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well, we’re moving!

Last Friday, the 29th, we got our keys to a new house! In Strasburg!

We are very excited to live closer to church and in a new (to us) little community. Ever since we moved to Lancaster county we’ve loved Strasburg and have just been watching all the properties there. Our prayer is that this house will be more room for our growing family and provide the space we need for the dreams we have. We are also excited for Daddy to be able to come home easier before his evening church meetings and also to just be closer to our church family!  The girls seem very excited. Even if they don’t really know why they should be. And of course, the architect and DIYer in me had to make some changes while we had the chance before we move in. Yes, we could have lived in it as is, but there were a couple of issues that we just wanted to customize for our family…

And YES, we have a licensed contractor working with/for us! Do not worry, we are not doing this on our own but we hope to help with a lot of the work and do what we can, when we can.    So let the adventure begin!

{prayers would be appreciated as we jump in with both feet!}

xoxo-kimberly renee
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Cora at 4 months

last week sweet sweet baby Cora turned 4 months old. 4 months. i know i’ll keep saying this, but i can’t believe it! it’s going so fast!

my sister, Becca, was here to help me get the photographs. it was fun to share that with her. also to have her help getting Cora to smile was such a treat. can you come back every month for photos? 

let’s just get this out of the way, THIS PHOTO:  

it’s my favorite photo for today. i am so in love with this sweet thing.

Corinne at 4 months:

  • blows lots of bubbles
  • is 15 lbs 14 oz. (77%)
  • is 26″ tall (94%)
  • rocks tummy time!
  • watches her sister with an eagle eye
  • is actually pretty serious and it’s hard to get a smile, let a alone a giggle. but those giggles are the sweetest ever.
  • she is ticklish already!
  • is SO chatty. (put really only in private, she’s introverted i can already tell. lol.) she wakes up and just starts talking and singing and gets louder and louder and louder!
  • plays so well in her little play gym and on her bouncer seat. she is very good at grabbing things!
  • she rolled over last night. (technically a few days after she turned 4 months old, but oh my word, i couldn’t believe it)
  • drool monster

making noises and spitting. ha. so are we done with this thing or what? ok mama, i’m done with tummy time.

i love her happy grin  kick kick kick we are excited!   bubbles! nonstop! 

we love you sweet sweet girl.

xoxo-kimberly renee
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a story about a ceiling

so i recently posted this photo showing Husbuddy working away:


but i’m not sure y’all know the full extent of where this little project started…

just to catch everyone up, here’s the DAY we moved in photo: studio-guestbedroom   studio-guestbed2

yummy dropped commercial ceiling (blech!) and so low! we thought we could just gain a couple more inches if we took it out. also…the dust and gross musty smell of the thing. get it outta here!


well we started taking it down right away.

but… we didn’t catch this in the inspection:


we apparently, luckily, only took down a couple of the ceiling tiles on the other side of the room. le sigh.

you can’t tell from the awesome picture (from 2013) that actually the ceiling was sagging. the plaster had pulled away from the ceiling rafters… and how about that wall paper?

and also- see the walls? apparently they only thought we needed to plaster the walls up to the dropped ceiling. i mean, the guy was probably thinking, “who would ever want to remove such a gorgeous dropped ceiling?”

ha. {we can laugh about it now.}

also, how about them wires? they weren’t to code— AT ALL. they where wired through the ceiling fixture and down to the outlets in each of those walls. genius.

and horrible.



this was me (prego the first time) sweeping up the mess along with a few tears. it was going to be a lot more work then we had imagined.


in the next few weeks we had a contractor add some beams to pull the ceiling back up to where it should be. the contractor wanted to do just one beam down the middle because that’s all in really needed but this little designer knew that in the future two beams would look OH so much better. tee hee. the contractor also re-wired the electrical… you know, instead of taking the wires through the ceiling light down to the walls… ack.

so this is how the ceiling stayed for the last three years.


well mostly. besides the whole “bat escapade” (see that post here or here if you’re unfamiliar with that disaster) where we figured out {guessed really} there were bats coming out of the holes in the walls so we covered it with cardboard…ahhem… classy. but really, could we do much more with this? lol.

we’ve had guests sleep in this room. with this scary looking ceiling. FOR THREE YEARS. oi. sorry guests. we love you for staying with us anyway.  IMG_2948

so back to the story: i drew designs for the ceiling to my hearts content. with no money to actually do anything it just sat like that for 3 years. until this year when i traded some hours with a contractor friend and we sweet talked him into helping us make this room work. and look SO much better! 2016-07-12 14.13.15

these photos kind of skip a few steps, but first we added support and shims to create a level plane to attach 4×8 bead board panels to.

2016-07-12 14.13.23

it was still impossible to get it perfectly level because just going from one corner to the next we’d be inches off… let’s just say our goal was honestly to bring it up to “quirky old house” level rather then “perfectly level and new looking” and rather then “creepy-old-house-that’s-going-to-fall-down-on-you” level. see? happy medium. LOL.

2016-07-12 14.14.38

here’s a detail shot… ha you can see ALL the layers:

  • the plaster wall not quite going all the way to the ceiling(the pink area next to the ceiling seems to be a wall papered wall behind the existing one that has a wire mesh over it)
  • the star wall paper ceiling
  • the rough 2×4 beam holding up the ceiling from 2013.
  • the classy piece of cardboard covering the bat-hole(ah! how did that not get removed?)
  • the shims and leveling supports for the bead board
  • the bead board panels being installed.
  • and the line of trim and molding to be added.

so we got the bead board up and where Husbuddy was working in this photo was during the wrapping with molding stage. we used 1xs all around the edge and around the beams to really hide the mess clean it all up. then we added a piece of cove trim to the corners to hide all the gaps.

see again? happy medium. 😉


isn’t he so cute?

and here you see where it stands today:

2016-07-16 13.34.45

TA DA! whew! it looks SO much better! we need to add a ceiling fixture (still) and organize the room for guests and for work, but seriously, doesn’t it look a like a million bucks?! {at least compared to before?} 

should i remind you?

before part 1: studio-guestbedroom

before part 2: IMG_2946

after:  2016-07-16 13.36.41

yay! it’s still quirky old house feel…but it’s clean and white and bright and it makes me smile. perfectly imperfect! and i love how the dark gray walls turned out!

Thank you Contractor Kevin for helping us SO much! Thank you Husbuddy for making my designs a reality(i know it’s hard being married to an architect) and thank you to our friend Bill for being such a good friend and helping us paint all of it in one afternoon.

ha. now to find a low clearance light fixture. maybe when we have guests next time the room will actually be put together.

SO, who’s coming to visit?

xo-kimberly renee
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the weekend aunt mimi came

whew! auntie Mimi (Amy in Sophie speak) is a celebrity around here! all day every day we talk about visiting her. we pack a bag, throw it over our shoulder and say, “bye bye! Mimi!”(as in bye, i’m headed to Mimi’s house). haha. it was so fun having her and my new brother-in-law visit for the weekend last week!  so much love!

here are a few photos from our time together.

kisses kisses for Mimi all day every day! everyone loved that Mimi was there!

even puppycakes! haha.  auntie amy uncle couch time she loves her uncle “chis”  and definitly warmed up to him by the end of the trip with snuggles and hand holding. haha!   girls side  brunch dates are the best when that’s the sisters favorite. the boys would rather do dinner out but when we get together, brunch is a must. hee hee.  newlyweds oh they’re just so cute.   reading time and then there’s this ham. she LOVED having Mimi put her to bed, take her to the potty, hold her and play with her. i think Amy went home completely exhausted. bawhaha. oh man does she love her auntie!   three girls i know it’s not a great photo of me, but sophia was just too cute wanting to smile in a picture with us! gah.  family time

good times! i think the boys like commiserating their lot in life being married to us sisters. bawhaha. oh Amy and Chris, we miss you!

xoxo-kimberly renee
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and she turns 2

she’s just so big! so big2

these pictures were taken on her birthday. they are honest to goodness just real life- socks falling off, hair crazy as usual, climbing up on things and being a goof. it’s all here in these photos. the day started out with a special-made hot chocolate from Daddy. we sang happy birthday to her and she LOVED it. she kept singing “happy” all day! she doesn’t have him wrapped around her finger or anything… tee hee…

birthday girl hot choco

Sophia is such a delight. that’s my word for her this year. i just want to keep telling her(you know, after i discipline her for the umpteenth time that no, we don’t just go and reward ourselves chocolate all day) that really, she is a delight. some days it’s easier to tell her then others. but i feel like she just needs to know that that’s what i think of her- no matter how much trouble she gets into! ha.

2 year smile2 on the bed at 2 years old Sophia:

  • loves to dance, jump, run, splash in puddles, go down slides, -all the toddler things!
  • climbs everything. she can even climb up the stools in our kitchen which scares me to death!
  • sings “let it go” over and over and over in her own special way. everything frozen is her FAVORITE ever.
  • is potty trained (mostly-again, some days are better then others!)
  • loves to give hugs
  • loves her boots
  • each night before she goes to bed, i tell her we are going to pray and i ask her what she’d like to thank Jesus for. the list usually goes something like; “Papa, Nana, Mimi, Nomnom, Me, Dada, Mama…” you can see where i rank on the list. LOL.
  • Mimi just visited though, so at the moment, Mimi is the favorite on the list! (sorry Papa!)
  • loves animals. it’s so fun to spot animals on our drives around lancaster county and she also asks for “more.”
  • tries to make me laugh with her laugh. she does this to Dada and Nana too. she knows she’s way too cute when she does it.
  • loves to read. we try to do blanket time- sometimes it works, sometimes it’s snuggle on the couch time- but she’s usually always interested in books
  • likes to draw, play with playdoh, paint. she is a very busy little girl!

hugs hugs! 2 years buddies buddies for life.

birthday dinner birthday girl excited about cake  her birthday dinner was Chik-fil-A since we had a busy night with our community group coming over. the silly faces was because i had just told her that we were going to have ice cream cake at home and we were going to sing happy birthday! haha.    ham  here we go, i can’t believe we’re in the 2 year old stage! if you think of it, pray for us! ha

xoxo-kimberly renee
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painting a perfectly fine piece of furniture

little cleaner  it was months… MONTHS ago that i posted this photo on instagram of the little miss cutie patotee helping me clean my birthday present from hubby.

let me back up.

one day while wandering around the Habitat for Humanity ReStore looking for something else, we found an old {giant} hutch  for a steal. it was only $199! what?! we abandoned all previous plans and tried to figure out if we could really get this. we’ve been wanting one. it was on a wish list- like years down the road. it was pretty beat up, with lots of scratches. -and weird ones, like on one side of the counter but not the other?  but all the doors and drawers still opened beautifully and it really was a nice piece… so he said it was my birthday present. no need to convince me!

then we had to figure out how to get it home.


besides that, it was a total dream! and i knew i wanted to paint it. i actually had planned to paint it the next week. or the week after at the latest…

well, babies get sick. mommas get sick. life happens and all of a sudden months pass.

and it still looked like this:

pre paint  {ha, besides the cleaning rag from the first day}

which was fine. i was totally used to it. i still thought it was pretty. it was the perfect piece for our rather empty dining room.

but i knew. i just knew that it wanted to be a brighter, happier color. and i knew, i just knew that the beadboard in the back wanted to be white, it wanted to pop. i finally just took the whole thing apart and began painting.

have you all used Annie Sloan chalk paint. let me tell you, i LOVE this stuff! it goes on like a dream. you can add water to make it run on smoother, you can mix your own colors SUPER easy. i mixed dutch blue with pure white. holla!

the picture below is after the first coat! process  but seriously, three words: SO MUCH DENTAL.


it wasn’t going to be perfect, lines where the blue meets the white are not perfect, there are still some dings and scratches that show through and with a little buddy constantly needing me the project took multiple days (over a week to get the thing back together!) but it’s done and it’s beautiful. #idhtbptbb “It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful!” {from The Nester}

speaking of… i have been putting off typing up this post because i keep meaning to get my nice camera out to take the pictures. let’s just be honest, it hasn’t happened for the last two weeks, it’s not going to happen any time soon so i might as well just post these iphone photos and get done with it! HA.

again…double hashtag idhtbptbb!!! blue hutch  i left the hardware exactly the same. i thought about cleaning the brass up but i was afraid it would be too shiny…brass color… instead of this patina of antique brass which i loved, so i just left it.

the only sad part is that as we were putting it back together one of the pieces of glass in the doors broke. sad day! but you can’t really tell, right?

top half  now i smile every time i see the dining room. it’s so much happier and brighter. one day we will paint the walls and change the light fixture. until then, i’m going to live with this beauty.  hutch  so, moral of the story?

1. go with your gut and just do it. just paint the darn thing that’s been sitting there begging to be painted for months.


2. ALWAYS remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

xoxo-kimberly renee

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diy advent calendar {easy!}

advent is only a couple days away from starting! so i wanted to share this little project with you. diy advent

the past couple of years, Husbuddy and i have walked through John Piper’s advent book: {which can be found here:} i think that’s my favorite thing about advent. we actually sit down and read scripture or a ltitle devo together! we TOTALLY need to be better about that the rest of the year! but i LOVE the tradition of preparing our hearts for Jesus.

Good News of Great Joy (Free Advent eBook)


{a little snippet from the free ebook!}

i really like what Desiring God says in the preface about what Advent is for. it’s for ADORING JESUS!

it has been very fun to have this little “tradition” together and it has been very meaningful for us! here is a sample of the daily reading:


and in case you need other ideas, here are a few that i am interested in: Slide5

Ann Voskamp Unwrapping the Greatest Gift and The Greatest Gift both look awesome. when Sophie gets older, i’m thinking Unwrapping the Greatest Gift will be great because it has a story for every day! The Greatest Gift looks like it would be really good for my heart. and the Dobson one: Family Christmas looks like it has family stories as well.

ok, so what i wanted to do is to make my own advent calendar using the verses from Piper’s ebook! {note, these are for his older ebook, they just came out with a new one this year!}

2014-11-18 21.06.26


  • i got these paper bags {set of 25!} but you can also find them at Michaels.
  • i have 25 number tags {printable below!} -just download and print!
  • set of 25 verses {printable below!} -just download and print!
  • twine, washi tape, mini clothes pins, ornaments anything else you need to decorate!

here are the two printables:


PRINTABLES : Number TAGS  & Verses {page 1, page 2}




see? only 4 steps! easy peasy! haha.

here are some more samples to give you ideas:

Slide11  via pinterest


{via pinterest }

they can be super simple or really decorative!

other ideas to put in envelopes:

  • ornaments/candy
  • family time together (game night, ice skating, make xmas cookies, xmas movie night, caroling…)
  • scavenger hunt clues
  • service projects to do together (make cookies for neighbors, give toys away, buy a toy for a stranger…)
  • be creative!

ok, so just so you know, ALL i did was cut out the verses and put them in the envelopes and glued the number tags on the outside. that IS IT. i didn’t get too creative. but it still looks fun hanging on our wall and it will be good just to have the daily reminder to read our devotional and focus on Jesus!  advent is about preparing our hearts and our homes for Jesus’ coming on Christmas. making it fun with a daily advent reading is a great tradition!

don’t be intimidated to try to make it perfect! just have fun counting down the days and bringing your family back to focus on the reason for this season!

have fun!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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{ps- there are some affliate links in this post!}

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