Thursday, December 24, 2009

Finding Joy {in a townhouse}

Hello blog readers! (If I even have any anymore...I'm probably just sending my thoughts into a cyberspace black hole so maybe I should start this post with "Dear Diary" instead!) I apologize for my long absence, I know how much you all look forward to my posts each and every day! :) Things have been just a wee bit busy around here. And if you don't already know, I'm still pregnant. A little over 38 weeks right now and actually quite thrilled to get to enjoy Christmas (knock on wood) and not be pushing a child out of my body or be recovering from pushing a child out of my body. Anyway, I'm still attacking my never ending "to-do" list and have not forgotten about blogging, just been doing too many other projects {which I will hopefully be posting more frequently!}.
So even though today is Christmas Eve, my house is all a-glow with Christmas decor, snow is in the forcast, and we will soon be prepping for our candlelight service at church, I'm going to write a fall post. :) {I'll get to Christmas soon hopefully!} So here we go...
We live in a {somewhat ghetto} townhouse. Ok, not ghetto, but its in the old part of town and I've always thought of this area as fairly ghetto (and I've lived in this town my whole life and reserve the right to think that!). My husband is from Albuquerque, NM (which rates at about #4 I believe for the highest crime rate in the country) so he constantly mocks me for thinking we live in the "ghetto". :) Kansas ghetto, okay! Moving on...
It used to bug me that we lived here and I would get nervous having people over to our house cause it was old and small and not in the greatest part of town. But I have learned the "art" if you will, in finding joy in your life no matter the circumstances..."I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want..." and y'all, we are so NOT in need. I could be living on dirt floors, in a tiny shack, with 5 children, no husband, no income, food or healthcare like these amazing people. So I used to complain {because fellow WN tenants, I'm sure you would agree, there are PLENTY of things to complain about, am I right?} but seriously we pay a ridiculous {-ly GOOD} amount for rent (I love telling people in California, NY, etc. how much my rent is and how much space I get for it - gotta love Kansas!), we have hard wood floors, 3 spacious levels, and are allowed to paint {my #1 requirement! :) }, not too shabby.
We recently moved from a 2-bedroom to a 3-bedroom due to the upcoming arrival of bambino #2 and I have been working like a mad woman trying to get it up to my standards and will hopefully get the chance to continue to post what I've been working on! {Disclaimer: not sure if I should mention this as it may incriminate me later but I DID get my degree in interior design but I am working on an extremely tight budget in a very OLD townhouse. Phew, glad I got that off my chest. :) }
Since I've lived on my own I've always wanted a a fireplace/mantel - not just for the cozy fires in the winter but because they provide a focal point for the room and a place to put cute stuff (out of the reaches of 3-year-old "helpers"). So in our new place I wasn't really sure what to do with a big blank wall in our living room until...I got the idea for a faux mantle! That's right my friends, a mantle without the fireplace. :) Definitely not rocket science, I hung a huge mirror (that we already had), bought some really cool iron brackets at Hobby Lobby (50% off of course, you're crazy if you pay full price for ANYTHING at that store!), painted a scrap piece of wood (from a room I'll show you later...) attached the brackets to the wood and wall and walla! A mantle! It turned out just how I imagined {which is rare with my ideas} and I love what it does for our living room.
So here is my house for fall {Christmas pics coming soon}...
The wreath on my front door {I believe originally intended for a candle...}
My pride and joy faux mantle {yes the jars are empty - maybe next year they'll be full of pine cones and acorns :) }
A close up of the wrought iron brackets I got for about 8 bucks...
The fall pillows I made {and fall curtains - more on those later...}

The "harvest" banner I made

And some pics from my kitchen {which is painted the exact color of my old place, "hearts of palm" - love it!}

And my cute little pumpkin dish from Nell Hill {pretty much the coolest place ever}

My closing thought is one of thankfulness... I feel so blessed to live here, in my warm, cozy, and spacious home when I know others have so much less. I open my home now as often as I can and am proud of the home I have built for my husband and sons. Everything we have has come from the hands of God and should not be overlooked or taken for granted.

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."