Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Birthday Wish List

August 1st is my 29th birthday! I'm planning on relaxing with the kids during the day - maybe heading to the splash pad if the weather cooperates. And for the rest of the evening, I have high hopes of enjoying Mexican food deliciousness, ice cream, and whatever kind of chocolate John brings home. Birthdays are awesome :)

For my last birthday, we saved up all of our Visa points and got a Dyson vacuum ... because nothing says young and wild like a new vacuum! ;)  I had wanted it forever, and I absolutely love it. But this year, I thought it would be more fun to pick out some different items from either bloggers or Etsy stores I love. Here's what I came up with:

1.  I desperately need some new home decor, especially in our master bedroom. I found this print from Naptime Diaries shop, and I think it would look beautiful on our wall! :)

2.  From the same shop and as a collaboration with She Does Justice, this Speak Life shirt is great. I love the meaning behind this shirt, plus it looks super comfy for a mom on the go!

3.  Last winter I purchased a Happy Mommy box subscription. In one of my boxes, I received a pretty little necklace from All My Heart Shop. I have gotten so many compliments on my necklace, and after looking through her store, found about ten more items I'd like! Unfortunately, her store is closed until November (she's moving to Japan), so maybe this hand stamped necklace could be a Christmas gift? :)

4.  My favorite season is upon us - Football season! I want to step outside my jersey/tshirt comfort zone and get some more girl accessories that sport my favorite teams. A Notre Dame inspired scarf would be perfect!

5.  So I'm trying to be better about reading more. I'm always looking for suggestions, and recently saw this book by Annie Downs being promoted by several different bloggers I follow. It sounds like a good read! Any good summer reads on your list?

I'm off to enjoy my last day being 28! Here's to the upcoming year, and my last one in my twenties (yikes!)!!

Happy Thursday!

Sharing my Thoughts for Thursday with Natalie and Annie and Five on Friday 
along with  Lauren Elizabeth, Karli, Amy, Andrea, Erika, and Narci this week!  Join the fun!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

J's 3rd Birthday-itis: A Doc McStuffins Birthday Party

I'm a little behind in getting this out, but this month, our little girl turned 3!

Our darling little J: our curly girl and little mommy and doctor, who loves to cook, draw, read, sing, dance, and take care of others.  We feel so blessed that God brought us together as a family!  We love you so much!

Birthdays are a big deal at our house - we go all out with a lot of DIY decorations and special touches to make the day week extra special for the birthday guy or girl!

Right now, J loves Doc McStuffins, a show about a little girl who is a doctor to her toys.  (I actually like the show too - it's very sweet!)  So we decorated the kitchen with crepe paper, banners, and with characters from the show for a Doc McStuffins birthday party.  When J came downstairs the morning of her birthday, she kept jumping up and down and shouting, "It's Doc!  It's Chilly and Lambie!  It's my birthday!"  I loved getting to see the excitement and joy in her face!

I was going to decorate the cake like Chilly the snowman, but Target came to my rescue again!  They had all their Disney toys clearanced the week before her birthday.  What could be more perfect for J (and easy for Mommy!) than the actual Doc McStuffins characters on her cake?

Doc McStuffins Birthday Party Cake

I did make a few things on my own though.  ;)  For special little snack, I made Doc McStuffins' special pink heart band-aids out of graham crackers and leftover cake icing.

Doc McStuffins Birthday Party - Pink Heart Bandage Snacks
Then, I made Doc McStuffins' Big Book of Boo Boos for her too.  This was my favorite gift for her!  She loves coloring and drawing so I knew a Doc-themed blank notebook would be perfect.  So I got a purple sparkly notebook and bright pink sparkly scrapbook paper.  Next, I traced (from a cookie cutter) and cut out a heart and then hot glued it to the front.  That and some crayons and stickers make for her very own book to write down everyone's diagnoses in - just like Doc.

Doc McStuffins Birthday Party - DIY Big Book of Boo Boos
Doc J, the Big Book of Boo Boos, her "Lambie", "Chilly", and gang ;)

Doc McStuffins Birthday Party - DIY Big Book of Boo Boos
Doc J checking her patients

In the show, Doc McStuffins has a sign on her clinic that says, "The Doc is in/out".  J loves playing pretend doctor so I wanted to make her her very own doctor sign too.  I got a small wood plaque, modge podge, a sponge brush, a roller, a hot glue gun, pink ribbon, and white buttons (all from Hobby Lobby) to make this.  I got the picture of Doc's sign from here.  I printed them off, cut them out, and then modge podged one of them with the sponge brush and place it on the wood plaque (making sure it was flat with the roller).  Then, I repeated this with the second side after the first side was dry.  Once everything was dry, I modge podged over the top one time.  (Then once again, I repeated this on the second side after the first was dry.)  After it was completely dry, then I hot glued ribbon to hang it and buttons to cover the ribbon ends.  It turned out so cute!  And J loves the new addition to her very own clinic.

Doc McStuffins Birthday Party - DIY Doc is in Sign
The Doc is in!

She also got Doc McStuffins' lab coat and a play doctor kit.  So now, she is Doc McStuffins.  And trust me, she is taking this very seriously.  She has been giving everyone and everything a check up ever since!

Doc McStuffins Birthday Party
Fixing up Doc with a "band-and" as J calls it ;)

J loved her Doc McStuffins birthday party, and we loved watching her enjoy every minute of it!

Growing up, my mom went all out for holidays and birthdays.  She would always strive to make these days extra special.  She has definitely passed that on to me!  I love decorating and celebrating special days like this.  For me it makes our house a home and shows the birthday guy/girl how special they are!

What do you and your family do for birthdays?

I'm linking up with these awesome parties!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

First Haircut Trauma (for Mama)

There was a lot of back and forth about it.  What to do, where to go.

So finally we decided we would just to do it ourselves:  Buzz the beast.

Our beast, the wild child with wild hair

I loved his curly locks and really didn't want to do it.  But something needed to be done.  Buster's hair was starting to get out of control.  And I was incredibly nervous about doing it right, but Jim reassured me that I could do it.

So we start off with the #8 attachment, and his curls pile up on the floor.  Then, the #4.  (Meanwhile, B is loving being buzzed.)  And I think that, "Ok, we're good.  It's short, but he still has some curls."

Nothing too traumatic so far...

But Jim asks if we can go one we use the #2.  I just barely start, and then I see his scalp and that his hair isn't even long enough to make a whole curl.  I just starting bawling then and there. 

I've heard of people who cry after they get their own hair cut, but that's never been me, not even by a long shot.  So why am I crying over my kid's hair cut?  Well, my first thought was that without the hair, he changed into a different kid.  As in, he literally looks like a kid, and not my baby anymore.

But I looked up, and there B was, looking at me with concern since his mama was crying, after he was just laughing and smiling and having a blast getting a haircut.  Yes, he is growing up.  But no, he's not a different kid.  The length of his hair didn't change him.  I could see right then that he's still my loving, laid back boy with an ornery, adventurous spirit.  

Case in point ;)

So after a pep talk from Jim and a hug from our daughter J, I composed myself and finished cutting his hair.  And although I still think it’s a little too short, he still looks absolutely adorable.

Before and After

But over the next few days, I kept thinking about it because I was so shocked and embarrassed by my reaction.  Why did a seemingly simple haircut hit me like that?

It was like several emotions hit me at once.  I felt so much pressure to cut his hair correctly since it is different from my own.  I was nervous to do it myself.  I wanted him to look good and taken care of.  I didn’t want my little boy to look like a different kid when we were done.  I did not want to screw this up.  And I felt like I did.

The more I thought about it over the next few days, the more I realized that that is what parenting is all about, right?  It’s a hard job filled with so many pressures, and sometimes we can get overwhelmed with emotion by the responsibility.  Sometimes, we do mess up.  And sometimes, we get it right too.  So we need to realize this, not dwell on our mistakes, and then pick ourselves up and try again.

And we do it all for this ;)

Parenting is full of beautiful and tough moments - praise be to God for His grace and second chances.  And hair that will grow back...right?!

Linking up with Faith for Mommy Moments this week!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five for Friday: My Little Girl's Bedroom

My daughter is 3 and still in a crib.  Hey, she's never tried to get out, so I thought why not keep her in it so she stays contained, right?

But now that we're officially waiting for Baby #3, it's time for J to move into a twin bed.  And I'm so excited to start decorating on a big girl room for her!  I want to make it fun and girly without being too babyish or over the top.  The goal is to make this bedroom a room that will grow with her.

So here's the plan (and a question or two for you!):

Girl's Bedroom Decor

1.  My little girl's bedroom decor theme and color scheme:  I found these beautiful quilts at Target.  They're bright and fun and perfect for a little (or big) girl.  Plus, I love paisley.

Girl's Bedroom Decor

2.  My uncle was kind enough to give us their old matching twin beds that can be bunked.  They're very nice, and you gotta love free.

3.  I found this lady who does wonderful work painting and re-imagining vintage items.  I got this darling shelf and chalkboard from her for J's room:

Girl's Bedroom Decor

4.  I love simple and beautiful DIY projects.  This is what I have planned for J's room so far: 

I'd like to hang some fabric in embroidery hoops, like these I've seen on Pinterest:

Girl's Bedroom Decor

I'm going to turn these IKEA spice racks into bookshelves, like this:

Girl's Bedroom Decor
And there's an old bulletin board I'm going to cover in fabric for her to hang up pictures, hair accessories, etc., like this:

Girl's Bedroom Decor
All of these projects are simple, classic, and will grow with her or can be easily changed as she grows up.

5.  Ok, on this last one, I need some help!  What color of sheets should I go with?

Girl's Bedroom DecorThe room is a soft yellow as seen in all of the above pics (that I've taken).  (It's Behr's Cornsilk, which definitely looks more yellow in the room than what is pictured on their site).  The room will be set up with a bed on each side of a large window in the center of the main wall.  So drapes will be up against the beds.  And for curtains, I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.  I've been tossing around the idea of white curtains and adding a detail, like pink trim vertically.  (Any thoughts or ideas on this too?  For instance, am I crazy for going with white in a kids' room?!)

So back to the original question:  which sheets would be your choice?

Girl's Bedroom Decor
Or should I go with something completely different?

I'm so excited to see how everything is starting to come together now!  I can't wait to see it all in place!

How did you decorate your kid's bedrooms?  Any awesome Pinterest boards I should follow?  I'm always looking for new ideas...and our son's bedroom is next!

Happy Friday!

Sharing my Thoughts for Thursday with Natalie and Annie and Five on Friday 
along with  Lauren Elizabeth, Karli, Amy, Andrea, Erika, and Narci this week!  Join the fun!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Date Night - Vegas Style!

I've definitely been feeling worn out - physically and emotionally - the last few weeks. In keeping with the spirit of spreading love this month, I've decided it's time to give a little more to my husband and myself. I'm secretly planning a fun filled weekend for my family. :) I can't wait to share what we are doing...until then, I decided to share one of my favorite things to plan: date nights at home!

I think one of the most important things to do after having kids is to continue dating your spouse! My husband is really fun, and he loves cheesy date nights. I like using themes for our stay at home dates to make them more entertaining, and to me, it's easier to plan too. I thought I'd share one of my favorite date nights we did here: Vegas Night!

Now, my husband is from Vegas, but never really stayed on the strip or did much down there. I did some research on hotels, and used the Venetian logo and theme for our date night. I packed him an overnight suitcase and had it downstairs, ready to meet him as he came in from work. I put a note on it, describing his itinerary for the night. He was to take his bag upstairs to his room (I put room numbers on our doors), and make himself comfortable until his dinner reservation time at the 'restaurant' downstairs. :)

In our room, I put everything you would find in a hotel room - coffee maker, cups, ice bucket, travel size soaps, fun folded towels, etc. It was so much fun decorating - and free since it was all laying around the house! My husband loved these little touches. It felt more real this way! ;)

Nothing too fancy, but hey, it works! :)

After a lovely Italian themed dinner, we went to the 'strip' (aka living room). I don't know many card games like poker, so I made up a different kind of betting game. We played Yahtzee and I had sheets with different things to bet on with our Monopoly money. We bet on who would get the first Yahtzee, highest score, lowest Chance score, etc....I just made up scenarios and it made it more interesting than regular, old Yahtzee. We also watched Ocean's 11 during the game.

This date happened to take place during basketball season (March Madness), and we watched that once those games started. My favorite team was playing, so I made up a betting sheet for that too. Similar ideas - who would score the first 3 pointer, who would be ahead at half time, etc. Sadly, my team lost, but it was still fun!

It was so much better pretending to be in a hotel than actually being there (maybe it's just us, but we always leave hotels with bizarre stories to tell...). Overall, it was a fun date night that was basically free. I like using things around the house, and just jazzing them up a bit! :)

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Adoption Update: Let the Wait Begin!

Adoption Announcement

Our homestudy has been completed!  We are "active" again!

Over the past several weeks, we have had to attend a day long class about adoption, fill out hours worth of paperwork, put together writings and pictures about every aspect of our lives for the profile that the birthmother uses to choose her family, and do everything from being fingerprinted to getting physicals to having our home inspected by the agency.  (Whew, I'm out of breath just writing all of this!)  And although that took a lot of time and required a lot of running around, it actually was the easiest part of the process.

Now that we're back on the "list", all that is left to do is...wait.  There’s nothing else to do.  And that is hard, let me tell you.  Because for me, waiting equals worrying since everything that happens during this time of waiting is completely out of my control.

So while we wait, will you please join us in something that we can do?  And that would be to pray.

As we look forward to a new little one to join our family, we pray for peace, strength, and health for the birthmother (and father), for health for the baby, for guidance for the counselors at the agency, and for peace for our family and to trust in His Plan. 

But what we pray for the most is what is best for the mother and baby – no matter what – even if that means “what’s best” is not with our family. 

When we had a “fall through” adoption in 2012, that prayer is what helped us get through it.  Even though it was extremely difficult and upsetting to lose this baby, we knew that her decision to parent was God’s Plan for her, the baby, and us.  God had another little one out there for us - our little Buster.  If we had brought home this baby, B wouldn’t be with us.  And he was always meant to be in our family. 

So the most important thing we can do while we wait is to pray and daily give that worry and control over to God (which I'm sure you agree with me that it is definitely easier said than done!). 

What helps you the most to not worry during periods of waiting?

Adoption Announcement
I couldn't decide between the two announcements, so I chose both!

Also, I'm guest posting for Emily over at Raising Barnes today while her husband is recovering from knee surgery.  (So while you're at it, could you please say a little prayer for her family too?)  I've written about a little gem I've learned about adoption lately:  how even my adopted children can be my mini-mes.  Please go give us some love over at her blog.  She has a wonderful blog about motherhood and life that's full of fun and her smiley son Simon!  I know you'll love it just as much as I do.

Thanks for joining us in prayer and sharing in this journey with us!


Sharing my Thoughts for Thursday with Natalie and Annie and 
Five on Friday along with  Lauren Elizabeth, Karli, and Amy this week!  Join the fun!
And a last minute link up for Mommy Moments with Faith and Blogger's Digest with Jessica.

"For this child I have prayed..." 1 Samuel 1:27

Monday, July 14, 2014

Spreading Love over at Raising Barnes :)

This week, Jess and I are sharing some thoughts over at Raising Barnes blog. Emily's husband, Alex, recently had knee surgery and is starting on the fun journey of recovery. I'm so glad we found her blog a few months ago - check out their family adventures here. Prepare yourself for an overload of cuteness courtesy of her adorable son, Simon. :)

You can check out my guest post - Spreading Love - here. We've really been enjoying doing these random acts of kindness. Yesterday we paid for the meal behind us in a drive thru and the look on the ladies face when she didn't have to pay was priceless! Definitely something we will be doing again! :)

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Five Thoughts - Pinterest Projects

Hello, my name is Katie, and I'm addicted to Pinterest.

I seriously gave it up for Lent my obsession was that bad. Now that I have time to kill at my 2 am feeding sesh with Tim, I am back to my crazy pinning ways.

Luckily, my husband has every other Friday off, so I'm hoping to get a lot of projects done this summer. Here is my list of fun ideas to spruce up our house a bit:

1. I have to do something more exciting with our boring entryway. We don't have a closet, and in the winter, the amount of coats, scarves, gloves, and boots gets ridiculous. I need some sort of storage system - any ideas? Also, new wall decor because ...well, there isn't any! :)

2. A friend of mine recently gave us some old Polish maps, and those are getting framed. I am planning on making a gallery wall in the dining room of the maps, pictures of my husband's trips to Poland, and some prints of quotes in Polish that I found online. Bet you can't guess which country my husband is from? ;)

3. We started on my daughter's big girl room right before Tim came, so it isn't quite finished yet. We decorated it to fit her personality - fun and bright. My plan is to finish a crocheting project for her comforter, and make her some fun pillows (similar to the picture, but maybe with her name instead).


4. Our master bedroom has nothing on the walls. In two and a half years, I have yet to print off wedding pictures or find any art that I would like in there. I bought some canvases at Michael's recently and I finally found a quote to paint on excited to share this project later this month!

5. This bad boy was a freebie that my boss gave us last winter. The drawers don't work, and currently are housing our extra diapers and wipes. My plan is to place boards down to make shelves and find baskets to store all of the toys and stuffed animals we have accumulated. It has a veneer top, so I'm debating on painting it as I'm not sure how that would turn out. I just can't wait to have the extra storage!

So, if I stay motivated, I hope to have all of this done by the end of summer...mainly because once football starts, our weekends are shot. ;)  

Any amazing Pinterest finds that you have completed?  Feel free to link up your boards/ideas in the comments - I love following new people! :)

Sharing my Thoughts for Thursday with Natalie and Annie and Five on Friday along with Lauren Elizabeth, Karli, and Amy this week!  Join the fun!

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