My 3 Favorite Blogs (Right Now)

I know I haven’t written a post in a while. But I have been reading other blogs. Here are my three favorites reads right now (they are all over the map topic-wise).

1. House Tweaking: The Millers are fixing up a mid-century ranch after downsizing. They have two sons and just had a little girl (I might be a bit biased). I love Dana’s style and all the information they share. I love seeing their new house come together. 

2. Mama Pop: Snarky, sarcastic coverage of pop-culture written by parents. I have a little dream of writing for this blog someday. 

3. Practical Theology for Women: I’m honestly not adding this in just so you won’t judge me for loving the pop-culture blog so much. Wendy Horger Alsup writes this blog (titled the same as her book). She says the blog is a “lecture to herself” but I am so glad I get to listen in. When I see a new post in my reader, I know I have to save it for when I can really pay attention because there is so much to take in.

Nine Months

That is how long it takes us to paint a kitchen (well, and a few other projects thrown in there too).

We primed in April and then I found out I was pregnant and things kind of came to a halt. Then we decided to have an over-the-stove microwave installed, tile removed and a bead-board backsplash put in. I still have more plans for the kitchen but I am loving the lightness of the new color (Sweet Spring by Benjamin Moore, color-matched with Behr Paint). The rest of the living area (family room and hallway) are the same color as well now. We need pictures on the walls and a rug in the family room still. And now that I look at those pictures, I see I need to replace that red floor run in the kitchen as well (goodbye to all red!)

It never would have happened without Heather, my mom and D. Thank you all!

Fall Pinterest Challenge

The Pinterest Challenge is back from some of my favorite bloggers. The whole goal is to actually make something that you have pinned. I have my eye on one of these two DIY mobiles.

Now I just need to decide which one.

Quick Update from our house…

Baby Update: Baby Girl is good and we have just nine weeks to go (maybe ten, but hopefully not eleven).  Her butt is right up at the bottom of my ribs where it is supposed to be according to my midwife. This is a fact that makes both boys giggle.

DIB Update: The good news is he is learning and getting better writing his name and letter sounds. The bad news is that he is very easily distracted by the things around him (specifically 25 other classmates) making it hard to demonstrate his skills. I’m very thankful for his teacher right now who is on top of things, loves him and is helping us figure out some stuff together.

AIB Update: The kid still loves school. He loves going and playing with the other kids and he is a delight to his teachers. Something he doesn’t love? Eating anything with nutritional value. Mealtimes are no fun right now.

D & K Update: We have a new goal to accomplish one task/project per night. Some are big and some are small. Last night we went through the chaos that is the basement/toy room and got rid of a lot and organized what remained. I am happy to say that Mr. Potato Head, his friends and all their parts are in two plastic bins now rather than dispersed around the floor of the basement.

Home Improvement

I woke up yesterday morning and my brain was bursting with ideas to organize this house. Nesting? I’m not sure. Clutter and disorganization zaps my energy and mood. My kitchen has been 75% primed since April (started to prep for painting & then, surprise, pregnant!). The “nursery” is a disaster area where all things without a designated place have ended up. In truth, we need to schedule some projects on the calendar or they will never get done.

Things on my to-do list:

1. Paint the trim in kitchen, living room and hallway.

2. Prime & paint the walls in kitchen, living room and hallway (and, possibly, nursery).

3. Put the finishing touches on the boys room including:

  • Fix closet doors
  • Hang RIBBA shelving for book storage
  • Hang some pictures
  • Hang some hooks to store backpacks and jackets
4. Turn hallway linen closet into a cloffice (office + closet). See examples below.

1) The Mustard Ceiling 2) Apartmentalizing 3) My Mid-Century Modern Life

5. Add storage to bathroom for towels and linens.
7. Hem and de-tab IKEA curtains in living room.
8. Based on the results of Thursday’s ultrasound, start planning nursery (crib, dresser & wall mirror already owned).
Whew, that is an overwhelming list. On top of it all, I’m doing a garage sale with my mom next weekend hoping to get rid of some unnecessary items in our house.

Reading Material

Just in case you were looking for something to read.

A New Normal from Wendy at Practical Theology for Women

Our need for God is better highlighted in hard circumstances. When life is good, I inevitably gloss over my need for Him. But His unchanging character is the only anchor for my soul when life gets messy.

How many times do I need to link to this blog to encourage you to add it to your reader?

Hope from Heather at The Chaseys….

I’ve learned that this is a reality for a lot of women. But as someone who hasn’t had to go through the pain myself, it’s been hard to relate to and grieve alongside women who I care deeply about. A friend referred me to this post written by Molly Piper and I decided that it was a great place to start–I needed to educate myself. After some research, I purchased Hannah’s Hope. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, but I do know that my heart has been changed by this book and I hope my actions and words are more sensitive to those who are hurting.

A whole series on this project: Modern Wood Fence from My Mid-Century Modern Life

I am just in love with this outdoor room and my friend and her husband created. I’ve showed it to D and we have a hard time imagining how this might work in our yard but I can dream, right?

For the Orphan: Life Upside Down from the For the City blog…

“You know what? The biggest thing is to not be afraid to pray big prayers,” Cara says, glancing at the baby in her arms and nodding her head toward his brother. “These boys are worth it. Their mom is worth it. And God is completely able.”

(That one made me cry a little).

Sunday Seven

1. Not too long ago I got a new pair of glasses. I just need a little help seeing long-distance, especially at night. I was able to get them from a trendy place around here because of a great Groupon deal they had but I wish I had known about Warby Parker first. They are like the TOMS of glasses and the price is unbelievable – $95 for lenses and frames.

2. Last weekend, S came to church with on Sunday and had lunch with us afterward. On Monday, we went to visit M & T. They are doing so well. It was fun to catch up with their mom and hear M’s developing vocabulary. I got some great pictures of all the kids playing together. It was too cute.

3. I tweeted last night that every day I am tempted to spoil my kids. They are so cute and wonderful and I just want to give them everything that want. But I cannot do that for many budgetary reasons and won’t do that because I know it is bad for them. However, we did give them a pretty good Saturday this weekend which ended with a trip to a carnival, their first “roller coaster” ride, cotton candy, elephant ears, staying up an hour and a half later than normal and being allowed to sleep together on the top bunk (because they are still small enough to pull that off). It was nice to be able to give in a little.

4. I have not updated much on the adoption finalization because nothing had really changed. We are waiting on a signature and a court date. The goal is early July.  You could pray for that to happen if you like.

5. DIB is officially obsessed with Fireman Sam. In fact, he thinks that he is Fireman Sam.

On these hot days both boys definitely need a down time but I’m actually trying to break them of their nap in the afternoon (I know, that seems kind of crazy). DIB is going to full-day kindergarten in the fall and AIB has been having a hard time falling asleep at night. Fireman Sam has been serving as a great down time distraction.

6. I loved this story about a father who waved to his teenage son every morning this past school year as the bus drove by their house. In costume!

His son says he is embarrassed. I think he will appreciate it later.

7. Lastly, DIB randomly said this to in the car today:

I am really, really happy that I live with you guys now.

Totally out of nowhere. Sometimes we get a little glimpse of what is on their hearts. We are really, really happy they are with us too.

Saturday Seven

1. Mad Men: Season Four came out on DVD on Tuesday. D and I watched the first episode last night and the most exciting thing for me is the new Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices. The furniture and fixtures are amazing. When I see something I like, I just have to name it out loud so while watching, I was just randomly saying, “Couch. Table. Chair.” It is probably annoying.

2. I’ve been thinking of making this my profile picture on Twitter and Facebook but D was not nearly as amused by it as I am.

3. I went a little nuts at the Benjamin Moore store on Wednesday with paint swatches and then randomly bought three paint samples: November Rain (way too cool), Nantucket Gray (too dark) and Guilford Green (way too green). The first swatch up there is one I thought I had already decided on, Coastal Fog.

4.  I talked to Heather, calmed down a bit and bought two larger paint samples at Home Depot today (who happily matched the Benjamin Moore colors for me) in Coastal Fog (my original choice) and Sweet Spring (a slightly more green choice).

5. I asked what type of primer I should get to paint over red and the worker at Home Depot recommended Kilz Gold so we picked up a gallon of that as well. She made a comment about the former owners painting the walls red and I said, “Oh, no that was me.” I can’t wait to say good-bye to Roasted Pepper (Behr).

There is no turning back now.

6. Have you heard of Pinterest? You should join it now. Here is a good explanation of what it is.

7. Today was a rare Saturday without a lot of plans. We ran errands and I was able to get this shot of my three favorite people in the world. I so wish I was able to show you their cute faces.

Style Friday

I’ve been wearing this legging/black tunic/jean jacket combo lately because, well, it is easy. I thought it might be a little trendy. But then I started watching My So-Called Life on Netflix after someone posted on Facebook that it was on Instant Play and I realized I’m straight early-to-mid-nineties. Also, I haven’t cut my hair in months so I’m looking a lot like Kelly Taylor.

Here is a fun fact about me: I had HUNDREDS of quotes from My So-Called Life typed out and pasted in my journals. This is a show that was cancelled the first season and only had nineteen episodes but somehow managed to define my teenage-angst perfectly. Is there a modern-day equivalent…anyone copying & pasting Glee quotes?

Saturday Seven

1. Party! We celebrated our five year old with family last night. He had a fantastic time and could not be more thrilled about all his presents. He is very loved! And I’m searching Craigslist and Target for toy storage options.

2. I have two plans for my birthday money: paint for the living room/family room/kitchen and a new purse. I had several purses picked out and I thought I was ready to take the leap and buy one with my birthday money. But it turns out that I’m cheap and I just can’t bring myself to spend a lot on a purse. By pure luck, I stopped in at Parisian and found a bag the fit my specifications 40% off. The sale went until 2pm and I walked into the store at about 1:45pm. I found the purse, picked a color really fast and walked out with this. The main thing I wanted was lots of pockets and a cross-body strap.

3. And since I did not spend what I thought I would on a purse for my birthday, I am looking forward to putting one of these colorful runners in the kitchen once it is painted. And maybe this wall clock too.

1. Cayden Runner 2. Green Wall Clock 3. Example of our new paint color – Coastal Fog 4. Kyle Green Runner

4. Spilled Milk recently did an episode on “Spouseless Eating” which I thought was so funny. I often wonder what D eats when I’m gone. I’m pretty sure it is mostly cereal. My eating habits when I’m on my own have a big range. They can either be really, really unhealthy (French onion dip and potato chips) or just something my husband would never eat (Chickpeas, spinach, red pepper flakes and a fried egg on top). Anyone else change what they eat when they are on their own?

5. Last weekend, I drove back and fourth to Cincinatti to visit this guy.

We bonded. He decided he loves his auntie.

6. On my ride to and from Cincinnati, I listened to the audio version of Adopted for Life (a free download for just a few more days). We have lots of copies of this book and have given it to many people but I had never read the whole thing. I was really encouraged and challenged by Dr. Moore. I identified with his struggle in parenting his adopted children.

Just as it is common to under-discipline children who’ve been adopted, it’s just as common for parents to try to over-discipline them…Here I am speaking of a lack of patience, an expectation that children should be well-behaved and well-adjusted at an accelerated pace.

This was the problem in my case. I was gentle and loving with the children, but I was constantly correcting misbehavior – including things that weren’t defiance or disobedience, just immaturity. My problem was simple, and as devilish, as pride. I didn’t want to be embarrassed. I didn’t want all those people who thought our adopting was foolish to be proven right.

I saw myself so much in this quote. I know when I am unable to predict the boys’ behavior I either avoid socialization with others all together (especially those who I perceive as skeptical of adoption) or become a hovering mom watching their every move. It would be better for all of us if I could get over myself a bit and trust that God knew what He was doing when He called us to adoption.

7. Lastly, I’ve already fallen behind on my bible verse memorization plan but I still think I can get this done by the end of February:

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called songs of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

(Matthew 5:7-10, ESV)