Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Favorite Home Projects of 2009

My poor husband . . . we've been busy. If he wasn't so handy and particular around the house, he might have a break. We've put a lot of time and effort into our home and here are some of my favorites:

Our Backyard - this is so big that I don't even know if the word project is accurate - I've noticed that everyone looks at us like we are crazy when they come over. Maybe we are . . this is a huge project with a finish date of summer 2011. We've been working on it almost every Saturday from May through October. We leveled the yard, which included taking out approximately 120 cubic yards of dirt, built a retaining wall, built in our trampoline; we now have a beautiful 2 tiered paved patio, we've planted 7 trees, 8 shrubs, a flower garden, built a vegetable garden, and that doesn't even include all the time consuming little things - carrying bricks from the driveway to the backyard, digging sprinkler trenches . . . and on and on.

The Girls Room - painted, put up beadboard, chair rail and crown molding, and sewed new bedding for both girls.

My Master Room - still have a long ways to go on this, but so far this room has received a coat of paint, new bedding, new drapes, and my pretty little desk.

The Family Room Drapes - love the difference!
Our Mud Room - the cubbies in our garage are a life saver. We have hooks on the wall for coats and backpacks and some mats for the floor. Someone commented to me the other day on how my garage looks so organized. I just laughed - behind our other door is all the tools we are using for our backyard, with no order whatsoever!

The drapes in the Dining Room - this took about a year to just pick out the fabric.

I'm excited for 2010, no time to rest. My in-laws will be here Tuesday and are anxious to start a project for me. What a perfect way to start off the year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas - See You Next Year . . .

I'll be taking a little break, trying to spend time on that which matters most. Unfortunately, this little blog that I do love, does not make the cut. I've got 2 weeks to spend with my little ones!Have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Grateful Sunday

I am so looking forward to this week! Finally, all the Christmas chores are done, and hopefully we can really really think about Christmas. Today, I am grateful for:

after 7 long days and long nights, my hubby is home! Going away for work is a pain for everyone.

I reached my goal of running 520 miles this year - 10 miles for every week. I know it's nothing for my marathoner runner friends out there, but I hope it shows consistency- and finishing.

My kiddos went snowboarding for the first time with their daddy yesterday. I'm so sad that I missed it and had to stay home with M., but I'm glad that Tom is able to pass on one of his loves to I. and G. They had a blast!

Have a fantastic week - may you feel the peace and joy that comes with this season.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Books . . .

I consider myself an avid reader, and have read so many good books lately. I don't want to forget them. Here is a list of some of the more recent ones, in no particular order:

Me and Emma, by Elizabeth Flock. It was a fast read, and one that I could not stop thinking about once I finished.
The Last Queen, by C. W. Gortner - loved trying to figure out what would I do if I were Queen Juana.

The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton. LOVED LOVED LOVED this one, and although I never buy books, this is one I would add to my library!
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. I read this for January's book club and I was totally captive.
Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos. Kristi recommended this book and it is the type of book where when you finish you go to a friend and say "read this book!"
A Pearl in the Storm, by Tori Murden Mcclure. An inspiring story, but I was ready for it to be done when it was.

I'm starting Born to Run by Christopher McDougall this week and am super excited.

What's on your reading list?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A New Organizing Love

Remember, I love hooks. Just picked up these the other day at The Container Store (I can't find an online link for it, though), and they are awesome.
When I am in my car, it seems as if my entire life is in the passenger side. Usually there is my purse, every one's coats, the mail that has to go out, the videos that need to be returned, the bags of stuff that I bought that I didn't think clearly enough and it needs to be returned . . . . and on and on. Stuff gets piled on the floor, which is super dirty after all the snow we've had. When I sit on that side, I just turn the hooks to face the back.

These little hooks are perfect. They help to keep that side a little organized, which helps me breathe just a bit easier. But . . . if your oldest child decides to exit the car climbing through the console and out the passenger door (over all your stuff) and gets her winter coat hooked on your brand new hook, but pulls and pulls, yelling that she's stuck and ignoring your requests to just wait a second - the hook will bend.

PS - Check this out: Baby Gifts from your photographs - great gift, huh?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Welcome to our Home. I think this is the first post I've written that I've been nervous about posting. I think it's all the pressure. So, I'm not posting this to show how perfect my home is and that you should do this too. I just don't want to miss a party - and there are so many out there today.

It should surprise no one that knows me to hear that we decorate our home with a neutral color scheme. Lots of white, silver, browns, and greens. I love it and I make no apologies for it! I also think everything that is shown, has something that we've made.

This is our entry way (taken from the dining room):
Of course, I've replaced the pillows with something that fits this season:I copied Pottery Barn's wreaths and hang them on our office doors.

The downstairs of our home makes a big loop - can you picture what I mean. This is our entry way looking from the family room. I love stars (and I finally finished my star, Kristi!)

In our living room, we have vaulted ceilings. This is our nice tree. All the ornaments are very neutral, just the way we love it. Here's a sample ornament hanging from it. No topper - waiting for my sister to come do it for me. Check out her blog - she's rocking the decor and does such a good job, she gets paid to decorate other's homes. Not a bad gig.

Our stockings. I made these the year I. was born and just keep adding on to them. I was itching to make nice ones last year - but my kids absolutely love these. I'd love pretty linen ones with fur cuffs, embroidered with their names.

Our paper whites sitting on our kitchen window sill. I just put a picture of these because I have never had the roots push the bulb out of the pot, but this year I have two. I'm so curious to see what happens to these guys.

Neighborhood cookie plates waiting to be delivered.

We have several nativities around the home, but this is my favorite:

I wish you all could come sit around and I could just visit with you. We could sing songs around the piano. But, let's get real - I've got three demanding kids, there is NO sitting, especially this time of year. There is plenty of singing - but we're too busy dancing silly dances, oh, I can't sing.

Kids might change the vision of a wonderful evening, but they are what makes the season for me. I hope your season is filled with sticky candy cane faces, fingerprint wreaths, mis-shapen cookies with sloppy frosting, presents wrapped with a whole roll of tape . . . that's what our Christmas will be like.

Linking up:

The Nester

Thrifty Decor Chick

Grateful Sunday

I think someone in our family has performed six times in the past week - as a musician, I do love this busy time that comes with all the performances and rehearsals. I am grateful for my talents and that our family can share them this time of year. I hope, as I do every time I perform, that it does something for others.
I am grateful for hot chocolate and Christmas tree lights after everyone has gone to bed.
I am grateful for cheesy grins and sloppy kisses.

Have a great week!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 Family Pictures

Thanks to Sabrina, my super talented sister-in-law, of Saint Laurent Studios, we have some updated family pictures. And because my kids are so dang cute - I'm going to share. Think of it as a Christmas card from the MacDougalls.

I've got to pick one to blow up and put on my wall. I think I've got it narrowed down, I think. Which is your favorite?

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