Monday, April 30, 2012


"where there is no vision the people perish" Proverbs 28:19

The most recent meditation of my heart.... How incredibly profound. (but then again, it's written in the living word of God.... so.... of course it's profound.)

I bet I could just stop, tell you to think on that verse for a few minutes, and you could write this post for me. But I'll go ahead and jot down at least a little of what I've gotten out of it just so I don't forget it myself.

Sometimes this is used as a verse to motivate our elderly people that they are still here for a reason, to never stop dreaming/living/doing just because the end of your life might be approaching... for if you stop dreaming/living/doing, then the end is probably closer than you think. I pray someone reminds me of this verse when I get older too.

But that's not the main thing I've gotten out of the verse. Age is not mentioned specifically at all. So you might say that anyone who loses their vision for their life "perishes." Maybe not a physical death. But the death of dreams is a death in and of itself. If you have a dream, dare to dream it. Envisioning your future and all its potential is not a waste of time. It's priceless. It's how dreams become realities. If we stop having a vision for our lives, what will it cost us? More than we know.

Shaun told me that God told him to never stop building. That doesn't mean building physical buildings, it means never stop growing his business, building and investing in his family, and brainstorming new ideas for our future. It's not code for "become a workaholic" or "never be content." It simply means DREAM. Have VISION. And more often than not our dreams become a reality if we're not afraid to give them some space in our minds.

Beyond dreaming, vision can also be the physical vision with our eyes. Um, Pinterest anyone? Vision is the whole motivator there. How many people are addicted to viewing all the amazing diy projects, recipes, homes, hair/makeup ideas, and possibilities that are out there? It is just downright INSPIRATIONAL to say the least. We see something, we want to re-create it. It's the mark of THE Creator on us, that we would also desire to create. That we find a fulfillment in making something. Especially something out of nothing. Isn't that what God did in the first place? Spoke things into existence that were not? Made man out of dirt, woman out of a single bone? Isn't He the God of beauty from ashes? No wonder we also love the same things, we are made in His image.

If you find yourself discontent, dare to dream, and beyond that, dare to DO. Make just one thing you've dreamed of into a reality, no matter how small it is. Let's see how amazing it feels to let our dreams come to life. It's what they were made to do.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I think every boy needs a doggie....

Our first visit with our new little guy. 10 days old. 

Drew picked him out and bonded to him right away. 

Saturday morning. In his pen when we came to pick him up. 

Drew made himself comfortable in Zion's new home... :) 

Love this. 

Carrying his new baby around the back yard. 

Our sweet little guy. 

If I'm ever not sure where he is, he's probably laying at Shaun's feet. Shaun is his favorite. And it is so sweet to see Shaun take care of him and be so gentle with him. :) 

Our first family photo with our puppy :) 

Zion is a little doll. He loves affection, and is constantly following us around or laying on our feet when we sit. He loves to be snuggled. He's sleeping in my arms as I'm typing. Drew talks to him in an even higher pitched voice than usual, and Isaiah will pet him gently for a little bit before he pounces on him. Drew asks me, "mommy, where's my dog?" when he's not sure where he is. I love how he refers to him as his. Besides the difficulties of house breaking him and feeling sorry for him when he cries in his crate at night, we are loving this new addition. :) 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

the purpose

My blog has a few purposes. One is to be a journal, just to capture life, record things about my babies that I don't want to forget, and be a sort of time capsule that I can look back on someday.

Another purpose hasn't yet been revealed, but God willing, will be one day in the not too distant future.

It's also a place I can record the things God is teaching/showing me. I feel like He is speaking to me so much in this season, and I don't want to forget the things He's telling me.

I heard something at my Bible study that made me stop and go "yeah! that's what I want too" this week. Someone asked a speaker why she never really used an introduction, she just dove straight into the Word when she spoke. She said, "The people didn't come here to see me, they came here to see God." I pray that if you come to my blog, you don't come here to see funny anecdotes from life, my babies, things around my house, recipes etc. (although there will be all of those shared!) I pray that you come here to see God in it all. Because without Him I am nothing.

I think it's a good time to share the meaning of the name of my blog. The Vintage Canvas. Part of it is in reference to that purpose for my blog that I haven't yet shared. But part of it is in the meaning of the words. "Vintage": generally associated with the process of improving over time. The definition God gave me for "Canvas" : the place where the artist's vision becomes a reality. In my case, I want my life to literally be "The Vintage Canvas": the place where God's (the artist's) vision for my life becomes a reality, and a life which is continually being refined, and, hopefully, improving over time as He molds me to become more like Him.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"I'd rather waltz than just walk through the forest..."

K so the title of my post is lyrics from the song Plant Life by Owl City. How appropriate, since I'm gonna be talking about plants... 

They are taking over pieces of almost every day now. Between my little vegetable garden seedlings, tiny orchid plant, ferns, flower gardens, and potted herbs I'm starting to think I may have a new obsession... But anyways, there's one little corner of our back porch that I quite love: 

 I think my favorite thing about this corner is that not one single thing was purchased with this ensemble in mind. The palm tree is inside all winter and I always put it out for the summer to rejuvenate. The three crates I got from Shaun's Dad's farm, with the intention of using some of them as shelves in Drew's room. I'm either going to have to go salvage some more crates or wait til fall to do that now... Cause they clearly belong on the porch now. The herbs are usually in my kitchen window, and the plant in the top crate is called burro's tail and was in my front flower bed. It was a hanging plant and I just took the hanger off of it. In the middle crate are three glass jars that I will eventually plant things in... I have a little vine growing inside that I want to put in the root beer bottle and I'm not sure yet what I'm putting in the other two. [Maybe some succulents or a tiny cactus?]

Here's what it could look like if I decided not to use the bottles and used a planter instead: 

I'm kind of in love with the coffee cup planter, and having some envy issues. See, I got this planter for my best friend for her birthday. I'm planning on giving it to her this Friday. So it's technically not mine. And I wish it was. I might just have to go and get another one... Cause i like it in every one of the [many] places around my house that I've tried it out. But I'm giving it to you anyway, Ashly!! ;) 

There's just something about old wooden crates and plants. They make me happy :) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Part 3

I wrote the following the morning after Ian's memorial service:

I thought maybe going to the memorial service last night for Ian would give me some kind of closure. Instead I sat there a few rows from the front, all the way to the right side of the church, looking at the front side door and thinking at any minute Ian was going to come running through the doors and tell us to stop, that it was all a really bad joke, and that he was definitely not gone. The only thing last night made me want to do was to see him and talk to him again. Thank you Jesus that one day I will.

If I would've gone up front and shared my memories I would've said that I both loved and hated to play with Ian as a little kid simultaneously. I hated it because I liked to quote movie lines, but he could always quote them better. When we played tag I could never catch him. When we played monopoly he always won. But I loved it because he was so funny, never boring, obnxious and hilarious at the same time, full of fun ideas. I would've said how he was always doing the unexpected, crazy thing that no one else could do. When Shaun first met him at my parents house we were swimming, and all the sudden Shaun was like "where'd Ian go?" And we started looking, and there he was down at the very bottom of the deep end doing sit ups. He could just do stuff like that. Somewhere along the line, we both grew up, and we went from cousins who played together and got on each others nerves, past the awkward stage where you're not really kids anymore and don't know how to relate, and into a real appreciative sort of friendship with each other. I remember a thanksgiving at my parents, after we hadn't seen each other for a while, and before my aunts and uncles and cousins all left Ian hugged me. He was way too macho too tell any of us how much he cared about us, but I suddenly knew he did very much. He hugged us all every time he saw us after that. And I would've ended by saying I wish I would've hugged him a little longer the last time I saw him.


I've spent my life up to now in the innocence of "childhood." Where bad things come close but they never strike in quite so much finality. I lost my Poppop in 2007, and I still miss him very much, but it was a natural part of life. He laid down to take a nap and woke up in heaven. Though it was unexpected and things will never be the same without him, I can take comfort in the fact that he lived a full life, loved Jesus, watched his grandkids grow up, touched many, and went home peacefully.

There have been several very scary close calls in my own family, things that opened my eyes and made me want to love more and savor the moment and never take life for granted. But thank God I didn't have to say goodbye.

Over the past 6 months Tragedy has touched people very, very close to me, and I've found myself thinking back to when I was little and assumed life would go on sort of like a fairy tale, where you don't lose people until they've had a chance to live out their life to a nice old age, and it's hard then, but at least not so tragic, and doesn't make you question the safety of everyone around you at any time. I really don't want to go to anymore funerals for a long, long time.

And it is at this point that I have a decision to make. Do I become fearful? Do I allow my heart to ache over the possibility of potential devastation that can come without a moments notice? Or do I continue to live a life abandoned to love and hope and trust that God's plans for me will never be more than I can handle, and that in the midst of my heart breaking He will hold me together.

Perfect love CASTS OUT FEAR. I know that Jesus loves me. I am held in the palm of His hand. Therefore, fear has NO place in my life. When it threatens to overtake me, I run to Him. I have a new rule in my life that when I find myself becoming emotional/fearful etc., I ask myself if what I am emotional about is a reality or a possibility. If it's not a current reality, I can't let myself react. The unknown can be scary if we dwell on it. Instead, I want to stay in the "known" or, in other words, in the actual moment I am in and love others much while I am in it.

I have jokingly told my mom and my best friend that recently I've been making a deal with God. I told Him that I'm just gonna stay so close to Him that He is going to be constantly tripping over me, like, I'm just gonna pretend I'm his little shadow, and I'm gonna spend so much time with Him He's going to be sick of me (not that he ever actually gets sick of us, thank goodness!) and that way He doesn't need to allow any situations in my life that are hard to make me come close to Him, cause I'm just gonna stay that close when life is good.... Obviously this is just my silly way of saying I just need Him and want to be close to Him whether life is good or bad...

I could keep writing and writing of the revelations that have been coming to me in 2012 of how big a deal fear is, and ways to keep it from over taking our lives. Every time I think I can conquer it in my own strength it becomes a problem again and I have to ask Jesus to kick it out for me. But that's the wonderful thing: We can take the same problem to Him over and over and over again and He will always lovingly take our burdens and give us rest, and LOVE us through our difficulties.

[click here to read part 2]

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

identifying style

Is there anyone else out there like me who wants to create, or at least define, their own personal style, but has no clue what exactly they like or why they like it? I have thought all my life that I'd like to have a personal style when it comes to clothes. But I always thought I was more of a random conglomeration. (yes, I just used the word conglomeration...) I'd love to be able to go into a store, know what I like immediately, and confidently add to my wardrobe. But I usually agonize way too long over what I'm trying on, whether I can make a mental outfit out of it, if I really need it, and above all, whether or not it's truly me.

I have been making little discoveries throughout this year about my style. And it's super fun! I love clothes, but I feel like any time I liked my outfit in the past it was a happy coincidence that it all came together. I think maybe I've learned that there's a little bit of science to the art of getting dressed and that's what's helping me (for the first time ever!) define what I like and why.

First- I love to check out the pleated poppy's blog on wednesdays. She does this "what I wore Wednesday" post every week, and lots of real life girls link up photos of their outfits and you can get real life inspiration from real life girls. (Did I mention, real life?) Way better than a magazine if you ask me. I have so much fun looking at outfits and finding people whose styles are similar to my own, or even seeing an outfit and realizing you have similar pieces that you never thought to put together before. (I secretly want to join in, but I just don't know if I can do it without feeling totally silly... I'm glad they go out on a limb though!) Mentally identifying what I tend to like over and over again was the first discovery.

Second- I read a series on having a "no brainer wardrobe" right after I started cleaning out my closet. I posted a link to it here in this post.

Third- Kind of mentioned it above, but I cleaned out my closet. And I don't just mean I rearranged what I had. I put everything through a set of criteria and really asked myself if I loved it, and got rid of what I didn't love. This was a huge discovery. I now am convinced that a clean, organized closet is the first key ingredient to confidently getting dressed. (ok, maybe not totally clean, maybe not totally organized, but at least to the point where you know what you have, things are not buried, and there is some type of logic to  where you keep things)

Fourth- I cleaned out my closet for the first time this year in January. I just cleaned it out again yesterday. And I made another discovery. I pretty much dress in neutrals (white, cream, brown, black, gray), shades of pink (anything from coral, to salmon, to hot pink to plum. and "reddish" is included in pink for me) and shades of blue (from turqoiuse to navy to baby blue to teal...) Every now and then some green makes its way in there. But I don't typically wear yellow, purple or orange. Not hard and fast rules, just observations of my normal tendencies. Beyond color, I noticed that I love floral prints and stripes and ruffles and, somtimes, toned down polka dots. Lots of each of those. I like longer tops, tighter pants, flats and boots. Again, not rules, just observation of what I already have. So, that's the most recent discovery. Look at what you have and love, and figure out what it has in common. (Side note: I think I might have figured out how to organize my jeans.... Dressy pile, flare leg pile, skinny and boot cute pile... from largest to smallest so that as I keep losing baby weight I go down to the bottom of the pile. We'll see how it goes)

Now I don't really know where I was going with all this, other than to say that I have begun to discover that I actually do have a style. And it makes me happy. Maybe because I love art, and getting dressed can be an expression of art in and of itself. No pressure though, pressure and art don't mix. If I'm feeling creative my outfit may or may not reflect it, cause sometimes you just gotta wear a sweatshirt and messy hair and do what you gotta do. ;) All that to say that an expression of who you are is a beautiful thing, whether it's in clothes, art, written word, song, dance etc. Be who you are, you are beautiful :)

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Sunday

Easter is just the best. Such a triumphant, victorious celebration of the ultimate sacrifice and the conquering of death. "Death where is your sting? Grave where is your victory?" I would rather just soak in the presence of Jesus and spend time with our families than stress myself out creating some outrageously planned and perfect day... More power to all you mamas out there that did, but I was a bit last minute. I did do a few special things to celebrate, just nothing way over the top. Our morning started off with this french toast and blueberry casserole. I don't usually cook breakfast, but this seemed easy enough and I knew Drew would love it. 

It was yummy :) 

Then Drew hunted for his Easter basket. Instead of a chocolate bunny he got a chocolate Jesus fish. He asks for more of Jesus all the time now. :) 

Family photo. Drew might be picking his nose. And Isaiah might be eating his tie. Here's to real life :) 

Love of my life

My three boys. My world. 

Baby on his first Easter. 

Attempt to get the sweet angel babies together.... between Drew's flying drum sticks, bright sun, and lots of energy..... this, led to.... 

This. Life's not always perfect, but darn, he sure is a cute crying baby. :) 

Loot from the grown up easter egg hunt. (Thanks mama and daddy!!) 


 Drew, hunting. 

Counting Drew's eggs after his very competitive hunt.... with himself. :) 

Love this candid of Nan keeping baby saiah warm and cozy :) 

It was good to spend time with family. It was good to celebrate that Jesus is so very alive. Thank you Jesus for this reminder every year that you have put new life into everything, and death has lost its power over us. It is especially meaningful this year. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

bridal shower decor

I recently had the honor of planning Shaun's sister's bridal shower for her. I went with a "feel" more than a theme. I had a few ideas for decor, shopped around a bit, and used what I could find to create a girly, slightly vintage, shabby chic, lace/burlap/doily/peachy pink/muted aqua bridal shower heaven :) 

Here are the fabrics I chose. For a garland we made. 

My mother in law and mom both came over one day and my mama watched my babies and my mother in law helped cut the fabric into strips. Then you just tie each strip of fabric onto a piece of twine. It was a little more time consuming than I thought it would be, but so worth it. You'll see the finished product at the bottom. It makes such a pretty garland. Now I'm hoping that someday I have a girl so I can use this in her room somehow :) 

Next project, creating burlap and doily mats for the centers of the tables. 

And tissue paper puffs. My friend Salena taught me how to make these. Click here to go to her blog and scroll down to the bottom to see her birthday party for her daughter when she first made them. They are simple, cheap and quite lovely :) All it takes to make them is a pack of tissue paper, scissors and a twisty tie. 

Definitely not the best photo, but I was rushing to finish setting everything up before everyone came. So here's what I have. This was the food table before everything was on it. 

Close up of my feather centerpieces. The feather flowers were from ac moore, the old blue mason jars were from a friend, and the white pedestal is a vase I spray painted and flipped upside down. 

Table centerpieces on burlap table runners we made. 

Decor in the corner of the room where Brittany opened her gifts. We hung the tissue paper puffs with twine, and Shaun helped me twist pale pink crepe paper down the walls. 

Card table. Another feather flower centerpiece, a burlap and twine covered shoebox, and a photo of the celebrated couple on a lace table cloth. 

I'm thinking I need to do another post with some photos of the invitations, the people, the food, etc.... It took me far to long to post this, but I'll try to post the second half of the shower in a more timely manner :) 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kiki & Coco

If you have a little girl, you might want to get this book. (Kiki and Coco in Paris) It's seriously adorable. Big, beautiful photography, a cute girl, a sweet dolly, and a lovely story. 

A few of my favorite pages from the book. I gave one as a gift to a little girl whose parents call her Kiki for her second birthday, and I gave one to friends who are expecting their first little girl as a baby shower gift. You can find it on amazon. My photos don't do it justice. I just had to share this :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


 If you have a favorite restaurant, what is it that makes it your favorite? Maybe it's the food, maybe the fact that it's water front. Maybe they have live music. Maybe there's a server you've become friends with and request every time you go. Maybe it's the candle light, maybe it's the interior design, maybe it's the amazing smell of delicious food cooking. Maybe it's the cafe feel, the food presentation, the daintiness, the seclusion, the wall of windows, the outdoor seating... Maybe it's of several of the above. Atmosphere is a combination of the way a place interacts with our senses. At least that's the definition I'm giving it. So, how do you create atmosphere in your home? 

My mom's a pro at this, and I grew up taking it for granted until I had my own home and wanted it to feel homey. I'm slowly learning the art. Here's what I've learned. 

Add some living things to a place. Whether it's a tiny jelly jar with a few fresh blossoms in it, or potted plants, or a pet, or the obvious: people, put some living things in a space and they will bring life to it. If it's people you are relying on to create the atmosphere in your home, finding joy in life and loving on each other are musts. It's hard to always speak kindly, and measure what you say before it comes out, or to have a good attitude when you're just exhausted or feel like being left alone. (Kind of how I've been feeling today, so what an appropriate day for God to lay it on my heart to write this post...) But if we want to be the initiators to having a home that is relaxing, welcoming, refreshing, and one of our favorite places to be, that's a HUGE part of it. 

Add some of you to a space. What do you like? Do you like color, do you like neutral, do you like pattern, texture, artwork, handmade...? Figure that out, and then hang it on the walls, paint, accent, etc. Find inspiration photos and re-create. Reflection of a person's unique taste creates atmosphere. 

COOK! One of my favorite ways to create atmosphere in my home :) This is probably because I'm speaking my husband's love language when there's anything homemade in the house or a good dinner on the table. When I say "grill, corn on the cob, bbq, backyard, picnic table," you probably instantly go to a summer day, warmth, cut grass, laughter, and can picture and feel it all in your mind. If I say "warm blueberry muffins, a glass of juice, hot coffee, frosty windows" you can probably picture and feel a chilly, cozy morning. Foods can play a big part in creating atmosphere. :) 

For goodness sake, open up the curtains, let in some light, and if it's spring/summer/fall and you possibly can, OPEN said windows and let in air. Air and light always create atmosphere. If there's a nice breeze outside, let it into your home. If there's sunshine to be had, figure out how to get it into your house. On the flip side, candle light is equally effective in creating atmosphere in the evenings, or in the winter. If you have candles, burn them. There's nothing sadder than an un-used candle. (ok, there's definitely sadder things... but just let the candle fulfill it's destiny, it will make you both happy) If you've got a fire pit, and a nice cool night outside, use it. If you have a fireplace, I probably don't even need to say it, but use it. 

But the most important thing, and best way to create atmosphere in your home is to let the presence of God rest there. Create a place that reflects and welcomes Jesus, a place that is open to the Holy Spirit, and you will have the best atmosphere possible. One way we try to do this is by having worship music playing at all times. This was totally Shaun's doing in the beginning, and now I can't have it any other way either. Music=instant atmosphere, whether it's positive or negative. Be careful what you let in. 

K, Summarization. If atmosphere is the way a space interacts with your senses, then we can break it down into sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. If take these five things I can figure out what kind of atmosphere I want to create through them. 

Sight= clean, organized house, the way I use light, art. 

Sound= happy voices, laughter, music. 

Taste= food. 

Touch= maybe this would be better described as "feel", and by feel I mean emotional and spiritual, and this is where the presence of Jesus comes in. :) But hugging is nice too. 

Smell= again, food. But fresh flowers, burning candles, clean laundry, etc are all nice :) 

Wanna tell me how you create atmosphere? Please do :)