Master Bedroom: What I’m Thinking

I owe you all a post showing all of the pictures I took of the finished living room. That’s right, it’s finished and I really, really like it! That post is hopefully coming next week. I’m also slowly finishing up the entryway; I got derailed a few months ago when a project went off the rails not once but twice, leaving me impressively frustrated. I had to take a break from that space for a bit, and now I’m back at it. It’s a tricky space to work on though, since anything I do there is in the way of everything. So I work on it when I can.

But, I finally have a really good direction for the master bedroom, and I’m super excited to get started. I’ve decided that this is an exception to my “only work on one space at a time” since our room is kind of our sanctuary. The kids (with very few exceptions) are not allowed in our room. And I really make an effort to keep this room under control, clutter free and relaxing. Luke also works from home a fair amount in this room too, so it’s nice for it to be a clean and relaxing space.

In two weeks we are having the shower in our bathroom finally fixed. I’m super, super jazzed about this. And knowing that the shower will be usable has sparked a bunch of other ideas for me – basically I’m an idea machine right now.

So I snapped a few pictures just now with my phone to show you where we are starting. Sorry that they are not the best quality, but I think you understand. And if you don’t, well, I blog like once every month or two, so I’m not gonna lie, I really don’t care. :)


Let me first address the glowing yellow walls to the left. NO, I did not paint the walls sunshine yellow in the hallway. It’s just the light from the bathroom. I did finally finish painting everything in the hall last spring, but it’s the same soft gray walls and bright white trim that’s everywhere else in the house. So – our bed. I LOVE our bed. Our mattress rests on a boxspring/storage unit from IKEA that is awesome. Primarily because it rests directly on the floor, which means that nothing can get swept under the bed! No stray socks, dust bunnies or chapsticks. I love it.

I painted the nightstands before Declan was born, and they’ve been working great. I still really like the little knobs I put on them with the Mr. and Mrs. But they’ve always been about two inches too wide. Basically, my nightstand is shoved right up against the trim, then the bed is shoved right up against the nightstand, and Lover’s nightstand is right next to that. And the door still can’t open all the way. It’s not a big deal, obviously, we’ve been dealing with it, but I’ve kept my eyes open for something a little smaller that I really, really liked.

And… I found them. They’re a slightly smaller footprint, they’re solid wood, and they have, count them, FIVE drawers. I LOVE drawers. Seriously. I nearly stole a tall storage unit out of my sister in laws garage just because it had like 20 little drawers. Anyways, these need a quick sanding, a little darker stain job and some poly and they will be all set. I’m undecided on whether or not I am keeping the pulls, I’ll probably try out a couple of different fun ones to see if it’s an improvement or not.

We also need a headboard and some matching lights on this wall. I’m trying to find some affordable sconces for this wall, I think the symmetry will look nice and it will free up the top of the nightstands. Allow me to show you a VERY rough sketch of what I am thinking.


I’m sorry. :) But it shows you basically what I am thinking. I’m gonna paint all the trim in this room blue like the walls. The trim is small anyways, and I think it will look better and draw the eye less this way. Then, bring in those nightstands, hang metal sconces above them (with some copper or gold leaf on the inside of the shades to make it super soft, flattering light) and build some kind of headboard. I’m not sure what exactly, but it’s gonna be awesome. :)

Next up is the big window wall. This is one of the walls we painted gray, but I’ve decided that I like the blue a lot, and I want this room to be super cozy. So I’m going to go ahead and paint the gray walls blue too. I think it will be awesome. I’m thinking I want to do something fun over the window or on the window – some kind of wooden valance, or cool stenciled pattern on the window itself… it will come to me I am sure. Next up, the dresser. I bought this tray at Goodwill a few months ago, and I really, really love the pattern on it.


I’m going to attempt to reproduce this pattern on the dresser itself. Basically painting those flowers on a slightly larger scale all over the dresser, with the swirly lines and dots. I’m also planning to switch out the hardware because … I have this thing with hardware. I really, really like it. And, I’m watching for a mirror to replace the humongous one that came with the dresser. I’m also considering moving the dresser to the wall opposite the bed but I am not sold on that. We will have to see.




So this wall, which will become blue, is where I am thinking the newly revamped dresser should go. Then I can move the kiss painting, that super cool lamp I found (Target but at Goodwill for less than half the price) and a cozy leather chair over into the corner. (Leather chair still to be found) Sadly, I think the turquoise curtains are not right for where I am going with the rest of the room. I loved them against white walls, but they’re just not quite right in here now. I’ll wait till after I’ve painted to really decide, but that’s where I’m leaning.


And lastly we have the closet wall. I painted the doors blue, and while I was sad to lose that super awesome vintage fabric that was on there, it was a huge improvement, wouldn’t you say? I like how the doors just blend in with the walls now. I feel like the walls in this room are super chopped up with doors and windows and such so whenever I can make things more cohesive I do. We took the ceiling fan down in here since it was super ugly and didn’t work well anyways. I actually want to take the chandelier from the bonus room and tweak it a bit and put it in here.


It needs a bit of help, a thorough cleaning and I think it will work really well. You just have to squint a bit to see how it will work. Trust me.


I keep going back to these two inspiration images I found on Pinterest. I love them both, a LOT. So I’m sticking to deep blue walls, warm wood tones and coppery metallic accents. In thinking about this space, I really want it to be clean and uncluttered, cozy and relaxing, and “grown up.” I’m hoping I can achieve that. I’m still undecided about curtains and bedspread, but I think I can find something that is either quiet and fades to the background, or makes itself the star. So what do you think? Do you have any thoughts and or advice? I’d love to hear it!



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5 Toys Every Kid Must Have

Now that we are about 5 years into this whole parenting thing, we are starting to figure out what works for us and what doesn’t, especially in the area of toys. I feel like toys and sugar are things that used to be special and scarce in kids’ lives, and now are simply ubiquitous. So needless to say, we’ve tried out our fair share of toys over the years, and we’ve settled on five absolutely must have toys that your kid’s life won’t be complete without. Here goes.

  1. A Stick

Sticks are amazing toys. They can simply help little ones walk, of course, but they can also be “signposts” anchored into the ground, guns, wedged between walls to make a gate, an anchor point for flying jumps… you name it. To be honest, half the time I’m not really sure what my kids do with sticks, but I do know that every time I send them outside they immediately find the closest stick and start playing with it.

Bonus: Grown-up kids enjoy sticks too.

2. Blankets

Ah the blanket. My kids’ favorite thing to do with blankets is bring every single one in the entire house out to the living room, make an enormous pile of them, and then burrow into them and pretend to sleep. They rarely use blankets to actually sleep, but they sure do love playing with them!

Blankets make excellent forts on bunkbeds, fantastic royal robes, and amazing superhero capes. They are also great for making “chariots”. You spread a blanket on the ground and grasp two corners while a sibling jumps on top. Then you drag said sibling around the house on the “chariot”. Hilarious screams ensue.




3. Water

My kids can play with water for hours. They have a water table that they really enjoy (mostly by filling it up with water, then dirt to make a  mud table). But they love water in any form. In a bath, in a squirt gun, in a hose. The hose is especially fun since you can spray your mom when she’s not looking. If we were okay with the water bill, the kids would play with running water 24/7.


4. A Box


This one is super fun. And so open ended! A box can be a castle to hide out in and defend, it can be a contained coloring space, it can be another chariot to push a sibling around in. The big sturdy boxes that diapers come in are a favorite in this house. They are also great for filling up with every other single toy in the house and stashing in a special place. A stand-in for a suitcase if you will, which is great when going on a “long trip”.

5. Dirt


Dirt + kids = kid heaven. I swear our yard in New York did not have as much dirt as our house in Colorado. We have unbelievable amounts of dirt here. It’s pretty much kid heaven. My kids use the loose dirt under the pine trees as a sand pit, they rake it and plant eggs as “seeds” in their garden, they smear it on each other as a sign of affection. Dirt is especially, irresistibly attractive immediately following a bath, and you get bonus points for smearing it in your hair. Dirt is the bomb diggity.


Bonus: Dirt or sand + water basically equals a child’s paradise and you can trust that they will simply play happily all day long, or until you insist that a bath must take place. In which case they will scream like banshees.


So those are our five favorite toys for kids. Give your kids unlimited access to these five “toys” and they will have the happiest childhood around. So don’t delay! Run out to the store right now and purchase them! Oh wait, actually, all five of these things are most likely in your bedroom and outside in your yard. Hey look, they’re free too! Hurray!



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Aslan’s Claws


Have you read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader? It’s part of the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S.Lewis. I remember reading the Narnia series for the first time in second grade, but to be honest, I didn’t absorb much. I read it again in my teens, and it made so much more sense to me. In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, after Eustace is turned into a dragon because of his greed, there is a scene that made such a vivid impression on me that I’ve never forgotten it. Eustace has been trying to turn himself back into a boy unsuccessfully for quite some time, and now, at the end of his rope, Aslan the Lion has come to him. Here’s an excerpt from the story.

“Then the lion said — but I don’t know if it spoke — You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was jut the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.  You know — if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place.  It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.

“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on — and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. . . .”

I had to go look up the actual words of this scene, because although I could remember its impact on me, I couldn’t remember how it actually went. In my mind, I could picture the great Aslan slowly digging his long, gleaming claws into Eustace’s dragon-skinned chest, and tediously, painfully, tearing the skin off him in one awful piece.

To me, this has always been a picture of the work that Christ does in us as he transforms us. Some sins are easily let go of. Sometimes we are convicted and we see how we have done wrong and we are so eager to stop sinning against our Creator. We let go of that particular sin and we don’t struggle with it again.

Other times, we struggle against sins that are so entrenched in us, so intertwined into the fabric of who we are, that getting victory over them seems an impossible task. Like a stubborn ivy that particular sin has worked its way all throughout us, leaving offshoots and deep roots and tangled strands all over.

For me, fear is that way. For just about any issue I’m dealing with, it seems, when I sit down and really think about what the root issue is, I realize that it’s fear. One of my biggest fears is to be known. Really, truly, known. My natural tendency is to close myself off to others, keeping them at a safe distance and therefore protecting myself from whatever ways they may, knowingly or unknowingly, try to hurt me. It’s easier for me to go through life not letting people see me vulnerable, see me failing, see me hurting.

Letting myself be known feels like allowing a lion to sink his sharp claws into my heart and pry me open. It’s painful, yucky, messy and uncomfortable. I fight it hard, I fight with my whole being. I try to do it myself, try to convince myself that whatever the struggle is, I can face it on my own without help. I hate asking for help.

Letting my husband get to know me, the real me, who I truly am, is as hard as letting the Father in to the deepest parts of my heart to shine His light and transform me into a person who more resembles His Son. They are the parts that we struggle to admit we even have, the sins and failings we lock away in the basements of our souls in the hopes that we can hide them forever.

Letting my husband get to know me, and understand me scares me.  Fear stands in the way of that too. Fear plants its feet, digs in its heels and braces its arms against the door frame of my heart, saying “you’re not getting in here, you’re not welcome here.”

And yet, all throughout the Scriptures, we are commanded not to fear. To be brave and courageous. We are reminded, encouraged and compelled to trust in God and lay down our fears. Over and over,  verse after beautiful verse  exhorts us to exchange our fear for trust. One of my favorites is Psalm 27:1 – The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?

Opening myself up in my marriage means opening myself up to possible hurts. We’re both humans, which means that we both make mistakes. Lots of mistakes. We have bad days. We have bad attitudes and we blame each other for our problems. When I live in fear, I react in fear, and that damages our relationship. But when I live with faith, courage and trust, I react with love and vulnerability. It’s a daily task, and although it gets easier, it never gets easy.   But my deepest desire is to live a life that honors my Father, and my second most important desire is to have a thriving, healthy, demonstrative marriage.

The last line of Lover’s wedding vows to me says “All these things I promise, asking for God’s help.” Oh how true that is! When I ask for God’s help I can accomplish the impossible. I can be strong and courageous, open and vulnerable. I can shed that dragon skin of fear and instead trust in the Lion of Judah to be my light and my salvation.

I encourage you today to examine your heart and ask if there are any sins that you need the Savior’s help shedding. Our Lord is faithful and true, and if you ask, He will do it.


Want more thoughts on how I’m learning to live with courage? Check out this post I wrote two years ago about my word for the year.



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