Home Tour and Breathing in Patience

EDITOR’S NOTE: Teresa has been a part of the GLOW community from our very beginnings and I’m so happy to say that our friendship has blossomed ever since. While we haven’t actually met in person, we consider her one of our good friends! For those of you who are new, we will quickly get you up to speed. Teresa’s first post on GLOW discussed giving her story to God, and how that changed everything. In her words, her life was “beautifully interrupted” (including going from never wanting children to having 6 – 2 biological and 4 from Ethiopia). Not only does Teresa have a heart for the Lord, but she also has a way with decorating, style, fashion… you name it! Naturally, we were pleased when she submitted her post on The (Im)perfect Hostess.

Tying in with her previous post, today we are excited to see a more detailed glimpse into Teresa’s life. We all know how difficult moving can be, not to mention decorating on a budget. Teresa discusses a few practical decorating and remodeling tips and tricks, and reminds us that through the unfinished, the Lord can teach us so much about patience, thankfulness and grace. Take a moment and read below. So fun!!!

Oh! One last thing!!! Teresa will be taking over our Instagram account for the weekend. :) Be sure to follow GLOW here to see what life is like in a household with six crazy cute kiddos! While you’re at it, give Teresa a follow here to keep up with her after this weekend.


Have you ever done something…or told someone about plans to do something and they slightly freak out, tell you you’re nuts, and immediately think you need to be talked down from the ledge?

Welcome to my life. Whether it’s adopting four kids from Ethiopia (that have now joined our two biological boys) or doing huge home projects, someone is always shaking their head at us, convinced we’ve bitten off a little too much.

family pic 9anton & laithabreham & ezekielimani & elsabet

That brings us to our home…which was deemed “uninhabitable” by the bank. Mhm, yep. I told you. Crazy.

The stairs shifted under our feet as we made our way to the second floor. The handrail came off in our five-year-old son’s hand and the spindles acted as dominoes as they crashed to the floor.

I simply could NOT wait to get my hands on it!

our house 10

our house 13

We ripped out walls, bought countless cans of paint, and got creative with a super tight budget. The shoddily built kitchen was the first to go, which thrilled our boys as they laughed and went a little crazy, putting hammers through walls and cabinets all in the name of “helping” Daddy.

our house 7

our house 9

After receiving numerous bids for new kitchen cabinets, which all equaled our ENTIRE budget for our ENTIRE house, we started looking elsewhere, and fell in love over at Ikea.

IKEA, for goodness sakes! The place where all my dorm furniture came from! And you know what? Ben had remodeled a condo in Seattle with Ikea and assured me it would be ok. I’ve since come to realize their cabinets are amazing. And inexpensive. And gorgeous. And surprisingly well made. And did I mention amazing?

our house 8

our house 16

our house 1

We knew we wanted grey Silestone countertops and found a guy here in town who works with remnants. So we waited around until he had located enough gorgeous grey remnant for our kitchen. Did you know you can do that? Remnants? In addition to our kitchen, we’ve now used them in our powder room, laundry, and master bath. Great way to save a little money. Which lets us do more of the projects.

The fireplace room would make a great family room, we thought…after all, it’s right off the kitchen. But oh it was horrid. And we were pretty much out of money. I can’t remember what happened, but there was some unforeseen thing we had to dump a bunch of our budget into. Thus spending the money we had set aside for this room and the fireplace.

our house 2

We had gotten to take down some of the brick, the popcorn ceiling, and the paneling on the walls…but I haaaated the color of the brick. So I got creative!

our house 4

Paint…oh God bless PAINT. I know, chevron. Would your honey let you do that? Sometimes my ideas are a little out there but Ben knows I’ll pull it all together in the end. Thanks Benny for trusting me (here’s how we did the chevron). And because I’m slightly obsessed with chalkboards, I thought it’d be a fun way to finish off the look.

our house 6

our house 5

We lived for months without a mantle, and when it was finally built, the guy asked what we were going to do about this “hideous zig-zag pattern” and did I want him to tile over it. “GASP! Sir, you may NOT!” Sigh. Some people just don’t have vision, haha.

And don’t you just love that wreath?! Coffee filters, my friends. Took just a few hours and a handful of dollars. Here’s the tutorial. Major love.

We made our way through the house, living in unfinished spaces until a vision came to us of what it should be.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come. Ohhhh goodness how I love it.

our house 27

our house 29

our house 24

our house 26

our house 22

our house 23

our house 18

our house 20our house 21

But guess what. Ready for more crazy? We’re moving. We bought this house without the intent of adopting any more and pretty quickly brought home Elsabet and Abreham. So now it’s feeling a little tight.

We found a great house (within walking distance to all our kids schools!) with more space, and a great backyard. Soooo now we have another project. So fun.

Right now… as I type this, we’re moving into our seventh house in eight years of marriage. Six kids, two cross country moves. And a whole lot of grace from the Big Guy Upstairs.

I posted about the (im)perfect hostess here on GLOW a few months ago. Did you read it? There are ups and downs of living in the midst of a house that is unfinished. Whether you’re remodeling and living amidst construction for what seems like forever…or simply living in a space that is dated or not your taste, it’s easy to become unthankful and a bit well…irked about your home.

But God has been teaching me patience and thankfulness through the chaos of construction. That it’s ok to wait and save up for something, paying cash for it. Researching and scrolling through Craigslist for months just hoping (and yes, praying) for something to come up within your budget. Patience. Exhale. Thankfulness. Inhale. Breathing these two things in and out Every. Single. Day.

Our homes are an extension of us. They’re not perfect, just like we’re not perfect. But breathing in the Thankfulness, Grace, and Patience that only He can provide will get us closer and closer to the only Perfect One we’ll ever know.



About the Author

family pic 7Teresa Anderson

A wife to Ben, mother of six (2 biological & 4 from Ethiopia), Teresa‘s life is the opposite of what she’d planned. Never {ever} wanting kids, she realized in her early 20’s that she was living the plans she wanted for her life, rather than the perfect plans He had created her for. After praying and completely laying everything down at Christ’s feet, He soon placed a new dream upon her heart: Africa. Caring for the uncared for. Loving the unloved. Now, she lives in a {very!} busy household and blogs over at Hugs & Punches, striving to see the beauty and choosing to have inexpressible joy amongst all the craziness, loudness, silliness, and mess that is her life with a house full of beautiful kids.

  • katieM

    gorgeous, gorgeous home! LOVE the remnant idea!