0

Preparing for Baby #4

I don’t write on here much, so if you haven’t heard, we are expecting our fourth baby, SOON! I am 30 weeks, and anxious to close the chapter of “baby making” forever with this, our “Grand Finale” baby. img_9139

We announced this pregnancy back in September, at Jacson’s First Birthday! Man it seems like just yesterday that he was born…(I think my last post was in fact his at home Birth Story).

Then we learned that this sweet baby will be another GIRL and I shared some more intimate thoughts about the pregnancy on my instagram. god-knew

And her name is Emmy Scott Van Winkle.

emmy-scott

Now, as my due date for baby #4 is fast approaching, there is a lot that still needs to be done! I have to admit that my nesting has yet to kick in, and thus everything seems to be piling up and remaining undone. Part of me is letting a bit of panic sneak in, while the majority of me is thinking, “Girl, You’ve got this!”

Anywho, I thought it would be fun, to write this Blog Post by answering some of the questions I have been asked in Regards to this pregnancy and expecting our fourth!

Question 1: (The question I get asked most frequently). What do your kids think about you having another baby? 

Honestly, its really, really normal for them. Like it doesn’t phase them much at all. When we told the girls, who obviously understand much more than Jacson, they were excited and well, not surprised. I think this is due to the fact that we have had so many kids so close together (4 kids in 5 years) and so there hasn’t been a lot of time where I haven’t been pregnant. I do think that the youngest child is the one who feels the most displaced when a new baby arrives, so I fully expect that Jacson will be a little shocked to no longer be my baby. But he will be my only BOY, so the kid’s got a special place in my heart FOREVER! I also wonder if kids in larger families are just more accepting of mom and dad having more kids. My own children have voiced their love of having new babies in the house and are always excitedly reiterating the number of people/boys/girls that we will have in our family. “We have 4 girls and 2 boys in our family! Right mom?!”

Question 2: Where will you put all of them?! In regards to house size/ bedroom sharing/ general space for kids to live and play. 

This question has been at the forefront of my mind a lot, as we have been weighing the pro’s and con’s of moving before or after the baby is born. On the one hand it would be really nice to have more space, another bedroom, and to get settled before this baby arrives. Plus there would be the added bonus of getting to decorate another baby nursery! But buying within the next 2 months would be a big stress and undertaking too close to my due date. (Not to mention that I am having a home birth, so we kinda need a place to live). So, we decided to stay put in our 3 bedroom townhouse for another 6 months. Honestly, 6 months will fly by, and we will be so much more mentally, financially and physically prepared for a big move just a little ways down the road. And our baby girl will still be able to have her beautiful nursery when that time comes! In the meantime, she will be close by mom and dad in a corner of our bedroom, just as each one of our babies have been for the first several months. And I am still making plans on my Baby Must Haves list so that I can start collecting things now and in the months to come. Check out my most favorite things:baby-4-prep

Dockatot Ruffle Bloomers Bunny Bonnet Freshly Picked Moccs Little Nomad Play Mat Pacifier Clip Peony Wall Decals

Question 3: How close together are your kids? Are they twins?…

As I said, we will have had 4 children in a 5 year span. Tylyn Turns 5 a month before my due date! More specifically, here are the age spans between each child.

Tylyn and Hadley are 16 months apart. Hadley and Jacson are 26 months apart. Jacson and Emmy will be 18 months apart.

Is this crazy? Yes! Was this planned. No!

I’ve been pretty vocal over the years that we have not planned a single one of our pregnancies and I honestly believe that each one has been a blessing specifically timed and placed in our lives by God. Would I have liked to plan these pregnancies? Certainly. I MOST DEFINITELY DID NOT WANT TO BE A PREGNANT BRIDE when I was pregnant with Tylyn, our oldest. And I can tell you that I was not much more prepared the second time around when I found out I was pregnant with Hadley either– Tylyn was only 7 months old when I found myself to be pregnant! Seven months! I felt completely overwhelmed by the reality of being pregnant again so soon and at the general idea of having 2 babies! I was much more prepared the third time around and even had half a mind to make it special by surprising my husband on Christmas morning with a positive pregnancy test in his stocking! Compared to the emotional breakdowns I had while taking the previous 2 pregnancy tests, I considered the third time an exciting success! Baby Emmy was quite a surprise as well, and I found out I was pregnant at a time when there was a lot of heartbreak happening in our lives. In fact there still is, but I am constantly reminded of the goodness of God in his faithfulness to our growing family. I am certain that Emmy will be a gift of healing a redemption for our hearts!

Question #4: Are you having another home birth? Are you scared? Anxious? Nervous?

Yes to all of the above. I LOVED my homebirth with Jacson. It. Was. Amazing. I honestly would not have changed a single thing about it. So there was no question in my mind that I would set out to have another home birth with Emmy. Luckily, I have done it before so I know a lot of what to expect. But also, because I have done it before (the “it” being a drug-free, natural birth), there is some anxiety in regards to the pain and general well being of the baby. Emmy looks great and healthy, her ultrasound was good, and all of my checkups have been perfectly normal. But with the more children you have, the odds start to slightly decrease in your favor for everything to continue to go perfect! For example if 1 in 10 babies are born premature, and I have had 3 full term births, as in 3 in 10, then my odds now are.. you do the math… (seriously tho, my mommy brain can’t think this one out. LOL!) I know there is more that plays into these statistics such as previous pregnancies and health history, so I don’t let the fear rule my decision making. All of this I say to answer a couple questions that get thrown my way: “What if ______happens?” “Can you go to the hospital?” etc. In all honesty, my experience with midwives and homebirths in terms of educated choice far outweighs what I experienced using an OB/GYN. I feel far more in control, I feel much more informed and comfortable with all of the options available to me during birth and I feel completely safe in the care of my experienced midwives! And yes, transport to the hospital is available/possible/sometimes necessary.

I love talking about home birth a lot, so if you have more questions about it ask away. I will inevitably be sharing more as I start to prepare for the birth and after Emmy is born.

Question 5: Do you parent differently with each new child? 

Yes and No. With our first baby I had read all the books and different baby philosophies and I strongly believed in the way I set out to parent Tylyn. I strictly adhered to eat/wake/sleep schedule, had a baby sleep trained at 8 weeks old, and continued to be convicted about my child raising techniques throughout her toddlerhood. And as I have done the same things with each child, getting the same positive results with each (sleeping through the night at 8 weeks each, potty trained at a year and a half with each, disciplined each the same…) there has been increased leniency with each baby as well. But I think the leniency is actually a really really good thing. I think that is shows that we are more comfortable in our parenting strategies and we have learned how and when to “pick our battles”. Obviously when you have one kid you can dedicate all your attention on their behavior and development, where with multiple kids you have to divide your attention and focus on what is most important with each child. It is nice because you become more attuned to their specific personality and needs without stressing out about each and every bump and stage along the way. I laugh thinking about how I spent hours researching what to do when Tylyn stated saying “No!” at everything, when she was 18 months. Then, as Hadley inevitably entered the same stage, I had the knowledge of how to handle it without concern. And now with Jacson, it doesn’t even phase me one bit. I even find myself chuckling at Jacson’s toddler tantrums. What once made me feel like a failure as a parent with Tylyn, is now a stage I can smile at and even enjoy with Jacson, knowing that he too will learn to manage his emotions (with discipline and training along the way of course).

Now for me, the thing I think the most about in preparing for Baby #4 is how we will be going from an “average” size family to a “large” size family. I often wonder how on earth we will ever make it out in public and if any onlookers will be gracious and kind to us when we do. I understand that finding a babysitter to watch 4 children will become much more difficult than finding someone to watch 1 or 2 or even 3. And I don’t expect to be taking trips INTO the grocery store ever again. Thank goodness for the Fred Meyer Checklist pickup. I do not plan on having any more babies after Emmy, but I am very happy with accomplishing my goal of having 4 kids by the time I am 30 years old. 4 has always seemed like the golden number of children to have, and although I have disliked pregnancy all 4 times, I am pretty ecstatic that we actually made it this far! My hopes for my children are that they love each other so deeply that they will remain great friends as they grow up and into adulthood. I want them to look back on their childhood with lots of good happy memories and stories of growing up together, so close in age, so close in friendship! And I am fully believing that “families of 4 children or more are the happiest” as this study has suggested!

Love you all and thanks for visiting!

Lexie

 

0

What’s so great about interior design?

I could list a hundred reasons why interior design is important, starting with all the intricate facets, thoughtful details, each giving a glimpse of beauty and relief and joy. But today I am going to focus on one of the most practical aspects of interior design: BUDGET.

IMG_5343.JPG

One of the biggest obstacles in interior design is budget (or lack there of). Many people think having a well designed space can ONLY come with an expensive price tag. But I’m here to tell you that the exact opposite is true! In fact, if you have a cohesive design plan (as opposed to buying pieces one at a time whenever you feel some extra change burning a hole in your pocket) you will actually spend LESS money and have Much MUCH more to show for it!

IMG_5345.JPG

My process of design includes the following steps which I will explain in detail.
1. Comprehensive Design Plan and Concept
2. Potential High End cost
3. Color coordination
4. Budget Hunting (over time) and projects
5. Happy, comfortable and justified in saving on some items and then splurging on others.
6. Finished, Beautiful, Cohesive Interior

comprehensive Design Plan:
Lots of people think picking a wall color is all that needs to be considered in designing a room (let’s say a nursery as an example). So, they pick a color, Pink, and before baby comes buy baby items, register for things, and when they get everything together it is ALL Pink! And now baby comes home to an overwhelming amount of pink. And many, many different shades of pink to boot.

Let me emphasize, color is not bad! And pink is not bad either. But “Pink” is not a comprehensive design. “Pink” is simply a color, and color is only 1 aspect of a multi-faceted approach to design.

In creating a design plan, GO BIG! I mean it! Find the best of the best to achieve a desired look no matter what the cost of each item. It does not matter how you attempt to piece things together for your design plan. Draw a scaled floor plan, or if you feel unequipped you can glue and paste magazine pictures into a collage or make a Pinterest board. But the idea is the same, design your room with each desired piece of furniture, each curtain, every shelf, picture frame and pillow case. Don’t just pick wall colors, but decide what wall will be painted and in what color, pattern, mural, etc. in creating a design plan consider all of the following aspects:

IMG_5346.JPG
-Overall Theme
-Color
-Patterns (fabrics for curtains, pillows, bedding, wallpaper, etc)
-Storage
-Lighting
-Personal Accents
-Flooring (wood, carpet, tile, rugs) use what you have, change it, or add to it.

Potential High End Cost
Now that you have dreamed up your dream space, calculate what the cost would be to achieve it based on the actual items you picked out. And don’t forget to BREATHE when you see the $5000 price tag!
Knowing the high end cost actually helps you find the best places to save money, as well as the things you are comfortable splurging on. This leads straight into the next step.

Budget Hunting and Projects
Now that you have your room designed in your mind and on paper, the fun really begins. One of my favorite things is looking at furniture posts on craigslist and offerUp. Sometimes the exact item you are looking for (say an ikea cubed book shelf) is being sold for half the store price, just down the block! One of my very bet finds was the exact $300 Zgallerie coffee table that I had my eye on, from a consignment shop for only $79!
Similarly, the $299 Land of Nod bedside table you have picked out, will start to look oddly similar to the $69 Target side table you see on you weekly target trip.
And sometimes, you will spot a piece of furniture sitting on the curb with a “Free” sign taped to it, and you think to yourself, “hmmm… A little Kelly green paint and I think I’ve found my $500 Anthropolgie bench!”
Not to mention, there are a plethora of great online discount furniture and design stores to help you save on big ticket items. Home decorators collection and Overstock.com are my favorites! And always check the sale section if your favorite designer stores like West Elm and Zgallerie BEFORE checking the full priced section!
My point is this: when you know what you are TRULY looking for, the pieces that you’re after, you will be shocked how easily they appear to you and with a lesser price tag!
As for the projects. Once you do one DIY, you will be hooked and feeling able to tackle bigger and bigger projects. Upholstering the seat of a dining chair may soon turn into making your own upholstered ottoman.
On a personal note, having a design plan has always helped me justify my purchases to my husband. There have been “a few” occasions where he has said, ” Since WHEN, did you decide you needed (enter item here) 2 floor lamps…?” And I am legitimately able to pull up my design plan and show him that I have actually been on the lookout for floor lamps, and the ones I originally wanted were 3x the cost!!

Saving then Splurging
Once you have started budget hunting and realizing how much money you have saved, you can feel comfortable and confident buying the items for your space that were a part of the original design and that you want to remain a part of the design and even become the focal point of your design. A $1200 couch seems much more affordable when you bought 2 side chairs at consignment instead of $600 a piece. Plus, some big purchases are in fact an investment- when it is something you want to have for a long time, high quality goes a long way.
You may also decide to “mini-splurge” by buying a $40 designer throw pillow that adds the perfect accent! And let’s face it; sometimes the thrifty light fixture just doesn’t measure up to the designer one you want, and it probably never will no matter how much you could potentially save… So splurge!

Finished Space
I have seen a lot of beautiful spaces that were designed on a budget. And I have seen many many spaces designed without a design plan at all. The “no plan” spaces end up discombobulated and spending money on items that go on to be replaced in a year because they never fit right to begin with.
But as sure as I am that the sun will rise in the morning, I am sure that having a design plan WILL save you money, and WILL give you the beautiful space of your dreams.

Putting Plans into Action
I have so many examples of designing and saving money but I’m going to use my daughters’ nursery as an example. As you may remember my design plan from long ago check it out.
And here are the results:

IMG_5340.JPG

IMG_5337.JPG

IMG_5341.JPG

IMG_5336.JPG

IMG_5301.JPG

IMG_5338.JPG

IMG_5339.JPG

IMG_5313.JPG

IMG_5305.JPG

IMG_5307.JPG

IMG_5319.JPG
Savings:
Toddler bed: given to us by a friend $0
Crib: craigslist $100.
Crib sheets: Target $10 each
Tissue garland: hand made $5
Name letters: hand made: $20 to spell Haddy and Tylyn
Antique Dresser: from my mom $0
Ikea shelves in closet $80
Ikea Color block rug $29
Ikea faux sheepskin $9
Duvet cover fabric $10
Pink Target chair $15
Side table: found in apt hallway for free. Inspired by this land of Nod $299 bedside table.

IMG_5293.PNG
I bought some paint and a basket and have a $20 version of my own!

IMG_5319-0.JPG

Splurges
All of my splurges are really just mini splurges.
Gold polka dots “urban wall” decals $30
Land of Nod throw pillows $40 total
Howdy Cow $40 (it’s decor and a toy!)

IMG_5348.JPG

IMG_5349.PNG

0

Little Girls In their Little World’s

I’m just so excited about a mini design project I have been working on that I MUST share! I loved designing my daughter’s room (actual pictures coming soon) and making a magical and fun space for them, and today I got to do it again! This room design is for a sweet 2 yer old from our church who is always dressed to impress and needs a room as fashion forward as she is! Her mom wanted to use the color scheme of pink and gold with touches of black, and I am All About That!

20140623-140000-50400212.jpg

20140623-140002-50402916.jpg
The room is basically a great canvas and therefore in a perfect place to start!

Here is my fun, pink and gold and glittery space:

20140623-140119-50479954.jpg
I lie animal prints, and even more I love the idea of mixing animal prints!So, I am going to make some black and white prints with Leopard heart-shaped spots to be framed. Then mix in the black and white zebra rug on the pinkish carpet for an awesome accent!
The walls would be painted 6′ tall with a pink/coral color, leaving the top stripe white. It helps make the room feel more intimate and more scaled to a toddler. On the wall with the window I proposed doing some gold polka dot wall decals in a random pattern, floating up and over the top of the window, and the adding a little table and chairs (for tea parties of course) right in front of all the polka dots. Custom canvases are a must, and can be bought from B.Art Studios (my favorite) or made yourself.
Other details in the room include black painted letters spelling out her name, a pennant banner with a cute phrase that repeats the gold polkadot pattern, a gold lamp (something found at goodwill and spray-painted), black and white stripe curtains (sewing project) and painting the existing dresser a darker coral color than the wall.

3

Apartment Living- Design Edition

It’s been about 4 months of living in our new apartment and I finally feel comfortable showing you some pictures of our living space. As usual everything is always a work in progress, as there is so much more I would like to do! But for now, if feeling the zen in our cool, neutral living space!

20140621-122423-44663923.jpg

20140621-122425-44665270.jpg

20140621-122426-44666954.jpg
As you may have seen in a previous post, I sold my old rug and coffee table to make way for a new, larger and brighter area rug! It fills out the space and is cozy between my toesies! I also made that there ottoman (see previous post for details) and styled it with some metallic finds.

20140621-122723-44843554.jpg

20140621-122722-44842716.jpg

20140621-122725-44845379.jpg
My latest project has been the big empty wall around our little tv table. I have struggled with how to fill out the wall around our itty bitty television, and have made some progress. The floor lamps on either side of the tv table add some much needed height and continuing to draw your eye upward are the hanging metallic plate chargers. I love mixing gold and silver metallics and these chargers were a very cheep solution! Down the road we are planning on getting a larger buffet type console with cabinets for our tv to sit on, but for now, the aqua table suffices. And I did a quick fix to hide the ugly cords running down the wall by placing some canvases back there, that I painted but have yet to determine where to hang.

I also have future plans to swap out my beige chairs for some crisp white ones. To add more white for the time being, I laid white faux sheepskin rugs on the backs. The black and white stripe bow pillows help tie together the other stripes around the room.

20140621-123522-45322864.jpg

20140621-123520-45320196.jpg

20140621-123519-45319167.jpg
As seen before are my black and white striped wing back chairs and dining configuration. I love the stools for my toddlers use! She can easily move them and climb up to eat by herself. My husband has had a hard time accepting the unconventional seating around the table, so we have some extra silver dining chairs that can be pulled up for more seating.

20140621-123956-45596105.jpg

20140621-123954-45594557.jpg

20140621-123951-45591516.jpg

20140621-123953-45593028.jpg
The hallway stripes make such a huge impact and are the only painting I have done in the whole apartment! I love how it draws your eye around the corner to the bathroom (next project on my list) and makes guests wonder what design fun and surprises are back there!

Lots more in store for this living space, but that’s all until the next project’s completion! Keep it GLAMOROUS! 😘

0

Bye-Bye Instagram, Bye-Bye Facebook

@Winkinkdesigns

@Winkinkdesigns

Dear followers (all 3 of you),

Today I declared, No more Instagram or Facebook on my cellphone! Honestly you all know the surface level explanation of “why?” You’ve seen the videos of people missing all of life’s treasures because they are too captivated by their device to be captivated by real life. But may I just point out how ironic it is that those “social media is bad” videos are circulating on the very social media networks that exasperate the problem. I agree with this surface level explanation as to why these networks are distracting us, but it is not the WHY in my decision to delete them. Here is what ultimately lead I my decision.

Time: My time is precious (as I assume yours is too) and I’ve been letting social media literally STEAL a whole stinking lot of it! I’m a stay at home mom, so often it seems like I have a lot of extra time to waste on social media. But in reflection I know there were many ways to have much better used that time.

Exhibit A Time with my kids:
My kids already get the bulk of my time and attention, but what kind of time is it? It’s definitely not undivided time! It certainly isn’t productive time. And usually it’s time I’m distracted by whatever is happening (or not happening) on my cellphone. My kids deserve not just time (quantity), but time QUALITY!

Exhibit B: Time Working I can convince myself til’ the cows come home that I’m “working” when I’m on Instagram, trying to promote my business. But I have to be real honest with you, and honest with myself, social media HAS NOT prospered my little online business. Maybe this means I need to give up my business altogether, or maybe it means that I need to dedicate my work time to MORE PRODUCTIVE ways to grow, publicize and advocate for my business. (Case in point, blogging- but more on that in a bit).

Exhibit C: Time Learning it has been a long time since I have done much for my own mind. As a mommy I often feel like a zombie, and I truly think the feeling has been exasperated because of the amount of mind numbing time I’ve spent on social media. It would be nice to be able to read a book, heck it would be awesome to just keep up with my daily bible readings and devotions, that I claim to run out of time for. Sadly there have been a couple too many times that I’ve intended to opened my “Bible App” and gotten distracted by the magnetic pull of Instagram (which I haven’t checked for a whole 30 minutes!).
I consider myself an intelligent person with ideas, and dreams, and wonderings that deserve the time to be explored and cultivated!

Exhibit D: Dutiful Time
I just love the feeling of a clean house, dinner on the table, laundry folded and put away! Don’t you?! And although I love this feeling, it is rare to complete these tasks all in a days work. Again, there is so much time I DO have to do these things, and in doing them, feel less stressed and anxious about the growing list of “things to do”. It’s time for me to finally check off my daily “To-Do’s” rather than putting them off with another pointless post from a stranger only to satisfy a fleeting whimsy.

Relationships: One of the biggest detriments to social media, as it pertains to my life, is that it has created fake friendships, surface level relationships, and perhaps even alienated people that I DO care to have true friendships with. On facebook, the majority of posts on my news feed are from random people that I barely know, and certainly never see in person. Yet, I find myself way too emotional and involved in what they say online. I can get upset over someone’s view point or I can feel jealousy based on a single picture. When it comes to actual friendships online, I communicate more regularly with those friends in comments and photos then I do in actual conversations or face to face interactions. I DO NOT want hundreds of superficial relationships. But I would be ecstatic with 3 or 4 deep and meaningful ones! I hope that I am still able to see all the sweet pictures and milestones of my friends and their kids and their beautiful lives, I just hope to be able to do it in a more personal way. With pictures adorned on the walls of their home, and with friendships close enough that they think to text me a picture of their life personally. Now that would be something to brighten my day!

My girls

My girls

I will still take selfies with my kids

I will still take selfies with my kids

I love pictures of these girls!

I love pictures of these girls!

My Children and their Childhood Another aspect about this social media age is it’s effect on my children and their generation. I am in a unique generation where I can see the before and the after of this whole technology boom. I grew up with at first a black and white tv which morphed into a color tv and VCR to watch videos on. We didn’t have cable and watched a small amount of tv in general. I learned the computer in elementary school and in middle school we got dial up internet in our home. My parents had cell phones when I was a kid, but I didn’t get one until I was a junior in HS and was given sisters hand-me-down when she went on to college WITHOUT a phone (yeah! Imagine that!). In college text messaging and Facebook entered the world, followed by picture texts, videos, iPhones, apps, twitter, Instagram and MORE! All that to say I can see the cause and effect of the technology on childhood. My 2 year old, who is being raised with no concept of a life before, cabel tv, internet, cell phones, ipads, dvr’s, video games, etc., is able to watch Mickey Mouse whenever her fancy. If we are out at the grocery store and she starts whining because she wants to watch “an episode” on my phone, I of course cave in. Why? Because it’s a whole lot easier to shop while she is entertained on the phone. But what a HUGE determent to my child and MONUMENTAL parenting flaw on my behalf! I loved going to the store with my mom as a kid, running around, trying to slip in all the sugary treats before my mom would notice. It should be an easy way of life to return to, but when you have the world of information in your pocket, and a “babysitter on demand”, literally, it would be foreign to go back.
My childhood was full of Playing outdoors, exploring and creating. My kids deserve that and more!

Creativity: Speaking of creativity. Social media seems to actually limit it. What it does instead, is create inbreeding,  copying, envy, and a spirit of trying to outdo one another. To truly find creativity again, I need to stop trying to be like those that have the appearance of having creative success, and get back to the true creativity in my mind. There is a difference between creating out of inspiration and creating out of desperation. Creating out of inspiration comes from a thought, an adventure, and experience, something personal and unique. Creating out of desperation is what I consider creating from something you have seen someone else create (whether out of their own inspiration or desperation, either way, it doesn’t matter). Basically, this includes following fads, copying things that you “like”, trying to out-do someone else, copying, and just being plain desperate. Lately, I am totally guilty of creating out of desperation. And I am very sure it is driven by instagram and a desperation to somehow measure up to what everyone else is doing, what everyone else finds acceptable, cool, unique, trendy, etc. It’s time for a wake-up call and find my own voice, creating for me and no one else!

Why Is Blogging Okay? Blogging is a source of social media I suppose, but I also find it to be more intellectual, and more worthy of my time. I am creating when I write. I am thinking deeper when I write. I am composing purposefully when I write. I am expressing when I write. I am doing much more than sharing a single picture in hopes to get “likes” and gain followers. Plus there is the fact that I don’t have a network here on my blog, so that helps too 🙂

I will be sharing projects, pictures, ideas, and more on my blog. So if you are missing my old instagram pictures, if you want a glimpse into my life, then you can find me here!

My Hearts Desires: If you know me, you know that I have a bachelors degree in interior design and that  it is where my passion lies. Over the past 9 years practicing and learning the art of design I have been highly creative and felt huge accomplishment in doing so. I have worked for others and worked for myself. But in the past few months my heart for design has taken a major hit. In trying to market my own business, I have never felt so low about my own abilities. I have felt under appreciated and taken advantage of. It is no one’s fault but my own, for letting envy, and social media effect me so deeply. I am not a person to toot my own horn, but I can honestly tell you that I have always found great pride in my design ability. I have always been at the top of my class, highly recognized for my abilities and point of view. In college all of our designs were derived from concepts, and somewhere along the way, the only concept I have been using to design is acceptance. Sadly, searching for acceptance just makes me feel less accepted all the time.

In architectural history, one designer in particular always stuck out to me, Dorothy Draper. Yes, I loved her style, and yes I loved that she was a woman. I also loved her story and how she rose to be an interior designer. But what I loved the absolute most about this woman can be summed up in this, “Real Integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Dorothy Draper

^Greenbrier Resort Interiors by Draper^

I have never identified with a quote so much in my life. No more instagram or facebook to “show off”. I am ready to regain my integrity, knowing that there is no one out there to see me do it!

I may be all alone in the world without social media, but I am hoping that the opposite becomes true. I hope to finally be fulfilled in time, relationships, duties, and my career aspirations! I’m going to look toward my interior design ancestors to make my dreams a reality. Can’t get much simpler than these words by designer Elsie deWolfe. “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life.”

1

Two Years Too Soon

20140212-142909.jpg

Today is my first baby’s second birthday. Watching your children grow up is very bitter sweet. I foyer year to hold my sweet newborn again and look back on her baby pics with a longing. Yet, I love the little girl she is now just as much and possibly even more.

Tylyn is a ball of energy and she rarely takes a moment to sit still. In fact the first time I’ve ever seen her “relaxed” was yesterday. As it turns out she had a fever and wasn’t feeling too hot. The most worrisome part about it wasn’t the fever but the total change in energy. Luckily today she is back to normal to celebrate her birthday in true Tylyn spirit!

A little about my Munchkin:
Tylyn Elizabeth
-she is potty trained
-she is a great big sister who loves her baby and is good at sharing (most of the time).
-she loves to sing! She knows about 10 songs which he sings over and over an over. Her favorites are, Jesus Loves Me, Happy Birthday, the ABC’s, the B-I-B-L-E and The Lords Army.
– Yes, she knows her ABC’s and can count to 16 perfectly! She even knows how to associate counting with “how many?” She also knows all her shapes even octagons. And her colors are finally learned as well!
-she loves to read
-she is beginning to enjoy drawing on her art easel
-she loves baby dolls
-most of her playing is spent I. The slide, “doing exercise” running, jumping, spinning, galloping, etc.
-she likes watching Elmo on the iPhone.4.
-she loves taking naps but is typically happy even if he goes without on days like Sunday.
-she is very obedient and rarely needs a timeout or disciple. But when she does she understands why her actions were bad and initiates praying before getting out of timeout with a happy heart.
-she acts shy in new settings, but it’s all a ruse. There is nothing shy about this girl once you get to know her.
-she is very athletic and coordinated like her Dad.
-she loves her Dad and squeals in excitement the moment he walks through the door.
I’m sure I’m missing so much more but basically she is perfect! 💖

For her birthday my mom got her this pink chair from Target for $14. It’s not a pottery barn kids chair by any means so I decided I was going to spruce it up by making a flower pillow that I saw at Target. Here is the target pillow which was ridiculously priced over $20.

My steps is recreating the pillow are in photos below: from cutting out felt petals to pinching them together with hot glue!

20140212-145422.jpg

I decided I would recreate it with some felt and hot glue. Total price ended up being $7 including the white pillow insert.

20140212-145620.jpg

20140212-145636.jpg

20140212-145650.jpg

20140212-145707.jpg

20140212-145727.jpg

20140212-145739.jpg
I think the pillow is just what this $14 chair needed for a little bit of class.

Happy Birthday Baby!

20140212-150712.jpg

0

God The Creator

There is something BIG on my heart…

I know this blog isn’t supposed to be heavy or controversial or political or religious, but I am all of the above. And on top of that, my family is going through some tough trials.

Without giving too much background about the situation, I will state that my nephew (sister-in-laws 2 month old baby) is at Stanford Children’s hospital fighting for his life day in and day out since he was 4 days old. As I type this he is facing another huge mountain and our only hope of rescue is Jesus!

My nephew, Cruz, was born with high ammonia levels (caused by enzyme deficiency). It has thus gone on to compromise many of his organs; lungs, heart, kidneys, brain and liver. The hope is to receive a liver transplant from Stanford where they specialize in this surgery and rare enzyme condition. However the road to transplant has been very shaky. Point blank, Cruz has been under attack and the enemy wanted to end his life on day 4. He has tried to end it again and again, where the doctors have told his mother, “we don’t expect him to make it through the night” several times over. Yet, our God is greater and has continued his hand of protection over Cruz. But that isn’t the point of this post.

The point is; God is the CREATOR! I’m not a new Christian, I have been a Christian since I was a child and a follower of Jesus all through my teen and adult life. So the concept that “God created the world…” is not news to me. But lately I have had a new perspective on what exactly it means to me, that God is, in fact, the creator of all things. Being a naturally creative person myself, creativity has always seemed like a ‘given’. In fact it is strange to me when people are so blown away by my creativity. My first thought is generally “it’s not that hard..?” So, I have never really batted an eye at the thought that God created the world and everything in it, it was just a ‘given’… right?

Yet, this exact concept has recently stopped me in my tracks. When I start a new creative project (whether planning a birthday party or designing an interior space) I emerge myself so immensely. Every single little minute detail is done a specific way for a certain purpose. And then, in my excitement and pride I reveal my design (usually first to my husband, who does not share the creative bone) and his response is a very generic “cool”. I then feel this need to justify my design. Explain to him each little detail that I created, why I created it and why it is so perfect! He understands the process that I explain but still doesn’t grant me the fulfillment of my creation with enough enthusiasm. This is generally the case with most people that you design for. They can appreciate the result, the final product, but do not quite understand the process, the reason, the labor of love that goes into every, single detail! God created the world in 6 days. And on the 7th day he rested. He looked at his creation in awe and marveled at each little detail and how perfect it was! I love knowing that God created people in his image. I completely identify with God creating the world and then looking at what He created and appreciating what only He can fully appreciate. Similarly to my husband the athlete, God is the ultimate athlete! He would win every Gold Metal in all the Olympic games, can play every position in every sport, better than all the best! And for athletic people (which I am not) it is pretty amazing to understand that God created you with those specific talents because they are all a part of Him! Wow!

Having kids helped open my eyes to a new perspective on God the Creator as well. Once a person has aided in creating life, nothing else you create quite compare to it’s magnitude. I look at my children multiple times a day in awe. “I created these little munchkins” I think. But really God created them. He breathed life into their nostrils. He presented them to my husband and I. He created them first in His image and then in the image of us (the parents). So if my daughters turn out to be creative types like myself or athletic types like my husband we can be in awe that they were created to be like us, but we can be in Bigger awe that they were created to be like Him!

Many of you (out there in the bloggersphere) who do not know this God, this Jesus, that I write about might be wondering, ‘then how could God create my nephew Cruz. Why was Cruz created with these missing enzymes?’ Honestly, I DO NOT KNOW! But what I do know is that God does not make mistakes! When he created Cruz, he created him with those missing enzymes for a purpose. Like I said, when you are a creative type you do not do things, “just because” or by accident. So I know for a FACT, that when you are the Creator of the Universe, there is ZERO mistake!

My beautiful sister in law Brittney is also a VERY creative person. She is probably more specific to every little detail than I am. The labor of love she has over her creations and designs is beyond comparison. It is no wonder that God gave Cruz to her. Because her understanding of God’s unique creation in Cruz has carried her through this heart wrenching situation with more grace and understanding than I wish I could have in a lifetime! Her faith in God’s promises is unyielding. She has held tight to the Word of the Lord rather than the word of the doctors. When the doctors projected Cruz’s life would not continue beyond 4 days, she believed that God created him to Live, to prosper, to testify to the grace, love and power of Jesus! And here we are 2 months later, still trudging through the valley of death, clinging to The Good News. News that Jesus died, so that we can have life and life abundantly! I believe in the deepest depths of my soul, that Cruz will live a full and healthy life here on earth! I believe that Jesus is with Cruz and his miraculous works in Cruz’ little body have just begun. I believe in the promises of God’s creation, in Jesus’ salvation, and in the faith of a mother and the community that has gathered around her in steadfast prayer and hope!

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

-Psalms 23

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

-Psalm 91

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty,darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

-Genesis 1