Sunday, December 11, 2011

Motherhood

I would have never imagined what I have learned in the last three months.  Here is a small collection:

1. I love breast feeding.  Like, LOVE it.  Not so much that I would take the milk makers out in public (never ever ever), but I do love it.  I love the cuddle of my baby and how he holds onto my shirt with his little hand as he eats.  I love watching his cheeks pudge and knowing that I did that.  Selfishly, I love that it's free.  I love that it helped me lose most (not all...dang belly pudge) of my baby weight.  I love that my baby has been held by TONS of people (including grubby students) and hasn't gotten sick once due to the super powers of breast milk.  What I don't love?  The fact that my baby STILL takes 40 minutes to eat.  Most babies speed up after a few weeks and eat in 10-15 minutes.  Not my sweet cheeks.  The doctor says it's just because he enjoys it so much--how sweet is that?  I guess I'll allow it :).  What ELSE don't I love?  Pumping at work.  I have to cover my windows and lock my doors.  Still, I've been walked on be a female student and 2 male co-workers.  Luckily I cover up, but still.  I have spilled milk on kid's work, my keyboard, the floor.  I was so busy I forgot to pump one conference period and had to ask a friend to cover my class the first few minutes.  But I know that when I am done pumping, that means I'm done breast feeding.  And I'm not ready for that.  Not at all.  I know it isn't for everyone but I am passionate about it.  If you are pregnant, at least try it.  For me?

Also, I have come to realize that moms who breastfeed aren't trying to be awkward when they cover up and breast feed in the same room.  Their babies just need to eat and the poor moms don't want to isolate themselves.  So suck it up...you can't see anything.  It is so hard to schedule feedings and outings together!

2. Sleep is elusive but the need for sleep is equally as elusive.  I am tired but can easily make it through the day.  It hasn't been nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  Granted, I will LOVE it when I can sleep though the night regularly again, but that also means my sweet cheeks is growing up.  And this stage is so fun.

3.  Everything your baby does is amazing.  Everything.  I can't get over it. Exhibit A:

Can you believe how well my baby can hold up his head? (seriously, you say lame stuff like that and mean it!)
4.  Single mothers deserve as much help as we can give.  I can't imagine this without my husband.  He is endlessly helpful, adores our baby, and cares for me.  I can pass off the occasional diaper change, trade off bath nights, and get waited on as I feed our baby.  He's incredible.

5.  It is incredible how selfless you become when you have a baby.  Nothing is about you any more.  It's refining.  Not perfecting, but refining.  Ironically, as I got to this point, Easton woke up and started to cry to eat.  I am typing and feeding at the same time (a skill only a mom could have).

6.  I can feel a portion of what it would feel like to lose a child or a pregnancy.  I am not nearly arrogant enough to say I know how it feels, but my heart feels differently now when I read stories of losing a child or the hope of a pregnancy that is lost.  It aches more.  It pains me more.  I feel a bit of bewilderment and confusion when I think about it.  A slight "How can I go on?" feeling.  It makes me want to cuddle my child.  It makes me stand for 10 minutes and watch him sleep while his chest incredibly rises and falls with each breath.  I can't begin to imagine the depth of the feeling of loss that a parent would feel in that situation but I know that my child has made me feel different about those situations.  It has made me feel more.  It has made me pray more for families who experience this devastating loss.

7. I still regularly want to sock people in the face for ALWAYS talking about the downside.  When we were pregnant it was "Oh, get your sleep now!  You'll never sleep again.  Never."  Or "you'll NEVER want to leave the house with a baby.  It's too hard."  Now I get, "Oh your baby sleeps well and is sweet?  Wait until the next one.  It will be a terror."  I got it, World.  Kids are hard.  I didn't get into this gig thinking it would be kicks and giggles.


In other news...Easton was dedicated at church today.  And they announced him by saying "Easton Nichols and her parents Justin and Laura."  Poor kid. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pinterest and baby Easton



* I wrote a lot of this post the night before Easton was born.  I thought about changing the opening paragraphs but I thought I'd leave it for irony's sake.


{So, there's going to be a baby in my lap in 3 weeks or less. Intense. We've started school again and I come home exhausted everyday. It's hard work to carry a big baby in your belly and take care of 150 other babies during the day. But I do love it! School is taking a lot of that "nesting" instinct away from me. Trying to prep a class for six weeks that I meticulously control and plan for on a day to day basis is intense. I'm trying to prep everything I possibly can so I won't come back to a totally destroyed room at the end of my pregnancy.



Easton could literally come any day. So we've finished his room, bought everything we think we need, and packed his bag for the hospital. We still need to pack ours and install the car seat. I still haven't decided how totally lame it would be to drive around for the next 3 weeks with an empty car seat. Too first time mom of me? We shall see. In this very last stage of pregnancy, my feet have decided they want to swell at the end of the day--granted I'm up on them all day long so they are probably just mad at me. I've also filled our fridge with frozen dinners for when I'm out of commission. I know we're not ready and never will be, but I think all the crazy nesting here and at school is helping with my nerves--at least I know something will go right.}

*(little did I know, my planning wasn't sufficient!)

In other news, I (and the rest of the world) have fallen in love with the genius that is Pinterest. Sadly, I've seen a lot of people say that they pin stuff and then never do them. Maybe I'm crazy, but I have done TONS of stuff from Pinterest. I decided to put together a "greatest hits" list of the stuff I've done with pictures of my projects!
 

#1: Map bookshelf- we sought out a map with the right dimensions and cut it to size.  Justin helped me spray adhesive to our cheap-o target shelf and attach the map.  I then went over it with a couple coats of Mod Podge for strength.
 Of course, the inspiration bookshelf is WAY cuter than mine.  I still like how much character it brought to this $20 bookshelf!

#2: Mobile:  I have shown this before, but I copied this mobile.  I bought 2 embroidery hoops and several sheets of cardstock from the scrapbooking section of Hobby Lobby.  I then cut out TONS of circles and attached them to the hoops using invisible string. 
Results?  LOVE IT!

#3: You Are My Sunshine canvas:  I debated showing you this because it is a copy of something you can buy on Etsy.  But alas, I am cheap, and if I can do something myself, I will.  No real instructions necessary.  Just paint, brushes, and time.
Onto the next one...
#4: Baseball Table: Since our son conveniently has a name of a baseball equipment company, we knew we would have to incorporate some Easton things.  My friend Amanda pointed this out to me and Justin went to work making it for us.  After a lot of harsh words directed at a level that kept showing us lopsided work, we finally got a functional table.

It holds burp rags beside Easton's rocker and yes, E's loving father has already strapped it to the wall (you can see that in the picture).

#5: Covered Wipe Box: Again, Mod Podge to the rescue.  I used the fabric that I had leftover from covering the footstool in Easton's room.  I simply cut a strip to size and mod podged away.  Actually, I did this project by candle light during a power outage during one of our 2 storms since February.  This drought has been NUTS.  I have been using this since E was born and it has held up nicely.







#6: Car Trash Can: I HATE trash cans in cars because they either a) are in your way or b) fall over.  So logically I just throw it in that cuby on the door.  Trashy, no?  But I loved  this one when I saw it.  Here's mine:
And it keeps my fancy, new (to me) car clean!  We bought a CR-V in August and I love it!

I have also sewn a nursing cover, decorated a baby shower, and made a faux- capiz mobile for a friend plus man other little projects.

For Christmas, I have sewn our stockings and hung them using a GENIUS idea.  I saw a pin where they used only 2 stocking holders and a curtain rod in between them to hang a family's worth of stockings.  This way as babies come into our lives, I don't have to hunt matching stocking colors!  

I have also used microwave cleaning strategies and organizational tips.  In the kitchen I have: learned to cook bacon in the oven, made smores cookies, cinnamon roll cheesecake, chocolate chip cookie pie, cinnamon sugar pumpkin bread, chicken parm meatloaf, lasagna soup, potstickers, and many more.

How fun?  So glad I'm finally publishing this post nearly 3 months after starting it!  Slacker much?

Friday, September 9, 2011

the THREE of us

So, want a little story?  Cause I got one for you.


Last Wednesday, I went to the doctor for my first weekly visit.  Technically, I was 36 weeks.  Back up 3 days: we finished Easton's room, bought the last of our baby supplies (including newborn clothes--for some reason, we hadn't been given hardly any), and packed his bag.  I cooked 3 more meals to freeze and all I had left to do was cook one more meal and freeze some homemade cookie dough.  I figured I would do that Labor Day weekend sometime between Aggie First Yell and the first football game (and yes, I was planning on waddling up the ramps to see it).  Okay, back to Wednesday.  My doctor examined me and we had an ultrasound.  Easton was estimated to be 7.5 lbs (!!!!) and my doctor was sure he would come early (I mean, come on, a 7.5 lb baby does NOT need 4 more weeks of growth.  That's just mean).  When I asked how early so that I could make sure my sub plans were ready, she said probably 2 weeks.  Cue the slight freak out.

On my way home, I called Justin and, of course, he didn't answer.  So, I prepared my "I have already told you, you need to ALWAYS have your phone on" speech to give to him yet again.  When he called me back, I delivered the speech flawlessly and he said "I know, I know" and then shared in my slight freak out.  We talked about all of the stuff that we needed to do in the next two weeks.  When I got home, all of that "stuff" seemed like it could wait until the weekend.  We planned a date night for Thursday night so we could spend some one-on-one time before the weekend got crazy.  I made a to-do list of all of the "stuff" for that weekend.  Justin decided we should probably pack our bag, but I wanted to wait because I still needed nursing bras/tops and something comfy to wear while I was at the hospital.  I wanted to do that on Saturday when I had some time.  I also told Justin I would be home late on Thursday evening so that I could get EVERYTHING ready for a sub to walk in my room and take over.

Before we go on, cue "Isn't it Ironic?" in your head.  You got it?  Are you singing it in your best Alanis voice?  Okay, good.

I woke up at 1 am on Thursday morning and thought I lost bladder control.  It felt like I leaked a tiny bit of pee and I was too embarrassed to wake Justin up and tell him.  I changed clothes, went back to bed, and tried to sleep.  I woke up twice with cramps that didn't feel too bad.  Little did I know...

The next morning, I went to school and found my principal and substitute coordinator to let them know it would probably be more like 2 weeks instead of 4, so be ready.  I then went to teach 1st period.  I didn't feel well, so I taught while sitting on a stool.  I got up once to write on the board some of the comments that were being made during a class discussion and felt a HUGE gush of fluid.  Freaked out, I QUICKLY sat back down--1st period is a class full of 9th graders and if I just wet my pants, I was NOT going to let them know.  After that class, I dashed to the restroom, freaked out that my pants were completely soaked through, and made it to another teacher's room to ask for a jacket.  At this point, I knew I wasn't revisiting my bed wetting days--something else was happening.  I went back to class and sent the "I need a sub now" email to our coordinator...

...and then proceeded to teach all of 2nd period waiting on a sub.  Best. Teacher. Story. Ever.  I told this class (my senior AP Bio students) what was happening and they proceeded to join in my freak out.  They started to discuss what they needed to do--which, if I needed it, I do have several EMT certified students in that class.  They are super sweet and I really wanted to say "over my dead body would one of my students 'help' me in this situation", but all I did was smile.  An AP came in at the end of the period and I left everything as it was (read: a mess) and dashed out the door.

I called Justin and luckily my speech worked.  He answered in class and then HIS class joined in our freak out.  So at this point, the two of us, my co-workers, and approximately 50 students are freaking out.  I came home, changed clothes, grabbed NOTHING else, and went to pick up Justin.  The whole trip to the hospital I cried and apologized for making him miss school for what I was sure would turn out to be nothing.  We went to the doctor where we waited an hour to be seen.  During this time, I realized that I was having very regular (every 4 minutes or so) contractions that were pretty strong.  I think my adrenaline had prevented me from noticing them before that.  Those tears and apologies in the car were now starting to seem silly to me (as if they weren't silly before that).  When my doctor checked me, she simply said "you're having a baby today".  Cue MAJOR freak out.

I hadn't practiced my breathing.  I hadn't bought "What to Expect the First Year".  I had nothing but Tums in my purse.  I was STARVING (and those crazy people at the hospital don't let you eat in labor).  My room at school was a mess and my sub plans didn't start for another TWO weeks.  I had nothing prepared for the next day and the long-term sub couldn't start for another 2 weeks.  But he was coming anyways.  And somehow I felt ready.  I knew everything around us was a mess, but we were ready for this little one.

We rode the elevator down to the L&D floor and got settled.  Justin went back to school and to our house to pack our bag and pick up what we needed and I settled in to dealing with contractions.  After school let out, a co-worker called and I, through the pain, gave her plans for the next day (although I know it was still a MESS--so blessed to have co-workers that are staying super late at school to handle my business AND their own).  At about 4:00, I couldn't take it anymore and got an epidural.  Best. Thing. Ever.  After that, my doctor came in to do an exam and told us Easton would probably arrive at 9:00 or 10:00.  At 6:30, I started to feel a CRAZY need to push.  The nurse shift change happened at 7:00 and our nurse coming in happened to be a sweet friend of Justin's from high school.  So blessed to have her and not a minute too soon!  When I told her I needed to push but that we were still really far off from what the doctor said, she did a quick check.  Sure enough, Easton decided he needed to come earlier still.  We started the pushing process at 7:15 and Easton James came at 7:50.

Crazy. good. day.

He was PERFECT.  Head full of strawberry-blond hair.  6 lbs 11 oz (your mama thanks you, sweet kid, for NOT being a giant baby).  20 inches long.  Pure gorgeousness.
 

They say that becoming a mom and seeing your baby is like nothing you've ever experienced and I totally agree.  I can't believe the love I feel for him or the selflessness he instilled in our hearts IMMEDIATELY.  We are incredibly blessed with a beautiful miracle and are continuously amazed at God's goodness to us.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pregnancy Update (+ a little more baby room)

Timeline: 31 weeks and 2 days
Countdown: 8 weeks and 5 days (what?!?!)
Cravings: None. Seriously. I just want things I've always loved. The one weird thing that is happening to my eating habits is that Mexican restaurants (not food--just restaurants) don't sound good to me. I still make Mexican at home but for some reason, I haven't had a desire to go get any Tex-Mex lately. Verrry weird.
Weight Gain: The healthy amount :) I'm always a little thrown when someone asks me how much I've gained. Just because I'm pregnant, doesn't mean that this information is appropriate to ask about, right? Let's just say I see numbers on the scale I've never seen before. I'm still well within the suggested gain and the baby is growing GREAT.
Name: Easton Nichols. And yes, I realize that's lacking a middle name. That will come when he does :).
Symptoms: Heartburn. I can put away Tums like no one's business. And not logical heartburn--I can eat tacos and be fine but then chow down some Chex cereal and feel like a fire-breathing dragon. Other than that and the midnight restroom breaks, I feel fantastic. I'm getting a little more tired than I have been, but I guess that's what the 3rd trimester brings.
Baby growth: He's fantastic! As of about a 3 weeks ago, he was 3 pounds. And yes. That's big. He's in the 75th percentile, which scales up to an 8 lb. baby at term. And that's where he better stay. He moves ALL the time. Kicks me in the ribs, sticks his little hiney awkwardly out of the side of my abdomen until I shove him back in, kicks my bladder, hiccups, the whole nine yards. I'm starting to get emotional about it, too. It's such a privilege to hold him and grow him and feel those kicks and movements. A blessing I will never forget. While I can't WAIT to see these little kicks and pat his little hiney, the feeling of growing a child is incredible. I am simply amazed. It's incredible that from one cell 31 weeks ago, I have a child who can kick me so hard it hurts. God is AMAZING.

In other news, the baby sitter I had lined up since February backed out on us last week. And yes...bring on the panic and tears. Not only am I TORN about going back to work (seriously--break down in tears frequently), now we have to throw this whole mess in! I'm kind of scrambling right now and trying to find a back up plan (and be praying that my 1st back up plan decides that it is a good decision for her and her family!) but I know the Lord has it under control. The only reason I am going back to school is the fact that I had the initial babysitter lined up. At this point, it is too late (in my opinion) to put my school in the rough spot of trying to replace me for this year. So I know that this is the Lord's timing--he wouldn't have had the first babysitter say "yes" initially and then say "no" so late in the game if he wanted me to stay home this year so I know He will provide. And if He closes the door on me working, we'll figure out that scenario when we get there!

One more piece of fun that I added to Easy's room:
I am still waiting on our glider (this is an Ikea chair from our bedroom that is playing the role of visual stand-in while I put the room together) but I know that I will need a footstool with the glider. Gliding footstools can cost up to $300 (what?!) and to be honest, this room is too small to have a large foot rest in the middle. I can just picture the midnight feedings that start with me busting my toes on a behemoth footstool. No thanks. So I bought this option at Ikea for $30. It comes padded but not covered, so I stapled some cheap fabric that is SUPER sturdy (it's actually outdoor fabric!) to the frame. The legs were initially black so I grabbed my handy-dandy no-VOC Olympic paint sample (wow, that's much more of a mouth full than "handy dandy notebook") and went to town. So there you have it. Where my tired tootsies will rest while I feed my sweetness. I love that I get to use fun colors and patterns in this room. It's a blast to be so fun!

That's all for now. Please be praying for someone to watch my precious boy while I go back to school for at least one more year. I have ALWAYS wanted to be stay-at-home, but I absolutely adore what I do. I strongly believe that the Lord has at least 150 more sweethearts for me to change and get changed by and I know He will provide for our family in that.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Baby Room Pictures

I like Pinterest. Are you on it? I've already asked you this. You better be. Thankfully, pinterest came into my life JUST in time to decorate the baby's room. Want a sneak peak?
View from the door. I made the mobile out of card stock, invisible string, and embroidery hoops. My cute husband painted the giraffe.
Isn't that precious? I love it.I bought a sample of navy paint and painted a lot of frames that I had left over in the house. Still need to change out the actual pictures (except for the Aggie football helmet of course--this kid needs to know where he's headed, right?? Yes. We do support brainwashing.)
Justin made this table out of an Easton bat. :) If you haven't heard, that's our cutie's name-to-be. We bought a round piece of wood and a rectangle from Lowe's and Hobby lobby and J just screwed them into the bat.
Quite empty bookshelf that we bought for $20 at target and modge podged a map to the back. My geography teacher baby-daddy loved this idea. Again...thank you Pinterest for the inspiration. And yes, we realize a glass vase filled with baseballs perched upon a bookshelf isn't exactly toddler friendly. But we're still a ways away from a walking child. We'll cross that safety bridge before we need to, no worries.I had two Ikea mirrors (from Justin's man cave) that I painted with green paint and recycled the Astrodome picture that J had in this room when it was his man cave. That was a fun project that I just had printed at Kinkos and Modge Podged to a canvas. The dresser is from Ikea and will be his changing table as well when we get our changing pad. It's the perfect height for ALLLLL of those dirty diapers/fireman impressions our baby will do. Get it? Yeah...that's what you get with little pee-pees.

We still have a long way to go, but at least it's a start. I've heard a baby needs stuff like a mattress, diapers, books, clothes, sheets, etc. But whatevs. At least his room is cute. The ONE thing I KNOW I can do is decorate his room--all the "mom" stuff will hopefully come with time.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Want to see something pretty?

So remember this?
Yeah, that's not the pretty thing. This is our kitchen shortly after moved in. Complete with desserts on the counter and drying dishes on a towel. Well, to make myself happy, I made these additions to the kitchen about 4 months after we moved in.
I added the wall stenciling and the chalkboard. Then that horrible fluorescent, sorry excuse for a light in the upper left hand corner started to drive me crazy. (and honestly, I am not a fan of the light over the table but I can stand it to save a few hundred buckaroos). So we did this:
After Justin crawling around in the attic forEVER, we had great lighting (and a ceiling that needed to be painted) but still the mismatched appliances, bad white laminate counters, and ugly orange cabinets. We knew the kitchen was the main thing in this house that needed updating (bathrooms are standard and in fine shape--and for the size of our house, that's all you need) and we we started saving for that once we moved in. We knew we wanted to do the kitchen this June, so we made that our goal. The second we saved up our money (which, if you know us, was WAYYYYY less than "they" say you should spend on a kitchen re-do--bring on the DIY, baby!), we started tearing things up.
Our kitchen quickly became the above. Laminate being ripped up, tile being torn off the walls, and cabinet doors being removed. We also added trim to the baseboards of the cabinets and to the island. It always felt a little underwhelming without it. I left the house for three days so my cute hubby could paint the cabinets. After doing a lot of research, I knew that our climate (hello, humid!!!! If you've never been to Houston, you don't know real humidity. For realz.) would force us to use oil based primer AND paint. Both of which are definite no-nos for me to be around right now. Justin primed and painted the cabinets while I was gone (what a doll. Have I mentioned he HATES HATES HATES to paint?)
Then they installed the countertops. We went with a quartz that is the color of sand. I know granite is the buzzword right now, but they seemed too traditional with the dark colors that run through them and I am just not a fan. The counters were, by far, the priciest purchase we made. However, we got CRAZY lucky and found counters for almost $20 less a square foot than the rest of the quartz because they were discontinued! We had looked ALL over and I settled on Eco quartz countertops which run you about $56 a square foot. Ouch. But honestly, that was about what everything was. Our countertop sample was sitting away from the others in a random spot at Home Depot with a line drawn through it. It said $33 a square foot and made my heart pitter patter. It looked JUST like the $56 dollar sample. After a few phone calls to the warehouse, we were told they DID have enough of it left to make our counters out of! Hooray! Everyone likes saving $1000, right?!

I also painted the walls after they installed the counters. A big shout out to Olympic zero-VOC paints. This pregnant DIY lovin girl is super pumped about them. My only issue is the color I ended up with reads a little more blue than blue-gray, but such is life.

Next step, tiling. We were surprised at how painless it was. It did, however, take a while to complete. We tiled for about 6 hours one day and grouted/caulked/cleaned for about an hour or two the next. I went with a white, glass subway tile (1''x2''). It looks very pale blue installed and is GORGEOUS.

After that, we installed the appliances. This task, however, was MUCH more painful than we expected. We went to Lowe's/Home Depot at least 5 times in that process. Oh the joy. Once we finished that task, we put the doors/hardware on, cleaned, and restocked the cabinets. NOW we get to the pretty part...

The after. Want to see the before again?Gag. Let's stick with some more afters.


Grand totals:
Prep-time: 5 days (emptying kitchen, cleaning/sanding/removing doors, taping, demoing, tearing out/replacing backerboard for the backsplash)
Actual work time: 8 days (included 3 with Justin painting alone and several days where we had school obligations mixed in--have I mentioned how lucky we are to have 8 days in a row to work? Trust me, we do NOT underestimate the beauty of our schedule)
Trips to the hardware store: 23
Cost: $5500 (TMI? Remember, we saved for a year for that and it's at least $5000 less than comparable projects. Majority of that went to counters and appliances. The rest was minimal. Lucky for us, our house is still worth more than the amount of money we have sunk into it so far!)
How much I love it: SO SO SO SO SO SO MUCH.

We'd like to give a big shout-out to my Dad and brother, Joe and Nicole, Justin's parents, and Pinterest for making this all possible.

Are you on Pinterest? You best be. It's awesome.

Now on to the baby's room. Another scrimp/save project. I love DIY and wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bump it...

Here's the evidence--
It's a coming...I am 4 months along. I'm still mainly wearing my normal clothes but with a rubber band around the button. :) Definitely need to invest in a belly band sometime soon. Other than that, I've head the best pregnancy minus the constant trips to the bathroom (I've never woken up and had to go in my life but now I can wake up 2 or 3 times! nuts) and the lovely acne. Seriously...I look like a greasy 7th grader. Not that I've EVER had good skin but it's getting ridiculous now. But that's a small sacrifice for the ease of this pregnancy! Now if I can only get this weird 9th grade boy to stop attempting to touch my baby bump...seriously, that's inappropriate, friend.

In other news...we had a super crazy insane project a few weeks ago. If I ever say to you "seriously, we could do it. I've looked it up and it seems really simple", run away. Flee like you would temptation. I'm bad. (In fact, I said these words tonight when we bought a new sprinkler system timer because "it will be nothing to replace". Granted, I WASN'T the one to rip off the old one without marking the wires...cough, cough...) I used these infamous words to convince my lovely hubby to take out our fluorescent light box (gaggggg) and replace it with recessive lights. I watched this video and thought "easy, peasy". Ha. Now, I will say it would have been better if our roof didn't slope like crazy over our kitchen. My beautiful hubster was in the attic for HOURS and while I don't have concrete evidence, I know he would have cried if I asked him to go back up there even one more time. The results, however, are LOVELY. And our house hasn't burnt down yet due to the DIY electrical work!

Before--look really hard in the upper left hand corner. I had avoided showing this one and we got so excited about ripping the box down that morning, I didn't get any before pics. I will NEVER be a good blogger :(
After:
Notice the new pendant over the sink. How fun! Now, as for that fixture over the table...I know a lot of people would love it. However, I do not. It is very nice and classy, but not my style. I don't appreciate the swirly parts (for lack of a better word) or the overall traditional style. However, I also don't want to pay right now to replace it. I would LOVE a drum pendant like this but I do not want to pay the price for a large one. So I have to pick up my bottom lip and make like a big girl and get over it. My new pendant is white and has a modern shape and was making my old fixture very jealous. To make them get along, I went and bought new glass shades for the old fixture in the lighting section at Lowe's in a lovely white. Now they are happily living in *somewhat off key* harmony as opposed to total dissidence.

Now we just need to fix this lovely spot...

...by painting the whole ceiling. Not so easy. So we are going to wait until this summer when we redo the kitchen. Our plans? Paint the cabinets white and add hardware (a job for my poor hubby with a pregnant wife--any volunteers for helpers??), re-tile the backsplash (white subway tiles, anyone??), get new counter tops (probably quartz), replace the junky, mismatched appliances, and paint the walls a gray blue (then re-do my stenciling...I love it too much!). No big deal, right?? Haha...can't wait to get started on it! I'm also planning on adding some trim and bead board to the island before we paint. Hopefully it will be lovely. We shall see...

And just for the record, I am definitely not taking advantage of my current state. Other than crawling around in the attic in the insulation (probably a no-no when "they" say pregnant ladies can't even eat lunch meat), I was RIGHT there along with my hubby working hard on the lights and I plan on working just as hard when we re-do the kitchen (minus anything with toxic fumes, of course). I love projects too much to just sit and watch! And for those of you who like the dollar signs--this project cost us $200. An electrician would have charged us upwards of $2,000. Serious DIY score.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cutest nose I've ever seen...


Isn't it???! Just the cutest nose I've ever seen. I can't get over it. But I guess that is a Momma's pride....

...We're pregnant! This cute little nose is going to bless us with his/her presence around September 25th. And of course, we couldn't be more excited!

I'm almost 14 weeks along and I hate to say it but I've had a really smooth experience so far. Absolutely no nausea (please, moms, don't beat me up) or any real side effects other than being tired during the first trimester. I definitely can't complain!

To answer other questions--no, this cuteness was not a "surprise". It was either this or a dog and Justin chose this (just kidding!). I am going to work next year to see how it goes--I can always decide I don't like it and take a break for a few years. I have ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and it kind of made me want to gag thinking about working when I had kids. I can't explain my crazy change of heart but I almost feel like the Lord is leading me to working next year--and I know, I know that the "church" would frown on it. I just know where I feel the Lord leading me and it is at least one more year of doing what I love. Now, I am just praying that the Lord convinces a friend of mine (coughstacycough) to wipe that cute little button nose while I am at work. I know if the Lord is leading me into the crazy life of working motherhood, he will immensely provide for all of our needs.

Right now we are just praying for a continued healthy pregnancy and baby. Our prayer from day one has been for health but also that our little one will come to know the Lord early and make an impact for His kingdom. Will you pray that with us? Take a look at that cute nose again...you know you want to pray for that cutie, right??

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My little secret

Do you want to see my secret? It's really an indulgence of mine. One that I have only let a few people see. Mainly because I don't want judgements. But I've decided I don't care (as long as you say only nice things, okay??).

Let me give you some background information before I spill the beans. I like the color green. It's my favorite. I also like blue. If you seen pictures of my house, you can tell that I also like a very fresh and airy color palate that includes light greens, blues, tan, and white (sigh, I love white. I use a can of white spray paint almost every project). But I loooove me some green. Like grass green. It's a weird obsession. Not quite kelly green, but a more yellow green. Like beautiful summer grass. In fact, when I got married, I wanted to do that green and white. Apparently I was ahead of my time because EVERYONE is doing it now. But in 2008, there was not a dress for sale in the color I wanted. I searched EVERYWHERE and cam up with nothing. In fact, I really struggled to find anything that was the right color. So I settled for brown and apple green. And it was fine. But I have always had a soft spot for my grass color.

So, fast forward to now. When we bought our house, I knew I wanted my green somewhere in the house but it's a BOLD color and I knew it was a huge committment. So I decided to put it in the room that is the least fun to bring a little fun to the mundane--my laundry room. Want to see it? I haven't posted pictures of it or shown it to very many people at all.
Complete with clothes in the washer and all. The color? "Putting green". They saw me coming, didn't they?? It's TINY room, so we had to stack our washer and dryer and cover up the cords and plug-ins with that white curtain under the shelf. Not the cutest. But I LOVE my color. Now be nice...my grandmother says "it's interesting." And those letters? From Hobby Lobby and are a cardboard type material that I spray painted white and tacked up with nails. I've gotten funny comments about those, too. One of Justin's friends saw it and said "What, did you need a reminder of what you are supposed to do in that room?" Sigh. He should have just "that's interesting".

So that's my secret. Want to see something else fun? I made this before Christmas as a seasonal decoration. Now that we are well past the holiday season, I still haven't bought a wreath box for it so it is still up. But now I think I want it to stay up. I've never been a fan of wreaths except seasonally but this one has changed my mind.
Isn't she a beat? Made out of a cheap $2 wreath form and coffee filters. Yeah. I said it. Coffee filters. About 600 of em. I folded and glued for about 4 hours.

I am in a constant project itch. We did two simple projects over Christmas that I will share with you soon but I am on the hunt for something new. Crown molding with our new miter saw? Built in shelf stained to match our vanity in the master bath? All of the above? We're in the middle of saving for our kitchen so I have to wait until the summer for that one.

Stay tuned. Maybe I'll actually be good and take in progress pictures.

Laura

P.S.--notice that cleaner on my counter? I actually leave it out at all times. I'm still undecided on the "tacky or not" prospects of leaving it out. But look how cute it is! And it's all natural. It has a delicious lemon scent that I like a lot better than Ms. Meyer's scents.