Painted & Polished

Dec 9, 2014

motherhood // pregnancy

Soooo many feelings these days. Which shouldn't come as a surprise for all the hormones I've got flowing through my body these days. But honestly, I'm not sure I've ever felt this reflective in all my life. And that's saying something for this … shall we say….. habitual over-analyzer ;) Something about the magnitude of this new little person joining our family has really sunk in these past couple months. As we get closer to meeting her it's like my heart and mind are competing over who can be consumed more fully with what life will be like in a few short weeks. My mind goes through all the hypothetical scenarios of 'I wonder how will we do _insert every day activity here_ with baby in the mix?' and 'do I have enough freezer food prepared for the first few weeks while we adjust?' and 'how do you actually put a baby properly in a car seat?' and so on. All that mental stuff I tend to run through my mind a million times to be sure. Sure that I'm sure, you know?

But my heart! Oh, my heart. That's an entirely different exercise. Sometimes I look around the house, say at a favourite picture of Ryan or something, and I imagine him in that picture holding our little girl on one of our future adventures. Or I'll catch myself cooking dinner, imagining what that will feel like when she's here with us. And my heart feels so full it literally aches. It aches with happiness and anticipation and wonder and gratitude and who knows what else to create such a wonderful feeling but it's alllll there. Sometimes I'll be thinking about her, so those feelings rising up and taking my breath away are somewhat expected. But sometimes, the slightest thing will trigger my heart and I'm just totally washed over by an all consuming love and anticipation. 

The nearness of her arrival has these feelings intensifying by the day and just can't help but slow down and be present to it all. It truly is such a unique and special time. 

What I want to remember about right now:
  • That though I'm so incredibly excited to meet our little girl, I'm also grateful for each minute that Ryan and I get to enjoy it being just the two of us. I'm deeply thankful, everyday, that 12 years with this man has only made my heart grow fonder of his company as we walk through life together. Thinking about this little girl joining a family who love's one another so deeply is truly a dream come true. 
  • On a lighter note, I am now officially a snorer for the first time in my life (womp womp) aaaaand the least graceful person to get in and out of bed. It's not pretty. What's more, something about the pressure of the baby on my lungs sometimes has me involuntarily grunting as I wriggle myself out of bed. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's a glamorous life over here ;)
  • Waddling. People, the struggle is real! Baby has dropped and with her magnificent descent has gone any shred of gracefulness I had left. Only consolation for my tee-toddling gate? Baby is in great position and for that we're super grateful. 
  • Speaking of said fantastic position…her little feet are constantly nestled in my right side and it might just be the cutest thing ever. Often, when she pushes, you can feel two distinct little feet with your hands. Ryan can too! It's just amazing. I'm so curious to see all of her movements once she joins us here on the outside :) 
  • Days away from my due date, the text messages, emails and phone calls have really started to pour in. Friends and family checking in to see how we're doing. It's truly humbling to be reminded, at times like these, how many wonderful people we have in our life who love us and care deeply about us. This little girl is so fortunate to be welcomed by the 'village' of people who make our lives so love-filled and special. 
  • Being pregnant all these months has felt so slow and so fast, kind of just the way I had hoped. I say this to Ryan often. The time feels like it's gone by fast in that we're here, nearing the finish line and I can't even believe we're going to meet this baby girl of ours so soon. In the same breath, these last 9 months have been some of the most lovely months of my life. We've travelled and adventured, settled into a new home and beautiful neighbourhood, savoured tons of time with family and dear friends (old and new) and just really relished this remaining time as a family of two + our sweet boy Lincoln.

♡ ♡   Baby girl, we're just beside ourselves with excitement and gratitude as we await your arrival. Whenever you're ready, we'll be here to welcome you with arms wide open ♡ 

Nov 27, 2014


On November 2nd I got to celebrate my 30th birthday with this growing little family of mine and it was  just perfect. The overcast weather showed up as if by request, which may seem unusual but just makes my heart sing. Cloudy, drizzly days are one of my love languages I swear :) Ryan had asked me several times what I wanted to do for my birthday and, after jumping through a million mental hoops trying to convince myself that I wanted a big party or something, I realized that all I wanted was a leisurely day with my family. And so that's what we did and it was wonderful. 

In the early morning we went adventuring down by the river with Lincoln, all bundled up for the cold front. After that we went to my favourite little coffee shop cabin here in town and really caught up with each other. Its amazing what a couple hours of really talking can reveal about the person you spend every day of your life with. We do our best to catch up each day and make special time for one another, but every now and then, a day like my birthday rolls around where the conversation just flows and my heart could just burst with joy and gratitude as I get to know this man all over again. 

The rest of the day was leisurely and included a lovely lunch with my family (those who are still nearby that is (we miss you Chad, Karly & Miranda!)…My Dad was able to fly back from a project in Montreal to be there to celebrate for the day, which was so special). 

Overall, I spent most of the day reflecting on the immense gratitude I feel for this life I've been given. It's easy to get bogged down with everyday life and sure, I experience worries, concerns and frustrations as much as the next person. None of us are immune to those real life things. But when I really stop and reflect, I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude. And any worries or frustrations I might have been feeling seem to melt away as I consider the bigger picture and how blessed I am. Every now and then, a special day comes along that seems to engage my heart and mind in this understanding even stronger than the day before. My birthday was just such a day.

Oct 31, 2014

our life lately // vol. 5


Oh goodness! Has life ever been busy and wonderful lately. Its seems the closer we get to little baby's due date, the more our errands, conversations, interactions and events are influenced by the excitement over her arrival. A couple of weekends ago was no exception. On October 18th my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law hosted the most beautiful baby shower for our family and baby girl. So many of my family, family-in-law and friends were able to be there. And those who couldn't be there were so thoughtful in sending heartfelt messages, cards and even gifts in their absence. Honestly, it was a lot to process. It reminded me of the overwhelming love I felt at our wedding, looking out at all the faces in the church who had showed up to witness our ceremony and support us in our commitment. 

To be in a room surrounded by so many women I love and respect was an overwhelming blessing. As I did the gift opening, I remember saying 'I am going to have one seeeerrriously long and incredibly cathartic cry to myself later tonight because this is overwhelming'. And it was. The decorations were stunning, the food was incredible, the gifts were beyond generous and the genuine authenticity of beloved women of all ages coming together to wish us well in this new journey was a beauty all its own. 

Later that evening we met up at home. Ryan had had a long day and I was feeling that good ol' pregnancy tired that's been sneaking up on me from time to time on days when I've exerted myself more than normal. But regardless of how tired we both felt, something in us wanted to spend a little time in her nursery. So we sat on the floor while I recapped the shower for him. Slowly, in the low light of her sweet little nursery, we unpackaged gifts, read cards and reflected a bit on the magnitude of this little person joining our family and the many people already a part of our extended family who chose to shower her with love that day ... before they've even set eyes on her. We both agreed, we are so very blessed and grateful ♡

Oct 16, 2014

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 14/31


A while back, while reading Young House Love, I fell in love with their idea of a custom console table for their Ikea Karlstad sectional. This was back in our previous home, long before we had a Karlstad of our own. Regardless, the idea stuck and I couldn't wait to make one of our own once we moved into our current home. 

The upstairs entertainment room in our current home is quite large with 9'4" ceilings. It was definitely one of the selling features of the home for us considering how small our last entertainment den was. That said, this spacious room comes with a challenge: as much as I love them, spacious and lofty rooms sometimes lack coziness. It's the catch 22 of moving into a larger space. You'd like a bit more space to spread out in but you miss the coziness your more cramped quarters seemed to come by rather naturally. 

This has kind of become my mission with this particular room: embrace the gained square footage we've always wanted (and are glad to have) while decorating in a way that makes the room feel intimate, cozy and relaxed. And one of the most effective decorative principles I've found is working wonders with this mission is scale. Furniture has to be just right…not too big and not too small. So once we decided on the components that would make our Karlstad just the right size, it became quickly apparent that though it was expansive, it wasn't quite deep enough to balance out length of the room. That's where our custom console came in. It bumps the couch into the room by about 14" while providing a great landing spot for lighting, drinks and movie snacks. 

Ryan built the console to run the exact length of the couch, which gives it a nice custom feel. And while I don't have plans (he kind of winged it….hello Mr. Handy!) or progress pics to share, I can say it took us about one full day of work split between a couple weekends. The Kreg Jig got a serious workout and I made my first attempt at white washing as a finish. More on that later. He was also kind enough to heed my request for a couple of decorative cubbies for me to store….more baskets! The poor man. He's so patient with my basket habit ;) 

Overall, we absolutely love the piece. It's fits our space just the way we wanted it to and it's another DIY project in our home that reminds us how much fun it is to tackle projects together as we work to personalize our space. 

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 13/31


Curtains! One of my most favourite additions to each of the homes we've lived in. Hung high and wide, they broaden the perceived size of windows and add a texture and softness to walls that's difficult to achieve without them. In our first rental, the size of our windows and the view were less than desirable. But layered curtains, hung floor to ceiling, seemed to do wonders for letting the light pour in while masking our ultra premium parking lot view ;) In our previous home, our windows were bigger which was lovely, but our home backed right onto other people's homes presenting a bit of a privacy issue. Once again, light layered curtains did a wonderful job of broadening the perceived size of our windows while letting light in and keeping neighbours from seeing directly into our home. 

In our current home, we're so glad to be backing on to a wooded area so privacy isn't as much as of an issue. That said, my love for soft curtains has not wained ;) So you better believe they're going up all around the home. Whether the window has blinds (we purchased blinds for the windows that face our neighbours and the front street) or not, I find layering curtains into the space can add so much to a room. In the top picture, we even used curtains to mask an awkward wall space and connect two smaller windows. I'll write more on that project later. Really happy with how it turned out. 

As Ive been known to do for many (many) items in our home, I seem to always go back to Ikea for curtains and curtain rods. In every home so far, all of our curtains have been from Ikea. Despite previous attempts to diversify, I can't help it! I'm a sucker for the customizability, price points and simplistic styles their selection offers. Plus the $1 froyo after checkout never hurts either ;)

Oct 15, 2014

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 12/31


When I first had the opportunity to start decorating my own home, plants and I were slow to embrace one another I'm ashamed to admit. I guess I was haunted by the grimy bay windows of some houses I'd walk by as a kid that proudly boasting their owner's fern and spider plant collections in all their overgrown glory. I remember scenes like these rather vividly for some reason haha. Not sure why, but they left a lasting impression on me and somewhere in my subconscious I decided I wouldn't have plants in my home when I grew up. 

That was, until I realized they didn't have to consume and condensate my bay window. Mostly because I don't have one ;) But seriously, once I realized the variety of plants I could choose from (so many!) and all the beautiful containers I could house them in I was sold! Today I have a steadily growing little collection of plants peppered throughout the house and I love them. They bring the outdoors in and add a bit of cheery personality while they're at it. And in my quest to add character to this newer home of ours, I find happy thriving plants go a long way in making our house feel like a lived in and loved on home. 

Oct 13, 2014

Creating Character in Our Home ~ 11/31


Like many people I'm sure, we have several pieces of furniture tucked away in our unfinished basement which used to work in our prior home that we don't seem to use anymore. Nothing wrong with them functionally. They just either don't fit in our new space or more likely, don't go with the decorative feel of our new space. In our last home, our kitchen cabinets, hardwood floors and most of our wood furniture was deep, espresso brown. Moving into our new home, we new we wanted the major structural components of our home to be much lighter and brighter. And while we're loving our white kitchen, white baseboards, doors and trim it turns out a lot of our pre-existing furniture doesn't seem to fit in … at first glance. 

That is, until I get my painting paws on it. I've been painting and repurposing furniture for some time now, but this project is my first attempt using chalk paint; thanks to a sweet DIY loving neighbour and friend, who graciously lent me her supplies. The verdict? I absolutely love the stuff and plan on buying 10 cans as soon as I possibly can. Nothing in my house is safe from a paint makeover at this point. Nothing I tell you ;) 

The project came together so quick and so easily. After painting and waxing the two side tables, I switched out the silver nobs they came with for a couple of distressed, wrought iron knobs I bought at Hobby Lobby for $2/ea. a couple weeks ago in Spokane and they were done. I can't wait to get them moved into our guest room sometime this week! 

I love little projects like this. Using items I already have, but re-imagining them in a way that better suits our current space and lifestyle is always so rewarding.