Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015

Easter is always one of my favorite days of the  year. Beginning the day with Easter service, sweet treats, and family time. This year we spent the day at James' parents with family and friends. 

The Saturday before we always go to an egg hunt at a church right next to our home. We walk there race hunt for eggs, chat with some friends, and head home. It's always so fun for the kids! 

 On Easter Sunday we spent our time soaking up the relationships we have in our family. What a blessing we have, in our family!

Ella's dress was one of my proudest purchases! $16 from Macy's!
I wish it came in my size!

We ended the evening with my mom taking the three older kids home with her for a few days (YES!), and Caleb falling asleep with Great Pa Dean. My heart was overflowing with joy at this site! He was even transferred to Grandma Sue without a peep. Sweet, sweet baby boy!

Matthew 28:6
"He isn't here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. 
Come, see where his body was lying." 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sacrifice in Motherhood

The other day I received an email from a woman I respect in our church. She invited me to join a small group of women for an intense and exclusive Bible study that only occurs every 2 years. Needless to say, I was so honored, humbled, and excited. The other morning there was a meeting at the church to discuss what the study would further look like. I wrangled the two youngest kids and walked into the church. Of course, I'm the only one who brought kids with them. Of course, Caleb is running around, talking, whining, coughing, and smelling like poop. I'm trying to gleam all I can amidst the chaos of the two babies. It sounds amazing. The study, the women, the work that God has done through this study all sounds fabulous, and exactly what I need. After the description was stated, the logistics made it very clear I would not be able to join this year; or even in years to come. They provide no childcare and they meet on a weekday morning. I could probably jerry rig childcare, but it would take a steady commitment from the sitter. I left the meeting so upset that I had to sacrifice this study in order to be a mom of young kids.

As of late, my heart has been heavy with feelings of selfishness. I am finding myself thinking of all that I have "sacrificed" to stay at home with my kids. I have not had the career I dreamed I would, I do not contribute financially as I had thought I might. I do have Mila Jo Designs, which I use as a creative outlet, but it is nothing what I had pictured in the form of a career.

I think the title of my blog perfectly sums it up, "Life Unexpected". Life has not been what I had expected. I dreamed of many things, including children, but never expected to be a day after my 23rd birthday; and then have 3 more within 6 years. I expected to be a wife and a mother, but I also thought I might be "more". 

There are many things I don't get to enjoy now, or ever will. The future will just be filled with even more sacrifice as we have made the decision to homeschool our kids next year.

As I sat in my car wallowing, I realized the decision to homeschool would be filled with a lifetime of even more sacrifice from me. I will literally be getting another job, on top of the one I already possessed as a stay at home mom. I will be their educator as well. I can't tell you how excited I am, and honored to be able to do so! But it was that moment for me where I felt an overwhelming sense of loss of "me" and a completely new sense of who "I" am. I know my gifts, talents, likes and dislikes. I am fully aware of the woman God created me to be and I am fully aware that he has created me to be their mother, to the fullest.

I have the blessing to sweep up dirty floors, and tables. I get to be their tooth fairy, Santa Clause, kisser of the owies, and baker of cookies  I get to listen to them laugh, and argue. I have the honor to teach them to see the world through God's design. They call me mommy, and that is worth every ounce of "sacrifice". There was no "thing" I was created to do than to be their nurturing, loving, educating mommy. At the end of the day, I can tuck them into bed and know that they will notice I am there, always, for them; for that was who I am when I am at my fullest.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Basement Renovation Design Wish List

Not too long ago we began our basement renovation. We hired a friend of our's to help my husband finish it. He just happens to be one of the most talented contractors we've ever encountered. Needless to say, I've been in design mode. Meaning, I have spent countless hours scouring the internets for the perfect design touches that will suit both our budget and our family life style.

Curious to see some of my design ideas? .....long, awkward pause while I wait for a response..... Well, I'm going to show you anyway!

I have always been a lover of old-meets-new in design. I love to add modern touches to vintage items. I have many antique items all throughout my home and I wouldn't change that for anything! I'm trying to incorporate that into our basement as well.
In our basement we are going to have one bedroom, a bathroom with a shower and double vanity. A large rec room with a closet, and a kitchenette which will include: a sink, microwave, full size refrigerator, and bar. Oh, and seven sconces...yes, seven.

When we purchased our home 4 years ago it was in the sheetrock phase, so we were able to go down to the design center and choose our finishes. We were on a tight budget and refused to add any "extras" into our loan. Needless to say, I had very few options. With the basement I get to choose every last detail, and it is totally overwhelming! What if I choose the wrong shade of white for the cabinets? Or the wrong carpet (for the entire house!), or the wrong, freakin sconces! It's totally stressing me out!

Here's a taste of what I envision it looking like (somewhat at least).

I love the white cabinets, the dark floor, the brushed nickel lights, the stainless steel, and the dark accents. So that's what's happening for the kitchenette. We're going with white (or off white) cabinets,   and steely grey granite (somewhat like below).

I made a trip to Ikea to help me decide on a few other finishes and I fell in LOVE with this sink, and faucet. We're going with this for sure (and we'll be adding a double basin farmhouse sink upstairs, eventually)!

They also sell this faucet in stainless steel, so we'll have to decide when we get closer to the finished product!

I think one design feature that I am most excited about is our bathroom door. We're going to put in an old door with glass (that I will refinish) and add a sliding door track.

This is the door we purchased and it is AMAZING, and heavy, really heavy. The glass is broken on two of the panes, so I'll be replacing it with frosted glass (seeing as it is going to be on the bathroom!) and I think I'll be staining it a dark mahogany color (maybe.....).
This is the track I've decided on as well...

Because I needed it to be able to support a beast of a door, and it had to be exactly 7ft 4in I found a site that was able to customize it to my heart's content. You can find it here, along with some other really gorgeous track designs!

Moving onto lighting...I have had the worst time finding the perfect sconces. You guys, it's actually quite pathetic! I can't decide what "style" I'm going with; do I go with an industrial type to compliment the door, or a transitional look, which I like a bit better?! I had totally decided on these guys....

Until I saw them in "real life". I hated the glass! My heart was broken! I can't spend nearly $55 each on something I didn't adore! I saw myself wanting to change them in a few years. So I moved on; to Ikea that is....

These are actually lights that are plug ins, so we'll have to change them to be hardwired into our wall sconces, but at $25 each they are perfect! The problem with most lamp shade lights is the fact that the shade will tilt (which is a huge pet peeve of mine...crooked lamp shades are the worst!). These actually screw onto the post, no tilting! Done. decided. Love it! 

I didn't take too long hunting for some ceiling lights because I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted. I decide on these from Home Depot. They are semi-flush which will be perfect for our stairway.

Our bathroom will have the same cabinets as the kitchenette to make the vanity, and the same granite. One neat design element we're going to have is that we are going to extend the tile half way up the walls. I know this photo shows it all the way up, but we're going half. I'm so excited about that feature! And I **think** this is the tile we will be choosing as flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. 

This is what I've spent hours pondering, and we all know that I will probably end up change my mind about many things. But not those freaking sconces, I can tell you that much!

And as for now, this is where we're at in our basement progress....still a ways to go, but I love to envision what it will be in a just a couple of months from now! 

The Rec Room

The Bathroom and Storage Area

Kitchenette and Bar

Hallway to bedroom and Under the Stairs (we're turning this into a reading nook)

So what do you think of my ideas? Will it be classic and timeless or will I want to change everything in 5 years? Because that would be terrible!