Thursday, August 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Allie!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Friday, August 17, 2012

Nursery/Guest Room Make Over

Wow...I haven't posted in awhile, but now that I actually have something interesting to post about, I hope to do it more often! Nothing like having a baby and blogging about them...right?! So this first "baby blog" is about his nursery...which is currently shared with a guest room. So we still live in the basement of Grandma's house (yes, it's been 4 years...amazing how the "6 month" plan always changes). This room used to be used for storage. There was A LOT of work put into this room to make functional...and cute, of course! We had to clear it out, put some decent carpet in, repaint and repair! Since we aren't staying for too much longer (I laugh as I type this since we have yet another "6 month goal") we don't want to invest too much time and money into everything. I am pretty darn pleased with how this room turned out though. Especially since Caleb said "Don't expect to have a nursery" because we honestly didn't have room! Well, we purged and made it happen! Now we not only have a nursery, but a place for our guests to stay!! This room was completed on a tight budget, but we made it happen! 
The Nursery/Guest Room updated! By Caleb: Room painted, redone/painted knobs on furniture, hung floating shelves. My friend Lindsay helped me hang the poms and lanterns which were from a couple of my baby showers.
Only major things left are a name plaque which I will design once we come up with a name...probably after he's born, and a Canvas of a maternity picture (check out Living Social and Groupon...they always have companies putting good deals up!)

Little hanging rack was given to me by my mom years ago, I'm glad I found a use for it now! Maternity pic by Quinn Neeley,  Framed "I love you a bushel and a peck" free printable, "L" block letter made by Caleb, toy Jeep was Caleb's old car he used to play with, Glad air freshner (like it more for the look than the smell...haha), baby boy's first towels and bathrobe! That bathrobe used to be my nephew's...such an adorable hand-me down.
Dresser was found for a killer deal on Craigs came with a crib (picture to come), a crib mattress, and 2 adorable baskets that matched the room (I believe it all came to less than $200...our crib alone was more than that in a store!)
Decor on dresser: bucket full of toys/sports stuff (all gifts from showers), sounder soccer piggy bank and green candle from my aunt, framed ultrasound (frame was one of the first gifts I received and was what inspired the colors of the nursery...originally wanted to do a beach theme, but Caleb said "no way". Okay so sports and Sounders colors it is), lamp found at Target, adorable preppy hat found at Old Navy and part of first outfit I bought for him after we found out the gender.
The floating shelves were a great deal found at Ross ($12), I can't find them at any Ross now..bummer. On the shelves: couple maternity pix taken by Quinn Neeley, framed quote, "I am a Child of God" and framed Bible verse (Philippians 4:4) both found for free on internet (through Pinterest of course!),  mini sounders soccer ball and mini football were gifts from showers, Auntie Kelsey gave baby his "My First Teddy", baby shoes were given by Auntie Jenny.

The changing table used to be an old desk, Caleb sanded it, painted it and redid the knobs (also redid the knobs on the shelving unit above it)...It turned out awesome! I bought the shelving unit for $9 from a gal from church and found the laundry basket at Ross for about $10.
Decor on the shelving unit: Maternity pic (all colorful frames were found at Target...I love the RE brand!), Caleb's old soccer shin guards, small football found at garage sale for a quarter, Sounders Teddy bear gifted by my aunt, little sign made by my cousin and was part of diaper cake.
On the changing table: Aveno lotion, automatic hand sanitizer dispenser (great gift!), and natural stain remover (I'm looking fwd to all the blow-outs, spit ups, etc).
Hanging from the shelving unit are adorable burp cloths my sister made...So awesome! The surf board off to the right was made by my crafty friend, Anna (yay! A touch of "beach theme" that I wanted!)

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weird how time seemingly goes by so slowly yet so quickly all at the same time! Not everyone experiences this, but I certainly do. Reason being is that God is teaching me patience...actually its been a lifelong lesson but He's been seemingly teaching me this lesson through more extreme circumstances these past 3.5 years. 3.5 years. That doesn't seem like a long time, but to me it has felt more like 10 years. That may seem like an exaggeration but truly, time has seemed to inch by.
Being a full time working wife with multiple jobs, trying to support her husband through grad school has been one of the most challenging experiences in my life. My faith has been tried in so many ways. I am so blessed to have a job, but let me tell you, I have not had the easiest time supporting us. When we moved back to the Seattle area I was convinced I would have a stable job to support us through Caleb's schooling. Boy was I wrong. Over these past years I have gone through 5 plus jobs. Praise the Lord I have stuck with one for 2.5 years: personal training at 24 Hour Fitness. 
Not everyone knows the life of a trainer. It is not all. I had no idea I was entering into such a challenging profession. I wanted to give up so many times. I got depressed within the first 6 months of this job and thought that I was stuck. A year and a half later, the Lord opened doors for me to get out of the mud pit I'd allowed myself to get into. I knew I needed a change in order to get my focus back. I thought for sure it would mean leaving 24 HF, but God had another idea...a transfer. So I transferred from a Kent location to a Seattle location. I was scared. I didn't want anything to do with Seattle. 
Thankfully, I went through the door and have not looked back. Training life is still incredibly challenging: wondering if I am going to have any clients week to week, wondering if I am going to get paid day to day, wondering if I'm researching the right resources for my clients, wondering how many times I'm going to have to change my schedule around in a day. Wondering, wondering, wondering. All this "wondering" can be accurately translated as anxiety.
God has helped me tremendously to change my perspective. As long as I seek Him daily, I find the joy in every aspect of my matter how challenging.
With this change, came the drive to change our living situation. We have lived in Caleb's grandparents' basement for these past 3.5 years. It is an old basement that had lots of stuff when we moved in. It's been a slow and gradual process but we now have a more roomy and homey place to live! I've been admittedly terrible about putting up pictures of the progress, but will hopefully kick into gear and get it done!

In the mean time, I'd thought I'd share a few things that I have found to love about living here...
This is what our windows look out to...pretty amazing. A new sunset every evening...never gets old!
The lake is gorgeous with snow!
Get to see unique things, like a blood red moon.
We get to see these kiddos way more often living right next door to Grandma and Grandpa Louvier! Our two nieces, Baylee Joy and Allie Rae are the 2nd girl from the left and the girl on the far right. Gracie Faith and Cayden are just like our niece and nephew too...we love them like family!
We love being silly with Baylee.
Cayden is my little man! I ADORE this buddy!
"Uncle Cayub" is a favorite of Gracie Faith and Allie Rae. They love him so much! Every time I see them with him , it melts my heart!
I love this picture...I took it on our annual coast trip to was actually extremely nice weather this year! 
So as you can tell, we are extremely blessed by location and people by living where we are! There is so much more I wanted to put on here but this post is fairly long, so I suppose I will continue later! Until then, practice what I've been trying to learn...PATIENCE!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Project Basement"...CAUTION: long blog!

So I just have to say that I am so very thankful for family! Caleb's grandma has been letting us live in her basement for over 2 years now. She has also let us make some pretty big changes! We are so, so, so grateful for her kindness. She is a HUGE blessing!! I am not sure where we would be right now if she and grandpa hadn't taken us in....probably in a box on the side of the road - ok that might be a bit dramatic but we seriously would be in an interesting situation! God always provides though. I am also so, so, so thankful for my hubs, my father-in-law (Gregg), my mom (Sharon) and everyone else who has been helping us with this basement makeover! It has given me something to do and look forward to! And it has given us a comfortable place to live. The pictures below do not give justice to the amount of work that was put in. I wish I had more "before" pictures...let's just say when we first moved in there was just enough room to walk in and out of the front door. Then again, we were only planning on living here for 6 months...oh, funny how God works. His ways are truly so much better than mine!! After being here for a month, I was DYING to move. I got pretty depressed when the 6th month rolled around and I realized we weren't going anywhere on my small income. Praise the Lord I listened to the Spirit and "hung around." So many times I wanted to walk out the door, walk out of this life, walk out of everything I thought was so terrible. I was looking past all the blessings in my husband included. As I've said in my previous blog, its easy to get caught up in the depression...but when you do, you are blinded by Satan's lies.

I never thought I'd say this, but I don't mind living here and I am willing to stay here as long as it takes. Only God can provide a peace that I now have...I thought I'd never be able to get out of my pit. So, thank you all who have been an encouragement to Caleb and me these past years...really, since day one of our marriage. It's not been an easy road...not even close, but how would we realize how blessed we are if we had an easy way out? How many times have I been drawn literally to my knees, humbled and broken only to be drawn to the cross?! So many...and so many more times to come...because I am a Christ follower. Not just a Christian, but a lover of Jesus.

With all that said, enjoy the few pics we have and many more to come as the adventures continue with our "Project Basement"!

This was December 2009...this is way better than December 2008...just pretend a huge pool table (which is in the back in this picture with all the "junk" on top) right smack in the middle of the room. Convenient for the Louvier kids as they grew up so they could play pool and ping pong...but where were Caleb and I going to put our couch? Where would we lounge? How could we have visitors? So the cleaning began....

This is rather blurry, but notice how the pool table is gone along with the junk on top...I was surprised to find a built in book shelf (in the far left corner in the picture) which was perfect for all our textbooks etc from all the years! There's also a functioning fireplace!!!! I was stoked (ha ha, pun not intended)!! Well...its not functioning quite hasn't been used in years!

The end result after all the random cabinets and junk got moved! Woohoo! We have living room space! Thanks Tim and Jane for the entertainment center!

My mom came up and made pillow covers (from curtain fabric...curtains seen in pictures below), and helped me find that awesome rug! The curtain fabric, table and rug are all from Ikea (thanks Nate and Jen for giving us that table! It's perfect!); the couch (given to us from my dad, thanks dad!) is from Crate and Barrel, and the super soft white pillows are from Costco! Some people like to know where things come from, so for those of you who were curious...there you go!

Ok, so this is kind of a random picture of me opening presents on my birthday after work in July 2009. But if you look behind me you notice the two oval pictures on the wall, the stairs and part of the kitchen...remember those details

Another seemingly random picture...but notice the large tan desk (its a goner now...or at least out of the basement; I threatened to throw that thing into the lake countless times...just ask Caleb) and where the garbage cans are there is soon going to be a new wall...

This was part of the kitchen remodel! The picture on the bottom shows the two wall structures that Gregg and Caleb built and painted (they stayed up for HOURS on end to finish when Caleb was on winter break); and some of the new cabinets are installed.

The result: New and improved kitchen with new curtains my mom helped pick out and hem (Ikea), bamboo shades (super discounted at Lowes), a HUGE new sink, a lazy susan (not pictured; it was given to us but from Ikea), new counter tops with formica, a new drop light (Ikea) and new cabinets (given to us from Gregg's former employer)!!!!

Marsha and Gregg gave us their stove (which I LOVE!) because they got a new one! The cabinets and counter top are all new...oh and the painted wall too!

Remember the two oval pictures from the above picture of me opening presents? Those are now replaced with a pic of us (taken by Olan Mills when we got our church directory pics taken...yay for a free copy!) and letters that spell "LIVE" that Caleb made and spray-painted...I hung them with ribbon. The mirror I got a few years ago at Pier one and it is mounted on our new wall (which is painted deep barn red!)

This is the view looking out of our of our cruise with Lindsay and Mark! Truly a fun and memorable time! Can't remember where I got the candle mount but you can find them at Khol's or pretty much any department store for pretty cheap.

This is the bathroom...well what I'm willing to show of it! Mom helped me again with the curtain (which is from Ikea), the framed mirrors are also from Ikea, the wall clock was a wedding gift from Target (thanks Shauna and Jon!), the vase I got on clearance at JoAnn's in Salem, the cabinet is from Ikea but we got it from one of my past co-workers who were moving (yay for discount!), the letters were made by Caleb and spell laugh...

Up close of "LAUGH" and picture frame holding snapshots of our adorable nieces and nephews!!

Whew! That was a lot! Not sure if anyone actually read all of this, but I thought it was important to share what was happening in the basement!

Couple questions I could see arising from this:

Why is there a LIVE and LAUGH?
It is part of the LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE theme...the LOVE is in our bedroom...but there will be no pictures of our bedroom until we do a bit of a makeover!! That's on the list!

This might lead to another question...what else is on the to-do list?
1. Flooring in the kitchen (its just concrete like the rest of the basement) and carpet (to cover the concrete in the living/resting spaces).
2. Fireplace screen...and a working fireplace! :o)
3. Lighting for the kitchen
4. Many more "little details" that may or may not happen while we're here!

Stay tuned for more pics/details about "Project Basement!!!!!"

Sunday, March 6, 2011's about Jesus

So, lately I've been feeling discouraged to write anything on this blog...obviously its been awhile and I tried to commit myself to posting more! I don't have anything very exciting to write about. We don't have kids. Caleb's in Physical Therapy school full time and I work as a personal trainer...that about sums everything up. Frustrating thing is I LOVE adventure and right now I feel like to experience anything new/exciting is "not allowed." I'd love to write about something funny our kids do or about a great escape my hubby and I go on. But there is nothing. So on goes my life: day in, day out. How depressing right?! Sounds depressing because I MAKE it life is truly not as dismal as this sounds. If I let Satan creep in and tell me all the lies and I believe them, then yes that is depressing. But I have Jesus...and let me tell you, life is an ongoing adventure! He teaches me something every day!

Here's 5 lessons I'm learning right now (believe me, there's a million more)...not in any particular order...
1. Be Patient! Wow...I really dislike this one, which is why I know I am being taught it.
2. Do not get caught up in the THINGS of this world! Sheesh...I LOVE "things!" Things are fun to buy and have, but they can become idols so quickly and avert the focus on what's important
3. Accept and cherish the here and now! You can never repeat a day/hour/minute. Once its passed, its gone for good. Being an impatient person, I tend to focus on the days/years ahead and desire for time to speed by to get to the things I really want in life. But when looking at the bigger picture, I'm not enjoying the things in life right NOW that I've been waiting for in the past!! Wow, how selfish am I?? I guess I think I deserve everything...and I deserve it now! Oh how contrary...
4. Spend time with Jesus....I don't do this near enough. If you know me at all, you know I get stressed out often and over the dumbest things. Work becomes my focus. When I focus on Jesus, all stress dissipates and life becomes a joy!
5. Be grateful for what you have. Clearly I do not appreciate the MANY blessings God has given me....I don't deserve any of it. It's time to work on being more GRATEFUL!

I know I am going to continue to struggle with these, but I also know God is EXTREMELY merciful and will help me along if I ask. If you don't know Jesus, its never too late to start a relationship with him. He's already knocking on your heart wanting to be a part of your life...go ahead and open the door.....
believe me, it'll be the best decision you have ever made.

Here's one of my favorite songs to give you hope and a focus: Jesus.

Glorious Day (living He Loved Me) lyrics

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected

Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Sometimes I just need to write (or in this case type) out my frustrations. Let me just say that I am SO anxious...I'm anxious to be done with things and anxious to start new things. We have been house sitting for another couple (friends) for the week...what a blessing! We have been able to come to this house every evening after work and just RELAX and watch some TV...this may not seem like a huge deal to most, but let me explain. We have been living in a basement for the past two years. I am not talking about a nice up-to-date basement, I'm talking about an old basement...oh and with no TV channels. There's many things I could complain about, but the biggest issue I am having is privacy and making the place my own. Unfortunately we are not in a financial place to live on our own and are not sure when we will be. I remind myself DAILY that I should be very thankful that we have a roof over our heads, and for Caleb's grandparents letting us stay there! Right now Caleb really feels like we need to stay there not only for fanancial reasons but because of grandpa's health. Caleb has been a huge help! He is definitely a servant...and a humble one at that. I definitely need to work on this...

Other things I'm so anxious and excited for:
*Caleb to have a job and be done with school! Unfortunately he still has two full years left.
*KIDS! I have ALWAYS wanted to be a stay-at-home mom was amazing and I LOVED the fact that she was always there for me. I want to do the same for my kids.
*Working part-time on my own schedule. I honestly didn't want to go to college, but my mom encouraged me to go just in case my future spouse passed and I needed a job. I'm glad I went, but in some ways I feel like it was a waste of money. In other ways I feel like should go back to school to get a masters...or even a PhD...even though I really don't want to!
*Having a job that pays every hour I'm there!
*A home of our own.
*Being close to family. My heart aches regularly because of the distance in our family. My brother and sister live in different states...and now my mom too. I pray that one day we will all be in the same state again and live within a 20 mile radius of each other. My sister and I have always wanted to raise our kids together just like my mom and aunt raised us cousins together.

Even though life is difficult right now, there are so many little blessings that feel HUGE to me and help me get through the day-to-day...being able to house-sit (we are house-sitting for 3 couples within a month's time period. BLESSING!), having a great boss who allows me to take numerous family vacations over the summer even though I do not have paid time off, having a wonderful hubby (he does so much it would take me years to write it all! He is such an amazing man), having family next door, literally, it's great having Caleb's family close even though it makes me yearn for mine at times; I am also thankful for the wonderful church full of wonderful people and a wonderful pastor!

I am praying for a more positive attitude about life. I have to work at it daily. But thankfully God is walking right by my side through everything. I've fallen a lot over the past couple years, but He is always there to pick me up and help me get on my feet again. But you know, I always need to hold His hand and thankfully He never wants to let go even if I try.