Found: Tastes Orangey

I am so in love with Clare Elsaesser’s style and the feel of her work. I had to snatch up a little print immediately after seeing a large painting in the home of one of my favorite designers in a shot on Instagram. (Erika Powell, I DIE over that huge canvas… and that huge navy gingham…) Alas, I ordered a 5×7 to tuck into a little area next to the back door in the eat-in kitchen area entitled “Watching Trees.” The colors are so perfect.il_570xN.425165829_pwey

There is something really intriguing about the posturing she chooses for the women in her paintings. And the fact that almost any woman could take a look at several of these and probably see something of herself. Perhaps it is a longing we sometimes suppress, or how we would like to imagine ourselves as others might see us. It is reflective, fluid, relaxed, tension-free somehow. What it is, is a beautiful thing.il_570xN.282030865 il_570xN.355318581_2gle il_570xN.449151521_pmed il_570xN.286798006 il_570xN.425844806_47p4See more of her work HERE, at my favorite place: Etsy.

I have several framing projects to take to my man, Barry at Hobby Lobby. One of which is this sweet print. Hang tight for pics to come soon… I know I keep teasing you guys… sorry! Right now I’m in a fight with my iPhone and my photo stream, and the amount of memory I have left on my phone (none), and how many pics I really could/should delete. Then suddenly I am in a fight with myself for not using my real camera and doing this thing right. One day… maybe.

Today is a special day. My sweet love turns thirty. I am so proud to be your wife, to stand beside you in this life. What an incredible blessing you are to me and to our tiny girl. Celebrating your birth is serious- where would I be without you? I am so glad we finally went on that first date we talked about “definitely” doing for years. I love you with all my heart. And I hope our boy looks just like you. FH000040

Photo credit: My fun MIL, Beth Saggio!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

House of Paint

I have been slowly but surely getting rid of the beige in our house and oh does it feel good! I will still give you a better before/after, but right now we’re working on it, which you’ll see.

In the great room we tackled the walls in sections based on where we could reach with an eight-foot ladder.

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Isn’t that just lovely. Talk about motivation. We are gearing up to bring in the scaffolding to finish the job. But not this weekend though, because it’s my birthday. It has been alleged that I will be thirty.

The upstairs common space is getting the same treatment. Even though it is patchy, I’m more for the painting-to-a-corner team than I am just-paint-strokes-as-far-as-I-can-reach.

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The paint color is Sandpiper by Martha Stewart and it is so bright and clean. I really love it.  I had it color matched and mixed in my favorite paint, Behr Premium Plus Ultra from Home Depot. It has the primer in it, and it is fantastic. Most of the painting we’ve done has been in one coat. There has been some touch up don’t get me wrong, but it is so nice not to have to do a full second coat, let alone a third. Despite looking minty up next to the beige, it truly is more oatmeal/creamy grey with a hint of green. These last two shots are the best representation of the color.

I also got started on Aurelia’s new room! I had three samples mixed. Top left is a color match to Benjamin Moore’s Organdy. Bottom left is Martha Stewart Orchid. And on the right is also Martha Stewart, Phlox. IMG_2758

Left side: way too pink, and way too purple. The winner is: Phlox!


I am so pleased with this pretty lavender and I can’t wait to see our babies’ rooms come together!

This was a great weekend for us! I sure do love my little family. See what I found after our nap on Saturday?


I also followed a great tutorial over at House of Earnest for creating a professional-looking arrangement from a fresh bunch from the supermarket and I love how they turned out!


Have a great Monday everyone! Thank you for being such great readers!

A Valentine


Today is much more than just Valentine’s Day.  Our daughter Aurelia Margaret is one year old today.  This past year has at once been the most exhilarating and the craziest year of my life.  When they say things change, they do.

When Aurelia was only a few months old, we got away for a little tailgate and Titans game.  I met Cecelia there, who is fabulous.  We connected immediately and I really enjoy talking to her every time I see her.  That day she asked me what it’s like to be a Mom and I said, “It’s the coolest!”  I know that isn’t the normal response people give with a new baby at home, but that’s how I really feel about it.  Hands down the coolest experience in my life has been watching my husband become a father, and watching my child grow.  I pray constantly that God will keep me in this state of wonder throughout her life.  I think I have a good shot.  My Mother still looks at my brother and me like that.

I talk a lot about the salvaged things in our lives, and today, I’m thinking about salvaged lasts.  Lasts:  it seems it’s all firsts we want to talk about.  Everyone talks about firsts: first date, first kiss, first prom, first love.  First everything.  (I’ve now typed that word so many times it looks ridiculous and I’m secong-guessing myself.  Is this really a word?  First.  Weird.)  Anyway, it’s no different when it comes to babies: first time they sleep through the night, first time for baby food, first steps.  But oh my goodness, why did no one warn me about lasts?  The reason lasts hurt is that you never know when a last time is for anything.  Like the last time she and I snuggled at 3:00am curled up in the rocker in her room.  I can’t even remember when the last time was.  I would drape us both in a heavy knit blanket and sleep there with her.  Or the last time I swaddled her, the last time she ate baby food.  And most recently, her last bottle.  I had no idea that Sunday night would be the last nighttime bottle she would take.  That was our time- me and my girl.  It feels so special that I’m her Mommy and no one else will ever be to her, who I am.  Bedtime was always wonderful to me.  I love spending that time with her.  I got to turn that valve and let everything from the long, gruesome day just leave my body.  I thought I would have a hard time getting her to go to sleep without a bottle and I had been dreading it.  But, I knew it was time, so I tried it once.  She never looked back.  But that’s my girl:  she knows what comes next and she embraces every new experience and challenge with eyes in awe, her mind growing and building pathways in her development.

How can I salvage these lost memories of lasts?  I guess in the last, therein lies a first.  Her first night to go to bed on her own.  The first year holds so many milestones, hurdles, and wondrous beginnings.  What an unbelievably beautiful year, saturated with the depth of my ability to love, to strive for selflessness, and to rise to the occasion of being Mama to this tiny smidgen of a girl:Rebecca Walker Photography

Who has grown into such a magical little thing:


Aurelia Margaret, Happy Birthday to you, baby.  You are indeed, the sweetest pea.


My almost-one-year-old is starting to test the waters making some noise, arching her back, kicking her feet, you know, the usual toddler situation, so I hear.  This got me thinking about tantrums and what happens to a {little} person when they have one.  According to this article I read today, that now I can’t find, it went into detail about how the portion of a child’s brain that is responsible for regulating emotional response just isn’t developed yet.  That doesn’t help so much when I see some foreshadowing in my future of public meltdowns in grocery carts.  Good thing those carts have restraints.  Otherwise, would it be appropriate to carry a three-year-old in a Bjorn?  Or maybe just a backpack.

My little one, I pray that you get only the best parts of me and the best parts of your Daddy, because we are downright ridiculous sometimes.  And we sometimes throw tantrums.  I pray that you never see those parts of us, that somehow with a lot of diligence and digging deep for patience, that we will learn to be calm, hold you lovingly, and get through things together.  I pull from the very depths of my being this desire to be kind.  Firm when you need me to be, yes.  But I don’t want to throw tantrums back at you and teach you what angry is.  I want to teach you what kind is.  I want to show you what passion looks like.  I want to teach you about the “24 hour rule,” (and the 48 hour rule for that matter) and “first one that talks loses,” to keep your head until it’s on your time.  I am not always successful in this endeavor.  But maybe you can be.  When I say to you “use your words,” it’s not going to be some psychoanalytic approach to not use the word “whine.”  I hope it means, use your words, baby.  Tell me.  I am listening.

I see your frustration as you try so hard to communicate to me what it is you’re curious about.  I watch you point and try, and I hope you know just how intently I listen.  I know tantrums aren’t going to be fun, but I’m going to love you on through it.  Some of my favorite memories from college are from my Freshman year and playing the game “It’s not fair.”  It went something like, “it’s not fair that _____.” And then we would try to one-up each other about how unfair our lives were at that moment.  Those always turned out to be the absolute funniest nights in our dorm room.  Mini tantrums.  I want.  I wish.  I need.  Someone listen to me.

But as this tiny little person learns and grows, I know at some point we’ll look like this:


And then maybe I can find it within me to sing her this:


And then Mommy will have a glass of this:


*Just an elephant throwing a tantrum: via Pinterest