Tiarra Sorte Photography

In love with these pictures.

In love with my family.

Thank you, Tiarra, for spending your evening with us. And for giving me the gift of a make up artist to come to my home. We all know I needed the help! And a shout out to Jessica who colored my hair morning of. :) It takes a village people. Ha.

I love you Alex, Andrew, Asher & Annabel. 

You bless me more than you know.



The Art of Giving

What comes to mind when you hear the word generosity? Do you think of a specific person? Do you get excited? Cringe? Explode with joy on the inside?

When I think of the word generosity I get excited. Living a generous life is deep within me! My Papa, my mom's father has set a beautiful example for my entire family on living a generous life. He has once said he just can't seem to give fast enough and it just keep coming. The more he gives the more he has to give.

Call me crazy but I have been thinking about Christmas. I seriously don't know what's gotten into me other than I think I'm craving some sort of normalcy. In some ways looking back on the past few years I may be in some sort of shock! So much goodness overflowing at one time and on top of that two moves both with the intention of forming and building a brand new community, my dog was put to sleep, my oldest enrolled in a brand new school the day before it started. I live here? In WA? I'm not even sure when that happened. Our house sold? Also not quite sure how all that happened. I have honestly been taking everything day-to-day, soaking in each moment and all that it has in store!

With Christmas in a new state and all Fall birthdays for my kids I got excited to enjoy giving to them this year. In particular, choosing things that I know would really bless them. I wanted to be a great gift-giver but do so on a budget.

A friend recently shared with me a few things she thinks about for the whole year. I wrote down every word from our text exchange! It's good to have a budget! And that way when occasions arise you can still stick with your year long financial goals. I found my gift-giving total for the whole year was quite high when I added each individual occasion together and what I would ideally spend!

Kid's Birthdays. Set an amount. Decide what you want to spend. What my friend does is she chooses one thing she knows her kids will LOVE. And one need, whether it be clothes or shoes.

Kid's Christmas. Set an amount for presents and stockings. Choose one thing you know your kids NEED, like socks or underwear and a few things you know they will want. Simple and easy!

Nieces and nephews. Small toy or book. Keep it simple. 

Kid's Friend's birthdays. Set an amount per party/occasion and stick to it. Enjoy the art of giving! A small book or toy works great.

Anniversary. Give only cards. And set some money aside for an outing or getaway. I noticed that my friend seems to go away and enjoy time with her husband every year on her anniversary! It inspires me! How fun. When I asked her, she mentioned they give only cards to each other. I also love this because it sets a precident that there SHOULD be cards! Hello?! Sweet words are the best.

Christmas to each other. Decide if you're going to give gifts to your spouse or not, and maybe it's a not. That's ok! 

Relatives. Families can do a name draw and then perhaps each spouse would be getting one member of the extended family a gift. On top of that still getting moms and dads some kind of joint gift or individual gift. 

Relatives out of state. Consider whether or not this will happen. Sometimes it's nice to be person to person.

Mother's Day. Cards

Father's Day. Cards

Easter Baskets. Few small eggs with candy and maybe a few small things.

Christmas stockings to each other. I thought it was sweet that even though my friend and her husband don't exchange gifts, they still make a stocking for each other. Cute!

This friend is someone who always seems to show up with a little something. When I had a baby she brought a little baby toy, when we moved into our home I'm pretty sure she brought something when she came over! So thoughtful! She was surprised to hear I think of her when I think of a great gift-giver but I do! It just goes to show that setting up an idea and some kind of overall plan actually does work to allowing the freedom to give for every occasion and choosing to say no at certain times as well and that being ok! Gift giving is supposed to be fun!

Give cheerfully friends! 







My Day

How was your day, lovelies?

Do anything fun.

It's quite remarkable what somebody can do in one day.

Other than general welfare and care of the kids, we managed to get a lot done today! I figure I have appx. five days left of summer the way I see it. This means I have five days to completely remodel the whole house, re-arrange, organize closets, pantries, hang art where it is meant to be, do laundry, pack for the last vacation of the year, read, organize the homeschool materials... the list goes on. Somehow the list fades away each day as the sweet moments arrive and I throw everything else out the window!

A few things that did get done today!

Christmas in August. 


Oh yes, that's right. Two lego sets arrived in the mail today and they got wrapped for Christmas! I can hardly believe it myself.

A pajama lot came from Yerdle! My favorite Yerdle yet.


Annabel loves the pjs! Princesses and ballerinas and everything. Best $5.00 shipping I ever spent.

Re-arranging. All day, everyday right? Well almost. Trying to get things finished around here but it is all evolving. Took the art from the nursery / guest room and moved it, thinking it might go well above this bed. What do you think? Who wants to help me design this space? I'm envisioning all white walls, Pure White by Sherwin Williams, shiplap behind the bed or some other pop of fun or texture, nightstands, lamps, a long pillow in front of the three. There's a lot of potential in this space, lets just say that. LOVE this art by Thom Filicia. It speaks to my soul and is called Warm Memories ii.


Christmas! My homeschool materials arrived and got opened from the box. All the packaging was taken off! To you and me this picture looks like an unorganized pile of junk. To me it is GOLD! Hallelujah! Couldn't be more thrilled to get organized these next five days, look at the curriculum and get to work organizing our first days of second grade! And preschool. With our Kindergartner headed off to class M-F. 


The Coat Closet became a Coat Closet again.


At first I was going to say the coat closet got organized but ultimately it's not like it looks that cute right now. It took a lot of work to get all the random school papers, broken crayons, shoes and other miscellaneous items out of this space and put the coats on the hangers, shoes up above and turning it back into a functioning coat closet instead of a dump zone to throw things behind the door before people come over. :)

Art got moved yet again. Each place it gets hung I always like it.. and then it moves from room to room. This used to grace the hallway downstairs outside our powder bathroom. It was cute to see when walking out of the bathroom but I quite like it here as well. Sugarboo art is and has always been one of my faves.


This Life is Beauty Full art got hung in this guest bathroom. And I imagined how gorgeous this bathroom is going to be. All white walls, shiplap, carrera marble counter and new fresh white console, mirror frame painted, frameless shower with white polished subway tiles and new simple floor, with new chrome fixtures to give this space a little sparkle. Can you picture it now? It has so much potential. :)


I dreamed of this space. The sofa being white, the walls being shiplapped fresh white, the trim being white... are you seeing a theme here. When it comes to interiors, I am loving the look of white on white these days. Lots of texture, simplicity, still interest but just soothing and calm.. What color hardwoods would you put in here? I can picture beautiful restored floors from a 100 year old barn. :) Would be stunning! Also can picture some friends coming over to intervene and turn this space into exactly what it is meant to be! I'm all about people's help. Lets be real. So many people are so talented at interior design! My favorites at the moment are Studio McGee, Kelly Nutt Design, Becki Owens, Nicole Davis, Holly Mathis Interiors, House of Jade Interiors, Milk and Honey Home, Angie Helm Interiors and Sarah Swanson Design. I have been told a mirror would go well above this couch because it would reflect the ocean.. not a bad plan! Who wants to help me finish this space to reach its full potential?! Pretty please.


My Fiddle Leaf Fig is still alive. That's worth a note.


This was all kind of the last ten minutes of the day, when I grabbed the camera for fun and decided I want to start blogging my days again. I loved the community I had in blogging five years ago, miss all my peeps who love decorating and making a house a home as much as I do. I'm sure someone out there can relate to envisioning the most absolutely gorgeous spaces in your head.. this post is me sharing as-is current pics! I love this home so much. Can't wait to transform it to its full potential.


At the end of the day, I am not complaining! Watching the artwork that is a living breathing ocean and sky and clouds and sunsets is the most exquisite thing. I do not take one day for granted, staring at this creation! Soak it in. Savor it. Give praise! Beautiful.


Happy Monday lovelies. Who wants to work on a remodel with me and/or save up and start building homes all throughout Seattle that are the most exquisite pieces of beauty you have ever seen in your life? :)



Home: Reflection of You?

What happens when your home is not truly a reflection of "you?"

The question of the evening.

I walk into my home and immediately feel at peace. Literally a breath of fresh air washes over me and I stand at the window and get to see a literal work of art, a living breathing masterpiece out my window while I do dishes.

But.. there's a work on my heart. And it has to do with my surroundings. I love to create, I love to visualize, I love design and decorating. I love to organize. And I LOVE beautiful finished and complete spaces. So what happens when yours is just NOT.

What do you do? Are you distracted? Are you agitated? Are you thinking about it morning, noon and night? Are you pondering how to sell things to get it all done? Are you searching blogs left and right for design ideas, trends, products, art work. Are you ordering things, working on putting rooms together after just moving in and continuing to visualize in your head the finished result but not really getting to work on the actual construction pieces of the home? This is me. 

God has done a work on my heart. It's really something to leave something so exquisite that you built from scratch, loved every minute of designing, loved every minute of living in and taking pictures in and having the perfect photo backdrop for my kids' moments in. And move to something even more exquisite. It has a way of putting things in prospective, when you still want to create. Still want to keep fixing, changing, being creative, maximizing spaces.

A few things on my heart this year. Is it my desire for creativity and decorating and making my house a home or is it my need for perfection. Is it that I want to make a simple space to eliminate distractions or can I just really not live with things not being a true reflection of me. Do I really need to be so obsessed with making a space that is a reflection of me and my tastes and likes, or can I just REST in exactly what this space is - as is. Honestly I believe for me I honestly do want a simple, beautiful space. It is not a need for perfection. It is choosing to live on purpose, and for me the home environment I create allows guidance to the way we live as a family. Make a sweet moment with a wii system in the boys room and suddenly the boys have a place to go to play with friends for awhile. Put the play kitchen into the dining room and suddenly it is creating a moment for a girl and her cousin to play. Eliminate the toys from the bedroom and add a bookshelf and suddenly the kids are reading in their beds at nap time. Being intentional is important, and helpful in making a home. I like to be organized because it truly does help our family LIVE.

I've learned about myself. Making beauty is a good thing. Appreciating beauty is a good thing! Designing spaces is fun and artistic, appreciating other people to come and design spaces for me (someone please help me! :))) is fun and the collaborations are joy-filled to me! 

What happens when prioritizing getting your home ready, settled in and furnished has actually distracted you from living. Yikes, I was always trying to get my home ready, doing things with the mindset of ONCE I GET EVERYTHING DONE, THEN I CAN LIVE. Not good.

So here I sit, resting in this gorgeous twenty year old carpet. Isn't it beautiful. It really highlights the imaginary white trim and fresher white walls and brings out the beauty of this bunk bed and hanging chair. The carpet makes for a very stunning backdrop when I take photos of the kids, especially when they are playing board games on the floor and pieces of lint are stuck in the pictures. Never mind that we live at the beach and sand is constantly in this carpet. It's a reminder of the "memories" that we are making. When I post this fabulous carpet on instagram, which I have in fact not ever done it gets multiple questions from people asking where I got it, where I found it, what make is it. To which I respond it is a dark purple gray color and hides all that beach dirt - perfect for your next beach house oasis! Perfect for your next coastal getaway. Haha. You won't find many pictures of my interior rooms these days, it's kind of sad. But maybe I should just get over it and start blogging our lives without the perfect house. (Let me reiterate I LOVE a perfect home! And I LOVE your perfect home! No problems at all over here with people who have perfect homes. In fact I will come over and compliment you and revel in the beauty of your perfect home!) 


Questions I'm asking myself. Will I ever be done creating? No even if this home was exactly how I wanted it, would I still find ways to change it? Yes.

Thinking back to the last twelve years and ALL the homes we have lived in. That's a lot of homes, a lot of rooms to design and furnish and rearrange and get settled into. I have chosen to lay.it.down at the alter. Oh believe me this home is perfection in my brain. I have a plan for all the rooms! And they are fabulous and superb and the most amazing and beautiful things you have ever seen in your life! SW Pure White Walls, Shiplap, Beadboard Ceilings, White 5-point casing trim, 6-panel doors with cute knobs, hardwoods..It's all happening.  But it's going to happen when I am putting it second. 

Rest is happening now. And should you know someone or care to use my space as your personal blogging haven of opportunity, call it coastal creations drab to fab I am happy to oblige. I will let you have your way! Until then, rest. Resting in the One and knowing it's all going to come together when it's supposed to. Yes, I'm hoping that time is soon as we like to host and have people in and out and want this home to be the most exquisite home you've ever seen in your life. But, rest is good. Look at how these cuties are making a moment based off the decision to stick the wii in their bedroom. It does matter, design matters, organization matters - it all makes a difference in how we live. If you're like me you can't focus until all those things are figured out and done. Maybe it's been twelve years. Maybe you're whole life. Maybe one year. Or one day.  Time to focus first. And create second, out of the overflow.



Where's Waldo and Small Town Living :)

Good Afternoon, Lovelies!

What a beautiful day in the city of Edmonds, WA! Glory to God! Magnificent beauty all around. I've traveled and lived a  lot of places and I'm just really not sure it gets any more beautiful on earth this side of heaven! Glorious.

The kids and I have been enjoying summer days. Me, mostly organizing and getting settled in.. another post on that coming soon.. in the meantime, lots of outdoor time playing baseball, running through the sprinkler/spraying with the hose, picnics on our front porch, time at the beach, enjoying community and time with our new church here.

Life is so good! Treasuring these friendships, and in some ways reflecting on where we have been the past twelve years and where we are headed in the future. Also PLANTING seems to be on my heart! 

Our cute small-town living city had a Where's Waldo hunt, 48 shops in the community had a little sign in their window for Waldo and then today we got to go to a party for getting a stamp from at least 24 of the 48 participating shops. To get a stamp the kids had to go on a scavenger hunt to find Waldo in each store. My kids loved this! It was a great way to get the adults into shops they might not have otherwise been in before, and just a great way to build community in my opinion. Today we got to go have some cake, meet Mrs. Waldo ( I never found Mr. Waldo?) :) , beanbag toss, count the candies in the jar and participate in a raffle. My ticket won, so I let our oldest pick something. He chose a Seahawks poster and a $5 coffee card so I am a happy girl!


Happy summer, lovelies! Enjoy this beautiful glorious day!

In Him,