October 11, 2012

Fall home tour

Happy Thursday!

Hey y'all! I hope I find everyone well here who reads this. I wanted to first get off my chest something very personal and that has happened to me recently. I wasn't/haven't talked about it much because it's scary to me but I realized that more than a couple of people read this blog (I hope) and if I can just make someone else feel better who might be going through the same thing, then it's worth it to talk about it. 

I got a phone call two days ago from my dad. The same ole, same ole how ya doing, what are ya doing, where are ya going, yada yada yada. Love you dad ;-) But then at the end of the conversation my dad tells me he needs to tell me something... Now, if you know me you know how much I worry over everything, cry over spilled milk, give myself a panic attack over ice-cream, you get the picture? I'm a worry wart, a stressing sally, an obsessive compulsive woman. Period. My mom has been going to the doctor for a little while now for various health problems including some that are hereditary that I have as well. That's a completely different story. Well my mom had shoulder surgery awhile ago from getting hurt at work. For a normal X-ray of her shoulder, something popped up in her neck that concerned the doctors enough to take a second look. After many doctor visits, scans and X-rays later... my mom gets a phone call and the doctor says...

You have cancer.

Wait, what? Cancer? That's a death sentence. What kind? How long has it been there? How big is it? What stage is it? Where do we go from here? What is going to happen? Is my mom going to live?
All of those questions + 1,000 others were running through my head. Dad explained that it was thyroid cancer and that they would just need to remove my moms thyroid completely and possibly while removing it, look to see if her lymph nodes need to be taken out as well & if the cancer has spread. 

Deep breathe, Ally. At this point, of course I am in shock and can't stop crying because I have no clue about any of this. When most people hear the word cancer, they automatically think of death. I did...and it was scary. I need my mom. I need her everyday. She has too much to live for. She is only 43. Too young to have any problems like this. If you knew my mom, it wouldn't surprise you that none of this upset her. She was actually "annoyed" by it because she would have to miss work. She wanted to hurry up with the surgeries and the whole process just so she could get back to work. She kept reassuring me it was "nothing" and she would be fine. She's a strong woman. But also very stubborn.

I've heard from various people that even though every cancer is bad, this is the cancer you want...because they can get it all out. That is a good thing but that doesn't mean it's going to be a walk in the park. My mom is going to be on medicine for the rest of her life. And there are so many side effects. If her dosage is too high, it can cause many problems such as massive panic attacks, irritability, susceptible to depression easily and more cravings. If the dosage is too low, she will constantly be tired, fatigued and just feeling lousy. Although all of these seem tiny compared to loosing life, it is still going to be a daily battle for her to get up the morning. 

My dad is a commercial fisherman in North Carolina. He is self employed. He works in the heat everyday and in the winter, he works in the freezing cold. But he has to do it. And he always has to provide for our family. I can't ever express how much respect I have for him...and my mom. They are the two most hard working people I've ever met. And I know that's where I get my motivation from. Dad fell yesterday and broke his foot so now he will be out of work for at least 2-4 weeks and will be getting a cast on his foot as well. Cancer and a broken foot. What a couple of days right? 

The giveaway that is coming up on Home by Ally is in honor of my mom and her cancer because more people need to realize it CAN happen! I never thought even in the "best" cancer scenario that my mom would have it but she does! Let's wake up people... and tell your loved ones you love them. Don't let your spouse walk out the door mad. Be kind to strangers. Help a child. Just live RIGHT so you don't have regrets and won't want to do anything over. Life is just TOO short not to love each other...right.

NOW! Onto...my fall home tour after I've gotten out the tissue box and I'm listening to violins ;-)

Here is our living room and small dining area that we never use.  I am loving the fall colors right now but I usually do different colors in here. Have I mentioned that I can't wait for Christmas? I've been looking for something for the left corner behind the table... but in no rush :-)

Here's another view of the small nook table. I redid this for the living room and I'm pretty much obsessed with anything that has a stained top. That mirror is made out of barn wood from North Dakota. Have I mentioned how much I hate that dining room fixture too? Talk about builder's grade.

I'm enjoying the process of turning this new house into our home. And we all need to remember that "Rome was not built in a day" as my mom would say. Hobby Lobby is still going to have that mirror next week and just because it's on clearance and it's cute doesn't mean you need it :-) Very good lessons that I am always RELEARNING :-(

That us in North Dakota outside of the animal shelter there. I think it was around the time we got our first pup :-) The small pumpkins are from Target and so are the candle holders. The moss is from Hobby Lobby and the photo frame is from TJMaxx. LOVE.

I found this cute, adorable, wonderful, AWESOME pillow at Marshalls about a week ago. I bought it just FOR fall. I LOVE the colors and the linen fabric. It's Ralph Lauren too, fabulous!

I love my little windsor chair in my living room. It's always nice to have additional seating besides the sofas. Do you have any other places in your living room to sit besides the sofas? A cute little Target pumpkin on top adds the perfect little touch of fall.

If you haven't visited Target lately, you're missing out! They have a new line out called "Threshold" and I believe I'm in LOVE with every item. Too bad we're not millionaires :-) Look for a tag like this...and I promise you will fall in love too! 

This tray is from the Threshold line. It was a chalk paint inside. UM, love! The candle is from Walmart for only $5 in their fall line! Pumpkin spice, my favorite! If only y'all could smell our house :-) We both love to read and have stacks of books that we probably need to get rid of at our next yardsale :-) These are specifically marriage inspiration books that I occasionally read and sometimes read with Ryan.         I don't think he listens.

1,001 things all happy couple should know about marriage
Married for life
A love that lasts
What I know now
They are all from the Hallmark collection except for the top one. I found that one at a gas station in ND but that one is actually my favorite!

And look at those two. Aren't they adorable? My boys. Winston is the miniature doxie and Tito who is a labradane. And yes, they are BEST friends.

Our home is FULL of doxie stuff. I am obsessed. Yes, I know we have another dog too. My husband reminds me all the time.

I added this small rope around my white vases and other miscellaneous items around the home. It has a very rustic, fall look and was only a couple of bucks at Lowe's! It instantly adds a cute touch to any plain vase, candle holder, etc.

I had this handmade while we were in North Dakota. I love it but now I wish I would have did brown lettering. What can I say, I'm OCD. But those are all the places that my husband and I have been in his career in the military. Well, I didn't go to Korea because it was a single tour! We got married in 2010 and some of these were before 2010 and before we were married! February will be 3 years for us! 

This is my entryway table. It has been uses. It has also been a TV stand for a short period of time. I love the character in this piece. It did have some rather boring hardware when I got it so I changed them out for something more vintage looking. The banner I made and use ALOT everywhere. I want to make a bigger one tonight that says FALL or Happy Fall Y'all to hang over my mirror in the living room. You can use banners anywhere for anything!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this iron gate I got from Ross a few weeks ago. Whenever you see something in a store and know you have to have it...so you grab it like a ninja and throw it in your cart like someone else is going to come after it. Yeah, I do it too. It's exciting though.

The barstools are from Ikea. And I used the same china & small pumpkins for my bar.

I like fall and somewhat get into it but ADORE Christmas and that's when I pull out a lot more decor. Here are little glass vases that are on our farmhouse table. They were only $8 each at Ross. I filled them with popcorn kernels and added little pumpkins to each too. See the little rope I told you about earlier, everywhere! The runner is from the new Threshold line too...LOVE!

Here's my buffet table with my old farmhouse window. I just added small pumpkins to each side, not too much. Just a small touch of fall.

Usuaully, I have fruit in those baskets. But I decided to fill them with pine cones for fall. I might change that soon to something a little brighter. They blend too much with the baskets. There are my "EAT" letters I got from Hobby Lobby and painted! I was thinking of putting these in my new Etsy shop, what do you think? They are sage green and distressed...I LOVE them! 

Here's a full view of the dining area and kitchen. Not my DREAM house... but we all work with what we have :-) Finally got my rug for under the farmhouse table as well, what do you think?

Here's the desk I redid in a neat way, you can find it here. I redid it AGAIN because we all know I love white. I just added a layer of white on top and gave it that chippy look. I love it even more now! How about you? What do you think of it?

Here's the paper wreath I made for only $3 from the Dollar Tree the other night. I did a tutorial, you can find it here! Super easy and super cute! Have you ever thought of hanging a wreath INSIDE of your door instead of just the outside? It's so plain right there and it was just what the door needed. I also carried the same style rug as my entry way rug as the one that is under the farmhouse table. What do you think of it? It's JUTE. I love jute and the way it looks. SO simple and pretty.

Well that's it for my fall home tour. I hope you enjoyed it! And let me know what you think! Hopefully once we can get our new furniture in, I can do a full home tour! Until next time...



  1. Just as i imagined it. super adorable and i am super jealous and highly motivated to do mine now. but the military housing that were in has a horrible floor plan. <3

  2. Ally, What a beautiful home you have created. My thoughts are with your family. It sounds like you have some pretty amazing parents that will prevail! Best to you...

  3. Ally, wow. What a lovely, lovely home! You are a true artist and every piece is simply gorgeous. Hugs to you and your family. I'll keep an eye out for your auction!

  4. I am SO sorry to hear that your family is going through such awful things right now! But stay positive, your mom WILL get the treatment she needs and she WILL recover and you WILL have many many many more years with her, your dad's foot will heal, and he'll be back to doing what he loves in no time, and it'll all work out in the end. Last year BOTH of my grandmothers were diagnosed with cancer, my paternal with skin cancer and my maternal with lung and breast cancer, it was a tough year and it scares me to think that my mom and I both have a chance of getting those things when we get older, but like you said, you just have to live for now and make the most of things. I'm glad you're closer to your family now, see them as often as you can, your mom will need that support (and so will you! being the family member can be pretty tough too.) Let me know if you ever want to talk, hugs! :)
    Oh and P.S. Your house looks great! It's coming together so well, you're much faster at figuring out things than I am. ;) And I'm jealous of how huge and new it is!

  5. Hey Allie. I'm sorry to hear about you mom. Reading your story brought be back to a similar memory. In 2009, when I was hospitalized for pre-term labor with Emma... my mom called me crying, but wouldn't tell me what was up. So in a panic, I called my grandmother and made her tell me what was going on. She told me my mom had just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was alone at the hospital and collapsed into the floor, crying and sobbing. The nurses came in and tried to comfort me, but like you, all I could think was "this is a death sentence." But it wasn't, and she has been cancer free for 2 years now. I will pray for your mom and your family. She sounds like an incredible person and I know God will look out for her. Your house is beautiful, I LOVE looking at your pictures. You are so talented.



    Ps- The font is a little difficult to read... not sure if it's just my computer or what, but thought I'd let you know. :)

  6. I just found your blog through Liz Marie & am amazed! Every little detail is beautiful! I am also a Military wife and love finding other Military wife bloggers :) I am now a loyal follower of your blog and will for sure be checking back regularly! Great job with EVERYTHING!!!

    Jennifer Ciani
    Simply Ciani - JenniferCiani.blogspot.com

  7. Thank you to all of y'all for your support and kind words! You don't know how much I appreciate it! Everything will be fine! XOXO

  8. Liz, let me know if you can read it better now! I always worry things look different because I'm on a different big ole' iMac screen :/

  9. ally, i love all of your pics! your home is beautiful; you have such great taste! love it! i found you on the link party at liz marie blog... i'm your newest follower!

  10. That's awful I feel for you. My grandmother had cancer. It was a difficult experience as a family member.

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