I had been planning a post for this category with some Pinterest-worthy, before and after photo's of our home but in order to take the after's I really need to make things presentable. Not that our home is in complete an udder mess all the time, but we LIVE in it. I mean REALLY LIVE in it...with two, two year olds, which makes perfect presentation of my living room a challenge. While I had been beating myself up over not being able to put 'the perfect post together' I took these photos and thought...This is it! This is the perfect presentation of our home!
A little background: Seven years ago before my husband and I were married, before Chip and Joanna Gaines had revolutionized the apron front sink and perfected the shabby chic presentation of rehabbed homes, we bought a home in need of some love and gutted it. It was truly a labor of love, it was my first experience with a project this large and it took all (and more) of the work and finances that we expected.
But I remember, specifically, pulling off the highway one early morning (remember when 8am was early before kids?) and noticing a sign that said the highway exit would be shut down at 9am due to the local Fourth of July parade. I kicked myself first for not realizing it was the Fourth of July and then I turned on the streets I had come to know well en route to our home that we did not yet live in that still needed paint, walls, and fixtures and I had a thought: This is where we are going to raise our children. This is the home that will provide safety and comfort and a sense of peace when times get tough for both us and our kids someday. I immediately entered into dreamland and started dreaming of our future kids, their hopes and dreams and what our future daily life would be like in this home we were working so hard to put back together. While I don't remember anything else I did that day, the memory of dreaming of my life to come, my future with my husband and our future children is as clear as day.
Fast forward seven years and I found myself at home with our girls on a rainy afternoon, it was the Fourth of July. The rain had stopped long enough that we could attend that parade that shuts down the highway exit at 9am. Friends and family had joined us for brunch at our home and our walk to, what is seriously one of the best Fourth of July Parades ever. Afterwards, we had come back to the house and I found myself sitting in the middle of the living room on a day that was supposed to be filled with BBQ's and friends but the rain had put a dent in our festivities and landed us inside. A little frustrated, I grabbed my camera, told the girls we were going to take some pictures and headed out into our front yard to enjoy the overcast, wet day we had been given and these pictures were the result.
Two year olds are amazing. They teach me so much about life. They can have fun anywhere. On this rainy day, they weren't saddened by the drizzle they were thrilled about it! Their only concern was that my camera would get wet. Once we got past that they were 100% in the 'imperfect/perfect' moment. "Mommy the rain tickles my face," was one of my daughters first comments. "I jump in puddle," was my other sweet girl's reaction. And so I stood there, my disappointment for bad weather lifted and these girls brought me into a state of appreciation. I was snapping photo's with small flags that my girls had placed in the yard in the background and I think it was when they were running towards the door that I had painted red with purpose (historically, a red door means "Welcome!") that my mind went back to that day seven years ago when I realized home is where we were going to start our family. And there I was, living the dream I so vividly remembered from nearly a decade prior.
I had a moment, a big moment, that nearly brought me to tears in my front yard. So while I can't seem to stay ahead of these two year olds long enough to photograph show you all of our hard work and the lovely home we transformed, I can proudly say it was all worth it. I will forever remember this day as the day that I felt our goal of creating a home where we can grow and LIVE had been accomplished. I'm so glad I have these photos to remember the moment, the girls may look back at these and see themselves playing in the front yard but I will forever see their smiles as the necessary final touch that truly captured the heart of our home. I hope that in years to come these girls remember this home as one filled with love, memories, lazy rainy days, fun and security. And that my friends is the real essence of a home.
I was shocked to find out how expensive wreaths were when I moved into my house. Up until that point I had only needed something small to hang on the door of my condo (indoors) and I could typically find that on sale at Target. It wasn't until I hung my Target wreath on my front porch that I realized I needed a bigger wreath. I did eventually order a bigger wreath but when I did I was shocked at how expensive those that I liked were. I bought my first wreath from etsy, and when I got it I inspected it and LOVED it, but also thought...I'm pretty sure I can make this. This spring my original etsy wreath looked warn and weathered so I decided I was up to the task of making my own wreath. It was WAY easier than I had expected! So easy, that I have now made two. The fun part about this is that you can pick flowers and greenery that you love and fits your taste instead of having to conform to what's available within your price point. I found the wreath and flowers at Hobby Lobby and was given the wood cut monogram as a gift (they make great gifts!).
After making the first wreath, I thought the easiest way to show how to do it would be to simply show you so below is a 3 minute video that will walk you right through it...yes three minutes, it's that easy.
The wreath in the video below doesn't have a wood cut monogram, but if you can't live without the wood cut monogram we have you covered!!! Simply click on the picture of the wreath above and follow it to our favorite little monogram shop that sells them!
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