January 12, 2015

I'm Off to Singapore!

And just as soon as I get back to blogging, I'm off again for 10 days! I'm ditching these cold temps and flying to Singapore to visit my sister and her family. I'm so excited! Singapore is located near the equator and every day is hot and humid and tropical. My sister said the weather has been gorgeous and breezy. She sent me this photo from her balcony a few days ago and this just solidified that 24 hours of travel will be worth it!

The timing of this trip worked out perfectly because we already knew my parents would be staying with us, and they would be able to help babysit while Steve works/travels. I'm going alone, which seems strange and exhilarating all at the same time. I know there will be memories made and that adventure awaits.

I'm so grateful for Steve and my parents for holding down the fort while I'm gone. It's a long time to be away, but there is no way I could turn down this amazing opportunity to travel and see more of the world and spend quality time with my sister.

We are also heading to Saigon for a little weekend girl's trip which will include a motorbike foodie tour! I hope you will follow along as I will be posting pictures from my travels on Instagram. See you back here when I return! xoxo

January 11, 2015

Ch Ch Ch Changes…

Hello Friends! I hope 2015 is proving to be a good one for all of you. We are pretty much living in the arctic tundra here in KC! I think the sun only shined for 5 days in December, and now we are having way below average temps. But, I'm getting ready to hop on a jet plane to 85* weather, so I'm trying not to complain too much about this cold weather! Living in the south for 10 years ruined me for being able to tolerate cold temps!

I'm still trying to get our house back in order after Christmas and company. It's looking like that isn't going to happen until I return in a few weeks, but I'm okay with it. And because I think people can sometimes become jaded by bloggers who post only pretty projects and pictures, these are some pictures I took of our house during and after our company was here…real life happens in every home, don't ever forget that! :)

We have been busy with company! My sister and her family were visiting form Singapore, and my parents also came to stay with us at the end of December. On New Year's Eve, the 6 of us (my parents, me and Steve, and my sister and her husband) put the kids to bed, grilled out the most amazing steaks, ate ourselves sick, drank, laughed, and most importantly celebrated my dad, who retired in mid-December. My dad is an amazing man, husband, and father. He taught us about hard work and how to love unconditionally. He deserves all good things in his retirement! My parents are a true testament to what a happy marriage and life should look like. I'm lucky to have been influenced by them for 35 years.

Along with my dad's retirement comes a move for them, from Chicago to Iowa. Since I graduated from college, I have never lived close to my parents, and now they will just be a 3 hour drive north! Woo hoo! They decided to build a town home and it won't be finished until mid-February. They also had to be out of their place in Chicago at the end of December. So guess what?! We have some new roomies!

We are about two weeks in and things are going great! They are staying in our guest bedroom (which also has an attached bath) and they are being a huge help! It's so nice to have some extra hands (especially with a sick child this week). We have been cooking, shopping, drinking coffee, and spending quality time together. My dad has been doing little house projects for us (he asked!) and he cleans the kitchen after every meal…I could get used to this! My kids can't even believe it's real that they have grandparents staying with us. They pretty much want nothing to do with me!

Most people ask me with hesitation how this extended stay is going to go. I think we are all looking at this situation as a rare and special opportunity, one we will never get again. An opportunity to spend quality time together laughing and telling stories, having discussions about meaningful things, sharing a small snippet in time together. My kids will remember this time and think back with a smile. We run a tight ship, so I've already warned them not to spoil my kids too much. I know it will happen, so my kids might be in for a rude awakening when they finally move!

I have learned so much from my parents, and my mom continues to be such a source of inspiration to me. I think having them around can only be good for us. She is the reason I wanted to stay home with my kids. She is the reason I have compassion for people. She is the reason I have good kids (I learned a lot of parenting tips from her). She is my friend. She keeps it real. She is authentic. She is the good in the world. I posted a pic of my mom and I having tea the other day on Instagram. Another perk of having company around…morning coffee and afternoon tea time together! I've been talking to babies/toddlers/school aged kids during my 7 years of being home, so it's nice to have some adult time during my day! ;)

This year also brings a new and exciting change for Steve. He has taken a new job (with the same company) and will now be working form home and traveling domestically. So, not only am I home, and my parents are "home", but Steve is also HOME!! This change also means that we get to stay in KC, which we couldn't be more excited about. Kansas has become our home and we feel blessed to be here.
Steve gets to travel to some pretty great cities and he is pumped about the change. I know he feels good about being able to really use his talents in a productive capacity. I am proud of him for taking on something new and for challenging himself. It took me a while to come around, but now we are both sold on the fact that this change is going to be ALL good. I'm also not naive to the fact that he will be working form home after not working from home for 13 years, and there will be an adjustment period :). I'm sure we will have our moments, but I'm certainly lucky to be living this life with this guy…

On the decorating front, this also means that our office/homework space is now being transformed into a "home office". His and hers desks, which is pretty fun. We still need to decide on new office chairs and hang some art, but for the most part it is a functioning office space. He did say to me recently, "this is an office space, not a "Pinterest Worthy" space. I need it to be functional". Ha! He knows me very well!

So yes, some changes are happening around our family and life is feeling a little different right now, but with change also comes excitement and growth. Unlike our normal changes (which have always involved big moves), this change brings us a little more stability and consistency, and that brings us peace.

We are excited to see what 2015 has in store for us! I have so many posts I need to get to! Happy New Year! Cheers to change!

December 23, 2014

Family Photos & Christmas Card 2014

Two days to go and there are two very excited children in the Larson household! It's hard to believe how fast the month of December flew by, but it has been such a wonderful month full of activities, movie watching, parties, listening to christmas music, decking the halls, and spending quality time together. Our kids are at such a wonderful age right now, I wish I could bottle their energy and excitement! We still have some baking to do, but everything else is pretty much wrapped up around here!

I know everyone is busy finishing up last minute details and spending time with family and friends, but wanted to drop in quickly to share our Christmas card and some family photos we had taken a few weeks back. Our photographer just so happens to be my neighbor (and my bestie), and she did such an amazing job of capturing our family and our personalities. If you are local and you are looking for a photographer, please contact her, or contact me and I will get your her info. You can check out her FB page here! You can check out last year's photos and Christmas card here.

Here are a few of my favorites from this year's shoot!

We will be spending Christmas in KC and it will just the four of us. This will be different for us, but we are excited about it! I think we are going to stay in our pi's all day and hit up the movies on Christmas day. My parents and my sister and her family will be here at the end of the month, which we are looking forward to. I also got some unexpected good news that I will be heading to Singapore to visit my sister and her family in January, which I am starting to get really excited about. More to come on that!

I ordered our Christmas cards through Zazzle this year and loved how they turned out! I bought a Groupon and ended up getting a great deal! Here is the front/back of the card.

I hope you are all enjoying the magic of the season! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and all good things in 2015! I love connecting with you on this blog. Thanks, as always, for reading and supporting! xoxo

December 11, 2014

Christmas Home Tour - 2014

Welcome to our Holiday Home Tour! I am so happy to be a part of this tour with several other fantastic bloggers. If you are new here, welcome! I hope you will stay and look around for a while. This is such a wonderful time of year, I hope you are enjoying all the festivities this season has to offer!

I am happy to have to have all the decorating done, so we can enjoy a house full of lights and trees and coziness. I don't really have a "theme" for decorating, I just always use what I love. I also try to use what I have in new and different ways. I think simple DIY projects, thrift store finds, bows, ornaments, and fresh greens can go a long way. And clearly, I am not afraid of color! Step inside our front door and take a peek!






Thank you for stopping by! I hope you will all take the time to go view these other fabulous holiday home tours! I love seeing how every family puts their own spin on holiday decor and traditions. Happy Holidays from Kansas City!

Here are a few links if you are interested in any of the DIY projects you have see above…

Holiday Home Tour hosted by www.joyinourhome.com 18 Homes/5 days

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!   
- Monday -

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!  
  - Tuesday -

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!  
- Wednesday -

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!    
- Thursday -

A Holiday Home Tour at www.joyinourhome.com Come join us as 18 fabulous bloggers open their homes to you this Christmas!   
- Friday -


December 8, 2014

Chalkboard Tree with Pom Garland

Happy Monday friends! It's my 35th birthday today and it's supposed to be in the 50's here in KC - best present ever for a girl who dislikes winter as much as I do! No big plans except for a take out sushi date at home with hubby later tonight. My number says 35, but I think I will always, in my head, feel 25, and I guess that's a good thing! :)

Now, onto a quick Christmas post. I wanted to do something a little different on our chalkboard wall this year. I made this DIY pom garland a few years ago and thought it would make the perfect Christmas Tree garland. A little chalk, some black electrical tape, and some fake presents, and we have another tree in our home this year!

This chalkboard wall separates the mudroom from the kitchen, and is directly connected to the pantry (on the right). It's hard to photograph, so I did the best I could!

The mudroom holds the dry erase board that I update every week with our calendar of events. It holds several hooks for backpacks and coats, and it holds the kid's artwork and projects that come home on our DIY Kid's Art Display. Basically, it is a kid friendly space and adding this whimsical little tree fits in perfectly. I made some fake presents to put under the tree too!

I like the pop of color and the added whimsy it brings. The kids love it as you can imagine! Inspiration for the actual look of the tree came from here!

I will be posting a full Christmas home tour on Thursday, so come back for that! xo

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