A moms tutorial on how to paint a dresser

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Hi friends! When my best friend saw that I refinished this dresser she said she would like to paint a piece of furniture she has, but would have no clue where to start. So, I’m going to tell you how I did it (with kids!) in case it helps a few of you out, including my bestie.  🙂

My neighbor inherited a lot of antiques a few months ago and she gifted this cute little dresser to me. I had it sitting in my kids room for months, trying to figure out how I could use it in there. I decided to bring it out in the living room and immediately found the perfect spot for it! So, time to start sanding and painting!

Here’s the supplies I used:

  • 220 grit sandpaper (150grit would work well too)
  • Electric hand sander (not necessary, just faster!)
  • Quart of Kilz 2 latex primer
  • Quart of Shermin Williams, Mindful Gray latex paint.
  • Small foam roller (If you are doing a smaller piece of furnisher, a foam roller isn’t necessary. My roller was old and not working right so I ended up using a bigger paint brush for most of it)
  • 1.5 inch angled paint brush
  • 3 little helpers  🙂
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Before

Here’s the steps I took:

First, I sanded it with the 220 grit sandpaper. I did this while the kids were playing outside and I was on the phone. Multi tasking, a mom’s way of life, right?! I at least lightly covered every little nook and cranny.

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When I was finished sanding I decided I should probably pull out the little electric hand sander to go over the large surfaces. I did this when I got off the phone because… that sander is loud! When prepping for latex paint you want to make sure all the “shine” on the surface is gone. Its not necessary to sand it down completely to the bare wood, but it is important to remove that first layers so the primer and paint stick!DSC_0779

Once I was finished sanding, I set the little dresser on a table outside so I could paint on the primer with my one year old around. I set up some cars and trucks and asked the older ones to play with him (benefits of having big helpers!) I used Kilz 2 primer, which is a good primer to use, and we happened to have some in our paint cupboard. Yah! Of course, when I pulled the primer and paint brushes out the big kids wanted to help so I let them do the back of the dresser! Its fun to involve the kids… WHEN possible!
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I wanted to get the first coat of primer on in the morning so I could put the second coat on at nap time. We went over to my moms house later that morning and I was able to sneak away to the paint store to get the paint I wanted…kidless! I got Sherwin Williams, “Mindful Gray”. I actually thought it was going to be darker but, isn’t that always the story with paint? I also bought a nicer angled brush to get good coverage on all those nooks and crannies I had just sanded!
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Once the kids were all asleep at nap time I brought the dresser into the house. It was too hot to paint outside and I didn’t want the paint to dry too quickly. Ok, plus I wanted to stay in the cool house with my music and coffee  🙂

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Later in the evening I set up the dresser on our patio table and was able to paint the first coat of gray while my family was playing in the backyard. Thankfully it is small because it went pretty quickly!

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This dresser is really old with lots of dings and a few cracks! I could have used some wood filler to fill in the crack on top but I opted not to 🙂 You can’t really see it when there are things on top!

First coat.

I let the first coat set up over night and was able to paint the second coat at nap time the next day! I didn’t want to paint the final coat while the kids were awake because that would been probable interruptions. I wanted to have good, even coverage on that last coat! I let it dry over night before bringing it in for use!

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I was going to paint the knobs black but decided to leave them in their original state…because I can always go back and change them:)

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I was going to paint the knobs black but decided to leave them in their original state...because I can always go back and change them:)

The dressers new home

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I hope this gave you some helpful hints on how to paint a dresser, and if you have kids…how it can be done with kids!  😉  Do you have any furniture that could use some painting?!

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William is ONE!

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When I think of William Charles I think of “joy”. He has brought me (our whole family) so much joy. It wasn’t until Will that I felt I could be fully present in the moment of enjoying my baby. I mean, my heart has almost exploded many a time. I truly understood what people meant when they couldn’t get any housework done because “I was just soaking up the cuddles”. With my first two kids, the housework had to get done. The more kids I have, the more I realize how quickly it goes by. It makes the short naps, night wakings, and teething fuss a little more manageable.
Will is quite the go getter. He’s been walking since 9.5 months and tries so hard to keep up with his brother and sister, who are smitten over him, by the way. He will find the tallest object in the room and attempt to climb it…usually, he is successful. I knew this age was busy from experience, but he taken busy to a whole new level!! Thankfully he makes up for it by 2 good naps a day.  🙂 As sad (insert crying) as I am my baby-of-all-babies is ONE, I am so excited to watch his sweet and adventurous personality develop!

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William was due August 6th, 2015, however, by mid July I already felt as though he was “late”. His older sister came suddenly at 36.4 weeks, so with Will, we were prepared early. I was tired of thinking “it could be any day”, so as the end of July approached I just told myself he was never coming out. On July 29th I had a doctors appointment. I dropped the 2 littles off at my moms and drove to my appointment. On the way home I was having some discomfort in my back but thought “he’s never coming, so just forget about it” (sarcastically). I picked up the kiddos, put them down for nap, and had to lay on the couch. The discomfort was getting worse so I casually text my husband to let him know. He walked in the door an hour later (around 3pm) and said he was already planning on coming home early that day…not sure I believe him 😉 By the time the kids were up from naps at 4pm I was 85% certain this was “it”, so I sent the word to our families. And then at 4:30, I knew. Everyone was annoying me. I snapped at my husband to take the kids outside and leave me alone because the contractions were getting more intense. At this point, he was sure this was real labor. We called my mom to come over, and between contractions I packed a bag for the kids, got our last minute things together and off to the hospital we went. And for the record, as soon as the kids were gone and I could focus on getting to the hospital, I was in a much better mood   🙂

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By the time we got checked in it was around 6:00pm and I was 4cm dilated. I told my best friend Kendall, who lived 10 minutes away and was going to come to help me labor, to head over to the hospital. My sister ended HER birthday celebration early that night (yah for sharing a birthday!), and left to make the 3.5 hour drive. Both Kendall and my sister, Brittany, had helped with my previous labors so, they knew the ropes and were very helpful.

My husband and I liked having someone else in the room with us to be an extra set of hands, take pictures, keep family updated, etc. I needed him focused and by my side.

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Once we got checked in and settled I decided to try sitting in the rocking chair to “rock through” the contractions. We dimmed the lights, turned on some worship music, and I rocked away and got some good head and back messages!
For 2 hours it was pretty smooth sailing. I was able to stay controlled and breath through each contraction. At about 8:30 or 9 I was 6cm. Contractions started getting intense as I began transitioning, and around 9:30pm the doctor informed me that if he broke my water, labor would be in the very near future.

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My sister was still 10 minutes away but I couldn’t say no to progressing things, I mean…the pain. So, Dr. broke my water and shortly after my sister came running down the halls (literally). She made it by 10pm. Then, I felt the urge to push. And I mean, I was doing all I could to wait for the medical personal to get there. Doctor walked in and I was out of control trying to grab anyone in my reach. I screamed as loud as I could, “SOMEONE PULL HIM OUT!!!!!”.

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The whole floor heard me. I later apologized and was slightly embarrassed, lol. But, alas, our little man was here.

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What a relief it is when you hear that first little cry and lay eyes on your new fresh babe. We did it. God did it.

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Our William Charles entered the world July 29th, at 10:20 pm weighting 8lbs 13oz, and was 21 inches long.

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The next day was so fun as Levi and Emersyn got to meet their baby brother!

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Levi had just turned 3, Emersyn was almost 2 and now we had our Will. Our hands and hearts were full. What a joy it was to bring him home. Thank you Lord!!!!

And just like that, he’s one.

My “3 Design Musts” (giving life to our homes)

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Hi friends! An interior designer recently asked me what my “3 Musts” were in design. My initial thought was, “Uh, no clue”, and I was slightly intimidated on how to answer the question (partly because he has 31 thousand instagram followers and partly because it sounded so formal). I thought about it long and hard…well, a day, and came to my conclusion. Just to clarify, I have zero design background or knowledge, so these aren’t educated “musts” but things I realize I try to do in every space and why.

My 3 musts:

  1. Sentiment– Something that is special or sentimental to me. Perhaps something I made, my husband made, a photo of those near and dear to me, a quote or reminder that I need on a daily basis, etc. I don’t just want my home to have nice things, I want memories and items that are unique to our family. Things that make it ours.
  2. Balance– This is purely for aesthetic sake! There is “formal balance”, when sides are symmetrical (matching), and “informal balance”, when sides are not exactly the same or symmetrical, however there is still balance created. I like to attempt informal balance.
  3. Tranquility- I want our home to be a place that feels peaceful, calming, and refreshing. One way this is done is by color. I try to explain to my husband that color can create a tone for the home…he’s still try to understand 🙂 My colors are gray and white with accents of wood and black. Those colors just work for me.

Perhaps you want your home to be bright and cheery with a lot of fun colors, or maybe dark and cool! There is not a right or wrong…it is just what fits our personality and interests. There are so many styles and colors I enjoy, but I try to stick with one…which is hard to do sometimes. The fun part about all being different is we can enjoy one anothers styles!

I want to share a paragraph from the book I’m reading, “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way” by Sarah Mae. This paragraph was so encouraging to me and really explains the why behind making our houses, homes.

You can give life to your home by making it warm and inviting, fresh and invigorating! You can give life to you home by making sure there are clean dishes to eat off of and clear spaces to walk in and organized papers that are easy to find when you need them. You can give life to your home by filling it with loving, true, and good words! You can give life to your home by building up the souls in your care and the souls who enter it. Your home can be a place where weary bones rest and burdens are lifted and laughter ripples through every room. All of these things make a home. You are a creator of beauty and peace and safe spaces. You are a homemaker. (pg. 19)

Don’t you feel as though this gives us a little perspective on why we do what we do? Or how important it is for us to maintain our homes?! Our homes are a place where our family can find peace, love, and comfort. There are so many aspects that go into giving our homes life. What we have on the walls isn’t the most important part, but it does help in making it “warm and inviting, fresh and invigorating” and “a place where weary bones rest and burdens are lifted”!

Now that you have read about my musts, I though it would be fun to do a little “tour” of my house over the rest of the week. For the next few days I’ll be posting pictures of spaces in my home on Instagram and briefly talk about how it fits my “must criteria”. This isn’t because I have mastered it and I think things in my home are perfect. In fact, its been hard for me lately not to compare to all the homes out there that are decorated to perfection. Thankfully though, it isn’t about making our homes perfectly decorated, but loved and comfortable for our own family to rest and make happy memories. And through this little tour you may learn a little about why I have what I do on the walls! 😉 What do you want people to feel when they walk in your home? Think about it! I hope this helps you figure out what you want for your home, how you want to give it life and make it special and unique to your family! Thanks for reading!

–If you don’t have instagram to follow along, I will post the pictures and captions when the week is over!

Painted terra cotta pots

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I had some extra succulents and pots laying around so I decided to plant and then paint the potted succulents! I hadn’t done a project in over a week so it was time. As soon as I get an idea to do something, I want to execute right away because when the creative juice start flowing… I have to take advantage. 😉 That creative juice isn’t always there! I looked at a few picture on pinterest and got to work. Thankfully, I had all the supplies at home.

Here is a list of things I used:

  • 2 small terra cotta pots
  • 1 medium terra cotta pot
  • potting soil
  • rocks (for the bottom of the pots)
  •  3 different varieties of succulents
  • white acrylic paint
  • foam brush
  • black sharpie marker

I planted the succulents first and then painted, but it would probably be easier if you paint, then plant. Live and learn! To plant I simply placed and inch or two of rocks on the bottom of the pot for drainage and filled with soil around the succulent. After they were planted I quickly cleaned the pots with a dry rag and painted them. I tried using tape to make a straight line but because the pots taper in towards the bottom the tape just wasn’t working, so I did it free hand. The lines aren’t perfect, but who needs perfect?!

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I had to do 2-3 coats of paint. The acrylic dries pretty quickly though so it didn’t take too long!

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My visual little self stopped to take a picture before I was finished. I do things like this all the time and my husband always laughs at me 🙂 . I actually like the look of the all white…with another coat of course!

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I decided to use a sharpie to make a pattern on one of them…just to add a unique element. I chose a sharpie simply because it seemed a lot faster than using a little paint brush and black paint! It was easy to work with and went pretty quickly. The design options you could do are endless!

I named the looks of the different pots just for fun, haha.

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And here is the final product! I hope this inspires you to paint some pots and have some fun with it!  Let your imagination run wild 🙂 Besides being a cute feature in your home, these would be great centerpieces for a party or gifts for a friend!

What do you think of this project, are you going to try it?! I’d love to know.

Read here for another diy succulent project!

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Kitchen Remodel

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Lets talk kitchen remodel! When we moved into our home I actually said to my husband “We don’t have to change a thing!” Ha! Well, once we moved in and started using it we noticed the rusty sink, the leaky faucet, the chipped tile, the peeling cupboards, and…the dirty pebble tech. So my husband gave the green light that we could remodel! First I want to start by saying that this remodel happened during my hard season, in regards to being a mom. Read about that season here. Our oldest was 19 months old, our baby was 4 months old and I was working night shift as a nurse then. So, let’s just say I’m glad the end result turned out alright 😉 I was a little overwhelmed in knowing where to start on the process, so I want to share the order we did things, hoping it may help any of you who are planning on remodeling!

If you’ve followed along from the beginning you know that I like to look at pinterest for inspiration before decorating any space. Read here for more about that. However, looking at kitchens on pinterest can be a little…discouraging. Some people have some amazing & very large kitchens… with huge windows and islands that are as big as my kitchen alone! I couldn’t really get a vision for how my little ordinary kitchen would look compared to those big fancy ones. Then I stumbled upon the picture below and it gave me hope! This was a realistic kitchen that was remodeled on a budget!

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Here are a few of our before pictures.

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We decided to paint the cupboards, replace the countertops, replace the sink and faucet, bring in our stainless appliances from our old house, replace the flooring, paint the walls, and remove the florescent lighting and replace it with recessed lighting. Our previous home was a 850 sq ft old home in the downtown of our city. Over 3 years of hard work we completely remodeled it. Because life was busier now with 2 little ones, and we were burnt out from the recent 3 years of continuous projects, we decided to contract out some of the work. My husband (and I 😉 ) did the demo, the backsplash, wall painting, and flooring.

So, where do we start?!  Well, before the kitchen remodel even began my husband installed a utility sink in our garage. It was so helpful during that time to have a sink bigger than our little bathroom sinks! We set up a mini kitchen next to it with paper products, a dish rack, etc.

Our next step was having the cupboards painted. This process took the painters about 2 days…I am so happy we didn’t do it ourselves! It would have taken months!

Around this time we went to the granite warehouse to pick out our gray countertops. There were about four gray countertops that “met my criteria” but we were immediately sold on the Lennon Leather. The leather part means it has more of an unfinished or unpolished industrial look. I love it!

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Once we picked the granite (I took some pictures and a sample of it), we then worked on picking the paint color. The countertops are a big statement, so we wanted to work off of that. Finding the right gray took a few tries…gray can be hard! Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter was the magic color!

Granite install day was very exciting!  Our kitchen was a lot of work for them because of all the seams with the raised bar. We talked about cutting it down to make it all the same level but I decided against it. I felt like the raised bar was a way to hide the sink area (we usually have bottles out, etc). If you walk in the house and there are dishes in the sink, you can’t see them  😉 Speaking of sinks, we decided to go with the single basin verses the double. We had it in our previous house and loved the space in it! We also went with a commercial style faucet to make more of a statement.

Once we had the countertops and paint color we decided on the pendant lights, bar stools, and flooring.

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As we were trying to decide pendant light placing, my mom gave us the idea to hang balloons where we wanted the lights. It was a great visual…and I’m a very visual person! I looked at pendant lights for weeks before I finally decided! The pendants were either too big for our kitchen or too pricey for our budget! And after all that looking It was actually my husband that found the ones we have!

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When we went to pick out flooring I knew I wanted dark wood with a bit of a worn look, so it wasn’t too difficult to decide on what we have. I loved the real wood, but for price reasons we went with laminate. Its really a good alternative and we are happy with it! I kept a sample of the flooring in my purse, and when I was out and about at Marshalls one day I found bar stools that matched well with the color!

We ended our remodel with painting the walls, new lighting, backsplash and finally, the floors! I feel blessed that we were able to make all these changes and I love being in our kitchen!

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One last before and after!
One last before and after!

If you are interested in the specifics of what we used, here they are:

Granite- Lennon leather

Cabinets- Frazee Paint, Swiss Coffee

Wall paint color- Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter

Pendant light- Savoy House Polished Nickel Vintage Pendant mini light. See here for link to purchase

Faucet- Commercial style faucet from Home Depot. See here for link to purchase

Flooring- Kensington, Sandy Hill Hickory

Barstools- Marshalls

Sink- 28in x 16in x 8in deep stainless steel, single basin

Back Splash- White subway tile

Thanks for reading about our process! I’m not an expert in kitchen remodel, but if you have any questions I’d love to help in any way I can!

The “non-pinterest” birthday celebration

 

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I’m just going to do a quick recap of Levi’s 4th birthday. Read here if you missed the post about our firstborn, Levi!

We talked before hand about what he wanted and let him plan out the day! He woke up to 4 super hero’s looking at his morning spot on the couch. Thankfully he slept, because the day before he wasn’t sure if he would be able to since “he was so excited it was going to be his birthday!”  😉

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A few days before his birthday I was at the store with all the kids and that was my chance to grab a few things for his big day. I brought a re-usable shopping bag so I could hide things in the bag when he wasn’t looking. I got a pack of super hero masks, balloons, streamers, and super hero plates. I’m not really into the “character” thing, but it was fast, easy and I knew HE would love it, and thats what matters, right?!

After the rest of the crew woke up we had eggs and fruit….

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…before we headed off to the donut shop for a special treat. He wanted to eat in the car though so “he didn’t have to unbuckle, buckle, unbuckle…”. So we had a donut and milk picnic in the car.

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We then headed off to the store for him to pick out his birthday present. As most kids, he loves the times he is able to pick something out when we go to the store (usually for $1), so we knew he would love being able to pick out a bigger toy! And…he loved it. He was so excited and had a sweet attitude about it 🙂 I don’t want our kids to have a “give me” attitude and expect all these big great things for their birthdays and holidays, but it sure is fun to see their face light up when they get a new toy! There’s a balance in everything.
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This was his choice. I think it was a good one. IMG_2742IMG_2739

Then we came home and swam with some neighborhood friends. He didn’t want a lot of people over, but it was fun to have a few friends over to swim with us! IMG_2758

After swimming we had a picnic lunch in the shade of the tree. IMG_2763

The kids were worn out from playing with friends in the sun so they got a treat and watched part of a movie before nap time!

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After naps we went to Nonna & Vovo’s house (my parents) for a BBQ, per his request. His dinner choice was steak 🙂 We swam, had dinner, and enjoyed an ice cream cookie cake! I guess I was enjoying the evening too much to take more pictures!

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There was nothing fancy about this day. In fact, as his birthday approached I felt a little guilty that I wasn’t having a big party, inspired by all these pinterest ideas. I was worried the day wouldn’t be special. Instead of a pinterest perfect party I bought some cheap decorations last minute and put them up at 10pm the night before. I got a few snacks that he likes and I didn’t even have a gift prepared for him (but that was on purpose)! To my surprise, it was the best birthday we’ve had for one of our kids!!! I loved that I was able to be present with him and enjoy HIM. We had a great time as a family, he felt special, and I wasn’t stressed. It was a win-win and a very special day with our big 4 year old.

Disclaimer: I am not against big parties! I have a few friends that always throw an amazing “Pinterest Party” and I’m always in awe of how great it looks. I will probably have a <smaller> party at the end of next month for our youngest who is turning 1! What we did for Levi was perfect for what he wanted and how busy we are right now. Special doesn’t have to be big 🙂

What do you like to do for birthdays?! Would love to hear your ideas!

 

My Summer 5

 

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I’ve been reading about people setting “Summer Goals” and it seemed a little overwhelming to do that. Well honestly, I’m afraid I’ll end up feeling like a failure at the end if I don’t accomplish them! So I decided to just write out 5 things…that doesn’t seem too daunting! Its nothing crazy, but I think its good to set goals for ourselves, because time goes by so quickly. Setting goals can help us consciously make the time to do things that are important to us or things that will help better ourselves. I’ve written out goals before in how I want to be as a mother, or how to encourage my family & friends, etc., but its been a while so I think its time to set some new ones in all areas of my life!

Here are my “Summer 5”:

  1. Read Having a Martha Home the Mary Way (Which also involves a cleaning schedule to help simplifying and declutter your home)
  2. Take a family trip to the beach
  3. Invite a family over once a week for a BBQ and swimming (read about hospitality!)
  4. Overnight trip with my hubby
  5. Lots of Berry picking with the kiddos!

I’m thinking next summer I’ll have the kids give their input 🙂 At the end of August I’ll let you know how these goals went. Do you set goals for yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it! Also, any ideas or suggestions on summer goals?!

P.S. We WILL be swimming every day, if not twice a day. Thats a given 😉

Hallway

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I just want to share with you what I have recently done in an area of our hallway. I created a gallery wall around the AC control panel and carbon monoxide alarm, hoping it would help them blend in a little, and allowing a place for me to hang a few more pictures of faces that are important to me 🙂 I wanted to brighten the area a little, as there isn’t much natural light here, and give it a fresh clean look.

As I was working on decorating a few things in the kitchen one day these items were laying out and it gave me the idea for the look I wanted.

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I didn’t end up using the framed quote, as it was too big for the area, but I liked look of the black and white.

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hallway close up      The aztec black and white picture is actually a small piece of fabric from Hobby Lobby. I bought 1/2 a yard with another project in mind but I stole a little piece for the gallery wall. The fabric was on sale so this little square probably cost less than 25 cents! I know I am not the inventor of framing fabric, but just want to remind you its a cheap way to add color and patterns! The black and white “G” was a free printable from Pinterest. Click here for the link. I have a few printables in my home and love them!  

I decided to hang this $3 wall bucket from target as a way to add greenery to the area, with keeping the surface free of clutter. And honestly, I don’t want to have to move anything off the top of the dresser to dust! The way the light shines in the hallway its easy to see dust on the surface and I want to be able to quickly wipe it off. When my kids are older I will probably have pretty things displayed on top of dressers and tables, but for now, simple it will be!

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I also want to mention the piece of furniture in our hallway. Because we don’t have a big entry way or coat closet near the front door (click here to read about our entry way), I decided I needed a piece that had plenty of storage underneath for diaper bags, purses, backpacks, etc. I found this piece in a local antique shop and it was just what I had in mind. The door is fairly hard to open so it keeps little hands from being able to open it and drag things out 😉  This has been a great place to throw our things in. I will add, sometimes things are thrown next to it instead of inside (because real life), but at least there IS a place for them when the house needs to be clean!

I hope this gave you some ideas, whether it be ways to decorate, or ways to make a space fit for you and your family!

 

Our firstborn

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This sweet boy joined our world 4 years ago, June 2, 2012. What a blessing he has been. There’s something about your firstborn, the one that makes you a mom. I can’t help but smile as I think of the memories we have trying to figure out how to be parents for the first time. The joy, the unknown, the stress, the unexplainable love…all the emotions. And this little guy, he’s a keeper. He’s all boy but has such a sweet spirit. He is thoughtful and considerate. Yes, he throws fits and is too rough on his sister a lot of times, but that is all expected.He loves his siblings and I would have to say they are the best of friends (even if he doesnt know it) 🙂

If I am sad, he picks me flowers. He watches out for his little brother and tells me if he’s getting into something he shouldn’t be. He is mindful to pick up small pieces off the ground so baby Will doesn’t choke. One of my favorite things about him is he is a lot like his daddy… and his daddy is a great man. I am so thankful he has such a strong man to follow and learn from. Levi is daddy’s little shadow, always helping him with projects and interested in learning how to fix things.

As he has anxiously been anticipating his birthday for a few months now, he always reminds me “when I’m 4, I’ll still love you mom!”…because I have told him I am so happy he is getting older, but part of me is sad my baby is growing up. Ok, and maybe I milk it a little because I love when he tells me he will still love me!

Levi’s birth story

On June 1, 2012 my mom, house cleaner, and I cleaned every inch of our little 850 sq foot house, preparing for Levi who was due June 10th.  We went to bed that night and at 3 am I woke up Charlie telling him my water broke. This eager and excited first time dad pulled out his birthing class notes and went through “TACO”… Time, Amount, Color, and Oder. What a great dad already:) We had our hospital bag mostly packed, with a list on top of last minute items to grab.

Charlie was in charge of the items while I did my hair.

Well, I went to bed with it wet, so I had to make it look half way decent! Besides, the hospital was literally 0.3 miles down the road. So, 45 minutes later we were on our short little way to the hospital and family was informed. I was just feeling a little crampy as they were checking me, and we had second thoughts if we should be there. I wanted to deliver naturally and didn’t want to be laboring at the hospital for 24 hours. As we were about to sign AMA papers (leaving Against Medical Advice), the contractions started coming hard and strong. We looked at each other and decided to stay. At 8 am I was 3cm & 10:20am I was 7cm.

My partner in life
My partner in life

Somewhere between that time my sister, who was my assistant labor coach, arrived from 4 hours south to help Charlie and I through the process. So thankful she was there because she had done this naturally before, is a nurse, and is my best friend. My husband and sister make a great team 😉

A labor of love
A labor of love

So at 10:20 things got intense….transition was upon me. By 10:40 though I was 9cm and 20 mins after that it was time to push! I was so ready for him to come. I couldn’t wait to see my son, OUR baby. I also couldn’t wait for the pain to stop. As the doctor came in when it was time to push I asked my sister, “is it going to hurt?!” (I know, silly question). She said, “Yes, it will burn like crazy”. Honesty. After 45 minutes of pushing, we were parents, holding our baby… trying to study his little face between the tears streaming down our faces.

He was precious, all 8lbs 10ounces & 21 inches of him.

And there began our journey of parenthood.

Levi a day old with mom

LEvi a fathers love

 

levi first family photo

 

Keeper of the calendar

IMG_2625For various reasons the past few weeks have seemed extra busy. I constantly just feel like I’m a step behind and can’t quite catch up. Whenever I feel this way I like to pause for a minute and make sure I’m saying “no” to the things I can be. My time on earth is too short and sweet to let busyness invade my life and rob me of special moments and joy!

I need down time to recharge and feel refreshed. Time to be still and  focus my thoughts. When the days go flying by and we are here and there, I feel overwhelmed, behind, frustrated and worn down. My kids are still little so they are dependent on momma for a lot of things. I have to be conscious of not wearing myself too thin. I have found that I like 2-3 days during the week with no set plans. I’ll go out with the kids to do errands or fun things, but we go at our own pace. When my weeks become too full I feel like I’m just herding my little pack around, always rushing everyone around leaving me feeling like a scatter brained drill sargent. Its hard for me to stay up on laundry, housework, our garden, and my quiet time. When the busyness creeps in I feel like I miss out on special little moments with my kids, and those moments can be so important! I am to nurture my children, and nurturing calls for those teachable and lovable moments.

As I reflect on the busyness of the past few weeks, and the upcoming weeks, I realize there’s not much I can do about it. There always seems to be seasons where the calendar is full and there is really no way around it. So what do I need to do during this time? I need to adjust for this season based on how I know I function. I need to make sure I squeeze in a few minutes of down time daily. I need to be conscious of saying “no” to all the things I can. If there happens to be a free day, I need to work at keeping it that way. I need to aim at having a good attitude if the laundry is piled higher than normal and the house isn’t as clean as I want. Its a busy season and something has to give! I also need to make sure this season doesn’t go on for too long and our family doesn’t reach burnout!

As wives and/or mothers it is our job to set boundaries and protect busyness from invading. We are the keeper of the calendar. This is an important job and we need to guard those daily squares and provide some rest for ourselves and our family. I realize everyone is different, some thrive with being on the go, where others like myself may need a little more down time. I encourage you to take a step back though and assess where you are and where you want to be. Figure out ways you can adjust. What do you need and what does your family need?  Are you burnt out? Do you need to be saying “no” more? Time is valuable and life is short. Let’s make sure we are being good keepers of the calendar and stewards of our time!