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*I wrote this the day after Graham was born and am just now publishing it because…baby.   Graham is a just a few hours over a day old now, and we’re currently sharing the hospital bed. He’s sleeping beside me with his hands over his face and I’m staring at him. I think I’ve gotten about 6 hours of sleep since my contractions started over two days ago, and it’s strange to me that I can even keep my eyes open right now. Anyways, I thought what better time to document our birth story? 

 Tuesday August 18 I woke up to a text from my cousin asking me how I was feeling to which I replied normal. Then I texted my Grandma Happy Birthday and told her to make her birthday wish that I would have a baby. About an hour later I was feeling my first painless contraction. I hadn’t had any Braxton Hicks up until this point, so I just figured that’s what they were. Then within an hour or so, they were 5 minutes apart and starting feeling like mild cramps along with a constant dull back pain. I consulted “the google” and was hopeful, but still wasn’t convinced. So I showered and drank water to see if they would go away. They didn’t and I was excited, but I was still unsure. I started cleaning the house just in case though :) 

I was texting my mom and a couple friends throughout the day trying to determine if this was the real deal or not. It wasn’t super painful, but was pretty constant. Will was scheduled to work a 6-10 pm shift and I couldn’t decide if he should call in or not. Around 4 pm I told him to call his supervisor and just make sure they could have a replacement available for him if needed. I still thought he’d go to work. When he called they just decided to give him the night off just in case. Around the same time, my mom decided she’d be headed our way just in case. About 10 minutes later the slight pain had increased to cramps throughout my back and I informed will that we would probably be heading to the hospital when my mom arrived. After another 15 minutes I informed him I actually needed him to take me now. He was a little confused by how suddenly I had made up my mind, but was going along with it. On the way to the hospital the contractions were shooting up my back every 2-4 minutes and I swear we only hit bumps when I was having one.   We got to the hospital and I was checked and dilated to a 4 so they decided to admit me immediately. They asked if I wanted an epidural and I said yes, but I was debating on holding off for a while until then they told me it wouldn’t wear off and I decided I didn’t care to be tough and would take it whenever they were ready. Thank god I went ahead and ordered it because it took them 2 hours to get everything lined up and by that time I was miserable. Kudos to those of you who can do this without drugs but that life is not for me! 

Once I got the epidural everything was a million times better…for me. My contractions were coming pretty constantly at extremely high intensities and I couldn’t feel a thing. My water had broke right after I received the epidural, so we were pretty close to having a baby. 

But then we found out that his heartrate was dropping after each contraction, so apparently he didn’t like being squished over and over. At one point they were considering doing a C section if they couldn’t get it regulated, but instead repositioned me often and gave me meds to slow down the contractions so he could get some rest. Luckily it worked but it did extend my labor by hours I think. Eventually the gave me a little pitocin to get things going again, but turned it off when his heartrate started dropping. It was pretty stressful for a bit but I finally got to a 10 and we got the go ahead to start pushing.   Apparently I had an amazing epidural because other than being out of breath, it wasn’t bad at all and I didn’t feel a thing. I ended up pushing for an hour before Will was finally able to announce that “it” was really a he at 3:08 am. My mom and I were pretty shocked and the whole thing was (and still is) surreal. He was a big baby at 8 lbs and 3 oz and 21 inches. We were expecting a 7-7.5 lb baby but as the doctor was pulling him out the nurses were all making comments about how big he was! 

It’s only been 48 hours since this all began and I still can’t wrap my mind around how much our lives have changed. Will is great dad and has been taking care of all the diaper changes and clothes changes and everything else while I’ve spent my time in bed feeding and cuddling with our little guy. I’m not sure the next time I’ll get more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep, but this little face makes it all worth it. 

 

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Master Bedroom Updates

Things have been crazy busy around here as we got all new carpet this week and we continue to prepare for the arrival of our baby any day now! Every day has consisted of trying to finish up painting trim and tearing out carpet and moving furniture from one room to another. As exhausting as it’s been, today the carpet guys are finishing everything up and this weekend we’ll have our house back! Yippee! 

The other exciting part of that is that I can start actually decorating our home since most of the painting is finally done. The one room I can’t wait to make some major progress in is our master bedroom. I have made some quick and easy improvements to the space, but I have some BIG plans coming up. My friend Colleen from Lemon Thistle made me this mood board to help me come up with a design for the room.   How perfect and breezy is that? I filled out a little questionnaire to give her an idea of my style and sent her a few pictures of my room, and she sent me back this complete with a shopping list of where I could get all the awesome stuff she found. You can see the complete list on her blog

With everything going on, I haven’t completed this design yet, but I’ve been able to get a few things on the list that have made a huge difference already.   First, I bought the bedspread she linked to from West Elm. I did decide to get it in a gray because we’ve had white bedding in the past and I felt like it looked dingy except right after washing. I love the texture this duvet cover adds to the room and it’s 100% husband approved. And I got it on sale and was able to use a coupon to get it for $100 including taxes and shipping! I’ve also already received lots of compliments from friends and family.   The other thing I was able to get right away to add a little personality was this Modify Ink printable. Colleen designed this one for my room specifically, but you can customize your own print on their website to fit your style. They shipped this one to me on nice paper and all I had to do was pop it in a frame and put it in place! Their prints are available in all different sizes so you have plenty of options! 

The candle and laundry basket were both TJ Maxx scores. I’m seriously in love with the laundry hamper. There’s just something about the natural texture mixed with the white top – I never knew I could feel so strongly about a hamper. 

I have immediate plans of adding an awesome headboard to this picture soon! I really wanted it to be completed by today, but with everything else going on it just wasn’t in the cards. But when it is done, just think about how awesome it’s all going to look. I’ve also got some new nightstands in the making and lighting and a rug to figure out next. I love the watercolor rug Colleen picked out from Target and hope it’s still in stock when I’m ready to make the purchase. 

Everything around here is a work in progress, but I’m okay with it. As we get into the decorating stages I’m determined to take my time to enjoy the process and make our home authentic and full of things we love. I don’t want to rush into purchasing stuff I don’t love just to get it done. 

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Baby Shower!

This weekend we finally had our baby shower! With 3.5 weeks to go until our due date, there is nothing like waiting until the last minute, but sometimes…okay most of the time…that’s how we roll.

baby w shower

I failed to get professional grade photos taken, but luckily my sister’s friend was able to snap these pictures before the place filled up. The rest of us were too busy living in the moment, which really means running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everything done in time!

My mom and sister went above and beyond with all the food and decorations, and everything looked  and tasted great! We decided to have the shower at my house so all our friends and family who hadn’t visited yet could have a look around, and those who had could see the small updates we’ve made and are in the process of making. My house wasn’t perfect for the shower, but it was good enough and once everyone was there, the random pieces of unpainted trim and stained carpet didn’t matter so much anymore.

The shower was a huge success and we are so thankful for everything we were given to help us prepare for Baby W’s arrival! The baby is already more than spoiled and we just have a few finishing touches to make until we are 100% ready as well. I just got done doing my first couple loads of adorable baby laundry and there’s something just a a little more homey about having baby gear scattered throughout the house. Now we are just counting down the days until we can meet our little baby and find out if it’s a he or a she! The excitement (and a little bit of fear on my end) is definitely building!

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How to Paint Trim White

how to paint trim

So far in our home, I’ve been mostly concentrating on painting to bring things up to date and to reflect my decorating style. I feel like there’s no point in putting a bunch of stuff on the walls if I don’t even like the way they look! Of course I’ve been painting the walls, but even better than that has been seeing the transformation as I paint all the trim throughout the house white.

Painting trim is pretty tedious, but it isn’t hard. I find myself putting it off and then being so happy when I finally do finish a room. I am just in love with the look of white trim and think it can complement any decor style!

unpainted trim

Painted White Trim

I mean, isn’t the after picture so much better? It’s not just the wall color (however that helps A TON), but it’s also the trim. Unfortunately our window frames are also wood, and I’m not quite sure what to do about that at this point, but we’re still leaps and bounds ahead of where we started and I feel like our bedroom is so peaceful now.

There are really only 3 steps involved in painting trim – caulking, taping, and painting.

I also personally like to paint my walls first since they all need painted anyways. Some people will disagree with this, and I guess it’s up to you, but my reason is that I can get away with a lot less taping if I paint the walls first. So here are the basic steps I follow to paint my trim white:

1. Paint walls –  If I know I’m painting the trim, I won’t tape it off to paint the walls. I’ll do as well as I can knowing I’ll be painting over the mess when I get to the trim. You definitely want to catch and big globs or drips though, as they’ll make your trim paint uneven.

2. Caulk trim – This is something I didn’t know was a thing until my husband told me he wanted to do things “right” and be sure everything was caulked. Sometimes this will feel like a waste of time, until you come to a part of the trim where it doesn’t match up completely with the wall, and then you’ll see the difference caulking makes. It really does make everything look more put together. You can also fill in holes with the caulk while you’re at it. This how-to video from my friend Colleen at Lemon Thistle is a great one for beginners.

As for my personal method, I slowly apply the caulk, then use a combination of my finger and a wet dish cloth (an old one!) to smooth it out and clean up the excess. If you paint first, you’ll definitely want something wet to get the residue off of the wall, or it will show up as it dries. It takes a little finessing, but once you get your method down, it goes pretty quickly.

3. Tape off walls and flooring/carpet – I think it’s much easier to tape off the walls than to tape off the trim, hence the reason I paint walls first. I do suggest using a quality tape like 3M Edgelock. I started with a more generic affordable brand and had a bit of bleed through. I haven’t had any since I upgraded. If you’re painting in room with carpet, use a putty knife to shove plastic under the trim. You should be able to get it all the way under the trim. Then pull back the plastic as tight as possible (without pulling it out) and tape it down to the carpet.

Extra tip: Use a sanding block over your trim real quick to smooth out any imperfections before you start painting. This step is especially important if you had to fill holes, but if your trim is in decent condition, you can probably skip it.

4. Paint – 1 coat of primer and 3 coats of semi-gloss paint has produced great results for me. Apply thin coats and by the time you get around the entire room and doorways, the paint is usually dry enough to start in on your next coat. My trim is painted in Sherwin Williams Extra White. Also – don’t underestimate the power of a good brush. So far I’ve used the brushes with blue rubber handles (not sure of the brand, but you can find them at Lowes and Home Depot), but I am going to upgrade to a Purdy brush soon.

Painting an entire house of trim sure does seem like a daunting task, but if you do it room by room, it’s totally doable, and the payoff is totally worth it! I love the look of the rooms I’ve completed and can only imagine how much more I’ll love the rooms that are still on my to-do list once they’re done.

Have you painted your trim white? Do you have any tips that I missed? 

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Happy Wednesday friends! I feel like I have been struggling to make it to this little ol’ space of mine because while I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress on our house so far, I’ve yet to completely complete much of anything.

Here’s a list of what I’ve “completed” so far along with some notes of what still needs to be done and some terrible iPhone pics (wouldn’t want to spoil the reveals) of the process:

  • Painted laundry room walls, trim and cabinets – this is the only completely completed room thus far.

Laundry room

  • Painted baby room walls, trim, doors and closet. Set up crib and dresser and bought reclining glider – I would consider this room finished, except I need to figure out what I’m going to do for decorating the walls.

baby room

  • Painted master bedroom walls and trim – I’m still working on getting together a rug, new nightstands, a headboard and deciding what to do for wall decorations and furniture. I may want to repaint our dressers, but I haven’t decided on a color. The nightstands and headboard will be DIY projects and I already have one nightstand made, but it still needs to be painted. (The brown in the below picture is the before color, and it was much too dark for me, I couldn’t take it any longer!)

master paint

  • Painted living room walls – still need to caulk and paint the trim and once again, decide on decor and repaint some of the furniture.

living room paint

  • Painted upstairs hallway – trim needs caulked and painted still, but this is likely to be something that won’t be officially “revealed.” After all, it’s a hallway.

Somehow, the living room and bedroom colors look really similar even though I thought I was picking colors that were not at all the same. I planned on the living room color being quite a bit darker and much more green than blue, but either way, I still love both rooms and will not complain about my home being too breezy, as if that could be a thing. ;)

I would love to get most of the painting done in the next 2 weeks – which is basically just finishing up the trim in the rooms that aren’t done. My baby shower will be at the end of this month, and I’ll be 36 weeks pregnant, at which point I think is a good time to stop with home projects and work on getting settled in and ready for the baby.

We are also looking at getting in new carpet, possibly before the shower, if not then immediately following, so I’m holding off on finishing some projects until that is taken care of. I plan to finish most of the baseboard trim when the carpet is pulled up so there is less taping and preparation involved. I think it will go much faster that way. In the meantime, I can work on getting all the doorways and window trim completed. Also – most of the interior doors in the house need repainted as well. They are all super dingy and I’ve tried cleaning them with a magic eraser with no luck.

So do you think I’m crazy yet for doing all of this in my third trimester? I’m definitely beginning to believe that I am. I have had a little help from my husband, but he’s been pretty busy with his full-time job (you know, bringing home the bacon so we can continue to fork out the money for projects) and has been away for military training multiple times in the 2 months we’ve lived here, so I’ve been working on a lot of it solo. Once the major projects are finished, we will slow down and let the decorating aspect happen gradually over time. I don’t want to rush into buying a bunch of stuff I don’t want just for the sake of it being “done” and living with bare walls while we figure that out doesn’t bother me.

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Tie Dye Baby Shower Idea

This post is brought to you by iLOVEtoCREATE and Blueprint Social. The opinions are my own.

tie dye onsies

Summer is in full swing now, and it’s the perfect time to start taking advantage of the weather and planning some fun activities into your summer! Being obsessed with all things baby this summer, I thought that a tie dye baby shower would be super fun! My own shower won’t be for another month, but I couldn’t help but come up with some ideas and try out tie dyeing some adorable newborn onesies with the Tulip® One-Step Tie-Dye Kit®.

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30 weeks

It is unreal to me that I am already 3/4 of the way through this pregnancy. In some ways, the reality of the the situation hasn’t yet hit me, but in others (like the back pain) let me know that this is really happening.

While I’ve been complaining quite a bit lately and I am ready to not be pregnant anymore, I can’t deny that I’ve had an extremely easy and uneventful pregnancy, even now. I have some back pain that I think is a sore rib, because it is just in one very specific spot in my upper back, that makes sitting pretty uncomfortable so I prefer to be up and doing something, or laying all the way down. My other biggest ailment is that I can’t wear my ring much anymore because my finger is breaking out in a rash exactly where it sits. I’m guessing this is a hormone related pregnancy symptom? I had no troubles with it for the past year and a half…And then there’s the swimsuit situation and I’ve just decided I’ll be sitting this summer out. The small, medium, large options aren’t working for my small frame and large bust size, but it is what it is. I have plenty to do in the final weeks anyways.

The best part of this stage of pregnancy is feeling the baby move. It’s definitely more constant and has changed from sharp kicks to more gentle rolls and swishes as it moves around. Sometimes I’ll feel it move to one side of my belly or the other and I can catch a random limb poking out and softly touch it before the baby pulls it back in. That’s my favorite! We’re also making some major progress on the baby room. It’s looking a little like a construction zone at the moment as I finish up painting trim, but here in a week or so I think it will be really close to being finished! My sister and I went shopping for coming home outfits last week. We were looking for one girl and one boy outfit and came home with two girls outfits, they’re just so adorable! The retail industry needs to step up it’s newborn baby boy clothing game!

I’m starting to get a little anxious about actually being prepared to take care of the baby once it’s born. The amount of things you’re supposed to register for is extremely overwhelming and I can’t imagine everything is completely  Will has had very little interaction with young babies, and I haven’t had much since my brother was a baby. He’s 16 now, so I think a refresher wouldn’t hurt. I wasn’t planning on taking any classes, but now I’ve decided we’re going to take a birthing class and a baby basics class. I know they’re probably be corny, but it’ll give me a little peace of mind.

WTEWYE

I’m also getting more into reading my What to Expect When You’re Expecting books. My cousin let me borrow her copy, and then I was sent my own copy along with What to Expect the First Year and What to Expect the Second Year last week. There’s a reason why this series is one of the most popular series for expecting and new moms recommended by moms and doctors and has been the long-running book on the New York Times Best Seller list, and that’s because they cover about every question you could have. I especially like how it breaks down what to expect month by month at each doctor appointment and throughout pregnancy. I’m able to read as I go and read through the things that apply to me and skip over those that don’t.

WTETFY

WTETSY

The What to Expect the First Year and What to Expect the Second Year books are set up the same way, covering general information in the beginning and then providing a month by month guide to common questions and experiences. Between these books, the classes and advice from my momma who has successfully raised 3 kids, I think Will and I will be just fine! People do this every day, right?

If I stick with my bump picture schedule of every 5 weeks, we’ll only have 2 more pictures if the baby doesn’t decide to come early! We have maternity pictures scheduled for next weekend and then my mom and sister are planning to throw the baby shower at the end of July. I have a feeling the coming weeks will be the faster and slowest of my life! We really are excited to meet our little baby!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Ideas to make your living room beautiful and functional!

Where has the time gone? I feel like I haven’t stopped in here for an update in quite some time, but I promise you I’ve been busy personalizing our new home!

I’ve painted the master bedroom and the baby room and I’m almost done painting the trim in both rooms. I was doing really well with it, then I skipped the doorways and just did the bottom trim and left it that way for a week or so. Motivating myself to go back and finish painting has been a little problematic, but today is the day! It has to get done, because I’m itching to move on to another project! The living room is currently covered in paint sample swatches patiently waiting for its turn and the kitchen cabinets have a 6 week deadline so I can show them off at my baby shower. You can see current updates and progress pictures on my Facebook page!

All this to say, the laundry room is still the only completed room in the house thus far and I’m still loving it. I uploaded my reveal post on how to make your laundry closet feel like a laundry room to Hometalk, which is similar to Pinterest but all about the home and a little more community oriented, and they asked me to create a board of other laundry ideas featured on their site. If you’re looking for creative ideas to make your laundry room more functional and pretty, I’ve clipped 18 practical ways to design a laundry room to my board here. Enjoy!

P.S. I would really appreciate if you would pin the lovely image at the top of this post to Pinterest that the ladies at Hometalk were kind enough to make for me! :)

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9 times out of 10, I start conversations with “So I recently read this article about [insert almost anything]…” I think it drives some people crazy, but there are just so many different things to learn about out there and different points of view, and I want to learn them all. And then I want to talk about them. (Thank you to the friends who will engage in discussion with me about things that may or may not be that important!)

So when I was given the opportunity to read and review the book How to Raise an Adult, I thought why not. I’m getting ready to embark on this parenting adventure and I guess I could use all the help I can get, right? I will say that I am not committing myself to one parenting style or another, but this book is more in line with free range parenting rather than “helicopter” parenting.

The first half of the book gives tons of examples of how today’s generation isn’t able to care for themselves and its more and more common for parents to help kids with everything, even so far as being a part of their job interviews after college.  I am a little torn on this, because I am technically in the generation of helpless kids the author is referring to…and I have never heard of anyone my age taking their parents to their interview. I did however want to discuss my first job offer with my parents before accepting, because they know more about what wages and benefits are fair than I had. Does that make me too overly dependent on them? I don’t really think so.

This second half of the book gives advice on how to raise your children to be adult, which is technically the ultimate goal, right? I liked this half of the book better, as it does provide some insight into giving your child more freedom and independence without being neglectful. Growing up, I was able to walk around town and go on bike rides with my friends without adult supervision from a pretty early age. My sister and I walked to the grocery store and to the pool and to friends’ houses all the time. But we also lived in a town of less than 2000 people. I’ll be raising my kids in a much much larger city and I’ve been wondering how to let kids be kids, while still keeping them safe. So for me, while I’m not committed to a free range style of parenting, these tips were helpful in giving me some ideas for how to do that.

Luckily I still have a few years until my little baby will be able to do anything on its own, so I’ve got time to keep reading more books and articles and to form my own opinions on how I would like to parent.

Here are a couple videos about the book if you’re interested. :)

What are your views on the helicopter parenting versus free range parenting? Remember, this is just a friendly discussion! :) 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Here’s to 50 More

Wedding3

Wedding2

Wedding - Cake

Today is our 1 year anniversary. Maybe someday I’ll write a post on how to survive your first year of marriage, but I’m not sure most people would do it the way we have. We paid off all our debt, I quit my job, we got pregnant on purpose, Will finished his second year of college while working full time and fulfilling his duty to the National Guard, I started my own business and we bought our first house. Talk about squeezing a lot into one year!

We’ve driven each other crazy over the last year, that’s for sure, and had a few fights along the way. But I only made him sleep on the couch once, and I can’t even remember why. There have been a few tears and luckily a good portion of them have also come from laughing. We’ve also had countless tickle fights and been silly and found the best ways to make fun of each other to make our days more fun.

us

baby announcement

I did the math when we got married to see how old we would be if we make it to 50 years (because I’m weird like that). I’ll be 74 and he’ll be 77 if we’re blessed to both live that long. I don’t want to rush time, but I can’t wait to see what marriage has in store for us in the next 50 years.

In fact, year 2 should be pretty exciting in itself. We get to become parents (I can’t wait to see Will become a dad and find out who our little baby looks like more), continue making improvements to our new home, Will will continue to work on toward his Bachelor’s degree and I’ll continue working on building my business. I have it all planned out, but I know that we’ll probably be doing things I never imagined just like I could never have envisioned our lives at this point one year ago today, and that’s the exciting part.

So here’s to taking more pictures, making more memories and adding on to our story together. Will, thank you for putting up with me and supporting me (financially and emotionally) as I took a leap into self-employment. I love you!

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