide. . . .

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


This writeup was inspired by my response to the loss of Robin Williams and a cracked article I read (which was a bit too crass and focused on deep darkness rather than light to share).
There's a lot of folks wondering how a funny person could be so tortured. How a person who brought so much joy could be hurting that badly.
Extremely funny people are probably the most tortured souls because they felt the need to make others laugh due to what they saw in themselves as hideousness that could not be loved. They had been hurt by others (bullying, bad home life, trauma, ect) from an early start and they realized they could get positive reactions from people (when they had been so used to negative) by making them laugh.
How do I know this? I was/am one of those. I was teased and bullied for many years of my life... when I discovered I could detract from my flaws with humor, and I could also fight back with humor. And as usual, birds of a feather flock together. A lot of the people whom I'd be attracted to in kinship would also be the "funny people." We didn't have to tell each other we were funny, and we didn't have to worry about them bullying us because we knew we beat ourselves up enough to do it to each other. One of the funniest people I knew recently passed after years of addiction. I really hate that he could never reconcile the funny man and the man he tried to hide.
I know we are tortured souls.
I personally now have an understanding that everything about me (including the hurts and ugliness) is loved by God and those in my life who love me unconditionally. I know I don't have to distract others from my hurts with humor, but sometimes I still do. Creature of habit, I suppose.
But now I feel it is important to bring joy to others lives. I want them to be able to forget the hideousness of the world momentarily and just enjoy the greatest medicine - laughter. The place of commonality where we can take a few moments to laugh at ourselves for being so ridiculous and find that others are equally ridiculous. We just can't stay in that place of ridicule. We can't become the self-bully to make up for the lack of from others bullying you because now... you're funny. 
Funny people: please stop bullying yourselves. Especially if you think the world would be better off without you. I've had those thoughts in the past as well, but I'm so thankful to have been shown my great worth to the Father and those around me.
Not-funny people: let them be themselves. Love them. Quirks and all. Let them know all the things you love about them. Listen to their struggles. Let them be vulnerable. Don't make them always be on stage. But don't force things either.
Robin, I thank you for showing me that bright slice of life you gave. I thank you especially for Mrs. Doubtfire - showing the great lengths a human would go to in order to be with those they love.
For the lengths you went to in supporting our troops. Visiting them in-theater and getting them to laugh to lighten up the darkness they were in.
For doing the best impressions, voices, crazy noises...
For being my favorite genie.
For showing us the great impact our words and actions can have, O Captain, my Captain.
For telling us (well, Matt Damon) we have to conquer our hurts in order to help ourselves and help others with our gifts and talents.
I wish you could have reconciled the funny man and the man behind the mask. But genie, I'm glad you're free.
Thanks for showing us that everyone is fighting a tough battle that no one can see, and we must love them.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


So I'm not sure if anyone remembers what our patio/deck looked like...
Pretty redneck.
Or "industrial chic" if you'd like to call it that...
We added some furniture to it.

But now we've finally stained it!! It only took 10-11 months... jeesh
Looks pretty shnazzy. Not sure if we're going to stain the thing that the grill stands on. But we're likely going to do a second coat. Hopefully that won't take much longer... because I want to be done with this! I want to fully enjoy this space!!

I love how it matches the brick so well! That was totally unplanned. I actually found this stain a couple weeks ago when we were organizing the paint. I totally forgot about it. It was originally $40 and we paid $5. Which makes the total project cost.... $5 since Jason got the palettes from a former employer. Well, did have to put the weed barrier, rocks, and bricks down under the palettes to keep them from standing in water. But that was 10-11 months ago and I don't remember how much that cost.

It's so lovely! Now we're just waiting to put all the things back into place.

Even Alice and our elephant watering can love it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Big Announcement!

Firstly - we celebrated our 1st homiversary on Saturday. I actually completely forgot about it until Sunday night. So we celebrated unawares. We spent time in a hotel for our first homiversary, ironically enough. Drill weekend, family day, mandatory fun. Anyhow on with the rest of the post . . .


So, since there's only 6 months left, we figured now would be a good time to make this announcement. 

First off, if we haven't told you in person please don't be offended. It doesn't exactly come up in conversation often, and it's not really at the forefront of our minds when we're hanging out with those we love.

We've known for a good while now, but it was only made official at the end of May.

And here's where anyone who doesn't already know starts to get confused. You thought we were having a kid! HAH!

No. But we had to take this absolutely perfect opportunity to make you think we were having a kid when we're not. To good to pass up!

Jason is deploying to [this is kinda cryptic but you can figure it out] an island that's just a boat-ride away from Key West, but not exactly friendly with the US... [if you need another hint, they're well known for cigars] for 13 months total (including pre & demob). He will leave early on in 2015.

If you're feeling sorry for us, don't. 

Jason's wanted to deploy for the past 6 years, and has had the opportunity to deploy 3 times prior to this, and he didn't get to go due to paperwork or just cancelation of deployment.

It's not Afghanistan or any major combat zone. It's just hot.

We'll be in the same time zone for crying out loud. So many worse problems we could have when it comes to deployments.

At this point we don't know any much more than that. Well, we do, but we don't exactly want to plaster it on the interwebs (yay opsec!).

Heads up on things you could do or should not do:

So, I'm not exactly sure what I'll do while he's gone. Maybe travel, maybe not. Just see what God directs. But please do us all a favor and don't tell me how tough it's going to be (as if I don't know?). The response I most appreciated to this news was from another military wife who said, "you're strong, you'll be fine." Yeah, she gets it. That's exactly what I do need to hear. Encouragement that everything will be okay (however, don't say things like "oh, that's not that long!").

Please don't treat me like I'm diseased or walk on eggshells when you're around me (before or during that time period when Jason's gone). Offer to just be there. I know that looks different for everyone. But just practically, feel free to simply invite me into your everyday life; know that you don't have to wait for a special occasion. One of the biggest challenges I find to be when Jason's gone is cooking for myself. It's difficult to plan meals for one person, and it's just a reminder that I'm alone. So seriously, best thing you can do is invite me over or out for dinner.

If you're a dude (or a really handy lady who knows how to help with these things), offering to help with lawn work or house projects while Jason's gone would be pretty nice.

Don't ask Jason why he'd ever want to leave his wife for a year. He doesn't want to. But he wants to deploy. He joined to serve. Serving means sacrifice.

Biggest prayer requests we have about this:

- There are some folks in his unit who just had kids. Pray that they somehow don't have to go. I know this is hard, but I can't even fathom just having a kid and having to say goodbye to my husband for over a year.... missing a year of that child's life.

- That communication will be clear. We really would like to know more than we already do (like living arrangements, cell phone service/capabilities, if there can/will be visits, ect).

- That nothing major goes wrong with any of our property while he's gone ;P I've been speaking over our hot water heater, praying it'll hold out as long as possible haha

- That we'll be able to go to Scotland hopefully before he leaves, and if not then, then when he gets back

- That we'll be able to really enjoy the time we have before he leaves

- Obviously for safety, peace, and that we won't miss each other as much as we might could

For other military spouses, I just want to share this page with you as it has encouraged me a lot: Hope it can encourage more of you military spouses.

Thank you all for your support and prayers in advance!

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Small updates

Made some small updates on the July 4th weekend. Long overdue, and so fitting! We love it all!!

Made the two canvases of art. Took a lot longer than I had hoped. The "carry me back to Old Virginia" piece was detailed lettering. I actually used puffy paint to do them! It's so much easier to do cursive with puffy paint!

The "love one another" piece - I custom ordered chipboard letters from an etsy shop that specialized in it, painted them individually, and modge-podged them down. I had to hold each of them down on the canvas for 5+ minutes so they wouldn't curl.

The shelf we go at Bed Bath and Beyond on clearance for $5 (display model that had damage), and frame we got on clearance at Target for $5ish. The frame contains the infamous Omari liberation picture.

Pillow we got on clearance at Target for $5ish, curtains I got on Craigslist for $15 (originally $45!). Door knocker-viewer we got on Amazon for $8 I believe?

Yeah. If you can't tell... we love bargains.

Sunday, June 1, 2014


this week we weddinged. it's totally a verb.

and I said to this dear sweet friend of mine, "oh, you've never been at a wedding with me!"

why? she was flabbergasted by my dance moves.

for those who've never been to a wedding with me, you have probably not seen the craziest side of me.

what's that saying? dance like no one's watching? yeah that's me at weddings.

my husband sometimes has a problem with this side of me as he can tend to be embarrassed. especially in public (dancing in the grocery store when a great song comes on? yup yup, das me).

I am a very white girl.

with very white girl dance moves.

some people probably wonder why I would feel compelled to make a fool of myself.

I never feel compelled to make a fool of myself, I do that every day without trying.

I feel the need to have a good time.

I've lost a lot of dear family and friends suddenly. I don't wanna waste time being pretentious.

I know life is too short to not dance.

So why choose to not dance when you want to? To leave your friends behind? Because when friends don't dance and if they don't dance then they're no friend of mine.


But in all seriousness, one thing life & God has taught me is to be genuine. And I genuinely love dance to great music.

Don't take this as my manic pixie drive to say, "oh look at how whimsically unique I am! pay attention to me!"

Nah. I don't care about attention. I care about being present. Being all there. And me being all there at any sort of celebration with music involves me getting down. Because I love to get down!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


while other couples went to the Bahamas, we went back to work two days after our wedding.

while other couples are going on their "second honeymoon!"... we still haven't gone on our first.

while other couples are going on their "one year anniversary!!" trip... we still haven't set foot off of american soil.

three years of marriage.

furthest away we've been was nyc and atlanta.

the longest vacation we ever had was 6 days, with my family [grateful for it nonetheless] and we evacuated due to hurricane.

second longest was 5 days in new york city, sleeping on floors of a gracious, generous stranger's-to-us-at-the-time apartment.

other vacations were generally just a weekend trip, or a stop somewhere on the way to friends weddings.

I'm not bitter. I'm so happy to have those times.

but I know we have put a lot of hard work into our marriage, our house, our relationships... without a lot of rest.

and I know we might have been upset at ourselves had we known three years ago that we wouldn't have gotten to Scotland by our third anniversary.

we might be upset at ourselves for not having made it there by now.

but I love our marriage. I love our life.

I love the fact that we both became homeowners at 24 years old, and are basically debt free... well... aside from... you know, the mortgage ;P

we never had a honeymoon, but we live a honeymoon life [thank you, Sharon Glasgow for coining that term. if you're looking for a real, hard-tack woman who writes about real life, she's your gal].

we have epic moments, and an adventurous life.

we kiss barefoot in the driveway when big, fat raindrops are melodically pouring down, just like in the movies [actually, that was only once. but it was cool].

we got tattoos together on our first anniversary. 

we get down and dirty.
see what I did there?
we're an aunt and uncle to some incredible kids.

we're making a house a home.

we're always trying to be a safe harbor to anyone who needs one.

we're trying to steward the blessings we've been given in order to best serve others.

and we'll always be each other's beloved even when we won't be physically in the same city, state, or country for long periods of time.

we'll make it through the challenges ahead.

we'll make it through the joys ahead.

the path ahead is a much easier go with you by my side.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Red Door

apparently a red door means welcome in many countries.

I didn't know this. I just wanted a red door.

and I love it!


Now the handle & hooks match