Recently, I was bored.  This led to be deciding to paint my nightstands.  Originally, they were a light wood from Target, just under $20 a piece.  They no longer have the exact color, because I purchased them in 2001.

Thirteen years, and numerous moves, the shelves are still holding up just fine.  I was just sick of the color.  So HJ and I pulled a gray paint can from the basement, and spent a weekend updating the nightstands.

PicMonkey Collage

That was going to be it for the bedroom update, so I have no before pictures of the whole room (what a bad blogger I am).  The next week, a family friend offered to give me their queen size sleigh bed.  I did not have anything other then a frame/mattress/boxspring, so I took them up on the “free” offer without knowing what it really looked like.  I figured if I didn’t like it, I would refinish it.

So glad I did, it is beautiful.

Also, I was at Target last week, and cartwell had an app for 50% bedding, combined with a few other discounts, I scored this comforter for $20.  If you have been to my house, you know the dog has a tendency to tear holes in blankets and bedding, so spending money on expensive bedding is not worth it.

If you’re keeping track, that makes both beds in our house FREE.

* The shelf in my room was scored in my parent’s basement, I believe it was my grandma’s*

I was able to give my bedroom a whole new look for $20!  I love getting a great new look that doesn’t put a dent in my bank account.


It’s amazing how one word can completely alter your mood.  One little word written out can bring one to tears.

I received a letter from my lawyer the other day.  I expected it, it was a copy of our child support case.  In it, it describes the outcome.  Expected.  What I didn’t expect was a page thrown in that HJ’s father had written.  All it had was his signature, but right above that , “relationship to child:”.  He had written in “Father”.

I glared at that piece of paper.  I have seen his name and “father” written numerous times, but to see it in his own writing was different.  It was like he actually had to acknowledge, for a split second, that he had a son.  It made me mad that he had the audacity to even suggest he was a father, even though he didn’t really have a choice.

It’s amazing that some people can earn such titles with no effort.  He does nothing, yet gets to claim the thing I am most proud of as him own.  And then, he doesn’t even realize the amazing experience he has given up.

While yes, he might get to claim to be his father on a piece of paper, he will never actually be his father.

This week, I had a first.  I spent the majority of Wednesday thinking it was Tuesday.  And had a slight panic attack when I realized the actual date.  Work has been really busy, but I like it.  I really do feel like I am in the right career field, and wonder why I left it for 3 years.


Tonight, I worked late.  I had to pick HJ up from a bar.  My parents took him to hear one of their friends play, and brought HJ along.  His social life is way cooler than mine right now.


When we got home, HJ looked at me and said, “You look beautiful, mom”.  Which makes me wonder if he had been sneaking drinks at the bar (just kidding, no mean emails/comments, he was not sneaking drinks).  It made my heart melt a little.


My couch to 5K app is going really well!  I can officially run 28 minutes with out stopping.  Yeah, I’m pretty much a marathon runner 🙂




PicMonkey Collage

In Iowa, it has finally turned into park weather.  The snow has melted and *hopefully* we can put away the winter coats until next fall.  Whenever HJ and I head to the park, I like to throw some items in a bag.  You know those items you wish you have when something happens (like the drinking fountain isn’t working or the kid next to you wipes his boogers on your arm…that has happened).  I like to pack some park essentials before heading down the road.  I always bring waters, a few snack items, hand sanitizer and wipes.  Every now and then, we will throw in a Frisbee or football.  And how cute is that quilted bag we packed it all in?

Have you all heard of Yak Pak?  It is a store that specializes in bags, backpacks and other items.  They have bright colored designs, that stand out.  The bag I received is extremely durable, and easy to clean.  Want to win your own Yak Pak bag?  Enter the giveaway and if you win, you can pick out your own bag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I hope you all had a fabulous Easter.  HJ and I had a lot of fun with family and friends and got to enjoy some amazing weather.

We started our weekend with a birthday party for a friend of HJ, where I was able to see some old co-workers I haven’t seen in a long time.  After, we went to my parents to color eggs with the cousins and have some fun outside.

We also had a birthday party for my dad, where we celebrated with some family friends and a few wild rounds of duck, duck, goose.  I also learned that doing cartwheels isn’t as easy as it use to be, but at least I can still do it.

PicMonkey Collage

On Easter, HJ woke up to a surprise from the Easter Bunny.  Which is surprising, because Saturday at the grocery store, the bunny approached HJ and HJ quickly declared, “YOU ARE A MAN.  I CAN SEE YOUR FACE.”.

We headed back to my parent’s house for an Easter Egg hunt, where my sweet little boy shared his peanut butter cups.  This was followed with a family trip to church, where HJ asked me things like, “Where is God?”

“How is he in my heart?”

“Why is Jesus hanging there?”

While looking at the stations of the cross, he pointed and said, “that is a bad man!”.

Somehow, he got it in his head that everyone going up for communion was getting skittles, and he about rushed the alter.

Clearly, we should spend a bit more time at church to help with all these confusions.

After church, we had a BIG Easter dinner and spent the rest of the afternoon outside.  It was the perfect temp for running and laughing.  And hula hooping.

PicMonkey Collage2

Easter is one of those holidays I just love.  It isn’t all about gifts and spending money, it’s about spending time with loved ones.

The last week, I have had a crazy bird on our deck.  It tries repeatedly to fly through the patio door.  Every day.  I hear the tap, tap of the bird hitting the window.  I walk over and shout, “get outta here robin”.  And then it poops on the chair and flies into the window AGAIN.  It’s not afraid of me.  Then the dog runs over and it flies to the neighbors patio window and does the SAME THING.  What is wrong with this bird?  And who wants to come clean off the patio furniture?  Is there a trick to getting birds to stay away?

Speaking of birds…I recently hung up my Spring-y wreath.  It was on the door for 2 days… and HJ and I were playing in the yard.  I noticed a bird peeking out over the flower and another bird perched on the roof.  I go over to check it out, and they are building their love nest on my wreath.  At the front door.  I thought about how messy that would be, and promptly removed the entire wreath.  I should mention, the next was only about 8 pieces of hay by this point.  I definitely would not have taken it down had there been eggs.  I am a pushover who loves baby animals.  Luckily, the 8 pieces of hay didn’t break my heart.  Until, I noticed the 2 birds staring at me with sad eyes like I had just ripped their world apart.  Needless to say, there is no wreath on my door at this point.  I am not ready to disappoint more birds.

The other night, I was getting dinner ready.  HJ was at the table and says, “OH, MY TUMMY IS SO MAD AT ME!”.  After some questioning, I came to learn that means his tummy was growling because he was hungry :).

Tonight, HJ and I went in search of bunny trails.  He wanted to track down the Easter Bunny and see where he is hiding all the candy.

I also had HJ agree to give me all reeses peanut butter cups he receives.  In exchange, I have to give him all my peppers.  Yes, peppers.  He wants peppers in his eggs.

Have a great weekend, it is supposed to be nice out here!  Or as HJ says, “warm and cozy”!

I was chosen as a Beacon Hill Press blogger to read/review books and share my honest opinion.

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I recently read A Story Unfinished: 99 Days with Eliot by Matt Mooney.  I knew from the title this would be a hard read, but I was pleasantly surprised by Matt’s sense of humor and the way that he looked at their situation.

Before his son was born, Eliot was diagnosed with Trisomy 18.  This meant that if he survived the birth, every moment would be uncertain.  Instead of saying, “we only had 99 days with Eliot” Matt says, “we were blessed to have 99 days with Eliot”.

How awesome is that?  He was able to look at their situation as a gift and a blessing and not a tragedy.  Matt and his wife put their faith in God, and were able to see what they had been given as this amazing gift day after day, for 99 days.  After all they went through, they started a non-profit called 99 Balloons.

The story was captivating.  Even knowing how the story would end, I still wanted to see what happened next.  It is obvious that Matt shows his heart and wants his readers to truly experience how he felt.

Each year, I have had HJ’s picture taken right before his birthday.  With the pictures, I add some of his favorite things and have the picture printed into a 16×20 canvas (this year, my lovely readers helped pick it out).  I love being able to look back at his favorite things, and see how they have changed.  This year, I feel like he looks like a big kid.  The baby-ness has gone away and been replaced with a handsome little kid.


The canvas wall is one of my favorite decorations in the house.  It is so fun to see how much HJ has grown throughout the years.  The bad part?

The wall is officially full.


I always pictured the canvas’ lining a stairway wall.  Only problem is, we don’t have a stairway.  And it seems a bit silly to move because of some pictures.  Silly, but not totally out of the question.

You may remember my other photo project was to complete a yearbook for 2013 instead of filling photo albums.


I will definitely be continuing this tradition.  I love it, and it is so much easier than having numerous albums lying around.

Do you have photo traditions?  Any advice on what to do with the next canvas?


You know one of those moments where your head is overwhelmed with thought but you can’t quite get it onto paper?  Tonight is one of those.

I received some news tonight regarding a friend, and haven’t had time to process it.  I thought writing would help, but after I had a post all written, I hit delete.

Without trying to cause drama, there are some people I wish I could have helped.

There are people I should have been kinder to.  People I should have helped more.  People that I should not have held my tongue for.

On the flip side, there are some people I have been too kind to.  Some that I have let repeatedly break my heart.  And some that I gave too much.

You never know what is actually going through another person’s head.  You never know what they are feeling.

And then you wonder.  What if I had said something?  What if instead of joking about it with friends, we actually voiced our concerns?  What if I had been a better friend?

I didn’t realize that another’s stupid mistake could make another friend so visibly shaken over the phone.  I didn’t realize that her actions could make my friends and I feel guilty when we did nothing.  Or maybe that is why I am feeling guilty?

Heavy words to start a weekend with, I know.



PicMonkey Collage

I had a few questions on one of my photo projects from February.  I didn’t clearly describe what I was doing, so here it goes…

Kids come home with a lot of art work.  A lot.  As parents, we would love to save and treasure it all, but there’s a lot of it (have I mentioned that?).

As HJ brings his masterpieces home, I set them in a pile on my counter.  Leaving it in a place that will drive you crazy is key to curing procrastination.  Since I hate piles, I quickly like to eliminate the art work.

To do this, I take a picture of it.  Then throw it out.  GASP.  I throw out the art work.  I save it all to a file on my computer, and edit and crop in picmonkey.  Then, I uploaded the masterpieces to snapfish and created a photo book.

All of HJ’s art work from 2010-2013 created volume 1 of his art books.  Being in school now, I know the books might fill more quickly, so I am hoping to stay on top of it a bit more this time around.

I think it’s a fun way for HJ to show off his work and progress.  And, it saves a lot of storage trouble for me!