Wednesday, August 3, 2016

One year later...

I'm alive!

It's been almost exactly one year since I wrote in here...  Just a few things have changed since then.

Michael got a new job.  We moved to a new town (the town we moved away from 5 years ago actually).  We bought a new house.  Oh, and we had another baby...  A boy.  


We have three kids.  Life is crazy.  

I am pretty positive my last post was the day I found out I was pregnant with Levi actually.  I'm amazed I could even focus on writing anything.  I was just a little bit surprised by the whole thing... :)

We've been in our house for over 8 months already but I feel like we just got here.  Maybe because we're finally just starting to get things the way we want them.  Getting closer at least.

I miss the cuteness of our old house so much, but this feels like home.  The girls don't even remember living there already which is a little sad, but good I guess.

We were kind of rushed into picking a house, which I might just be bitter about for the next 20 years or so but what are you gonna do? ;)  This wouldn't have been my first choice if we had had more time to look, but that's alright I guess.  We have a house to live in and we're all happy and healthy so I'm good.

The people who lived here before us had some seriously questionable taste though.  The outside of the house is yellow with black shutters... the basement was bright yellow with black trim.  The main floor was a mustardy yellow and two different shades of green?  The bedrooms upstairs were navy, green and grey.  The basement bedroom is green with black trim.  Our master bathroom was a yellowy orange.  Two of the other bathrooms were an orangeish brown.  The basement bathroom is a little bit of a disaster.  The kitchen cabinets, backsplash and counters all clash terribly and it hurts my eyes to look at it every single day. I just don't even know...

It was not attractive.  At all.  

But as of a couple of weeks ago I've painted over every single wall in this house that needed painting.  Which was basically all of them.  I've also painted all of the woodwork. I did not paint our bedroom because it is grey and I like it well enough that I won't be messing with it.  Maybe someday, but not anytime soon. I really don't like painting, so getting all of that done is a pretty big deal.  We also got new carpet upstairs and it feels soooo good and made a huge difference.

Sometimes I feel like we should have more done by now, but considering the fact that I was pregnant when we moved in (and got us unpacked in less than a week, thank you very much) then had a baby and now still trying to figure out how to have three kids... I think we've done pretty good.

Some day soon we'll paint the kitchen cabinets and hopefully get a new backsplash, and then later on a new countertop.  We're also going to put cute new hexagon tiles on the fireplace surround once we actually order the tiles and figure out how to do it.   

I'm already so much happier with this house with all of the painting that got done, but it's so fun to get to choose more and more things to change to make it even better.  I could make a list of everything I still want to do, but it would be very very very long.

 Yesterday I was looking at pictures of the house that Michael took when we had our home inspection done and it looks so different... which makes me happy.  I am excited to see how it looks after we've been here for a bit longer and we stop adding new family members...

I'll post some comparison pictures one of these days once I take them.  Our house would have to be clean first though and that doesn't happen very often.

Levi is the cutest stinking boy.  He's 3 months old now and amazing, but he was not my favorite baby of the 3 for the first 5 or 6 weeks because he was just always fussy.  Now it's a very tough competition.  I'll still give Claire the Easiest Baby award, but they were all pretty great.  He's super happy and talks/screeches/coos all.the.time.  Adorable.

Claire just turned 3 and is so sweet and the biggest chatterbox and will be your best friend 5 minutes after you meet her, but she is also crazzzzzzzzzy.  Like seriously crazy.  Or I'm just crazy because of her.  I don't know which one.  Good thing she's so cute.  

Natalie is 4 1/2 and hilarious/weird and a little smarty pants who TAUGHT HERSELF TO READ 2 months after she turned 4 years old.  That's when we realized she was reading at least and not just memorizing things.  Now she can read absolutely anything you put in front of her... it's so cool.  But she's still Natalie and she's dramatic and can't control her emotions sometimes :)  She also thinks every toy in life belongs to her lately which is super fun.  Then Claire likes to run up and take away the toys that actually ARE hers just to start trouble and then cries when she gets in trouble for it. 

Oh my life. 

But look how cuuuute:

My babies on Mother's Day.  Before all of the painting happened.

 My pretty flower girls!

 I wish I could look this pretty while I'm asleep.

 I love this boy.

 Claire loves him 95% of the time.  If she's already grumpy and if he's anywhere near her she'll say "I don't want Levi to look at me!" and get mad at him and cry hysterically... or something equally ridiculous. 
Love love love. 

Again, on Daddy's birthday.

Happy boy!

Claire's third birthday party with the newly painted walls.

I kinda like these people and this little life of mine.  It's a good one.

Maybe I'll start writing in here more now that I've started again...  I'll try.  


Friday, August 14, 2015

Kids Kitchen Makeover

I am pretty excited about this little project.  I've been wanting the girls to have a "real" kitchen for a long time.  I almost got one for Christmas last year and really regretted not getting it, so I finally just bit the bullet and bought it after the price dropped a bit recently.

This was my favorite thing to do as a kid and I have so many memories of playing house in our basement with my dolls and all of our kitchen stuff, so that's probably why I'm as excited about it as I am.  And I try to force the girls to love it as much as I would if I were them :)  

So here it goes.

This is what it looked like before:

I already knew what I wanted to do with it, which helped, so I immediately took out all of the pieces that I knew I was going to want to paint and did that right away.

The only pink piece that I didn't get to paint is the small board to the left of the microwave door.  I actually started taping over each individual button and then decided I just didn't care that much :)  I would have been so frustrated if I had gone through all of that and then the paint bled or something.  So, it stayed pink and it looks alright.  I'd prefer it to be white, but oh well.  If it bothers me enough maybe I'll do something about it, but probably not.  

After all of the pieces were painted and dry, I got to work putting it together.  I started at about 8:30 one night and finished around midnight.  I am positive I could have done it faster but I was taking my time and also used a regular screwdriver for the whole thing... If I had been smarter I would've realized I could have used a drill and saved some serious time and sanity.

Before I show the pictures of the finished kitchen I feel like I need to make an excuse about our ugly basement walls.  They make everything super unphotogenic.  And green.  Not cool. 

But anyways, here it is!  I am pretty happy with it and I'm glad it done so I can stop thinking about it :)  I've been planning it in my head for months and months.  Phew.  Now there's room for some other things in there.  Like how we now have cable again for the first time in years and we still watch the same stuff we were watching before...

Ok, pictures:

I found the small basket at Hobby Lobby and it fit perfectly.  I made the basket liner and the little towel.

 I put one of these lights in the fridge and the oven.  I saw that on another play kitchen redo someone did at some point while I was planning this thing and thought it was such a cute idea.  The fridge light shuts off when you close it, but the oven was a little tricker.  The light turns on when it's shut and when it's open, so for the light to actually stay off the door has to be cracked open slightly.  There's also a switch on it, but I haven't worried about it too much because it stays put when I just leave it open a little bit.  

I love the gold glittery box I found to fit under the microwave too, but it's overflowing with play food... I'm going to have to figure out somewhere else to put some of it.

Kristin made the cookies in the oven, and the donuts on the counter.  And the cute yellow and white apron.

 I used this Rifle Paper Co. gift wrap from Paper Source and I am in LOVE with it.  I want to put it everywhere...

 I put a new picture frame on the fridge for the chalkboard using command strips.  The picture frame that came with it was smaller than what it shows on the website, but I knew I was going to change it anyways so that wasn't a big deal.  But the one that came with it was TINY.  I also put two hooks on the side for aprons or whatever.  I am not a huge fan of those hooks actually, but they work.  I got them at Hobby Lobby and painted them glittery white.

I crocheted the cactus and want to make 500 more.

 Chalkboard slogan courtesy of Natalie... I asked what to write and that's what she told me.  Hilarious.

I made new curtains and used some flags that have been hanging around our house for about a year and a half.  I figured I better make use of a few if I'm going to continue storing a huge pile of them.


I couldn't get a good picture of these chairs to save my life.  But this is the fabric I used and I think it's stinking adorable.  It is definitely more off white in person than it looks in the picture below, but not as off white/yellow as the picture above.  

 The table top is glittery but I can't take any pictures where you can actually tell.  It's not super glittery, but enough to notice in real life.
 Here's what the chairs and table used to look like:

I'm pretty happy with everything!  I really think it turned out cute and they seem to like it so far and I think they will be able to really grow into it.  It better last a while because it exhausted me to get all set up :)  I love doing stuff like this though so I'd do it all over again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Claire is Two!!!

  Well, Claire is two years old today and it is blowing my mind. 


I may or may not have cried this morning when I was holding her and telling her about when she was born.  Oh my heart.

(here is her birthday slideshow that I feel pressured to make, but also secretly love doing)

Where has the time gone??? Wasn't Natalie just turning two?  Wasn't Claire JUST BORN???  Wasn't Natalie just born?  How old am I?


We had her birthday party on Saturday.  She had a great day despite going to the Emergency Room the night before.  She was in a box (?) on the love seat on the back porch and fell off.  She either bit her lip or hit it, or both, and busted her lip open.  I was at Walgreens getting medicine because I had a terrible cold and got a call from Michael with Claire screaming in the background.  My mom and I got home and found them both covered in her blood.  I took one look at her lip and decided she needed to get it checked out.  I'm glad my mom was here so she could stay home with Natalie.

Claire's lip looked really deep to me and I didn't feel comfortable just deciding for ourselves whether or not she needed stitches, so off we went.

 The nurse that saw her seemed to think she would need some, but after the doctor checked her out she said it wasn't deep enough to need stitches and lips heal on their own really well.  So, that was a relief.  She didn't even cry on the way there so it wasn't like it was too terribly scary or traumatizing as far as that goes.  I always imagine drives to the emergency room to be awful, but this was ok.  However, she did scream her brains out as soon as we got back into the room with the nurse because she haaaaaates doctor's with a passion (she goes to her two year check up tomorrow, it will be a blast). But, she was fine.  She got a popsicle and we didn't have to hold her down while she got stitched up so it turned out pretty well for us all.  I was so relieved that she was fine. 

She is the best.  She's so loving and sweet and hilarious and goofy and fun and just all the good things you could ever imagine.  She is definitely still a little stinker sometimes of course, but man... I just want to keep her this age for the rest of my life.  She makes me so happy.


I don't even know what to say about her.  I wish I had kept up with writing about the girls more.  They are my favorite things ever.  Being their mom is the most ridiculous blessing and I can't get over the fact that I get to hang out with them all day every day.  It's totally exhausting and totally awesome.  I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.  They are the best kids ever. 


Claire has her 2 year appointment tomorrow so we'll see how teeny tiny she is.  I can definitely tell she's gained weight but I have no guess as to how much.  She's still shorter than every other 2 year old I see, and most 18 month olds... I just love that she's such a little munchkin.


She loves her sister so incredibly much, but she's also a big troublemaker.  She starts 97% of the fights between the girls.  Natalie has gotten to the point where she's more reasonable about things and will talk it out (not always of course) and ask/tell  Claire to stop doing things if she doesn't like it, but Claire just goes nuts and immediately starts to scream so there's no chance of having a conversation with her.


 I usually have to take her away from Natalie and then talk to her.  Whenever she's "in trouble" or getting talked to about something she was doing that she shouldn't have been doing, she looks so sad and just nods her head constantly while you're talking like she's really listening and understanding and knows she was being a punk.  Oh I just love her.


She does and says so many hilarious things lately, she cracks me up all day long.  Even though she is the fight starter, she's also just the sweetest little love bug ever.  I'm so happy I got a little cuddle buddy because Natalie wasn't ever very cuddly.  She just wanted to go off and do her own thing right away.  Claire loves to sit and be held and twirl my hair.  She's done that since she was a baby and she still does it all the time.  It's just such a habit now.  As soon as she gets close to me she reaches out for a handful of my hair.  It makes my heart happy.


She will be the first one to tell you she's tiny.  She always announces it randomly.  Yesterday coming downstairs from putting Natalie to bed she was saying "I'm so tiny.  I'm teeny tiny Claire Bear.  I'm so cuuuute."  No idea where she gets that from...  It couldn't possibly be that her mom thinks she's the cutest little tiny lady ever and hears it pretty frequently... The picture above was probably my favorite moment of the party.  When she opened the shoes we bought her she made the face she makes every time she talks about something being cute and little and said "I got teeny tiny shoes!".  Ugh.  I could eat her up.  The shoes are teeny tiny and still too big for her.  Hilarious.


She is still obsessed with her pacifier unfortunately.  We were trying to break her of it for a little while and then she got a terrible terrible rash so we gave it back to her to try to help her feel a little better.  Since then I've just been letting her have it... I don't like her to have it during the day but sometimes she sneaks one and sometimes I just forget about it, so she's still using it pretty often.  Like the picture below... It hadn't been taken away yet.


Some day she'll give it up.  No idea when that will be.

(two of her cute presents: a shopping cart and one of the adorable donuts kristin knitted for her)
She's gone potty on the toilet a few times recently which I find hilarious.  She did it once today and it just cracks me up.  She wants to sit on it a lot to be like her big sister I think, but sometimes when she's in the bath tub (or if someone else is going) she'll say she wants to go potty.  So I put her on it and then she actually goes...?  So weird.  I'll take it though.  We aren't actually going to start potty training her for a while, but maybe she'll get the hang of it right away since she is already showing an interest and knows when she needs to go.  We'll see.  In like 6 months.


Basically she just makes me so happy and proud and all sorts of sappy feelings.  I love her so much.  I'm so so so so so so thankful she's mine.  God gave us a pretty amazing gift when He gave us that girl.  She brings SO much joy and laughter to our family and I am forever grateful for the past two years with her.  She's amazing and so special and the perfect little fit for us.


Happy second birthday, beautiful girl.  I love you I love you I love you.

I'll go rock her to sleep and cry now.

Best two years ever.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Three Years Old


This little girl of ours turned three today, and she is the best thing ever.  


This will probably mostly be picture heavy, because there's just too much to say about her that I might not even try.  She's so awesome.  She has grown up so much this past year, and I literally can't even put into words how much I love her or how much joy it brings me to spend my days with her and Claire.  Seeing every new thing they learn and hearing every new thing they have to say.  It's the best.  I am so blessed to get to be here and have this life with them.

She has had some rough days lately with some extreme grumpiness and not so nice behavior.  I'm hoping this isn't how her life as a three year old is going to go.  It has not be pleasant.  The last few days have been better than last week was, but still not great.  She wasn't feeling well last week, and maybe that ickiness is still lingering and causing her grouchy little attitude.  Let's hope she feels better soon if that's the case!

I couldn't love her more though.  Even when she's being a stinker and getting in trouble, she still just wants a hug from me.  She comes to me for everything.  I get so worried about her when I'm not around, because I am her comfort.  I love that so much, but also wish she'd let other people love her up like she lets me.  


Claire is majorly in love with her, as we all are.  Natalie loves Claire too, but isn't nearly as loving towards her as I would like :)  

She's still a picky eater, but it doesn't worry me quite as much as it used to... I keep thinking some day she'll figure out that food is delicious, but so far it hasn't happened.  She stopped napping a few months ago but still goes up to her room for rest time every day.  I need it, and so does she.  She sits in bed and reads books to herself the entire time.  She flips through and recites what she has memorized, otherwise she just makes it up.  It's my favorite thing ever to listen to the stories she makes up.

(We celebrated by making a nest and watching Tom and Jerry Christmas episodes and eating popcorn for dinner.  That's my kind of birthday!  We also drove around to find a house whose lights were timed to the Frozen soundtrack.  She slept through it.  I enjoyed it though :) )

She basically narrates her life.  She'll say something and then say "Said Nat" right afterwards.  It's so hilarious and awesome.  She hit her head on a chair one time and was genuinely sad and crying a little bit, but she still managed to pause to say "cried Natalie in her house" then resumed crying.  I find her pretty amusing.

She just impresses me on a daily basis.  I love her so much.  I'm so excited for her to get older and just be my little buddy, and to teach her things and have long conversations with her... but don't think I haven't watched her first and second year slideshows with tears in my eyes this week.  Multiple times.  

I'm in the process of making her third year slideshow and I'm wondering how many more years I can keep this up :) Not many, probably.  Also, the sappy songs are killers but that's kind of the point of being a mom right?  Just being a sappy puddle of love for your kids?  I'm there.

I love her so much.  I hope she knows it, even when I'm not happy with how she's acting.  I hope she knows I just want to sneak into her room and hug her at night and how I want to just hug her all day long and run my fingers through her long wild hair...  Tonight when we were putting her to bed, I finished the two (too long) books I read her and then she said "Mom, you can sleep with me" and I really really wanted to do it... but Claire was still up and I have other things to do, and I don't really want to go to sleep at 8 o'clock.  Normally she's in bed at 7:30, but we were off tonight.  

I just don't want her to grow up on me... but I also can't wait.  It's confusing.  I can't wait to see who she becomes.  Hopefully the past week isn't a glimpse into the future, but rather a shortly lived phase.  Let's pray it's the latter.  I need it to be.  If that's not the case I'm going to have to have some lessons in patience.  I just want her to grow up and be happy and kind and loving and have a heart for God as huge as His heart is for her. 


Ok, this was more writing than I intended to do, but there's just too much goodness about her.  I wish I had been writing here throughout the past year.  There's so much that happened and so much I've already forgotten.  I'll try to be better from year 3-4.  

Anyways.  Happy happy happy birthday to my beautiful little Natalie!  My three year old.  I love her more than I ever thought possible. 

Oh, and Michael built me a mantle!!!!!!

I'm obsessed.
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