“Family”

This is my best friend.

This is my partner.

This is my husband.

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But, most importantly, he’s my family.

I am writing this post with love.  I truly am.  So I apologize in advance if it comes out any other way, but I feel like I need to write this post on behalf of other couples who are “childless”.

You see, this past week I was asked by someone when Adam and I are going to start a family.  This is a person whom I am not close with; a person I only have a professional relationship with and one with whom I have never had an intimate conversation.  And probably never will.

This is a very personal question.  For any couple.  And it was all I could do to say “It’s none of your business.”  Instead I responded as well as I could to say that it’s a very sensitive conversation for us.  She instantly was sorry that she asked (especially in front of another person with whom I have no connection with), saying she didn’t know.  Of course, she didn’t know.  But that’s why you don’t ask someone you hardly know when they’re going to have kids.  It isn’t polite.  And frankly, if I wanted you to know, I would tell you.

But I don’t.

So I won’t.

Over the last three years, we have struggled with fertility.  Two miscarriages and the inability to get pregnant within a year has not been easy.  It’s been hard.  Really hard.  But our family won’t begin when we’re holding our baby.  Our family began the day we promised our lives to one another through Christ.  In sickness and in health.  In joy and in sorrow.  Just the two of us.  And our cats. 🙂

So, if you’re ever in a situation where you want to ask a fairly young married couple when they’re having kids, don’t.  Not unless you have a relationship with them where you’ve talked about poop.  Then you might be able to ask them.  Might.

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Sheddin’ Some Light

What were we shedding light on?  This light.  To be more specific, this ugly light.

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For the last six years this light has been what we used to light up our drive.  Every time I drove in to the yard I would think I really need to get on that.  But there were always things that took precedent.  You know, like, school.  But a few weekends ago on a trip to a local to a antique store, I came across this beaut.

DSC_0006The shade that is.  I looked online for a bit, but became pretty discouraged when I saw outdoor light fixtures going for close to $200.  With the shade’s cost of $45 and the hardware store charging $60 for the parts (conduit, wiring, plus labor), I think I was able to get the better end of the deal.  A cost that was easier on my wallet.

Enlisting the help of Adam, we were able to take down the old fixture (after shutting the power off to this part of the house).

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For this step we had to figure out which wire we had to attach to the old wiring.  With a quick Google search, we learned when you have wires like what we had, the ridged wire is considered “white” and the smooth wire is considered “black”.  We then attached opposite wires to each other.

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Adam then attached the wires to the previous wires using the wire nuts.

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Once everything was hooked up properly, Adam was able to use screws to attach the light back to the carport.

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And, ta da!

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An ugly light we had lived with for the last six years was replaced in 20 minutes by a shade that is a lot easier on the eyes.  Kind of like a certain someone who plays first base for the Royals.  Or a certain someone who teaches Math and Science.  🙂

Have you ever rewired an outdoor fixture?  Anything I forgot to include?

The School House Switch-A-Roo

The last time I left you with a basement update, the bathroom looked like this:

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A bit rough and in need of a “homey” touch.

This past weekend, Adam and I moved a ton of stuff around the house.  All of the stuff that was in our guest room was moved out so we could get the guest bed moved into our new guest bedroom.  Among all the stuff was a lot of my decoration items.  Which meant I could take the bathroom from blah to bla-mazing!

And while we are at it, we also hung a few pictures up in our bedroom and did a few tweaks.  Here’s a peak:

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I am still on the lookout for a new comforter.  Something with navy blue in it.  Kind of like this.

We are really enjoying our new bedroom!  So comfy, so cozy, so clean.. so new!

Oh, yeah.  Back to the bathroom.  (That darn bedroom gets me every time 🙂 )  It looks quite a bit different from the original picture.  Which, in my opinion, is a good thing.  A really good thing.  Here’s what we are living with now:

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There are a few things on the bathroom to-do list which include:

*storage baskets for the shelf

*lengthen the fabric shower curtain

Unless I wanted to spend over a $100 on a shower curtain, I couldn’t get one that was long enough for where we wanted to hang the rod.  So, I have to alter this one.  And I have a plan!  Be on the lookout for a blog post soon.

With our items moved around, that meant we were able to put things where they will stay.  No more moving around!

DSC_0032Our closet storage now holds ALL of our sheets and quilts.  Every last one of ’em.

The family room needs a lot of organization, but I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.

DSC_0021Cluttered?  Yes.  Is everything down here the room needs?  Yes.  One of these weekends I’ll get to it.

DSC_0022Here’s another view of the family room.  My inspiration came from this post.  Once I have things in place, I think it will look a lot better.  Right now it looks really weird.  I also want to do a paint job like this from Bower Power on the buffet.  You can’t tell from the picture, but it’s in bad shape.  We bought if off of Craigslist almost two years ago on the cheap.  And there’s a reason why it was cheap.  If ya know what I mean… 😉

Going back upstairs, our old guest bedroom looks really well put together.

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I’m surprised we don’t have more people who want to stay the night.  Hmmmm…. On the other hand, our new guest bedroom looks like this:

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I am on the search for a night stand.  There was one of the Wal Mart sight I have my eye on, but I’m going to look a bit more before I really settle on something.  The mud marks are from where we took down the window that hung above our bed.  I’m not sure where it will go next, but it wouldn’t fit above the bed anymore so down it went.

So, there ya have it!  Our big switch-a-roo around our school house.  What do you think about our family room?  Any suggestions on how we can make our guest room more “guest friendly”?

Go ROYALS!

Sofia the Princess

Last weekend we were able to celebrate this not so little girl’s birthday.

DSC_0692(Just a warning, this post is full of pictures.  Like rul full.  So, if you don’t like to look at cute kids, fun family, and an awesome pumpkin patch, feel free to stop reading.  🙂 )

It seems like just yesterday when I rushed to the hospital after school to meet this sweet girl.  I remember staring at her thinking she was the most perfect baby ever.

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So when my sister-in-law asked if we would be able to host her birthday party at our house this year, how could I say no? Take a look at that face?  Could you say no?

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I didn’t think so.  🙂

Our house sported more pink than it normally does…

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The birthday girl had to feel like a princess, right?  Nothing like her cousin Wyatt to help her with the placement of a crown.  I think he got the practice from when he was in first grade.  When his big cousin (me) was in charge of finding crown attendants for Fall Homecoming, I nabbed him for such an event.  And he was adorable.

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But back to the birthday girl.

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After lunch and presents at the house, we all headed over to P and M Pumpkin Patch.  If you haven’t been yet; you need to go.  A great place for families!

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DSC_0704Funny story.

This is my mom.  (That isn’t the story.  Keep reading. 🙂 )

DSC_0706 My mom and Aunt Nolle decided they were going to go down the slide together.  Everyone who knows my mom knows it was going to take a lot of persuading her to do something like this.  You see, the slide went fast.  Too fast for her.  But we knew she would have fun.  Especially with Noelle.

So, they appeared to both go down together.  Except…

DSC_0733Noelle was the only one who came down.  Where in the world was my mom?

Turns out, she got a little scared, took longer than anticipated to get the guts, and then as she came down, she put her hands out to “slow herself down”.  It didn’t work.  That is when it came to slowing herself down.  What did work was bruising her elbows.  Yep, in addition to using her hands she also tried using her elbows.

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There was a lot of laughter.  A lot.

We also spent time exploring other attractions.  Such as…

The corn maze

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Love these boys.  Somewhere in my pictures, I have a picture of me holding Wyatt as a baby and then also a pic of me and him at Sof’s age.  When did he get so dang big?!

Pedal cars

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Train

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Pumpkin sling

DSC_0775Nash and I did the sling together.  I tried to be the good big cousin and let him chuck most of the pumpkins, but I definitely wanted in on this fun.  Especially when there is a dog on the other side barking at you.

DSC_0774I should say, we were not aiming for the dog.  Rather, the dog would get really excited about the incoming pumpkins.  When there weren’t any pumpkins coming his way, he would bark at us until we shot them across the small creek.

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Can you tell we’re related? 🙂

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We were too busy exploring the pumpkin patch to get a full family shot, but this is the closet we came to accomplishing such a picture.  You can’t see the birthday girl?  That’s because she was too busy running all over the place having the time of her life!

Oh, and for those who haven’t seen my grandma before, here’s a picture that really shows her true personality.

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April, this one’s for you.  🙂

We had a great time spending the afternoon together.  We especially had fun celebrating a smart, kind, caring little girl’s birthday.  Sofia, I love you so, so much!

(For more information about P and M Pumpkin Patch you can go here.  Be sure to not miss out on the fun!)

Spicin’ Things Up in the Kitchen

Get your head out of the gutter!  I’m talking about the new spice rack Adam built for me.  Out of scrap wood.  From our chicken coop project.  (How many short sentences can I type?  Probably too many so I’ll stop while I’m ahead.)

Our current spice rack was becoming a bit overwhelming when it came to holding our spices.  Like, I don’t know how much more it could hold.  We kept shoving them on there basically playing a weird game of Tetris.  And every time we did this, I would sigh heavily.  Very heavy.  Why?  It could have to do with the fact the rack was looking REALLY cluttered.  And considering the kitchen is the first room you walk in when you enter the house, it wasn’t necessarily what I wanted our guests to see.

After all of my heavy sighing, Adam took it upon himself to make my spicy dreams come true.  Look what he built.  (With taking a look at Shanty 2 Chic’s plans)

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I apologize for not having “in process” pictures.  Adam decided to build this while I was working on another project.  After he built the rack, it stayed in our basement for a few months.  Why?  I don’t know.  Maybe because of school?  Maybe it was because I was tired of painting (never thought I would type that), but I needed a bit of a break.  But when we began painting our basement trim, I figured I would make smart use of my time and paint this bad boy.  While I was at it, I decided to paint the inside of the rack a light blue.  You know, to add some whimsy.  P.Allen eat your heart out.

But I wasn’t done when I painted.  I figured while I was taking the time to paint, I would add just a bit more to the project.

Say hello to my little friend.

DSC_0597This friend always sticks with me.  🙂

I picked up some inexpensive scrapbook paper at Wal-Mart to use on the bottom of the shelves.  I thought the colors coordinated with the kitchen colors well enough without competing with the other patterns.

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Cute, playful.  Just my style.

Then it came time to cut the paper to size and adhere the paper to the shelf.  I used the Modge Podge to add a protective layer on the paper.  I’m not anticipating having to wet wipe the shelves down.  Just an occasional dry wipe will due every once in a while.

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Here’s a view from the front:

DSC_0596Immediately after this picture was taken, Adam hung up on the inside door of our pantry.  It works wonderfully!  Not only do we have our bulky spices off of our old spice rack, but we were also able to move our gallon bags, foil, saran wrap, and parchment paper to the bottom shelf.

So, what do you think?  Should we make another rack to add to the other door and do away with the spice rack above our sink?

Sneak Peek

This past weekend, we had some exciting things happen.  You know, like grocery shopping and getting laundry caught up. It’s household chores like these that I can’t wait to get to at the end of a busy week.  Just kidding!  But, seriously, we had an AWESOME weekend.  The kind I wish we could do it all over again.  Every minute.  Every second.  The first is that we were able to move into our new basement bedroom.  The second is we were able to celebrate a special little girl’s birthday with some incredible family.  Later on in the week I plan to blog about both events, but until then I’m going to leave you with a few pictures.

Enjoy!

-J

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The Short List on the Bathroom

Most of last week was spent hoping that we would have a finished basement to show you.  But, alas, I can’t.  Not yet.  But what I can show you are a few pictures of things we were able to accomplish while waiting for our construction guys to come back out and put the finishing touches on the project.

Sunday evening was spent painting trim.

All of it.

We painted two coats of primer and another two coats of paint.

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And we even painted this wonky piece.  It was a bit awkward to paint…

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On Sunday morning Adam had just gotten in from a quick trip to California and we both decided that it would be a good idea to make sure all of these pieces were ready to go when the construction guys could come back.  So, we put on our big adult pants and knocked it out.  All of it.  After Adam took a nap.

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But, when you are painting with someone like him, cleaning out a septic tank would be fun.  Imagine the jokes!  🙂

On Monday, I/we directed our attention to the basement.  Why?  Because our counter top and toilet had been installed!  Once the plumber bill is paid, we our officially done with the plumbing.  Sniff, sniff.  We have really enjoyed working with them.  Great communication, great to work with, and very reliable.  If you need a plumber, let us know.  We would gladly recommend them.  But, for some of you, you don’t need that information.

So….. on to the pictures!

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With limited space in our second bathroom, we planned for the shelves to be situated in an, otherwise, unused space.  The plan for now is to use them for towel and other bathroom storage.  The challenge will be to keep them from looking cluttered.  Wish me luck.

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We have had this mirror for the last six years.  We briefly thought about having a medicine cabinet installed, but when the sink location was moved from a studded wall to the cinder block wall, that thought went out the window.  Wanting to keep costs low (please read, not spend any more money than we had to), I shopped our house and decided this mirror would be the winner.

DSC_0592What do you think? 🙂

While this project is wrapping up, our to-do list is getting shorter.

*Paint interior doors

*Install knobs (bathroom counter, door knobs, closet)

*Install trim

*Vacuum floors and dust surfaces

*Install shower rod and shower curtain

*Move bedroom furniture to new room

Shorter list = big smiles on our faces.  

Friends and family, we can’t wait for you to be able to come and share our excitement!  We will definitely have a showcase here on the blog, but would love to share our excitement with you in person eventually.

-J

God is…

Do you ever have days where you wonder about God’s personality?  You don’t?  Oh, well, sometimes I do.  There are times when I think He is so incredibly patient.  So incredibly full of love.  And most days I think He is absolutely, incredibly funny.

We had such an example in our basement a few weeks ago.  Our construction guys had just laid the radiant heating coils in the bathroom and poured the thin set mortar.  What’s so funny about that?

Well, nothing.

Except for the fact that God made illiterate cats.

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My kids at school have asked if we have our kids at home. When I respond “no”, they have then told me that it’s probably a good thing; I wouldn’t want a big belly.  But, when our cats are this…funny, waiting for our kids is much more manageable.  🙂