Farmhouse Dining Room

If there is a room in our house that brings me unspeakable joy, it is most definitely our dining room. The natural light that floods through the window, the beadboard that adds charm, my new black farmhouse chairs…it all puts a big ole smile on my face. I think I appreciate it so much because of what it used to look like…scroll down if you dare. haha

 I tried to warn you! This room was a blast from the past to put it lightly. And that wallpaper was a NIGHTMARE to remove. I tried all of the go-to remedies: vinegar, fabric softener, Parana spray from Lowe’s.  

What finally did the trick was this steamer I got for $40 from Lowe’s. I got the top layer off in about an hour and a half and then Carley and I worked on the layer of glue for two nights. That was the worst part for sure. haha But we finally got it done and that’s all that matters! Buh bye 1970’s! 

Chris and I then spent the entire weekend…and I do mean the ENTIRE weekend hanging the beadboard and trim. Getting the perfect cut on the sheets of beadboard was no easy feat. We definitely got a good workout in! ha 

Once it was all hung, we stepped back and knew this was exactly what we had been dreaming about. This once awful room was now starting to feel brighter and more welcoming. 

I painted above the beadboard my go-to color of course: Repose Grey by Sherwin Williams. So far out of the 5 rooms we’ve repainted in this house all 5 of them have been Repose Grey. At least we are consistent right? 😉

I’ve been dreaming of farmhouse chairs to go with our table for years now. And one of my friends on instagram posted about Wayfair having a sale on some chairs and I instantly had to go look.

I showed them to Chris and he was on board and I’ve never been so excited for 3 huge boxes to be delivered to my door before! It’s usually diapers so this was a pleasant change. 😉

I am in love with them! They are pretty comfy too! Also thanks babe for putting together all 6 of them. *dramatically blows kiss* 

I went to an antique store after work on Tuesday and I found SO many little items that were perfect for what I was going for in this room. 

I love this little knick knack shelf I found to display oils and succulents.

I also found the 1920’s mirror that’s in the pictures above and I’m obsessed with it. 

I hung my all time favorite drop cloth curtains and it’s amazing how curtains just finish off a room perfectly. I want to add these to our front den too.

I got these plants and hangers from IKEA.

And this is my favorite accessory to my table, my three little loves. Aren’t they pretty?! As long as they are around my table, this room is complete. 

Kid’s Farmhouse Kitchen

Chris’ parents bought the kids an adorable kitchen for Christmas and they are obsessed with it. 

The only problem was it was a little small for three children to play with at once and you know how well toddlers share…

So I knew I wanted to add some kind of extension to it so that they could have more space to play together and cook.

I looked at several stores for a table the right size but couldn’t find one, so during naptime yesterday I decided to just build the dang thing! haha

Chris had shown me how to use his nail gun when we worked on our dining room and I’d used a miter saw once before so even though I’m scared of loud noises and tools that could potentially sever my limbs off, I figured “What could go wrong?!”  

It only took me about an hour to make and while very far from perfect (I told Chris not to look too closely…he’s a judger haha) it works and they love it! I stained the top and painted the legs white to add some cuteness to it of course. 

I found the blue cabinet at an antique store and knew it would be perfect for their kitchen. The green shelf used to be at our coffee bar at the Munro Ave house and I figured it would give them a cute place to hang their mugs. 

It makes me so happy to watch them all play together and use their imaginations. There are still battles with sharing and the cute little cabinet has become a torture devise for tiny fingers in the wrong hands (aka Elliot) but I hope this space becomes a favorite spot in their childhood adventures.

This Thanksgiving I don’t feel like being thankful

We are on the road to South Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with Chris’ family. Our mini van is packed to the brim. This is our first road trip as a family of six, since we welcomed our two year old foster son, B, into our home two weeks ago.

As he was having his fourth meltdown in only the first hour of our trip, I found myself looking out the window trying to tune out his piercing screams.

I don’t feel very thankful.

 I feel tired and drained. And frustrated and like I’m not doing a very good job.

Learning to love a little child who comes with all kinds of hurt and trauma was something I thought would come much more naturally to me. I absolutely love children and I’m extremely empathetic.

But these two short weeks into foster care have opened up the abyss of my selfish heart. In moments where I should be kind and understanding, I find myself clenching my teeth and sighing heavily. In moments where I should be patient, I am not.

I find myself becoming protective of my biological children when I see them struggling with their new brother and not understanding why this complicated little person is acting the way he is.

When your four year old wakes up from his nap, and then after 5 minutes around his foster brother asks to go back into his room, your heart begins to hurt. It’s been hard not to have an “Us vs him” attitude when stuff like that happens.

So in all honesty, I don’t feel thankful. And I don’t really want to try to be thankful.

Now I know that isn’t right. And I need an attitude adjustment. ha So naturally with it being Thanksgiving tomorrow, I decided to search the word “Thanksgiving” on my Bible app and let the Holy Spirit do His thing on my heart. ha

And no surprise, I found some verses that brought on the encouragement AND conviction.

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High; Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.””‭‭Psalms‬ ‭50:14-15‬ ‭

I’ve read this verse a million times, but the word that stuck out to me tonight was sacrifice. A sacrifice of thanksgiving. Okay Lord I see You. Sometimes it’s painful to be thankful. Sometimes it takes work and toil to be thankful.

“But I am afflicted and in pain; May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high. I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving. And it will please the LORD better than an ox Or a young bull with horns and hoofs.”‭‭ Psalms‬ ‭69:29-31‬ ‭

When life just flat out sucks and praising and being thankful is the last thing on our minds, when we do it out of a sincere heart…it’s worth more than any other sacrifice. God sees me when it’s painful to praise Him, when its excruciating to be thankful. And when I walk in obedience and do it any way, He sees that too. And it is a pleasing sacrifice to Him.

So as we gather and celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, if you’re afflicted, if you’re weary, if life is downright hard and you would rather just cry, I encourage you. He sees you. You are not alone and I promise you, you will not regret crying out to Him with a heart of thankfulness.

And just remember, I’m right there with you.

PS. Also please know that I realize my “affliction” pales in comparison to the suffering many are going through right now. I just wanted to share where I am at in this moment and hope these verses could encourage those going through the real fire. Always feel free to shoot me a message and I will pray for you.

Our Journey To Foster Care

 

Back in May, during my quiet time one morning the Lord kept pressing foster care into my heart over and over. This is not the first time this has happened.

When Chris and I first got married we had already started the process to become foster parents but when I became pregnant with Rhett and was crippled by severe nausea and exhaustion, we stopped.

Children who are without love, protection, or a safe place ALWAYS weigh on my heart…especially since having my own. Feeling the movement and kicks in my belly and giving life to a precious human being created a permanent soft spot in my heart. Abortion keeps me awake at night, orphans make me catch my breath and swallow hard.

I am a doer. This is what Jesus commands of us as Christians.

“But prove yourselves doer of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:23, 25

Because abortion weighs on me, I am a counselor at my local crisis pregnancy center to be there for women in their moments of fear. I don’t want to just say “Oh that’s so sad that there are so many children in foster care.” And never actually DO something about it. But at the same time, I have a 4, 3, and 2 year old at home and at that time we lived in 1,490 square foot home. I felt like I had legitimate excuses for not now.

That is, until the Lord told me that day back in May, “Stop making excuses and just do what I ask you to do.” *gulp* Well alrighty then.

So I googled foster care agencies in Columbus and called two of them.

One never returned my call, and the other called me back almost immediately.

Enter Hope Foster care. This faith based agency was brand new to our city. They had been in Macon, GA for awhile and decided to open a branch here in Columbus. I can’t remember the exact timing but I feel like it had only been up and running for a month or two before we called.

We went to an orientation meeting to have all of our questions answered and at the bottom of a sheet of paper they handed us at the end of the meeting it said “If you are ready to move forward and go through our 10 week training, sign here.” Wait….make a decision now? I figured we’d go home and talk in depth about it and analyze everything to death on why this probably wouldn’t work right now, etc etc etc.

I looked at Chris and he looked at me…and we both signed it.

We went through the training, and it was 3 hours once a week for 10 weeks. There were supposed to be three groups going through it, us, another lady, and another couple. But by week three it was just Chris and I.

We absolutely loved our trainer, Alyssa, and we had a blast with her. She brought us snacks and candy each week to help us make it through the training and even tacos several times (I think those were a peace offering for the nights we had to go over sexual abuse and neglect cases haha). We learned soooo much in those weeks. Practical things and some very heart heavy things about what these kids go through.

We were always reminded that if at any point we didn’t feel like this was a good fit, we could walk away, no hard feelings. That helped take the pressure off a ton, because honestly the more we learned the more I felt “I DON’T KNOW IF I’M THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THIS.”

In the middle of our training, we bought our current house and moved and that was SUPER fun for Alyssa to have to do two home studies (still sorry about that girl haha). So our certification took a couple of months longer due to that and due to the fact that I’m forgetful and slow when it comes to paperwork.

But we had prayed that the Lord would bring us a bigger home for a while. We wanted more space for ourselves, but mainly to have guests more often and to have room for foster kids. It was an answer to prayer, just weird timing.

So right before we moved into the new house, we got a huge curve ball thrown at us. My Krav Maga instructor approached me about becoming a business partner with him and another guy. I had wanted to become an instructor for awhile now and I would be in charge of the women’s program and teaching other women to defend themselves really appealed to me.

But there was NO way we could do this and foster.

We spent a week asking the Lord what He would have us do. And He opened doors and gave us peace about buying into the Krav Maga school. So in my mind foster care was something we would do later. Our tentative plans were to try it around February or March on 2019, so not terribly far off, but would give us the time we needed for me to settle into my new role at work. I still had some last minute paperwork to wrap up before we were certified anyways.

Then about two weeks ago I get a call from Alyssa.

“I have some exciting news! Your home is now officially open and in the time I was waiting for you to call me, DFCS has already called with a two year old boy. Talk to Chris and y’all decide if you want more info or if you want to pass on this placement.”

I think my text to Chris went something like this “GKUHIFHWRRGKJEBFTJWHWRKFJWK CALL ME.” haha

We prayed and asked the Lord for direction and honestly I felt a lot of conviction because I think in the stress of me starting this new job, I just made my own decision about the timing of foster care out of logic. And the Lord just made what He wanted to happen happen in HIS timing in HIS way.

We were terrified and said yes, having no clue what we were in for. We had very few details about the little boy who was about to enter our lives for an unknown amount of time.

But when the Lord says “Yes” so do we.

Pumpkin Pickin’

Today we went to The Farm House in Ellerslie to let the kids pick our a few pumpkins. We had so much fun!

Eli was a fan of the pumpkins. He picked out a little one and kept it with him the whole way home. He did keep trying to eat it and saying “Mmmm…yummy!” ha

Rhett was more interested in the chickens and rooster they had there. Of course he was terrified of them, but he kept returning to their coop to be frightened so that’s progress. (Ha)

Chris thought it would be funny to put a massive pumpkin in Rhett’s lap…

And he was right. (Ha) Rhett’s eyes started popping out of his head!

Babygirl was a fan of staring at any and everyone with her stank face, and also trying to eat the grass.

She also saw her brothers go through the hay bale maze and when we let her down to crawl she headed straight for it and made it all the way through!

She’s a feisty one! And also my cute lil punkin. (Ha)

I really wanted some family pictures but as you can tell from the faces of my children…this was a BAD idea. I mean, how dare I? (Haha)

This one was take “pre-meltdown” so I at least have one decent picture…

And here’s a picture of Chris getting way too excited over a tiny pumpkin. (Ha) Love you babe!