Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hey it's still January, I can say it!  You guys!  My babies are asleep! 

Wait no, forget I said anything.  I don't want to jinx myself.  But woohoo I get to write!

Let's talk Christmas!  How was yours?  Ours was awesome and wonderful; it was just us in the house and it was peaceful and fun and just what we needed.
Andrea's two front teeth poked through two days before Christmas.
How's that for timing?
Sofia was much more aware of Christmas this year and it was so much fun
to watch her open presents and be so enthusiastic.
"Oh wow this is AWESOME!"
"This is so COOL!"
She got ALL the dress-up dresses this year and she wears them
all multiple times a day.
She loves her big and poufy Rapunzel dress the most, but they
all see heavy rotation.
Of course, Andrea was more interested in the paper and boxes
than the actual presents but it's all good.

After Christmas, we headed out of town because they had to do some work on the house and we didn't want to have to dodge workers with two small kids in the house.  Yeah, they had to do work on our brand new house.  Let me tell you something, this new house thing is is a trip.  HGTV lied to me; I thought when you go into a brand new house it's all "Wow!  It's so beautiful and perfect!  Everything is in its place and in perfect working order, let's sit in our brand new kitchen and marvel at our good fortune!"  In real life?  Doors don't close all the way, walls have to be ripped out because they were done wrong the first time, it takes four tries to get the shower built right, lights take forever to get installed, cracks appear overnight, and it's an endless stream of workers fixing something.

So instead of dealing with all that, we drove a few hours south to Kiawah Island, South Carolina and we had ourselves a birthday/New Year cele-cation.  You know, celebration and vacation?  It's a new word, I just made it up, go with it.

It was chilly, but we bundled up and had a little beach time.
Sofia got a fishing pole and was eager to see if she could catch anything.
She didn't have any luck that day, but we have plans to get back out there
and catch us some fish.
New Year's Eve was Drew's birthday and we had Carolina barbeque for 
his birthday lunch.  Sofia loved the burnt ends, which is major because
these days she is the pickiest eater on the planet and it drives me 
absolutely insane.
Andrea on the other hand, eats like a grownup and that day she did WORK
on a catfish po' boy.  My sweet baby can EAT and she claps her hands
every time I strap her into her highchair.
"It's yogurt time y'all!"

We stayed at the Andell Inn and ERMAHGERD.  That hotel is the most beautiful hotel I've ever stayed in and I wanted to take a picture of every single thing and bring it all into my home.  Oh wait, I *did* take pictures of every single thing so I can bring it all into my home.

  I need this rope bench swing thing on my front porch
and that light may look a little garish in the daylight but it was
AWESOME at night.  I really just wanted to sit on the rope bench swing and just 
stare at the light like a human moth.

At $5200 a pop, I won't *quite* be able to have those chandeliers but
good LORD they were gorgeous.

This dumpy, squishy, soft and divine leather sofa was absolute perfection 
and the small people in my home would destroy it in 2.5 seconds.

I want a console table for our entry and Drew is going to build one for me.
He doesn't know that yet.
This giant mirror is VELVET.  And TUFTED.  
And I DIED when I saw it.
Then I came back from the dead and went into the women's restroom
where I DIED again when I saw these mirrors.  
I NEED these mirrors in my bathroom.

Oh sure, go ahead and tie some branches together and make a completely
bad-ass egg chair.
Then, why don't you put it right next to some completely kick-ass
modern wingback chairs and because I haven't had enough heart attacks, 
stick a Sputnik floor lamp right in between them.
Oh, sorry for tripping you, that was just my tongue on the floor.
I'm gonna need this giant head-scratcher chandelier in my entry
please and thank you.
I've actually seen these mirrors on Pinterest as a DIY somewhere. 
Sometime.  Maybe I'll do it myself and I'll become a Pinterest sensation.
Is that a thing?
I don't even know.  I'm high off reliving these design moments.
I'm not playing you guys, I live and breathe design and this hotel was
a freakin' dream come true.
Plus also, can someone please cut down a GIANT DAMN TREE and
make it into a table for me? 

After our wonderful and relaxing cele-cation, we came home to our
beautiful perfect house.  HA!  They are STILL doing work!
I'm pretty sure these houses have guest bedrooms not for guests
but for the workers who never ever leave because the 
work is never ever done.
If I ever get to blog again, I'm going to tell you about our shower.
The shit is EPIC.

That picture is of the carpet runner that I would like to eventually have installed on our stairs.  The dog is killing the wood with her nails and I live in fear of the kids slipping on the stairs and falling to their deaths so a runner is in order.  Except!  Runners are STOOPID expensive and frankly, we ain't got it.  So until the bank account gets a leeeetle fatter, we have to wait on a stair runner, but I still had them come out and measure and give me a price, just so I have a number in my head when I'm vomiting over the expense.

PS, the one I chose is the bottom left, not the beige one.
I wanted something fun but muted and this one sang to me, and 
with a new sofa and new rug, the runner will be perfect.
Of course, that's not going to be for a while because 
we have other stuff we have to pay for first,
but I have a vision and it's awesome.

For the time being, I'm limited in my house decorating because we took a massive hit when we sold the house in Reading.  If we had had a crystal ball and we'd known we were only going to be in Pennsylvania for two years, we wouldn't have done anything to the house, because redoing the kitchen, laundry room and front yard cost a pretty penny and we didn't recoup those expenses.  So, we have to let the savings account rest from the beating it took before we start again with the decorating and the spending.

That doesn't mean I can't do *any* decorating; I've actually gotten some things accomplished since I last wrote and it's enough to keep my creative needs satisfied.  If the kids stay on this current sleeping streak, I may actually get to write about it!

Currently, my creative outlet is being channeled towards Andrea's first birthday.  YES Y'ALL.  My baby is going to be A YEAR OLD in less than two weeks.  I don't even know how that happened and I'm in shock.  I know everybody says it, but I truly feel like I had her yesterday and I still vividly remember her newborn diapers.
Her birthday is all pink and gold, errywhere and it's going to be great.
Everything is coming together and I'm so excited for the big day
and you know I'll be back to share all the glittery details!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's a Christmas miracle

You know, that I'm actually getting to blog.  Between endless house stuff and these kids not sleeping EVER, I was beginning to feel like I was never going to get to blog again.  I hate that it's been over two months that I've been here.  Even the spammers thought I was gone for good.  I started getting tons of ridiculous spam comments on random old posts, like I'd abandoned my blog and the cockroaches tried to take over.

But I've shoo'd them away and I'm once again dusting off my poor little blog and once again hoping that it won't be this long before I post again.

And since I'm OCD I have to pick up where I left off, so bear with me for a second.  I'll just hit the high points.

When we moved to Pennsylvania, one of the first things I was excited about was how close we were to New York City.  I swore we were going to be in the City like every other week because it was so close.  It never happened.  Even though we were only two hours away, we never got around to going until it was time to move away.  It was our last weekend in our house before the movers came, and my two girlfriends and I packed up our eight children and we spent two days in the City and it was awesome!!  It was hectic with all those kids but completely and totally awesome and I'm thrilled that we got to do it. 

The one and only thing I wanted to do was go to the Museum of Natural History and take a picture with the T Rex.
The kids were completely melting down but I was totally geeked out.

It was an adventure and I'm so glad 
we got to make the trip.

We also took the kids to Frozen on Ice.  
Such a fun night!

Then the movers came and packed our house and 
we went to stay with friends for a week
before we moved away for good.

Our last night in Pennsylvania coincided with
the annual Halloween party.
This year we were residents of Pixie Hollow.
Drew was Lord Milori, I was Queen Clarion and 
Andrea was a Tink in training.

God, she's so cute.  How is it that she'll be a year old in two months?!

I couldn't get a shot of my Tinkerbell
until after we'd done our trick or treating and she was 
assessing her loot.
Even then she wouldn't put her wings or her shoes back on.
Such is life with a three year old.

Before we left for good, 
we had to get one last shot of the three musketeers.

One last shot of the moms.
I miss them so much...

Immediately after the party, we loaded the cars and with many tears and hugs we headed south.  We spent the night in Virginia, got a little sleep and finished the drive to North Carolina the next morning.
Stretching our legs and taking a selfie at the gas station.

And bing bang boom, we were driving up to our new home!

We arrived just before Halloween, so it's been what, a month and a half now?  It seems like it's been longer, as nearly all of the boxes are unpacked, but of course it's going to be a while before everything is they way I want it.  Every week I try to do one decorating thing; it'll take a while but I'm getting there, baby steps at a time. Our first night, Drew and I were laying in bed, just looking at each other.  "This doesn't feel real.  It feels like we're house-sitting for somebody else, somebody more grown-up than us."   It's so weird to call this our home, but Drew has worked so hard to provide for us and he has absolutely earned it.  The least I can do is make it pretty for our little family.

So bit by bit, I'm hanging pictures, I'm arranging stuff and it's feeling more like *our* home, and I think it's high time we had ourselves a house tour.  Of course, we'll call these the before shots....

 Here's my entryway.

I'm kidding I'm kidding!  No one wants to see pictures of bare walls!  That would be an incredibly boring house tour, so I ran around taking pictures of everything yesterday afternoon.  THIS is what my house looks like, for real.  These are the real before pictures and I'm warning you, the house is a wreck.  
Let's play "What Needs to Change!"

The wine rack is what you see right when you come in, just so you know what kind of people we are.  My mom came to help out right after we moved in, so while she watched the kids, I was able to unpack boxes and even get some decorating done.  I spray painted the wine rack and it's a vast improvement over the reddish wood that it was before.  The marble top is still cracked and at some point we'll probably replace it, but it's good for now.

This is the drop spot for all our junk and I desperately need to get a handle on it.  I need a spot for keys, the dog's leash and Drew's headphones, and I need to find new homes for all the other stuff on there.

The entryway is nice and big with a wide hallway, but
I need to do something with that left wall.
The dining room is to the left and I want to replace that bench.
I keep meaning to pull the two dining chairs at the end of the table to either
side of the buffet but I just haven't gotten around to it.
I don't like that you can't see the buffet all that well but I'll figure something out.

I had the movers put it like this at first but Drew 
thought it looked better the other way.
I'm going to go for something like this in the dining room.
One of these days.

The butler's pantry is through the dining room
on the way to the kitchen.
We had them take out the upper cabinet and tile the whole wall.
Eventually, we'll put in a couple of floating shelves.
For now, it's the drink station.
The main pantry is across from the butler's pantry and 
It. Is. Everything.
My mom organized it and sometimes I go in 
there to just stare at everything in its place and I feel calm.
I love my pantry.

There's my big ol' messy kitchen.
I love it so much.

They finally changed out the Jesus fish lights to the ones I originally chose, but the third pendant is on backorder somewhere and I'll probably get it when Andrea is in kindergarten.  These lights have been the bane of my existence.  However, the rest of the kitchen is beyond lovely and I love everything about it.  I love the glass subway tile, I LOVE my soapstone island, I love the countertops, I love my white cabinets and I LOVE all the space.  It's a pretty awesome kitchen if I do say so myself.  One day, I'm going to get three barstools for the island, but for now this is how we're living.

The breakfast nook needs window treatments like woah.
Our back porch is screened in and I had high hopes for having a cute outdoor living 
situation, but it gets drenched when it rains so 
I don't know what's going to end up happening out there.

Check out our awesome Christmas tree.
Sofia kept taking the ornaments she could reach and throwing them
all over the house so I had to toddler-proof our tree.

We have an open floor plan so I can see the family room from the kitchen, which I love.  There was a wall in the old house and I hated not being able to see the kids while I made dinner so this set up is a million times better.  Eventually, we'll hang the TV over the fireplace and put bookshelves where the TV is now.  You know, one of these days.

The guest bedroom and bath and the mudroom are also down here but I forgot to get pictures.  They're pretty basic and the guest bedroom is so bare; there's just a dresser and bed in there, our poor guests.

The stairs to the second floor are in the family room, I was picky about that.  I'm not a fan of seeing stairs right when you walk in a house, so instead of the staircase coming straight down and spilling out into the entryway, they turn and go into the family room.
Standing on the stairs.
And Sofia has a star over her because she's naked.
She's always naked.
I'd like to get a sectional, and when the tree is down, 
we'll move the chair over to that corner and 
obviously we need window treatments here too.

The playroom is at the top of the stairs, and that room
is nowhere near where I want it to be, but the toys are somewhat corralled.
Eventually, this TV cabinet will go up to the third floor and we'll
hang the TV on the wall so we can have more space.
I need to organize so much in this room.
But at least I organized the crayons!
Previously, they were jumbled up and hidden in a drawer
and they never got used.
This way, they're accessible and getting played with.
I have no idea why I didn't open the shade in Andrea's room
to take pictures.  Again, please consider these the before shots.

Craigslist here is awesome.  North Carolina is known for their good furniture and Craigslist does not disappoint.  I scored her dresser soon after we moved in and I love it.  It's a little beaten up but it's going to be even more gorgeous with a new coat of paint.  I'm staying with the pink and gold theme in here and I plan to sew a cover for the floor pouf.  Eventually.

My neighbor's husband hung the shelf for me and I plan to put a frame collage
under the shelf or maybe drape one of those rag buntings.
I like them?  I think?
I'm not sure.

Sofia's room is somewhat set up, but of course
there's a ton I want to do with it.
Her last bedroom was navy and raspberry and I'm
staying with the blue and pink theme,
but this time it's peacock and bubble gum.
I took my inspiration from her storage boxes.

I'm absolutely in love with her storage boxes and I snatched them up when they went on sale.  Drew built Sofia's dress-up caddy over a year ago and I finally got around to painting it when my mom was in town.  Honestly, I'm happiest when I'm painting something and time to paint is the best gift anyone can give me.  That, and some new boots.  I want some new boots.

Anyway, Sofia's room!  Yeah, it needs help.
I found some peacock sheets at Target and her lamp still works in the room, 
but those poor walls!  They need art, stat!

Sofia has a big walk-in closet and she has a Craigslist dresser in there, so the dresser in her room is more of a catch-all for toys.  Her room is a great size and I like the furniture placement, but I just need to tweak some things.

And then there's the master bedroom, or 'owner's retreat.'
I guess master bedroom isn't PC anymore?  
I had no idea.

Maya's in here with us too, because it felt cruel to make her sleep downstairs by herself.  I kind of don't even like the kids to be sleeping in their own rooms, but they seem to end up in our bed at some point during the night anyway.  

Oh look!  More windows that need curtains!
Once I get things truly decorated, I'll take pretty pictures.
Right now, I'm just happy to be blogging.
Obviously, this is from move in day.
But this bathroom is so fantastic.
I love it so very very much.
I mean, I *would* like to do something with those builder mirrors,
the counters already look cluttered and it needs more decor,
but it's still so so SO much better than the 
"master bath" we had in Reading.
SO much better.
The girls love the big tub and 
maybe one day I'll get to take a bubble bath in there
with a glass of wine and a book.
A girl can dream...

There's a third floor too, but I didn't get any pictures of that because it's just a big room with another trio of windows.  One of these days, it'll be workspace for Drew and me, where I can sew and do my crafty stuff and he can do work stuff.  One of these days.  We have a long way to go to making this house our home, but if you gauge lived-in by how big your mess is, then we are most definitely home.

Whew!  That was a monster of a post, but now my OCD is at peace and now I feel all caught up.  I sure hope it's not another two months before I can come back.  I miss writing and I miss checking in with you.  I hope you're all well, and just in case I don't get back here before Christmas, have a very merry Christmas!  I hope all your wishes come true!



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