Sunday, June 24, 2012

Be nice to your windows

I gave our window in the fireplace room a little face-lift this weekend.

While Greg worked all day Saturday I got busy with some power tools! I needed something productive to help relieve my built up stress over the past week. I haven't been sleeping great, and you know that feeling when you can't seem to take a good, deep breath because your chest feels so tight?--yeah, I had that too. 

Well, it turns out that using a power drill can be a GREAT stress reliever...who knew!?

I loaded up the kids for a trip to Lowe's first thing Saturday morning. I love/ hate that place. So do the kids. I gave them every free pamphlet I could find in that store just to keep them busy flipping through the pages. Except they mostly just tossed them over the side of the cart for a fun game of "let's see how many times mommy can pick them up". I guess looking at pictures of fences, granite counter tops, and paint colors isn't as exciting for them? Weird. They were most excited when we walked down the rows of and rows of "potty chairs". Also weird, I know.

Anyway, did you know that Lowe's will trim your roman shade to the exact measurement of your window for FREE?

Pretty cool huh! I needed to fit a 54" wide window but the store only sold them in 48" OR 60". So I grabbed a 60" box, handed it off to a Lowe's employee, browsed the store for 30 minutes and then picked it up when it was DONE! So easy. It fits our window perfect! No fuss!

See that table runner? Funny side story. The roman shade was about 60" LONG, so I literally took scissors and cut the bottom off--making a PERFECT new runner for the dining table!

This window has been at a stand-still for quite some time, and it felt SO GOOD to finally finish it all by myself.

Here is another BEFORE...

I can't wait to show you the hutch (which is now all gray) and also in a different location!

And AFTER...

No more covering up this window with a bulky hutch. 

It's time to treat it right and let the light back in.

One last pic to show the roman shade down...

Happy Sunday my friends!


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Friday, June 22, 2012

Focus up Friday

It's been an emotional week over here. More on that in a minute....

I'm just popping in to say I've been trekking through the Proverbs 31 study and still going (kinda) strong! I'm so proud to say that even though I have missed a few days here and there, I've stuck with it and God is definitely teaching me A LOT.

Now for some random bullet points of my week (some related to the study and some are not). I'm not feeling very "eloquent" in my writing lately so bullets are what you get:

  • I'm still struggling with the concept of vigorously cleaning my house. Living with an almost 3 year old and a 15 month old is exhausting. I don't need to re-hash exactly to what extent. It's just exhausting. And while I enjoy basking in my hard work of scrubbing my floors, putting the clutter away, making the bed, cleaning the bathroom.... I've also found this last week that I can become quite irritated by the end of the day as a result. If I find one dirty sock in the middle of the hallway, or a toilet that was left un-flushed, or a single dirty dish in the sink...after ALL MY GOSH DARN HARD WORK....well, husband/ better watch out. Crabby Shannon is gonna let you know it. But on the days when I only focus on laundry and dishes, and let the rest of the house kinda take it's "tornado-like" course, I rest much easier at night. Not sure where this is going. Just know, dear reader, that I'm struggling in this department. I want to honor God by working hard in the home, but I also want my sanity and my ability to love the people that live here too.
    I spent one afternoon organizing my craft "crap hole". More on that later.
    Something I've put off for at least 2-3 years.
  • Mason got his first bloody nose this week. Kensie pushed his high chair over while he was still strapped in....and I lost it. I did not react well (unlike his last accident). I yelled at Kensie using phrases like, "What did you DO!"...."What were you THINKING!" My yelling combined with the large amounts of BLOOD streaming out of his nose made Kensie (and myself) a crying mess. I know accidents happen. I know you can't control them. But, it's easier to stay calm when there is no one else involved. Why on EARTH Kensie thought that was a good decision, I'll never know. But, it scared me to see how angry I got. I was able to talk with my mentor on the phone the next morning and felt reassured that my reaction was normal. However, there's still that moment when you need to ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness from my kids, and then from God. There was lots of praying the next day.

  • Marriage is HARD for us. There's a million different reasons why marriage can be hard. This week it was scheduling. I had two nights in a row that I had to be somewhere at seven o'clock without kids. Between Greg working late every night, a last minute softball game, and a kid with a bloody nose, let's just say it was a stressful week! By ten o'clock each night, we were both finally in the same house together, exhausted, with nothing to say except "Goodnight". Most of my feelings toward Greg this week have been resentful, bitter, and just plain annoyed. Something else I need to still ask for forgiveness for. 

  • Marriage is HARD for everyone. We all need to wake up and realize that it takes WORK to stay married to the same person for the rest of our lives. We have to be honest with our spouses, set appropriate boundaries with friends, and be willing to ask for help. Praying continually for our spouses doesn't hurt either. 

  • I have a decision to make by this Sunday. God brought an opportunity to me a week ago. I have been weighing the pros and cons and asking God if this is the right timing for such an opportunity. I will share more next week once I make the decision. If you happen to think of me in the next two days, I would be SO incredibly grateful for some prayers. After the week I just had I feel like saying "ABSOLUTELY NOT!". But, I know that's just my emotions talking. I just want a clear answer from God--don't we ALL?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

His 3rd Father's Day

I couldn't ask for a better father for our children.

He's a gentle and patient daddy who isn't afraid to be silly and ridiculous for the sake of his kids.

In short, he's kind of the best.

I asked Kensie some questions about what she thinks of her Dad. We typed them up and printed them out and framed it to give as his father's day gift.

Some of the answers don't make sense and some are totally incorrect. 

But, they all made me laugh.

And some made Greg cry.



What is something dad always says to you?

What makes dad happy?

What makes dad sad?

How does your dad make you laugh?

What did your dad like to do when he was a child?

How old is your dad?

How tall is your dad?

What is his favorite thing to watch on TV?

What does your dad do when you’re not around?

What is your dad really good at?

What is your dad not very good at?

What does your dad do for his job?

What is your dad’s favorite food?

What makes you proud of your dad?

What do you and your dad do together?

How do you know your dad loves you?

Where is your dad’s favorite place to go?

Answers by: Kensie
Age: 2 ½


Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wedding filled weekend!

It's hard to believe that Greg's youngest brother, Elliot, got married over the weekend!

Such a young couple {just 19 years old!}....

They are honestly the most mature couple I've met....maybe ever for their age! Not kidding. They have such a heart for Christ and desire to truly honor Him with their lives. We wish you the best Jessica and Elliot!

We were extremely privileged when they asked Kensie to be the flower girl. She took her job very seriously. I wasn't sure how she would do walking down the aisle but after watching some flower girl videos on youtube, she diligently practiced tossing fake rose petals all over the house. She was so excited!

If there's anything I learned over the past week it's this:






On Sunday I was able to attend a bridal shower for a former college volleyball teammate of mine.

The bride-to-be!

My gift to Megan. You know it's a good gift when you don't want to give it away!!
I used a leftover baseboard to make it. I loved it so much, I just might have to make one for myself now.

I am hanging on for dear life here. There were some big gusts of wind okay?

We sure had some good laughs too!

It's always fun when us girls can reunite. It doesn't happen very often. 

Excited for your wedding soon Megan!


Whew! So that was our wedding filled weekend!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Focus up Friday

 Proverbs 31 {week 4}

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household
       and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it;
       with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
Proverbs 31:15-16

I don't have much to write about in regards to this study. In short, I failed this past week in a lot of areas. I skipped out on waking before my kids. Thus, skipping my mornings spent with God in the Word. I did not clean my house vigorously, and my procrastination habit only got worse this week. {notice this post is coming to you on a Saturday instead of Friday?}

But, that doesn't mean I can't focus up today! I definitely have a God-centered story for you. I want to take time to praise our Father in Heaven. The God that gives us life, everyday. The creator that knit us together before we were born and knows exactly what will happen to us in this life. 

I want to thank him for protecting our son this week. Our dear, sweet, little boy, Mason.

Here's what happened Tuesday night, just a few short days ago...

It was close to six o'clock.

The kids and I had just finished eating dinner. Daddy would be home soon. We decided to head outside to play in the front yard until he got home. After wiping two little mouths and washing four little hands, I quickly put the dishes in the sink and told Kensie to get her shoes on before we could go outside. Mason had completely wasted his shirt during dinner because that's what he does. He wastes shirts for a living. His goal is to see how much food he can get on them at each meal. So, I took it off and tossed his shirt in the laundry basket as we all trotted down the hallway towards Mason's room to grab a clean one for our shirt-wasting son.

The kids were right behind me as all three of us entered the room. I headed straight for the dresser and opened the top drawer. With a clean shirt in hand, I peeked over my shoulder to locate Mason. And that's when I saw it happen.

I watched a spark light up the room, Mason fell to the ground, and the lights went out.

He had been shocked by an extension cord.

It's funny what happens to a mother during a traumatic situation. Looking back now, I don't know how I held it together. I remember shaking and sweating profusely. But, I also remember having a very clear head, speaking calmly to Kensie about what she needed to do and knowing exactly what I needed to do. God is so gracious like that. He gives us strength in scary situations.

Mason screamed immediately. I scooped him up to inspect the damage. Right away I saw a black burn mark on his hand (where he grabbed the exposed prongs) and a black mark on his chest (remember he was shirtless?). I rushed him toward the kitchen where there was more light and noticed his hand was bleeding pretty bad (one of the wires must have cut his finger when it jolted him). I rinsed it and pressed it with a paper towel. It didn't bleed long and I was certain he wouldn't need stitches. But, what about the burns! I thought. That had to do something to his insides, right?! I mean, the boy was just electrocuted!

At this exact moment, Greg texted that he was on his way home from work. Another praise! He literally works less than 3 miles away so I knew he would be home within minutes.

I loaded up the kids in the van and as soon as Greg pulled in we rushed to the ER.

Mason was calmed down by now and acted like his normal self. Babbling and laughing the whole drive to the hospital. I kept looking back at him every couple seconds to make sure he was still conscious. Kensie kept repeating, "Mason big GIANT Boo Boo! He feel all better Mama?"

Once admitted to the ER, I sat Mason on my lap to let the doctors take a look. It took a while to describe exactly what happened using phrases like, "We were in the baby's room.......with an extension cord WE forgot was still plugged into the wall.....with one end that had a removable cover....and he must have ripped it off to show the exposed prongs, and squeezed them together....I was THERE and watched it happen!"....the whole time Greg and I felt like the worst parents in the world. I just kept telling myself, this could have happened to ANYONE. It's just an accident. But still, we felt terrible.

After 2 nurses and a doctor evaluated him, this was the doctor's response:

"Well, with these type of electrical shocks in the ER, we usually see two outcomes. Either your are totally fine, or your heart stops completely."

Mason is totally fine. They gave us some cream for the minor burns on his hand and chest and sent us home. Case closed. {I did finally break down and cry on the way home from the hospital. To think that your son could have just finally hit me}.

I think the next day I kissed our sweet and studly little man a thousand times, and said "I love you" a thousand more. His hand is healing well, and he doesn't seem too bothered by the sores. We have also been taking some extra measures to "baby proof" our house this week.

Kids are so resilient.

And God is so good.

PS- I don't think this will be our last ER visit for this little boy. I'm already praying for the next 16 years of his life. 

PPS- How on EARTH did Greg and four of his brothers live to be adults? They are all roughly 2 years apart. Greg is the oldest. That means when the last son was born, there were FIVE boys ages 10 and under. Oh my dear mother-in-law, how did you do it?! 


If THAT doesn't make you focus up a little today, I don't know what will.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Becoming pals...

I know I'm going to jinx this entire post by saying what I'm about to say.

But I'm going to because it's good to live in the present. And I will want to remember this one....

Kensie and Mason have recently become such GOOD playmates! 

I'm really REALLY loving their ages right now. Mason is quickly learning from his big sister and is moving much faster these days--which means he is no longer frustrated that he can't keep up with her. It also means he can climb on top of tables and gets into almost everything {think I'll save that for another day!}. But, I'm okay chasing them around. It's tiring but I don't mind it one bit. I like these "chasing toddler" days compared to the "nursing/ up all night" baby days--gotta be honest.


They have been cracking me up with their antics lately.

Mason is a total copycat and thinks Kensie is the coolest kid in town.
{she kind of IS, I must say so myself}

Kensie loves to "help" Mason participate in whatever activity she's doing. 
Like, sitting on plastic bowls for example.

I think back to my days as a kid and I'm always thankful I had four other siblings. Especially now that we're adults. Even though we are currently spread across the country, I know they are my best friends no matter where we live or how our lives have changed. When we are together, we can be our crazy-goofy selves, laugh at the same hilarious things, and make fun of each other like no one else can. There's an unspoken connection. 

It's such a gift--siblings are. 

Life-long friends built in from the very beginning.

All that to say...

It's such a joy to finally see these two start to share some of the same things I remember experiencing.

PS- There will NOT be a "We're Pregnant!" post coming anytime soon. I know some of you were probably thinking that.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the two we have and would like to keep it that way for a while.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Focus up Friday

Proverbs 31 Woman {week 3}

12 " 
"She brings him good and not harm, 
all the days of her life.

She selects wool and flax 
and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships, 
bringing food from afar."
- Proverbs 31:12-14

In a nutshell, here's what I put into practice this week:

  • I usually leave Greg's pile of clean folded clothes on the floor in the hallway. The expectation is that HE puts them away. Nagging is involved. This week I silently put them away for him.
  • I usually leave clutter piled high on counters and tables throughout the house. This week I silently organized {kind of} and put the clutter away.
  • I usually enjoy announcing the "work" I've accomplished at the end of the day. This week I sealed my lips and let the work do the talking.
  • I usually procrastinate on projects in hopes that Greg will do them for me. This week I pulled up my big girl pants and actually did some of them.
  • I usually complain about the fact that I love having a puffy duvet comforter on our bed, and how utterly annoying it is that Greg has to fold over his side on top of mine to avoid sweating because he is so hot! Well, this week I finally put away my dream of having a duvet comforter and bought us a lighter year-round quilt instead {from TJ Maxx}.
  • I usually don't make the bed. Like, ever. This week I attempted to make it most days.
  • I usually go back to TJ Maxx after eyeing a purchase I reeeeeeally want to make. This week I went back to the store but did not purchase a thing! It felt so good.

 God will always notice our "eager hands", and I'm still trying to change my perspective. To work eagerly FIRST for my Lord and Savior. But it's sure nice when our husbands notice too.

This week, he noticed.



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