Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Five Things I Have Learned In The Last Few Months . . .

1)  Painting is hard work.  I thought we'd only paint a few rooms starting out.  Well, everything got painted except the kitchen and two bathrooms.  So, three bedrooms, three ceilings, one large living room (and we had the ceiling done/textured by a friend), the entire basement room and floor and stairs/walls going down to the basement.  Whew.  I may never paint again.  Just kidding.  I already have about a million "little" painting jobs to do . . . like frames, and small pieces of furniture, and . . .  

2)  Sanding floors is hard work.  And man, those machines are powerful and scary all at the same time.  Oh my goodness, it looked so much better when we were done!  Come see for yourself!  :) 

3)  If you move in to a house thinking you'll only do a couple things, a couple will turn in to many more.  And cost more than originally thought.  And be a lot of hard, but rewarding work.  I'm pretty sure IF we ever move again, hehe, it will be into a house that needs NO work at all.  Those homes exist, right?  I guess since Ethan and I love older homes, that's not very likely.  (And I say "if" because I can not possibly imagine moving ever again right now. Give me 5 years.  :)

4)  Moves are stressful.  I know, obvious.  I had forgotten already though.  Plus our 10 am pickup for our U-haul fell through, and we had to scramble for a new one.  And of course we had people waiting/ready to help us, which really made me stressed.  But, we started at 10:30, and were done moving in the last box by 1pm-ish.  (We had three different places to pick up stuff from.  So not too bad, considering.)  And we were lucky to have some great help from friends! 

5)  I love our new house.  Oddly enough, it feels much bigger with all of our furniture in it.  With our Front Street house, it took us awhile to fall in love.  (I think we were just really nervous about the large purchase for awhile.)  But we are instantly in love with this one.  Probably since we've already "given" so much to it.  It's so perfect for us.  And has some old charm to it too - fireplace, built in cabinet, original maple floors - which we've always been drawn to.    It is a little weird being in a one story;  I feel like we have to be more mindful of privacy, but at the same time I love everything being on one level.  (Oh, and there is the basement play room, but that's only usable when the space heater has been going for awhile, or the kids are completely bundled up to go downstairs . . . but it'll be awesome in the summer!  :)  Anyway, we are happy to have our own place again.  Especially this place.  We feel very blessed with how everything turned out.

So Ethan wants me to share pictures of the house right now, but I really want to do a few more projects, and finishing touches before I do.  We are all unpacked, and a lot of the art/decor/photos are up, but not all.  I think I'll just have to resign myself to the fact that it will always be a work in progress.  So, I will share a few photos for you today of the living room

Okay, so none of these pictures are great quality/lighting.  But you can probably see that the living room wall color was pinkish/tan (not my thing), and a creamish/off white color.  I wasn't a fan of the window treatments either, and had already started to pull them down.  The carpet was way dirtier than you'll probably be able to see in the pics, and the maple floors underneath were pretty dirty/painty too.  Sooooo . . .

Ta da!  :)  We painted the walls "Winter Wheat" (or brown . . . which is not for everybody, but I LOVE it), and the rest is painted ultra white.  We sanded the floors and had a friend of ours seal them for us.  I cleaned out the fireplace which is currently sealed up (not drafty) and painted it with a special fireplace paint.  I was going to have candles in it, but the kids love it for playing, so no.  We had a friend from church smooth out and texture the ceiling because it's an old house and had some cracks etc.  We had the track lighting taken out and only use floor lamps in the living room, which we're big fans of.  

We're still decorating, like the wall behind the piano (oh how I LOVE having my piano back!!!) is now currently the "gallery wall" with lots of different frames I'll be painting a uniform color.  We also have new tiles to put around the fireplace, but haven't gotten to them yet.  They're small, and multi-colored.  It will be beautiful!!!  (We're also having our friend build the fireplace in to the floor so it's not "floating" anymore.)  I'm also going to paint the two stools next to the love seat white.  It's so convenient having them right there by the door for putting on shoes, etc, but they're hand-me-downs and don't quite match the other wood things in the house.  Anyway . . .  

The desk is Ethan's great grandfather's "Grand Bobby," I believe.  I think I might try to find a white cloth runner thing to help lighten it up since it's against a dark wall.  And the frame above the desk is going to be painted white to stand out more on the wall.  (All the explanations are exactly why I wanted to wait to show after pictures until all my little projects are done.  hehe :)  Also, the thing we use for a TV stand is something my mom and I found at a garage sale together when I was little.  I used it as a dresser in my room growing up, and eventually helped my mom refinish it.  She let us have it when we moved in here, and it is just perfect in the room.  Can you tell that not only do we like older homes, but we're drawn to older furniture/decor too, with character and significant meaning preferably.  :)  I try to mix the older stuff with newer, more colorful things too, but I'm still working on "lightening" the room up.  (I was worried that having so many of the walls painted ultra white, and having light floors, that it would be too bright . . . but nope.)  

The rest of the stuff we already had, and it was just so good to get it out of storage after so long!        
Some just for fun pictures!  Thank goodness I cleaned out that fireplace!  :)  The second pic shows the awesome baby gate we have.  That way I didn't have to baby proof the whole kitchen.  Love it.  And the final pic of Caleb crawling around in a tutu shows a pic of the beautiful floors in the day light. 

And lest we all forget, it was my birthday on the 13th. :) Even though I was super stressed/busy with all the house stuff, the kiddos (and my sweetie momma) still made it an extra special day:  breakfast in bed, a DELISH cake, sweet gifts, and they sent Ethan and I out to dinner.  Then we went to work on the house until after midnight.  :)  Ethan didn't give me my presents until about a week after my birthday (he wanted to wait until I wasn't so crazy with all the house stuff so I could really enjoy opening them  . . . hehe.).  I LOVED what he picked out for me!!!  So thoughtful - some piano music from a current fav artist, Tina Fey's new book . . . hilarious!, a cute hat, and a gift card for a tanning salon (which I haven't done in FOREVER, but I'm really looking forward to).  Not that he spent tons, but he said he was making up for lost time . . . this was my first birthday we weren't "poor students" anymore.  :)  It was a good birthday, but next year I will be back to my birthday WEEK tradition. hehe. 

A final picture, just because I think it's hilarious.  I walked in the room and found them in almost the exact same position doing the exact same thing.  hehe.  Caleb has really been missing his Grampa Dewey since we moved, and vice verse, but they're both managing to survive . . . barely.  :) 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year . . .

  . . . About a week late, but Happy fresh start to 2012 all the same!!!  We had a fun, low key NYE "party" at my parents house from 5pm-ish to 7pm-ish.  The kids really wanted to have a party with food and games and festivities.  We were just going to have it be our own, little family, but then my parents got involved and Andrew's family came over too.  (Which was really fun, and made it more festive for the kids.)  My mom and I got all the food together, and it turned out to be a super yummy variety of snacky foods.  My mom is the reason most of it's displayed on pretty plates.  It's her thing. :)   

 We played a couple party games with the kiddos, and they had tons of fun.  Then we sent them upstairs to play and the grown-ups played a fun, new game Andrew and Sabrina brought over - Battle of the Sexes.  The boys won, but juuuuust barely.  Oh, and little Hudson was obsessed with the football above, it was pretty cute. 

New Years Day pictures.  All dressed up for church in their new clothes from GraMelissa and Grampa Chuck.  So cute!  I love the matching sweaters for the twinners, Ethan and Ben-Ben.  (Caleb got one too, in blue I believe, but he was sick yet again on Sunday so he stayed in jammies.)  And Anna just looks so adorable in this outfit Auntie KC helped pick out . . . and grown up too!  I can't believe how much she's changing and growing lately.  The last picture Benjamin is crying, as you can see.  His feelings were very hurt because I wanted a picture of just Anna.  Ben likes be part of everything that his sister is doing, so of course it really hurt his feelings that I didn't want him in the picture too.  Yeah, he's a sensitive one, that boy.  :)

And finally, little Caber Z.  Getting over another sickness, snuggled up in his swing with his blankie and nuki.  (Yes, he is over the weight limit on the swing, but if it breaks . . . he's close to the floor anyway.) 

So, I'm not doing resolutions this year . . . although I always have things I'm working on.  Mostly, I just need to get settled in my house and get back into our normal routines, and lifestyle, and space, etc. We pushed our moving day back to this coming Saturday, the 14th.  Everything just took way longer than we thought it would, but all the major stuff is done now.  So we're gradually moving in this week, and then renting a moving truck on Saturday for all the storage unit stuff.  Ah, I'm so excited!!!!!!!

I'm so focused on the moving stuff, getting the final touches on the house, etc. that my birthday week snuck up on me.  And with everything going on, I think we'll only have time to celebrate on Friday, my actual birthday.  How sad, huh?  hehe.  I guess that's okay for this year.  Especially since moving in to our new house is like the best birthday present ever!!!  (Also, some of our stuff has been stored for 31/2 years so it'll be like Christmas opening up some of these boxes.  Yay!)

So, as I was filling out my new calendar for 2012, I also took the time to look back over 2011's calendar.  We had lots of good stuff happening - play dates, baby blessing, birthdays, etc.  Also, there were ALOT of doctor appointments.  hehe.  I thought I'd do a short recap on all of us from 2011, based on what showed up on the calendar.  Here it goes . . .

ETHAN - Ethan did a lot of traveling for internships.  A lot!  Even though Eth was gone tons, he still managed to be an awesome daddy and husband to his little family.  Thanks for everything, babes!  He also had some biggies this year, like - graduating from his Doctor of Physical Therapy program, turning 30, passing his licensure exam, and getting his first "real" job with an awesome company.  Hooray for Ethan!  :)

ANGELA - I turned 30!  And I took care of kiddies alot . . . including our new, sicky one. hehe. (Not that I wrote that on the calendar . . . 'cause it's an every day kind of thing . . . but I tried to keep things going as best I could while Ethan was gone.)  I feel like I spent the first part of the year trying to keep my head above water with all the appointments for Caleb (and me too with working through the thyroid/blood pressure stuff after the pregnancy), all the medications he needed, getting Anna and Ben-Ben out and about, and to different activities.  Things eventually managed to calm down . . . somewhat.  I got a new calling this year in the Primary Presidency, and was pleasantly surprised with the excitement I felt, since I thought I'd been doing the primary thing for long enough.  Love the people I serve with, and love those kids!

ANNA - Had her first ever ballet recital.  She turned 6, and started kindergarten at Sandy Knoll.  Anna had a kidney infection for the first time, actually two back to back.  It was quite the traumatic experience for both of us, and included many different tests, IVs, ER visits, overnight hospital stay, and lots of antibiotics.  Also, Anna had lots of play dates with friends, and continues to be a social little butterfly.  And such a sweetie!  :)

BENJAMIN - Ben-Ben turned 3.  He went to lots of MOMs Club activities with me.  He started pre-school, and also ended his pre-school career.  (It's a long story . . . well, mostly I just felt like it wasn't the right thing for Ben. . . which is sad 'cause I really liked having a break for a couple hours M-Th. :)   Benjamin also finished his time in nursery at church, and transitioned to Sunbeams in the month of December.  Oh my.  All my kids are growing up too fast!  Ben's best friend - Logan - moved, and he still talks about him all the time.  (And apparently Logan does too.  :(  We're still working on finding him another bud to hang out with, but for right now he thinks that all of Anna's best friends are his best friends too.  Poor Ben.  hehe.

CALEB - Caleb had about 40 health related appointments in 2011.  Ridiculous!  A totally healthy baby would have had 3-4 appointments in that same amount of time.  (I'm counting all kinds of things - lab work, synegis shots, MRI on his big head, two trips downstate to specialists, regular checkups, dr. appointments for sickness, developmental appoints with early on, PT pediatrics appointments, etc.)  Wow!  That's alot.  Besides all the appointments on the calendar for his health, he was also blessed in February, and turned one in November.  What a first year!  (He's actually been sicker this season so far, I swear he's catching everything.  Plus, he only caught one cold last season.  We just know him better now, and what's normal for him, so it requires less appointments.)  

So, here's to a HEALTHIER 2012 for all of us - hopefully Caleb will continue to grow out of these lung issues (I'm hoping his appointments will at least be halved!), and Anna won't get any more kidney infections (or any new kind of infections!), and Ben-Ben will stay healthy (although he's been getting rashes lately. . . I think he has some mild allergies, geesh we can't catch a break! :), and Ethan and I will just get healthier in general . . . (once we're in our own space, and actually have a place at home to work out again, and are eating better again . . . and . . . . :).