Friday, March 25, 2016

The Simple Life

The simple life. A phrase we hear often, but what does that really mean?  What does it mean to live a simple life?  I think the meaning can vary from family to family, and I also think it's quite personal.  I know I've mentioned several times on this blog and to people in person how badly I want "the simple life" and how I strive to get there.  

 

For me the simple life means living life more fully, on purpose, and at a slower pace.  I want to recognize and treasure the purpose and meaning in each moment of each day before I wake up one day and my children are grown and I ask myself, where did the time go?

 It's difficult.  It sounds like such an easy thing to do, but in today's world it's difficult.  I have to remember and make decisions each day based on how I want to live my life the way God intended, and not based on how the world encourages me to do so.


Our society makes us feel that success comes from our level of income, how much stuff we accumulate, what kind of car we drive, how many extra curricular activities we cram into our children's schedules, and more. The list goes on and on, but you get what I'm trying to say.  With so much pressure to conform to what the world says makes us successful and important, there is very little time left for anything. Anything that truly matters.

 

It's been nearly two years since we purchased our farm.  One of the things I loved most about the opportunity to raise our children on a farm was the idea of living the simple life, and having so many teachable moments scattered through out a typical day.  Our first year here was a whirlwind and anything but simple.  While our children adjusted well and never skipped a beat, I on the other hand was a basket case.  I couldn't rest a bit until everything was done, and that turned into way longer than I planned.  Is anything ever truly done when it comes to a house? Nope, who was I kidding?

  

Fast forward to today, and we are finally feeling settled.  More progress has been made on the farm, and I'm slowly getting the hang of farm life and all that it involves.  Our house, while far from "finished", feels like home and I've learned to be content and thankful for what I have today instead of constantly dreaming and planning the next thing.



Obtaining a simple life takes effort and a complete new way of thinking.  We have to decide what our goal is before we know where to begin in obtaining it.  For me, aiming for a more simple life means I want to be available for my children.  Less hustle and bustle all the time, and more time to slow down and smell the roses, ya know? Since when did that become a bad thing? Why are jammed packed schedules the thing to do now?  

It's important to me that I am the one, along with my husband of course, raising my children. I want to be the main influence in their life right now.  I want to be available to attend field trips, school parties, and gymnastics classes.  I want to be the one waiting at the end of the driveway each afternoon when the bus comes.  I want to be the one preparing their after school snacks and dinners at home as a family.  Those things are important to me.

  Does that mean less income for our household because I'm choosing to invest my time in our home and family? Yes, but I would much rather be investing in my children, than driving around a brand new car. God blessed us with these children, and we intend to do our very best at pleasing Him with how we raise them.  My husband's job doesn't allow him to be available as much as we would like right now, so we feel me being a stay at home/work from home mom is the best choice for us.  I'm so thankful for God's grace because while I strive to do my best, I know I make mistakes daily, but I'm quite sure there is no such thing as a perfect parent.  We just have to make decisions the best way we know how, and trust Him to guide us.  We are thinking about making the transition to homeschooling, but we are still uncertain if that's the path we are meant to take.  I'm praying for clarity.

I realize that these ideas are not ideal for everyone, and that's okay!  We don't all have to be the same! I'm just sharing our goals and priorities for our family, as this blog has become sort of my journal.  I know many working moms that are amazing mothers and do an amazing job with their kiddos. Some of the moms I look up to the most are mothers who work outside of the home, but again I'm only sharing what we feel is best for our family and our situation.

 

In addition to simplifying our schedules, we have also simplified our home and our finances and I can't tell you how freeing it is.  It's like huge weights have been lifted and I can actually breathe again.  I'll go into more detail on each of these in separate posts, because we are still on the journey!  I've read a couple of books that have really inspired me in these areas.  I have a brand new way of looking at our home, all our stuff, and the way we manage our money, and I can't wait to share that with you. I'm planning to do separate posts on these topics very soon as a follow up to this one.

 

For me a fresh mindset, a simplified schedule, a simplified home,  and simplified finances equals more freedom and time to focus on what matters the most. What do you value most and what are you doing to make those things a priority? I would love to hear your thoughts! Let's encourage one another!

Have a BLESSED day!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Real Life Update

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful week!  My little guy has been under the weather for the last couple of days so we have been spending time at home trying to rest.  He still loves to be held, especially when he is feeling bad, so that's pretty much all I accomplished, and I wouldn't have it any other way!  I did sneak in a couple of errands and a quick grocery trip today while my mom stayed with him.  I realized this morning that I had not really prepared a post for today, so I decided this week's post would just be a few random updates.  I snapped photos of our house in it's current state to share them with you.  No certain theme at all, just updated photos of our currently messy house.


We celebrated my husband's birthday last weekend.  Our little girl made this darling banner and proudly displayed it over the island in the kitchen so that daddy would be surprised when he came home from work.  He certainly was!  We still have it on display, and I'm not sure when I'll ever take it down. It's just so stinking cute and thoughtful!


Speaking of our kitchen, it's a bit of a mess right now and that's completely okay.  When your little one is sick and needs cuddles, the dishes can wait. Seriously.


As long as your coffee station is up and running, everything will be okay.
 

Our living room is the only room in our house with a TV, so sick days are pretty much spent in here.  On a side note, I have plans for a neat DIY project for the wall where the mirror is hanging.  The mirror is too small for the space, and we were recently given a vintage door that came from my husband's great grandmother's house, so I'm excited to incorporate it into this space.  No worries about the baby in the rocker, it's my daughter's baby doll, but doesn't he look real?? He gets mistaken for a real baby all the time, so I just wanted to throw that out there! Oh and do you see that card board box off to the side?


My son says it's really a space ship. ;) 
 

I actually did complete one cleaning task this week.  Our hallway floors got a good scrubbing and a fresh coat of Rejuvenate. It's the best wood floor restorer I've ever found, I love it!


We may be making the switch to homeschooling our children starting this fall.  If we do, I'm planning to turn the current playroom into our school room, and right now it looks like this.  I recently found this rug which I love, and switched the curtains to these light blocking ones from Lowe's. There is a lot of work to be done in this space, and I can't wait to share it once it's done and we know it's purpose.


And lastly I want to share with you a book I'm currently reading that has really helped me as a mom.  It's called The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson. I've been taking my time reading through each chapter and reading the Bible verses the author refers to as I go along.  This book has really challenged me and encouraged me so greatly!  I recommend it to any mama no matter what age your children may be!


That wraps up my random post. I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Have a BLESSED day!

You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest!

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Family Friendly Dining Space

It's Friday again, so that means it's time for another post! So far so good with my new blogging schedule!  This week has gone by so fast, and it's been a busy one for sure.  We are finally experiencing Spring like weather in our area and it has really got me motivated for Spring decor and yard work.  I finished packing up the remaining winter decor I had out this past weekend.  Before dragging out too much Spring stuff, I'd like to finish de-cluttering a few spaces throughout our house.  I started applying the Kon-Mari method of organizing to our home last summer, but slowed down a bit over the winter.  It's time to get back to that, and fast.

Today I thought I would share a space in our home that I haven't really shared yet, our dining space.  We have an eat-in kitchen rather than an actual dining room, which I love.  We are very casual, so this layout serves our family well!  I shared a glimpse of this space when I posted about our kitchen several months ago, but we don't even have that same table anymore, so it's definitely time for an update.


Our previous table was a counter height table, and I never really loved it.  My mother in law found our new table at an estate sale, and I couldn't be happier with it.  I painted the table white, and the chairs blue and gray.  I love having extra seating in case we have guests and I love the charm the set adds to our farmhouse.  I seem to always shy away from furniture that is too new looking.  I was sure to distress everything as I usually do, so any dings that our kid's add  just adds to the character.


The hutch was here when we moved in.  It fits the kitchen so well, so when I learned it was for sale we decided to purchase it.  I painted the backing white to brighten it up a little, but everything else stayed the same.  I love the contrast of wood toned pieces in light and airy spaces.


I filled the hutch with china given to me by Roby's grandmother along with a few crystal pieces she gave me as well.  I was so happy to unpack those boxes! I've had them for years, but never had a place to display them until now!


This view shows you how our dining space ties in with the rest of our kitchen.  I like to keep things casual, light, bright, and airy.  I seriously thought about clearing off the counters like I usually do before I snap blog photos, but I decided not to.  I love to style spaces for photos, but I've learned that by doing that I tend to mis-lead people into thinking that's how our house looks all the time. Not the case at all. So now you can see what our kitchen looks like on a typical day.  And this is when I consider it to be especially clean and tidy, which doesn't usually last long. :)


And lastly, the best part of this space is how we use it!  With the way my husband works, we rarely get to sit down together as a family for a meal, so we make it a priority when we are all home together on the weekends.  And yes, that Yoo-hoo is totally mine.


My how I love this crew!

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by for a visit.  I hope you have a fabulous weekend with the ones you love most!  I'll be back next Friday!

You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest!



Friday, March 4, 2016

Baby Lambs & Our Powder Room Makeover

 Happy Friday! I don't know about you guys, but I'm so ready for the weekend! I look forward to my husband being home and peaceful mornings where we don't have to be in a hurry to rush out the door.  These days we pretty much spend our weekends at home.  We are still in the middle of lambing season on the farm and we pretty much have to be here 24/7 right now.  This is my first year with sheep, and I can't believe how much I love it! It's a lot of work, but I'm continuing to learn, and our children are learning and getting experience right along with me.


If you follow along with me on Instagram you've seen a few of our new baby lambs. They are so precious!  We have one that we are bottle feeding, and that has been an experience in itself!

 

It's been a long time since I've posted an update on our farmhouse progress.  I've got plenty of catching up to do as far as sharing those projects.  Today I thought I would start by sharing our powder room.


Here's a shot of this space on closing day.  At the time it was functioning fine, so we didn't have any plans of renovating since we had so many other areas of the house that needed attention.


A few months later a pretty major leak changed those plans.  We ended up having to rip everything out and re-build the floor which led to us completely renovating the space.


It's been several months (I lost count exactly how long this reno actually took) but we now have a finished powder room that I'm not embarrassed for guests to use!



Roby's aunt gave us the vanity for free and my mom gave us the mirror.  By now everyone in our family knows to let me know if they are throwing something out!  I added new knobs for a fresh look. The patterned wallpaper is from Lowe's.  I chose a fun pattern for the top portion, and bead board for the lower portion separated by simple chair rail molding. Everything else received a few fresh coats of white paint.

 

I found the cute bird hook on Amazon, and the vase and eucalyptus are from Michael's.  The grain sack lavender sachets can be found in my Etsy shop. I love hanging these in our bathrooms.  Our bathrooms smell clean and fresh without having to use sprays or plug-ins, plus I love the added farmhouse charm the grain sack adds.

 

I filled the built-in shelves with things I already had, and I added a little table to hide a place in the wall paper that I messed up! :)


 Things like building a new subfloor, installing new flooring, and purchasing a new toilet drove the price up a bit on this project. As far as all the cosmetic stuff, I was able to keep the cost down by accepting hand me downs and refreshing them with paint Using wall paper and paint that I already had from previous projects helped too. We were really blessed to receive the vanity for free, but you can also find used ones at habitat storesSometimes all they need is paint and new hardware, so you can really save by shopping those kind of places first. Another option is to refresh the one you already have with paint and new hardware like we did in our other bathrooms. I purchased a few new accessories, but mostly I shopped my house for items to display.



I'm happy with the results, and so excited to cross this room off my project list!  I hope you all have a very blessed day and I'll be back next Friday with a new post! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!
  You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest!