February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Lissie Kay!

Today is my sweet sister's 22nd birthday!

We've been together a long time......




And I've watched Lis become a beautiful soul who loves people (especially her NIECE, Evy Kate!)!


I am SO PROUD to call Alyssa my FRIEND and sister. She is amazing, and God has such a plan for her life!



Love you so much, Bys! From the day you were born, I've been so proud of you and have always thought you were so beautiful, inside and out (and I might have gone through a phase of being jealous because you got the "tan" genes....). You are a masterpiece and I am so excited to see what God has in store for you. The world (and especially our family) is blessed by you! Happy Birthday!




Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  

February 24, 2011

Inspiration Images: Cottages

Yesterday was a Pride and Prejudice kind of day. It was kind of rainy and dark, and I put on one of my favorite movies while Evy was sleeping. I LOVE Pride and Prejudice (the novel as well as the movies) because of the setting, time-period, witty dialogue, storyline, etc.

As I was watching, I realized that I was incredibly drawn to the Bennett's house (the less "fancy" of the homes in the movie). I loved the well-worn look of the walls and decorating; in the sense that they looked well-loved and like they had always been there. That in turn led me to start thinking about my time in England and how much I ADORED touring all of the homes. However, my favorites were always the cottages and smaller homes that had a cozy feel.

I'm realizing more and more what my decorating style seems to be. It is always evolving and changing, and I like it that way. However, I'm starting to notice that I'm really drawn to specific things. Obviously I've talked about my love of neutrals before, but I'm not opposed to color either. In fact, now that I have created a neutral canvas (so to speak), I'm starting to add in the color with pillows, candlesticks, etc.

Kurt and I were talking the other day about our future home (WAY off in the future), and we both came to the conclusion that we would love a cottage-style home. Simple, well-loved, and not too big. The house we're in now is a good for the season we're in (having young children). It's nice to be in town and have some room to grow in this house. However, I definitely see us building a home that is smaller than what people would expect, with a few specific features that I love. Here are my inspiration images:

The set from "The Holiday." Love the stone, bookcases, and coziness.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the kitchen from "The Holiday" because of the painted cabinets, table in the middle, fireplace. . .everything!

 Painted cabinets are a cottage feature, along with a "farmhouse table" somewhere in the kitchen. Love.

 I would like to have beamed ceilings in the kitchen and/or family area. Here are painted cabinets again, and I love the elegant cottage feel to the kitchen above.


 I would love an Aga-style stove, which has a very British feel to it. You can see one in the above picture.

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

I'd like some taller ceilings somewhere in my house, and I love tall windows as well. I think it's dreamy to have as many fireplaces as possible!

Love the painted cabinets again and the farmhouse sink!

The above room just has a nice cottage feel.

LOVE this light-filled kitchen. Normally I don't care for checkerboard floors, but there is a boutique here in town that has PAINTED checkerboard on wood floors. They look well-worn and they're actually so pretty. The floor above reminds me of those floors.

One thing I think I MUST have is a big LONG window above the sink. It just makes the biggest difference! I think what makes the statement is when the window is really long and wide. 


So pretty and full of light!

The window seat in the above picture reminds me of something right out of Pride and Prejudice. I love it!

I really like this blue-walled bedroom with white trim. This was done in Pride and Prejudice as well.

WINDOW LOVE.



 And the inspiration of one of my favorite movies! Love the blue walls and lived-in feel of the Bennett's parlor.

The beautiful library belonging to Mr. Bennett.

 Cottage-style interiors, I love you!

Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  

February 22, 2011

Cinderella

She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders


It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you!"


"There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited


And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"


So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew



Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song


'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...


She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, "Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"


So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew



Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone


She will be gone


Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned



She says, "Dad, the wedding's still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"


So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew



Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song


'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

February 21, 2011

Two Pictures I Love

Sometimes the Lord gives reminders of His faithfulness and what our second child will look like at just the the right times. (This was at the library.)


"Hello, world! I'm back from sickness and ready to go!"



Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  

February 20, 2011

Links I Like and a Video from the Vault

 -Have you ever wanted to see what a real, live Austrian ball is like? Well, you can see it all right here. This is the neatest blog because it's an American couple with their son living in Vienna, Austria while Jeremy (the husband) is playing in Austrian orchestras. They are the sweetest little family and I've loved reading all about their Austrian adventures!

-Speaking of Americans living abroad, I LOVE this blog! Kambry and her husband are living in London for a job opportunity, and I am totally living vicariously through them! I did some back-reading and discovered that Kambry went to Baylor (that's where I went my freshman year) and she did a semester in London in college like I did. I absolutely love reading what they're up to and what daily life is like in London (for Americans living there and experiencing the culture). They just announced that they're expecting their first baby (!) so there will be lots of fun things ahead, I'm sure!

-Sometimes a blog is just really, really fascinating. That's what Aspiring Homemaker is like. Mia is a young woman who lives with her family. Her lifestyle is very authentically old-fashioned (think growing your own vegetables, living in a cottage, dressing in long, full skirts and aprons, etc.). It's truly fascinating to me that she has chosen to live this way (very simply and decidedly unmodern), and yet she blogs about her daily life. I think that's a really neat combination, because I get to peek in at what her life is like from my computer.

 -I've mentioned before that I love the deep, beautiful, perfectly-worded, inspiring, heartwarming posts from Kelle at Enjoying the Small Things. Her post about Valentine's Day was no different. It's actually not one of her more intricate posts, but it's just a celebration of life. If you aren't familiar with her story and the birth of her beautiful, special Nella, you need to become familiar right now. It will bless your soul.

-I am so excited that my friend Dena and her husband Brad just accepted their referral for a beautiful baby boy! She hasn't shown pictures publicly yet, but their son Calvin is so adorable! If you're looking for a good adoption blog to follow (besides mine of course--hee hee), Dena has a great one and does a good job of explaining the Korean process. Congratulations, Brad, Dena, and Calvin!

-This post just made me laugh. Because it's just an awesome post.

And lastly, here's a little video of me and Evy around Christmastime. Remember to pause my music playlist so you can hear a brilliant selection of songs from our repertoire. : )



Have a great Monday : )

Please take a look at our adoption fundraiser shop! It's a great way to show your support for adoption and look cute while doing it!  

February 18, 2011

February Loves: Friends For LIFE



I have been meaning to talk more about when my best friends, Carrie and Sarah Denley came to visit me!! It was SO MUCH FUN just being together again and talking our heads off. These sweet girls drove a long way to come and see me, and it truly meant the world.

Carrie brought her son Jude, but we missed big sister Aubrey! She was busy at home with her own social engagements. :) I was so happy to meet Jude in person and give him cuddles! He was the sweetest, most laid-back baby the whole visit. I also made sure that baby Graves heard my voice while in SD's womb so that I'm not a stranger when he arrives.


Evy loved watching Jude. She was kind of fascinated, I think. I like when she's able to be around and watch other babies, to prepare her for when she has her own sibling! I was thinking to myself how neat it is that all three of us best friends will all have a girl and a boy in the same order (well, we'll most likely be referred a little boy!).



I gave the girls a tour of our town and just spent wonderful quality time together. These are the girls that I will be chatting with when I'm 85. :) (The pictures below were taken downtown by the River. We really do live right on the Mississippi River!)



If you're new to this blog or just missed it somewhere along the way, Carrie and I met in college in the interior design department. We were in similar situations (growing concern about the state of the art department, married to husbands who were older than us, and trying to figure out if college was what we needed to be doing at that point in our lives), and we just started talking one day. We became Facebook friends, and decided to have lunch just to chat. From then on, we were instant friends! Carrie became pregnant with Aubrey and we rejoiced over that together. In fact, I held Aubrey when she was only about a week or so old (and I was about 4 months pregnant with Evy in the picture below).


So I really have watched Aubrey grow up, and we started having standing weekly lunch dates. I became pregnant, and Carrie was who I looked up to.

Somewhere along the way, Sarah Denley started reading my blog and Carrie's blog. Sarah Denley also went to the same college that Carrie and I went to, but we never met there. She and Carrie connected first because they lived in the same part of town. They met up simply as blogging friends (isn't that crazy funny!?) and then somehow we all started having lunch together with our three baby girls. We literally had lunch every week for about a year, I would guess? We have had so many inspiring conversations, laughs, and wonderful fellowship. They were my family once my own immediate family moved away. They helped me stay sane the first year of Evy's life and provided so much love and support. Our girls were little buddies and we're determined to keep them connected!

(Aubrey, Ann Peyton, and Evy Kate)

I wrote this post when we had our last "girls night out" before I moved, and I was so sad to leave my friends. They are truly treasures to me. It was like a breath of fresh air having them in my home and in my town! I'm looking forward to seeing them again in March when I go visit. :)


Carrie and SD do a REALLY good job of documenting their days in detail, so for thorough recaps of our visit, you can read them here and here. I thought about copy and pasting their recaps, but that's just dumb to steal their posts. :)

To say I'm grateful for these girls is a SEVERE understatement. I am so blessed to have them in my life, and I still can't believe that God allowed these girls to enter my world.

I love you two so much---see you soon!
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