School ended the same week we moved.  Meaning, I officially have a 2nd grader! The end of the school year was bitter sweet.  It was the last day at HJ’s elementary school, as we moved districts.  HJ has loved Southdale, but I am excited that he will be in a smaller school.  HJ has been extremely sad to leave his current buddies, but likes that in a few short years (gasp!) they will all be in junior high together.

Our end of the year picture was the first picture taken at the new house!  It’s amazing to see just how much he has changed since August.  And doesn’t he seem so much more excited for the last day?

PicMonkey Collage

 

Alright, here is the second part of what has been keeping me so busy…

We bought a new house!  Well, technically we still have a week and I am terrified that somehow my beautiful new house will not be mine.  But for now, our current living situation involves lots of boxes, messes and children building forts out of boxes and messes.

My favorite part of a new house?  Decorating the new house!

Paint colors are mostly picked, carpet has been selected and a few decorating items have been picked out.   HJ has decided he no longer wants a light blue room.  He wants a red and black room.  He loves space, so we purchased a cool picture of the moon to hang.

I decided that I am an adult and no longer need my cheap bedspread, and was given this gorgeous duvet cover from Serena and Lily.

I have fallen in love with the softness of this cover, and can’t wait to pick up a few more of their amazing items.

I am so excited to share pictures with you all, especially some before and afters of the different rooms!

 

I haven’t given up on this page.  I promise!  But sometimes things happen.  Like you get locked out and it takes a while to figure things out.  And if you knew how my past month has gone, that wouldn’t surprise you one little bit.

To start things off, if you are on your cell phone while driving…and then drop your cell phone.  DO NOT REACH FOR YOUR PHONE WHILE TURNING.

That was the short version of how I was crashed into.  Now for the long version.

About a month ago I was driving down a street with little one in the back.  I was driving straight.  There was not a stop light, or a stop sign.  However, a car heading in the opposite direction was trying to turn left into a residential area.  While getting ready to turn, he dropped his phone.  He decided to reach for it, while turning and not looking.  I saw him turning and thought “how the hell is he turning, I AM RIGHT HERE”.  I even tried stopping.  But he turned into the side of my car.  Everyone was ok, but my car took a beating.  We gave our insurance info to the police, and went on our way.

Well, it turns out I gave my correct insurance info to the police, and the other person gave false information to the police.  And is now MIA.  But not really MIA, because he is active on his public facebook profile, we have his address, phone number and employer info.  So truthfully, I don’t know why he isn’t getting in trouble for any of this.

But anyway…after two weeks of my car being in the shop, replacing car seats and dealing with insurance info, I have my car back.  Now we just need to get my $$ back.

And be safe.  Don’t text and drive, email and drive, search the web and drive.  Next time you are driving, take notice of how many people aren’t looking at the road.  It is scary.

It’s that time of year…I officially packed up winter coats and snowpants.  I am still hanging on to mittens and hats, because Iowa weather can change 60 degrees over night.

Time to move sweaters over in the closet, and put tees and tanks front and center.  And the biggest closet space saver, switching boots out for sandals!  That is why it is the perfect time to shop Shopbop’s sale!

I came across an article that was promoting helping in the foster system.  It acknowledged that not everyone is called to open up their home to a foster child.  But even without taking a child in, there is SO, SO much you can do.

When I first welcomed little one in my home, it was hard.  Even though it wasn’t a “newborn”, we still welcomed a new child into our home.  I was given just under 24 hours to run to the store and get diapers, food and milk.  I went through HJ’s old clothes that “might” fit him (since I didn’t know his size), and threw them in the wash.  I put sheets in the trip and pulled out age appropriate toys.  A neighbor has kind enough to loan me some “toddler proofing items”, and another foster family gave me their baby gate.

I was also lucky enough that my community has a foster organization called Kaden’s Kloset.  I was able to go there and get a high chair, car seat, a few toys and clothes.  They even gave me a first night bag with pajamas, a stuffed animal and some diapers.

I felt ready with all the necessities, but trying to get a hang of a new schedule took a few more weeks.  I don’t think I cooked for 5 days.  I had a confused child who needed extra focused attention for a while.  I had a 7-year-old who was suddenly learning to be a big brother in a span of a day.  And as a mom of 2, I felt like my life was in chaos.

I even called a house cleaner.

Besides all the essentials new foster families might need, they also need things like your typical new moms do.  Volunteer to bring dinner, come over and hang out, offer to take the older child for a while.  My hardest things to get under control were meals and house cleaning.

After about a month, I felt like we were on a good, consistent schedule.  But then come other things… like out growing clothes :).

I was also lucky enough to be put in touch with an amazing photographer.  She recently took professional photos of little one, so I can give them to his mom for a Mother’s Day gift.

And I have met fantastic foster families that help with babysitting when I need it.

It truly does take a village to raise a child.

My pinterest accomplishments/failures use to be a once a month post…but as we all know I have not been the most consistent poster lately.  So, here it is, an overdue “What I have done on Pinterest”.

Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches from No Biggie

cpfd

These were yum.  I mean it’s hard to go wrong with a French Dip :). However, it was a lot of food for HJ and myself (just the 2 of us at the time)…so we ate them for about 3 days.

I took this cool idea from Foster Love.

ft

A tree print if framed in our little guy’s room, and he has already left his finger print.  The idea is that the tree gets filled up with a fingerprint of each placement that comes into our home.

I made in initial strong art like the one on Fresh Crush.

string

Wal-Mart actually had some small cute pallets in their craft section for $10, so I used that as the base.  I also spray painted the nails, but that was totally not worth the time, as you can’t really tell the color of the nail anyway.

I used this list from Momma Mesh for foster placement calls.  I have the list in my purse, my planner and on the fridge.  That way no matter where I was when I received a call, I would have my list available.

And finally, my yummiest pin by far, this lemon blueberry cake from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

cake

I made this for my mom’s birthday (which is in June, told you this post was delayed).  It was super delicious, and you need to make it.

Now I want cake.

What pins have you finished/made lately?  Share your favorites!

I truly do not understand how time is going so fast.  I feel like we just had Christmas break, and now it’s February?  Saying life is wild right now would be an understatement.  HJ and I added a toddler to our family fun, and holy cow, toddlers are busy little people.

The house has become so hectic, even Ty has started hiding.

tyson

But, we are having so much fun.  Opening your home and hearts to the foster care system is hard, but so worth it.  If you have considered it, please look into it.  Most states have a huge need for it (maybe even all of them do…but I don’t have time to research right now :) ).

We are fortunate enough to have Kaden’s Kloset in town, which is an incredible organization.  I have also gained some wonderful friends through the process, and am lucky they are just a text away.

Needless to say, our house has been on the go for the last few weeks.  HJ likes it for the most part, but has had a few moments of annoyance.  But then will tuck him in at night, or write on a school assignment that his favorite thing is being a brother.

Happy Monday everyone!  Monday’s are definitely my least favorite day of the week.  I woke up today praying it was still Sunday…but no.  So instead of complaining all day about Monday, I thought it was time for a super-fun giveaway!

I received the Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler to review, and am so happy with it!  The styler allows me to make my hair extra curly, without all the frizz I can sometimes end up with.  It is a skinny, clip-less curling iron.  At first, I was nervous about burning my hand with it being clip-less, but it comes with a glove that proved to be extra helpful.

And the best thing, the curls lasted for days!  I just needed a quick touch up in the morning and I was ready to go.  I would love to share in the curly hair fun with one of YOU!  To win your own Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler, enter below.  The winner will be chosen on February 13th!  Good Luck!

 

Win a Lee Stafford CHoPstick STYLER Ceramic Curling Wand #27

I know it’s cliche…but there is something refreshing about a New Year.  It’s a time to look back on what occurred over the past year, what changes you want in your life, and how to make dreams a reality.  It’s also a time to let go of things that have been dragging you down, and pick up things that will help lift your spirits.

Even the little things feel like a fresh start.  A new planner, tucked away in a new handbag.  In the past, I have always used a new planner for maybe a month.  And every year, I say this is the year I will be organized and use it all the time.  But 2017, I will use it :).

I used Christmas break to organize closets, cabinets and dressers.  I also acknowledge that the toy organization is a worthless battle, and mainly left it as is.

Our little family officially has a foster care license in hand.  A room ready.  And an anxious 7 year old.

HJ and I are spending more time playing, and less time glued to a screen.  At home, the laptop has only been used to print off coloring pages.

I am ready for the excitement that a new year brings.

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Ever since HJ turned 3, I have interviewed him with the same questions and put it in his 21 Questions Birthday Book.  Here is his interview from last year.  This year, it was SO hard to give just one answer per question.

What is your favorite color? Red

What is your favorite toy? Drone airplane (it was an airhogs plane that broke within 48 hours of his bday)

What is your favorite book? Minecraft books

What is your favorite fruit?  Watermelon and Blueberries

What is your favorite TV show or movie? Spy Kids and Spy Fox

What is your favorite game? Minecraft and Super Mario Bros.

What is your favorite outfit?  Minecraft shirt

What is your favorite snack? Extra Cheddar Goldfish.  And Bacon. And Little Bites.

What is your favorite animal? Dog, Cheetah, Jaguar and Cats

What is your favorite song? Welcome to my House

Who is your best friend? Carsten and EvanTube

What are you scared of? The creepy dude in Caleb’s garage (It was from a haunted house)

What do you love about yourself? Ninja Warrior and I can jump high

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Chase and pikachu

What is your favorite holiday? My birthday, Christmas, Halloween and NYE

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Football, drones, cars, basketball and soccer

What is your favorite drink? Sunkist

Where is your favorite place to go? Disney World

If you could go anywhere, where would it be? Disney World

What do you want for your birthday? Remote control stuff, legos and pikachu

What do you want to be when you grow up? Vet

Do any of you have birthday interviews?  I love this fun tradition!