The Living Room: Almost There

This room has at least four times since moving here in February. This room is where everyone spends the most time. It finally took a turn towards "better" once I found this rug. I adore it! Hides mess so well yet is light and bright. My only wish is that I bought one more size up after adding one more chair to the space. Alas I will survive. Ha.

I can see why corner shelving is no longer popular. It is hard to fill without looking sloppy or too busy. The piggy bank has since moved and I now have some pottery that I found at a yard sale on the bottom shelf. The silver bowl is our dump bowl. Keys, loose change, and the like make its way here till I clean it out. Much better than dumping everything actually on the shelf.

I bought new mats for my frames and now my favorite Cecily Lowe print takes center stage. Plus one of my all time favorite photos of the kiddos I can see daily.

We actually bought this chair before moving in from West Elm's side walk sale. At first I could not make it work in the space so it lived in our bedroom. We then found ourselves hosting tons of parties and get-together's and having an extra chair not being used seemed silly so out she came. I love how it pairs with the blue side table and our well-loved pouf.

The ikea expedient shelving from years ago still need to be styled. Really just stuck on how to do it with a tiny budget knowing that one day this piece will change all together. I am currently dreaming of this piece. Would that not be all sorts of amazing. I did end up adding two more baskets to the bottom so they are now all uniform. It's a start. We stash extra cords and blankets in them. At first I was certain that our main big purchase would be new chairs, but now that the space is evolving they have grown on me. Eventually we will get comfortable swivels, but I don't mind them being on the back burner for now. I do love the extra texture they bring into the space. 

I am head over heels for our new lamp. I love the black against the white. It also helps to draw your eye to the back of this odd shaped room. The little basket was a from a friend and the sand dollars were collected by the kiddos.

Here I also filled the frames with new mats and finally put some photos in. My favorite Raka Mod succulent holder still makes me beam. The new addition would be the most perfect vase. It adds texture without being demanding visually.

These too have been rearranged a tad. My weird vase still makes me smile every time I look at it. The shelves hold so much old and new. The dough bowl was my grandmothers. I remember filling it with treasures from her yard when I was just a girl. The Peter Pottery was a wedding gift. The mirrored houses found at for a steal at West Elm add just a fun touch. The books are ones I have been collecting for years. Currently my favorite design books that I keep on going back to are Habitat, Ellen Home, kinfolk home, and Commune. This one is next on my list. Anyone have it?

This is the space from the other direction. You can see I put the chair back by the sofa. It used to live where the leather one is now. I know design wise it may not be "right", but livability wise it is just what this room needed. It adds as extra spot for tv viewing and adds a place to perch when we have guests which is almost always these days. The mirror, another west elm flea find, still needs to be hung and I am really hoping by the next time I post this that I won't be writing that once again. Ha. You can also see our dining room pendant sticking out. It really was such a great buy.

The light that comes through the windows is amazing. Just not for picture taking. The blog really is a family affair ;) As you can see we are trying to use much of what we have and add a few things here and there to pull it all together. Eventually we may end replacing things like getting new swivels, but for now we are still in the nitty gritty of home renovation. Currently things like new appliances trumps all.

ROOM EVOLUTION: 1 | 2 | 3 | There is even another stage where I seem to not have photographed. It held our old rug that was way too small for the space.

SHOP OUR SPACE : rug | piggy bank | silver bowl | 16x20 frames | Cecily Lowe Print | blue side table | pouf {similar} | woven baskets | stripe pillows | mirrored side table {similar & similar} | wood stool | black lamp | white vase | gold table frame | marble and wood book end | mirror {similar} | wood danish chair {similar} | sheep skin on piano bench | sofa | end tables by sofa |



If you happen to follow me on instagram then you may have seen that our family took a team down to Guatemala for the week to serve with a local church. This was the first trip we have done with the kiddos of this sort. The sort where they see things that make your heart ache, where toilet paper can not go in the toilet, and water must not be used unless it comes from a bottle. They both made me proud in so many ways. They played through language barriers, worked hard daily doing things that even the adults struggled with, and most importantly they loved well and smiled throughout the days even when most of our team became ill. They traveled how I like to. Soaking in the sites, colors, and smells. They even picked up a little spanish along the way. My heart swells. 

We served with Inn Ministries for the week. They are a group of people that love deeply and made us all feel like family. It was a mix of locals and people who came from the US to serve for an extended period of time. We helped with building projects, we did activities, spoke about Jesus, and played with kids that had next to nothing yet had a joy that surpassed all.

Although we remain picture-less when it came to our visit to a local children's hospital and a remote village I pray that the images remain within me forever. The hospital only had two children at the time as they ran out of supplies. Without medicines, diapers, and even a simple Tylenol for fever makes treating the beautiful children next to impossible. They are then turned away in hopes that the next hospital has what they need. One nurse that we got to spoke with works 12 hour shifts and rides a bus an hour and half each way. She is dedicated and wore the most beautiful smile. The surgery room has been closed for some time as they need the supplies to fight infection and anesthesia even though they have willing dr's. My heart ached in this place. I pretty much lost it once I was able to get in a quiet place once we were back at the inn. Even now I can't help but have tears run down my face. Could not imagine not being able to get Ellie or KJ help because the hospitals are without the supplies they so desperately need. You can see one story of a toddler we got to pray over here.

In the village they lived in huts with dirt floors and bathrooms that were behind a plastic sheeting outside. The community is tight and they all help raise the children. Even the children that no longer have mothers or fathers. We were able to bring food and a water catcher so they would not have to walk 30 minutes each way for a bucket of water. I was able to speak with the woman who has become a sort of president for their group. The one who let the inn ministries know that a way to get water could change their lives. Some of the children get to go to school, but normally by the age of 13 they must drop out to help sustain their village. This was not a place of sadness though. It was a place where children's laughter ran true. One where they did not even have a ball to play with, but found a game of tag the most exhilarating. I am grateful they were willing to share with us a bit of themselves.

The last couple of days we had tourist type days where we got to learn more about their culture and see some of the most beautiful cities. The days were long yet felt so full. On our final day we got to go to Antigua. The Mr and I are already talking about heading back so we can explore more. The stone streets, architecture, and the volcano need at least three days to truly soak it all in.

Our team above is a group of people that will forever be etched into my heart. They worked through sickness, exhaustion and forever with a smile on their faces. I can't wait to see what God has in store for them as they grow for most were still within the college years. We all now share a bond of going above and beyond what seems possible and experienced things that are hard to swallow within our cushy lives. They treated Ellie and Kj like sisters and brothers and for that I will forever be indebted to them. The trip would not have been the same without every single one of them.

SIDE NOTE: on sunday KJ got a little fussy after we asked him to get off the wii-u for a second to help with something. A few minutes later he came back in all distraught and informed us that he was grounded for two days. Of course we told him he could not ground himself, as we know he was exhausted and oh so sick, but I am grateful that he took a minute to realize all the things he had in comparison. He realized that he had so many things and they had nothing yet were so happy. I pray that sticks with all of us. Especially since I realize this computer that I blog from costs more that most people will ever have in their entire lives. Now that humbles me like no other.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. - Galatians 5:15


I pray for her to live a life full of bravery and to live it fully unashamed. I pray, plead really, to God that this can be her path. I care very little about who or what she becomes in her future self. What I do want is for to not be afraid to fail, to not be afraid to exceed, for her to always reach for the furthest star. I desire her to always be comfortable in her own skin. To not seek approval from others. To be exactly who God created her to be. This takes great bravery in a world that likes to tell you beauty is most important, you must get into the best college, you must excel in every sport. Her best will always be enough for me. 

I pray for him to lead with love and humility. He is a natural leader. He can find every child and adult in a one block radius and quickly know every name. I also know with such a gift that pride can follow as he gets older. It is easy for him to excel in every sport, it is easy for him to make friends, it is easy for him to believe he can do anything. I love this about him. It may be my favorite part as I too wish I was made this way. The way in which you don't second guess yourself ALL THE TIME. I pray loudly that he will forever lead well, but to always remember to include everyone and love everyone well. That he will not lead to the point where he will leave people behind in his wake, but reach down every time someone falls behind.

Both Ellie and KJ are such opposites. She's quite, calculated, and loves to please others. He is wild, loud, and always up for an adventure. Together they make the best team. Ellie brings a gentle spirit to him and KJ brings excitement to hers. They are not always the best of friends, but those moments that I get a glimpse of the team that they will be as they grow together brings joy like no other. Even on the days I have to remind them that they are actually friends.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

* the kiddos new snorkel kits may have been the best investment ever.