Friday, August 1, 2014

Master Bedroom Reveal



We are back!  This month's Get Your DIY On theme is Room Reveals.  Now I have a little confession. This is not a new one before.  Some of you might have already seen makeover so I am sorry if this is a boring post for you.  For those who haven't seen it before.. here you go!

This is what our room looked like last year.  Dying for a change of course.  Yikes right!  And let's not even talk about the 2 ton rod iron sconces above our heads.  What was I thinking!



And now here it is after!  So much nicer.  It's really amazing what a few pillows can do and a change of color.  I have done so many DIY projects in this room, it's nice to see it all come together.   We are almost done with the room.  It's so nice to say that about a room.  I have 2 more small projects.  I want to recover the ottoman at the end of our bed and I want to paint my little jewelry box stand.  Other than that, it's done!
















 Here is a list of all my DIY's in this room


My amazing party co-hosts did some great room makeovers as well- check them out!

Master Bathroom Reveal by Abby with Just a Girl and Her Blog 
Beachy Bathroom by Christy with Confessions of a Serial Do It Yourselfer
Laundry Room Makeover by April with House by Hoff
Little Turning Big Room Reveal by Krista with The Happie Housie


I hope  you will join us on Sunday to link up your room reveal.  Anything you have done recently or awhile back, we want to see it!  Inspire us!  The party goes live here on the blog at 4:00pm.












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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Can I be a better Me? Part 2- The LoveIAM 26 Day Challenge


Yesterday I shared with you some feelings I had about being a better Me!    You can read the post here.  Those feelings all started from a little boy named Liam.  Liam was on this Earth for a short 26 days but has touched my life and others far more than I can truly comprehend.    I can not do justice with writing my own words of Liam's journey.  That beauty comes from his mom and dad.  Below is what his father wrote.  It is long but I hope it moves you the way it moved me and I hope it motivates you to think differently, be open and realize we can all be a better me.


Liam Ross Murray was born on Thursday January 8th, 2009 to proud first time parents, Ross (that's me) & Daradee (my wife).  We spent 26 wonderful days with our son Liam before he passed away on Monday February 2nd 2009.

Months before Liam was born, when we were 18 weeks pregnant, after having a routine ultrasound we found out that Liam had a problem with his heart.  Liam had a very rare heart with a total of 4 defects: underdeveloped left Ventricle, overdeveloped Right, his Aorta went into his Right Ventricle (should go into Left), his Pulmonary Arteries were not getting blood flow and his Ventricles and Atriums were not separated (AV Canal). So in essence Liam had two chambers instead of 4.

Liam was born at St Joseph’s Hospital Phoenix so that he could be transferred to the Scott and Laura Eller Congenital Heart Center at SJH. Daradee and I did our research and we felt confident with the group at SJH. The group’s Surgeons, Dr Nigro and Dr Cleveland are the top of their field, but there are so many other wonderful people in that group as well. We became family with all the Nurses, Intensivists, RT and ECMO Techs. These people are AMAZING and we’ve come to love them all.

So Liam’s heart defects were rare BUT they were also correctable. It would require 3 surgeries in total over 3 years, the first being a few weeks from delivery. Liam had a MRI of his heart a few days after birth. The results of the MRI identified two clots in both of Liam’s Pulmonary Arteries (P.A’s). This was concerning as they hadn’t seen clots like this before and we were unaware that Liam had clots up until this point. After several more blood tests it was confirmed that Liam did not have a blood clotting disease and that the clots were getting smaller because of medication called Heparin.

From the time Liam was born until his 1st surgery, 11 days, Daradee and I spent a lot of quality time with our son. We would change him, swaddle him, mock feed him, sing to him and hold him. This is time we will never forget and always cherish. Daradee and I never left the PCT ICU, we spent every night there for about a month. Liam looked and behaved like any normal baby prior to his surgeries.

After what seemed like a perfect 11 days Liam had his first surgery and the complications started. He ended up having two surgeries in less then two weeks because his first surgery was unsuccessful. After his first surgery Liam was on the heart lung machine called ECMO (Life Support) for about a week. Daradee and I stayed optimistic but the setbacks were becoming more frequent and it was difficult to keep our spirits up. It was also really tough for everyone close to us. We were fortunate to have several grandma’s there (Daradee’s mom Candy, My mom (Mimi) Cindy and my step-mom Jo, my dad and Daradee’s dad came out too). Ultimately one of the clots in Liam’s PA’s passed through to his brain and he suffered a severe stroke. It was during this time that I realized Liam’s purpose in life, LoveIAM.

At this point we had several hundred, maybe thousands of people following Liam’s progress and life mission, LoveIAM. The guestbook entries were overwhelming, people opened up their hearts and Daradee and I could feel the enormous amount of love being sent our way, it was amazing.

The miracle of LoveIAM happened during Liam’s 26 Days of life. He physically sacrificed his heart to show all of us a deeper understanding of Love. We named our son Liam because it means Courageous Warrior, we thought it was a perfect name for what he would need to endure. I ended up changing the meaning of his name to Courageous Warrior of LoveLiam’s Life Legacy is LoveIAM.

Here are some words I wrote the day Liam passed away. 

Friends and Loved Ones 

Liam Ross Murray our courageous warrior of Love has decided his Highest and Best Good. His best Good is in heaven with God. We were all fortunate to know this perfect soul and for good reason. His mission was of Hope, Faith and Love. He felt his mission on Earth was fulfilled and he was needed more in Heaven.

Neurology said that Liam has no brain function; the strokes he suffered were irreversible. Daradee and I were able to spend time with Liam before his passing. They were able to remove and cap of all his wirings and tubes. Daradee and I held him as we passed his soul onto God. Liam was peaceful. 

We truly believe that Liam was a gift from God. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. This was Liam’s mission, not ours. I was blessed enough to get to know his soul before he passed.

Before Liam passed his soul looked into my soul and this is what he told me

“My mission here was to show all of you that Love can move mountains. I planted seeds in the garden of love, that garden is you. Please do not worry about me as I am with God in Heaven. But please don’t forget my purpose here. Life is a glorious thing because of the people we share our lives with. Hold onto one another, be kind to each other, nurture and love one another. This will please me as it was my mission to show you love. God is holding my hand now and I will forever be in your hearts and souls.”

LoveIAM= Courageous Warrior of Love

Liam Ross Murray

When I was a child my grandfather, Big Dad, would taking me “Dinging Around”. Dinging around was really doing nothing, maybe stopping at the store, buying me toys, whatever. Liam is now Dinging Around with Big Dad in Heaven.

Lots of Love, Hope and Faith

Ross, Daradee and our son Liam Ross Murray





After the passing of Liam, the 26 day challenge was developed.  Here is the challenge.

For 26 days can you..

Stop gossiping

Resist from saying harsh and cruel words

Refrain from encouraging others to do bad behavior or say cruel words

Avoid negative thoughts towards others or yourself

Stop lying

Be Kind

Offer kind gestures

Speak softly to others

Do random acts of kindness

Hug more

Love Deeper

Be less judgmental

Be appreciative

Be grateful

Encourage others



Will we fail?  Probably.  But that is ok.  We are trying and attempting to be better.  Think of all the lives you could touch, think of all those you could inspire.  Liam did it... can we?

I am encouraging you to join me for this challenge.  You can start tomorrow, you can start next week.  Whenever it feels right to you.  Tell me your starting your challenge or keep it to yourself.  I hope you will tell me, I will be there to encourage you even if you want to send me a little personal note.  I hope that little Liam touched your heart just like he touched mine and you are motivated to do this challenge with me.

I am going to start my challenge on Sunday.  I am looking forward to this little journey and even if I have a slip up, I know I will be a better Me at the end of 26 days.

I have had the honor to know Ross and Daradee and have had the joy of taking some family pictures for them.  I never was able to meet Liam but I have met their daughter Hudsyn and my oh my she is amazing!



Thank you so much Ross, Daradee, Liam and Hudsyn for letting me share Liam's story.  You all are such an inspiration!



Here are a few social sites if you would like to keep up with the progress of LoveIAM and the amazing fundraising they are doing to help heart disease.














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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Can I be a better Me?



Have you thought about how you live your life?

Like really live your life?

Do you think about all the materialist things that might make you happy?  Are you guilty of saying things like,"if I could just get that job, my life would be perfect!"  or "if we just made more money, I would be happy."

Don't worry I do too.

I try to stop myself when I think of things like that.  And sure my life might be better with something added in, but what happens if it's not?  What happens if that is replaced with something that already makes me happy, like my marriage?  Or my health?

I am not perfect, I have made a lot of mistakes in my life.   Sure I have never been in jail or killed anyone but I am a sinner.  I am not proud of it but just like you I sin.

A couple of years ago we started going to a new church and although I was raised Christian we were the type that went to church a few times a year.  
I remember vividly the music starting and tears began to flow.  I was so overwhelmed with emotion I couldn't stop crying.  I finally felt at home and I felt connected and definitely different.

I go to church and almost every week I feel like whatever our pastor's message is, he is speaking directly to me  Somehow I feel it connects with me to whatever I am facing in life.    My life has changed dramatically since I started going to church. I do strive to be happy, even with struggles in my life, I truly try to find  small blessings to be thankful for.  Even larger blessings I take for granted like my health or my kids or husband I try to be thankful for everyday.   I have learned to be more patient, to speak kinder, be less judgemental, be more open minded but again I am not perfect.  Sometimes it's hard for me and sometimes I slip.  I know I could be better, we all can.  I am not aiming to be perfect, that is something I will never obtain, nor would I want to be, but I know there is always room for improvement.

I know that I can do little things to help friends, and  love more.  I can give more hugs and think optimistically.  I can be thankful for more things, and stop gossiping.  I can go out of my way to make someones' day better.  I can know my limits and learn to appreciate myself as well.  I can realize I am a great mom and wife and stop doubting myself.  I know I can be better!!

How many lives could we change by just improving ourselves?
How many people could we help or encourage to pay it forward?




Why am I writing this?

I have a challenge for myself and if you would like to jump on board, I'd love for you to join me!!


Will you think about this today?  Really sit down and think about if there is room for improvement.  I don't mean losing weight or getting a hair cut, but a true life changing improvement?

Think about it over night.  Don't let "I don't have the time" be your excuse.  If you feel there is room for improvement, join me!  It's nothing that will take time from your busy schedule, it won't cost you a dime.

Tomorrow I will be letting you know about a little story about a sweet little angel named Liam who inspired me to do this challenge.  I never knew Liam but his impact on my life is amazing and I know he will touch your life as well!!

I hope you'll join me tomorrow!





















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Monday, July 28, 2014

Flip Flop Round Up

Ok so here is the deal.... I live in flip flops.  Seriously.  It's hot here so even in the winter I am wearing flip flops.  They are comfy, they slide on, my feet are hot they are perfect.  Of course my foot doctor would think otherwise but oh well.   I literally have a v shaped tan line on my feet year round.




Because I love them so much, I thought I'd share a few adorable flip flop ideas and crafts.

Last year I made this flip flop wreath for our front door.  It's crazy on Pinterest and one of my highest pinned projects!
































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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mom of the Month- Corinne Johnson



It's that time of the month again, one of my favorite posts of the month!  It's time to honor another Mom and let her share her story.  This month's Mom of the Month goes to Corinne Johnson.  Corinne and I have been friends since high school and lost touch for a few years.  The lovely gods of Facebook brought us together and it was so great to reconnect!  Corinne is a great mother and just like the rest of us she has her hands full!  These Mom of the Months are meant to inspire moms like you.  We all know the hard work that goes into motherhood.  We need to depend on each other, listen, encourage and lift each other up.  I hope these stories every month will encourage you and maybe give you a little tip or piece of advice!



Monday, July 21, 2014

First Day of School 2014!!

So it's official- we have a 5th grader and a 3rd grader in the house!  Reagan and Hunter both started school today!

This past weekend my mom took the kids out to buy them a little bit of school clothes.  Hunter and Reagan wanted to give us a "fashion show" to show us what they got.  Hunter mentioned he got some reversible shorts.  So he came back out to the living room and had his reversible shorts on backwards.  Mike and I started giggling.  I said "Hunter, reversible means you can turn it inside out and where the other color inside."  Poor little guy, the butt of his pants were in the front.  I am sure that wasn't very comfortable.


With that, I made sure he was wearing his shorts the right way this morning as I drove them to another school year.  Reagan only has 2 more years left and then they will be at separate schools.

I love that they are in school again just not sure I am ready for them to grow up.

The last few years I have taken their picture and wrote down some of their favorite things.  You can see the 2012 picture and the 2013 picture of their first days of school.




On top of starting out another year, it was Hunter's birthday.  Big day for Hunter and yes he was bouncing off the walls :)

Heading to the school.. I am a little excited to get my house back to quiet for a few hours













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Happy Birthday Hunter!!



My sweet baby boy turns 8 today!  I can't believe how big he is now.  He has filled our lives with laughter and joy, and definitely kept me on my toes.   July 21, 2006 was the hottest day of the year in 2006.  Like 118 degrees hottest day!  Oh it was awful but this little Blondie with hardly any hair, made his debut and melted my heart.
He has a big personality, loves to argue, loves baseball and still loves to snuggle.  I am beyond blessed to have him in my life and I thank God each and every day for him.  He is such a blessing and I am excited to see what his life will bring for him!


Happy Birthday Hunter!!




















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