I am SO not used to this....him being gone. For the first few months I just sulked. I'll be honest. I thought to myself "How can one be so incredibly thankful for this job, and so upset about it all at the same time!?" I even threatened to fill out an application for him at Lowes'. :) But truth be told, he loves his job. I love his job. I just haven't made real good friends with this thing called "traveling". As a child I had a dad who was home. A LOT. He could come home for lunch, or dinner, or to go golfing, or to surprise my mom with roses. His office was only 5 minutes away. He took a lot of trips, but most of them were just for fun. He never really had to be away that much for work. That's what I'm used to. If you had told me 10 years ago that at this point in my life I'd be married, have had 3 c-sections, living in a townhouse with practically no yard, and have a husband who has to travel for work I do believe you would've seen my chin hit the floor. Never would've guessed. :) But God has a serious sense of humor, and apparently this is what He has chosen for us at this stage of the game. So before he left for this most recent trip, I spent an hour in bed just crying. I was nervous and upset and for the first time I understood why. I associate a dad who travels with one who never comes home. My dad boarded that plane on August 8th, 2003 for a golfing trip. He never returned. I told Seth that I fully expect that sooner or later, eventually, there will be a trip in which he never returns. It's the only thing I know. Another reason why I always dreaded his trips was because I felt like life had to be put on hold. I couldn't have fun, or get a break, or exercise, or see friends, or watch a movie. I would just timidly go throughout my day, awaiting the next disaster....a water pipe bursts, I get the stomach flu, a kid breaks their leg, I get raped in my bed with a gun held to my head. :) You know, just the normal stuff a mom worries about! So here was our conclusion: #1, trust the Lord. Duh. What did you expect? Sip on mimosa's every night? Hehe... #2, find fun things to do while he's gone. I hated his trips because it meant I had to go a whole week without exercising. He always watched the kids so I could go to the gym, or go to the barn, or go for a walk. We solved this solution by purchasing a treadmill. I've gotta say, it's been wonderful! We've also been able to implement more ideas, such as....get out of the house from 5-7 every evening. These are the worse hours every day, ESPECIALLY when he's not here. So now during naptime I pack snacks and drinks and activities. They all wake up around 4, they get a drink, get dressed, and then we are gone! The mall....the library.....the park.....church.....Target....you name it, we go there. It makes those evening hours go by SO much faster. By the time we get home they are all ready for baths, a HUGE snack (since they didn't have much of a dinner), watch a movie, read a book, and then to bed they go! I'm also not left with a kitchen full of dirty dishes because I never had to actually "make dinner". It's truly a win-win. :) We also don't talk about daddy being away. They know he's working. They know he's not coming home for dinner. But we don't just sit around and say "well, today daddy is in Vermont and we won't see him for another 4 days...." :) My husband cannot give 100% of himself at work if he knows we are all at home bawling our eyes out and counting the minutes down, OR if I'm calling every 20 minutes just to check in. :) So we've made changes. So far, so good. Who knows what the future holds. He may not be traveling for the rest of his life. But what if this is what God wants him to do until he's 60? Do I want to look back and say that for 15 weeks out of every year we sat around on our heinies and watched the world pass us by until he walked in the door again? Not a chance! I still get scared...and bored......and lonely. I have little things that I do that are rediculous. Like don't do laundry in the evening because I don't want to have to walk by myself to the basement to put it in the dryer. I also keep the gun within reaching distance. :) Heaven forbid if someone ever plays a trick on me. Shoot first, ask questions later is my moto. :) ANYWAY, these things have helped me. Still learning....but doing better. :)
This has been our 3rd week of school, and I've had to do a lot of tweaking! :) The school room has been completely redone, once again. Pictures coming soon! At first my biggest goal with the school room was to make it pretty. Then we started school. :) I quickly realized "pretty" was not as important as "practical". We have incorporated a new daily schedule into our lives by using THIS book. I've realized that my 3 year old is just as bright, and has an even bigger interest in doing "school" than my 4 year old. I've also had to come to grips with the fact that I'm not supposed to replicate a "real school" with our home school. I've never wanted a starting point and an ending point to our school day. Charlotte Mason said "Education is an atmosphere". I have that written on a large chalkboard in my kitchen. I have decided to use it as a little bit of a moto around here, because asking 3 children, 4 and under to stay seated, or even to stay in one room until our "school day" was done was just not fair. Our curriculum is accomplished in the school room. Music class is done in the foyer. Our 2 hours of reading (that's a whole other blog post...) is done on the couch in the family room, and their "free time" is done in their rooms. We have taken the tv to our room. Keeping the tv in the family room became the most convenient thing to let bored or cranky kids do! We didn't want to get rid of it altogether, because there are times when I "need" them to sit still for 20 minutes. :) Now the only thing in our family room is books, and it is heavenly. And we have purchased a treadmill! Oh my goodness, I can't even tell you how excited I was about this, and how much I've used it already! So many new things, for so many new reasons. Can't wait to share more, but as of right now I have 2 hours until someone is coming to look at the house and I am still wearing my daisy dukes in a very messy kitchen. :) Until later....
Day 2 of the process took a lot of teamwork. Seth used a level, tape measure, and a TON of blue painters tape to mark off horizontal stripes with a width of 12". The room is 8' high, so it just made sense to make the stripes 12" for convenience sake. I followed behind him with Benjamin Moore Historical Color #10....Stuart Gold. My goal was to re-do her entire room using as little $$$ as possible, so I only bought 1 quart of paint and challenged myself to NOT run out. :) For this reason, I used a 4" sponge roller to do the painting. Sponge rollers don't absorb as much as other rollers do, and when you start running out of paint all you have to do is push a little harder and more paint comes out. I know I sound like a tight-wad-red-neck, but it really does work. :) I had Lowe's color match the Benjamin Moore color, because I was already at Lowes, yet again! At this point I am absolutely hating the project. I had yet to find fabric for window treatments, so I had no idea what the end result would be. Not to mention the fact that the Stuart Gold against Restoration Hardware Latte just looked down right ugly. :) The bright blue painters tape only added to my decorating woes. I was discouraged. I was tired. And I was sweaty. :)
Alright. This post is a week late. I've been putting it off because I still don't have her curtains hung. But enough is enough. I can at least show you what we've done so far. :)
My really good "before" pictures are on my hubby's computer, so this will have to suffice. Her nursery furniture was white. Her walls were Latte (or maybe Cappuccino???) by Restoration Hardware. Her fabric was a pink paisley print my mom scored at JoAnn's, I believe. And this, my friends, is my "baby" girl. Sniff....sniff...
Our air conditioner decided to break the same week I chose to do the renovation. Ugh. On the bright side, my dear sweet brother-in-law brought over a window unit to keep us cool at night. We moved the kids into our room for the week and it allowed us to work on her room after they were in bed. First things first: we emptied the room of everything. I had this dresser in my own nursery as a baby during the good old days of Potter County mountain living. :) It was looking a bit dated, although I don't think anyone is interested in knowing just exactly how dated. Seth takes it upon himself to remind me almost every.single.day. what new number I'll be approaching in December. :( Really don't like the fact that with every passing year, I'm rapidly approaching 30. ANYWAY.... I fell in love with Benjamin Moore's Historical Color 149, Buxton Blue, and had Lowe's just match it up. It totally needs a second coat and then a clear coat of SOMETHING to make it last, but I was lazy and in a hurry. :) Ah yes, this would be him, cheerfully working away. Keep in mind this was only night #1. Hehe... Okay. Her room is tiny, so I ended up removing the drawers of the dresser so that we could easily fit our tools on the "shelves". Not that you really needed to know that, but, in case you ever decide to paint a very small room, you can do it too! :) That's all that got accomplished on Day 1! :) We emptied the room, I painted the dresser, and we collapsed in sweaty heaps on the bed in our ice cold, air conditioned room. :)
Three years ago today my second child was born. It took us months to find a boy name that we liked. We chose Logan. That is until I had an ultrasound. The very second we saw his little body wriggling around we both KNEW he was not a Logan. Logan brought visions of tweed jackets and comb overs and Harvard and polished shoes and brains. What we saw on the ultrasound screen was rock climbing and the color orange. I can't explain it. I know it sounds weird. But it's the truth! So we settled on Caden. We wanted all of our children's middle names to be after family members, so we chose John for his because it's the name of my FIL. My pregnancy was perfect. I had fully intended to do a VBAC, but at around 26 weeks my hubby came home one day with this: "I don't know why, but all of a sudden I'm not really comfortable with you doing a VBAC." And so I switched doctors and had my second C-section scheduled. My mom was having health problems at the time, so we flew my MIL up from South Carolina to stay at the house with Silas during our stay at the hospital, which was an hour away. I was prepped, poked, stuck and tied to the bed in the OR. I.was.nervous. My first baby had been a section, but by the time he was born I had already been laboring for 24 hours so I was willing to do anything just to get him out. This was different. I was only 38 weeks along. I knew what to expect. And I was scared. They allowed Seth to come into the OR a few minutes before they pulled him from my womb. When I got my first glance of him, I burst into tears and said "I LOVE having babies!!!" :) And then I said "oh my word he looks just like your grandfather!" Haha! He was my hardest baby. He wasn't necessarily bad, but it was the worst year for our marriage, which made bringing a new baby into the mix very hard. Seth had started his own graphic design business in the basement. He would work all day at his normal job, walk in the door for dinner, then walk straight to the basement to work until 2am. I had horrible depression. Silas was only 16 months old at the time, and not even walking yet, so in a lot of ways I was a single mother to two babies. We've grown a lot since then, and learned even more, but those days were hard. Recovering from a c-section with another baby climbing up your leg was insane. I used to call my mom to ask if she could just come over to help me lift Silas in his crib for naptime because I wasn't supposed to be lifting anything. When Caden was about 5 months old he developed a horrible yellow scab on his head. We took him to our pediatrician who then prescribed a steroid cream without even trying to figure out what had caused it in the first place. That's when we started visiting a holistic doctor. A few months later he would be up night after night, just throwing up for no apparent reason. We were finally advised to take him to an allergist who then diagnosed him with milk/egg allergies. He also happens to have the Celiac gene. Poor kid! :) The yellow scab turned out to be an allergy to wool, which WE figured out on our own after realizing he was wearing the same wool hat all winter long. Thank goodness we never had that steroid cream prescription filled! He's also allergic to kiwi's. He's been egg/milk/kiwi/wool free for almost two years and still doing great. So far Celiac has not manifested itself, for which we are very thankful. At his "sickest" point, his weight dropped so low he was only in the 8% percentile for his age. I learned a lot about diet and nutrition, and now he's thriving again! Caden has been an enormous blessing to our family. He is the brainiest kid we have. Maybe we should've named him Logan, after all! He answers Silas' school questions before Silas can even answer! He loves books, puzzles, the piano, and motorcycles, but his biggest obsession has always been animals. We were really hoping to get him a puppy for his birthday, but we've decided to wait to see if we move. He was my hardest baby, but he has been my easiest toddler. Never complains for naps or bedtime. Never has bad dreams. Never complains about food. Well, maybe never is too strong of a word. He's just such a good kid! When you have your first child you think that once you have him figured out, you'll have all of your children figured out. Caden opened our eyes to the fact that this is very false. :) I praise God for bringing him into our family, and allowing me to be his mommy. In the morning he tells me I'm "so skinny", and if I braid my hair he tells me I look like a "barbie princess". :) I can't believe he's 3! We love you, Cade! Happy birthday bud!
I'd like to say that Pais' room is almost done. And I guess it is in some ways. But let me just tell you how many hurdles I've had to jump through this week. :( I have completely repainted ALL of her bedroom furniture. Twice. I have also experienced the thought "oh my word. I hate it." at least 5 times every single day. I have spent every single nap time in that room, taping and painting and taping and painting, only to start working again as soon as the kids were in bed again for the night. Last night I was up until 1am working on the room, and then comforting a sick child until 3am. I.am.tired. I can get over the exhaustion. I mean, come on, my mother instilled in me a love for caffeine! But what I'm discouraged about is the end result (not to mention the fact that I have 5 loads of clean, folded laundry still sitting in the basement and the house is filthy). Word to the wise: pick out your fabric before you pick out paint colors. Duh! The paint itself needs one more coat, and then it's time to assemble the furniture, go buy a twin mattress, and start to figure out accessories, bedding, and window treatments. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to show you by tomorrow! Anyway, here were my inspiration pictures...
This weekend has been enlightening, in all areas. FYI: this won't be a very entertaining post. :) We have just begun our 2nd week of school. I can't believe that I can actually say those words. I have waited my whole life to do nothing more than be a wife to a wonderful man, a mother to beautiful children, and to spend my days at home educating them. I am living my dream! Our first week of school was full of short little "motivating" talks. :) These included things such as "slouching on the couch and mumbling does not count as obedience when I ask you to say the Pledge of Allegiance" and "You may do legos, but only AFTER your school is done". For this year our schooling is only focused on Silas, who is 4. If Caden wants to chim in and answer a question, or sit and listen as well, then he is MORE than welcome, but we have chosen to not push "book work" with him. I also felt that Silas would grasp a lot more if the two of us were working one-on-one, rather than slowing things down so that the other children could be involved. I pull out special toys, or projects for the younger two to work on while we are doing school. So far so good, except for one thing. I HATE my school room! :) The fact that it's in the basement is so hard. Growing up, we did most of our school work at the kitchen table. Mom could start dinner, or clean up lunch, or make us deliciously homemade chocolate chip cookies while teaching us at the same time. Haha! How convenient is that!? Having to carry children down the steps, take the phone down, extra toys, etc is such a pain. The other reason I hate my school room right now is because it is still full of furniture that I am refinishing. I do realize, however, that it would be SO nice to have all of the books and worksheets down there instead of doing the daily "clearing off the table" ritual. Oh well. We'll get there. Painting the laundry closet over the weekend really put me in the mood to paint some more! Today I am working on Paisley's room. She has had the same furniture, paint color, and curtains for 20 months! I'm getting tired of it. :) I decided to challenge myself and have decided to NOT use pink. I want it to be very feminine, but a little less "baby girl nursery" than it currently is. So I've been perusing the internet for inspiration. I picked out my colors, got them approved from the Mr., made my trip to Lowe's this morning and have spent this afternoon painting. We're having a house full of people over on Saturday and my goal is to have it done by then. Can't even tell you how excited I am about it! :) Can I also just vent for a second??? Hmm....do you ever just wish that people who weren't in your position, or weren't called to the things that you were called to, would stop sharing their opinion about what you're doing? Seth had shared some things about the direction we feel God is leading us with some "older" people the other day and was completely shocked by their responses. Negative, frustrating, God-less opinions. It doesn't deter us from heading in the original direction, but does sadden us that there are people out there with that mind set. And oh.my.word. the amount of people who think that I am responsible for making my husband "liberal" (not following the things that Bob Jones stands for). AGH! If only they knew that it was me begging him to wear a tie on Sunday morning, or that it was me asking if we could attend a church that only sang hymns, or that it was me who kept asking "are you sure we're allowed to..." I am stuck in legalism to the enth degree, folks! :) I just wish others would realize that. Wishful thinking, I guess. Anyway, back to the title of this post. God has been opening our eyes to others needs. Whether they be relational, or physical, or financial. We just have so much... He was slamming doors in the basement on Saturday and when I asked what was wrong his response was "I'm just so sick of this house, and this mess. We need more room, and we need more land, and we need our house to sell, and we need..." I had the fleeting thought of "I'm so glad you're here today, and have to live the entire day in this house, with this many children so you know why I am DYING to move" before God changed BOTH of our hearts on Sunday. We....have.....so.....much. The real problem is that we have too much. We have too many toys to trip over, too many clothes to wash, too many dishes to pile on the counter, too many rubbermaid containers full of decorative accessories that I don't know what to do with! :) It's insane. We all have closets....the basement alone has 5 of them. They are literally packed full. As of Friday you couldn't even put both feet on the ground in the garage. And yet I'd be willing to bet that there is someone in my church, or down the street, or a friend of yours that would give anything to have the extra clothes that my boys can no longer wear that I am sick to death of sorting through and trying to find a place for. I feel like I'm rambling on and on, but the point is we've been thinking a lot. If living in this house, or driving an older car means we can be more of a blessing to others, than why in the world would we do anything different? We'd do it differently if we were focused on ourselves, that's for sure. I love nice things. You have no idea how much I adore my Coach, or my Louis, or my Volvo. But if I love them too much, then I can't love you as much. I don't know....just my thoughts, I guess. Sorry to bore you. :( I guess I just wanted all of this written down so that someday I can look back and remember. I promise the next post will be more entertaining. In the meantime....our air conditioner broke yesterday and we've been relying on fans. :) Seth is so excited to see what the electric bill will be like this month, while I'm watching the thermostat in the kitchen hit 90 degrees. I have a whole new respect for the people who go without A/C every day! :)
My laundry closet is done! I think I'm thankful, for the first time ever, that there are dirty clothes upstairs because that means I have to do laundry today! :)
This morning we emptied the shelves, took down the shelves, filled in the holes, sanded down the holes, and moved the appliances out of the way. Total $ spent: free! :)
I had leftover paint from when we painted our kitchen cabinets, so I just decided to use that. Total $ spent: free! :) The shelves are from Lowes. 72 1/2 " long and about $14 a piece. We bought two of those, and six of the metal L brackets to hold them up. I think the brackets were about $1.50 each. Total $ spent with the specials screws and all: $40.
My white buckets on the shelves are from the days when I was an Arbonne consultant. There is a good chance you soaked your feet in there at some point. :) I filled them with fabric. Yes, every single one has fabric in it. And this coming from the girl who doesn't know how to thread her sewing machine. :) I have my drying rack stored in between the washer and dryer.
I am SO happy with it! The chandelier was not hung, because it could not be found. :( That's what you get when you can't walk through your garage, I guess. So thankful for the extra storage, and for the paint on those walls!
Please read THIS from the Nester today. It totally made me say "what the heck? why didn't I think of that!?" My babies are sleeping and I'm supposed to be packing a picnic dinner for our trip to the park tonight to meet up with some of my hubby's old college friends. Instead, I think I'll just sit on my ever-expanding rump and consider my options of Nester's light bulb moment. Hope you all are having a fantastic Thursday! :)
When you walk into my basement, I have these nice, bi-fold doors.
Behind those doors await mass chaos. I am very happy with every other room in our home, except for this one. It has never been painted, and lacks the storage space we need.
This is where I stash my "extra's". Babe, if you're reading this, I know I just asked you to stop at Walmart for juice. What you don't know is that we already have some, but it's in my "in case the economy collapses or we get a tsnuami" pile, not my "it's available to use right now" pile. Hehehe... The two rubber-maids are full of fabric and crafting supplies. I have high hopes of sewing dresses for our sweet baby girl, but every time I come to the point of having the extra time, I remember that I don't know how to thread the sewing machine! :( Also please note the ridiculously ugly light fixture. Builders grade from Lowe's, I'm sure. You know what's even sad-er? I've had a new chandelier to hang in there for months, but it just hasn't made it's way to it's rightful spot yet. :(
Above the dryer sits the sewing machine, stain spray, detergent, and wads of dryer lint. Lovely, huh? I do believe I see a bottle of Drano in there too. Ironic, because we don't even have a drain in our entire basement. Hmm...
In the creepy crevices between the dryer and the wall sit 4, yes count them FOUR antique wash-boards. Can't wait to get these out of hiding! (you might also notice a broken dressage whip. used during my days of "daddy's money can buy you happiness on a horse")
So my reason for revealing my confession? I'm challenging myself to get this room DONE by the end of the week. Paint, lighting, shelves, organization, and a major cleaning. I'll be sure to post pictures, paint colors, and the cost for the entire "renovation". Can't wait! :)
Five years later, I am still so thankful he picked me. Blessed beyond belief with three miracle babies. Exposing my soul on a worn piano bench. Collecting my thoughts through dressage. Sipping something sweet and hot in the rain. Speechless of God's grace.