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Homemaking, House + Home, Motherhood, Our Home: Kansas

In Case You Thought I Was Trying to Fool You

October 2, 2017

I’m a visual person. Beautiful spaces, interiors, photography, art, and just about any form of design is what draws me and inspires me. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t this way, because I’m always, always tempted to place more time and value and priority on the things that are visible rather than the things that aren’t; our God, our faith, our hearts. It often feels like a gift and a snare, not to mention it’s an awful lot of work to want to make everything around you pretty all of the time when you have four little treasures/small humans that don’t have the same priorities! So, when I take photos, I do it when things are clean and in order because that’s when I feel my best; energized, creative, and like I have the chance to capture something special. But the pretty pictures that I take on occasion are not at all representative of what normal life looks like, and they’re not supposed to be. So just in case you thought I was trying to fool you into thinking anything otherwise about my life or my family or my house (after my LAST POST), here is proof to the contrary. Hopefully it brings a smile to your face, cause….well, you’ll see.

A regular day;

Toys everywhere, blankets everywhere, puzzles all over the floor, food all over the counters (it’s casserole making day!), dirty laundry, clean laundry spilled onto the floor out of the dryer, crumbs, action figures, stuff half falling off the fridge, homemade blue plant food that stays up high (in incidentally, in sight) so the kids don’t drink it (they try), recyclable trash, a TV antenna that’s now hanging on the visible part of the wall in the living so that we get the right channels for football season, cock-eyed chairs, dirty dishes, dirty rags, a huge gash in our dining room table that happened two moves ago. Come to think of it, it’s a true miracle that there aren’t seven different pairs of shoes scattered everywhere. And I didn’t even bother showing you the kids rooms, or the “office” that we have crammed into our closet in the master bedroom, or the powder room full of potty-training clutter and kids toothbrushes. Those spaces are disasters all their own.

Hahahaha, who’s with me?

Have a great day, friends, and stay encouraged! Even if your house looks like mine. (Insert laugh-cry emoticon here.)

Homemaking, House + Home, Our Home: Kansas

Settling In

September 27, 2017

Kansas! The place we knew we might end up eventually, sometime in the distant future, if ever, which turned out to not be so distant after all.

A few things I love about being back in America + the Midwest again; sun, sun, sun, and more sun. Not to mention stores…so many stores! So many restaurants, so many parking spaces, pay-at-the-pump gas, mail that comes straight to our front door, indoor playgrounds for the kids (ahem…McDonalds), Walmart grocery pick-up, Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips, a steady supply of half and half for my coffee, and the simple ability to be able to pick up my phone and call my family. Novel, I know! Not to mention access to better health care. Thane finally got started with one out of the two elbow surgeries that he’s been needing for months, it went well and we are so thankful. Life overseas makes for some really amazing experiences, but being home in the States again has been such a breath of fresh air.

And best of all is the people. We’re seeing friends from duty-stations past, and oh my goodness, each and every one of our immediate neighbors is so wonderful and we feel so blessed to be where we are. We’ve never lived in a place with so many caring, Christ loving people. It’s truly astounding.

I’ll admit that it took me a little while to get over the fact that our house here isn’t quite what we wanted… it’s smaller than our last one in Germany. Yes, you heard me right, SMALLER (gasp). Hahaha, sigh! But the kitchen layout is better, there’s a first-floor master bedroom, original hardwood in the living area, and our furniture (sorta-kinda-not-really-but-we’ll-pretend) fits well, once we replaced our couch set with just a single sofa, that is. Anyway, as much as we didn’t anticipate down-sizing, we’re making the best of it and I’m using this time as yet another opportunity to simplify and clean out and practice contentment in less than ideal but- all things considered- still pretty good circumstances. And the kids love it! There are playmates galore, lots of bike riding space in the front, and a fort with a tire swing in the back. There’s also a small patch of woods that run along the backside of our house where a few very friendly deer and big brown bunnies live, too. It’s beautiful.

Also worth noting, I’ve gone a little hang-crazy now that we no longer live in a house with concrete walls. My only regret is that there’s not more wall space, haha. I’ve got about 436 more frames and canvases and shelves just stacked in random piles in the basement. There’s a very good chance we’ll be moving in less than a year, so it’s probably not a big deal if we never get entirely organized here. That being said, I’m sure this year will fly by, and God willing, we’ll be movin’ up into something a little more spacious. Kind of makes me sad though, I know we’ll always cherish our time here!

In other news, I’m scheduling photography sessions! If you’d like some family photos, hop over to my PHOTOGRAPHY page for more info. You can also find me on INSTAGRAM where I post more frequently.

Have a great day!

This post made possible by the fabulous neighborhood meal-train this week that’s freed up a little of my time. Thank you again to all of you, you know who you are!

Homemaking, House + Home, Motherhood, Our Home: Germany

Taming the Beast of Housework

January 20, 2017

“The point of keeping a home is not to be perfectionist or neurotic about cleanliness and order but to create a life of balance that brings joy to your world and those around you…. Find out for yourself what the most confounding things in your own world are, and come up with a workable schedule, with solutions that suit your own hours and days.” An excerpt from “Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.

Well here we are, almost ten years into marriage and military life and with four kids, ages five and below. I’m not sure that’s something I ever anticipated saying, and I certainly can’t say I was prepared! But many of the best things in life aren’t things we necessarily planned for, and that’s part of the beauty of it all. I have to admit that 2016 was pretty much a blur. But now that Lilah is no longer in the womb and is four months old and we’re past the pregnancy + those very sleepy and unpredictable newborn days, I’ve been focusing on getting back to some good homemaking habits that help me to keep up with this wonderfully blessed and busy life we live.

By the way, I borrowed the title of this post from a great chapter out of Desperate, a FANTASTIC book for moms that I quoted from above, because it’s so true; housework is truly a beast that needs to be tamed! Here are a handful of my own methods that I’ve been working on lately.

ONE | THE DISHES. I run a load of dishes every night right after dinner, and then put those dishes away after the kids go to bed so that I’m not trying to do it during the morning rush.

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House + Home, Motherhood, Our Home, Our Home: Germany

Dresser Drawer Treasures

January 17, 2017

I opened up the top drawer of this end table and realized that it’s basically become Lilah’s baby-essentials command center, packed to the brim with all of her little necessities. It’s funny how something as simple and unassuming as a drawer full of stuff can say a lot about a person! Each of these little items tells a story about her. Some are treasures that we’ll hold on to as keepsakes, others are just everyday, practical things that she uses. I have a feeling that even when many years have passed I’ll have them tucked away in another little drawer somewhere, just because they’ll always remind me of her baby days.

From left to right:

ONE | Her cotton bloomers. Between this mustard colored pair and her pink ones, she’s almost always wearing them!

TWO | The nursing necklaces by Bubuline on Etsy (that I really just bought because I like wood bead necklaces, not so much because they’re nursing necklaces….but they’re good for that too).

THREE | Her muslin bandana bib. Unlike her brothers, Lilah is one heck of a spitty baby. She needs like five more!

FOUR | Her brush (here’s a similar one). So far she’s our first baby to be born with a thick head of hair and to keep that hair! Asher had a lot, but it fell out pretty quickly after he was born. So, here’s hoping hers will stick.

FIVE | Nail clippers. The standard kind, cause I lost our baby pair like four years ago.

SIX | Little Remedies nasal saline drops, because she’s not only perpetually spitty but she’s also perpetually stuffy.

SEVEN | Wedela Calendula Baby diaper rash cream. This stuff is German and it’s amazing! Finn seems to need it more than Lilah, but it’s great to have around.

EIGHT | Medical tape, which we use to tape her little pinky toe down on her right foot. Ever since birth it’s wanted to stick up, I guess you could say it has a personality all it’s own, haha!

NINE | A NUK pacifier that she somewhat reluctantly uses when we don’t let her use her thumb (as seen in this post).

TEN | The little knit slippers and knit socks were hand made with love by some dear friends! And the sweet white and blue ribboned bonnet hiding underneath the necklace is a hand-me-down from another friend.

Such treasures!


Homemaking, House + Home, Motherhood, Our Home, Our Home: Germany

Musical Rooms

January 6, 2017

There was a day when I thought that having beautiful little rooms for our kids was totally doable. I mean, of course! They’re all over Pinterest, right? Asher’s first nursery started out alright. Then he became a naturally curious and destructive toddler…. And then we kept moving to new houses…. And kept having babies…. And now I continue watching all of them basically destroy any/all efforts I have made to give them nice rooms. (Okay, mostly just Asher and Silas, but Finn and Lilah aren’t far behind I’m sure.) And now it’s a challenge to even know where to put them all! At this point we’re just packing them in like sardines.

Families with many children- how do you handle the sleeping arrangements? This is one thing we can’t quite seem to figure out for our kids. And as soon as we do think we have it figured out, we either move into a different house or have another baby, and then we’re sort of back to square one. It’s not like it’s a national emergency, they could all sleep in sleeping bags on the floor if need be. But it’s just one of those pesky little things that there hasn’t been an easy solution for in a while.

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House + Home, Motherhood, Our Home, Our Home: Germany

Finn’s Nursery

October 19, 2016


I’ve been browsing through old photos from the past year and came across a batch of Finn’s nursery. There’s nothing flashy or new or particularly interesting about it, but having pictures of the boys rooms from each of our homes is nice. It’s hard to move as often as we do, but at least with photos we can carry little pieces of “home” with us to look back on.

This is the smallest (and sort of the best) bedroom in the house. It may not be very large, but it’s a standard square room instead of a long rectangular shape like the other two second floor bedrooms. For a while we assumed we’d move Finn out of this room and make it Lilah’s nursery once she was ready for it. But, I think we’re going to keep him put because I’m not sure how well he would take it if he got the boot. It’s kind of funny…I always wanted a baby who was attached to a special blanket or stuffed animal because it seems endearing. And oh boy, be careful what you wish for…. Finn has a special attachment to many items….his blanket, his stuffed pig, his pacifier, and even his fan. He’s a creature of habit. So, moving him into a whole new room might be a little too rough on him, especially considering he’ll be losing his room soon enough when it’s time to move again.


It gets hard to “finish” rooms when we only live in one place for a couple of years at a time, but one of these days I’d love to hang some better art above his changing table and then get some better lit photos of the entire room. But whether or not I get around to it in this house or not, this is Finn’s special little space and we’re just happy he has it all to himself!