a thing called life

i had good intentions, but no follow through when starting this blog. i think my focus should be more on the whole picture of life rather than just things around the house–too many things to do, too little time. enjoy your kids, work hard, have a happy home, yada yada yada. well, it’s all gobbled me up and swallowed me. hobbies are a thing of the past, unless you count making lunches and keeping the house clean. however, i’m loving the ages of the kids, now 4, 6 and 8 and i love watching them learn and grow. it all sounds very generic, but i think we all experience it in different ways.


A place to sleep

So, over a year ago I saw this post by Young House Love and immediately loved the colors of this bedroom.

I figured I could find things that were maybe less tropical-feeling but with similar colors.  We started with a paint color, found a duvet at West Elm, and went from there.  Recently I had lots of fun covering the lamp shades with fabric and sewing a matching pillow for the bed.  I had fun combining different patterns with the brown, green and blue to tie it together.  And, ok, the leafy Target canvas does provide a tiiiny bit of the tropical feel.  Too bad it’s never this clean in real life or I might be able to relax as if I’m on vacation.

Here’s a slightly different view with the lights on.  I’m getting sleepy…

Home ch-ch-changes

We’ve made some improvements to the house lately…I’m just a teeensy bit behind in writing about them :). We have an unfinished basement but were able recently to turn it into very usable, clean space. I will post pictures of that next…but one direct result of that change was that our three year old was able to get a big boy bed.

Doesn’t it make sense that the tiniest family member, S, should have the second biggest bed in the house? He thinks so!  The bed takes up some real estate in his room, but the bedding and pillows all fit in quite nicely and the price was best–completely FREE.  Before and after (glary photo warning)…

 And yes, he does sleep with those folded blankies every night.  Sweet dreams, S!


I’ve recently been thinking a LOT about how absolutely thankful I am to have all of the blessings in my life.  I think the holidays, combined with saying goodbye to one year and welcoming the next, all lead up to many feelings of thanks.  Of course, we naturally have feelings of accomplishment for the year that’s gone, and hopes to do/finish/experience things in the year to come. 

For now I’m putting off the lists (at least for this week :)) and focusing on the moments like this one with four people who are oh so special to me.  I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for us and everyone else we know and love.

Fast Forward

My name is Susie.  I have a problem.  I neglected my blog for 2 whole months.  It’s been a fun two months with Halloween and Thanksgiving, and now we’re getting ready for Christmas. 

A recent fun surprise was this holly that came home to our middle son from “Auntie” Sara, our daycare provider-turned family friend.  She attached the holly berries to it and a little note–apparently he’d babysat this piece of holly after planting it in the summer!  His eyes absolutely lit up and it was a great start to our Christmas preparations.  It’s sitting on the counter now and I love looking at it because 1) it was so thoughtful of her to give it to him and 2) I will always remember the look on his face when he saw that it had grown–wish she could’ve seen it too!

We went to the Christmas tree farm that we’ve gone to for the past 8 years :).  We found this very nice tree that is now covered with a plethora of childhood ornaments plus new ones the kids have made.  There are fun ones, like the Grinch and Frosty the Snowman, but in between I love the pictures, homemade snowmen, reindeer, and nativity scenes the kids have brought home from school.

Hallelujah, the tree glows. 

We’d also like to introduce the newest member of the household.  No, not a dog.  or a cat.  or a kid.  It’s Simon the Elf.  He likes to hide.  He’s also been spotted stuck in the chandelier above our dining room table.  Too bad he isn’t able to get the kids to exercise their best manners there!

Silly Simon.  I hope he’s really telling Santa how the boys are behaving.

I realized when I fetched the Christmas decorations from the attic that I’d grown tired of some of them, so I made some new ones.  I made luminaries out of bags that I purchased at HoLo (also known as Hobby Lobby) for $.50 each.  I cut out Christmas designs and threw a fake candle in them to make them light up.  I’m all for less fire hazards.

See the mantle?  I also painted between the molding so it pops out more and brings some dark color to compliment our light fixtures and other black in the room.  I like it, hubby’s not sold.  But heck, you win some, you lose some.

Have a good week and I will be back before 2 months are up!

Where has all the time gone?

It’s been quite a while since my last post.  I don’t know why, exactly, except that we’ve have had some fun in recent weeks spending time with both of our families. 

We spent some time at the Puget Sound, where we never tire of the “Million Dollar View”, as my grandfather called it.  You can see why.

Leave it to the 3-year old to mow.  Don’t tell him it’s just a bubble mower.  I personally think this view is priceless as well:

Then we went back to school…then played hookey again in Eastern Washington with family there.  There was some of this:

And a little of this:

I’m pretty sure the boys were OK with missing one day of the first week of school.  It was a lot of fun and it felt like our summer had just been extended for at least another week. 

Now, goodbye to Summer.  We’ll miss you.


There are so many great ideas floating around Pinterest for displaying kids’ art.  I’m overjoyed when my kids come home from our fantastic daycare with a new creation.  I plan to put them all together someday in a more organized format, maybe like this photo I saw on A Soft Place to Land, featured on ohdeedoh.com:

Until then I will settle for this–I stuck them on the shelves amongst the stuff that always resides there.  Overcrowded, maybe, but it puts a smile on my face when I go up the stairs multiple times a day 🙂 

Oh, and the front of my refrigerator is filling up nicely too.

Take that, kitchen.

I mentioned we moved into our house one year ago.  I mentioned it was dirty and neglected.  The place where you’re supposed to prepare and eat food was the nastiest of all of the rooms in the house.  Here it is in all its glory (NOT!)The cabinets didn’t close.  The screws on the knobs were too long.  The countertop and the backsplash were very dated.

My mother-in-law spent about 2.5 hours cleaning the kitchen the night we got the keys, and that was just the first of the time that we’d spend fixing up that room.  Since then, it’s had new appliances, a layer of new flooring, new counters, new backsplash, and two different colors of paint on the walls.   We did all of this while 3 kids were snug in their beds at night, which means LOTS of lost sleep for me and the hubby. 

The cabinets close.  The hardware is new.  The appliances are clean and shiny.  And I can prepare food on the counters and not be completely grossed out.  The paint on the bottom cabinets is dark gray, but we chose to leave the upper cabinets white since the kitchen is small and would feel too dark if they were also gray.  We’re happy with the contrast.

How do you like me now, kitchen?  I like you much better.

I am addicted

to buntings!  In my opinion, they’re not just for parties.  They can cheer up a room.  I have several in the house, maybe bordering on overkill.  But I made some of them when I first learned how to sew, and some more recently.

This is one I made from alphabet cards I ordered on Overstock.com for our little guy’s room.  When they arrived, I realized that I did not check the measurements (I’d planned on putting them up around the ceiling).  Whoops!  It was actually a happy accident, since sewing them to a ribbon created a fun way to display them in a bunting instead.  I liked them hung above his initial, which I painted right onto the wall.  Since I know we’re staying in this house for the long haul, I’ve been a little more brave that way.

This is a different angle of the same room.  And another bunting, but totally different.  I think it adds some nice color and I like it hanging in between the plain white curtains.

This is in the bigger boys’ room…I decided to make theirs a different way and do half circles instead.  It’s a fun way to tie together all of the colors of the room and the half circles work with the circles I painted (again, right on the wall). 

This one was made by my sis-in-law for a baby shower.  I loved it so much I found a spot for it in our room over my new gallery wall.  You may not have noticed, but the brown frame on the bottom has no picture in it yet.  Lazy.

Who doesn’t want a bunting outside?  Adds color, yada yada yada.  You’ve got the idea by now.   One extra benefit with this one is that it takes a little bit of the focus off the trim that needs to be repainted 🙂

Here is a view up close.  I had lots of fabrics with different prints that ended up working well together. 

So, there you have it.  I guess there are worse addictions in the world ;).  Is there such a thing as Buntings Anonymous?

Finished yet?

A few months ago my sis-in-law told me about Emily’s painted wallpaper tutorial.  I was all over it since I love patterns (precisely why she thought of me) and I welcome a good challenge. 

I must say it’s the perfect solution to liven up that side of the stairway and not make it claustrophobic, since on the other side we have photos.

It definitely is SUPER time consuming but has a big reward.  Look finished?

Sure it does.  But in actuality, I have a little way to go up the stairs in order to complete the project.  I will feel really good when it’s done. 

Thanks to Kristin for suggesting the project and to Jones Design Company for the tutorial!