ONE year later in This Whole House.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A little over ONE year ago, July 4th, 2013 weekend we moved into our first home here at the beach.  After nearly 2.5 years of renting, we were ready for the undertaking of renovating an old home and turning it into a home of character and style.  Although the journey has not been as quickly as hoped, I am amazed to look back over the first year and see what all we have accomplished.  I think it's important to do this in all areas of our life... it reminds us of the many blessings that outweigh the circumstances that try to bring us down. 

I remember moving day felt a lot like a game of Tetris.  Lots of stuff with no where to go.  I think I cried a few times from all of the emotions.  Thankfully Pastor Sam gave me a big hug that day and told me how much he loved my house.  Even if it were a lie, I needed to hear that.

You can see all of the BEFORES on closing day of This Whole House (here). 

Just two days after this picture was taken we celebrated a sweet ONE year olds birthday.  

I think we managed to clean it up pretty well.  Just hope no one looked in the garage that day. :)

We soon found out that the previous owner of our new home, had 4 German Shepherds, hence the horrendous smell in the garage.  First step was a good pressure washing and painting the brick.  It took the smell right out and thanks to my father-in-law we had some free labor.

We purchased speciality paint from Sherwin Williams so that the brick would not absorb the paint.


And not that it was necessary, but we HAD to paint the ceiling blue.

Then, the doors.  Which I was able to do.

See the gray brick.  Made such a huge difference and made the garage feel much cleaner and bigger.   There are still some things we plan to do to make this space more suitable for Wade Nagy and his many tools.

A chalk board door for the kiddos to play.  
Since they love playing in the garage instead of our huge backyard.

Next came the homeschool room/ office.  

You can see the full post on this project (here).

And who could forget that my first born gave her life to the Lord just 3 days into homeschooling and was baptized at the beach just a few weeks later.  Read this post (here).

This whole house was full of character (hear the sarcasm) when we bought it.

The old school intercom/ radio system, the wallpapered light switched and the harvest monkeys that welcomed us at the back door.  All of which HAD to go.

Our first Christmas and our first fire.  I love a real fireplace and I have never had one.  Until now.

The free pallet projects which you can read about (here).

I found myself painting lots of furniture and received lots of questions from readers,
 so you can find my Chalk Paint Tutorial (here) and the details of this awesome Play Closet (here).

DIY projects like this one (here) kept me busy throughout the winter months and the girls are so excited about sticking a red nose on this new friend at Christmas time.  
I am actually looking forward to that too. :)

We had lots of parties, play dates and celebrations, including this popular post (here) about our Frozen Party that we had for our 6 year old daughter. 

My little ballerinas completed their first full year of dance.  They made mommy and daddy so proud.  
You can see more pictures and my thoughts behind them (here).

Soon Spring arrived and the deck furniture needed some love.  Here is one of the chairs that I sanded, stained (color: Gunstock) and added a few Target Outdoor Pillows (here) which made this oldie look brand new.  
Wade Nagy built this chair back in 2002.  It's one of my favorites.  

And with all the mad skills my hubby has, Wade Nagy started his own company this year.  
River Oak Construction and Design, LLC.

LIKE our Facebook page (here) to see the latest designs.

This was one of his spring projects.  An outdoor shower.  
Now I want one.

Painting the fireplace was a last minute idea before a wedding shower at our house.  
You can read about this post (here) and find out about the frustration I had while painting brick.

 And finally, our first year had come to an end.  And even though there was a lot that still needed completing (virtually every room except the office) we are still happy with the progress and the fact that we can call 
This Whole House our home.  

It was time to celebrate our youngest once again with a July 4th, Mickey Mouse Party.
~~July 2014~~

And finally, sometime in October, we will welcome home our 4th daughter, Porter Rae.
Therefore, our focus right now will be turning this room into a room for TWO little girls.  
I cannot wait to show you the final reveal in a few weeks!

Thanks for following our journey.  
I would love to hear your comments and ideas. 

Oh Hey Friday

Friday, August 8, 2014

If you follow my blog, you will notice that as the seasons change, so does my dedication for blogging.  One week I am throwing 3-4 posts at you and then I leave you hanging for months on end.  That's what 3 kiddos and 1 on the way will do for you.  Plus an attention span of about 5 minutes.  And I wonder where my 6 year old gets her sporadic need to change things up.

So for some added motivation and accountability to my blog, I have decided to join another fun Friday link-up.  "Link-up" is a fancy blogging term used to connect fellow bloggers together.
Is that "Fancy Nancy" enough for ya?

Every Friday I will post about 5 things.  I have no idea what these things will be so stay tuned for probably the most random five things this gal can come up with on Friday.  Cause by then, my mind is usually toast and my body is screaming for an extra set of hands to come rescue me for the weekend.

Here are five of my favorite things from the wedding shower that I promised to post about (but never did).  Let me just say... the wedding shower was beautiful, but had absolutely no comparison to the bride and the wedding that took place this past weekend.  The bride was shining and the groom, well the tears of a heart that had waited on his beloved were shed that day.  It was truly a moment from the Lord and I was thankful to be a part of it.

O N E.
I would be lying if I didn't tell you that this pregnant mama taste tested this yummy drink.  
Don't worry, just a sip. 

T W O.
The Cage of Blessings was full of funnies, prayers and advice for the soon-to-be married couple.

T H R E E.
All of these flowers made me heart happy and erased the smells that come with having small children.

F O U R.
The table that Wade Nagy built for me, I mean the wedding shower.  This has become one of my most favorite pieces of furniture that we own.  I love eating outdoors as a family.

F I V E.
These gluten-free heavenlies were made by my friend Ashley.  To the left was the 30 something cupcakes that were served to the guests.  But to the right was my secret stash that was left over for "mommy's nap time."  

For some fabulous recipes that have taste without the guilt head on over to her website, 

I hope you enjoyed my Friday Five.  Happy Weekend to Ya.

Restless and Ready.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Some may call it pregnancy hormones and others may simply see it as me stressing.  I am ok with both of those answers, but what I am not ok with is the inability to release the restlessness in my heart, my mind and here lately my actions.

The last few months our family has had some major changes... pregnancy, jobs, just to name a few and we are still hurdling over the financial difficulties that I have expressed over and over on this blog.  I have a deep spiritual restlessness inside of me and I am so ready for the miracle.  Almost to the point where I am trying to MAKE things happen.  Which is never a good thing.  Or a God thing.  I was thinking about this and it dawned on me how much this lines up with what I am going through in my own body.

I am currently 7.5 months pregnant.  It is almost mid-August and the heat is scorching hot.  I cannot check the mail without literally sweating my face off.  Not to mention that this is child #4.  Not that I do not see pregnancy as a gift, because I certainly do, but I would be lying if I said I loved how I feel when I am pregnant.  I am over it.  I am ready.  I have felt the presence of a newborn baby fresh out of the womb.  I have experienced the first cries and the ability to nurse my child for the very first time.  I have taken in all of the smells of that newborn smell (with a little help from Dreft) and I have watched that sweet baby cuddle up in my arms with its legs curled up under that sweet little tushy.  And I am ready for it N O W.  I am ready to meet my sweet girl.  If I could skip the next 2 months, I gladly would and go straight to holding my sweet daughter.

I feel the exact same about the process of waiting on God.  I am beyond ready for the miracle.  So ready to see what God is going to do with this huge mountain that seems to constantly stand in our way.  I am ready for the mountain to be casted into the sea and for deliverance to come once and for all.  I am ready to see my God move and I want to see it now.

Why must every day feel like another waiting session?  Why must it seem so dreadful some days waiting on the One that could change everything with one word.

I guess for the same reason that if my body went into labor right now, I would immediately start praying that God would stop it.  Because as much as I am ready for this baby, she is not.  Her body and her lungs need to develop more and her main nutrients to do so are found deep inside of this perfectly made womb that God has placed her in.  He is not done creating this little girl inside of me.  And as a mother who wants the best for her child, I am willing to wait.  I am willing to wait through the hot sweats, the swollen ankles, the varicose veins and the abundance of hormones all because I know the outcome will be perfect when she is
R E A D Y to be born.

Which leads me to my place of restlessness.  I want the miracle now, but I want the capacity in my mind, my heart and my spirit to hold the miracle that He has for me FIRST.  Before He gives me the miracle, I want to be ready spiritually so that I don't ever lose sight of the One who gave it to me.  I want God to fully develop His perfect plan for my life and as much as I am having trouble being patient, I am willing to wait because I know it will be T H A T good.

Is the wait easy?  HECK NO.  But I am choosing to focus on the final birth of the miracle.   I fully believe that tonight as I struggled to believe His goodness for my life, that He ever so kindly used this big belly of mine to softly remind me of the miracle in the process.  That we all have a womb that is being knitted together by Him, for us and that the wait may be hard, but it will produce LIFE in the end.

Now if we could just get God to work on a 9 month, trimester type basis that would be great. :)

Until then, it's a daily renewal.  Waking up each day with the attitude of "Today Is The Day" and lying down each night letting go of all the moments when patience was not your best quality.   And starting over the next day believing for the same thing from the same God who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Craving the Adventure.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

When I was a little girl, I could do anything.  I could soar the skies as an airplane attendant and see the world.  I could give all of the needy food and clothes and make sure that their lives were filled with love.  I could ride a horse across the US and ski the Colorado mountains.  I could live out any dream I had in my little, vibrant mind.  The world was mine and it was just an arms reach of achieving pretty much anything I wanted in my life.

But the reality of my life was quiet different.  I was a quiet, often shy little girl that wanted to please everyone that came across my path.  That niceness and that compassion was often a gift but it also led to insecurities as I watched friends come and go in and out of my life.  My childhood consisted of turning mud pies into lavish cakes and old beer cans into delicious island smoothies, as me and some other childhood friends managed to build a fort away from home deep in the woods near the family barn and create a place of our own.  We didn't have much, but we sure did have an imagination.  I remember once we piled up sheets of old tin left over from the barn roof, on the ground.  Our purpose was to make a trampoline.  And it worked.  We never told our parents cause we knew that we were jumping on a tetanus shot waiting to happen... but once the jumping began, that old tin turned into the best trampoline we could have ever imagined.  The logs that we had to climb to get over to the treacherous swamps were really mere logs that had fallen over a small spring of water.  But in our minds it was an adventure to be had.  We had the time of our lives in those woods that was just yards from the busy interstate 40.  But in our minds, we were hours away from our normal lives and we had created something great.  Something we had dreamed about.

Now let's skip to College.  And with that season the infamous question arose.  What do you want to major in?  I remember the words rolling off of my dad's tongue as I received the letter of acceptance to Appalachian State University.  I was standing in the kitchen with my new college packet as a young 17 year old who had just got home from cheerleading practice whose primary concern was what I would wear to school the next day.  Basically he had just asked the question...

What do you want to do with the R E S T of your Life.

I remember my response to this day.  I wanted to be a teacher.  And as the words left my mouth I remember the doubt that I had felt inside of me at that very moment.  It was as if I had just sentenced myself to a lifetime of an endless career with no way out.  I felt like I had determined my whole life in one plan by just determining my career choice.  Now this may be ok for most, but I remember the sickening feeling I had at that very moment.

I spent the rest of my college years pursuing Elementary Education, but considered changing my major at many times throughout.  Once I wanted to be a Park Ranger so that I could hike the Appalachian Trail.  The other was maybe I should be a photographer so that I could work for the National Geographic, travel the world and take pictures of animals that I am terrified of.  Bad idea.  I am barely capable of taking a decent picture with an iPhone and I am pretty sure that anything larger than a dog should be behind bars.

So what was that?  Why was I determined to set myself on a path of becoming one thing, but yet I wrestled with constant dreaming, constant ideas, constant desires of more.  I craved an adventure.  But that wasn't supposed to be... I was supposed to start a career, work, retire and then I could enjoy life before I kick the bucket.  Wasn't that how it worked?

I became a teacher in the year of 2004.  I spent one semester in the classroom and I then stepped into other careers.  Surprise, Surprise.  Several careers actually.  I returned to what I knew which was the classroom and I stayed there until I had my first child.

I loved being a stay at home mom.  I still do.  There is never a day that goes by that I am not thankful for my time here with my children.  There is not a day that my life as a mom is not an adventure.  It changes every day.

But I am craving more.  I want to continue dreaming even at the age of 32.  I don't know that I ever want to answer the question of "what do you want to do for the rest of your life" with one simple answer.  My prayer is that God would continue to take me out of my comfort zone and send me on the adventures that I dreamed of as a child.  That even as an adult, that I would dream of finally seeing those Colorado mountains and visiting other countries to save the world one person at a time.  I pray that He will bring me into places that some are afraid to go and that He would show me places that blow my imagination away.  And mostly I pray that when I leave this earth, that when my girls talk about their mother they will say, "she spent her whole life living her God-given adventure, unafraid, unhindered and unwilling to stop short of what God had for her."

I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  And part of me prays that I never do.  That I am able to live my life with continued dreams, hope and craving the adventure.  And I mostly pray that these cravings, that they will lead to me doing.  That when the time comes, that I will not cling to what is comfortable or what I know to be the "safe thing" but that I will hop on board with complete trust in who my Father is and the plans He has for me.

Until that day, my adventures of kid tantrums, the buzzillion life questions I answer in a day to my kids, the tears that I wipe clean along with the kisses and hugs, are perfect training ground for my next big adventure.  I feel certain that at the age of 32... my life is just now beginning.

How about you?

Just Dance!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

“From the oldest of times, people danced for a number of reasons. They danced in prayer… or so that their crops would be plentiful… or so their hunt would be good. And they danced to stay physically fit… and show their community spirit. And they danced to celebrate.” And that is the dancing we’re talking about. Aren’t we told in Psalm 149 “Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song. Let them praise His name in the dance”? And it was King David – King David, who we read about in Samuel – and what did David do? What did David do?

It's one of the greatest movies of all time.  Or at least in my book.  To this day this movie will make me jump to my feet and break it down as if I am a student at Bomont High experiencing my first prom.  And I am not a dancer.  But it doesn't matter... I feel like one when I am dancing along Ren McCormack.  His passion about dance carries over and inspires those around him.

When I was in kindergarten, my mom signed me up for ballet at the American Dance Academy.  I remember being so excited to start.  But then, my next memory is doing leaps across the dance floor.  While everyone else's resembled a graceful deer leaping across a meadow, mine, well, it looked more like a spastic frog hopping from one lily pad to the next.  It wasn't good.  Or so I thought.  

Comparison with my neighbor started at a very young age for me.  I wished that I had not cared so much or instead allowed it to motivate me to push forward.  However, I allowed it to let me quit.  After 3 years of dance, I called it quits.  But the truth is, I had quit long before that.  I had made it up in my mind that I was not a dancer.  Dream over.  I got my trophy and that was enough for me.  But I never stopped loving dance.  I have always loved dance.  Sure, the cheerleading dancing that I did in high school was fun and proms, well I was always the white girl who thought she could dance, but it wasn't the same.  I loved ballet.  I loved the movements, the grace, the strength.  Still do.

That is why when I had my first little girl, I knew that dance would be her first activity.  Thankfully, I have a house full of girls and they all love to dance.  This past year, I watched my oldest two blossom  in their dance class.  Their teacher spoke life into them with every move, every step and taught them so much more than positions and coordination.   She taught them confidence.  She taught them how to believe in themselves and that dance is fun.   I watched them leap across the room, unafraid without the slightest concern of what others thought.  They were inspired by one another and they saw dance in a way that I wished I had as young girl.  They came home and practiced as much as possible and even taught their mama a thing or two. 

The best part was when I started to see this "dance" take place during worship music.  Every morning, we take some time to listen to music.  Sometimes the girls play, sometimes they color and sometimes they dance.  When the dancing starts in the kitchen, I usually stop whatever it is I am doing... straight out of awe.  You can literally feel His presence as they welcome Him in with their pure hearts and their dancing.  

Everyone should dance.  I don't care if it's the graceful deer or the spastic frog... just dance.  Dance until you feel better.  Dance until you find peace.  Dance until you laugh at yourself.  Dance until you are inspired.  
Just Dance. 

DIY Wedding Shower Approved

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wade Nagy and I had a productive week.  Nothing like hosting a wedding shower at your home to give you that kick that you need to get back on the renovation train.  It's easy with 3 kids and one on the way to lose sight of what "needs to be done."  After all, all of the speckled walls had become home and the unsightly decor that I had hanging outside had just become an easy solution to fill a wall.

But that's not always the best.  I have learned that sometimes less is more and a blank wall is sometimes better than outdated decor.

So we will start there...

I was hosting about 30 some peeps in my home.  So I knew that the outdoors needed to be utilized in the best way possible.  We worked on some furniture (which I will show you later) and had the back deck looking much better.  Until I came to the doorway.  And there it was.  The chicken that I have had since we first got married.  Granted, Wade Nagy and I used to have chickens.  Their names were Yosef, Claudia, Tyson and Purdue.  All of which left this world in an unimaginable way, in which we quickly learned that we are not the best chicken owners.  So the only chicken that survived was this lovely thing.  And to be honest, it should have probably died with the rest.  Or at least stayed back with the old farm house we used to own.

I needed a quick fix.  I had this letter in a closet left over from a project that I never completed.  (this happens a lot).  So with some spray paint and some burlap (that I used for the wedding shower), my new decor was simple and clean.  And highly resembled the one I just showed you on this post.  But oh well.  I still believe it to be an improvement from the rusty old chicken.
Start with a can of Indoor/ Outdoor Spray Paint.  Allow to dry.  I then tied burlap string and topped it off (mainly to cover the nail in the brick) with a thicker burlap fabric.  Both can be found at Walmart.
Then, there was the painting of the walls...  Wade Nagy pulled this off in just the nick of time.  We both agreed that we should have said goodbye to the speckled spots a long time ago.  Our living room and hallway now feel like a fresh, clean space.
This was me testing the color because the lack of faith I had in Wade Nagy when he chose something different than I had originally chosen.  But I LOVED it.  And that is why we make a great team.

Final after pics will come in a later post.

And then there was this... The Fireplace.
 Now this was one of those things that I knew needed to be done, but had dreaded the task.  That was until I knew 30 people were coming to my house and boom... motivation had reignited.  

The first couple hours were fun.  I loved seeing the new, fresh color roll over the dingy white.  But after the 2nd day, I could have tore down the whole entire fireplace and called it a day.
The mortar... Oh. My. Goodness.
So if you think you have the sanity for this project...  Then at least allow yourself more than 2 days to complete the task.  Start with a small roller (made for brick), then use a 2-3 inch Purdy Brush to get deep inside of the mortar.  The color of this paint is Sherwin Williams, Functional Gray.
Now that its D O N E... I love the results.
Learn how to make this pallet deer (here).

In a few days, I will show you the outdoor furniture that made our deck sing in gratitude and I also will have some really cute dancers who rocked it last week in their dance recital.  Plus... I know you want to see some pics of the wedding shower...  It was such a great time and the bride, well, she's a beauty.

Here are some sneak peaks for the next few posts...

Early Sunday Morning breakfast at our new outdoor table.  

and just a sneak peak of the wedding shower.  More to come.