Monday, July 21, 2014

It's All About the View

Our first home had a tiny deck.  We could barely fit two chairs and a table on it.  The grill made it impossible to turn around without bumping into someone or knocking their plate clean off of the bistro table.  It was all we needed at the time because our view was one of the main roads that ran through the town and we didn't spend much time out there.  But with a little more acreage and a pretty pond in our back yard, a nice deck was super important to us.
I can't wait to drink coffee out here cuddled up under a blanket while I read my devotions.
Or grill some chicken wings with the sweet sound of a good football game floating out of the opened French doors. 
You can't tell I've been dreaming about enjoying the Fall in our new home at all can you? 
We would have loved to go with composite decking, but to be honest it would've completely busted our budget.  So we stuck with a wood deck and upgraded to iron balusters which gave it a nice fresh look without breaking the bank.  I'm very happy with it!
Can't wait to stain this bad boy to match the house. Ahem, or should I say...I can't wait for Devin to stain this bad boy to match the house.  I'm not sure staining is my thing.
There will also be a concrete pad underneath the deck so I'm sure we will put that space to use too.
The sheetrock is done (I just forgot to post pics, oops!) The hardwood floors are being installed right now.  Eeeek!  And the tile is supposed to be coming in tomorrow and that installation will begin also. 
Yay yay YAY.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cute Stuff My Kid Says

Sometimes Kollyns speaks and my mouth drops because I can't even begin to process the cuteness that just escaped hers.  She cracks me up on a daily basis and I never ever want to forget the adorable phrases that make her the most adorable kid ever.

"Mama my eyes are zausted and I think I need a nap."

Kollyns:  "Hey where's my Daddy?"
Me:  "At work Kollyns."
Kollyns:  "Aww I like it when he goes to wurt so he can buy me some toys."

"Kels can you hurry up please?  It's sixty o' clock and I'm gonna be late."

"Hey mom can we go to Mexico and get something to eat like a cheese quesadilla?"

"Mama I'm just tired and I don't have no patience and I don't like these leggings."

Me:  "Kollyns do not run up the driveway you will fall."
Kollyns:  "Mama I just exercising hurry up you just ate that ice cream and you need to wurt out too."

Kollyns:  "Hey Mom I want a Sisser in my belly."
Me:  "A Sister would go in my belly Kollyns, not yours."
Kollyns:  " belly, then she can drink my ba bas like I used to drink yours and then we can put her back because I don't really want a Sisser."
(And apparently breastfeeding for almost three years was a bad idea.)

Kollyns:  "Hey Mama when I go to preschool can you sit in the car and wait the whole time til I come out in the parking lot?  Or I'm not going.  And I need a McDocStuffins backpack."
Me:  "Kollyns it's Doc McStuffins."
Kollyns:  "Yeah I said that...McDocStuffins."

Kollyns:  "Mom I'll be back I'm gonna go pee in the yard."
Me:  "What?  Why?"
Kollyns:  "FinLee and BroDee do it, and I want a treat when I'm done."

"Mommy I love you more than everything.  And your hair is so long I love that too."

Me: "Kollyns say your prayers okay?"
Kollyns:  "Dear Lord, thank you for everything. I love my mommy and my daddy and Jesus and Mary and Joseph and God and myself.  Amen."

Kollyns:  "Mommy where we going tomorrow?"
Me:  "Work baby tomorrow is Monday."
Kollyns:  "I hate dat."

Happy Weekend Y'all. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Exterior Stone and Choices on Choices

 While we're waiting on the drywall finishers...which feels like it's taking forever because they keep mudding and sanding and mudding and sanding over and over and over again even though it has really only been a week, I figured I'd update you on what's been going on at the Almond casa lately.
We have stone finally.  I wasn't thrilled with my choice at first because the color of the rock turned out differently than I had envisioned.  But I've grown to love it.  Word to the wise...don't pick your stone based on a photo of an itsy bitsy portion of the stone coloring in a stone book.
I learned my lesson.
Although now that I look at it, I think this color actually ended up for the better because the other color would not have been enough of a contrast to the siding color.
Our front door is not going to be that weird tan will be stained dark brown.
Our gutters will also be dark brown which I'm pretty excited about because I think it's cool looking.  And that I have seen in person, so I'm confident about that choice.
Our latest dilemma is brown garage door vs. white garage door.  We are leaning towards white.  But only because it's cheaper and I'm not a huge 'garage door person'.
We picked out our light fixtures last week and I'm pretty pumped about those.  I also love our paint colors.  These are the only three that will be used throughout our home.  Our last house was bursting with color and this one will be so pretty on its own I didn't want to outshine the beauty of the home with cray cray paint. 
 These are a few of our light fixtures to give you an idea of the style we picked.  I love them. LalalaLove them.
And I finally broke down and bought a dining room table.  It only took me like 3 days to convince myself we needed it.  But now I'm so glad I took the plunge.
This beauty right here will be a part of our fam for years to come.
Anddd a close up...
The top is zinc metal.  Drooling over here.
Can't wait until it arrives at my doorstep.
Reallyyy can't wait until it's in my new dining room and I can use it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I have a cold.  A nasty one.  Right smack dab in the middle of summer.
My head hurts, my eyeballs hurt, I can't breathe through my nose and my throat is scratchy.
But the worst part of all is that I can't sleep.
I need my sleep y'all.  I do.
So last night we all crawled into bed earlier than usual because Kollyns took it upon herself to skip her much needed nap yesterday and Devin had worked about four 12 hour shifts in a row and he was wiped out too. 
8:30...9:30...Devin's snoring and Kollyns is sleeping deep.
10:30...Still staring at the ceiling fan.
I started getting frustrated.
Then I began to tune myself into the breaths my sweet little Kollyns was taking.
My hand was resting on her belly and every breath she took brought out an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness.
Her leg was propped up on my hip and her foot was resting on her daddy's waist.
Devin was holding me about as tight as he possibly could.  The weight of his arm was starting to make my side twinge.  But I couldn't bring myself to move it.
There I was tangled up in my two favorite people.  I almost let the moment get away because of my irritation with the fact that I just couldn't go to sleep and I couldn't get close to being comfortable.
Thank goodness I didn't.  Because the joy that filled my heart in those two hours of pure, raw thankfulness are enough to pull me through just about anything.
Who knew staring at those spinning blades not being able to sleep and listening to my two loves breathe could be so perfect?  Relishing the fact that they were both with me in that moment. 
Safe.  Healthy.  Here. 
How many sweet moments do we miss because we're too busy thinking about the not so perfect parts of it?
I am blessed.  I am content.  I am happy.
I am thankful.
Thankful that God is working in my life and in the lives of everyone around me so I don't have to bear the burdens of this imperfect world and feel the weight of trying to fix everything on my fragile shoulders.
Thankful for the moments that make this life so sweet.
Like laying in bed at night beside Kollyns and Devin.
Running through the sprinkler hand in hand with Kollyns and hearing her squeals of excitement.
 Watching her jump up and down as her dad's pulling in the driveway from a long day at work.
Thankful for the moments that reveal God's faithfulness to me.
Like when I'm blindsided by disappointing things.
Or hurt and betrayed by people I had faith in.
Thankful that God is always faithful and He is the one that has never left my side and will never forsake me.
Be thankful.  And don't let your blessings be overshadowed by discontentment or disappointments.
In my happiest moments, and even in my moments of deep pain...
 It is so very fulfilling to feel all consuming thankfulness through every part of it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sweet Somethings

We are closing in on our 6th wedding anniversary, so naturally this time of year I start thinking back to our wedding day and all of the special memories that wonderful day holds.  On top of all of the love and joy that was floating around on July 19, 2008, and the pure elation I was feeling about finally marrying my favorite person in the world...another part will always come right to the front of my mind every single time.  My mom gave the sweetest toast at our wedding.  I'm talking a two-page-long heartfelt letter to us that she began with the words "I Dream For You..."  You can just imagine how much I cried during that speech based on that intro. I can still feel the tears welling in my eyes as she spoke the words "I dream for you to always enjoy the little things in life, because the big moments like these are few and far between... and one day you will look back and see that the little things are what make life worth living and they were the big things all along." That was almost six years ago and I'll never forget what she said.  

You see, words are powerful.  They can turn a person's bad day into a good one.  They can help heal a broken heart.  They can encourage.  They can inspire.  Words are powerful.  And words are one of those 'little things' that end up meaning the world to someone.  In my family, we say I love you at the end of every phone call.  We give each other hugs every time we know we will be apart for more than 10 minutes.  We call each other 5 times a day even though we all live just a few miles apart.  Devin and I call each other before we reach the end of the driveway headed to work just to say I love you again.  I'm pretty sure I tell Kollyns I love her and that she is beautiful too many times to count.  But when you talk to each other so often, and say I love you so much it becomes routine.  Of course we mean it, but rarely do we go much deeper than that and really express a genuine appreciation for one another using our words.  It's almost like an unspoken "given".  But how sweet would it be to let them know.  Surprise them and put a smile on their faces by just sending a little note of appreciation or encouragement.  Life has been crazy for us lately but in the midst of the chaos, I've committed to sending a card to a member of my family each week until I've personally expressed my appreciation for each and every one of them.  I feel like cards are the best way to do this.  Cards are timeless.  I have a card in my memory box that my grandma gave me for my eighth birthday. I have every card my husband has ever given me since we started dating almost ten years ago.  

Cards are meaningful.  And in our tech-driven, email and text message filled stand out.  For some reason I just can't let go of something handwritten on paper, but texts and emails fall to the wayside. Treat is my go-to for my latest bright idea.  They have the cutest designs and you can even add photos to personalize them and make the surprise a little bit sweeter.  And personally I like mailing the cards for added effect because who doesn't love getting surprises in the mail? (Pssst, Treat will mail them for you!) ;)  If you're an avid birthday card sender, you can even add birthdays to your own personal calendar in your account and it will email you reminders so you never ever miss a birthday. And you can use your photos that you've already uploaded to your Shutterfly account. Which is great news for a Shutterfly archiver like myself. Heck yes.  Go there and make someone's day.  The first person who will be getting a little love note from yours truly is of course my Dev.  Who's next?  It may just be you. :)