My ode to My Three

You
Make me wish
For more hours in a day
While
I simultaneously count down
The hours
Until
Daddy’s home
And bedtime.
Yet what I wouldn’t give
For hours upon hours
To hold each one of you
To hug you tightly
To stare in awe
At your sweet faces
To tell you in a brand new way
How immeasurably
I love you.
To listen to you:
A soft baby coo,
A silly nonsense story,
A profound life question.
And oh that I would always have
Patience to listen
And wisdom to answer.
I wish I had more hours to rock you slowly
To wrap you in a soft blanket and brush your hair out of your eyes.
More hours to push you on the swing, or climb over the mountains of snow.
More hours to read page after page of the stories you love.
More hours to study you, and hear you, and watch this little remarkable, fascinating individual God is crafting.
More hours to teach you everything about this wonderful world and the loving God who created it and you.
I wish my tired, limited body were able to hold you all and do it all, to demonstrate the swelling, aching, massive love in my heart for you three.
I wish I could explain how three such unique, exhausting, sometimes frustrating people hold such a precious place in my heart.
I wish I had more hours to pray and pray and pray every longing and thanksgiving and hope that is in my heart for you.
But alas,
My ability is limited.
My body is weak.
My patience runs out.
My tasks are many.
And my days and hours are short.
And so I pray
That in my insufficiency
You would find Him all-sufficient
And that He would take my human efforts
And make much of them
For your good
For his glory.
And somehow
That you might never doubt
That He loves you
And I love you
And that you are wonderful.

You are my treasures.

Kids’ Room: Inspired

image

(Photograph from BHG.com)

I’m holding back quite a bit on the decorating plan for the house.  Though I have some specific ideas of what I want the rooms to look like, I’m working on the foundational layers of the building process first, and won’t make any major decorating moves (or purchases or projects) until after we’ve moved into the house.

But the other day my dear little boy lamented to me once again that he missed our condo.  He has an impeccable memory for a three-year-old, and can be really sweet and sentimental.  But I was surprised that he still felt that way.  I asked him, specifically, what he missed.  ”My room” he said, “I like the way my room was.”  

Since we’ve been in the Pink House (the house owned by our church) I haven’t done a lot with their room.  There’s a big clunky double bed in there, and an old wooden rocking chair. Plus we jammed in the change table/dresser and the crib.  I did hang a few pictures on 3M command hooks, and did hang the drapes from their old room, but it still feels pretty dreary.  And certainly not like home for him. 

And so, with my heart strings pulled, the kids’ room made it to the top of my priority list for decorating.  How wonderful it would be for that room to feel finished and homey right away when we settle in!  So I’ve been pinning away and looking for the inspiration I need for their room.  They’ll share a room again (though some of the adorable girls’ rooms I’ve come across have me rethinking that slightly…) and I definitely want matching twin beds.  I’d love old brass beds, or painted wooden beds, but my second-hand hunting has not been fruitful as of yet, so we may end up with cheap IKEA beds and DIY upholstered headboards.

You can see some themes running through my pictures: pale neutral walls, with lots of room for displaying the colourful things kids love (books, toys, momentos).  A definite vintage vibe.  A sort of raw, natural feel.  Eclectic art.

Speaking of eclectic art, I just found this cool vintage paint-by-numbers painting on Kijiji… I may just have to pick that one up!

image

A new frame and this could be a great jumping-off point for the room.  

I’m getting excited - kids’ rooms are my favourite to decorate!  Let the dreaming begin…

Home of Caroline and Anthony Borgman featured in Period Living

Home of Caroline and Anthony Borgman featured in Period Living

Home of Michelle (of Cloud 9 Fabrics!), featured on Apartment Therapy

Home of Michelle (of Cloud 9 Fabrics!), featured on Apartment Therapy

Home of Simone Shubuck and Adam Rapoport featured on NYTimes.com

Home of Simone Shubuck and Adam Rapoport featured on NYTimes.com

Little Girl’s Purses

I’d been hoping since her birthday to buy Little L a cute little purse.  She previously had walked around with a shopping bag, or her brother’s bucket as a purse draped daintily over her wrist.  But after finding everything was too cheaply made, too ridiculously tacky, or too expensive I decided to make one.  Actually I made two.

image

The first one I used a large fabric sample I had in my stash and folded it over, sewed the sides and boxed out the bottom by sewing over the corners.  I pretty much free-styled. (Both the pleat on the front, and the bow on the side were happy accidents to cover up mistakes.)

image

The second purse I kinda’ sorta used this tutorial for inspiration - though I didn’t follow it completely, and obviously made it a more little-girl-size.

image

image

I love that cute matryoshka fabric. I think I kind of wish this was my purse. ;)

It was crazy how many of the kids’ gifts I made this year.  That was a lot of factors working together:

me trying to be frugal + they’re at a fun age to make things for (especially L) + I don’t have a lot of home projects to work on right now until we move into our house.

Don’t forget to hug the ones you love tonight. -Justine

Don’t forget to hug the ones you love tonight. -Justine

Doll Crib

Before Christmas I showed you a bit of progress on Little L’s Christmas present, and I thought I’d show you the finished project!

I had claimed the crib from being thrown out of our church nursery and refreshed it with a coat of warm white paint (actually, the paint leftover from the kids’ nursery back at the condo.  Kind of nice to have a bit of it with us…)

I also sewed a mattress, pillows with cases, and a quilt for the bed.

I loved using every girly, pretty, flowery thread of fabric on this project.  

And it is nice, that at the end of the day L’s babies (that she loves so dearly) are no longer unceremoniously tossed into the toy box, but rather they’re kissed sweetly and tucked into bed.

Christmas Project #2: Child’s Rocking Chair

I had a rocking chair as a little girl, and I loved it.  I used to sit in it and watch lightning storms out of my window, with my feet propped up on the hot water radiator.

And what child doesn’t love cild-sized furniture?  It’s novel and fun and fitting.  So when I found this sweet little rocker at Salvation Army for $7 I had to pick it up.

It is for the most part quite sturdy (just some wood glue needed for one spot) and just needs to be cleaned up.  I’m thinking once I’ve sanded it down I’ll refinish it in a darker stain.  Painting would be easier (and I’ve got some navy blue paint already), but I think the wood would maintain it’s charm better.

It has all this neat old blackened hardware and a cool slatted seat.  I’ve never seen a chair quite like it, and I’m very excited to give it to the kids.  Hopefully it will be loved for many years!

Sharing a Bedroom

Design by Tobi Tobin, Photograph by Patrick Cline for Lonny Mag

Sometimes I have very strong opinions about things I probably have no business having an opinion about.  Like how I firmly believe in my children sharing a room… when I grew up having a room to myself all my life.  (Yay for being the only girl!)

It started in the condo as a necessity - 2 babies, 2 grown-ups, 2 bedrooms.  You do the math.  

The nursery in our old condo.

But since we’ve moved into our temporary abode (affectionately known as “The Pink House”), and as we plan our farmhouse, there are at least three bedrooms - yet we still keep the kids together in one room.

Am I a sucker for punishment?  Sometimes… namely nap time.  (Though sometimes Little M naps in our bed so that they don’t spend the first hour of nap time laughing, reading, singing, and eventually crying together.)  But I really do enjoy it.  There’s something about having all my babies together.  And they really enjoy being together.  Some nights we’ve even found that Little M has climbed into Little L’s crib to sleep.  Part of it is my “it’s good for kids to learn to share” mentality, and part of it is some idyllic notion I have of a Peter Pan-style nursery with all the kids sharing a room, their beds in a row.

And not to mention, once we get them a set of matching twin beds it’ll be so wonderfully symmetrical. ;)

So here are a few more shared bedrooms that I love…

Design by Sarah Richardson, photograph by Stacey Brandford for House and Home

Photograph from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child 2012

Design by Cobi Ladner, photograph by Andrew Waller for House & Home

(Design by Abby Manchesky of M. Interiors, via A Delightful Design)

Design by Kristen Buckingham via House & Home Blog

Did you grow up sharing a bedroom?  What was your experience like?  Any tips or advice?

The little room at the end of the hall.

Sitting here

a bare, hard floor

The only light

The yellow glow from the hallway

And the earnest efforts of the moon.

All blurred by my unexpected and unrelenting tears.

This was always a bright room.

It embraced the sunlight.

Its four walls seemed to delight in their task of holding precious little ones.

It was the most cheerful room.

Now. It is silent.

But I hear many things:

The sounds of such precious years

Laughter.

Oh the laughter of sweet small voices.

The giggles as we made tents, or tickled, or played peek-a-boo, or danced…

Stories.

Read over and over again.

And then retold from the memory of a little boy.

Songs.

We sung so many songs.

The sweet simple songs of Jesus that you would sing along to.

Over and over I sang you hymns to get you to sleep.

And of course there was “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living my babies you’ll be.”

Tears.

Many many tears.

Tears that well up and overcome me in moments like these - when I try to store up every single memory I can and treasure the incomprehensible gift of motherhood.

Tears of a distraught baby - hungry or cold, tired or scared - ones that had me up and running to meet the need and gently wrap you in my arms.

Tears of a distraught mother - brought to her knees in frustration, or worry, or simply not knowing the answer.

Prayers.

Oh, the prayers.

I am so glad there were prayers.

Prayers of that same distraught mother crying out to her all-knowing, trustworthy, loving God for help

Prayers of praise over these sweet children she was given.

Prayers entrusting those sweet children to a mighty God - for their salvation, for their character, for their protection, for their futures, for everything a mother hoped they would be.

Prayers of thanks from a dear little boy who learned to pray here:

"Thank you for Jesus can love us."

And even where a baby girl said her first “amen” as her mommy prayed over her in her crib.

I think the prayers make this room the most special.

I hear questions asked, and “good night’s”, and “I love you’s”, and Bible stories, and conversations during nap time between a one-year-old and three-year-old…

This was a precious place.

So as I’m hear one last time I pray one more time

And I thank the Lord for providing for blessing for watching over for teaching

And I thank Him, because what made this room special is still with me.

And now I can go to a new home and kiss their sweet sleeping faces.

Good bye, Little Room.

Thank you for holding us.

My baby L - photograph by Justine Taylor

My baby L - photograph by Justine Taylor

Easter Eggs

I love Easter.  To me, I think creating our own Easter traditions with my children may be more important than Christmas traditions.  Part of it is a faith thing, for sure.  I want the message of Easter to resonate in my children’s hearts.  I want them to rejoice at the arrival of King Jesus in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  I want them to feel the sorrow of the cross on Good Friday.  I want them to marvel and delight in the power of the Great Overcomer on Easter Sunday, and praise our risen Lord!  But I also just love the celebration of Spring, new life, and the end of Winter that Easter brings too.  There are many things I’d love to do with my kids to celebrate Easter in the years to come, but I don’t want to “wait until they’re older” either.  

Little M and I have been reading in his storybook Bible the stories of Easter week, and learning a couple new songs.  And this week we decorated eggs.  There is no way that this could not be a gong show with a toddler.  (Unless maybe you have girls.  I don’t know.)

I considered draining the raw egg from the shells so the the eggs wouldn’t be wasted, but knew they’d be too fragile to be handled.  So I hard boiled them.  You can’t really see it in the picture, but those things are shattered and cracked and pretty gross.

Last year, when he was one, we just dyed them.  This year I wanted something easy to make them more interesting so we used mini rubber bands to create some criss-crossed lines.

They turned out pretty well, and Little M was SO excited.  He wants to make more.  And we just may, considering I had to throw these out today during his nap because he’s manhandled them so many times.  Ah well.  Good Easter memories made.