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weekend projects | carving out a family office

Today I’m sharing our family office space (progress)!

We always seem to have  weekend project going on over here when we are home for the weekends.  Sometimes that project is laundry, other times that project is DIY built ins, other weekends it’s cleaning up the yard.  Owning a home sure is a lifestyle.  It is weird to live in a newer house (newer than 85 years old) and not have much we HAVE to renovate, but we have a lot to work to do settling in and making this house perfect for us.  Over spring break week we finally unpacked the last of the boxes from our move (cough.. 3 months later) and got our office space carved out.

When we bought this house, it had this big room open to the formal living space, likely used for a formal dining.. but since we don’t use either of those things in a house, we decided to make it a nice family office/work space/studio.  I had dreamed of a family office space when we bought the house.  Finally figuring out this big open, rectangle room and using it well for our family is so exciting! We’ve just had it set up this way for a couple of days and already it’s been used non-stop.

(showing progress pics today.. crisp morning bedhead and jammies and all. )

One of our first DIY projects here at the house were those floating shelves/desk.  They were relatively easy to do and they totally transformed the room.  We used this tutorial, which was such an easy way to do floating shelves!! I also ordered that cute green couch the first week we moved in.  Everything else we had scattered throughout our old house.

We are used to living in smaller quarters and getting as much use out of our space as we can.  This house is roomier, but not a whole lot more square footage than our last. With this space being about half of our entire downstairs, I wanted it to work well for my family, and get some good use.

Mr. Miller and I both work from home a lot, so having an office with enough space for the two of us is imperative.  And what happens when both parents work from home?  The children love working from home right along with us.  I don’t know about yours, but my children are just basically always at my feet, always with me no matter what I’m doing in the house.  With that in mind, I knew I wanted to set up a place for them to work too.  My girls are always crafting, Grae is always coloring,  and they always want to do so right where I am, so why not carve them out some space right here close (but not too close) to mama.


I am still working on my side of the office to create a good little command center.  A place to keep track of our family schedule and the girls school papers, my daily checklists, sort mail, and of course have space for my daily doses of the girls’ precious artwork I can display… I’ve been pinning lots of inspiration, but now I’ve got to think of how to make one that works for us specifically that I can actually use!  Organization isn’t my strong suit, but once I get a system in place, I can keep it rolling.

Finally unpacking my books is making my heart happy. A rainbow book stack has been a dream since #pinterest.

I have already rearranged this room already at least 5 times since we moved in.  But finally moving that table in here for the kids, and the dresser to hold all our art supplies made this room make sense for everyone.  Part of my process is just tweaking and tweaking until it works.  And it’s even pretty enough to still have people come in and sit and use it for extra entertaining as well! :D

How’s that for getting some use out of those formal rooms in your house that don’t get enough use? What do you use that space for in your home?


You can always see which projects I’m planning on Pinterest, follow me HERE.

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settling in | staircase gallery wall

Motivation comes in waves here at the Miller Manor.  We have moved from phase 1, unpacking all the things, to phase 2, finding a place for the rest of the things.  And my seven hundred frames from over the years are no exception.

I feel like I have dreamed of having my own family staircase gallery wall for.. oh, as long as I can remember living.  There is just something so CLASSIC and FAMILIAR and COZY about a staircase gallery wall in a home with years of photographs displayed.  If there was one single thing I bought this house for, the dream of having my staircase gallery wall come to life, was one of them.

So this Saturday (after X amount of months the frames have been stacked up on the landing, might I add), I got to work and made a happy little wall for my family (eh-hem, me) to admire each time they walk up the stairs (1200 times a day.. again, me).

Over the last couple weeks I’ve been in a little bit of a funk with all the change settling in and that weird type of homesickness you get after a move.  Anyone know what I’m talking about?  Just that home sick feeling of knowing where everything is, not feeling new, just feeling at HOME.  Making this place feel a little more like “our home” sincerely helped my heart feel happier.  A few hours of my Saturday, zero dollars (except for the too-expensive 3M strips, thanks s’much Mr. Miller), and my heart feels a whole lot lighter.  Proving my theory that small things like this can, in fact, make you HAPPIER.  Life hack right there.  Invest in the beauty around you.

I love my home to tell our story.  That’s what “home” feels like for me.  These frames have been collected over the years.  Some found at yard sales with pictures of my first babies placed on the walls in some of our first homes.  They have moved with us, and been added to, and changed shape a bit in each house. But in each of our homes, we have found space for them, and as the years go by, each frame is more treasured.

Of course, we’ll be updating some and switching out some obvious prints but it is making me happy today, even unfinished, and I wanted to share it!

Like all my projects, I just used my pinterest boards to gain some inspiration, laid all my frames out on the floor to mess around with shape, took a photo to refer back to, and placed them one by one.

Some I used basic nails for (my favorite, easiest way) and on others I used 3M strips.. which I have a love/hate relationship with! I had to pull a couple off and redo them, but mostly I got it right just by eye-balling it.  I’LL HAVE THE JURY KNOW I hung this wall by myself without any help, *cough! Mr. Miller* Just in case we need the documentation for future reference. ;)

Feeling pretty darn happy with my handy-work!


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Our New Miller Manor

I have been doing a lot of clearing my schedule, and nesting our house.  At first I was thinking how chaotic it would be trying to move and be in a bare, new house for Christmas, but I am finding that it has been such a blessing.  Right now my entire focus is on our home, how we’re going to live best here, and getting settled.  It has been such a sweet thing to focus on for the holiday.  We have set our expectations so much lower this Christmas, and have already spent more nights cozied up by our fire after a long day’s work than we probably would have otherwise.  It’s been a sweet little start to our life here.

Many have asked where we have moved, and we really didn’t go far.  We just nestled into a quieter neighborhood, closer to our girls school.  It’s just a 5 minute drive from our old neighborhood, but we’re figuring out a new little pocket of town.  I still feel homesick for our little nook we had grown to love and live those 6 years as a young family, but we find reasons to visit often.

Mostly, our days right now look like nesting little corners of our house, unpacking endless amounts of boxes, and twirling around in natural light giggling that we get to live here. We all especially love the staircase – Harlo can’t wait to go to prom down our stairs, Major finds endless travel on them, and I can’t wait to get busy on a stairway gallery wall I’ve always dreamed of.  Life is pretty sweet here, even at our new Miller Manor.


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a heart of thanks

We had a very different, and very lovely Thanksgiving this year.  Our families were traveling, and since we were only in our home for a few days, we decided to sit this holiday out and spend it together in our new home.  I wrote this on  Thanksgiving morning:

“As I am writing, it is Thanksgiving morning.  I just love Thanksgiving.  I woke up early and walked down to my brand new kitchen in my brand new home.  I prepared my turkey(breast) and arranged my dishes.  I turned Christmas Music on and opened up my back door to let in the crisp morning air.  As my children gobbled up some yogurt, a hot air balloon flew just exactly over our backyard.  It all seems almost too perfect.

This year I am feeling so particularly grateful and full of thanks.  I am still in awe and wonder about the way my life has unfolded with my beautiful family I have been blessed with.  It feels so sweet to be newly nestled into the home my children will grow up in.  We are here!  This stage of life has arrived, and it’s so sweet it puts a lump in my throat.

We have been on the receiving end of so much loving service, and I feel unworthy of such blessings.  For us to be sitting in this house came after such an army of people offering us their time, skills, willingness to help us with so much.  I am just feeling especially loved and grateful for all the angels I have surrounding me.  I know that God uses us to bless each other, and I have felt so much of that in recent weeks.

I can’t wait to get my hands to work serving and giving back this holiday season, and today I am starting by making my family a home cooked meal in our new home!”

Of course we missed family, and our usual thanksgiving tradition of spending it at the family cabin with the Millers this year, but I must say that cooking 6 dishes alongside my two older girls in our newly unpacked kitchen had to make the list of my favorite Thankgivings to date.  I looooove everything about Thanksgiving.  The weather in St. George, the low-key vibe of the holiday, the cooking all day, the snacking all night.  It’s just the best.

This year it was 75 degrees outside, so naturally we opted to eat on our outdoor picnic table.  After dinner, we went and walked through our empty downtown cottage together as a family.  It was a sweet way to end the day.  We spent the rest of the holiday weekend getting settled into our new house.  I think we’ll be “settling” for quite some time here, but it just feel so good to be here at HOME.

Definitely a year to remember.

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Leaning into Faith

For a couple of months, Mr. Miller and I have felt a bit… restless.  I can’t explain it in any other way, just that there was a building up to a breaking point of sorts.  We started wondering if we were really doing what we were called to do here, and prayed for  God’s help in showing us.  Areas of our home life, work life, family life started shifting and we wondered what changes we needed to make that would be right FOR US.  So on one particularly tough Sunday, we prayed diligently, pleading with God to guide us to our next step, open to whatever that might be.

The next morning, a dear friend of ours approached us about buying our house.  Even though this was no where on our radar at the moment, we couldn’t help but feel how “coincidental” the timing was, and so we felt we at least had to hear the guy out, and explore our options.  As we stepped forward in faith, even though I really didn’t want to sell my house, I started seeing how wonderful of an opportunity this would be for my family.  The painful thoughts of leaving this dream home of mine faded with the peace and excitement of this opportunity.  I have come to know that God is the only way to feel peaceful, and where there is peace, there too, is God.  In the last decade of actively pursuing a relationship with God, I have let those same peaceful feelings guide me, and so I recognized that easily in this situation.

It is important for me to point out that God didn’t reveal what the whole plan was when this initial prompting of taking this opportunity happened.  This is where our faith really carried us.  We knew, and had faith, that if God provided us an opportunity as an answer to our prayers, He would lead the way.  So we continued in faith, even though we weren’t exactly sure where we would go once we moved from here.  We explored all of our options and kept moving forward until God would reveal to us our next step, having faith that He would.

In my own spiritual journey, a weakness I have is letting go of my own control.  God has to remind me of this ALL THE TIME, “I promise, I’ve got this Cass.  Go ahead and let go.” He whispers to my soul, and through white knuckles I try to ease my grip.  After years of practicing, I had the ultimate test when the day would come where I would have to sign the sellers contract on my sweet little cottage before knowing AT ALL where we were heading next.

We had seen multiple rentals, all of which fell through for one reason or another, we had friends offer us to stay at their homes, but with such an uncertain timeline that seemed hard to commit to… We had even reached the resolve that if worse came to worse, we would take this show on the road and live in our little trailer and travel for a few months until we sorted this all out.  I felt anxious and wrung up over every last option. (I also learned how DOWN I was for God’s plan, as I would have been willing to do any of these things had they felt right.)

So, on the last night it was possible, I signed the contract, making our sale official.  With not a single hint of what we would do next.  I pleaded with God what felt like that entire night, and felt a strong impression that help was on the way.  THE NEXT MORNING, my husband called from work asking if I could be ready in 20 minutes to go see the house I had coveted on the MLS site (knowing full-well I couldn’t buy it – we had planned to not even start with the home buying process until we could file our taxes which wouldn’t be for a few months, at least..  We had to be out of our home in 28 days.)  Brady told me he’d explain, and to get the kids ready.  Turns out, that morning’s meeting landed him with just the right person who would be connected to a real estate agent and a mortgage broker who worked mostly with business owners like us.  A call or two later, we were meeting the real estate agent at the dream house, and by that afternoon, we placed our offer.  Is your head spinning?  Let me say it again, that afternoon, we were placing an offer to buy the home I didn’t dare dream we could buy.  It was a spiritual trip to say the least.

Because the home buying process is never ever easy, I can’t say this process has been a breeze, or without it’s hiccups… but I can say that we have been guided every single step, and we have been 100% fine with whatever God had in mind for us – even if that meant facing our own disappointment for a time.  Of course, our God is one of grace and mercy.  Our suffering has been washed over with His peace time and time again when we’ve come up against trials in this process.

As I am writing, we are a couple of days away from closing on both homes, and we are still having to lean into faith over fear every single day.  There is still a chance things could fall through, and there is still a chance we’ll see another miracle in our lives come to completion.  I have faith in the latter, of course.

I will tell you that I don’t think I’ve ever had a time that was so apparent that God was working in our lives.  I mean, truly I would have never imagined this would be possible, and I hadn’t even dared dream beyond our home.  But God nudged me in the gentle, reassuring way only He does, and I am watching the next chapter of our lives unfold right before my very eyes.  How grateful I am to that hard time in my life ten years ago that lead me to God, that lead me to changing my life for His will that day and every day forward.  After ten years, I am still not over the miracles God has performed in my life and continues to perform in our lives. <3

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The Millers are Moving!

Well, I’m not sure how to write this all out, but in very short – we were given a sweet opportunity to sell our beloved downtown cottage we lovingly call “the Miller Manor”, and take a leap of faith as we find the NEXT Miller Manor.

You can’t imagine the heartache, prayers, tears, and time we have spent over this big decision for our family.  But the Lord is good, and He is guiding us as the opportunity unfolds.

For the first 7 years of our marriage, as a couple of new small business owners, it was impossible for us to qualify for a home loan, but it remained our hearts deepest desire.  All we wanted was a quaint little place we could call our own in those years (and years) of rentals.  We witnessed a small miracle happen in our financial life that year as we turned our worries to God, and our sweet little house fell into our lap.

It had been a childhood dream of mine to live in downtown St. George, to buy a little old house and fix it up.  As a young girl, my parents owned a quaint little beauty salon right in the heart of the city.  I grew up in that salon, ran around the grounds, and became dearly acquainted with all the business owners – most of whom still have businesses there today.  We would go for walks, and play in the tree-lined streets and as we drove home to our suburban neighborhood, I would pick my favorite houses up the block and day-dream about the life I would live there when I grew up.

How sweet it has been to see that dream come to life.

This house has been such a tender mercy for me, and even writing this makes me teary.  This house has been my dream come true, and I haven’t even dreamed beyond it.  I have felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have this precious place of safety, security, and so much joy.  A little house literally bursting with my own children and a happy, full, beautiful life.  I have not, and will not ever get over it.  This dream of mine was hard won, but worth it ten million times.

But this house wasn’t our forever house.  It was a house to wrap us up in a time we needed it, to provide us shelter from life’s storms for a season, and has provided us an opportunity to turn the page to the next chapter of our lives.  What a sweet gift this house has been.  I can’t say that enough.  This home will be cherished for the rest of my life, in some of our happiest of memories.

But for now, I am looking forward to the home waiting for us.  Because as I have been reminding myself, it’s not the manor that makes the Millers, it’s the Millers that make the manor.

*cue all the tears*


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building our tribe

Last week, for the fourth of July, we had our second annual holiday bash at the Miller Manor.

I had posted about the night on instagram, and someone messaged me and told me how she envied the group of friends I had, and how lucky I was to be raising my children alongside my best friends.

This touched my heart, and I’ll tell you why.  Because I had a season in early motherhood with little to no friends in the same season I was in.  I felt loneliness and craved something more.  I felt an answer to my prayer was to be patient, focus on my family and not worry about friendships – they would make their way into my life later.  And they did.

A couple years later, by divine placement, I had some precious friends in my life.  These women were strong, and wonderful, and real, and loving wives and mothers and friends.  The only problem was, most of them didn’t know each other.  In this season I had a strong impression that I was to bring this group of women together.  So I started a book club.  I invited a few friends, they invited a few friends, and before we knew it we had a big ol’ group of awesome ladies discussing books and life and all that entailed.  Best friendships formed, we learned from each other, grew with each other, showed up for each other, and felt our loads lighten by the friendships we had formed.

This very inspired idea of bringing this group together may be one of my most treasured blessings in life.  I genuinely have the greatest group of women surrounding me.  REAL women.  Women who aren’t interested in gossip, and materialistic accomplishments, but that are coming and putting it all out there, and accepting every one else doing the same.  These types of friendships are rare, I know this from experience, and I am so grateful to have these women in my corner for life.

Upon our purchase of the Miller Manor, one of the main things for me was to have a place for our tribe to gather.  We kept this in mind with every renovation we did.  We don’t have a ton of space in our 1900 sqauare foot home, but we have created places for our community to come in and feel loved.

The 4th of July is just a reminder of all we have built with this community.  I love that my yard is big enough to hold alllll our kids, and that our families continue to grow.  I love that our kids are raised more like cousins, and that through our friendships have become a sisterhood unlike anything else.  Each of us have built this community up, and I am forever grateful. (only the friends in town on the 4th pictured — but you know who I’m talking about even if you weren’t here!)

Are you in a season of loneliness?  Perhaps your tribe is just on the other side of inviting a friend or two over for a BBQ, organizing a book club with a few women you think would hit it off, arranging a weekly playdate with other moms, whatever you like to do.  Sometimes it’s just about gathering up your people with food and love to fill your soul.

In my experience, my willingness to invite and host has given back to my family 100 times.  Who can  you love into your tribe?  Who can you cook a meal for?  Who can you invite to a park and pick up pizza on the way?  Build up a community you love being a part of.  I promise it will be worth it.

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Catch us Outside

If you follow us along on instagram (which I KNOW you do – right?!), you know that the Miller Manor welcomed a swing set to the backyard collection this past weekend.

I had dreamed of a swing set in our backyard since we moved in – our last rental house had one, and I loved looking out my kitchen window out back to see my kids playing on the swings.  The swings were my favorite as a young girl, and I always envied the friends I had with swings in their yards.

Swing sets can be pretttty pricey, and with all the work and projects we always have going on at this house, I didn’t want to fork out a few thousand dollars on a nice one.  So, I put the word out and kept my eye out for one that would suit our needs. (and pinned a bunch of DIY versions on my backyard board on pinterest!)

But on one fateful Friday night, the stars aligned with my mom found the PERFECT SWING SET on the local yard sale page.  I made an offer, they accepted, and we picked it up the next morning.

It’s an old schoolhouse swing set and it couldn’t be more perfect for us and our space.  We can swing as high as we want – and we do for the majority of our day!  (The best part of having your own swing set is being able to swing in your skivvies… just ask Grae.)

And just like that, this second-(or-third-or-fourth)-hand swing set became a staple part of the life we’re living here at the Miller Manor.

It really is the most SIMPLE things, y’all! ♥

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Building a Life

“She shaped her own world exactly to her liking when nobody was looking.”
– Author Unknown

A profound truth hit me when my oldest baby girl was just a few months old.  We had just moved into a cute little rental house, we didn’t have a lot of anything at the time, but happiness and contentment seemed to fill every room.

After a whirlwind romance, and an unexpected pregnancy, life had moved quickly for me in the last year and a half.  In fact, right before I met Mr. Miller, I was walking out of the darkest 4-year season of my life.

The light my life radiated now was a blinding contrast from that of the season I had recently left behind.  Only a couple of good choices had landed me here.  To take a chance on love, to say YES, to jump in with both feet into something that felt to be right in my heart.  On that one afternoon, as I swayed my baby to sleep in my kitchen, I realized that life truly can be whatever you make of it. 

From that day on, I have delved deep into the details of my life, filling them with things that make me happy.  I learned that following spiritual promptings is always a good idea, no matter how wild they may seem.  I learned that any amount of beauty can fill up a space, and make my heart happier.  I learned that a shortage of money only meant an abundance of creativity – and that often where you find simplicity, there too you will find happiness.  There was simply no excuse to not create a happy life.  And that’s exactly what I planned -and still plan- to do.

If I could share the one secret to a happy life, it would be this.  I’m so thankful that the Lord brought this knowledge to my life, and that I have a partner who trusts the inspiration I receive for our home and family.

Mr. Miller said to me recently as we drove home from our weekend trip to our trailer on the mountain, “Most of the inspiration for our family comes to you, I’m just here to help make your vision come to life.” and my heart filled right to the tippy top – because I know that the Lord is guiding us, and me as a mother to this family.  He knows my deepest desire to create a good, happy, beautiful life for my family and He is so faithful.  Always there helping guide me.  As the years tick by, we are doing just what we set out to do. Our life doesn’t come without the stresses and obligations everyone’s life has – but we chase after that light, we chase after the things that will make us happy – big or small.  We have come to learn the things that bring forth the fruit of a good life, and we go for those things.

“We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” – LDS Article of Faith 13 (my favorite AOF)


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friday wrap up


12:24 : Stella writes her teacher a letter, “You are the best teacher EVER! Stay cool this summer.” (we love you, Mrs. Boshard!)

12:31 : I think of the lucky teacher who gets her next year (we’re ready for you, Mrs. Bastian!).

2:49 : The Miller ladies (me included) enjoy a cold popsicle on our 100 degree back porch (the misters were a nice touch, Mr. Miller).

3:17 : Stella dubs Grae “Sassy Frances”

That sounds about right to me!

5:05 : Offer of a SECOND date night this week comes in

5:06 : Decide to GO FOR IT after the day week I’ve had.

6:14 : Mr. Miller whisks me away to my favorite quiet country.

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Easter weekend 2017

We doubled up on holidays this weekend celebrating our sweet Major’s birthday along with Easter, my favorite Holiday.  It was hectic and lovely and filled to the very brim with goodness and love. (I’ll post about Major’s birthday in another post)

On Saturday, we walked to the Art’s Festival which is my very favorite weekend in St. George.  Easter is wonderful everywhere, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s the best spent in our little Southern Utah town.  I have gone EVER single year my whole life and I love bringing my own children now.  I also love living downtown this time of year (and every other time of year, too, actually).  There’s just a happy bustling down the streets, trees blossoming into Spring, flowers blooming all over the colorful houses.  I love it down here and think I maybe never want to leave.

After the arts festival, our church ward had their annual Easter Egg hunt at the park.  Of course it was a hit:

After that, MY cousins were in town and they stopped by the Miller Manor for dinner Saturday night.  I was having too much fun to snap any pics, but I super loved having my cousins and aunt and uncle over for dinner.  It made me feel like a kid and a grown-up all at once, which is a pretty neat feeling.


Easter Sunday, my honey spoke in another ward, so me and the little Millies (sans Stella who had woken up with strep!) headed to support our main guy.  Mr. Miller is a fantastic speaker in church, and with his new church calling in the high council, he is able to speak a whole lot!  I think it’s a perfect fit.

My Mr. Miller gave the neatest talk about that first Easter.  My favorite part of his talk is when he spoke about Mary and her broken mother heart, seeing her baby on the cross like that.  Jesus did the hardest thing anyone will do, but I think Mary had to do a big part of that too.  As I sat with my own precious baby son on my lap, my heart broke for Mary – someone I have grown to understand and deeply love since becoming a mother.  I love that my husband paid tribute to this sacred moment, and it’s been on my mind ever since.  The atonement and resurrection are so vast that most of the time I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all, but when I can spend time pondering little aspects of it, I gain a testimony of the little pieces, and they weave together a testimony of hope, faith, truth, and love for my Savior and what He did for us.  

It’s amazing that the lives we enjoy today, the forgiveness we rely on, the happiness and hope we can feel is because of that sacred day when Jesus conquered death.  I have spent the last ten years of my Christianity learning to grasp this, and I’ve no where near mastered the enormity of this concept, but I’m learning, and I am awe-struck over the love our Heavenly Father has for us.

Easter is my very favorite holiday.  It’s one of simplicity and love and beauty, and I love it just as much now (more so, actually) as I did as a little girl.  Each Easter, as I line up my darling babies to photograph them in their Easter ensembles I am overcome with gratefulness.  Grateful that my life took such a wonderful turn back there somwhere, and that by turning my heart to Jesus Christ, I have created this beautiful life.  It never ceases to amaze me.  This year I had a bench full of MY own children, and nothing could make me happier.

Of course, Jesus isn’t the only man we were feeling extra grateful for this Easter.  Celebrating my only son’s first birthday on this special day felt a little like magic.  In his dapper little Easter outfit, my heart nearly burst right open.  I sure love my little prince!

As I mentioned, sweet Stella woke up in the night with a hot fever and felt miserable all day on Easter. (She was also sick for Valentines – what luck!) I brought her to the doctor Monday morning and she has strep!  Poor sister.  We had to skip on the cousin Easter-egg hunt at Nana and Papa’s house and my girls were SO bummed.  But you better believe Nana and Papa brought that Easter Egg hunt to them on Monday so they didn’t have to entirely miss out.  (Thank you Grandma for braving the sickness and letting us come to your house on Easter!  You saved the day!)

 It takes a village to raise a happy family, and I am so grateful for ours.  This Easter weekend was one of my very, very favorites.

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Thanksgiving Day 2016

First you should know that Thanksgiving and Easter are my favorite holidays.  They are both #1 because it’s impossible for me to choose which I love more.  But Thanksgiving, folks.  My goodness, I love this holiday.

Like most families, we switch off every other year.. so one year we go with Mr. Miller’s family to the cabin for Thanksgiving, and on my year, I cook at home and host my own Thanksgiving.  We have had this arrangement since we were married, so this was my fourth time cooking the  traditional feast.  For Thanksgiving hosting, I’d say 4th time’s the charm.  I had zero calls to my mom, and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my day from start to finish without feeling overwhelmed or stressed out.

My sister came with her crew from California, my dad was here and my family of six.  We hung out and cooked and snacked all day together, listening to good music and having great conversation.  Because half of our guests were vegan, I saved myself some work by just cooking a turkey breast in stead of a full turkey.  This has been my little trick when we don’t have a ton of turkey eaters.  I just toss it in the crockpot with a half cup of orange juice, a can of cranberry sauce, and a packet of lipton onion soup mix and it’s the most deliciously moist turkey you’ll ever taste.  I made my family’s favorite sweet potato casserole with a pecan crumble on top, my favorite green bean casserole (add a little Worcestershire and rosemary to make it pop!), Grandma Jorgensen’s stuffing recipe, of course Harlo’s favorite mashed potatoes (cream cheese is the secret ingredient there), and some fresh white rolls.  My sister made hors d’oeuvres which included the most delicious veggie dip that I could’t get enough of (I’ll get the recipe!), roasted brussel sprouts, and our family’s traditional cheesecake.  It was a “feast fit for a king” as Mr. Miller would say.

Because we Miller ladies love some decor; I put up an easy chalkboard banner from Target which I also made the place settings with, along with some festive pinwheels I’ve used for every holiday one way or another.  I had some green garland from Major’s blessing that I knew would come in handy for more events.  We busted out my pretty white dishes that I have collected over the years, as well as mason jar mugs.  The buffalo check napkins were a recent score from the target $3 bins.  Our table cloth was handmade by a dear family friend who recently passed, and some craft paper laid over top brought it all together.  It was festive and simple – just the way I like it.

We truly had the happiest holiday and I am feeling so very thankful.  As I laid in bed that night, I recounted all the other years I’ve cooked and how our family has grown in size and in love.  My heart was filled to the tippy top as I counted each of my blessings that night.  I’m so glad this life is mine.

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growing pains

This weekend has been a busy one for our little Miller Manor.  Since Major was born, we have been trying to figure out the best bedroom arrangement to fit four kids in a three bedroom house.  Our house is a little cottage and I love it.  It’s small and cozy and makes me think outside the box sometimes, and I appreciate that challenge in a home.  I believe in siblings sharing bedrooms and I’m glad my babies have that sweet opportunity.

We have had Mr. Major in our room in a little corner nursery for his whole life, but we aren’t getting a lot of sleep anymore and it was time to switch things up.  After laying out all of our options, we ultimately decided that Grae (now that she’s done napping.. WHAAAA!) could bunk up with the girls for a while until we get Maj on a better sleeping schedule.  So Sunday after church (and alllll day long on Monday) my motherly duties included cleaning up, organizing, arranging, and nesting new little nooks for my precious ones.

bunk beds HERE.

I pretty much wanted to cry the whole day cleaning out drawers and packing away clothes that were too small, moving Grae out of the baby nursery that I painted the day before I had her – which seems like yesterday!  Moving Major out of my room, because my teensy newborn isn’t one anymore.  He is a big huge (almost) 7 month old who scoots around my house and says “dada”!  Time is moving at such a fast pace, and my heart aches as it realizes the quickly passing time.

I also know that each new year brings it’s own magic and blessings and happiness.  As our angels cozied up that night, fresh excitement, snuggled into their beds, I realized that the time is passing and my babies wont be babies forever.. but that they have each other forever.   These changes and new memories are making their childhood together and I’m so grateful.  They are happy kids, we are a happy family, and honestly we can’t ask for a whole lot more than that, can we?

Today Mr. Miller and I are divided on who we are voting for, and that’s okay.  Because no matter who we vote for, we will come home and love our family together.  

“The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes.” -Harold B. Lee

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A few weeks ago, Mr. Miller and I brought home our very first camp trailer!  We are so excited to get it all fixed up and ready to take out on the road.  We have been chatting about this idea for a few years, and it’s so fun to see it finally taking off.  We bought one with good bones that just needed some cosmetic updates to make it feel like our little house on wheels!  I can’t wait to show you what we do with it, and I’m even more excited to see how it fits into our family lifestyle.  I am currently flipping through pinterest getting all sorts of ideas. (You know how I love pinterest!) Here are some I’m loving:


 via my friend Tisse’s awesome 5 day RV reno!


Follow me on pinterest to always know what I’m working on at the Miller Manor, what style I’m loving, or how I’m painting my nails this week. :D

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snippets of our happy place

One quiet Friday afternoon, my house was (mostly) tidy, my babies were sleeping and the house was quiet.  I love afternoons like this that sneak into a busy week and feel calm and effortless.  They are like oxygen to a busy mother.  I walked around the house – touches of my nestings in every single nook.  My house wasn’t in perfect condition, but I snapped a few pictures anyway.  This lived-in home is a happy one for my family.  I love the feeling of walking through my door to be greeted by it’s bright colors, stories, and evidence of life all around it.

I am such an advocate for creating a happy space in your home.  Whether you live in a student’s apartment, or the dream house you built last year… you deserve to be so happy in your own home.  Hang some things on the wall, add in touches you love in accessories, invest time in nesting your space.  You will be surprised by how much of a difference it makes.

I sure love our happy little home.

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