A Bedroom Set

Earlier this summer, I painted and distressed a bedroom set for Brooke. We have known Brooke since she was in junior high school. She was engaged to be married and had recently inherited her dear grandmother's bedroom set. I was so happy to do this set for them!

I was a big dork and didn't take ANY pictures...I don't know what I was thinking.

Well, she is now married and she sent me some pictures of the bedroom set in their new home...

Congratulations Brooke and Bobby! Here's to many loving years together!


Game Table

I had soo much fun with this set!! I loved what I had to work with...it's an antique set with cane-backed chairs and a cute, square plank table that extends.

I wanted a whitewashed or really distressed look for it.

I began with a thin coat of creamy white paint. I then scrubbed the whole thing with steel wool. I love the look steel wool gives, although I would recommend wearing gloves if you're gonna try it...I have lots of little silver splinters! I then mixed up a light blue-grey and painted some of the planks. A little heavy distressing, and it was finished!

I went pretty beachy with it, which may mean no one in Colorado will want to buy it...if that's the case, it will be happy in my home!
You can see all the details here!



Antique Desk and Chair Set

Once upon a time there was a sweet little desk. She lived at The Broadmoor Hotel. She enjoyed the high life as presidents, dignitaries, famous musicians and businessmen sat and enjoyed the view of the Rocky Mountains...

Just kidding! Kind of. This desk WAS a part of the furnishings of the historic hotel. I can only imagine the faces she has seen!

The top had cigar burns and some decent wear-and-tear...

I paired her with a cute harp-backed chair.



I met Chelsea when she was in middle school. She and her brothers and sister were in our junior high group at church. Brad and I have been connected to her family ever since. She has walked an incredible road and I asked her to share it with you...

Psalm 40
I waited patiently for the LORD;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

Love was something that I always knew. Love from my parents, family and friends, and God's love had always been apparent to me. What I was unsure of was love for myself.
I entered high school with few friends, but with the knowledge that the Lord would always be by my side--and He has although sometimes I never sought to acknowledge it.
As freshman year of high school had come and gone, I seemed to have lost sight of myself and who my identity was in Jesus Christ. I started to explore and rebel a bit.
On a night in June, 2005 I had encountered an opportunity to drink alcohol for the first time. I had felt safe under the roof of my own home, despite the fact that my parents were on vacation in Florida. Although my sister and I did have permission to stay at home together that night, what my parents didn't know was that there were three untrustworthy boys there and a good amount of liquor.
My insides were turning with a nervous feeling that somehow this night wasn't going to turn out for the better. But I put my gut feelings aside and engaged in a new activity anyway--turning my back on my family, my self-worth and my God, and this was only the beginning.
As I began to drink what tasted like nail polish remover, and burned like fire inside, I started to get dizzy. I had lost track of the amount of alcohol I had consumed and faintly remember anything what went on after about 60 minutes of drinking.
I woke up the next morning in my bed, trying to remember how I had gotten there. I then realized that I didn't have any clothes on and Ryan*, one of the boys, was lying next to me. I remember my heart pounding abnormally fast and not wanting to make any sounds or movements. I was so afraid and so unsure of what had happened.
I decided to quietly get up and try to find my sister. She was sound asleep in her own bed. I frantically woke her up to ask her what had happened the night before. She tried to remember as well, and although things were still blurry, she had remembered coming into my room and asking me what I was doing, but got no answer from me.
The next thing that I knew I had to do was call my parents. But Ryan had to leave first. I didn't want to talk to him; I didn't want to look him in the eyes. I just wanted him gone. As he left, I had remembered my brother, Corey, had spent the night at Ryan's house with Ryan's brother.

Before I could pick up the phone to call my mom, Corey was home. I could tell that he was angry and already knew what had happened. He encouraged me to call my mom right away. Calling my mom was, to this day, the hardest thing I've ever done, but I knew I had to do it.
High school was hard. Still not really knowing who I was, where I fit in. I would go back and forth with God, telling Him that I would spend time with Him tomorrow, or that I would go to Bible study next week because I really wanted to go to a party instead.
The summer before my senior year my boyfriend of one year had broken up with me. This changed me significantly. I decided that I just didn't really care anymore. I began to sleep around, drink more and became majorly addicted to marijuana.
Through all of this, God was still speaking to me. I knew that He was always there with me. Even though I felt God's love and protection around me all of the time, conviction sulked deep down in my heart.
Everyone around me could see that I was going downhill so they decided to intervene. My family sat me down one afternoon and gave me the raw details. They told me that I wasn't fooling anyone and that if I was going to continue making bad decisions then I had two choices: I could move out or I could go to a 30-day rehabilitation center in Phoenix, AZ.
I was so angry. I packed my bags and decided to leave the house with no phone, car or money. My siblings had tried to get me to stay. That weekend I numbed myself with drugs and alcohol. By the end of the weekend my friends had talked me into going home and rehab.
I remember driving up to my house that night. My brother Brandon ran outside, opened the car door, picked me up and carried me inside the house. I was greeted with tears and hugs. They were all so happy that I had finally woken up and made a good decision. It was one of the only times I had seen my dad cry. I knew that I had hurt him and that I needed to do something. I needed help, to fix myself.
The next morning, March 1st, 2008, I was on a plane to Calvary Rehabilitation Center in Phoenix, AZ. That day at school, everyone knew where I was. It was humiliating. The hardest part was that I was supposed to graduate in 3 months and I was worried that this was going to hold me back.
While in rehab, I learned so much about myself. The center was a Christian center. I learned a lot about God and got to start over with Him. I really found God's mercy and grace over that 30-days.
I was left with the question : what was I going to do after rehab? I was blessed with the ability to finish classes via email with my teachers so I was able to graduate. I chose to stay in Phoenix and live in a halfway house--even though this would mean that I had to miss my senior prom. Now that I look back, I think my intentions in staying weren't to stay at a sober house. I stayed because I didn't want to face anyone back home. Although I was happy that I had gone through rehab, I was still embarrassed.
While in rehab, I had met a guy named Ellett. Ellett was from Tucson where he was a heroin and cocaine addict. After rehab, Ellett also stayed in Phoenix to live in a halfway house. In recovery, they tell you not to date for a year, but we didn't care--we did it anyway. I think I was looking for someone to care about me and love me; apparently I had lost sight of God once again.
After 2 months into sobriety, Ellett told me that he had to move back to Tucson to attend drug court for previous charges. I decided to go with him but "forgot" to tell my parents. The next day I moved out of the halfway house and we were on the road to Tucson.
While in Tucson, Ellett relapsed. He tried to hide it from me, but I knew. I decided to call my parents and let them know where I was. As I expected, they weren't happy. That made me mad so I decided to go ahead and relapse with Ellett. Over the next few weeks I was drinking and smoking weed again and I was also injecting cocaine and heroin with Ellett. The next month of my life was huge blur, but through all of it I still felt God with me. Strangely, I began to draw closer to God. I would pray and read my Bible and use drugs in the same hour.
I remember falling asleep crying every day and waking up crying as well. The morning of June 18th, 2008 I decided to call my mom. I hadn't talked to her in about a month. I told her that I needed to come home. She booked me the next flight out--no questions asked. I sat there in awe, thanking God that my parents are able to show Jesus' love for His children. I know that they really wanted to hear from me, but in the circumstances I was in, I was surprised that they even considered letting me come home.
When I got home, I knew that my parents had to have known that I had relapsed. It was apparent in my weight, my face, my appearance, and my attitude. I knew that there were consequences ahead of me, but I was ready.
I started another 30-day rehab in Colorado a week after I had come home. This time, I took rehab more seriously. I took recovery seriously. I took seriously the fact that I couldn't do anything without God. Knowing how much I had hurt my family and broken them apart was where I drew the line. I didn't want to hurt them any more. I knew this was it. I had to get my act together. This rehab was not a Christian facility. It really forced me to seek the Lord on my own and find Him in my own space and time. It was certainly a challenge, but so rewarding. I found God's beauty in me. I found His abounding love and had finally grasped the concept that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. I was done doing harm to myself. I knew that after rehab, it would be time to give back.
I joined YWAM and found God on a "higher power" basis. I went into it trying to find out who I was, but God had different plans. He wanted to show me who He was and how He could be my Father. He wanted to show me how He could renew my broken heart and use and new and clean one for His glory!
I have recently found out that Ellett, the guy I was dating in Arizona, passed away from a drug overdose.
Through all of this, I am so grateful that God has pulled me out of the pit and set me on the Solid Rock. He has faithfully given me a place to stand and will never fade away.
I have been clean now for 2 years and 1 month! I praise and thank God every single day for keeping me clean.

WOW! Thanks, Chelsea, for sharing your story. What an amazing testimony to God's love and faithfulness!


Piano Redo

I know you've been anxiously awaiting the piano transformation *wink*

I was soo excited to do this piano! It was in pretty bad shape when it arrived at my house...

Don't you love my child model?

After 2 days of repair and prep work, I gave it a couple coats of paint, some distressing and hardware and here's the result!!

I am so happy with the way it turned out. It has so much character and I know it will be loved and played in it's new home!
Back to work today!



Can I Be Honest?

I hope so...I hope those of you who have been around for a while (or know me in person) know that I don't beat around the bush, I'm not really into false pretenses and I'm all about being real.

So, allow me to be real...

I'm having a hard time with balance. I have all these things that I want to do...be a great wife & mom and run my own business along with my areas of ministry at church, which I would like to expand. I really like doing all those things, but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I'm not sure which area is overwhelming me and, obviously, there are some areas which are non-negotiable.

So, I am taking the week off of Laurel Haven and I am going to re-evaluate next week whether this is something I should be doing right now. I can't figure out if I need to manage my time better or if I need to put it on hold for now. What I do know is that my kids need my energy and attention. I don't want to expend so much energy toward running my business that I have nothing left for them. I will put all of these things on hold, indefinitely, if I feel that's what they need.

Any of you working moms (especially full-time mommy, working moms), I would love your input and advice about balancing it all.


When It Rains It Pours (Literally)

It feels like our family life goes in waves. We rarely have completely calm waters around here...something I'm learning is normal with a large family! We'll have some calm waves and then, out of nowhere, we get a storm.

Here is a recap of the last couple of days:

I've been working hard on my recent Laurel Haven project. I have learned a lot! This has definitely been my hardest piece and I am almost ready to show it to you! By Thursday afternoon, I had it almost complete. I snapped some photos and sent them to my client for approval. At this time in the afternoon, my babies were napping and I still had about an hour before they would wake up. I decided to give myself some downtime (I am my own boss, after all!). I sat down in my darkening living room as our afternoon storm rolled in.

I had been at my computer for about 10 minutes when Caleb came running up the stairs: "Emergency!! There is water pouring in the window well!" Me: "What? Inside?"

I am not an overreactor...I calmly walked down the stairs. I looked across the room to see the window well about half-full of water and water gushing through the bottom of the window! At this point, we all jumped in to try to do...something. I had no idea what to do. I kept telling myself "You're the mom. You're supposed to know what to do." I didn't. I asked the girls to bring me all the towels from the linen closet. And the blankets and comforters. I asked Caleb to grab my phone and call Daddy.

I stood there for about an hour, as water kept pouring in. We kept rotating blankets and towels--we used every towel, blanket, washcloth in the house. Daddy came home and, like me, didn't know what to do. There was nothing to do except try to minimize the flow of water while the level went down in the window well. I figured out how to make the water run through the towel into buckets.

It finally stopped and we were left with wet carpet and walls. Brad worked for a long time that night, wet-vacuuming and pulling the carpet back.

We are now in the waiting game with our builder, once again, to see if they will fix our window well wall that is now cracked. We'll see.

Friday, I worked all morning to recover. I had about 7 loads of wet, stinky towels and blankets to wash, dry, fold, put away. The girls and I created an art wall, to display their work. I felt we were recovering from the craziness of the the previous day. Maybe we would catch a movie that night?

I was in the kitchen, fixing lunch, when Emma came inside. She had a dark, thick drip of blood running down her leg. "I'm fine" she told me. "Well, at least let me clean it and put a bandaid on it" I told her as I set her on the counter.

As I began to clean it, I realized it had 3 levels of gash to it (I know I'm making up that term). I didn't know if it needed stitches. I'm the mom...I'm supposed to know, aren't I? I didn't know. I tried to call Brad. He didn't answer. I called the nurse at our doctor's office. Yes, she thought I needed to bring her in. She said to bandage it and try to control the bleeding til we get there. I hung up, tried to call Brad again. No answer. We're out of bandaids. I grabbed a cotton pad and some wrap and made up a bandage. I called Brad again. He answered and said he could be home so I could take her.

Poor baby. She was tough, but it hurt. Lots of cleaning and scrubbing. The numbing needle was the worst. 4 stitches later, and we were leaving.

Brad texted me, "Should we try to make the movie?" I wrote back, "Yes, I was using the movie to bribe/distract Emma. Let's try to make it" We decided to try out our discount theater (we have decided regularly priced movies are out for our family of 7. For a while, at least). He'd get the other kids ready and we'd meet down there.

Emma and I were walking into the theater when my phone rang. Brad, "I think I just lost the transmission." What?? You've GOT to be kidding me. He wasn't.

We hopped back in the car and went to meet them. As I was driving, I began praying. "Lord, what is going on? This is crazy." I heard His small whisper, "Trust Me." "I do."

We ate some dinner while we waited for the tow truck. We loaded into the car and went to the later movie. We saw How to Train Your Dragon (soo cute!). As we were sitting there, I looked across the row at our little ones...all munching away on popcorn and candy. I see Brad, holding my little guy. Life is good. Life is really, really good.

It's not a matter of IF the storm hits, it's when. And how we respond. I have no idea how we're going to fix our window well issue. Or our transmission. We gave up credit cards a couple of years ago and have yet to save up our "emergency fund". What I do know is that I have a big God. Bigger than all of this STUFF.

When Jesus was on the boat with the disciples, He reminded them of Who is bigger than the storm...

"You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matt. 8:26)

Thank You, Jesus, for being my calm during the storm.


Framed Jewelry Holder

One of my best friends had her birthday last weekend. Instead of buying her a gift, I decided to make her something. I love handmade gifts. I think they are so meaningful and, a lot of the time, more personal than something store-bought.

I started with a frame from Goodwill. I removed the glass, picture and staples from the back. I then primed it and painted it a creamy white.

Then, I distressed the edges and sealed it.

I cut some chicken wire, just a little bigger than my frame.

(ouch! This stuff is a pain to work with!) I thought of using screening material, but I wanted it to look more industrious, so the chicken wire gave me the look I wanted.

I used my staple gun to staple the chicken wire to the inside, and then trimmed it with some wire cutters.

I hot-glued some ribbon to cover the edges of the chicken wire.

I'm not much of a measure-er, so I used a pencil and the outline of the frame to measure my fabric. I cut 2 pieces.

I hot-glued 1 piece of fabric to the back, facing out, peeking through the chicken wire.

Then, I stapled my hanging ribbon to the top of the frame.

I hot-glued another piece of fabric, this one facing the back for a finished look.

And, the finished product!!


She can hang her earrings on the wire, and I included some "s" hooks in her package for her necklaces.

Happy Birthday, Megan!

Strut Your Stuff Thursday
Transformation Thursday
We're Organized Wednesday
Frugal Friday
Great Idea Day
Show and Share Day
Weekend Wrap Up Party
Just Something I Whipped Up
Met Monday
Motivate Me Monday