Monday, October 5, 2015

Thoughts, Thank yous, and Update

 Today I wanted to show you an update of some stuff around the house. But first I just wanted to thank anyone who’s taken the time to tell me any happy thoughts on the wardrobe series I’ve started.
I can really easily start to feel like I’m wasting my time on something too trivial. At times I start to feel like my talents/gifts are just frivolities and rather meaningless when pitted up against the big picture of life. And of course in that light, figuring out beauty (home, personal, musical, visual) is not as important as weighty things like health and safety and love, etc. And I would never imply otherwise. But I love when I am reminded that these beautiful things do actually matter. And I believe God made us in a way which causes us to crave beauty. (I think it’s part of how our hearts cry out for him.) And I also think God gave us the gift to create. (I think it’s a special blessing he imparts so we can ponder him in special ways. For example, when I sand down an old table, I think of Him and how he makes beauty from ashes. I think of how His ways are not my ways, how I’m pretty sure the table isn’t a huge fan of getting it’s edges rubbed off, but how when I’m done it’s going to be gorgeous.)
And I also think seeing beauty in places other people don’t is a gift straight from Him. I know He sees things differently than people do. And at times I feel blessed to have moments of that kind of clarity.
I was driving through the downtown of my city, and I saw one older man walking, and my heart ached to think of my grandpa and how I miss him and how he still seemed like a little boy even at the end, and then suddenly this stranger-man was as clear to me as my own baby boy walking through a town, and I loved him without care of who he was or what he’s done, just because he is. And I think that’s how God is. If we are his children -- mix that with how I love my children -- heart ache explosions of deep deepness when I see their faces, so good it literally hurts. And sometimes I can feel that deepness for all humanity.
And I saw three different women walking. Each one a totally unique soul, different skin and hair, different heights, different shapes, different choices, different styles, different moments of life. And all I could think when I saw them was how stunningly beautiful -- just that they are. Not that they needed anything more than that to be beautiful.

When I put together my wardrobe series, it is that place I am coming from. That you are beautiful because you are. It’s not meant to imply you need to change. It’s not meant to imply you need more. It’s not meant to imply you need to hyper-focus on this stuff.

I just want to offer things I think will help you feel the beauty you have.

A friend, who had her baby right around when I did, told me she used my tips to shop for herself. And I got to see a photo of her in her new clothes and I almost fell out of my seat I was so happy and excited  -- she looked amazing and so beautiful. And I loved that she felt that way. That’s what made me the happiest.

I love if any of the sort-of-silly, probably-too-intense, work I do to understand beauty can bless someone else. I’ve gotten to see a tiny glimpse of the results from a few women who’ve been sweet enough to share with me. (Their homes, or clothes, or births.) And if you get to see their eyes, you know it means more than we so often want to admit it does. God put something inside us that is somehow connected to Him through how beautiful he intended the world to be. (Before sin muddied it up.) And when I see these women be blessed by beauty, I see part of God’s heart.

I don’t always know what my blog is really for. I am so random in my post’s subject matter. I just know I want to bless hearts. All I can do is share things I have. So I share things about birth because I’ve been dragged through hard things, I want to gift the parts that are gift-able from that. So I share about house things, because if I can help someone enjoy their house I know what that means. So I share about clothes when you are postpartum because I know the value there. I just am a random hoper of healing in the small things because I know they are actually really big things.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that, because I’ve been battling thoughts that say I’m wasting my time, and being too trite, and hiding from big things. (I’m definitely still working through big things inside me -- different aspects of my pregnancies and births have been hard enough to give me some post traumatic stuff I need to resolve. I’m still grieving my grandpa and some other family things. I still struggle immensely with our food allergies and how that limits our lives in ways most people cannot fathom or admit.) But I don’t think blogging the small things is me hiding. I think it’s me healing. I think it’s me holding on. I think it’s me seeking to know for sure His Goodness inside pain. It might seem otherwise, it might seem to be turning away from Him. But I think He knows me so well He purses me this way, inside small, because I’m not strong enough for big just now.

Now onto what’s been going on in my house.

I finished sewing my pillows. I was kind nervous because I went an unexpected route and used minky fabric. (Super soft, kinda furry stuff meant mostly for baby blankets.) But I liked the idea of the tone on  tone pattern in it. And I thought my family would like the soft sensation.  I made three -- one for each end and one for the corner of the sectional.
I wanted to do piping (of course, because it’s my new obsession.) And I thought I could do it out of the minky, but it looked really weird. So I made some out of white cotton decor fabric. And I think that gives it just the right touch.
If you want to know how to sew these sorts of pillow covers:
A good piping tutorial -- here. (But I didn’t cut on the bias -- just straight across to save fabric.)
And I used this page to figure out adding a zipper with bias. I had to read it like four times to grasp it, but once I did grasp it -- it was VERY easy.

In other news:
So with all the talk of capsule wardrobes, and then the drastic weather switch at my house (First day of Fall was still shorts weather. Then about a week later I’m huddled up in a heavy coat -- it should be noted no one else seems to be. But I think it’s freezing!) anyway, with that going on I had to go and switch the kids clothes for the seasons and massively par down the “too many clothes” situation we always seem to have.

While mentally processing this situation it finally dawned on me the solution to many an issue was that we needed a different dresser for the girls room.
The room’s layout has felt off to me. 
In addition to the fact that the girls can’t reach their clothes in the tall dresser we have.
We need a short, long dresser between their bed. And I will take out the tall dresser by their closet.

I have a curbside pickup dresser in my garage I had intended to makeover and sell (before baby #3 was in the works or here.) And it’s a similar size, but it’s not really the look I wanted. I was going to paint it anyway and use it for now. But then I realized that was a silly way to use my time right now. I’ll just sell that one cheap (as is, no makeover.) And I need a dresser I want to keep, if I’m going to take the time to paint it. 

So I prayed about it (I like to pray about purchases -- I had a really sweet spiritual role model tell me she always prays about shopping. It’s too much to write about now. But it wasn’t in a “give-me give-me” way. It was in a "God really does care about me" -- Matthew 6 -- kind of way.) And I went to ReStore. Sometimes when I’m there they have just about no dressers. This time there was at least three rows of dressers, all long and low size. The choices were almost overwhelming to me. And I went back and forth for a while, weighing pros and cons. Eventually I decided on this one. I have the desk from this furniture line already painted (currently in our guest room closet, as a craft kind closet thing) and I’ve always really liked it’s lines. But the mirror that comes with this, is awesome! I’ve been wanting a really pretty mirror to add to our guest room (there is a window above where I plan to use this dresser in the girls room) so this was like a double bonus buy. The dresser was only $60, which was one of the cheaper ones at Restore. So I felt like I was really getting a deal of a deal. (I plan to paint it white. and put new hardware on.)

After I left ReStore I was thinking through the benefits of this particular dresser. (Initially I didn’t like that the top drawers weren’t very deep at all. But once I got in the car and started thinking about how I want to use the drawers I decided it was actually perfect.) I had been thinking so hard at the store (I was in a hurry to get home before Baby Bronson woke up from a nap and needed to nurse, which of course, Blake couldn’t provide) that my mind was in total tunnel vision. So once I was on my way home I remembered that I prayed about this dresser, and then it dawned on me how perfect a gift this was. And I remembered to say thank you. That’s part of why I like praying about purchases so much, afterwards I get the joy of remembering how He cares for me every time I see it in our house. I’m not very good at seeing him in hard things, but if I get to have little gifts like this around my house, I can so much easier keep my eyes on His goodness.

I’m still working on painting our two small coffee tables. But I’m getting closer. 

Another update:

Our house came with a lantern. 
I’ve been both in love with that fact, and also not really so into how this lantern looks. It feel like it’s kinda vintage in a non-cute way. But I take solace in the fact that most houses around ours haven’t updated theirs either. (Some have. Not most.)
I’d like to update ours someday. But for now it needed some help.
For about half a year now it hadn’t been lighting up. We didn’t know why.
So last weekend Blake did some work on it, opened it up and rewired it and then like magic it’s been lighting up at night. (We actually had no idea it has a light sensor on it which makes it turn on. We thought it had been wired into this light timer thing we had taken away -- but that was just the front of the house lights.) So that’s been really exciting to us. It’s so, so, so nice having that light turn on at night. I’m so glad we got it fixed now that the year is going to get darker and darker. And I’m really happy it’s fixed in time for trick-or-treaters.
But once it worked again, I was sure we needed to repaint it. It’s been chipping since we bought the house, and it’s gotten worse lately. But wasn’t sure if we would be keeping it, with it not lighting up for a while there. Anyway, now I had the green light to paint it.

I went and wire brushed off as much of the chipping paint as I could. And then I used some oil based Rustoleum black semi-gloss paint  on there.
This was actually a shockingly fast paint job. (I’m SO used to thinking a paint job will go fast and then it goes super slow, that I just assumed for some reason this would be the same. But I mean, honestly, it’s a tiny pole -- it can’t take too long.)
I used the oil based because I’m sort of falling in love with the stuff. But because I knew it would stick to the bare metal way better than latex. And I know it will be more durable in the elements outside. Plus I wanted to buy this paint to redo a table anyway -- so two birds, one stone.

This is one of the projects that probably no one but me will even notice. But I’m pretty sure people would notice if I didn’t do it.
But man oh man, this project makes me feel like a million bucks. 
It just un-crappy-feel-a-fies our exterior by 10 fold.

We have a ways to go with curb appeal over here. But check out this side by side. It’s pretty great.

That was definitely worth the 30 mins or so it took (most of that was scraping chipping paint.)

And the other thing going on at our house is:
 We are becoming fashion designers.
This summer my girls have been pretty much nonstop out-of-clothes.
I know this winter I’m not turning the heat up enough to make that an option.
Only Jasmine has some pretty specific sensory stuff with clothing.
I think it’s mostly due to her eczema and how clothes feel on it. Well that and I think she inherited her Dad’s temperature genes. He would wear flip flops in the winter as a junior higher, and also loved to skip the coat. 

So, I racked my brain to figure out a way to get my kids to wear clothes as it cools off outdoors.
And I decided to offer Jasmine a chance to design a dress.
She LOVED that idea.

She hates long sleeves with a passion. (I think it itches her rashes.) So I figured if I could make a dress with short sleeves, but a maxi length fleece bottom I could even things out temp wise.

So she drew up her idea, 

And I let them pick out their fabrics. And I’m going to try to come up with something of an outfit out of it.  
They are VERY VERY excited. SO I will likely have no choice but to get them sewed up soon!
I’ll show ya what I come up with when I’m done.

(I’m pretty excited too. This is the kinda mom stuff I’ve been looking forward to. Mother-daughter-crafty fun!!) 


  1. This post really touched me. I have always felt that my vocation was beauty. Like the lupine lady (Miss Rumphius-- if you haven't read it, you should :-) I love your blog because you're really doing that. All the little things you do to bring beauty to your corner of the world are making the world a more beautiful place! It's so encouraging to get these glimpses of loveliness even with the hard things you've undergone. And I think your insight: "I just am a random hoper of healing in the small things because I know they are actually really big things." was spot on :-)

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I feel like we would be "kindred spirits" if we met in real life. I hope that's not too weird :-P

    1. Aw thank you Yvonne. That means a lot to me. Really. (And no, I haven’t read it -- I’ll have to check it out.) And no I don’t think it’s weird to say -- I like it. :)

  2. I love that white pillow! Where did you get the fabric? It looks do good.

    I have been really enjoying your posts about capsule wardrobes and tried to do some more reading last night. I'm 6 weeks postpartum and 15 pounds heavier than I want to be (well, more like 40 but 15 to pre-pregnancy) so I am looking to simplify my wardrobe and make it easier to get dressed each day.

    I think it's so fun to let the girls help make their own clothes. My stepdad let me pick out fabric for pants when I was little too and I loved them :)

    1. Thanks. I got the fabric off of ( On their picture it looks offwhite/cream, but it’s bright white like my photos. (I knew that, based off google searching to make sure because I wanted white. So I wish they used a better picture!)
      15 pounds to pre-pregnancy at 6 weeks is great! I hope my series does help getting dressed easier. :) I have some more posts lined up in me head. :)
      Hopefully I get around to sewing those dresses. I’m having that "can’t put the scissors to it" fear I get sometimes before I start a project. eek!

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