before i met you

Before I met you, I had dreams about holding a baby girl, heavy in my arms. Tonight I held you tight against my chest and sang you to sleep. Before I met you, I worried and wondered if I would feel the things I was supposed to when I saw you. The day I saw your face my heart broke into a thousand pieces for every day we'd spent apart. Before I met you, I prayed I was enough, I hoped I was right. The moment I saw you, I knew you were my daughter and I was your mother.

Oh my baby girl, how I love you.

You are every good thing.

love, mom


The Horseshoe House part 2

The front room!


I wish I'd taken better before photos, because in these photos you can't see the POPCORN CEILING. You also cant smell the cigarette smoke that was seeped into that popcorn ceiling. When we walked through the house it only smelled faintly of smoke but when we started scraping the ceilings....woah mama it was so bad. You also don't get the full effect of how stunning the gold walls were... ;)


-We scraped (and scraped) the popcorn, retextured, sanded, primed and painted the ceiling. This project took longer than any other project. We laid out a big tarp, sprayed the ceiling with water a few times (with a weed sprayer, genius!) and scraped a section at a time. The popcorn came off easily and besides the smell, this part wasn't terrible. We textured all the imperfections by hand, again this wasn't bad. Then we sanded, it took days and made a giant mess. Priming and painting we tricky simply because you had to stand on a ladder and movie it every couple feet. 

-We painted the walls bright white, again- Ben Moore "chantilly lace". We painted the ceiling the same shade in a different sheen. 

-The ceiling fans were new, so it seemed silly to replace them right now. You can't really tell from the before photos but they were a niiiiice shade of red cherry wood. We spray painted them black and it made a huge difference. 

-We installed the bookshelves! I designed the corner shelves and Landon installed them. (I use design loosely, I basically measured the spacing from the window and between the shelves and sketched it out) We just used wood and brackets from Home Depot. Landon cut down the wood and I stained them. 

-We painted the coat closet door (and all the interior doors) Ben Moore "brushed aluminum" and I love the contrast against the white walls. The perfect gray in my book. 

-You can see a part of it in the piano shot, but we widened and squared off that entry way. I'll explain that with the kitchen post. 

The next project for this room is definitely the flooring. The bank replaced the carpet before we moved in and it's the cheapest carpet laid very poorly. It's coming up in a few places and had seams everywhere that if you pull keep pulling up the whole line of carpet, like a sweater. It shows everything and there are already stains just from foot traffic. Sooooo, I'm anxious to get new flooring hopefully sometime this year. We're going to do wood floor for sure in the front room and hallway and hopefully in the bedrooms too if we can find a wood thats affordable enough. We're hoping to find a color similar to our bookshelves. With new flooring comes new trim! We'll do something really simple. Then we'll do a big over sized rug in this space. Right now I'm leaning towards something like this, possibly even more navy. 

Eventually, I'd love to get another couch. My teal couch is the stuff my dreams are made of but it's not the comfiest to lounge on. Especially since we spend the majority of the time in this room. I think we'll do a sectional, I found one I love thats reasonably priced and I can customize the fabric. This is the shape of the couch and actually pretty similar to the couch I want, just with some tufting and probably a darker fabric. I'm not the biggest fan of sectionals but if they fit a space well I'm all about the function of lots of comfortable seating. Then I'll put one of the orange chairs "conversationally" placed to break up the room. 

Overall I love the flow of this room.  I can't waaaaait to get the flooring down! 


The Horseshoe House part 1

We bought a house! In September. We'd been looking for nearly a year and had our hearts broken with some other houses. In July sometime we drove past this house for the first time, we'd recently discovered these older neighborhoods near downtown Gilbert and loved them. We wanted an older house in a good area and once we found these few blocks of homes we knew we wanted to be in the neighborhood. (There were a few other neighborhoods in Mesa that we loved and looked in regularly.) In August we stumbled upon the house again and looked through the windows (and maybe climbed the fence to look in the backyard) and Landon said to me "is this our house?!" ...it sort of felt like home from that moment on. We got the keys and as we walked up to it for the first time I said to Landon "can you believe we own this piece of crap?!" ...

We took about 20 days of non-stop work to get it move-in ready and have been tackling projects since moving in mid-October. Remodeling a house 100% on your own is not easy. Remodeling a house 100% on your own when you're married to Landon is a little easier. Even still, I have vivid memories of blistered hands and crying at 3:00 in the morning wondering how the the heck we'd get this place livable... but we did it! (Side note to that: we got "put on hold" by Lu's birth-mom 2 days before we closed on the house. So getting the house ready for a BABY to come home to felt more stressful.)

We have a long list of projects still to do but we love, love, really love our little home.

I want to document room-by-room, where we started-where we're at-and what we have left to do. So without further ado- the front exterior!



-We painted the exterior, you can't really tell in the first photo because of the sun, but the house was an odd shade of aqua with possibly the worlds most horrible paint job. There was different shades all over and paint splattered everywhere. We painted Lowe's "ocean storm" after trying 5-6 other samples. We wanted a dark gray (well, I wanted a soft black but that seemed a little impractical in Arizona) but didn't want a brown, purple, or green undertone. I was fine with a blue-gray and at times our house can almost look navy, but I'm so, so happy with the color. (My brother and mom actually came in to town for 3 days and helped non-stop with our house. It was one of the kindest things anyone as ever done for me. My brother sprayed our whole house in a day!)

-We took off the security door and painted the front door. The color was a source of much debate for us. And we ended with a compromise of sorts. Landon wanted more limey-green, I wanted more teal-green and we ended with a pretty bright shade of chartruese- Behr's "rolling hills". It's still not exactly what I would have picked, but I do like the cheery welcome. And we've actually had people knock on our door just to say they like the color! 

-We repainted the garage door and trim a cool bright white- Ben Moore "chantilly lace".

-We tilled the front yard and planted seed. Landon was so anxious to get seed down that we ignored a rainy forecast for later that day. Low and behold- literal minutes after the seed was down there was a 10 minute torrential downpour and all of the seed washed into the road. I laughed, Landon nearly cried. But we planted a few days later and looooooooook how pretty it is now! I could sit out there all day. Grassy Arizona winters make up for 100 degree falls, amiright? 

-Landon is a bad-a and built the most amazing RV gate. Designed, welded, built, stained... everything. I love how it compliments our house. 

-To further prove his bad-a-ness, Landon completely made our mailbox! I feel like it's such a good extension of our home. And I love that Landon made the cute thing. He's handy to have around, that guy. 

-We added blinds to the front windows. 

-We added new numbers to the house. 

There are only a couple things left to do to the front of the house. We are going to paint and seal the front porch. Just a light gray porch paint. We tried to pressure wash the previous stains to no avail. We also need to trim back the mulberry tree, but other than that, we pretty happy with the front exterior!

And for good measure.... the man of the house:
and the baby of the house: (concerned about her hair loss and where her next meal is coming from, no doubt.)