The Pain of Transition


“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.”
John 16:21

I gave birth to three babies in three years. Pregnancy and childbirth are amazing but they’re also tiring, long, painful, and crushing in many ways. A few months after my body had begun healing from the first pregnancy, the pain was already a distant memory. (Of course, my brain was so foggy then, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what I had for dinner the night before.…) But my eyes could clearly see the precious baby in front of me. He had won us all over; Jason, Ali and I were so in awe of sweet little Isaiah that we almost immediately started talking about having another baby. When he was five months old, I was pregnant again. The second time around the pregnancy was much harder. My body had not had time to heal all the way, especially my core strength (AKA pancake abs). I had an infant and a four year old. I decided that time around I was going to keep a journal and make sure to note how uncomfortable I was and how unpleasant being pregnant was, because I knew as soon as we laid eyes on our beautiful little Josephine, it would all be a distant memory. We waited a little longer the next time. I intentionally gave myself almost a year to recover before diving into pregnancy again. Now, our handsome little man Noah is six months old—my favorite baby stage—and the anguish of pregnancy and child birth is a fading memory, while the baby sleeping in the crib across the room, the one who is growing way too fast, brings us joy daily.

We’re in the midst of a tough transition right now. It’s been more than 3 months since we moved out of our clean, new, peaceful, modern house and into our old, dirty, cluttered, remodel project home. It’s been over one month since the original kitchen was removed. That’s one month of cooking dinners without an oven or stove and then hand-washing dishes in the bathroom sink. I like order, beauty, simplicity. It’s hard to not let the chaos surrounding me impede my access to Peace and Patience. This transition feels a bit like the anguish of child birth. Before long, we’ll forget the pain of this season as we enjoy our new, finished home. I want to remember how much we did, the layers of house history we uncovered, how the kids helped us, the friends who came and worked along side us. I want to remember how we grew and got stronger as a family and as individuals while we waded through the challenges of living in a big renovation project. God is doing important work on us while we’re working on and through this renovation and I don’t want to forget.


Bible Verses for Blessing Your Home


When we built our last home in 2012, I wrote Bible verses on the studs throughout the house that were specific to each room and how we expected to use the room. I continue to be amazed at how many people were touched by the post I wrote about it and the verses I shared. Approximately 2/3 of our current home has exposed subfloors. I decided it was time to cover our home in the Word of God (and a few song lyrics, too) before the new floors go in later this month. I wanted to share my list of verses again with any of you who might be inspired to do the same at your house.


Proverbs 30:8
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.

Dining Room

Psalm 133:1
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

The sun comes up
It’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing
When the evening comes

Breakfast room

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Living room

Psalm 46:10
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”


Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Boys room

Psalm 133:1
How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Entry ways

Deuteronomy 28:6
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

Master bedroom

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

In the morning when I rise give me Jesus


Psalm 51:7
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Heart of the home

Joshua 24:15
…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Mid-century Modern Details


While the exterior architecture is spot on mid-century modern, the inside of our house doesn’t have a lot of exciting mcm details. We do have a few, some which are staying and some that will go…


Living room lights:

Stair rail:

Shower light:

Kitchen cabinet handles:

Boys’ bathroom light and mirror:

Dining room buffet handles:

Girls’ bathroom lights and wallpaper:

House Tour: BEFORE


Here’s a tour of our house in the state it was the day we bought it, with a few more recent pictures, too.

The formal living room we’re going to use as a dining room. It will get a new chandelier (Ali is begging for this one to go in her room) and new hardwood flooring. The buffet in the background in the original dining room will be updated to match the kitchen.

We’re going to completely reconfigure and remodel the kitchen.

We’re calling this room the living room. It’ll get fresh white walls, new hardwood flooring and new lighting. We’re hoping to vault the ceilings in the living room, kitchen and dining room.

The room below with the red carpet we’re calling the den. It’s a converted garage and it’s huge. We’re going to make it a tad smaller by adding a walk-in storage closet and converting the current walk-in storage closet (behind that solid door) into Jason’s office/studio.

The storage room is approx 6′ x 13′ now with two windows.

The half bath will be remodeled. Actually, the remodel is currently underway. All the original fixtures are out and it’s ready to be tiled as soon as Jason has time.

There’s a huge pantry and laundry room. These shelves will be replaced with more practical pantry shelving and we’ll redo the floors in tile. Across from the washer and dryer we’ll have a second refrigerator/freezer. (Hello food storage for a family of 6!)

The next two bedrooms will be combined into one larger master bedroom.

This full bathroom will be incorporated into the master suite and totally remodeled.

This room will be for the boys, Isaiah and Noah. It will get new hardwood floors and blue paint on the walls. It has it’s own full bathroom. It was probably the original master bedroom.

The upstairs has two bedrooms with a bathroom in between. This one will be a guest room for now.

The bedroom across the hall is the girls’ room for Ali and JoJo. It’s huge! Both of these bedrooms have two huge walk-in closets.

So you can see how big it is… Ali, Zay and JoJo are currently sharing this room until we finish the downstairs.

The bathroom in between is pretty fabulous. It’ll be the girls’ bathroom. Right now we’re all sharing it.

So that’s it! Just a couple weeks until we can start the major renovations!

New Wine


This won’t make sense to many people but I want to document it as part of our moving process. During a particularly stressful day when we thought the bottom might drop out of our plans, God gave me the verse Mark 2:22. At the time it puzzled me a little bit but it’s come to mean so much to me.

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

I found this song shortly after and it’s become the soundtrack to this transition for us:

Moving In


On May 30, our family of six began our adventure in our new house. Well, old house, technically. It’s 49 years old. And we’re going to live in it while we renovate it (minus some demo days we’ll need to evacuate for). It might get pretty interesting so I thought it was a good time to reopen my blog. I started this blog back in 2007 when we lived in a 1952 brick ranch that we modernized with lots of DIY projects and documented them here. Now that we’re starting over with another renovation—this time a 1969 A-frame ranch—my MCM life is back. Follow along if you’re curious to see what we’re up to.

This is us: Jason, Martina, Alianna (6), Isaiah (3) Josephine (1) and Noah (3 months).

This is our house:

We plan to move some walls around, redo the kitchen, update the flooring, convert the den (converted garage) into two rooms (den and office/studio) each with big storage closets, turn two bedrooms and a full bathroom into one master suite, remodel all four bathrooms, and revamp the landscape design. Phew! Let’s get started…

Follow along on Instagram, too, @mymcmlife. I update just daily there.

Moving On


Nearly six years ago, on June 14, 2012 we broke ground on this property to start the construction of our dream home. I remember the date specifically because it was also our 9th wedding anniversary. In December 2012 we moved in with 1.5 year old Ali. It was a beautiful home thoughtfully designed by architect Ryan Thewes who took all our requests and considerations to heart. It was a blank slate, especially the outside, but we made it into a home. Jason spent countless thousands of hours and dollars on the landscape design. We cared for four foster babies here and then brought three babies home from the hospital here. We moved in as a family of three and two weeks ago we moved out as a family of six. It’s bittersweet. We love this house and put so much blood, sweat and tears into making it what it is now.

Jason is a Realtor and a few months ago he came across a listing for a house that caught his eye. He sent me the link and a few hours later I met him there to check it out. It’s not the first time we’ve done that… we both love looking at real estate and dreaming big dreams. Typically after these visits, we go back home and look around and say “nah…” But this time was different. The house offered a lot more space than our current home, both inside and out. The mid-century architecture outside was the biggest draw, followed closely by the community. If we could just make the numbers work…

We talked about it for a week or two before we made any decisions. We knew it was going to be hard to leave this house. We ultimately decided to take a leap of faith and see if we could make it happen. Jason wrote up an offer with a contingency that we had to sell our current home first, even though it wasn’t on the market yet. After some back and forth, he negotiated us a great deal and the seller kindly agreed to work with us while we got our house listed for sale. Thanks to Jason’s real estate expertise, we had our house show-ready and beautifully photographed in just a few days. It hit the market and exploded with interest. We had three solid offers before he even planted a FOR SALE sign in the front yard. As hard as it is to say goodbye to this house, I’m excited for the new owners who have expressed how much they love the house and appreciate all the thought and work that went into the design.

And now the new adventure begins…

2017: Grow



I started out 2017 choosing Grow as my 2017 One Little Word as I was writing down some goals and dreams for the year. I want to grow as a wife, mother, friend, home educator, designer and I had some general ideas of how that might look. Four days into the new year I was laid off from my full time graphic design job, just a few weeks shy of a decade with the company. When I started out, I never expected to still be working there 10 years later. I had dreams of switching to all freelance but the safety net of a salary made it easier to stay, along with my bosses graciously allowing me to do most of my work from home. Ten years, three kids, five foster kids, three moves and the same faithful husband later; here I am. I’ve made the switch to all freelance graphic design work. I feel so…free! Occasionally scared. But mostly hopeful. I’m clinging to faith and trusting a good God who loves me and my family and will not forsake us. It’s pouring as I’m writing this and the Sara Groves’ song “Open My Hands” is playing in my head: I believe in a blessing I don’t understand/ I’ve seen rain fall on the wicked and the just/ Rain is no measure of His faithfulness/ He withholds no good thing from us/ No good thing, no good thing from us.

I haven’t blogged consistently in a while and I’m not sure if I will start back up now, but I wanted to write to update a few major life changes:

1. My freelance graphic design website is and it’s freshly up and running with some portfolio images.

2. I’ve reopened my Etsy shop selling midcentury modern and vintage collectibles along with a few graphic design creations. It’s now

3. I post frequently about my day-to-day with the kids, homeschooling, graphic design, vintage treasures, pretty pictures, etc. @mrsallbright on Instagram. A fraction of my photos there get pushed to my Facebook. I have a love-hate, mostly-hate, relationship with Facebook right now but I still love Instagram.

4. We’re still planning on building an investment property called Rosewood Heights House. It’s been a long time dream of ours and it’s slow going, but still going. I don’t have much to update currently while we’re waiting for a few essential pieces to fall into place. Follow @rosewoodheights on Instagram or Rosewood Heights House on Facebook to hear updates on our process.

5. Speaking of real estate, my husband Jason is rockstar. Literally, he’s a touring musician and recording artist, (currently working on his third album!) Also, he’s our rockstar real estate agent. When I lost my job/salary, he doubled down and has been working his tail off. I’m so proud of him, not just for how hard he works to serve his clients well and to provide for his family, but I really admire his integrity. There are some shady people running around in the real estate industry, who will tell people whatever they want to hear to get a listing or act like total jerks to other agents. Jason is perfect mix of hard working and highly motivated AND honest and moral. If you know of anyone moving to Nashville or within the area, we would be so honored if you would pass his name along. I’m his in-house assistant, designer and marketer.

Isaiah Jason – 1.5 Years Old


Last month Isaiah turned one-and-a-half. Our book-loving, vacuum-enthusiast, snuggle bug is such a special part of our family. In July, at 14 months old, he became a big brother. He’s very sweet and gentle with his baby sister. He gives JoJo soft kisses and pats her head. He likes to bring her pacifier to her, push her swing, turn on her bouncy seat music and carefully wipe drool off her chin. Ali is his best friend. He loves to follow her around and do whatever she’s doing. She plays really well with him most of the time. I’m glad our three kids have each other. Zay is still a Mama’s boy, which I love…except when he’s clinging to my legs while I’m trying to cook or walk. He loves his Daddy, too. He loves to watch Daddy work on projects and try to help or imitate him. His favorite show is Chuggington (about trains) and he also loves big trucks, sirens, dogs and dinosaurs. Zay is easy-going, affectionate, obedient, helpful and gentle most of the time. He has his toddler moments of frustration, of course, but overall he’s a very pleasant little guy. Well, big little guy. He’s still at the very top of the percentile charts for height. He’s wearing 2T clothes and size 7 shoes at 19 months.

Zay is talking a ton. He will repeat almost any word and even has some small sentences like, “A bite, please?” and “I love you.” He LOVES food. Especially popcorn and yogurt (which he still calls yo-yo). If he eats something he likes he nods and says “Yeah.” And then points and says, “Mo-ore peace” while still nodding. I love how he stretches 1-syllable words out, like “hayyer” for hair, “playyyat” for plate, “shoo-oo” for shoe, “deeyo” for deer. A couple of funny made up words we hear many times a day: Meeno is the name for his lovely that I call Snuggle Bunny. It’s also the word he uses for banana. Dee Dah is how he says thank you. I was teasing the other day that the way he says cracker (“tattoo”) sounds more like thank you than deeda. He was saying cookie last night and it sounded almost like turkey. He’s a goofball and he keeps us laughing with the funny things he says and his silly faces. I love his giggle.

I’m so glad God gave us a Zay-Zay. He is a precious gift to us. God knew how much our family needed him.

Pictures from July (14 months old) through November (18 months old):

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This is his default face…so frowny. Good thing he smiles a lot.

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He was excited about getting in the bath and forgot he was still dressed…


Checking on “Doh-Doh” (AKA JoJo, Doughy, Jojie)

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Josephine at 2 months & 3 months



September 13, 2016: Two months of Josephine. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long but at the same time we’re getting into routines and it almost seems like she’s always been here. She a proper third child: easy going, happy, quiet unless she needs fed or changed, great sleeper. She’s smiling easier now and cooing. Soon she’ll be giggling. We call her Jo, Joey, JoJo and Joey Lou most of the time. Ali says she’s her coconut and proudly introduces her to everyone we meet. Zay calls her YoYo. This past month he’s fallen in love with his baby sister and gives her kisses many times a day. I’m back to work and feeling mostly back to normal.

At 2 months she’s 12 lbs., 24″ long (98th percentile!), wearing size 1 diapers and 3m clothes.


October 13, 2016: Three months old. This month brought Jo’s first giggles. Daddy is the best at making her giggle, and got the first joyful sounds, but now she’s doing it for all of us. JoJo is seriously the best baby, which makes her a big-time trouble maker. She’s so sweet, squishy, snuggly, easy-going and she sleeps all night. I put her in the shared nursery with Zay for a couple of nights but I haven’t figured out a good morning solution yet, so I moved her back to our room for a bit longer. She’s got her own private suite in our closet. Eventually I’ll have to bite the bullet and move her back but for now we’re enjoying the sleepy mornings and I can usually get her fed before Zay starts calling for me. I think Joey is between 13-14 lbs. now, with the plump, kissable cheeks to prove it. She went on her first family road trip last weekend to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN. It’s a special place for our family as we go every fall when Jason plays there with Guy Penrod.


The end of the fourth trimester. I’m feeling pretty comfortable as a mother of three kids. Our days are falling into familiar routines, dictated mostly by feeding and nap times, but still with a fair amount of flexibility. I’m so thankful for friends who are willing to lend a hand while we’re out and about, usually chasing Zay while I’m feeding Jo or holding her while I help him. I’ve got most of my energy back and my body is mostly recovered from childbirth. I’m within 7 lbs. of  what I weighed before getting pregnant with Isaiah in summer 2014 but that matters less to me than the actual condition of my muscles. I still have back pain and I’m glad to know why; I still need to rebuild my core strength, specifically my abs. I asked my sister, who is an OB/GYN, how long it takes belly skin to go back to normal and she said six months, then you have “a new normal.” Last time around I got pregnant five months postpartum so that explains why I don’t remember; it was never all the way back. Three more months. Must do more sit ups…

Some favorite photos of Josephine from the past 2 months:

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