Family Life

"The days are long, but the years are short."
-Gretchen Rubin

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Making a Home

“Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside."
-Jani Ortlund

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Mulling Things Over

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable...think about these things."
-The Apostle Paul

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The Life of a Seed

This is the story of these seeds:

Once upon a time (3 years ago this week), these seeds joined our family. In a moment of bold ambition, we declared “We’re Farmers!” Now, most normal seeds live a dull life; they get planted and then they do their thing, and then they die. Not these seeds! No, no! These seeds have had the unique opportunity to travel a whole new world! In three years, they’ve gone from the store to the kitchen counter, to the sideboard drawer, to a flowerpot, to a flowerpot in the basement in the middle of the basement, to a drawer in the basement, back to a flowerpot on a shelf on a wall in the basement. Think of the elevation changes. Think of the time they’ve had to contemplate the meaning of life.

I’m so glad we didn’t deprive these seeds of their adventure by doing something boring like planting them!

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Pinterest Project: Photo Ledges

I decided to try to complete one pinterest project per month and make one pinterest recipe per month this year. (caveats: My list may change slightly as I go AND it will not be evenly spaced at one/month. But will aim to do all 12 from each list by December)

I’m a little late getting started, but I (mostly) finished my first one! I found this pin that incorporated photos over a couch using Ikea Photo ledges.

(Source)

I made a quick trip to Ikea (and Five Guys. and Target) in Detroit and came home with all that I needed! Mark promptly hung them for me and I picked out some pictures. And voila!

It’s a bit different than the sample (We were too tired to figure out how to offset the ledges. maybe someday). I also need to get some different/more pics for the top ledge, I think. But for now, I’m calling this one finished!

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Clean Up

We’ve started to ask Ashley to pick up her toys before bed. Tonight was the best yet; she helped pick up more than half of them! The best part was when I picked up some play dishes. She made her adorable OH face (mouth open, hand over her mouth) and ran into the dining room to pick up the cup that she had left on the windowsill (I didn’t even know it was there). She was SO excited to help put it away!

It’s nice to have something to celebrate after a day of tantrums!

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It’s Finished!

We’re doing a happy dance at our house tonight; the basement is finished! As one of our family goals for 2013 and a “must get done before the next baby comes” project, I’m so excited to cross it off our list!

If you remember, this is what it looked like back in January:

We made the decision to donate, recycle, and throw away things, rather than try to have a garage sale or sell things on Kijiji. We probably could have made a little bit of money, but at the end of the day, it was more important to just have the stuff gone. It was such a relief to have Mark haul off 3 carloads of stuff and for us to not have to touch it again! There’s still another load in the garage to go (With some bigger things) but for the moment, we’re in good shape.

Here’s what the basement looks like today:

It’s still a fairly miserable space because the ceiling is so low, but it’s clean and there are clear paths all around now! And, for the most part, we saved things that we need, not things we might use someday. (I do have a shelf of decorating items that are on a lose it or use it basis. I need to incorporate them into the decorations of the house or I do need to get rid of them. But for now, there’s space to store them.)

Our remaining projects for this year are getting the rest of the gardens weeded and ready for winter, a quick organization of the garage (I have bigger plans for next year, but for now we just need to clean it out), and a reworking on the linen closet. We also need to get Mark’s office moved back to the guest room and get the little room converted back to a nursery. We have a lot to do in 11 weeks! I guess we need to stay busy :).

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King of the Jungle

We’ve been busy around here. Between growing baby #2 and taking care of baby #1, we’ve been working hard at finishing some projects that have been on our list for a LONG time.

Our landscaping has continued to be a bear that we wrestle with this summer. We made a lot of progress last fall and earlier in the summer, but there was a big jungle in our backyard waiting for us to tackle. We had it clean once upon a time 3 years ago, but alas, the weeds came back!

We recently added this cleanup to our “must get done before baby comes” list. And we’ve been able to dedicate a few weekends to it recently. I’m happy to report that we conquered it!

Here are a few before shots:

And here it is today:

(the second pic is actually of our fence by our driveway, where we removed 2 vines and transplanted the rose bush).

We had hoped to pick up some plants 1/2 price this fall for the jungle corner (maybe a small flowering tree and some perennials), but I’m not sure we have time/weather left. We still need to clean up some other beds before it gets too cold.

We feel really excited about this though! This means that all but 1 of the beds have landscape fabric and mulch down (the ones we did last fall don’t but they seem to be holding up without the fabric). Our hope is that next year, we’ll be in maintenance and plant mode and won’t have to be embarrassed by our yard!

Stay tuned for an exciting basement update….the maze is almost gone!!

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