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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

kitchen reveal

Finally! A room reveal from 144, our new home!

Since the kitchen is the heart of every home, it was a no brainer that we wanted to tackle this room first. Almost all of our changes were cosmetic, but I think that they each made a big impact. 
Swing back by this post to see more of the before pictures and how our plans began.






So the big changes? Floor. Cabinets. Back splash. Lighting. Appliances.
Before we touched anything else, we elected to make the necessary changes to the flooring of the house. Our entire purpose for moving was to have a home that was completely accessible to Eliza. And while majority of the floors in the house were a lovely hardwood, we need to bring the kitchen, mudroom, office, and master bedroom up to snuff as well. The biggest reason was that it would eliminate any need for transition pieces, which can sometimes be tricky for Eliza to maneuver. The second reason is that we liked the existing wood flooring and knew that carrying it throughout the house would make the space look bigger and flow better! Win win!

We spent our first week int he house surrounded by jackhammers and noise. And weeks to follow were spent cleaning up tile dust (I swear it never goes away!), but we are so so happy with the end result. The wood throughout looks absolutely lovely, and the new plank tile we added in the bathroom was perfect (more on that later).






After the floors, we tackled step two - the kitchen cabinets. The cabinets were great wood quality, but could do with a little love. I am unabashedly a white kitchen person too, so this was a no brainer. Initially we had discussed paying someone to refinish them, but my DIY pride and my checkbook had other ideas. I won't bother you too much with step by step of that process since you can find a million refinishing how-to's online. But just know that I had a lot of apprehension! I was a newb to cabinet refinishing and I wanted my kitchen to be flawless. I did my research, spent a little money on some good tools, and took my time with the process. My three tips for anyone here would be:
 - snag a good quality paint sprayer to make the job go faster
 - use foam rollers and gentle sanding blocks on the last coats of sealant for the perfect smooth finish
 - and spring for new hardware to give it the most updated look

The job was a huge undertaking but it is worth it! The cabinets look professionally done and I'm really stinkin' proud to say that I did the work!





Step three?  New lights! In the heart of the kitchen, I selected a lantern light to aid the existing can lights. Then over the kitchen table, I went with a wood and iron chandelier from Lowe's.   



The wood and iron chandelier comes in three sizes, which was perfect for us to match elsewhere in the house. We actually have updated almost all of the lights in the house at this point too! A light tour soon, perhaps?

Step four was to paint the tiled back splash. I didn't mind the concept of the tile, or even the shape of them, but the colors just didn't work in here. Painting the tile seemed like the simplest thing to do. I snagged a quart of special tile paint and not so carefully followed the instructions. The shiny white took a few days to grow on me, but I think I really like the end result. It's much more like subway tile, but with a softer twist.





We replaced the dishwasher and stove, both of which weren't functioning efficiently anyway, to finish the room out with stainless steel appliances. Finally, it was just down to decorative items! We snagged a new barnwood table from Houzz and some crossback chairs from Target. The large nook allowed us to bump up to a 55" table, which can comfortably hold six chairs around it! Then we tackled that big empty wall and bare counters with some fun pieces.






It feels clean and fresh!

When your kitchen feels like home, you are home.








Tuesday, January 2, 2018

a year in review



A fresh new year. A blank slate.

I love it. I love things that are blank, waiting for someone to make their mark. I love mulligans and do overs and taking what you've learned to be better and do better. But in order to be better and do better, you have to look back. You have to squarely check out how things have gone, good and bad. And why they went that way. You also have to know where you want to go next and how you're going to get there.

2017 didn't see much action on the blog, since I come here to share the more casual things in life and, well, life is less casual and more crazy this time around. So perhaps this is will be quite the catch up!
With my notepad and pen in hand, it's time for your year in review.


  a new job

Our family quite literally began last year in a new way with J.B.'s job change. For those of you that know us personally, you know that this was beyond major. J.B. has only known 60-70 hour weeks. He has endured four different companies to be sold out from under his position and wave after wave of contract changes within positions he retained. Murphy's Law, indeed. It was hard. Hard on me and hard on him and hard on the kids. We trudged through very difficult finances and pressed on with a lot of long days at the office and solo parenting at home. It wasn't working. We were all falling apart. At the same time, J.B. was also networking for a specific job change. After two years of networking with a company, their contract allowed for an opening. In January of last year, we were elated when J.B. started the job he had worked so hard for!

In the last year, that company has gone above and beyond anything we could have expected. They have sponsored spina bifida fundraisers for Eliza and even changed their insurance policies to accommodate her health care coverage. We're now a full twelve months in and we still don't take this for granted. We spent a lot of time in the ditches, y'all. With greedy companies and bad bosses and hard paychecks. For years, we prayed and we waited, and we waited and we prayed. It took time, but God delivered in ways we couldn't even imagine. He gets full credit for starting our last year off in the most tangibly good way!



our ever-surprising gal

In January of last year, Eliza got her first wheelchair. It was a bittersweet moment that many other wheelie moms understand.  

She needs this, and that's horribly hard. 
but
Look what she is capable of with this, and that's incredible!

Kick started with the addition of her chair, Eliza grew and developed in wonderful ways in 2017. Her determination to beat any odds possible left us grinning time after time. She is independent, strong, and hard working! She's advanced in so many areas and resolved to catch up in other ways. Can I just remind you that she. is. two!! These were not traits we expected out of a toddler! This personality of grit has shocked us in the best way. God clearly had so many intentional plans when He knit her together. I'm so thankful for how well He knows her and us.



Jake... just, Jake.

2017 was definitely the year that Jake had us scratching our heads. The more this boy learned, the wider our eyes got. We had him tested and spoke to professionals and quickly determined that the way his brain worked was far from average. It was exciting and amazing, but also heavy. J.B. and I believe strongly in growing our children in whatever ways they need to have them be the very best versions of themselves. So what would we do? Well, we spent the first half of the year trying to figure that out. How can we keep him challenged? How to do we best let him grow in all areas?

Despite my preconceived notions and anxiety towards a whole new path of life, I started homeschooling Jake in August rather than sending him to kindergarten.

Jake has thrived! He loves learning! He loves the extra time with his family, the intentional time we make for friends and play dates. He is the homeschooling dream kid and I'm thankful for this special time with him, however long it lasts. I know Jake is going to do some amazing things with that big brain of his. 2017 showed us the tip of the iceberg.



our new place

Y'all. This one hits me right in the feels. 
 You're welcome to go to this post and read all the nitty gritty details about how desperately we dreaded moving and how impossible accessible house hunting seemed. It's been a little over six months since the official move and I still sit in the middle of my living room and stare in awe at where we are. I can't shake off my amazement! Just to know how painfully long that "need" list was with the house hunt. And how out of the park this home smashed that list. We could not dream of a more perfectly fitting home for each of us! It still brings me to tears to think of how faithful God was to us to lead us here. 



advocacy

One of the biggest ways we grew and made strides in 2017 was as advocates for Eliza. Being a special needs parent is hard. I think everyone acknowledges that. But not everyone knows the battles that are daily fought and those that need fighting. 

2017 pushed our buttons. There were many, many moments when the world told us that our daughter isn't valued. She's not worthy of basic kindness. She's not worthy of healthcare. She's not worthy of being allowed to attend things. She's not worthy of a space to play. Several times, people have even told me that she isn't worthy of the very life she has. Like many of you within our bubble, we just couldn't believe that this was all our reality. Surely it's just dramatics, right? We can poke our heads back into the shell at any time and pretend this ugliness didn't exist.

But we couldn't. Eliza deserved more. 

So this was the year of pushing back. Of challenging the companies that gave us a hard time and confronting the people that dare say that there is no space for her. This was the year that I said over and over and over again that her life has deep, impactful value. We lived it everywhere we went. It was awkward more than once. People don't like change. And they don't like being face to face with the idea that the way things have always been done might not be inclusive or kind. But the challenges also grew us as parents. It allowed us to realize that yes, we think of Eliza and those with her same battles, but what about others? Who else is struggling? How can we help? 

In turn, it also grew our friends!

 I saw comments on city splash pad plans - "Let's make this accessible so all the kids can enjoy it."

 "Sarah, have you seen the Caroline's Cart at Target! They have it for shopping with kids with special needs!" 

"Yes, I planned the birthday party at an accessible playground so Eliza could come and play like everyone else." 

"I saw this ad in the Gap clothing line! This kid has a walker just like Eliza's!"

Without any prompting from us, in 2017, Otteroo asked to feature Eliza in product articles and online. Matilda Jane Clothing hosted Eliza in  Chicago to model in their lookbooks, website, and in social media ads. Same Cloth created a tshirt design and campaign that every soul could nod along with, and that featured our gal's story.

She was becoming a part of the world she already lived in. People saw her. They really saw her, as a kid just trying to do life. They asked, "How can we do better? How can we include Eliza?" And with each of those little moments, my mama heart swelled. We were doing it! We were living this life and Eliza was making a difference!


So many beautiful things filled 2017. Moments I will cherish as long as I live. 
But it wasn't always pretty.  






I won't bullet point this side of things as much, but I think the hard aspects of 2017 can be summed up in two words:
We did a lot of 2017 very on our own.

As beautiful as the end result of advocacy can potentially be, it is often times very lonely in the middle of the fight. And even worse, it is overwhelmingly devastating when people make the ultimate choice to deny your cries for kindness and inclusion. There were many, many victories last year. But 2017 also held a few major losses in the way of close relationships that declined to accept our daughter as she is. That, my friends, is hard living. There was a lot of tears, every day heartache, and difficult holidays last year. I couldn't understand how this sort of ugliness was really a part of our lives. I still don't. But I think I'm learning to better fathom to depth of man's depravity (mine, along with anyone else's) and be even more thankful that the grace of Christ saves us from this awfulness.

Part of the loneliness in this life is also the busyness of it. About the time I finally managed a schedule of daily in home therapy, doctor's appointments, equipment appointments, and physical therapy with Eliza, I added homeschooling Jake in the mix. Suffice to say, it is a very very hectic phase in life. And a phase that desperately needs more personal recharging and more reconnecting with my other half.

Oh how my plate is so full this year. Full of amazing, wonderful, beautiful things. Did you read the first part of this review? Goodness, what a year!! But the plate is indeed full, none the less. Picking and choosing among priorities isn't quite an option for us because its all important. I can't empty my plate this year. However... I can share it.




I desperately hope my worldview gets bigger and includes purposefully loving more of the beautiful people God created. I want this faith to grow stronger. First, in growing Christ and secondly in growing inclusion.

I must carve out some very purposeful "me time" to keep my mind focused and myself recharged. I will attempt the courage to hopefully find a regular babysitter to spend quality time with J.B..

I will keep sharing my heart. Transparent sharing is can be hard. But it is pivotal in showing others that we're all in this together. That we all have the same hope. Our hope doesn't come from new jobs, perfect homes, or even accessible playgrounds, but instead, it comes from the amazing grace and unending love of Jesus.




Cheers to 2018, friends! May it be our best yet!



Thursday, October 26, 2017

a revamped kitchen design at 144




Heart of the home. Where the magic happens. Spot for the best conversations.

It's no wonder that the very first room that J.B. and I wanted to focus in our new home renovation was our kitchen. Now that we have a very open floor plan in our new digs, it's literally the traffic center of the house as well!

The original kitchen wasn't bad. Most of the changes we wanted were cosmetic, and simply altered the style from the original 2005 builder grade version into our own kind of niche. 

Here are some of the listing pictures from the previous owner...







The kitchen is a long, open room, much wider than even these picture depict. The cooking area is on one side, and a spacious breakfast area is on the other (they have a massive 5x5 table there!). The room has ten foot ceilings so the cabinets are a great wood quality and tall! Plenty of space!

But the floors are a mess. Cracked and ugly. The room itself has too many different textures and patterns going on that just don't match. Grey walls, wood cabinets, tan and grey tile backsplash. Black and brown granite counters, sandy tile floors, black and stainless appliances! It kinda of make my head spin. Hopefully, we can bring some of this together!

I started with some favorite inspiration.



http://www.homebunch.com/beautiful-homes-of-instagram-17/
(via)


http://interiorsplendid.com/home-decor-diy-inspiration
(via)

http://littlevintagenest.com/friday-favorites-farmhouse-kitchen-goodies/
(via)


(via)

https://akadesign.ca/our-modern-farmhouse-kitchen-makeover-the-reveal-one-room-challenge-spring-2017-week-6/
(via)




Yes, yes, the neutrals again. Y'all should know by now that I'm a white kitchen gal!
After falling into so many beautiful kitchens, it was time to create my own design board for what I dreamed up.





The plan included, but was not limited to:
new floors
white cabinet paint
backsplash makeover
 updated lights
and some farmhouse decor! 


That's the plan to make this kitchen into our own.
 Pop back in for the reveal next week!
 
 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

currently {october}


It's been so long, friends! And I think I'm finally ready to hop back into the blogging realm. This summer really has been wild and crazy (and I can't wait to share all the goodness with you!), but I'm also ready to hopefully get back to some of my roots. 

It wouldn't be a true homecoming without one of my beloved "currently" posts! Imagine we have at last put our schedules together and met at the same coffee shop for a much needed catch up! What would you share? What's new with you?

Here's what my half of the conversation might look like...



 -   S U R P R I S E D   B Y   -

We received the loveliest of surprises the day before Eliza's second birthday! I was contacted by one of our very favorite high end clothing brands called Matilda Jane! They create the most gorgeous patterns and clothing styles for babies, girls, and ladies. And they were contacting me to find out if we would be interested in traveling to Chicago the following weekend to have Eliza model for their newest line. 

Yes! It was crazy jaw dropping! To hear the full story, pop over to Expecting Eliza and read up! Amazing!

And of course, we said yes! It was a whirlwind trip to the Windy City and we had the most wonderful experience with Matilda Jane. My heart was so full with her complete acceptance there, especially after a hard season at home of family members electing to do the opposite. It was truly the reminder that we needed of how deeply incredible our gal was and that we would never back down for her well being. The idea that other little girls and their families will see my gal, with her braces, her walker, and her wheelchair, as a confident part of a nationally known brand is knock-my-socks-off awesome! I'm so proud to be this lady's mama!

Though our trip was in August, the new line just debuted at the beginning of October. I have had so.much.fun finding my gal on their varying sites, sporting the most beautiful clothes and an even more lovely smile!



Feel free to pop over Matilda Jane's website, Facebook page, or Instagram to search for our little gal!




 -  S O M E T H I N G    N E W  -

A big thing that I've been somewhat silent about on the blog until now...

We are homeschooling!

I can promise you that it was never ever ever my plan to be a homeschool mom. The idea of sending Jake to kindergarten this year actually provided me with a little relief as I try to balance Eliza's many needs and appointments. But God had a better plan.

Our boy is years ahead of what most five year olds are learning, and we've known (and been told) for quite sometime that kindergarten would be a complete miss for him. Instead, we've started second grade at home!

I definitely plan to do a follow up post on this topic specifically, as its been so a journey for us so far. But I can happily report that my kiddo is flying through curriculum, loving each day in the classroom, and generally, an overall joy to experience this with!


He was super proud of his ocean in a jar!





 -   O B S E S S E D   W I T H  - 

Our new plaaaaace!!

Y'all know the struggle I went through as we prepped, listed, and then quickly sold our beloved house at 110. It was emotional and devastating and the craziest of roller coasters. But as always, God's plan was greater (Just FYI, this is reoccurring life theme around my house. Sarah makes plans. God makes better ones.). I look around this beautiful place and am overwhelmed with thankfulness that He led us to the most perfect spot for our family!!

And with that, my creative juices are going wild! I've had an entire house to tackle, which is equal parts amazing and overwhelming. We are officially unpacked and mostly decorated. I'm tackling the big projects like light fixtures, cabinet remodels, etc, little by little and hope to have my current list completed by the end of the year.

Which means, its time to start sharing my design plans and the before and after photos here with you!! Get puuuuumped!
 


-   R E A D I N G   -

With all these new projects, lesson plans, and general craziness, I haven't had a lot of sit down time to relax. But I do have an Audible account and a set of headphones. I live by audio books!! Painting, driving, gardening, whatever! It all allows me to mellow out to my latest book and still soak up another world.

Since reading Secrets of A Charmed Life earlier this year, I've been devouring all of Susan Meissner's incredible historical fiction books. I can wholeheartedly recommend A Fall of Marigolds as well!
Heck, I recommend each one of these below!!


I just picked up Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. Fingers crossed for another enchanting tale!





-    L O V E D   -

If you follow along on Instagram, you'll notice that we just got back from an especially fun vacation!

Walt Disney World!

Oh boy did we have a blast! Every moment was exciting and magical for my kiddos and just experiencing that with them was something J.B. and I will never forget. Jake rode rides and hugged characters to his heart's content, and Eliza basically ran the parks like a princess herself!
I hope to take them again someday when they're older, but we are so thankful for this fun family trip! It can be hard to make room in the budget or our schedule with many of Eliza's needs, but J.B. and I felt strongly that we needed to balance some "normal" family experiences in there as well. Wowza, are we ever glad that we did! So many amazing memories made.







-   P L A N N I N G   -

Fall!! It's been a ninety to nothing summer with no breaks. I'm planning on a low key fall with all the seasonal traditions - pumpkin patch, football games, mums, camping, Halloween...

We like to do a family photo session this time of year (which I love and everyone else in the family hates). And I'm enjoying the first official decorating season in our new digs. 

I'm in such a season of thankfulness in my own heart and it seems to match perfectly with this time of the year. We've had some downsides to 2017, but more so, we've been overwhelmingly provided for by a God that knows our needs better than we do.




-   H A P P E N I N G   N O W   -

Coordinating perfectly with the Matilda Jane goodness, October is a special month around these parts because it is also Spina Bifida Awareness Month. It's a specific time to remind folks what spina bifida is, what it really looks like, how horrid the abortion rates are for this diagnosis, how joyful and fun life is for these folks, and just overall high five all the people that love and invest in our gal.

I keep a blog that's more specific to Eliza's story with spina bifida (Expecting Eliza), and I'd love for you guys to check it out! She is one amazing kiddo!





So grateful for this time to catch up with you and looking forward to hopping back into my typical rhythm!
I can't wait to share more about our new place and the always creative happenings around our neck of the woods! 



Wednesday, August 30, 2017

the new place: first glance



It's officially, officially time to share our new digs.
(Okay, so its way past time, but whatever, I just moved. All the grace, right??)

I detailed quite a bit in my last post about how we were on the search locally for a new home for our family. Eliza's mobility needs truly didn't mesh with where we lived and it was time to accommodate her fully. Though the buying and selling process was a bit trying, I'm so excited to share our new place with you by way of our actual real estate listing photos. This was our very first glance at this home as well! While it already looks dramatically different in several rooms, I wanted to show it from the beginning. So sit back and relax!


We've moved only about five minutes away from our previous home and into the loveliest of neighborhoods. I really wanted to be in an area with community vibe and was crossing all my fingers for a pool. I got one! Our neighborhood is pretty large and boasts a gigantic salt water pool, a playground, two lakes for fishing, and an active HOA with seasonal parties and tons of activities for the kids. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Our home is a one story, of course. And I immediately loved the open, welcoming feel from the foyer. My eyes started on the lovely wood floors and went all the way up to the 12 foot ceilings! Those high ceiling really do wonders for a home!








The floor plan is pretty basic. As you enter the front door, you have the office on the right and the dining room on the left (oppositely situated in this photo above).

We knew the office carpet would go and we'd change the paint color to something more light and neutral in this room. But what a great study space. I've always wanted an office with french doors!

The dining room is wide open and has the same pale grey walls as the rest of the house (holla!!). Other than an updated fixture in here, its good to go!









Coming further into the house will land you in the living room. 









I was initally perplexed by this room. The way they had their furniture set up made zero sense to me. It's a great sized room, but the two full size couches smack in the middle of it makes the room look tiny! I also have a pretty deep hatred for pocket TV's above the fireplace. I went around and around about how I'd arrange this space with all the doorways and halls coming off of it.

The long term plan here is to repaint the fireplace tile into something more current and also remove the doors above the fireplace. We might ship lap the mantle to the ceiling. I'd also like an updated chandelier. But for now, the room is great and just needed our stuff in it!


Off to the left of the living room is the kitchen and breakfast area.






I'm not going to lie... the kitchen scared me a little. Pretty wood floors in the living room were traded for old, broken tiles. The wood cabinets needed a revamp and there were so many different textures happening. J.B. reminded me that the bones were good and I smiled and nodded.

The breakfast area is huge. That table doesn't do it justice since you can't tell that the table is also massive to fit into the massive space. I loved that detail because it would just make it all the easier for Eliza to bop around!

Still farther over on this side of the house are the garage entrance, the laundry room, and the master suite.







The master was a great size and color. It just had an old and very matted carpet.

The master bathroom brought out my hives again. Back with the busted up old tile and cabinets and a rust color on the walls. But it was a great size! Two walk in closets, an enclosed toilet, jet tub, stand up shower and a double vanity. Again, bones are good. We could rework the cosmetics with a little dreaming.

If you explore back to the hub of the house, you'll find two hallways branching off the other side of the house. The front hallway takes you to two bedrooms and a shared bath.



This pink room is going to be the new playroom! A playroom! A room just for playing! Just for toys!
Everyone is pumped, y'all.  Some color on the walls and we're good to go!





The second bedroom would be Jake's. Its a decent size, though smaller than the big space he had at the old house. We snagged him a loft bed that contained a dresser and desk underneath it to maximize space. He loves it!

And finally the back corner hallway off the living room takes you to Eliza's space!




This little nook of the house was made for our girl!! The bedroom is slightly larger than the other two, which is perfect for Eliza's wheelie needs. She also has her own bathroom back here! For her to have her own exclusive bathroom, away from the bustle of the house, is totally an answer to prayer. There are a lot of complications with spina bifida that make this space really important to her privacy and I'm so thankful she'll have it here. Over time, we'll covert this bathroom into an accessible space with a roll under sink and an zero entrance shower. 

The back yard has a great patio space with both covered and uncovered areas. And the yard is basically a blank slate! The kids are so looking forward to dreaming up their new play place to parallel the old tree house.

As you can see from the listing photos, this place wasn't exactly our style from the moment we saw it. But could you see its potential? Did you see some of the big stand outs to our needs? Hardwoods in all the kid's rooms! That extra bathroom! An awesome wide open layout! We even snagged an extra room compared to the old house! And the cosmetic stuff is my jam anyway. I had idea after idea and project after project that just buzzed thru my mind. It has everything that we needed, plus it left some space for us to make our own mark on it. What more could I ask for?

And my girl... I've never seen Eliza so comfortable, so excited, to be able to go and do whatever she wants. Seeing her independence grow even in the few short weeks we've been here has made this completely worth it.  God certainly had a plan for the Wilders to find this place and thrive in it!

We've been hustling these past few weeks. Moving with small children has been quite a feat, and we've had some large upfront projects to tackle before any boxes got unpacked. But we're chugging along to make this house a home. 

I can't wait until I'm unveiling the first few rooms!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

our beloved first home

It was our first home! 





Seven years ago doesn't sound like that long of a time (is this a sign that I'm getting old??) but wowza, it was a whole different life. Newly married, no kids. We didn't even know how to buy a house. 

We happened upon this home that was bigger than we needed and an amazingly renovated blank slate for all my crazy decorating ideas. I couldn't believe it was ours! So much space! I've painted and decorated, crafted and hosted. I took advantage of every corner.  Over time craft rooms became nurseries and sunning on the back deck became mom patrol to make sure no one fell out of the tree house. And you can even tour many of the rooms over on the our home tab.

But when Eliza was diagnosed with spina bifida over two years ago, we realized our time here was limited. This house was about as far from accessible as one could get. Narrow hallways, carpet, and for the love, STAIRS EVERYWHERE. 2017 was the plan. We were past the craziness of Eliza's first year, and we were quickly approaching the point where she'd want more independence than this house would allow. Girlfriend couldn't even go to her own room.

But can I be transparent for a moment? 

The idea was depressing

While we knew that moving was the right choice and 100% what was best for Eliza, it wasn't our original plan. I didn't really want to go anywhere. I loved our house and felt like I had finally gotten everything just how I wanted it. Our finances said to wait a few more years. The local market said this was a not so hot time to sell. And when we looked at our must-have house list and what was currently for sale out there, we were pretty sure we might just end up homeless by the end of the ordeal.

But we pressed on. We depressed on. 

In May, we took the plunge and listed our home for sale. For sale by owner, even! We cray. We had approximately 8 billion showings the first week and started house hunting ourselves. The stress was tangible. After dissecting hundreds of local properties, every single one had a major deal breaker. Imagine that dream list we all make up when we describe the house we want. It's specific, right? Now add a bunch of lame things to make it completely accessible for a kid in a wheelchair. Ultimately, we were super needy house hunters and we knew it. But we couldn't do anything about it! I was completely sure that a horrible house or a van down by the river were in our future.

Week two of showings and house hunting came around, and suddenly, we had an offer. This life I live is insane. That's not the norm for our area. Guys, we sold our house in two weeks! By ourselves!! It felt like the biggest, boldest nod of confirmation that we were doing exactly what God wanted us to do.


(I fully credit the quick sale to my own OCD neatness and great staging. People have spent years telling me that my house was too neat and tidy and to them I say for such a time as this!)


Our excitement to sign that sales contract was still mixed with dread.
Where were we going?? What would we do?? Where would we land??

Everything for sale was terrible. It was all wrong. Our list was too specific and our budget was too low. #always  My heart hurt. I was leaving my lovely house that I'd labored over, that was filled with so many memories, that I'd brought both of my babies home to for the first time. How would I leave this place for something smaller, uglier, and more expensive? Gross. No.

I didn't sleep that night. I was mad at life.

But remember how, despite the muddled mess of the details, God is always in charge and doing His amazing thing? Less than 24 hours after signing the sales contract on our home, the perfect new house landed right in our laps. It was the place. My sadness evaporated in a heartbeat and was replaced with schoolgirl excitement. Hello roller coaster of feels!

So. It's been a few months since the craziness all began. Between this and many of Eliza's recent medical needs, our family has been a bit distant from regular life. Sorry blog! And friends! And projects! But last week, we finished packing our final boxes and prepared for a new adventure! 

Number 110 is no longer mine. I'm sad. Closing day was much harder than I imagined. And I still get a lump in my throat when I think about my place belonging to someone else.

My big fat silver lining? Number 144 is absolutely lovely and almost everything a girl could want. Guys, its so so good. I'm typing this surrounded in boxes and dust, as our floor crew installs the last of our new floors, and I couldn't be happier about the mess. I have so much to do here! So many memories to make! So much fun to have!

And you, you let me drone on and on about this. What do you get out of this? You get to sit court side to see my girl blossom in a home that's made for her. And you get whoooooole lot of projects and interior design posts to boot.  

Cheers to both Number 110 and Number 144. 
Cheers to those beloved memories made, and those to come!





Friday, May 26, 2017

jersey knot bow hanger {diy tutorial}



A few months ago, one of my dear friends and I were having a chat about being boy moms and how different it is to be a girl mom. She has two rough and tumble boys and was bringing home her adoptive daughter from China in just a few weeks!

We both concurred that one of the best part was definitely... hair accessories. 

Sorry, but its true! Accessories make everything so much more fun!
So I had the opportunity to make this new girl-mom a bow hanger for her precious daughter! 






I decided it was an awesome time to try to recreate a crazy overpriced jersey knit bow hanger I've seen circulating the interwebz. I adore this design, just not the price tag that seemed to come with it. In true DIY fashion, I was able to recreate a large bow hanger for under $15.


Let's talk supplies:

 - Start with a dowel rod of some sort. I actually nabbed a thick square rod from Hobby Lobby. Paint it or leave it natural - your choice! 
 - Then snag two yards of jersey knit fabric. HL also carries this for about $7/yard. With a coupon, I got two yards for under $10. 
 - And from around the house, grab some good scissors and some sort of glue (super glue, fabric glue, Elmers - its all good!)


This process is actually crazy simple. You're going to cut your fabric into super long strips and then knot them to create the hanging effect. Yes, that's it, y'all. 
So fold that fabric in half (either way is fine) and start cutting it in 2" section from the fold on out.  




Grab a strip, shake it out, then fold in half. Lay the top 3-4" under the dowel rod.




Pull the end length of the strip through that top loop to make a slip knot.




Tighten it down.





And keep going! I started in the middle and went out, but you can start wherever!







Now to hang the whole contraption, I tied another strip to each end of the dowel rod. After knotting it, I used glue to secure the ends of the fabric so it didn't move. Keep in mind that jersey knit stretches a lot so less is more with this hanger piece.




Then you're going to trim the bottom of the strips to your shape!




The bow hanger is lightweight enough that a small nail can hold is up, but it still has a TON of room for 298347298 hair bows. Perfection!




Awesome gift idea too!! You can even load it with a few bows!

Enjoy this one!!