Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!

April 19, 2021



Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! 

If you’ve been following on instagram, you will notice we’re doing a really big purge and that’s because… WE’RE MOVING!

Life brings surprises and it’s been the theme of our life the last few years. We are continuously learning to hold life and our plans loosely, and learning to follow where God leads. The road isn’t always comfortable or easy, but we’re trusting the one who keeps us trusting. This is sort of sudden, but also an answer to a long prayer of ours. We live in a wonderful suburban neighborhood we love. We love all our neighbors. We love the area, and it’s really taken off in the last few years, but our church building and church fam has always been 45 minutes away. People move for jobs, we’re moving for church. God really has been growing in our hearts a desire to be in that specific community and to be closer to be able to share life and share Jesus more readily and easily than just on Sundays. 

There was a home that popped up that seemed to fit the bill for certain boxes we wanted to check off our list, at least we were optimistically hoping it would. We weren’t sure because it wasn’t active yet, but for 2 Sundays we prayed by the house as we stared at it from the front yard. The moment it came on the market, we saw it with our realtor, and right after, Ben and I both agreed we should try for it. 

It’s not my dream house, which by the way is an early 1900’s Spanish style home, but I know my life here isn’t about chasing after my dream house (though we do hope to make it cute!). I did try to chase that once 2 years ago and we got outbid. There was a Spanish style historic home that went up for sale in a nearby city, Ben and I both loved it, my parents loved it, and we have never considered moving prior to it. We put an offer in and well, we got outbid. 

Looking back on that house now, Ben and I see how God used that home to get us to consider moving. And let me tell you, that house was dreamy. DREAMY. We were so bummed to not get it. Prior to that one though, we had never given much thought to moving as we love our house, put a lot of work into it, especially our garden. But we were starting to see, though we’ve kind of always known, our house is too much house for us to grow old in. All 3,450 square feet get used up now while raising 5 kids, but it’s not a house I want to take care of when I’m older. And maybe because Ben and I are a bit sentimental, and we know we’d have to move one day, we’d like to move while the girls still live with us, so that one day, when they visit us, it still feels like home versus us moving into a home after they’ve all gone. And really, I’m pretty excited (albeit a little stressed) about downsizing. Less house, means less stuff, and less to maintain, and that means more family and friend time! 

So since that dreamy house, we’ve put an offer in one other house that was closer to our church, but didn’t get that either. We’ve checked out a few, but moving back to the west side (LA county) is just so much more expensive than living in the Eastside (Inland Empire), so numbers never really worked out to move. Budget-wise, it just wasn’t realistic. Fast forward to March 2020 and somehow the numbers are working out, which is totally God working things out. This house came up, we saw, we offered, there were a few counters, then an acceptance, and now we’re in escrow and we’re just waiting for that to close.

The day we found out they accepted our offer, we all cried. There is an excitement for the future, but also grieving knowing we were going to have to say goodbye to our home of 14 years. True was 1 when we moved in, Brave just a few months old, and this is the only home they’ve known. So many memories and seasons of our lives lived in this house. We’d love to keep it and rent it out, but that just doesn’t work with our budget.
Not all the girls are as excited about the move, but they have been growing in excitement. If you ask them if they think this is the right decision, they will all agree it is, but they will also admit that even though they know this is good, it doesn’t make it easy. We’re trying to be sensitive to where each of them are at in regards to this big move, and they’ve written a bucket list of things they want to do before we officially leave, so that’s also adding some excitement to savoring these last few weeks in this home.  

If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know how much we’ve put into our garden, but we will recreate it, in a smaller scale, at the new house. So there will be a lot of garden posts ahead. We’ve learned a lot about what we like, don’t like, maintenance, varieties, so we’re taking all the knowledge and going to make another edible garden. We’ll just be starting from scratch again. 

So here we are… we have a longer escrow, so we still have some time before we get the keys, and we also just sold our house last week, which has another amazing story, but I will save that for another time. When we do get the keys to the new (old) house, there’s still some (more like, a lot) work to be done before we move in, so we will live with my parents in the meantime. And I will definitely be sharing the renovation process because I love a good before and after. 

It may all sound crazy, and it certainly does feel crazy, but it also does feel right. So many changes coming up, but we’re looking forward to what this next season and adventure will bring.

Since all the purging and selling on instagram, I’ve received a few DMs asking if we were moving. I just couldn’t get myself to write the official post to share the news because it all feels overwhelming and insane. Excited, but sad. Anticipating change, but stressed about packing and moving and renovating. It’s like if I said it out loud (on instagram) then it must really be happening. Instagram official makes it official. But you never know, God could always bring plot twists, but so far this really does look like it’s moving forward, especially since we’re at the point of no return in escrow. 

Shortly after the photo above was taken, we took down those vintage lights to start to prep the house to sell. The house is slowly starting to look bare and there are boxes stacked everywhere. We’re mostly feeling stress right now, but as time winds down, sadness will set in. We will certainly miss this house and all the memories we made here. 

So here we are… ch-ch-ch-ch-changes are coming and we are learning to trust the Lord through each step! 

And we’re selling some of our vintage pieces, so if you want to keep an eye out on what’s available, do check my @rubyellenbratcher instagram stories.


RING STACKS

December 2, 2020


All the girls have made their lists and I’ve distributed it out to the grandparents, and Ben and I need to narrow down what we’ll get them. We used to do one wear, one read, one want gift, but the last few years, we brought it down to one thing as they are blessed to have such generous family on both sides, so they get plenty. 

This year I’ve been asking Ben what he wants, and there’s not much, so I’m not worrying about a gift for him and just get some things to fill his stocking. I find as we get older, and run out of time, there’s not much surprise gift giving happening anymore, and we both sort of just get what we want when some need arises. Though, I still love making wishlists, so I made one for him, in case he does want to surprise me. Of course, since I’m a collector at heart, it always includes some jewelry pieces.

In case you need some ideas, here are some I’ve spied around the internets…

This simple thick stackable twist ring from Aurate. They have so many great simple pieces for stacking and I love how I can layer it with my other rings.

I love this gypsy spark ring from Erica Weiner. Fun fact: My antique jewelry collection started when Ben got me a victorian turquoise ring from Erica Weiner to celebrate the completion of my book. It’s all his fault and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Classic signet rings make my heart go pitter patter every time. This one from The Moonstoned is so good.

And while I’m a gold gal, I do love my silvers and bronze. I have plenty of vintage modernists pieces that I love to wear too. This serafina bronze ring from Roam Vintage is so beautiful.

And of course, besides my ring stacks, I love layering my necklaces and always have a neck mess going on. My wishlist did include one antique charm that I had requested from Ben, but seeing how it’s antique and one-of-a-kind, I’m not gonna link to it because I don’t want anyone to beat Ben to it. LOL

I like making wishlists because it’s always fun things I’d never buy myself (because budgets are real), so they’re fun to put together because you never know who might want to surprise you! My parents also do a really good job of paying attention to our wishlists. Do you have a personal wishlist for Christmas?


THANKFUL PAPER WREATH

November 25, 2020


THANKFUL PAPER WREATH

SUPPLIES

Wreath template

Cardboard

Scissors

Glue

Markers

DIRECTIONS

1. Cut out your desired wreath size from cardboard. First, cut out a circle. Then, cut out another circle by leaving 2”-3” border to be used for the wreath.

2. Print out FOLIAGE and MESSAGE BANNER. We used about 6 printed pages for our 12” round wreath.

3. Cut out leaves and glue onto your wreath.

4. Paint the foliage on the wreath.

NOTE: If you want to paint all the leaves, paint each print out first before glueing onto the wreath.

5. Cut out your banner message and glue in place.

I made this for my craft night with @generationher, so if you head to their Facebook, you can watch a video on how to make it. It’s a pretty simple craft if you still need some handmade decor for this season.

If you don’t have access to a printer, feel free to make your own, and be sure to share your creation with the rest of us! We’d love to see! And as always, happy to have you share the project, just don’t forget to tag and credit please. Thank you!

See more ART A DAY projects here.

#easyartaday


VOTE 2020

November 3, 2020


I can’t believe how fast time went from our last mock election. Use this VOTE 2020 PRINT OUT to teach your kids to use their voice and the importance of voting.

We share the stances of both parties, the things each party does well and how they can improve, and how there are other options rather than just Republican and Democrats. Our kids will be voting today, and last time it was split 50/50, so let’s see what happens in our home this year.

Happy Election Day! And no matter the real outcome, use your voice and vote. Use your ears to continually listen. Use your heart to put yourself in some else’s shoes. Use your eyes to see how to love and serve your neighbors better.

But ultimately I know my hope isn’t in my vote, my hope isn’t in who’s in office, or what political party is in control. My hope is in Christ alone. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know there will be new mercies, more grace, and more opportunities to follow Jesus as I seek to love my neighbors as God calls me to do. There will also be more trials and more opportunities to rejoice even when things don’t happen as I’d like.


EYE SPY ART

September 22, 2020


EYE SPY ART

Turn this little eye into your own artwork. What do you see? A monster? A bird? A self-portrait? Create all around with the eye as your base starting point. 

SUPPLIES

Coloring utensils

DIRECTIONS

Have fun using the eye as a starting to point to create your own illustration. 
Share what you create with us! We want to see as each one ends up so different! 

If you don’t have access to a printer, feel free to make your own, and be sure to share your creation with the rest of us! We’d love to see! And as always, happy to have you share the project, just don’t forget to tag and credit please. Thank you!

See more ART A DAY projects here.


CRAFT CLOSET ORGANIZATION

September 11, 2020


Well, since Covid hit in March, our guest room had been upside down (you might have seen it if you follow me on ig @rubyellenbratcher). There were still holiday boxes, and then the racks that held my craft stuff broke, so everything was just toppled onto each other. Then, I had various craft styling projects due, so I would just go in, take what I need, and then leave things lying around. The guest room got so out of hand that you could barely walk inside. It was an eyesore and giving me mess stress, but I didn’t even know where to start.


Thankfully, The Container Store’s most recent project was working with their new Virtual In-Home Design service  and turning my crazy craft closet into an organized craft closet with Elfa Space. When I had my first virtual consultation, I was trying to find time to clean the room before I showed someone online what it looked like, but I never found the time, so the designer saw my crazy mess in all it’s glory. 


I told him what I needed and he came up with the plan. We had a couple back and forths on switching out sizing of shelves, but once we finalized everything, everything was listed out and I placed my order. I didn’t have to figure out what pieces I need for my shelves because he did all the planning for me. 


For now, the shelves are in our guest room/office closet. It’s where I keep all my craft stuff. Well, some of it anyway. I’m so glad that the Elfa system is customizable and adjustable. Should we move ever move, I’d like to set it up as a bookshelf. I went with the Elfa Décor system with the 12″ depth. I love how you can adjust the rows however you like; we can adjust it as our needs change.

We installed it ourselves. You simply attach the horizontal bar to the wall, and from there, the vertical bars hook in. Then, I attached each shelf on after I figured out what placement would work. Getting it up on the wall was the easy part, now going through and organizing the craft mess took a few days. Thankfully, these Hyacinth Natural Baskets (I got them in different sizes) helped organize and group like items together. We got a paper sorter to keep all our different types of papers organized, and I also used the 20 Drawer Small Stackable Craft Organizer to hold all our jewelry beads. Now, everything has a place, so when things get messy, it’s much easier to clean it all up.


I love the way my craft closet looks and the closet became a more functional space with the added Elfa Décor shelves. Since everything has been organized, I cleaned up the rest of the room, and now the guest room/office has been such a peaceful place to retreat to. With my husband still working from home, he now has a place to work from. It definitely beats him working on the couch, dining table, or kitchen island like he had been the last several months. 

This post is in partnership with The Container Store as one of their Brand Ambassadors. The opinions and text are all mine. I appreciate the time you spend in this space, the support you give me, and the brands I partner with.


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