Mamaw Diamond

My Mamaw Diamond turned 82 this year.
I am thankful that we got to spend this time with her and that she's still so spunky and able to get around. She is the only grandparent (great grandparent to my girls) that I have left. I'm thankful for the way she encouraged my parents to get back in church after they had Vanessa. According to my mom, while she was staying with them, she drove around and checked out area churches for them and told them that if they wanted to do right for Vanessa, they needed to get back in church. That led to my parents not only having some awesome lifelong friendships, but also a deep relationship with the Lord, which then led to us seeing their love for Jesus and wanting to learn about Him. What a blessing! : )


We have been weeding our flowerbeds and our sidewalks. We feel the pain in our arms, backs, and legs the next day. In the work, I feel the Lord teaching me. Even though I did my best to prevent any weeds from coming, they came while I wasn't looking. I pull out these little unassuming sprigs, knowing that if I don't, they will take over and choke life out of the flower bed. It reminds me of the weeds we allow in our own lives...anger, impatience, pride, bitterness, indifference, unforgiveness, and the list goes on. 

Some of the weeds are easy to pull out, if you'll just bend down and try, but others have grown long roots and take a lot more effort. Those too can come out though, sometimes by using our every muscle and sometimes by getting help. 

Make sure you're spending time with the Lord.  I know this can be difficult...mostly because the busyness of life makes it hard for us to sit quietly with Him at all. I don't think this is by chance though. If the enemy can keep us distracted, we don't notice the weeds at all. As you spend time with the Lord this week, ask Him to show you any weeds that may have snuck in during the winter.  The answer won't be one of condemnation. Answers like that aren't from the Lord. His answers, though convicting, are gentle and lead to repentance and growth. They don't make us wallow in our screw ups. Jesus specializes in screw ups. He didn't dine with the Pharisees who had memorized  the law and thought they had it all together, he met with prostitues, criminals, ...sinners just like us. He has a heart for the broken, the messed up, the humble. When He shows you the weeds in your life, lay them at His feet and ask for His help in removing them from your life. 
He is faithful. 


You've Been Framed! - Framing out our mirrors DIY style

Before we begin, let me show you the progress we made before framing the mirrors...

 unpainted cabinets, old fixtures, old backsplash, no cabinet hardware

  1. First, we had our mirrors cut down a bit because we didn't want them to be wall to wall. We took it to our local glass company, and it was only a few dollars per mirror to get that done.
  2. We then added construction adhesive to the back of the mirror, pressed it into place, and then used washers and screws to hold it in place while our glue dried (if you still have your original mirror clips, those will work too). Be careful not to tighten the screws too tightly or the mirror might crack...like ours did in our guest bathroom. : (  Thankfully it cracked near the side, so we just made a wider frame.

 3. Next, we measured our mirrors. I chose to go with longer planks across the top & bottom and shorter planks on the side because I wanted to aoid mitered corners if possible. They are hard to get perfect, which is not a big deal if you are going to be able to caulk it and paint it, but I wanted to stain ours instead (I used Minwax special walnut stain..the same stain I used for our coffee table a while back. It gives a nice older wood look and then sanded the edges a bit).
4. After I stained & sanded the planks we got, 
we used the same adhesive to attach the planks to the mirror.
5. Use painters tape to secure the boards in place while the adhesive dries 
(I forgot to take a picture of this- sorry)



with vinyl flooring, unpainted cabinets, different lighting & faucets,  and mirror unframed
 with backsplash and mirror removed
 Making progress
backsplash removed, patched, repainted walls, painted cabinets, cabinet hardware, & new fixtures

Progress with a slightly trimmed down mirror
(We did that soon after we moved in, but I just took this recently, that's why the picture looks junky because we are getting ready to frame the mirror right after I took this.)

We did our master bath mirror a bit differently.
We built the frame before attaching it to the mirror.
We attached the planks together on the back using a flat silver 
like this:

 Dasun found a scrap piece of wood that would help support our frame from the bottom while it dried (which you can see in the picture below) since it was heavier and it worked so well. We also used a washer and a long screw at the top to secure the top while it dried (see further below).

 (washer and screw to support the frame while drying, but is later removed)





I love that my girls love to pretend. They come up with so many fun things, like horse drawn "carriages" (shoes) going on crazy adventures or lining up their dolls to let them watch the movie too. ha!

They play so well together (most of the time) and aren't afraid to be silly, creative, and playful. I hope they never lose that! I am cherishing every minute!


January 2015

 Dasun & my dad went on their ski trip, 
so the girls and I had some date nights and a "sleep" over. 
Notice that the word sleep is in quotes. ha!
 Ice skating at a party with friends

 We also had amazing weather while they were gone! 
We're talking 70 degree, sun shining weather, 
of which I am a BIG FAN!!!
Adelynn loved it too. ha! 
She keeps putting her sunglasses on like this. : )

When I was sick last year, Dasun bought me the metal stamping kit that I had been wanting for Christmas, but I couldn't use it yet. Then when I started feeling better, I had to finish the art orders I fell behind on. So...with that said, I just now got it out to give it a try and made my first piece.
I can't wait to make more : )


Keylor Clubhouse

We took a little section of our storage shed and made it into a little clubhouse for the girls. My dad let us have the little kitchen set my mom made for Vanessa and I  when we were little, which is so special to me! She made the little kitchenette and the oven by hand, complete with an actual water faucet and racks in the oven. 

This is me on Christmas morning (looking very sleepy), when she gave it to us. : )
 I am so thankful that we get to pass it onto our girls. We used to all play with it at my parents old house, but now that he's moved, he doesn't have room for it.
Dasun and I set about working on it when the girls were in bed because we wanted to surprise them...making curtains, making bunting, making a little pallet in the loft, attaching rings and handles, building a ladder and a railing, etc...
I think we were just as excited about surprising the girls
as the girls were when they saw it. : )

Here's a close-up of the little kitchenette. Isn't it adorable?

This is the little table I use to have tea parties at with my mom : )

 This is the loft. Nothing fancy, just thrift store pillows and blankets.
 The Tucker and Keylor girls looking down from the loft
 Cold weather wouldn't stop these girls : )


Christmas 2014 and New Years!

We started off our holidays with the Keylor celebration.

The first night we were there, we got to find out what my sister-in-law is having! We voted girl and we were RIGHT!!! Red for girl and green for boy...isn't that a cute idea?! I love all of these fun new reveals. Almost makes you want to have another baby so you can do them too. ha!!
Later that night, the adults did our dirty santa (that name still disturbs me a little) and we made off with these AMAZING face coasters. ha!!! How funny are these?! The entertainment is endless!

We continued the fun, by doing them with other family members and friends.
After all, we couldn't keep the fun to ourselves. ha!

So pretty : )

 For Christmas our girls made their presents for us.
One of my favorites it this picture of our
family with my huge bun. : )
 Adelynn decorated a box of hers for me and filled it with little "presents"
Kennedy wrote me a sweet letter and drew a beautiful nativity scene for me.
 This is probably the cutest present request ever.
This girl has wanted an umbrella for a while and she told me all she wanted for Christmas was an umbrella and the movie Wreck It Ralph. : ) I wish you could have seen her face when she opened her umbrella. You would have thought that I gave her a hundred dollars.
Dasun (or as he said, "Her hunka hunka burnin' love")
surprised me with...
 a nail gun!
I know I am weird, but I have wanted one for a long time
and we're getting ready to have to do all of the quarter round for our whole house, so we'll need it.
The funny thing, is that I scrimped and saved so that I could surprise him with a saw he needed. ha!!!
We didn't plan it at all!
It may sound boring, but we were both so excited. : )

We also got to spend some time with my dad and my sister's family: making cookies, playing games, and opening presents.

 These were the harry slippers my dad bought Caleb!
Gross, but hilarious!!
 He also got Kennedy her first BB gun. : )

We also celebrated with our best buddies the Tuckers and the Rainers:
Chris showing a W for the win. He was the Bandu champion. 
Anyone else play that?
Rainer and Keylor girls drinking their Grinch drinks while watching the original movie.

And here's a random Christmasy picture of Marla 
because, well....she's cute. : )

The best  ornament ever!
Every year I get Dasun and the girls an ornament that has something to do with what they are into or something they love. Dasun gets mine and this year he nailed it. : )

Kennedy made this super cool 3D manger scene all by herself and she was so proud of it. : )

The girls ringing the Salvation Army Bell

On New Years Eve, we let the girls stay up until midnight and surprised them by taking them to the new Night at the Museum movie. They were so excited!

Look at Adelynn's sweet excited face! I love that little profile. : )
Then we came home and had our little candlelight time. We go around and talk about what we're thankful for and reminisce about the year. Then we toast our sparkly juice and pray in the new year.
This year, Kennedy wanted to talk to me afterwards. She had a ton of questions about things big and small and we ended up talking until the wee hours.  I loved every minute and so did she. She's still talking about it. : ) I hope she always feels like she can ask me anything.
What a blessed year this has been...
from wheelchair to walking, 
from pain to being able to hug & play with my children again, 
from losing weight rapidly to gaining weight & being healthy again. 
I am so very thankful.
In this life, we are not guaranteed an easy life or healing. 
In fact, we are told, "In this world you WILL have trouble..." (John 16:33)
and no doubt we will face troubles again, but we take heart, knowing that those troubles are not in vain. I have seen the Lord make beauty from ashes time and time again.  
Troubles bring us to our knees and remind us to rely on Jesus as we should be doing all of the time. They humble us and make us reach out for help from our friends and family, rather than being self-sufficient and isolated. They also make us more sensitive and compassionate towards others instead of being self-focused.  There's no doubt that He uses even hard things to birth in us something new and beautiful.  With that said, we both thank the Lord for the growth during the pain and for this current period of peace and rest, in which we can pour out to others. We love you all so much and thank you for all that you have poured out for us.
Happy New Year!
We pray that it would be blessed and that you would grow in love and faith whether you are walking in storms or in sun