our living room in the new house + tbt to the old ones

Since we have lots of work left to do in our house and have had babies being born and such, decorating has definitely taken the back seat {and I'm talking a 15-passenger van kind of back seat}. :) 

It's just not in the budget to go all out {and probably never will or should be!} but we have made progress with what we have and a few new and new-to-us items.

I always hesitate to show things unfinished {and right now everything is} because I know it needs this or that or paint or whatever, but for now here's the incomplete, less-than-perfect version of our living room: :D

I was so excited to score two of these leather chairs for $75 each and the oh-so-ubiquitous but way fun geometric pillow is from IKEA:

And I'm not sure I ever told you about the linen sofa- it's my favorite Craigslist find. It sounds silly to think God would give us a gift of the sofa of my dreams, but He really did, and I'm still in awe. By some crazy miracle, we got this huge comfy sofa for $200 last year!!

One of my painting/fun projects a few weeks ago was this giant chalkboard, and we pulled the gray slipcover out of the storage building for a fall-ish change to the IKEA sofa:

This $8 chair and eBay pillow were from years ago but I never thought to combine them until we moved:

I'm loving the houseplant trend- I have always had a thing for plants. :D We had this big struggling plant for years that we finally threw out when we moved, and I replaced her with this one I'm hoping to keep alive:

{Rob had to work late one weekend so I spent the night cleaning under the couches and quickly taking these pictures. :) Fun times! Of course- life with kiddos means my little buddies are always close by and Legos were kicked out of the picture... :P}

We are still deciding and saving for detailed trim work, but we finally decided to mount the tv over the fireplace about 6 weeks ago and it's actually been much nicer than the big entertainment system. :D I'm liking the modern, minimalistic look right now:

I'm still continually tweaking things and trying to find just the right items for the wall, but so far I like how it's going. The bright rug really pops and makes me happy! :D

I'm okay with being a slow decorator- it definitely saves money to wait to find things used, doesn't it? And it's so nice when you can add a pop of color with a rug or a pillow. :D

It's also fun to go back and see how your style has changed, and find new ways to use your old stuff. Here's our last living room in the old house- it's still one of my favorites:

We still have everything in the picture, just in different places now. :D 

And here are the older versions of our living room from the past 5 years:

And going way, way back- here was our living room 8+ years ago where I started this blog{!}:

I get such a kick out of looking at our old pictures. :D We finally sold that leather sofa before we moved last year but we still use that $100 leather chair, the mirror and the black and white Target rug right now! :) So fun.

Do you stick with the same style or has it changed? How do you find frugal ways to make your home comfy? :D

Are you a slow decorator too?

a crazy view, I finally did it, and life is messy

You know what's crazy about this time of year? 

I get to see this view every morning from my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room windows: 

It's beautiful, and the best part is that I only have to get up by 7 to see it! ;) I'm loving that. And another bonus of rising with the sun? ;) Having to start school early every morning has forced me to be creative with my frequently unwashed hair. :P 

Did I ever tell you I can't french braid? I've never done it on myself with any success, and I won't call this a success but my hair did stay in place:

I was excited. :) 

We start school at 8 this year, and the kids have been doing really well with getting up and starting on time:

I had high hopes of having an easier year during our first week {cough *naive*}, but after the first few days we went back to having to read every single problem with one of these little people. I'm not sure if it's a really a reading problem, or a personality/character issue {I'm sure it's sometimes both} but it's pretty much a patience killer and I'm feeling over this stage that has continued for.... um... all of our homeschooling years. {ha!} I thought we were this.close to getting past it, but so far this particular child takes up most of every subject period needing "help" and I'm still the helper most of the time. 

We even did eye checks a couple of weeks ago just to make sure there weren't underlying problems and one we didn't expect needed glasses {!!}, but this particular child could see quite well. Sigh. 

From my few years of experience, you just have to wait for the magical day that it all clicks and suddenly they can read super well and never ask you anything. :) I'm just feeling a little impatient after 6 hrs/day of one-on-one tutoring for a few years. ;) I would have laughed if you told me this a decade ago, but reading with a learning reader is without a doubt one of the biggest challenges I've ever experienced in parenting! ahhh. :) What's really amazing is that when I have a good attitude and praise them for their good reading, they always do so much better. I just have to remember that on a daily basis! :) 

crazy town central from 8-3
Life has been pretty different this year in other ways though! I've never been one to have a lot of structure in the day, but since we have been sticking to the school schedule we've done a lot more with our time. It's so good, but I've just been busy trying to keep up with the house and exercising after school is over.  Even with all the challenges, I'd say we all really, really like the schedule so far. It's like working out- it's never easy but it's worth the effort. 

Last time I shared about finding time to get this kind of organizing done:

I did get most of that list crossed off but it took over a week. :) I'm slowly seeing progress! We hung our kitchen shelves too {and have added even more details since then!}:

One thing Rob and I were talking about late last night was that we have so much left to do, but we'll really never be done. I forget that constantly- do you? My dad was reminding me of that the other day- he told me a story of how my wise uncle reminded him that all of life is work, and it's messy, but it's just life. :)

I was reading in Ecclesiastes for the past week and Solomon said it too- all we have is to eat, drink, and enjoy our labor as we fear the Lord and keep His commandments. And joy in our work comes from the Lord. It's hard, for sure, but there is enjoyment to be found in accomplishing our tasks! What a gift this life is, and what I miss out on when I think the joy is to be found after the end of what I have to do, because I'll never be done!!

There is joy in it now- seeing a toilet cleaned, cooking another meal, washing another load of clothes.  Smelling the cookies being baked, getting my hands in soapy hot water, sweeping off the porch- it's all a gift if the Lord lets us enjoy our work. It's just I have to remember that instead of rushing to be done with the next thing. Life on this earth is just doing the next thing, and there will always be more to do.

Every morning I get to see the sun is a gift, and thanks to my sinful nature, a fight to see things with joy instead of wishing them over. But the Lord is good, and He thankfully overcame my sinful nature through His Son.

And each morning I'm allowed to rise, the Son gives me all the new mercy to do what I need to do... 

and enjoy it.