The space between

I resigned from my job in July.  It feels wrong to call it a job.  The only job I’ve had since college….so I resigned from my career feels a little more appropriate.  The weight of those words felt heavy then and it still feels heavy now typing it.  But the weight of those words has also made me feel lighter than I have at any point in my 20s (I’ll turn 30 in December).

I need to preface all of it with saying it was a hard decision, a long time considered decision, a prayed over decision, a decision over which many people gave their blessing.  I’m forever thankful for all the things I learned and all the resources people poured into me. There’s something so comfortable about getting up and going to the same place every day.  I think it many ways I could have easily done that forever.  But there has always been a quote that has haunted me for years.

I think this is troubling in particular for the creative variety.  You feel like your corporate job isn’t stretching you enough in all the right ways? So any smart person would tell you “make it your hobby”, “why don’t you volunteer doing that”, “you can’t make money doing that”.   And 99% of the time they are right.  As someone who has a Masters of Accounting, I’ll be the first to tell myself you have to have a great adjustment of expectations to be willing to give it all up for the arts.  But thank God people do….the world would be so ugly without all those people.

I’m within two weeks of being a mother to two.  Resigning when I did left this space for me to savor what I had left of being a mother to one.   I wrote it all over my calendar to treat it like the sacred time it really has been. Some moments are really tough and others are so rich in the matter of life it will move you to tears.  The feelings of not contributing monetarily to our family during this space between are offset by becoming absolutely filthy rich in memories money could have never bought.  I’ve never felt called to stay at home.  I have friends who are SO good at it.  It’s clear they are doing what they should be doing.  I have not found this in myself.  So this space between won’t be forever and maybe that makes it all the more sacred to me.  As we welcome in our new baby to the fold and adjust, I will return to something new.  It’s exciting, scary sometimes, but mostly exhilarating to find out what you’re really made of.   A friend and I recently had lunch and talked about the importance of living a significant life.  How it’s really not enough to work hard and tithe to your church or write checks to charities.  We are all capable of changing the world for someone so we should be boots on the ground each day using our talents, using our resources, finding new resources, pouring in, pouring out, using a prayerful compass and listening to our callings.  Life is fleeting, and in the end, we ALL know it’s not going to ever have been about the things this world will have you think it is.

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This space between has been something out of a movie and that will never be lost on me.  One day when I’m commuting to work or I’m missing my girls once they’ve left the nest, I’ll dig up these riches I’ve stored away.  We live within walking distance of both my parent’s house and Everly’s preschool (she still goes two days a week).  There have been mornings where I have been given the gift of a slow morning of coffee on my parent’s porch, mornings where I have strolled Everly to preschool with the sun beaming in between tree branches on the street in front of us…nowhere to be.   I’m writing this from a busy little coffee shop down the street from her preschool.  One I’ve dreamed about working from since we moved here but never taken the time to. Days where I’ve been given the gift of time to pick up a paintbrush just for the fun of it. This space between, no doubt, will be one of the greatest gifts of this lifetime.

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I’m learning the art of being present in the “spaces between” so that when I do go back to the hustle and bustle of another time I’ll recognize them for what they are.  Maybe it’s an extra 30 minutes in the morning you could have a cup of coffee with your spouse, maybe it’s a family dinner you let yourself linger at the table for 15 minutes longer.  Maybe it’s that phone call you make on the way home to a relative you haven’t talked to in forever. I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again…we must stop the glorification of busy.  Celebrate productivity and celebrate quality time…but it’s time to say no to all we can and start saying yes to the things that are going to make a difference.

If you’re still reading this mess of thoughts, happy Thursday friends! I’m headed home to put the FINAL coats of paint on the china cabinet turned bedroom armoire.  Glass is going back in tonight and she’s scheduled for a photoshoot tomorrow…all the praise hands!

enjoy

DIY Frosted Coffee

Have you had the new-ish Chick-Fil-A frosted coffee? It was supposed to be limited time only but they announced last week it’s going to be a permanent addition to the menu. This is both a) the best news ever and b) enabling me. Enabling me to frequently consume a glorified milkshake while pretending it’s a cup of coffee and also to spend money at a fast food restaurant way more frequently than is fiscally responsible to do.

 announcement

So, upon their announcement I decided to try a DIY version at home. While it’s still really the same ingredients I can at least control the sugar and flavoring that is likely added to their version. Here is the nutrition facts per their website. 38 grams of sugar in a small is sorta killin’ my vibe.

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 So, I got a little pint of regular old vanilla ice cream. I used about 3 small scoops of this. A serving of this is 1/2 a cup which is almost exactly what I used. 160 calories and 18 grams of sugar. While we should just call this what it is, a dessert, at least it’s better right? Right.

I added the ice cream to 6oz of cold brew coffee I made a couple days ago and blended for like 3 total seconds using our bullet. Don’t overdue this or you’ll lose the milkshake consistency.

 I topped it off with a little whip cream…lets be honest…just to fill out the glass for the picture. It doesn’t need it but if whipped cream is your thing then go for it!

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 Consume in the sun to cool off with an economical and somewhat healthier version of your beloved frosted coffee!

enjoy

 Side note: we cold brew our coffee with the Primula glass system from Amazon and love it. You can cold brew with a filter and a mason jar really but this comes with a reusable filter and just having everything made to go together makes it easier. [[cold brewing just means you let coffee grounds soak in cold water for 24-48 hours–nothing special]]. Cold brew also has significantly less acid which is overall healthier for you and helps prevent the dreaded coffee breath.  What you make will also last for weeks in the fridge vs. that one hot cup you keep microwaving all day and pretending like it still tastes fine.

And I use half decaf grounds and half regular (or all decaf) while pregnant for a lower caffeine treat. My friend Kelly and I branded this decaf iced coffee “Ice Ice, Baby”. Logo and all, it’s probably something I should actually brand instead of putting on the internet for someone else to take to Shark Tank but hey, gotta pick what I spend my time doing wisely…like DIYing my favorite fast food beverages…

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The Blender.

3I spent a really inappropriate amount of time during 2015 trying to figure out how to wear all my hats.

Follower of Christ. Wife. Mother. Daughter. Friend. Employee. Supervisor. Renovator. Housekeeper. Cook. Volunteer. Coffee addict. Wannabe Writer (totally FAILING)

I’ve been asked before how we get everything done we do get done.  1. we have A LOT of help. 2. I don’t know…I think it gets done somewhere between the 5th cup of coffee and insanity. During my quest for instruction I stumbled upon some really incredible and inspiring women who seemed to all live by the same motto…. Just STOP.

There are days I think a few more pages in all my half read devotional books will make it all come together.

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There are a few days I think about how it’s unfair women have to put an extra hour into the day trying to live up to society’s normal version of pretty. (seriously. This on top of pay inequality? Ugh.)

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There are a few days I pour an extra cup of coffee just so I can sip from this mug for a few more precious moments.

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I made a huge decision during the last part of 2015 to reduce my workload to 50%. I want to preface this paragraph by saying how lucky I feel to have the opportunity to be able to do this in the first place. However, the decision came with some heart ache. The decision comes with the need to reconcile why I’m making that choice about 3 times a day. Every day.   I earned my degree. I passed the exam. I worked hard to establish relationships. And whether I think I’m competitive or not, well, you put enough work into anything and you’ll become competitive about it. I lost a lot of sleep before I decided about how I was inevitably going off pace from the peers I started with.   About taking a significant pay cut. And if I’m honest, about if I would be enough for Everly at home. I didn’t get a degree in how to raise a toddler….didn’t pass an exam about how to be a stay at home…anything.

Don’t get me wrong. Everly is worth every lost part of work. Because things you can never get back will never have a price tag. I get about 5 years before a significant portion of her will be shaped by teachers and peers. I have to tell myself that every. Single. Day.     Sometimes I feel guilty about the fact that I have to tell myself why I’m doing what I’m doing.   I’m excited to start a new year and a new-ish role.

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Although I don’t actually know what that role is yet. I’m in the process of trying to figure out how to walk around with my legs in two different buckets. I’m tripping a lot…but I’m going to get it. And if I don’t…well…..life wasn’t really meant to run quickly was it?

Seeing new numbers on a planner is so darn inspiring.

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Here’s to 2016. Here’s to giving ourselves grace. Knowing we are enough. Here’s to drinking more water, flossing, and spending more time in God’s word. Here’s to doing the things we find important, writing more, worrying less, playing more, working enough, and loving big.

 

things.things.things.

I have what I would consider major projects to be blogging about. However, I cannot seem to make myself sit down and commit to finishing painting said projects and until then they cannot be photographed. [[update: I have painted so we are so much closer]]

I miss my blog though so I thought I would just write up a short [[edit: this got long!!]] post about some things we love. I’ve formed a bad habit of internet window shopping during nighttime feedings….and then window shopping turned into real shopping 🙂

So sawdust is just a THING in our house so this year I put these drink toppers into Blake’s stocking. This way when he is in the basement he can cover his drinks up and not take a big gulp of saw dust. They run you about $8. Worth it.

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We also felt like a lot of times Everly would be hanging out in the living room and we would need to use the nail gun for a quick second. I kept having to carry her out of the room so we found some baby ear protection. I’m a little crazy about protecting hearing. Truly men (or women!) you should be wearing protection even when you mow your lawns. It will make a difference when you’re older!

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This pillow I think makes a wonderful gift for new parents! It’s $35 and is a special and fun way to document things. We have this in Everly’s room now and I think it’s just so cute.

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Gnocci. It’s still a starch but it’s wayyy easier than cooking pasta. It boils in about 3 minutes. We’ve started serving it mixed with a meat, veggies, and a pasta sauce. We love it and truly makes a quick meal. This also seems to keep as leftovers better than pasta for us. It’s perfect for that new mom brain that just explodes at the idea of cooking pasta. A lot can go wrong with pasta….you can spill the noodles everywhere trying to get them into the pot (one hand makes everything so much harder) and you can forget to set a timer all together…no timer needed here. They just float. And float quickly. Time is of the essence when a baby is in arm.

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Reusable K Cups –We love anything we can reuse …we also love buying the whole bean coffee and grinding our own the morning we are having it. We have had the same 4 cups for at least 3 years now and they are holding up just fine! We rinse them out after use and run them through the dishwasher maybe once a week.

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This isn’t really something you buy but is just something that made our lives easier. After Everly came things got a little blurry for a while and we were constantly RE-feeding the dogs because we thought they hadn’t been fed yet! Seriously….Finley has gained 10lbs…. one night Blake started inventing a little thing we could use to track when they had been fed. We fashioned this together using a magnetic picture frame from the fridge, a piece of paper, and just a basic magnet. We move the magnet each time we feed them so the other person knows the last time they were fed.

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Heated mouse pad. I don’t even feel like this needs an explanation it’s just one of those things you should immediately purchase if you work anywhere close to an office. It was like $6…probably because it’s shaped like a giant fish and a more professional one would cost more. But it’s just powered by the USB and I can tell you first hand it gets TOASTY!

mouse pad

Travel heated blanket : My mom received this as a gift for Christmas and I think it’s pretty genius!! This would make a great gift for a lot of people in my opinion. I feel like Blake and I always think the car is two different temperatures 🙂 no spouse ever has to freeze again.

heated blanket

Other things I have been up to include:

I’ve put a dresser in the dining room. I LOVE it! So. Much. Storage.

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I’ve been inspired by this post to do this type of thing in our dining room. It’s rather charming I think.

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I found this sweet little paint can at the Lobby of Hobbies for something like $3. I’m not really a collector of small nicknaks but this reminded me of our pregnancy announcement so I wanted to add it to the nursery.

paint jar

Lets see… I’m not sure I ever shared this wasp/hornet (not sure which) nest I picked up at an antique store in the mountains. About everyone I know told me it was really creepy but I love it hanging in our office! I’m truly amazed because it really is a very natural work of art. Mom thinks I should gold leaf it. I might…

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I’m working on adding a tab to the top of our blog about blogs/websites which I love to frequent! I’ve found some great blogs perusing this feature on other blogs that I would love to share. Now that I have a camera I am also going to be slowly updating the house tour pictures with some current pictures. It’s easy to forget just how far some areas of the house have come!

Before I go, I’ll leave you with some more random information 🙂 Another new middle of the night pass time has been surfing Instagram for interior design /blogger/neat thing accounts. Here are some of my FAVORITES if you’re also into Instagram and use it for more than the occasional selfie 🙂 Maybe in addition to the aforementioned proposed blog updates I’ll figure out how to share my own instagram feed on here…

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As for our projects…here is a hint at the biggest one we’ve done in a while. This is BEFORE.

laundry before

See you soon!

SAP.

Week 29 must have something extra special regarding a symptom of being overwhelmed with emotion. I feel like my normally dry from staring at a computer screen all day eyes have stayed in a constant state of about to spill over for a week now.

I am particularly disturbed about the speed at which our child is growing. I mean I get sweaty palms about how fleeting pregnancy seems. Being constantly sick for weeks on end seems like it happened lifetimes ago…or never at all. I cannot seem to remember a time when I didn’t have a soccer ball sitting in my stomach. And I feel like I spent so much time at 15 weeks waiting to feel the tiniest movements that now I’ve missed all the big ones as she slows down due to lack of wiggle room.

We went to see her on a 3D ultrasound yesterday (our last before we see her in person) and I just couldn’t believe how human like she looked. I can remember thinking “wow she looks like a cute alien” at 20 weeks and I couldn’t wait for her to put on some weight. Now I’m finding myself pleading with her to slow down. As much as I can’t wait to hold her and meet her and to have Blake hold her I just wish I could preserve all this. It’s such a blessing and once it’s gone all you have left are the memories (and a pregnant lady’s memory is not exactly exceptional….) I mean you can’t just stay pregnant….unless you are a Dugger. And I am NOT a Dugger. I believe in the power of birth control…like really, strongly, passionately believe in it. No offense to the Duggers or anyone who wants their own football team. I just don’t.

People tell me I’ll like all the phases and they all have things that are wonderful…and I suppose it’s sort of like how you love puppies and wish they could stay puppies…but Finley has really been a treasure every day. From 7lbs to 70lbs we have loved to see him change. So maybe it’s like that? I hope. I’ve already warned Blake that I’ll probably have a meltdown at the hospital when I realize she has turned 1 hour old. Or 24 hours old …even though each milestone she reaches is a blessing. There’s no way I’ll blink….so I’ll depend on tears Visine to keep my eyes from drying out.

Anyways, enough about that. I’ll share a project Blake did as we get one step closer. We have been insanely fortunate to not have to purchase nursery furniture. It’s very special to me that Everly (oh yes, we chose a name…I’ll come back to that) gets to use her cousin Kerwin’s crib! She will have my childhood furniture but we had to slightly modify one of the dressers to become a changing table. We knew we didn’t want to permanently deface the dresser so it can grow with her so we needed a temporary solution.

Blake somehow/magically created this “tray” one day in the basement. He took great care in his precision (maybe his days working at the cabinet shop or the fact that only the best will do for his little girl).

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We matched the paint color to the dresser and used that grip tape you put on the bottom of rugs to keep it from sliding. You can pull it straight up but you can push/pull/bump into/swing from it and it won’t budge. We love that we didn’t have to put nails through the dresser but feel good the little one can’t pull it down on herself once she is tall enough to scale the knobs of the dresser like her own personal jungle gym.

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You can see a pegboard there and a Raskog cart from IKEA I’ll have to be back to blog about later. Back to her name.

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Everly comes from Everleigh (B preferred the shorter spelling) which is the last name of my Aunt Fran and Uncle Bob. I love the name. Yes, I know Channing Tatum and his wife named their baby Everly last year and I did have a little ping of jealousy when that happened but at least they fly somewhat under the celebrity spotlight so maybe it won’t spread like wildfire….at least not until there is another Magic Mike movie… And of course, Blake comes from my…and hers now (!) Blake.

Until next time…I’ll just be over here trying not to realize I do not even have 2.5 months left of this season!

Things that change your life

Hi Friends! It’s been a while. I have to report that not much in the way of projects has gone on around here.

We have had one very major life event though……

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We invested in a Roomba! Are you underwhelmed? Don’t be.

This sort of happened on a whim although I guess not really because we had been in discussions about hiring someone to help keep the house clean anyway.

Sometimes just the smallest amount of dust can overwhelm me. It’s not the dust I can see that does it… it’s knowing that the dust I do see is the tip of a big invisible iceberg and thinking about dusting the iceberg really just makes me want to run outside screaming. Our last place did not make me feel this way. I guess it was smaller but it was also complete. When everything was put away it was done and I felt very satisfied. Living in a fixer upper has definitely impacted the cleaning realm because there is no feeling of complete satisfaction. In fact, if you clean something that is “under construction” (the term I like to use for something that is not entirely the way I want it to be… aka 85% of the house) you are left feeling blah about it because then you get reminded about what you meant to be doing to that particular area and if you are just ADD enough you will start that and then forget to ever finish cleaning.

I realized how first world problems this post is seeming right now. Sometimes you just have to be dramatic.

So anyways, back to the purchase. My friend Kelly told me one day she was working from home while her dog played in the back yard and her Roomba vacuumed the house for her. WHATTTTT. I immediately had to get on board. I did a little research (10 minutes worth) and decided I wanted the model made for pet hair then I told Blake that the Easter Bunny was SO thoughtful because he was bringing me a Roomba.

easter bunny

If you read this blog long enough you’ll start to notice that I like to pin a lot of purchases on holiday characters. If I ever do have the unfortunate mishap of losing a tooth you better believe the tooth fairy is coming to town!

(Also, if you google Roomba and are astounded at the price of them I realize it may seem conflicting as I am otherwise a ridiculously frugal person but it should be noted there is a busy season policy. We do not have time to spend money January-April and therefore the Easter Bunny likes to be generous each Spring) ….also I thought about how many times I’ve said to myself “I would pay someone $50 to suck up all the dust and dog hair in this house” and it was more than 8 times (in the past week) so therefore my valuation of said Roomba was deemed reasonable and appropriate.

WE LOVE IT. I mean we LOVE it. I think it works remarkably well and even if I do nothing all day and the Roomba runs I feel a sense of accomplishment. I also like that it goes under the furniture unlike a vacuum. It also makes me feel good that if we have someone coming over last minute we can start it to run and do other tasks while it’s getting that part done. We had some people ask us how it did on carpet and we think it did well but we also weren’t using a Dyson or anything before. The Roomba is a huge improvement over what was happening before….which was nothing. It motivates you to keep clutter off the floor so that it can get around which means more shoes back in the closet and less of me keeping two pairs in every room of the house just in case I need to go somewhere. (Really it just motivates your husband to remind you to put your shoes back in that sweet shoe china cabinet he built for you)

I think I might be the only one who laughs at this type of thing but I just crack up every time I see a video about a cat riding a Roomba. Hilarious.

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This is the link to a funny one. I can see Lola sitting on the Roomba doing this to Finley while we are at work all day.

Anywayyyyssss, we are sort of getting back into the groove of things and I’ve been itching to make a giant to do list. I read Young House Love…if you don’t you should because they are cute. They keep a giant running to do list for each section of their house which they fondly call Listy McListerson (or some variation thereof). It has everything from tiny to dos to big renovations but it’s just a place they can go to check stuff off and remember their original goals. I hope to have that be my next post for here.

Lastly, if you watch The Voice, Delvin Choice is from Greenville and goes to our church so if you want to be cool and vote for him that would be great! 🙂 It’s on tonight so click here if you want to!

Let’s be productive! …and floss

Must stop the glorification of busy!

Apparently I don’t sit with all the cool bloggers at lunch so I missed the fact that the trend now is to have a “word of the year”…resolutions are SO 2013. My word is productive. It’s time to cut the busy crap and actually do something or do nothing but don’t be that annoying person caught in between who is “busy”.

I’ve been working in our home office a lot recently but haven’t gotten around to finishing organizing or doing something about the 10 million cords running wild and reproducing around the sides of the desk. I did however manage to makeover the mirrored closet door in here.

Some of you might freak out when you realize I did away with this nice glass door but please let me save you the trouble and let’s just all agree that the glass was beyond saving. I couldn’t see my reflection in it and it couldn’t be cleaned….it was just OLD. And not the old I’m trying to keep around…it’s not useful or practical. It’s just sitting there pretending to do something but really doing nothing at all (“busy”…you might call it).

So. Here we are. Princess cruise stickers and all.

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I purchased some cork paneling and covered the top half of the glass. It’s just stuck on with those sticky hanger thingies (best invention ever). The bottom half is painted with chalkboard paint. I don’t really do a lot of chalking but white board and magnetic paint were like the price of gold (like $34 dollars for a quart!! Whaaaaa?!) and I don’t have gold to spend on that. I figured I’ll doodle something inspirational on there and then I’ll leave that until I have a tot who likes to draw on a chalkboard while the mom is working.

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In other news, I have bangs now.

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It was really a rather intense hair session with my cousin in law. She said “do you want them?” I said “I just can’t commit” and she said “commit” and then we chopped. I do love them but I also can’t decide if I feel like I look like I’m 30 and work at that bank from Sweet Home Alabama or if I look 23, chic, and like I work on the set of Devil wears Prada. Things to ponder. Here is me pondering my bangs whilst focusing on my chandelier that is still my new favorite thing and I’m still writing Santa thank you letters daily….

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In other, more important, relevant, people still won’t care but will care more, news…. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the office just looking around and absorbing little tiny frames of the room. Areas that appear complete and wonderful. I space out on those and then pretend like the whole room/house/my life is finished.

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Well, I should go be productive somewhere. Y’all, I got a fitbit for Christmas. My main fitness goal is to walk 10,000 steps per day. I’ve met it once. It’s official. I’m sedentary (not to be confused with dysentery all you Oregan Trail gamers!). Darn accounting. The good news is …I did floss today…that counts for at least 3,000 steps in my life progress book.

Happy productivity everyone!