It's Growing!

After years and years of fighting our yard and how poorly done it was in the beginning I finally am seeing hope! We got rid of everything that was planted in the wrong spots and have been slowly but surely adding back in. I thought I would miss the big spruces that sat in front of the house, but I must say that I love how much it opened up the house. I planted hydrangeas in their place and hope to have them be more prominent next year.

In the back the climbing iceburg roses are doing quite nicely. My sweet papa and mama are building me a pergola for my birthday and I hope to have the roses cascade on top too. Back vinyl siding I will be rid of you yet!

We also have become quite fancy with our blow up pool. ha. It really is the best $30.00 we have spent. You can also see the new limelights are starting to fill in. They are just beginning to bloom now. Can't wait till next year when this will become a solid hydrangea wall.

The veggie beds are doing even better than I expected! They are becoming full and have produced a good deal. I also added zinnias for cutting and for pollinating. I just adore them.

This was the first tomato of the season. It's of the heirloom variety and tasted amazing. Even the kiddos who aren't too partial to tomatoes gobbled it up.

The lettuce is also supplying me with plenty of greens. I am not much of a salad person, but these are rather good. A simply drizzle of olive oil and balsamic is all they really need.

Although this has nothing to with my yard I wanted to share. The kiddos and I went to a nearby lake with one of my besties and her girls. We had the best time! It was a quick trip, but it re-energized me greatly. If you know me well I am not one to enjoy swimming all that much. I know enough to save a child, but that's about it. On this trip however I realized I needed to be "fun" so I climbed in. It was invigorating. Maybe I do enjoy the water more now that I am older. I love learning new things about myself. Even the Mr was proud when he saw my bravery.


On the Nightstand {good reads}

I love to read. It's an easy way for me to escape. A way for my mind to wander and for a bit lets me forget about the laundry that needs to be done and the work that needs to be accomplished. It almost gives me permission to be a tad lazy, because reading is good for us, right? These two are what I like to call easy reads. I finished them effortlessly and feel better for it. Shauna Niequist's book had me crying through the whole thing all the while laughing out loud which is hard for me to do. Her story, in which she shares, although hard is very common among women. I felt as if I was living these moments with her, but in reality I know its because I HAVE lived these moments before whether it was with myself or a friend. She even managed to spur my deep desire to cook again. Her book revolves around the truths of life and better yet the dinner table. She even shares recipes that are actually doable. We too have a dinner group that meets every week, we call it a small group in our church, but most of those days I leave it the Mr to grill something up or I make the exact same thing over and over. Maybe this week I will do something different! Amelia Lyons book was spot on. It's truly a story that spurs you forward toward a God given dream and purpose. How us women tend to want to do what's "right", but we may be getting it all wrong. How this can drive fear into us and a sense of falling. I know this feeling all too well. If you recall this past January I prayed through this with dedication and a need so deep it hurt. Prior to that I felt like I was in freefall. My simple life changed drastically when both KJ and Ellie went to school. This is simple for some, but for me it was earth shattering. I felt lost and wasn't sure what my role as a wife, mother, and woman of God was suppose to be in this new season of life. Needless to say I found quite a few things to keep me busy and maybe even a bit too busy. I am now finding the balance and the what is "right" for our life, but I no longer feel like I am falling. I am sure footed and moving forward. I constantly feel crazy and question it daily, but when God gave me an answer back in January I know it was the right one. All this to say Amelia's book Freefall to Fly embodies everything I felt, struggled with and feared. It was a good reminder on how far I have come and encouraged me to push forward to keep striving towards my God given purpose and to be okay with the change of every season. To not get caught up on the pretty that blogs, instagram, and magazines so easily impart, because somewhere out of frame is a mess that needs to be cleaned up and put back together.

All this to say I LOVE these books and they are a must read. To be honest I am sure I will be reading them both again before summer's end. Well, that will be when I get them back from lending them out.

Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist

Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons


Good Decisions

I hope you all are having a great week! Monday was the second shooting of an insurance commercial that was done in the house. It really is so much fun. They needed a home the was nice, but not rich looking. Ha. Ours fit the bill. Anyhow, during one of the shots a touch of color was needed in the background so I quickly went outside and cut a bouquet from the garden. I can not tell you how excited I was to be able to do this. Must say creating a small cutting garden was such a good decision. Now I am thinking BIGGER! Who needs a yard anyway? Ha. I hope you all have a great 4th!!!


Sharing a Source...

So today I thought I would share one of my favorite sources for Audubon prints. I have a set myself that I had framed, but have since split. You can see them hanging in the powder room. They were a perfect touch in order to make the current wallpaper work. I was more than happy to have another set framed when a client brought them to me to use in their future home. We are using them in the guest/study. They really are quite beautiful and the best part they are {for lack of a better word} cheap. Granted framing so many prints isn't the most economical, but thankfully I work with wholesalers that make this sort of thing much less expensive than any store ready art. I am sure I will be using these again some time soon. Next month I hope to get better pictures to share, but for now iPhone photos will have to do.


Being Black & White

I LOVE summer. I love having the kiddos home. I love the heat. I love eating outdoors. I love gardening. I love being able to sleep in-ish. Although I still love all these things, this summer has been a bit different. This is my first year working on top of our regular photography schedule  and being a so called stay at home mom. I tried my hardest to get everything coasting before school let out, but alas a few hold ups set me back. All this to say I now have two of the best design assistants out there. They have helped on mini-installs, deliveries, pick-ups and the choosing of many design elements. Is it easy? No, not in the least. I feel as though I am constantly juggling. Not in a bad way, but it is quite the balancing act.

The toughest part of the whole working with two kids in tow is keeping up with our own house. I have tried to do a good cleaning once a week with the help of them and then we do mini sessions throughout the week with the help of the Mr. It's all about keep up I have slowly learned. I can not even tell you how many loads of laundry I did yesterday. Oh, and there may have been a few times that I just sat in the middle of the floor and cried over it. Silly I know. Does this print not just say it all??? I think I should hang it predominantly.

 I have been adding in fun elements for the kiddos too. Don't worry there. I firmly believe in a lot of play. They are at a great age where they enjoy doing there own thing together outdoors thankfully, but to be honest it has been hard to balance. Although I believe I have said that already.

And, since I am being all black and white on the matter doesn't Celerie Kemble's book seem quite appropriate. She's pretty much the bee's knees. I wonder how she has balanced all? And to think her projects make mine look like drops in the bucket. Ha.

Oh, and don't get me wrong. I am enjoying the process of learning and designing immensely on most days. I just want ot do all parts of life well and I am just not sure what that takes. I am figuring it out though, slowly that is.