Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sick or Treat [Our Halloween]

Our Halloween was puke-tacular to say the least.  Kollyns went to sleep Thursday night so thrilled about trick-or-treating.  We read spooky stories before bed and talked about witches and ghouls and watched creepy cartoons.  We were feeling all kinds of festive.  That's until 4am when I heard her shriek "Mom I have to throw upppp!"  We didn't make it to the bathroom in time, but I'll spare you those details.  She felt awful for two straight days.  Boo.
Can you tell the dogs were worried about her too?  They never left her side.
And all of that looking after their sick sister was clearly exhausting...
So since Trick-or-Treating was out of the question and my whole family was just exhausted from all of the sickness, I went ahead and made my crockpot potato soup.  It's a super easy recipe, so I must share.  Its so great when you just aren't in the mood to cook.  Throw a bunch of stuff in the crockpot with no prep at all and you have a delicious housewarming meal.
It doesn't look very pretty because I didn't have anything on hand to garnish it with since we were cooped up in the house, but bacon and cheese would be delish on top!
Easy Crockpot Potato Soup
You will need:
1 Medium Onion Chopped
1 1/2 Bags Ore Ida Hashbrowns (Diced not Shredded)
4 Cans of Chicken Broth
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Block of Cream Cheese
Salt Pepper
Pour Hashbrowns, Chopped Onion, Chicken Broth and Cream of Chicken Soup into Crockpot. 
Mix Well.
Cook on LOW for 6 Hours.
Add Cream Cheese and Cook on LOW for 2 more Hours. Stirring Occasionally.
Season with Salt, Pepper and a dash of Thyme
Garnish with Bacon and Cheese if desired.
Serve with corn muffins or whatever you're craving at the moment!
Finally on Sunday evening she was feeling a bit better, and we couldn't sit in the house another minute.  With tired eyes we ventured to Target with fingers crossed they would have Christmas decorations and 95 inch curtains.
Nope they didn't have either of those.  But they did have some pretty tasty pomegranates.

And on Monday we were finally able to make our rounds.  She loaded up on candy that I had to hide from myself and stayed in her Mermaid costume until bedtime. ;)
Now on to pretty lights, trees, gingerbread houses, holiday flavored coffee creamer and all things Christmas.
I'm so ready.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's Move In Week!

Well hey.  I've just been over here packing my life away into boxes and loving every second of it.  The long awaited week is upon us.  WE MOVE IN ON FRIDAY!  Eeeek!  I cannot believe it's finally time.  I've been driving by this house now for seven long months dreaming of the day I could call it my home.  And I'm thrilled y'all, I am.  Because really soon I will be able to.  I think I owe you a long overdue house update.  But it has been really hard to get inside of the house since they have been finishing up the floors.  And it has been even harder to get nice pretty pictures because everything was so dusty from the floors being sanded.  But at last, I can finally bring you some decent pictures of my favorite place. 
[All photos are low quality, but my nice camera is in a box somewhere.  Better photos will be coming at you once I get the house decorated!]
Welcome to our home. :)
Don't mind the little munchkin in the front yard, she was testing out the new grass.
Come on in...
We still have one coat of poly to go on the floors, so they will be a bit shinier once they are done.
Yep, they are super dark.  We used an ebony stain on white oak 5 inch boards.  And don't tell me because I already know that I might as well go ahead and glue a Swiffer to my hand.
And there will be a TV covering that brown board. :)
Our mantel is plain but rustic.  And in person you can really see the character.  The wood is reclaimed and it is over 250 years old.  Kinda cool.
I think the kitchen is my favorite.  Only because I can't wait to have Kollyns sitting at the bar talking to me while I cook dinner and bake cookies.  Little moments like that make life extra sweet.

Our appliances are coming in today and will be hooked up on Thursday.  We ordered all LG appliances because they look cool and they had a slide in double oven.  You had me at dinner and dessert cooking at the same time minus the hefty price of an actual built in double oven.
Be still my heart.

The under cabinet lights are my jam because I'm all about lighting that makes a home warm and inviting.  What a pretty little glow.
Here's a little glimpse into the dining room.  I'm sorry the pictures are so dark, it was super gloomy yesterday.
Master Bedroom.

Mood lighting anyone?  We had the builder install crown molding with a rope light above so it would illuminate the ceiling at night.  I told you I'm all about some cozy lighting. ;)

Master Bath.  We decided to step away from the basic plain mirror and have decorative ones instead.  These are place holders for fancier ones in the future.  But I couldn't pass these up since they fit perfectly and I got them at TJMaxx for $25 a piece.  AND I had gift cards! Yay!

And last but not least a side view of the garage and lights.
I really love our home.  A lot of people finish building and say that would do at least one thing differently.  I wouldn't change a thing.  I'm so happy with how it all turned out.
I won't be posting anymore photos until we are moved in and it's all nice and decorated. Then I'll be happy to give you another tour. :)
One more thing.
I know my blog has basically been overtaken by house photos and it seems like it's all I think about.  I promise you it isn't.  I love our house and I can't wait to make many memories here but I know it's just a material thing and in the big scheme of things it is so not a big deal.  I'm thankful for our home but I'm most thankful for my Savior and my relationship with Him and all of the blessings he has poured over us ...most importantly our health and our sweet Kollyns.  We don't deserve anything, but because of His sweet mercy & grace He chooses to bless us anyway.
If you have any questions at all about anything in our home, I will be happy to answer.  Email me anytime.  And if you aren't following me on Instagram @kelseyalmond yet, you totally should. :)
Plan Name:  Frank Betz Raines
Siding:  CertainTeed Natural Clay
Roof:  Weathered Wood Architectural Shingles
Brick:  Mallory Creek
Stone Interior & Exterior:  Suncrest Stone in Honey Creek Ledge
Dining/Kitchen/Living Paint:  SW 7025 Backdrop
Master Bedroom/Bathroom Paint:  SW 6108 Latte

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Craving the Good Stuff

Nope, not pregnant.
 Crave:  To feel a powerful desire for something; long for; yearn for; want and wish for 
I was watching Joyce Meyer the other morning before work just as I always do, and she asked the question:  What do you crave?
Well that's a good one.
Approval?  Attention?  Material wealth?  Acceptance?  Respect?
I think we all at some point or another have wanted at least one of these things.  And I don't believe there is anything wrong with wanting people to respect you or like you or even wanting long as it doesn't take priority over our main purpose or become something we overthink and obsess about.  And there's something about human nature and our society that can cause even one with the best intentions to slip into one of these traps before we even realize we are sliding that way.
I started reflecting on this question and really I've been running it through my mind over the past two weeks.  I prayed for God to reveal to me exactly what my greatest desire was.  Of course it should be Him and in my heart that was what I wanted Him to reveal to me. 
I ran down the list and examined myself and my life to see which one I was guilty of.  I didn't find the answer through self-evaluation and I was feeling like my priorities were pretty much in check.  Ha.

Even still I prayed for God to convict my heart.  And you know it's so funny how God answers in the most unexpected ways.

The day after I prayed that prayer I woke up late and of course it was on a day that Kollyns had to be at preschool.  And when I'm late I'm the worst possible version of Kelsey.  I'm testy, snappy and everything irritates me and I'm a jerk.  And have you ever noticed that when you're late everything else seems a little off the rest of the day?

Yep, with wet hair and halfway done makeup I basically drove at lighting speed to take Kollyns to preschool fussing at myself under my breath (for waking up late and throwing my morning off) the whole way.  When we finally got there she decided she really didn't want to go to preschool (probably because she sensed my stress and felt the need to stay with me).  After a 5 minute cling/cry session in the parking lot and a Bloop bribe from mama she finally loosened her grip on me and went on in.  I got halfway to work and realized I didn't have my cell phone and I really needed it because that was the contact info they had at preschool and if they needed me they wouldn't be able to get in touch.  So I turned the car around and drove back home and was greeted by our tail-wagging newly adopted German Shepherd 'Porter' (I'll save that story for another day) who barreled through the door with muddy paws and dove onto my brand new grey linen upholstered accent chair that I have been saving for the new house.  Yes I said linen, not leather.  Disaster.  I spent the next 15 minutes scrubbing that with Resolve and saying a few things I'm ashamed of getting even more irritated with the entire situation that I was completely at fault for.  The following 15 minutes were spent in a frantic search for my iPhone until I gave up and got in the car because I was already super late for work...only to find that my phone was in my purse the entire time.  As I pulled the phone that had put me into a tailspin for most of the morning out of my purse I just dropped my head and prayed for God to forgive me for the entire morning and all of the ugliness that it entailed.  What was wrong with me?  What is lacking in my life that would cause a series of events so stupid and trivial to translate into me acting like a complete idiot for 30 straight minutes.

And just like that I had my answer.

Time, Kelsey.  I want your time.

The whole entire morning was leading up to this answer that I had begged Him for.  I don't give Him enough time.  I don't spend enough time in the Word. 

I thought I was doing good. I listen to a 30 minute message every morning while I get ready for work.  I read my Jesus Calling devotional every day and look up the scriptures.  I talk to God more than I talk to people.  I teach Sunday School to the cutest group of kids you've ever seen and I direct Children's Church.  And no I'm not telling you this because I want a pat on the back for what I do.  If anything I deserve a slap in the face because I'm so inadequate when it comes to serving.  I could do so much more.  My point is I became too comfortable with my routine. 

 Spending a significant amount of time meditating on scriptures and spending good quality uninterrupted time in the Word is where I've fallen short.  Embarrassing.  That's one of the most important parts of a relationship with God.  That's what I need to crave and desire with all of my heart.  And as a Christian it's up to me to seek that Biblical knowledge and feed myself with it, so when I'm frenzied good stuff spills out, not the ugly stuff that was sloshing out on that hectic Wednesday morning.

And I know, life is going to throw a lot more curveballs my way that are far more serious than running late and having one chaotic morning.  But if I haven't equipped myself well enough to deal with those silly situations with grace, imagine what would spill out when a big test comes my way.

So lately I've been focusing on using my time wisely.

I fill up on coffee and the Word before I even step out into the world.  I know that I need it to be who God wants me to be and I know that time spent filling myself with Biblical wisdom and knowledge is the best possible use of my time.

And I wake up early for a change.  That's always a good idea.