Grateful 2017 day 2

I wish I could figure out an easier way to just link these…maybe by November’s end. 


Grateful2017 day 1

A Season of Gratefulness

{{hello. it has been awhile. many have wondered about the house, our progress, everything…thank you for thinking of us…quite honestly it has been so busy sitting down to type has been far from my mind…and it has been so slowly progressing (for many reasons) that i haven’t thought there was enough to update about…but looking back i realize there is plenty, and i will start letting you back into the process. this isn’t your typical HGTV ‘up in two weeks and perfectly decorated’ story…it has a lot more dirt and chaos….real reality i’d call it. lol}}


one year ago last night we moved into the basement of our home.


we moved into the basement because it had some walls, electricity and a toilet…that is about it.  (seriously, i don’t think we had a sink yet…even the shower came later) (#anxiousmuch?)

it has been one year year of living in…and i mean IN… the middle of transition and creation…physically smack dab in the center of the slow moving beast of a project we had begun…one that only proceeds if we keep moving.

no pressure.

today also brings about the month focused on thankfulness. typically this month i post a ‘grateful’ photo daily to help line my mind and heart up with what really matters, to get some new perspective, and to remind myself that there is always…ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

what beautiful timing.

building a house on your own is hard. it’s a lot of dirt and work…and more dirt… and only (for the most part) working on it nights and weekends, because…well you build other people’s homes during the day…that is just plain exhausting. on top of that living in that same structure that you are…creating…well, that is just a whole other type of crazy. yep. we = crazy.

so that is where we have been for the past year. admittedly consumed for the past year. we have gotten SO much done…and we have SO much yet to do. yes, we have rested, and we have also spent weeks going all day and much of the night… with many more days and nights to come before we will be ‘finished’ (because as artists, i don’t think we will every fully be finished here…a creation tends to always be morphing or added to…but having flooring, a master bedroom, siding…typical ‘house’ things like that will make this as ‘finished’ as we can commit to. ;)).

never ending it seems

mostly i feel bad for my guys, who bear most of the weight of this build, as they work all day, and come home to…work some more. all i can think to do is feed them well, and make a fire to warm them up on the freezing days like today. yes, they are working outside today. when it looks like this:



anyways, as i was whining saying…building your own home is hard, and slow, and consuming, and living in it is ridiculous. i’m going a bit stir crazy if i’m being honest…so it being November is pret’near perfect timing, because, although i do love this season of our lives, i need a little help refocusing on all i am grateful for in this extended chaotic season, because there is good. so…much…good. it just sometimes gets pushed to the back in the chaotic scramble ya know? isn’t that like life? why does negative always try to outshine the positive? why do we so often let it?

so this year’s grateful photos are going to pinpoint the chaos and all the delicious good there is wrapped around the absolute ridiculousness that is our home right now. it makes me smile to think of.  thanks for journeying with me.

maybe next year’s grateful will have a post of a bedroom…my bedroom, yes, i may be looking forward having one a bit too much…:) 

i will begin my grateful photos in the next post since this ramble got a bit long.

thanks for checking in on us.

may your day be lovely!


**to all of you grammatically fond people out there that may read this…i so apologize for my lack of capitalization, run on love and obsession with ellipsis….i type on this site as i think, and i apparently think in crashing together thoughts with no beginning and end…to edit it grammatically makes it feel less………and so i have learned to leave it alone…in this safe (haha internet…safe) spot that is my domain…hope you understand**

The Pantry : part 368 of building our home ;)

Version 2

Finally, a little pantry reveal for those of you waiting or wondering. Is it done? Not quite, the flooring won’t be put in until later…and we need a countertop on the island…and there is more organizing and baskets to be figured out…but hey, come see how it ended up!

Let’s be honest…beautiful Pinterest pantries?? NOT real pantries…well at least a good chunk of them…I have decided they are either staged for photographic reasons (designers portfolios/magazines etc) or they are owned by people that only order take out. 😉 Where is the food people??? Pantries are for food storage, they can be pretty but they are supposed to house food, which isn’t overly pretty. I don’t think I plan on getting containers to make everything uniform and perfect. As much as I love organizing, I also love having walls and flooring, so I will spend money on those things for now.

Ok, I know, ‘Where are the photos Mel??’. Silly, you know I am wordy and explain everything…or maybe you don’t. I wanted to explain what we were going for first, because I am sure many will think ‘that pantry is huge!’, and it is big…but for reasons. See I have 3 men and 3 teenagers living under this roof. Those 3 men come home for lunch most days and all 6 are in charge of their own breakfast and lunch. That is 12 meals happening before 2pm that I am not apart of, and let us just say…they aren’t annoyed by crumbs on counters or the empty bag of bread being left sitting on top of the butter tray. Bless their hearts. 😉 So I felt, for me, the plan of smaller kitchen-bigger pantry was the way to go. It has been a week and I am very happy with my ‘plan’ thus far!  This pantry is meant to be the breakfast/lunch go to place for all. It is keeping my kitchen island clear of all of that chaos and everything has its place which I love!! All food beyond spices and refrigeration are in that room and easily found now…which is gorgeous after 4 months of having it stored all over the basement (which accounts for some of the multiples of some things on the shelves).

Ok here you go! The photos…


So this is the coffee/water station. The fabulous cabinet to the left is used for silverware/cookware/saran wrap/ziplocs etc. That cabinet will eventually be moved to the kitchen, when the kitchen is done. For now it blocks the door to the carport (again not finished yet so we don’t need to get out) which will make it epic for groceries brought in. The ice dispenser was my frivolous house purchase. It mades that awesome ice that is easy to chew…my.favorite.



IMG_0193Yep sweet floor right?


One of the more tedious tasks in this room was making the cabinets. Yep, my man made them all. I painted them, which I feel was just as hard. I am not a great painter of cabinets…yep don’t look for drips.


He also made the concrete counter tops and took a grinder to them to reveal the rocks that are beneath the top layer of concrete. Couple layers of poly and funky counter tops are done! I very much like them. lots. (yes, this photo was filtered through instagram so it looks cooler than the rest…hmmmm I guess we can’t really filter all of life huh? nah)


Still organizing, but here ya go. The island is our small freezer, which we plan to put a counter top on eventually. It comes in handy. The back wall shelves will fill up when I am done…I am still pulling kitchenware out of boxes that I haven’t seen in over a year, some 2 years. Much of that will go up there. The bottom cupboards are full of crockpots and blenders and all those misc. appliances that you don’t use daily. Sorry the lighting isn’t the best in these photos, I picked the wrong time of day. 😉 And yes…we are a snacking family…no judging. haha… Oh! The ceilings are metal roofing my guy took off a roof redo about a decade ago. Love repurposing!!


There is all the chaotic food. So easily seen which is helpful for finding what you need, even if it looks busy. I chose white walls and shelves for that reason…the busyness of the labels and food. I also like to stock up and would prefer grocery shopping once a month. Right now I am closer to 2-3 weeks but someday, when we are more settled, I will plan better. yep. I will. pretty sure.


Most of the chaos goes down right here in the toasting area. Hopefully keeping needed things like the peanut butter in an organized dish will help them put it right back there? The drawers house all of that ridiculous plastic containers, lids and recipe chaos I have, as well as the bread…bread in a drawer is basically like a bread box right? yeah….

So. Thats about it. It was a lot of work. We started around Feb. 20th and finished it to this extent the end of last week. But, like the rest of this place, I think it is gonna be worth it. 😉

Have a lovely day!



Ok January, let’s make a truce. 

Oh dear month of cold, how I have spent my life dreading you…
pushed into a frozen state of blahness by you…
surviving you…
No More. 
No more shall I look towards your nearing as a threat to my stability…
a situation to be overcome…
a stealer of my joy…
I have made a choice this year to embrace your frigid grayness…
your chaotic paperwork for taxes season…
…well as best as i can embrace tax work which is to hit it head on and get it over with…
I have chosen this year to thrive in your uncomfortable (to me, i hate cold) state.
I will keep the fire burning warm…
I will stack high the books I never take time for and savor sitting in their company…
partaking of and pondering their insight…
hiding in their warm stories for a little while…
I choose to relish in this ‘home’ time, since I hate being out in your temperatures…
instead of wallowing in the reality of the weather,
I will rejoice in the sunshine that does arrive,
and be thankful for it on the days that are gray.
For it is not your fault that you were chose to be the month
at the pinnacle of our winter’s hold…
Really, you do lavish us with a new year, new hope…
with a deep calm after the wilds of the holidays…
with a subtly soft peace…a lull between the end of the year and the beginning of spring
when life picks up quickly as it tumbles toward summer…

Especially in this season of building, I shall choose to see you as a gift of reprieve…

in a life where warm weather brings with it such busyness and an impending feeling there is so much to be done…
let’s just agree to appreciate each other and the differences we have and ride out this season together…

(…ok typos and all i posted…the wp website isn’t working right- hasnt for days-and the app doesn’t let me fix much or lay it out as i would like…but by the time those kinks get worked out Jan will be over ;)…)

building a home…roofin’ it

Hello! I have not forgotten you…those wondering how the progress on the house has been going…thank you for thinking of us!  This process has been a test of our patience, our endurance and our family as a whole. We love each other, love building together, but to say we are depleted, a little over the whole ‘process’ and ready to just do our own things (especially for the creators in the family) for a minute would all be accurate to some degree. 😉 . We are pushing through, as the weather starts cooling and the days get shorter…pushing through to get into the basement soon and then settle in for the long winter. Soon we will be sippin’ cocoa by the fire looking at each other with ‘it is totally worth it’ on our minds. I am surprised to find myself looking forward to winter! Frozen ground soon will be most welcome after all the mud and delays due to rain. As soon as we find our winter coats and boots, and the warmer clothes….bring on the cold! …i think…ask me again in Feb.

September was the month of the roof. It took the whole month. My guys are used to having a roof on a house in a matter of a week or two so this was a bit more time consuming. Beyond the naughty weather hinderances, we took on (i should say they…the boys did the roof, i was merely a go’fer and cheerleader) an intricate roofing system dreamed up by my man. He had never done it before and every step was a ‘learn as you go’ and ‘if something doesn’t work, figure it out ‘situation. The end result pretty much rocks, and it seems to be super solid…so I think we are good to go. I am impressed with my man’s ingenuity, as well as his endurance in this process…he works so hard for those he loves.

OK photo time. That’s what you are looking for right? Details on each photo. And I am giving the very glossed over quick view of the process…each step took days or weeks…and lots of little details in there not mentioned.

First we had to place and set all 28 (? yes, I think it was 28) timbers…

What photos are missing would be my contribution to these suckers…brushing and sweeping each one to remove spiders/webs/dirt etc…I did have a job in this phase of building! I also sanded old oil rig pipes that we used as cross bracing (you can see them below but I am trying to locate more photos of that process…not me sanding (although it was messy and i was covered from head to toe with grimy dust) but the actual installation.

So timbers…check…pipes…check…now it is purlin time! Days and days of it. Purlins are the boards that the roof steel will be screwed to…so you need it everywhere…they also brace and secure the timbers and whole roof.

When it seemed they had been hanging from rafters far too long…it was steel time!

and that is how you get a roof…final photos and the next step in the next post when i have time…my neck is so grateful this phase is over…looking up all day really gets ya kinked. 😉

oh and a shout out to those who helped us with this stage of the build! Amy, Shawn, Shane,our Dads…your help was invaluable!! (and thanks for meals mom!)

Have a lovely day everyone…


It’s possible you have noticed my ‘I choose’ posts over the past few days…

I have been posting a choice I have made that day…and why…I wanted to do so, in light of the upcoming women’s conference I am apart of called Thrive, but also to raise awareness that we make choices every day. Tons of them. Like…lots…choosing…sometimes hourly…sometimes by the minute….just lots…and they affect us…those around us as well.

What are you wearing right now? Why did you choose it? Are you happy with that choice?

How about what you chose to have for lunch?

Did you wash your hands recently? Or look up something up on the computer? What was the last thing you picked up to read, or flipped the remote to on the tv?

So many choices…

Deeper than that…what have you been dwelling on, good or bad in that little head of yours? That is a choice too…in fact, that is where most of the choices in a day are made (ok, they are all made by our minds…but I mean what we are THINKING)…inside…we can choose to dwell on negatives…or positive…if you are like most, it is a little of both.

In fact…the actions we take, while choices, are usually brought about  by what we have been thinking or dwelling on. whoa. We have so much power in choosing. Just something to ponder…

I planned to do this choice post thingy for the 30 days leading up to the conference…but already I find it so tough…I can’t post what I am grateful for every day…that is my November ‘thing’ haha…but sharing daily choices is so much tougher than I thought it would be. For one, it has made me see how flippantly I make some choices without thinking…and  two, the internal deep stuff is messy and I don’t always make great choices. I don’t mind sharing my imperfections or complete failure moments so much…but verbalizing them hasn’t been easy in the least. I want to blame it on my exhaustion and our world swept up in this house building…it just zaps you….mentally and physically…I seriously feel I have lost a good portion of my ‘words’ on a daily basis…and I am a wordy gal…but I can’t blame it all on that. And really isn’t ‘blaming’ something on something else some form of denial/avoidance/something or another??? At this point, I am just too worn to think about my choosing…but maybe that is when I need to most…

So today I am choosing to KEEP choosing…and to work on choosing well…especially on the inside where it matters most…choosing more intentionally…and believing it all matters.

What are you choosing today?

#Thrive2016 #Ichoose

check out the Bridging the Gap conference : Thrive 2016