Friday, July 29, 2011

Quick 5 (Things that I bought on-line last night)

1.  Cow-Print Contact Paper: The "big boy" room continues.  I have scaled it back a little lot because I am running out of time and realizing more and more that Dekker, gosh, doesn't care :)  And because I am on my THIRD gallon of paint in that room, disliking the first two that I brought home.  Can we say "So Frustrated!"  (Can we say "Buy the sample size next time!!")  I'm trying not to adopt a "just get it done" attitude and to still do it well.  Pics to come. 

2.  140 Address labels from VistaPrint.  They were FREE with $3.11 shipping.  I am psyched-- I am always looking for these and at the rate that I love on-line bill pay and shopping 140 will last forever.

3.  A new car seat for Dekker.  (I found a much better deal on Amazon but I can't figure out how to log out so I'm not linking it.  I don't want you guys shopping on my one-click account!  Hahaha) For the last two years we have shared one car seat in the 4 Runner.  This means that I take Dekker to daycare, then buzz back home and switch cars so Dave has the car seat when it's pick up time.  I haven't minded, because generally the earliest appt I have is 10AM.  But now that I'm driving to the middle of Papillion by 9AM, I wanted to avoid that extra step in the mornings.  This seat breaks down and will work until college, anyway, so it was in some capacity something we would have to buy anyway.  I think it will be well worth the convenience!

4.  New liability insurance for counseling.  It breaks my heart to shell out this much money on something when I am getting out of the business, but it is absolutely necessary even if I just see a few clients.  It is, as this type of insurance goes, pretty reasonable, so why chance it.  I set 4 dates (total) on the calendar at my office for August, Sept, Oct and then am officially "done" in November.

5.  My text book for "Counseling as Ministry."  (Just figured the Amazon acct out.) Have I mentioned how excited I am?  I spent Thursday AM setting up my office, unloading boxes, filing papers, getting internet passwords, etc.  I start working out there on Tues/Thurs AM next week and I have some serious work to do!  But I'm thrilled.

I should also say that this "saved for and well planned shopping night" prompted a call from the fraud dept of my credit card first thing this morning.  Isn't that such a great feeling?  Thanks for looking out for me, Visa!  And yes, I did buy from "an insurance company", "cow depot" and "a book-store" all within an hour.

Happy weekend everyone!  We have a really fun weekend planned and I hope you do, too!

On the journey,

Friday, July 15, 2011

Master Bedroom Make-Over

A few months ago I was looking over my Eleven Goals for 2011.  One that really stuck out to me was painting two walls in the Master bedroom-- because I knew that if I didn't do it now there was no way I'd do it after the baby. 

First, I want you to know that when we moved, two of the walls were paneling.  So my sweet husband and our handy brother-in-law took down the paneling and dry-walled.  The paneling was both glued and nailed in.  What a 1980's hot mess.  Here are a few pics from 2007...

Between the closet and door, we took the paneling down and had to
replace the dry wall for obvious reasons.  Please also note the
wall-paper border-- which was in every room in some capacity including this one.
Prepping for new drywall.  Do you see the return air vent?
Two other smaller sections had 1/2 wall of paneling
My friend Suzanne and I painstakingly painted those walls when we moved with love.  We visited and painted and just had a ball.  At least that's how I remember it.  We did all four the same color and declared it "drab" so we added a faux finish to two of the walls.  It looked a little odd-- but short on time and ready to move, we decided to see if it would "grow" on us.  Two of the walls were tan with a pink undertone.  The other two were finished with a yellow faux undertone.  Turns out that never really grows on a person.  Live and learn.  Eventually, we got bedroom furniture for the mattress we bought with nearly all our wedding money.    Before that, we just had a mattress on a frame, which was frankly fine.  We needed end-tables, and found some bookshelves I thought would be perfect at NFM.  My friend Beth and I knew the orange would be a fun accent, and got some pillows, sheets and a comforter a few years later.  And so it was for several years-- I liked a lot of the "stuff" to be honest, including the bedding.  But I knew the bookshelves were too much and that the paint just didn't look right.  Here are some before pics of paint and bedding.

To be fair, this is what our room typically looks like.  Messy bed!
Mis-matched sheets, stuff strewn about.  Note the picture frame on the wall.
It hung there for a year with no pics because I never thought it looked right :)
You can also see the ceiling fan and different wall colors.

A more "fair" before pic.  Because my "after" pics will be cleaned up!
One thing I hated was not having a lamp to read with at night.  The book-
shelves were tricky to get much light-- which meant I had to get out of bed. 
Am I lazy or what?!?
Again, the window swag matched the bedding but not the tone of the
room/walls.  And I had it swung up so Dekker didn't pull on it.  Also note
the basket of shoes at the end of my bed.  I have no-where to put them
because our closet has a double rod and my clothes brush the ground.

The return air vent.  We originally made the hole too big, then
patched it several years later but never painted, etc.
The dresser and wall behind it.  This is pretty clean for us :)
So, upon deciding that I need a hobby now that I'm not feeling like death all the time, I called my friend Kim Hazlip (who helped me do the hearth room) and gave her a tiny budget for this room.  What I love about Kim is that she has a great eye for style, but is also great about helping with organizing, simplifying, etc.  The first thing she helped me was the shoes.  I cleaned the hall closet, right outside our bedroom, and added baskets for my non-work shoes...
Before Pic of the closet.  Note the Drain-O that
I am fairly certain could kill Dekker.  Ug, got that under
a locked cabinet!
After pic.  I condensed and threw away a bunch of expired stuff. 
Then added those two black baskets for my in season non-work shoes.
My out of season shoes (boots) went under my bed in a tote.
Then she did her magic and showed up a week later with new "stuff" for the room, some ideas for me to consider ordering, and a wall color she knew would look fab.  I really wanted to get this room done in June, so I got to painting right away...

Painting a bedroom (any room) is so much work.  We moved the furniture
little by little.  I cleaned behind it (baseboards, vacuum, etc), then got to work.
I did only one coat of this Sherwin-Williams No VOC paint, and then went
back and touched up.  I was a little obsessive but wanted it to be just right.
What a mess!  Do you see all that stuff on the bed!!
I had to find a home for all this stuff!  Thankfully, a lot of it has a
home in the new room, or got thrown out, or donated, or will go to my new office
at NCC (including the bookshelves).
By the end of this Dave was about to kill me :)  He is a trooper,
and helped reach a few areas even the ladder and I couldn't do well.

So are you ready to see the new room?  I love it.  Please notice the new end-tables/baskets, lamps (night time reading made easier again), new ceiling fan, closet door knobs, new outlet covers, hampers, window swag, and dresser decor.  I did buy new sheets, which put us over budget, but when I did we seriously had four different sets represented on the bed, including a different top sheet and bottom sheet.  One got a hole, so we just put an old one on, etc.  It's nice to have matching, non-hole sheets again, with matching pillow cases (gasp!). While we were over budget and on vacation we also bought a print for the wall that we love.

Drum Roll Please...

Confession: The other thing I told Kim I wanted?  Sexy.
Mission accomplished!

No more bulky bookshelves.  And obviously the print that we love.
New window swag that looks just gorgeous with the print.
The top of our dresser.  Very fun to have the mirrors and lamps
playing off one another.
New ceiling fan.  Dave really wanted this!
Lookie there!  No shoes all over the foot of the bed.  With this
space clean, it feels like the room got so much bigger!
Josie is modeling the new white outlet covers!
Another look of the "after."
New hamper, beautiful space!
 Well friends, there you have it.  I have about 30 min left of nap-time so I think I had better go!  If you made it this far, you are rewarded with a few "extra" pics (since I have the camera loaded up and all...)

A hot drink during a heat advisory.  I love my 2 cups of caffeine a day.  Don't knock it.
Heavens to Betsy.  23 weeks.
Such fun memories!
A gorgeous day for a Mississippi boat ride!
 On the journey,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


We just got home from Soden Family Vacation.  The last time we took one of these it was just the six of us.  We went to Jamaica.  We stayed up late, lounged in the pool, drank humming-birds, played cards, slept in and sun-tanned.  It was glorious!  Now, three kids and five years later... things have changed!
We met in Dubuque, Iowa.  It is just on the Iowa/Illinois state line and we picked it because it is half way between my folks and my brother... and Dave and I got lucky and had a two hour break on the other's drive time.  It was 8 hours for them, 6 for us.  Plus stops.  And we traveled at the speed of a pregnant lady and a toddler, so we were in no hurry.  And we did a little shopping in Des Moines on the way out-- I'm here to tell you there is nothing I love more than traveling at the speed of "vacation".

Turns out, it's not the place, but the people that make for a great vacation.  Not that we didn't like Dubuque.  I mean, it's no Jamaica, but we didn't have these three smilers in Jamaica, now did we?!?

From Left: Crewe, Dekker, Brooks
And we didn't have an ocean view room this time, but we had a gorgeous view of the Mississippi River!

We had a great stay at the Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark.  The Waterpark was smaller than we anticipated but was absolutely perfect for our little kids.  We could put life-jackets on them and let them roam and run.  They had two water-slides that were a HIT with them, and one great, big white water-slide that went outside the building and got dark at one point.  Everyone who could ride that slide did, including Nana and Dekker-- and it was a hoot!

We spent the mornings in the waterpark, found lunch on-site, napped/rested/showered then spent the afternoon and evening doing other fun stuff.... like going to the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium...

...and going on a boat ride!

We ate great food-- especially at dinner, and made great memories.  There is something truly wonderful and special about spending time with Family.  I love my brother and his wife, and this trip reminded me how much I miss them.  But I am so thankful for time away and spent together.  We don't get to BBQ all summer long and have play-dates all winter long, but we get to meet up in the middle of no-where and make it the coolest vacation spot around for a few days.  No cooking.  No laundry.  No messy houses to clean.  No jobs or pagers or email.  Truly wonderful.

I can't put words to a picture like this or somehow tell you what it means to me, but I think you "get the picture."

This was also the first vacation we had really taken with Dekker.  We went to Vegas, and on our cruise, but didn't take Dekker.  We've traveled to visit family with him, but this was different.  And he did great.  He is seriously an incredible travel partner, though he IS a toddler and acts like one sometimes!  He slept pretty well-- but was up with the birds!  He slept on an air-mattress (with bumpers) on the floor, and did crawl into bed with us and sleep in the morning.  He NEVER sleeps with us at home-- we just never let him and now he won't-- so this was kinda special :)  He loved having his daddy lay next to him at night-- and would ask "Daddy?" about every two minutes while falling asleep.  All Dave said was "I'm right here buddy."  We sat by him and rubbed his hair and sang him songs and mouthed to each other "Cutest Kid Ever" while he fell asleep.  Then we watched the History Channel and drank pop and fell asleep ourselves.  Not a bad gig :)

We had lots of fun, and enjoyed a few days to just be a family. Dekker was pretty much stuck to his daddy like white-on-rice.  But he and I got to play a lot together in the waterpark and I loved it.  (23 weeks pregnant and in a swimsuit?  Who cares!!)  This hot, nauseated, Mama was okay not hauling him around all weekend, but I was ready to snuggle him up all day today!

Here's to family vacation.  It has changed a lot in the last 5 years.  But we'll blink and these days will be gone.  I wouldn't change a thing!

On the journey,

Friday, July 1, 2011

Quick 5 (Things that are making me smile right now)

The return of the Quick 5!  Happy Friday everyone.

1.  My new potted plants.  Some of you might remember that I had a terrible experience at Mulhalls some time ago, which after a nasty gram they did make right.  Many months later they sent me a sweet gift card-- hoping they could get another chance at making it right for me.  I hung on to it for forever, but recently realized that my kitchen plant was very "rooted" and needed to be split.  I took it in yesterday and they said it is in such good shape (yay me!) that they thought I should plant it in a bigger pot for now, before splitting it-- likely in about a year (it will officially be "too big" then).  The sweet woman helping me showed me to this adorable clearance pot for $12 which was cheaper than the plastic.... and presto.  She trimmed it up, potted it, cut it back-- all for about $2.  I took in another pot that I have had forever on my living room shelf empty and we found a little $9 diddy to put in it.  So cute.  In all, it was about $27 including labor and dirt.  My gift card was $20.  Perfect.  I will send a nice gram today, because that is your responsibility if you also send nasty ones.  The only down-side was the incredible heat in their huge and gorgeous green room.  It was HOT.  I was so thankful Daddy and Dekker were running errands elsewhere.  Here are a few pics of the newly improved plants.

Thank you cousin (and faithful blog reader and friend) Tisha
for this pot at Family Christmas several years ago.  I love it even
more with a plant in it.

  2.  Our sweet baby BOY.  (These are obviously in no "best to least" order.)  We had our 20 week ultrasound Wednesday morning.  It was a lot of fun and we had a great nurse who was appropriately chatty and appropriately informative.  She asked if we wanted to know the gender and we said yes, but that we wanted her to write it on a note-card and put it in the envelope we brought.  She honestly thought I was CRAZY.  I tried to explain that I have anxiety and that finding out in private is very helpful to me, and she still thought I was neurotic.  But she did it.  Then made a note in my permanent file that she did so--- ahem, okay.  I did think this baby was a girl because my due date is my late Grandma's birthday.  So I was genuinely shocked.  I was thrilled that everything looked healthy, but still totally shocked.  I kept it together until I talked to my dad about 6:30 Wednesday night-- when I finally confessed my sadness over not being able to (middle) name my girl "Mae" like me and Grandma-- I sobbed so hard that I pulled over in the Bakers parking lot and shocked sweet Dekker in the back seat.  Oh dad, you got the brunt of my pregnancy hormones, the end of a long and emotional day, and my genuine sadness because I knew you'd understand and care.  I miss Grandma a lot.  Here is a picture of sweet R2.  I already love that he is a boy, and can't wait to do a boy nursery.
This is a picture of a picture so I'm sorry.  I will do better later. 
Do you see those sweet cheeks and that nose?  He is Adorable.

3.  Dekker's nose spray.  Remember that this is to combat reflux.  Who would have thought?  Not me, but I don't care because he has been healthy for the longest stretch in his life.  He even got a little cold, which we let run it's course and it did not end up totally infecting his ears/sinus/lungs and he did not end up on antibiotics.  (Enter giant sigh of relief here.)

4.  We are doing a mini-bedroom make-over in the Master Bedroom.  This will be a post full of much better pictures with the fancy camera soon.  My sweet friend Kim Hazlip helped me do this on a tiny budget, and it is looking fantastic.  I have been painting (doctor approved, well ventilated, no VOC paint) and painting.  We buy the "No VOC" paint from Sherwin-Williams and it is worth it, but it's like buying the best from the best.  Thankfully, we don't need much.  Anyway, this section of wall has not had a vent on it since we moved in and took down the paneling and put up drywall in 2007.  We cut the hole too big in the drywall and patched it several years later, but never finished the texture and/or paint.  Until now.  I love looking up and seeing this!
This project has me all sorts of motivated to get cracking on Dekker's new room, the office, and the nursery.  I never did a "nursery" with Dekker-- as in the walls are still blank.  His first bedroom was literally a blue sheet.  When my Grandma got sick, I spent a lot of my last trimester on the road so decorating was appropriately on the back burner.  But I do hope to make Dekker a sweet big-boy room and do something new with the nursery.  And I'm not waiting until the last minute this time! (Last baby we were finishing up the kitchen/hearth room project!)

5.  My flower pots.  Maybe I do have a green thumb?  I tried a few new sun plants on the back deck this year-- and they look great.  These white things look better in person, I promise, and are a nice contrast to the red and pink.  I planted 5 pots total, and this one is my favorite for now.  The recent rain has sure helped!

Can I just say that it feels so good to feel good!  I'm not sure if it's the first trimester is finally over, or a depression is lifting, or the sun feels good-- or what-- and I don't care.  I am loving having energy, doing projects, feeling exhausted at night (but not mid-day!), planning for my new job at NCC, and looking forward to a baby in the house again-- I am praising the Lord for sure!

On the journey,