Thursday, January 31, 2013

Interior Design Tips: From My Home to Yours

Tip #6: It all comes together in the details.

Pretty simple topic here. Each of these living spaces have mixed color, pattern, and texture well. Yes, they started with good bones. Meaning the sofas have nice shape, tufting, colors and patterns. But I want to draw your attention to the details. The accent pillows, the framed art with objects mixed in (second to last photo), books, bowls, trays, flowers, driftwood, that little bronze squirrel you found at the flea market...the details...ya know?

I would encourage you to do this. Take a photo of your own living room. Then examine the photo. What do you think? Could it use a few more details? Think pattern, texture, color. Does it need a shiny object, a textured pillow, or a patterned rug?

P.S. I am helping a friend redo our "Mama's Sofa," the nursing mom's room at our church. This weekend we are on the hunt for a sofa, and hopefully some of the details to make the room feel like home.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tegegne: Remember This

You are at school right now. I am writing some emails, but also have a screen up for Hensley to watch old home videos. Remember this day? You learned to ride your bike and  Daddy was so proud. Love you today. Love that you are at school with the sweetest teacher and fun kids. When I dropped you off you ran right over and started building the large train track with your friends. At 3:15 you will jump in the car and enthusiastically share details of your day. On nice days you immediately ask what park we're going to. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Interior Design: Small Bathroom Solution

What do you think of these open shower concepts? If you're modest, I'm guessing you may feel too exposed and much prefer to be more enclosed when washing those 2000 parts. I think I'm into them. Shower curtains are lame-o, in my opinion, and shower walls are just there for squeegee-ing. When using this concept, the whole bathroom would need to be more water resistant. It is a nice solution for a small bathroom, via the first and third photos. These narrow spaces don't feel so cramped when the shower is open. 

Whatever shower solution you've got, the important thing is to use it. Hygiene is very important for your health and well being. The real question is how often. This article suggests that showering too often can have a potentially damaging effect on your skin. They also say that if you've got the time, it's best for your skin if you air dry. Go ahead and give it a read. And don't forget to light a candle. Especially you hardworking mothers with small children. I've realized that anytime I can create a "spa-like" atmosphere for myself, I'm more calm and relaxed. 


P.S. Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle has become our most recent go-to body wash. It's quite nice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kid Stuff: Artwork

Tegegne, Hensley, and I have enjoyed coloring lately. Even when I get out three coloring books, they end up migrating to my book and all three of us color on the same page, bumping hands and all. I was thinking that we should pull out more than our coloring books this week and found these ideas from 2 creative friends. The last image is a sweet collection of kids artwork.  

(ideas from Sam. ideas from Katie.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Lovely Must See Space: In Kansas City

My cousin just introduced me to this lovely event space here in Kansas City. The Guild...have you been? 

We got to see our friend Tyler compete in the final round of the Regional Barista Competition yesterday at The Guild.  He did a fantastic job. It has been neat for Michael and I to learn more and appreciate coffee through him. Stop by Oddly Correct and he'll brew you up a lovely cup of coffee!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dear Children: Remembering Every Last Drop

Dear Children,

You'll all be big eventually, right? Are you going to grow up? I mean, it's fine if you choose not to. You're dad and I will be thirty in a month. Maybe we should hit pause on life. Okay, never mind. Keep growing, and we will too. But let's not miss out on a single moment together. 

Will you remember your childhood...our back yard bon fires, cranking out the homemade pasta noodles, dancing in the kitchen?  Will you share stories together, these memories with your children? Of course you won't remember it all. My prayer is that you'll at least remember this. "Our parents cared for us, and wanted the very best for us. Our childhood was sweet, and adventurous, and full of love." 

Your dad and I will grow old too. In order to not's what I'd say about today...
Fields, you turned over! It's January 19th. You are 4 months old and 5 days and you figured out that you can push your momentum to one side and turn over onto your stomach. A true life skill, and we saw you do it for the first time! What will it be next, baby boy?

Hensley, tonight at our bon fire you said, "Sing, sing!" You love to sing and sway your little body. You are charming us with your facial expressions and are a true ham. Your personality is really coming out and it's been seriously fun to watch.

Tegegne you chimed in responding Hensley's request around the bon fire with this dear song..."I will draw a ring around the moon. I will draw a line from star to star. I will sing a pennies worth of song, just to tell you how in love we are." Earlier today you swept the floor (so well!), soothed Fields with kind words and his pacifier, and you and I had this joke going about a king and a dinosaur and my King Jesus. 

And Michael. I loved laughing with you tonight. Over how I fluff my bangs all the time. You always catch me doing it and were teasing me. I was so embarrassed. We couldn't quit laughing. Giggling like children, really. Thanks for that. 

If only we could remember every last drop of sweetness. I'll go to sleep with gratitude...

(Ha! Or I'll write a few more blog posts, because I don't have a lot of time in the day to do this sorta thing.) 


Friday, January 18, 2013

Conversations: With Tegegne

My feet and yours.

Tegegne: Mom, I can't fall  asleep because Hensley is talking to her dolls. (Hensley wanted all 5 of her dolls in bed with her.)
M: Okay, you can take your nap in our bed.
T: Wow, your and dad's bed is the coziest.
M: Yeah, parents usually have the coziest bed...because they're the parents.

T: Mom, can we do a play date with Ella?

T: Mom, I didn't get to sit by Ella for snack. Mrs. Donna had us sit by other people.

T: Mom, I had a dream that a bunch of friends were over playing cars in the basement. Ella was here but she didn't know I was here. I didn't want to wake up yet, but I did.

I have heard lots about Ella in recent months. Pretty sure you, (and several other boys in your class) have developed your first crush! Can I be honest and say I have felt jealous?! It feels so silly. I can only imagine what it's going to be like when you introduce me to your first girlfriend like in 10 years! Oh man.

My friend was telling me this story about when she first met her high school son's girlfriend. "Mom, you were nice to too nice. You kept staring at her with this odd smile on your face." She replied, "I'm's just so weird for me!"

Lord, have mercy on Tegegne and his dating relationships! And have mercy on me, holy cow. Remind me that I am still the one who sings him to sleep at night and spreads his peanut butter.

You also have developed a crush on this Ipad game. We have a new rule. It's not so new, but you act like every time I remind you of it! Anyway, it's that book time comes before Ipad time. You earn the time by "reading" like 4 books. And some days there is no Ipad or TV. It's crazy how much you ask for it. Can't wait for warmer days. With this said, we have had fun playing baseball indoors and playing games recently.

I love you, Tegegne. You're 5 going on 15...but please don't grow up too fast. 


P.S. I was just thinking that I might get in big trouble if I share about a crush you have when you are 15. What will I ever write about then?!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dear Fields: Get Well Soon

Dear Sweet Baby Boy,

Many dear friends and family prayed for you as we went to the ER last night with your fever of 101.7. When the triage nurse checked your temp (through the bottom) it was 104. They gave you Tylenol which broke the fever. We sat in the waiting room at Children's Mercy, for what I thought would be 2 hours. I checked in with a nurse, and she kindly got us into a room early. They ruled out the flu and RSV, but then wanted to rule out other things which lead to blood work and a catheter. Taking the blood work really sucked. With your chubby arms and legs and tiny veins, they tried and tried. Another nurse came in and tried. Two of your veins broke before they got enough drawn. They kept saying you were so strong, and one nurse was practically laying on you. Then another nurse started singing You Are My Sunshine, because she felt so bad for you. It was so sad to see. I am so glad our good friend, Amy, was there. She was awesome.

You also vomited and had diarrhea, but neither have happened in 8 hours. All other tests came back negative. I spoke with our pediatrician's nurse this morning and she gathered that its a virus going around. She said you could have picked it up anywhere, and the virus can live on a surface for 8 hours. Yuck.

So, we are trying to rest today. Currently you do not have a fever, and are napping. So is Hens. And Tegegne is at school. I better get some shut-eye too.

Love you,


P.S. Thank you friends...for the texts, notes, and prayers. We love you.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Unceasing: Turn Thinking to Prayer

Our minds are always active. We analyze, reflect, daydream, or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is "unceasing." Sometimes we wish that we could stop thinking for a while; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings, and fears. Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer by making our inner monologue into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love.

Let's break out of our isolation and realize that Someone who dwells in the center of our beings wants to listen with love to all that occupies and preoccupies our minds.

Henri Nouwen

Thank you, Henri Nouwen, for this refreshing reminder. My daydreams have been plentiful, and it is so good when I remember to turn them into prayers to God. Handing them over gives me hope, and allows me to relax because I know that God will take care of us. He knows what lies ahead, and He has blessed us so much along the way. So what's it been this time...well, I dream of designing a new space. I dream of a new house, with a kitchen that we can connect to the back yard through windows and doors. It would be nice to live between 30th and 70th Street, as this is where we usually are when we're not at home. This is a daydream, that I've recently been turning into prayer. Of course I can drive by house after house, and have each one mentally remodeled after a glance or two. But then there's my dear husband who does all the work. And does he really want to do that? Or would he rather be out riding his bike? Both/And. He wants to make sure I won't want to move again in 2 more years. 

So Michael and I have had good discussions. We talk about design, about God's provision, and about how much we love our family. Wherever we are, we get to be together and that brings me joy. With all this said, we love our home. It is cozy, especially with our new drapery and space heaters. It is well-renovated and really kicks butt. It's spacious. The parties we can have in this house are beyond good. We have even made our basement into play space. Several of our neighbors are good friends. And I cannot even imagine not sharing space with Taryn, Micah, and Hazel. (Taryn has lived "with" us for almost 6 years!)  We have no plans to move. We've discussed taking the year to enjoy it here and count our many blessings. Just wanted to take you on this journey with us!



P.S. Fields, you turned 4 months old yesterday! I must write to you soon, little cutie.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kid Stuff: Colorful and Cute

From bath towels to bedding...

And so much more...

All this and more at Zara Home

Disclaimer: I didn't receive any kickbacks for this post, nor do I ever when I promote products or advertise stores. ( I missing out on something?! Maybe I should look into this.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Interior Design Tips: From My Home To Yours

Hi there. It's me again. I won't say it's full speed ahead, but I didn't forget about you. Our main goal of the holidays was to truly relax and that's what I did. But we are back into the routine, and I am feeling good about the new year. As you may know, something I'm good at is daydreaming, especially when time allows. Lately it's been home remodeling ideas...and I've come to a conclusion. Drumroll please.

Tip #7. One key element to a fantastic home is it's connection to the great outdoors. Taking the inside out, and the outside in. These connections, these indoor/outdoor rooms, walls full of windows or bifold doors all connect the home to the outside. Nature. The place where we go to get a breath of fresh air, hear birds sing, feel a cool breeze or get warmed by the sun. 

How can this be accomplished? It depends on your own space of course, but here are some ideas.

-Take out the single back door and put in glass sliding or French doors. 
-Replace a small window with a larger one. (We renovated a 1920s bungalow attic into a master bedroom and the highlight of the room was the 4' x 6' window we installed to replace the 2' x 2' window that was there previously. It was beautiful to watch the seasons change out of that window.)
-Or go all out and add a sunroom or wall of windows. 
Here are some homes who have made this connection quite exquisitely...

These photos aren't so practical or design on a dime projects, but think conceptually about your space. What is your connection to the outdoors? I mean, just because you don't live by the ocean doesn't mean you can't spray Ocean Breeze and gaze at your large photo of the ocean now does it? Dream a little. It'll do you good.

(photo links and photo.)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Family Function: And Fur Coats

Dear Tegegne,

Hi cutie bug. Do you like your lines? You've gotten several complements on them and I must say I'm getting much better at your haircuts. Especially since you get way impatient and I only have 3-5 minutes (Unless dad is home. Then you'll sit for like 20 minutes.) You loved time at Big Sky and were in your snow suit half of the time.  I'd like to chime in with Olivia's mom or Skippy Jon Jones mother and say, You wear me out, but I love you. I just started singing to you during your bedtime routine and last night it was the sweetest. (Because you played with my hair while I sang.) Thanks for being such a patient big brother to Hensley. Dad and I love watching you two goof off together.


We matched on Christmas eve. I promise I won't make you do this in middle school, but I've gotta admit I loved wearing our red dresses and fur coats together. Besides the family (and eating all day long), your bunny and thumb are your favorite things in the world.


Thanks for a wonderful two weeks together. I wish you didn't have to go back today. We've had a great time watching HGTV + Modern Family, dreaming up what house we should buy next (because we've been watching too much HGTV and want to do more projects!) hosting parties, laughing at the kids, enjoying Baby Fields chubbiness and new sounds, etc, etc. I love our new night stands you made me. Thanks for being such a present man of the house. There is much joy in the family when we are all together.



Saturday, January 5, 2013

Baby Fields: With Uncle Eric

Sweet Fields,

You had a great Christmas, especially with Uncle Eric. He spent lots of time playing with you and laughing. You two had a good line of communication going. I caught some of your time together on video. 

Another amazing gift from your dad was a set of plates from Aunt Erica. I was so surprised and absolutely love them.  Her work is available here and here. Coffee never tastes so good than when it is drank out of one of her mugs. Also helps when it's coffee from here!



P.S. Hensley is "helping" me write this blog post, and saying "Eric" over and over. She is also holding the candle from my bedside and swaying while singing her version of this song..."Light one candle for love, one bright candle for love. He brings love to every heart, He Comes, He Comes!"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year, Love The Joneses

Happy New Year!!!
We reigned in the New Year with good friends and a dance party! It was soooo much fun! Also fare-welled one of the couples to New Zealand for a month. Wish we could all go with them. Will miss you, Kellers. Happy travels. Love you all! Here's to 2013. To friendship. To relaxation. And to good home cookin'.


The Joneses

P.S. Last night I got out for dinner with friends. Michael took himself to an action movie tonight and he is making us creme brulee tomorrow night. The kids are happily enjoying their new Christmas gifts. *Hensley is bouncing, Fields has warm feet, and Tegegne is learning to driveStarting the year out right, I'd say. 

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