Spot the Difference

Friends,  we are far from being done out here but we’re having fun with some recent changes!  It reminds me of a spot the difference activity from Highlights magazine…

We’re finally tackling painting over the brown foundation (TOTALLY wish it was still brick!! I talked to a Mason about sandblasting the paint off but that honestly just seemed a little more intense than we are prepared for right now).

We’re putting on shutters….I say that in the present tense because we are putting them on the top window I just ordered the wrong size (can I blame lack of sleep?) so we are waiting until those come in.

My favorite update is actually the wing walls flanking the front steps! It’s hard to see in the first picture but because the stairs didn’t span the whole width of the porch area  (because that covering wasn’t original) I always felt the house looked disproportionate.  These walls to me make the area look much more substantial and I can’t wait to put some big planters on them! (Jesus take the wheel on my black thumb!)

For fun, here is a picture of our house the day we bought it!  Seeya later shingles, plain white door and funky little window!   Hello gutters!…so glad you stopped our basement from flooding every time it rained!

It’s another game of spot the difference between the day we bought it and an original rendering!

Future plans include finish painting the foundation,  overhaul that area to the right of the door, landscape to the left, hang shutters on the top window.  We actually bought and assembled a wall pergola to go over the window to the right but I’m having second thoughts about it (don’t tell Blake)….and we also have some railing we had planned to put back on the front stairs but it’s not original and also not sure if that’s needed now that we have wing walls?   And Lord have mercy we need to get something to wind that hose up on that’s all over the driveway LOL

I’m also trying to decide if window boxes really are in fact just a place for plants to go to die?  I’m pretty sure they are.

 

Just put on that pot of chili!

I had this whole big post typed out tonight and then I read something that virtually smacked me in the heart.

“Making your home pretty is nice, but making it nourishing is holy. Sister, paint that chair or hang that mirror, sure, but for the love, don’t wait until everything is done before putting on a pot of chili and inviting new friends over for football. Your neighbor wants to belong far more than she wants to be impressed.”-Jen Hatmaker

On one side of me is a box of things and two suitcases to unpack and the other side is a box to take to Goodwill.  Near the front door are tracks of dust coming from a little brick project we have going on out front…and to the other side is a kitchen that is still giving me the side eye about when we are going to get around to fixing her up!

I really WANT to get back to blogging house stuff.  “Once a week! You can do it!” I tell myself….MONTHS go by.  “You really should set aside time to write” Blake says.  And he’s good on his word…he would totally carve out time for me to write.  It’s me stopping me.  The excerpt from Jen’s new book made me realize I have been not wanting to share things because I’m waiting around until they are done and perfect (is anything really ever?) Call it the Pinterest effect I suppose.

By not just putting on my pot of chili I’m totally missing out on the whole reason I started this blog in the first place!  It certainly wasn’t for Pinterest! So at least for tonight, I’m reclaiming my teeny tiny little piece of the internet.

We’re hoping the rain can hold off this weekend so we can hang some shutters…something this old house should have had long ago! I scrolled through my camera roll as I put Hollyn to bed and picked the first 9 pictures I saw of projects we have done or are doing! Who else has a fun project going on right now?  Are you in the middle….or waiting around for things to be perfect? Do you need to put on your pot of chili, too?  We can have a chili cook-off…..that’s a thing right?

🙂

Disney with two under 3!

So I just took a casual NINE MONTHS off here…… is this thing still on? Mom, Dad, can you hear me?

We recently went to Disney with a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old when the crowd scale was measuring a 9 out of 10 and the result was worth resurrecting the blog over. I’m here to share a few tidbits of info others may find helpful or encouraging before they embark on taking mental terrorists to the happiest place on earth. This post is over 3000 words so grab a cup of coffee and dive in or feel free to skip! I have a lot to share about our house that I need to circle back to! It only took me an hour to remember the password to login to this bad boy and a little longer to remember how to post…

The most important part of going to Disney with babies: Ready your heart, Mama.

I kind of joke (but not really) that I set my expectations at rock bottom going into this. When I thought of Disney I thought of crowds, a lot of crying, a lot of sweating, and a lot of waiting and to be honest a week or two before we went when we realized the crowds were expected to be almost at a 10 we questioned if we had lost our sanity. (This little trip was tacked on to the end of a family vacation in at a Florida beach) It is expensive right? You feel like you have to sell an arm to go and you can’t do that right? Because you need that arm! For holding a kid or two! And what do we adults do when something is expensive? We want to get our money’s worth of course! So you want to savor every minute? Come away with a treasure box of photos where everyone is smiling and wearing adorable matching Disney clothes? You want to ride all the rides and do all the things? Hold it right there. Order the tickets, set aside your cash to spend in the park, and forget about it completely. Don’t think about it again. You’ll get your monies worth but it won’t at all be in the places you thought you’d find it. So mamas, let’s recap step one. Ready your heart. Start each morning being grateful you’re there and remember that your kid won’t be the worst behaved one there that day. TRUST ME. They won’t die if they have cotton candy for breakfast, sunscreen WILL find a way into their eye despite all your effort, and there might be tears…they might even be your own but you’re about to see your kid have the best time of their life. The image of Everly’s face after she left Tinkerbells house is forever burned into my memory.

Dad’s—The best thing you can do is be a little extra attentive to your lady in the mornings. They are preparing for battle so tell them they look nice one extra time, for the love help them pack those bags for the day (Mom’s will likely forget the things THEY need for themselves…does she have her sunglasses? Does she have an extra shirt for herself for when the baby spits up or poops on her mid day?), and remember the pace you’re setting…slow it down partner. You will not ride all the rides and see all the things (because, kids) so trust me when I say it’s fine if your toddler can’t find her shoe and you miss the parking shuttle 3 times because of it. Your wife will be SO thankful if you don’t act like you’re in a hurry to get everything right and perfect the first time. Breathe in, breathe out…it’s only 8:30am. Oh, and try to snap a few pictures of your wife with your kids…I bet she’ll take a million pictures of them, a bunch of you too, and she’ll treasure the ones you got of her with the babies! (I swear we weren’t really holding up this line this badly!)

Diving straight in…..

EATING

What is your #1 defense against cranky tired tiny humans? SNACKS. Disney is gracious enough to let you bring in your own snacks and drinks so you don’t have to sell your other arm (you need those arms, remember??) for a lemonade the size of their head and a pretzel they’ll declare is “nasty”. We brought in the kid’s favorite things right down to the apple juice. In a completely overstimulating environment I think having 5 minutes of something familiar helped re-center everyone. In the Magic Kingdom at the end of main street before the castle are some little AstroTurf areas that were my favorite spot for the girls to chill out for a minute.

So lets talk food. If you want to eat in a sit down restaurant you most likely need a reservation. We just didn’t do this…I was not at all impressed with the food in the Magic Kingdom…I’m not a hot dog and fries girl on a hot day so maybe it was just me.

We found the best place for food options and value was actually the Starbucks on Main Street. They had sandwiches and salads that seemed not only healthier but just more appetizing for hot weather. The prices were better for what you were getting ($10/person/meal) vs. $10 for a hot dog. The coffee prices were also very similar to what they would be anywhere….we were surprised at the lack of mark up. An iced coffee in the middle of the day was clutch. And if your kids can handle getting off the routine just a little it helps tremendously not to be eating meals at the usual meal times because it will be a lot less crowded!

NURSING

Speaking of feeding….Each Disney park boasts that they have a baby care center for nursing mothers. This was the only thing I found disappointing about the trip. It’s a TINY space at the very front of the park that smells like the worst dirty diapers you’ve ever smelled and only has two stalls for nursing. I assumed it would be like a big room for mothers where they could nurse…false….it was a small “waiting room” full of dads and other kids and a line of mothers waiting for the stalls. I gave up on it because I’m truly in the camp of my kid shouldn’t have to wait in line to eat in a stall so the rest of the world isn’t offended. It took us a few minutes of walking around to find a bench that wasn’t smack in the middle of 600 teenagers. Hollyn won’t take a bottle so that was our only option. Even if you have bottle fed babies taking breast milk I’d choose wisely because I can’t imagine finding a place to pump there. Just a heads up to nursing moms, choose your own outfits with all this in mind. I found myself in a dress one day feeding Hollyn in a bathroom stall while 100 toilets flushed simultaneously around us. YUCK….but because of my dress (which I thought would be cooler for me) I was locked in to this.

POTTY BREAKS

Regarding bathrooms. The very first show we went to was Disney Junior Live at Hollywood Studios and we had such high hopes for Everly loving it. We had a fast pass (more on this below) and so we got all situated inside and Everly announced she had to pee. Of course, right?? That’s how this thing works. My Disney rookie self panicked a little and asked her if she could hold it (what was I thinking??) So, I went to a “cast member” and told them our situation and she flashed a huge smile and told me there was a bathroom right through a nearby set of doors. It was the nicest bathroom I saw while at Disney and we were back in our seats just in time for the show to start. It was there that I first noticed how tailored Disney is to small children and I counted that as the start of the magic. When it came to diapers I changed Hollyn’s wet ones in the stroller quickly. There were changing tables in all the bathrooms for more complicated changes but I avoided it as much as I could because I just am not a fan of public changing stations….ya feel?

At the advice of a friend I got this little potty seat a while back for use in a public restroom. It folds up small and makes it easier for a tiny one to sit on a big potty and keeps them off of it. Just keep it in a zip lock bag along with some wet wipes and potty breaks will be a breeze.

DON’T CRY OVER SPILT BEER

While in Epcot one day we decided to try a beer in the Mexico section. At $10 a pop it was a little cheers to us for surviving (and enjoying) our trip! Before Blake could even take a sip from his Everly accidentally knocked it over. No crying over spilt beer right? Blake said “I wonder if they’d give me another….” I laughed and said “no way it’s not their problem we spilt it!” He went to the counter and explained what happened and pointed to the park bench where we were with a wet ground under it. Wouldn’t you know it Disney replaced his beer for him at no charge….I’m telling you…they are dedicated to your family having a magical time 🙂

PARKING & STROLLERS

If you stay off property (we did) parking will cost you $20/day and you can reenter as you would like. This is just a fun fact in case you’re staying off property and trying to get an idea of budget together. The parking lots have little tram looking shuttles running back and forth which you will have to fold strollers up to get onto. Just an FYI don’t deck out your stroller to perfection just how you want it for the whole day as soon as you get out of the car. Because 20 yards later you’ll be folding it all up and then having everything checked at the entrance.

You don’t have to fold up your strollers on the monorail or the ferry which is definitely a plus if your kids are snoozing away in them. Everly hasn’t napped in a stroller in well over 2 years and she was sound asleep in hers by the end of the day all 3 times. Disney World is magical like that!

Speaking of sleep….we stayed out pretty late with ours (9ish each night) and Everly went straight to her bed and straight to sleep every night. Do not pass go, do not collect $200…she was absolutely ready to sleep so that’s a win to not fight a toddler bed time after you’ve walked 14000 steps that day. The baby on the other hand….I’d say whatever kind of sleeper you have at home you’ll probably end up with at Disney as well. Hollyn still got up to feed at night the same way she does at home.

Stroller parking was something I’d read about before going but was a little unsure of to start with. Everyone just leaves their strollers and all their contents while they go into shows and on rides. I was nervous the first time so I took in our fans and a couple other items but quickly realized parents are so totally on the honor system there I wasn’t worried. There are also attendants constantly reparking strollers so don’t be alarmed if yours is in a little different spot when you come back….count it as lucky someone was looking out for your stroller I guess. I walked by a stroller one day that had two big YETI cups in each cupholder….if that’s not trust in society I don’t know what is.

We own a double stroller but we opted to take two umbrella strollers instead because they take up less room in the car. I’m happy with our decision because we could split up if we wanted to and it seemed easier to maneuver around crowds. If I had it to do over I may have purchased one of those universal stroller organizer bags and a cupholder? We were just throwing all of our stuff in the baskets under the stroller which was fine but a little disorganized at times. Also, we spotted this squirrel in Epcot feasting on snacks he could reach.

Unfortunately he actually chewed through this stroller basket despite us shewing him aggressively away….we left a note on their stroller that their apple had been contaminated.

A must have for a warm weather visit is a stroller fan!

We had one already but got this one on Amazon and everyone in the park was asking us where they could buy them. The park sells the fan mister bottles for $20 each but those were the only in park options we saw.

DISNEY WITH AN INFANT

I really didn’t realize that Disney let’s you take your baby on pretty much whatever you want. Hollyn rode nearly every ride that Everly rode which I was surprised by…we figured one parent would have to wait at each ride. It was so much fun to ride everything as a family. Some of the rides I just turned Hollyn in to me because I felt like they were too stimulating for her. We also rode Pirates of the Caribbean which has a little drop in the dark that no one warned me about…..I held her tight and it was fine but just FYI if you go on that ride holding a child….I was surprised about it. Here I was trying to take a family selfie on the Toy Story ride.

FAST PASSES

We were new to the fast pass game but caught on fairly quickly. You get 3 fast passes you can schedule ahead of time and <em>after you use all three </em>you can get one more at a time. Because of the way this works it would benefit you more to schedule your fast passes during the first part of the day. People constantly pick up and drop rides so every time you refresh the fast pass options new rides may pop up…it’s worth constantly checking. We used these for nearly everything we did there and we were able to do everything we wanted to do in Magic Kingdom without standing in lines (for longer than 10 minutes). There are kiosks in the park you can check fast passes with or you can download the Disney app and do it on your phone. It may be worth taking on of those extra battery chargers for your phone because if you use it for your camera like we did our batteries were very low towards the end of the day.

WHAT WE RODE

Our favorite rides (for a two year old) were the jungle boat, the little mermaid, magic carpets, dumbo, people mover (in Tomorrowland…there’s like no wait for that), it’s a small world, swiss family tree house (no line…just walk through), Mickey’s Philhar magic (this was AWESOME), the carrousel, teacups. This may not seem like a ton but ya’ll…it took the ENTIRE DAY. We ended up being there for the 9pm light show which did not disappoint but it was actually the perfect time to see some princesses. If your little one wants to see princesses and could do without the fire works head to the Princess Hallway during the night show….we walked right in with no line to meet Cinderella and Rapunzel and a couple others.

Things that we didn’t love—peter pan (WHAT is the hype over this???), the laugh floor (Monsters Inc comedy thing…it all went over Everly’s head).

We didn’t get to do Winnie the Pooh because it closed but we heard good things! We visited Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot. I’ve listed the things we did in Magic Kingdom just because it was largest but if anyone has questions about the other parks feel free to ask!

Another thing I had no clue about was the playground at Dumbo. When we went there was a 35 minute wait (we had a fast pass though so it was maybe 5 minutes for us). However, if I’d known about the playground inside the circus tent I wouldn’t have wasted a fast pass on this. You get a buzzer like at a restaurant and your kids can play in a really cool black light playground within the circus tent until it’s your time. To me, an indoor playground would have been a great spot to hang out and a bonus!

WHEN IT RAINS

I haven’t mentioned yet that it rained every day we were there. At some times it was POURING. We knew they were calling for rain so we bought ponchos at Walmart prior to the trip for $4 a piece instead of the $10+ ponchos you can by in the park.

It’s a pretty nasty feeling strolling around when it’s raining but it’s another one of those “adjust your attitude” moments. It is what it is and you’re there and can’t do anything about it so just don’t let it get to you. Your kid definitely doesn’t care about the rain and it’s still really warm outside. Have towels in the car (and we had pajamas to change the girls into) and it’ll all be ok. The parks do allow umbrellas but that just seemed like such a hassle. Take a zip loc bag to put the wet ponchos into when done. And trust me, you’re going to look like George Bush a few times fighting with those ponchos haha!

WHERE WE STAYED

So I mentioned previously that we stayed off property (near Sea World). This wasn’t any big deal for us. We drove in each day with no trouble, parked and were in the park with little hassle. The day we went to Magic Kingdom the monorail was down in the morning and it took nearly two hours to get into the park because they could only take people by bus or shuttle. Even those staying on property had to do this so that still wasn’t an advantage. Kids were absolutely losing their minds, parents were at their wits end by 10am but Everly thought the ferry boat was the first ride and she was PUMPED about getting on it. We had snacks and it wasn’t ideal but we just kept getting Everly excited about the “ride” (the ferry) and she was fine. We are just lucky she didn’t pull a “I have to pee moment” in THAT line.

You can definitely find affordable rooms in the park as well! For us, with the two kids we prefer the hotels that are more like a suite style where Everly can sleep on a pull out sofa. If you have Hilton points or something where an off park hotel would be better for you I would definitely not feel discouraged at all about the convenience of it all. With small kids you’re going to be moving at a slower pace no matter where you are! I mean, who would be in a rush to get this babe out of her Minnie pjs??

DISNEY SPRINGS

The last day we ended up leaving Epcot early and going to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) to have dinner at Rainforest Café. I would highly recommend this for small kids! We had read the reviews saying the food was terrible but the atmosphere is just so cool for kids! We ordered a really large appetizer for dinner and drinks and actually thought everything we ate from the sampler platter was really good food! So I was again, pleasantly surprised!

We didn’t spend much time at Disney Springs but it seemed like a fun atmosphere and there is a GIGANTIC Disney store where your little one can pick out just about any Disney toy they could dream up! There was also a cool Lego store. Parking at Disney Springs is complementary and the best place to park we thought was in the “Lime” parking deck.

We had such a fun time and will definitely be taking the girls back! Maybe next time we’ll aim for the off season but if you find yourself going during peak season, with two small kids, and only rain in the forecast…FEAR NOT! You can have a great time!!!! I’m so happy Blake snapped this picture of me and the girls before we headed out for the day… Even though by the end of the day everyone was a wet mess, this is how I’ll remember it! For those wondering where I found the girl’s ears, here is the link for the hair clips. The headband is under that same link. Both stayed in really well for us given a day of running around the Park!

Anyone else have any great hacks for doing Disney with babies? I’m sure people would love to know them (I know I would!) So feel free to drop them in the comments!

She’s here!

Well, baby girl #2 decided to join us a week early! I guess she got word we finished things up around here and wanted to check it out! She arrived at 9:36am on Monday, September 12 weighing 7lbs 4oz, 20 inches long.  Her birth was about as smooth as they come and for that we are so thankful! We took her newborn photos ourselves and I wanted to share some of my favorites on the blog!  I’ve got a couple house things I want to share that we finished up before she was born but I felt like it would be a big jump to totally skip our new addition!

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Big girl room reveal!

Here we are a week from the due date of our second baby and we’ve FINALLY moved our first into her new digs!  The following went down in this room: ceiling repair, lighting change, new paint.  Other than those things we were really just shuffling furniture around…it’s hard to believe the room all came together with only a handful of purchases!

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Here we were testing paint colors and clearing the room out…pre ceiling fix, pre ceiling fan swap, mid curtain trial run!

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Then we moved it all in!

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We just shared about the china cabinet turned armoire in this post.  Beside it we have a laundry basket that actually holds stuffed animals and blankets (it makes for a quick clean up!).  The chair is from TJ Maxx years ago and the booksellers table is Ballard Designs which was previously in her nursery (we got it second hand and I tried to find a similar link but it’s sold out..boo!).  Curtains are pillowfort for Target. Rug is by At Home. Peg board letters are from Hobby Lobby…those are no longer sold and we got ours when they were something like 90% off!! These could (fairly easily) be made with a pegboard panel from Lowe’s (no more than $5), some paint, and a jig saw.

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Toddler bed was second hand, nightstand is vintage Stanley furniture, mirror was a thrift store find, quilt rack was my grandmothers.  Chandelier was a thrift store find spray painted white.  Crib was actually mine from 1986.  It’s a drop rail crib which is not something that could even be sold these days but we feel fine about it! In fact, once Everly starts climbing out being able to lower the rail will make me feel safer.  Art is woodland doodles by me in some clearance Hobby Lobby frames (gotta love that 90% off aisle!).  Everything in the room is hung a little higher than usual just to keep it out of reach of tiny hands.  I’ve read once they move to a toddler bed you have to treat the whole room as if it’s the crib so they can’t get hurt if they decide to play in the middle of the night…

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A burp cloth made by The Plum Poppy I just couldn’t stand to pack away yet!

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Wreath was a thrift store find but it’s actually from Target. (Holy cow when I went to find that link I realized it was $20!! I paid $3) Bear artwork is also Pillowfort for Target.

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So there you have it! One more room of the house checked off the list!  (And one leaky roof FINALLY stopped!)

 

 

Painted china cabinet turned “closet”: before and after

Remember that time we scooped up a china cabinet in a thrift store and turned it into a timeless armoire for our little girl’s room? Dedication to this project was certainly not for the faint of heart but in the end it’s got us all heart throbs over here!

before-and-after

We tried using a paint sprayer one night after we put Everly to bed.  Picture us under our car port around 10pm trying to get over the learning curve of a paint sprayer while a storm is blowing up outside.  Our work lamps attracting every moth within a 5 mile radius and the moths dive bombing the gooey globs of paint we had managed to squirt all over the cabinet.  YALL. …we went backwards on progress that night.  We ditched the sprayer all together and went for the good old fashioned roller and 2 inch brush method.  We used a liquid sander on everything, two coats of kilz primer, one GALLON of paint (I used latex….I know it’s frowned upon but here’s the deal–we happened to have this color, unopened in our basement….a gallon of chalk paint would have been way out of budget–, and finally a matte varnish to seal the whole thing.  I lost track of the time this took but let’s give it at least a month right? Of doing a little bit of what we could here and there.  I have no idea what it would take if you tried to work straight through…in fact that’s a little scary to think about…

Enough about the nitty gritty, let’s just look at pretty pictures right?

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The intention of this piece was to be a “closet” option for Everly’s big girl room as the closet that this room shares with the next room is TINY (another post on that update later!)  To accomplish this we removed one of the shelves and installed a rod to hang some of her clothes from.

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There is certainly no shortage of storage options!

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The bottom is filled with pajamas, baskets of socks, shirts, pants….

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…a silverware drawer turned little girl accessory storage!

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I wasn’t sure about adding back in the wire panels but I think they help maintain a vintage feel

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…because why wouldn’t you use a $3 cake stand you found on clearance as a shoe stand??

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I love having room for the clothes we need to but I also love having room for some of my childhood things that would otherwise be packed away in a box in an attic somewhere!

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For worried mothers (like mine) it is anchored to the wall.  I guess I will use this space to type a little PSA to large furniture lovers, please anchor your pieces to the walls!! Five minutes of research on furniture and tv child fatalities will have you ordering anchors on amazon prime in no time. These accidents are much more common than you think and they are SO preventable!  This is what we have used personally and have been happy with.  You install them and then slide the furniture back and it’s truly not even visible from the side.

I’ll be back with some full room reveal pictures in the next post!

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!