Spring Around The House // Bunnies, Plants and Eggs

Spring has sprung around our little place and with it comes new beauty, fresh greenness and plenty of song birds.
Oh, and a heavy dose of spring fever.
I’ve been itching the last several weeks for the colder days to pass; while I wait, I have been making tiny adjustments in our apartment. I think wiping the dust from our homes, airing out rooms and decorating in simple ways is an excellent way to usher in the joys of spring.
In the kitchen, two bunnies (Mr. Salt + Miss Pepper) have found their way on the bakers wrack. A little jar is filled with flowering weeds a little friend gave me a few days ago.

While I wash dishes the (deliciously yummy!) scent of eucalyptus wafts from the front window. I found a bunch for $2.99 at Trader Joes. πŸ™‚

Tiny spring touches have come to the living room. Do you remember the spray-painted branches I made in February? They are now “blooming” with yellow and white tissue paper blossoms.
(Heeheehe, you may also see dirty laundry waiting to be watched. Ooops! πŸ™‚

A little rocking chair was recently given to us by sweet friends … I love my new seat as it is perfect for my height! (No more tippy-toe rocking for me! πŸ™‚ The chalkboards have phrases like “Alleluia” and “Abundant Mercy” scribbled over them in an effort to bring Resurrection Sunday to mind.

The rest of the living room is decorated with tiny pastel colored eggs from Hobby Lobby. Dalton enjoyed tucking them into different places around the house. He is such a cutie. πŸ™‚

Out the door our flower bed is beginning to grow — since this is our first spring here I am unsure as to what will be coming up but I think we have some roses, daffodils and tulips among the mix.
Last week I enjoyed laying new mulch over the dead leaves. Our neighbors (who are avid gardeners) were so kind in offering their bags of mulch and soil. Lord willing, D and I will try to grow some veggies in containers along the small driveway.

Does anyone know what this little beauty is?

Look closely and you will see our friends Miss Dove, Mr. Squirrel and three different feathered ones enjoying the bird feeder my daddy gave for Christmas.
I would *love* to see how you are ushering springtime into your homes and lives. Are you spring cleaning? Redecorating? Finishing finals? Trading in hot drinks for summer time treats like iced coffee?
Tell me what’s going on — I’d love to know!
With lots of love, blessings and hugs,

Little Pleasures // Homelife

Simple little pleasures like adorable eggs, soft cartons and sunshine in apartment windows are making my days sweet and nice.
It’s our second April together as a married couple and it has been so sweet.
And just like Anne said, it isn’t about the splendid or wonderful; it’s more about the little pleasures which sweeten each day. Be sure to tell of your little joys — I’d love to hear them!
Blessings and love and coffee,

Downtown Travels | Jefferson City in Snow

I really enjoy Jefferson City.
Surrounded by beautiful country, the city seems to have the perfect mixture of old-fashioned beauty and modern convenience.

I especially enjoy living only two miles from the Capital; Dalton often drops me off on his way to work. I walk along the library, pass shops and eventually through the Capital building. It is always open for touring.  

The Governor’s Mansion is truly beautiful. Behind it hides a Greek-themed garden planted years ago by the Governor’s wife and several working prisoners. In the spring dog-wood blossoms and tulips greet everyone who pass by while several fountains have children (and adults) smiling.

When I wrote this two weeks ago the the city was cold and laden with small snowy piles.

On my latest walk I discovered a little museum tucked along the street; maybe our next date day can take us here. Our favorite pizza place isn’t very far away … πŸ˜‰
Behind me are several railroad tracks and, even further, the Missouri River.
One day I plan to write a post about falling in love with a new city; sometimes it can be challenging adapting to a new home. Thankfully, the capital of Missouri seemed to have no trouble winning my heart and making me feel at home. πŸ™‚
Do you enjoy where you are living? Is it more country or city? Did you ever have a difficult move? I would love to hear your stories.
With love and blessings,

55 Things I’ve Learned After Being Married for One Year

I can’t believe it. I can’t believe that Dalton and I have been married for exactly one year today. A lot of time has passed since that lovely March day; a lot of love, memories and lessons have occurred within our glorious year. Overall, I would say that our first year has been pretty easy; of course, we’ve had our arguments and our disappointments but theses things have only driven us closer.

Below are fifty-five things I have learned during this first year. Some are fun and silly while others are more serious; each have helped make me into the woman I am today. I look forward to seeing who I will be next year and the year after that. God bless each of you as you read this — may it inspire, humor and bless you in your own adventures!

1. Marriage, in God’s will, is one of His greatest, most kind, gifts to mankind

2. Breakfast doesn’t make itself

3. But real men make breakfast (thank you, Dalton! xoxoxo!)

4. Marriage really does take a lot of work

5. And patience

6. And grace

7. Grocery shopping with Dalton is a real treat (I had always imagined I’d shop alone as my dad never went with us. πŸ™‚

8. You really can live (well!) on one income

9. When buying furniture it is far better to wait for the right style, price and time than jumping into a bargain you’ll regret later

10. Babies aren’t just made

11. But contentment in the waiting will make you (and your spouse) grow closer to each other and the Lord

12. Homesickness is inevitable

13. And it is okay

14. But when homesickness sweeps over you, don’t run home. Run to your beloved and share your heart. You’ll grow through it.

15. Arguments will happen (even when you’re the perfect couple!)

16. But most of the arguments will be based on miscommunication

17. Your spouse cannot read your mind and he shouldn’t have to

18. Going on a date can be as simple as walking through the mall together … the time together is oh, so priceless!

19. Husbands love to have their jokes laughed at … but they want you to be real! πŸ˜‰

20. Dalton cannot stand popping knuckles … if I pop them while he sleeps he hears it and gives a little grunt of disapproval πŸ˜€

21. Being your mate’s biggest fan and advocate is *so* important. Criticizing him or allowing others to criticize him is a big no-no and a trust breaker. I learned this the hard way. Always, be on your mate’s team … you’ll never regret having their trust!

22. Being thrifty can be really fun

23. But sometimes going cheap is not worth it (like buying cheap toilet paper which rips … du du duuuuuum!)

24. The first few months of marriage will probably be a little tight in the budget … but don’t fret! In about 3 months you’ll have the budget set, utilities scheduled, and furnishings furnished and you can begin to relax.

25. Husbands want to know if they’re “getting fat ” sometimes … and they want an honest answer

26. Celebrating “month-a-versaries” is really fun!!

27. Riding the bus is actually … really easy

28. Decorations can be bought little by little each year. Our Christmas tree was given to us and our ornaments were made from a package of potpourri … but it was truly beautiful and definitely “us.” I’ve found it far more satisfying to stay within budget and buy a little to set up home then go into debt (or over budget).

29. But remember, the budget isn’t meant to be a hateful, slave master constantly whipping your backs. If you find that you can agree that the purchase is necessary then go for it! πŸ™‚

30. Tubs need to be scrubbed every few months … otherwise they get this gross ring around the edge and your sister will have to scrub it when she comes to visit they get gross.

31. Your Momma is really, really going to miss you (and you her). Bless her, call her, text her, send letter to her … do all that you can to make this transition easier for the dear woman who has loved you all your life. I wish I had done more of this in the beginning!!
32. A man who makes you coffee is a man worth keeping!!

33. Men like kindness (imagine that!). But really, it’s true. Sometimes new wives tend to allow familiarity to become an excuse for complacency breeding selfishness and thoughtlessness. From my extensive studies, men don’t respond very well to those traits; however, give them a dose of kindness and suddenly you’re a princess who does everything right! πŸ˜‰

34. You could complain or you could swallow that complaint. The choice is yours.

35. Not being honest about your feelings is a lie. Period.

36. Dalton is genuinely impressed and happy when I give myself over to my “creative juices.” His support for my little creations and writing has been such a blessing!

37. Strep throat can be incredibly costly

38. Sleeping during the night is far better than sleeping in the day. When we were first married, D worked the morning shift (11 pm – 7 am). It was a fun adventure, but we were sure glad when he was able to get a swing shift instead (1 pm – 9 pm). We loved not having to sleep in the daytime!    

39. Keeping house is a lot of fun … especially after you get into the swing of things

40. A good man will eat a lot of icky meals (including leftovers!)

41. Friendly neighbors are a real blessing

42. Lovemaking is so much better than what you thought it would be as a single person

43. Pursuing a relationship with your in-laws (or in-loves as I like to say!) is super important and super rewarding

44. Pregnancy tests are super expensive

45. And getting a negative reading can be devastating

46. Bacon is a financial treat you should partake in once in a while

47. Praying together every day is a investment for eternity and well worth the time

48. Saying “I’m sorry; do you forgive me?” is one of the greatest phrases of all time and a great healer. Use it often.

49. Contentment is a choice … even after you have everything you ever wanted (a husband who loves you, a home of your own …) you’ll still have to choose to be content.

50. Being married to you best friend is the best thing that could ever happen. He will hold you when you cry, laugh when you laugh, and bless your every moment.

51. Marriage (and all that comes with it) will affect your hormones and you’ll feel a little “out of control” for a while. It’s okay and I’m pretty convinced it happens to us all. Give yourself grace, plenty of rest, and good, nutrient rich meals and you’ll survive. πŸ™‚

52. God will never fail to meet His children’s needs. I have learned this over and over again this year — our God is good and loving!

53. Finding an apartment with a good landlord and without any broken windows is a huge blessing

54. Not eating sugar/wheat really does make me feel better

55. A man who points you to Christ, encourages you to look up, and prays for you is worth the world and rare

I really couldn’t be any happier than I am right now. Dalton and I are so blessed — we’ve learned a lot since we said “I do” last year on March 7th. We’ve stumbled, bickered and felt lost. But we have grown, bonded, and found hope in God’s leading. I know we wouldn’t trade what we have for the world.

Happy anniversary, D! May we have 70 more!

Were there any points you could relate with or that surprised you? Feel free to bring up your thoughts!!

With love, coffee, and a one year old marriage!


Fall Decorating | On A Budget

Fall is rapidly approaching — beautiful, cool evenings are closing warm, harvest-filled days, chestnuts are covering my favorite sitting spot, and leaves are changing into their very best. 
Happily, the fun doesn’t stop outside the door! I love bringing Autumn’s beauty into our home: creating a place full of comfort, peace, and refreshment simply by decorating. However, no matter how much I love browsing Hobby Lobby’s aisles, we , as newly weds endeavoring to stay faithful to our budget, couldn’t convince ourselves to spend $40 on one wreath (no matter how cute it was!).
What’s a girl to do?
Hop over to Pinterest, browse DIY books, and put her creative genius glasses on, of course!
Join me as I share my joys of decorating on a newly wed’s budget … if anything, you’ll have fun chuckling at my attempts!
My momma always decorated her front porch with the seasons … a tradition I cannot break! Utilizing an old pair of mud-boots, pinecones collected on a neighborhood walk, a sprig of fabric leaves, and your own chalkboard greeting is a fun way to welcome guests in.
Oh, and then there is our very important friend, Owl. He was very delighted to be given the seat of honor (protecting the basil, of course). To add some spice and texture I used a few of the tree rings I asked Dalton to cut for me last year. πŸ™‚  

Collected chestnuts are scattered gingerly along the living room windows and splashes of orange and red leaves (and the occasional flash of golden rod) help tie the room together. Of course the coffee table has a few books begging to be read but this time they are accompanied by the ever-available (and free!) chestnuts, leaves, and Dalton’s beautiful black bean candle. We had collected wax from previous candles planning on reusing it for some craft. Earlier this week, my beloved had a blast drizzling wax over the dried beans –the way the wax melts round the beans creates a very beautiful and unusual candle. πŸ™‚ ο»Ώ

The hope chest in the dining room is covered with our beautiful table runner given as a wedding gift along with various jars tied with twine and filled with chestnuts and tealight candles. Beside the candles is the adorable harvest blessings pumpkin we found in our local Walmart. We also bought a white pumpkin from Aldis –this is Dalton’s favorite purchase! He absolutely loves it!
(Pssst … want to know how to drive your husband nuts? Buy into the idea that using tree branches as a floral arrangement is cute, ask him to gather said branches, then place the arrangement in a prominent place of the house. Say, the dining room table. (See above.) I promise you, if he is anything like my man, he will never run short of  hate-speech against your super cute, totally DIY, free, fall find! And, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be sure to get a good chuckle … because you know its not going anywhere! πŸ˜‰

Remember the fabric balls my mom and I made for Fourth of July? I recovered the balls with a different fabric and gave them a home on the bakers rack. It’s a super easy, fun, and affordable way to bring splashes of color into your home.
I am so thankful for the many blessings Autumn brings and I cannot wait to see what the coming months surprise us with. In the mean time, I hope that our home and all my little, sometimes silly, touches create an atmosphere that speaks of love, peace, and most importantly,  a God who loves.
What are/were some ways you made your house a home when you were a newly wed? (Or a poor college student, or a single mom, or a stay-at-home daughter … πŸ˜‰
I’d love to hear about it!
|| This week I linked up with A Blossoming’s Life’s Monday blog hop … Wow! Big things are going on! πŸ˜‰ Head on over and see what other amazing, crafty things are happening around the world. I know I will be! ||