I am feeling so grateful and blessed right now.
I know my kids - I can recognize whose footprints are walking while I'm downstairs in the basement, I know the faces that mean "I'm hungry," I know which cry means for me to come running, I know the squeeze of my hand means "I'm nervous," and on and on. I spend all my time with them and I am grateful that I know them so well they have become a part of me.
As I checked on them before I went to bed last night, they took my breath away - literally. I'm not a sappy person and I don't say that lightly. When did they get so big? Why does the time have to go so quickly? Am I wishing it away or taking advantage of it? Do they know how incredible they are? Do they know how much of a better person I am because of them?
This is our backyard, as of Saturday. We are getting close, but . .
we still have a LONG way to go.
We have come a long way though. This is the best before shot I have (pre-blogging days).
Next, we are designing the lighting. This is a project that Tom has put me in charge of, and I jumped on it! I have no idea what I'm doing, but I know how to look for inspiration pictures and copy them. We want to get the wiring in before we lay a path - the bricks are for the path that goes around the yard by the retaining wall.
I've had a lot of people ask me if we were done, yet - now you know!
In our religion, children are baptized at the age of 8. Our oldest turns 8 next month and I was hoping to have a special dress for her. Tom and I are picky about the clothing our children wear, and I knew that buying this dress that fit our standards would be next to impossible. So, after a fun evening with I., we came home with some ideas and fabric. I started sewing.
I.'s primary teacher wanted to take some pictures of her at the temple, so I had a little motivation to get it done. I didn't quite finish it in time, though. The sash is just safety pinned on for these pictures and the detailing of the sleeves isn't quite finished.
This dress fits my girl, to a tee. She's still a little girl and she is happy there - phew, my mommy heart couldn't handle it if she wanted to grow up to fast.
M. is a big girl in every way. She's been sleeping in a big girl bed now for awhile.
I still liked the duvet I sewed for I. a couple of years ago, and I loved the fabric. In fact, I still had a lot left over. BUT . . . I do know that it's not what I love forever. We'll be doing something new sometime in the future. Maybe matching platform beds.
In the meantime, I tried to use what I had to make M.'s big girl bed match in this room.
I cut apart the crib skirt and made it into a bed skirt - shhh. . . . it only goes on 2 sides. I had to add a couple of inches to the top in order for it to hang low enough, but figured the duvet would cover that.
I used this swiss dot (hard to photograph) for the duvet. Sewing a duvet cover is like sewing a giant pillowcase - the concept is easy, but it can be kind of a beast working with such fabric.
2 strips of Amy Butler fabric down the sides topped with pink grosgrain ribbon.
Extra pillows from M.'s crib, plus a few new ones. Of course, the pillows are monogrammed; but I turned them over.
And, that's what we've got. . . .
I don't even think I can tell you the other plans for this room. I love the storage platform bed that I've seen. It seems like when I do that, it takes me a year to finish them!
a fun shopping trip with I. after dinner. We picked out fabric for a very special dress, window shopped at the American Girl's store, shared a Mrs. Field's cookie, laughed, giggled, and talked. We don't do this nearly enough. I am so grateful for my girl.
Tom LOVES the World Cup. In our early years of marriage, I remember him setting his alarm to watch 2am games. Tom loves his sleep and not much is worth him getting out of bed in the middle of the night - except World Cup. He gets really into it and looks forward to it. This year is no different. I love watching him be passionate about things.
Wipes, Carpet Cleaner, a great washing machine, and the knowledge that potty training doesn't last forever (although it certainly feels like it right now).
I love the flexibility of summer. I love that it's 9:00 and I'm still in my running clothes, with no desire to change because we'll probably go to a pool in a little bit. I love that I don't stress out after dinner trying to get my kiddos in bed early enough so they can get a good night's sleep before the day starts again.
HOWEVER, I do get a little cranky when our home gets too messy and I'm the only one who seems to care. I. starts an average of 5 different art projects a day; G. just looks at his closet and 5 shirts jump off the hangers and on the floor (the hangers end up there, too), and M. is 2 - enough said.
With the success of the Technology Tickets, I started thinking of a new system to get us through this summer. Something quick, something easy, something that didn't have a lot of monitoring on my side. . .
This is what I came up with:
We have a jar of Popsicle sticks. G's have a red tip, I's have a purple tip.
They each have 8 responsibilities (which might increase, but I wanted to start out slow to ensure success on all parts). When they have completed the task, they flip over the stick so the color is at the bottom.
At the end of the day, they receive points: 2 pts if they get everything done, 1 pt. if they flip over 5, 0 pts if they do 4 or less. We keep track of the points with tally marks. They combine points and turn them in for rewards, which are written on a chalkboard in the playroom.
I love when I don't have to be the bad guy - either they do it or they don't; either they have enough points of they don't. We've done it for a week and they've done OK. They didn't receive any points yesterday and had more to clean up today, but that's life, isn't it?
This year we celebrated the last day of school/first day of summer. It's worthy of a celebration, don't you think?
Balloons . . .
and a banner . . .
. . . now it's a party. I got buckets at Target's Dollar Spot and filled them up with summer goodies: sunglasses, sunscreen, water balloons, bubbles. crazy straws, candy . .
We barbecued turkey burgers, drank soda, ate chips and Popsicles. We set up our sleeping bags in the living room, watched a movie and let the kids sleep downstairs - while Tom and I slipped up to a real bed.
Tom wasn't a big fan (I think he was just tired from doing yard work all day), but the kids had fun. Now let the summer begin!
Edit: I did not make the banner myself, fyi. Kristi's sister makes these banners and she does sell them. If you are interested, email me and I can get you more info.
My name is Laurel and I am a running, piano teaching, home making, mother of four! This blog is my attempt to show living a balanced life. I adore making pretty and practical meet, making little things special for my family, and keeping things "just so." I strive to be the girl that has all her "ducks in a row" - maybe someday.