Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monogram Wreath...For Valentines!

So remember this post about an easy holiday monogram wreath you can make??

Well if you made one, I hope you kept it because it most definitely can be used for Valentine decor...

I had mine on the door by itself after Christmas and decided I wanted to add more to it.  Well then I got to "dilly dallying" as Mike calls it because I'm a major "dilly dallier".  After digging through bins I found an old wreath from last year that I decided to spruce up instead but really wanted to continue to use my monogram wreath throughout the winter!  I think it looks great in the dining room on this old window!

This is not the wreath I was just talking about but it's another old one that I found in the attic and it was a little beat up from surviving several Pennsylvania winters so I just turned it over to the other side, hung it a little crooked for fun and it works just fine!

This is the wreath I was talking about.  I made the main wreath last year, you can go here for how to make it.  But then as I continued to "dilly dally" I added a few things like the red, wired ribbon and the oh so fun white, feather balls and then well of course I had to add a tiny little letter "D"!!  Cannot have a wreath without the initial;)

I really don't decorate too much for Valentine's Day but the winter can be so long even if there's no snow so it's fun to liven up the house a bit.

A little "frou-frou"?  Perhaps but Valentine's Day is a "frou-frou" holiday so why not!

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our Unexpected {normal} Journey...

Looking back at how many blog post I had in the previous year, there has been a big decrease in the amount lately.  Of course every day life with 3 kids takes over, moving, holidays, all that.  But what I've come to realize and what I never thought would be is:  our unexpected journey is pretty darn "normal".  At least to me it is and maybe I haven't blogged as much because the crazy life I thought I was going to have with a child that has special needs isn't all that crazy after all.  Maybe there's just not a whole lot to blog about.  Or maybe it is crazy and I've just gotten used to it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is:  You adjust.  You adjust to your new normal.  Everyone's "normal" is different.  Everyone has there own kind of craziness in their lives.  And I think we all eventually adjust.

Of course my life hasn't been "peachy keen" over the last few years but looking back day to day,  it's just.... normal.  It's OUR normal.  Yes, life can be "normal" with a child that has special needs.  I never thought it would be but right now, it is.  As far as the future...that's another post for another day.

So with all of this I've realized I haven't updated in a while on anyone really so here goes:

  • Lot's more walking from this one!!!  So fun to watch!  
  • Lot's more talking and signing!  I need to  share a video of him with his little flash cards, so cute!  
  • We're working on color recognition, counting, saying 2-3 word sentences-still a ways off on this but he has said "ball please" and "want ball" several times.  He's initiating things that he wants or doesn't want;) so much more now instead of grunting or crying like:  "up", "more", "down", "no", "again", "beats" {fresh beat band;)}.  
  • With all these positive things there are some negatives though:  feeding-no real change...ugh.  Enough said on that.  Juuust about to lose it in that department. 
  • Also, B is extremely attached to me, what can I say the, the kid LOVES me and he's with me ALL.THE.TIME!  So...church nursery isn't going so well lately but they haven't had to come get me and they've been very sweet about it.  I think I just need to stop apologizing for my crying kid and realize that he's 2, and it has nothing to do with Down syndrome, it's a phase, he'll get over it.  But he is pretty darn good at manipulating me;0
  • She's loving preschool and 
  • She's registered for kindergarten!  Ahhh!
  • Harper is a pretty easy kid when it comes to learning things for school and such but she's still 4 so that's a challenge all by itself. 
  • She loves dance, can't wait for her birthday...in May (still talks about it like it's next week though) and pretty much seems to love life.

  • She had a birthday in December and turned 7!!  Can't believe my baby is 7!
  • She's loving school as well, reading, adding, subtracting and enjoys playing school when she's not in school.  
  • We have year-round school in NC so during "track out" she plays with the neighbor's girl and they learn from each other while playing school-it's great!  
  • Ainsley has lost 7 teeth and a recent dentist visit revealed that she may need some teeth pulled as well as braces in the near future. That wasn't a surprise.


  • The new job seems to be going well.  
  • A new position always brings new "things" but Mike handles stress incredibly well.  
  • He's been running a ton and I'm so proud of him!  I keep pushing him to run "just 10 minutes more" and for weeks he said "NO" but now he is and the girls get so excited when they see daddy running by the house because he's going "just a little bit further"! Nagging from a wife isn't always so bad;)
  • He had a birthday in December as well!


Mike has done something to the computer and this is the only pic I can add to the blog right now-lol and ugh!  Really hoping that's fixed soon!!  But this is me last week, just in case your weren't sure;)
  • As always, I'm thinking of ways to decorate my house, change things up and so on.  Pinterest continues to inspire me.  And with a new house, I've got lots of "plans"! 
  • I've decided to face some fears, get out of my comfort zone as far as exercise goes and compete in a triathlon so I've upped my running.
  • Now I need to get back in the pool after being out of it for 12 years and learn how to ride a bike again;)  
  • I celebrated a birthday too and I'm feeling very old (Mike, Ainsley and I are all within weeks of each other!)
  • I'm also trying to grow my hair out.  I know, I'm not very exciting.

But that's us.  Just "normal" I guess.  May not be normal to some but whatev.  We're enjoying the new year so far and I'm looking forward to forming deeper friendships, making new ones, keeping in touch with old friends, more decorating, more crafting, more milestones, kindergarten for H, preschool for B, family time, a warm spring {hopefully}, good health... just a happier year in general.

Thank you for reading our little blog and for all the recent comments lately about how you found us and why you follow.  Whatever the reason, I'm glad you're here!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A cure for the winter {decorating} blues....

It's called post-Christmas-decor depression.  At least that's what I call it.  You take down all the holiday decor and your house feels bare.  The holidays are over and you're wondering what to do now.  Some of you don't even really decorate for the holidays anymore  or don't celebrate it so you're ahead of the rest of us-no post-Christmas-decor blues for you!  But for those of us that went crazy with our garland, wreaths, bows, and whatever else we found on pinterest;) here's my little "pick me up":

Nature!  Go outside and bring it in!  Snow {epson salt!} and pine cones-why not?  Also...pops of color-I'm loving light blue and red right now and probably always will.

White is always refreshing, wintry but still warm.

I saw this on pinterest {where else?!} and since we have a MILLION pine cones in our yard, I thought it would be an easy fix for my windows that once had glittering ornaments hanging but looked so bare after the holidays.  I just gathered the pine cones, got my jute string that I use for pretty much everything, hot glued the string to the cones and attached it all to the window with a clear thumb tack.  Simple, natural decor.

Here's more of my pops of color-red against blue.  The walls are a very light blue by the way, which is very hard to tell with the lighting of these pics-more on the color in a few.

I adore silhouettes and these were so inexpensive and capture my kids right down to Harper's little button nose-love it!

Of course I didn't forget my bub, Bennett;)

Here's the family room, de cluttered from all the holiday decor.  I'm keeping the wintery red/snowflake pillows because they make me happy and will probably change them out for a more nautical look come spring or maybe chevron because if you ask me you can never go wrong with chevron.  The white pillows stay because white goes with everything!

So I'd like to change out the dark wool rug for something much lighter but just can't seem to find what I'm looking for that's not too pricey and good for dogs and kids!  Any suggestions??  I'm looking for something less traditional (I'm thinking big stripes) and basically cheap but still stands up to stains-lol, help me out people!

The other side.  See how different the blue walls look from this angle?

More nature for you and an awesome little, silver set from my grandmother.

And the view from the kitchen.

This is probably my favorite house we've had so far {this is our fifth one btw} and not because it's the biggest {it isn't} or the newest {it isn't} or the one with the nicest appliances or the trendiest light fixtures {it isn't} but because it fits our family the best.  It's warm, it's homey, it's solid, and we're truly comfortable in this home.

Here's the color I used for most of the downstairs.  It's called "In Your Eyes" from Benjamin Moore and I'm soooo happy with it!  Using blue in the main living area was a big change for me but it's been a "dream" of mine so I'm glad I took the leap from my old color palette of green and gold.  So much lighter and brighter for me.  I swore I wouldn't paint another house because I hate painting but I just couldn't help myself!

Oh and I've been meaning to share a very small project of mine {another pinterest inspired one}-the numbered stairs!  No, I did not paint them!  I paid $12 for these cool vinyl stickers and while it took a while to get them centered and straight {still not sure if they are}, I think they're so fun.

I've got lots of decorating goals in this house this year but hoping not to spend much.  One last thing I want to share, a little goal of mine:  to add more pictures like these....

I just love old pictures but especially ones that actually have meaning.  My dad.

Enough said, period.

My heart could burst with pride.  Okay, I know, enough said.

My mom and me (in the stroller) in the Netherlands.  I think we look so much alike when I see her in this picture and I love her style.  My mom has always been quite the fashionista.

So I want to incorporate older family pictures in with the new ones.

I hope this has inspired you some to use what you have if possible, throw in some pops of color (take some risks!), bring in the nature, and mostly decorate your home with things that make you and your family happy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sometimes life...

{or perhaps pinterest at times;)} gets in the way of blogging. It's been a while.

Christmas came and left before we knew it but here's a few pics of what we've been up to for the last few weeks...

 Christmas morning- trying out a new toy!  On the left is Seth (my brother-in-law) and then Ty and Micah-my sweet nephews.

 My sister came all the way from Chicago with her family and we had some gorgeous North Carolina weather to share with them!

 My sister Alexa with her dog Bear and Micah.

 Micah and Ty were loving the warm weather!

We did have one rainy day so we decided to take the kids ice skating indoors...

Needless to say Ainsley didn't have much fun.

 It was a rather interesting experience.  Harper had fun and begged to go the very next day.  I told her maybe in a few weeks and maybe just her;)

 Bennett enjoyed time away from therapy or maybe that was just me;).  But he became quite attached to Grammy (my mom).  There are only two adults (other than Mike and I) that Bennett will really go to and sit with and that's Grandpa (Mike's dad) and Grammy.  Hopefully we can add more to his list this year.

Well then after my family left, on New Year's Eve we were lucky enough to have The Tobins come to visit!!  Remember this sweet boy??...

Yes, it's precious Colin.  And let me tell you, he is a love!  I mean seriously!
 Bennett had fun sharing all of his toys!

We always like to try for that perfect group picture, don't think it's happened yet!  We seem to forget we have two little boys!

The boys are getting so big! {Well Colin is, not so sure about Bennett...just kidding!}  We first met Colin and his family almost 2 years ago.  Hope to be able to see them every year for many years to come!

So here we are, 2012.  Last year was very hard on our family so we're all hoping and praying for a nice, quiet year.  Time to settle into our lives.  I think we've all felt a little unsettled with new circumstances, new houses, just a whole lot of newness to get used to.

We don't have anything big on the horizon and I like it just fine that way.

Sometimes life...

just needs to be quiet.

Quiet is good.

Happy New Year.