Gazing Upward



I introduced  you to my new blog site and then abandoned you, didn’t I?  I had good reasons. I promise. Like devouring all 3 books of The Hunger Games trilogy in 5 days (plus another 3 books I’ve been wanting to read.) And planning Carter’s 4th birthday party.  And redecorating Grace’s room which is now shared with Carter. But alas, I know you don’t want my excuses. So I’ll just give you the updates.

First of all, some book recommendations.  A few weeks ago, I finished Stella Gibbon’s novel Cold Comfort Farm.  It’s light, humorous (as in giggle out loud funny), and endearing.  It was published in 1932 but was made into a movie somewhat recently.  I can’t wait to see how the characters are portrayed in film! If you want an “easy” and uplifting read, pick up this novel.

I mentioned The Grace Effect in my giveaway post.  It’s exploration of Ukraine and the result of societies dominated by communism and without (authentic) Christian influence, along with the narratives of his adoption of daughter Sasha, were difficult to read and enlightening at the same time.  Ironically, I was reading it alongside Francis Collins’ The Language of God which also offered apologetics and inspired me to understand my faith and convictions in more grounded, practical, and logical ways… which in turn strengthened my beliefs.

Enter The Hunger Games which begins with a post-America totalitarian government and a people virtually without hope. I recognized the unintentional theme in my reading and gave some time to putting together a big picture of God and the world. It’s easy to take our faith for granted when God is  allowed to be a part of our lives.  Picturing my life without religious freedom, and thinking of the dread that a communist or totalitarian government would bring, I realized how thankful I am to be an American.

And back to this intense and page-turning trilogy…I could not put it down! I have since gotten Scott hooked.  After I finished the last book, I had become so invested in the characters that I remained in a Panem daze for a couple of days before I was able to snap back into reality.  Believe the hype…read these books!  They also offer a mature and realistic perspective on love, as opposed to so many current books which convey love as selfish and lust-based. The first movie comes out in just a few weeks. Who’s going to see it??

Are you wondering how I found time to read so many books this past month? Well, let’s just say that I had a messy house and piles of laundry to tackle when I finished my literary blitz.  With energy coming back in my 2nd trimester, I guess I felt the need to catch up on all the reading I slept through over the last few months.  It was quite enjoyable.  And my husband was quite patient with my lack of domestic productivity.

On to house projects.  While we’re planning to begin an addition soon (we’ve decided we may wait to get our lot sold first), there is no way the nursery would be ready before June 16th.  And Carter had reached his wit’s end regarding his teeny tiny room.  In fact, for the past few weeks, he hasn’t even slept in there but preferred to sleep in Grace’s room.  Scott and I had discussed having the “littles” share a room and making Carter’s room into a nursery, but I was intimidated by the costs and vision for redecorating a coed room.

Then I made a great discovery!  After finding this picture on Pinterest…and drooling over these striped drapes, I visited the blog which had posted the photo.  I found a talented decorator from Texas who provides internet consultations using inspiration boards for a very reasonable cost!  Here are two examples of her boards:

I had to send her room measurements, color ideas and dislikes, photos, pics of furniture staying in the room, whether I like DIY projects, etc. And then I could pick which level for her to shop in (ie. Low end=Target and Overstock; Medium end= Home Decorators Collection, West Elm; High end= Restoration Hardware, Layla Grace). I told her a blend since I have expensive tastes but love to accessorize with lamps from Target, etc.

Amanda would email back and forth with questions and ideas, and then she put together a virtual room via inspiration board. She also sends links to purchase all the items.  Many items she found for me, such as lamps, drapes, and wall prints, are from Target or Etsy.  We bought Serena and Lily bedding but even got it discounted from a local store.  This help was just what I needed to get a vision for the room and then save time by buying what I wanted/needed instead of spending hours shopping and searching and ultimately overspending.

I’ll post pictures when the room is completed, but I’m waiting on everything to arrive.  A hint of what’s to come…the color scheme is navy, chartreuse green, and coral (with most of the coral being on Grace’s side.)  And we ordered these beds from Restoration Hardware since Carter has been begging for bunk beds.  They’ll be separated into twin beds for at least another year, but Carter is satisfied just to know they’re coming.

I can’t wait to see the room completed. And the kids are beside themselves with excitement. I’m also pumped to have a little place for the baby. We were going to just put the crib in our room, but that’s no fun to not have a place for baby’s clothes, decor, and fun items. After all, this is my last chance to enjoy a nursery. I’ll post pics of it too when done.

I’m off to apply a second coat of white paint to Carter’s dresser.  Hope you’ve had a great weekend!



  • Comment by laura ealy — January 23, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

    Love the book recommendations! I’ll have to check out Cold Comfort Farm after I finish Mockingjay 🙂

  • Comment by Melissa — January 23, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    I loved your analysis of Hunger Games – I want to talk with you more about them. And, I’m totally down for seeing the movie with you. I think Ash and I are definitely going when it comes out. It may be my first post baby outing sans baby 🙂

    You’re going to LOVE having the Littles share a room. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know that in the long run, the different sexes will probably be separate, but for now, it’s just so stinkin’ sweet to see how much they love sharing a room that I can’t wait to throw all three of them together. I can’t wait to see the finished room, and I like those bunks. We’re thinking about getting two and putting them back to back in their bedroom in a year. Like this…

    Hope to see you soon! Love you, friend.


  • Comment by Stacey — January 24, 2012 @ 8:48 am

    Well, I guess I’ll believe that you had a messy house (although somehow I doubt it), but when are you sleeping?! Girl. So impressed with the book-marathon and room revamp! What a cool website, can’t wait to see how it all turns out! I know two kids who will be pumped!

  • Comment by Lindsey — January 24, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    1—HUGE fan of the hunger games! Can’t wait for the movie to come out. 2—I was thinking from your more recent pins that C and G were going to share a room. I think that’s so fun…and perfect for their ages. Can’t wait to see what the spaces turn out like!!

  • Comment by Lindsay — February 19, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    I am halfway through Mockingjay and as much as I want to know how it ends, I am going to be so sad to be done with these books! Over the past few weeks I’ve found myself hoping to find a real life version of Peeta 😉

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