Step Two: Dayla’s Room

Letting our girl get her own room was such an interesting process. Daniel and I were both transported back to the years we got to get our own rooms as teens. We remembered how our parents lovingly let us have some choices, but did not let us be dictators, as it was THEIR house. We appreciate now that we are parents that they didn’t give us all the power, so we tried to emulate that with our own Dayla.

There were some hard conversations. There was some joyous shopping time. All in all it was a beautiful time of growth for Daniel and I as parents and for Dayla in gratitude. In the end, Dayla has a beautiful room that she loves (that she got to make SOME of the choices on) and we are proud to be able to give her.






Food Bank Field Trip

Dayla’s Girl Scout troop took a field trip to San Diego Food bank and I had the pleasure of getting to tag along. I was amazed! I wish I could remember all the numbers they gave us…but did you know that about 85% of the cans donated to the food bank are already expired? Although that made me sad, I was delighted to hear that they have a special machine that opens all the expired cans….the cans go to the recycling center…and the food inside the cans go to local pig farmers. How cool is that?

I also learned that if you find yourself wanting to donate cans in a food drive, know that MOST food banks do not have that special machine and they actually have to pay for dumping the waste. So be kind and check the date on your cans. If you can, donate proteins like tuna or peanut butter…that is always what they need most of.

Happy donating!

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Cart Photos

In my camera feed of pictures, there are two types of pictures that pop up all the time. One of them is “wish list pictures” and the other is “cart pictures”.

It seems that almost every time Daniel takes the kids on an errand, he takes a picture of them in the cart. At first I didn’t really get it. I think I have even deleted some of them. But now I am really enjoying watching our kids grow up this way….via cart pictures on dad errands.








Aunt Nicole Visits

This month started with the funeral of my Aunt Patsy. However instead of a sadness for our loss, it truly WAS a celebration of her incredible life. I learned that she became a Christian several years ago, and that she continued to travel with Uncle Ken all through her 80’s. On her 88 birthday she was zip-lining in Costa Rica; incredible! Yet the thing that stuck out to me the most was that she loved everyone in her life, fiercely, with Christ-like love; to me that above all else is to be most admired.

I reflect on all this because with Aunt Patsy’s death, we were able to visit with my sister Nicole who flew out from New Zealand. What a treat! All my kids love Aunt Nicole! We can’t wait until she comes again. 🙂

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Step One: Living Room Re-do

We didn’t want to mark it with a date or a birthday, but knew that the day that Dayla should have her own room would somehow naturally present itself organically. The beginning of this year it did. So we started the plans of how we would move my office and all the things in it…which lead to envisioning a three step makeover process. Three rooms needed to change: Dayla’s room, our living room, and our back shed to become a duel office for Daniel and I.

Step one was dreaming up a living room space that would hold the items that needed to come out of our office. We also wanted a living room that would be great for now but would also grow with our kids as they grow. We wanted public computer space and work space. Less shelves for toys. I figured with all the things changing a style update would be a blessing too.

So with Daniel’s bonus from work and our in-laws willing to watch the kids for 5 days, we were able to make our new living room go from dream and vision to reality. Come see step one of our three room makeover!


Everything came out of the living room and we prepped the whole room for a new paint job.






Black wall. New cabinets hung. I envisioned a wall to wall desk for the kids. Daniel made it happen.


On the other side of the living room we did an update too! I really didn’t want the fish tank in the living room anymore and was hoping for a more “grown up” welcome/hallway table. I was so excited to find this dresser on Craiglist that someone was selling for next to nothing. I LOVE IT!! Isn’t it gorgeous?


After pictures:


New colors are black, white, gold, and browns. Simple. Modern. Classy.


Then the kids came home to see it all….we had kept how we were going to change the living room a complete surprise from them! They LOVE IT!



Black wall and modern might not be for everyone…but I LOVE how it turned out!