Door Decor Died—Time to Make a New One!

Almost two years ago I posted on Shining the Light in Third Grade a DIY for a burlap wreath (check it out here!). This beauty has been a GREAT front door wreath for years and was so much fun to switch out the add-ons each month.

burlap wreath

But slowly the wreath has died. The burlap is warn out, the R is losing is crisp coat of paint, and all in all I just need to start over.


So I have disassembled the old wreath (because why should I buy all new materials if some of them are still good?—I do not have money to waste) and found new inspiration!!!

As you can see my new inspiration is less full, but still very fun! I think I can use this inspiration to continue to switch out pieces throughout the year to make the same wreath festive for each season.

When I disassembled my old wreath I was left with this:


I decided to reuse the foam wreath, pins, and burlap!!! The “R” I think I can repaint and use for something else around the house (maybe a simple Christmas ornament???). If you are going to make this wreath from new materials you will need:

  • 1 foam wreath (mine is a 14″)
  • about 150 floral pins
  • 5″ wide burlap, cut into 5″ squares

I simply folded each 5×5 burlap square in half. Then I used two floral pins to secure it to the front of the foam wreath (one pin on each side). I layered the burlap folds about 3/4″ apart to add some texture to the wreath (this is why the picture above is simply inspiration—not a recreation!).

When you get close to going all the way around the wreath, you will need to pull the first fold up a little to tuck the bottom of the last fold. The full wreath at this point should look like this:


I have purchased a new, larger “R” and painted it with a high gloss white paint. I hope the high gloss paint will allow the weather to not affect the letter so much (with the last wreath I used a tempera paint).


I also am adding a white burlap bow to the side of my wreath where the add-ons will be attached. This is to add some dimension and cuteness to my wreath! I am not going to hot glue the bow so that I can move it more easily with each add-on if necessary. Instead I will use a floral pin (or two) to attach the bow.

My spring add-on is a tin bucket of flowers (held on with two floral pins) and I must say…I am in LOVE!!!


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Recharge, Paint, and Save Money

Everyone has different ways to recharge. Some people need to be around people, others need to be alone. Some need to be creative, while others need mindless activities. After a week of testing, I was looking forward to a morning alone with my worship music playlist and painting Hannah’s room. That is how I recharge: alone, worshipping God!

I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t pay someone to do something you can do yourself. And when you have no money, like us, this is especially true. I have been painting rooms with my mom for as long as I can remember. It is super simple and just takes a few quick and easy steps.

  1. Clean your trim work. If it needs to be repainted, this is the time for that.  
  2. When the trim is dry from being cleaned, or completely dry from being painted (at least 24 hours), use painters tape to cover all trim edges. Remove light plate switches and outlet covers. Now you are ready to paint.                 
  3. I like to paint one wall at a time in this order: edges, corners, everything else. I use a flat padded tool for edges, a brush for corners, and a roller for everything else.                                                                                        
  4. After the entire room is painted, wait about one hour for everything to dry. Then go back and look for places that need a second coat or touch up. Make sure to get close to the walls and look for speckles that are not your paint color.  
  5. After another hour, remove the painters tape. Do this at about a 45 degree angle for best results. You may find that some spots need touching up. Use a small paint brush for these.
  6. I like to wait a full day before putting my furniture back, but not everyone has that much time.

So not only did this task save us money, but it gave me a chance to recharge and love on my sweet girl before she arrives!


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Still Overwhelmed

Last week was a long one…

We started standardized testing (which is long, boring, and stressful), had some family drama (we all have some…no matter the family), and my emotions were on a roller coaster (I guess from the pregnancy). Friday night I was winding down for the night and asked my sweet husband to move a piece of furniture in Hannah’s room so that I could paint the room while he was at the church Saturday morning (yes, youth pastors work Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, all days…). He was happy to help (probably so that I wouldn’t just do it myself) and immediately came in to try to figure out the puzzle to keep all of the furniture off of the walls.

After several minutes he asked me to leave the room. Not because he was mad or upset, but because I wasn’t able to help him and therefore was in the way. I left, but for some reason this triggered my emotional state. When he was done, I went into Hannah’s room, laid on the carpet, and cried. I was overwhelmed. I laid and cried quietly for 15 minutes as I prayed and questioned God. How am I supposed to raise this little girl? I want to give her the best of everything, but we have no money. Can I really do this? I don’t deserve her. I don’t deserve anything. Oh God, what are we going to do?

After I was done wallowing in her room, I climb out of the floor and into bed. “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126:3) I am beyond blessed, to the point of being overwhelmed with God’s grace, mercy, and blessings. I deserve nothing that I have and yet I have a Savior who intercedes for me, blesses me, makes me a co-heir in His kingdom. I have been sent an amazing husband who looks past my weaknesses and adores my strengths. My bundle of joy is healthy and coming in less than four months and I have done nothing to earn or deserve her.

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I could list things for hours and never come close to naming all of the blessings God has given me or things He has done for me, but I am filled with joy at the thought of each of them!

Today, I hope you will stop and think of all of the blessing the Lord has sent your way, and maybe you too will become overwhelmed!

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Encouragement that Helped Me Through

27 months is a long time to walk through struggles, but we didn’t do it alone. We had each other, family, friends, and the Lord. 

In 2014, God placed on my heart to read through the bible in a year. I used a reading plan provided by my church and learned so much about God, His word, and how it affects my life.

In 2015, I felt God calling me to a year of praying for women in my life. The Lord shocked me with how much praying for others healed my hurts. I never expected that the women I was praying for would then be praying for me, but they did. Their prayers, friendship, and encouragement were many of the brighter moments during such a difficult year. 

Many of the text, posts, and emails I received were things I saved and have gone back and reread on hard days.

   
    
    
    
 
If you are walking through something that is incredibly hard, follow God’s prompting and surround yourself with trusted family and friends.

Making Something For Her

We have been so blessed by family in the way of furniture for the nursery. Years ago my aunt and uncle gave us their entire nursery bedroom set and my grandmother gave me an old glider. I have learned to always accept the freebies and modify them to suit your style and needs. 

Over my spring break, I refinished the glider and covered the cushions. New cushions can be up to $150 and I was not about to pay that price. A new glider can be three or four times the price of new cushions! I didn’t love the oak finish of the glider or the terrible blue fabric of the cushions, so I changed them (knowing that my grandmother was fine with whatever I did to them-always ask people if they mind!)

I used a spray paint primer on the wood frame of the glider. I didn’t sand anything. Just wiped it down with a damp rag, let it dry, and sprayed a thin coat.

  Then I was able to use a satin finish, white spray paint (about 2 cans) to coat the chair. This takes time because you have to be willing to do thin layers of paint and let them dry in between. 
I finished the frame by spraying a clear, high gloss enamel over the entire frame. 

For the cushions, I bought 2 1/2 yards of upholstery fabric. I chose something girly because I’m having a girl! I folded the fabric so there were two layers and placed the cushions on top of the fabric. I then left about a 4″ edge around each cushion when I cut the fabric (for thickness of the cushions and wiggle room getting the cushions in). I sewed up three edges for both cushions with my sewing machine. I used a wide zigzag stitch to make it more secure. Next, I put the cushions in the fabric and hand stitched the fourth edge (back side of the seat cushion and bottom side of the back cushion).

I made straps for attaching the cushions out of the left over fabric, but you could also use a thick ribbon for this.   

Ta-Da!!! My glider now looks brand new, girly, and it cost me $23 in fabric, $16 in spray primer, paint, and enamel, and two partial afternoons of time!

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Inspired Flower Planters

Living in the middle of the woods has its benefits! No neighbors, no worries when the grass isn’t mowed, no noise, no light, BUT I also had no reason to buy flowers for the yard for years. I have discovered though, that the joy I get from the flowers is worth the small cost.

This year my flower pots were inspired by this picture I found on Facebook. 

  
I was able to use the image and identify most of the plants at Home Depot this weekend. I bought the smallest plants of each for a few reasons:

  1. They are cheaper.
  2. You get more individual plants.
  3. I like to watch them grow and fill in the pits throughout the summer.

Here is how my front pot turned out!

 
All of these plants like part sun and will really flourish here!

For less than $20 of flowers I was able to fill three planters, one pot on a table, and one hanging basket! Can’t beat that!!!

The Pastor’s Wife

Yes, I am a pastor’s wife. Correction—a youth pastor’s wife. With this title/description/label comes many amazing and challenging things. But today I want to talk about a book I finished reading this weekend, The Pastor’s Wife by Gloria Furman. I’m not sure what I expected when I started this book, but in my opinion, every Christian woman would benefit from reading this book. 

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There are three parts to this book:

  1. Loving the Chief Shepherd
  2. Loving an Under-Shepherd
  3. Loving the Bride of Christ

 I think every woman needs to know how to love God, love their spouse (even if he isn’t a pastor/under-shepherd), and love the church. These are essentially the three things that Gloria writes about. She slathers this book in scripture (which I adore!) and adds in humor from her own experiences of being a pastor’s wife (which you may or may not find humorous if you are not a pastor’s wife).

I hope that you will consider reading this book, pastor’s wife or not. 

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Why Hannah Marie

Long before we ever became pregnant, we had picked baby names. Luke Stephen for a boy and Adelynn Marie for a girl. When we learned we were having a girl neither of us felt like Adelynn was right. 

We talked and prayed and felt so overwhelmed with the task of becoming parents and naming our daughter. God was entrusting us with a baby. On top of that, a baby GIRL! Instantly I understood why my mom told me a daughter was different than a son (which I definitely didn’t understand when I was a teenager). 

What were we supposed to name this precious little girl? As we talked and prayed and read our bibles it became more and more clear what we were supposed to do. 

Through our journey to become pregnant I studied all of the woman who struggled to have babies in the bible. I became connected to their stories in a new way and related to them like never before. Sarah, Rachel, Hannah, Samson’s mom (who isn’t named) all struggled to have children. The woman I related to most was Hannah. 

Hannah’s story can be found in 1 Samuel 1. In verse 10 the Bible says, “She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.” I cannot begin to count or remember the number of times I cried out in prayer, wept without words, and struggled with God over wanting a child. 

  
I do not ever want to forget what it took to be blessed with my daughter. I want to be reminded of the struggle and moments where God had to carry me, lift my head, and keep me going. I never want to feel like I did this on my own, because that would be a lie. I had nothing to do with the gift of this baby girl. She is completely from the Lord. 

As I cried telling my husband my feelings about this he said It sounds like we have a name. So we chose Hannah Marie (Marie is mine and my mom’s middle name). Instantly we had a peace about her name and knew that it was God’s name for this precious blessing!

Now, each time I say her name I will be reminded of the amount of prayer that was cried out to the Lord for our sweet baby girl!!!

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It’s a ???

We honestly had no preferences in whether Baby Ruff was a boy or a girl. We wanted a happy and healthy baby! We did blood work at week 13 to check for many health issues that Kyle and I would be able to read up on, learn about, and prepare for if necessary. With this blood work would also find out the gender of the baby.

Kyle was out of town when I received the phone call from the nurse. She asked me if I wanted to know the gender. Of course! Then she asked if I felt like it was a boy or a girl. I have always felt like I would have a house full of boys. I told her this. She then told me that I was wrong. It’s a girl!!!

I was shocked. If you know my husband or his family, you know there are only three granddaughters out of 18 grandchildren. The likeliness of a Ruff having a girl is very slim. 

I called and told Kyle who was also shocked but so excited. We then invited our entire family over for a small reveal party a few days later. 

 

We come from a dance and horse background, so this theme was perfect!

 
   
   
 

The inside of the cupcakes were pink!!!


 

Our family was super excited to know that Baby Ruff was healthy and a sweet little girl!  
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Sharing Our News

Most couples wait weeks before sharing their big news with anyone…months before telling their boss…were we going to be able to keep this a secret?! NO WAY! I barely made it through Thanksgiving Day and about burst when the nurse called to confirm our pregnancy while dress shopping for my sister-in-law’s wedding dress.

On Black Friday, we rushed down to the Perimeter office to have blood work done. On the phone they told us we would find out later that day if the blood work was done before 11:00. We made it there in plenty of time, but the nurse then broke our hearts when she said it would be Saturday afternoon before we would know anything. Saturday AFTERNOON?! I was so disappointed, and mad, but we would wait.

Kyle dropped me off at the bridal shop my sister-in-law was shopping at so that I could be with her during this exciting time in her life. About an hour into her appointment I get a phone call from the doctor’s office. I stepped outside to answer and was shocked when it was the nurse, only three and half hours later, telling us WE WERE PREGNANT! Of course, I immediately called Kyle to tell him and tried not to do my happy dance where my family could see me from inside the shop! We wanted to tell them together, but how was I going to walk back in there and not just explode?

Somehow I made it through the rest of the day without blabbing about it. We then began our planning for how to tell everyone.


Each set of parents (soon to be grandparents) were given one of these at 4 weeks pregnant.



Our siblings had to follow the scavenger hunt clues to find their Christmas ornament announcing their new title of “aunt” and “uncle”right before we were 5 weeks pregnant. My boss actually knew before them. I had a scheduled meeting with him and decided to go ahead and clue him in on why had missed so much work in November.


My grandmothers were each given flower growing kits to reveal the big news at 6 weeks pregnant.


Our youth group found out with this sweet picture on the big screen one Wednesday night at 6 1/2 weeks pregnant.


My coworkers found out in an emailed poem when I was 7 weeks pregnant.

I don’t know of many people who share this kind of information this early on, but we knew that we couldn’t keep that secret after waiting for so long!

How and when did you share about your pregnancy?

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