A friend of mine from church called recently to see if I would photograph her family before her daughter left for college. Just so happens I adore her and her family so I was thrilled.
We first met when she led a bible study that I had joined and I was immediately smitten.
I’m not sure if it was the sweet, southern accent.
Or her quick wit.
It was probably her untethered, beautifully raw and real testimony. Witnessing her love for God was good stimulation for my own roots.
Oh, and she’s got an awesome laugh too.
She’s the real deal.
And the rest of the family, they’re just as awesomely infectious.
I might ask if they will adopt me (and I really really like my own family).
We did some shots on their front porch of the house the girls have grown up in.
And then we moved to a
mosquito infested lovely grassy area.
Seriously…ya’ll are the best.
Today was a big day.
It was a good day.
This one started 1st grade.
I was trying to figure out how to get her to the bus stop, then take the boys to preschool…then get to her school in time to walk her into class.
“Mommy why would you come to my school?”
Apparently, she’s a big girl now who doesn’t need me to walk her into class.
So we took her to the bus stop.
Hugged her goodbye.
And bam. She’s gone.
Then Luke started looking for his bus. Sorry buddy, your bus looks a lot like our Pilot.
Here they are getting off ‘the bus’
We walked them into class and Luke started with coloring.
Jack went for the legos.
No tears, no drama.
Just a really good day.
Oh and I had a meeting at Grace’s school so I
might have stalked her took as pic as they made their way to the library..
She’s all business.
And a little bit ‘fashion’ as she would say.
My baby girl.
This guy with that straight smile of his.
Here Luke, it’s your turn. Hold the sign for Mommy and smile.
It’s upside down honey.
Hold it down buddy.
“No I’m BIG”
Yes you are sweetheart.
And you’re a big goofball too.
And we love you in a big, big way.
I’m on a mission to simplify the way we live in our home.
Thing is – the act of simplifying is turning out to be hard work. But we have 4 adults, 3 kids and 2 dogs in this ‘not so big’ house so NOT simplifying is a sure path to insanity.
Take the boys’ room for instance, every time I would walk in there I would just feel sad. I had loved it when I first fixed it up but I realized there was no room for growth in that room and despite my begging them not to, they have grown like weeds. Trying to make room for their clothes in their tiny little closet…ugh, don’t get me started. I confess I would usually just leave the clean pile on the dresser and pick their clothes from there. Of course they would never stay in a nicely folded pile and before ya know it they’re on the floor and I’m not sure what’s clean or dirty sowhattheheckjustthrowitallinthelaundry…ahhhhhh!
So since she had the bigger room I asked their big sister if she was ready to switch (actually I bribed her with a ‘big girl bed’) and without hesitation she said yes! (Thank you thank you).
Operation room switch was on. Here’s a few tips from my experience:
#1 – Start on Pinterest of course. Or Houzz.com…or even just Google images. Basically – figure out what you’re drawn to. I decided what colors I wanted to do (Blue, Black, White and a Creamy Grey) and I pinned rooms that inspired me. Then I looked for similarities in each of those rooms: Contrast, Simple, Uncluttered, Sophisticated enough for them to grow but still fun.
And then I went shopping
#2 – Ask your kid(s) what they actually want because after all – it’s their room! I asked Jack what he wanted (Luke being only 2 is too young to vote). I gave him examples such as animals, dinosaurs, action figures, etc.. He told me “Dinosaurs” and I was totally happy. Then he also added “Zebras” and I deflated inside just a little. Dinosaurs and Zebras? How could I possibly pull that off?
Well when you tell a 4 year old that a black and white striped blanket (the Eivor from Ikea) is a Zebra blanket he just might
be fooled believe you
#3 – Get creative and make something unique. Jack has these little dinosaur figures that he got as a gift at one point and I was trying to think of unique ways of displaying them in the room. Of course if they were used as a display then he wouldn’t get to play with them so then it hit me – photograph them (duh little miss photographer).
I’ll create a separate post on how I made these…stay tuned!
I was trying to keep my costs down so everything I purchased was either on sale or found at a discount store such as Ross or Ikea. Another way to save money?
#4 – Re-use/Repurpose what you already have. You can see in the photo above the wooden toy chest that my grandpa built. It was also in their last room, in addition to their dresser and the most awesome leather chair that I scored on Craigslist:
(Their old room was Cowboy themed so the pillows and rocking horse survived the move too…)
And then of course there’s the loft bed that I originally built for Grace. With different paint on the walls and new sheets – it’s completely transformed:
We took the side off of the crib to make the toddler bed for Luke and it fit perfectly underneath the loft bed.
Wanna make this bed? Click here to see how I did it.
#5 – Add something personal. For me that always leads to a photo. I got a print of perhaps my favorite pic of my two little men and framed it. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in the room and if you’re as in love with these boys as I am you can’t take your eyes off of it.
So with a bigger closet, less clutter and a room that my boys love and take pride in – I have managed to simplify at least one room in my house. Now on to the next…
Oh this girl.
She happens to be my niece so I’m not biased or anything. But seriously, she’s the cutest little 6 month old on the planet…surely.
Just try to argue it.
Can I get outta here yet Auntie?
I do feel sorry for her though because her parents just neglect her so.
stole borrowed her from them.
But alas, she kinda likes her digs.
No shortage of friends.
Even the sad moments are cute, and they don’t seem to last too long.
Soon it was time to change into the next outfit.
And oh, how lovely she looked.
She’s full of stories already.
Remember being that flexible? Yeah, me neither.
Such a lady
And well, story time and stuffed animals aren’t exactly normal when Daddy has a law degree and Mommy is a surgeon.
That would be a stuffed Gall Bladder she’s teething on there…yep.
Oh Miss Sophie, can’t wait to squeeze you again.