Imagine the Impossibilities....Completed!

As I mentioned earlier this month, I joined up with the Imagine the Impossibilities Challenge and decided to attempt painting the small chests we use as nightstands in our bedroom.
The Before
 The After

I'm so glad to have gotten these finished, well almost finished.  You might have noticed in the picture above that there is a missing knob.  Somehow I lost it during the painting and have yet to find it.... I'm thinking 2 certain 17 month olds may have stashed it in their treasures. Another drawer on the other chest split when I knocked it over trying to hop around it ...
We are going to go ahead and call it a job completed!


Living Room Refresher

This weekend I spent some time rearranging and fluffing in the living room....
The best before shot I could find.  But since I can't move things around on my own right now, I am at my teams mercy (aka T and a sweet friend) and quite grasp the importance of a good before and after.
 I painted this room last year and lined the book shelves with scrapbook paper to see if I liked the contrast of having a dark color on the back...I liked it for a while, but was ready for a change.
I'm really glad that I used the scrapbook paper and not paint because it was as easy as pulling the paper off!
Since I can't get to my stash in our attic and T isn't fond of searching for my treasures while I yell out descriptions from the bottom of the steps, I made due with what was around.
The best part?  I didn't buy a single thing.
A friend and client is replacing these chairs and asked if I knew anyone who could use them....yes, I do. 
 I love the extra seating in here because this is our only living area and we need to maximize seating without making it feel crowded.
Sometimes a little rearranging and editing is all you need!

Joining up with Between Naps on the Porch


Embroidery Hoops...who knew?

I am loving all of the creative uses of embroidery hoops I am seeing lately.  The image  above is a great solution for using up scrap material you have laying around and I especially love the idea of using them in places where little ones could get their hands on the, like above a crib.

 Or how about using several shapes above a desk as bulletin boards?

I love these for entertaining...the best thing is you could reuse them for any occasion just by changing out the ribbon.

And in a more traditional sense of embroidery, I came across an article about this cute Etsy shop September House.

My favorite are these little dresses...the pattern is for a 3 inch hoop which would be perfect for a litle girls' Christmas tree....I have no idea how to embroider, but these are so cute I might try to learn!


The Power of Prayer

When I broke my leg just before Christmas, my doctor told me to expect to be on crutches for 6-8 months and to give myself a year for total recovery.
Today I had a check-up with him and was dreading it because I have been having a lot of pain on one side and a bump had formed there over the past few days.  I had fears that some sort of complication had happened and was worried sick about what this was going to mean as far as my recovery.
Prayer is so powerful....We hear that all the time, but goodness, it it just plain true.
After looking at the x-rays, my doctor came in so excited, "I can't believe how much it has healed!  It just looks great!"
I've tried to keep a positive attitude through this ordeal, succeeding at times and failing miserably at others, but the reality is this has been really hard for us.  We are so blessed to have friends, family, nighbors, and a church who have lovingly fed us, transported kids, played with babies, ran errands, folded laundry, and everything else a stay at home mom does.  Todd has had more on his plate than any one person should have, not to mention dealing with a very frustrated patient.
So, to hear that my leg is healing beyond expectation and that I can now begin learning to walk on it again....all i can say is I am grateful beyond words for a God who loves us, listens to our prayers, and heals us beyond all expectations.


The Perspective of 17 Month Olds

Lately, it seems our mornings have been filled with even more chaos than normal.... loud pep-talks from me about the importance of picking up after ourselves and sticking to the morning routine...sometimes I feel like I need a megaphone to shout out encouragement, as well as corrections, just so we all get ready in the mornings without the house looking like a tornado has blown through...
My 2 smallest sidekicks take it all in stride...
LJ:  "Is she talking to us?"
MC: "I have the phone!" 
Just look straight ahead and maybe she will stop talking.
LJ:  Nope, I think she is talking to us.
LJ:  Talk, talk, talk all the time
Maybe we should just get comfortable....


Happy Birthday, Todd!

It isn't every day that you get a surprise party at 6am complete with party hats, horns, and carrot cake for breakfast, but your litttle ones have been so excited to celebrate you they couldn't wait until later in the day.

We love you so much!


A New Family Favorite

If you have been reading here for awhile, you know that I am a huge fan of crockpot cooking...
as in, my old one died earlier this fall and it was a glorious day when this little lovely arrived at our door.
Anyway, it can be hard to find crockpot recipes that don't include creamy sauces and soups, not that I don't love those, but sometimes you need a healthy alternative.  Which is why I was so excited to try this recipe from the November issue of Southern Living.  My whole family loves it and it couldn't be easier.

Balsamic Root Vegetables
Serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes
1 lb. parsnips
1 lb. carrots
2 large red onion, coarsely choppes
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1.  Peel first 3 ingredients and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Combine parsnips, carrots, onion, and cranberries ina lightly greased 6 quart crockpot, layer sweet potatoes over the top.
2.  Whisk together sugar and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl and pour over vegetable mixture (do not stir)
3.  Cover and cook on high 4 to 5 hours or until vegetables are tender.  Toss with parsley just before serving.

*After making this the first time, I also added about 1/2 lb.fresh beets to the vegetable mixture- just add them in with the parsnips, etc.
*The recipe in SL also suggests sprinkling the top with crumbled bacon when you add the parsley...it's good either way, but what isn't better with a little bacon, right?

Hope y'all have a great weekend!


Imagine the Impossibilities

As I wrote about in the 2012 home goals post earlier this month, the first project on my agenda this year is our master bedroom.  After sitting in this room pretty much all day for the last month, I am more than ready to make some changes.  We moved our bedroom into what we had been using as a den over a year ago when our second set of twins were born to give everyone a little more room and to give us more of a master suite. 
When Linda at It All Started With Paint told me about her linky challenge, Imagine the Impossibilities, she was hosting, I knew just the project I was going to tackle- the chests we use as nightstands.

My mom gave us these many years ago and I love the clean lines combined with the more traditional look I have planned.  Plus, they give us much needed storage. I have been dying to paint them, but have put it off for one reason or another.
While this not a difficult project, I know with my broken leg I'm going to have to try to sit as much as possible (you know, instead of trying to paint and balance on one leg!), but I'm going to give it a shot!


An Unexpected Visitor

Look who AC and B found hanging out under our bed in the wrapping supplies box...

Fortunately, because I was like a deer in headlights, T was right there to explain that he had received an email from Santa saying he was sending Frosty back for a few days to check on me and make sure my leg was healing...
Such a sweet little elf.


As Promised....

...some changes. Yes, you are at at the right place!  Tiffany at Beautiful Dawn Designs  was able to give my blog just the makeover I was looking for and she was great to work with- fast and super patient with my thousands of questions and lack of knowledge in anything blog-design related.

In addition to a new look, I am also now accepting online design consultations.  From my experience, online consultations work really well because:
  • It allows you to have the help of a designer without paying for full-service design. 
  • It's convenient.  There is no juggling with schedules and meetings.
 I can give you a detailed road map to create the space you invision, give you sources to find the design elements, and help you prioritize the steps to make it happen.  You can then use that information as it suits you, whether it be purchasing what I have selected or shopping around for similiar items at a pace that is comfortable for you. 

As far as the blog, I plan to continue sharing and documenting about our family, but I will also add projects that I am working on (with permission, of course!), projects in my own home, and more!


Word of the Year

When I first hearing about choosing a word of the year, instead of a resolution, I loved the idea and  immediately started thinking of what mine would be.
Since I broke my leg, I have been trying to face the fact that there area lot of limitations on what I can and cannot do this year.  I'll be honest, it's been easy for me to get very consumed with the cannots. 
It's easy for me to get frustrated that I have to ask for help all the time, it's easy to loose my patience because I can't do everyday things like load the dishwasher or vacuum and instead I have to rely on someone else to do those things and then they aren't always done in the way I think they should be done.
A few days after venting about all of this to a friend, I received a email from her that just said this:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

While I've heard this prayer and even recited it at different times, when I read it this time the word accept jumped out at me.
I want to accept that this where I am and move on.  I can't heal my broken leg over night, but I can accept that it won't be like this forever and in the meanwhile, getting frustrated over the way laundry is folded, changes nothing.
I want to accept that sitting, watching, and listening are not characteristics I give myself an opportunity to do often and they are as important as "doing", so here's my chance and I have a lot to learn.
So, there is my word: accept

The Lettered Cottage
Head over to Layla's for more words of the year!


Ch- Ch- Changes

So, if you check in here often, maybe you've noticed things look a little different?  I am in the process of working on some new things which I hope will be completed in the next few days. 
In the meantime, look who's sporting pig tails....
Despite the terrible phone picture, she wears them well!
So, back to work and try to act like I know a html from a url....hope to be back soon!


Grey Skies....

I love a cozy rainy day, but after a few days of not seeing the sun, I send the troops out in the yard to search for any bit of color they can find....

 The mild temperatures we have been having are tricking the quince into flowering a little early, but I am thankful and will enjoy forcing the blooms inside throughout the winter....

The camellias are blooming better this year than I have ever seen them....

Just the promise of spring I needed today!


2012 Home Goals

One thing I love about the New Year is making a list of home projects I hope to accomplish in the upcoming year, but here it is 11 days into 2012 and I have been putting it off. I know this year is going to be different because of my injury and physically, I"m not going to be able to do everything I want to do and that's more than a little frustrating.
But, Nester is hosting a linky party for home goals and I decided to take the opportunity to make my own list.  It may mean that I have to hire more out, beg Todd and others to help, and some thing will likely appear on the 2013 list, but I'm ok with that...Rome wasn't built in a day....my personal motto for 2012. 

1.  Master Bedroom- this is currently underway!  Last year when our family doubled in size, our little 1920's cottage had to undergo some major switching of the rooms to accomodate everyone and we moved our bedroom into what we had been using as a den.
taken Christmas morning several years ago...I will not be showing current pictures since I have a broken leg and y'all might send Hoarders!
Eventually, we plan to make the adjoining powder room a full bath, but in the meantime we love the size, lots of natural light, and the fireplace.  For over a year I have hesitated to paint or really do much of anything because I was waiting to do the bathroom at the same time. 
Well, a month in bed staring at the 999 nail holes that gallery wall left and the temporary paper shades on the windows has solved that!  Here is my vision board for the room and while it is going to have to be broken down in many stages, I feel better just having a plan and seeing a little progress.

2.  B's room- During the switching of rooms, Brian was moved into our old bedroom so he could have his own bath, being the only boy.  The room is painted one of my most favorites, BM Seaglass, but it's a little too feminine for a 7 1/2 year old boy.  So, I would like to paint and replace the bedding he has had since he was 3.  I am crazy about this fabric mixed with some grey and rusty orange. 
He has bunk beds that are painted blue, and while I would love to either paint them or replace them with something that doesn't require acrobatics to make the bed, it probably isn't going to happen this year and the extra bunk is nice to have when we have guests.

3.  The Girls' Bath-  During the big switching of rooms, AC moved into B's room meaning she and and the little girls now share a Jack and Jill style bath.  In August when planning LJ and MC's 1st birthday party I searched high and low for a reasonably priced pink and yellow stripe fabric to use as a backdrop for the sweets table, and luckily found just what I was looking for on Ebay but it was a shower curtain....perfect for this momma who loves to have anything I can use for more than one purpose and pink and yellow is one of my favorite combos for a girly space.

The bathroom walls are 3/4 beadboard and all of the fixtures have been updated (no better words could be typed when living in an older home!), so I'm just hoping to paint and maybe find a new fabric for the windows.

So, those are my top 3 goals for our home in 2012....
one big, one medium, one small project...
one momma who can't walk, on daddy trying to juggle it all, 4 little blessings who make it all worthwhile,
 and a little house that we all love to call home..
.it's going to be a fabulous year!


The Start of an Exciting Season

Both AC and B chose basketball as their winter activity this year. Luckily, this meant they are on the same team....same practice and game time. This is the first time they have played together in a group sport since they were 2 and played tee ball with the Lollipop League....that name alone is what posessed me to sign them up for an organized sport at 2.
Anyway, today was the first game and trooper T loaded everyone up, remembering snacks for the little girls and the camera to document the game since I wasn't able to go.

the super excited cheering section

I love the tomboy/ girly mix that makes up my AC. Case in point: after putting on her uniform this morning, she came flying in the room prentending to dribble and pivot around the room like she was owning the court (that's the best description I can come up with since my very limited basketball experience consisted of me shooting at the wrong goal and scoring for the other team, crying, and constantly checking the status my very high side ponytail) After showing off her moves she said, "Momma, I think when I shoot a goal, I'll jump up and hang from the basket!"
Within 5 minutes she was back in my room having spent some time accessorising the uniform with sweatbands and perhaps every piece of jewelry she could get her hands on. After looking in the mirror she said, "I really wish they would have ordered the sweatbands with the uniforms so it would look more fashionable."
And so my legacy continues, at least a little.


It's been a great week....

trying out their tiny backpacks
but we are ready for the weekend!


A Find

If this doesn't inspire cleaning, nothing will.

Isn't it adorable?


School Days

It was back to school today, not just for the big kids, but LJ and MC started preschool today!

a great picture considering that the morning included packing 4 snacks, 4 lunches, 4 backpacks, getting 4 kids and 3 adults (my dad is visiting, thankfully) dressed...

After a lot of consideration (and a few tears from me), we decided that given the circumstances, it is best for everyone and I know they will love it. They are only going 2 days a week for half a day, but that is a lot seeing that they have always been with me.  I was a wreck ordering their tiny little backpacks and lunch bags and leaving them this morning was pretty hard.  The girls, however, got right down, started playing, and never even noticed we were leaving.

If you look closely, you will see that my wrapped leg has been replaced with a boot, not exactly Tory Burch's but progress, at any rate.  My visit to my orthopedist yesterday was great- everything is recovering well and hopefully,I will be able to start therapy and begin putting weight on it in another month or so.....thank you so much to all of you who have been praying for us!