Being Fruitful


We haven’t planned many vegetables this year. Arugula. Romaine lettuce. Tomatoes. And tomatoes can technically be considered a fruit. But we have 3 strawberry plants, a black raspberry bush and a peach tree already established. This year we added 2 cherry trees and a pear (Black Tartarian Sweet Cherry and Stella Sweet Cherry to cross pollinate, and Keiffer Pear which is self-pollinating.) The new trees are pretty much just a twig with some leaves … we definitely won’t be getting any fruit from them this year.

(Unfinished side of the fence…) From left to right the arrows point to: cherry, peach, pear, cherry.

From the other end of the yard:

Our peach tree. Last year we had pests. The year before mold. We think we’ve solved both problems and we have really high hopes this year!


Phone Photo Friday


A Room in My Heart


Written originally on 3-17-11

I love how God communicates to his children. Sometimes He uses metaphors to bring revelation—sudden, clear understanding—to a complicated situation.

I read every comment that’s posted on my blog. Sometimes a new commenter catches my attention and I see a link posted back to his or her blog. Usually they are other similar home blogs. A few months ago I got a comment from my now BF (blog friend, hehe) K. Her blog name piqued my interest so I clicked on it. When I finally had the courage to write K an email a few weeks later, after spending hours reading her family’s story, I told her that finding her blog felt like God was opening a new door in my heart.

It’s become more and more clear that God is leading Jason and I into a new phase of our lives, a new adventure that will be exciting, difficult, wonderful, horrible and more important that anything we’ve ever done. I’ve been looking for God’s confirmation and guidance. This morning (3-17-11) He gave me a vision of what’s behind that door.

My God is a creator, a builder, an artist. It’s no surprise that He made his children also to be designers and inventors. And it’s also no surprise that He would use mid-century modern interior design—my hobby, (my specialty?), to speak to me about what He’s doing in my life right now. The current state of my heart is a result of nearly 27 years of building, designing, rearranging, decorating, spring cleaning and upgrading all done by the Master Designer. There are many different rooms, different dimensions that are purposeful and together form a unique house unlike any other. My heart.

Behind the newly discovered door is a room. The room was formed when I was a child. Back then it was just an empty shell. The structure was there but I had no idea what it’s purpose would be. Had I opened this door too soon I wouldn’t have made any sense of it; it wasn’t ready yet. In recent years, God has started filling that room up with furniture. He’s a collector. Some of the pieces in the room are vintage, sturdy, time-tested and reliable. Some of the pieces are new, never-used, and in perfect condition. The Master Designer pulls all the artful pieces together into one cohesive room, a space with a specific purpose, a beautiful mix of old and new.

When I cracked opened this door a few weeks ago and peaked into the room (figuratively…follow me?), my heart leapt! Where had this room come from? I hadn’t known it was here! My Father, who delights in giving good gifts to His children and who conceals matters for the joy of His kids finding them, had created a surprise for me. A dramatic room reveal. And yet, stepping into the room, I started to remember bits from my past. Yes, I remember when this room was built. I remember the time that piece was added, and that one. Yet, I had been completely oblivious to the beautifully designed space my Father was making in my heart.

This place in my heart is not for me, though. God has some specific people planned for it. I don’t know them yet but I long for them. Did you know you could miss someone you’ve never met? I long for them to fill this lovely room with their energy and joy. I, just like my Father, look forward to revealing this beautiful room to my future children. I long to see the delight on their faces when they discover what has already been created specifically for them, a place that no one can take from them, a place that’s safe and bright, a mix of past and present, a place to grow.

Jason and I also have a physical equivalent of this room in our house. It’s purpose is not clearly defined yet. It was an office, a guest room and now it’s a storage room. We call it the spare room. But, we have plans for this room. Design ideas. A mix of old and new. A safe, relaxing, functional and creative space for some littlies we only dream about.

Have I confused the heck out of you yet? Here’s the B&W:
Jason and I are becoming certified as foster parents!

5 Gallons


Guess who took advantage of Sherwin Williams’s 40% off sale last weekend?

You guessed it … We’re about to repaint the whole house. Almost. Master bedroom. Spare room. Living room. Kitchen. Dining Room.

In my unprofessional opinion, Sherwin Williams has the best color palettes of any paint brand. (Plus the Color Visualizer on their website is pretty cool.) We typically use Behr paint because it’s a bit cheaper but great quality. But 40%? That’s a good deal on some good paint.

In case anyone is wondering, it took us less than 30 minutes to decide on the 3 colors for those 5 rooms because we already knew what we wanted. White for the bedroom. Light gray for the spare room. White with a yellow-green accent wall for the living room – kitchen – dining room. After having NO white walls in the house for more than 4 years, we’re ready to go back to the basics.


Chalkboard Door: Before & After


Our house originally had lovely wood doors but when it was renovated (before we purchased it) everything was painted a fresh, clean white. At one point Jason thought he’d like to strip all the doors back to their original wood. These closet doors we were able to just flip around. After Jason started stripping the back of this door, in our spare bedroom, we quickly realized it was going to be more work than it was worth. Since this room belongs to our future kids, I thought it would be a fun solution to repaint the door with Rustoleum chalkboard paint. (Inspiration came from these closet doors.)

I suppose this not a true after because I haven’t actually tried the chalkboard yet. It’s supposed to cure for a couple days before chalk is applied to the whole surface. So really, it just looks like I painted the door black. But I had to blog about something, right?



After 5 days, the surface is supposed to be cured by rubbing a piece of chalk all over the surface of the door. Bye-bye crisp black door. This required an entire stick of chalk and made a huge dust mess!

The instructions say not to use water on the door yet and I don’t have an eraser so I wiped the whole surface with a dry rag. And tested it out. And then wiped it again.

When a full week has passed, it’s ok to use a damp cloth on the door. It didn’t return to the original black. I think it’s because of the rough texture of the paint. Also, I probably should have rinsed the rag and rewashed it several times but, eh.

I wrote my new favorite verse and manta of foster parenting on the back of the door. Writing on the door produced quite a bit of chalk dust on the door. I’m not happy about that. Maybe it’s the quality of the chalk? Or just the nature of the rough chalkboard? In general, though, I like this project and I don’t have any regrets.

Modern Wood Fence – Step 6: Almost Done…


When Jason and I had a rare Saturday together with nothing scheduled, we took advantage of the time to work like crazy trying to finish the fence. We got up early (a feat in itself) and worked up until evening when we had friends coming over for a dinner party. We were working so quickly and efficiently that I couldn’t stop and take pictures along the way. But I can tell you what we did. A lot more nailing planks, cutting planks, nailing planks and cutting planks. We just have one area left, near the deck:

When I came home from work one day last week I found Jason staining the fence with deck sealer. He was able to finish the inside but hasn’t had a chance to stain the outside yet.

This section (the one on the right) is especially dear to me. Why? Because I nailed it all by myself. After absorbing the shock of 5,000ish shots from the nail gun, Jason’s shoulder needed a break. While we waited for the ibuprofen to kick in so we could keep up our pace, I took over nailing a section. Clearly, I’m quite proud of myself.

Jason is definitely faster at though, and it’s hard work, especially above elbow height so I was happy to hand the gun back over to the boss. Here are some pictures of the rest of the fence which is mostly finished from the inside.

The last post against the house is a 2×4 that is not sunk into the ground. Eventually we’ll get around to anchoring it into the mortar of our brick house. For now, it’s wedged tightly enough that it’s holding the fence up straight.

Side note: this dogwood tree looks amazing this spring!

Side note: the bottom of the birdhouse is falling off. Thankfully no birds live there. Actually, that’s probably why no bird live there.

We’re really please with how it turned out. We still have some areas along the bottom that need closed up, in addition to more staining, finishing the area around the deck and adding 2 gates.


Step 1: InspirationStep 2: PlanningStep 3: PostsStep 4: Progress, Step 5: Transport


Phone Photo Friday


More Signs of Spring


I’m having a lazy blogging week (blame it on the new mattress…) so here are some pictures of spring around our back yard. We had a major spring storm on Monday and in the days following the grass has been so green, the flowers so intensely colorful and the sky so blue.


(Sorry for the weird dusky color going on here…)

Succulents. The tips of my boots. Lucy.

Dogwood Tree.

Surprise! And a little sneak peak of the fence. Jason was busy staining while I was snapping these pictures. Daylight was almost gone so I’ll be taking some more photos over the weekend for the next official Modern Wood Fence DIY update.

Bed Post


I’m writing this blog post from bed. Normally, I wouldn’t mention something like that but this happens to be a brand new mattress. After putting it off way too long, we decided to finally bite the bullet and buy a new mattress. A $50 Groupon for $200 off at Mattress Firm helped us narrow down where to do our shopping. We were pleasantly surprised by the not pushy salesman. The first mattress we tried ended up being our favorite even though we tried probably 6 others. And the salesman gave us a good deal; or at least made us feel like we were getting a good deal. We paid around $550 for a queen size Sealy Posturepedic Pillow Top. Feel free to let me know if we got ripped off but we’re feeling pretty good about it.

Oh, and it feels pretty good, too. It’s wonderfully comfortable for back sleeping. We both tend to be side sleepers and the extra padding of a pillow top (memory foam in this case) is better for side sleepers. Our one concern though—and it could be a deal breaker—it’s really hot. Does anyone else out there have experience with a pillow top or a memory foam mattress? It seems to really insulate body heat. We took our 3-in-1 down comforter to just the thinnest layer and we’re still waking up hot several times a night. Not cool. Literally. Please send advice! Will we get used to it?

Random side note: the delivery guys gave us a mint with our receipt. A little white package with the Mattress Firm logo on it. How dumb, I thought. Why a mint? When I finally tore it open after dinner last night, I realized it’s a pillow mint. Brilliant!

Modern Wood Fence – Step 5: Transport


I tricked you… my last update on the fence showed our progress of staining, nailing planks and troubleshooting and I said the next update would be more of the same. Jason and I worked really hard all day on Saturday trying to take advantage of a rare day off together and the gorgeous weather. We worked so fast that I didn’t stop to take a single picture. Except for this one of our last load of wood from Lowes.

These are our vehicles. We don’t have a truck, a van or an SUV. (Although we secretly wish we had a minivan!)  We have compact and mid-size sedans and we make them work. We lost track of how many roundtrips to the hardware store it took us to get all the wood for the fence. Probably around 7 or 8 trunk-loads.

Lowes was running a sale the past 5 days that was definitely working in our favor. With every transaction we were given a coupon for $10 off our next purchase of $50 or more. Each trunk-load cost approx $100 so we saved at least $30 this weekend with our last 3 trunk-loads. We weren’t planning that or trying to cheat their system, it just happened that way.

Pictures of the actual fence progress will be coming soon. We have a couple more sections to finish with planks, a few troubleshooting areas, some finishing details, 2 gates to make and a whole lotta staining left to do.


Step 1: InspirationStep 2: PlanningStep 3: Posts, Step 4: Progress