Friday, June 29, 2012

SUYL: Kids' Rooms

I'm linking up with Kelly this week because they're sharing my absolute favorite rooms...kids' rooms!  I admit I haven't put a ton into designing the rest of my house.  It is just a hodge podge of what makes us comfortable and is mostly decorated in warm earthy tones.  Actually, when you walk in our house you instantly know we have kids because our "formal" living and dining spaces are used as a playroom....I think it is much more used space and just makes me happy to sit and watch my kids playing.  But I love decorating rooms for my kids.

Room #1:

When Evan was three, I re-did his big boy room and chose a space theme that will hopefully grow with him.  Although the kids have a playroom, he plays more in his room now, and we keep his big boy toys in there away from his little brother.  I tried to use a more grown up style in the room so that with just some minimal touches, it could grow with him into the teen years.

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Bedding is a quilt style from Target.  I did let him have his beloved Star Wars sheets from Pottery Barn, but I love Target's kids' bedding.  I made his name art for his nursery.  The pictures on the wall are actual photographs from NASA's website that I had printed and then framed.  The frames were actually unfinished from the dollar store (can't beat a dollar a piece) that we spray painted white.  His bed frame was actually his convertible crib.  All the furniture in his room transitioned from his nursery.  Yes, we painted the stripes...that was fun!

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I actually hated that this red wall shelf was not centered over the little dresser (formerly the changing table), but hesitated moving it when we re-did his room because I hated having to put more holes in the wall.  His dresser now has the addition of several trophies from sports.  

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Amoire and bookcase transitioned from nursery and came from Target.  One year frame is from Pottery Barn Kids.  Curtains are also from Target.  Almost the entire room was from Target...our favorite store!


Room #2:

When Brody came along, I was so excited to do another nursery.  I don't mind that he was another boy; I love boy stuff!  I guess I was made to be a mom of boys.  I wanted a less "themey" and more classic style to his nursery which would also double as a guest bedroom.  We already had a dresser and double bed in the room, but it was painted an antique white with brass and gold accents and just would not do for a boy.  It needed updating.  The bed used to be a four post bed, but we took those off and just added some simple finials to the posts.  Then, we painted the furniture a crisp white and updated the hardware with a sleek nickel finish.  Well, my husband did this work since I was prego at the time.  I still love just lying on the big white bed in the nursery and looking at my precious baby's pictures on the wall.  I hope he never outgrows his room!

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Love the sweetness of this light blue and white classic nursery.  Beautiful framed pictures of our newborn and a large version of his birth announcement; white curtains from Target; a special teddy bear made by his big brother; and a special blanket from a friend with his name and birth stats embroidered on it. 

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Dresser turned changing table with a sweet handmade ribbon mobile above made by Mommy.  Mirror was an oldie that we painted white. 

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His Pottery Barn one year frame and a sweet decal on the wall that is hard to read in this picture.

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A closer picture of the decal.  I love these special words!

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A special piece of name art made with an Etsy decal placed on a canvas with plexiglass attached hanging over his crib.  The crib bedding was a sweet, simple set that we found on sale at Pottery Barn Kids.  
If you have a special kids' room to share, hop on over to Kelly's Korner and link up!

Friday's Letters #2

It's that time again.  Thank goodness it's Friday!  We've just been over here making some more great memories and enjoying the summer.  Link up and share your special letters this week.  

Dear Brody:  I love that you make faces like this.

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Making faces while enjoying his dinner.

And that you like to eat and love your food.  Last night as always, you ate all your food.  We went to one of our regular restaurants for dinner, and you and big brother had the same kids' meal (we have to get you your own because you are such a good eater already).  You enjoyed a whole plate of shrimp and a bowl of mixed fruit (canteloupe, honey dew, grapes, and pineapples).  You cleaned your plate before big brother was even through (he had to be coaxed to finish as usual)!

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And it was good!

Dear Evan:  We are so proud of you for learning to read.  You have really always enjoyed a good book.  Before you were 3, you had your favorite dinosaur book memorized.  Now, you are reading, sounding out, and recognizing many words.  Mommy has always been a reader and dreamed of the day her children would learn to read.  Her earliest memories involve reading her favorite books, and she was a pre-kindergarten reader too.  Just look at my baby reading on his own:


Dear Hubby:  Thank you for making those yummy milkshakes last night.  And for bringing the kids to eat lunch with me today.  I am so excited!  You really know how to brighten up my day!


Dear Summer:  Ugh!  I was so nice last week when I told you we loved and appreciated you.  All I asked was that you not bring us triple digits.  And look what you are doing now!  Oh well, we'll try to enjoy some time at the pool and make the best of you.

Dear Mac/Apple:  I am so proud that I boycott you and all your products now.  Why, you ask?  Because your cockiness in thinking you can charge triple what everyone else does for your products disgust me.  I will be purchasing a new laptop because I have used mine to death these last three years in law school, but I will not be purchasing from you.  Plus, I think you run sweatshops in China to make your products.  That's not cool.  No iphones for us.  We love our Samsung Galaxies though.  Seriously, I think Samsung definitely has a way with making their LCD/LED screens with the most beautiful displays.  Sometimes my pictures look better on my phone than on my computer.  We also love our Samsung LED flat screen too.  I actually was loving you when you first came out with the ipods...I had a first generation one that I loved.  Your cockiness lost this customer.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Makin' a Splash at the Splash Ground

My boys love water...any way they can get it!  Evan received an invitation to a pretty unusual birthday party. He had two sets of boy/girl twins in his preschool class, and they shared the same birthday.  Weird, right?  Their parents decided to save everyone from having to attend two birthday parties in the same week and chose to combine the parties into one big event.  I was so excited for Evan to get to see all his friends again.  We went shopping for four gifts and prepared for the party.  The party was at a local park close to uptown that boasts a water splash ground.  I had been wanting to take Evan for a while so this was a good opportunity.  The party was on Friday afternoon, and since Mommy works close to uptown, Daddy and the kids met her there.  The kids were having a blast between getting wet in the water area, playing in the dirt on the volleyball court (you know kids can't resist sand and dirt), and playing on the playground.  

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This baby loved the water.  Yes, we just let him crawl around in his diaper.

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Sweet baby still prefers crawling.

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He loves getting wet from head to toe.

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The party was in full swing.

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Evan loved playing in the water with his friends.

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Evan's favorite girl, Ashlee, made a splash.

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Evan and his friend Alejandro enjoyed running through the water.

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He's hard to miss in his bright orange shorts and lime green shoes.

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Cheesing for the camera.

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Watching the other boys get dirty.  He's not really a fan of that...must have got that from his mama.

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My little monkey

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The girls enjoy dressing like Hawaiian girls.

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Birthday boy Brendan on the playground.

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The other birthday pair, Jack and Julia (the blondes), enjoy the slide.

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Sweet Ashlee made a pretty Hawaiian girl.  I think Evan approved.

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Pretty Scarlet has an eye for fashion.

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Riding a purple bunny.

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Cheesing for the camera again.

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Someone has become a very good stair climber. 

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Loves anything with a steering wheel.

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Still needs a little coaxing on the slide.

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He made it to the bottom.

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Going for a ride.

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Time for cake!

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Evan and his girl, Ashlee, pose for a picture.

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Evan is not convinced by Mommy that he needs to give Ashlee a hug goodbye. 

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But he finally gave in. 

* So excited that we just got another invitation to a birthday party!  Yay for more parties!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Good Ol' Days

I’m not really sure where this post is coming from.  Thoughts have just been tumbling around in my brain for a while, and I thought it would be good to get them out and perhaps share with someone.  I don’t even know where this thought process started.  Somehow, it led to this statement and a question.  When were the good ol’ days, really?  I can’t help but think of this lady. 

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My Granny with her big sister, Doris, as a little girl.

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My Granny with her sweet, adoring husband on the farm they called home.

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Granny holding my firstborn son the year that she turned 90 and then passed away.

She’s my Granny.  I am sure I heard this saying the most from her when she talked of life when she was younger.  She was born in 1917 and lived to the ripe old age of 90.  She was one tough cookie who enjoyed life right to the end.  She would describe her childhood growing up on a farm in good ol’ Eastern NC as the good ol’ days and described memories of sitting out in her yard with her family in the evenings (hard packed dirt and not the lush green grass we have become accustomed to…and quite frankly spend a lot of money to maintain).  Chickens ran free in the yard.  You could actually see them under the house through the planks in the floors.  She wore sack cloth dresses and went barefoot with all of her siblings.  They lived on a farm.  She learned to work hard from the earliest age.  They were “dirt” poor.  Does this sound like the good ol’ days to anyone?  I guess times were simpler, and they just appreciated the little things more.  Time with family and friends was precious.  Maybe it was the food?  Boy, could that lady cook!  Homemade everything…most of it grown or raised on the very farm on which they lived (oh and they didn’t worry too much about cancer back then either…I wonder why?).  I used to love watching her wrinkled and sun-splotched hands work a bowl of flour and buttermilk to make the most delicious biscuits.  I really wish I had learned to do that.  She described the period she grew up in as the good ol’ days.  The 1920s and 30s!   Really?  Didn’t we learn in History class about the dreadful Great Depression?  And the two World Wars that followed?  People were poor, unemployed, and starving.  That doesn’t sound very good to me.  I guess her family was already so poor and thrived mostly off what they grew and raised themselves so the Great Depression really did not reach their little corner of the world.  Sometimes, I wish I could have lived in these simpler times where time seemed to pass a little slower. 

BUT…

Then, I think of the opportunities I have; that my children have.  Sure, we are always busy.  But mostly, I think we are busy because of the choices we make in how we live our lives.  We don’t have to spend every hour of every day working just to provide for our basic needs.  We read for fun, play sports, watch television shows that are often mindless and just plain dumb, go to school to better ourselves and hopefully move up in the world, and just fill our spare time with whatever extracurricular activities we choose.  Sure, we work but not just to feed our families.  The American Dream used to be two acres and a mule.  Now, its two acres; a big house; maybe another house in some vacation mecca; a couple of expensive cars in the driveway; a closet full of expensive clothes, shoes, and accessories; traveling; early retirement; and maybe after all that’s accomplished we marry that showcase perfect husband or wife and have a couple of kids (in my area, its three or four kids).  I guess I wonder a lot about where the appreciation for life’s simpler pleasures went.  The media doesn’t help much with that. 

I love the opportunities that I have for my children today, but what does it really cost us?  I want my children to grow up to be successful in life, but I mostly want them to be kind and caring individuals who know how to appreciate the treasures of home, family, and memories shared together.  I think everyone who chooses to become parents has a goal in mind as to what kind of parent they want to be and what they want to give their children.  When my husband and I decided it was time to have children, we discussed our goals.  I explained that my main goal was to give my children a childhood that would be so packed with wonderful and fun memories that it would follow them for the rest of their lives.  I guess what I really wanted for them was for them to be like my Granny.  When they grow up, I want them to say “Those were the good ol’ days!”  When they look back on this time, I don’t want them to remember the great financial crisis and struggles that threatened the country or the constant stream of sad and terrible newsworthy events.  I just want them to remember happier and “simpler” times!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sometimes and Always #2


I'm back this week for another Sometimes and Always (well I promised, didn't I?).  Click on over and join the fun!  

Sometimes - I can't believe this beautiful baby is really mine!


Always - I just love holding him in my arms and kissing his sweet little cheeks...even though he occasionally bites me!  Haha!

Sometimes - I wish that TV had never been invented especially when there is nothing on but junk reality shows.  Ugh, I hate them all (except the occasional episode of Hoarders which I like for some strange reason...I guess watching crazy people living with all their mess is so interesting to this seriously OCD Type A personality)!

Always - I remember that without TV I couldn't enjoy such treasures as the rebirth of this superb drama...

Oh my goodness...Dallas is back in all its glory!  
 Sometimes - I wish the weekends were longer and slower and the work weeks were shorter and faster.

Always - I think that I am wishing my life away and that my children are growing up too fast as it is so I better make everyday count and hope that everyday passes a little more slowly.

Sometimes - Well, right now actually, I wish this wasn't my last week of summer break. *Sigh* I have to go back to school next week.

Always - I will tackle this next semester with gusto and hopefully score another Dean's List on my transcript!

Sometimes - I really hate when people ask me how I'm doing.  (A friend from Facebook just reminded me of this one with a post.)  Seriously, the feelings of this overly complicated and busy mom cannot be summed up in just a couple of sentences so unless you want to hear my life's story (although I likely haven't got the time to tell you), don't ask that silly question!  If you do ask me, I'll likely say little more than "Fine" and hurry on my way.  Haha!  But seriously, ask me how my kids are doing anytime...I'll smile and happily tell you because that is a subject that never tires me out!  

Thanks for reading!  Now, go link up and write your own...


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cousin Emma's Mermaid Party

Cousin Emma turned 8!  How is that even possible?  It is often hard to believe that there are six children between my brother and I when it seems like only yesterday there were none.  And it all began with this sweet little girl.  For over two years, she was the spoiled rotten (wink) only grandchild on both sides of her family until that little stinker, Lanny (her little brother), joined the team.  She's a wonderful big sister and big cousin and is always willing to lend a helping hand.  One of her favorite past times now is swimming, and she is so good at it.  She just started swim team this year and is doing so well.  We have often thought that maybe she is really a mermaid so it was no surprise when her Mommy planned a mermaid swimming party for her birthday.  And since she and her friends are reading longer chapter books now, her Mommy planned the party around this book and gave them a copy to start their collection:


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There's our mermaid!
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What a swimmer!  She knows all the swim techniques. 

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Show us your fishy tail, Emma!

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A cute little merman in the making.  He hasn't found his tail yet. 

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But he's working on it. 

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Lanny was not loving the chilly water.  Our temperatures in June hadn't reached their usual highs yet so the water hadn't warmed up to his liking.  

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Now there's a water baby!

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He just loves it.

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Now if he'll just let go and walk around he'll be doing good.

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Yummy homemade cupcakes by the mom.

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Sweet buckets of goodies for the girls with their very own mermaid books.

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And fun treats for the boys too.
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Everyone loved the ice cream bar. 

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The mermaid smiles for the camera.

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Contemplating what to wish for...a tail maybe?

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Making her wish.

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Ready to sample Mom's treats.

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The party in full swing.

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Mommy and Brody fix their ice cream.

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Brody loves cake...well any food really!

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Look at that face!

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Emma loves getting presents...what girl doesn't?

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Cousin Cate wants to play with Brody.

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Sweet girl.

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And silly boy. 


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