Thursday, August 23, 2012

God's Faithfulness-Luke's Birth Story

Do you ever feel like God is trying to tell you to do something and He just won’t let it go until you have done it. I have been feeling that a lot lately. I feel like every sermon that I have heard over the past few weeks has all been related to giving the Lord glory for what he has done. The Bible is filled with verses about giving thanksgiving or praise for what He has done, and lately they have been popping off the page at me. Because of this I have felt convicted lately that I have not told many people our story about our newest blessing in my family’s lives…Luke James.

Around 4 years ago I started to have debilitating pain in my lower abdomen. I went to my doctor and she told me that I would need to have immediate surgery to have at least one ovary removed but possibly both. She said that we wouldn’t know until she was in surgery of what would need to happen. I remember driving straight to my mom’s school and having a break down in the hallway outside of her classroom. The thought of never being able to have children was devastating. Later that day my neighbor came over to tell me that she had made an emergency appointment with her doctor in Garland and that we needed to get in the car to go there immediately. I went reluctantly. Lucky for me my neighbor would have never taken no as an answer. When I went to this doctor he told me a similar diagnosis but promised me that he wouldn’t under any circumstance take both of my ovaries so that I would have the hope of children. So within 3 days of that appointment I underwent major surgery.

Two years later I met Philip and were married within a year. God placed the desire for children on our hearts pretty soon after we got married. I knew that it might take us a while to get pregnant because of my endometriosis but I never imagined the disappointment I would have every month while waiting. Part of me hoped that God would show his glory by making us pregnant the first month, since doctors had said it would be hard for me to get pregnant. That didn’t happen. Then it felt like everyone I knew was getting pregnant around me except for me. I felt embarrassed asking people to pray about it with me, so very few people knew that we were trying. Poor Philip, every month I would have a good cry when it wouldn’t happen.

Then about 6 months into trying I went to my best friend’s baby shower. It was me and about 30 of her closest family members. At the end of the shower my friend’s mom asked me if I wanted them to pray over me. I secretly longed for that because I was surrounded in a room by some amazing Christian women. I said I didn’t want to because I didn’t want to take away any attention from my friend on her special day. They ignored me and sent me to a bedroom in the house where they anointed me with oil and prayed over me. To this day that is one of the most special moments in my life and I will never be able to fully express how grateful I am to them. But, the next month I still wasn’t pregnant.

A few months later I went for my annual check up with my doctor and mentioned that we had been trying for a baby with no success. He told me that I probably would not be able to have children on my own but we could set up an appointment with an infertility doctor. I went home to Philip to tell him about the news and at that moment we decided to rebuke that diagnosis and stand firm that God was going to give us a baby. One week later I went back to the doctor because we were pregnant! Praise the Lord. Then the doctor said that we shouldn’t get too excited because he would not feel good about it until we were 12 weeks along. I couldn’t keep the secret inside so we told everyone we knew. I wanted as many people as possible praying with us. We made to 12 weeks with no problems. Then one day at the doctor they told me that I had a placenta previa. Most people’s move they said, but mine probably wouldn’t because my placenta was covering my entire cervix. I had no idea what that was, so I made the mistake of going home and googling it. Basically it meant that I would need to deliver via c-section because if we didn’t the baby could die. It also meant that I could start bleeding at any moment and need to delivery immediately. It also said that there was a chance of hemorrhaging and dying. All not great news, but we called up our prayer warriors and decided to stand in faith that my placenta would move. And would you know that against all doctor’s prediction, my placenta moved within the inch that it would need to in order to be able to deliver.

The end of the story is that I not only did not go into labor early but I held that baby for 41 weeks until we had to go in a get him out. A few weeks after my c-section I went back to my doctor for a check up. I asked if everything looked ok when they opened me up and if she saw any signs of endometriosis. She went on to tell me that my insides were so messed up looking. She said that there was no way I should have gotten pregnant. On the drive home I cried like a baby because I know that God placed by hand my baby in womb and kept him safe for that many months. Towards the end of my pregnancy I use to get emotional thinking that up until delivery, God was the only one who had every touched my baby, Luke. It was a very surreal thought that I cherished.

I write all of this to tell you that we serve a great God. When times are hard and you feel like there is no way things can be fixed, that is when you are to prove your faith. We claim to have all of this faith when times are hard, and I believe sometimes God just wants you to prove it.

Throughout this time scripture brought comfort to me. I love decorating and I find that decorating with scriptures and hymns helps me to keep my mind on Him. So here are some of my favorite pieces of art that use scripture.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pregnancy Questionaire

How far along? 23 weeks
Total weight gain: approximately 14 pounds  
Maternity clothes? I wear the same pair of maternity pants to work 4 out of 5 days of week and live in my one pair of 
                                  maternity jeans when I am not at work
Stretch marks? no
Sleep:  for some reason pregnancy has made me sleep like a star fish (sprawled out). Lots of tossing and turning lately. Besides
              that and the multiple bathroom breaks a night, I have been sleeping pretty well without my Benedryl. (oh I have also 
              been having crazy dreams since being pregnant. Last week I dreamed that I brought the baby to church after having him
             and realized that I had forgotten to feed him for several days...haha)
Best moment this week: getting to spend a lot of good quality time with my husband 
Miss Anything? just being able to shop in the normal size person section of a store
Movement: he is starting to have stronger and stronger kicks
Food cravings: yes but it varies daily. Yesterday I had a crazy craving for a slice of pizza and sweet Philip almost had to detour
                           to the mall food court so I could get a slice after running our errands
Anything making you queasy or sick: still nervous about mexican food
Gender: boy
Labor Signs: lets hope not
Symptoms: feet are starting to swell after walking around for 8 hours in high heels
Belly Button in or out? I started with a very deep inny and it has been getting very shallow lately
Wedding rings on or off? on

Happy or Moody most of the time: I would say up until this last week I have been very even-kill, but this past weekend I freaked out 
                         about not being able to order my mom's birthday present online, i fired a contractor working on our bathroom, 
                         and I cried on the walk home when the little mexican man working on the house down the street could not understand English
                         enough to come rescue us from bathroom renovation
Looking forward to: holding our son for the first time and getting to smell his sweet baby smell

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

growing baby

So a lot has happened since I last blogged. The biggest news is that we found out that we are pregnant. We feel so blessed to get to be experiencing this. Philip and I had been wanting to get pregnant for about 7-8 months with no luck. I went to my doctor and he said that because of previous medical conditions we would probably need to go to an infertility specialist and explore other options. It wasn't but one week later that we found out that we were pregnant. Praise the Lord. It is starting to sink in more and more. I can definitely say that the second trimester has been way better than the first, but I have loved every second of being pregnant. Latest excitement: getting to feel the baby move and seeing our little boy on the sonogram. He no longer looks like a  little blob but a baby! Hooray. We are 19 weeks in and getting more and more excited by the day. Here are a few bump pictures that we have started to take (inspired by blog:

Part of my new year's resolution is to keep this blog up to date. So check back for updates soon (both design and baby related)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

DIY Curtains

 As a designer, I have to say that the most impactful/important things in a room are draperies and rugs. People will notice both of these items way before they will notice a sofa or chair. Most of the time these can be the most costly pieces in a room. In the field that I work, most of my clients will spend anywhere from $1500-$5000 on a single window. That is just not in the budget for our house right now so I have come up with some budget saving drapery alternatives:

These buffalo check panels have a silk look to them but are not silk. I bought these panels from Wal-Mart for approximately $15 each. I love them because they have almost every color in my house on them (green box for my green kitchen, red for the front living room, and a green/blue for our master bedroom).

My big splurge lately was on our dining room/front living room panels. I have had my eyes on these for quite a while. I bought these puppies on sale for approx. $89 per panel from Pottery Barn.

I took it as a sign that I was suppose to have these beautiful draperies when I saw them on one of my favorite shows..."Modern Family."

Here are the curtains in our master bedroom. They are from World Market (one of my fav stores). I love them because they have a burn-out pattern on them and they are very light and airy.

Then I started getting crafty and making my own curtains. For our guest bedroom that has twin beds, I had just finished (and when I say finished I mean that everything has been purchased but not yet made) making duvet covers out of sheets. So I took some ready-made, tab top panels that a friend gave me ($0). Then I took the pillow cases that I had left over from the sheet set that I used to make the duvet covers and made these curtains. I took the stitching out of 2 sides of the pillow cases and then cut it into 3 strips. I then gathered them to create the ruffle and attached the pieces to the ready-made curtain. I love the way they turned out:

The other guest bedroom still does not have a definite design direction. I have an awesome antique quilt on the bed with a white linen duvet cover. I had hoped to incorporate some yellow into the room, so when I saw these table cloths at Target I decided that these will work for now. I haven't even invested in a curtain rod yet...these have been put up with push pins. Definitely this is the room that is still a work in progress.

And last but not least, this is the room that I just finished yesterday. Months and months ago (like probably 6...yes I have crafting ADD), I bought two shower curtains from Target. I loved the pattern and the fact that it was a fabric shower curtain. However, the curtain was not nearly long enough so I decided to go to JoAnne's and get a coordinating fabric. And with just a couple of straight stitches, Philip's office now has curtains. This project was easy and very inexpensive (cost about $40 each). None of these prices include hardware, but I tend to go to Ross to find good deals on drapery rods ( I would say they average around $14-$24 each... definitely not bad).

Just a quick side note: I found these pictures on Etsy a while back and absolutely love them. They are printed on real antique dictionary pages and were only $7 each. I framed them in black frames with large white mattes (also on sale at Target). There were so many stamps to choose from, but we tried to pick three that related to Philip (and the moose is probably more me).

 These are the rooms that I have left to put draperies:

Our loft area/ gameroom/ craft space
This is our kitchen windows awaiting a valance one day.

Good luck with decorating your windows!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This chair "Rocks"

So i have been in love with the Eames Rocking chair ever since I saw it at a restaurant. If you haven't ever been to Tillman's Roadhouse, you should go. This restaurant (or restaurants now) is 100% my style. Here is a sneak peak at where the love affair began:

Since then I have seen them everywhere:

p.s. i also love this coffee table

and last but not least:
this rug is AMAZING!

I have never really been a woman stuck on name brands, so of course I found a really good knock-off on One day I hope get one or two of these chairs (maybe to rock in on the front porch...sigh)

So what piece of furniture have you fallen in love with?

Happy summer everyone!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What's Your Sign

No I am not into astrology and all of the non-sense (although I think I am an aries if you are interested) but I have had an idea for a while for my kitchen that I finally finished:

Often Philip will call me and say "Hey good lookin'..." . It always triggers the Jimmy Buffet song that says "hey good lookin', what ya got cookin? How's about cookin' something up with me?" I think that it is a funny song and would be great sign to put up in our kitchen. So for the last couple of months I have been on the lookout for some scrap wood. I have seen fence pickets laying on the side of the road and pallets thrown out, but I needed one larger, solid piece of wood for my vision. Then my friend Toni said that she had some old cabinet facing that she could give me that she had picked up at the Canton Flea Market (1st Monday). Thank you Toni.

Here is the step by step of what I did:

1.)I put picture hangers (2) on the back of the board so that I could hang it on the wall.

2.) I designed the lay out on the computer (ie fonts and size). I am sure there is a more scientific way to make sure that it will fit on the board but I am more of a "guess and check" kind of girl. I rarely do anything very exactly. I then printed the wording off on a Word document. I had to do a little cutting and taping to get the spacing the way I wanted.
        (tip: i used the underline button so that I could make sure that I taped the pieces together straight)

3.) Then I took mylar and laid it over the Word print out (you can find mylar at your local craft store. I think I got mine at Hobby Lobby-aka better name would be Hobby Heaven). I taped it down securely and then took an exacto knife and began to cut out my stencil. Make sure that when doing this step that you do not completely cut out the whole letter if there is a hole in the middle (ie and "o" or an "A"). You have to leave a sliver of the letter still attached.

4.) Next, I laid my homemade stencil on the board and secured it with painter's tape and push pins.

5.) Use a stencil brush ( i am not sure what you call them but it is the flat brush that you just dab) and paint in the stencil. Toni has taught me that you dab on the paint and then on a napkin or paper plate dab off almost all of the paint. Then you are ready to go. Too much paint on your brush will cause the paint to bleed under your stencil.

6.) Let dry for a few minutes (it doesn't take long because you didn't use a lot of paint) and then hang on your wall! 

I love it. I even surprised myself how well it turned out. I did another stencil project earlier in the year for my sister's wedding present and I had to go back and do a lot of touch ups because I am not a good stencil-er. But practice makes perfect (and helpful advice always helps).

Now that you know how to make your own stencil, the possibilities are endless. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dining Room Redo

Sorry that it has been a few weeks since I posted last. I have about three blogs 95% done but I just haven't finished any of them. So I thought that it was about time to show everyone how the dining room ended up.

As you know, my sweet husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I told him either laser hair removal or to redo the dining room. I finally decided vanity would have to wait and the dining room was going to get my makeover. I had seen several rooms online that I liked that had board and batten. So Philip (the analytical one) did a bunch of research and watched several "you tube" videos on how to install board and batten and before we knew it we were at Lowe's (for our FIRST trip) buying supplies. 

We decided to spend the extra money and purchase primed wood. One of the best decisions ever. Then Philip borrowed a nail gun from a friend at church and a miter saw from my dad... and we were in business.

The first step that we did was decide at what proportion we would split the room. A design rule that i learned in college is that you never want to cut a room in half. So thirds are much better. We decided that 72 inches off the ground would work and then we put painter's tape up to be sure. The next couple of days were spent painting. I found a red color that I loved and so I painted that on the top 1/3. Then I found a white paint that was a bit shinier and painted it on the bottom 2/3. 
Thank goodness for that drop cloth. It kind of looks like a crime scene (or is it just me who watches too much Law and Order?)

After several coats of paint we started by adding moulding around our windows. We figured that it would look funny having the boards hitting the windows without it so we splurged for some extra trim. Philip mastered the mitered cuts while putting up this stage of moulding. And honestly we think the trim around the windows made the biggest difference (now I want to add it to all of our steps). Then Philip started putting up the header boards. We bought 6" slats to be the header and an additional moulding to add on top of it. Philip mitered all the corners at a 45 degree angle (hard work but he did great).

Then came the hardest task-trying to figure out the spacing of the vertical slats. Our goal was to space it out well so that none of the slats would hit an electrical outlet. Now I am sure there is some sort of math formula that would have made this process easier, but math has never really been my thing. So we started taping it off with painter's tape. We would make it about half way around the room and bam, we'd hit an outlet. So then you would have to start over and move everything over an inch. After about three times of doing this I had a genious idea. I would do an architectural drawing and space it out. I was so happy that I was going to be able to contribute. Then it came time to apply the boards. And about three boards in we hit an outlet. I couldn't believe it. Then Philip explained to me that the boards were called 1x4 but they were actually only 1x 3 1/2. Big WHOOPS! So that is when we decided to fly by the seat of our pants. We had to fudge a half inch here and there but I don't think anyone would ever notice. (side note: we/Philip also had to cut the bottom of the vertical slats at a 45 degree angle to hit flush with the base boards).

After all the vertical slats were put up we went back and put in the second row of horizontal slats. This is when we started getting super excited. The second row of slats were the icing on the cake. This step went pretty fast.

Then we went back and calked all the gaps and filled the nail holes. We went back and sanded everything down to make sure that everything was super smooth.

 The final step was to go back and put two more coats of white paint on the wall and slats.

Here are the before pics:

And the final after pics: