Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Craving the Good Stuff

Nope, not pregnant.
 Crave:  To feel a powerful desire for something; long for; yearn for; want and wish for 
I was watching Joyce Meyer the other morning before work just as I always do, and she asked the question:  What do you crave?
Well that's a good one.
Approval?  Attention?  Material wealth?  Acceptance?  Respect?
I think we all at some point or another have wanted at least one of these things.  And I don't believe there is anything wrong with wanting people to respect you or like you or even wanting things...as long as it doesn't take priority over our main purpose or become something we overthink and obsess about.  And there's something about human nature and our society that can cause even one with the best intentions to slip into one of these traps before we even realize we are sliding that way.
I started reflecting on this question and really I've been running it through my mind over the past two weeks.  I prayed for God to reveal to me exactly what my greatest desire was.  Of course it should be Him and in my heart that was what I wanted Him to reveal to me. 
I ran down the list and examined myself and my life to see which one I was guilty of.  I didn't find the answer through self-evaluation and I was feeling like my priorities were pretty much in check.  Ha.

Even still I prayed for God to convict my heart.  And you know it's so funny how God answers in the most unexpected ways.

The day after I prayed that prayer I woke up late and of course it was on a day that Kollyns had to be at preschool.  And when I'm late I'm the worst possible version of Kelsey.  I'm testy, snappy and everything irritates me and I'm a jerk.  And have you ever noticed that when you're late everything else seems a little off the rest of the day?

Yep, with wet hair and halfway done makeup I basically drove at lighting speed to take Kollyns to preschool fussing at myself under my breath (for waking up late and throwing my morning off) the whole way.  When we finally got there she decided she really didn't want to go to preschool (probably because she sensed my stress and felt the need to stay with me).  After a 5 minute cling/cry session in the parking lot and a Bloop bribe from mama she finally loosened her grip on me and went on in.  I got halfway to work and realized I didn't have my cell phone and I really needed it because that was the contact info they had at preschool and if they needed me they wouldn't be able to get in touch.  So I turned the car around and drove back home and was greeted by our tail-wagging newly adopted German Shepherd 'Porter' (I'll save that story for another day) who barreled through the door with muddy paws and dove onto my brand new grey linen upholstered accent chair that I have been saving for the new house.  Yes I said linen, not leather.  Disaster.  I spent the next 15 minutes scrubbing that with Resolve and saying a few things I'm ashamed of getting even more irritated with the entire situation that I was completely at fault for.  The following 15 minutes were spent in a frantic search for my iPhone until I gave up and got in the car because I was already super late for work...only to find that my phone was in my purse the entire time.  As I pulled the phone that had put me into a tailspin for most of the morning out of my purse I just dropped my head and prayed for God to forgive me for the entire morning and all of the ugliness that it entailed.  What was wrong with me?  What is lacking in my life that would cause a series of events so stupid and trivial to translate into me acting like a complete idiot for 30 straight minutes.

And just like that I had my answer.

Time, Kelsey.  I want your time.

The whole entire morning was leading up to this answer that I had begged Him for.  I don't give Him enough time.  I don't spend enough time in the Word. 

I thought I was doing good. I listen to a 30 minute message every morning while I get ready for work.  I read my Jesus Calling devotional every day and look up the scriptures.  I talk to God more than I talk to people.  I teach Sunday School to the cutest group of kids you've ever seen and I direct Children's Church.  And no I'm not telling you this because I want a pat on the back for what I do.  If anything I deserve a slap in the face because I'm so inadequate when it comes to serving.  I could do so much more.  My point is I became too comfortable with my routine. 

 Spending a significant amount of time meditating on scriptures and spending good quality uninterrupted time in the Word is where I've fallen short.  Embarrassing.  That's one of the most important parts of a relationship with God.  That's what I need to crave and desire with all of my heart.  And as a Christian it's up to me to seek that Biblical knowledge and feed myself with it, so when I'm frenzied good stuff spills out, not the ugly stuff that was sloshing out on that hectic Wednesday morning.

And I know, life is going to throw a lot more curveballs my way that are far more serious than running late and having one chaotic morning.  But if I haven't equipped myself well enough to deal with those silly situations with grace, imagine what would spill out when a big test comes my way.

So lately I've been focusing on using my time wisely.

I fill up on coffee and the Word before I even step out into the world.  I know that I need it to be who God wants me to be and I know that time spent filling myself with Biblical wisdom and knowledge is the best possible use of my time.

And I wake up early for a change.  That's always a good idea.

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Colors & A House Update (Of Course)

If you don't love dark paint get out of here.  But if you do, stay awhile.  Because you're about to see a ton of it.
Welcome to my kitchen, y'all.  The bronze knobs & pulls show up in photo #2 because when I started this post they weren't in, but last night I went to check on the house and boom! There they were!  Do you see those pendants?  I love them.  Mercury glass fixtures were the perfect complement to my color scheme of dark, darker & darkest.
The paint behind the cabinets is Sherwin Williams Backdrop (7025). 
Which leads me to this...
I'm no paint expert but I'm going to dish out some tips anyway.  These have helped me along the way and someday they might help you too.  If you don't agree with them, don't hate me.  I'm just trying to help okay? 
Tip #1If you like a color on a paint swatch, use the one below it. 
I had originally wanted Functional Grey (7024) in my kitchen, but I followed my own rule and went to the next shade and voila ...just look at those cabinets poppin' off of those walls. 
I was also thrilled to discover that the electricians had hooked up all of my lights. 
I really had no idea just how exciting it would be turning those lights on in our new house for the first time.  But y'all, it was like magic or something. 
So of course I had to take a picture at night...(my favorite because I just love under cabinet lights).
I knew from the get-go I wanted taupey-grey paint and you wouldn't believe how many taupey-greys there are to pick from.  A good starting point for me was figuring out which undertone I preferred. 
Tip #2Look at the bottom color on the paint swatch (especially with greys) to determine which undertone will reveal itself once the paint hits the walls
The bottom color on the functional grey/backdrop color family was Well Bred Brown (7027).  I saw that and knew that this color swatch was my new bff.
I mean obviously...
I used 7025 in the dining room.
...and the living room
I cannot wait until they rock the fireplace!  Which will happen next week sometime!  We are in the middle of a mantel dilemma because we want a rustic reclaimed wood one that has lots and lots of character...and those aren't easy to find.
We went with Sherwin Williams Latte in the Master Bedroom because I love a nice dark khaki color in my bedroom and always have.  Maybe because it just feels so cozy. :)  But I wasn't sure if it would flow well with the colors I had chosen in my living room/foyer area.
Tip #3Buy a sheetrock square at Lowes or Home Depot, divide it into sections and paint it the colors you have chosen.  You can look at Houzz and Pinterest all day long, but no color looks the same on your wall as it does in a picture on a website.  You can hold the samples in the light at your own home and see if they will flow and if they look the way you want them to!
This hose will straighten out eventually, but I love this shower head.  I will never clean another shower without a removable head because it's just a pain in the butt.  I got a sprayer on the tub too because I'm just the type of person that thinks way ahead to the days I'll be cleaning this place, and I'm just tryin' to make my life easier. Ha.

And in Kollyns' bedroom and playroom I did end up going with the Functional Grey since the rooms are smaller and I love it!  Still makes a statement without making you feel like the walls are closing in.

And back to Latte in the upstairs spare bedroom...
I definitely favored the neutrals in our new home.  A far cry from the oranges and reds in our first house.
Tip #4Think about the mood you want to set.  I view lighter colors as more formal and cold, and darker colors to me are more inviting and cozy.  But that's just me.  Bold colors are dramatic and neutral colors are a bit more soothing and welcoming.  You know which colors make you feel which way so pick the color that suits the mood you want to create.  I have read so many tips for picking paint but I've come to the conclusion that ultimately it's your house so pick whatever the heck you want. As long as it works for you.
Tip #5:  Use a semi-gloss or satin on trim.  It's easier to clean.  Trust me, I learned that lesson the hard way in my first house.
I know we will probably live in this home for a very long time, and I didn't want to choose anything I would get tired of!
As far as the outside goes, they are pouring our driveway at the beginning of next week.
This week they poured our slabs at the basement...
And at the front porch.
So next week they will be finishing the siding right there around the porch, installing the front porch columns, staining the front door and putting the shutters on!!!
We are getting so close and I couldn't be happier. 
Now to tackle furniture shopping, which is a freakin' beast.  But I'm pretty excited about it.
Another update will be coming up really soon because things are moving so fast right now! 
Just like I like it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Time Marches On...

Okay, I can't even deal.  Devin and I just sent our little girl off to her first day of preschool.  I woke up at 6 this morning and made her favorite breakfast, cinnamon rolls.  I'm pretty sure the icing that was smeared across each one was a little salty, because the tears just would not stop falling.  I didn't let her see me cry because I knew it would break her heart... so I was sure to shed all of them before daylight came creeping in through the windows.
I know. I'm not the first mom to ever send her kid to preschool. 
But it feels like it okay?  So just let me cry.
I started waking her up at 7:30 with lots of snuggles and a little Max & Ruby on TV. 
By 7:50 I had to pull her out of bed and make her get dressed.  Because my kid likes to sleep y'all.  But once she was dressed and looking spiffy, she was in much better spirits and so ready to go to preschool and meet new friends. 
We took a few okay, a thousand pictures before we headed to school and I cried a little more hiding behind the lens.  Doesn't she look so grown up?  Boohoohoo. :(
I learned that she wants to be a Mermaid when she grows up.
And that she's sad about leaving Mom, but only because she thinks I'll be sad...not because she's actually sad about it.
That was made clear when she jumped right out of the car and yelled "Bye Mom, Bye Dad!" never looking back.
I think my heart broke a little, but at the same time it smiled because this was much easier than I thought it would be for her. 
I asked her a few questions on the way just for fun...
What's your favorite color?:  PINK!
What's your favorite food?:  Chicken Nuggets!
What's your favorite thing to play with:  Mermaids!
(By the way she doesn't have a single mermaid toy, but that is her Halloween costume request...hence the sudden obsession.)
Your favorite place?  School!
What's your favorite snack?  Cinnamon Rolls!
(She was eating those at the time, ha!)
Who's ready for school?

She looks way more thrilled than Mom & Dad, don't you think?
She laid a big kiss on dad.  Forever her daddy's girl.

A few kisses and a 10 minute car ride later...she was on her way.
I don't care what anyone says...it's hard letting her go.  Even to preschool just two days a week.  Letting her explore life and learn new things without mom or dad right beside her to guide her.
Thankfully,  I adore her teachers because they taught me when I was little and I have the sweetest memories of my time in preschool.  So that cushioned the blow a little bit.
I saw this poem on Pinterest and then I cried for like ten minutes...
First Day of School
 Wendy Silva
I wonder what you're doing right now,
And if everyone is treating you kind.
I hope there is a special person,
A nice friend that you can find.
I wonder if the teacher knows
Just how special you are to me.
And if the brightness of your heart,
Is something she can see.
I wonder if you are thinking about me,
And if you need a hug.
I already miss the sound of your voice,
And how you give my leg a tug.
I wonder if you could possibly understand,
How hard it is for me to let you grow.
On this day know that my heart breaks,
For this is the first step in letting my baby go.
Okay now I'm going to cry again.  And count down the minutes until I get to pick Kollyns up and hear all about her fun day!
Kollyns River,  we love you so much.  You are the funniest, sweetest, smartest most beautiful girl in the whole wide world.  You fill our lives with happiness and laughter.  You love a good cuddle and digging in mommy's makeup.  And you would ride the four-wheeler all day if we would let you.  You have a huge heart and you can't stand to see anyone upset.  You love to dress yourself and wear my shoes.  And you love pretending like our dog FinLee is your real-life doll baby and pushing him in the stroller.  You love all animals and your favorite place to go is the River!  I can't imagine our lives without your sweet little spirit and kisses. Mommy is so proud of you!
Happy tears, happy tears.  I think.