Tuesday, March 26, 2013

For parents.....

Everyone who has a small child really needs to read this article. Like, today, right now. Toddlerhood is wonderful and fascinating and surprising and exhausting. It's not easy to discipline. It's not easy to know which limits have to be set every time or which can bend a little bit for a special day. It's not easy to know when to give up the nap and then have everyone miserable during dinner because MELTDOWN MODE is on. It's not easy to practice manners at home and then have your child ignore all those teachings in public. It's not easy to have all the time in the world to play when in the back of your mind you've got to make dinner, do laundry, do yardwork, clean the house, etc. It is amazing to see them learn. It is amazing the hysterical things that come out of their mouths. It is amazing to get hugs and kisses without prompting. It's amazing to hear prayers before bed and to hear them recite their favorite books by heart. It's amazing!!! This article helps us to remember that we are not alone in the process and we are all doing a great job (most of the time, anyway!!)

This other article is one I've seen around FB and in the blogosphere, but if you haven't read it either, please do. Totally worth the read. Her blog, in general, is SO truely spoken. I love it!

Have a wonderful Tuesday! And please say hi in the comments! I'd love to hear from you today!

Friday, March 22, 2013

It's the little things............

Today is not my day.

My son did not want to brush his teeth, he got jelly all over his shirt and then didn't want to change into anything else, he resisted his coat, his shoes, getting into the car, etc, etc, etc. He was up too late last night (we were babysitting 2 boys so they were rowdy and then no one wanted to sleep) and that just projected over to the morning. I yelled b/c I was frustrated and tired, he yelled b/c he was frustrated and tired, and everyone got in the car in a bad mood.

We sang songs in the car and talked about our route (SYT loves to know which street we are on and which direction we are turning next) and we all were better by the time we got to daycare for dropoff. While at daycare, PUT's teacher let me know I had a massive run and hole in my nylons. Really? It's 20 degrees out, I haven't shaved my legs since Sunday, I didn't put lotion on this a.m. as I was in a hurry, and now I have to go without nylons all day at work? Great day to pick to wear a dress. It would totally make sense to have a spare pair at work, but I've never had this happen before, so it's never even crossed my mind.

I have a ton of things that I need to get done in the next two weeks and it's just piling up faster and faster. Every weekend of ours is full until Memorial Day (except this one), and they're all super fun and exciting things, but when everysingleminute of everysingleday is planned that far in advance, it makes me a little hyper/anxious about how I will accomplish day to day tasks plus all the extras.

However, I walked upstairs to clinic to find that one of my coworkers (one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met) brought a jar of homemade strawberry jam for my family to work today as she knows my boys love it and she wanted us to have something special this weekend. She has brought in jams for us in the past and jars of canned peaches as well, and there is just something about her homemade jars (perhaps the love she pours into it?) that makes them so much better than anything storebought. It was the kindest, sweetest thing and really made me so incredibly happy. I knew then that I needed to remember that it is the littlest things that we do for one another that can make somes day/week/life. I'm a baker- it's my love language. I hope that by baking things for family, friends, and coworkers, they will know that I am thinking about them during the entire process. I love to do it, and I love to see how happy it makes others. I often "don't have time" to do other things (like putting away laundry- my most dreaded chore) because I'm in the kitchen making something for someone. Even though I bake a lot, I know there is always someone else I could be doing it for. Do you feel that way? That it's hard to give as much as you would like? Any ideas on how to find more time (ha!)?

Thank you so much, Miss Sylvia. You made my day and you, for sure, will make my kiddos' weekend!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Whitewashed fireplace

Here is our before shot of our family room. You can't see our entire fireplace here as I was showing off the rug, but you can get the gist of it. The bricks were in good condition but the color of them made the room darker and with the position of this room in our house it doesn't get a ton of nautural light (though this picture makes it look like it does). We've wanted to whitewash the brick for awhile but were SO nervous to do it. It's not like painting a wall; once the bricks are painted there is no going back. We took an informal facebook poll and I would say that it was pretty evenly split. Quite a few people understood why we wanted to paint the brick. Many others thought we were crazy and would ruin the room.
After months of debate, we finally decided that it was our house and we knew what would make us happy. So Saturday we washed the brick, mixed up our paint, and got our whitewashing on.
I used this tutorial to figure out the basics, and then we just took off. We ended up with a mix of about 2/3 water to 1/3 paint as our perfect ratio. One of us would paint it on with the other person rubbing it in with a rag to make sure the paint was evenly distrubuted in color everywhere. We ended up going through about 10 rags- they were destroyed to complete shreds. We taped off our crown molding and our mantle. I had originally wanted to leave the two arches with regular brick, not painted, but they didn't have enough contrast, so it all went to whitewashed.
After we were completely done, I went through and darkened a few bricks here and there. I thought it needed a little more contrast. It's very subtle but it definitely added the visual interest it needed.
And.......here's the final product!
We are so happy with it! I definitely think it lightens up the room but still allows the brick to be present in the room. I think a solid paint job would have blended in too much in this room, so the whitewashing was a perfect solution.
Now, if anyone has any better styling ideas, I'd love to hear them! Decorating mantles is tough!!
Feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments. I fully understand how nervewracking doing something permanent is!! Hope you like it!

Friday, March 15, 2013

In exactly three weeks.................

The fabulous MCW will be coming to visit me!!!!!!!!!

When B and I were discussing Christmas presents this year, I mentioned in passing that meeting Molly would be an amazing present.  He knows we "talk" via our blogs (he reads hers too) and over email, and he knows that I totally think she is amazing. I did not expect for him to follow through on this as it was just kind of a pipe dream. I actually was hoping for new black boots- and what I got was WAY better!! You should have heard the screaming I did when I opened up a letter from him with her picture in the middle and then the emails communicating back and forth between the two of them prior to Christmas.

About a month ago, I finally talked to her for the first time on the phone and we booked her plane ticket to come in April! I am SO excited. Like, really, really, really excited. She is flying in Friday morning, and I am sending the boys to daycare for the day so that we can hang out without their naps/behavior dictating our schedule. I adore my boys but I am so excited to have an adult day! Friday night we'll have dinner at home after the boys go down and, I'm sure, go through a bottle or three of wine. Saturday night we have a babysitter booked so that we can all go out together.

Grand Rapids is certainly not an amazing metropolis, but I am hoping that just meeting and getting to know each other and eating and lots of wine will make for the most amazing weekend!! Cheers to new friends, huh? This is why I love the blogging world!!  Seriously, I have a list of at least 5 other bloggers I would love to spend a weekend with. Too bad none of them live anywhere close to Michigan, huh?

So, tell me, have you already met other bloggers that you didn't previously know? Was it totally weird or was it amazing? Who would you love to meet if you had the opportunity?