My Tribe


I love this crazy crew of mine… fiercely. They are rough and tumble, but so sweet… loud and obnoxious, but thoughtful and tender… creative and inventive, and messy as all-get-out. And although I lament (frequently) about the constant state of chaos and the messiness of life, I also would not have it any other way. This troupe of hoodlums is perfect in all its imperfection.

Capturing this shot was about as tumultuous as attempting to lead wild geese on leashes through a park. While my littles are adorable, they respond to the camera as if it’s a lazer beam of death and they have a tendency to squirm, fidget, make sour faces, and downright crumble to the ground as if their skin is being singed from their precious little bodies. And hence my lamenting.

My mother is the one who hears my groaning the most. Yes, she’s a saint. She gets to hear about my insecurities of parenting.. the moments when I whine incessantly about the puppy pooping on my wooden deck or my driveway (cause she’s a nutcase and fits right in)… the moments when I stress about scheduling, how to work three jobs and make sure my kids are supported, loved, and carted to every activity mankind thought to create because their mother thinks it will make them “well-rounded”… the moments when I fiercely defend them when they face injustice or down-right jerks out there in the real world. She’s the one who hears it all. And she’s the one who gives me perspective.

She paints a beautiful picture in the midst of all these challenges. A picture of a family actually living life. Because really, it’s not about the millisecond that they all turn at the exact same moment, face the camera and decide to look like normal human beings. It’s not about that picture. The real picture… the perfectly precious and beautiful picture of life… is the one captured before and after and in between those moments. The ones when they truly giggle at one another ‘til they are rolling around on the ground, unable to hear me asking them to brush their teeth. The times when one brother asks the other to sit down and have dinner together after a ballgame. The times when they tenderly pile their sister on their laps and read a book with her. The times when they snuggle the dog, or sing rock band off key at the top of their lungs, or smash their bodies in the crack between their two beds so they can sleep together almost on top of each other. Those are the real moments where the beautiful picture is painted. Those are the pictures that, if captured at all, don’t look perfect. But they are perfect just the same.

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Well, ladies and gentleman…. Here it is! The big kitchen reveal. I’ve done many kitchen renovations in the past, but working on your own is always so challenging.  My husband, by the way is a miracle worker. He put in countless hours of demo and reconstruction to help make this dream of mine possible. He’s pretty much the silent rock star of the family who never asks for much attention. And he looks like a combination of Thor (the short-haired version) and Brad Pitt, so he’s got that going for him. Yeah, I’m kind of smitten. Handyman- Thor. I even got him a shirt this year for father’s day that says Fa-Thor, cause I’m that dorky.  

So… the kitchen turned out pretty good. I’m loving the repositioning of the window and the symmetry it creates, as well as the contrast of the black framing against the lighter tile and cabinetry. Balance (in my sometimes off-balanced little world with 3 kids, 2 dogs, pet yard snakes and a man) makes me happy, and flanking the window and cooktop with tall, graceful towers helped me to achieve just that. One of the best features of this new space is the storage and functionality of the desk area/ drink station. When school is in session, the kiddos can do their homework right from the kitchen as I’m cooking dinner. When we host events, this space converts to a drink serving station that is out of the way of my little cooking corner. The large island was the perfect addition for a family who entertains. I drive Thor nuts by constantly taking in strays or inviting everyone and their dog over for dinner. The island is a perfect place to seat 11 -12 tiny butts for a giggle-fest of a meal while the adults dine and converse intelligently over gourmet food (like white-girl enchiladas) in the dining room.

So there you have it. Let me know what you think!

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Welcome to the land of yellow and brown!

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A bit better



Archway into the previous dining room and small opening to the kitchen

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The archways were enlarged and the window and cabinetry were centered. 

Getting to Know Jessica Daniels: Colorado Springs Home Specialist

Getting to Know Jessica Daniels: Colorado Springs Home Specialist

Getting to know Colorado Springs realtor and home designer Jessica Daniels of Structure Real Estate Group. A multi-passionate business woman who is out to make a positive difference in her community.