Phone Photo Friday


Happy Birthday, Mama!


Today is my mama’s birthday. I love my mama! I aspire to be as generous a mother as she is and always has been with her love, time, help, advice, friendship and prayers. I hope to never take for granted how blessed I am to live close enough that we can grab lunch, meet for dinner, go for a swim or a walk, or plan a shopping date whenever we feel like it … I don’t know many people in Nashville whose parents live close (it’s a city of transplants for the most part) and I’m very grateful for it.

Here’s a picture from Easter Sunday of my mama with my niece Eliza. She’s going to be an awesome Memaw!

I love you, Mama! Glad we can celebrate together tonight.

Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Floor Plan


The Challenge:
Gender neutral:
We are choosing to be prepared for a boy or a girl
Age range: We are choosing to be prepared for newborn through age 5
Two?: We may consider taking a sibling set of 2. And/or we might have a child biological in the midst of this foster parenting adventure.

The Space:
Our kids room is only 10’x11′. But… I love living in a smallish house and the design challenges that require creative solutions. (See cloffice.) Knowing that we want to fit a crib and a big kid bed in the same room, I’m planning on getting a SOMNAT crib (2.5’x4.5″) and a KURA twin bed (3.5’x6.5′) that can be flipped over into a loft/bunk bed, both from IKEA. We already have a sturdy vintage 2 drawer nightstand and a vintage yellow table lamp. We plan to add a 4×6 rug, a chair for reading books, shelves and a changing table height dresser (maybe IKEA MALM if we can’t find a vintage option).

The Configuration:
Key: gray box is the 4×6 rug; green circle is a footstool, KURA is the twin bed, blue box SOMNAT is the crib, the white box with yellow circle and blue/gray oval is the painted nightstand with the yellow lamp and CD player, RIBBA are picture ledges from IKEA that we’ll use as book shelves, light blue box is a floor-length mirror, MALM is a short dresser from IKEA or better yet—a mid-century walnut or teak one. The left side, bottom is where the double, sliding-door closet is located.

Idea 1: My original solution. I taped out the beds on the floor, placed a chair and the little nightstand and it feels like there is very little floor space.

Idea 2: I like this but I have a feeling putting the twin bed and crib up against each other won’t work if we have 2 kids sharing this space. (I’m thinking older kid dropping things on the baby.) But… could be great if we just have 1 at a time.

Idea 3: I like how this opens up some floor space but the dresser backed up against the end of the crib makes me a little nervous. Plus the drawers would open right into the doorway. I’d have to see this one in person to be convinced.

Idea 4: Dresser, bookshelves and rocking chair are too crowded.

Idea 5: Put a changing table height dresser in the closet. This might work but we’ll lose a lot of closet space. Currently this closet is 1/2 space for kid stuff and 1/2 adult stuff (file cabinet, coats, box of winter accessories and games.)

Idea 6: Almost there with this one but I feel like the dresser would crowd the crib into the corner too much and make the reading nook feel closed off.

Idea 7: I think this is the winner! My only concern with this was having the twin bed in front of the window but we decided this should be fine. It’s at the foot end of the bed anyway. This floor plan allows for the biggest open area of play space on the floor. Yay!

Phone Home Home Phone


When I first found out that we have to have a land line home phone available for our foster children to use, I was excited to go out and find a retro one like this. It’s $40, looks like it’s mid-century but it’s all new digital technology:

Then I remembered these really cool clear trimline phones from the early 90s that light up when they ring. My big brother used to have one but I searched my parents house and it’s no where to be found. I read here that Urban Outfitters was selling them last year for $28 but they’re not available anymore. Boo.

Then, we talked about it in class with an experience resource parent and realized that we should get one with a speaker phone. And while we’re at it, you can get a pretty fancy digital cordless phone for less than $20. So much for retro-cool.

Anyone have any suggestions for land line phone service? It costs $25 a month to add phone service to our AT&T Uverse internet service. Not a huge chunk of change but it still seems like a waste of money to me. Requirements are requirements, though.

Help me out here, readers. Do you still have a home phone? If you have a cell phone, why? How much do you pay a month for service?

CBB 3.0 — Update (exterior)


Sorry it’s been a whole month since I’ve last updated you on the progress of CBB 3.0 – the reconstruction of our friends’ fully remodeled house that was destroyed in the Nashville flood of May 2010. The siding was put up, inspired by the design of Shelby Bottoms Nature Center.

Garage is below the house with a double door at the back.

Deck off the back of the house.

Front left corner of the house.

Triple window is in the dining room with a door that leads out to the deck. The next room over to the left is the living room.

Choosing paint colors. They wanted a light gray. The one they chose is Sherwin Williams First Star.

In daylight… it just looks like white. There will be decking leading up to the front door. Right now it looks kind of funny with the front door (set back) just hanging out up there.

I LOVE how the back of the house looks!

LOTS of people have been slowing down on their way past and lots of nosey neighbors has been showing themselves around the property. (Seriously, who does that?!) One fella even stopped and asked, “What kind of house is that?” Jeremy was a little offended. A house that people live in. A family house? Jason answered, “A modern house.” To which the guy replied, “I like it!”

Moving Movies Monday


I had a wonderful weekend with family and friends, celebrating the resurrection of my Savior! I hope you did, too. There is so much that I’m thankful for. We watched this video at the end of our church service. It was very moving to me and I couldn’t help crying like a baby by the end of it. That’s my King! Either you know Him or you don’t. And if you do, it changes everything.

This second video is from Thursday night where Jason and his buddy Jonathan Crone were playing an original acoustic guitar duet of “Nothing But The Blood” at a concert up in Adrian, Michigan. My wifey-heart swells with pride when I hear this beautiful conposition. They originally arranged it for a Christmas celebration at our church back in December and I was busting with pride then too. I made sure I was the first one up outta my seat to give them a standing ovation and a whooping cheer, and I was quickly joined by the rest of the crowd. I’m thoroughly amazed by my husband’s talent. I can say that, right? The picture quality is not great (Jason Ahlbrandt on the left, Jonathan on the right) but the audio is clear.

Happy Friday!


Taking a break from Phone Photo Friday to let you know that I updated the post on the chalkboard door to show an after-after and report actually using the chalkboard.

Happy Good Friday!