and these are our stories of life in west texas - babies, oil, and a side of interior design.






Below are some of my tutorials. Click, share, DIY, and enjoy!


Watermelon Swaddle DIY

Building a Mantel

Fixed Roman Shade

How to Paint Stripes

Sunburst Mirror

Beaded Chandelier

Custom Spice Rack

Make Your Own Art

Laundry Bag Tutorial


Fourth of July Festivities

July 4, 2016

life with three

June 22, 2016

Having three kids, three and under can sound extremely daunting to many people. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told “You’re busy” when I tell people the spread of my children’s ages. And yes, we are busy, but who isn’t these days. Everyone is “busy” whether it’s with kids, or work, or just life in general.

Life with three littles is mostly fast paced, with small moments of downtime when they get stuck for a few minutes on a toy or show, and many moments of frustration as we attempt to direct them thru, deciphering between right and wrong – but I challenge that it would be that way in any house with a 2 or 3 year old {we just happen to have both}. Since bringing baby home, we’ve had our fair share of acting out. The screaming and crying {not by the baby} make me want to pull my hair out. Decor has been ripped off the wall, a paste of baby powder and lotion has been smeared all over the room and into the carpet, and a certain 3 year old somehow managed to find a bottle of tylenol and tried to medicate his 2 year old brother. I’ve said “no” or “stop _________ (insert something ridiculous you never thought you’d say)” more times than I can even think of, but thankfully, we’re all living and well, my sanity is the only thing up in the air on that.

Many people say they don’t even know how I’m out of the house when they see us out, because they can’t fathom how to go anywhere with three. My only answer is “you just do it.” Like with anything else in life, you do what you can with what you have and you’re so deep into what you’re doing, you don’t even really think about the how, you just do.

One of the things I’ve come to realize in parenting is your two greatest assets is your ability to remember what things are in the vicinity of where your children are playing, if they’re not within direct eyesight; combined with the knowledge of what all those things sound like when they’re being moved or played with. Example: one morning I was getting dressed while the boys were sitting in their chairs eating breakfast, I heard a familiar sound and knew immediately it was the sound of the spoon rest on the counter out of reach from the boys’ chairs. So I knew one of them had to be out of their chair, on the counter. In the time I’ve been writing this, I had to stop because I heard an unfamiliar sound coming from the play room. It was a pen.

There are moments when I just need a break and I’m thankful for a husband that realizes that and offers me moments to get away, even if they’re after bedtime. Sometimes a girl just needs to spend an hour doing nothing and everything at the same time.

Is my house clean? no. Am I always the best parent? no. Do I make mistakes, or raise my voice? of course. But I am immensely thankful for the three little lives I’ve been entrusted with day-in and day-out. Life with three is all of the things you can imagine, but above all else, it’s filled with so much love for three little souls.

Baby Girl’s Nursery

June 10, 2016

I know many of you have been asking about the full reveal of the nursery, so lucky for you (and me!) we had our newborn pictures done and Erin was kind enough to take some photos of the nursery for me so I didn’t have to!

I’ve had so much fun shifting gears and creating a space for a little girl, and so much of this space is filled with DIYs I’ve done. Needless to say, it has quickly become my favorite space in the house.

(that little dress was handmade by my grandmother and worn by both my mom and my aunt)



  • Crib: Walmart (already owned two of these in espresso from the boys, painted Benjamin Moore Cool Mint)
  • Side Tables: Ikea Rast Hack
  • Lamps: Home Depot silver parts painted gold
  • Floral Wanderlust Globe: DIY
  • Rug: Rugs USA
  • Faux Sheepskin pelt: Ikea
  • Faux Sheepskin stool: Hobby Lobby
  • Mobile: DIY
  • Bedding: LouLou Made
  • Chandelier: eBay (painted gold)
  • Dresser: DIY handpainted faux inlay
  • Wall rack: DIY to look like a vintage herb drying rack
  • Woven Wall Hanging: Wool & Pine
  • Floral M: DIY
  • Hanging Terrariums: DIY using supplies from Michaels
  • Curtains: TJ Maxx
  • Blinds: Home Depot
  • Glider: Secondhand
  • Art mostly painted myself with a few pieces from Hobby Lobby


I tried to include as much as I could but if I left something out that you want to know about, feel free to ask!

11 May 2016

May 31, 2016

Tuesday, May 10th began like any other day, the boys were dropped off at school as I headed to one of my two weekly doctor’s appointments to check on baby Merritt.

Back-tracking a little, I had been seeing both my OB and a Perinatologist weekly for about a month just as a precaution based on my blood pressure issues I had towards the end of both of my previous pregnancies. Everything seemed to be going well and we were scheduled to induce on May 18th at 37 weeks, just out of precaution to myself and baby. I was going about my business, finishing up the semester teaching at ACU and taking my 3 grad school courses. Wednesday, May 4th I gave my final and went home. That evening I started feeling “off,” which is my first sign to check my blood pressure. I was sitting just below 150/95, which is higher than I had been, but I wanted to see if it would go down. Laying in bed that night, I had a splitting headache that was getting worse so I checked it again and it was 171/101. I didn’t even call, I just looked at Brandon and told him I needed to go to the hospital. I’ve been there before, twice. I knew they would tell me to come in and want to keep me for 24 hours. It was a pain, but I knew I was better safe than sorry.

I checked in Wednesday night and wasn’t discharged until Friday morning. I wasn’t on bed rest, but I was told to take it easy. We went thru the weekend, I worked on homework and did some laundry, nothing too big. Monday I finished up my grading to turn in final grades and everything seemed in place.


Then came Tuesday. After my first appointment went well, I headed to lunch with a dear friend where we sat and talked for a really long time. Next up was my ultrasound appointment. I went in and my blood pressure was pretty high — 168/85. As the doctor walked in, he said we would check it again towards the end of the appointment and see if it went down any. He began going about the ultrasound, as usual, and then nonchalantly said “So here’s a change for you…. you see this right here? This is a little bit of fluid surrounding your baby’s heart. It’s not concerning at this point because there would be fluid everywhere on her body if it was… this is just something to note and it means you will be coming to see me twice a week now to watch it. It could be the beginnings of heart failure as a result of your blood pressure, so we definitely want to watch it.

Heart failure. Oh good… this should really lower my blood pressure.

As I was doing my best to let my mood and concern go off of his upbeat tone of voice rather than the actual words “HEART FAILURE” that were freaking me the heck out, I walked across the office to get hooked up to the monitors (one of the usual occurrences of an appointment at this office).

How on E A R T H am I supposed to lower my blood pressure after that?

So I got hooked up and closed my eyes to just focus on relaxing and breathing. A few minutes went by and Brandon called me to see who was picking up the boys from school. I told him I would and that I should be done in a couple of minutes. Right about that time alarms start going off, really loud. He says “what’s that? is that your blood pressure?” all of this while the nurse comes busting through the door with slight look of panic on her face. I said “no, its the baby… I have to go.” I hung up and dropped the phone. The nurse looked at me and then went to go get the blood pressure cuff.

This should be a good reading.

She checked my blood pressure twice, grabbed the strip off the machine and tried to act like she was calm cool and collected as she quickly made her way out the door. I sat there in silence (well, minus the alarm), looking around knowing I was likely heading to the hospital.

In walks the doctor and he sits down. I looked at him a little nervously, not knowing what was going on. He began “Well, my job isn’t really that hard… I just have to decide if you’re going to stay pregnant or not. The fluid thing… that’s something we would really just watch on it’s own. The heart rate… your baby’s baseline is in the 160s but jumped suddenly to 220 and stayed there for a bit. It’s just concerning with everything else on the plate. Third, and most importantly is your blood pressure. Your last reading was in the 180s, which means you’re looking at a stroke, or seizures, and I have to think about YOUR health, as well as the baby’s.”

So the combination of the three, it’s just not ideal. To put it into perspective, if you were only 32 weeks pregnant, I would be telling you you’re going to have a baby today, the fact that you’re 36 weeks is just a bonus. So, you’re going to have a baby today. I’ve already called your doctor, and they’ve called the hospital who is ready for you. You have what’s called ‘preeclampsia with features’ which means… {insert the moment when everything went hazy, I have zero clue what was being said to me beyond this point}.”

I sat there glazed over, thinking of all the things I needed to get done before having a baby. It was a little surreal walking out of the office with no plans to return. We’d had a plan and this wasn’t it.

I called Brandon and told him we were having a baby. He managed to get ahold of his mom to pick up the kids from school and met me at the house. I sent a few people a generic text with little info other than, “I can’t explain anything right now, but we are having a baby today, please pray for her and her lungs.” I was putting my last minute things in my bag when my phone rang, it was our pediatrician. He assured me she would be good, walked me through all the extra people who would likely be in the room for delivery, and prepared me that 36 week babies sometimes are great and go home quick, but many can stay for a week to 10 days and that’s normal. Then he repeated that she was going to be fine, to which I broke down and muttered “I hope so” through tears. I am so, so thankful for this man who took the time out and assured me we were in the best hands and our girl would be perfect.

We got to the hospital and they got things rolling. They started my IV and hooked me up to magnesium sulfate, something I’ve heard many horror stories about, but thankfully none of them were true for me. Instead of starting me on pitocin that evening, my doctor came by and said they’d rather give me steroids for her lungs and start everything in the morning. done.

That night I didn’t sleep at all, like not even a little bit. I tried really hard but I just couldn’t. By the time I was finally about to doze off at 3:50, the nurse came in and started me on a light dose of pitocin to slowly get my body headed towards full-on labor.

My water was broken about 7:30 and we were off! Anesthesia came by and I got my epidural, hoping I would maybe be able to take a nap. About 30 minutes later I was laying there and feeling “off.” I didn’t know what was off but I wasn’t feeling well at all. I felt like I couldn’t breathe but then I would force a deep breath proving I could. I finally asked Brandon to bring me a bucket in case I got sick.

About that time, the IV started beeping so we called the nurse to come fix it. She noticed I wasn’t feeling well and right as she asked me about it, it hit me. All of a sudden I couldn’t hear – it sounded like I was under water. I couldn’t even piece together what was wrong to verbalize it, all I could say was “I feel really bad.” until a few minutes later when I muttered “I think I might pass out.

Apparently I was really pale so the nurse checked my blood pressure right about the time my pulse ox monitor started going off. 52/40 “Yep, you ARE about to pass out.” Then the rushing around, calling for anesthesia to bring epinephrine and putting it in my IV. I felt horrible, and Brandon told me afterwards he couldn’t believe I stayed conscious the entire time. Two doses of epinephrine and some waiting later, I slowly started feeling better. The anesthesiologist came back to make some adjustments and we were good to go.

Once I got better, I was back on top, so what better time to do your makeup? I finally managed to try and take a nap and got about 30 minutes before it was about time to push.

The call to the doctor was made and everything was ready. In he came and I pushed through about 3-4 contractions and she was here. I’ll never forget what the doctor said as he flipped her around to show me, “Pocket sized!” with a big smile on his face.

It took her a minute to start crying but she did and it was the most beautiful sound to my ears. All the worry, all the stress and drama of the last few days and she was here, and her lungs were working like they were supposed to. They placed her on me and Brandon and I were both in tears seeing our sweet  girl here, in our arms.

I can’t describe to you how special childbirth is to me, it’s a spiritual moment where everything seems to freeze around you. God is so, so good, y’all.

Because I was on the magnesium sulfate, she had to work it through her system as well, which made her sleepy. She had a little trouble maintaining her body temperature, and then eating was a bit of an issue because she was just so sleepy, which led to glucose issues and then elevated bilirubin levels which contributed to her sleepiness but overall, she was perfect and all the hills we had to climb were so small in the grand scheme of what we could have been facing.

Our pediatrician is the best in the world and went over and beyond checking on us. We ended up staying 3 nights to make sure she was doing well enough that she wouldn’t slip behind once we got home.

Our girl is just perfect, she’s strong and so sweet. She (*knock on wood*) rarely cries and is so easy going. We couldn’t be more thankful for all of the doctors surrounding us and caring for us, and we are thrilled for all of our friends and family to meet our precious baby.


*photos by e. davis photography.