Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pretend You're a Professional Interior Designer

Decorating is one of my FAVORITE hobbies. When I was in high school and debating on what to do with my life my decision came down to either becoming a teacher or interior designer. I chose teacher knowing that would be the hardest of the two to go back and get a degree. Interior design was always something I could pick up, take a few classes, and use my mom-God-given talent.

My mom is a natural artist, a self taught designer, and I credit her for that desire in my life. I would watch her paint or put items together on a table and they'd turn out just so, and I specifically remember looking forward to having my own home to mimic what I'd learned from her. So here I am, 27 years young, and hoping my decision to be a stay-at-home mom will now push forward this other passion I have in my life, so thank you mom!

Here are my "design suggestions" (remember they are from an -untrained- "I see it, like it, copy it" non-certified, highly UNqualified point of view) so take it for what it's worth. I've noticed that most interior designers have a certain artistic element anyway, and I'm sure that through their schooling they've learned to use those qualities to the best of their ability. Someday that may happen for me, but for now, this is what I got:




First of all, pick one item. I'll use my living room as an example. I picked live, laugh, love. These were a gift from my mother and decided to make them the focal point of the room. I love the overall meaning, the fact that it started with an L (Lowery), plus it's classic and simple.



After picking an item, pick a color scheme to match it. You can't tell from the picture, but Live, Laugh, and Love are brown. So I picked red, gold, black, brown and white. I always pick at least 3 colors (and no more than 5 - too much is too much after all) because you'll have your main color and your accent colors. I'm the opposite of most people, I usually pick a bold color (gold) as my main color and accent with white. To me it's crisp, warm, and easier to keep clean! :)

Once you've picked a color scheme go back to your item and pick out the design elements you like. For example, the adjectives I'd pick to go along with my live, laugh, love item is curvy and vintage. I'm not going to be looking for items to match that are polka dotted or modern. Don't be afraid to go a little out of your color scheme either, but look for items that could match the design elements and color scheme. (OH and do NOT be afraid of the different color hues, it adds to the room!) Every where I go I'm looking for L's. I might have become somewhat obsessive... but I love playing with the word Love, all the Bible verses that go with it, and add to the fact that our last name begins with an L. Love it! Here are some pieces I found to fit...

The flower arrangement (containing dried roses) are all gifts from Kyle. That bouquet has special meaning for me because every time we go on a hike together or romp around outdoors I take something and add to it. The only thing I've bought from that arrangement is the vase (thrift store find) and some of the "twirly" grass for a $1 at Dollar General.
I made the LOWERY, est 2009 sign from left over wood from our fence. I glued it together, slapped some craft paper on each piece, and painted it to get the desired look. This is after about 4 or 5 attempts. :)
The frame I used at our wedding to display our engagement picture (Hobby Lobby special... dangerous store for me...).
The L's I've collected over the last few years... where ever I find one, I buy it.

This was an old shelf taken from my dad's garage when we as siblings went through the stuff and grabbed what we wanted. I painted it up, sanded down the edges to give it a worn look, hot glued craft paper behind it and displayed more L's.
Again, the frame is a thrift store find and the "Family all because two people fell in love" sign is a Hobby Lobby special.
I found two of these side tables at Hobby Lobby on sale for less than $10. So I grabbed them or I knew I'd regret it later.
This wicker chair was given to me and I went to Wal-Mart and picked up fabric to "reupholster" it (it's more of a pillow so it was super easy...).

I found this in the clearance section at Pamida and couldn't resist. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that who-so-ever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." - John 3:16 It's an amazing verse to hang above our door.
*Remember! You do not have to go and spend gobs of $$$ on these items! Look around your house, is there anything in another room that would fit? Do you have an item you could paint, or touch up with some fabric or even craft paper? Go to garage sales, thrift stores, used furniture stores, etc. you'll be amazed by what you'll find. If you have to put a little elbow grease into it, to make it what you envisioned, it'll be that much more special to you! Be an innovator and use what you already have!*

Paint is your best friend! It will add so much to your room, don't be afraid to be bold. Granted there isn't an un-do button, but thankfully with some added elbow grease you can re-do. :)

Fabric should also be a close friend! Pick a variety of patterns for pillows, window treatments, etc. I've even seen this great idea to use fabric as art pieces to hang up in your home. Here's my example:

The striped fabric is a window seat, with the L pillow (again clearance rack at Hobby Lobby), the colorful pillow behind it is fabric I picked from Wal-Mart and made it (soooooo much cheaper than buying pillows) and the window treatment was also homemade.
I haven't decided which fabric to use yet, but "making an ottoman" is on my to do list. I love them both and I'm leaning more towards the red and gold design rather than the black and gold design... Help me decide? :)

Last, but definitely not least, your windows should be a focal point of your room. It's natural light, gives you a view (even if it's an unfavorable one of your neighbors house), and allows you to add more detail (color via trim, window treatments, etc.) It's totally worth spending some extra time and effort on it.

My not-so-perfect example:
Sorry about the lighting in the first picture, but I wanted to give you an idea of what it (kinda) looked like during the day, notice it's a favorite hang out for my dog Marley. It's hard to take a good quality picture using an iPhone with that much light! :)


One last piece of advice (I promise.): Do not be afraid to mix and move. If you're like me I get bored with one look so I'll switch it up occasionally. I have a tub in storage where I'm constantly putting items away for a while and getting others out to display. It's like Christmas every time I rummage through it! I hate clutter, so don't display EVERYTHING all at once. I've been to houses where it's literally hoarder central and they cover a wall with trinkets and shelves of more trinkets. I'm a hoarder too, but I try not to let that part of me show toooooo much. Haha. Clutter to me = messy. Plus it's more you have to dust. So MIX AND MOVE.

I hope this helped spur your inner Interior Designer. Now you can pretend to be one along with me!

Our Little Girl

She has no idea how much we already love her! We saw her for the first time on ultrasound when I was only 13 weeks and 5 days along, and there was no doubt in my mind, from that point on, how much she was going to change our lives.

She was meant to be, a God send. We had one conversation about how God is in control and if he wants us to have children, well, we'd have children. One week later, I felt funny. That's the best I can describe it. Different. Funny. Weird. And we just knew.

I'm not sure whether you'd call that "trying" or "planning on it" or whatever, it was a leap of faith because for some reason we knew that if God wanted it to happen, it'd happen, whether or not we were "trying" or "planning on it" or even if it was an "oops" or even if it took us years. It's all in HIS timing. It all happens because God wants it to happen. That's one fact that rebounds itself over and over again throughout our lives, and this little girl is a reminder of God's sovereignty.

When we saw her moving around and listened to her heartbeat for the first time, all the while crying, praising and thanking God for this life, there was confirmation once again that He is in control! He created a beautiful, baby girl. And there is absolutely, positively, no denying, that after 13 short weeks our baby is in fact, a living, breathing BABY. Praise God!

"For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works,
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them."
- Psalm 139: 13-16

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wedding Day, July 24, 2009

Our wedding day was perfect.

The week before, not so much.

Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. In fact, I began making a list. I'll share that list with you. It's funny now, but at the time it brought me to tears....
  1. On our way to steam my dress, my dog Nita (who was half black lab, half pit bull, so she's big) got sick. She puked and had the runs ALL OVER MY CAR. I had to pull over every 30 seconds so I could shove her out before she made a bigger mess than she already made. Good thing all my wedding and teaching stuff were in bags, or it would've been ruined. She probably puked a total of 10 times and pooped at least 4. Yuck! It took more than 30 minutes to clean out my car.
  2. The first steamer we had didn't work, so Kyle bought a new one while he was in Denver. Then that steamer made no effect what-so-ever on the wrinkles in my dress. So Grandma, bless her heart, went out and bought a new iron and carefully did it all herself. My dress ended up looking perfect. That was all complete the night before my wedding, and we started this task on Wednesday, so imagine our frustration.
  3. On of my bridesmaids, candlelighters, wedding singers, and an attendant broke down on their way up the mountain. They were stuck in Evergreen, which is about an hour and a half drive from Fraser, an  hour before rehearsal began. So my brother, who is a groomsman and Kelsey Romsheck, one of the ushers went to get them. The rehearsal began at 6, but they did not arrive until around 7:30 - 8ish. I'm just glad they were safe!
  4. To make that situation even worse, I had asked them to stop by the mall to pick up my garter. I received a phone call from the girls and THEY NEVER ORDERED IT! So they accomodated by giving me one from the store, but it wasn't the one I wanted, oh well, I sucked it up.
  5. When I got to the rehearsal, everyone was parked in the spot where we were having the ceremony, making it impossible to set up and practice. Which should've been done before rehearsal began, but we ran out of time!
  6. I tried printing off my "responsibility list" for my host couples, ushers, personal attendants, etc. before the rehearsal and they would NOT print. So I just left my computer out and they all referred to that.
  7. The bridesmaid's dresses were a disaster. The company who made them totally messed each dress up. First of all, they looked nothing like the pattern. They were HUGE on the girls, even after being measured to have the dress fit them. They were crooked. They hung weird. They were ugly. The night before we spent at my mom's resizing, refitting, and basically trying to redo the entire dress. We were supposed to hang out and have a relaxing evening at the Woodspur Lodge. That didn't happen. The girls sucked it up and made them look beautiful regardless, because THEY are beautiful (it had nothing to do with the dress).
  8. The hair dresser didn't work out. So with six girls needing their hair done, I only had one person to do it. My poor Aunt Tammy. It ended up working out, but I was doing hair, Tammy was doing Hair... thankfully everyone was willing to pitch in.
  9. My mom and Grandma Eileen were making cakes and due to a lot of different reasons (altitude, cake pans, ingredients, whatever) the cakes kept sinking in the middle. Thanks to their diligence it ended up being perfect.
  10. This happened the week before the week before my wedding, lol, but it's definitely worth sharing. After they slaughtered our roasting pig they froze the poor thing upside down, spread eagle. Which made him HUGE! He weighed approximately 270 lbs and when his legs were spread it made him tall and wide. The box Micah's cousin made for transport was too small, so they had to cut off teh pigs feet in order to even get it to fit in a vehicle to transport it. Thankfully Micah's cousin and her parents worked everything out. I don't know how, but the pig was at the wedding and tasted yummy.
BUT the day was perfect, and thanks to A LOT of people, everything went smoothly... no glitches. Beth James did an amazing job with pictures and by looking at them you'd never know we had all those issues. Check out her website: http://studiojimages.net/

I thought I'd continue telling you about our wedding day through some of my favorite pictures...

We got ready at Woodspur Lodge in Winter Park, CO and it was a perfect start to the day, being with my besties...

On my way to the Fraser Rodeo Grounds in Fraser, CO to see Kyle for the first time and take pictures. I couldn't wait, I was so excited to see him!


My sister, Mel, was pregnant with my cute little nephew Gary and he was moving around!
My poor brother, Matt. I used to make him play wedding growing up and this is how we took all our pictures. Funny.
Marley hated his tux!
We had this hayrack set up for our wedding party to ride before and after the wedding. So before the guests began arriving we took this hayrack ride to a friends house just down the road and continued snapping pictures. The hayrack ride was our favorite part of the day, it was so much fun!

 
"It's flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord." - Song of Solomon 8:6

When dad gave me away he had this whole spiel about how he has loved me since the day I was born and always will, he ended it with, "do you want me to put your hand in this man's?" I bawled so hard I couldn't even say yes, no I earnestly nodded.


Exchanging Vows.

First Kiss as Husband and Wife.

Time to Celebrate!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Engagement: October 11, 2008

Our journey with Christ began when Kyle asked me to marry him. Our engagement was challenging because the way we had lived out our relationship beforehand changed.

Kyle and I had a long distance relationship for a couple of years, that alone was a challenge in and of itself. I graduated from Doane College in 2007 and Kyle in 2009. So when Kyle decided to ask for my hand in marriage he drove 10 hours on Friday (AFTER classes) to ask my dad permission and then down 4 hours the next day to ask me. Wow.

Once he got to my house, he brought me flowers and made me dinner. After we ate I got up to begin dishes and putting away leftovers. When I turned around Kyle was on one knee asking me to be his wife. My response was immediately one of surprise, “SHUT UP!”

How romantic of me… obviously I didn’t hesitate in my recovery with a solid, excited “YES!”


And there begins a journey neither one of us are ready to forget.

My dad had some requirements for a full blessing. 1. We had to stop having sex and wait until our wedding night. And 2. That we find a solid Christian book guiding us on what it means to have a Christ filled marriage. Kyle took both those things to heart. The first requirement was extremely difficult, but for the 8 months we were engaged, from the time Kyle gave my dad the word until the day we were married we fulfilled his request. The second requirement was actually quite fun. The very next day after I said “YES!” Kyle took me to Cheyenne where we searched Barnes and Noble for “that” book. There was only one. Seriously. So we took it as a sign that it was the one. A Marriage After God’s Own Heart by David Clarke was incredible. Clarke taught us how to pray, fight, love, and most importantly how to put Christ in the center of our marriage.


Still there was one thing missing. Christ.

As a pastor’s daughter I had grown up surrounded by the teaching of God’s word. Kyle believed in God, but didn’t know what it meant to receive Jesus Christ as his savior. Since high school, neither one of us were interested in following God or glorifying God, so although this was a great book we were missing something.

Until, we decided that Doug at the Winter Park Christian Church would be our pastor. The first day of counseling we walked in completely different than how we walked out.

We cried through the tough stuff of our past and then Doug asked us if either one of us had accepted Jesus Christ as our savior. I said as a child I had, but was not living my life as though I had. Kyle told him that he believed in God, but had never prayed for Jesus to enter his life specifically. So right then and there we prayed and Kyle accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and I reaffirmed my life for Him. It was an amazing experience to share as a new couple. And I will never forget it.

We spent that summer apart once again. After he graduated he got a job as a chemist in the town where I worked, so he moved in to the duplex I had been renting and I moved in with my sister.

I spent the summer planning my wedding and working to afford it. When the day finally came it was a joyous event and we can glorify God knowing that we began our marriage with Christ as the center and we can die knowing we did everything to the best of our ability glorifying Him in it.








My dad ended up taking our engagement pictures, didn't they turn out fantastic? :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

Divine Providence

Kyle and I were meant to be. God put us together. How he did it is a rather humorous story and one worth sharing because it made us realize that nothing is of our own doing. I do not believe in coincidences and our relationship began with a sombrero hat!

It’s amazing how he used this seemingly unimportant object to demonstrate how he is in control. And it all started because I was upset with my sorority that they didn’t like my idea of hosting a Gamma Phi-esta. The symbols for my sorority were Gamma Phi Iota and thought the theme was rather clever. Back in those days we were heavy partiers, but despite this fact HE had plans for us that we never even saw coming. He had His hand in our lives from the very beginning, even when we weren’t following Him.

After my frustration with the party theme rejection I decided to have my own Gamma Phi-esta, which lead me from quad* to quad and eventually I lost my sombrero. I searched and searched, and did not succeed so I headed back to my quad for the night.

That’s where I found the sombrero, sitting on Kyle’s head. I proceeded to yell at him explaining that it was my sombrero and he needed to return it. He promptly returned it, probably regretting ever putting on the crazy ladies hat, explaining that he had just “found it.”

As the evening progressed we talked and laughed about the stupid sombrero and before I kicked him out for the night he asked me when he could see me again. To which I replied, “Look me up on Facebook!”

To this day I’m so glad he did.



* A quad at Doane College was a living space with four bedrooms, a main living room area and a shared bathroom.