a kitchen full of friends

This morning I hosted our weekly Friday playgroup.

It was our first playgroup since all of our oldest (except for Reece…he starts on Monday) started Kindergarten.

There were only six mommies this morning, but it still felt so nice to have my friends in my house talking, laughing, and supporting (there may have even been a few tears).

There were stories of hectic first mornings, continued struggles after a couple of days, and some super scary bus stories (that make me glad my little ones may not be able to ride a bus until middle school).

In the future, I am sure there will be stories of success, happiness, and new skills learned…but this was the first week.

We’ve had to change our timing to accommodate  new school schedules, and are thinking of adding in a monthly Friday Afternoon Happy Hour so the older kids (and husbands) can join us!

Our playgroup is evolving, as it has ever since we met each other 5 years ago sitting on the floor of a conference room in a building across the street from where all of our babies were born in the summer of 2007.

And, it is as much for us, as mommies, as it is for our kids.

Maybe, even more.

photos from {m}iphone

*photos from {m}iphone were taken using the Instagram app and put together in a collage using Picasa

home is…a kitchen full of friends.

{our home} the un-dining room

If you know me, you know I am always changing our house.

Always have.

Always will.

Mainly rearranging what we already have, because we don’t have the budget for major changes.

Although, the year that Lorelai was born (three years ago) we did make some major furniture purchases and changed out most of the carpet in our house.

Pretty much every room in our house got new furniture that year.

It was cool, but we also knew that the furniture had to last or “evolve” as our family needs changed.

And, for the most part, it has.

You can read my previous posts about some of the original changes we made here, here, and here.

This summer I made some changes to our living-room-turned-playroom-sometimes-guestroom…and the adjoining dining room, which I now refer to as the un-dining room (I think I borrowed that phrase from Megan and her Craft House).

I will do some more posts on the specifics of the changes, but for now here is a preview…

Our living-room-turned-playroom-sometime-guest-room is the first room you see when you enter our house…and it is completely open to and adjoining our dining room.

We do not have a breakfast nook in our kitchen, so we eat most of our meals in our dining room.

It has also been my main workspace and crafting area, so eating there when I was in the middle of some kind of crafting escapade was not always workable.

And, it was frustrating.

So, I moved furniture…and went thrifting.

I wanted a round table for the area…everything in the room was angular and the space needed some curves.

So, I added one.

I also added globes, embroidery hoops with fabric, and some new lighting.

We moved our old farmhouse style table to the area between the playroom and the dining room, which was previously open play space or filled by a train table that we donated to Goodwill. It is now used as a craft table/workspace for me and the kids.

This now leaves our dining room table open for meals…yay!

I will save the story about how the dining room table and chairs came to be for future posts.

{And, I hope to get some better photos with my DSLR…I used my iphone for these and the lighting was not that great…glaring through the windows or too dark.}

Stay tuned…

home is…happy spaces.

fun with a…

{capital F}

That’s what my youngest cousin had to say about our extended family’s trip to northern Idaho together.

I think Reece would agree.

Thanks to my other cousin, Greg, for inviting us all to celebrate with them!

It was definitely “fun with a capital f”!

Still going through the photos…I have them edited down to 989.

Post will be up next week.

Until then, a little FUN from our week back home…

photos from {m}iphone

{definitley}

home is…FUN!

tired…oh, and a giveaway

It’s been a long stretch of traveling for Ryan.

He’s tired.

I’m tired.

This stretch of travel has put him away 11 out of 15 days.

He’ll come home for one day, and then the kids and I leave on a road trip for a family wedding.

Lorelai and Reece are flower girl and ring bearer along with my sisters daughter, Sasha.

My mom is flying out to Portland to help me drive to Northern Idaho.

Ryan is staying in Portland to spend time with some friends who are visiting from the Boise area.

He will meet us in Northern Idaho sometime next week…at least that is the plan.

I’m looking forward to some celebrating, playtime, and fun with my extended family.

And, I’m hoping to come back home re-energized to end the summer…we still have a lot of our summer list left to accomplish!

photos from {m}iphone

and, a giveaway…

Who wants a mason jar pendant light?

I’m giving away the one I made for the tutorial.

To enter answer the following question as a comment below:

What do you do to re-energize?

Deadline is Thursday, August 2nd at 9pm Pacific.

Winner will be announced on Friday, August 3rd!

home is…looking forward to a road trip.

no balloons

For the first time in the five summers of living in this house we did not make it to the Tigard Festival of Balloons.

I love to get up early beginning on Friday morning and walk down to the park to watch the balloons launch.

Unfortunately, it was rainy.

Friday.

Saturday.

And, Sunday.

When my 5:20am alarm went off each morning, I listened for the rain, heard it on the roof, and went back to sleep.

Here are a few photos from years past…

And, you can see my posts from last year here and here.

It all worked out ok as baby girl woke up on Friday morning with a fever, so we spent the day lounging and fighting her fever.

By Saturday she was getting some energy back, so we headed out to goodwill while the boys washed Ben and took Odyssey for a swim.

We found a couple of treasures…

so, I have new projects to work on.

By Sunday afternoon, the sun began to come out…

These horses were out on my drive home from Trader Joe’s.

And, I was able to get out and enjoy my happy place a little bit.

We weren’t able to cross balloon festival off our summer list, but we’ll be working on some other items this week.

Stay tuned for a peek into our home later this week…

Oh, also…

Source: kellehampton.com via stephany @ on Pinterest

Kelle liked my yellow dress!

home is…no hot air, but lots of rain.

summer solstice

I was going to write a big post about our yard and how it has changed and grown since my last post, but I am tired and I didn’t take photos with my good camera today.

This morning was beautiful and I enjoyed our backyard…sipping coffee while the kids watched a show inside (it was a bit cold out).

After that, I organized, crafted, and cleaned inside while the kids ate breakfast and played.

Once it warmed up, we moved outside where we organized, played, cleaned (think car wash) outside, and made rainbows.

Summer definitely made an appearance here in the Pacific Northwest today…

I hope you all had a great day, too!

*all photos taken on my iPhone with Instagram…you can follow me @homeisablog

home is…summer.

here it is…

summer list

Last year I was inspired by Meg to come up with a Summer List of our own, and I loved it!

I absolutely love how Meg’s looked on her giant chalkboard with the photo collages in what is now her craft house!

{I also adore her old school chairs and would love some of my own.}

Source: megduerksen.typepad.com via stephany @ on Pinterest

Anyway, it gave us (me) a reason to plan some fun activities each week, but also left room for spontaneity and lazy days.

Although the little guy has been out of school for a couple of weeks, this week is the “official” start of summer break for all of the “big kids” as the last day of school was yesterday.

I have a giant chalkboard like Meg’s, but the kids use it and I am afraid that they would erase our list and I would constantly be re-writing it this summer.

I decided to use our giant bulletin board instead.

You may remember that it has been used to display our christmas cards in the past…

in our playroom

and, in our family room.

Now, the bulletin board is located on the huge wall next to our open staircase in our entryway.

It has been displaying the kids artwork from the school year.

Since we won’t have school work, and we have two other bulletins on the wall to display artwork, I decided this would be a good place to put our summer list.

So, here is our Summer List 2012…

We walk by it every day and we can make sure that we are checking things off as summer moves along!

I printed out our list in a fun font, cut out the items, and glued them to scrapbook paper that was cut into different sizes.

My hope is that each time we do something on the “list” we can write the date on the card and I can write down a little bit about our adventure.

I will also print some photos of our adventures to put up on the board.

See my handsome cousin and his fiancé up there? We’re going to their wedding in August!


I will put additional invitations and postcards (my mother in law sends the kids postcards frequently) up here as well!

And, the big thing on our list…

no more diapers!

So, what do you plan to do this summer?

photos from {m}iphone

Here are some recent photos from Instagram…you can follow me as @homeisablog!

Well, we’ve got to to cross something off our summer list…

home is…hot fun in the summertime.

spread happiness

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

to Kelle and Meg for mentioning me on your blogs this week!

You all probably already know who they are, but you can visit their blogs below…

And, THANK YOU to all of you who are new visitors to my blog this week because of them.

I hope you will come back for more!

First, Kelle from Enjoying the Small Things included one of my Instagram photos on her Friday Photo Dump.

My photo is the the middle one in the top row. She also had some great ideas for road trips…which I will use when we go on a road trip later this summer.

Second, yesterday Meg from whatever shared a photo of one of the globe lamps from colton + cadence that I sent to her for her Craft House!

See that?! She said my blog is adorable.

Anyway, these two women are inspirational to me, so it was an honor to be mentioned on both of their blogs this week. They both seem to enjoy life to the fullest and share that with others.

They spread happiness, love, and creativity, which is what I strive to do, too.

On Friday, I will have our summer list on the blog…inspired by Meg!

By the way…

I will be listing more globes lamps at colton+cadence soon…with pom-pom trim and decoupaged undersides…like what I sent Meg and what my giveaway winner won last month!

home is…fun stuff.

i didn’t delete it

 just deactivated it

As of this morning I deactivated my personal Facebook account.

{my blog and colton+cadence pages are still active}

I didn’t delete it.

I may want it back.

I just decided to take a break from it.

I wanted to see what life felt like without it again.

I wanted to not have the temptation to sign in.

You see, if you are my personal friend on Facebook, you can no longer find me.

That means, other people can keep me accountable for not being there.

Not that I care if other people can keep me accountable, but I care about that fact that it makes me less likely to “sneak a peek” at my wall.

I would do that.

Anyway, it was an amazingly freeing feeling this morning as I drove the little guy to his last day of preschool.

Yes, I was thinking about Facebook.

I was thinking about not really caring who was doing what.

Or, caring if I told people what I was doing

You see, that’s what I started a blog for.

And, I started a blog before I joined Facebook, so I just figured I would go back to the basics.

So, you will still find me here.

I’ll still be sharing our adventures, photos, and random things right here in this space.

You can also find me on Instagram (homeisablog) and Pinterest…I’m not willing to give those up.

Speaking of Instagram…

photos from {m}iphone

home is…welcome to summer break!

photos from m{i} phone

These photos are a little late…

We had a great time at our Friday playgroup last Friday and I didn’t make the time to get the photos posted.

Then we had an fantastic weekend here in the Pacific Northwest, so we played outside as much as we could.

And, after the kids went to bed I was exhausted.

Exhausted.

That’s the norm, though.

And, if I don’t take the time to rest, or if I stay up too late, I get sick.

It’s a bummer, but it’s how I am.

So, today, we are just hanging out.

Resting.

So, we can play later this week when it is supposed to be in the 60’s!

*all photos taken with the Instagram app on my iPhone 4s

home is…exhausting fun.