Ending the Year with Gratitude

2010 has been one of the toughest years on record for me.  Maybe THE toughest.  I say bring on 2011!

That said, I have been keeping a gratitude journal (inspired by this post) since mid-October.  It is sometimes easy and sometimes a true exercise to write out the things for which I am thankful.  Today, it was easy.  And since we should use our words to encourage and uplift, I dub it appropriate for me to write some of my lists here.  Please leave some of your own thoughts in the comments; it would encourage and uplift me!

Today, I am thankful for:

  • steam rising from my mug of green tea, visible by the light of the window
  • rain on the glass–a mild day for late December
  • the piles of beautiful snow we’ve received this season
  • watching my boy “push push push” his way down the hall on his little car, his feet barely able to reach the floor
  • anticipated delight in the ginger cookie that will accompany aforementioned tea
  • silence

Friends, I am also so thankful for this community.  There are lonely days, too-busy days (Who am I kidding?  Too-busy seasons!), and pull-my-hair-out days, but the gentle reminders, the “you’re doing greats,” and just knowing you are struggling and working through these times, too…it blesses my heart.  Happy New Year!


This installment of The Sherman Project is a photo taken by Anja herself!  She got a kids’ digital camera for Christmas from her great grandma, and she has taken some VERY interesting shots.  It is so fun to see things from her perspective.

Here is Sherman, all bundled into one of Anja’s new slippers (also a Christmas gift).  I really love how she framed it and everything (whether or not it was intentional).

Farmhouse Trim

Another thing on my “to do” list for the house is to figure out what kind of moulding we want in the entire house.  We are ripping out the current standard-for-the-midwest-in-the-1970s dark wood trim in favor of white trim.  All you southern folks who have white moulding as a standard don’t know how good you have it!  It’s becoming more popular here, but still less common than the builder’s standard orange-y wood.

I really want to have farmhouse style trim, but I have had a very tough time finding anywhere online that tells DIYers what size of lumber to buy and how to put it together.
farmhouse trim

Or, I could just pick out some stuff at Home Depot and call it “good enough.” But since we’re already taking the time to make our new home “ours” before we move in, doesn’t it seem that we should do what we want now, rather than later?

Soft Things Afoot

One of the things on my “to do” list for the new house is to find an area rug for underneath our bed.  Due to my dust mite allergy, we are putting wood flooring in the master bedroom.  But I still want something soft and warm for my feet to hit until they find my slippers.

The wall color we’ve chosen (and that has been sitting around for almost a month now…) is Benjamin Moore Polished Slate (see swatch below).

Our master bedroom faces north and west, so we wanted a wall color that was bold but not too warm that would also complement our oak bedroom furniture.

My inspiration came from this picture. (Side note: I love that ladder, too, and am contemplating using something like it in our room for clothes that have been worn but aren’t quite ready for the laundry pile.)

Back to the task at hand.  So I am trying to pick a rug that will go well with that color, with our maple floors and the orange-y oak bed.  I’ve found a few at Target in a large floral print that are pretty cool, but I couldn’t find them on their website to show you.  As for the ones I’ve found online, Option #1 is this hemp/white leather one:

Option #2 is this jute one:

Option #3 is an indoor/outdoor rug from Dash & Albert:

And there could be other options out there. I lean toward natural-looking rugs (hence the hemp and jute), but the easy-clean of Option #3 would be nice.

I don’t think we want to spend the $ on a rug big enough for the entire bed to sit on, so I was thinking an 8×10 so it sticks out both sides and some at the foot of the bed.

Have you ever had an area rug under your bed?  If so, what size did you get?


that gifts don’t have to be expensive or intricate to be appreciated. My favorite gift this year: a little ornament vignette made for us by Anja. A tree in the snow with some berries. Love it. And LOVED her enthusiasm in giving it to us. What a joy!

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A Family Christmas

On Saturday, we had our little family Christmas, just the four of us. Daddy has been working a lot of hours lately, some on the house and some on overtime for his job, so it was very fun to have the evening with him!

We started with some delectable chicken pot pie. The fat content in this bad boy is enough to make my cholesterol rise just looking at it, but it is one of our favorite comfort foods.

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Next we did our Jesse Tree devotion and read the Christmas story together. We were all on the couch, so I forgot to take pictures.

After that we opened the daily Advent house door.

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Today’s note said, “Exchange family gifts.” The other days have been more creative, but since I knew we planned to do this on the 18th, it made that day an easy one for me to plan.

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Markus playing with the nativity.

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And asking Mama if it’s okay to open a gift…

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We kept our presents simple. We had lots of fun rolling Markus’ new cars and reading books together and squishing Anja’s new Play-doh into molds shaped like little treats. Hope you and yours get time to cuddle and love and enjoy the greatest gift of the season: Christ.