Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A little {paint} transformation

I love decorating our home. I love being creative. I love picking out paint colors


I know. I'm that crazy decorating lady {who despises painting} and decides to do a whole room makeover with new fabric, rearrange all the furniture, and paint half of it.

Greg knows this little problem I have. I mean, he is my husband after all. He is also the professional painter in our home. He has literally painted every single wall and ceiling in our house. With crisp clean lines by the way--in my opinion he's better than most hired painters. Not exaggerating. He's incredibly patient, doesn't tape a THING, and somehow cuts perfectly clean lines. It's amazing.

He wasn't thrilled to hear that only 4 years after carefully painting the kitchen green, I wanted to go all GRAY. So we struck a deal. I had to get all the fabric projects done, shutters painted, and hutch painted BEFORE he would help me paint the walls.


Looks like someone is holding up their end of the bargain.

{No pics of the hutch yet. I painted it. Promise.}


We're getting reeeeeeeally close to the final blue/gray room reveal!

Thanks for staying tuned in peeps.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So, I bought a shirt from the men's department...

Welcome to my first refashion post!

In between yardwork, projects, and playing in the kiddie pool over Memorial weekend...

I found some time to take the kids shopping.

This was not a "leisurely-browse-until-your-hearts-content" shopping trip. 

I was on a mission and a budget.

Greg wanted some new shirts for summer, and the kids desperately needed some jammies that won't make them sweat during Michigan's humid summer nights.

Plus, Memorial weekend always means SALES!

So, while I was in the men's department at the GAP Outlet picking out some shirts for the hubs...I stumbled across a T-shirt in the clearance section. It was a men's size XS...but I really liked the print. Anything with California always catches my eye! 

I suddenly had an idea to slightly alter it to make it more girly.

And for THAT price, I figured if I messed it up...I wouldn't be devastated.

When I got it home, I found a shirt that I really liked and laid it on the floor next to my bargain t-shirt.

My goal was to simply imitate the same look on my men's t-shirt!

NOTE: make sure you wash and dry your shirt before you start any refashion project!

The following is a step by step tutorial on how I turned my men's t-shirt into a surfer girl shirt...

Supplies you need:
- sharp pencil
-fabric scissors
that's IT!

{please let me know if you have questions! I'm trying to improve my tutorial skills}

Once you are satisfied with your pencil lines, take the shirt off and lay it back on the floor.

Follow the next four steps...

Take one of your leftover sleeve trimmings and slip it on your head. It will stretch easily to make a cute headband! No altering necessary!

So there you have it!

If the shirt was a bit longer or a size larger, I would have cut about an inch or two off the bottom to give it even more of a beachy look. Oh well, I still like it.

Surf's up DUDE!

Total cost for this project...

Thank you GAP Outlet.

You're welcome husband.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial weekend recap

Greg spent all of Saturday and most of Monday at work...

The kids and I spent the majority of our weekend playing outside, running errands, splashing in the pool, and soaking in the sun. When their afternoon naps came, I was able to get a TON of house/craft projects accomplished!
{More on that later this week...I'm pretty geeked about it!}

But, the times we were all together as a little family of four was by far my favorite part. It's always my favorite part.

pool time!

sitting on the front porch watching my sweet family all good for my soul.

taking a break from the pool to spread some bark in the front yard

admiring the finished landscape

thoroughly enjoying these two little blessings

downtown parade!

We even had a chance to go out on a double date with some of our best college friends.

We went to see "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and then out to dinner. Word of advice: GO SEE IT WITH FRIENDS WHO HAVE KIDS. Oh my word. It makes it ten times better.

PS-You know you are getting old when the majority of your dinner conversation includes talk about pee, poop and all things related to potty training. 

Allison and Aaron

One of the best double dates we've had in a long time!


Hope your Memorial weekend was grand!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Focus up Friday

Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman {week 2}

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value."
Proverbs 31: 10-11 

I was struck this week by two things from these verses:

{1} What character qualities do I need to work on?

There was a powerful list in the book I'm reading alongside this study that lays out exactly what a Proverbs 31 Woman is NOT...the ones I struggle with the most are in BOLD.

1. She does not rival her husband.
2. She does not mope around and complain about her housework. (even though I don't even DO that much housework). 
3. She does not overspend and put her family into debt. (Online shopping anyone??)
4. She is not bored, discontent, greedy or selfish
5. She does not gossip and slander others.
6. She does not spend her days doing leisurely shopping, texting, emailing, web browsing, watching late night movies, and sleeping in. (Oh, the sleeping in one is SO hard for me.)
7. She does not criticize, mock, or disrespect her husband. (I can get carried away with joking and sarcasm.)
8. She does not have children and a husband who embarrass her.
9. She does not let her outer beauty take precedence over her inner beauty. (It's better now than in the past but can easily creep back in my life if I'm not careful).
10. She does not take God’s word lightly. (I can easily justify a verse by saying, "Well that doesn't pertain to ME")

While these honest evaluations are good, I don't want to spend all my energy on how I don't measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman. Instead, I want to focus on practical ways I make a change!

{2} How can my husband have full confidence in me when I have such little confidence in myself? How can he trust me to handle my emotions when I DON'T EVEN TRUST MYSELF?

Here's the scenario: I wake up groggy and moody at 7:30am. It doesn't matter what time's just ALWAYS early in my opinion. Half-dressed I feed the kids breakfast. All day long I hear Kensie exclaim "I do it Mama!", while Mason has climbed on the fireplace ledge and starts rattling the poker stick for the umpteenth time. Then when I finally get them down for a nap a salesman comes to the door and ignores my "Please knock" sign and rings the doorbell which inevitably wakes my peacefully napping children up. Or worse, my children team up against me and decide they are NOT going to nap that day...thus spurring a series of complaining, whining and crying spells all afternoon. My husband works until 8:00 that night. By then I'm pretty sure I don't have leftover dinner for him because (a) I didn't have time to cook, (b) I'm lazy and all I can think about is putting my kids to bed asap, and (c) I'm mad at him for being late (again).

So minutes before we head to bed he asks about my day. Uh, wrong question. I end up complaining to my poor husband about all the terrible, horrible ins and outs of my day...when he probably had just as awful of a day at work.


My prayer this week...

"Lord, you know my failures. Forgive me for the ways I've failed my husband and family. Forgive me for ignoring my need for you. Please Lord, continue to open my eyes to ways I can be more like the Proverbs 31 woman. Give me endurance on the days when I have no patience. Give me encouraging words for my husband when all I want to do is complain. Give me full confidence in my daily that I may be a wife of noble character. Amen."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Proverbs 31 study

Let's get real for a minute shall we?

I signed up to do a bible study a while back online. It was a 12 week study on the book of Ephesians. A very low-key commitment, but one that required reading a few verses from the Bible every day and writing down my reflections. I really enjoyed it and could see God working in my life. But, like most commitments I struggled with consistency. Why is my problem always consistency??? Anyway, I lasted about 3ish weeks, feeling discouraged the more days in a row I skipped, and eventually fizzled out. 

So, what did I do?

I signed up again. 

This time it's on Proverbs 31. It's a 14 week study with daily Bible reading plus a small book to read alongside. The blog I am connected with also sends bi-weekly emails with words and videos of encouragement. 

It's not too late to sign up if you'd like to join me! I just finished week 2.

Head over to Good Morning Girls to see what the blog is all about! It's such a great community.

I have a friend in real life who I consider closer than close. We've been there for each other through thick and thin. She's my accountability in real life...and we're darn good at it! I love that girl. We've been friends for almost 7 years now and I consider her a lifer. We're doing this study together and are trying to be more diligent this time around to lift each other up when we "just don't feel like doing it".

Me and CJ on a retreat in 2008.

I've also found the simple act of blogging to be another great way to stay consistent. So, I want to take it to the next level:

Tomorrow I will post on what I am learning this week from the Proverbs 31 study titled, Focus up Friday. Once a week, for the next 12 weeks I will be as vulnerable as I can with what God is teaching me. You may even get some humorous stories as well--because realizing you've failed at something can certainly be humbling--but in the right context it sure makes a funny story! And I don't know about you but I desperately need to laugh at myself more often. It makes it much easier to pick yourself up and move forward.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A fashion feature @ {My Name is Jacy}

While my blog is not primarily about in, I only have TWO posts on the subject...I was encouraged by one of my new blogging buddies to submit a fashion related entry to be featured on her blog!


Today is the day!

I'm so excited to have my very first feature over at 

Yup. Her name is actually Jacy.

She's a sweet and honest blogger with incredible writing talent. For realsies. You will be inspired by what she's been through, how she's dealt with things, and who she has become. You may even find something you have in common! I know I have. And even though we've never met in person, I call her a friend. 

So, hop on over and visit my Fashion Column: Shannon Style!

Whoop whoop!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to re-use an entertainment center

Our TV is almost seven years old. We purchased it when we got married.

For the last month or so, it started turning itself off at random times.

We came up with all kinds of irrational theories as to why it was happening.

We came to the conclusion that it was dying a slow death and decided it was time to start looking for a new one. 

I also knew our current entertainment center {which I found on craigslist for $125 about four years ago} was not going to fit our new 40 inch flat screen {which Greg scored HERE for an insanely good price}. It's a very well made piece of furniture in perfect condition. And with entertainment centers like these going out of style, I knew we wouldn't be able to re-sell it. 

So we got creative....

We simply took out the screws that were holding the two pieces of the entertainment center together.

After setting the cupboard portion on the floor, I thought it looked a bit top-heavy with that crown molding on the top. So we flipped it upside down.


Our NEW entertainment center!

The legs would make a perfect table/ storage location for toys. It's still a work in progress...needs a coat of white paint, replace the glass shelf with a piece of plywood, and needs a tabletop. I just laid some leftover boards on top for a temporary solution. Still brainstorming exactly what I want to do with it.

We have SO much more storage now too! The shelves on the inside of the cupboard were easily adjustable.

The only part that looks a little unfinished is the "new" top of the entertainment center. This was the side screwed tight to those wrought iron legs, so it doesn't have the nice finished paint like the rest of the unit. 

Not sure what to do about it yet....any ideas?

The paint would be pretty hard to match. It's a textured creamy color with little specs of brown in it.


It's amazing how much money you can save with a little creativity. 


What can you re-use in your home?

linking up to:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Singing some tunes...

Kensie has been into books lately. Big time. 

She had to take at least three to the grocery store with her today. 

She especially loves books that have nursery rhymes of any kind.

Kensie is getting pretty good at singing them too.

And Mason is getting pretty good at patting his head on command.

Take a look...

And just to keep things grounded...

Mason is also getting awfully good at saying "NO!", climbing on everything in sight, and laughing in my face when I tell him to stop shaking the heck out of the lamp on the side table. But, I don't have videos of THOSE things of course. Let's just say he's getting more mischievous every single day. Total boy. And it sure keeps me on my toes!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Beachy entryway!

It looks like my blue and gray mini makeover is starting to spread through the rest of the house!

It's no mystery...

I love the beach.

And I love bringing it indoors where I can enjoy it everyday!

I finally gave in and made my first paint chip garland--it doesn't get any cheaper than that folks! I was happy to remind my hubby that it cost us ZERO dollars.

After cutting each paint chip to the shape I wanted, I super-glued them to some clear fishing line. You could easily sew them together but I don't own a sewing machine, so...

I bought these blue glittery letters to use for Kensie's first birthday party (feels like FOREVER ago).

I'm so glad I kept the rest of the letters for a future project!

After playing "scrabble" for a few minutes I found a way to use the few leftover letters. I then super-glued them to some twine.

Speaking of "summer glow"--my pale skin need some. Bad.

Can't have a beach without some shells!

This beautiful print is by far my favorite piece. My sweet friend Tammi {she takes all our kids professional pics} made a whole line of prints that she is selling to raise money for their upcoming trip to Ghana. If you would like to purchase one visit her AVENUE 17 shop. They are in the process of bringing  their {already adopted} two young boys home to the states! If you are interested in reading their amazing story go HERE to read her blog. 

I don't know about you but Greg and I share the same middle name. Its called CLUTTER. We have a bad habit of letting clutter build up around our house. It's a blessing because we don't get on each other about the issue. As a result, we often let it go on FAR TOO LONG and wind up buried in our own stuff wondering, "Where on earth did I put those keys?". I'm hoping this little bowl in the entryway will help us keep track of our keys, sunglasses, electronics, outgoing mail and wallets a little better. 

So there you have it!

A beachy entryway that will probably stay clean and organized for 2.5 seconds. 


linking up to:


Craft & Tell

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Loving {my} little years on mother's day

I am having major writer's block. I have typed three different introductions for this post and deleted all of them. It might have something to do with the fact that I'm DOG GONE tired from taking care of poor Mason who is at his teething worst. He cried off and on all through the night last night. And like most moms, my ears are the size of elephants, so any little noise keeps me wide awake.  I'm also blaming this lack of writing motivation on this gorgeous weather. I can't think clearly when all I want to do is get outside and sit in Michigan's warm sun today!

So, I'll {try to} keep it short.

I am a mother. A mother who loves what I do, even though I don't fully understand it at times. A mother who desires to model Christ to my children, even though I don't always know what that looks like. A mother who struggles with how to balance everything. A mother who trips and stumbles over my own words and actions. A mother who wants the best for my kids but sometimes wakes up hoping my kids will just leave me alone all day. Yes, this whole being a "Mom" thing is wonderful and overwhelming and amazing and trying and life-changing and just plain hard sometimes.

I'll tell you one sure makes me love my OWN mother even more--shes a Mom to five of us goobers. Love ya Mom!

Ryan. Mom. Gretchen. Lauren. Me. Katelyn

Okay. On to the book that I mentioned last week...

Without dissecting each chapter {I will pray you may all find time to read's THAT good}, I will leave you with a section from Chapter 6 titled, "Heavy Branches". The first 5 chapters were a breeze. I nodded through every single one thinking, "yes, yes, YES!". But, this one was harder for me to swallow. I did not like it the first time I read it.

"Just what does being fruitful look like? 
...probably one of the first things you think of is Psalm 128: 'Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table'.
But the funny thing is that in this verse, the fruitful vine is not bearing children, she is bearing fruit. The children were all off her vine long ago and are responsible for their own fruit-bearing. She is just a heavy laden vine...the mere fact of having children does not mean you are a fruitful person. That would be like the apple trees calling it off after their first year of bearing fruit. 
But true fruitfulness requires constant, year-round attention. It requires taking risks. It might mean making a truckload of apples to throw in a ditch out in the country somewhere. It is funny to think about, but God does not tell us to necessarily be strategic with our fruit. We do not need to know what will happen to the fruit. Will someone check on it every day? Harvest the best to make a pie? Or will there be a junior high kid sweating around among yellow jackets trying to pick it all up--wishing that we were not quite so bountiful? What happens to all our fruit is not our problem. That doesn't mean that we are not to care about the fruit. While it is on our branches, it is our life work. It is an offering to God, and we ought to care intensely about the quality of our fruit. But the branches are our responsibility; the ground is not. 
But what does this apply to in real life? Well, think about yourself and about the things you do. Look at it like fruit. Are you holding yourself back on things, afraid that the end result will not be worthy of your labor? Are you afraid to fail? Is there some domestic activity that you would love to know how to do, but don't want to try in case it doesn't turn out? Are you afraid to try new recipes? Are you afraid to put energy or money into something that might turn into nothing? Do you think fondly of some day when you might bear fruit, but resist getting right down to business this year? Do you evaluate the necessity of everything, passing it by if it doesn't add up to be practical? Are you limiting the branches upon which you are willing to bear fruit?" 
--Rachel Jankovic 
Loving the Little Years 
[Chap. 6, pg 32-33]
Whew! That's a lot to think about, right? I could spend the next year just trying to answer all those questions in the last paragraph. Geesh! But, OH so good for me to read, digest, re-read, and hopefully put into practice.

Hope you are having a lovely Mother's Day.

I had a big chef and little chef who treated me like a queen today!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Because everyone needs to laugh...

My dear Aunt Gwen sends me forwarded emails on occasion.

Thought I would share the one I received today.

I don't know how your day went but after telling the kids to not jump on the couch 1,948 times today, I definitely needed a good laugh.


{from a kid's perspective}

How to decided whom to marry:
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.

--  Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to  marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.

--  Kristen, age 10

What is the right age to get married?

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by  then.
--  Camille, age 10

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the  same kids.
--  Derrick, age 8

What do you think your Mom and Dad have in common?

Both don't want any more kids.
--  Lori, age 8

What do most people do on a date?

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
--  Lynnette, age 8
(isn't  she a treasure)

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.

--  Martin, age 10

When is it okay to kiss someone?

-When they're rich.
--  Pam, age 7

-The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.

-- Curt, age 7

-The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to  do.

-- Howard, age 8

Is it better to be single or married?

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need  someone to clean up after them.
--  Anita, age 9 
(bless you child)

How would the world be different if people didn't get married?

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
--  Kelvin, age 8

And my absolute favorite is...

How would you make a marriage work?

Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck.
--  Ricky, age  10

A book and a picnic

{1} A book I'm reading

I would not call myself a "reader" by nature.

I have gone through phases in life where I enjoyed reading more than others. But, I generally don't have make time to read.

That being said...I'm making time to read this book.

I've had several people recommend it.
It's short. {A "chapter" is only 2 pages long}.
It's easy to read.
No fancy vocabulary.
It's written by someone I can relate to.
Some of the author's stories are ALL too familiar.
It makes me laugh.

I'm about half-way through and it's giving me such a refreshing perspective on my sometimes "mundane" mommy routines. I will be sharing more on what I'm learning later this week.


{2} A picnic with Kensie

Because I love indoor picnics and I love my sweet Kensie girl.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mr. Calm {in a nutshell}

We took a day trip over the weekend to visit some in-laws.

I forgot to check the gas tank before we left.

About 30 minutes into the trip, I glanced over from the passenger seat to see this on the dashboard....


Me: "Whoa. We better stop to get some gas at the next exit!"

Greg: "Nah. We got at least another 30 miles!"

That's my Greg! Always so calm and confident that everything's gonna be just fine.

And it was fine. We eventually stopped for gas...after passing several exits of course.

Not gonna lie though. I'm secretly waiting for the day when we coast to a stop on the side of a road because we ran out of gas.

It's only a matter of time Greg. Only a matter of time.


We did find some time to celebrate his birthday on Sunday too.

Pizza for lunch. A rainy Sunday afternoon filled with one loooooong nap. And a day off of work. 

He was even a good sport and wore the balloon hat Kensie and I made him. However, he refused to let me take a pic with it on. Everyone has their limits.

And that's ok. We love him anyway.

Happy 29th birthday to our favorite man in the whole world!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Week of the uckies!

We're all feeling a little crummy over here. 

Mason started it with his teething a few weeks ago which morphed into a nasty cough/ cold. I know, I'm totally blaming the baby of the family. Sorry Mason!

Then Kensie caught it. I always know when she's on the verge of getting sick. She digs through the box of winter hats until she finds her warmest looking one. She'll put it on and wear it for the entire day. It's like she knows she's coming down with something yucky and her first response is to bundle up! 

Anyway...I thought I was in the clear until last night....

Sore throat. 


I could feel the mucus building with each passing minute. 

I then made a VERY POOR choice and took some NyQuil to help me sleep. I took it at 10:00pm. 

Mason woke up at an ungodly hour this morning and I drug my lifeless body out of bed, still feeling the full effects of the NyQuil. Boy did I regret THAT decision. 

Oh, and Greg has been working like nuts this week too! He came home around 1:30am last night for a shower and few hours of sleep and was out the door around 6am for another day of the grind! I only know this because he told me over the phone the night before what times he would be in and out. I have absolutely ZERO recollection of such events. I was probably drooling and spread out across the entire bed looking like  a desperate housewife.

Anyway, hoping to feel better by this weekend!

celebrating my birthday 2 weeks ago

We also have another birthday to celebrate this Sunday. Greg is turning 29 on May 6! I'm almost two weeks older. And for those two weeks my dear husband loves to remind me that he married an "older" woman. And I enjoy demanding more "respect" from him for those two short weeks. Teasing can just be so fun!
We're so mature.

So, we'll probably end up sleeping the day away on Sunday to celebrate after the week we've had. 
And that could potentially be his best birthday gift ever.