Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sometimes I'm Not Lazy.

I've noticed that everything I really want to do in my home these days is an evil combo of hard, expensive, and time consuming.
Frankly, I've felt pretty discouraged.  You can tell, can't you?

Take painting this room, for instance. I just simply don't know how to get up to that ceiling safely.
How long ago did I say I was going to frame in this wall o windows? No, don't answer. Let's just pretend like it was only six months ago.
Getting out my huge, heavy ladder just seemed, daunting. Crazy dangerous. And when I finally pep talked myself into crossing this project off my big list, I remembered why the Jeffro told me I couldn't do this project without another adult present.
Because hello this is high and I might fall and die and my pants are baggy and I thought I was having a decent hair day until I saw this picture.
You can call me a total baby, but it really was scary standing on the last rung of my ladder heaving pieces of trim over my head and managing the nailgun up there.
But it was so, so worth it. Holy cow I love these windows now. I love this room.
Okay so check this out.
When I first put up my pieces of mitered trim, the ends look like so. Now, I know there are lots of ways to "finish" trim, but this way, taught to me by the Daddy-o, is my favorite.
You make mitered cuts, and then you carefully slice off the ends to get these nifty little pieces. I was like a machine mitering and slicing. Mitering and slicing. I needed, let's see, 26 of these to complete my wall o windows.
And then instead, with the help of these little pieces and just a little wood glue, your trim looks like this now.
This entire, battered stairwell could use a repainting and don't you judge me. It's on the to-do.

Man this room has seen a lot of changes over the years.

It's funny how I just had this mental block about getting this whole thing done. It felt like a ton of work (and it was), and it felt dangerous (and it was). But once I was determined, and I found myself hauling in the air compressor and strapping on the ole nailgun, it was like, I don't know,

lunch with an old friend.  

Took me hours upon hours to spackle 'n paint, but it was actually funsies. I put on some old 80's movies to listen to (and attempted not to stop and watch at times), carried up a smallish bowl of gummy bears, worked my way around the room, and just went to town.

My favorite spot? New and improved stairwell windows:

(Window area before)

And now. So much better.
This has opened a serious can of worms. The hubs was trying to help me by carrying out the ginormo ladder, and I'm like,
"No, but thanks. Leave it in here."
I can't even, I don't even know where to start with all the things I want to change around in this area, now.
But I'm pretty excited.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Good Thing We're Perfect.

Do you know what I think is so interesting about blogging?

I could just put up all my pretty, carefully chosen pictures from the trips we just took, and we could look all happy and like we had just the time of our lives with no care in the world--

Rainbows 'n unicorns.  Sunshine 'n cool drinks.

I could make us look like that family.  Perfect-ish.  I could leave out that the kids whined and moaned all through Chinatown,

And one of my kids was a total pill and tried to make me promise I wouldn't make him go on a trip again for a long time and I threw up my hands and repeatedly said something along the lines of,

"What kid complains about going on a cruise?? That is so messed up!"

Or, you know, I could leave out the tired, mega-meltdown #4 had on the beach. I could not mention that the boat rocked incessantly on the way home, and one night I could barely sleep because of it.

I could leave out all the yelling and how I still can't decide if I was disciplining too much or too little, and why do you kids have to act like little idiots if we get anywhere near an escalator or elevator, hello?

Calm down. Stop climbing crap. Help me pull some freaking luggage-- no mom cannot pull five pieces by herself, duh.

My son didn't accidentally kick a stranger's bike helmet off a bench and into the ocean,

and an airplane passenger ahead of Thing 3 didn't turn around and ask him to stop kicking his chair.

My oldest didn't yell he hated me in a random South Carolina gas station.

 No, my daughter did not color on the dining room tablecloth.


There was no fighting. No smacking, no kicking, no pinching.
No one peed their pants. No one barfed in the rental car.

And I never, ever, scratched my head and wondered what the hades was wrong with me when I planned and spent that much dough for this. Nope.

Nothing but good, wholesome memories over here.

Yeah. We're pretty amazing. We're sorry you're not us, too. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

I've Always Wanted To Do This.

Do you know what I've always wanted? ("Always" being a relative term?)
I want this ultra cozy bed. People, I love to sleep. I love to sleep, and I love to dream. I have a dream journal, because I am an ultra nerd.
Don't you hate it when people, like, tell you all about their dreams forever, and you're like Lloyd Christmas, and you're all, "I don't know. . . and I don't CARE. . . "
Sometimes I do that. (My favorite dreams are the ones where I like live in a castle-house and I get lost in my own place and it's so weird and crazy and awesome there I fit that in there.)
Lest we forget, let us revisit my boudoir and the current sleeping arrangement that is the Jeffro and I and my king-sized bed:
(As always, I'm curled up on the right. Actually I've more recently adapted this picture so that my husband more sleeps on a steep angle towards me, thus leaving more of the sea of bed on his side. But I can't find that more accurate craptacular drawing and I'm supposed to be cooking dinner right this second and it's called priorities, people.)
So here was my so sad bed for the last couple years.
I still totally loved it-- the white was actually working out, even if it isn't so white, and my pillows are squashed to total pancakes, and that's to be expected, BUT
my bed is wearing high waters. It's gimpy. Also someone doesn't know how to tuck in their top sheet even for a picture and that's totally trashy. Why does a king-sized comforter have to be questioned? I assumed a king-size meant it would actually hang over the bed more than a few inches. But that's just me. Going around assuming.
So I saw this article on Pinterest:
And the quest for the most cozy, whisper sweet nothings in my ear type of bed was revived.
So the picture of the bed above was one of my faves, and so was this one,

and this one.

What do these three pictures have in common, I ask myself?
Neutral tones, which we all know I love. "Bor-ing" (sing-song voice). And pa-lenty of textures, and most importantly, faux fur. It must be done.
I can't spend a lot, people. I'm on a budget (which I've already totally blown in freaking January but I don't want to talk about it.) Don't expect a ton from me, okay.
So here's what I did: I measured my "king-sized" current comforter and realized that the new one need be over 100 inches at least, dang it,
and then I hit Ikea to scout for cheap fur and then on to Target for new neutrals. And it was totally fun.
Couple things, here-- I love this bed. I love it. You don't have to love it, and that's okay, because you don't sleep in it. But I love it.
(Sidenote: can you see that random orange pillow on my window seat? I was throwing in some orange here and there into the boudoir. Ask me how that went. It didn't.)
Anyways, so the messier (within reason) this bed is, the more it calls to me. It still has to look made "ish", but if it's like turned down and looks like someone snuck into it and pretended they didn't, like pillows are kind of helter skelter and stuff, then I love it all the more. The fur rug is right where I pray and I totally love that, and my sheets aren't so white and that's totally embarrassing but not embarrassing enough to care. They're clean okay and that's what matters.
Currently trying to talk the hubs into a hardwood floor in here. What do you think about only one room being done in hardwood for the time being? Strange?
So here's to dragging my behind out of bed in the morning for a freezing cold and dark jog. Wish me luck. And also, I'm taking a couple vacays over the next couple weeks so I'll see you in a while. Have a good one, and don't break into my house because it's not vacant and the occupant has an itchy trigger finger. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

6 Things About Motherhood I Wish I Knew Back Then & Wish I Could Stop Re-Learning.

I've been mulling over mommyhood for months now. Well, I mull over it all the time (don't get me started on my Mother's Day issues), but even more so in the last little bit.
Let me 'splain. No, let me sum up:
I have several mommy friends and have heard of several other women who are struggling with depression and hard times as a mom. It makes me sad. It makes the wheels in my noggin start spinning, and I've got a list I've been compiling in the ole journal.
I love lists. Are you like oddly obsessed with lists like I am? If a post title begins with a number, I'll read it. I just have to. It's not the law, but it might as well be.
This is stuff I've learned the hard way. Stuff I'm still trying to learn, and stuff I constantly am relearning. People, I kind of suck as a parent. Anyone who knows me well probably has their own list of pet peeves for things I do wrong ("she's overprotective, she's a pushover, she lets her kids have too much screen time, and. . . ") and probably want to hand me a parenting book or at least smack me on the back of the head with it.
Maybe I deserve it. I've had pa-lenty of mommy meltdowns even here on thee ole blog, but I honestly can say that I freaking love my job here in this house. Love it. Sometimes I seriously screw it up, and I definitely complain too much, but I do truly love it. It's the only thing I've got going for me, okay?
This is crap I've learned from better, smarter women than me. Stuff I'm still trying to learn. Let's do this.
6 Things About Motherhood I Wish I Knew Back Then & Wish I Could Stop Re-Learning.
1. This May Not Be Your Season.
I'll never forget a bloggy buddy I had about five years ago who confided in me that she absolutely hated being a mom. She was miserable, she felt she'd made the wrong choice, and every day at home with her little teeny boys was drudgery and she was really struggling.
You know what my momma taught me?
This may not be your season.
I know people who adore babies and could not look more natural caring for a newborn. I have an aunt who loves and protects my toddlers and when they move out of toddler-hood, she jokes that I can have them back and stick a fork in her, she's done.
I, personally, look back at pictures of my life when I had children all under the age of six, and feel conflicting emotions:
1. That totally sucked
2. Oh my heck I totally miss my sweet little babies
But honestly, mostly it's "that totally sucked".  Guess what? I'm not really a toddler mom. I was trying to do my best, I thought they were super cute, and I thought it was really hard. And I'm a ton A TON happier now with the ages of my kids. Things are so much easier. I love my kids' ages right now. Love.
I'm just saying if you're struggling, do you your best right now, and I have it on good authority from wiser moms than me that you may totally rock your mom jeans with a different age group. Take heart.
2. Stop Feeling Guilty.
Hehehehe. Heh. You need to know right now that my whole life is motivated by guilt. I cleaned the entire house today. I feel guilty I didn't do _____.  I didn't clean much today. I feel guilty because I should've cleaned more. Too much time in the garage. Guilty. Too much time doing nothing. Guilty. Too little time with kids. Too much time with kids. Whatever I do, I somehow feel guilty.
I'm a mom, therefore, I feel guilty.
This is more for me than it is for you. Gosh I'm selfish. But I'm only one person. I am doing my best. Guilt isn't really helping me. It's just nagging and annoying and I'm sick of it. Let's be sick of it together.
3. Kids Are Just Little Adults.
I joke that the only thing I excel at is mediocrity. It's true. One gift I've been given from God, however, is that I love kids. I love my kids. I love your kids. Doggone it, I And I see all kids as little adults.
This doesn't mean I think kids should or are capable of making adult decisions. And it definitely doesn't mean I don't get annoyed with some kids sometimes. But I get annoyed with adults, too. In short, I get annoyed with people. Kids are people. They are small-sized adults. Just like adults, they are worthy of my respect, my attention, and my time.
Have you ever noticed how quick society is to judge children? How easily we criticize a child's shortcomings? I'm an adult, and I have a lot of issues. So if I have a lot of issues, why wouldn't a kid, who has far less life experience than me, have issues?
Start seeing kids as little adults. Give them the respect you'd give a stranger at the grocery store.
4. Sometimes You Need To Do The Opposite.
At the risk of sounding like a huge whiner, I'm gonna tell a whiny story.
The Jeffro was out of town a ton, I had 4 kids six and under, I couldn't go to the bathroom without interruption, getting even a gallon of milk at the store was major chaos, and in short, I was falling apart caring for the five of us by myself for days on end.
Guess what I did to try and compensate? I was trying to take "me" time. Me time is important. It is. That's not what #4 is about. But I went about it the wrong way. I wanted to be left alone as long and as much as I could. I tuned out my children. I snapped at them. I would try to be on a different floor of the house as them, I did everything I could to avoid doing anything involving my kids.
I needed to do the opposite. I needed to stop running away.
I felt a strong impression that I was making things worse. I thought by tuning out my kids and mentally running away that I was going to finally get my break. I was so, so wrong. The healing thing that gave me my second wind was tuning back into my children. Sitting with them. Being with them. Interacting.
5. Play On Your Strengths.
My mother and sister absolutely excel at teaching their children. My sister's kids are so motivated and confident in their learning-- they can read at a young age, they're little whippersnappers.
I have a friend who is amazing at planning and preparing meaningful family time: vacations filled with learning activities, trips that teach history, stay-cations at museums and parks. . .she rocks my world.
I have a friend who is so consistent and orderly, that everything seems to just fall right into place for her. She's on top of like, everything. She's got her shiz together.
These are not my forte. But I'm good at other stuff. I got some skills.
Play on your strengths. Own it.
My mom finds cooking to be a mundane and unfortunately necessary chore. Mom: #2. Also, lotsa people agree with you. No shame!
I had a friend who once expressed shame for not being crafty. Teehee.
Do you think I'll be judged in heaven for not being able to use my sewing machine?
6.  Priorities.
I've recently decided that nothing, no way, no how can interfere with family dinner. I don't care how worthwhile the activity is, if you want me to be gone during my dinner hour it's not going to happen.
I've already talked too much, so let me be brief. You be boxers:
My family is my top priority. For the most part, I put them at the top of the list. But only I can look at myself and see that I spent hours (plural) total over the course of a day, on my phone. This is my true, current problem I'm having. I go to bed at night saying, "Where did the day go??" feeling frustrated that I didn't do this or this, but I could have been found reading an hour's worth of celebrity gossip with my phone glued to my hand in the afternoon.
Only I can decide how to use my time. No more excuses for me. 
This sums up today's list. Stay strong, moms. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Every Self Respecting Girl Should Have One.

I'm just going to start right off asking the question I promised I wouldn't ask:
Can one have too many built-ins??
I know I said I wouldn't cut into my drywall again. I said and said and said those words- I said them, but I lied them. (Dr. Seuss).
I currently have four built-ins. Count 'em.
You can point out that the "EAT" is off-center. But I'd wear a cup first.
Number 2. In the master bath.

Also in the master bath. Yep, brass shower. You're jealous.
And finally, the "command center".
Okay. Hold that thought. Let us move on.
A great friend had a great idea of building a nail polish shelf for her daughter for Christmas. Have you seen this awesomeness around?! I'm probably the last person to know about such awesomeness, but check out how it turned out:
Total.Cuteness. Right? Every self respecting girl should have one.
I want one. I don't have that much nail polish because my nails are typically broken and covered in paint flecks, but I'm thinking spots for perfume, too. Possibly even jewelry? Maybe hair products? The possibilities are endless!
So this Christmas gift ended up being something that Jeffro and I got to help out with. And when I say Jeffro and I, I really mean I made all the cuts and Jeffro put it all together and kind of pushed me out of the way. Which is cool 'n all.  I just wish I could somehow harness this positive energy I never knew he had into our house projects, because he typically gives the impression he'd rather have his gums scraped.
It's like we're making a wooden flag, yes? That would be totes cute, too.
Here it is nearly done.
And just in case you want to make this adorable nail polish shelf too, I'm going to go ahead and give you a shopping and cut list. You're welcome.
Shopping List
(3) pieces of 1x2 MDF trim @ 8ft. long
(1) piece of beadboard cut to size (*optional*. This can be placed directly on the wall with no extra backing)
Optional pieces of moulding of your choice to go along the shelves to act as a lip that holds polish in.
Cut List
2 - 1x2 @ 23 3/4" (sides)
5 - 1x2 @ 36" (bottoms and three of the shelves)
1 - 1x2 @ 24"  (shorter shelf)
1 - 1x2 @ 8 5/8" (This is the one vertical piece inside)
30 minutes of assembly time, and a bajillion torturous hours of painting (or at least it feels like it unless you like torture),
And bam.
I want one!
Now let us revisit the question of built ins--
I would love to carve out a space in this vanity area and inset into the wall my polish and perfumes. I promise I could make room. Can I, huh huh? HUH?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This Year Let's Resolve To Make Better Bad Decisions.

First off, I want this sweatshirt, and it pretty much sums up how I'm feeling.
I hope you are having a fan-freaking-tastic holiday vacay. The Jeffro's home, the kiddos are home, the fam dam is in town, and we're moving from one partay to the next. It's been awesome.  I actually feel like I'm attempting to gain weight these last two weeks. It's this insane combo of fun/totally out of control. Because as we all know, every pizza is a personal pizza if you put your mind to it. Also, want one of these donuts? Becase they aren't going to eat themselves.
(If you're a nerd you laughed)
Prior to 2013, I thought new year's resolutions were totally lame-o.  I don't know what happened post 2012, but suddenly, BAM--
I am obsessed with making (and occasionally breaking) goals. Seriously it's so awesome. I thrive off this crap lately. I love it.
Just in case we haven't been friends long,
I should explain that 2013 was the year of the great "SPENDING CLEANSE". It was awesome. Thanks to my tightening of the belt and reigning it in, we saved a sweet slice o money, I didn't buy any clothing for myself for the entire year, and no one really noticed because I dress so poorly on a daily basis anyway.
Then came 2014, and just for the record it's like I went on a binge and undid the "SPENDING CLEANSE" with kind of sort of at times it was like the great "SPENDING BINGE". Sort of. At times. Occasionally I had some problems wandering around at Target down the kitchen aisles.  
Plus I spent a small fortune on the backyard project. And I don't regret it, okay? Gosh.
So anyways.
I want to go on record saying that 2014 was a year of awesome. No one got hurt, no one got seriously ill, overall, it was a fantastic year. It really was. I can only hope and pray 2015 will be just as fun. The main 2014 goal was:
It didn't go well. It did, but it didn't. It did in that I reminded myself a ton of times that I was going to chill and live in the now. And several times I dropped what I was doing and went out and flew kites with my kids at the park and it was totally awesome or forgo that shower right then to push a kid around on their trike. But then I sucked it all up by being all uptight and control-freak ish and sometimes I want to punch myself in the face for the things I do. . .
So CHILL is definitely on my mind this year. Again.
Last year, just a small FYI that no one gives a poo about-- one of my goals was to read the scriptures 365 days of the year. Barring some crazy forgetfulness on my part tomorrow morning, I succeeded in reading every single day of the year. In fact, I read the Old Testament this year.  Every single word. From covereth to covereth. Go me.
But back to new stuff.
Can we talk money? Let's talk money. I don't think I need to get all crazy and spending cleanse ish, but I do want to save a serious amount of dinero this year.  My goal is to sock away $30,000. And I don't get to count what we get back from our tax return, so I'm going to have to put in a big ole effort. This means cutting back on a lot. No trips to Target. Gonna pretty much not step foot in Costco. Less patronizing of my local chinese joint.  It's gonna get rough at times. I'm up for it.
Other money related goal:
actually, this should just be considered a test. A scientific experiment, if you will. Every single dollar bill that gets put into my hand will be added to my dollar jar.
I just wanna see how much actual cash passes through my hands. And I cannot take it out for any reason. Not to hurry and pay someone, not for the ice cream man, nothing. What I'm saying is, if someone hands me over cash because they owe me or whatevs, it's not going in my wallet, it's going in the dang jar.
It's ridiculous things like these that keep me excited about life, folks.
Other random goals I've made and mostly promise to keep in 2015?
*I'll be embarrassing myself with a video of my violin playing before I hit my two year lessons mark
*I solemnly swear to finish up two major projects that are hanging over my head in this house, namely:
-The other arch in my living room (Oh my GOSH I do not want to do that)
-The really high windows in the family room will get trimmed out in the moulding that's been sitting in the garage for 4+ months (somebody come hold the ladder for me)
*I'm very excited to makeover my staircase and put down stair trim AND nice new fabulous stained stair treads
*The living room is getting this freaking awesome (can one overuse the word "awesome"? I think not, and yet I'm sure I have) crown moulding treatment extravaganza. Wait for it. It's down the road a ways because I have to kick my own A into doing the arch first, but wait for it.
*I'm shooting for 900 miles ran by moi in 2015. That's gonna be tough for me. But it's gonna happen.
So, that's some of 2015 excitement, right there. It's gonna be a good one, y'all.