Well, it's Tuesday and it's July 24th. Why is that significant? It isn't. It's just simply the first day of our summer that I don't have a trip, or a big event or more family coming to town! I took Trav's Mom to the airport this morning and for the first time since late May, we are looking at just the four of us being home, sweet home for the forseeable future. Ahhhh, that feels nice!
It's been a great summer so far. A crazy, busy summer but a fun one too! We have loved all the time we've had on the road, loved spending time with family here and there, and going on new adventures across the globe, well Travis has enjoyed those adventures! I'm grateful for the memories we've made and the experiences God has blessed us with. Travis and I feel the very same way, we are so grateful for our Church and for the many ways his job blesses us and gives us opportunities to be together. But now we have some time to be home again and to take a deep breath or two before the Fall schedule starts. (Ok, when I say "some time" I mean 2 weeks, Ha ha!) It's not long, but we'll take what we can get!
Everyone is doing well at our house, but the big news of our weekend has been our kids' move to bunk beds! We've been mulling the idea over for awhile and wondering if it would work, but after we were given a set of bunk beds (a direct answer to prayer!!) we decided to go for it. And I'm glad we did! It's going well, the kids love it and are handling the transition better than we hoped they would.
So in honor of the move and because I wanted to relive the memories for fun, I thought I'd walk you through the history of the Armstrong's bedrooms. Just for the record, there are only 2, but in 5 years of living here we've had 7 combinations. SEVEN. Yes, everyone observe a collective moment of silence to commemorate that. In 5 years there have been 7 instances of moving furniture, 7 design schemes, 7 space plans, 7 bedding combinations, 7 conversations between Travis and I, and if I'm honest 77 disagreements about how it was all going to work out! Seriously. If someone deserves to be the Queen of Re-Purposing and Re-Arranging, I'd like to nominate myself. In true humility of course :) For better or for worse, Travis inherited a wife who misses the mark in many areas but is never out of a new design idea!!
Here is where I insert my classic warning, *many pictures ahead* but if you're willing to waste 10 minutes of your life, enjoy this little stroll down our bedroom memory lane...
This was the master bedroom when we moved in. We enjoyed all the space for approximately 3 years! Attached is a very large walk in closet and a large 3/4 bath. We loved calling this space our own!
We had white walls in here for awhile, but eventually painted them a warm brown, the same color they are today.
This was our guest room when we moved in, bedroom #2. We loved this extra room when our families came to visit. It was a cozy place for guests and it became our golden retrievers perch of choice :)
This seriously feels like a lifetime ago when I look at these pictures! I loved this room. That was my bedding from my first apartment in Naples, when Travis and I met.
But, after the Lord answered our prayers and gave us Ava, it was time to turn the guest room into a nursery. And oh how I LOVED that nursery!
It was a darling room for our precious Ava and we spent lots of time in there for the first 18 months of her life.
This also feels like a time I barely remember. I swear we just did that room, but amazingly it's already been 2 years since we moved her out of there...
...and into a big girl bed...
...in a big girl room!
Yes, we moved out of our master bedroom and gave it up for Miss Ava. We debated and debated and debated some more about that decision, but ultimately we needed more room for her, for the toys and for...
...the baby boy God surprised us with!!! What a blessing to get that surprise, but what a challenge when we found ourselves in a position that required us to stay put in our condo, due to a market that was crashing and an economy that was falling apart. We couldn't move so we had to get really creative. I spent SOOO much time dreaming this scenario up and convincing Travis that it would work. When we moved out of the master bedroom so that Ava could move in, we also moved out of our (my) beloved walk in closet so that it could become a nursery!
It sounded so crazy at the time and it still makes me laugh, but I really grew to love that little nursery. The Lord gave me lots of creativity and incredible deals to pull that little room together!
It was cozy, quiet and perfect. I spent many a night holding my sweet Carter in that rocker.
Every nook and cranny had to be used for storage and it was! It worked so well and I loved the way it all came together.
After all the pink in our world, I had the best time working with browns and blue! By the time we moved Carter out last week, this little nursery went through several changes, but we are so glad we made the decision to give the kids all this space. It has made a big difference in handling all their stuff and giving them each a space that was their own.
It seemed so silly to many people, but it was really important to me that they have their own personalized "rooms", even if that meant converting a closet!
So that pink crib got some brown and blue the second time around and we had 2 places for the kids to sleep and play.
After we gave up our master for the smaller bedroom and the (MUCH) smaller closet, Travis let me lick my wounds by redecorating our room a little bit...He's a wise man and a sweet husband!
I have to admit, that helped. I found this adorable dresser at a garage sale of all places and it was the best addition! Not to mention it gave us some much needed storage after we endured the loss of closet space!
So, for the last 2 years we've lived like this. Ava in the master/playroom, Carter in the closet/nursery, and Travis and I in the guest room. It's been a perfect fit and we've all survived just fine :) However, as our children keep growing, so do their toys and their needs. We talked about bunk beds last Fall in a "someday" kind of way but after Carter's 18 mo. well check, the discussion got a little more real when his Pediatrician told us he was officially too tall for his crib and she thought bunk beds were a great idea! So, I've been scouring Craig's List and garage sales for awhile, hoping to land a great deal and trying to figure out the best way to make use of our space. I had ideas, but I wasn't sure how it would work out. When Trav was in Israel and I was in Iowa, my friend's Mom called my Mom and offered her some bunk beds she picked up, if we were interested. That was a direct answer to prayer and the push we needed to make the move.
I was looking for white bunk beds and I considered a million types of styles, but when I saw these I thought they were darling :) They would look cute painted white, but honestly I'm out of energy and just decided that it was close enough to our woodwork for me to just go with it. But, the real clincher was that they are older and therefore shorter than most bunk beds. I knew they were going to work in the spot I had in mind! We are so thankful to our friends who blessed us with these and to the Lord for providing for us again!
So after we got home last weekend, I spent the last week on the hunt for the things I needed to pull this move off. Starting with some big boy bedding for Carter! I had my eye on this set for awhile and finally pulled the trigger. I found that cute pillow at Homegoods this week, which matched perfectly and tied the green color in. I was looking for some bedding that coordinated with Ava's existing bedding, but wasn't too "matchy" and still looked like a little boy. I'm so happy I went with this nautical set!
I took Ava's bedding from her daybed and moved it to the top bunk. She loved it!
She has a bedrail that we use, it's just not in this picture :) The bunks fit perfectly against this wall and under that shelf...in the closet! We were hoping their beds and a dresser would fit in the closet so that we could use that space for sleeping and napping. It's cozy but it's super cute in person. I put some of Ava's favorite books on that shelf by her bed and it's her new reading spot.
Carter has the cave on the bottom, which is also a fun little spot for him! I put Ava's old bedrail up to help keep him in there and so far it's working. He can get out and he has, but only when Ava wakes up and they leave the room together. We are so thankful that they are sleeping so well, especially Carter. He looks so cute in that big bed and hasn't missed a beat leaving his crib behind.
So now, this is the view into the "closet" or their new bunk room :)
It's a work in progress as I begin to blend all things girl and boy. So far green is my favorite color :) It seems to be the link between both worlds!
I couldn't bear to take down their baby pictures, so for now they are across from the beds.
Newborn pics, birth announcements...
...it all feels like yesterday.
I need to tone down the girl stuff, but I can't help it :) I still like it!
Our basket of Bibles :)
I replaced the brown curtain with a pink one we had, but again I'm looking for a green one.
Do the animals at your house multiply like ours do?? I even weeded ours out recently. Good grief!
So with those two bunking together now, this is our new playroom! And we all love it!
Lots of room for toys now and space to play all day. Most of Carter's toys have found a home in the living room, but with his birthday in just a few months, he'll get some more real estate in here and I'll get some time to figure out where it will go!
We decided to leave the crib up for now, mostly because we have no place to store it! It's turned into a bed for Ava's babies, which is fun :) She was thrilled to have the option!
So that's what we've been up to while Trav's Mom was here this past week! I'm so thankful she was here to help me, it's been a lot of work to shuffle everyone around again, but at least we're used to it!!
It's amazing what we've been able to do with just two bedrooms and a closet! I wish I could tell you that I've always had a good attitude about it, but I haven't. Somedays I struggle not to complain or resent our lack of space but other days I love this little condo and all that it's held for us. It's not ideal or what we ever envisioned but it's home and we truly love it. I would give my right arm for my kids and I've already proven I would give up prime real estate in a great closet!! Ha ha!! If the Lord blesses us with another little Armstrong, I have no idea what we'll do. But for now, we are grateful for what He's given us and choosing to remember that He's always been faithful to provide exactly what we need, when we need it.
It's an adventure being married to me when it comes to decorating and re-arranging! But please, no one tell Travis that some of you don't move your furniture for like 20 years, he might ground me or something! Hope you've enjoyed the history of our bedrooms. Who really knows what the future holds or what they'll look like tomorrow, but for now this is our plan and we're rolling with it. Sometimes the very best thing you can do for your home is dream a little bit and get creative, it costs nothing to dream! But if that doesn't do it, you could hire someone like me to get creative for you! Ha ha! I'm pretty sure Travis will happily send me your way if it means no more moving or money spent for him :) :) :)