Friday, March 30, 2012

Speaking of makeovers...

I'm a total amateur when it comes to this here blog. I understand the "basics" of blog design but let's get real, I know nothing compared to so many other beautiful blogs out there. So, be patient with me as I try to spruce things up a bit. It's time for a little change. Are you with me? Thought so...

Here's a question to those of you that know what you're doing:

HOW DO YOU CENTER THE BLOG TITLE AT THE TOP OF MY PAGE???

I've been trying my darndest and it just ain't working! Help. me. please.

Also, check out the other fun things I've added on my sidebar>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Is there anything else you would like to see added to the blog?

I would love to add some tabs at the top to make things a bit more organized. Maybe after some more research on how to actually do it. Again, a little slow in the tech department over here.

***

Anyway, we are off on a week long trip today. Our church is heading down south to work at a Christian summer camp in TN. We're leaving a day early to visit some friends that we rarely get to see. We're leaving tonight and I'm still working on packing. Story of my life.

the last time we were there was 2 years ago. Miss Kensie was just 7 months old...such a little peanut then.

The trip will be good for me in so many ways. Time with my husband and kids. A chance to do things outside of our daily routines. And most of all, it will be good to be away from all those Internet portals that so easily entangle me! I have not been very diligent in saying NO to the computer lately. I'm at the point where I literally need to be plucked out of my home and dropped into the middle of a deep forest in no-man's land for it to work. And I'm actually excited about that.

Better get finished packing while the little ones nap!

See you all in a week!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blue and gray makeover {update}

We're making some progress around here with our mini-makeover and I'm totally loving it! 

Here's what I've done so far...



My Mom helped me make the pillow covers one Saturday afternoon.
She made the pillow on the right {pictured above} in like 20 minutes. Fancy cording and everything. 
She's so talented. Just to give you an idea of how talented....she made ALL five of my bridesmaid dresses.

here's the one Mom made. Don't you love the different fabric on each side?

As much as I loved the cording, I wasn't up for attempting to sew it. So I just made mine without. The striped one is my favorite!


I can't say I made the map pillow cover however. I found it on etsy and couldn't resist. It's a map of Lake Michigan in a subtle blue gray color scheme...say what?! Perfect accent.








The pillows turned out so good I couldn't wait to make the curtains for above the kitchen sink.

These were incredibly easy to make!


This fabric I also used to recover our dining chairs...






And I saved the best for last.

I had just enough striped fabric to make new curtains for the built in.





The coral accents I found at TJ Maxx. Everything else I already had. 


I'll probably fuss with the arrangements for the rest of the week. I'm never quite satisfied when it comes to arranging shelves. 









My next project is painting the hutch and shutters.

And after that, the walls...eeeek!





Linking up to:









***

Thanks for staying tuned in!



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Surgery and recovery

Wow. It's been an interesting week over here.

I had surgery on my right leg this past Wednesday to take the rest of those lumpy, bumpy veins out. If you recall, I had my left leg done the week before--I was in and out of the doc's office in 30 minutes flat. Local anesthesia. Drove myself home no problem. I hobbled around in a full ace-wrap, was slightly uncomfortable for three days, but felt fairly back to normal by the fourth day.

I was warned that my right leg would take some more time and that it would need to be done at the hospital. I wasn't looking forward to it by any means but, I went into it thinking, Okay. It can't be much worse than what I've already been through...let's do this thing!! I was pretty positive and totally down-played the whole scenario in my head. 

Wellll, here's the perks and pains of my past three days. This is partially for my own record-keeping and partially for those who like to know details....

(WARNING: there will be talk of some blood. Can't say I didn't warn you)

PERKS:
- A two hour surgery feels like the best two hour nap you will ever take. Seriously. If you want a good, deep, uninterrupted nap...have a surgery.

- After your long nap they will give you some drugs to dull the pain post-surgery. I now understand why doctors have to prescribe powerful pain killers that make you drowsy. And I can also see why people get addicted to them. Whoa. It's like giving yourself a big, warm, fuzzy, sleepy hug for a few hours. Amazing stuff.

- Your friendships will build. The love and kindness you feel from those taking care of you when you come home from a surgery like that will deepen your relationships like you could never imagine. My closest friends just got a little closer over the past few days. Love those girls.

- You tend to rely on God a lot more when you have surgery. No doubt about it.

PAINS:
- Ummm literally. Pain. Lots of stinging pain. Like, someone cut you with razors kind of pain. Intense soreness and swelling for the first 48 hours. Yay for drugs.

- A few hours after coming home, I started bleeding from one of my incisions. Basically, without being too graphic, I had some bulgy veins that were "way up there" if you know what I mean. The incision closest to my lady parts re-opened and just would. not. stop. bleeding. This is where that whole "building-relationships-with-your-friends" piece came in. I literally had to lay flat on my back for several hours while pressing an ice pack to make sure the bleeding didn't start up again. I had instant flash-backs of giving birth just over one year ago. I felt that exposed, and there was almost that much blood. Oiy. Again...those friends of mine took such good care of me during this time.

- Lack of sleep. That two hour nap during surgery only lasts so long. Nighttime sleeping was miserable the first two nights. There was absolutely no position that was comfortable. (again, reminded me of pregnancy.)

- Greg left the night of my surgery to go to a truck show for the whole next day. It was pre-planned but we did not realize the schedule conflict until the week of the surgery. I was not a happy wife about this one. And he felt absolutely terrible for leaving...but, again my friends stepped up to the plate. And honestly, it was probably better that he was spared from all my complaining and sleepless nights.

***

I took my ace wrap off this evening and finally took a shower! Felt So good. My leg looks like what I thought...pretty bruised all over and still very tender to the touch. Instead of stitches, they used sterile strips over each incision (basically like a butterfly band-aid). I carefully pulled each strip off to reveal the teeny tiny incision. I was curious just how many sterile strips there were....I stopped counting after 45. Buh-bye bulgy veins!


So, that was my "super-fun-i-know-you-are-jealous" week! Looking forward to next week and getting out to enjoy some of this beautiful spring weather!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Not lucky...more like blessed.

Despite my swollen and ace-wrapped leg today...despite my husband working on a Saturday....despite the little sleep I've had the past two nights (from said leg)....I'm feeling blessed today.

Blessed with this unbelievable weather that has struck the Midwest this year. 78* in March? In Michigan?? Best winter/ spring ever. Hands down.

Blessed by the daffodils that are blooming in our front yard.

Blessed by a God who gives us comfort and strength in our time of need.

And blessed by these two little darlings...



Hope you are feeling blessed on this St. Patrick's Day!

{I'm wearing green socks...that counts right?}

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Update on my legs...

This post is coming kind of late. Six months late to be exact.Whoops.

If you've been here for a while, you know I have varicose veins. Really bad. Like, wakes-me-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-because-of-chronic-pain bad. Bad enough to make me want to wear a sheet over my legs all summer long. Bad enough that people stare. A lot.

If you are a new follower...whelp, now you know. Fun stuff. This is not my favorite thing to write about. But, my hope is to encourage other women who might suffer from the same thing. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you'd like to start from the beginning read THIS first, and then THIS to catch up to speed. This post will make much more sense if you read the background shhtuff.


Now, for the update...

After my three laser treatments last October, I was anxious to see my results. Right away I noticed my legs felt a bit lighter. There was less pressure in my upper thighs and a little less swelling at the end of a normal day. However, while the veins themselves appeared smaller, they were pretty much ALL still there. And a few months later I was waking up in the night again with sharp pain in the back of my knee. What?! Are you kidding me? I just went through a solid month of poking, zapping, recovering, and hobbling around in a bulky ace wrap for THIS? Only to have nearly ALL the same side effects, and for people to STILL gawk at my nasty legs?!! Ohhhhh, was I mad. Mad at the doctor for "lying" to me (even though I clearly misunderstood him). Mad at myself for believing it was actually going to make a difference. Mad at all that time wasted. Wasted on what?! Nothing, that's what. It left me nothing but two legs with the same outward appearance and slightly-less the discomfort. Big whoop.

My follow-up appointment went something like this:

DOC: Well, your ultrasound looks good! [As he's rubbing the gooey gel over my legs] The laser treatment did what it was suppose to. The vein deep in your leg is nicely sealed shut!

ME: [slightly annoyed] Well, that's good 'cuz it sure doesn't look like it on the outside. I thought the bulgy veins would be gone...

DOC: [very matter-of-fact] Remember, we took care of the root of the problem. The veins that have already been damaged will remain damaged until we remove them.

ME: [feeling foolish] Ohhhh.

DOC: Sometimes the laser treatment will reduce the bulgy veins just enough so they are not as visible. But, when they are as large as yours, they won't go away completely until we do a procedure called "mini-stripping".

ME: Ummm okay. [while thinking, "Gee thanks.....as LARGE as mine"]

DOC: Mini-stripping is when I would make a bunch of marks on your leg (with an actual marker) and then go back and remove 2-3 inch portions of the bulgy vein. I would start at the top of your leg and work the way down until all bulging veins are removed. Your leg would then be wrapped in a full length ace wrap for 3 straight days.

ME: Okay. So what does that mean for the future if I were to get this done?

DOC: Like I said before, the laser treatment is what takes care of the root of the problem. It reduces future bulging veins but does not guarantee they won't come back. If you remove your current bulging veins, those ones will not come back. Overall, your pain should be eliminated and the bulging will be gone, for now.

ME: Okay. I'll have to think about it....


So, where does that leave me today?

I mulled over it for a couple weeks which turned into months. I went back and forth. I called our insurance for the umpteenth time and talked things over and over and over with Greg....and in the end decided it was worth moving forward. We will need to meet our deductible which is less now (at $3,000) before insurance will cover anything. But, we decided with all the pain these are still causing and future babies we want to have (emphasis on down-the-road-FUTURE!), it's a good time to get it done.

I just finished the "mini-stripping" procedure on my left leg today. Pretty much the grossest feeling ever. I was totally numb but it felt like someone pulling large noodles out of my leg (which is pretty much what he did!). Sorry for the visual. And NO, I did not watch (which was the first thing my husband asked when I got home...boys!). My right leg is significantly worse and will be done next week. So much worse, in fact, that the Doc said I need to have it done at the hospital because he can only pump so much local anesthesia into a person's body. (meaning I have a TON of veins in tricky places). So, I'll get some laughing gas and not remember a whole lot. It shouldn't take more than an hour he said to do the whole leg. Not looking forward to the recovery on that leg.

Nervous but excited for the results this time! I'm not expecting to look 18 again but would LOVE to have zero pain and feel comfortable in a swimsuit this summer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mason's {vintage} sunshine and soda pop party!


I made the invitations just using basic Microsoft Word with a few clipart images. Printed them from my home and mailed them out to some family!
(I airburshed our address in the image above).
It did take some time to design but cost virtually nothing. You're welcome husband.


Overall, this was such a fun party to plan!

In fact, my favorite to date.


I wanted to pick a theme that really captured Mason's personality.




Ever since we brought him home from the hospital, I got in the habit of singing "You are my sunshine" to him every night. I grew to love this song more and more as his smiley personality began to blossom.



The yellow sign I found on etsy and it usually hangs in his room. I fell in love with the vintage writing and distressed treatment.


MENU:

- chicken salad croissant sandwiches-

- pita chips with spinach dip-

- gourmet crackers with cheese ball-

- veggies with ranch dip-

- bottle caps, gummies, and lollipops-

- lemon mousse layered cake-

-make your own italian sodas-

***

So, back to the theme.

Mason is bright and cheerful...reminds me of sunshine.

"Hmmm, he's also sweet and bubbly"
I thought to myself.

Kinda like soda pop!

And with that, my theme was set.



It was harder than I thought to find soda pop candies. I settled on bottle caps (a classic) and some gummies in the shape of Coca Cola bottles {see above}.



I know my strengths, and baking is not one of them.

The cake and over sized cupcake I ordered 24 hours in advance from a local bakery.

Did I mention it had a lemon mousse layer in the middle??

Simply divine.



I saw an idea on Pinterest to hang the name of each child attending your party like garland.

But, since we weren't having any other little people at the party, I decided to hang words that describe Mason instead.

I used a Cricut (I borrowed) to cut out each letter out of scrapbook paper and glued them to some yarn to hang.


I made the "sunshine garland"{above} and the ruffled streamers {below} HERE using paper and yarn.



Note to self for future parties: buy more streamers!

I was amazed how fast this stuff ran out.


The idea was to have a solid waterfall of streamers against the sliding glass door.

All the way to floor.

We settled for one fourth the coverage. Oh well.



Probably a better idea anyway.

Mason would tear the whole thing down if he could reach it!


The "Soda Pop Shop" where guests made their own italian sodas.

Fruit flavored soda (found in the international food aisle) + ice + a can of whip cream to top it off.

Hint: if you use the mandarine flavored soda with whip cream it taste like a creamsicle. Reminds me of when I was a kid.






Here's the happy boy himself!



Happy 1st Birthday Mason!




Linking up to:

Today's Creative Blog

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Our {28 lb.} walking one year old!

Okay.

Remember that fashion post I did a while ago where I mentioned that my daily life consists of cleaning, crawling on my knees and carrying around two children each weighing 25lbs??  I was just kind of estimating on their weight.

Well, I stand corrected.

I put them both on the scale this morning and they weigh exactly 28 lbs each!

Twenty-eight pounds people.

Normal if you are two and a half.
Humongous if you just turned one!

No wonder I want a massage every night.


Anyway, yes today is Mason's birthday.


He's bubbly, sweet, bright and cheerful.

His smile lights up a room.

His laugh is just as contagious as his daddy's.

His hugs are as cuddly as a bear.

His babbles warm our hearts.

His love for Kensie is endearing.



He also started walking just 2 short days before his birthday...so proud of him!
Up until 2 days ago he wouldn't even stand up on his own without holding onto something. As soon as I would try to let go, he would immediately squat down towards the floor. I tried it again on Tuesday and he stood for moment. Then all of a sudden he took 10 steps in a row like it was no big deal. Like he had been secretly practicing all along! Greg and I are still baffled. He's been a walking fool ever since.

Just 5 days old here...love his scrunchy face in this pic.


Watch how the lion shrinks as each month goes by...

Oh my, how he's grown!
It's crazy how much babies change and grow in the first year.


Happy Birthday little Mason man!
All twenty-eight pounds of you.


Can't wait for his party on Saturday. It will just be with family and probably no more than 15 people. But, I like to go all out for parties. So, stay tuned for pics on that next week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I've been tagged! {get to know me}

I made a new blogging buddy recently. Her name is Jen.
She's clever, crafty, and little corky (in a good way!).
I realized after poking around her blog that we both have son's named Mason....I love little connections like that!! So fun to make new friends.
I've been a follower ever since.


Anyway, you should head on over and check out her cute blog:


Photobucket



We're playing a friendly game of tag as a fun way to get to know each other!
So, here's some things you may not know about me....

1. What is your favorite type of flower?
Dahlias.


2. Your best talent is?
Grocery shopping with two kids and fitting both the groceries and the kids in the cart by the end.
You think I'm kidding...




3. Favorite Movie and Book?
Just one movie?? We'll go with "The Vow" as my most recent favorite. It makes me love my hubby even more!
As for books, I don't read a whole lot lately. But one that I remember loving was "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. Hmm...someone's  a romantic huh?


4. Why do you Blog?
I blog first for myself as a way to keep track of life, and to remember who I am in this moment. I always love looking back at posts from years before. I also blog for friends and family afar as a way to give a glimpse into my daily life. And I do enjoy a good project now and then to share with others!


5. What is your favorite color scheme?
I go through phases but right now I love blues, yellows, and my new favorite GRAY!


6. One word that describes you?
Tall.


7. The most craziest thing you have done?
Shortly after we got married I told Greg I wanted to play volleyball overseas. And he totally supported me! So, we kissed our little apartment goodbye and moved to Europe where we lived for 9 months.
Best, craziest thing I've ever done in my life.


8. Your favorite sport to watch is?
Volleyball....all the way!


9. Your dream vacation and who would you bring?
I've always wanted to go to Australia with my hubby.
I kinda have a thing for accents.


10. Facial, Pedicure or Massage?
Uh, let me think.....MASSAGE!!


11. Your dream job?
If someone could pay me to find craigslist deals all day, I'd be a millionaire.


Tag you're it!!
Shanty 2 Chic

Cottage Living- From Beach to Burbs

Susie Harris
Susie Harris

Daes of Our Lives


DAES of Our Lives


The Pleated Poppy
the pleated poppy blog
Scissors and Spatulas


Join the fun and check out the blogs above.
You won't be disappointed.
We all need a little inspiration sometimes!



The 11 NEW questions:

1. What's your favorite scent?

2. Who is your biggest inspiration in life?

3. What do you do for fun?

4. What's your least favorite chore?

5. Are you a night owl or an early bird?

6. What helps you to relax the most?

7. What's the nicest thing someone's ever done for you?

8. What's your "go-to" dinner? (Something you make on a regular basis.)

9. What makes you laugh 'til you cry?

10. What's your favorite season of the year?

11. What is your favorite room in your home?
                                                                           

RULES:
  • You must post the rules.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you and then create 11 questions to ask the people you've tagged.
  • Tag 11 people and link them in your post.
  • Post their button on your post if they have one.
  • Let them know you have tagged them

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A special little girl at 2.5 yrs {plus a video}

This girl is coming up on two and a half in a few days and I figured it was a good time to capture exactly what this little girl is all about these days...

{1} Dressing up-- this is a daily routine. Sometimes twice a day in fact. Usually between dinner and bedtime. The outfits vary but always revolve around being a "fairy" or "princess" or combination of both.

This particular evening included Mickey Mouse ears and some old jewelry I dug out of my drawers.

{2} Wants to be a princess and ballerina-- as in watching princess movies (the only movies we have are Cinderella and Snow White), dressing up, and calling herself a "princess" at times. She still remembers seeing several at Disneyland (when we went this last November). She also begs me on a regular basis to play pretty music on the piano so she can twirl like a ballerina. Can I just interrupt....I DO NOT PUSH THIS AT ALL. It's funny what kids get interested in with or without the help of parents. I was never big on introducing the whole princess/ ballerina thing...but, she is totally into it. And I have to admit it's kind of adorable.

{3} Refuses to call herself "Kensie"-- if you ask her what her name is, it's "Choo Choo". This was a nickname we gave her since she was a baby. (Don't ask me why. It has nothing to do with a choo choo train.) Anyway, it's to the point where if I ask her to repeat after me by saying, "the letter 'K' is for Kensie...can you say  kh kh Kensie?" She responds with, "Kh kh...CHOO CHOO!!" Oh dear, not quite.



{4} Pretend play-- The play kitchen is a total hit! She likes to pretend to make me coffee in the morning and spends lots of time opening and closing the fridge picking out what foods to cook in her pot on the stove. She also loves playing "mommy". She has two babies that she loves to feed, change and push in the baby stroller. She will usually copy whatever I'm doing with Mason at the moment....putting him down for a nap, changing his diaper, feeding him a bottle...she will do it with one of her babies. Also adorable. 

{5} Organizing-- this one cracks me up! She will play quietly in her room at times...reading books, rocking her babies etc. One day I went in to check on her. She had lined up all her diapers in a row. The funny part is that even though the side table was in the way, it didn't stop her from completing her perfect trail of diapers...


{6} Still loves her crib, blankie and diapers-- Still sleeps in her crib, is very attached to "clinkie" as she calls it, and still has ZERO interest in potty training. And I'm totally okay with that. Although I'm still shocked she hasn't tried to climb out of the crib yet. She bounces so high in that thing...it would be SO easy to get out. Shhhh don't tell her I said that.

 

I'll finish with a video of some fun the kids had the other day. I set up the pack n' play in the living room and they played all day in that thing! If you like videos close to 3 minutes long, enjoy...


 

 

Oh, that little girl. She gets more and more personality every day. And I love her so very much.