Oh my little one, you are about to start 2nd grade.  Second grade at a new school.  I know how excited you are, you’ve been anxiously waiting for this day to come.  I want this to be the best year yet for you.  I know we always talk about working hard, completing your assignments, and learning your spelling words.

But that isn’t all.  While education will get you far in life, it isn’t what I care most about.  I want you to be kind.  To everyone.  To the kid that is being left out, include him.  To the kid being picked on, stand up for them.  Don’t ever pick on someone you think is different.  Take the time to get to know who they really are.

I know we have talked about things that make a good friend.  I want you to always be a good friend to your classmates.  It doesn’t matter if they think, act or look differently then you.  EVERYONE is important and deserves love.

Becoming a foster family has taught you so much about compassion.  You understand that not everyone comes from loving and supportive homes.  But you know that they still deserve love and support.

If you hear someone say hateful words, let them know it’s not ok. Let an adult know.  Be the good.

I love that you deeply care about others.  Don’t ever change that.  Offer help and friendship, especially to those who need it most.

I can not wait to see what this year brings you.  I wish you lots of fun, learning, and friendship.  And don’t forget to be kind to everyone.

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HJ and I went on a long bike ride the other day.  While on the ride, HJ innocently asked me, “Were bikes invented when you were a kid?”.

I laughed, and said, “Of course!  They were even around when Nana was a kid!”

He thought about this a minute and then said, “Oh yeah, because cars weren’t invented when you were my age!  You had to use a bike to get around.”

I informed him that cars were in fact around when I was a kid…but cell phones weren’t.  Safe to say, his mind was blown!

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The Master Bedroom didn’t require much work on my end (yeah!).  It was painted a grey color, that I kept.  The major change in here is the carpet.  When we moved in, the carpet was a deep maroon color.  The carpet was in great shape, however, it showed everything.  I am talking every dust, speck of dirt, dog hair, kid messes, everything.  And, it was maroon.  So the carpet went bye-bye.

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I hung up a new curtain rod (the previous owner took theirs), and arranged my own stuff.  I still need to remove a few things from the wall (like the tv mount), but otherwise, that is it.

The shelf I have hung up on the wall is something I found years ago in my parent’s basement.  It was one of my first projects at the old house!

The nightstands were a craigslist find that I redid.

It’s starting to feel like home!

HJ’s room was originally supposed to be one of the hard wood floored rooms.  It is small, but has lots of windows, and so much light.  But, when he realized it wasn’t the biggest, he said no.  Actually, he said “Why do you always get the big rooms?”.  We finally came to an agreement that he could have the “purple room”.  Whenever I showed friends and family pictures of the house, everyone would comment on the “purple room”.  All the colors in the house were neutral…except this room.

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Originally, I planned on making this the guest room.  I was going to leave it purple for a while just to see people’s reactions.  But, with HJ moving in, I knew the purple would not last long.  I was planning on doing a grey and navy color.  I had purchased navy and white striped curtains, and it would match the headboard and nightstand I painted for him perfectly.  Until HJ lovingly reminded me his favorite colors are red and black.  He didn’t want blue at all.

I ignored this for a week or 2, but then decided why am I spending money on the blue and white stuff when he doesn’t want it and won’t like it.  We were at a home store, and he saw a black moon picture.  Instantly, he declared it was for his room.  When we got home, I did a quick amazon search to see if I could find something inexpensive that he would like.  And, I found the perfect bedding, for under $40!  I grabbed  a few black out curtains, and he was set.

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When the painters came, they seemed a little surprised at my request…but I love how his red and black wall turned out.  His room is *almost* done.  We are working on a desk (which he thinks NEEDS a swivel chair), eventually I would like to carpet it (the only room that didn’t get new stuff), and something for the very bare wall.  HJ loves showing his red wall off.  I am glad he convinced me to do it this way!

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Our new backyard is completely different from at our old house.  For one, we have TREES!  Huge trees, that lots of animals hide in and throw acorns on the patio.  We also have a fenced in back yard (that the pup loves).

The back door was painted a dark brown, and chipping quite a bit.  Which led me to 2 choices.  I could repaint it with the paint the previous owners left behind, or I could go a different direction.  I opted for going a different direction.  The backyard is a fun space, which called for a fun color.  I decided I wanted a shade close to a robin’s egg.  I ended up mixing my own shade using Glidden’s Bermuda Bay, and a Bright White, both an exterior paint.

I started by sanding the door down a bit, and then taped off the windows and door knobs/locks.  It took about 2 coats, but with the large window in the door this project took less than an hour to complete.  I love the new color, and I think it really adds a little something to the backyard.  Check out the before and after:

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We have been slowly and steadily getting our new home settled in.  And while I can’t say any room is completely done yet, I thought I would show you all the before pictures :)

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These are the rooms that sold me.  I loved the living room with hard wood floors, lots of natural light, and the wood beamed ceiling.  My only changes for this room are light fixtures and paint color…and of course my own furniture (although I did ask to keep this stuff).  The kitchen is in the center of the house, which means it gets lots of traffic.  The counter-tops aren’t in the best shape, but I have no plans to change.  It did have wallpaper (you can’t tell in the picture), which was taken down.

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The first picture is the Master bedroom.  The only dislike I had was the carpet.  It wasn’t in bad shape, the color just shows everything!  The room with the fireplace is the family room.  My goal is to make this cozy and comfy, because I am sure we will spend lots of time in here.  Now I just need to figure out the remote to the fireplace.  The next room is the sunroom/breezeway/3 season porch…I am not sure what to use it for yet.  So far we only have a spot to hang coats and put shoes.  Open to all ideas :).  The bedroom shown is currently little ones room, and has been updated to look more “kid friendly”.

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The lovely purple room is HJ’s room.  He insisted the color be changed though :).  His pick in decor proves he is a big kid, and no longer my little boy.  Next, is the guest room.  My sister has already stayed over, and can’t wait for more visitors! And the lovely paneled walls are the basement!

As you can see, we have lots to do to make it our own, but overall we love it!

A few weeks ago, the boys and I had just finished up dinner.  I suggested a bike-ride to an ice cream shop not too far from our house.  HJ jumped on his bike right away, and I led the way with little one in his bike trailer.  It was hot out, so ice cream was definitely needed.

HJ requested to lead the way home, meaning little one had no eyes on him as we headed home.  I thought nothing of it since we take bike-rides almost daily.  We also made a quick stop at a park to play.

Once we got home, the boys were playing while I put away laundry.  I heard my phone go off telling me I had a text, but ignored it (my friends will tell you I do this often). Then I heard a facebook message come across the phone.

I finally glanced at the screen and noticed my old neighbor had text me.  It said: some random lady just brought your drivers license and debit card to me.  said she found it on the street.

What the hell.

I then look at the message request I had on facebook from some stranger: Hey, my nephew was playing at a park and came across your insurance cards, a credit card and a $5 bill.

I open up my wallet and discover EVERYTHING is gone.  Little one apparently threw everything out of my wallet along the entire bike-ride home.

I quickly had HJ jump on his bike, and put little one in the trailer (with nothing in it with him) and we backtracked everywhere we had gone.  I was able to find a few more things, and figured out the only thing missing was my target credit card.  We stopped at the house where the little boy had found my stuff.  He was worried someone had robbed me, so was glad to hear it was just thrown out of my wallet.  And yes, he got to keep the $5 as a reward.

The next morning, we ran to our old neighbors to grab my license and debit card.  My old neighbor said the lady tried to bring it to the address on my id, but it looked like no one lived there.  She asked my neighbor if he could get in touch with me.

I was amazed at these strangers for going above and beyond to return my items.  Somehow I had only lost 1 thing!  Or so I thought…2 days later, my mom got a call that a friend of a friend was out jogging and he came across my target card.

Lesson learned: no items go in the back of the bike with little one.

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?

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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.