Once upon a December in 2012...

Posted by Jamie Buckland on Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Exactly a year ago, we took possession of this home.

In one evening, the kids and I were able to get the kitchen somewhat organized to start cleaning.

This past week, we have been able to go a step further.  Inspired to make it our own with mostly pieces we already had on hand, I went to work adding character to this room overtaken by monstrosity of white cabinets.  We removed the cabinet doors along the back and corners, and really just rearranged what was already there to make it pleasing to the eye.  I also decided to bring both of the big kids' school books in so that they are more accessible, and to help make this room more functional for all of us.

Baking corner is basically staying the same, and I have to admit cooking and baking has taken on an all new meaning having the space to have so much right within my reach.  I am not taking it for granted after having two kitchens that were quite a bit harder to work in!  I love this room!

This hole used to house the microwave my dad let us borrow from his camper for our first few months here! We upgraded to a new microwave in the summer and mounted it above the stove.  The problem is that the outlet is in this little cubby, so there is a bright orange extension cord right behind that beautiful tin tray I was able to score at a local antique shop yesterday.  Cutting boards, freshly baked bread, knives, oil, a $7 rooster from Gabes, and a small picture of Greg snuggling Emma when she was just a few hours old make this little nook pretty and practical when I stand there chopping and mixing.  It also works great to house my kindle or phone to read recipes while I cook.

Do you see that little tin at the top?  My pictures are not very fancy for a blog post, but don't have the time to get fancy today!  That tin was in the bottom of a large box of Christmas junk that was left here in the house when we bought it. Most of the dishes you see here came with this house!

Okay, so enough chat about how excited I am over the recent work in this kitchen, let's show you the other cool stuff Greg helped me get done on his 4 days off!  I saw this on Pinterest, and knew it would be easy to pull off, and yet make a really fun addition to the living room this season.

Now, this is what the piano and back wall looked like one year ago.

And this is what she looks like now!  I still have a couple things left to do here, but I am so pumped to have those guitars up, it is worth posting this unfinished ensemble.  Also, the yellow blanket was a TJ Maxx purchase the other day, and I am pretty happy about it.

We went after a tree on Saturday, and the overlook was just a bonus!

With the chicken coup done, this man has been busy on my projects.  Girls, let me tell you something, when this guy gets his drill and measuring tape out just for me, I fall in love all over again.  This man almost always leaves a space looking better than the way he found it.  I am married to a stud.

Who got to handle some snow for the first time?  Miss Elsie Kay!  She spent her first night in her big girl bed last night, and is keeping us all on edge as we try to accomplish things around here with her messing up and destroying as we go. Sigh.  Love her.

Advent season is here, and we have had 2 good evenings of candle lighting, reading, and praying by this freshly cut Christmas tree.  I feel as though God is again pouring out grace and love on the five of us in great abundance after helping us endure such a hard time during this season last year. 

I doubt many stumble upon this post, but to those that do, I do hope you're able to enjoy this season with your family without allowing stress and strife to rob you of the joy God intends us to have.  Don't buy too much.  Don't overbook too much.  Don't spread yourself too thin.  Don't run here and there so much that there is little time for curling up and watching a good Christmas movie with the kids while devouring cookies and milk. 

Do what you can do.  Buy what you can afford that will be a blessing to someone else.  Attend what you can attend with excitement, and share with others how a slow paced holiday season is achievable!

I know what I am doing this year that has been helping me find joy in some chaotic moments...remembering. 

Remembering how thousands of years ago weary people awaited a savior...Remembering how last year I spent weeks awaiting the moment my mother-in-law would be able to meet that savior face to face. Focusing on those real anticipations seems to help prioritize my selfish thoughts that seem to be in abundance during busy times like this. Here's to enjoying these next few weeks and keeping the complaining and stressing to an all time low...A girl can hope can't she? 

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Jamie Buckland
Jamie Buckland
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