Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Entryway bench

Since moving into our new home in January, our front entryway had been a gaping hole of nothingness.  Besides an ugly brown carpet, there was simply nothing there--no furniture, no place to hang your coat.  When we'd walk in the door, we'd set our grocery bags right next to our large pile of shoes on the floor.  It wasn't very welcoming and it wasn't a place that we might spend any time lingering in.  

It had been on my list of to-do's to find something fitting for this area for quite some time.  In my mind, I was picturing something like a hall tree (with a bench and coat hangers), but the more I looked at them, the less I liked that particular style for this particular spot in our home.  My idea for the furniture that I was looking for kept morphing to new ideas. For months, I'd been scouring Craigslist and local thrift shops in search of something.  

And, well, persistence pays off.  Last week, this gorgeous antique double-width school bench appeared on Craigslist and I just happened to get in contact with the seller before someone else snatched it up.  I never would have thought to look for something like this but, when it turned up online, it just seemed like the perfect piece for this little corner of our home.  Better than anything that I could have imagined.

I love the character of it--its gorgeous wood and wrought iron legs; the inkwell and pencil holder on the desk portion.  I love that it has a history (even though I don't know what that history actually is)!

There's still not a place to hang up our coats when we walk in the door, but I have a feeling that I can find a solution for that before winter comes.  Assuming something nice pops up somewhere.

And these little details, here.... my mom found the cat artwork somewhere online and printed it out for us (this is just a tiny zoomed-in portion of a much larger piece of art) and then she found a used frame and personalized it with paint!  Don't you just love the little paws?!  HEHE

And the little metal cat (it's a tea light holder) was a gift from our friend Melissa for looking in on her cat Orpheus (above) while she was on vacation a few weeks ago.  Actually, the succulent and the flowers on the other side of the desk were from Melissa too!  She spoiled us with gifts for watching her baby.  Meanwhile we were just so happy to spend a little time with a kitty each day!  It did our hearts a lot of good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I've felt quiet.

My heart and my spirit have felt so quiet lately.  No words seem adequate for anything.  Sometimes it's an overabundance of joy that leaves me speechless.  Other times it's an overwhelming sadness.  Even contentment and comfort have kept me in a quiet place.

The longer my physical disabilities continue, the more quiet I have become.  I'm improving, overall, but the improvements are incredibly slow and sometimes wane from better to worse.  If I've learned anything through this, it's that physical disabilities can truly weigh heavily on a person's life and spill over onto their emotional and spiritual health.  Perhaps that's an obvious statement, but you truly feel the depths of it when you're dealing with chronic and life-altering issues.

I've also learned that I can't control everything myself, no matter how hard I try (and, oh, I've tried).  I had more words when I truly thought that I could control my own healing process by myself.  I've acquired many books-worth of information through reading and research and I wanted to share all of that information with others when I thought that I was the one in control.  But, truth be told, after many, many months I don't know what's helping or what's not.  I've had to adjust and readjust my course so many countless times.  I've experimented for days, weeks, months at a time and still I have no answers.  I'm tired of guessing and taking stabs (even "educated" stabs) in the dark.  I'm not giving up, but I'm done believing that I'm the one that has hold of the reins. I am certainly not in control of any of this.  My spirit feels quiet and humbled.

I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.  
Psalm 119:25

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reflections on five years of marriage.

This Saturday will mark the fifth year of our marriage.  Words cannot express the feelings that I have about this anniversary.  On one hand, I can barely believe that we've been married this long (time seems to be passing so quickly).  On the other hand, it feels like we've been together for so much longer (it's only been five years?!).

I feel so blessed to have had Christopher by my side as my partner and my best friend.  We have grown both together and individually in many ways and I pray that we will continue to grow into the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be.  I pray that we can continue to work together, bringing each other up and loving each other as wholly as we can.

The past three years have been a very difficult road for me, physically, and these difficulties have, of course, effected our marriage in many, many ways.  At times, these challenges have taken a toll on our relationship, but more often than not, the difficulties have only brought us closer together.  I'm truly thankful for the love and patience that Christopher has displayed during these trying times.  I can only imagine what it's like to have a wife who is barely able to handle small, everyday tasks most of the time.  A wife who can't plan ahead and has to "wait and see how she's feeling that day."  A wife that doesn't look like herself because her face is red, puffy and rashy most of the time.  A wife who shudders at the smallest, unexpected touch because her nerves are so extremely hypersensitive.  Yet he remains by my side and demonstrates so much love towards me as he remains true to the vows of "in sickness and in health."

I am blessed beyond measure.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Appreciating the small things.

Just taking a moment from today to reflect on how thankful I am for some little things in life.  More often than not, it's those still, small moments that bring the most joy.  Despite my ongoing physical discomforts, I feel like my life is full of so many good things.  I don't have the words to express my feelings but the feelings themselves are abundant.

A basket full of root vegetables, squash & plantains...

I really loved how our neighbors dead tree became surrounded by flowers.... unexpected and lovely!

Getting lost in the process of hanging art & redesigning/relocating furniture at the office.

Small but good things.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Missing our kitties.

While I'm healing from my skin condition, our cats Random & Sneaker have been "on vacation" in Pittsburgh.  I'm missing them so much that I'm snapping photos of every other cat that I see.

Here's a few...

I just want to cuddle up with all of them :) .... but I really want OUR kitties back at home.  I miss their predictable/unpredictable mannerisms.  I miss their sweet personalities, their playful spirits, their innocent eyes.  I miss our babes.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lately, in pictures.

Since Spring, we've been enjoying the fact that we now have a front porch!  Lots of herbs, raspberry bush, lemon tree, tomatoes!  And lots of meals & book reading time spent out there!

We've also been enjoying flowers.  And I learned that marigolds & anything with a lemony or citrusy scent is a mosquito repellent!  So I'm buying more of those types of flowers & herbs!

A cancelled concert (Notwist) turned into an exploratory evening on the river together.  These types of unexpected things end up being the most memorable.  I'm so thankful for time spent with Christopher!

And so thankful that my skin is taking a sudden turn for the better!  Everything that we've been doing to try to heal my skin is finally working.  Thank you, Lord!

I'm looking forward to so much this summer!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Quick House Update - Photos

Slowly but surely, we've been getting more settled into our new house.  I've been very anxious to take on new projects but have had to take it fairly easy for health reasons.  Here's a few snaps of areas that we've worked on so far.

New ceiling fixture.

Haven't really done anything with our bedroom quite yet besides new bedding.

Finally hung a mirror & art in the mini-bath!

Still to come: the piano area, the office, the guest room, the kitchen 

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Just a quick "thank you" to everyone who has emailed me and sent their prayers in response to my last post.  Today, oddly & unexpectedly, just happens to be a really great day for me.... so I wanted to post something here!

I want to send you over to my friend Megan's blog to witness the start of #thriftscorethursday.  Megan & I met in music school and now she runs this really awesome blog called Rental Revival.  She's a DIY-er and thrifter (which basically means that she's awesome) and it's been really fun to watch all of her projects and home decorating!

I decided to participate by posting my own "thrift score"....

It's an old road sign (a "median" sign, I suppose) that I bought in Columbus, OH almost 6 years ago. It was the summer of 2008 and I was killing some time the day after my good friends Katelyn & Rob got married.  I ended up finding this perfect specimen of an art piece.  It's been hanging over our bed for the past 5 years (it hung in my bedroom at my parents house for a year before getting married).  Since Christopher & I  just moved to a new house a few weeks ago, it's currently looking for a new place to hang.  In the meantime, it's quite stunning sitting against the exposed brick.

If you're a fellow thrifter or have some awesome thrift scores, join the #thriftscorethursday hashtag party by posting your own pictures every Thursday!  Let it be known to the world that this is the first time EVER that I've used a hashtag.  Seriously.  Only thrifting and home decorating can bring me out of my hashtag shell.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Asking for prayer.

I'm not the most active blogger.  I don't even know how many people follow my blog on a regular basis, especially with the sparse and irregular posts.  Sometimes weeks pass between one post and the next and occasionally months.  Perhaps there's a small handful of you out there?

Regardless, if you do follow this blog, could I ask for your prayer (if you're a person who prays)?

A few days ago, I started a new blog to begin documenting the "health issues" which I've been going through for the past few years.  I just simply need an outlet to vent about the journey that I've been on.  In the past, I've mentioned a little bit about my problems on this very blog right here but I haven't gone into too much detail about it and certainly haven't "journaled" about it here.  The reason being: I like posting "pretty things" here.  I didn't want to turn this "pretty" blog into something different.

So, on the good days, perhaps I'll continue to post here when I can (and perhaps, it will become my one & only blog again someday once I'm healed).

If you care to follow my "other" journey (which I'll probably be updating very regularly), you can do so here:

But, really, no pressure to follow.  It's not the most pleasant of topics.  In all honesty, I probably wouldn't follow it (at least regularly) if I didn't have reason to.  But, at the very least, could you say a quick prayer for me right now, wherever you are?  Could you pray that I make it through this with my faith intact?  That maybe, just maybe, my healing can come sooner rather than later?

I hate to sound so dramatic, but after two years of dealing with this, I just have to tell things how they are.

Thanks so much, everyone.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year, New Home!

What a whirlwind this holiday season has been for us.  

After going home for Thanksgiving, we came back home to Philly and threw up our Christmas decorations all over the apartment.  It gave our home the feeling of warmth and vibrancy for the coming holidays.  Although we'd be spending the days surrounding Christmas in Pittsburgh, our home felt so cozy during the month of December.

A few days after immersing ourselves into the Christmas spirit, we just happened across a listing for a house-for-rent.  So we decided to have a look (we've been looking at apartments/houses for well over a year now).  We went to view the house without too much hope (our experiences during this time were making us feel like we would probably never be able to move out of our one-bedroom apartment).

Well.  Turns out we LOVED the house.  And.... it was within our price range (!).  AND.... only 3 blocks away from our current apartment!  (IN OUR BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBORHOOD!)

Thankfully, we were one of the first people to view the house... so we jumped on filling out the required applications and everything just.... worked out!  Once we were approved (AHHHH! AFTER ALL THIS TIME, WE'RE MOVING?!  WHAT?!), that meant that we had to take care of things on our end, such as finding someone to take over the lease on our one-bedroom. 

It was quite an undertaking for us, but somehow we've made it through!  We packed up, we advertised/showed our apartment, FOUND A NEW TENANT, wrote up a contract for new tenants to sublease from us, and so on.... and so on.....  

We officially moved into our new house just a few days ago!  It's BEAUTIFUL (beyond my wildest expectations).  And IT'S HUGE compared to our old place.

I just can't even wrap my head around how everything has fallen into place surrounding this whole process.  It's hard to believe that we actually live here now!  I am so thankful! 

Here's a few random pictures of the move-in process.  My Mom & Dad helped me paint the entire first floor before we even started moving our stuff in (a 13-hour process all in one day!!!).  Christopher's brother Jeremy helped with moving all of our furniture, as did Kelly's hubby David (they were amazing!).  Kelly (who just gave birth 3 weeks ago) helped with unpacking the kitchen.  Christopher's folks helped us by paying for the piano movers.  Such an amazing amount of help and love from our family and friends!

Love my silly Momma!

Randomly placed furniture....

Not-quite-3-year-old Lydia decorated the fridge with our magnets (notice how low on the fridge they are).  I love it.  They're still exactly where she put them.  :)

The piano *just fits* where we wanted it?!

Encountering a few small issues (like the box spring not fitting up the stairwell and the legs of the blue cabinet won't quite fit over the vents).... but these things can be resolved!

I can't wait to post more updates on the house as we get settled.

What a whirlwind.

Such a major blessing.