Category Archives: day-to-day

is this thing on….

So, something happened recently. I started leaving off my blog address when commenting on other people’s posts.  I think it stems from wondering why I was sending people here when I wasn’t posting anything about what I was doing.

I haven’t posted anything since February, and it isn’t that there isn’t anything going on with us. I mean since my last post, we have sold our house after finishing a ton of really cool projects, my little man is now closer to little boy than toddler, and we moved in with my mother. And, those are just the big things. There have been lots of little things I have been wanting to capture too.

Needless to say, we have a few things going on, but that doesn’t mean that I am ready to desert my little corner of the interwebs. Particularly since we are potentially about to embark on a pretty cool adventure building our house. So, I thought that I would start with this post talking about what I want from this space.

  1. A place to share what’s going on with our family for the few people that care to know.
  2. A place for me to share the crafty adventures and other DIY projects I decide to take on.  And, not just the ones that I deem cool enough to share. There is something to be said for capturing the stuff that doesn’t quite work out like I want it to too!
  3. A place for me to capture the smaller moments of our life that I miss out on in the hustle of everyday.

However to do this, that means that I will need to let go of some of my expectations about what posts will look like, how often I will be able to post, and that this space is for anyone else but me. This is a good start!

{this and that}

:: My little man wandered into our room about an hour ago, said something incomprehensible, but it was clear I should follow.  I followed him back into his room, and he immediately crawled into bed.  I covered him up, and he went right back to sleep.  Now, I am wondering if I wake up Joe and get him to do the same for me, who will help Joe get back to sleep?

:: We are making some great progress on getting the house ready for us to move.  More trips to storage.  Most of the crafting stuff is over at Mom’s in much need of organization, but neatly nestled into her shop (certain amount of irony there). The front door has been painted, although the sidelights really need one more coat of white. I painted it a “Seal” from Martha Stewart mixed to Behr Ultra Exterior.  Don’t love how the paint went on, but trying to paint an exterior door in the middle of winter was a little crazy.  Hopefully the paint stays on until the house sells.

:: We also got the basement floor evened out a little.  It isn’t level, but the elevation changes (almost 2 inches in some spots) are much better now, and it shouldn’t be as noticeable under the new carpet.  The carpet installer is coming to measure today, so I am excited about that.  As soon as we can get that ordered and installed, then we can really start staging the basement.  And, it will mean a whole floor will be ready to go on the market.  That is a big deal for me.

:: It is weird trying to move with a little person.  I know that he senses the upheaval going on; we all do.  But, it is  it is quite obvious that he doesn’t know what to do about it, so he is just asking for lots of extra attention, which, of course, is really hard to do when you are still trying to work full time and get a house on the market. We are doing the best we can though, and he is super excited about moving the nana’s house.

:: The boy is off all week, so we are hoping to get lots done here.  On the list are the shelves in the hallway.  I need him to get them installed, so I can work on getting them finished (caulked, wood puttied, and painted). We are also going to work on trim stuff throughout the house and getting the doors on the laundry room closet.  I also hope to get the stupid shutters ordered/bought and painted, so we can put them back up on the next warm day. We took them down because they looked stupid, but we never got to make any of the changes we wanted to make that would help them not look quite as stupid, so up they go.

:: Cade has been doing something really cute lately.  He tells us that everything is “really cool” or “that’s pretty awesome, Mom!” It’s like I have my own little cheering squad when he isn’t screaming at me.  Conversations have been going something like this: “Mom, did you buy this for me? At the store?” When I say yes, that’s what I get the “I really like this, Mom!” I don’t know when I became just mom, and not mommy, but I am mourning it a little. I still get it every once in a while, but I am guessing it happened so quickly because the older kids at daycare call their parents mom and dad.  I am getting lots of “I love you’s” lately, so that’s pretty awesome! Wait, maybe that’s were that came from.

{30-in-30} gift giving

Today’s prompt from Shimelle’s class was all about our favorite gift. Today, in the document she sends everyday during this course, she outlined the way gifting changes as you grow older. The wild excitement of gift giving when you are a little kid, and how that can morph into more careful planning both in the giving and receiving that happens as you get older.

She asked us to share our “shiniest” gift receiving moment. For me, I have quite a few gift receiving moments that stand out for me.  Most of them include my dad and the little gifts that he would pick out for me on his own. Not that my mom’s gifts weren’t always just as amazing, but for a little girl, a gift from your dad that you know he picked out for you means something special. And, those memories have probably taken on the shiny qualities even more since he’s been gone.

But, the moment that came to mind immediately when I read through her prompt was not a gift I received for Christmas. It was something my mom brought home for me one day. A gift unattached to a holiday, birthday, or requirement.

I grew up in the age of Cabbage Patch Kids. The real ones with the yarn hair, adoption paperwork, and cute little autographed asses. The ones that parents waited hours in line for. They always smelled a certain way, and I loved them. Looking back, I don’t know if I loved them more because they were hard to get, but either way that particular toy was a significant part of my childhood. And, I was a lucky kid that had several Cabbage Patch Kids. I had a preemie doll and a set of twins. And, another one that I am not sure I remember (I still have them all in a tote in my garage).

But, one day, my mom came home from being out and about with Roger. Roger was a brown-haired Cabbage Patch Kid, and I don’t know why, but he was always my favorite. Like I said, there was no particular reason for her to get me the doll. She had been in a store, Sears I think, that had just received a shipment, and there wasn’t a line a mile long. I remember her describing it to me when I was older that there was a wall of them to choose from. But, at the time, I didn’t realize that.

At the time, I just knew I wasn’t asking for a new doll, and she didn’t feel like she had to get me a present for anything in particular. She just got him for me because she knew that I would love him, and I did. It was simple. The way gift giving should be and so rarely actually is. What an awesome thing to remember this time of year.

{30-in-30} plan for the month

Didn’t do such a hot job sticking with my 30-in-30 already, but I am not going to give myself too hard a time about and just do the best I can.

Today’s prompt was about deciding on a plan for the rest of the month up until Christmas. And, it couldn’t be more perfect for what I was thinking about most of the day.

Before the little man was born, December was usually clouded by a sprint to the end of the semester full of student conferences, grading, and lots of late nights. But, since then, I spend the first half of December thinking about getting ready for the little dude’s birthday and then Christmas sneaks up on me.

This year, I have a ton of ideas about things I would like to do to decorate the house for Christmas, but then we decided to pursue moving and building a house and my brain is full of house ideas and worrying about trying to get this deal to go through in a way that keeps us protected. The prospect of building a house is both amazingly awesome and scary at the same time. But, as my best good friend reminded me recently, taking risks means you are living.

So, tonight, instead of getting completely bogged down with all the stuff I have to do and being frustrated by what I want to be doing, which of course means they both cancel each other out and lead to not being able to get anything done, I decided to get started on one of the projects I have been wanting to do for the little man ever since I saw this.

I ordered the felt for the project a while ago, but I was held up a little trying to decide how I was going to attach the tree to the wall. I was at Ikea the other day and saw a frame that I think will work well, so I have a plan! And, tonight I got the tree ready to go.  Just need to sew it onto some burlap, and I will be one step closer to a finished project! I am pretty excited about how cute it will be.


Hopefully, I will continue to be able to squeeze in both the stuff I want to do and the stuff I have to do.

{30-in-30} a start to daily december

So, last year, I decided to do 30-in-30 blog posts in November. So, when November arrived this year, I thought about it again. And, I decided that I would do it again this year, just thirty days later. I thought how fun it would be that in twelve years (if I can keep this up), I will have a month of each of our years. A little scary to think that my baby will be 14 by then. Crazy!

And, to help me out a little this year, I thought I would use the prompts from the Journal Your Christmas class I was a part of several years ago. Today’s prompt is about my Christmas Manifesto. And, I take that to be what I want Christmas and the journey towards it to look like this year. I have actually been thinking a lot about this already this year.

This is the first year that my little man might remember glimpses of Christmas. The first year that he might really get into the events and activities we could plan for him. But, this year, we might really have to work pretty hard to make sure we leave room in our days for the things that will make it most memorable for him.

Things will be particularly busy because we are planning to sell our house in a few months. And, we are going to try to build a home that’s closer to what we have always wanted. So, this year, while we are trying to get this house ready to sell and get the details of our new home all worked out, we will have to be more mindful than ever to make room for the Christmas spirit!

So, maybe that’s my manifesto for this year.

{santa graphic from Graphicsfairy}

I hope to share some of the ways we plan to do this throughout the month!


The events that occurred 11 years ago today are, without a doubt, some of the most important of my life. However, that’s not all that I am remembering today.

Yesterday was Worldwide Suicide Prevention Day. A day devoted to preventing suicides around the world. Two years ago, my little brother walked with his fraternity to raise money to support this cause. But, even seeing the outpouring of grief he must have experienced that day was not enough to stop him from killing himself just three short months after that walk.


As I know that I have said here before, I was floored when my brother took his life. He was one of the happiest people I knew. And, it was quite clear that we had no idea how much he was suffering.

Despite what some members of my family feel, I know in my heart that there was probably nothing we could have done to save him. Some people are quick to decide to kill themselves; the decision is impulsive. And, some people plan it out for a long time. My brother was the latter. Through thousands of “I love you’s” and people asking “Dude, is everything okay?,” he still decided to end his life.

I think everyday what would have happened if he had reached out to just one person, one time. And, I “if only” everyday that we had learned more about the little pieces of the puzzle that created a scary picture of his mental health. But, we didn’t. And, ultimately, he followed through on what we thought was only a passing teenage angst of the desire to “die young.”

When I told the Boy about the significance of the day yesterday, he reminded me that more of our service members are dying right now at their own hands than that of the enemies. Soldiers that are separated from their families. Soldiers seeing what I can only imagine are some horrible things in the far reaches of the world. Soldiers that are there to protect our freedom after that horrible reminder 11 years ago today of what evil lurks in the world.

So, while I know that some of those soldiers that are deciding to take their lives might have been, like my brother, planning this end for a long time, there may be just as many that need a helping hand, a warm smile, or an “I love you” or “Dude, is everything okay?”

seems like a good time for a confession…

{everyone‘s doing it}

Life has been a little tough lately. I know that part of me is just recovering from last week’s 100 hour work week finishing up over 800 edited pages, but I am having trouble getting back into the swing of things. Too much time look at other people’s picture perfect homes while nested into my crazy desk with no fewer than three coffee mugs and two glasses of water. There are some days that I feel like I am drowning under a pile of paper and stuff. These are the days when I want to get rid of everything we own and go live in the woods somewhere (and, I am only kinda kidding).

And, I know that part of my frustration is a rough patch with my little man. Lots of screaming no and talking back.  Way too much attitude for a not-even-three year old to be spouting off.

Last night ended a rough two year period for my mom, trying to get the banks to refinance two properties that would let her move forward with her life and away from a bad situation. And, I am so happy that she persevered, that her life will be better for her efforts.  First, in small ways, and then in huge ones that she hasn’t even imagined yet. So, I am going to take her as a good example of what I should be doing.

Chin up, head down!  Keep going!


{this and that}

:: When I am trying to find something to read to waste time to avoid doing what I really should be doing, I can never find a new blog post anywhere and nothing on pinterest seems fun.

:: I have had a cold for weeks (it seems like, anyway), and my left ear is clogged.  I keep trying to clear it, but all I am getting is that little clicking noise that you get when you need to pop your ears.  So annoying.

:: We are super excited around these parts.  We bought a new mattress yesterday, had it delivered today, and I freecycled our old one this evening.  It is awesome when all the stages of a project that you have hemmed and hawed about for a year come together that quickly.

:: The next phase of our next house project, the basement, isn’t coming together nearly as quickly.  It is one of those projects where you have to figure out which step comes first.  The answer is not leaping out at us presently, so we remain in a holding pattern.

:: Because I am stalled with the basement, I have decided to repaint the little man’s room.  We are planning to build him a toddler bed (since we found out that the crib that we swore said it converted to a toddler bed only goes straight to a full) modeled after this one.  We are pretty excited to build him the bed; not so excited about the idea of moving him out of the crib.

:: I have a fun project to share with you as soon as I can get all my pictures together.

:: I confess that I am addicted to Instagram.  Evidenced below. Their filters are just too fun!

My happy bunch

Happy Monday, everyone!

{this and that} a few secret thoughts

:: Whenever I alphabetize things, I always think of higher letters in the alphabet as somehow superior.  I think this stems back to always being at the front of the line because my maiden name started with a “B.”  Now, I can’t help but think that as an “A,” I win.

:: Since the little man was born, I haven’t spent as much time seeking out new music.  It felt like a luxury, something I didn’t have time for anymore.  It took me two years to realize the flaw in that thinking.

I can’t sing.  I don’t play any instruments.  I can’t really dance with any precision or grace (or without alcohol in public).  But, music is often something I can literally feel wash over me.  There is something about the combination of words and unique succession of notes that feel like a hug to me, a big blanket that curls up around my shoulders and holds me up.  And, I seem to collect people that feel the same way about music that I do.

My proudest moment so far as a parent is that I am raising a son that feels this way.  Cade will often break out dancing in the beautiful awkward attempt at keeping with the music anytime he hears a song come on….television, radio, something I am playing for him…it doesn’t matter.  Sometimes he doesn’t even notice, and other times he will look at me with a huge smile.  I just love that about him.

So, I am going to give myself a “free pass” for  a while and collect songs that make me happy. Not focus on the money of it, but on the rest of it instead. Like this one by a new-to-me band, Fun.

:: There is a trend of marriages separating (both with impending permanent separations and because of deployments) that I am noticing with several of the blogs I am reading.  It makes my heart hurt for people that I have never met but feel like I know.  I feel like I am witnessing something private that I shouldn’t be able to see as I watch them try to find words to explain how their lives are inexplicably changing and still try to stay on track with the “purpose” of their space when I know that these situations must really be taking all of their focus right now.

I want to go give them all hugs.  And, it makes me pray for the continued strength of my marriage and to hope as hard as I can that we can keep my husband out of harm’s way again.

::  And, posts like this one are resonating particularly right now (thanks Melia) as I try to figure out what I need to do to make my body feel more like “home” and less like a “cheap rental.”  To remember that I too created a tiny human from scratch, feed him almost exclusively for a year, and have a husband who loves me for what I am, not just what I want to be.

a little bit of this and that

::  I have a major case of the winter blues going on.  It is combination of feeling overwhelmed with everything I need to accomplish against taking the time to accomplish what I want to accomplish.  It is also this time of year that I feel the urge to purge!  So, we are going to start seriously paring down and reorganizing of what we have around the house.

::  After seeing this post over on Tatertots and Jello, I followed the trail for Top This Top That’s table redo!  I love what she did, and I have been looking at that chalk paint forever, so I went ahead and bit the bullet and got some today to paint the bottom of the dining room table.  It was definitely the most I have ever spent on a tiny little quart of paint, but I am pretty excited about it!  I have heard amazing things about it, and I got my current favorite color, so I think it will turn out awesome.

::  There is a new “cupcakery” that opened around the corner for my house today.  When we stopped by, they were sold out, so we are hopeful that maybe we might be able to taste the goodness tomorrow.  I will let you know how it goes.  Their website makes their stuff look amazing!

::  On our adventure to go get the chalk paint, we found a new little hole in the wall Italian restaurant, Cafe Torino & Bakery.  It was amazing!  Food was awesome, staff was super friendly, and prices were great.  Yelp to the rescue again!  I had the chicken salad sandwich, which was super yummy.  The boy had the Salmon with Horseradish sauce.  It is my new quest to figure out that sauce.  Yum!  I found this recipe, and I might give it a shot with some chicken (salmon isn’t my favorite fish).  I am determined, though!  That sauce will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine!

::  I have been playing with Instagram, and I added a little slideshow of the scenes from our day in the sidebar.  I am having a lot of fun with all the filters!  Can’t wait to see what I can do with all these little pictures.

::  The boy and I have decided that simply painting our cabinets is not going to be an effect use of our energy.  Unfortunately, their quality is just too low to be saved.  We are losing the bottoms out of several of them.  And, while we could probably just reinforce them, we are trying to do the best thing long term for our family and the house.  I have been collecting all my inspiration pictures here.  We are going to have to start pinching some major pennies to make it look the way I am hoping to, but at least we have the start to a plan!  We are hoping to have everything ready to go this summer.