Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our Living Space :)

When we moved into our new house I knew that I wanted everything to be light and bright.  Our previous home was like a cave... which was a beautiful thing when we didn't have a child and could sleep until noon!  We would keep our blinds shut, close the blackout curtains and just stay cooped up inside all day, not even knowing if the sun ever came out.  Well, as much as I loved that, I knew I was ready for a change.  Gone are the days of sleeping until noon and tricking a little girl into sleeping when the sun is out.  

Plus our new house has lots of windows and tall ceilings, so we might as well roll with it!  We had it painted a VERY neutral color... Jared double/triple/quadruple checked with me before the painters bought the new paint because I've never chosen such a light color before.  I actually love the simplicity of it and how it just looks fresh and clean.  It was previously a green color, which didn't flow well with all of the aqua accents I had bought :)

When you walk in our front door this is what you see.  I love the staircase and see lots of family pictures there in our future.  I take Joelle's picture in that exact spot at least 3 times a week.  She knows the drill by now :)
 I kept all of our previous furniture... it's just a mix of colors/materials/tones which  I really like.  I didn't want everything to be all matchy-matchy.  As you can see, I brought in a lot of aqua, white, and wood tones to decorate.  If I see anything in those shades then I scoop it up immediately!

Don't you just love all those wires behind the TV???  They drive me CRAZY!  Hiding those is on my summer to-do list, that's for sure!
I think what I love most about our house is that I can easily change out decorations throughout the years if I get tired of the color scheme.  All of my furniture and large pieces are neutral, so swapping out decor will be easy as pie!
Our kitchen and breakfast area is right behind our living room.  I love that I'm able to cook and clean, but still be with my family whether they are watching TV or playing.  We took a trip to Ikea for our table/chairs, and we walked away with so many good bargains!  I don't go very often, but when I go I make sure we buy everything we could possibly need!!  Our light fixture is one of my favorite new pieces.  It's from Paul Michael... such a gem of a store!
 I absolutely LOVE my kitchen.  I love how open it is.  I love all the cabinet space.  
 Most of my accessories came from Paul Michael, Target, Home Goods, and Hobby Lobby.  Sometimes I wonder if I went a little too overboard with the blue, but I *think* it all works together.  I'm still getting used to it since I had more warm tones previously... I parted from all my red, brown, and green pieces just to try something new!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Fishermen!

When I married Jared it was very clear that he was a resort vacationer... golfing, nice hotels, steak dinners, etc.  He had never really been camping, hunting, or fishing.  And, quite frankly, I was good with that.  I'm up for being pampered or relaxing at any time.  No complaints here!

Well, last week Jared randomly went fishing.  Some of our high school boys are quite the fishermen, so he was trying to get in their element.  Boy bonding time I guess.

And then he was hooked {pun most definitely intended}.  Joelle pretty much loves anything and everything.  She isn't hard to please or entertain.  But, fishing is especially fun for her because it is something she's been around all of her life.  She grew up in a fishing town, and has been eating the slimy creatures for years.  So, really the fishing thing is a win/win for all!

It took a few fishing trips to be successful, but you can hardly stop the duo now!  They caught between 8-10 fish just tonight!

 Every time they reel one in it's like a party in the paddle boat!
 I took part in the action tonight and caught one for myself :)  Normally I just watch or take in the nice scenery, but it was fun to reel that sucker in!

 This was her first true catch so a kiss was a necessity :)
 So, I'd say I have a pretty cute little fisherman on my hands!  Here's to new ventures... livin' the country life ;)  We will still be sleeping in nice hotels, but our fishing poles may make the packing list from now on!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Papa's Day to THE Best!

You know that guy that comes in and steals the show, gets all the credit, and heals all pain after a long day with your kiddos?  The one who opens the garage door and all of a sudden all activities stop because HE is home?  The guy who wrestles before bed, helps get the clothes dirty, and could serve donuts for breakfast every single morning?  You know who I'm talkin' about... the guy who could do no wrong and knows how to conquer all in the eyes of your child.

That's right... it's daddy!  Or, in my house... Papa!

I could not be more thankful for having a husband that is also 100% a papa.  He is Joelle's best buddy, her hero, and her biggest fan.  He's a swim teacher, soccer coach, gymnastics cheerleader, storyteller, Bible teacher, chauffeur, breakfast cook, activity planner, cuddle bug, tooth-brusher, hair fixer, and as of late fishing partner... he's just that kind of guy.  When I say he does it all, I'm not exaggerating.  He loves harder than anyone else, yet disciplines when needed.  He is our calm in the storm, and definitely evens my crazy-self out.

And, he for sure has Joelle's heart.  
Not only is he the BEST Papa to Joelle, he's also constantly advocating for our current adoption.  Our little boy that is thousands of miles away has a Papa that is praying for him, filling out endless amounts of paperwork, constantly checking emails for updates, making phone calls, and will be the driving force that helps us one day bring him home.

I couldn't ask for more, and I wouldn't trade him for all the money in the world.  We'd be lost without that guy because FOR SURE, he's the best Papa around!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Peek at the Playroom!

Jared and I absolutely loved our previous home.  We thought we would never move.  We actually had several conversations about that being the house that we would grow old in.  We had done a little remodeling... the floors, paint, backyard, lighting fixtures, etc.  The only thing we had left to do was remodel our master bathroom... then it would have been the home we had always wanted.  Well, we realized quickly that any money we spent would just be for our pure pleasure because we would never get that money back if we ever needed to sell.  So, before ripping our bathroom to shreds, we randomly started looking at houses.  We would go back and forth about whether to stay or sell.  This went on for a few months until I randomly came across a house for sale in a neighborhood nearby.  As soon as we walked in I fell in love...truly, madly, deeply in love.  It had the extra space we were looking for, a larger backyard, a few upgrades, and a playroom that was tucked upstairs.  Now, I love my daughter, and I really want her to play with toys... like really bad.  But, I despise having toys in my living room.  Call me no fun and a bad mom... I'm okay with that!  I'm a bit of a control freak, but I'm fully well aware!

My imagination started to go wild with ideas for the playroom.  It's a room where you can do fun and whimsy and pretty much anything goes.  You can use bright colors and crazy patterns because... it's a playroom!  That was the very first room that I tackled, but the very last to "complete" {I put that in quotations because I'm more than likely not finished ;)}.  I actually just finished adding a few touches tonight!

Now, I'm no interior designer, and I don't claim to have mad-decorating skills, but I did have fun with this room, so I thought I'd give ya a little tour!

When you walk upstairs this is the room that really grounds the other rooms.  It's the anchor, and I love that!  The media room and all spare bedrooms are off of this room.  It's large and perfect for playing, wrestling, working out, or reading a good book!

We had all of the furniture in other rooms at our previous home.  Bringing all of our black pieces together in the playroom really helped us save a lot of money!

This cube storage unit came from Ikea years ago, but I'm sure they still have them.  The white bins are from Ikea also, and they hold a lot of Joelle's toys.  I put a bunch of colorful frames, small stuffed animals, and a few toys in the empty cubes for display.  The colorful, chunky frames are from Hobby Lobby.
I had this daybed in one of our guest rooms in our last house.  Since our family is growing and we need beds for our kiddos, I knew we wouldn't need this as a bed.  But, I just couldn't get rid of it and then spend tons on a couch for the playroom.  So, I decided to try and make it look more couch-like.  The daybed is from Pier One (here's one that is similar) and all of the bedding, pillows, and wall art is from Ikea.
Ikea is definitely the place to shop if you want your dollar to go far!
My favorite two elements in this room... the curtains from Urban Outfitters and teepee from Land of Nod.  I had been eyeing these curtains for a couple of years.  Originally I wanted them for Joelle's room, but they were a little too busy.  But, the playroom was the perfect place for those jewels!

There is an area in the playroom that is tucked away and kind of separate from the rest of the space.  I put these chairs that we bought from Garden Ridge years ago, and they fit perfectly!  
So, there you have it... that's our playroom.  And, if I'm being quite honest... although it's my favorite room in the house, it is used the least right now.  I'm really working on Joelle playing up there more, and looking forward to the day when little brother comes so they can entertain each other!!!
Oh, and you may have spied this quilt in the pictures.  Jared had this made for my birthday.  He gathered my old cheerleading uniforms and had them made into a quilt.  It was such a thoughtful gift (Jared's a keeper, that's for sure!).  I plan to hang in on one of the walls in the playroom soon!  Sewful Creations did a perfect job, and I adore it!

Monday, May 12, 2014

We've got a Big Sis in the house!

Things only actually become "official" if you tell the internet world, so I guess that means it's about time to tell y'all that...

Joelle is a Big Sister now!

Here are some of the outtakes from our little photo session in our backyard.  I think they all capture her spunky personality pretty well!  And, apparently having a sibling deserves a thumbs down.  That's pretty much my life right there, folks!
We have a little boy waiting on the other side of the world for us.  We've been looking at his sweet picture for about 6 months already, and it will probably be quite some time before we get to meet him in person.  Until that day comes, we will continue to pray for his health, safety, and well-being.  We would LOVE for you to pray with us!
As the adoption process becomes more clear and we have more answers, we hope to share with you what our little boy is like and the ups and downs of our new journey!  For now, just know that he is the most precious little thing that ya ever will see.  And, he has our hearts already!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Dining with the Characters

When we decided to go to Disney, we had a lot of catching up to do with Joelle in terms of exposing her to Disney movies.  For the past couple of weeks we've been pretty much doing a Disney marathon.  We agreed that everything would make a little more sense if she knew who all the characters were when we saw them.  I mean, if you are going to go to Disney- you might as well understand what's going on!  So, we scoured online shops for every movie we could get our hands on (don't even get me started on how hard it is to purchase movies because of the dadgum Disney vault). 

The hours of movie watching SO paid off... she was in awe every time we came across someone new.  She was pretty much starstruck :)  We especially had fun dining with several of our favorites!  

Lunch in Cinderella's castle was so special.  Everywhere we looked we saw a new princess.  The food was pretty yummy, too!
Breakfast with the Disney Junior characters was a blast also!  We just adore Doc McStuffins, so we all had a great time there :)
 We saved meeting Mickey for our very last night.  Joelle was starting to wonder where he was and why she hadn't taken a picture with him yet!!  It was so fun to surprise her... and the kiss on his nose says it all!
If you go to Disney you just have to do at least one special meal!  Totally worth the money seeing the look on Joelle's face!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

What Joelle Wore :)

Let's talk about what's important... Joelle's Disney wardrobe.

Did I go overboard.

Probably so.

Some (particularly a man named Jared Lemons) may say I have a shopping problem.  

I like to think of it more as a hobby than as a problem. 

And, I love a theme.  I love a holiday shirt, a party theme, any reason to buy a new outfit pretty much.  So, why should going to Disney be any different??  Let's break it down.

First up... the outfits from Bella Grace Creations.  I bought the Tinkerbell outfit and Cinderella shirt.  They also have tons of other cute stuff!!
 
I also had new jammies every night for Joelle... she's going up in a size so she needed new pajamas anyways.  I bought all of them on clearance through the Disney Store.

  

Joelle has tons of princess dress-up clothes.  We could have easily slipped those on to take pictures, but I didn't want to carry them around with us (Joelle walked though the parks, we didn't use a stroller).  AND, it was hot during the day... who wants a whiny kid that is itchy and hot... not me!!  So, I found these PERFECT princess shirts that had just the right embellishments and the comfort for a hot day.  They are basically jazzed up t-shirts.  I *kinda* wish I had bought all of the ones she has in her shop!  They are from an Etsy shop called The Female Touch.
  I can't even tell you how many compliments we got on these shirts.  Jo got stopped by random strangers who played along like she was an actual princess.  It was such a hoot!
 To make things a little more special and magical, I kept all of these outfits a surprise.   She woke up to her outfit and sometimes a little present.  I bought a few goodies beforehand because I knew the toys at Disney would be pricey.  In effort to save a little money, I planned ahead as much as possible!
 Do you Zulilly??  I have a thing for daily deals... like I can't get enough.  I feel the NEED to buy them immediately because they are for a limited time only (ha!!).  I think they market people like me.  I bought Joelle several little Disney t-shirts on the cheap plus this super cute shirt from Bourbon Street Boutique.
 For our final night Joelle wore this very fun dress from Chloe Belle's Closet.  She's my go-to Etsy designer.  I just love her style and all of the personal touches.
And all of her bows came from One Stop Bow Shop.  I will more than likely never make a bow again because I am in LOVE with her bows.  They are such great quality and she has so many options!

I think that about covers it!  She'll let me dress her when she's a teenager, right?!!