Archive for May, 2012

Has a year gone by already? I don’t believe it.


Today, Jason took the day off work and we are going to shower our little ONE YEAR OLD with attention, kisses, hugs, the zoo, ice cream, toys, whatever he wants – which will include bubbles and ice (not together). As a family, we’ll celebrate the date that changed our lives forever.

Little did we know what a big impact this kid would have on us, on our marriage, on me as a woman. It’s amazing. All those things people tell you about having kids… are true. They change your life. You won’t remember life before them. They’ll bring you purpose. You learn to live on less sleep than you ever thought possible. They’ll drive you crazy. They’ll bring unspeakable joy.

I love that I know exactly how to make Kenton laugh when he’s crying. I love that I’m the one he reaches for when he’s confused, upset, happy, tired, cranky, excited, etc. I love that he points at everything he sees, says, “That?” (which sounds more like, “dAAT?!”) and is curious about the world around him. I love that his big, blue eyes stop strangers in their tracks and makes them smile.

I remember taking a walk around our block shortly after coming home from the hospital, our baby tucked in the stroller, and desperately trying to describe my overflowing emotions to Jason. I told him, “I can’t believe how much I love him and we JUST MET! I would give my life for him. WITH PLEASURE. if asked – and we don’t really even ‘know’ each other.”

Now, we know each other – and my feelings have only grown. I love him more everyday.

He changes every day. He wakes up from a nap and he’s taller. He spends an afternoon with Grandma and his face changes. I love that I get to be a part of this incredible time in this little man’s life. I would not change one thing about him. Not one thing. His temperament, his personality are God-given traits. They are blessings. I will spend my life encouraging him to be himself – to expose the good in him and call him to be who God created him to be.

What an incredible PRIVILEGE it is to be the mother of this child. My heart is overwhelmed. And it’s only been one year!

And, yes, we did get the FINAL shot in our 12 month journey to dress our child. Here’s a sneak peak… full post coming next week:

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So, it’s my baby’s first-birthday-eve and I’m cooking another…

20 weeks!

Evidence! He can kinda/sorta walk. He fell one step later though… see below.

…not sure when I’ll get used to that! It is so hard to believe that Kenton will only be my baby for a few short months. Then, the baby in the belly will be my baby – until… well, maybe forever. We’ll see. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I still don’t feel pregnant. This whole “second-pregnancy-while-raising-another-under-one” thing is, well, interesting. However, it is going by MUCH faster. I remember last time, I felt like it took FOREVER to get to the half-way point. Now, I’m already at 20 weeks? Wha…?! CRAP. I should probably get started on Kenton’s big boy bedroom to make room for this bambino. But, first things first, like… let’s try surviving the first birthday party this weekend before we tackle another project.

Also, I do miss wine more this time around. I wonder why?

And, down he goes…

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I cannot believe my baby is almost one! I literally broke into tears yesterday at 9:00 AM, because my water broke at that time on Memorial Day last year. Ahh, memories!

Kenton’s birthday is on Thursday and his party is on Saturday. So, it’s BIRTHDAY week on the blog! Hope you like cute blonde baby boys and mustaches. 🙂

The invitations have gone out and we’re having a mustache party! I’ll share all the details soon… Right now, I’m busy getting ready…

I’m making bunting. Cutting more mustaches than I ever imagined. Finalizing the menu. Cleaning (HA! Called back the cleaners I had to fire for one last hurrah!). Oh, and we’re frantically trying to finish our big painting project…

Can you see me and my baby bump in this really terrible, unedited photo?!

Thank you for all of the tips and suggestions you gave in answer to my cry for help last week. We finally figured it out – after much cursing and gnashing of teeth. The lines are straight and the paint is drying – we still need a second coat and it’s a HUGE bummer that Jason’s back decided to give out before the job was done. So, that’s going to be interesting! But, we will get it done – even if I have to cover it in mustaches.

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All week, we’ve been (finally) painting our living room and dining room. And by “we” I mean Jason:

Remember, I’m pregnant. FUMES! (Was I supposed to leave the house when he was painting? If so, OOPSIE.

But, seriously, that room needed a serious overhaul. Here’s what it looked like just a few weeks ago:

Am I riiiiiight?

Thankfully, those couches are long gone and we got some cash instead – which paid for another couch. Long story. I’ll fill you in later.

Anywho, the point of this post is to seek some advice. We’re painting the rooms a neutral color, but the plan is to do horizontal stripes on the longest wall… which is about 25 feet long.

They’ll be about 15 inches wide, but I cannot FOR.THE.LIFE.OF.ME. get the first line straight.

I’ve been measuring from the ceiling, but apparently the ceiling isn’t even?! (WTH?)

Any ideas? Tips? Anyone done anything similar and have a suggestion that will work?

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Gallery Wall

The gallery wall is complete!

Which means the wedding wall is gone…

I did let one photo stay! 🙂

I’ve tried a gallery wall before – in our rental house. It looked really bad. This time, I took my time and really worked on it to make sure it was exactly what I wanted. I followed the Young House Love tutorial on gallery wall-ing, which includes putting trash on your wall…


The wall looked like this for more than a week. It went through several variations (five, I think) before it was just right. Having exact cutouts of the gallery wall frames was incredibly helpful! The hubs loved that I could play with the arrangement without putting multiple holes in the wall.

Once I had the arrangement just right, I arranged the frames on the floor – just to see how they looked and make sure I liked how things were coming together…

I was happy! So, I moved forward with measuring just where each nail would go and nailing through the paper first. Then, hanging each piece and making sure it was perfectly centered on the paper.

Once everything was set, Jason spray painted the non-white frames for me (trying to obey the do’s/don’t’s of pregnancy!).

Jason did a coat of primer and two coats of a high-gloss white paint on each frame. In hindsight, I should have done a matte finish, not gloss – but it’s not a huge deal. Now that the frames were the right color, it was time to pick the right photos or artwork for each one.

That’s not my baby.

Nope. That’s a baby I picked up at a thrift store for $2. Not the baby, obviously, but the frame. I could tell the frame would paint well and the price was right, so I snagged it. I thought the image was an advertisement. Nope! When I took it out of the frame, I saw it was a real photo of someone’s baby…

That’s what was on the back of the photo. How sad is that?! Someone donated their newborn’s photo to a thrift shop. In true ex-reporter fashion, I did a little digging to see if I could find anything on Miss Alexis – but nothing turned up. Guess she’s still too young for Google searches. So, I tossed the photo. Wasn’t that attached to the story. 🙂 It was replaced with one of the state maps I got for free from this site.

Working clockwise from top, left – here is what I included in the gallery frames…

1) Maine map: The state where Jason and I met, fell in love and got engaged. It’s also where he grew up and the only other state he’s lived in.

2) Pray art: I picked this piece up at the Junk in the Trunk sale, from my friend’s company – The Red Dutch Door.

3) Wedding photo!

4) Baby photo! Sweet shot of our sweet boy taken during our 2011 family photo shoot. I think the colors tie in perfectly with the rest of the wall. Here’s a closer look:

5) Fabric: I picked up the frame at the Junk in the Trunk sale and put some fabric in it that will soon be in the master bedroom. It’s also the same print, but different colors as a framed fabric in the new playroom.

6) The one wedding photo that got to stay from the wedding wall.

7) Arizona map: The state where Jason and I were married, started our life together, bought our first home, and had our first bambino! Hopefully, it goes without saying – this is also where we live now.

8) Sweet photo of Kenton’s baby hand grasping Jason’s ring finger – also from the 2011 family photo shoot. There’s a glare on that shot above, so here’s a better look:

9) Awesome shot of our “first baby” – our Bulldog, Bowdoin when he was a puppy.

10) A poem that I spotted on Pinterest and recreated myself – but it’s a work in progress and I’ll be tweaking it. Here’s a closer look:

11) An “F” for our last name.

Finally, the budget-breakdown:

$4.92 – prints at Walmart for #’s 4 and 8.

$8.00 – “Pray” framed piece

$6.50 – for the frame holding the fabric

$4.26 – white spray paint (which I will also be using for other projects)

Everything else I either already had or was free!

TOTAL = $23.68

That’s it! That is the story behind our gallery wall. What do you think? Did it turn out okay?

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19 weeks!

So, today marks week #19 of this pregnancy, but also a couple other significant events. Today is my dad’s 59th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad! I love that man. Today is also the anniversary of Kenton’s due date. Yet, his birthday’s not for another eight days. (Hmm… remember that week last year? Yep, lots of whining.) It is crazy how fast this year has gone by. People warned me, but I didn’t necessarily believe them – but they were right.

Last time around, we had our 18-20 week ultrasound right at 18 weeks. This time, huh? What? Oh yeah, I guess I should schedule that. It’s today. So, I’ll probably update this post tonight with a comparison shot of the two bambinos. And… if you’d like to try and convince us to find out the sex (we didn’t last time)… feel free in the comments below! 🙂

UPDATE! We’re having a BABY. 🙂 That’s all we know for now… yes, we’re keeping the gender a surprise. Here is the ultrasound photo next to the 18 week ultrasound of his/her big brother:

Isn’t he/she sweet?!

PS: I had the privilege of seeing the new Dream Book Design baby this week! Adrianne and I go way back… and it was so fun to see her little, handsome baby boy. He is PRECIOUS! She’s posting her birth story this week, and if you’re a sucker for those like me – make sure you check out her site.

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An evil monster

I’m a bit late on today’s post, but I have a good excuse. So good, in fact, I’m going to keep this short.

A monster has invaded our house. I don’t know what his name is, but he is evil. He takes his scaly hands, reaches into your belly and stirs everything up until it goes out the way it came in. When it’s empty? Dry heaving.

See what I mean? EVIL.

So far, he has set his sights on Kenton and I, but I’m sure Jason is next. Which would be terrible because he’s in the midst of painting the living and dining rooms. Oops, I mean it would be terrible because the evil monster stomach devil is terrible.

Later. I need to refresh my ginger ale.

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State Art DIY

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged over on Her View From Home about some fantastic FREE state art. I chose Arizona and Maine to be featured on the Dream’s upcoming gallery wall:

Those are the two states where the hubs and I have history together. Personally, I’ve lived in 10 states and it might be fun to do a collage of all of them at some point. Which is just what my friend Danielle did.

She read my Her View from Home post and was inspired to put this fun piece together – that’s displayed in her kitchen. Here’s her email:

I think I will eventually change the hearts from the state capital to where we lived. And outline the L. I resized all of these in photoshop. I just wanted to get it up before Miles’ party this weekend.

Her adorable son Miles is having his big FIRST birthday party this weekend. Here he is with the new artwork:

And here is his big brother – and big personality – Jax, showing off mom’s handiwork:

Aren’t they CUTE?!

Danielle and I go way back to Portland, Maine – where we were both reporters at WMTW-TV. We weathered many a blizzard together! Danielle and her husband, Guy have lived in many states together – and this funky statement (see what I did there?) is a great conversation piece for their home.

Danielle is now a professional photographer, based in Massachusetts. If you need someone to shoot your baby (with a camera!), your wedding, your family, etc… she’s your gal. Check out her website here. She’s also incredibly gifted with PhotoShop and helped design some amazing invites for Kenton’s upcoming (fast!) first birthday party. I’ll be sharing those soon.

Also, Danielle has one little problem area in her kitchen – and would like some thoughts on what to do with it…

Here is a pic of the space above our stove. I’m stumped as what to do there. There is a pic there for now… but I’d love some help from you and your readers for ideas.

 What do you think? It is kind of an odd space, huh? I feel like there should be a window there or something. Here are a few ideas:
  • DIY subway art (similar to my Sunshine piece in the nursery) – would be big and bold to fill the space and could be a clever/catchy phrase for the kitchen.
  • Spray paint a fancy outdoor welcome mat and put a clock on it, like Leslie did.
  • Find a wrought iron piece (likely at a vintage or flea market) that fits the space.

Lovely readers, what do you think? Do you like any of those ideas – or have another to share with Danielle?!

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The playroom is slowly coming together, but let’s go ahead and put a fork in one wall. It is done.

If you’ve been following this blog since the nursery design days, you may remember those faces. The sheep and cow are original paintings by my mom. She gave them to us for the nursery, but they just didn’t fit there. But now they have the PERFECT spot.

Thanks to this dude, Kenton is obsessed with saying, “Moooooooooo!” and now thinks that’s what all animals say.

He’s working on “Baaaa” – but doesn’t quite have it down yet. (He does, however, do a great ROAR.)

Anyway, we are so grateful to my talented momma for giving us these paintings. They did look a bit lonely on that big ol’ wall, so I filled the space between them with some embroidery hoops and a menagerie of fabrics:

I’m really excited with how these turned out. Each piece of fabric has a story and some have ties to other rooms in the Dream. It’s also so cool that this little collage started out as a pile of random fabrics that seemed daunting…

I scored the hoops at a thrift store for $2 each…

I took my time and played around with which fabrics would go in the different size hoops – which wound up being primarily decided based on how much fabric I had on hand.

So, people are doing this every.where. Displaying all sorts of fun fabrics in these hoops. I never really understood how you could tie this together, but what I learned doing this project is that you shouldn’t overanalyze it! 🙂 I love that these fabrics all coordinate, but don’t match… and they all have a little story…

Yes! This is the fabric I found recently at a thrift store. You’ll see more of it in the playroom soon!

Saw this in the clearance section at Home Fabrics and had to snag it. You’ll also see more of this in the playroom soon!

Yeah, so, the “Dream outdoor collection” has been a work in progress for about two years (embarrassing). I’ve made two pillows and cut all the fabric (the hard part!) for new seat cushions, but have yet to actually sew them together. Anywho, these polka-dots are part of the patio fun.

I snagged a small piece of this fabric from the clearance section of Jo-Ann’s a while ago. I just loved the print and color. Unfortunately, there was not an obvious place for it – until now. (Ironically, I found the SAME fabric with different colors on clearance at Home Fabrics a couple weeks ago – and that will soon be making an appearance in the master bedroom and a couple other spots. Yay!)

And I had just enough of the yellow striped fabric leftover from the nursery portrait project for the itty-bitty hoop. I LOVE that the downstairs playroom has a subtle tie to the upstairs nursery. 🙂

So, this project specifically cost me $10. The paintings were free, the fabric is all scraps from other projects and the hoops set me back just $10. I would definitely call that – SUCCESS!

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18 weeks!

Aside from moments of really low energy, I still don’t feel pregnant (not complaining!). However, I am experiencing some pregnancy-induced allergies and possible migraines. GOOD. TIMES. I’ve had the sneezes/sniffles/itchy eyes/scratchy throat thing going for six weeks now and am SO READY for that to be done. Dr. Donnelly, if you read my blog (doubt it), expect to be peppered with MAKE IT STOP pleas at my next appointment. And the migraines – wowzah. Those hit out of nowhere. Actually, I’ve never had a migraine, so I’m not even sure that’s what it is, but all of the sudden, I will get intense, stabbing pain in my head that will affect my vision. Not fun. AT. ALL.

On a positive note, I saw the belly move for the first time this week. That was weird. The baby certainly isn’t big enough to do that, but must have been doing some serious flips, causing the fluid in there to jostle around. It was really special. Plus, it happened on Mother’s Day. AWWWWWWWWE!

Also, snapped this pic on Mother’s Day:

It is so hard to believe that this was my one and only Mother’s Day as momma to one. CRAZINESS.

PS: This is (hopefully) the last week we have to endure iPhone bump photos! My broken lens is supposed to be released from ICU on Friday. Fingers crossed!

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