Our House-iversary

October 21, 2014

We’ve officially been in our house for one year!  Yay!

There are so many great things about our place that make how we operate and our family life so much better and organized.  The fact that we aren’t cramped for storage space and that we have an extra guest room and dedicated office space has also been so wonderful!

To mark this occasion, I’ll share the three things I love most and the three things I don’t like about our house.

1. Garage space. I absolutely LOVE that we can park both of our cars in the garage.  No more scraping the windows for a little morning ice or driving with my head just below the wheel so I can peek out of a frosted winter windshield.  Plus it’s always nice and comfy to get in the car, no cold seats!!  Bonus is that we also have lots of extra garage space for storing tools, lawn stuff, bikes and more!

2. Our nook.  We have a entry way with little built-in cubbies that I just love.  It’s a great organizational area for our kids to keep their bookbags, some shoes, their school papers and more.  I know that as our kids get older, it will be used even more (sports bag, school projects, etc.). I just LOVE having this extra storage space.


3. The playroom.  In our old house, our living area was toy central.  We kept boxes of toys on the stair landing and there were always millions of plastic pieces and stuffed creatures strewn across the place.  Now we have a dedicated play area and it is amazing.  We might get a truck or two downstairs, but generally, most of the toys stay upstairs in a big ol’ room that is perfect for making huge train tracks, playing a game of indoor basketball or snuggling in the kids tent.  Such a fun space!

1. I really don’t love our sink. I know big whoop – a sink. And obviously not a reason to pass on a house, but I can’t stand double bowl sinks – which is what we have.  I really want a big one bowl sink so that I can clean my pots and cookie sheets easily without all the water runoff over the counter!  (I def think this will be a future upgrade for the kitchen!)

2. A different front door set up. Yes, I love that our front door has lots of glass panels that let light into our foyer, but when you are out there with all the windows, you can easily look inside and see our entire upstairs hallway.  Not the best when I am running down it naked to the hall closet because I forgot to get a towel before my shower.

3. Our flooring.  I love for one consistent flooring throughout the main level and we have two (used to have three but took care of that this weekend – bye bye office carpet!). Tile and a vinyl wood flooring that I don’t like. It’s a very light washed looking wood – and I’d much rather have a tan or cherry colored floor palette.  Here is the color:


(In action:  Living room – pic from before we moved in)

I also like just one type of flooring instead of the tile/wood combo that goes throughout the first floor, but the wood flooring product  is super expensive so we won’t be adding anymore than just the office.

Again, nothing really major – definitely #firstworldproblems.  There are a million things I love about the house and only a handful I don’t like.

So happy house-iversary!  It took a while but I love that our house really feels like home now!


Weekend Highlights

October 20, 2014

This weekend was jam packed.  As they usually are.  But jam-packed with a lot of great things.  Here are the highlights of our awesome fall weekend:

1. Grammy came to visit. My kids really love their Grammy-time – especially because there are always fun things to do like milkshakes at Chick-fil-a, special treats she brings, movietime and lots of playtime with trucks and dinosaurs.

I like when Grammy visits because Dean and I get a lot of us time.  Our bible study, date time, shopping – Grammy wants parent-free kid-time and we take advantage of the kid-free parent-time whenever she is here.

2. Costume prep.  I’m not going to share any pics to give away the family costume, but I will say that Landon and I did some cutting and iron gluing of fabric this weekend to get ready.

3. Boo Bash fun.  Our part of town always does a great job with family and kid activities around the holidays. This weekend we hit the Boo Bash and they had tons of bounce houses, rides, treats and pumpkins!  The kids didn’t want to leave.

4. Building my running confidence.  I did my 10-miler this weekend.  That was one of my goals to prepare myself for next month’s race and doing it definitely gave me the confidence that I’ll be able to finish on race day.  I also practiced taking a “gel” product during the run and I didn’t get any cramps – yay!

5. Office progress.  In a complete revamp of our office space, we had our flooring installed this weekend and it looks great!  I’m going to put together a post in the next week or so, but I will say that it no longer looks anything like this:
office before

6.  Art project.  We did a kids art project that involved the following sponge.  Can you guess what we did?


Did you play outside and enjoy the fall weather, too?


The best anniversary gift

October 17, 2014

This year, my husband gave/is giving me the best anniversary gift ever!  Granted, it was something specific that I asked for. But he’s following through with it.

One specific positive affirmation a day – every day – for the next year.

And you might think – oh, that’s easy, she didn’t ask for jewelry or shoes, just a positive affirmation a day. And for some husbands, this would be the easiest.

But for us, this is big.  My husband would LOVE to just buy me something and be done with it. I prefer gifts that are acts of service or words of affirmation – those are definitely my love languages.  For Dean, this is not his natural way to show love so he’s having to speak in my language… for a whole year! His love language is gifts so buying (and getting) things is his favorite!

The kicker is he has to write it down for me with the date so I can keep all the notes and relive the affirmations over and over again. In this season of life where there is a lot fighting for my focus – two attention-starved boys (it’s just that stage), a busy husband, a full-time job, a never ending project list on the house – sometimes I need reminders that I am doing a good job in the different areas of life and I appreciate the little, specific affirmations.

These aren’t just – You look nice. or You cooked a good dinner.

Some of the ones I’ve received are:
“I love the way you take time to read bible stories to the kids.”
“I’m proud of the way you have been running and training even with a cold.”
“I like the new color palette you picked for the house.”  (He originally wasn’t on board with my color choice!)
“You are doing a great job staying on top of your bible study.”

All the presents in the world can’t compare to the time and thoughtfulness that he has been putting into this. (And he’ll tell you – it takes a lot of time to do these ;) )  It’s definitely the BEST anniversary gift I’ve ever received!


Poor Puppy (alternatively titled “Brooks is Particular”)

October 16, 2014

I’ve shared before stories about my favorite second-born and his peculiar nature when it comes to certain things.  Like the way I have to sometimes “disassemble” Brooks’ casserole and separate the meat from the rice so he will eat it, or the way he always wants to share half of my pillow in bed and never wants to use the extra one just laying there.

And of course I shared his Prayer Pal story.  But that’s not the only time he’s done something like that.

During my Sunday night bible study last weekend, I was downstairs with the girls while Dean was getting the kids into bed.  When I came up later that night, Dean recapped his tuck in with Brooks:

I was tucking him in and he handed me the puppy and said “Dad, take this out of here. I don’t want it in my room, put it in your room.”  I obliged and put the puppy on the floor next to Brooks’ bed as we continued our nighttime routine.  Then I walked out and shut the door.  I realized a few minutes later that I forgot the puppy, but didn’t want to go back in as Brooks was already in bed and it was practically under his bed in a pitch dark room, so it wouldn’t matter.  I headed into our room and I hear Brooks jump off his bed and open the door. I yelled for him to get back in bed and told him he would get discipline if he got out again.

A couple minutes later I hear baby footsteps outside his door and I think to myself, “great, now I have to discipline him and get him tucked back in”.

I sit up in bed to see our bedroom door open slightly and a little voice says, “I told you to bring this in here,” as a small, fluffy puppy tumbles in through the cracked doorway.  Then, just as quickly, little footsteps scamper back into his room.


No stuffed animal is safe in this boy’s room after 8pm!



Love letters

October 14, 2014

Landon has been busy lately with his writing. I’ve really noticed over the past month or two that my favorite four-year-old’s penmanship is getting so good.  He writes letters in the shower with our bath crayons, he surprises me all the time when he does his homework and I just love that all of his letters are clearly legible.

“Mom, look, I wrote you all these 6’s” – and there they are – perfect 6’s like a row of soldiers across the page!  Even his name is written clearly on each page of his assignment.  I get a little cocky in my head – yep, he’s learning, he’s going to be an awesome Kindergartener next year!

Then there are other days where he says “Mom, here, I wrote you a love letter.”

And I get this:

love letter

We’ll call it ‘cursive’. :)


Going from pink girls room to a fun boys room

October 13, 2014

When we moved into our house, the previous owners had two girls and a boy.  The room Landon ended up with was one of the girls rooms so it was a light, cheery pink.  Not that Landon was complaining. Pink is still his favorite color right now.  So we weren’t in a huge rush to tackle it.

But slowly we decided that we needed to start making this home ours and we decided Landon’s was a great room to work on.

Since they’d already painted the ceiling a light blue in there. I wanted to find a way to incorporate it into the wall color plan so that I wouldn’t have to tackle that as well.  (Walls are an easy job with lots of big furniture in the room, but ceilings require more covering and moving to avoid those pesky drips!)

So here was his room as we moved him in (notice the light blue ceilings that we wanted to keep) – yes with pink walls and sports bedding, it was definitely combo feminine and masculine:

room before pink

Phase 1 was extending the ceiling color onto the top of the wall, I wanted to extend the blue color down from the ceiling so I started by just eyeballing about a foot of color as I worked around the room. I had leftover paint from the previous owners, so this was a really fast process.

Then I used a tape measure to mark 10 inches down and I went around and marked off little blue painters tape “dots” so that I’d know how far to take up the second/bottom color – a smoky gray. (It looks a little purple in the picture and still reads with purplish undertones in his room, but its definitely gray!


room during blue gray

Then Phase 3 was to add a white border with thin pre-primed wood panels – just hung with a nailgun, filled the holes and then painted.

before curtain

And that, my friends is how I took my cotton candy pink room into a studly “he can grow into it” boys space. And it only took about 8 months for to motivate and get through the project! :)

Next week, I’ll share the curtains that my awesome mom helped me make for this room.  They turned out perfectly!

Here is the link to the L canvas art I came up with for above his bed.  (It still needs an inexpensive frame, I’ve been checking Goodwill!)

(* the concept for the extended ceiling was inspired by Young House Love – their white bathroom with blue ceiling)


Instant Gratification

October 10, 2014

As technology improves, the ability to get what you want immediately/when-you-want-it increases.

When we were riding home from swim practice my opinionated kids didn’t want to hear Tay Swift’s Shake it Off jam.

“Turn this off.”
“I don’t like this song. I want Boom Crash.”

There were two voices pushing for a music change.

“Yeah, I want to hear Boom Crash, too.”

I tried to explain how when we listen to the radio, we don’t get to choose the next song because the radio DJ is in charge of the choices.  Often we listen to CDs in the car or the iPod in the house, so we always get to pick what we listen to.

I realized in the moment, that with all the gadgets and programs out there today, my kids are going to have a lot of instant gratification at their fingertips.

We are bombarded on all sides:
You want a hot meal now – hit the drive thru.
You want the new 95″ tv – buy now and pay later.

You interested in a show or movie – Netflix or the DVR have tons of options ready and available.
Who knows, with the talks of drone delivery services, we may be close to instant delivery for online orders?!

I realize that as a parent, I need to make sure that while my kids will be living in a more advanced world, I still want to make sure they learn the virtue of patience.  I want them to be grateful for moments that require delayed gratification – or no gratification.  I want them to know that they aren’t entitled to anything they want, whenever they want it.  Yes, it’s great to have such advances that we have tons of options and easier access out there, but there also needs to be some balance.  Just because you want a big tv doesn’t mean you can afford a big tv. Just because it’s out there doesn’t mean you just get it.

I hope that Dean and I can lead by example in this area.  That we teach our kids patience in times where we want-it-now but realize that now might not be the best time.


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