Brighten's Nursery

This post has been a long time coming. When we moved into our house in 2013, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the small, back room. Originally we used it as an office for Jason, but I assured him that as soon as we had a child, he'd get kicked out. 

When we converted the garage into the playroom two summers ago, we officially moved Jason out of the office since we had made some major progress on the waiting list for Judah. Little did we know that a year and a half later, we'd still be waiting for a referral. This room sat empty for many, many months, and ultimately it's emptiness led to our first conversation about adopting domestically.

Even after we began the domestic process in May, it still took several months to begin working on the nursery. I think that, for me, if I started working on it but then we continued waiting for a really long time, it would make the wait even more painful. 

Thankfully I had a little help, and my sister, Carlee, who came over one afternoon this summer and we painted the whole room. It wasn't a big job (the room is only 9 x 11), but it was a big step for me. Over the course of the next few months, I painted the crib, began collecting furniture, cleaned out the closet, and finally finished the nursery about a month after Brighten came home :)

One of the hardest things was going through out "almost" adoption in August. I had just finished painting the room and crib, and I really thought that the time had worked out perfectly. Then, when that fell through, Jason and I picked ourselves up and decided to continue working on the nursery. This was a huge step of faith for us, and I'd be lying if I said that it was easy. Planning for a child that feels so far away is one of the hardest things. When your heart wants to walk into that room and see a child every morning, but you walk by and see an empty crib instead, you almost mourn the hole in your family every time you pass the door. 

But, as always, God is so faithful. Just a few weeks later, we found out about Brighten, and a few weeks after that, she was born. I went from taking my time and hesitating to put together our nursery to scrambling to get it ready for our baby girl! Her room is now my favorite place in the house, and I hope you love it too!

BEFORE


MAKING PROGRESS


FINISHED ROOM


Now look at that smiling face I see every morning...Praise God for His faithfulness!

Posted on January 9, 2017 .

Master Makeover

It's been over two years since I've posted anything about our house. But by how terrible my back feels and how amazing our master bedroom and bathroom look, I can't help but share! 

Our bedroom and bathroom is pretty small, but it works for us. When we first moved into our little Crestwood cottage, I had visions of us gutting the bathroom and expanding it and doing the same to our bedroom. But here we are two years later, and that just ain't happenin'. So, we did a minor cosmetic makeover, and it's made a world of difference! 

Bathroom Makeover


I cannot believe we showered in this bathroom for 2.5 years! I promise, it was always clean from germs, but it never looked that way.

I cannot believe we showered in this bathroom for 2.5 years! I promise, it was always clean from germs, but it never looked that way.

When we first moved into our house, our three-light vanity light broke, so we only had one working light in the bathroom. I should have taken a picture of it, but this looks SO MUCH BETTER!

When we first moved into our house, our three-light vanity light broke, so we only had one working light in the bathroom. I should have taken a picture of it, but this looks SO MUCH BETTER!


Resurfacing by Tub & Tile Solutions ($1,200)
New shower curtain (Amazon, $12)
New vanity lamp (Amazon, $85)
Electrician to intall vanity lamp ($45)
Paint: Behr Antique Tin ($30)
Octopus Art (Hobby Lobby, $8)
Total: $1,380

 

Bedroom Makeover

About a year ago, Swanson got sick in our bed and we had to get all new bedding. Before, we had a tan comforter with the gray and white chevron headboard that we made with my parents when we moved in. When we threw that all out, we went to Target to find something cheap, and we came across a whole king size bedding set for $30 on clearance! The tradeoff was that it's orange, which is not necessarily my favorite color. But, it was cheap so we got it. After that, I realized it's actually pretty comfortable and I liked it, however, it clashed with our green walls that were here when we moved in. I'd always intended to paint in our bedroom, so I began looking at what colors would work with our "coral" (orange) bedding. I came across this picture on Pinterest, and now I finally have replicated it!

My Master "Pinspiration" 

My Master "Pinspiration" 


I have no clue what those streaks are - it didn't look like that in real life. I think maybe the fan messed up my pano pic.

I have no clue what those streaks are - it didn't look like that in real life. I think maybe the fan messed up my pano pic.





Paint: Behr Arrowhead Lake ($40)
Paint: Behr Lunar Surface ($80)
Headboard Fabric (Hobby Lobby, $20)
Mirror revival ($0)
Total: $140

Our house isn't big or fancy or expensive, but it's ours. We love our home so much and each little project we do reminds me how perfect our home is for us.

Next on our list is the nursery, which we will hopefully have to work on sooner rather than later!

Posted on January 21, 2016 .

In-Laws & Yard Work: Part Two

Today's post is all about our yard. 

So here are the pictures of our yard when we moved in on September 5th.

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Now, after LOTS of pressure washing, blowing leaves, trimming trees (and by trimming, I mean cutting down), and just doing some overall YARD WORK, here's how it all looks now. 

Look how awesome the wood looks after being pressure washed. See how dingy it was before (bottom right)?

Look how awesome the wood looks after being pressure washed. See how dingy it was before (bottom right)?

Look how clean all the bricks look! They had so much grass growing through them before...and they were so dingy!

Look how clean all the bricks look! They had so much grass growing through them before...and they were so dingy!

All of the cement is beautifully washed.

All of the cement is beautifully washed.

All that's left is some awesome patio furniture and a fire pit!

All that's left is some awesome patio furniture and a fire pit!

In the front yard, we mainly just did maintenance. We changed out the flower boxes and potted plants to pansies for the winter. Also, Nancy clipped all of our holly bushes that line our property; I can't wait for those to bloom!  

One other little surprise... 

Last week we bought a chair for the living room. They told us it wouldn't come in for 2-4 weeks, but then we got a call on Tuesday that it was at the warehouse ready to be picked up. 

So without further delay, here is our "complete" living room -   

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And last, but not least, I have to explain what marriage does to people.  

Jason isn't HUGE sports fan. He enjoys "various sporting endeavors" (any Gilmore Girls fans out there recognize that one?), but he's not a big college football fan, so in the south that basically means he's not into sports. But, the one team he truly loves is the Orlando Magic. 

We've been trying to find a time to go to a game since we started dating. We always look to see when the Magic will be playing the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta, since that's only 2 hours away. Unfortunately, every time they've been in town, it's a weeknight. Therefore we've never been able to go.

Last week I found out that the Magic would be playing the Hawks in Atlanta this coming Saturday. So I began a plan to surprise Jason with tickets. Then, one evening last week, Jason and I went for a walk at the park. He said to me, "So, I'm not working on November 9th, and guess who is playing in Atlanta?"  

Marriage = shared brain.

Marriage also = the inability to surprise your spouse due to the whole shared brain thing.  

Thus, this weekend, I'll be sacrificing watching the Alabama vs. LSU game and Jason and I will be cheering on the Magic in Atlanta. He said I can wear one of his jerseys, so obviously I'm excited! 

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I have to admit that I've been a little bit lax on my blogging efforts lately. This is partly because I've been really busy, and it's also because I've felt like I needed to churn up some content, a.k.a. working on our house so I can show you all the progress. Next week though, I promise I'll be getting back into it. I've got some really cool plans for this blog, so make sure to check it out!  

Thanks for reading, I really appreciate each and every one of you!

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Posted on November 7, 2013 .

In-Laws & Yard Work: Part One

This weekend, James and Nancy came to town. James is Jason's dad, and Nancy is James' wife, so Jason's step-mom. They were gracious enough to come through Birmingham on their way back to Florida from their place in North Carolina. 

James had his tools in tow, and we put them to work for sure (by they, I'm referring to both J & N AND the tools)

Just like when my parents came to town, we made a list of things we wanted to accomplish by the end of the weekend. Over the next few days, I'll share our list with you, and then show you the result. 

Here we go.

Project #1 (aka the BIG project): Widen the driveway/give Jason a designated parking spot

Problem: Our driveway is too narrow for Jason and I to get around each other in the mornings. Jason has been parking on the grass, but I think that looks slightly...um...shall we lovingly say "too southern", I wanted a spot that was separate from the driveway where he could park that looked intentional.  

Solution: Mulch parking spot. James came up with this idea. He and Jason built what I call the "sandbox" (minus the sand), but it was basically just a box that his car could fit in. The part that he dives over is just two 2x4s that are nailed into the ground to keep the mulch from spilling out. Jason and James put down plastic and then filled the sandbox with 30 bags of mulch. I thing it looks GREAT! 

Before - See how narrow the driveway is?

Before - See how narrow the driveway is?

  Making some progress... Also, James learned quickly that when I walk around and take pictures, that means the photo is going on "the blog".

 

Making some progress...
Also, James learned quickly that when I walk around and take pictures, that means the photo is going on "the blog".

  TA DA!!!!!!! The end result is fabulous!!

 

TA DA!!!!!!! The end result is fabulous!!

Project #2: Operation find an end table.

Problem: Right when you walked into our house, your view was the side of the couch, the back of the love seat, and a big empty rectangle. We also didn't have a place to display some of our stuff, like lamps, books, etc. Things that add a "comforting" touch.

Solution: Find a short, narrow, but kind of long table for under $100 that's in good condition and is a neutral color. 


 

Perfect fit.

Perfect fit.

I do want to take a little bit of time to go into a little bit more detail about this project. Although it looks like we just bought a table and put stuff on it, that's only half true. I found this table on a local trading site. It was listed at $80, and we bought it for $60, which was really a steal. It's the perfect size for the space (which is fortunate because I did not measure before we bought it). A lot of the stuff on this table are things that we bought to use in our wedding. I didn't realize when I was planning our wedding and registering for things that it works out really well to have one bold color (obviously, that's red) that we used as our wedding color AND as our "pop" of color in our house.

NOTE TO ANYONE PLANNING A WEDDING OR WHO WILL PLAN A WEDDING IN THE FUTURE: Really consider using the same color palate for your wedding that you want to use in the living spaces of your home. It's much more cost effective when you can use things that you might already have for your wedding, or know that you can use something you buy for your wedding in your home. I'm seriously when I say that this little detail has probably saved us hundreds of dollars on decorations for our house...even though we didn't even buy our house until a year after our wedding. It pays to hold onto things and make sure they're multi-use.

I moved the tall lamp that we had in that space to the other side of the room, so I thought we might need a little illumination in that corner right as you walk in. I didn't want to spend any money on a lamp, but I had one sitting in our garage. The base was white, but the shade was pink and green flowers (not cute ones either). I had a little bit of fabric left over from another project and decided to follow the tutorial that I read on Young House Love a while back about how to recover a lampshade. It worked REALLY well, except that when you turn on the lamp in the dark you can see the flowers shining through...OOPS! I'll fix that later. 

Okay, next project.

Project #3: Figure out how to work the fireplace. 

Problem: We've only ever used a wood-burning fireplace and our fireplace is gas.

Solution: James took the fireplace apart, quite literally, and found where the gas comes out, made sure it was safe, and then taught us how to use the darn thing. 

We had a fire later that night.

We had a fire later that night.

Part Two is tomorrow! Check back to see our backyard-in-progress reveal and a few more projects from this weekend with the in-laws!

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Posted on November 4, 2013 .