I'm loving cozy spaces! This is one of them in my house...right in front of the fireplace :) If you come to my home, you will most likely find a huge blanket on each couch and chair...one of my favorite ways to relax.
Here is the latest project at our house. Since I took this picture, Johnny has finished the electrical and sheet rocked.. We even covered the window that looks into the kitchen. It already feels so much better and cozier! I will have to post some more progress pictures of it. I am planning on hanging some art and a wall mounted light fixture where that window was...There are several reasons why I covered that window, but the main one was for my kitchen design. We are no where near being able to afford a kitchen remodel, but I have a pretty good idea of what I want and closing that window was a must.
Boris is not so little anymore. He looks like a grown dog, but he is only 6 1/2 months old. He got sick for the first time over the weekend but thankfully he is feeling much better. He sounds like a legit guard dog now. He has the scariest low bear growl ever!
My plants in the front yard have been a delight to watch this spring. I planted everything from scratch last year (except for the trees), so this is the first time they have come up after the winter. It's rewarding to see how my hark work from last spring/summer has payed off. There is only one plant that didn't make it, so I am deciding what should take its place. I am also about to start my own vertical herb garden in the backyard. I have been saving some ideas for it on Pinterest for a while now and recently found the perfect spot for it. We picked up the supplies this weekend, but still need to finish installing it. I will post some pictures of that when it's up :)
Oh, the crazy that our animals put up with ;) This is a very typical scenario at our house...I'm loving Milton's face! Also, what I haven't taken a picture of yet is Maya trying to ride Boris like a horse....he is getting THAT big. Seriously, these dogs are the best!
It's so funny when your whole family goes to the doctor for a physical (fostering paperwork requirements) and explains to him how we haven't seen a PCP in so long because we have been very healthy...I am very much regretting that we didn't knock on wood after we said that ;) This week the kids and I went back to the doctor and all had to get antibiotics for strep! So funny! It's Friday and the kids are back in school. Thank goodness for antibiotics!
This week was another crazy one. These last 2-3 weeks have been filled to the rim with appointments galore and I believe that next week will be like that as well. Thank goodness for amazing family who is willing to help watch our kids as Johnny and I finish up our foster training sessions. We have our last training session this coming Tuesday :) Our paperwork is finished, but we are still waiting on a few of our references to come in, so that we can move on to the final 2 home visits. The training sessions have been so informative and helpful in our preparations.
We have also been getting the baby room ready. Our foster babies will be sleeping in our bedroom, so we have carved out a cozy space for a crib and comfy chair. A friend from our neighborhood was so kind to let us use her crib. It's perfect! Johnny hung up the mirror that he made for me a few years back and I hung a few of our massive pinecones that I picked up during our last family trip. Here is a sneak peek ;) The dogs are already thoroughly enjoying the sheepskin!
This little lady of mine is obsessed with reading.....actually, she is obsessed with just about anything to do with learning in general. She is hilarious and so ridiculously driven. There have been multiple times when we come downstairs on a weekend or an evening before bedtime when she is sitting at our dining table all by herself working on math problems. Today she set the timer for 4o minutes instead of the required 20 minutes to read. I love watching her succeed and challenge herself with books that are more difficult in vocabulary....speaking of reading...she is sitting right beside me as I write and has read this whole paragraph with a big grin on her face ;) Such a cutie!
Where should I start? Geesh! Right now the kids are home this week for Spring Break and we are thoroughly enjoying slower mornings...although we haven't had as many as I was hoping for ;) This break has snuck up on Johnny and I like never before! I knew it was coming up, but honestly didn't even realize it was spring break till I picked the kids up on Friday and they were talking about it. So funny! This school year is flying by and I am having such a hard time keeping up.
Johnny has had to work this week, so no big trips for us. I kept it simple and made some fun picnic lunches, park outings, nature hikes, all squeezed in between the crazy list of errands. It has been so nice having the kids home, but with that has come a lot of attitude adjustments....which means extra chores ;) Haha! I recently set up a chore chart (they are each rewarded $1 every Sunday as long as all their chores have been completed and they have only had to be "warned" once for bad attitudes) and it has proven wonderful and very convenient....a lot less complaining/whining when I ask them to do something. They feel important and it keeps everyone motivated and in charge of their own jobs, which rotate regularly. Their chore charts are clipped downstairs in our pantry, so they can easily check at any time. I give them extra chores for discipline and so far so good :)
What have I been doing while Johnny goes to work and the kids go to school??? Besides the typical "mom/wife/house upkeep" jobs? Well, I have been creating a website for Johnny and his remodeling business, Taylor Renovations. I finally have a link for it posted in my menu bar under the tab "Taylor Renovations" at the top right. Go check it out. It's definitely not finished and I am still working on adding more pictures from past projects, but it's coming along and feeling more and more organized. Yeah! This has been needing to be done for a long time, so I am thankful I have had the time to work on it!
The other BIG thing I have been working on is filling out TONS of paperwork for FOSTERING. We submitted our fostering application and have had the first home walk thru with our social worker, but there is still more paperwork, photo copies galore, a couple more home walk-thrus, doctor appointments (I got the kids in today for their required checkups/vaccination paperwork and Johnny and I will get our physicals next week), a few home "safety" projects and many more foster training sessions to complete. Wednesday was our first foster training session and it was so good and informative. It was a few hours long, but counts as 1 training session and we need 9 training sessions in all. We will be finished with all our sessions by the end of this month. I was envisioning us getting everything done by summer, but it looks like it's moving faster then I expected, so I am thinking that we might be fostering by early to mid April.
This also made me realize that I need to start getting our bedroom ready for babies! We requested an age range from newborn to 6 months. Can you tell I LOVE babies??? ;) I am pretty much starting from scratch, since I got rid of almost everything a couple of years ago. I was having a really hard time emotionally with all of my miscarriages and surgeries, so I thought it would be best for me to purge and rid of all my baby stuff I had been keeping (just in case). I regret that decision now, but what's done is done and now I am starting over. I do know that the "baby sleeping quarters" has to be finished before we can be officially approved, so this is a must. This is the kind of thing that is making it feel more real and gets me excited and motivated. I know life is about to change dramatically and get messy and exhausting and exciting and a mix of so many unknowns, but I know this is God's plan for us and I know He is right here as we walk through this new season in life. I am SO thankful for my relationship with the Lord, because honestly, I am not sure I would want to take on something like this without God's full support and leading!
Any house projects lately? No....not really. I guess we did start working on our office (out of necessity...majorly needing to organize ;), but really haven't had enough time or money to do much. We built one long desk going from one wall to the other going across the room and that has been amazing. We have both been working on our computers in the office a lot, so it's been nice to have one long desk that we can both sit at and still spread out. I am planning to have 2 matching shelves above the desk area, but I need to save some more money before more materials can be bought. I'll take some pictures of it once it's put together and I have painted the room. I am still purging more household items and rearranging and simplifying a lot...but that's nothing out of the ordinary :)
Here is something funny (in the picture down below)..... Boris (our 5 month old puppy) has discovered our window seat. It's a very narrow window seat...as in my butt barely stays on. Milton used to get on there often, but then I started putting my winter plants on it and he no longer could access it. I recently moved all those plants outside and the dogs quickly re-discovered the window seat. Boris barely fits on it. He is getting SO big :) They love to guard our house/people and animal watch. It's hilarious!
If you know me well, then you know that I LOVE plants and LOVE a good find! So...I happened to find this amazing rubber plant on craigslist. This is the only picture I have of it so far. After I took this picture, I thoroughly sprayed it down (it smelled of smoke from the previous owner), bought a cheap large plastic pot from Lowe's, repotted it, and placed it back into that huge thrift store basket, so you can't see the ackward pot anymore. I also gave it some better soil and I am already noticing more growth. So exciting! I'll take another picture of it after I decide what to do with the basket (I scored it from a thrift store for $5. Seriously, thrifting is the best thing ever. I am thinking of painting the bottom half of it black. I think we might have some black spray paint in the garage....maybe I'll get to it this weekend :) Well, that's it for now. Enjoy your weekend! I know I will. Johnny hasn't been home for any of the spring break, so hopefully we can do at least one fun thing together as a family this weekend.
I figured that it's about time for an update. A lot has happened since my last post. We are mostly done with our entertainment center. There are still a few small details that need to happen, but we chose to move on for now until we feel inspired to finish those small "annoying" projects...like installing trim where the cabinet touches the ceiling and where it meets the wall on the left. Those are the finishing details that I know will matter, but somehow those are the most annoying to finish...I am sure you can relate ;) So, here is how this side of our family room looks right now. We hung some driftwood I found from our weekend lake adventure a while back. Most of the decorative elements in this room were either free or thrifted. We are nature collectors, so A LOT of what we find outside goes into decorating our house. It's easy and free and we all love the natural elements. I am a basket "hoarder". I love them all and every time I see one for a cheap price tag, I snatch it up. It is also the perfect way to organize clutter. I think I may need to thin out the basket collection on the top a bit more and I am always tweaking it a bit here and there, but here it is as of right now.
The lighting in here is still poor. We are planning to install 4 recessed lights centered in this room. That will help a lot! Dark rooms drive me nuts and really damper my mood, so that project will probably come sooner then later.
Ignore the random dresser in the entryway (top right of picture) along with the vacuum, bucket, and any other "project" stuff laying around ;) That's just how we role! Our house looks like a construction zone most of the time as we are always working on something around here. We just finished tiling the entryway (hoping to finish the powder bath next to it this weekend possibly) and I will do a whole new post on that another time. One day we will have solid wood flooring everywhere else on the first floor (dreaming of wide planked raw look or lightly stained). For now we spread out on our Persian rug I scored off of craigslist for $40. The dark wall is painted "Soot" by Benjamin Moore, but we got it matched at Kelly Moore and for some reason I like the matched version better. This color is showing black in the pictures, but it's actually a very dark, moody, grey, blue color. We are also using it on the exterior of our house. The Benjamin Moore version has more of a royal blue hint to it....not quite what I wanted, so this match worked out well for us.
You can see a rectagular hole in the wall to the left of the driftwood. I am hoping to install a light fixture there, but I just can't decide on anything. Plus I don't have the money for it yet, so that will just have to wait ;)
Two books that have been a HUGE interior design inspiration to me this season are "Styled" by Emily Henderson and "Habitat" by Lauren Liess. I have spent hours and hours soaking these beauties up. Seriously, if you love interior design you need to own these....they are full of great advice and beautiful inspiring imagery.
I tried to conceal our dvd player under a stack of books. I think it works pretty well for now. There is our 4th beta fish. So far so good ;) I feed him once a week and he seems to like that. I once fed him too much and I found him floating at the top the following morning. I thought he was a goner, but I gave him a few days to recover and he lived. AMAZING!
And of course this is Boris and he is our new pup. He is only 13 weeks old, but he is huge. His mom is a labrador but they were unsure who the dad was....I was thinking golden retriever, but he is getting SO big, which makes me think he may have some great pyrenees or something like that in him. Whatever it is I absolutely LOVE it! Boris and Milton "wrestle" with each other all the time. Sometimes that means playing tug a war or keep away or play bitting each other and I love all of that, but sometimes it's humping and that just gets really awkward really fast....as you can imagine. So, I am learning and trying to figure those sorts of things out. He has finally passed the worst stage of potty training. He is actually doing really great with an occasional accident here and there. I have also learned that our recycling is the perfect chew toy for him. He never gets bored of his toys, because I can just pull a new (and free) item out of the recycling every day. So far his favorite pieces have been the milk jug and large yogurt containers. Yes, it's ugly having recycling lying around the house all chewed up (although usually only one or two are out at a time anyways), but I would SO rather that then he chew up our furniture or any other valuable item in our house ;) He sleeps in the garage in a kennel next to Milton at night and I no longer have to wake up to take him out to pee, so that is awesome. We are loving him....he really is the perfect addition to our family right now.
Anyways, we are really loving our family room. I forgot to take pictures of all the unseen bottom storage. It's amazing! The shelves behind the left double doors hold all of our family games and subwoofer. We were able to cut holes, thread wires through, and hide some of the media stuff behind the cabinet doors and walls. The 3 drawers on the left middle area hold dvd's, remotes, current magazines, etc. The 3 drawers on the right middle area hold kids current reading books, kid and adult national geographic magazines, kids learning games, etc. The shelves behind the double doors on the right hold lots of kids educational books and activities. There is so much storage and that is exactly what we needed for this family room. I am very thankful for a husband who not only allows me to design for our house, but makes those designs come to life! It has been quite the treat!
God is constantly reminding me to find joy in the imperfections of life. He is full of grace. This is a way of reminding myself to look back and see His faithfulness in it all.
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