Friday, October 11, 2013

31 Days...As a Matter of Fact..NO

No.  I will not finish all of my laundry prior to the new week beginning.

No.  I will not make my home a museum and make my family and friends feel uncomfortable.

No.  We will not allow Hollywood and the media to dictate how we live our lives.

No.  We will not fill our lives with such busyness that we rarely speak to each other.

No.  I will not be consumed by social media updating and happenings all. day. long.

No.  We are not going to give up on morals just because most of America has done so.

No.    We will not stop pressing toward a higher calling...a calling higher than ourselves.

No.   We will not make excuses.  We will own up to our responsibilities.

No.  No. No.

Aaaahhhh....That felt GOOD!

Living with NO regrets...

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

31 Days...Finding out What Matters.

This 31 Days has gotten the better of me.  Topic after topic has run through my head…funny topics, easy topics, personal topics, spiritual topics… If there is one thing about me that I wish I could change it would be my inability to make a decision.  After toiling over this for days…I had an epiphany last week during our bedtime routine with the munchkins.  It went something like this. 

Girls were getting ready for bath time and I had asked them to go to their room and get pajamas ready…moments later I hear screaming and squealing coming from upstairs…I immediately dropped what I was doing and rushed upstairs to see who had been hurt.  What I saw brought a flood of emotions over me.  My girls were literally fighting over a pair of pajamas….yes, this sounds funny and it is child-like and they ARE girls…but I could hardly believe it.   

***Let me insert here that my girls have 3 dressers drawers packed to the top with pajamas!  They have more pajamas than any girls I’ve ever known, and they were literally fighting over this particular pair.***

 As a mother, I stood there angry, baffled, shocked, but mostly I felt shame.  Shame of seeing them hurt each other with mean words.  Shame of knowing I had failed to teach them what appreciation is.   That was it…that very moment…something clicked, burst or just flipped inside of me, and without saying a word, I immediately went to the dresser drawers and began pulling out ALL of the pajamas…Every. Single. Pair.   I moved on to the other drawers and began pulling out socks, under garments, belts, scarves, everything.  The girls sat in silence watching me.

Next, I went to the closet….which is so over-packed with clothing, shoes and toys that I can barely maneuver inside…(they have an oversized walk-in closet) I was on a roll at this point, and I began taking all of the “Littlest Pet shop” houses and accessories…next it was Barbie..OH YEA!! ALL of it.  Clothing, dolls, houses, cars…Everything…at this point I was feeling liberated and the girls were starting to cry.  I finished up by removing all of the dress-up garb.  By this time the closet was beginning to look empty and I decided to stop and talk to the girls. 

After they calmed down to a whimper we discussed the importance of each other.  We talked about how sometimes we can “have” so much and focus on “stuff” that we forget the important things in life….like Family, Sisters, Friends, Health, on and on.  It was a nice conversation about how we are so blessed…too blessed.  Our attention becomes so material driven and things we have are no longer enough…we want more and more and more…it gets out of hand!

That night something happened…it was a true turning point.  We prayed together and they made up with each other and we even laughed at how silly it was to fight over a crazy pair of PJ’s.  The toys have been put away for 6 days and would you know…the tone in our home has been milder.  The girls are getting along better than ever before.  They have discovered old toys that were no longer being played with and have not complained one time about only having a couple of pair of PJ’s each. 
I must say…I did not intend for this to go this way, but we will see where it leads.  Plus…it leads to less laundry for ME!!!

I'll take this 31 Days time to focus on What Matters most...I can't promise I'll make it every day, but I will make sure I pay attention daily to all that matters most in this journey we call life.

God, help me to instill your love in my children by living a selfless life.  Help me to show them the importance of Your Word and things which are uplifting to You.  Let our home be a peaceful refuge to all who enter.  In Jesus Name!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Work It Wednesday and Kichler Lighting...hhhmmm

What a pleasant surprise!!  Being featured at The Blissful Bee for Work It!  If you don't follow the Blissful Bee need to go over now! She has a wonderful and fun blog and is a Texas Gal!!! Woooohooooo..

I'm taking a little break from the blog this week.. The Hubs and I are we're invited to tour  Kichler Lighting Headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio and wow oh wowie...has it been an adventure! Kichler is a national interior and exterior lighting designer and manufacturer with an awesome attention to quality in their product...visit their site if you are in the market for lighting choices Kichler Lighting

Ill be back soon with the 31 days series....eeeekkkk getting excited and nervous all at the same time about this series.
 See y'all!

Living With No Regrets

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Outdoor Living...

Still thinking on the 31 Day Series topic today….my mind is racing around too many options…

With Starbucks celebrating their 10 Years of Pumpkin Spice Latte, the rain and somewhat cooler temps (85 degrees is cooler for us Texans) I’m feeling a little Fall-ish today.  
Fall is such a fun time here in Texas.  If the weather cooperates it allows for nice evenings outdoors and picnics in the park.  The humidity is usually lower and the breeze is such a refreshing treat from the staunch heat of Summer.

I mentioned several years ago that The Man and I own and operate a Custom Landscape Design/Build Firm.  He is a Texas Aggie (Gig ‘em, Whoop, Whoop) and studied Landscape Architecture and Horticulture while in college.  Yes, our Family bleeds Aggie Maroon!  The Man is one of the most creative designers of outdoor living spaces I have ever met, and he has such an eye for functional and pleasing outdoor spaces.  Our company works with clients to Design and Build the entire project from completion to finish. 

Sorry for the rant….but wanted to share a little background before I loaded you up with several of my favorite Outdoor living spaces our company/team has created and installed.  Design is not only about the Interior of our homes, but can be extended to the Exterior as well.  This Fall I hope you find a nice Outdoor space to enjoy. 

Living with No Regrets

Thursday, September 19, 2013

31 Days...

If you are familiar with the 31 Day Blog Series you have most likely have laughed, cried, made new friends and been inspired by the many bloggers who join in this series each October.  The 31 Days Series was started by Myquillyn AKA. The Nester in 2010 with a handful of bloggers and has grown to over 1,000 bloggers in 2012 joining in the series.  It is such a fun and anticipated month of blogging.  Bloggers accept the challenge by blogging about specific topics for 31 days (or longer if needed).  It really is a personal challenge and experience.  I have read the 31 Days series of several bloggers, unfortunately due to the growing number, have not been able to read ALL of the participants.  If you choose to read this year, you will be so glad that you did.  This year I have decided to accept this challenge and participate in the 31 Day series.  In past years I have only been a reader of the series, knowing that I would most likely fail with keeping the challenge for the entire 31 Days.  This year is different.  This year I'm ready (I think...). Although I have yet to choose my 31 Day topic, I am gathering ideas now.  There are so so so so many topics I would love to write about, but I want to narrow it down to a specific one that will be as inspiring to others as they have been to me in past years.  If you have any ideas on 31 Days topics for PLEASE leave them in my comments section.  My first 31 Day blog post will be Tuesday, October 1st.  I hope you will join with me through this journey.  I will need encouragement to succeed and forgiveness when I fail, but I intend to complete the series.

Below are links to some of my favorite 31 Series over the past few years.  I hope you will read and enjoy them as much as I have.

Edie - Life in Grace - 31 Days Rebuilding a House and Heart

Myquillyn - The Nester - 31 Days of Lovely Limitations

Stacey - 31 Days of Being Still

Melissa - 31 Days to A Better Budget

Below is a Link to ALL 1200 of the 31 Dayers....Make sure you have a cup of coffee and a few days of free time

2012 31 Day Bloggers

Living with No Regrets

Monday, September 16, 2013

Outdated Ranch home meets Southern & Simple Update...go figure

Last week I pulled out the interim photos of portions of the home in this Post.  As I mentioned, this project has been ongoing for almost 2 years, and I honestly could write a novel on the entire progress and happenings from start to where we are now.  I'm certain the book would keep you quite entertained as the story is almost unbelievable at times.  Nevertheless, we have come a LONG way since the demo party we had over 2 years ago, and we still have a LONG way to go before we can say we are complete.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional photographer, and my pics may include random household items, electrical cords, and will most likely NOT have the correct photo setting.

Below is a BEFORE view of the breakfast room looking from the kitchen

This is the AFTER view

Here is a BEFORE view looking from the breakfast room to the kitchen (opposite from above)

Below is the AFTER view looking into the Kitchen (still missing our cabinet cover above the built-in fridge)

Below is the Interim Pic of our Entry - In this pic the Floor had been laid and paint was up.

Here is the AFTER Pic of the entry

Below is the BEFORE Picture of the Living Room..this living literally had not been  updated from the 60's...shag red carpet, wood paneling and all.

Here is the AFTER pics...mantle is not finished, but we are coming along.

These are just a few pics of the living areas.  As time comes along I can post more pics of the home... I will try to get around to doing a Source post listing all of our paint colors, flooring detail and other items.

Thanks for looking!

Living with No regrets!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Money Pit Construction post...

I'm reminiscing today of how far we've come on our home remodel.  To look back at the pictures prior to construction is quite a laughing matter.  You tend to forget things of the past once you set your focus on the future.  While taking a stroll down memory lane today I was reading an old post I had written at the beginning of 2012.

This was a motivator to show you a completed photos of our home.  While it is never totally complete and we still have a ton of work to do on the exterior the interior has made many many strides since these photos were taken.

Below are a few interim photos of construction....I'll be back this weekend with a few "After" photos for you.

Below is a view of the breakfast room looking from the kitchen

Here is a view looking from the breakfast room to the kitchen (opposite from above)

This is the only interim shot I have of our mudroom/laundry room.

Here is an exterior shot of the portion of the home we had to demo and rebuild

Below is a shot of the exterior as it stands today...we still have yet to paint or finish and porch area on the exterior of the home.

I will work on getting a few after shots together this weekend so that you can see the transformation.

Thanks for stopping by!

Living with no regrets

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Stick to the Plan...

A certain passage of Scripture has been on my heart of late.  A very popular passage that we often times quote in times of struggle or when we lack direction in a particular situation.    

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (Jer 29:11)

What a promise!  What a faith builder!  The Lord is making a declaration here...He seriously has a plan, folks. One of the most important things to notice in this verse is who is speaking to whom.  Sounds elementary, right?  How twisted and turned around we make life because we don't understand that it is God's Plan for us...NOT Our plan for us.  How often do we spend time before God praying an "Instructive" prayer - a prayer where we tell or ask God to do what WE want him to do.

Sometimes we even beg.  

I found myself doing this during my prayer time this week.  I was desperate for an answer in my time of need and I was crying out to God in desperation.  While my tears flowed and my mind raced around telling God how He could make it all better something checked in my spirit, and I felt a conviction grip me so strong that I literally sat in silence for several minutes – I do believe God spoke to my heart that day with an impression, and He said to me – What about MY plan for your life?  Am I not God?  The one who set your entire life in motion.  Why not trust Me, child?  MY plans are so much bigger than your plans…trust Me.  


Talk about a slap in the face!  I seriously felt like I had just been reprimanded in love by my Mother.  It was a beautiful and humbling thought.  Then suddenly a Peace swept over my spirit and I felt boldness in Faith rise within me.  I seriously could have spoken a mountain to move that day.  My prayer immediately changed to “God please show me Your will, please show me what YOU would have me do”  Jeremiah 29:11 played over and over in my mind as if God was saying to me “Stick to the Plan, Stick to the Plan”.  In the midst of the storm, in the midst of turmoil this life brings our way it is such a privilege to know the Author and the Creator of the Plan.  Why do we make it so hard on ourselves?  

Praying for strength daily to continue walking in His Plan.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Be Strong, but watch out...

We all have those days.  From the moment the alarm goes off in the morning until the last light is turned out in the late night hours – rush rush rush.  Go here, go there, blah, blah, blah…the ins and outs of our day are thrust at us as we dodge what seems like fireballs.  In my mind, I imagine sometimes that I’m running a race and there is someone at the finish line throwing darts at me as I dodge them in a ninja-like movement.  Weird, I know. That’s just how my brain works.  I would not have it any other way.  Yes, there are days I long for peace, karma and sitting in fields of grain with my hair blowing in the wind – wake up, Mel – but for most days I enjoy the excitement of the adventure, I live for the surprises that life brings to me with each waking moment.  What a blessing to be alive and well and enjoy this precious creation that has been given to us!  Take a moment to breath – but get back up, whip out your sword and shield and trudge forward into this glorious journey that we are on.  

Stay strong my friends!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

That's a Wrap...

Summer has officially come to an end, and we mourn the passing of longer days, cold watermelon and  sleeping past 7am.  We enter into the time of year where we try to recoup from the busyness of summer and brace ourselves for an even busier Fall...when the days are shorter, the malls are a madhouse and the kids start preparing their Christmas lists.  Ah, the circle of life, the cycle of seasons, the tick-tock of Father Time... As each day passes a new appreciation for the time we have been given arises within my soul.  Reminiscing over the summer months I am saddened at how many moments I must have missed because I was consumed with getting to the next moment.  The next big thing, the next event to attend, the next next next...As fall approaches I am holding on to the Chinese Proverb...the Journey Is The hopes of hanging on to each moment not as just a memory but as a building block to this Journey we call Life.