Kids Room Update

Tomorrow’s the big day, y’all.

tuxedo cat | buffalo check throw | jenny lind bed from land of nod

My 40th birthday…aaaaahhhhh! :-D

Boys Bedroom | Hoop Art | Wall Grouping

I’ll be robbing the cradle for a minute until Kevin turns 40 on June 28th. ;-)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn | Boys Bedroom | Bookshelves

I was telling him last night, I don’t think I’ve ever thought too much about what life might look like at 40.


But here I am…living in the South (my favorite region), with my sweet & musical man (my favorite kind), working as a creative writer (my favorite subject), and in the process of adopting a little boy…just like my Inspiration did (in her late 30s, when she adopted my Dad) almost 60 years ago.

Feeling pretty grateful today. :-)

Boys Bedroom Bookshelves | Land of Nod Puzzle

And speaking of our sonny boy- I wanted to post this video created by the precious people who are taking care of him right now:

I can’t share which cutie pie is our boy until he is officially deemed a Palmer, but hopefully we’re getting close to meeting him very soon!

PS- Just in case anyone is curious, the camper hoop art is from ThreeRedApples, alphabet puzzle is Land Of Nod, and the Huckleberry Finn book is available at Parish. :-)

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  1. Maggie says

    Hi Layla!

    I first got started following your blog because of your creativity in your home and others. But the longer I follow you, the more I cheer for your family life!!! I am so excited for you to meet your son. Thank you for sharing parts of your life with us. I didn’t know your dad was adopted until today, and how that is part of your story. I pray your son is in your arms soon!!! And you will LOVE your 40’s!!!


  2. Kolen says

    Can I get butterflies for someone else’s joy in life? *emphatic YES!!

    Happy Birthday New Momma and Dada!!

  3. Laura says

    The happiest of birthdays to you! I think the 40’s are the best (at least so far)! For me, it has been a time of feeling free from trying to be in style or having to be what someone else wants, and I feel like I can enjoy being me. So you be even more of the gloriousness that is you, and we will watch and cheer and cry when that Palmer Punkin’ comes home to his room full of love! And just for fun? Try reading the words in that hoop line-by-line in a Swedish accent!

  4. Angie W says

    I love that you shared this video with us. Oh the things we take for granted!!! Everytime I would see a little boy’s face I would say ‘that’s him’ but I couldn’t decide on just 1. They are all precious.

    Question: have you purchased any of the Bijou jewelry? I’d love to see it, if you have.

  5. Kara says

    SUPER adorable room. He’s going to love it. And happy early birthday – this year is definitely going to be the BEST yet since you will be welcoming your sweet boy home. And that video – man, pulled at my heartstrings. I have a friend (single) who has adopted two sweet boys from Haiti and what amazing things you all are doing for these children. They are so so lucky to find families like yours.

  6. says

    Yay for June Gemini babies!
    Mine is on June 16th!
    My two best friends are May 26 and June 6.
    My dad is June 23 (although that makes him a Cancer).


    Happy birthday!

  7. Kris says

    Laila … come to the dark side …

    Seriously, the 40s are great. And as a later-in-life mom … in some ways, I think it’s a sweeter experience. I’m more grateful for my mom-hood than I would have been earlier in life.

    LOVE the camper-in-the-embroidery-hoop picture.

  8. hello haha narf says

    thrilled for you in so many ways. i’m praying that 40 will be the best to date for you!

  9. Lin says

    I hope your birthday will be as special as you are Layla. I loved my 40s. Sending prayers and hope that your sweet little guy will be with you two soon!

  10. Izabela says

    What a beautiful video. What a beautiful mission. This is what God’s love is all about. Thank you for sharing. I am praying you get to see, hold, and then bring your little boy home soon. Much love.

  11. Penny says


    I hope that your new decade in life brings along with it the joy of parenthood and for Kevin as well. How amazing it would be for you both to enter into the 40’s in the same way. I hope that you have a very Happy Bd.

    I watched the video and was totally in awe of the amazing people that are there tending to the needs of the children and inspiring others to be part of these children’s life in such a caring and meaningful way. (Thank-you for sharing it).

    Best wishes to you,


  12. CI says

    I’ve seen your kitty on that bed before! I like to think he knows someone special is going to sleep there. My sister has one little boy and her 2 cats cozy right up on his bed as well. They all snuggle in like siblings!

  13. says

    I am approaching my 62nd on July 24 so feeling so old! I am just going through all my household as going to downsize so have to get rid of many items. When you mentioned adoption, I had just a couple hours ago found a book I would read to my son about adoption! I would love to send it to you, so if you email me with an address, I will send it off!!

  14. Mary Hite says

    Thank you for sharing your story, your joy, your gratitude and your faith. Love your spirit!

  15. Laurie says

    My kids and I loved the beautiful video … (they really love your blog too!) We are praying for your precious son and for all those precious children of Three Angels. Joyeux Anniversaire chere Layla… tu seras une maman merveilleuse! Happy Birthday…you will be a wonderful mama! I used to be a French professor before being at home with my littles and wanted to send you wishes “en francais” since it is among the languages your sweet little boy hears each day : ) Maybe you could teach him Jean 3:16 when he is a little older… (please excuse the lack of accents): “Car Dieu a tant aime le monde qu’Il a donne son Fils unique afin que quiquonque croit en lui ne perisse point mais qu’Il ait la vie eternelle.” So happy for you and Kevin and your little son! His room is adorable : )

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Laurie! I loved reading through your comment…especially the French parts! :-D I took French for a few years in high school, but I definitely need to do some brushing up before we go to Haiti!

  16. Sandy A says

    First of all A Very Happy 40th Birthday to You!!!! Forty isn’t so bad–wait till you hit 50—that was really a hard time for me. Now I’m well passed it and wish I was only 50 again. :-) All those precious little babes in the video are so darling–you want to bring everyone of them home to you as you watch it. You and Kevin must be so full of love and excitement to know soon you will all be together as a forever family! You all are so very blessed…

  17. Tracy says

    HaPpY bIrThDaY!!!! Enjoy your Special Day!

    I too will be 40 next Friday and not sure if I’m approaching it as joyful as you, but you sure are an inspiration!


  18. Kate says

    Loved the video! Did I spy your t-shirts on some of the workers?! Your 40s will be filled with excitement as you create happy family memories! Happy Day to you!

    • Layla says

      Good eye, Kate!!! You DID see a Daydream shirt on Shannon! She was so sweet to purchase one before she went down to Haiti on that trip! I look forward to meeting her in person one day. :-)

  19. Alicia W. says

    I can see why you chose Three Angels. It looks like a wonderful mission. It is a place I will keep in my prayers, as well as your family. :)

  20. Jenni says

    Just loved this. When you go for bonding and to bring your son home make sure you find unique items from the country and it can be a wonderful way to give him a gift every year on his birthday until he turns 18. A way to keep him connected to his culture! Blessings!!!

  21. says

    Happy Birthday, YOUNG friend! I’m glad that you’re happy and that you paused for a moment to recognize how much you’ve already accomplished in your “relatively short” life. Even with all that you’ve done and all that you’re thankful for, I know in my heart that the “best part” is still to come!!

    Your son’s room is amazing and I know that he’ll love it. I also know that you’ll spend many moments with him in the very special place that the two of you have created for him (even if it’s those rare, stolen moments when you’re simply watching him sleep). Enjoy your day…and ALL of the days to come!
    xoxo, Kimberly

  22. Claire Hill says

    Happy Birthday. Remember, you’re just one day older than you were yesterday and everyone else is one day older too. That thought always helps me. The room is precious. I have never heard of this organization. Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to meet your new son.

  23. Lynne says

    Happy birthday, Layla! I’m facing down my #40 at the end of the month and I must say you’re being far more gracious about it than I am! lol Praying you get the most wonderful birthday present ever and get to go meet and bring home that sweet boy soon!

  24. Ter'e says

    Oh Sweet Baby Girl…..
    Happy Birthday Early!!!!!! 40……… A mere baby!!!!

    Just who is in Sweet Pea’s bed!!!!! Little kitty wannabeee????? Ha!

    Loved the video. I could swoop in and adopt 8-20 of these kids!!!! Such beautiful children. I simply cannot wait til “our Sweet Pea” comes home. You know that precious boy will have 200 sub-grandma’s!!!!! Myself included.

    I looked up Bijou Jewelry……and saw so many companies/people that would not benefit Three Angels. How can we purchase pieces that will benefit your Three Angels? What can we, the little sub-grandma’s, do?????

    Have a wonderful day tomorrow……….sending you loads of prayers and good wishes.

  25. Melissa says

    Love your blog…. Love the Three Angels Haiti Orphanage and what an awesome video, gotta love living in times like these where we get an insight to this at the click of a button. I sponsor a little girl there and I so look forward to following your adoption journey xxx BTW that little man is going to LOVE that gorgeous room. Happy 40th!!! ( I am less than a year away myself ;/) xx

  26. says

    I saw that hoop art just the other day–loved her work! Also, my husband loves to say someone is “his age” as I am 11 months older than him, yet born in the same year. “. As if he were 33 and I was 46–ha! It drives me batty! He has finally started saying “our age”. Most important, I follow your blog but have to say I have never received so much wonderful information regarding Three Angels and the wide range of services they provide! A wonderful video. I will be checking back into this when we return from vacation to find out more about sponsoring a child. Sounds like a good thing and something that I would like to seriously consider at this time in my life. And Happy Birthday!

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Kristin!! :-D
      I am so glad you were inspired by the video, too. I can’t wait to share lots more blog posts about Three Angels while we’re down there bonding with our boy! :-)

  27. says

    Happy Happy to you! I will turn 40 next year. God has an amazing sense of humor in the “plans” department. My vision of 2 kids (boy and a girl) in a volvo with my golden retriever and groceries in brown paper bags (Fresh Market)…cue the classical music and smell of fresh roasted coffee…. ended up as God blessing me beyond belief! You are in for God’s treat for you! 4-0? You are just getting started my friend!

  28. says

    Happy Birthday to both you and Kevin! I love that you guys are living out your talents and dreams! What a blessing, and a gift to the world! Your little boy’s room looks amazing! Praying you get to meet him soon. :)

  29. Katy says

    We share a birthday, only we are exactly 2 years apart. I actually loved turning 40 (crazy huh?), It helped me see what was important in life, and that does not include laugh lines. Live it up!!

  30. anne says

    i have enjoyed your blog so much..i gave my baby up 36 years ago…i love to read how excited you are and the wonderful room you’ve made him…i dreamed for years my baby had a mom just like you…when i met her 16 years ago i found out she did have a great mom…what a gift that woman gave me…i ended up marrying and having 4 sons..boys love their mamas…enjoy, and thanks for sharing your let’s me see the other side

  31. Maria from Oz says

    Happy 40th! Hope it’s a terrific year for you. Sounds like it will be a full one. Love the kitty on the bed! Are you going to have something to reflect your new son’s heritage? I think it would be lovely for him so he doesn’t have too much a culture shock. I wish you guys could come do my place over, I love your style. Kisses and loves and lots of lamingtons for your birthday!

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Maria! :-) I’m sure we’ll pick up some fun things for his room while we’re in Haiti. Hopefully that’ll be soon!

  32. Maryanne says

    Happy Birthday, Layla! You’re my favorite! Can’t wait to meet your little man! Praying you all of the way through.
    P.S. The 40’s rock!!!

  33. says

    Happy 40th Birthday! It’s such a milestone, and you’re approaching it wonderfully. :) I hope that you get your little boy soon, and I cannot even imagine the anticipation and the nervousness that the both of you must be feeling right now. Best of luck!

  34. Sunny says

    Oh happy day Layla…sounds like you are grateful and I love how you listed them all..The photos in the blog are adorable, all of them..I caught sight of our favorite book between my “son” and I..Guess how much I love you. So amazing how the Holy Spirit can fill my heart with so much joy and best wishes for you..someone I have never met. :}
    God bless!

  35. Sunny says

    ok..just reread my post…and where it says “Guess how much I love you” means the title of the book in the background photo..didn’t want you to think I was some strange person..I had to laugh but also had to quickly explain..cause it freaked me out too..haha

  36. says

    Girl, 40 is the new this will be a piece of cake for you! (30 was the hard one for me.) Your son will be running around that cute cute room of his before you even know it, and next year this time he will be smashing your birthday cake all over his precious little face (and ice cream too!) Enjoy enjoy enjoy your day! It will be a happy one. :)

  37. Georgia Koenig says

    Dear Lelah! HAPPY BIRTHDAY #40! For an intelligent, beautiful, sensitive, spiritual, happily married & creative woman like you? Facing Birthday Number Forty?? NO PROBLEMS! I am approaching 65 & my message to you is this: keep on growing & sharing & loving, just as you appear to be doing with your life to those of us who enjoy & read The Lettered Cottage. I’d say you appreciate this great gift of life to the fullest & that this wonderful life will continue to give back to YOU, as you give so generously of yourself. Prayers go with you, too, as you await the pitter patter of your “soon to be” son’s precious little footsies, when they finally come “home” at last – to run all over your lovely new (well, still sort of new to you guys, right?) home. BTW, loved everything you did with your previous little cottage & I think the neighborhood in which your current (new!) home is located is just lovely! Love everything about it – the trees, the open spaces, your porch etc. So pretty – so NOT like the normal streets & cement “look” of tract homes here in Southern California, where I live. It’s nice here & I am in a good neighborhood, nicely situated as far as shopping, freeways, hubby’s commute, all that we need. I also can be at the coast in less than 20 minutes, which is great. But they don’t plant too many trees here in this part of So CA, never have. And we can’t afford the nicest neighborhoods around here, such as those in Irvine or Laguna Beach or Corona del Mar etc, where the scenery truly is lovely (but still can’t compare with your neighborhood). But, I am safe & comfortable & live in a neighborhood that should do well by us when hubby retires & we go to sell it. Thank you so much for sharing all that you do! We, the followers of The Lettered Cottage, REALLY enjoy your blog & learn so much from the things you share! Again, have a truly WONDERFUL birthday & stay just as young at heart & engaged & as sweet as “ya’ll” already are! You are SUCH a cutie pie! Your enthusiasm for all that you experience & all that you see & do shines through clearly in your blog. Very glad I saw the link to your blog one day & decided to follow it (found it vla a quilting website & blog, BTW). And, also, can’t wait till you get to embrace your son & bring him HOME! What a thrill that will be & I know you will be blessed abundantly for giving a home to one of those precious babies. Best wishes always, From A Friend & A Reader (regular!) Georgia Koenig, Garden Grove, CA

  38. says

    Happy Birthday! I wish you a really, really nice day, eat some cake with someone or many and just enjoy it. That’s what birthdays looks like for me…;)

  39. Erika says

    Hi Layla! This might seem a little off topic, but I’m always so impressed with the awesome pictures you take of Kit-Kat. Whenever I try to photograph my cat, she moves at the last minute, or sniffs at the lens, or does something else to mess up the picture…any tips on how you photograph her so beautifully?! Much appreciated! :)

  40. Rachel Pauls says

    Hey Layla!
    Is there a way to share the three angels video from here on Facebook?
    God bless!

  41. says

    I watched the video and when I saw the first little boy I said “Oh, I hope they get him!” but then I said the same thing to each and every little guy thereafter!!! I can’t wait until he is in his forever home and you are able to give him all your love and watch him bloom!
    Thanks for sharing the experience with us! karen….

    PS..Happy Birthday beautiful Layla!

  42. says

    Happy 40th birthday, Layla! I am closer to 50 than 40 and will agree with a previous commenter who says the 40s are really fantastic!

    I hope your son can come home soon – kitty is going to think the room belongs to him!

  43. Sharon Calvert says

    Happy 40th! Sweet P is SO blessed to have found you and Kevin; the video is heart-warming. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Amy Schleider says

    Thank you for sharing and educating us about three angels. What a heart you have.

  45. Christina says

    Happy Birthday, Layla! I hope you have a wonderful day. Kevin shares a birthday with my Daddy! So we will be celebrating along with y’all…just a few hundred miles apart.

  46. Dawn says

    Happy 40th Layla ….the best is yet to come! I love your blog and I’m inspired by what you’ve done so far with this house as well as your last one. Keep the faith and keep up the good work!

  47. susan hughes says

    The video was inspiring. I am so excited for your family. I know that God will provide this chid in his time. It’s hard to wait for ‘God’s time”, but we must. I am praying for your familiy. You have a friend in Nashville if you need me. Susan

  48. says

    LOVE your kitty!! He looks so soft and delicious I just want to bury my head in his tummy! Looks like he is ready to welcome to the new addition.

  49. Kari says

    Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, Layla! You’ll love the 40s, many great things ahead for you ~ Enjoy your day! :)

  50. says

    I love love love this ministry!! I had no idea there were so many different facets. How wonderful to know that this ministry that is serving your little boy is definitely blessed by God. Thank you for shining light into the blog world and exposing others to great opportunities to serve others.

  51. says

    There’s nothing that eases the thought of getting older then to realize this is exactly where you want to be at the age you are. Happy Birthday! And, that is a great room. It’s so fresh, clean and happy. I know it will put a smile on your new Palmer’s face when he sees it for the first time. :)

  52. Louise says

    Happy Happy Birthday Layla! What an incredible year you’re about to have! Can’t wait for your sweet boy to come home. :)

    • Layla says

      Hi Laura! There’s a link for it at the end of my post if you’d like to click over to the page it’s on at Land of Nod. :-)

  53. Pamela says

    Happiest Birthday wishes! Thank you for the sources you provided, I could not locate the blinds on ideas site, but hope they are within the store. It all looks so sweet! Thank you for sharing!

  54. Judy says

    Welcome to the 40’s Layla! What a wonderful way to start this season of your life. Happy, Happy Birthday to you!

  55. says

    love the room and I can sense the excitement….and Happy Birthday to you both. I’m the 29th….but a smidge older. :-/

  56. Asia says

    Wow. I thought you guys were 25 this whole time!! Congrats on the birthday and love following your adoption journey.

  57. Jenn B says

    I am so behind on blog reading and I’m just catching up. This is a wonderful post. Ever since we last talked I refer to your little man as Sonny Palmer as I pray for him. Forty is going to be the best year for you and Kevin!!! Can’t wait to watch y’all’s story to continue to unfold according to the Lord’s perfect plan. Happy Belated Birthday! And girl, I’m a cradle robber too! ;)

  58. Ashley Olsen says

    The room is looking fabulous! I so enjoy whenever I see you have posted something new. It gets me all excited! One of my highlights during the day! Where did you find those blue drapes? I need to find them for a bedroom I am working on!! Hope to hear back, thank you!

  59. Pamela says

    I am inspired how you have made this space so loved. I’m completely in aw of the shutter/bookshelf area and how you came up with that. I do have a questions if I may plz… could you tell me the curtains and their source. The art to the left in the wood frame, what is that? It looks lovely. Finally, is it the way the picture is taken or is the bed angled? And were you lucky enough to have the shutters on hand? We just moved (military move) into a 1950’s home and I am trying decorate freshly our children’s rooms. Windows around old radiators. Thank you!

  60. Christa says

    Gorgeous room Layla! I purchased and painted some wire baskets for my daughter’s room but am having a hard time figuring out how to hang them. Just wondering how you hung the one in your son’s room under the dog painting?


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