Thursday, February 5, 2015

Good gracious. Five things

(First, let me apologize for the grainy, somewhat low quality pics in this post.  I have been waiting a week to share a few updates and the weather has not been cooperating... but I missed you all so much & I wanted to get this post up I let it slide this once.  And if the sun ever reappears I'll reshoot and add these to the house tour page that I keep meaning to update... ) 

1) I am in LOVE with Downton Abbey this season, along with the bonus of Grantchester immediately following.  I love a good mystery and set in the 50's with all the gorgeous outfits... it's positively swoony. Plus, it gives me something to excitedly text my mama about. Are y'all watching any of it?

2) I got this amazing wooden "B" from Urban Farmgirl after the holidays, and it slays me with it's cuteness. It's made from a 140 year old floor of a knitting warehouse where they used to knit socks!  It's hanging on our bookshelf wall, which I'll share in a moment.

3) I am officially grown up.  I now own my first EVER coffee machine.  Well, it's an espresso machine actually. (Because if you're going to do a thing, do it right.)  I can't believe I am a coffee drinker after 39 years of not being one.  It's just crazy. Now, I just need a friend to come drink coffee with me.  (Any local takers?)

4) I painted the kiddos profiles on itty bitty plates a couple weeks ago when Adrain was out of town.  Joe and Ava wanted to do something fun with me so we hit a local pottery painting shop and these are what I made.  (I snapped a photo of their profiles before we left the house, printed it and cut it out and brought it with me.  Then I pencil-traced it's outline and painted it onto a plate.  It was a blast and so easy.)
  5) Firstly, have you ever noticed that I don't share pictures of this wall-side of our home very often?  That's because  the wall was un-proportionately decorated and oddly blank on one side because of our television... and you couldn't even see the television from the chair (not that I minded that since I'm not a big television girl but it was weird for guests.)  I didn't hate it, just to be clear- in fact the minimalist inside me kind of liked it most of the time.  However, the back story is this- For about 2 years, we have been planning and dreaming about having a bookshelf/TV center on this wall.

I learned a ton about grace from my man over this wall transformation last month.   At one point about two years ago, I measured the wall everything was going against once we found a unit we liked, and came up with a number that I never felt the need to double check or verify.  I tucked that wall measurement in my handbag and went on my merry way... (You can just see it coming like a runaway train, can't you?)

A year ago, I fell head over heels for the Liatorp unit (not this one pictured) at Ikea, and once I had done the math and calculated the cost and measurements, I ran it past my man.  He approved it, pending budget allowance and I waited... and waited... and waited until I got the go-ahead a few weeks ago!  Adrain went on a business trip to Florida and the next day after his return, we drove approx 3 hours to Ikea.  (I know.  It almost hurts, doesn't it?) Adrain was a total trooper and in spite of exhaustion and jet lag, loaded up the shopping cart.  We had some drama involving a missing bridge piece that I won't go into here, but we finally arrived home with our boxes and Swedish pictorial instructions. (snicker)

Hours later, (since Adrain had done something to his wrist a week previously, and was instructing our son in assembling this thing) (no kidding) we stood up bookshelf number one.  It was huge.  I took one look at it and my knees went weak but not in that "oh my gosh that cute boy just kissed me" way.  I wanted to vomit.  It was all going to be too huge.  I dug out my measurements and realized that I had miscalculated it by a massive four feet, which would have completely covered the entrance to our bedroom.  Um.  That was not my finest moment.  The next day was Friday and kids were out of school, so we all got up bright and early and headed back to Ikea with an assembled bookshelf and many boxes.  We returned it all and found something for about 2/3 the cost that fit our space (with a slight 2 inch overhang that Adrain said he didn't care about and at that point I didn't care to even voice an opinion because I was still feeling like such a heel and felt like I pretty much deserved nothing.) 

The best part- we actually liked it better.  After driving 12 hours in 2 days, and my boy assembling many pieces at the direction of my man, it was finally finished.  (I almost promised never to make them go to Ikea with me ever again.  Almost.)

 The point. (And yes, I have one.)  I beat myself up worse than anyone could have over this stupid mistake, even losing a night's sleep because I felt like the worst failure on the planet.  My man never said one nasty thing to me.  He bent over backward to show me love and grace and sweetness and never once complained about being tired or frustrated (well maybe one comment about the Swedish pictorials but the man is only human after all) and what hit me through all of this, is what I deserved, wasn't at all what he gave me.  He was kind and sweet and understanding and I had blown it big time.  It was a terrific example of how gracious Jesus is to me in my constant failures, and I will never forget it.

Anyway.  I wanted to show you the end result because it's pretty and since I do a ton of this kind of decor tweaking in my job, it was very gratifying to get a chance to play with my own goodies, and stage my own shelves. I have a definite thing for color arranging books and for seeing plenty of white space.  If I don't have clean gaps for my eyes to rest on, I start to feel frantic and like my whole house is cluttered.  That said, it's the happiest wall- these little bursts of cheery objects and color!  Bookshelves are meant for books, not just dust-able objects, and even though not every book is pretty... it's nice to have them all out where they belong.

Like all projects, things got shuffled around and found new homes.  The gorgeous photos of my kids in those vintage frames I love ended up getting moved into the dining area.  It's not the best place for them but I couldn't bear to part with them and until I come up with a better place to hang them, they'll rest here.  I do love seeing those faces when I sit at the table for breakfast.  I also raised our dining lights up about 2 feet- something I'd been wanting to do for months and I finally dragged the ladder in and did it.  I have no idea why I waited so long to do that. 

It's nice when things eventually come together- especially when you're convinced you've messed them up beyond fixing and the solution seems a long way away.  Life in general can sure feel that way sometimes.  If that's you right now, please remember this truth- no matter how we blow it in this life, (and of course we are going to blow it big time way more times than we can count) God's forgiveness is there for the asking.  It doesn't matter what it is we've done.  I can't tell you how much I praise Him for that! 

(Ikea Hemnes collection.)

 photo PostSignature_zpsb6968ede.png


  1. I am revisiting that "uh-oh-I-blew-it" feeling reading this! BEEN THERE. Hate to say it, but probably will be again. So nice to be on the receiving end of big grace, huh? The end result is beautiful. Well worth the 12 hours! :)

  2. I love Downton but am a little terrified with the direction the whole Anna-Bates-murder thing is going. I just don't have good feelings about it!

  3. I have been waiting impatiently to see what you did with your IKEA pieces ever since you posted the pic on IG a few days ago and you didn't disappoint! You talk about the white space on your bookshelves and how it soothes you. Well your entire house soothes me! I dream about such organization, cleanliness and creativity. I know I have a lovely home but there is just something about yours that makes me very envious. You are very talented - just wish you lived on the opposite coast...

  4. Such a fun read. Long time reader first time I have left a message though. LOVE your home! I always go away with decorating ideas.

  5. I see your "B" has a new home! ;) Your shelves look wonderful. They add a nice new layer to your living room. I bet you will have a blast arranging and rearranging them...the possibilities are endless! And you will appreciate them even more knowing your husband was so sweet about your mis-measuring! Even though you think you blew it "big time", your husband doesn't see it that way...he truly loves you and just wants you to be happy. Love your plates, they turned out SO cute. Oh and yes I am completely hooked on Downton. I saw the preview for Grantchester, going to start watching that too! Wish I were local, I'd love to come for coffee. Or have you over. Thank you for another lovely post!

  6. I'll join you for a virtual cup of coffee too!
    Your new arrangement looks great.
    We had a similar incident with an IKEA wardrobe recently. Husband and daughter measured the space in the alcove, got the wardrobe and assembled it. It did fit into the space, but what they had decided to do was change the rail which hung front to back, to a width-ways rail. They were in the process of doing this when I asked them if they'd checked if the depth of the wardrobe allowed the hangers to go in that way...guess what the answer was.

  7. Love the new bookcase - As I was looking at it, I was thinking how good it would look if the tv was hung under the shelf with a white frame around it. Just a thought.....

  8. Your espresso machine is so cute! I got one last year and threw out my coffee maker. Espresso is so much better and you can drink a straight shot or make a variety of different drinks.

    By the way, your house looks great! When I bought my house last year, I made sure it had 3 bedrooms (had to have at least two b/c my sister is living with me for the time being) and wanted to turn the 3rd bedroom into a huge closet room for us- I still have yet to finish the room. Anyway, I bought closet systems to put on the walls. Doing all of the measuring, drawing on the walls, drilling and everything probably took me a week or more. I had to redo the drawing marking my measurements at least twice b/c of miscalculating. The directions weren't that big of a help either. Plus I kind of had to ball park it because they were going on walls and not inside closets. When I was close to being done, I realized I measured where the posts were supposed to go wrong and it was too late to redo the whole thing b/c then I'd have to patch up all the drilled holes and stuff. It definitely didn't turn out like the picture but it doesn't look too bad and at least it is usable!

  9. I wish I were local, I'd come over for coffee! Love the bookcase and the "B"!

  10. I started Downton Abbey last year when I was on bed rest. I fell in LOVE! Such a great show! I also started watching Grantchester this year too. I wish I lived closer, I would love to come over for some coffee! You have a beautiful home!

  11. Great example of grace - so humbling to receive it. I love watching Downton and your newly decorated space looks like the perfect place to view it!

  12. Coffee have a huge benefit in increasing the energy levels of a human being. Moreover a search has shown that the people who drink a cup of coffee every day are likely to be 10% less depressed than those who had never touched it. Buy espresso machine, your house looks great!
    If anyone is thinking about purchasing a espresso machine or already owns one, then you should check out our blog at: