door

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:

back door

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 :)

homecollage1

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.

homecollage2

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”.

homecolalge3

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?

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.