That Place We Abide

That Place We Abide

Its been a lot of pretty pictures around here lately.  Lots of styled and professionally photographed ones.  If you’ve been reading since the beginning you know I start to get antsy when that happens.  I know that you are not coming to this blog to see perfectly styled photographs.  I’m kidding myself if I think that’s why you’d come.  You can find those photos anywhere- they are a dime a dozen on Pinterest. I could pull up 50 swoon worthy photos right now that would put my photos to shame any day.  It is my hope that the reason you come is somewhat for those, maybe to see some real life pictures of my own home, some of my ideas and tips for your own home, as well as some inspiration and purpose for it all. To know that you don’t have to make big changes or have a professional stylist to find your home beautiful.  To feel inspired to do what works for your family and then look for the beauty that’s already there.  Its part of my tagline- beauty and purpose.

Today I want to focus on the purpose part.  I’m thinking about the line that I walk, that we all walk, especially those of us who believe in Jesus and live in a first world country.  We have all these “blessings.”  My husband has a great job that he loves and is good at. I have this home, this closet full of too many clothes, (though my friend Alexis over at Alexis Atarian is making me rethink that and consider a minimalist wardrobe) a pantry full of food, etc.  You get the picture!  I’m so grateful for everything I have, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes I wonder if these “blessings” can become more of stumbling blocks in my faith than anything else.  Its this sort of “Americanized” version of Christianity that says I’m so blessed because I have all these things.  Though I am thankful for them, and I know they are gifts from God!  But the truth is, I am blessed because Jesus died for my sins and forgave me, loved me, and redeemed me at my very very worst.  He knows the true me, the deepest darkest me, and loves me anyway. He defeated death and gives me hope for eternity with him forever.  Because of that, I don’t have to struggle with fear and hopelessness anymore.  And even when I still do struggle with those things, He walks with me and fights for me. Those are my blessings.

Do you ever struggle with those thoughts?  Maybe a little bit of feeling guilty with how much you have?

I was discussing this all with a dear friend the other day and it all of a sudden became so clear.  It isn’t about what’s a blessing and what’s not.  We could argue that for days.  Its not about how much money you have, how big your house is, how much money you make and how much of it you’re giving to charity, etc.  We could drive ourselves crazy with those lines and demarcations and isn’t that something we’re not supposed to do?  A little something called legalism?  Legalism is not the answer. Its about where we abide.  Am I abiding in Christ?


picture source

In this business of homes and decorating, I can feel it so clearly.  Maybe you can feel it too, in whatever your job is? When I am not abiding in Christ, I can swing so far to one side- materialism, comparison, greed.  I get so lost in fabrics, dollar signs, designer labels, beautiful pictures on Pinterest.  For a while its fun and worldly and exciting.  But gradually it starts to feel empty and void.  Then I start to swing to the other side.  I start to feel judgmental, like “I can’t believe they spent that much money on a house, chair, couch, whatever.”  And then comes the guilt for being involved in a business that seems so focused on the material and temporary.  I judge myself too.

But then I take a look back at where I have been abiding.  Have I been staying close to Jesus?  Listening to his Word?  Or have I been lost in the world of design blogs, Instagram followers, Pinterest pictures, and Anthropologie catalogs?

I take a deep breath.  I whisper a prayer asking forgiveness.  I want to abide in Him.  He makes the only difference.  He created me with this passion, He gave me any gift that I have.  I feel like this is who I was created to be, and this is my calling.  I am thankful.  This changes everything.

“Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4

Thanks for reading, I know this was different today. Would love to hear your thoughts.



An Introduction and a {small} House Tour

An Introduction and a {small} House Tour

I’ve had some back to back before and afters of client homes for you recently but I’d like to take today’s post as an opportunity to introduce myself a little more and give you a small tour of my own home.  I’ve shown you a few of the rooms already.  You can see the kitchen here, the breakfast room here, and my youngest son’s nursery  here.  The rest of the rooms have yet to be photographed “for real” but I do have some older iPhone shots to share with you today!

First off, here we are!  This is my family and I staring into the bright sunshine on our visit to Magnolia Market in Waco, TX.  I chose this picture because I know so many of you are Fixer Upper fans like we are.  Our whole family gets into it!


We live in a suburb outside of Houston and my brother is a Baylor student, so the drive wasn’t too big of a deal for us and we were also visiting him.  Well I guess I used that as an excuse.  My main reason was to get myself to that store, haha!  For those of you who have been, you know that it is teeny-tiny!  But very cute and boutique-y and fun.  I was so hoping to spot Jojo and Chip, but no such luck.

Paul and I have been married for 11 years and have a 7 year old, almost 5 year old, and 20 month old.  He is a professional videographer/cinematographer for an oilfield equipment company.  My main job is stay at home mom. My business as an interior decorator started completely as a hobby. I’m an army brat and moved a LOT growing up.  We made every house and apartment ‘home’ as quickly as possible.  Hung pictures on the wall within days of moving in.  My mom was an expert at arranging furniture and unpacking boxes.  Maybe that’s what started my journey?  Anyway, as an adult, the more I decorated my own home, the more I had friends and family asking for advice.  One friend flat out asked me to decorate her son’s nursery.  Then she paid me.  I told her not to!  Then when that same friend and her husband decided to buy some land and build a custom home she called me and asked me to design the entire thing. My jaw dropped and after the shock wore off I agreed.  That’s what started it.  Her house is what I call The Montgomery House and I’ve posted about it on the blog (see posts here)… you’ll see more of the after pictures of it here in the coming weeks.

Now on to a bit of my house…


This is an old picture of our playroom upstairs.  I used it briefly as a homeschool room when my oldest was in Kindergarten.  We had a wonderful year and I’m so thankful for that time spent with him.  When it was over though, I was also thankful it was over.  I prayed a lot about it and knew it just wasn’t meant to be anymore.  I was very burnt out and just was not passionate about it. My son was excited about the idea of going to a new school for first grade, so we gave it a try and he has loved it.  It was scary for me to “let go” in a sense but the Lord has shown me over and over that I never had any control to begin with!  Now this room is more of a playroom for us. It also has a futon in it that my kids sleep on when guests visit.  {A little side note, a lot of my homeschool inspiration came from my sister in law who has homeschooled her two kids for several years now.  She, unlike me, is very passionate and has a calling on her life to do this- she does it way better than I ever did! They have a family blog about traveling with kids and it is so fun… check it out here!}

Here’s a side by side of the big kids’ rooms… on a rare clean day, haha!


My daughter has this huge bed so that it can double as a guest room.  A lot has changed in these rooms since I took these pictures though so I am looking forward to when we can take some updated pictures to show you!

Below is our “formal” dining room.  We are not really “formal” people as you can probably tell.  This room has morphed into more of an arts and crafts room/homework room for our kids, but also is great for when we do have guests over.  We have hosted more than a few large potlucks and a couple of Thanksgivings as well.  Its nice to be able to seat a big crew.


Here’s my favorite little Ikea Kallax in the entryway.  This picture was taken in January hence the mitten garland.  Kids’ shoes and socks are stowed away in the baskets and the tray is a catch all for keys, coins, and kind of my husband’s drop spot when he comes home.  Its good to have a drop spot!


So that’s my little house tour and introduction!  Enough about me now.  I’m so thrilled and just plain out excited that there are some of you beyond my own family that are reading this.  I’d love to get to know you a little too. If you want, leave me a comment and say hi!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend, thanks for reading!

Home Feature: Libbie Grove Design

Home Feature: Libbie Grove Design

The other day I went to buy some jewelry and look at kids’ clothes for sale at a friend of a friend’s house.  As soon as I walked in the door though, I wasn’t looking at jewelry and clothes, I was asking if I could take pictures of her amazing gallery wall.  I had met her before but had no idea she was a talented artist and gifted designer.  Turns out she has a blog too!  She graciously let me feature her home here and use the pictures from her blog rather than the terrible iPhone pictures I had taken while there.  This is some serious eye candy, my friends!  She has a great sense of scale and color.  I love her creativity and use of space!!

babyroom bedroom bedroom2 entryway

Here is that gallery wall that took my breath away in the living room.  Just beautiful!!  I also spy my favorite Ikea blanket.gallerywall girlsroom girlsroom2 kitchen kitchen2 library library2 Livingroom office

You can see much more on her blog at Libbie Grove Design.  She is also a talented graphic designer and has some great printables. She told me she hasn’t blogged in a while, but her current posts are so wonderful and worth a look, I think you’ll enjoy them!!

Thank you Kristy for letting me feature your home, and thank you everyone for reading! ❤

The Art Nook that is No More

The Art Nook that is No More

artnookbefore This giant art nook has been the bane of my decorating existence.  I’m not a statue person.  I’m not a giant vase (rhymes with gauze) person.  I mean, I even have a big vase with branchy stuff, but it looks wimpy in this humongous “nook.” Its not even a nook, really.  Its more like a pedestal where a tall person could stand.  We joked about some kind of statue or relief coming out of the wall.  Or turning it into the time-out spot for the kids, haha!  Really, I could not come up with a solution, so I ignored it.  It has sat empty for the two and a half years we have lived here.  I felt like any amount of money I could have spent to fill it up with things I would only dislike, I could put toward paying someone to fill it in.  So that’s what I finally did. artnookprogress2 artnookprogress

Here is my kind and loving husband who would have been happy enough to leave the darn thing empty and as is, helping me to paint over the freshly textured wall.  And here it is today!  A nice, flat, non-nooked wall.


I have some ideas for this space, but here are a few inspiration pictures I’ve been looking at…



laurenliessinsp laurenliessinsp2

The two above are actually the same room, just different angles and lighting.  I love the large mattes and matching frames.






Do you have any spots like that in your home?  What would you have done? Any ideas for what I should do now?

Thanks for reading!