Monday, May 12, 2014

thoughts, just thoughts

Written by Shannon Leigh

Thoughts, just thoughts.


Because that's all I have time for.  I think A LOT but rarely do these thoughts actually come out in any form. I spend my days with small people that aren't much for conversation.  One of them just yells loudly, demanding food or drink at ALL TIMES.  And the other is so consumed with asking the same question 16 different ways to even know I exist. Well, other than to ask me to get her a snack.  Which by the way…

I could be BLEEDING out of my eyeballs and laying in a pool of my own blood and she would STILL demand a snack.  Kids are weird.  Precious little love-suckers but weird and demanding.

I am trying to get a grip on this motherhood thing and most days I am fairly certain I suck at it.  I am completely unqualified.  I am MORE than selfish and I can barely take care of myself- let alone 2 small people who look to me for every life-giving resource.  What the heck?  Why on earth did the Lord give these children to me?  I am sure there were other much more qualified people … maybe an elementary teacher, or a daycare provider, or a ventriloquist…?

But  on a daily basis I have to remind myself that God DID give them to me and HE does not make mistakes.  He gave them to me to raise with the love of my life... I mean how could I be so blessed?   All I am is a broken vessel crying out for the Lord to move and work IN SPITE of me.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 corinthians 12:9

So here I am living in a heap of weakness so that He may be perfected. 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Dollhouse Diaries

Gasp, Shannon is writing a blog post!  What on earth is happening?

Hey now, it's not that I don't WANT to write I just don't have the time.  I don't even have time to READ blogs anymore.  It's true, I haven't read a single one in well over a year- unless it's posted to instagram.  Occasionally I'll read those.
I have literally been writing this post for days and it is just now getting published :(.
Speaking of instagram.  That's where I do most of my posting these days since it's fast and simple.
You should follow me HERE, it's definitely more updated than this poor, neglected blog.

ANYWAY, I recently renovated our childhood dollhouse and I sacrificed my fingernails and my sanity for far too long NOT to share it on my actual blog with LOTS of pictures.  SERIOUSLY, this thing was almost the death of me.  It was a major test on our marriage, my sanity, my strength and my stamina but somehow I prevailed and conquered the blasted thing.  Other than the countless (I am talking COUNTLESS) hours of work I truly enjoyed the process- but it was extremely TEDIOUS.  Kind of like a real house but in miniature.

I gave it to Ruby for her 4th birthday and I am so glad I did!

Thank the good Lord that she absolutely LOVED  it.  I would have cried buckets had she been indifferent. BUCKETS people.

Anyway, without further adieu….

The exterior was a royal pain.  I don't pride myself on my detail work so this was super hard for me.  I had to reframe most of the windows and replace the exterior trim.  The goal was to make it look like our house, hence the blue door and dark brown paint.  Painting all of this with a steady hand was incredibly tedious, especially with a bum finger on my right hand  (I broke and damaged ligaments in my middle finger back in December when I decided to sled down my snowy deck steps- it wasn't one of my better decisions.  We even have it on video, perhaps I will share someday?).
I painted the roof a dark charcoal gray since I had to replace some shingles and I felt like I'd NEVER  be able to make it match.
The tiny bunting was made from paper and tiny ricrack that I had laying around.
Here is a before picture just so you get the idea.

Let's just say this bad boy was very well loved.  It was loved to pieces if you will.
My Grandpa Gardner built it by hand and that makes is so special to me.  I don't think I would have taken the time to fix it up otherwise.

This is what the interior looked like when I first received it from my mom.  We had wallpapered most of the rooms and a few walls were crooked.
Once everything was repaired, stripped and sanded I caulked around every edge and corner and painted everything white.  It only took FOUR coats.

I wallpapered the back walls of each room and trimmed each interior window.
Most of the furniture came from ebay.  The fireplace was red brick and we painted it teal.
Other furniture was left over from when we were kids and got a fresh coat of paint (like the pink table).
 I also got some funky accessories, like the cello and the wooden spools from a local junk store that I am obsessed with!  The floral artwork was from an old German greeting card found at the same store.
I made the chandelier out of a toilet paper roll, left over trim and beaded ribbon.

I couldn't resist the red kitchen when I found it. It matches Ruby's  play kitchen perfectly and I knew it was meant to be.  I hung the amazing Naptime Diaries art work over the sink since we have it hanging in our kitchen too!  The coffee cup print also hangs in our kitchen.  Check out this adorable shop HERE.
Each little mouse got their own room with some kind of art work in it.

TThe washer and dryer were a must as well since they match ours!

I haven't touched the bathroom yet because I didn't have the energy to hunt down a tub and toilet.  Maybe I can get those for her for another occasion?

The office ended up being one of my favorite rooms.  I made the table out of old rulers and the lampshade out of a toilet paper roll and shingles.  I found the chair at hobby lobby for $2 and it just needed a fresh coat of paint.

Of course we had to have a teepee on the top floor.  I find the mice in there quite often.

The plan was to put in hardwood floors but I kind of like the brightness of the white.   We'll see if I ever get around to installing them- of if Ruby would even want them!

Either way Ruby loves it and has already clocked a lot of hours playing with it!  I am pleased with the outcome but I do not foresee any more dollhouse renovations in my future!  One and done my friends, one and done.