our Orchard House

orchard-house

I have always loved how the March’s home had a name, a title. (Above is the real Orchard House in Massachusetts. I love the chimney… so pretty.) I’d like to name our house–it is, after all, a big part of our life and something we’ve invested in; why not give it a name? Here’s a fun article about how to do this, and the history of naming estates… no matter its size. Just FYI, if you think about these kinds of things randomly like I do…. ho hum.

We have lived here for six years, and are slowly making it our own. I remember telling R one time that I didn’t like the house, I was so frustrated while cleaning it. What not to say to your husband, right? Ha, jokes on me, this was before we had kids! What was I thinking?? Hard to clean? (Don’t you love laughing at your younger self? I do.) No, but seriously, it is from 1978, and some areas are old enough that no matter how much bleach you use, it’s just not sparkly clean and makes you feel like you wasted your time. Not fun. But slowly we are updating these problem areas. My frustration was a sure sign that gratefulness is a choice, and one that must be chosen everyday… especially in the midst of cleaning. :)

Our place is a tri-level, and I enjoy it because no one ever feels far away, but it’s easy to stow away in a pocket of space here and there if you want to. R and I are trying to make our home as practical/functional as possible, which means we have a reeeeally far way to go, but we’re climbing that staircase bit by bit. You gotta live in a place before you know how you’ll use it; and us being the Slowskis, six years sounds about right to finally decide how we’d like to use it. Especially now that we have kiddos. So we’ve been busy the last couple of years making little tweaks here and there. Taking down the mirrored wall and painting the brown paneled wall beneath a nice creamy Quail Egg color. Replacing the tiny toilets with reliable, white ones. (Ours were originally light blue and mustard color. Nice.)  Ripping out carpet in all of the bathrooms and replacing with tile. Putting a shed in the backyard.

My favorite redo right now has got to be our garage entry… pretty and practical. I was inspired by this pin and this post, which I pinned a loong time ago–I loved how clean and functional it was. And do-able! I showed it to Raul, and we made the magic happen. It was our Christmas gift to each other last year: a new space, and good times working together during naptime or after the kids went to bed to get er dun.

IMG_20131225_150203

IMG_20131225_150217

IMG_20131225_150230

20141016_154140

20141016_154515

I love that the wall across from the washer/dryer is now useable, and the splash of color is needed as our home is pretty neutral. I really try not to store things here that aren’t laundry-related; before, I’d store extra food and who knows what. Nope, keep it simple Minns, and make it relate to the space. Makes sense, right? Changing this area up has been a time saver for various reasons:

Tile means easy cleanup for messy boots and kids’ shoes. The girls know to take their shoes off now when we get in, and they have a place to put them (under coats, or in their red box).

Hooks galore means a place for everything, and everything in its place (most of the time…). Purse, coats, keys.

20141016_154205

20141016_154214

All hooks except the key hooks (Target) are from Hobby Lobby, 40% off. The kids’ hooks were inspired by this pin…I  loved how accessible and sweet it looked next to the adult hooks!

I am still in love with the hex tile; it makes me think of Downton Abbey, and the ’20s. Kind of an odd choice for a house built in the ’70s, but you gotta go with what you love. (They were a beast to lay down, even though they come in 12 x 12 sheets. Lining them up was te.di.ous to say the least. We used dark gray grout and put a border of rectangular tile by the carpeted edge. I love the contrast of shapes, although I don’t think Raul will volunteer to cut tiles this small anytime soon. And the Best Hubby award goes to… :)

20141021_101139

The powder room on the end of the hall got a bit of an update, too; our previous pedestal sink cracked and broke when we moved it to put the tile in (bum), so we had to replace that, as well as the fixtures. A little cream paint, and what a difference!

IMG_20131225_150244

20141016_154341

I am slowly starting a little collection of C’s… the little one is from my favorite vintage store, the Pink Attic Cat, and the large C is from an annual vintage fair in Littleton. Keeping my eyes peeled for more when the mood strikes… I heart typography.

20141016_154400

And there it is. A little peek at one modified drop in the bucket that is our home. Which hopefully will have a name soon… any suggestions?

Finding Joy: A HodgePodge

20140515_095232

It’s funny how sometimes you feel like you’re going through the motions, moving through a funk, and then the next week, things change. I know for me, things don’t just change naturally; it is by the grace of God that things take a different, healthier direction, and I am so grateful for this!

It seems natural to go through times of feeling like you’re holding down the fort by threads while supporting your household… This is something I’ve been working through while staying home with my girls.  I’m happy to say working through it I am–and after many thoughtful talks with my husband, prayers together, time with iron-sharpening friends (you know who you are!), and time with the Lord, I am rediscovering the joys meant for me in this precious season of life.  What a relief! More on this another time; today, it’s all about the little things restoring my joy around my home. :)

First up: garden progress! We’ve been eating spinach, and just pulled a few radishes this evening. They were pretty good, not too spicy–to my surprise, Liv liked them. I think she loved their color more than their taste! Natalie will have to try them tomorrow as she conveniently fell asleep at 6:30 tonight…

20140515_095309

20140515_173357

20140515_184151

Purple petunias for Mother’s Day from my Mother-in-Law… love. This basket reminds me of the ones in Crested Butte–if you’ve never been there, you must go!

20140515_095252

And I received some lovely flowers from my pops today! What a surprise. These were my mom’s favorite rose colors–it’s been nice to see them open on the kitchen table and think of her today.

2014-05-15 18.54.48

Olivia & Natalie, whom I delight in more than I thought possible–right? How do kids do it? Magical, I tell you…

Girls

I have spent some time this week combing through my Bible…. my favorite thinline Bible, mahogany brown with scrolly monochromatic etches on the cover, full of hope and encouragement.  And underlines.  Sometimes I know what I want to read–it’s a good feeling to grab it with a passage in mind–but this week, it’s been more of a meandering.  I love underlining scripture and jotting down notes or references beside verses… and thought it’d be worthwhile to notice what I tend to underline, see if there are any themes to my ‘notes to self’.

I’ve mostly stayed in Psalms this week, and found that I’ve highlighted a lot of verses about joy, delight, rejoicing, waiting on the Lord, and his attributes (rock, refuge, foundation, hope, strength, etc.). And the benefit of loving pens so much is that I recognize what ink comes from where, and sometimes when–so it’s been a neat way to meditate on God’s Word and what it’s meant to me over the years, and why.  So I’m treasuring that this week.  Kind of an impromptu study of sorts. :)

20140515_095501

Sparkly toes, ready for summer. I met my dear (and fellow preggo!) friend Leanne for lunch and pedicures a couple of weekends ago, and let the technician choose my color. My first thought was “disco ball”…Raul described it as an Eastern European Faberge Egg. Would be a good name for a polish! I like glitter, but these are a little outta control. And I’m almost getting too round to do anything about it at this point…

20140515_095338

Round, that is, with quite a surprise:

BabyBoyAnnounced

It’s a boy…! We are thrilled! (And I am realizing I have much to learn…I can’t wait.) Where are you finding joy around you this week? Here’s to grateful hearts that look for the goodness of the Lord in our lives!