Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to Everything

Man, how long has it been, guys? Three weeks? We've been gone way more than we have been home in the past month. So, let me briefly catch you up on our adventuring, side-business start up, and fixer upper stuff.


Addie and I went to Colorado Springs to celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday the first weekend of August, and the next weekend we went to Virginia and Washington DC to see Caleb graduate from Officer Candidate School for the Marines. While all of the traveling took a lot out of us, it was a great opportunity to make some awesome family memories. I couldn't believe how great Addie was during all of this traveling, and not only powered through hours and miles of walking, but stayed cheerful through all of it. She's three! I'm an adult and I was giving myself internal pep talks not to slide into a sweaty, tearful puddle. Addie and I had great one-on-one time in Colorado, and the three of us loved getting to see the few things we had time for before our flight in Washington DC. Here's some pictures and some more details in the photo descriptions:

She loved rock climbing at Garden of the Gods. <3

Y'all, the weather was so perfect in Colorado Springs. If you don't feel sorry enough for yourself living in Oklahoma heat, just go to Colorado for a weekend.

I love this picture so much because Nate is too cool to look at the camera. The four Compton bros after Caleb's OCS graduation ceremony. <3

She loves her Uncle "Celba" the Marine. 

We were gonna say "what's up" to Obama but he was busy or whatever. Blake and I are trying really hard to make a trip back to DC happen soon, when it's cooler so we can see more!


We have finally launched our Etsy page for our side business, Simply Stated. We have also announced our Facebook page and continue to post on our Instagram account. We shipped out our first Etsy sale yesterday, as well as sent off our first tshirt mock-ups to a client for consideration. I have had a few people come to me about future collaborations, and I have sent out some emails for some hopeful wedding collaborations in the future. I'm also looking forward to working on some custom wall art pieces. Not only do I love getting to hand-letter and the therapeutic creative benefits I have received from this work, but I love working with Blake on our bigger projects. I love seeing his work turn mine into something even bigger! He's an amazing business partner, which comes as no surprise to me since he is the best husband, father, and man I know. 

I love doing this hymnal art SO MUCH. It's been a great opportunity to teach Addie the classics. 

One of my favorites :) If no one buys it I'm keeping it.


Since the last bit you saw of the kitchen, Blake built, installed, and sealed a BEAUTIFUL counter top. He and my dad also came up with the coolest backsplash idea; it's metal with a wood trim. I also love it because I can use my chalk pens or dry erase markers to hand letter! I immediately filled up this half of the kitchen so I could finally make some room in our dining room. 

I'm obsessed with that counter top. And the backsplash. AND JUST ALL OF MY KITCHEN SO FAR. 
I've been working on a family history display for our kitchen, which may have to also reside in the mudroom or the breakfast nook eventually; it kind of outgrew my original vision! I don't think I will be able to hang any of it right away, as we still have the other half of the kitchen to finish. 

BUT the other half of the kitchen may come to fruition earlier than I thought. Or, it may not. I'm trying to keep my expectations wide open, not too far toward skepticism but not too far toward my dishwasher hopes and dreams, either. However, something did happen that led me almost to tears of joy and relief: Blake surprised me and bought our kitchen sink yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I'll never let go, sink. Also, yes, there's still wires hanging out of the other half of the kitchen. 
Sweet, sweet sink. I promise to never take you for granted. I will keep you so clean and dish-less. I will treat you with the respect you deserve. You're going to shine like a thousand stars to make a wish upon. I will do everything I can to get you out of the box you're trapped in and snug and cozy in your cabinet home. *whispers* You're home now. 


In the meantime, I did make time to get all of my fall decorations out of their boxes and up in our house where they belong. Each year when I put them away I let them know how much I can't wait until next year to see their cozy, warm ambiance again. Yes, I know it's August and isn't actually autumn yet. You know what else I know? That when I'm done writing this I'm making pumpkin bread. Ain't no pumpkin-haters bringing me down. Also, check that cool furnace! Blake found it at a garage sale! Isn't it nifty? I like it so much better than an ominous, firewood-less hole. 

Finally, school is starting for all three of us. Blake starts full time nursing school, I will be taking Music Education through OBU's Lifelong Learning program, and Addie is sort-of starting homeschool. It's more like unschooling. We're learning letters, chores, eventually some musical stuff, and we're going to work on memorizing Scripture together (want to make yourself do something? Make yourself teach your kid to do it). Hopefully, somewhere in the midst of all this, a house might get finished. But if it doesn't, I know it's for good reason--that while we're doing a daunting work on a house, God is doing big work in our family. I know I can look hopefully toward whichever is coming to fruition first, and that the harvest will be joyful. Through screen fasting, "taking life slow," relishing in memories and moments this summer, and continuing to practice what good waiting looks like, I hope I'm making good Spirit-savoring habits. 

Thanks for sticking with us, friends. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Please Wait While Kitchen is Loading

A little over a week ago Blake was reminding me not to get my hopes up about doing much out of our kitchen, as refrigerators--even used ones--are pretty pricey. On Friday, Blake's mom texted him from a garage sale to tell him about a vintage refrigerator someone was selling, circa the 1950's. I declared that I was going with him to see it, and coached myself to remain chill.

When we got to the garage sale, we couldn't believe how perfect this refrigerator was. It was fully functional, and even had the original ice cube trays that came with it. We asked if the man would take $175 for it, and he squinted at us and said, "Are you actually going to use it?" We nodded so enthusiastically we probably looked like weird, over-zealous refrigerator museum curators. He sighed and said, as if speaking about an old farm dog that he couldn't take with him when he moved, "I just want it to go to a good home. So, yeah, okay, deal."

This is all of my refrigerator dreams come true.

We gleefully brought it home, Blake cleaned it up, spray painted the bottom portion black (as it was just a tad too rusted to clean up), and we plugged it in to hear the happy little refrigerator hum kick on. Pretty soon, I was almost in tears as I slid the casserole I was going to cook for dinner that night onto it's long shelf and exclaimed, "Blake! I can fit a whole 9x13 casserole dish in here!"
"Wow," Blake responded, "I guess if I want to make you really happy, I just need to take away something from you for six months."
I told him that probably wasn't a good idea.

I think the fridge likes living here. At least if it had feelings about that it would. 

Something about seeing the new-to-us fridge in the kitchen must have fueled Blake's renovation motivation, because the next day he set out to install the shelves for the cabinet he built, and also installed the floating shells on that side of the wall!


In case you haven't noticed, we really like modern-industrial style. 

Unfortunately, he didn't have the right size screws he needed to add the...I don't know, cuffs? Shelf-reinforcements? I could Google these things, I guess. 
Google is not helping me, because I'm not even in the realm of the right term.


Well, there you go. Pipe straps.

So, like I was saying, Blake didn't have the right size screws for the pipe straps, so I am forbidden from putting anything on the shelves yet. But that's fine, because it will make for a more beautiful before and after later. :) Also, remember that the stove is temporary.

So, all that remains for this cabinet is for Blake to build the counter top. I would tell you in detail what is going into that, but Blake is in a meeting so I don't want to keep texting him questions that I can't answer with Google. He said it will look similar to how a bar counter top looks; it's going to be made from cedar, I think. 

I also wanted to give you a peek at a project I've started in our bedroom: a wedding-themed gallery wall! I will be out of town this weekend and next weekend, so next week I won't be able to blog anything. You're kind of getting two blogs in one week!

I'm not completely satisfied with the layout yet, but I'm giving myself a little grace, because I also want to add more to it. Either way, I had to get these things off the floor so Addie would quit trying to play with all of it! 

I may add these to the gallery wall permanently, but at the moment they are place holders until I get a few of my favorite wedding and honeymoon photos printed. :)

If this server gets a little too tarnished I'll polish it, but at the moment I kind of like it. Makes it feel antique :)

This is the first time we have had a place to display our "guestbook." Instead of the traditional guestbook, we had our guests sign a guitar that my dad spray painted (guitar enthusiasts, don't freak out; this was just a Walmart guitar). 

Oh, and as if doing all of the work in the kitchen this weekend wasn't enough, Blake finished building my closet doors. :)

This is a relief, because all of our guests could see my bras.

Well, friends, I'm happy to say that I have found myself with some more DIY wind in my sails lately. I've heard that people begin to like running when they discover the second-wind phenomenon. I have never personally experienced this made-up sounding term (as my first wind is very short and my misery is long), but I'm thinking the Fixer-Upper second wind is a similar thing. I'm hoping to see more kitchen change soon, and a long-awaited before and after post in the near future. 

Filtered, but flavored.  That's why it's red. Because this is how a recovering pop addict copes. Also reppin' this really great church in Norman, New Life Bible Church; if you're in the area and looking for a church to visit, I highly recommend this one. I am especially fond of the worship leader.

In the meantime, I will be drinking ICE. COLD. FILTERED. WATER. Because our water filter pitcher fits in our fridge. <3 Look at that condensation. It's enchanting.


If you haven't listened to The Modern Post yet, DO IT! This is an excerpt from their song "Rejoice!"

If you're on Instagram, I'm doing a giveaway on our Simply Stated account (@simplystatedok)! Not many people have entered, so if you want to win this canvas, your odds are pretty good! Follow the directions in the caption to enter. Winner will be announced this Friday! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Kitchen: A Brief Update

We have made more progress on the kitchen in the past month than, well...ever! Which is really good news! I have used the oven and stove to cook dinner almost every day for about a week now. Most importantly, we were able to have Blake and I's belated birthday cake!

My absolute favorite cake, peanut butter with chocolate chips. Addie approved :)

Oh, man. That cake seriously hit the spot.

The grout is sealed, cleaned, and lovely. The stove is awesome, but friends are actually giving us their stove, microwave, and dishwasher! So, we will obviously have more stuff to install next week, but hopefully we will also have the last two out of three cabinets built to install as well!

A stove! That I cooked on! In my house! In real life!

You may have noticed the pretty display on the door by now. Here's a helpful hint circa The Nester's philosophy--it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful, right? So, if you're sick of looking at a hideous door in need of removal, sanding, re-painting, and re-installation, but no time or money to take care of it, turn it into a pretty focal point!

I LOVE our tile. I LOVE our ceiling. And I can't wait for that kitchen cabinet (the white wooden crate-looking thing) to be done, as well as the other two Blake will be building.

I got kraft paper, watercolored the black lettering, got the ivy and cotton from Hobby Lobby, and Blake helped me hang it all up. Voila! A place the eye wants to go, instead of being drawn to too many coats of paint and leftover mirror glue. There is still a LOT to do, but it looks like kitchen and less like a construction zone!

Now, I leave you to go make some chocolate chip blondies. I can do these things now!

Monday, July 18, 2016


We have had a nice, long dose of "taking life slow." I started a book during vacation called One Thousand Blessings; I'm on chapter four and have already cried five times. Considering I'm not quite halfway through it, I don't want to try to summarize or explain it; but I will, based on what I've read thus far, highly recommend it.

One portion of the book describes a moment in detail for the author in which she relishes in absorbing the moment of her young children gathered around her table and diving into a snack she has made them. She takes the time to describe how each child eats it: how one delights in each little crumb, another wolfs it down, how their eyes sparkle, etc. She is overwhelmed and delighted by this tiny, seemingly insignificant interaction that she feels burrow deep into her memory to savor over and over again. This whole scene brought me to complete and utter tearful ruin. Why? Because 1.) most moms totally understand this nonsensical emotional reaction, it's this chemical thing that happens to your soul after you have a baby, and 2.) I was both grateful for the time I had over vacation to cherish several of my own moments like this of Addie, and simultaneously regretted moments like this at home that I had let slip through my fingers in my hurry to do whatever seemed so "important."

Blake told me today that friends at church could not believe I have lived six months without a kitchen. Three weeks ago I probably would have shared in this disbelief. But lately, it honestly hasn't bothered me. Even without a kitchen, I have been able to share memories of Addie helping me make dinner and do dishes. In my hurry to make picturesque memories in our fixer upper, I neglected to absorb the memories I was already making. And while they may not be Instagram-worthy, they are completely, wholly beautiful to me.

All of this to say, we have returned from vacation with a pretty large to-do list, but I am ready to live each day, minute by minute, reminding myself to take life slow; to watch Addie push her few wispy bangs out of her face while she lays on her belly on the floor, focused intently on scribbling all over her coloring books; to mentally record how she sings Disney Princess songs to herself 24/7, and how cute her little voice sounds right now; and how she stops everything she is doing to jump onto the big chair to watch Daddy pull into the driveway after he gets home from work. And so, so much more. More than enough to remind me that my life is unbelievably full, even when empty of a kitchen.

In closing, here are a few snapshots of our vacation, and brief descriptions. Enjoy :)

Eagerly awaiting our arrival to Magic Kingdom! Addie was all grins after the ferryboat captain announced to her over the loud speaker as we boarded, "PRINCESS! You're late for work!!!"
She could not EVEN believe Cinderella's castle was REAL.

We met Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, Aurora, Gaston, and Merida. We didn't get a picture with Belle, because you meet her on the Enchanted Tales ride, and we didn't realized we were allowed to use our cell phones to take a picture because there was a photographer. Addie sang a little bit to Ariel (hoping Ariel would give her a mermaid tail in exchange), got COMPLETELY flustered and couldn't speak to Gaston, and was almost completely giddy and silent with the other princesses. Merida was our favorite, she was really fun. :)

For my birthday, we got to go eat sushi (obviously), and Addie photobombed my birthday picture. Which was totally fine and cute :) 

Mer-Comptons were sighted on the beach!

Her squeeze hugs. I can't. <3

We spent SO MUCH time on the beach, and I only got one really bad sunburn. :)

The kitchen and mudroom tile floor is done, but still dusty after five mops! Grout dust is a bummer. Blake promised a couple more mops should leave it clean. And guess what? We have an oven to install (needs a little TLC first, though)! My personal fixer upper to do list this week involves getting that floor really clean, and moving some stuff out of the foyer to see if I can handle finishing up the ceiling by myself; this should either make for an inspiring or hilarious story later. I think I'm going to use fixer upper work as my motivator to exercise--if you think cardio on a treadmill is tough, try hauling junk up and down stairs for a while. Productive and cheaper than a gym membership.

P.S.--If you haven't already followed our Instagram account for our side business project, please check it out! I'm working on setting up a prize post for sometime in the next couple of weeks to help get us a little exposure. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tile & Typography

Today's blog will probably feel a bit disjointed, as that is how the past couple of weeks have felt. We are trying to "take life slow" in the midst of what feels like a lot of random bustling. Blake, Adeline, and I are counting down the minutes until we leave for our week long vacation to Florida! Blake and I always joke that every time we go on a real, actual vacation, the month before it is when we "earn" our vacation (because it is usually a really hard/busy/somewhat overwhelming month). Every day Addie asks, "Are we going to Disney World TODAY?!" We are only going to Magic Kingdom one day. Although, "only" is kind of a strange word choice for talking about DISNEY WORLD. Considering I won't be pregnant this time (or at least I'm not planning to be!), I am so ready for the in-your-face amount of entertainment and spectacle. And every other day, we will be laying on a beach all day and cooking meals in a legit kitchen. SO READY.

Major prep work happening for Magic Kingdom.

Speaking of the kitchen, we have actually begun a pretty big project: tiling! We have to finish a few little spots and grout still, but after that--even though our cabinets wouldn't be built yet--we could go ahead and install the oven to have some more cooking options. Obviously, the most important thing is the option of fresh-baked cookies.

We have tiled both the kitchen and the mudroom; the mudroom isn't nearly as close to being finished as the kitchen, though. Of course, the kitchen isn't "close" either, just closer.

Addie has self-appointed herself as our renovation inspector.

In the midst of work, fixer-upping, parenting, family-ing, and all of our other -ings, we have taken up a little hobby/side-business project. It is in very beginning stages right now, but Blake and I have gotten enough inquiries that we thought, hey, why not stick a name on this stuff and try to organize it into something a bit more tangible? I do hand-lettering, and Blake gets asked to work on some t-shirt design and logo stuff here and there, so we are considering opening up an Etsy shop and taking on a few projects together to see if we can earn a little extra to help with our fixer upper expenses. I launched our Instagram account today, but like I said, this is in the very beginning stages; Blake is working on our logo. Our project is called Simply Stated, and once we open an Etsy shop, I will let everyone know. We will do custom prints, cards, stationary, envelope addressing for special events (like weddings, graduations, etc), t-shirt design, and logo/branding design (depending on Blake's time frame for that last one). Our Instagram username is simplystatedok. We would love for those of you on Instagram to follow us and check us out. :) Depending on how interest grows, we will see what happens. Our fixer upper is definitely a project, but it's been fun already for Blake and I to work on this project together as well; it's a little more therapeutic and a little less stressful than the house. 

Here's an example of a collaborative project between the two of us:

Is it too late for Ron Swanson or Leslie Knope to run for president? Pretty opposite options, but much better options methinks.

I did the hand lettering and drew the fish, and Blake did the Photoshop work. You could buy this as an 11x17 poster print. Pretty cool, right? Also, hard to go wrong with a Parks and Rec reference.

After vacation, hopefully we will have the magic trifecta of necessary time, money, and energy to get back into a full (or at least fuller) swing of house renovation. But until then......catch you on the flippity flip, cause I'll be beach bumming it up!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Moving Back Home

Last weekend, we got AC working in our fixer upper.
Sunday, we moved back into our house.
Today, I don't know.

Yesterday was Blake's birthday, and we celebrated by kayaking and stand up paddle-boarding, going out to dinner, and seeing a movie, just the two of us. In all of this, we had a little time to kill and I begged Blake to take me to the new mural in the Plaza District in OKC that I have been dying to see in person. I have been freaking out about this mural for two reasons: 1. Why wouldn't you be excited about a giant, adorable, bright orange sloth?! and 2. The succinct little message he carries: "Take life slow."

While we are moved back into our house, that doesn't mean the waiting is over. I am trying desperately to absorb this message to "take life slow," because everyone knows waiting is hard, because waiting is not knowing. None of us like not knowing. Not knowing is almost unbearably uncomfortable. We fill the not knowing with busyness--what can I do? What can I champion? What can I fill the time with through social media, Netflix, and bombarding myself with (often aimless) information?

Instead of freaking out about the not-knowing, I am trying to embrace the not-knowing as an opportunity to rest in God's presence. When I dwell too long on how much I don't know and I can feel my heart-rate rising, I run to Him. He is all-knowing. He is perfectly righteous, and perfectly loving. 

I rest in God because I know I am obviously not Him. As a nation, we find ourselves in an incredible amount of not-knowing what is going to happen next. What do we do next in the wake of terror? Who do we elect to lead us through this tumultuous time? On top of this, there are those who are in the middle of not-knowing that absorbs every moment of their day: is my loved one going to get better? Will we ever be done with hospital stays and check-ups? Will I ever find the right job for the sake of my family? Will we ever find a place to live? Will I ever see them again? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. 

I am trying not to be in a hurry to know. I think somewhere along the way, we decided that having all of the answers was the beginning of wisdom; but some of the wisest people I know are slow to offer trite answers that diminish the magnitude of the problem. 

Before I rush to know what is going to happen, or pick battles and choose sides, or force my way into whatever will make this waiting period shorter, I'm going to take life slow. I want to do more listening to God than talking. I want to do more listening to people than talking. I want to shut out noise and take my time in silence, asking the Spirit to meet me there in the stillness. No desperately seeking distractions. It would be foolish to expect a God outside of time to adhere to my perceived time limits. 

I'll take life slow. I know that God is good, and sovereign. I trust Him to equip His people. I trust Him to work out His redemption story in all of the ways that are beyond my wildest imagination. 

In the waiting, cry. Hug your people. Embrace the lump in your throat that feels like it will never go away. Waiting is hard. It's crazy to pretend like it isn't. Look for what God is doing in the waiting, because when the waiting is over you will need that wisdom. 

Sorry, but no fixer upper work this week. I'm not exactly in a hurry today.