Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Things do get better with age

So it was my birthday last week. Not the best birthday (35 ugh) but I did get a bunch of birthday cash (money, yay).  So this week I've been spending it all up on a variety of home projects.   I know I know.  Some girls buy shoes. Some girls get their hair done. I buy spray paint and staples.

The first thing on my list was our rusty old swing set that came with the house.  As much as I would LOVE to tear it down, cement over the entire sandbox and put in a killer hot tub, my kids still enjoy it.  So I pulled myself out of my imaginary tub, soaking in the toasty water, breathing in the misty night air, fingers still wrinkled like a raisin and took some money, bought some spray paint and went to town.

It didn't actually turn out as fabulous as I had planned but at least the rust is now covered up.

So on to the next thing on the list:  Kitchen Curtains.

Let me preface this by saying my house has fifty shades of gray in it.  No... not the book, but actual gray.  And I do realize that I need to add some color. So I researched it as much as I could handle on Pinterest and decided that I wanted orange curtains.  They're gorgeous.  If you don't believe me just look it up.  Seriously.  But to find a pair of perfect orange curtains is hard.  Like really hard.  I had decided that the only way to get what I want is to buy the fabric and make them myself.  Yay fun project!  So I wrestled my little 18 month old into the car seat, threw a ponytail on my sweet 5 year olds head and set out for Hobby Lobby.

Well we got there and they didn't have just what I was looking for.  Bummer.  I had come to the conclusion that I would have to take the orange fabric and the neutral fabric I found and sew them together in stripes to get close to the look I was hoping for.  As I'm planning this it starts seeming like a bigger and bigger project as I'm exhausting myself just trying to contain my children into those insanely small blue shopping carts.  Kate is filling up the cart with every kind of fabric bolt she can find and Griffin is constantly fighting me to leave the confinement of the seatbelt.  AHH!

So I drag my cart off to the side, trying to remove our circus act from the fabric area and I turned down the closest aisle, and low and behold (choir singing)...curtains.  Pre-made, stress-free, and 50 percent off curtains.  Now were they orange?  No.  Were they any color?  Not unless you count beige and gray as a color.  But without the right mind to take a step back and contemplate what I really want, I tried to make a rational decision while dealing with the chaos of my children crying and yelling and starting a fire under our cart. (only kidding)

So what did I decide?  I bought the curtains.  I came up with the lovely idea that I could use the money I saved to get fabric for a chair I have been meaning to reupholster.  Just to let you know, I've been meaning to reupholster it for about 6 years now and I've never done it before so...maybe not the best decision.

Anyway, when I got home and could let the natives run free, I started to feel buyers remorse.  WHY DIDN'T I GO ORANGE!?  I really really wanted the orange.  And I might have even ended up in the corner of my kitchen crying because when I asked the hubs about the purchased curtains he said they looked like zebra print.  Zebra print?!  Really?!  Ahh!  And I possibly might have started freaking out because I spent the majority of my money on a re upholstery project that I had no idea what I was doing.  Yeah it was a good time.

Well, long story short...Everything turned out great.

My amazing hubby helped me hang the zebra print curtains and completely made it possible for me to start and finish the  overwhelming chair re upholstery.  He spent hours helping me pull all the stupid staples out of the chair, took pictures of the process so I could reference it when I put it back together and when my staples wouldn't work in my staple gun, he ran down to Home Depot, ten minutes before it was closing and bought me a new gun and about a million staples.  He is THE BEST!!!  My Hero!

And here it is... It's not perfect, but I survived.  I kept thinking if other women can do this then I can do this.  It started out kind of rough, but the truth is that once the staples are removed the rest is cake and so rewarding.  Anyone can definitely do this.  This week I am grateful for a patient, understanding, and helpful husband and I am also grateful for everyone that was able to celebrate my birthday with me and help me have an overall great week.

Love you guys!

Spring Chalkboard

 Easters over.  Time for a quirky spring chalkboard.  Thanks for the help Kate!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

There is nothing better than a surprise.

I realized something this last weekend that I feel I should have realized a long time ago... like a long long long time ago.  Nothing is better than a surprise.  For years I have been trying to elicit excitement from my children by telling them all about whatever it is I am planning for them and have failed miserably.  If I say we are doing something fun, they automatically jump to the most fun thing they could ever imagine, "Are we going to Disneyland?"   If I say I will get them something for accomplishing a goal its always some crazy response like, "Are you getting me a pony?"  Because of this I have just decided to tell them straight out, in vivid detail, just what it is I am planning. This has not worked either. They just complain because its not Disneyland or a pony.

Well this spring break we told the kids that we weren't going to go anywhere because dad needed to save his days off if we were going to take two vacations during the summer.  They all murmured a little and slumped onto the comfortable couch deciding that this is where they were destined to spend the next 5 days.

Little did they know that we were planning a few activities and they wouldn't be able to turn into a couch potato just yet.  Even though I was thrilled that we were not going to be spending the weekend fighting over the Playstation, I was very hesitant to tell the kids about our plans.  Dreading the all too familiar, "Ugh, that's not fun."  So I told Brenden, "Lets not tell the kids.  Lets keep it a surprise."  Brenden was completely on board.  He loves having opportunities to mess with the kids.  haha.

So that is how our Surprise Spring Break came to be.  The first night of spring break we treated it like a normal weekend.  A few snacks, a redbox movie, nothing special.  But in the morning the kids found a plain white envelope taped to the bathroom mirror.  It said nothing more than "open me" on the outside and there was a mysterious clue inside.

It read, "Welcome to Surprise Spring Break.  Your dad and I will be surprising you with different activities through out the weekend.  The first surprise is at 12:00.  Get dressed and meet by the door at noon and be on time."  They loved it!

We did a number of things throughout the break all preceded by a mystery envelope and even though none of them were Disneyland, it felt like it to the kids because of the element of surprise!  Pure genius!  I know a number of the activities we did would have gotten a lack luster response if we had just told them  "Hey we're going to the library."  But instead we got so many, "This is the BEST Spring Break ever!" that I had a perma-grin the whole 5 days.  The kids loved it, we loved it and it will definitely go down as a family memory.

List of what we did:

1.  Lego Movie (in the cushy recliner seats)
2.  SubZero Ice Cream ( we sold this one as mad scientist meets desserts)
3.  Natural History Museum  (This one was just really awesome.  Entertained all the kids for over 4 hours)
4.  Chocolate Tasting at the Museum  (This cost a dollar a person and we got to learn about how chocolate is made and taste different types of chocolate from around the world.  Amazing!)
5.  Johnny Rockets (Can't go wrong with singing waiters and hamburgers)
6.  Game Night and Desserts (This was Sunday night so we didn't want to go out)
7.  Library (exploring for new adventures)
8.  Boondocks  (Bowling, games, and pizza)
9.  Shopping Spree at the Dollar Store  (Just one of those things my kids love)
10.  Going out for Lunch  ( We never do this so it was fun)
11.  Visit to the Pet Store (My Lillie loves animals so any opportunity we have to visit the pet store is a dream to her).

We didn't have to spend a fortune and everyone was happy.  I just had to remind my self to take it all in.
 This doesn't happen very often!  Totally grateful for this years Spring Break and the cuties I got to spend it with!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Well Hello Spring.

There is just something about spring time...  its magical and entrancing, hopeful and renewing.  It's all the little things and all the big things that I adore.

Every year I try to decide whether spring or summer is my favorite season ( I know, I know, rough decisions I make around here).  I keep rationalizing that it has to be summer because I truly do wish that it could be summer all year round, but you know what?  There is something wonderful about anticipation and progression and that's what spring is to me.

As the warm spring sun shines through the grays of late winter, I start to notice all the amazing little wonders that make up this world and my life.  I very much start to feel grateful as my eyes focus on the determined little buds of flowers poking through the thawing ground.  Life.  It begins again.

I focus on the sweet black lambs that are born to our neighboring farm on the hill.  As I leave my home, I smile as I see them hopping and playing behind their mothers.  Life.  Its playful and new and so full of joy.

Its as if the spring rain just envelopes everything that might have gone wrong and washes it clean saying, "Here, try again."    Life.  It's hopeful and I am so grateful.

Something about spring helps me to slow down and focus on the little miracles of life and for that I must always choose spring!  Summer is my vacation, but spring is my life.

Well hello Spring!