Sunday, July 29, 2012

a summer's day.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

i love him.

i guess i just didn't know my heart could keep expanding like this.
sometimes when i stop and think about how much i love him? 
i could just bawl my eyes out.
thank you LORD for the gift of children.
their soft skin, their tender voices.  their innocence, their eagerness.
their joy, their giggles, their mind that is constantly soaking up new things.
though raising a child can stretch you so thin, you might think you'll break?
it's true, the good always blows the hard stuff outta the water.
children are an indescribable gift.
thank you dear roman, for loving me even when i have no idea how to parent you.
thank you dear roman, for adoring me even after i have an ugly moment. {or 13 of them}
and thank you dear roman for being the tool that my heavenly Father is using, to refine me, so I might shine for his glory.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{DIY} lyrics on some plywood.

something was clearly in our water last week.
one moment we were bustin out a chalkboard, and the next? 
plywood art.
but i'm getting to far ahead of myself,
i want to share my heart a bit first.
i hope you don't mind :)
sometimes we see the internet as a tool sparking up jealousy.
sometimes we see it as a tool that tells us we never measure up.
sometimes we see it as a reminder that we aren't doing enough as a mom, or as the keeper of our home.
{confession? i've seen it as all three}
i'm choosing to see the it in another light.

my sweet friends, we only serve ONE master, one God.  
He is pleased when we are doing our best and glorifying Him, whatever that might look like.
He doesn't require us to measure up to man's opinions.
matter a's when we fail that He opens his arms even wider.
calling us home, to rest in him, to receive His grace, and to know we ARE enough.

i've chosen to read, to browse, and to {lets be honest} stalk a blog or two, for inspiration, for guidance, and to know our heavenly Father has blessed each of us with talents and gifts, and it doesn't do me any good to desire someone else's.  though yes, because of our sin, it happens.

{confession? i'm a pathetic cook}
but those food blogs? they inspire me! they give me ideas that i "pin" and know i will NEVER try, because, let's just be honest, i don't even like to cook. HA!  but it sounds like a good idea.

{confession? my house is often picked up, but not deep cleaned}
i see the blogs of mommas with organized cleaning schedules and organic homemade cleaning supplies as inspiration!  maybe i'll try a cleaning calendar too!  probably not!  but i can try!  
but really? i probably won't even try. i like to cram my deep cleaning into a 3 hour sesh about every other week.  i know. gross.  but guess what? sometimes we go three weeks. {gasp}  
i'm sure the more kids i add to the mix, the dirtier our house will get, and maybe i'll adjust.
but it's ok to be right where i'm at, instead of wishing i could be better.

so you see. i see those blogs too.  i see those posts and pictures.  
but sweet mommas, sweet wives, sweet women of the interwebworld, we can CHOOSE to see them in a positive light :)  


and so, likewise, i hesitate posting certain things.
not because i think i'm creating masterpieces over here
 HA. ha. {ha!}

but i hesitate to post for the momma who is having a hard week, feeling like she just can't figure out her children.........i would rather her see my weaknesses then anything that might look like my success.  

and i hesitate to post for the wife who is in a season of hurt.....i would rather her see my struggles too, then to think we're all sparkles and unicorns over here.

but. the truth is?
i want to share the good stuff too.
i want to remember the good stuff.
i want my children to come here and read all the stuff.
{i really do like the word stuff}
maybe in tribute to Jef, i'll write it as stuf?
and now i'm off topic.
happens quite easily in my brain.

my heart beats with compassion.
{praying for less pride, more humility.  praying for less of me, more of Him}

so, here i go, posting an accomplishment, something i did with my husband, something i'm proud of. yes all of those things.  
but really?  i'm posting it to give you an idea, just like AMY LOU gave me.
i read her post and thought, "hey?! i could do that!" and i did.
maybe you'll do the same?
and maybe not. 
maybe you don't have the time, the energy, etc.
and that is OK, you were created beautifully in His image, 
regardless of how many pinterest projects you produce.  

and with that, i give you:

{vinyl letters from hobby lobby}
 {random magazine from the end isle at the store}
needed for colorful pages, not wedding ideas, silly.
{pages and pages tore out of magazines}
 {plywood, cut to your desired size}
{pallet wood, for a frame}
 {tear apart pieces from the mag, glue em on. with a glue sitck!}
{see the pile on the bottom right, below!}
 {after you've covered the board}
{lay out your vinyl letters, then stick them on}
{oh what was roman doing during this?}
well, he dumped out my modge podge all over the driveway.
and then proceeded to use the paintbrush, and paint things like our font bushes,
the house, and the driveway with modge podge.
{you just have to know things like this will happen when you are crafting with kids around}
and you just hafta giggle.
{spraypaint like crazy}
{cover the whole thing in white}
{peel off the black letters} 
{they're vinyl, so very carefully, they will peel off}
{VERY carefully}
and then,
{modge podge the whole thing, to seal it}
 {frame it, and hang'er up}

{DIY} chalkboard love.

when it comes to decorating our home, i'm sort of all over the place.
we have been in our home for more than four years, and i think each year i've changed it up drastically.
decorator adhd?
in the beginning of our home ownership days, i changed paint colors like it was my job.
the decor moved from random collections found on the shelves of homegoods to countless DIY projects that i never really even thought turned out worth a hoot. i would hang them up because i felt like i should, but after a few weeks, they would come down.

i made it a game.
sell something, use that cash, and redo a room.

and though, most of my past crafties are now recycled into something different, and most of them i didn't really ever like that much?  
creating something, with my own hands, for our home, is empowering.  
i'm not a very good cook, but when it comes to setting up our home i feel confident.
i get a rush of excitement when i have all my materials gathered and strung out all over the floor.


for the last few months, the wall behind our couch has been bare.
and, i was tired of making something that i didn't really end up liking, to fill the space.
i had a garage sale, sold a picnic table, and an old fire pit.
however, i wanted to use that money to buy patio furniture. and saltwater sandles.
i knew my budget to fill the wall space would require another, sighhhh, DIY project.


one evening last week, i stumbled upon ashleyann's blogpost.
"mr leif!" i said, "look at this chalkboard!"
"i'm gonna make it!  will you help me?"
and because he is so awesome.....5 minutes later, the three of us were off to home depot.
 cuz when momma wants to make somethin,
she doesn't wanna wait til tomorrow.
she'd rather stay up all night long and finish it.
 with the little daylight left, we cut the board, spraypainted it with chalkboard paint,
and framed it with 1x2's.
 i loved how ashleyann wallpapered her frames.
but i don't own any wallpaper, so i assumed fabric would work.  somehow.
and when i didn't really know how it would work, and was fearful i'd try to do something silly like hot glue it on and waste a bunch of fabric, knowing i wouldn't like it and rip it all off anyways?
i relied on the decorator's best friend.....spraypaint.
we just went with a white frame.  and i love it.  crisp. fresh. and clean.
mr leif did his thang with the hanging, and the leveling.
romes and i did our thang with twisting fabric pieces around twine so we could hang the board.
 and like every project i try to make, i have so many hiccups along the way.
even though i spent way to much time twisting a bunch of fabric, 
we decided it didn't really need to have the "hanging look"
we just screwed it into the wall.
and then i used the twine wrapped in fabric to make little flower embellishments :)
and the vases of fake flowers setting on the builtin shelves next to the couch?
i clipped them apart and hot glued a few up on the board too.
{our chalkboard.  with a verse written to celebrate sweet jess's baby GIRL!!!!!!}
and let's keep it real.
this was my living room before 8am today.
i'm not even gonna show you what it looks like now
{because i'm too lazy to take another picture}

i'm so excited to keep changing up the chalkboard.
and really, i just love chalkboards in general.
watch out husband,
next will be accent walls in chalkboard.
bedroom walls in chalkboard.
exterior house, ALL IN CHALKBOARD.
kidding. duh.


we've been updating the living room chalkboard.
because, well, we all need good reminders :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012


i grew up with two sisters, and a brother.
our brother, donavan, was rarely referred to by his name.
he was our "buddy".
and now, even though he is a strapping young 25 year old lad, 
i still refer to him as "buddy".
i can't help it.
it's a habit.

but he doesn't mind.

last week, buddy came to town.
roman instantly preferred to call him "buddeeee" though i tried to get him to say donavan.

"buddy hamma. buddy hamma."
and in zooms romes, to help buddy hammer
{thanks for tearing apart all that pallet wood bud!}
we had lunch around the table,
you know how fun it was to have a full house?
{and some adult interaction?!}
thanks bud!
what a blessing!
 we played UNO!
i won every time, 
right donavan?
 the guys golfed in the front yard, during their breaks from organizing the garage.
they tackled, and chased, and wrestled!
mr leif and i even got a date night.
buddy babysits.  SCORE.
 we are SO thankful for our family, and that they take the time to come visit us :)
we appreciate their help and support, and we just LOVE to see them love on our romy.
and last week, we were so thankful for buddy to come visit us, help us around the house, and to bond with little romes!
come back soon "buddeeeeeee"
romy asks for you every day!

Friday, July 20, 2012


sometimes we have really awesome moments over here.


like that one morning, when romes threw a tantrum 
because i wouldn't let him play with the computer or the ipad.
so, he threw the ipad AT the computer.
and obviously, that went over reeeeeeal well...
{off pops the f and g keys}
 like that one afternoon, when roman so very proudly said "staaaahr" and pointed to my tattoo.
mom of the year i tell ya, we're learning shapes right off of mommy's foot.
it feels great when your child can now locate and lable your tattoo.
i mean, at least he knows what a star is now?
 like that one morning, when went to petsmart and stared at the puppies at doggy daycare.
poor romy.  he wants a puppy more than mommy wants a new pair of toms.
but the best i can offer him, is to go stare at 20 of them in a 12x12 room.
romes kept trying to open up the glass wall with his pudgy little fingers.
{btw, petsmart smells.  actually petsmart stinks.  it's like the pet isle in the grocery store, but times 100}
yeah.....i'm not really a dog person, sorry romes.  this will have to do for now.
 or how about that one night when i couldn't fall sleep, like, at all.
so the next morning came, 
and i tried to sleep on the couch while roman played.
but then i kept getting bothered by trucks driving across my legs, my head, my face.
and books, they were being thrust at me, saying "mommy read"
yeah, probably just need to drink more coffee.
 and what about ALL the days of july, when it was like 104 degrees. 
when roman would beg to go outside,
and i would say, "too hot, yucky"
so he just stood there like a sad little thing, staring out into the great big world,
as mommy trapped him inside.  
oh little dude, when we wake up and it's already 95, we just simply must stay in the AC
boooooorrrring, i know.
 and then there's those days when we stay in our jammies until like 2pm.
sometimes i'm just super lazy and feel like a topnotch mom, i can't seem to get going.
and you can imagine what the house looks like by 5pm
or what kind of beautiful meal i've prepared for dinner....{ha!}

yes.  we're a big ole mess over here lots of times.
but it's ok.  

i'm learning that these days are just part of a bigger picture.
if i had it all together?  if was truly was mom of the year? i wouldn't need my Savior.
we struggle so that we might seek His face.
it's not awesome parenting, perfect children, or an immaculate home that will bless others.
no, rather, it's my closeness to the Father, that enables me to shine, 
it's being refined, stretched, and seeing my own sin that will bless others.

yes, during the moment the ipad flies across the room and smashes the computer, i may not be shining so bright, 
but someday....even during those moments, i hope to stay calm, to breathe, and to shine.
for now?  i'm ok with accepting that it's later on, as i reflect on my sinful parenting ways, that i draw near to Him.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


so mostly i'll begin with saying i have no photos of our actual fourth of july.
but that means it was a good one, ey? 
i mean, SO good that you didn't even have a moment to take some snaps?  yep.  
but really.  it was swell.
on the fourth, we lounged by grammy's pool, took mr leifs little brothers into town to get snacks and greasy food and more firecrackers, and then we had a pool party.  
cheers to you 'Merica.

but i did take a bazillion other photos to document our fantabulous road trip home to the good life.  
and really, it started out great.  
theRomes had no idea we were about to force him to stay in his seat for the next 4.5 hours.  
yes, despite how many times he said "up up UPPPPP",  and how hard he tried to pull the straps off, 
the little fella was stuck in his seat.  poor dude.  he so has it rough, i mean...traveling with an ipad? 
surely, it can't get better than that.......
well, i guess he thinks it should.
because about half way there, he.was.DONE.
and thankgoodness for sandhills publishing, 
tractor house mag had this kid swooning in no time.
{so did the other two free dumper/semi truck for sale mags}
once we arrived, we hung for a bit, and then mr leif and i headed "into town" to meet up with some high school friends.
after traveling down memory lane for a couple hours,
we came home to a house full of sleeping family,
so we snuck outside to eat icecream cookie sandwiches and watch the moon
and then, for the next 4 days, we ate, played, and slept by the pool.
{not really, but almost}
and it was awesome.
because when you live in KC and don't have any family near you,
just having someone love on your child like a grandma, uncle, or papa?
 it's like, amazing.  and having those same people help entertain your child,
so he's not hanging on your leg 24/7? double amazing.
we spent some time teaching roman how to do the front crawl, breast stroke, and side stroke,
but we made sure to give him a rest, he perched up on the raft with momma.
and then one afternoon i made brownies.
my MIL has the pioneer woman's cookbook.
and, well, after i wiped my drool off the page, i settled on these bad boys:
knock you naked brownies
we shared our brownies, along with burgers and wings with our friends and their little ones :)
do you see mr leif and his class of '02 gang, crashin boards like it aint no thang? 
and then there's aj.  jumping on the trampoline eating smashing a cupcake :)
and the little cheerleaders. so proud of their daddy's trying dunk the ball. {yeah, i said trying}
and while they were eating cupcakes, and cheering for their daddy's,
romes took to the bag of chips and the kitties.  dude's an animal lover.
i didn't post a picture of it {for fear i'd gag} but he literally lays out on the cat, saying "night night".  makes me wanna sneeze.
 romeslice totally loved spending time with his uncles :)  
they tackle, chase, and do silly things to make him laugh.
what more could a little guy ask for?
it made my heart so happy to see them love him.... and he love them.
one lovely afternoon, i got my hairs did.  
ombre.  didn't know if it was still "in" or not.  
but i loved it.  and i loved sitting in a quiet salon for 2 hours.
and i loved knowing my little boy was in good hands, allowing me to completely relax.
and i loved looking at people magazine.  i didn't even know about tomKat.  
but hotdang.  they're all the rage in the gossip mags.
{note to self: less elmo, more E news?}
 and then, all too soon, sunday came.....which means we go home.
it's always hard to leave.  our family, our friends, not being able to see everyone we wanted to, their love and support and just being "home", it's so good.
but we do what we gotsta do, and we hit the road jack.
on the way home, roman declared this little girl to be called, "momma"
 i know, she's totally a creeperish doll.
but she has brown hair and brown eyes, so i guess i see the resemblance?
oh, and a visor.  i mean, i where visors all the how could he not call her momma? 
oh, and knee highs.  momma loves her some tall socks.
{but i would sooo take the yellow shoes}