farmhouse bed: day 2

diy farmhouse bed

Day 2 of our farmhouse storage bed project is complete. 

diy farmhouse bed

We have a freestanding headboard and footboard, and sanding is underway. 

We worked for about three hours today and the weather was gorgeous

diy farmhouse bed

As always we made a few errors along the way, and it seemed like we had to redo every step to correct for warped boards. It was just one of those days. 

diy farmhouse bed

I am in love with what we have made so far! The next week will involve a lot of sanding, building the platform/storage base, and staining. There are also drawers in the future, but I try not to dread think about those. Stay tuned for the final steps of our farmhouse storage bed!

Plans courtesy of Ana White

farmhouse bed: day 1

diy farmhouse bed with plans by ana white

Let me start by saying that Ana White is amazing. She was my hero long before I learned about Joanna Gaines, and her projects and plans keep my to-do list a mile long. Check out her site and I promise you will find an easy-to-understand plan for just about anything. She has inspired me to dream of power tools instead of jewelry, and she has convinced me that we will never have to buy furniture again.

Since our cramped days in our little ranch in Murfreesboro (circa 2006), Nick and I have wanted a storage bed to maximize space. We spent quite some time looking, but never could find something with the function and style we had in mind. Years later, and shortly after discovering Ana White, I stumbled upon her Farmhouse Storage Bed plan and it was exactly what I envisioned.

Now that I have a little woodworking experience under my belt and a beautiful new miter saw, it was finally time to tackle my dream bed. Nick went out to shop for lumber last weekend, and our project officially began on Sunday.

farmhouse bed

In just 2 1/2 hours the headboard was done, and we had even started a little work on the footboard. We were both a little surprised at how fast the project was moving, even with modifying for a warped board along the way.

diy woodworking 

The finished product is gorgeous, and our garage smelled amazing the next morning. If the children cooperate we should get several hours in this weekend, so stay tuned for farmhouse bed: day 2!

diy woodworking

dear Logan: then you were 4.

Tomorrow you are 4.
I am so incredibly proud of the little gentleman you have become. You take care of me, you look out for your sister, and you are genuinely thoughtful and kind and wonderful. You love hard and you play hard. You are everything and more than we could have ever wanted or hoped for our family. You gave us love and purpose and faith.
As if that wasn't enough, you are smart. So incredibly smart. You put together puzzles with more pieces than I can count, and you do it with such ease. You are imaginative and inquisitive and brilliant. The world is wide open for your incredible mind. School won't know what hit it when you walk through those doors.
You are Adaleigh's best friend and protector; the two of you are a team. Whether you are snuggling or fighting, you are always inseparable. There are no words for the bond with your Daddy- it is manly, friendly, loving, and involves a lot of wrestling. You share a love of sports and superheroes.
As for me- You are part of me. It's not that I can't remember life without you; I can't imagine what I felt like or who I was without the love you have forever burned in my heart. There is no me without you. Each breath I take is because of you and the life you gave to me. Nothing and no one will ever replace you in my life, and I like it that way.
On the eve of your 4th birthday, I hope you feel loved. We wanted and hoped and prayed for you years before you came into our lives, and I hope that feeling is always with you. You are always worth it.
Love always & forever,

letters: on faith

My sweet little ones,
I wrote to you about life lessons, and the most important things I've learned to make it through the tough times. But I left out THE most important lesson: have faith.
I was raised in a loving, Southern Baptist home. We attended church every Sunday morning, every Sunday and Wednesday nights, and some days in between. Your grandparents never lacked faith. I was baptized young and believed so much in the God I was raised to know. As I got older and journeyed through the teenage years, God began to dwindle from my life. I questioned everything. I questioned Heaven and Hell, I questioned the importance of religion and attending church, and worst of all I questioned the existence of God. By the time I attended a lecture on Eastern world religions in college, my faith was completely gone. I didn't pray, I didn't attend church, and I didn't believe.
The next ten years or so are somewhat of a blur. I struggled with life, depression, relationships, choices, and everything that most twenty-somethings go through. Those years and experiences seemed so challenging and it's only now that I am realizing why- I was trying to do it alone. Faith wouldn't have kept me from those struggles, but it would have made them so much more bearable. I am amazed that I ever made it to where I am now without Him. There is nothing and no one that can replace the love and comfort of knowing God.
If you never listen to anything else I ever say, please learn from the biggest mistake I've ever made in life. No matter how smart or strong you are, no matter how much you have it all together or figured out, you can't do it alone. None of us can. Trust and believe and have faith in the God who created you... the God who SAVED you. There really is nothing more important. If you can figure that out and stick with it, everything else will fall into place. Pray every day, keep God first above everything, and live your life for Him. There is nothing more powerful than the peace, happiness, and love only He can provide.
With all my love,


I started 2015 with one goal- run one race each month.

One half marathon, one 15k, three 10ks, and seven 5ks later, and #run2015 is complete.

I didn't achieve any great times or distances, but that wasn't necessarily my goal. Maybe 2016 will be the year of a sub-25min 5k? Who knows, but here is a recap of the year:

Zoo Run Run 5k, January 24, Nashville
     *not timed

Hot Chocolate 15k, February 14, Nashville
     1:28:11 (9:28/mile)

Friends for Healing 10k, March 21, Franklin
     56:08.6 (9:03/mile)
     2nd place Female 10K - 2 Person Co-Ed Team Top Finishers

St. Jude Country Music 1/2 Marathon, April 25, Nashville
     2:13:57 (10:13/mile)

Beyond the Battlefield 10k, May 23, Brentwood
     F 10k 30-34  3rd 54:56.5 (8:51/mile)

Running of the Bulls 5k, June 20, Winston Salem
     28:23 (9:09/mile)
     2nd Place F 30-34

Music City July 4th 5k, July 4, Nashville
     31:06.1 (10:00/mile)

Urban Runoff 5k, August 29, Nashville
     31:03.2 (9:59/mile)

Franklin Classic 5k, September 7, Franklin
     26:36.59 (8:33/mile)

The Sara Walker Run 5k, October 4, Nashville
     *not timed

Hammer Down 10k, November 21, Nashville
     1:03:25.5 (10:13/mile)

Rudolph's Red Nose Run 5k, December 19, Nashville
     32:46.0 (10:34/mile)

2015 totals (logged in Runkeeper):

328.2 miles

55:37 hours

30,475 calories

Until next year,

dear little ones: a week away.

My sweet little ones,

I love you so so much, but motherhood is hard. I often dream of some sort of break... a night without baths or stories or bedtime, five minutes without someone wanting a snack, a quiet evening on the patio with a book, a few minutes alone and away from it all.

But the truth is my life is empty without you. From the moment we said goodbye, my heart hurt. I drove away with an ache and longing for you that I sometimes forget is there. Everything seemed too quiet.

It's only a week. But for the last four years, I haven't known a week without you. I've barely known a night without you. A week can feel like so much more than a week, and some days are painfully longer than others. I miss you more every minute, but I hope you're not missing me. I hope you are having the time of your life. More importantly I hope I’ve taught you to feel safe away from me, knowing I will always return with more hugs and kisses than I left you with. No matter the distance, you are always a part of my heart.

love always & forever,

dear little ones

my little loves,

I don't write often anymore because there just aren't words for the way I feel about you. I wake each morning undeserving of the endless love you've brought to my life, and I go to bed each night wondering how I can be better for you. I want you to experience the best this world has to offer, and I want you both to be better than you ever thought imaginable. I won't get it right all of the time, and I may not even get it right most of the time, but I promise that everything I do for you is out of sincere love from my heart that grows more and more each day.

Logan, you are such a sweet, compassionate little man. I have no worries for your little sister as long as you are by her side, because you have more concern for her than I could have ever dreamed of. You make sure she is happy and safe, and even sing to calm her when she's upset. You do a pretty great job of looking out for your Mom, too. You are cautious but adventurous, and explore the world safely and with purpose. Your imagination flows in the most magical way. You are inquisitive with an amazing memory, and your smile will always melt my heart.

Adaleigh, you are my little wild child. Always by Mommy's side, and never happier than when we are together. You are incredibly fearless and unpredictable, always keeping me on my toes. You love basketball, shoes, and baby dolls, but nothing compares to the love for your brother. I admire the special bond you have with him as your protector, teacher, and best friend. Your vocabulary grows exponentially every day, and your sweet voice matches your beauty that takes my breath away.

Logan and Adaleigh, you are my world. You make me want to be better in everything I do. I am so proud to call you mine, and I feel blessed to guide you through this life until you are ready to fly free on your own. You are a part of me, and I will carry you with me every where I go. I miss you every minute of every day that I am away. There is no place I'd rather be than with the two of you by my side. I love you in the most overwhelming, joyful way.

Always & forever,

a few life lessons

My dearest loves,

You are so small and innocent now, but I know the world is waiting for you. Not everything in this world is beautiful; sometimes the harshness of reality can knock you off your feet. I want you to have the courage to spread your wings and soar without me, but I want you to be prepared for what is to come. My hope is that my unrelenting love and a little advice will allow you to grow and succeed. Hold these words in your heart, and know that no obstacle is ever too big to overcome.
  • Middle school and high school are hard. They will challenge you and try to break you in ways you could never imagine, but you will learn so much about life from those years. Don't let them define you. Learn and move on, and know that in ten years most of those people will no longer be in your life.
  • Don't be scared of the unknown; embrace it. You will never move forward if you don't allow yourself to be challenged and learn to tackle the most difficult things head on. No one has ever moved mountains by hiding in the corner.
  • You're not perfect. This was probably the hardest life lesson I ever had to learn. You will make mistakes, and that's okay. Perfection doesn't make us interesting. Our flaws give us character, and usually go hand-in-hand with something we can be proud of.
  • Just because everyone does something one way does not make it the right way, or the easiest way, or the best way. Learn to question and challenge things in a graceful way. Think things through, and share your ideas with confidence. The world can't evolve without change.
  • Your heart will break, but once you put the pieces back together it will be stronger. You will be stronger.
  • Listen to criticism, learn from it, and then shake it off. Never be too good for advice, but stand strong in what you know. And when the time comes, passion trumps everything.
  • Happiness is a skill. You can choose to be happy, but you must also know how to be happy. It is so much easier said than done. Think of the little things that made you smile before you knew the hardships of the world. If we all took a few minutes to enjoy the simplest things that put a smile on our face, the world would be a better place.
  • Don't get caught up in the viscious cycle of negativity. Surround yourself with people that smile, and cherish friendships with those that want to see you happy.
  • As parents we try to set good examples, but we're far from perfect. Realize our mistakes, take note of our flaws, and be better than we ever dreamed of being. You deserve more.
  • Friends can make you or break you. Choose wisely. You don't have to work hard for true friendships. When times are hard, realize who is there for you, who isn't, and who got you there in the first place. Own your own mistakes, but don't forget how important the influences around you are.
  • Even the best friendships can fade away if you let them. Never let someone forget how important they are to you. A few sincere words or unexpected call can go a long way.
  • Don't let a relationship take over your life. You will lose yourself, your friends, and everything that made you who you are long before that person walked into your life. You can never be 100% sure that someone will be around forever, so make sure you can stand on your own two feet without them.
  • Change is good. Be weary of those that always resist change, and even more cautious of someone that doesn't want you to change for the better.
  • Be honest and trusting, but always aware of the intentions of others. Have faith that there are good people in this world, you just have to find them.
  • Think wisely before you let anything become a habit. Habits are easy to make but so much harder to break, so be sure it's something that you want to be part of your life now and always.
I will always want what's best for both of you, and I will always be by your side no matter how hard you try to push me away. We're in this together, for life. There is no one in this world that understands our bond the way that we do, and the love that reaches from my heart straight into yours. I live my life for the two of you, and there will never be a day that my love for you doesn't overwhelm me.

Love forever and always,

dear Adaleigh (12 months)

"Though she be but little, she is fierce!"

~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

my sweet girl,

It's hard to believe there was ever a time that you weren't a part of this family. You have brought an energy and excitement to our home that we didn't know we were missing.


You are loud and fearless, and never one to be forgotten in a crowd. You have music in your soul and dancing shoes on your feet. You pose for pictures like you were born for the spotlight. There hasn't been a dull moment since you entered our lives.

You were crawling by 7 months and cruising by 9, but despite a few steps here and there you haven't fully embraced walking. It's as if you know that once you step out of our arms, you are no longer the little baby girl we brought home a year ago.

You look more and more like your brother every day, but with an undeniable beauty and grace. You're still less than the 1st percentile on the growth chart, but full of courage and independence. You know just how and when to smile to make anyone's heart melt.
It's hard to imagine there will ever be a boy that loves you more than your brother. He never gets tired of smothering you with hugs and kisses and love. He is the first to protect you, and the last to leave your side. I hope you always cherish the bond you have shared since the day you were born.

When the day comes that you are ready to leave home, I hope you fly with open wings and your head held high. The world doesn't know what awaits them in your petite little frame. I hope you reach for your dreams, and never settle for anything less than what you deserve. You are full of strength and will that will take you far.

Here's to one year down, and a lifetime of joyful memories and beautiful journeys together. Forever and always, you are the most special girl in my life. Whatever life brings or wherever it takes us, you will be a part of my heart forever. I love you, sweet girl.
love always,