Monday, March 26, 2012

{Every Blog Needs a Cause}

I'm a follower of Emily over at Jones Design Company
 Have been for a long time. 
Her taste is exquisite and her talents are endless. 

I was doing my normal blog walk when I read her post about Charity: Water.  She encouraged each of us to find a cause we are passionate about & blog about it.   

I often feel guilty for mentioning our foundation.  I don't know why but I do. 
It was founded in January 2008 in memory of our daughter, Parker. 
She was born with a rare birth defect known as congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
The survival rate is 50/50. 
After 20 hours of fighting she took her last breath in her Daddy's arms. 

She forever changed our lives.
In a way  we never imagined.
We made her a promise that we'd never let any other family know the helpless & loneliness that we knew during the journey.

We started Parker's House in May 2008.
A house that we ran that allowed families to stay for free while their baby received treatment at either UNC Chapel Hill or Duke University Medical Center.
After two years we had to shut the house down but because of it we were able to help 14 families.

We partnered with Duke and UNC hospitals.
We were featured on the front page of the News Observer.
We were even featured on Perfectly Imperfect!
We were a small non-profit that did big things.

In November 2010 we decided to take a break from it all.
Two of our board members had just had babies & we found out we were pregnant. 
We hope to start back up in January 2013.

We still help families that approach us with gas cards, meals, hotels, etc. 
 I am constantly in awe of the people who support our foundation.

We very truly blessed to have done what we have. 
And we are excited about the future.

March 31st is Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Day.
I'm asking each of you to please wear turquoise to help us raise awareness.

Eighteen Hundred Families a year will be diagnosed.
One Hundred Fifty families a month.
Thirty-five families a week.

Half of them will lose their baby.

 I hope that each of you have a cause that is near to your heart. 
 If you do please let me know in the comment section so I can check it out.
And if not I encourage you to find one. 

Hope everyone has a great Monday!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

{Dark Floors}

We have hardwoods throughout our entire house.  They are original to the house.
Most of them were covered with this horrible laminate.  We pulled up a piece to see  the condition of the floors.  It wasn't good.  The laminate is so thick & was heavily glued that it would take way too much time & money to fix.  So we had carpet installed.  It works best for our family because of our dogs & with the surprise addition of Landry we are so glad that we did decided on carpet.  And I know when she starts crawling her little knees will be thankful too. 

Two years ago we decided to refinish the hardwoods in the guest bedroom & office {now Landry's room}.  It was a lot easier than we thought it would be.  Time consuming but easy.  We loved the honey color they were so we didn't restain we just applied some Varathane on them to seal them.  We've loved the look of them until I saw this....

I stumbled across Kate's blog while reading Holly Mathis Interiors
Her floors are to die for!  Actually her whole house is to die for. 
Have you ever seen a house & wish you could move in? 
That's how I felt when I saw her house. 

So before I lose track of the post talking about Kate's house her dark floors got me to thinking. 
Naturally I went to Pinterest for some inspiration photos. 

I showed them to my husband.  His response floored me.
He said he's always wanted dark floors.  I have no idea why he never told me. 
But now that we are both on the same page we are going to proceed with the project. 
We both love Minwax's Dark Walnut. 
We have a list of things to do before we can make the change to the floors. 
Like moving Landry from her room to the guest room. 

There's something about dark floors.  They are so rich looking. 
I'm really excited about this project. 
And I hope unlike the other projects in our house it gets done sooner rather than later. 

I hope everyone is having a great Sunday!
We are working in the yard, cleaning house & enjoying some much needed family time!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

{Party Planning}

I've been planning Landry's 1st birthday party for months!  She'll turn one June 2nd.  It's gone by way too fast.  I can't help but cry every time I think about it. 

Before I get too side tracked I initially thought I didn't want a "theme" party.  I'm not into Elmo, Princesses, Barney, etc... I figured we'd do turquoise & red because we aren't into pastel colors either.  Yeah, we are pretty picky.  Well, I am.  My husband could care less. 

I was on Etsy last night.  It's my other addiction.  Pinterest is the other one.  I somehow came across these Alice in Wonderland invitations.  I fell in love!

They are from Lemonade Moments.  She can do custom colors as well.  Do you love them as much as I do?  If you don't please don't tell me. 

Well, my mind starting working in overdrive.  I started searching for Alice In Wonderland party decor. I seriously think I'm losing my mind folks.  I hate themes.  What is wrong with me?

I found all of these courtesy of Loralee Lewis.

How freaking cute are these?  I couldn't stop there.  I'm telling you ladies I'm on a roll here. 

We talked about getting a photo booth & what photo booth wouldn't be complete without these....

And check out this centerpiece...

All courtesy of Wind Rosie on Etsy. 

I've got a million bajillion ideas going through my mind now.  What to do?  Eat crow about themed parties & embrace the awesomeness? Or do a boring party that no one will remember?

To help you decide I'll leave you with this image.  I'd ordered one for each of the kids attending.  And of course Landry's would be the biggest & best. 

Please share your honest thoughts with me.  Is it over the top?  I'm excited to hear what y'all have to say! 

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

{Cornice Boards}

I've mentioned before that I was thinking about adding cornice boards to the windows in our living room.  I really love the way they look. 

I have general knowledge of how to build things so I'm thinking this is definitely a DIY that the hubby & I can tackle on our own. Now to figure out if I want to just paint them a high gloss white or do something with fabric. 

I've seen tons of cornices made out of foam board like in the first two pictures. 
These things look like the real deal!

{all images via Pinterest}

I'm loving the linen & nailhead look.  I'm leaning towards that right now.
And I want to make ours out of wood.  I want something a little more sturdy than foam board.  I found this tutorial From These Hands that really makes me think I can do this!
We have some awesome plans for the living room that I'll be sharing later this week. 
With our daughter Landry's 1st birthday coming up we are in high gear to get some projects done that we've been slacking on lately. 

So, how do you feel about cornice boards?
Do you prefer painted or fabric covered?
Have you tried your hand at this?  If so any tips?

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 19, 2012

{Porch Updates}

The warmer weather has got me ready to do a much needed porch update.

Ever since Hurricane Irene took our hideous front porch off we've been in the process of updating the front of the house little by little.  Since we've had gorgeous weather the last few days I felt a little inspired to blog about the changes we want to make. 

Our house has come a long way from where it started in 2006.

I still am not sure how my husband convinced me it was a good idea to buy this house but I'm glad I listened to him.  He was right. 

This is after we had new windows, doors & siding put on.  We also removed two huge azaleas that were in front of the house.  They were so overgrown and had to go. 

Our house now looks like this

I LOVE the new porch. 
It's amazing. 
And I love the turquoise door much more than the yellow.
Now all I need is a new rug. 
Maybe this one from Ballard Designs.

Every girl needs a little animal print in their life right?

I also want to add some window boxes to the front set of windows. 
I love these from Grandin Road. 
 Especially with the corbels. 

 I also want to switch out the lighting.  I want to go with something more farmhouse/cottage like like these Austin Sconces from Barn Light Electric.  I'd get them in a black finish so they'd show up more against our gray siding. 

We need to stain the cement as well. 

And no house of a Texan would be complete without a Texas star. 

I'm thinking of painting the rocking chairs black.  The white gets so dirty & I've had them for 6 years so they need a make over.  I'd love to purchase some wicker rockers but the cheapest I've found are around $600 a chair.  That's insane. 

Has the warmer weather inspired you to get outside & make some changes?
Or are you still getting that yucky cold weather?

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

{Prettying Up a Ceiling Fan}

I was on Pinterest a few weeks ago & found this project by Thrifty Decor Chick
I've pinned a lot of stuff. 
2,448 pins to be exact. 

Anyway, when I saw this

I knew I wanted to give it a shot.

Sarah, gives an amazing & easy tutorial. 
I had some extra drum shades laying around the house so I used one of those.
I had to buy the two pieces needed {see Sarah's tutorial} but they were super cheap. 

I love the jute trim on Sarah's shade.

So here's my version. 

I LOVE it!
I need longer string pully things. 
And I might add some jute trim too.

I seriously want to take down our daughter's chandelier & do this treatment in her room!  I'll have to check the height as our ceilings are only 8 feet.  My husband is 6' 3" & will need clearance to walk underneath. 

I'm hoping to get to work on some more projects this week.
I'm trying to photograph our house so I can actually share it with y'all. 

Hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

{Happy St. Patrick's Day}

Here's a little green to get you through the day!

{All images via Pinterest}

Do you have any special plans?

We'll be staying home & working in the yard.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

{Prayers are Powerful}

Today my sister called me crying. 
My sister NEVER cries. 
She's 15 months older than me & has always been a mother hen. 
She's a protector.
She's a fighter. 
She's one tough cookie. 
She doesn't know this but she's the one I look up to the most. 

Anyway, the minute I heard her crying I knew it wasn't good.  The last time she called me crying was this time last year to tell me that our grandfather had suffered a massive heartache. 

My heart sunk. 
I immediately thought something had happened to my niece or nephew. 
It was about the last person I would ever think it was about. 
My brother-in-law.

He's been having some pains in his lower abdomen. 
He went in for some test & they initially thought it was kidney stones.  They found 3 masses & assumed from the symptoms that it was definitely kidney stones. 
Well, it's not. 
He found out today that his lymph nodes are swollen.
The doctor said that it is one of two things.
Or cancer.
We wait 2 weeks for the biopsy results.

My sister and him are high school sweethearts.
They met when they were 16.
Married when they were 19.
Have 2 kids.
Survived 7 deployments.

He's the older brother I never had.
He's an amazing guy who's served his country for 18 years.
A great dad.
An awesome uncle.

I've been trying to keep it together for my sister.
She's always been the strong one and I know that right now she needs me to be the strong one. 
I'm asking for prayers for him.
For her. 
For their kids. 

He's an important part of our family. 
No matter what the results we have laid our faith in the Lord. 
Nothing will stray us from that.

Monday, March 12, 2012

{Vacation Is Over}

Our vacation is over. 
We were gone from February 1st-25th. 
It was so good to be home with my family.

It's definitely taken some time to get back into the swing of things. 
My mom came home with us & got to spend 10 days here. 

We had an amazing time in Texas. 
We toured the new Cowboy Stadium.  It was awesome!  And big.  Really big.  We shopped.  We ate.  And we laughed a lot.  There's something about being with family that brings your soul back to life. 

We got to hang out with these two beautiful girls.

Our niece Hailey feeding Landry.

Our niece Avery.

I didn't want to come back but we had to.  So now that we are here we have a list of things to get done.  I have been working like a mad woman on Landry's 1st birthday party.  I'm trying to keep it low key but it's hard. 

In a couple of months we'll celebrate our daughter, Parker's, 6th birthday.  We miss her so much & there isn't a day that goes by that we don't think of her.  I wish Parker & Landry could know each other the way sisters should. 

So before I ramble on too much I hope everyone has a great week! 
I'm excited to share some projects with y'all that we finished before we left & that we are working on now. 

Happy Monday!