Monthly Archives: January 2012

why I am no good with surprises

That face–see him? With those perfect sad puppy eyes begging for a loving home? Yup, he helped me finally figure out why I hate surprises.

See, my poor husband has given up on making grand, romantic gestures because of my intense dislike of surprises. Where most wives would shower their husbands with affection and gratitude when presented with the sweetest surprise ever, I have a tendency to respond by slugging my sweetie repeatedly in the arm, saying “Why didn’t you TELL me???” (and not in a nice way), and generally being put out that everyone (you know, a whole three people) knew something I didn’t know.

Here’s the situation from Tuesday. I heard about this cute dog looking for a good home. He’d wandered to someone’s house and was kindly taken in. The nice woman who found him checked him for a microchip (none), put ads in the paper (no response), and generally took care of him. I agreed to come see the dog (with all three kids in tow, naturally)–he was across town outside a local grocery store. The girls piled in the swagger wagon and we were off. I kind of knew then that we were in for it, so I threw our kennel and a cuddly blanket in the back for him.

So we meet this cute little guy (15 pounds at the vet this morning), the girls instantly loooove him, and I am hesitantly willing to consider taking a dog home. In my mind, I had two options. Yes or no RIGHT NOW. The girls were desperate to take him home, he looked at me with that face, and I said yes.

No “We really like this dog and I’d like to discuss it with my husband.”

No “Can we get your phone number and set up a time to come visit the dog so we can see how he does in an environment he’s comfortable with?”

No “Well, we weren’t really thinking about/looking to get a dog right now, so we’ll need some time to think it over.”

Clearly none of those very rational thoughts even occurred to me. Give me a test that I can study for and I’m your girl–I can ace it with no problem.

Present me with a problem (or surprise me in an overwhelming and wonderful way) that I have to solve instantly and I spaz out completely.

But look at that face! Can you blame me??? So Lucky is settling in nicely. He didn’t think much of his shots this morning (vet figures he’s about a year old, but since we don’t know his history, we were safe and did full vaccinations for him) but he follows us around the house and is soooooo calm. The girls are over the moon.

FYI, I did call and send my hubby a photo of Lucky before we claimed him. He thinks I am slightly crazy and wishes I did a little better with surprises, but he loves the dog.

chasing rainbows

Yesterday was a pretty typical day-in-the0-life around here–school for the big ones, play time and grumpy time and fun time for the little one. Work for the hubs, and errands and endless mom stuff for me. We all have those days. Take kids to school–clean up a bit at home–work on computer projects (taxes, oh joy! and a website for a local dentist)–feed kids lunch–grandma playtime for a few minutes–dinner prep–homework for the bigs–more clean-up– kids to the dentist–dinner–clean-up. Lather, rise, repeat. It truly is an endless cycle, with moments of frustration (WHY won’t the toddler just leave her shoes on in the car????), dismay (big kid lost her winter coat again???), laughter (toddler chortles with glee when she finds big sister’s nerf gun) every day. Some days more of one, some days less of another (I leave my boots on, Mommy!).

I picked this life. I’m not a stay at home mom because I didn’t have any other options, or because I can’t get a job, or because I’m not smart enough to do anything else.

Is it mundane some days. Yes.

Do I love playing Candyland (thelongestkidgameinthehistoryoftheworldever)? No.

Would I cheerfully relinquish all laundry duties for the rest of time? Abso-freaking-lutely.


But how could I hand these cuties off to someone else every day? They are my joys, my life, and quite literally the reason I get up out of bed every morning(I’d be happy sleeping until noon otherwise).

And yesterday, I got to pretend that their baby brother was in the photo with them.


a little pretty to brighten your Monday

I spent part of this weekend sorting through photos, trying to decide what I want to have printed for my planned gallery wall in my living room. Anyone up for a little visual trip to paradise to chase away the Monday blahs?

The harbor at St. Thomas was super busy the day we were in port. Before we sailed that day, I think there were seven cruise ships in port, included one that parallel parked (literally!) between ours (Norwegian Epic to the left) and the Carnival ship at the head of the pier.

We spent our day in port exploring the island—the highlight was the sky ride to the highest point with a spectacular view and all the fabulous shopping. The lowlight? Leaving a gift we’d purchased for my dad as a thank you/peace offering (he and my mom were watching the kids while we were gone) in the shuttle we took from downtown Charlotte Amelie back to the harbor. Of course, every port had the exact same shops in a tourist enclave that was easily accessible, so we picked up a replacement on the next stop.

(yes, I wore my bathing suit non-stop for seven days. It was January and I was in the Caribbean! Can you blame me?)

I also loved all the beautiful tropical vegetation we saw–those pods growing on the palm trees fascinated me! Anyone know what they are???

No, my husband didn’t get at all tired of my snapping photos of every plant, every meal, every street sign . . . why do you ask?

From St. Thomas, we sailed for two days and we had more time to explore on board ship. Did you know that on every Norwegian ship there is a nude deck? Yeah, neither did I before I trip. FYI if you ever sail with them, signs near a stairway leading to a small deck on the front of the ship that say “18 and older only” aren’t there just to give adults a place to relax without noisy children around. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

But isn’t this ship pretty? It was launched about 6 months before our cruise, so it was sparkling and clean everywhere.

Aahhhhh. Can’t you just imagine yourself there, working on your tan and thumbing through the latest shelter or fashion mags while sipping on a pina cola (virgin for me, thanks)?

Our final port was Nassau in the Bahamas. Sadly, our snorkeling excursion was cancelled due to high winds, so Ryan and I just headed to the beach near the famous Atlantis resort with his sister and her husband. I left my “big” camera on board for the beach trip, but did snag a few shots in the harbor. We had some cuh-raaaaazy cab drivers on this island.

Alight, after looking at all these I’m ready to go back. Who’s with me?

living room in progress

So I listed out my home goals for the year a few weeks ago (among other ramblings), and I’m starting to pick away at the list. Sadly, #1 on the list, finish Bailey’s room, is in about the same place it was when I posted the goals. Add a not-so-tidy seven year old living in the room for the past month (with minimal cleaning-up), and it’s not pretty. But, never one to finish a project before I dive into a new one, I’m ready to tackle

  • #6 general freshening up around the house–especially the living room when our new couch arrives! (eeeek, I am so excited!)

I snapped a few photos last week when my living area was in (mostly) photo-worthy shape to show you all what I’m working with.Yes, I went to Habit Burger for lunch that day, how did you know??? (note to self–next time you take photos for the blog, clean up the evidence beforehand/)

And so you can get an idea of the general space planning, here’s a shot from the kitchen–yellow chair and fireplace are to the left.

As I’m starting to get ideas for this room, I strolled through my decor pins to get a handle on what I want to do in this room. And ta-da! My first mood board.

Sources: couch, rug, chest, drapes, & media console

We’ve already purchased the sectional shown above in a rich chocolate brown, and I have an old trunk of my mom’s that I want to use as a coffee table–I just got some Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in Old White to use on it. The sectional will anchor the room, but I want it to still feel light and airy, so I think the light-toned trunk will help bounce some light around in that windowless corner. I also have plans for a large photo and art gallery wall above where the loveseat currently sits (opposite the kitchen) anchored by our family photo printed as a 16×20).

I’ve noticed I’m also drawn to modern geometrics for the textiles. The rug and drapes above are more ideas, a jumping-off point as I look around to find exactly what I want.I need some help with mantel styling, clearly, and I want to freshen up the lamp by my yellow chair (I’m thinking jute twine and a new drum shade) and bring my ceramic garden stool back over to work as a side table. Otherwise, the only “big” piece I’m still on the hunt for is a decent media console that has oodles of storage but also a bit of personality. I saw the perfect piece last night at the local Annie Sloan’s stockist’s studio, Embellish & Restore. It is a twin to the desk I refinished for my entryway–the scrollwork on the drawers and the leg details are identical. But the piece is already sold, darn it! So I will keep looking.

The area that really needs help, though, and the area I am completely clueless as to what to do with is this:

Anyone else have “plant shelves” that they’ve accessorized successfully? We’ve been in this house just over two years, I have two of these plant shelves (one here, one in the kitchen), and I really am stuck as to what I want to do with them. I’d like to have more items on display up there, but I don’t want it completely filled with STUFF. I’m not married to reusing any of the pieces that are currently there in that space, and I definitely need a direction.

Ooooh, brainwave! I think I’m going to get several antique windows and hang them on the back wall of the shelves to reflect some light without adding mirrors. Otherwise, though, I’m still stuck. I would love some ideas if you have any!

Now I’m off to watch my phone some more, willing it to ring with the news that my couch will be delivered. This weekend I hope to check several things off my house to-do list. Do you have any fun plans?

Have a great weekend!

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