Thursday, November 26, 2009


This year, there's much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Family Room - Before & After

Redecorating at our new house has been a slow process. Part of it has been lack of motivation (there's nothing that I hate more than painting). Another part has been the fact that every job I start turns into a big project. Stripping wallpaper leads to repairing mildewy walls which leads to retexturing drywall. I'm making friends with the staff at our local Menards.

We painted the family room this summer, but are just finally starting to "settle" into it with some new furniture, etc. It's definitely still a work in progress!

I forgot to take a "before" photo until after I had already moved out all the furniture to start the painting. Here it is with spongepainted peach walls and our old red couch (not a good combo...)

Full of random, mismatched stuff.

Sampling colors to find just the right shade of green.

My super cute helper. He actually spent two hours painting this wall!

My view was obscured by the bookshelf, and I didn't see his masterpiece until he had finished it. I was sure surprised!

And the (semi) finished project! Still a random mix of things, but looking a little better!

This was definitely a bargain project. I needed six panels to cover the windows, which is not a small task to do on the cheap! I found these thermal-lined faux silk panels at Tuesday morning, and they were a bargain!
I was getting tired of my red couch (it's now in the living room), and I found this one on Craigs List! The lady had just purchased it and it didn't fit in her apartment. I don't know if navy blue would have been my first choice, but it was a steal!
The camel colored chair and ottoman in the corner were in my parents first house. They're actually older than I am. Not the cutest thing in the world, but SO comfy! A friend of ours refers to it as the pumpkin :)
The one item I splurged on back when we moved into our old house. Ahhh...Pottery Barn, I love you. I miss my employee discount.

I fell in love with this Amy Butler fabric I found on Etsy, and was excited to discover they carried it at a store in West Des Moines. Right now, it's just thrown over the back of the couch, but as soon as I get motivated it will likely become pillows.
We've also been at work on the kitchen and the master bath, so hopefully I'll have more pictures to share soon!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Mother Told Me

When I was registering for wedding gifts, my mother told me that I should register for china and formal flatware.

At the time, I was a college student living in a crummy apartment, and I had a hard time imagining that I'd ever have a use for china and formal flatware.

She said I'd be thankful to have it when I was older.

We compromised. I didn't register for fancy china, but I did pick out some gorgeous, shiny, overpriced flatware.

I've been married six and a half years, and up until a week ago, I had never taken it out of the velvet lined wooden box that I keep it in.
I spontaneously decided to have a dinner party last weekend, and invited over a few girlfriends. Since I finally have a dining room table that seats more than four, I decided to go all out and "set" the table. And I finally pulled out that fancy flatware! I guess that means, sadly, that I must be "older" now :)

We definitely need to do it again soon! I've got six years of flatware non-use to make up for!

Friday, November 13, 2009

some days

Some days are better than others.

Yesterday was an other.

As I read through my previous posts, I notice a tendency. I blog about things that are fun. Lighthearted. I post pictures. I remember the good moments. The upside of parenting.

I read a lot of other blogs. And I notice this theme there, too. After all, who wants to broadcast it to the world when they've had a bad day?

But I think sometimes the bad days are the ones we really need to be talking about. As a mom, there are so many things I wish other moms were talking about.

My kid misbehaves. He's naughty. Some days he drives me crazy. Are there any other moms out there who feel this way?

We jumped into parenting late in the game. Our son was six when we became his parents. When you meet parents who are expecting new babies, they get a whole slew of advice, admonishments, warnings. There are so many new things to learn, there's even a book called "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

I wish they'd written a book called "What to Expect When You're Adopting a Six-Year-Old."

Because there are so many things, when you enter late in the game, that nobody prepares you for.

Yesterday was not a great day. Macieo got in trouble at school. He came home with an "oops" note about his behavior. Our walk home from school was tense and silent.

When we got home, I sent him out to rake leaves as his punishment.

Then he came back in and told me a lie.

I sent him to his room for the rest of the evening and told him he couldn't go to Wednesday night kids church.

He cried.

I didn't care.

I was just glad he was in his room so I didn't have to talk to him.

We woke up the next morning. Macieo refused to cooperate and follow directions as we were getting ready for school.

I yelled.

He cried.

I yelled more.

The yelling and crying continued as we got in the car and headed for school.

I was furious.

He was late for school.

I didn't care.

And to make matters was out of town. So I had to deal with it all by myself.

Before he got out of the car to go to school, I caught myself. As a parent, sometimes it's SO hard to try to be rational with you kid when you're just MAD. But I knew I had to be the grown up and make amends. So we talked about it. I asked for forgiveness for yelling. He asked for for forgiveness for being naughty and disrespectful. I told him I loved him, and he got out of the car.

And I spent the whole day feeling like a horrible parent.

I spent the morning yelling at my kid, and then sent him off to school where I expected him to behave and have a good day. How can I expect him to behave when I don't?

The amazing thing is, he had a great day at school. Kids are funny like that. Resilient.

Looking at behavior from a parents perspective, it seems like it should be so easy. Your child does something wrong. You discuss their behavior. You give them a consequence. Logically, they should learn their lesson, and cease doing the unwanted behavior, right?


It's just not that simple.

So we muddle through. Most days are great. He's so sweet and creative and funny and loving. But other days he just won't listen. And those are the days when I stop and ask "why didn't anyone tell me it would be this hard?"

So I'm telling you. Whether you're expecting a baby, adopting an older child, or currently raising a child of any age. Even after they start sleeping through the night, it will be hard. You'll be more tired than you've ever been. And even worse than dealing with their behavior? Dealing with your own. You'll be forced to deal with angry, frustrated, yelling sides of yourself that you didn't even know existed. You'll realize that you're so far from "good" at parenting that it's scary.

Being a mom has forced me to take a long, hard look at my relationship with God. After all, he is God the Father, and I am his child. And when I look at it that way, I realize that I'm not that much different than Macieo. Oftentimes I don't listen. I screw up. I'm disrespectful. But God loves me no matter what. He is unendingly patient. He is completely loving. His grace is enough.

I desire to be a parent who displays those characteristics of God to my son. But sanctification is a process, and I've got my work cut out for me.

Thank God, literally, for forgiveness.

I still think this is the best job in the world. I love being a mom, and think my son is the greatest kid there is. But this job is hard. So hard.

Some days are better than others.

Monday, November 9, 2009

After School Project

I'd love to take credit for this, but my son is the creative one. One afternoon last week he asked if he could have some toothpicks and some marshmallows. We spent the next hour creating our masterpieces!

This project required extreme concentration...

...and careful selection of materials.

I had a little trouble thinking outside the box
and could only muster up the creativity to build a house...
...and write my son's name.

This kid, on the other hand...

...created a masterpiece.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Calm Before the Storm

This kid is all boy, so quiet moments are few and far between. Since daylight savings, he's been getting up earlier, and I've been able to catch a few quiet moments with him first thing in the morning.

I like to think of it as the calm...

...before the storm!!

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