Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the winter blues

winter is my least favorite season. it's one of our busiest times of year as a family. and sometimes...a lot of times, i want to rush right through it and get to my most favorite season of them all...spring!!

i love the color blue...all shades. green is my favorite color but blue comes in a very close second. very close. and for me, blue screams spring is on its way!! and when i think of spring, i get all excited about the things that come along with it.
jeans and flip flops (my most favorite outfit)
 wedges, cardigans and tanks.
grilled corn on the cob (slathered in butter of course)
the smell of fresh cut grass
 sippin' coffee on my covered porch.
the sun going down at nine o'clock and not five (okay, exaggerating a little)
 i could go on and on. 
right now i'm loving looking at pinterest and all things spring! so i thought i'd share some of the blues i have my eye on for the upcoming spring!

these earrings deserve the outfit created around them

perfect for a spring day

can't go wrong with green and navy...my favs!

navy and white perfection!
comfy but still CUTE!!

tom wedges...yes please!

the loft....my fav store!

also the loft...oh how i would try to pull this off!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


we've been visiting a new church for the past couple of weeks. the lead pastor, bronson crawford was a former basketball player for my husband when we lived in toccoa georgia. now we're in winder georgia and as God would orchestrate it, he placed a desire in bronson and his wife lindsey's heart to plant a church right here in the town we call home.  

the official launch of this new church was last sunday on january 22. we really felt we wanted to be there in support of bronson and this church he felt God leading him to bring to winder. and we also felt it was a good opportunity to invite kevin's basketball team to come with us. bronson speaks to kevin's team every thursday on character education. and kevin wanted them to be at the church as well in support of bronson.

for the past two sundays, bronson has been preaching a series called give.me.faith. this sunday he preached from the book of daniel chapter 3. i'm sure like me, you know the story. king nebuchadnezzar has a statue made of himself ninety feet high and nine feet wide. and when the sound of music was heard, everybody was to bow down and worship the king. but he got wind of three hebrew boys that weren't bowing down to his statue. shadrach, meshach, and abednego refused to worship any other god but the one true God. so the king threatened them one last time with the consequence of being thrown into a fiery furnace if they didn't do as they were told. and they responded with this...

o nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, your majesty. but even if he doesn't, we want to make it clear to you, your majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up. daniel 3:16-18 nlt

and of course, the king had them thrown in the fire. but God was with them and saved them from the fire. now this isn't the part that really stood out for me. i knew how the story ended. i knew God chose to save them and that the king made a new decree to have everyone worship the God of shadrach, meshach and abednego.

the part that stood out for me was when bronson started speaking about the "music"

when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship king nebuchadnezzar's gold statue. daniel 3:5 nlt.

 he began to talk about how we might not have statues at home that we literally bow down to but what are some things in our lives, that when the "music" is played, we figuratively bow down to it and place it before our one true God.

whoa...y'all at that moment a long list went through my mind. what about the times in my life when i want to watch mindless t.v. and i should put that extra time into reading a little more of God's word for the day. or the times when my children are at each other's throats and instead of taking time to talk about how they are treating each other and use it as a teachable moment, i yell and send everyone to their rooms. just because that's the easiest thing to do. or the time a friend comes to me for advice and to avoid hurt feelings or coming across as judgmental i choose to say what i think she wants to hear rather than what Scripture says.  i'm just saying, i could list more...

it's easy to say that i won't physically bow down and worship another god. but i want to make sure i don't physically place anything or anyone before God in all areas of my life. and for me, this one is tough. but i am trying. trying to spend more time in the Word. trying to use moments to teach my boys what it means to have the character of Christ. trying to give advice, whether accepted or not, that's based on Scripture and not necessarily based on how it will make someone feel.

 in all of this i need faith. the faith that those three hebrew boys had when they were threatened  to be thrown into a fiery furnace. faith to put God first not only in big parts of my life but also in the little day to day ones. faith that not taking the easy way out will only help me to grow in my relationship with Him and help me to realize more and more just how much i need Him. faith to know that He is with me guiding my every step and will be there to pull me out of the fiery furnace of whatever it is i'm dealing with at the moment. faith that He has plans for my life that might not turn out as i expect.

i'll leave you with three things bronson said we need when it comes to our faith and for me, this pretty much sums it all up.


for more info on synergy church go to:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

my new..ahem refinished dining room hutch!

remember in this post when i said i was refinishing an entertainment center to reuse in my dining room.


well, let me just tell you. i'm 99.9% finished and it looks fabulous!!

i used annie sloan's chalk paint for this project. and this stuff couldn't be easier to work with!! no sanding. no stripping. nothing. you just paint and distress to your liking. easy peasy.

the first coat i put on was called paris grey. now, mind you this was my first time using this paint so i may have put it on a little too thick...but oh well, live and learn. you see the paint thickens as it sits. so the best way, in my opinion, to work with it is to pour some in a small container and mix with a little water. helps the paint go farther...i think. and this stuff ain't cheap. but completely worth it!

the second coat i added was duck egg blue. i (heart) this color. it's the perfect shade of blue for me. not too bright and not too soft. once that dried i distressed it with a sanding block. that's it! i still need to put my clear wax on top to seal and protect it and a mirror is going to be cut for the inside to cover the big hole in the back (you can see where that goes in the picture below) but other than that, it's d.o.n.e!

i also added cute crystal knobs from hobby lobby...two bucks each. you can't beat that! anyway here she is in all her beauty!!

i'm in search of a buffet to go in my dining room now. can't wait to experiment with this paint again!
anything you've refinished that you want to share with me? i love getting ideas and inspiration!!

Monday, January 23, 2012


this is a tough post to even write. this is one of the characteristics of love i have the hardest time with. this is something that if i relied completely on my own feelings, i would hardly ever give. because every fiber of my being says that when someone does me wrong, they should pay for it. i'm just being honest.

but then i'm convicted. the Holy Spirit brings to my attention, almost immediately, some of the things i've been forgiven of. i think of the friends and family that have forgiven me for things i've said and done. and then i think of the One who has forgiven me for everything. everything. y'all that is a loooooottttttt of forgiving...trust me!

when i'm in a place i don't want to offer forgiveness to someone, i turn to the only One i can for advice. and this is what He tells me...

hatred stirs up conflicts, but love covers all offenses. proverbs 10:12

above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. 1 peter 4:8

who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression..You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us, you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. micah 7:18-19

for we know the One who has said, "vengeance belongs to Me, i will repay," and again, the Lord will judge His people. Hebrews 10:30

i've learned through this study to remember that vengeance isn't mine, that belongs to God.
 i've learned that anger needs to be a visitor not a resident. it's okay to be angry. it motivates us to confront the person who we feel has betrayed us and seek reconciliation. when we allow anger to take up residence, it makes us bitter.
i've learned when someone has wronged me and refuses to apologize, i can release that person to God. and even though there's no reconciliation, i can still move forward to becoming who He would have me to be.

on the flip side of showing forgiveness, i also want to become better about asking others for their forgiveness.
i need to learn to apologize for when i was wrong. and that doesn't mean that the other person in the situation was automatically right. it just means i want to recognize when i'm wrong and apologize for the way i behave.

like i said, this one is tough for me. i've been in situations where someone has asked me for my forgiveness. i've had seasons in my life where i've been betrayed in some of the biggest ways. and no one apologized. i've been in situations where i was the one apologizing or i needed to. whatever the case has been...they have all been hard. so i continue to work on this area in my life i feel God is bringing to my attention. i have hope it will get easier. i have hope that i will be able to offer what so many have given me. i have hope of becoming a better person. i have hope because that's what God's word tells me.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. isaiah 40:31

Saturday, January 21, 2012

my kitchen and meal planning

i thought i would show you some pictures of my kitchen. it's the one space that i didn't list for my home goals of 2011. i love this space. and i love to cook in it. when friends are over, this is where we hang out. and there's plenty of room for everybody!!

love this bar and it is huge...seats 6!

here's a view with our breakfast area in the background. and hanging in that space is our "family rules" sign. you've seen them all over pinterest and etsy. but we weren't gonna pay the hundred bucks or so to purchase one...so we (with the help of my aunt)  made our own!! it's one of my favorite things! to the far left in the picture is my coffee bar aka morning sanctuary! here's a closer look...

i also left my hot chocolate station up from christmas. along with my peppermint candle. it's winter (sort of) so i thought it was appropriate.

i'll leave you with a few of the meals i plan on cooking in my kitchen this week. during basketball season our schedules are crazy to say the least but i try and cook at least 2 or 3 nights a week. planning our meals from pinterest and grocery shopping on sundays has made it really easy to manage!!

now this recipe calls for rice. but my boys aren't big rice eaters so anytime a recipe calls for it, i always substitute pasta.

and that's it...hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

choosing to see

remember when i told you of a few books i wanted to read in 2012?? well, i just finished my first one and let me tell you, it's a must read!

mary beth chapman's book choosing to see is going to be by far one of my favorites of this year, i just know it!

now i'm sure you all know part of their story of how their youngest daughter maria was tragically killed when her 17 year old brother, will,  accidentally ran over her while pulling into their driveway one afternoon.

but what you don't know, i assume, is their love story. how they came from two different backgrounds and ended up with each other. how divorce shook their lives as a couple early on in their marriage and how they dealt with it. their struggles of just making it month to month. the plan that mary beth had drawn out in her mind of how her life would be and how God had a totally different plan.

 their story of having 3 biological children and having God place in the heart of their oldest daughter, emily, the need for the family to adopt. their story of praying together as a family for God's direction and guidance through each of their 3 adoptions. of how He moved mountains for them to bring each of their girls home from china.

and then their story of loss. a loss so deep, most of us couldn't even imagine. their little girl taken at the young age of 5. but how they chose and are still choosing to SEE. see God work in all areas of their lives. see how He was with them that day maria left her earthly home to go to her forever home. see how their friends and family gathered around them and prayed Scriptures over them in the darkest of nights when they couldn't sleep and just wanted to hear God's word for comfort. seeing God work in the lives of their son will, and his friends as they helped him carry such a heavy burden.

this is not an easy read. but it is so worth it. seeing a family come together in tragedy and turn to the only One who can give them peace. seeing relationships with friends grow stronger. seeing adoption grow in the hearts of people that surrounded them. this is truly amazing. and they give all the glory and honor to Him!

go here to purchase this book, you won't be sorry!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

home goals for 2012

the nester is hosting a linky party of home goals for 2012. so i thought i would join in the fun and show you some of my goals for this year!

when you first walk into our home, this is what you see...

our foyer. it doesn't offer a great first impression does it?

i would love to turn it into something that looks like this...
whatcha think???

to the left of our foyer as you walk in is our dining room.

not a lot to write home about, huh?

but what if i did something like this...

with touches of silvery blue and gray and this fabric...

and also for this space, i'm finishing this entertainment center ...

hopefully into something very similar to this...

straight through our foyer is our great room...

well, i would love to transform this space into this...

now my master doesn't really need much...

maybe curtains...but while we're talking, what about this

love all of the white!

ok back to reality...sorry!

we also have a guest room on our main floor

i mean seriously, who wants to stay overnight here???

i would love to make a relaxing space for our guest (aka kevin's mom and dad) that looks like this...

and last but certainly not least, our 13 year old needs an upgrade...

we'll be getting kevin's old full size bed from when he was younger and painting it then adding a new comforter set. maybe like this..

well, there you have it. ok, so it will take me a lot longer than 2012 to get this done...but i love to decorate so i can't wait to take each room and convert it into something brand new and i don't mind empty spaces...i'd rather wait and fill them with exactly what i want!!

all of my pics can be found here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

this little word of mine (i'm gonna let it shine!)

seems like this year a lot of people are using one word to describe their new year's resolution.

the word i feel God has really been laying on my heart is love.
i wrote a post about what we're studying in our sunday school class over the next couple months here. in my study, i'm learning what dr. gary chapman believes are the seven characteristics of love:  kindness, patience, forgiveness, courtesy, humility, generosity and honesty. i wrote about two of the characteristics of this tiny little word  here and here. i'll try and do a post on each one as i go through the study.

we all have some form of human interaction. whether it be with our kiddos, parents, neighbors, co-workers, spouses, friends, family and even complete strangers.

i can get frustrated, impatient and upset with the family, friends and my kids sometimes. sometimes i yell when i shouldn't. sometimes i'm not showing any of the characteristics of love. but this is the year i want to be different. really different.
this year i want to be a better wife, mom, friend, neighbor, co-worker and stranger. i want to be as authentic as i can so that others can see God's love shine through me.
love is so much bigger than these four little letters give it credit for. i know i won't master all of the characteristics that it holds but i'm going to try my best to really focus on the meaning of each one and put them into practice each and every day this year.
and to help with my focus, what if i got this really cute pair of toms to wear!!

linking up with layla from the lettered cottage today

Friday, January 13, 2012

sticks and stones may break my bones....

we all could finish that quote i'm sure. and if we thought hard enough, i bet we could think of a time where we actually rattled it off at someone. but the truth is...words do hurt us.

 one of the many things i'll be focusing on throughout this year is my words. we are always talking to our boys about how they speak to each other. and to be honest, sometimes i need to have that conversation with myself.

how many times have you said something, and the minute it comes out of your mouth you wished you could take it back? for me, more.than.i.can.count. 

and i've also been on the flip side. i've had people say things that have left me bruised emotionally.

what i've learned...neither of these is a place i want to be. and there's something i can do. i can control how i speak to others and make them feel.

with my focus being on "love" and all that it involves, i want to make sure i not only demonstrate it in my actions but also my words.

 i want to be an encourager, building people up, not tearing them down.

 i want to speak words of affirmation. giving more compliments to others. i mean, who doesn't love getting compliments??

 i want to speak positively about others. even when it means i really have to look for something nice to say.

i want to speak the truth in love. this one is tricky for me. my delivery doesn't always come across the way i intend for it to.
 i want to learn to confront someone not in a bold harsh way but in a spirit of meekness.

i found this little acronym on pinterest. and thought this is simple enough to remember each day! 

do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
ephesians 4:29

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jesus calling for kids

we've been doing this devotion for about six months now. we use to do this one. but i decided to buy jesus calling for kids when i was at the women of faith conference this year in atlanta. we have our devotion time every morning with our boys before school starts.

everyone gets ready for school (or work) and then we all gather together and listen to kevin read what the devotion is for that morning. he reads the scriptures and then we talk to the boys about what the devotion meant for them.

now let's be really honest. some mornings when kevin asks the boys what it is they felt they took from the devotion...we get blank stares. and eli, our youngest will sometimes answer with the statement "God is always with us". that usually means he didn't hear one word of what kevin was saying.

i have to say, mornings like that are frustrating to say the least. but we keep doing them. every morning. we do them. because there will be a day when they are older and they are faced with tough decisions and that one time when they were listening is what will matter the most.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

it's finally here!!!

i'm so excited i can't stand myself. my annie sloan's chalk paint arrived in the mail this weekend!!
 i will be using this paint
 to transform this entertainment center
(right now it's in our garage)

hopefully into something that looks like this...

or this....

or maybe this....

well it might not look like any of these pictures but it's like one of my friends said, "you will look at it with such a since of accomplishment....you will never look at new furniture the same again". and you know what, i think she's right!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

learning to have patience will be worth the wait.

how many times have you prayed for patience not really wanting to go through the difficult situtations that would build this characteristic inside you?

um...me? more than i can count. patience is definitely not my strong suit. whether it's people, technology, potty training my dog...i have to really focus internally when i'm put in  circumstances where patience is needed.

speaking of potty training my baby yorkie, lily. y'all she's the sweetest thing ever! we got her about two months ago and she's the daughter....ahem dog i never had. she's my baby but she commands patience.

my routine in the mornings involves me getting up early. most mornings around 5:30. i take lily outside and then we come back in and i give her food and i get ready. i have my alone time with the Lord in the morning before work. i feel like i'm more prepared for the day when i do this.

one particular morning i was studying my sunday school lesson, on patience no less. and after finishing it, i kid you not, i turned around and lily had pooped on my couch! are you kidding me?? i just took you outside thirty minutes ago. and you couldn't do that out there??? then all of a sudden, the word patience rang like a bell in my head. ugh, i know, i know. i couldn't even put to use the knowledge i'd learned just two seconds earlier to handle a situation with my yorkie, much less handle encounters throughout my day with people i come in contact with.

i stopped and prayed. Lord, put me in situations to learn. teach me how to become slow to speak. and slow to anger.

so i'm choosing  to see situations God puts before me as opportunities for growth. i'm choosing to step back and think before i react to a certain situation. i'm choosing to have realistic expectations of others. i'm choosing to listen in order to acknowledge someone else's feelings. i'm choosing to break my old habits. i'm choosing to become patient.

But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:16

Friday, January 6, 2012

a blank canvas

it will be five years in april since we moved into this house. i decorated it myself. colors of walls. colors of ceilings. how big and where i wanted all of our trim work. i loved it. chocolates, pale yellows, terra cottas, soft blues. i loved the color palette.

just a few days ago, with the help of craigslist, i sold our great room furniture. we've had it for almost 12 years and it was just too big for the space we have. now i feel like i want a fresh start. do you ever feel that way? you've heard of the seven year itch...well mine involves the color scheme and decor in my home. every few years, i love to repaint and change things up a bit. isn't it amazing what a little fresh paint will do to a space?

my great room.

another decorating project i have is my dining room. the only thing in it is my dining table and chairs. but not for long. kevin's parents gave us their old t.v. entertainment center and i'm going to convert that into a hutch for our space. i'm using the help of annie sloan's chalk paint, duck egg blue and paris gray to be exact. i'm going to paint and distress it into a piece that will be fit for the finest showroom floor....well, maybe not but it was free and all it's gonna cost is the price of paint...yipppeeee!

our dining room

i promise to do "after" posts of both rooms, but in the meantime here's some fabulous inspiration from pinterest!!

love the buffet in the background

thinking something like this for throw pillows

this rug and pops of color

thinking gray for the dining room with wing backed chairs at the head of my table...

...in this fabric

you can find all of my inspiration pictures here.

thanks for stopping by. any suggestions on decorating either of these spaces is greatly welcomed!!