Sunday, June 29, 2014

What I Am & What I'm Not

Hi.  This is me.  But you already knew that.  I'm pretty good at sharing surface level things about our life, house updates and random pictures of my beautiful little girl.  But I don't talk about myself that often.  Mostly because I'm not that interesting.  But maybe you want to know just a little bit more about the girl behind the blog.  If so, keep reading.  If not, I don't blame you. Ha.
I am a sinner.
I am not perfect.
But I am saved by grace.
I am not a believer in using grace as an excuse.  And it breaks my heart when I see someone living that way and misusing the most precious gift anyone could ever receive.
I do believe there's a little bit of good in everyone, even if they can't see it themselves.
I am not surprised anytime someone does the wrong thing even though I always like to think they will do the right thing.
I am someone who forgives easily but has a hard time forgetting.
I am not constantly searching for happiness in other places.
I am content and I find complete and total happiness right where I'm at.
I am not a perfect wife.
I am a wife who tries my best and loves my Dev more than I can ever even start to try and put into words.
I am not insecure or crazy.
But I am extremely protective of my husband, kid & family.  And it's very possible I could become crazy if anyone ever tried to hurt them or tear us apart.
I am not a person that can easily hide how I feel.  My emotions are always worn right on my sleeve.
I am an open book and I say what I mean and mean what I say.
I am not someone who gossips or enjoys other people's failures.
I am genuinely happy for other people who are happy and sad for people who are sad.
I am not outgoing and I am way too shy.
I am trying to do better at stepping outside of my comfort zone and allowing God to use me in ways that He could never have used me if I didn't take a deep breath and that first step of Faith.
I am not someone who bases my self worth on what other's think of me, although I used to be.
Now I am aware of how foolish that was and I will never ever let my daughter forget that self worth comes from within and from a God who made her perfect just the way she is.
I am a firm believer in attachment parenting.
I am not ever going to kick my kid out of our bed as long as she wants to sleep there.
I am a breastfeeding advocate and I nursed Kollyns until 3 months before her 3rd birthday.
I am not going to judge you if you didn't breastfeed your kid.
I am the mom that lets her little girl pull out all of her toys at once and absolutely destroy the playroom.
Because I am not going to miss experiences and fun with her in the interest of cleanliness.
I am clean though.  I swear.
I am not good at disciplining Kollyns.  And when I do have to correct her and she gets sad, it rips my heart out and usually I cry too.
I am not lazy and laziness is my biggest pet peeve.
I am a fitness freak and I workout because I love the way it makes me feel.
I am not fun to be around until I've had my first cup of coffee, and even then I'm still not really that fun.  To be honest, I'm pretty boring.
Until I run out of caramel vanilla coffee creamer. Then I can pitch a fit that's entertaining for just about anyone.
I am a person who plays it safe.
I am not a rule breaker.
I am obsessed with saving money and I literally cry over purchases that exceed $100 until I convince myself that I needed whatever it was bad enough to not let it bother me anymore.
I am not looking forward to the house payment that is coming in our near future.
But I am excited about finally having a home that was built after 1940 and has even floors and walls without cracks ...and I know that it's a good investment.  Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.
I can promise you material things don't mean squat to me.  Although I've always had nice stuff and based on my house updates you would think I'm consumed by them.
Things are just things and if I lost it all tomorrow and still had my family and our health, you would never hear me complain.
I am not that good of a blogger.  And I used to let that bother me. Until I realized if people are reading it there must be something good on here every once in a while.
I am laid back and easy going.
Until I'm late for something.  Then you would never know I'm laid back and easy going.
I am a pajama person. But I'm also a makeup person.  I wear makeup while I'm in my pajamas.  So weird.
I am all about my little family.  I'm pretty sure that the sun rises & sets in Devin and Kollyns.
I am not so naive that I think my kid or my husband are perfect.  We are all a little bit of a mess most of the time.  But my love for them is perfect.  
And when you love two people that wholly and unconditionally and they love you right back...Life is just about as good as it gets.

I'm done.

I think.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Quiet Nights at Home // Nothing beats time with just my little family.  Knowing that the ones that are the most important to me are right beside me safe and sound is my ultimate happy place.

My Samsung Chromebook // Last night on a whim I decided I needed a blogging machine for my house.  I have a Mac book circa 2005 but it won't stay charged for even two seconds unless it's plugged into the wall.  I usually blog from my work computer on my lunch break, but I'm too busy at work to even think about blogging these days. I didn't want an expensive laptop but I wanted something easier to blog on than my iPad.  I started looking at the Chromebooks by Google and after reading one 5 star review after another, I decided on the Samsung Chromebook.  We drove to Best Buy and had this little jewel in our hands in about 30 minutes flat from the time I decided I wanted one.  I knew if I gave myself more time I would talk myself out of it since I'm in major savings mode right now for the new house.  I am so so so happy with it.  If you're looking to add programs or store photos this is not the thing for you.  But it's perfect for blogging and with it I got 2 years free of Google cloud storage so any photos I want to add to my blog are uploaded via the cloud and so easy to add right in.  It's not fancy and it's fairly cheap at just $249, but it's fast and I can't tell you how much I've loved my time with this new found love.  And if you're a Google person, it prompts you to sign into your account as soon as you turn it on and it transfers all of your favorites and bookmarks right to it.  I'm in love I tell love.  And since it's not super expensive Kollyns is enjoying it too and I'm not on edge everytime she picks it up.  Yes.

Reading Dr. Seuss Books With Kollyns // I adored every Dr. Seuss book when I was little and Kollyns shares my love of them.  Snuggling up next to her and reading "Oh, The Thinks You Can Think" and really any other book for that matter... is pure heaven to me.

Date Nights with My Husband //  He's my favorite and one on one time with him takes me all the way back to our carefree dating days.  Fun stuff.

Joyce Meyer Messages // Every morning while I get ready for work I watch a video message from JoyceMeyer(dot)com and drink my coffee.  It's starts my day off right and it puts me in the right frame of mind to deal with what's coming that day.  She's so real and she speaks truth.  Love her.

Bath & Body Works Tiki Beach Candles // The simple little things like a candle with just the right scent makes me so happy.  This is my new fave and I could burn it all day everyday if I could put it in my purse and carry it with me.  Yes, yes I would.

Impromptu Photo Sessions // Sometimes the mood just strikes and I pull out my Nikon, dress Kollyns in a cute little ensemble and tell her to strike a pose.  The sesh might last a total of 5 minutes, but the photos always come out so cute and they're always frameworthy.

Fruit Kabobs // Every blogger there ever was has made a fruit kabob.  Except me.  Until this week.  But of course I had to add marshmallows and chocolate to make it nice and unhealthy. :-/ They turned out so pretty though.  And I ate two...or five.  Who's counting anyway?

Joss & Main // Ahhh I'm addicted.  They have new furniture sales every single day and I'm religious about checking them out.  I have a weakness for furniture because I know I'm in need of lots of it for my new house.  The discounted prices make my insides flutter. Be still my heart.

The River // The simplest things in life are always the best things.  A long lazy evening on the river with Devin and Kollyns is just what my soul needs sometimes.  Peace, quiet, a flowing river and a fishing pole in the hand of my little girl seems to wash all of my cares away.

Happy weekend friends, I hope yours is filled with tons of fun. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

House Update!!!

I'm SO excited. And I just can't hide it.
I was thinking about this today.  We sold our house last August and waited and waited and waited to close on the land.  Then we went through the process of choosing a builder and getting cost estimates.  Then we waited some more.  Then we had to wait on the bank.  Then it started snowing like crazy and we had an extremely snowy winter.  So we waited some more.  But at last...the end is in sight.  By the time we move into our new house, we will have been living in our temporary transition home for a full year.  A year is a long time.  And if someone told me when we sold our home that it would be a whole year before we were in our new one I probably would've just stayed put.  But now that we are about 2 months away from moving in, I'm so happy. 
 So freaking happy. 
So since my last post...
the siding has been installed
the front door finally arrived
the yard has been graded (as you can tell from the dirt for days)
and the sheet rock is being installed this week...  eeeek!
the stone will be put on those front two gables the end of this week and/or early next week.
We chose CertainTeed Siding and Shakes in Natural Clay.
The photo quality is horrible.  The siding looks wavy and splotchy and blurry.
I can promise you it doesn't look like that in real life or I would be at our house having a small fit right now, not sitting here writing about my happiness. ;)
If we could've afforded the shakes all over, we totally would have.
The siding looks awesome.  The lines are clean, it's nice and neat, we looooove the color and it was installed very nicely.
So we are happy so far.
You can't really see the front door good, but we chose a solid one because the house has enough windows as it is.  And personally I like hiding behind the front door if I don't want to answer it and there's no hiding behind a glass door, so yeah.  It will be stained dark brown to match the shutters which will be musket brown.
They actually finished the siding last night at 9pm so it was too dark to take decent pictures.  Next photos will be up after the rock is installed.  Oh. Em. Gee.  I can't believe the exterior will be basically done next week.  Yay!  If I'm getting on your nerves I'm sorry, but seriously we have waited so long for this I just can't contain myself.
I always love capturing Kollyns in the pictures.  It's so sweet to see her walking around the home she will grow up in. :)
They built the columns up because I wanted them chunky.  So now they are about 12 inches in width.  The builder is doing some crown molding and design work on them so they will be classy and elegant.  That's what we're aiming for anyway.
And that's about it for this week.  Hopefully by next week I can put up some sheet rock photos and some of the stone on the front two gables. 
Hope everyone is having a good week! :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Garden City 2014

Happy Friday friends!  After a long relaxing week at the beach that felt way too short, and an even longer hectic week back at work...I finally carved about 2.5 seconds into my wack schedule to share a few photos from our much needed vacay.  If you vacation on the East coast I would highly suggest Garden City Beach, SC.  We love it there oh so much.  It's about 30 minutes from the busy area of North Myrtle, 15 minutes from Broadway at the Beach and the Tanger Outlets, and 5 minutes from Murrell's Inlet which is home to the most impressive array of seafood restaurants at the beach.  We love it because it's family oriented, and there's room on the beach for chairs, a tent and a game of paddle ball without the fear of popping someone in the head with a stray ball.  I totally showed Dev up with my pink paddle, and Kollyns was a pro at retrieving the ball when Devin missed it. ;)  Anway, go there.  You will love it.

We stayed in this monster of a house.  Isn't she a beaut?
She was my friend until the A/C unit stopped working 2 days into our trip.  Wah.
But the kiddie pool made up for it.  Because Kollyns stayed in this thing and I sat in a lounge chair right beside it and relaxed.  It was lovely.
As soon as we got there she didn't even let us unpack before we had to go see the ocean.
Her first step onto the sand was a small victory for me because last year she wouldn't go near the stuff.  And it wore me slam out carrying her from the towel to the ocean 1536 times.   Her sand-phobia subsided...thank you Jesus.

Last years bathing suit still fit her.  And she has grown so much, so apparently it was way too big last year.  Cha Ching, more for my money.

These two melt my heart.  I love them to pieces.

One of the coolest parts about Garden City is that you can ride golf carts on the road to get to the little cafes and surf shops.  We rode at least an hour a day and Kollyns thought she was hot stuff because she didn't have to sit in a car seat. ;)

And the beauty of going with family is you have in-house babysitters.  Mama and Daddy had a couple of date nights which were nice! :)

And quite a few family date nights.

And no trip is complete without a few beachy pics.  And a few more family pics.

I could just eat her up.  It doesn't get any cuter than this.

Lots of fun was had by all and so many memories were made.  Until next year Garden City...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Under Roof!

And here we are.  You don't even know how good it feels to have our house under roof, which eliminates the need to pull up weatherchannel(dot)com 265431 times a day to find out whether or not any progress will be made.  We chose the 'weathered wood' roof color because it isn't too dark of a brown and it isn't too light and it matches our brick really well.  Our builder finally was able to give us a rough move in date and told us we should be finished up by the end of August and that was so nice to hear.  I'm super excited about being in our house for the fall and putting pumpkins on our new porch (If we can afford pumpkins then.) ;) Oh the little things make me so happy.

I spy a hunky husband.

Main living space.  So excited about our 18ft ceilings (until we get the first electric bill for this mother).

Master bedroom view into master bath. Our tub is framed! Eeek!

Bathtub view is what it's all about y'all.

Dining room columns.

More columns and view into the kitchen from living room.  Upstairs balcony top left.

Foyer.  See that little nook above the front door.  There will so be a Christmas tree there.
Kollyns' bathtub. She's excited even though I'm pretty sure she won't use it until she's 13 or 25.  Or until she gets over the excitement of watching ducks swim while she bathes in mommy and daddy's big tub.
 I love the play room.  The ceiling pitches and the little nooks are so cute.  It's like a little dollhouse.

And our cabinet sample came in this week.  I am obsessed.  We are so into the distressed look.  Our kitchen walls are going to be SW backdrop, a taupey-grey color which will bring out the greys in the cabinet.  And our floors are super duper dark wood which will compliment it nicely (I think, I hope).
SW 7025 Backdrop
I just want to say that we are so extremely thankful that we get to experience this and that God has given us the ability and drive to work hard so we can have nice things.  I know full well that life isn't about things. And while building a  home is fun and exciting, (and it has pretty much consumed my blog) we are not letting it consume us because we know everything could change in an instant.  So for now we are just enjoying this process and being thankful to the One from whom all blessings flow.  And I hope you're learning a few things through the eyes of first time builders, or just enjoying watching the house go up too! ;)