Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Like this, but less...

Kyle and I headed down south this past Sunday for a couples wedding shower hosted by my grandma. It was a great shower and my grandma had this really awesome cake made for us!
That's us on the top! And the sides!
After the shower, we headed over to Ikea because we decided we wanted to purchase our bed before the wedding+honeymoon. We've had our eye on this guy for quite a while now:
The Hemnes King in Black-Brown
Our own little piece of Hemnes heaven...complete with King-sized memory foam mattress! While Kyle planned ahead on bringing the van to Ikea, we didn't quite have an "official" plan on how we were going to get the mattress inside the van. Leave it to Kyle to get SUPER crafty and literally fold the mattress in half!
Sorry for the poor quality photo. And please excuse my outfit - it was FREEZING
outside and I was wearing Kyle's huge sweater over my dress.
Fortunately, we got the mattress home and it recovered perfectly from being folded in half:
The box around it makes it look smaller than it is, but Kyle and I laid on it and you
could definitely fit at least 4 people! Not that we'd ever want to do that...
The idea is to put the black bed frame with white bedding in the teal bedroom, like these people have done:
Like this, but less girly...
While we were at Ikea, we decided to check on some other items on our list just to see how they were doing. We headed over to check on our couch, and found out that if we bought it before the 20th of the month, we'd get 15% back on our purchase!
The glorious Ektorp in black!
 We did the math and realized that would MORE than cover the deliver fee, so we went for it! The couch is scheduled to be delivered Christmas Eve :) The idea is to put the black couch up against the sage green accent wall, like these people did:
Like this, but less modern...and no weird leafy branch on the wall...

It's all coming together! Slowly, but surely...

Giving it grace: Moving in together, despite all the Ikea excitement, takes a lot of grace between the two of us. Kyle has been hands-down much better at giving me grace than I have been to him. God has blessed him with an endless amount of patience and ability to see the bigger picture. Meanwhile, God is growing me to learn how to "let things go" and trust His perspective on things. And there's the never ending battle of teaching me to have more patience (ironically, it takes a long time to learn patience...something I don't really have the patience for...). Getting our bed and then making the quick decision to get our couch at the same time has definitely quelled my furniture anxiety for the time being. The end goal is to make sure that we have a home that we can invite people over to do life in, and a place for Kyle and I (Kyle especially) to re-charge each night as we keep up with life's demands. We are both very blessed that Kyle already has a condo that we've been able to transform into a home (i.e. make it more girly!) over the past few months.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Still Moving at the Speed of Sound

Next on the list:

Back to home depot for spray paint for my next home project...
Painting frames to go in our future bedroom.
 I got all of the frames at the Good Will for a total of $20!

Kyle had to help me get the backs of some of the older frames.

Only one of the frames needed to be sanded.
Sanding it a lot of work. I decided against any
future projects that involved sanding. Ever.

Spray paint primer.
In case you're curious, yes we did this inside
and no that's not a good idea. Fumes everywhere!

Project complete!
A mix of white and coral frames to match
and accent the colors in our future bedroom.
While I painted, Kyle burned boxes (and boxes) of old files. 

Then, we organized the spare room/office/garage (henceforth
referred to as the Combo Room). 
 I decided against the before picture of the mess on the floor because it was just too disastrous to look at. We opened the door and moved right into clean-up mode. We got these racks at Home Depot and LOVE them. I still need to pick up big storage bins to put everything in, but at least it's up off the floor now.

If you know me well, then you know exactly how much I am
delighted by this particular shelf on the rack :)
On Monday, Kyle and I picked up our marriage license!
I made him take this (super dorky) photo of me - 40 days and counting!
I started my new nanny job on Wednesday.
Day 1: assemble a new hair chair...

Little Guy helped me by banging the screw driver on various surfaces...

It even stayed together when Little Guy triumphantly climbed up into it for lunch!

Today Callie (my dear friend from childhood) and I took
her daughter Bella for a girl date around Downtown Edmonds.

We shopped at KinderBritches for Christmas gifts
for little Adelaide (my soon-to-be niece)...
And got treats at the Edmonds Bakery (check out all those cookie jars!).
Then we got candy at Namas Candy Shop. Fun day!
Giving it Grace: Holidays will make you crazy. Writing a thesis will make you crazy. Planning a wedding will make you crazy. Preparing a future home will make you crazy. You get the idea...combine them all together and you get random outbursts of tears from me and general fatigue from Kyle. Would we change any of it? Never! Jeremiah 29:11-12 says "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you." We know that we are living out God's plan for us and our lives, and our only job is to make sure we are listening for His calling and giving the glory back to Him. His grace is sufficient to help us live out His plan for our lives!

Moving at the Speed of Sound

It's been a while since we did a song reference with the blog title post, so today we're doing a nod to Pearl Jam's Moving at the Speed of Sound because it's very descriptive of how fast things are moving around here!

In the 10 days since we last posted, a lot has gone on:
Kyle and I enjoyed our first Thanksgiving together.
We did dinner at his Aunt Marjean's...then
dessert and Watson rummy at my Aunt Shirley's.
Huskies win Apple Cup!
We went to Apple Cup at Qwest field with Pete, Mary Ann, Zeke and Bekah.
Our marching band is so talented!
I found these cute snowman jars at Safeway for $4 each!
We gave these as hostess gifts at Thanksgiving...
And I made some Christmas decorations for my dad!
Clearly, we need to work on our Christmas cheer...but this is a good start!
Chandler helped me finish a 10 page literature review for my thesis...glad that's over!

More to come...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bridal Shower Fun!

I attended my first bridal shower this past weekend, hosted by Kyle's mom Mary Ann, Aunt Cheryl and Aunt Marjean. It was so much fun and I'm very thankful for everyone that was there! Here are a few pics:

Jan, Marjean, Pat, and Gayle

Jo Ann and Brooke

My gram handmade all this stuff- how amazing is she?!

The grams chatting :)

Watson gals - Shirley, Pat, Beth and Brooke

My sisters! Rebekah, Brooke, me and Heather

Sherri and Beth
Giving it grace: If you've ever wanted to see me be really awkward (and potentially ungracious), put me in a room full of people who don't each other (and some who don't even know me) and then put all the attention on me - and viola: awkward city and I'm the mayor! Accepting gifts from people requires a gracious demeanor (even when I want to yell to everyone: "I can't accept your gifts, I'm just happy to spend time with you!"), and it's something I really need to get more comfortable with. God is teaching me (and Kyle) how to receive gifts with a gracious heart. Fortunately I got a lot of practice at the shower - we were pretty spoiled with gifts - and very blessed!


More changes going on (when really does it ever stop?). As it turns out, writing a thesis, planning a wedding, preparing to be a wife, and working a full time job is harder than one might think. Or perhaps, it's as hard as it sounds and I was just painfully optimistic. I've been struggling the past few months with where I'm supposed to be putting my time, talent and treasure. I made the mistake (and for a while there) of trying to fit Kyle into the life I already had before I met him - and it just wasn't working. Something had to give (before I plain gave out!). After lots of prayer and repeated advice from Kyle, I'm leaving my job at the church to nanny part-time while I finish grad school (and get married!).

So, where does the trading come in you ask? Well, I'm trading in the grown up men I was working with at the church for...cute little boys! Hooray!

Aren't my cousins the cutest ever?

I hope that's ok with cousin Ted that I'm posting pictures of his kids on the internet...he does it, so it must be ok right? 
Starting in December, I will be nannying part time for my cousin (the little guys above are his adorable offspring) and a delightful woman in Queen Anne with an equally adorable little boy (not quite close enough to that family to start posting pictures of their kid on the internet...but trust me, he's a heart-melter).

I'm truly grateful for a reprieve from the past two years of working full-time while tackling grad school full-time. My gratitude is to God for His perfect provision  (the strength to get me through the past two years) and now a situation to provide relief as I re-focus my life on priorities He has put before me: being a wife and finishing school, both to the glory of God!

Giving it grace: Anyone that has known me for longer than oh...a minute(!) knows that I like to "do it all." Being able to do it all has always been my strong point, my comfort zone and my identity. At some point, I had to know that God would strip me of that pride because I was placing my identity in it, and not in Him. Because God is so loving, not only did He strip me of that pride, He then showed me what it looks like to rely on Him and follow His perfect plan for my life. What a relief! A perfect God with a perfect about taking the pressure off me to be able to "do it all!" It's a lesson that I'm still learning, and definitely (almost daily) have to fight myself as I feel like I'm "quitting" because I couldn't meet the ridiculous expectations I was setting for myself. What God is showing me though is that my only expectation should be to honor Him, which means to follow Him and trust in Him (instead of myself)...while I'm learning, God (and others) are being gracious with me, and for that I am truly thankful.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Even God rested on the 7th day...

Confession: I need to get better at taking before and after pictures. In the meantime, I will just have to tell you about the before and after images and you can paint a picture in your mind...

We kicked off last weekend with a cleaning session of Kyle's condo. As much as this sounds like the most boring thing on earth, it was actually kinda fun. Clearly I had fun (I love a good cleaning session!), but Kyle also enjoyed it too (or at least enjoyed the finished product).

Without boring you to tears with the details, I do have to share two particularly funny moments caught on camera. After seeing this post on my favorite blog, I asked Kyle if we could move the washer/dryer unit about 6 inches to the left inside the little closet. Turns out, it is not as easy as one might guess to move a stack-able washer/dryer unit...
Here is a perfect example of where before and after (instead of during) photos would have been helpful...Alas, you'll just have to trust me that it looks WAY better and my dream of custom shelves are somewhat within reach now:
Custom shelves = laundry room delight!

After we finished cleaning (I'll try to remember to post a photo of the "office-turned-storage room" so you can see what I mean by cleaning)...we headed out for a much needed afternoon off at the Husky Game.

Thanks to the Kalles bunch for their tailgate hospitality!

Giving it grace: This is going to seem like an obvious one...but, it's a tough lesson that I'm learning so I think it's worth sharing. I have a really, really hard time just taking time off and doing what most people call "enjoying life". Over the years, I've settled into a way of thinking that is just plain not good, and it's actually quite sinful. The Bible actually commands us to rest, and that is a command I have not taken seriously - like, ever. Recently, that was pointed out to me as a sin I'm committing against God. By not taking time to rest, or just enjoy leisure activities, I'm essentially saying "God, you created us to need rest, and then even commanded that we do rest. Thanks for that, but I've got a different plan that's better than yours that doesn't involve resting." It's been a hard adjustment for me, and fortunately Kyle has been helping me with this a lot. Thus, last Saturday we did a compromise: work, then play. We spend a few hours working on the condo, and then spent the rest of the day at the Husky Game. While I wasn't able to completely feel comfortable with taking the whole afternoon "off", I am warming up this idea of "rest" or "play" and grateful that God is working on my heart in this way. His grace continues to abound...

In other exciting news, our engagement photos arrived! Check them out here.

Friday, November 4, 2011


If you can't tell by now, life is like a giant, continuous song. Lately, life has been to the tune of David Bowe's Changes...

I changed where I live:
My dad, Kyle and his brother Zeke moving me
home with my dad for a few months - thanks guys!

And we changed what we do with our spare time:
Save the Dates 
Hand-made "advice cards" (thanks Dad and sissy for making these!)

Wedding invites
Decorating your home could be a full-time job (for me, not Kyle...)!

Thankful that our church takes marriage seriously!
We've really been enjoying this 8-week class on how to honor God
 (and each other) through marriage.

Lot's going on (for both of us!). Everyone keeps telling us to "enjoy this time" and I keep thinking "Enjoy it? it's FLYING BY. I can barely remember it!" That was part of the motivation for this blog (another change, if you're keeping track...). One day Kyle and I will sit down and read out blog back and have a few laughs about all the chaos. For now...ONWARD!

Giving it grace: with all the change going on, it's easier than ever to loose sight of who we are and what our purpose here on earth is. It's not all about "us" or "what we want" (speaking about Kyle and I specifically here), but about "us" and "who we will serve" or "what legacy we will leave". Sounds like big ideas to consider before even getting married. The first question is easy: we are sons and daughters of Christ adopted into his family. Really, nothing else here on earth matters in terms of "identity". The second question is a little more up in the air; we don't know yet where our marriage will bear fruit and we pray about now so that we will recognize it when the call presents itself. Keeping our focus on these bigger questions (who are we and what are we doing here) has really made us able to give and receive grace with all the changes going on. 

Oh - before I forget! Some people have asked us what we learn during pre-marriage class. Without giving away all the fun, here is a great resource of materials that the course theology is built around: Enjoy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We're Floored!

After painting, it was time to do something about the floors.

During our first Home Depot trip, we decided to scan the laminate flooring aisle. Turns out, there was some laminate flooring on-sale and we decided to just purchase it on the spot (this was a big decision-making day).

Here's Kyle, thrilled with our new flooring choice:
Isn't he it pretty?

Being manly, loading up the new flooring.
We ended up buying about 6 more boxes than we needed. This was ok, because we were able to return those without the receipt (that got lost in all the hustle-bustle of remodeling) because we bought it through Home Depot's special order service desk thingie. Hooray!

Here are some photos of the floor remodel in progress:
Bye-bye carpet...
Bye-bye linoleum!
The warehouse phase...glad that's over...
(Notice the fridge in the living room, we kind of liked that!)


Ahhhh...(ignore Clothes Mountain)

So pretty...
Walls: done. Floors: done. Where does that leave us? Just counting down the days until we get married and I can move in and "Kyle's condo" will become "our home". In the meantime, we're picking out decorative items, maping out future purchases at Ikea, and trying not to let the "transition" phase make us both crazy. Once I'm moved in and we're completely settled, I'll post official before and after photos.

In case you're wondering, no we did not put the flooring down ourselves. We were blessed to have Kyle's sister-in-law's Dad (did you follow that?) complete this project for us. He did a FANTASTIC job and we're very excited for the new floors!

Giving it grace: The remodel project has been a source of contention many times for us. Kyle's been living happily in this space as it was long before I came along. That makes remodeling it seem...unnecessary, on it's face. Part of the motivation to remodel was to increase the re-sale value, however. The other motivation was his vow to me to let me make his bachelor pad a home for us to start our life together in. Sounds like fun, right? Enter: pride, control-issues, laziness and mixed expectations and you have a less-than-fun situation on your hands. Fortunately, God has been generous in showing us how we can better serve each other during this time (which glorifies God = everyone wins). God has been swift to help us remove the wedges that build between us as we practice turning petty bickering into productive conversations. I'm learning to trust Kyle to handle things (even if it's at a slower pace that I would do it), and Kyle is learning that it's not enough to just be "less lazy than the next guy". We're both learning about how to make decisions together as a team, and taking joy in the makings of our future first home!