ombre!

So, yeah, my blog is pretty much becoming a chronicle of my ever changing hair and home. But, that’s just where I’m at!  Lots of home DIY, fun hair changes, and the daily grind of kiddos. I really couldn’t be happier, things feel really good right now. And I am feeling that readiness for Fall, routine, coziness, nesting, and all things pumpkin. And this hair, this feels like I’m ushering in Fall in a big way.

10580912_10101014713792480_6377229464120230613_o

10634037_10101014714535990_5687290413399240813_o

10626444_10101014715588880_8877838009627249781_o

IMG_2388

I feel cozy, fresh, and best of all; Just like myself again.

Tape, Paint, Be Happy!

A couple nights ago we were bemoaning our lack of art on the walls. Our big, bare, tall, white, walls. I was pursuing pintrest and came across a few pins with fun graphic paint treatments.

A small back story; Charlie painted all three of our bedrooms in record speed the night before we officially moved in. . . it didn’t go well. They have giant drips, and huge imperfections. They are also lath and plaster so they have weird stripes. Our hope was that getting some art up there would distract from it.

We aren’t bright wall people. Not usually. I have a clean, cozy, photos everywhere kind of aesthetic so it was a little odd to be so drawn to such a graphic and bright idea. But, Charlie pounced on my moment of “hummm maybe?” and we just went for it.

We taped, randomly all over one wall of our office. Not a lot of thought, just knowing we wanted some bigger spots and some smaller shapes, all straight lines, and a few pops of color.

Photo on 8-12-14 at 7.47 PM(a photo booth picture of our wall roughly nine minutes after we saw a pin of this idea)

When it was done getting taped Charlie went to town with a roller of dark grey and I set to painting a few accent shapes. No rhyme or reason, we were working to beat the bedtime clock, and just going.

Photo on 8-12-14 at 8.59 PM

I could not be happier with the outcome!

10612916_10100996111077470_4326725714312736295_n

1937481_10100996111067490_1031986952528052079_n

It did change the whole feel of the room so we are going to rethink the desk/shelving that we currently have but it gave the PERFECT pop of bright, fun, modern color. And it was SO easy. The whole project took an hour from start to finish.

In fact, we were so happy with it. . . that this happened the next night.

1452035_10100995165003410_301840860346990631_n

Our girls have been asking for a “pink and sunny!” room for ages. And short of painting the walls a hot pink (their pick) I couldn’t figure out a way to give them what they were asking for. Both ladies were thrilled with the office wall and were game when we suggested doing a sunburst on their wall in pinks!

So we didn’t hesitate.

10615524_10100995210262710_7857774268346260638_n

10380132_10100996109640350_2712912978804032912_o

10580228_10100995240217680_8209976930133942489_n

983768_10100996111097430_6991437645530037448_n

They. Love. It.

A few tips we found along the way;

1. When you lay your tape press hard along each edge and work quickly so you can get your paint on soon after your tape. The tape seems to get less tacky/stuck to the wall after about an hour, and the edges look a little peely, so getting it prepped and painted speedy works to your advantage.

2. Pull the paint away from the tape. So when you brush brush into the shape instead of out of.

3. Pull your tape immediately after you are done painting, before it is dry.

4. Don’t try this on textured walls :/

There are a few spots that are imperfect, esp if you look close, and a couple of bigger shapes that could use a second coat (and, when we have the time, we’ll get around to it). But overall this was a super quick way to make a huge impact. We have plans for the rest of the walls too and are gonna get started tonight! Hopefully I have a little room reveal to share at some point!

Feels good to get some color into our sweet home!

abundance.

Our little home has given us quite a lot. Room to grow, security, fresh inspiration, roots, and most recently; an endless bounty of foraging fun. We have blue berries, strawberries, mint, rosemary, apples, grapes, and some fruit we can’t quite figure out. . . .looks like a huge cherry tastes like a tiny peach?

Regardless. I am feeling the love for our little home today. 10492116_10100993583832090_875959782473656188_n

10574249_10100993584964820_6230704039062930823_n

10550885_10100993584011730_1027552051443096682_n

10543650_10100993585009730_2523485523582089247_n

{also, that little mudroom bench is one of my favorite reclaimed pieces Charlie has made.

It is just so soft and worn, perfect fit, and holds tiny feet with tired bodies with so much ease.}

silent spot.

It’s a genre that often goes unwritten. Or, at least, when I was desperate I couldn’t find it. How do you love your husband, grow in your marriage, and… last? without leaving the kids and parenting laurels behind.

My Mom always tells me that “the best gift you can give your kids is a healthy marriage” And, I wholly agree with that, and keep it close to my heart. But after spending a weekend dating every day, for four days (!!), we drove home and talked about how that felt.

Good? yes. Fun? yes. Sad? yes. Hard? yes. Fulfilling? yes. Worth it? . . . silent.

We went on four dates between Thursday-Monday, and they were all fun and amazing (kidless runs in the park, dinner somewhere fancy, a beautiful wedding, and another great run) but we saw our kids getting more tired, more ready for some family time (with us and the grandparents!), and a little sick of saying “bye bye Mama. Mama goes bye bye.” and it brought up some feelings for us both. As our marriage is in a joy filled and easy season, and has been for sometime, the dates were like a cherry on top. One was needed, and three were icing. But what have we been doing that has gotten us there? Why did it not feel worth it?

Dating is important, but it’s not the only path to a loving, full, intimate, successful marriage. But it is often the only real advice given when you google “how to stay married even after a baby” (yeah, I googled that once. it was a low moment.) Sometimes, when the bickering hits a breaking point, the cues go unnoticed, and the communication is quieter than the kids. . . you need something. But maybe that something isn’t what I thought.

Charlie and I have a lean towards Attachment Parenting and Unconditional Parenting, but read a lot of books and pull from a lot of places and don’t follow anyone thing dogmatically. But, in general, our philosophy goes with the golden rule; Treat others how you would like to be treated. And, kids are people too. And, I guess, I also lean to the idea that these years are short (really really really short) and it’s okay for me to endure some big self sacrifice in order to be wholly present in those birth-three years, even if its tiresome and hard, it is (and has been) incredibly worth it to me.

So, with that, having the only advice out there be “ditch the kids!” Be that, out of your bed, on dates, on weekends away, etc. All the articles/books/info I came across always seemed to herald alone time as the only means to love. And, I disagree. I think that there are times when that is, obviously, very needed. When stuff gets tough, conversations need to be had, and they need to be had away from tiny ears. And, dates are amazing! I love them! But, I don’t think, in any way, are they the only way.

I’ve been wanting to write about this, to bring to light a few ways that Charlie and I stay connected and growing in love and understanding of marriage and each other, but felt like maybe there isn’t an ear for it. But I’m going to plunge anyway.

A dear friend came for a playdate today. The kind of friend who asks good questions, and wants to hear the answers. And, a fellow writer, there is something kindred in that. She and I were talking about writing, and about how she would like to write a book, and I followed up with “oh yes! me too!” in kinda of a “bucket list” and “one day” kind of way. But the truth is that in that admission I put to words a dream I’ve only voiced to Charlie. I’ve been aching to write a book about how to have a marriage that is thriving while still being a very attached and conscious parent. I wouldn’t want to write a book, fully, about this until I’ve parented for long (I’m basically just a baby mom!). But I think the time is here for me to own that dream a bit, and to start getting my ideas to paper.. or screen. And start with the early years, the young children years, the years I am the thick of. When there are little limbs stuck to my side, and sweaty hairs wrapped around my arm while they sleep so sound. The years of being ‘over touched’ and under appreciated.

So, I guess, this is my forward. My outline. My rough drafts. My thoughts. It’s all raw, and new, and weird. And I think needed and important.

home tattoo

10374068_10100957765177960_7912538097833430675_n

It was a couple years ago that we started to dream about owning a home. Ever was growing, starting to crawl, and the ache to do  projects was getting too big to bear. We had painted and repainted, arranged and rearrange (and done it again) in our little sweet rental, but we had hit the edge of the walls. We began to dream of having a place where we could paint, knock down, build new, and buy forever pieces, knowing it could be forever. We started to let go of our comfort in being forever renters, and wade into the idea of risking everything to be home owners.

We started praying. We started saving. We started list making. And, probably biggest of all, we started dreaming.

One night, when Ever was about 7mo old, we were sitting on our little couch talking about the future and I said “when we are home owners. Lets get a little home tattoo.” it was flippant, small, and stuck.

We kind of backed off the whole home buying planning because the more we looked into it the less it seemed like it could ever be a reality (homes in our county are REALLY expensive compared to our wage). We let it go as a ‘maybe in ten years’ kinda idea.

But then the Little Lettered Dream Home popped up. And in a whirl wind of love, community, prayer, and a little magic. We ended up in our perfect, wonky, 102 year old dream home. And through that whole process, the ‘little home’ tattoos crossed out minds again and again.

Something about the simplicity. The permanence. And the shared experience just spoke too closely to the whole process.

And today was no different. We stopped into the parlor, got fit in right away, and walked out giddy and grinning.

934760_10100957765167980_7308939784112823955_n
So, happy home owning, birthday(s), anniversary, and just because Love.

I can’t believe, any of this, is real life.

 

Full.

 

10543599_10100955986033380_5782415288899678822_n

I used to think that fulfillment was found in only the usual spaces. The paycheck with my name on it, the pat on the back from a superior, the scale moving downward, and the compliments from strangers. It was a small definition and one without much depth.

I grew a little and found fulfillment in consistent alone time with God, in meeting Him at 6am, on the dot and without fail. In being at church on the right days, with the right people, at the right time. But that was weak and small, that was habit and religion, not fulfillment and relationship. That was another definition that was little and without growth.

Lately I’ve noticed fullfillment shifting, new every day. It those deep baby sighs as they fall asleep in my arms, full. In hands plunged deep in the sink of hot water washing the film from a meal I made with my hands, full. I am finding it in reading to Nolie, endlessly, full. In spelling out words, counting up high, singing without ceasing, and prayers on my lips all the time, full. Thanks Full. His gifts, so full. A constant conversation with my God, not a stranger, feeling Full.

I have been doing the work, or rather letting it happen, that I am not aching for Full to come in the form of a check, habit, number, or accolade. But I am noticing Fullness, fulfillment, and Him. Everywhere.

In bubbles blown high off the back deck, in a freshly cleaned kitchen, in burping a newborn, in a rearranged living room, in a nearly all homemade renovation, plunging into the cold lake, in hands callused and held tight for ten years, in my girls bright eyes, in new words learned from lips and pencils.

The definition is growing, expanding, exploding. And it’s unending.

Weekend Projects; Open Shelving!

I’ve been seeing open shelving all over and really loving the clean look and how quickly it lightens up a kitchen. But instead of going all demo and ripping out a cabinet we decided to try a lesser commitment and see if we can even do open shelving, because, I mean, in practice it kinda seems like a lot of work. Only beautiful things on those shelves, dusted or used often, and no clutter. The nice thing is that if this doesn’t work, we can always pop the doors back on and we aren’t out anything.

10517410_10100949835084930_6472124079245317512_o

We started by taking the doors off, ripping out  the previous owners contact paper, and then painting the whole shebang. Upon looking at it done I am doubting my choice in black and considering re-doing it in a bright white, but I chose black because the old cabs are all an off white and I thought it might just draw further attention to that. But, I mean, I have to change that at some point anyway so maybe nows the time? Who knows. We’ve got some other (big!) projects percolating now, and this is working cute for now!

10514658_10100949835319460_6179776243088555898_n

{also, there is a little peek at our mudroom ceiling! Bright blue! I adore it.}

We also found some stellar deals on lights at our local ReStore so the mudroom got a new cute globe light ($7!!) and we found a super fun 70′s chandelier for above our dining room table for $25! I want to paint the outer wood a bright white, Charlie wants to keep it as is. We hung it up there (not in it’s final resting spot) to see if we like it, and are going to live with if a couple days before we bust out the paint or not.)

10504862_10100949834960180_2806723189425276707_oWhat do you think? Paint it white (or? a bright color?) or leave it be and just get it in its rightful spot? We’re torn!

alone time feels light.

I want to put some thing down about alone time and it’s importance. About the hot coffee next to me, the cold water on the other side, the clean living room to my left and the silence below the keyboard clipping. But no words fill up that space that is empty and important.

Asking for space. Shirking the guilt.

“do you want me to take the girls to the park for awhile, you can read or write or paint or pin or… anything.” yes. yes I do.

Even when he doesn’t ask. It’s. . .

“I need space. I need my skin untouched for 45minutes. I need it in my home.” and it’s him, gladly, going. It’s them, gleefully, going. It’s me, guiltlessly, refilling.

Alone time is love. And Love isn’t selfish.

And there aren’t words. There is hot coffee. A clean home. Cold water. A drawn bath. And a break. And I am taking it.

IMG_5057

And I’ll probably end up right here.

Thankful.

It’s been a hard day. But the thing that always pulls me back is thankfulness for the moments.

10415606_10100937023125200_5146609009685582162_n

Independent play. Listening to her describe her dreamy world around her and talk to the drawings she creates.

10454209_10100937022516420_5635396936974717384_oA late, and needed, nap. Growing things, found things, and a tidy home. Can you spy Everbee?

10468641_10100937022501450_4003436335990859520_nAll hung up, all ready for play, all closed up for the night.

10491970_10100937023274900_8920132944018838597_nHer, and all the heart and spunk within her.

Bucket List Blonde

I come from blonde roots. My Mom is a blonde, my sister is, and all the nieces and nephews are little toe heads. I’ve always been dark haired. I would have been named Robin had I followed in all the blonde footsteps before me, but I came out with gorilla levels of nearly black hair, and so my sister got her way and I was named Autumn.

As long as I can remember I’ve wondered what it’s like to be blonde, could I pull it off? Would it be too weird? And… would it be more fun?

This past month has been a weird one, full of joy and fun but also transitions and tiredness, settling into our home and trying to find the groove we fit into. And in all that tumult and the dust settling around huge life changes I felt that itch. The one for a Big Change. It was this or a tattoo, so I figured it was time to scratch one off the list and just go for it.

I am so glad I did.

10420102_10100933083530180_1554885585341085984_nBefore…

10455028_10100933084024190_1114061868991160490_n

After!

I still feel a little like I am wearing a disguise but the strangest side effect is that I feel about 100X more confident and like such a girl! I’m getting dressed, grinning from ear to ear, and kinda feel like I’m walking on air. Being Blonde will be a short season for me, but one I can already tell I am going to adore. Cue the CHORUS: ” I ennnnnjoy being a girrrrl!”

IMG_1369