Thursday, January 28, 2016

Our Home: Kitchen

When I first walked into the Emerson model last December, I fell in love with how open the kitchen was. It doesn't feel separate from the living area at all.

There's plenty of room to move around and tons of counter space for food prep. It gets SO much light from the door and windows. I am so, so happy we went with the white/gray combination. It's so airy and cheerful and bright. It always looks so clean and fresh.

This space is really functional. Coffee mugs are above the coffee maker. The girls have the far right top cabinet for their snacks and the bottom cabinet for their plates/bowls/cups and containers, so I use this space to pack their lunches.

We like to keep the countertops as clear as possible. In the old house we had everything out and it not only limited our work space, but it just looked so busy and cramped, even when the kitchen was all cleaned up. We still have a toaster but after we use it and empty it, we put it away. We have plenty of drawers now, so there's no need for a canister of large utensils. Now we only leave out the essentials- coffee maker and knife block. We do leave the mixer out too, because it's pretty :)

Originally Chris was against having a drying rack. He said, "We'll wash them, dry them, and put them right away." HA. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Needless to say, we also leave out the drying rack.

With all the time we gained from moving closer, we can keep it much more tidy. And since it is so open to the main living area, it really needs to be kept that way. It also helps that we have a separate pantry and a ton of cabinets and drawers for storage space. It feels like we filled them all up pretty quickly!

Eating area:

Usually the girls eat at the island since they tend to be messy and sweeping the floor is much easier than busting out the vacuum. Even though we have a pocket office, I still like to work at the table because I have so many things to spread I like being in the middle of all the action :)

To do:
-Decorate the wall between the window and the door. Also, do something with the wall between the eating area and living room. I welcome any advice/suggestions!

-Build a deck...oh that will be so lovely!!

-Get a centerpiece for the kitchen table.

One of my favorite things about the kitchen is the island. I love to see all three girls sitting there, enjoying meals and each other. I sure do love these faces and the new memories we're making in this house!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Our Home: The Playroom

Initially I wanted to go bright and colorful with the playroom. I had so many awesome Pins for inspiration.

Then I came across this beauty and my plans completely changed! Their bedrooms are bright and cheerful, so I felt really good about making this room a little more serene. In the far future it will be a full fledged office.

We had decided not to paint the playroom gray like the rest of the house, so I knew that gold would look great with the beige walls. We bought the large beanbags and pillows for the girls for Christmas (confession- I bought the Hello Lovely pillow first because I can't pass up anything with the word's my favorite word!)

I love the alligator toy box! It totally does not go with the decor, but if it has a gator, I need it. Once the girls have outgrown it I'm sure it'll be going to my classroom! We also have a ton of nesting boxes that we use for toys.

Love these windows!

To do:

-We have a PBK table and chairs to put here, but it's currently being used in my classroom. I honestly think I'll leave it there until Summer break. I like having the playroom floor wide open.

-Organize the's crazy! It has several wire shelves that are super deep. I am committed to getting rid of lots of stuff, but it's hard to part with things I think they're going to miss! However it seems like every time I go in there to clean, I end up with a box full of things to take to Goodwill :)

-We're going to add a strip of cork board underneath the Instagram posters. We need all that space for their amazing creations!

-Set up the art easel.

-Find a picture or printable for the 8x10 frame on the shelf.

Having a playroom is invaluable and was another deciding factor when choosing this particular floor plan. The fact that it's right off the main living area and we can close the door? So perfect.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Our home: Mudroom

While it's nowhere near being "done," I wanted to post some pictures so that we have a record of what it looked like when it was new (and clean!) I'm going to post each room separately because if I save it all for one post it'll never get done!

The mudroom is such a lifesaver. In our old house there was no spot to drop backpacks, coats, shoes, and bags. Our dining room table ended up being the drop zone because it was right next to the kitchen where I packed lunches, checked backpacks, etc. When we were looking at floor plans, this new house won because of the mudroom.

This part of the house is super functional. The mudroom is right off the garage AND next to the kitchen. The pantry is on one end and the laundry room is on the other. There is also a coat closet where we keep extra coats, mine and Chris's shoes, and the vacuum and broom and step stool.

The girls know their routine; shoes off and in their basket, backpacks put on the bench (Abigail likes to go a step further and stand on the bench to hang hers up- LOVE her!) We usually don't have coats hanging around because we're just a few steps from the van :)

Chris made the rack above the bench and he painted an old mirror, two things I definitely needed in there right away.

To do: I have picture frames to hang above the hooks, and I'm searching for matching floor rugs. We still need to get shutters (or even just a cheap set of blinds) for the laundry room window. We also need to organize our pantry.

Every time I walk into the house I'm grateful for this room. Even when it's a mess it looks organized!

Now we have a space for all of our's convenient as we're coming and going and our kitchen table stays (relatively) empty!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Audrey Catherine is SEVEN!'s so hard to believe! Partly because she still looks like she's five, lol.

Audrey is such a darling girl. She's funny, positive, and kind. I wish I were seven so I could be her BFF. She is silly, good-natured, and hilarious. She loves to draw and write, and she is so creative. I'm amazed at how she reads...she bought a chapter book at the book fair and actually reads it to herself!

She has such a tender heart. We definitely have to discipline her with a sensitive approach.

She is getting more opinionated with her wardrobe- she mostly wants to wear jeggings and t-shirts. She's denounced frilly dresses- she absolutely would not wear a cute red dress I picked for a Christmas party. BUT she loves her navy and white striped a-line dress (it's been hanging in her closet for 2 years...that's how much I loved it!!) I love that she's getting her own sense of style. I had her put on the red dress, thinking she'd change her mind or just go with it- but she was truly miserable and I decided right then and there I would NEVER argue with her about clothes. So long as they are appropriate, she can wear what she pleases.

We had her birthday party a few weekends ago and over 30 kids came to celebrate! She has formed so many wonderful friendships. I love hearing her talk about all the sweet kids and the daily interactions she has with them. The start of my lunch coincides with the end of hers...when I walk up to her table, I always see her laughing with her friends, sometimes the ones from another class, lol.) She gives me hugs and kisses and begs me to stay (will this be the last year she does this?!) It's such a treat for me to see her in the middle of the day.

One of the things I love most about Audrey is her radiant joy. She's so delightful and sincere and genuine. I could cry when I think of how fast she has grown. Especially with leaving the old house, and all the baby memories of her's all just too much. But I could not be more proud of the sweet young lady that she is.

She is so giving. When she opened her birthday gifts, she was more than happy to give away TWO Monster High dolls (which was the ONLY thing she asked for her birthday) to Abby and Bella because she already had one. Brand new dolls! I couldn't believe it. She impresses me every day.

A couple of weeks ago my father passed away. I can't bring myself to write fully about it just yet; I couldn't speak at his funeral- I couldn't even find the right words to write down so that the pastor could read them. I told Audrey that I was sad and I just couldn't write down what I was feeling. The night before the funeral she sat down and wrote about Pop Pop. She said she wanted to read it and she DID. She got right up in front of everyone and read about her Pop. I've never been more proud.

I recently read an article written by a father of girls; his response to the typical "poor dad of girls" comments really resonated with me..."It only gets better." I definitely see this with my girls, especially with Audrey. We are so close- our conversations are so meaningful and go beyond, "How was your day?"- she knows she can tell me anything. We gets each other's jokes (I make some awesome Mom jokes and she just cracks up!) We love to be silly together, to snuggle with each other, to communicate everything we're feeling. I truly feel like I'm raising my best friend.

Seven years ago I fell madly in love with her- I didn't know that it would just get better and better :)