Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Around Here: Homemade Cobbler/Fields of Green/Gender Reveal/Trains/Porch Sitting/Rocking Chairs

Around Here: March 2014 | Bringing Design Home

We are officially 14 weeks till baby #2 is in our arms. Life has been SO full. It’s the kind of full that leaves you tired of running and going, but so glad you’ve had the time to visit old friends and family. From girls’ trips to Boston and KC, to spring break in Wichita we are looking forward to spending most of April at home. Not to mention there are some really exciting things happening around our little corner of the interweb. We are praying through lots of changes and updates. The good kind! We are brain storming and organizing our task list for Bringing Design Home, updating the nursery & toddler room combo, and Cale is continuing to study for his architectural license. Not to mention we ALSO picked out the perfect spot to build our dream house, of course now we can’t stop designing our future farmhouse, and Meg has officially started to waddle like a duck.

It’s definitely a busy season, but an exciting one! And to be honest, we don’t really see it slowing down anytime soon.

We’re trying to take it one day at time!

Learning to spend more time TRUSTING and less time WORRYING about ALLLLLLL the details.

Over spring break we visited this really cool train museum where the kids can climb on and inside all kinds of old trains in Wichita, Kansas! If James was a little bit older, we could seriously just let him roam around freely. The museum is just small enough you can keep tabs on the kiddos, and the train tracks run right by it (separated by a giant fence of course!) so the kids get to see real-life moving trains up close and personal.

If you are ever in the area pick a nice day and definitely visit the Great Plains Transportation Museum.

Don’t know about you all, but there is something extra refreshing about having a few extra hours left in the day. Thanks to daylight savings we’ve been enjoying lots of evening walks in the field next to our house. Now that James is old enough to run walk by himself, it’s so exhausting fun watching him explore every. little. detail.

We’ve also been thankful for some quality family porch time discussing deep thoughts on life with our 19 month old. Pretty sure Cale has waited his WHOLE life for THIS daddy moment. :)

Meg made it her mission to use up ALL of her canned fruit from 2013. Apparently she thinks that when we run out spring will get the HINT and hurry up and get here! We’re ready for fresh garden veggies, fruits, and more!

Anyone else?!

In the mean time we’ll be stuffing our faces with cobbler and homemade skillet desserts before the weather gets to hot to bake anything in our current farmhouse! :)

And lastly, we revealed the gender of baby#2 with a silly string fight! Any guesses on the gender?! :D

Looks like our life is gonna be surrounded by even MORE cars, trucks, plains, and trains.

It’s a boy!

Full speed ahead! :)

From The Farm

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Our Growing Family :)

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We’ve been keeping a little secret from you guys that’s not so little anymore! ;) It’s hard to believe we are nearly halfway there and about to find out if we’re having another boy or a girl!?

Now, it’s time to get working on that nursery and toddler room combo!

Have a great weekend everyone.

From The Farm

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Lesson #5: Rhythm vs. Balance

Hello | Bringing Design Home

As a parent you struggle with wanting to give your children your whole world, but also making sure that your whole world doesn’t revolve entirely around them. You need time for yourself, time to dream, time with your spouse, time for real sex (not JUST “Business Time” Sex), and time to feel like a real person who gets to pursue their own desires every once in a while! As a parent we all still have dreams! When our kids come along it’s easy to feel like those ambitions get pushed out of the rhythm of simply maintaining a family.

I know this has been a struggle of ours.

How do we build a business that our family can happily live off of while raising our kids at home?

For the longest time I thought it was all about maintaining the balancing act of family and work. Similar to the scales of justice the minute you take your time and focus off of one, the other has to sacrifice, and in return be neglected. I thought it was about doing it all and making it all look really good, but that’s not real life at all! Running a home based business, heck even if you work a 9-5 job and have a family, there are weeks where you can barely catch up with the laundry, let alone have dinner ready on time! It’s a lot of hard work, but changing my perspective from balancing it all to allowing life and work to flow within a steady rhythm has given me a new found peace for the journey a head. Finding my rhythm in the busy and quiet places, being in tune to my individual needs, my family’s needs, and my professional needs have all given me permission to ebb and flow within the different seasons that life brings. It’s not up to me to balance work and life, it’s up to me to listen to the ever changing rhythm and give in to how the two become my life. It’s about enjoying the journey of pursuing our dreams while being ok with the process.

A few years back Cale went from being home full-time working for Green Couch to working full-time at a local architecture firm. Between that and having a kid our design business went from two full-time employees to about one half. I’ve often times felt like we sold out to get a pay check, but looking back our reason to put Cale back in the work force was so much more than that. His degree is in architecture, but in order to get his architectural license and design like we hope to in the future, he had to put in more hours at an actual architecture firm. Since then he has collected all the hours he needs and has started testing for his license (2 tests passed, only 5 more to go!). It’s been a SLOW process, but one that has helped us move forward in so many more ways than I could have ever expected.

What felt like 10 steps back was actually 10 steps forward.

When we started Green Couch Design we had no plan, we had no savings. It was a whirl wind and a lot fun, but it was also a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice. Taking the last two years to intentionally slow down the growth of our design firm has given us time to enjoy growing into a family. It’s given us financial stability to become fully debt free AND build up savings so that we are in a better place when Cale does come home full-time. It’s given Cale work experience and connections in the architecture and construction industry that would have taken him YEARS to gain by working from home. Lastly, it’s allowed me to enjoy just being a mom and taking on clients at my own pace, instead of designing out of a need for a pay check.

As “creative entrepreneurs” it feels like we are not truly legit unless we are the starving artist. But there has got to be a way to do what we love and make a lot of money doing it without selling our souls. :) For Cale and I we want to pay for our kids’ college so that they can start their life as debt free as possible. We want to go on vacations all over the world for weeks at a time. We want to grow and cook our own food. We want to design and build our own modern farm house–in the next five years! ALL of these goals take money, and planning, and dreaming BIG! I understand that life can throw curve balls. There are moments where you finally get your savings to a healthy place and BOTH cars randomly need major repairs (like this last week!). None of our dreams become real without true intention, focus, and drive. Life is gonna throw random events your way that, for a season, will take more of your time, money, and energy. It’s how you allow those obstacles to flow within the pursuit of your dreams that will determine their ultimate effect.

There are days, like today, where I have to remind myself that we are making progress.

We are learning how to make smarter and better choices.

Our dreams are becoming real and tangible things.

It’s a slow process.

At times it’s VERY tedious, but step by step we are getting there.

 

 

There are so many dreams in Cale and I’s hearts that are way bigger than our children. We are constantly asking God how do all these things fit together into one melting pot? Like it or not you can’t separate life and work. The stress at work is gonna carry over into your home life and vice versa. Giving myself permission to move within the rhythm of life and work has made it less about choosing one over the other, and more about enjoying this season, this moment, and the task at hand. If I can’t stay on top of the laundry and have dinner ready in this moment, then how will I set my own deadlines and stay on top of them with our clients? Who knows what this season of motherhood is preparing me for in the future? I just gotta treat each task like the world depends on it. And it does! My kids depend on me being there. Being present in the day to day and not constantly checking my phone, or the latest blog post. Finding my rhythm has given me permission to focus on my design skills AND my mommy skills while not feeling guilty when I’m focused on one more than the other.

It’s given me the freedom and grace to adjust, adapt, make mistakes, and be ok with starting all over again.

This journey of Green Couch Design and ultimately Bringing Design Home is gonna look different than I thought. Sometimes we start down a path and it changes, but if we flow within the rhythm, within the song that is our life, God still manages to turn it into something amazing. Our rhythm is gonna look different than anything the world has ever seen, because there is no other Cale and Meg (or Male & Ceg as our friends call us). I can’t tell you exactly how or draw it in a picture. It’s not up to the world to define that for us. It’s not up to the latest social media fad, or the top 5 steps on how to grow our business. It’s up to us, and us listening to the beats in our hearts each moment, each day. It’s up to us flowing in this rhythm of life and work, enjoying the dance, and not being afraid to share it with others. Instead of being afraid of neglecting my home life for my work life, I get to choose both and do them both well. There is freedom in this journey of children and the pursuit our dreams. When the combination of life and work is less about balance and more about rhythm it becomes a celebration of the dance.

Of our song.

Of our story.

I know all this might sound like bunch of creative mumble jumble, but we are about to change things up around here. We are about to go into new directions as well as straighten up some existing paths. We’re still praying through it all and re-establishing vision, but we are excited to jump back in. With no strings attached. With no preconceived ideas.

Only a song in our hearts of a business that bridges family and work with a reality and a freedom that says you can be successful at both without compromising your beliefs, your time, or your quality in any area… And that’s exactly what we plan to do.

Thanks for joining us!

From The Farm

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DIY: Cross-Stitch Family Portrait

DIY Cross-Stitch Family Portrait | Bringing Design Home

I can’t tell you how excited I have been to share my latest homemade gift with you all! To be honest I was a bit overambitious last Christmas, and didn’t complete any of the FOUR projects I started (surly I’m not the only one… !?). :( This year I was determined to complete ALL my projects from last year, and I’m happy to announce that I reached my goal just in time for Christmas! :)

Tis true, me and Martha Stewart became besties this holiday season, and I couldn’t be any more happier with the results!

Once you plan out your portrait the cross-stitching isn’t that hard, but it does take time. Personally, I enjoyed spending my evenings with the tv off, bundled under a blanket, working away while Cale studied for his latest Architecture Exam. You might think of cross-stitching as an old lady sport, but it was really fun giving an old craft an updated design.

SUPPLIES:

  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Embroidery Thread (Just ask around and borrow some from your crafty friends if you don’t want to buy a bunch–thanks Courtney!) :)
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Embroidery Aida Cloth (I started with 22 count and the stitches were way to small and close together. Definitely aim for 11-14 count squares, or even 8 if you would like a bigger design.)
  • Scissors
  • Graph Paper (I just stole a few pages from Cale’s Moleskine Journal, shhh… don’t tell!) ;)
  • Colored Pencils
  • Scotch Tape

HELPFUL TIPS:

  • Select a Wider (smaller) Embroidery Aida Cloth Count: I started my first portrait with a 22 count and hated the whole process. The wider squares (11-14 count) show off fun details better, and you won’t be cussing as much as you try and poke your thread through tiny, TINY, little holes! :)
  • General Size/Scale Chart: 8 stitches across for adult heads, 7 stitches across for teen/kids heads, and 3 stitches across for babies.
  • Plan it Out: Use graph paper and colored pencils to plan out every detail. Having a solid plan creates a smooth transition once you start cross-stitching.
  • Customize each family member: I found the inspiration for this project sifting through an old subscription of Martha Stewart Living. Visit her page for ideas and suggestions on how to each person in your portrait their own unique style. Think about the person’s hair, the type of clothes they wear, and even fun accessories.
  • Use Back Stitching for Small Details: This simple technique allows you to create fine details like glasses, baby eye’s and mouth’s, letters, and numbers.

This was my first cross-stitch project so don’t feel intimidated if you have never done this before. I stitched two full portraits of the same family until I got the style, layout, and the scale just right.

You can do it! Old ladies unite! ;)

What new Christmas projects did you take on this year? How did they turn out?

From the Farm

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Halloween Sweet Treats

A Sweet & Easy Homemade Family Halloween Costume

Halloween seems like ancient history now, but we just had to share our family costume from this year! It’s become a tradition that Cale’s family come up with the best Trunk or Treat Theme. In the past we have done Transformers with homemade costumes that actually change from robots to cars, and even Mario Brothers. This year, with all of our kids under the age of three (don’t drink the water!), we we’re all feeling a little pressed for time. Our little bakery theme was a simple solution to dress the kids up in ridiculously cute outfits (providing us with future blackmail material!), and keep the adults happy with an easy baker’s costume.

It was a little crazy getting us all there (with costumes, props, naps, juice cups, snacks, diapers, etc.), but once it was all said and done, we had a blast baking our little Halloween Treats. Enjoy!

Although we we’re gypped out of 1st place by Woody, Jessie, and the whole Toy Story Gang (It was rigged!), our sweet theme was definitely the cutest trunk we’ve done so far. Don’t you just love our pumpkins painted like cupcakes with sprinkles?! :)

Now, back to turkey prep people, Halloween is so last year!

From the Farm

Our apologies for the late delay on posting these pics. We left for a vacation in Panama the day after Halloween!

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Bath Time With a 10 Month Old

james-10months-1

Bath time has become a very busy time for us. We are learning to swim, and standup, and fall down, and standup, and fall down, and standup… Life is new, and marvelous, and wonderful. We are loving every new moment with our little ginger! :)

From the Farm

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Ready, Set, SPRING!

spring-kids-4

Spring is in the air! Can you feel it?

We felt it this past week when we had some friends and their three kids come stay with us. It was a week full of adventure and outdoor fun. A sorta mini spring break in our 1,000 square foot farm house. It was a bit crazy, but I think the best memories are made when you simply enjoy living life together. Especially when you are a kid, vacations don’t have to be fancy! Sometimes just changing up your day-to-day routine can feel like a little getaway.

What are some of your favorite childhood spring break memories?

Happy Spring Break everyone! Now, get outside! ;)

From the Farm

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Refocus

bdh-blurry-james-1.2013

Hey! Hey…

Over here!

Let’s tilt this a smidge.

Read More…

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When Dead Things Grow

bdh-2013-winter-carrots-2

Can you believe it’s time to start planting onions and garlic? Every year planting sneaks up on us and before we know it, it’s time to get back to it! This past weekend we we’re all needing a breath of fresh air so we dusted off the old rake and shovel and spent an afternoon cleaning out our garden beds. After being sick for the last four days it felt good to get outside and enjoy the sun on our backs. Cale has been working hard (like a champ!) studying for number 2 of 7 architecture exams in order to receive his architectural license. Apparently there is a lot of liability when it comes to designing buildings like people dying, breaking laws, and wasting millions of dollars! Let’s just say it’s been a bit overwhelming recognizing the amount of responsibility a person carries as an “architect”.

But, thanks to Spider-Man, we can all rest assured that:
“With great power, comes great responsibility”! :)

Now to gain that kind of power, that sort of confidence in yourself and assurance in the process you have to take it one day at a time.

One day at a time… watching and believing that, that miracle is growing.

One day at a time… finding your joy again.

(I love it when he wears flannel and gets all dirty! That’s my designer handy man!)

One day at a time… discovering that, that thing you thought was dead is actually very much alive.

We didn’t expect to find a harvest of carrots leftover from our fall garden. In fact we did not plan on them surviving the winter.

But they did.

Read More…

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An Old Fashion Backyard Wedding :)

colorful-wedding-ceremony

Remember that Comic Book Inspired Wedding Invitation we designed a while back? Turns out the wedding was just as memorable! We should probably be fare and let you know that it was pretty special since Cale’s brother was the groom. But still! The bride’s Italian family arrived from Connecticut armed with good food and cheek kisses. Paired with some good old fashion Okie hospitality it was truly a wedding weekend to remember. Not only was it a beautiful day but the weekend was full of friends and family.

Here are a few of our favorite moments…

From the potluck dinner served family style to the old records serenading the evening it was truly one of our favorite weddings (outside of our own of course!). ;)

Congrats to the newlyweds!

From the Farm

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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