Category Archives: house

Still truckin’

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I realize I’ve been MIA for over a week, which is unusual for me, but wow have we been busy.  In a good way, but good busy is still busy.  On Monday, as I quickly jogged across the library lawn carrying two huge containers of water for our community garden (which, incidentally, we happened to be profiled in the KC Star, with Devan making the front of the local page!), I struggled with the weight of the water and thought how stupid I must look trying to run and I realized that maybe I am missing the point.  Maybe I should take the containers one at a time and walk across the provided concrete sidewalk rather than trying to accomplish my “relaxing activity” in the shortest amount of time possible.  Maybe life is not indeed a race.  Oh, what I am talking about?  The more I manage to cram in a day, the happier I am and the more successful I feel. My life is a never ending to-do list and I am a happy slave to it. Most of the time.

So this past weekend we relaxed.  Not really.  We (Craig) helped Eric and Julie move, toured a nursery for hours in the misty rain (with Leah strapped to me), ripped out a dozen overgrown shrubs from the front yard with the help of Craig’s family and our neighbor, planted our new community garden plot, substitute-taught Sunday School (and survived), hosted an evening cookout, cleaned our house top to bottom (twice), shopped ’til we dropped (okay, just me for that one), cleaned out the fish tank (just me again) and a dozen other mundane tasks.  I’m tired just thinking of it, but it was great fun. And I held up okay, though I did sit out the most physically demanding tasks. And it dawned on me that as everyone else sweated away in the 90 degree heat digging out these awful yews, that perhaps I should stop feeling sorry for myself because of what I can’t do and maybe I should think of how awesome it is that I can’t do some things.  Making homemade ice cream instead of back-breaking labor?  I suppose I can learn to live with that.

(Many thanks again to Craig’s family for helping with that unpleasant task. Especially when they all worked hard and then took off without even staying for the reward dinner.  Work and run.)

And because I can’t sign off without at least a few cute pictures, here is Devan and Leah with our tiny inflatable pool.  Leah stood at the edge of the pool, dipped her hand in the pool water, licked it off, and repeated at least 50 times.  It’s good for immune system, I say.

Haven’t tried pool water? You’re missing out!

And now you probably won’t hear from me again until next week, when my “vacation” is over and I am back at work.  Because staying home with two kids has me completely worn out. 

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My little studio tour

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Lots of quilters and crafters out there in blog land have been sharing their studios/craft spaces lately. I find it incredibly inspiring so I thought I should join in and share my sewing room as well. I hope you don’t mind, I didn’t take the time to “stage” it.

When you head up the stairs and open the door, you are greeted by this:


Let me just point out all of the special features for you. First, the olive green rusty ironing board circa 1970 complete with an outdated and stained silvery sunflower print cover. Pretty sure my mom got this from a garage sale about 30 years ago and somehow it ended up in our house. My sewing table is a teeny little desk that my dad found somewhere for $5 and refinished for me when I was a little girl. It previously held plants and its drawers are still full of manuals for every small appliance we have ever purchased. I also have a card table that my mom gave me for entertaining and now functions as my cutting surface. Jealous yet? Let’s continue..

Ah, the closet. I didn’t want to show you the entire closet because that might be embarassing. I only cleaned up this portion. I store my future projects in a clothing organizer because obviously, I like things neat and tidy. Come to think of it, I might need to pick up a few more of these the next time I am at Target. If you think the closet looks nice, then check out behind the door..
More storage space! Here I keep frames I have no pictures for and a box full of home decor crap that I never should have purchased. It’s important to keep these things close at hand in case I might suddenly need them. Sure would hate to have to open the door and walk five steps to the attic to find any of this junk. Good thing it looks so nice here behind the door. And finally, my fabric storage system and layout space..

Also occasionaly a guest bed in which case, I do bother to neatly file these piles under the bed. And yes, that is a jack-o-lantern and no, I have no clue why it is there. I’m planning on talking Craig into letting me invest in a few more 4$ Sterilite tubs to help upgrade my storage system from the floor, though it sure is easy to see it all when it is laid out like this.

So there you have it, my creative genius at work. Anyone feeling like doing some sewing now? Or perhaps you have the urge to come clean my house? (Please, don’t be shy, come on over.)

On a related note, anyone know of any contests I can enter to win a redesign? I’m thinking I might just be a shoo-in if I show them what it really looks like. You know, before I clean up for pictures.

The Big Nursery Reveal!!!

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It’s a long post, but I have a lot to show you! First off, the BEFORE:

Not bad, but I was tired of the “Carrot Patch” theme. We kept the crib, the dressers, and the shelf on the far wall but started fresh with everything else.

AFTER:


We love it! Lots of love and work went in to this room and there is still some more work to be done. I have a few more pillows and stuffed animals to finish up with fabric I have left from the quilt and we are waiting on maternity (and newborn!) pictures to add to the walls and shelves. I also have a family tree project to finish but we haven’t quite dug up all of the photos yet. But, more important is what we DO have done!

We painted the walls a creamy yellow, Eric installed white crown molding for us, Dad and Craig switched out the black ceiling fan for a white one, and Erica and Craig helped me install the evil decal below. This thing was more of a pain than you could possibly imagine, but in the end if you take pictures from across the room it looks great! You can also see our fake sheepskin rug in this picture as well, it is SOOOOO soft and probably won’t stay white for very long (will I NEVER learn??). I added a striped crib ruffle to coordinate with the quilt, but the bedding isn’t anything too exciting.

This next project is a total copy of an idea I saw on Oh Dee Doh, a site that every parent decorating a nursery has probably spent insane amounts of time browsing! I loved the idea because it would help show off the Nicey Jane fabric that I am so in love with and was quick and easy as well! I am debating adding more because I didn’t use all of the prints, but I don’t want to over-do it either. Opinions?


This shelf is the same as in Devan’s old nursery, only now Craig reinstalled it so it is no longer in danger of falling off the wall. The cup and baby shoes are from when I was a baby, I tried to add lots of family touches to the room wherever possible. And of course, a picture of big brother Devan when he was a week old!

Next is the dresser. Both dressers are furniture from my childhood, I think I picked them out in sixth grade! I went through a phase of hating them but now I love the honey colored wood, even though I know it isn’t in style anymore. There is room for lots of pictures of baby girl here and hopefully I will replace some of the stuffed animals with ones I have sewn, all depending on how long until she arrives..

I found a cute wooden bin at Old Time Pottery to hold all of those little baby toys that we seem to be tripping over all of the time. We will see if it actually helps us keep track of toys and binkies!

And finally, did you notice this? Quite a hint huh? I guess we can’t change our minds now! I used more Nicey Jane fabric for the monogram along with a frame we found at a thrift store. The flower buttons are from the hundreds I have from my Grandmother Jackson. I know it is something tiny, but I love that it will remind me of her when I look at them!



So that’s it, a baby girl nursery with no pink! (Unless you take a peek in the closet, where you would definitely be able to tell that we are having a girl!)

The Before

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And it’s just going to sit out here as a before for quite awhile, as the “After” is at least a few months away from being finished. It would have been even longer but thankfully we have had some help:

Craig is actually almost done painting the nursery, and then the real fun begins. The fabric is on the way, and I am slowly gathering accessories as I find them. I have plans for a big transformation, and I think it is going to be much nicer than the bunny nursery. Even though I did like the bunny nursery.

And now, I am going to leave you all hanging for a few months.

Sit back, and relax

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We pretty much live outdoors most of the year, so it was about time we upgraded our ripped camp chairs to some real patio furniture. I’ve been picky, but it was Craig who actually came across this great set.

Simple, classic, and white. Because we have had really great luck with white in the past and thought this will stay clean without any trouble.


I can’t say it was a bargain exactly, but it looks really cool. And seriously, a Landscape Architect needs to have a totally awesome yard. I wouldn’t have any credibility if I didn’t, right? So step one, check. Now I just need a few thousand dollars worth of plants and a few more thousand for stone and we will have a nice start…

My New Brother

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It’s true, he came into my life last week.

It may seem drastic, but it had just come to that point. And I don’t want you to think that I don’t appreciate the one mom gave me all those years ago but let’s face it, sometimes it just isn’t meant to be.

The issues were just too much: the tension, the constant noise and frustration, unreliability- it just seemed like we were hardly compatible any more. And I know it seems drastic to just get a new brother, but honestly I don’t regret the decision for a second.

My new brother’s name is Maxwell.

The thing is, I’ve decided we are going to spend a lot of quality time together this year. I am really going to get to know him- all of his inner workings and what makes him tick. Maybe that is something I did wrong in the past, but I can’t spend too much time reflecting on the mistakes of of the past when I have so much to look forward to now.

I’m thinking we are going to have a lot of fun together and I have laid out some big plans for this year that I am really excited about. My new brother has taken the stress out of the job situation, something the old one tried to do but never could quite accomplish. I figure if I am jobless again after March, it just means I can spend more time getting to know Maxwell, or Max.

I can’t say enough positive things about Max. I know I’ve just met him, but I can just tell this is going to be a good thing in my life, in all of our lives. It’s just something we needed, and I never knew how much until he was here. Yep, he is living with us now- up in the guest bedroom for now. He isn’t completely settled in yet but we are getting there.

Well, that’s all I had to say for now. It just seemed like something this big is something I need to share with the blog. And I hope you forgive me for glossing over the negative feelings from the past because really, nothing good can come of that. From here on out, there is nothing but Love between my brother and I.

This is where Max will be staying:



Meet Max, my new Brother:


p.s.- Yes, I’m a dork.

p.p.s- The walls aren’t really green, they are a beige-y olive-like khaki.

Good Enough

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In case you were worried about us, the painting is now completed and we have more or less been able to laugh off all of the little blimps along the way. I even was able to scrub most of the paint out of the carpet, and Devan studied what I was doing for awhile then grabbed a towel and started rubbing it around the floor. He certainly does *try* to be helpful.

So yesterday I had him all loaded up in the car ready to go to Home Depot and buy some (cheap) paint for the living room, family room, and hallway. And as I walked around the car to my door the thought entered my head- what in the heck am I thinking?

We went to the park instead.