Saturday, April 30, 2016

Play Room Tour

Hello Everybody!  Since buying our house over a year ago, most of the rooms have already changed a bit...for the better ;)  We've discovered that some things need to be moved, used, filled, or simply out of the house.

The playroom is no exception.  Especially after living down here for a month due to our dishwasher flooding (and hence new main level floors!), I knew that some things weren't functioning as well as they could for the kiddos.

At first, the two expedit shelves on the left of the fireplace were separated one on each side.  Would have been great if the girls were using them as reading benches, but their tops just ended up catching large toys and taking up too much space.  Hence, the new layout which is so much more useful for them!

The big TV is wonderful in here for the occasional viewing of Paw Patrol.  We aren't huge TV people, so we don't have one on our main floor.  But, this is great when Mama needs a break in her nearby scrapbooking room!

The IKEA RUG has been a blast to use as a colour learning toy - we often make up twister-like games with it.

I absolutely LOVE this art that I got here:
Katie Daisy is the Oregonian artist, and this colourful work completes this room!

I bought a bunch of cheap second hand frames (and two open ones from Micheal's), painted them with acylic paints I had laying around and strung art across them...voila!  An art wall :)

These curtains were originally duvet covers from I got 6 panels of fabric for only $45!  Woo hoo!  Thanks to a friend who helped when my machine made me ANGRY ;)  I still hate sewing...

Organized the many bins with pictures of what's inside and letter stickers...easy and hopefully helpful to my pre-literate children.

Lastly, a few of the reading nook area - it's a bit messy right now as the girls' have used the chair for a fort, and there's a pile of tiles that are about to be installed in my husband's office...but, ya know I would never get things photographed "perfectly" around here!

These letters are carved from books!  HAD TO HAVE!

Thanks for looking friends!  Hopefully your kiddos will come over and play with us sometime ;)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Do we have to forgive the unrepentant?

Do we have to forgive someone who is not repentant?

(First, two quick definitions:
Forgive: To give up resentment against or stop wanting to punish someone for a perceived or real offense.
Repent: To feel remorse for wrongdoing, and to change one’s mind and behavior regarding it.)

This is a question that is heavily weighing on me these days…and I have researched and read…book upon book, blog post upon blog post.

I’ve heard good arguments in the “yes” category, and equally good arguments in the “no” category.

So…which answer do I embrace as my own?  Let me give a brief overview of some of the Biblical evidence put forth before the jury:

-       God didn’t forgive people in the bible who didn’t repent of their sins
-       Only people who have repented of their sins will be saved
-       We are to forgive as Christ forgave; so if he didn’t forgive the unrepentant, we don’t have to either
-       We still have to treat our trespassers with kindness and love, but we don’t actually have to forgive them.  Instead, we hand them over to the wrath of God to have Him deal with them.

-       Christ actually DID forgive people who didn’t repent (for example, the people who were crucifying him.  This is rebutted by camp “NO” by saying that Jesus actually hands them over to God the Father to deal with them.)
-       We are told to forgive many times in the bible without the added qualifier of “those who repent.”
-       We can forgive people but still have healthy boundaries in place especially if the person isn’t willing to change their behavior (separating the concept of “forgiveness” and “reconciliation”)

There are countless Bible verses to support BOTH CAMPS.  So…here’s the conclusion I have come to (ready….drum roll…)


Instead of asking “do we have to” (ie. What is required of me?), how about we ask, “Is it BEST to forgive, or is it BEST not to?”

WHAT IS THE BEST CHOICE?  To forgive anyone and everyone whether they repent or not?  Or, to keep a score card of those who actually repent and those who allegedly do not and then try to play judge under these arguments?

My (wise beyond her years) little sister once said, “I think that personal growth is all about doing whichever thing placed before us is the most difficult.”  She’s right!  The hardest thing is to choose to forgive someone no matter what – to forgive the person who has no intention of changing their ways, to forgive the person who continues to do wrong, to forgive the person who is dead and unable to make amends, to forgive myself and pull up my bootstraps and try to do better next time even though I will probably fail.

Because, in my humble opinion, I cannot even possibly repent for all of my wrongdoings!  I don’t even know all of them!  I rest believing that Christ’s blood covers all of my sins – even the ones I am not aware of and therefore cannot repent of yet.  Yes, I have a stance of willingness toward His Spirit to change me and mold me – and therefore, people would argue I am repentant – but I still am not completely self-aware.

As we are not aware of our wrongs toward other people at all times, so they also are not aware of their wrongs toward us at all times. And, even if we bring a wrong to their attention, THEY MAY SIMPLY BE INCAPABLE of changing their behavior.  Yes, the drunken abusive man may not actually be able to get sober today; the gossiping “friend” may not be able to stop her habit today; the snippy coworker may not be able to improve her manners today; and on and on the list goes.

But, it is still the BEST choice to forgive!

Why?  Why is it best?  Because, what other choice do we have?  To sit and be angry?  To allow the wrong doings of another person to fill us with hatred?  To become darkened as they are?  To begin the vicious and fruitless cycle of seeking revenge? No thanks.

Yes, it is BEST to choose to be free from the weight and the burden of keeping score, of holding the wrongs that someone has committed against them.   I would rather experience lightness of heart, freedom to love, generosity of spirit, then to carry judgment as a shackle.  I would also prefer to be in charge of this state of myself, instead of having to be prisoner to another person's repentance of their behavior.  Healing is in my own hands this way, and not dependent on anyone else.

I would like to clarify also that I do not think that forgiveness is the same as continuing to put oneself in an unnecessary position of experiencing wrongs.  You don’t have to stay in an abusive home.  You don’t have to continue to tell the gossiping friend about your life (or even be her friend).  You don’t have to listen to the snippy coworker – or you could even get another job.  You might be truly “stuck,” or you might just think you are.

You also do not always have to give someone the power to hurt you!  You can make the deliberate choice to say that a person no longer has such permission to control how you feel.  They can behave as they wish, they can say what they will, and you can simply recognize that their behavior and words are a reflection of THEM, not YOU.

Last point against the "NO" camp: if we are to "hand our trespassers over to God" and let them deal with His wrath, aren't we just eagerly awaiting revenge?  I mean, maybe I am more sinful then the next person, but when I think about that concept it makes me feel super self-justified and excited that the people who have hurt and wronged me will get their due! Yes, we need to recognize that perfect justice will not happen on this earth; so why not choose forgiveness since it's not going to be "all fair" now anyway?

I have much more to say about this, but I’ll address more topics on this later.  For now, I think I have answered this one question well enough so that I can go to sleep now ;)

Upcoming Topics:
- Forgiveness and Reconciliation (in relationships with others and also in our relationship with God) are not the same things
- Boundaries: can they coexist with forgiveness?
- The process of forgiveness: how do we do it?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Christmas Home Tour - Part 1

Super excited to share some pictures of parts of our home all dressed up for Christmas.  Believe it or not, as much as I love decorating, my husband also loves the decorations (once they’re up!)  He is the advocate to do just one…more…tree this year ;) 

I’ll show you the three areas that are all spruced: the great room, our master bedroom, and the landing upstairs.  The formal front room (with the BIG tree) will come later.

I hope you all enjoy – thank you for stopping by!

Kitchen: kept it simple with a wreath above the stove, a garland over the big window, and gift wrapping the usual art.  I think it’s pretty and classic J  Probably will choose different gift wrap next year, as I don’t love the kraft colour of the paper against our paint colour (BM Rockport Grey).

Living Room: This is our new tree!  We went with red, gold, and burlap for this room.  Definitely need to continue collecting things to make this room work better, but it’s a play space for now.  It’s where we spend a lot of time so I wanted the nativity to be the thought-provoking centre of it all.  Still debating on maybe doing some paintings for the space on the wall to the left of the mantle…we’ll see!

And just a little pic to give you a sneak peek of what is "really" underneath all those beautiful pictures ;)  haha!  We do live here!

Master Bedroom: purple and silver, just like always J  Romantic and calming – we love it here!

Landing: this little spot is where the bedtime stories get read, and the chasing around in the evening to get teeth brushed happens.  It’s an added bonus space and white with more white is what I went with here.  Love trying out different colours and styles around the house!  We used feather boas a lot in this area (cheap and pretty!) – and thank you Alyssa for the awesome wreath that now drapes over the scrapbook shelf.

 Thanks again for stopping by - will show you more when it's done :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Baby Is ONE


Today is a big day in my world: it's my baby girl's first birthday.  She couldn't care less - to her it's just another day that also happens to involve chewing on bright gift bows and smearing around cupcake frosting.

But, for me, it's a big deal.

This year has been the most overwhelming year of my life.  There have been sleepless nights followed by extreme fatigue.  There have been moments when I've wanted to just come unraveled...and I almost have.  There have been countless prayers that sounded like this, "Please.  Just.  Help.  Me."  There have been so many days where I just did my best to make it through the morning to nap time...and then through the afternoon to bed time.  Headaches.  Viruses.  Colds and flues.  Baby has even had pneumonia and a couple of ER visits.


There's just nothing easy about parenting.  To say it's exhausting is putting it mildly.  Having one child was manageble for me.  Having two children has been one big blur.

A foggy mess of memories...with lots of pictures since I was only half awake. Instead of focusing on the laying on the couch while Annelise naps and Evalie watches a movie kind of moments, I want to hold on to THESE moments:


- the way that Annelise lights up EVERY time I come into the room; she waves her arms and grins
- that special strong sister bond that Evalie and Annelise share
- how Annelise is so grossed out by our dog Jolie and really doesn't want anything to do with her
- what a good breastfeeder and then eater Annelise has been
- hearing her first coos, then mumbles, and now word-ish sounds
- her love of music and the way she rocks left and right and dances when it's on
- the countless smiles she has put on strangers faces by smiling at them in public
- her head resting on my shoulder and pressing into my chest for cuddles
- sneaking in to watch her breathe in the middle of the night, but always waking her up on accident
- the sounds she makes when sucking a bottle or a bag of baby food
- the softness of her perfect skin; unburdened by diaper rashes and sensitivities
- tiny feet that seem too small to hold her up as she learns to walk

My love for Annelise Virginia has grown steadily since the day I first held touched her wet head and pulled her shoulders from my own body and placed her on my chest...That moment changed my life forever.  THANK YOU SWEET BABY FOR THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE!

(See it all on the Cradled Creations link here:)


Monday, January 12, 2015

House Pictures!

Sorry it's taken me so long - here's a little tour of a few of the rooms in our new house!  Rarely are things very tidy around here these it's taken me quite a while to have a moment to grab my camera and snap!  Also, excuse the Valentine's Day decorations lol ;)


A few pretty touches - a shadow box of her take home outfit, a little statue my mama bought her (they're the same ones she got me as a child!), a personalized jewelry box from our friend Katrina.

Main paint colour is BM Grey Mist...really more like an off white with a dab of greyish.  It was the perfect colour to tone down the very yellow "vintage white" furniture yet not turn yellow itself with the purple accent stripe. 

I painted the accent stripe using the new scallop frog tape - so cool!  Made the name with decoupaging wooden letters.  Lighting is from home depot.  Furniture is by Munire (Savanah line - HIGHLY recommend this company for their customer service and excellent product!)

Lastly, the blessing we say to her every night.  Got the idea from the book "The Blessing" by John Trent.


Main paint colour is BM Revere Pewter with accent wall of BM Bridal Pink (requires a LOT LOT LOT of coats - and USE A PRIMER even if your paint is the best there is.)

Lace banner by my dear friend Alyssa.  Photography by the amazing Jaydene Freud of Cradle Creations, Abbotsford.  Lighting is again from Home Depot.

Curtains from Restoration Hardware.  Vintage doilies were my crafty touch ;)

Furniture by Bratt Decor.  Art work by Lindsay Letters (LOVE HER STUFF!)  Used ikea metal bars on the wall to hang special handmade blankets (thanks Auntie Jenn!)


Stuck with a simple black and white damask scheme (from years ago!) and brought in a touch of green.  Walls are "Folly" by Behr.  Curtains are...WALMART of all places!  Lighting is from Tiffany Lighting through Joss and Main online.

If you come to visit, you get your own bathroom!  I'm thinking about painting the end tables in a crisp fresh white instead of the creamy colour that they are.


We wanted this room to be a bit more formal and elegant, but also not too heavy on furniture so that our formal dining room can expand here when needed.  We still wanted it warm and inviting, so we added the blanket ladder in the corner.

The wallpaper is a stock line at our local Benjamin Moore store, so it didn't take nine months to custom order (like our last house!)  Google "Atlantic Damask Silver Modern Damask" and you'll find it in other neutral colours too. We love how it's a modern take on a traditional pattern.

We moved the big bathroom mirror from our upstairs en suite remodel to the entry way.  We also painted the inside of our front door black to dress it up.

Painting, lamps, couches, ottoman, end tables: homesense.  Coffee table, black rug: ikea.  Decided to use aqua as the accent colour through pillows, curtains, and lampshades, but can easily change this up as desired :)


This mudroom off the garage was once just a couple machines on the floor and an industrial sink.  NOW IT'S DREAMY!  I always get laundry done quickly and easily (the folding the putting away is another story lol!)  The drawers are sturdy enough that they act as a stand for my baskets; and the lower ones are deep enough to actually store laundry baskets full!

Haven't decided what to do here yet - it's a low shelf of hooks for Evalie to hang up her coats on her own for now.  I am thinking eventually I would like to find a really cool bulletin board for school stuff to gather when the time comes.


Some people call this the Family Room, but to me it's where all the living takes place so I call it the living's a bit confusing for some (like my husband, for example lol)!  We went with a darker, warmer paint colour since we have tons and tons of natural south facing light along this great room.  It's BM Rockport Grey.  I think it really keeps everything warm, but modern :)

Two sitting chairs and two couches (sofas from Urban Barn) makes for lots of room for friends to chat!  Yet, there is still room for the kiddos to play (that ottoman is full of toys!) and there is a baby swing, play mat, and exersaucer usually here too ;)  Curtains are from Target - love the ombre!

Big fireplaces are hard to decorate without televisions!  But, I think this painting from Bouclair Home did the trick ;)

Love this office nook where we can one day keep an eye on what our girls are looking at on the computer.  Notice the messy papers everywhere...tis wha tis.

A couple fun Heart Day decorations ;)  The heart banner is on its last leg and might have to retire after this year...the paper just keeps getting more and more warped.  OH, and if you ever decide to do one of these paper flower styrofoam ball things, two pieces of advice: only use the Martha Stewart four-petal flower punch and stick with monochromatic!

Love our awesome rug because it pulls in all the neutrals and adds some pattern to the room. It was an investment from our carpet store (Atlanta Flooring in Mission BC) and won't stain (so they say!)

Some art I made from cutting old hymns into heart shapes and modge podging - the gold isn't the best with this paint colour, but oh well!  It's special anyway.

Another spot where I have toys available - under the couch console table...see how pretty it all looks when I cut that bottom part off?  Haha!  Oh what pictures can hide and show! 

Thanks for looking - hope you can come for a visit IRL soon!
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