Small World

Friday, July 31, 2009

Twitter has definitely made the world smaller. and larger. all at the same time.

I joined the twittering world a couple of months ago, and one of my first followers/followees was Teri Lynne of Pleasing To You, home of Fe Fridays. I'm quite certain we found each other through Sarah Mae (Like a Warm Cup of Coffee), but it was a God thing that a sweet friendship from the first tweet was formed.

It is amazing how someone in another state, whose voice you wouldn't recognize, can be someone you consider a real friend. But I know Teri Lynne's heart-she pours it out in every post and every tweet. And I sincerely appreciate her.

And this week, I am so honored to be the Fe Friday guest poster! Please stop by!

And Valencia, of Buildeth Her House , and a fellow twitteree has been celebrating her Blogaversary all this week. Stop by and check out her giveaways-including this Crayon Roll made by your's truly, then comment on Valencia's post today (and mention the prize that interests you) for an entry!

Do you tweet? Has it made the world smaller to you?

If we're not following each other yet, lets!

How to Lighten Up Your Living Room -A Before & After

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I love our living room. Everything in it has been chosen carefully (albeit on a Craigslist budget). However, because we were so careful in our selections, most of the room is very neutral. Lots of wood and earth tones that can seem heavy in the afternoon's sun and dark and stiff in the evening.

The fireplace is also off-center and in a corner. Which makes it a very awkward focal point. So our media cabinet, or armoire, is unfortunately our focal point. And until recently, was also unfortunately knotty pine. I've shown pictures before, but here it is again, in all it's naked piney glory:

Years ago, I decided to paint it. First I thought black--another nice neutral color, but I already painted our kitchen table black and didn't want our house to look like it was designed by Mrs. Havasham. Then I thought about staining it darker-maybe a walnut or mahogany. But the room already struggled with too many dark tones.

The room needed some POP! Some whimsey. I chose Olive #5 from Ralph Lauren.

And the result, in my opinion is amazing.

The color really Made the armoire the focal point of the room. It is as if all the other pieces in the room are now pointing to this one lead piece. I could get really dramatic and describe how my lamps are standing on the the couches saluting my armoire chanting, "Oh, Captain, My Captain. " But then you'll think I'm exaggerating. Trust me. I am not. The room is chanting and it is inspiring.

And most surprising, adding color to our focal point actually lightened the whole space.

In lieu of blogging, I've been painting all over the house this summer. Hopefully, I will put the brush down soon and take a few more pictures to share again.

Before I get back to my projects, I'll leave you some painted amoire link love:

::Kim did her's in distressed black-so sophisticated! She's got more photos of it in her home on Scrap to My Lu, if you keep your eye out for it.

::Becoming Home paints an armoire a crisp white to house her linens.

::Edie from Life in Grace gives a French Painting technique tutorial she used on her armoire.

::And of course, Nester shared her tips for painting knotty pine last week, which I re-read and re-read before starting my project and am really glad I did-(the roller saved hours-and a primer was totally necessary to keep the knots from bleeding!)

::Lucas Rise dares you to paint creatively before dismissing an armoire! Do you dare?

This post is linked to Kimba's DIY Day.

Why I Love My Camera

Monday, July 20, 2009

When life gets frazzled, a day with the camera in my hand helps me to stop and appreciate the gifts all around me. I find myself more thoughtful and more apt to slow down, simply because I want to see.

— not so random stuff: Through the Lens Slowing Down

I'm entering this photo in The I Heart Faces Nostalgia Challenge. This photo was only taken weeks ago. Although, now that fall is approaching, I feel very nostalgic for how quickly the time passes between seasons.

Felt iPhone Cases

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This is my Bro-Bro.

And this is his Laura.

They just got matching iPhones.

And because he asked and she said yes,
soon, they will have matching last names.

So in honor of this special occasion I ripped out my felt and made their iPhones some felt sleeves.

Because everything of value is worth protecting.

Above all, love each other deeply. 1 Peter 4:8a

This post is linked to Angie's Get Your Creative On!

Your Story Matters Party

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Each one of us could tell a story of the work God is doing in our lives. Wherever you are in your journey with God, your story is worth telling.

I believe this wholeheartedly and because of that I want to hear your story.

This is a spontaneous Linky Party with no expectations. But I believe our stories really do matter. Others need to hear them and we need to share them. If you've posted your story, please link it up so others may find it.

If you haven't yet written your story, find some time soon and write yours. Not only does it encourage those who will someday read it, but I know you will be blessed by the reminder of God's hand in your life.

For other Stories:

The Joyeful Journey-Joye shares how the Lord taught her to trust Him through her miscarriage and miracles story.

Like a Warm Cup of Coffee-Sarah Mae shares the hidden grief of abortion in her story.

Walking by Faith-Lauren shares her story of infertility and the loss of her sons.

And yesterday, I shared my Depression/Adoption story.

Will you share your story?

This post is also linked to Chatting at the Sky's Tuesday's Unwrapped

My Depression Story/ My Adoption Story

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Each one of us could tell a story of the work God is doing in our lives. Wherever you are in your journey with God, your story is worth telling.

I believe this wholeheartly and because of that I want to tell you my story.

I wasn't even sure the malaze and despair I felt was depression until I was sitting in church one week during my last pregnancy and found myself unable to stop crying. I mean the ugly crying. The kind that was IMPOSSIBLE to stop and even harder to explain to someone looking on.

Being overwhelmed with the pregnancy was a big factor. I was able to get through the entire pregnancy "drug-free." Although I seriously considered trying the prescription my OB wrote for me. With help from Mr. Smarty, I was able to look at things in perspective and arrange our lives so that I wouldn't get so overwhelmed. Later that Sunday our small group at church prayed for me, and that week was so much better, and I found myself "down" much less often.

Problem solved, right? Well, not really. Although I wasn't sad as much and didn't feel as alone in everything, I still had issues that needed healing. And while I was still broken but functioning, a little boy Boo's age in our neighborhood died in his backyard. This threw me for a BIG LOOP. All kinds of questions arose from that accident.

Why did God allow that boy's life to be cut short? How will his mother cope, go on, function? Why not me and my son? Who's to say something like that won't happen to my children?

And the biggest question or hardest to find an satisfactory answer to: How can God be loving when He allows that to happen?

I searched for the answer to that last question for what seemed forever. And never came close to anything that gave me a hint of peace. After going through the gamut of emotions: sadness, despair, anger, frustration and finally and most scary-complacency, I called for an appointment with a counselor recommended on our church's website.

It was definitely a God thing for me to meet with my counselor. It turns out I already knew her from a MOMs group. She was really cute and sweet and had an easy way about her that made it possible for her to tell me how crazy my thoughts were without offending me or making me feel like a freak. And she taught me new ways to think- or direct my thoughts.

But the real turnaround on my road to depression recovery was when my counselor asked me to pursue something I believed God had for me sometime in the future. A purpose for my life. Something that got me really excited just thinking about even if it would be years from now that God would call me to it.

The only purpose I knew was Motherhood, specifically through adoption. But it seemed years away. So she just encouraged me to daily pursue in baby steps our adoption. I started by emailing a friend who is an adoptive mom. I asked her about her agency and experience. The next day I sent away for information packets from some agencies online. And everyday I was getting more and more excited and drawn to this idea.

After months of pursuing and digging into our adoption journey, I realized something critical to my healing. Although God had not revealed the answers I was seeking, He did reveal enough to satisfy me and calm me. I saw that part of His plan was to use others to bring comfort to those who are hurting. While I don't understand why there has to be hurt, I understand how He delights in using those who love Him to comfort the wounded.

And the most healing and exciting revelation was that God wanted to use me to help heal a hurt child who lost their first mommy.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

My story matters. It may not matter to the world, but it matters to the world of one child.

****Update: To see more of our story, here's our 10 Day Trip to Ethiopia in 10 Pictures and Baby Girl's Homecoming

****Update: Your Story Matters Linky Party at Pajama Mama tomorrow because others need to hear your story, too.

Cloth Diaper Savings and Tutorials

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Anyone crazy frugal enough to make their own diapers?

We've just made the switch to cloth diapering but honestly haven't seen any extra savings...BUT I know it's just more costly upfront. So I'm being patient and in the mean time making a few more to get us through the day.

Curious about making your own too? Check out these helpful tutorials:

-Ottobre Designs-a thorough pdf pattern
-Mama Bird -more pdf's for AIO's, fitted, contoured...
-Goodness Gracious Diaper-complete cute fitted instructions

Okay, so do you cloth diaper? Fess up-how much do you think your entire investment has been? How soon did you see the savings?

This post is linked to Kimba's DIY Party.