May 22, 2012

Two Years Down...

Today is our second wedding anniversary! I know I'm not the first to say this, but sometimes it feels like time has just flown by, and then there are other days where I feel like I can't remember not being married to Adam.

Ah, the memories... **prepare for picture overload!**

We had considered doing a wedding outside on my grandfather's property, but I'm too much of a worrier and not knowing what the weather would be like would have worried me to death. The weather ended up being perfect, though, so we were lucky enough to get some nice picture's by grandpa's lake.

The actual wedding day and the days leading up to the wedding gave me such precious time with some of my dearest girlfriends. Ugh... I love these girls and don't see them nearly enough. I was the last of my college roommates to get married, but it was all in God's timing :)

Adam seeing me for the first time. It was just a surreal moment.

Our ceremony was simple and sweet. And perfect. Our sweet friends did the music, we wrote our owns vows, and there were lots of laughs throughout.

Our reception was... unexpected and wonderful. We had chosen love-themed classic songs for "background music" because we just assumed people would sit and eat and talk. Wrong. They were ready to dance! The decorations, which were handled mostly by my mother and grandmother were perfect. Had all the rustic charm I had imagined.

I've experienced a lot and I've learned a lot in just two years of marriage, and I feel as if I should share. For those who are already married and those who are waiting for their future spouse...

  • I have learned that marriage is one of the most powerful ways God teaches us about Himself and what our relationship with Him should look like. There are contast lessons about selflessness, mercy, forgiveness, patience, unconditional love, perseverance, prayer. The list could go on and on. I often catch myself thinking of my expectations for my husband, and if I apply those same expectations to myself, I can see what God would want from me. I am challenged to forgive Adam because I know God forgives me on a daily basis.
  • Being married is beyond wonderful, but they aren't lying when they tell you it's work. But it's work worth doing. Relationships in general take work because you're dealing with two different people with two different sets of character traits, love languages, priorities, etc. And the whole male and female thing makes it even more interesting. But at the end of the day, you've made a covenant with each other and with God to make things work, and you do it not only because of the promise you made, but also because you love your spouse and you're willing to make the effort for them.
  • Marriage is worth the wait. I remember when I was single that getting advice from friends who were dating or already married was pretty much going in one ear and out the other. All that crap about it being worth the wait and "it will happen in God's time"... it didn't help. haha. When someone told me to be patient and enjoy the time on my own, that was just annoying to me. And now I'm saying it, too, to those of you who are reading this and haven't met the one God made for you. Be patient. Enjoy your season of being single, because there IS purpose in this time and there IS a reason you haven't met them yet. Take advantage of this time to grow closer to the Lord, establish life-long friendships, learn how to be self-sufficient. Travel. Watch whatever you want on TV without someone making fun of your choice of entertainment (not that this ever happens to me now...). Enjoy spending holidays with YOUR family. Seriously, you're ignoring me now but you'll know what I'm talking about one day.
  • I'm just going to say it, because it needs to be said. When you give your body away, you're giving your heart away. Please, please, please save intimacy for your future spouse. I have never been ashamed of the fact that I saved myself for my husband and I have never regretted this choice. God gave us sex to enjoy inside of a marriage relationship, not only to grow our family but also to strengthen the bond between husband and wife. It's an important part of marriage, and it is worth waiting for. Outside of marriage, it can complicate matters and hinder your ability to see your relationship clearly. If you're with someone who doesn't want to wait, THEY DO NOT DESERVE YOU. Move on.
  • I really believe that Dr. Gary Chapman knows that he's talking about with the five love languages. This is really one of the most important things to master if you want to have a successful marriage, and to be honest, it's not easy. We tend to love people the way WE want to be loved, and that isn't always effective. I will admit, I need to work on this. I will put it on my to-do list :)
  • Compromise. Compromise. Compromise.
  • Compromise.
Adam, you're my best friend and I am so thankful to have you walk beside me through the bad times and to have you share in the joy of the good times. You make me laugh like no one else and your creativity and passion for the things you love is inspiring. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us!

May 13, 2012

House Before and After: The Den

Calling all lovers of bright, cheery colors! This makeover is for you!!

We use the "formal" living room as our main hang out space. We've got a couch and a loveseat, and that's where we watch TV and too often to talk about occassionally eat our meals. So I wanted to use this room for reading, having girlfriends over to talk and drink some wine, sitting by the fireplace on cold winter evenings, etc. You know... the "chill" space.

Before I show you what we did in the den, let me show you what inspired me.

I think you get the idea :)

The major feature of the den is obviously the brick wall. I happen to love it, but I know some might think it's just too much brick. Here's the room before:

The doors going outside were in terrible shape, so my father-in-law extended the wall and did just one door. I was fine with this because it gave me more wall space for furniture. The floors got replaced with hardwood, and we updated the fireplace with some brushed nickel high temp paint. My goal is to get a rustic, railroad tie-like mantle sometime soon, but I haven't had much luck finding one so far.

As for the wall color, I decided to use the massive brick wall to my advantage. I have heard that one way to choose colors that go really well together is to use colors that are across from each other in a color wheel.

So... brick (oranges, reds, browns) would look GREAT with blue!


Now, I still have more work to do in here. I need to get some stuff up on the walls, find the mantle I keep imaging in my head, get some table/floor lamps, and work out the table situation. (Adam and I can't agree on a coffee table, and the small side table is a temporary solution.)

Nonetheless, here's our cheery den in all of its glory!

Now for some detail shots...

So there it is! My aqua blue den! I pretty much love it. Not sure that the hubby is sold, but he's a good sport. As long as it's comfortable I'm not so sure he cares. haha. Some info for those who care:

  • couch, chairs, and "script" pillows are from D. M. Stacy Furniture
  • my father-in-law made the large mirror and the bookcase (we are SO lucky to have him!)
  • Wyatt pillow and hydrangea pillow were etsy finds
  • rug is from Overstock
  • the brown and cream floral pillow, wood side table, wooden balls, and antique fabric were all yard sale finds. The blue bowl was a gift from my friend, Brenda :)
  • the apothecary jars by the fire place were scored when my local Kirkland's store was closing
  • art temporarily sitting on top of the fireplace and the blue magazine rack were made by your's truly!
And one last picture... I love that when you first walk in our front door all you seen in this space is the brick wall, so the aqua is a surprise!

This was taken pre-furniture, but you get the idea :)

May 12, 2012

House Before and After: Master Bathroom

Before I go into the changes that happened over at the new house in the master bathroom, I need to remind you what kind of "master" bathroom we were dealing with at our last house. Now, keep in mind that we added tile in here several months before putting our house on the market, so that was a definite improvement, but overall the issue was just lack of space. The room was small, the vanity and counter top space was small, the shower felt small, and there were just no more storage options.

Do I miss that place?


On to the new master bathroom! This house was built in the late 70's, and it appears that a trend at the time was having the bathroom vanity IN the bedroom, kind of hotel-style. I've looked at the real estate listings for other houses in this neighborhood, and several of them have this style bathroom. Here's a picture my mother-in-law took before any of the renovations began:

I know you're digging the red bathroom and red master bedroom in the back.

Sorry, it's gone!

The door to the left of the vanity is one of the master bedroom's walk-in closets. (Yes, I said ONE of them. We're so lucky to have one for each of us!) The door to the right led to the toilet and shower area. Wait until you see this gorgeous shower they had in there...

Ew, right? Just looking at this pictures gives me the eebies jeebies.

So, in came our amazing home magicians! The opening in the wall that led to the vanity was closed in and a door was added. Goodbye hotel room! Then, the wall/door that separated the vanity from the toilet and shower was taken down. It was amazing how this opened up the space. The master bathroom actually feels like a master bathroom now and we're loving not feeling cramped in there.

Ready for some pictures?

This picture is from right before we moved in, so we hadn't got furniture in the master bedroom yet, nor had we found a mirror for the bathroom. But doesn't it look so much better now that the bathroom is closed off?? And an added bonus is the lack of blood red paint...

Fast forward to today...

Adam's dad could have set the piping up to have two sinks, but it was more important to us to have more counter top space. We don't regret this decision. We generally don't find ourselves using the sink at the same time. The vanity is from the same series as our half bathroom vanity. Didn't realize it until they were both installed! The handles on this vanity were brushed nickel, which didn't go with our faucet or lighting, so we just spray painted them. No problem there!

There's Adam's closet!

Moving on to the other side of the room...

A close-up of what's on the wall:

I had several people (ladies) that came to our housewarming party ask where the shower curtain came from. I got it at Marshalls. I never intended on keeping it in this bathroom. It was a temporary solution when we first moved in, but now I like it! It gives me a lot of colors to work with and it matches our wall paint great.

And PS- If you haven't already, please switch your standard shower curtain rod to a curved one. It is amazing how much extra room you'll get in the shower! Trust me on this one!

Behind the curtain:

This room is pretty much done. You may be concerned by the lack of curtains, but where that window is located it's almost impossible for anyone to get a glimpse of anything inappropriate. haha. I may just do sometime on top for color/interest.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your weekend is off to a great start, friends!

Masterpiece Monday
Strut Your Stuff Saturday

May 8, 2012

Terrariums... new obsession alert!

I blame you, Nester!!

The always fabulous Nester was talking terrariums a while back, and it sort of made me obsessed. Like, I've seen them before, especially since Pinterest became the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I never realized how awesome they are until now! They are a great way to add a little life to your home without needing a lot of maintenance.

Just take a look at some of these beauties I found online:

Pretty please go look at the source from that last picture. Twig's terrariums are amazing! The one above has a sweet little couple inside- on their wedding day! So cute.

PS, just in case you didn't know... terrariums are expensive!! (That last one is $300!)  So, it's definitely something I'm going to try to tackle on my own. I've done some reading on the process, and it seems simple and allows for a lot of creativity. I was thinking about going to the thrift store to find a unique container when I remembered I had these little lovelies in my trunk:

Perfect, right??

The Kirkland's store close to me closed, and before they did they had a huge clearance. These apothecary jars were originally a set of three, but since one was missing, I got the set of two for $5.00. It wasn't until I opened the box that I saw that there wasn't a topper that fit the larger jar, so I can just leave that one open (which works out because some terrarium plants do better in an open container).

So excited for a new project!

...that is after I finish all the others that are on my to-do list...