Room Re-Do Reveals!


Remember how I mentioned moving Gwen and Wyatt's rooms around and wanting new bedding for our room?  Well, I've actually done a ton of work on the rooms in our house this spring, and I thought I'd post some updated room pictures now!

First up, our master bedroom.  You can see what it was before here.  I just got tired of the bedding, and I wanted something that felt a little fresher and more summery.  I posted here about the kind of bedding I wanted, and I feel like the finished product here has a similar feel - I'm really happy with the way it turned out!  I was debating whether to paint the walls a different color or not, but the green goes alright with the bedding, so I'm just going to leave it for now.






The other big thing I did was move around some of the rooms in our house.  Wyatt and Gwen were sharing a room before I switched things up, and you can see that room here.  After a couple months of running in there every time Gwen made a noise for fear she'd wake Wyatt up, I decided having them share a room just wasn't working well for me.  So I combined our old spare room and Derek's office, and I moved Gwen into Derek's old office.  


I posted these already, but I'll post them again here - this is the new combined office/spare bedroom!  You can see the original spare bedroom set-up here.




And this is Wyatt's new room - it's pretty close to the same except that it's all his again, and I put the new dresser in his room and hung one of his quilts on the wall.




This is that dresser I got for cheap on Craig's List, then we re-finished it.  You can see the before picture here.






And then Gwen's room!  I feel like it looks like a really big room now - I didn't realize how big that room was until we moved Gwen in there!  It's mostly the same things that were on Gwen's side in the combined kid's room, except that I moved the changing table into her room too and made some new curtains to match her crib bedding.  I like the way it turned out!









Overall I'm really happy with the changes we made to the arrangements in our house!  It turned out nicely, and it makes me feel like we have a lot more room to grow in this house now.

Happy Independence Day!




Happy Independence Day!  I hope you all enjoy the barbecues and fireworks and take a minute to thank God for letting us live in such a great country!

Also, more on the kiddos outfits for the From My Kid's Closet link-up next week, so stay tuned!

A Honeymoon In Hawaii

I was not blogging in the first part of 2008.  I am sad about this now, because I didn't do anything to really record all the fun things we did on our honeymoon to Hawaii!  So I'm going to attempt to record all those fun memories now.

(Well, not all of them, you know.  Ahem.)

Derek saved up enough money to take us on an amazing honeymoon to Hawaii!  I had always wanted to go, so I was so excited, and there wasn't a more perfect time to go than for our honeymoon.  Thank goodness I took pictures or I probably would have forgotten half of it!  Here is a five-year-late honeymoon recap.

Our first picture in Hawaii!  On the beach in front of our resort.
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This was a picture of the courtyard of our resort on Kauii.
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 The resort gave us a bottle of wine since it was our honeymoon!  We don't drink though, so we left it for housekeeping when we left.

I also distinctly remember there being a dead lizard on the stairs that we took to get from our room to the courtyard, and I think most of the hotel staff avoided those stairs, because the lizard stayed there most of our honeymoon.  It was sad.  We got to see plenty of live lizards though.

I also remember going to Taco Bell to eat the first day we arrived there (yes, they have Taco Bells in Hawaii), and the trash can said "Mahalo", which means thank you!

The view from our balcony. 
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The palm trees!  So pretty.
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We rented a Jeep Commander for our honeymoon, and it was a really nice car - it was fun to drive around in a nice SUV while we were there.  I kind of want to get one.

Our first day we mainly just spent driving around and exploring the island!  First stop - a coffee plantation.

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We took the tour and it was really interesting to see how they grow and harvest the coffee beans.  We also bought a coconut latte, which was really good.  And I bought this pineapple perfume in the gift shop for a souvenir - I still have a little left, and the scent reminds me of Hawaii!

There was this cool tree out front, and there was writing on all the leaves - if you scratch writing into the leaves the letters would eventually hollow out and stay that way, so there were leaves from lots of the visitors there.  Derek scratched our names into one of the leaves!

I'm thinking it was a plumeria tree?  Because I think that's a plumeria flower behind me.  There were flowers everywhere in Hawaii.

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An obligatory kissing picture!  We were on our honeymoon, after all.
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We found another cute little gift shop where Derek bought me a strand of real pearls for super cheap!  I think they were so inexpensive because the pearls weren't perfectly round, but I didn't care about that - they were pretty!  I wish I could go back and buy more.  They also had this fun surfing thing out front, so we pretended we were surfers.

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We drove all over the island, and this was a really pretty view!
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 We also went to the National Bottanic Gardens (sheesh, we did a lot that first day), and saw lots of gorgeous flowers and trees.  It was beautiful.

Derek on the shuttle.
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The gorgeous view on the way to the gardens.
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Lots of vines and old trees everywhere.
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Water lilies.
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Derek by this cool tree - it drops those vines and they turn into these root-type things.  It was cool-looking.
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Derek and me.
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In front of a waterfall!
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Virgin Pina Coladas on our balcony after four long day!
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The next day we went on treetop zip-line adventure!  It was a series of zip lines and bridges in these really big trees that were some kind of pine tree.  It was fun!

Derek and me leaning off the side of one of the bridges.
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I was pretending to be scared.
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Derek crossing one of the bridges and being silly.
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The two of us.
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We went out to a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant that night, and I tried mahi maui for the first time - yum!
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Our resort was on the wrong side of the island to see a sunset, but Derek somehow convinced me to get out of bed super-early to catch the sunrise instead.  There were these tiny little sand crabs coming in and out of holes all over the beach, so we couldn't sit down, but we stood there and watched the sunrise.  I'm glad I did it, but then we went back to the room and I went back to sleep!

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Posts on the rest of our trip to come!

The Quarryman's Bride Review



I wasn't sure what to expect when I started The Quarryman's Bride by Tracie Peterson since I had never read one of her books before.  I feel like Christian romance can be highly variable on quality, depth, likability of the characters, etc.  But I was pleasantly surprised with this book!

Emmalyne and Tavin are engaged to be married until tragedy strikes Emmalyne's family and she follows her father's wishes to have her stay unmarried and take care of her parents in their old age.  Eleven years later Tavin and Emmalyne meet again, and the story develops from there . . .

When I first started this book I was afraid that the main characters were going to be too perfect (which is a pet peeve of mine in fiction), and that the tension in the relationship with Emmalyne's father was going to be too tense (sometimes I feel like those tense relationship story lines go overboard).  

But I quickly started to feel like I could relate to the hero and heroine (they weren't too perfect), and I really enjoyed the development of the relationship between Emmalyne and her father.  I also felt like the author really did her research on what it would take to quarry granite in that time period, and her descriptions were all well thought-out.

I liked this book, and I finished it in about three days - it was an enjoyable read!  I would recommend it.  I will say though that I hope the author plans to write another book on the doctor, because I want to know what happens to him!  I'd love to read another one of her books.


Note: I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

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From Litfuse:


For nearly 100 novels, bestselling author Tracie Peterson has entertained readers with heartwarming tales of history, romance and courage. Now you have the unique chance to win a large selection of some of Tracie’s greatest adventures, along with her newest novel, The Quarryman’s Bride. To enter, just visit Tracie's Book Page on Facebook and fill out the short form. Then click around to read an excerpt, take a poll and more!



Splitting Harriet Review



I requested Splitting Harriet  by Tamara Leigh, just because it looked like it might be a fun book to read. 

Harriet is a former rebel, and she has no intention of going back to those days.  As such she shelters herself by mostly hanging out with older people and staying far away from anything remotely rebellious.  That is until her church hires a consultant who has a tattoo and drives a motorcycle and she has to learn to let down some of her walls and trust God to guide her.

I was a little skeptical reading the back of this book, because I wasn't sure how the author was going to handle the "church politics" part of the plot, but I thought it was tastefully done.  The older people in the story were lovable and loving to Harriet and encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone in healthy ways. I felt like the author kept a good balance in showing the benefits of older/younger church members, hymns/contemporary music, etc. without leaning too much one way or another or making one "side" look bad.

The plot of this book was fun and light-hearted, and kept me wanting to read more!  It was very cleverly written, and interesting to read, and I enjoyed the banter between Harriet and Maddox. This is good Christian chic-lit, and if you like chic-lit I'd recommend checking out this book.  (Note: It's only $1.99 on Christianbook right now, so if you are looking for something to read this summer, it's a good deal!)  

I am looking forward to reading another one of Tamara Leigh's Christian novels soon!

Note: I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.
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