Twenty years since I dropped my oldest daughter off for school and drove home with our other three little ones.
Twenty years since I heard the breaking news of a plane flying into Tower one of the World Trade Center as we were just minutes from our house.
Twenty years since I rushed into the house and turned on the news only to watch in horror as a plane flew into Tower Two on live TV.
Twenty years since the stories of hijacked planes rang in my ears as I hugged my three little ones.
Twenty years since a plane crashed into the Pentagon.
Twenty years since brave men and women stopped a plane from crashing into another target, but lost their lives in a field in Pennsylvania.
Twenty years since I checked my oldest out of school.
Twenty years since I called my husband nonstop while he was working out of town on a construction project. He didn’t know and I begged him to come home.
Twenty years since my daddy opened the doors of the church building and brought the community together for hours of prayer for lives lost, our nation, our government.
Twenty years since we held hands and hugged necks of strangers in our community because we were all shocked, saddened and confused.
Twenty years and my heart breaks for these families and our nation now as much as it did then. It doesn’t seem that long, yet here we are.
A lot has happened in twenty years. My babies are grown. They remember. They’ll always remember, just as I do. That day impacted their lives forever and helped mold them into the young adults they are today. They grew up in a different world than I did. We talked a lot about how the world changed after 9/11. As I said, we have not forgotten.
Unfortunately many of our nation have forgotten and we are not very United. I do not feel very secure and do not trust our government. 9/11 was tragic, but I miss 9/12.
I love a good DIY project to add personality or character to our home, but with my traditional and eclectic (I was Grand Millennial before it was cool) design style I’ve never thought someone would ask for my help decorating in any shape, form or fashion.
This especially includes one of my daughters asking for help, because all three of them lean towards rustic and farmhouse style which just baffles me to no end.
Then, came a baby announcement. MacKenzie Grace and her hubby are expecting our first grandbaby in October and let me tell you, we are over the moon excited! After they found out a sweet little girl is headed our way, Gracie immediately hit up Pinterest for some fabulous inspiration which led her to tip toe out of her comfort zone.
She asked my for help.
The room that has become the nursery was their office/catch-all room. It was the room which had been stressing Gracie out with its purple accent wall, sloppy baseboards. random mounted deer head and furniture that didn’t match itself. With little Mariah on the way the problem of the extra room has been solved and we have finished all we can until after her baby showers. So, what have we done?
First, I let her and Michael clean the room out (my cleaning up after kids days are over). Many of the things in the space were leftovers from before they were married and didn’t fit into “their” home. These items they donated, sold and packed up what they didn’t need, or finally found a permanent space for them in their home.
After the great clean up they headed to Lowes to pour over paint samples. It was not surprising that they went very neutral and chose Valspar’s Swiss coffee for the walls. This was Michael’s first venture in painting, and he did a great job prepping the room. He patched holes and taped the trim and all so we could hit the walls and get them finished in one weekend. We had chosen a paint and primer in one, hoping to make the paint process go a little quicker, as well as give better coverage over stained walls; especially that purple wall! While the plain walls covered nicely, it took three coats to get that purple covered!
After the walls were dry we took the carpet shampooer and went over the floors twice, to make sure they carpets were clean and refreshed. Gracie took care of ordering the nursery furniture (Delta Children) from Target which we assembled the following weekend. I painted a bookcase with a similar color to the crib and dresser and we placed everything where they wanted it to go. Then we let the room set several weeks, just to make sure the first steps were successful.
This is where Gracie surprised me.
She decided that a wallpaper mural/accent wall was just what the nursery needed. Now me? As old-fashioned as it may be, I love a beautifully patterned wallpaper; but my GenZ daughter?!?!…
My heart did little fluttery flip-flops with joy!
Today’s wallpaper comes in every look you can imagine, from classic, neutral or minimalistic to bohemian, farmhouse and artsy. Digital printing has given way to huge changes helping make wallpaper relevant again in today’s design trends. There are so many great color palettes available and pattern size is giving way to bold and vibrant rooms. I didn’t expect her to go all English Country, which would have given me great joy, but I was so excited to see her playfully whimsical choice: a pattern she picked from Photowall called Summertime.
Photowall is one of these fabulous new companies that is producing gorgeous digital wallpapers to fit every taste and style. It was so simple to order. Michael measured the wall that we were planning to cover with the mural. I went on to the Photowall website and entered those dimensions, adding a couple of inches for margin of error and contractor design flaws. We chose the premium paper with an extra matte finish. Photowall’s paper does not fade in sunlight, is scrape resistant, antireflective and suitable for cleaning products. It’s also environmentally friendly. All these things are important when putting together a child’s room. After we placed the order it was only a week and I had the product in my hands! Such a great turnaround time! Everything was going great.
Except I have never hung wallpaper in my life.
We called in the reserves.
Nana (my momma).
And we now had three generations bringing this nursery to life!
The wallpaper came with paste to mix, so all we needed were just a couple of supplies. We put plastic down over the carpet to keep paste from getting on the rug, purchased a 5 gallon bucket, a couple of paint brushes (choose high quality so you don’t have bristles in your paste; we used Purdy), a large sponge for smoothing out wrinkles and wiping off paste, and a sharp razor blade.
Now when I say wallpaper has changed, I wasn’t kidding. Photowall prints the wall paper to the specific measurements and numbers the strips in the order you should hang them on the wall. It arrived in one roll and we cut the strips and laid them in numerical order. We painted the paste directly on the wall and hung each sheet, perfectly coordinated to line right up. When the paper was all in place I took the razor blade and trimmed the excess from the bottom and corner. My mother was floored at how easy it was and I was shocked that I could have hung my first wallpaper without her expertise.
From prep to cleanup was two hours.
I absolutely adore the colors in this whimsical print! It almost looks painted on the wall and not wallpapered!
And just like that, we have the beginnings of a sweet nursery for a precious arrival.
From start to finish, the whole process of pulling this space together was fairly easy. This includes the ordering of and hanging the wallpaper! In fact the most difficult part of my Photowall experience was choosing the design (fun fact … you can upload a personal picture & have it made into wallpaper), and Gracie handled that! I will definitely use this company again when I’m ready for another room upgrade!
And now we all patiently wait until October …
If you are looking to upgrade a space in your home, take advantage of 25% off and use my code ohfiddledeedee25 at checkout for your own Photowall makeover!
FYI I was given the wallpaper mural in return for a review, but the opinions I shared are mine and I will definitely be using Photowall in my home again!
Would someone please explain to me how it is August already? I know I’ve been absent on the blog (I stay much more active on my social media), but where has this year gone?
In an effort to share a few going-ons in our life, I thought I would share ten things that I’m loving right now as well as give you an idea into our year! Who knows, maybe this will become a permanent addition to the blog.
1. It’s farmer’s market season and I love visiting our little local, Saturday market here in Cartersville. Audley & I do very little grocery shopping during the summer, choosing to focus on supporting local farmers and small businesses. If you have a chance, check out your own local markets. Eliminate the middle man and find much better quality food to enjoy!
2. Hit the outdoors and enjoy a waterfall hike. Our health is one of the most precious things we have, and it’s up to us to protect and nourish our health. One way to do this is get outside more, taking in natural Vitamin D, breathing in fresh air, and exercising our body, both internal and external. The North Georgia Mountains are abundant with waterfalls to choose from, but I’m sure there is one near you as well.
3. One of my resolutions this year was to dig a little deeper into Bible Study. I am loving Candace Cameron Bure’s devotional books geared towards women. From dealing with our own brokenness that we often don’t want to face, to discovering power in kindness, these little studies are simple yet impactful. I found my copies on Amazon and Dayspring and they are definitely worth investing in.
4. Another resolution I had for this year was to write more personal notes and remembering to send cards. This beautiful stationary from American Stationary really makes that goal easy, as I love the beautiful colors and textures of the paper.
5. Graphic tee-shirts for all occasions are all the rage right now, no matter your age. I love these cute shirts from Kelley & Co. Of course when your daughter is Kelley & Co you can’t help but love her work as well! Check her out on Facebook or Instagram!
6. I have 6 pounds of fresh huckleberries arriving tomorrow, so its time for a little jam session. Huckleberries aren’t native for us here in Georgia, but hopefully the ones arriving from Idaho will satisfy my craving for this sweet berry!
7. Head out one Saturday morning to catch sunrise on the lake/river/creek/secluded field with someone special. A thermos of coffee, fresh donuts, and a blanket are all you need for this inexpensive but romantic date. Audley and I love taking our canoe out for sunrise, but believe me, a blanket and viewing point are all your need!
8. From Kindergarten on I’ve maintained a summer reading list every year. I may not earn a free personal pan pizza or tickets to an Atlanta Braves baseball game any longer, but the satisfaction of finishing another great read is great in itself! This summer I’ve finished Mary Kay Andrews The Newcomer, The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House by Adrian Tinniswood, When the Astors Owned New York by Justin Kaplin, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters by Nancy Schoenberger and Sam Kashner, Below Stairs by Margaret Powell, and The Glitter & The Gold by Consuelo Vanderbilt. I also purchased several books about Laura Ingalls Wilder while on our road trip (see my social media) last month that I can’t wait to dive into.
9. Summer gardens are at their peak and even beginning to fade away, so now is the time to plan and organize your fall garden/container gardens with cooler weather vegetables. Start your seeds for sugar peas, collard greens, brussel sprouts, cabbage, spinach, parsley and the like for fresh veggies through the next season. Hopefully some of the summer heat will begin to loosen its grip soon and help make for a productive winter.
10. Finally, if you don’t know already, I’m going to be a grandmother in just two months! It’s a girl! I’ve spent several weekends up in South Carolina helping Gracie and Michael pull together the nursery this summer using paint and *gasp* wallpaper. The color scheme is just beautiful and I’m loving this gorgeous mural from Photowall that pulls everything together. It adds so much color and personality to this sweet room. I can’t wait to see everything completely arranged after her showers.
I hope August is full of simple pleasures and you find joy in the small things as we roll through the last days of summer!
Last week we officially closed the door on the last 3 years of our life in Loganville as we dug up the hydrangea & locked the door.
Now as full empty-nesters Audley & I are finally under one roof (he’s been living in an apartment for 2 years instead of driving 150 miles round trip everyday for work) living on the west-side of Atlanta. This was the 15th move we’ve made in our 25 years of marriage, which we also celebrated last week.
This move was probably the most difficult and for sure the most stressful in the fact he & I did 90% of it alone between Audley’s work schedule, wedding planning for our youngest daughter, lots of uncertainty and a of course this pandemic.
2020 has been an interesting year to say the least.
While 2020 has been memorable in its own way, the beauty and nuttiness of the last 25 years mixed with the excitement of the next 25, definitely overshadow any craziness that this one year has thrown our way.
Audley and I have four amazing kids, & now three sons-in-law (so much has happened in the last 10 years while writing this blog) who are contributing so many beautiful and positive things to this world of ours. Police officers, medical personnel, minister, exercise specialist, preschool teacher, Marines (we have 2 now!); we have much to be proud of when looking at our kids.
Having an empty nest at the quarter century milestone is a whole new world for Audley and me.
We have never been “just the two of us”. I became a full-time mom the day we said “I do”. Being parents together for the entirety of our marriage has been a large part of our identity.
Now, with Madeline saying her “I do” last month the full-time parenting chapter of our story has closed! Now we get to write the next chapter as we discover new adventures together. I have no clue as to what the next 25+ years will look like for Audley and I, but can guarantee it will be filled with love, growth, discovery, new adventures and as always God-centered.
So cheers to the next 25 years and whatever adventures come our way!