Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We're in Wyoming!

Well hello there!  We've made it to Wyoming alive and in one piece!  I'm dropping in to give you an update on how things are going for us.
We left on a Friday and spread out the drive over 4 days.  We arrived the following Monday and immediately started unpacking all our stuff.  I drove in my car with our boys and Matt drove the Uhaul.  To give me a break from all three kids we would rotate out Levi and Jaxon riding with Matt in the Uhaul.  They loved being with daddy in the "elephant truck" as they called it.  There was an elephant on the Uhaul.
Matt starts school tomorrow and he's excited to get started on more classes.  He has class every day so we are going to miss having him around as much.  But we just have to keep our goal in mind and we'll get through it.  Next week is his last week working remotely for his job in Dallas.  We thought he could last through the end of September but with all that Matt has to do to get into PA school it was just too much.  Matt is registered for the GRE and we're praying that he'll do well the first time.  That test isn't cheap!! 
I'm not going to lie and say this has been easy for me.  I'm really missing home right now.  I miss my house.  I miss my yard.  I miss my friends.  I miss everything about Texas.  I opened my Instagram account recently and one of the last pictures I took was of the boys playing in the sprinklers.  I just started crying because I miss everything so badly.  I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about our situation and I'm trying to make new friends.
That's another thing.  I think I'm a friendly person and I'm not shy by any means.  But making new friends is sometimes hard.  You have to explain your story a million times and it can be difficult to find people that you really jive with.  I want to find people I have stuff in common with and I'm really going to put my best effort forward.  But is it weird that a part of me doesn't want new friends?  Just because I miss my friends at home and they already know me and know my stories and my life and it was just easier.
So I'm really trying and we'll see how it goes over the next few months.
Levi starts school this next week.  I went to register him and I was told that if it gets below 0 degrees that's when the kids will stay inside.  My jaw hit the floor!  0 degrees people!  Holy freakin' cow!  That is a whole different kind of cold.  I think Levi will be the first one to go back inside and gladly sit at his desk.  We also have him registered for soccer here.  The season doesn't last as long in Texas but Levi is for sure ready to get out there and play again. 
Colten hasn't been sleeping well since we got here.  Last week was really hard for all of us in that respect.  At home Colten would sleep perfectly.  He had his own room and loved all the animals on his walls.  We're not sure if he was just scared about being in a new place or if he was teething or what exactly but Colten for sure has had a difficult first week here.  We've let him cry it out the last few nights so hopefully that will make things better for him.  Last night he didn't even cry when he went to sleep.  Maybe we're making progress. 
Jaxon is just excited to have his cousins to play with.  The first few days Jax would say he wanted to go back to our "little house" but we just explained that someone else lives there now.  At Matt's school they have a preschool program for super cheap and so I think we're going to get him enrolled in that.  It will be nice for me to only have 1 child at home.  It has been several years since I've only had 1 kiddo around.  Plus, Jax will be excited to go to school like Daddy and Levi do. 
I still have a few boxes to unpack and go through.  When I'm all finished and have everything set up perfectly I'll so some pictures of the new digs!  5 of us are in 2 bedrooms and sharing 1 bathroom.  I'm using every square foot and maximizing as much storage as possible. 
I miss you all in Texas!  I'll leave you with some pictures I took along the way to Wyoming.
Have an awesome week!
The end of the world! 
Rocky Mountains off in the distance!
The sun after the rain.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer smoothie

In case you have been hiding under a rock it's hot!  Like melt your whole body hot!  So who doesn't love a nice cold smoothie when you wake up to 90 degree temperatures? 
Our boys love this smoothie so I'm happy to make it for them.
Here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup milk (Use whatever type you like.  I use 1%.)
8 strawberries with the stems cut off
2 tsp vanilla
1 or 2 tbsp of white sugar (depends on how sweet you want) 
frozen yogurt (I just eyeball the amount of yogurt I use)
ice (optional)
Add all the ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.
This is what you end up with.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Quick Sloppy Joes

I love easy meals that I don't have to really think about.  Especially on nights where I just don't feel like standing in the kitchen over a hot stove.

Sloppy Joes are an easy fix with only a few ingredients.

1 lb hamburger meat
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
hamburger buns
sliced cheese
Brown the meat in a large skillet; drain.
Add barbecue sauce and ketchup; mix well. 
Cook 5 more minutes stirring occasionally.
Spoon mixture onto your hamburger buns.
Top with sliced cheese if desired.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Canton First Monday Trade Days

Canton, Texas!  That's all you need to know.  This place is magical!  Glorious!  Awesome!  I could use a million more words to describe Canton.  Do a search for Canton, Texas and you'll see why this place rocks my world.
It may have been 104 degrees here this last Saturday but I went to my happy place anyway.  I needed to go one last time.  There are so many things to see in this place.  As many times as I've been there are still many parts that I haven't seen. 
I took a few pictures just to give you an idea why so many people love it.
Oh the pretty things.  Any color of glass candy dish you want you can probably find it here.  I usually stop by this vendor every time just to look at all the different colors.  All of the above pictures were taken in the same booth.  If you are in the market for chicken dishes of any size you can find them here.  Another reason this place is so unique. 

The food is just amazing.  You can get everything from a funnel cake to hamburgers to even Mexican and seafood.  I like to go to this one place that is actually air conditioned and the wait isn't usually long.  That hamburger is soooo good.  I don't feel guilty about eating it because usually by the time I leave I've already sweated and walked off lunch. 
"This 7 HP "Economy" gas engine was built and sold by Sears Roebuck in 1915.  Engine has Webster Oscillating Magneto with make and break points and Lunkenheimer Carburetion system.  Engine operates on the hit and miss principal at low idle.  Cost when new: $106.00."
If you walk around long enough, and I'm sure you will, you'll hear this loud popping noise.  As you get closer you'll see it's this funny looking machine that this cute old man runs.  He uses this machine to make fresh cornmeal.  Who would have guessed that?
Furniture is everywhere here.  Any type you need you'll probably find it.  I loved this chair and it was only $30.  I'm totally hating myself for not getting it now.  It was in awesome condition and when I was leaving it was still there. 

Lastly, there are many of these pavilions that you can go visit.  This is where all the boutique type stuff is.  I don't really find a lot in here just because it's usually more expensive stuff.  But still worth checking out.
I'm just barely scratching the surface on everything that is here to see and do.  I'm going to really miss having this place so close.  This is where I like to go to get away and recharge my batteries. 
If you ever in Texas on I-20 be sure to stop by.  You can go HERE to find out more info on all the dates. 
Happy thrifting!!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's A Jungle In Here!

Only a little over a week left until we leave for Wyoming.  As it gets closer and closer the more nervous, excited and scared I become.  I'm just one big ball of emotions right now. 

With every child I've tried to create an awesome nursery but it's never really worked out.  I tried to make a sports themed room for Levi.  Flop!  Then with Jaxon I did the jungle animal theme.  Semi-flop.  If I could do it all over again I would have done things completely different.

There was a point in my pregnancy with Colten where we were told that he was going to be a she.  So I had plans to paint this room the color that is now in our laundry room.  Once we found out that the she was really a he, all plans of painting this room were scrapped.  Did you follow that?

I found online some really great and inexpensive rub on designs that are made to look like hand painted murals.  So I picked the jungle theme and during my pregnancy with Jaxon we put them up on the wall. 

This room looks better from where it started but it's not necessarily my favorite. 

Let's look at the before shall we?



These pictures are horrible.  Unless you have a wide angle lens you can't get a full room picture in here. 

When we bought the house the walls were just plain white.  We tried to improve this by painting them a creamy color.  When Levi was an only child we used this room as the guest room also. 

We purchased a new fan and added crown moulding.  You can kinda see the old ugly fan in the above picture.  I'm not even going to try to get a good shot of this room so I'll just show you the one the professional photographer took when we listed our house.

This is a cute room but I'm just not 100% satisfied with it.  I can't do anything about it now since this house is no longer ours but if we have another child I'm going to do my best to give them a perfect nursery. 
Have a great week!

Wall color-Cottage Cream by Sherwin Williams
Wall mural-Tatouage

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My Grandmother's Table

Before we leave I wanted to finish one last furniture project.  It was a total last minute project and I knew I had to finish it quickly or Matt would go crazy. 
In our room in Wyoming we won't have much space.  Matt will need a place to do his school work so I came up with an idea for a desk.  I believe this will fit in our room but we'll see when we get there in a few weeks.
This is my Grandmother's sewing table.  It is very special to me.  I remember when I was younger my cousin and I would play "bank" with this desk.  I would open the door to get the money out and hand it to her.  I love this table and will cherish it forever. 
The sewing machine that was in here weighed a ton!  A while back I plugged in the machine to see if it still worked.  Surprisingly, it did still work but it started to smoke.  I figured that's not good so we took out all the "guts" and now the table is so much lighter. 

I used oil based primer and primed this whole piece.  Sadly, this is not real wood so sanding this wasn't an option.  In the picture I didn't prime the top because I originally thought the top was real wood but later I discovered it wasn't.

After priming the whole table I took out that wood piece that was behind the door.  I wanted to add a place to store the computer or to put papers that Matt needs so I added a shelf here instead.

All the years I've had this table I've always thought the handle was black.  As I was just about to spray paint the handle black I saw a glimmer of something in the light.  So I started scrubbing this handle.  The more I scrubbed the more brass I saw underneath.  After 1 1/2 hours of scrubbing this handle it almost looks new.

So pretty and I love that there still is a little bit of the aged look to the handle.
Are you ready for the final product?
See how gorgeous that handle is with the new paint color?  It's perfect! 
How about a look at the set up?

The piece that the computer is resting on will have support brackets underneath it so that it won't break off when using the computer.  The printer is resting on a platform that I made to cover the hole where the sewing machine folded out.  I painted the platform gold to match the handle.
Oh and the inside looks like this.
I had to cut new support pieces for all four corners and put a new magnet in for the door.  The computer fits perfectly in here.  The basket on the door can hold pens, pencils, or whatever else Matt may need.
I think that my Grandmother would be proud of me and ok that I painted her table.  I love the way this turned out. 
Do you know the best part of this project?  It was all free!  I think that was Matt's favorite part too.  I used everything we had on hand.

Have a great week!  I have another room in our house coming up this week.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Side tables to benches

One of my favorite things to do is to give new life to something old and forgotten.  So many good pieces get thrown out and if I could collect them all I totally would.

While in Canton I found these end tables.  I was just about to leave and I decided to go back through the junk section one more time.  I just couldn't go home empty handed.  As I walked through these ugly end tables caught my eye.

I called Matt and had him measure how tall our current chairs were at the dining room table.  The nice lady that was selling these had a tape measure and these were the perfect height to turn into benches.

I paid $15 for these two ugly forgotten about end tables.

It took me a few weeks to have time to work on these but I knew exactly where I was going to start first.  I thought these looked a little too boxy for my taste so those support pieces had to come off.

Let me tell ya something.  Those support pieces were not meant to come off.  I was sweating trying to pull those blasted things off of there.  But I didn't give up and alas I won!  Taking the pieces off did not affect the balance of the tables either.
So next I sanded the legs down to smooth out the rough spots.  I also filled in holes and nicks with putty.  There was no need to sand the tops since I was going to cover them up eventually. 
Once the putty was dry I sanded all the spots down so they would be smooth and blend in once the legs were painted.  So two coats of spray paint primer and two coats of latex paint later this is what I had.
It was getting hot out so for the next part I came inside.  I turned the benches upside down and traced the shape of the top on to the foam with a Sharpie marker. 

I purchased the foam from Hobby Lobby.  To make the bench comfortable I knew I wanted 2 inch foam on top.  It was cheaper to buy the one inch foam and just cut out two pieces and stack them on top of each other.  To get the foam to stay in place I sprayed the foam and table with spray adhesive. 
Cutest photo bomb ever!!!  Just had to put this one in here.

I used an old sheet to cover the foam.  It gave the foam a smoother look for when I put the fabric on top.  I think I used about 2000 staples to get this sheet nice and tight.  Not really but there are a lot of staples underneath. 

Finally, I put the fabric on and again used 2000 more staples underneath. 

I love the way these turned out.  I still need to spray these with Scotchgard.  It's only a matter of time before these boys get stuff all over my pretty benches.  I will just enjoy them for now though.

Sources & cost:
Primer-already had
Paint color-Swiss Coffee by Valspar $3 sample size
Foam-Hobby Lobby $15
Fabric-Hobby Lobby $9 

Total-$42 or $21 for each bench


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mommy Syndrome

Do you have what I like to call "Mommy Syndrome"?  I really hope I'm not the only one that suffers from this.  The more children I have the worse it seems to get.

"Mommy Syndrome" by definition is when you do not ever put yourself first.  Symptoms include wearing frumpy clothes day in and day out followed by scary looking hair that you never have time to fix and rounded out by never, and I mean never, buying yourself something pretty to help alleviate these symptoms.  All this while juggling the laundry, crying kids and cleaning the house.

It might look something like this...

Or this...

And quite possibly this...

I don't like feeling this way.  I think it has to do with the fact that I can't seem to get rid of the last 20 pounds of baby weight.  Colten is over a year now and I can't get rid of the weight.  With Levi and Jax I had lost my baby weight at this point.  I feel like it has something to do with me not pumping my breast milk after having Colten.  Instead of pumping to help me lose the weight I just let my milk dry up.  Colten wasn't nursing so I just let it go.  I now regret that decision. 

As I'm packing up our stuff to move to Wyoming I look in my closet and I want to throw every piece of clothing out.  Maybe not everything but most of it.  I'm going to admit something that is very embarrassing to me.  I very rarely if ever buy myself new clothes.  Unless I'm pregnant of course.  I have some clothes still from when I was single.  Single, people!!  Yeah, that was 8 1/2 years ago.  Sad! 

I feel guilty when I spend any money on myself.  I see something I like and think it would be nice to have but then I think about how much milk that $20 shirt can buy.  Or how much cereal or bread or gas in my car.  My thoughts just instantly go to my kids and how they need stuff more than I do. 

For the last few years I have been going to consignment sales for my kids clothes.  I always go on the half price days and rack up some major deals for them.  Twice a year I go to this same sale and I'm dragging out my bag of clothes for them.  If I went and bought all this stuff new I would spend hundreds of dollars on my kids clothes.  But I don't feel guilty when I buy for my kids because I know they need it.  But for some reason in my head I don't ever need anything new. 

Then there is the frumpy clothes thing.  Usually I'm in basketball shorts and a t shirt.  Some days that is nice to wear but when you wear it every.single.day it gets old really fast.  Again, in my head I tell myself why do I want to get dressed in my nice clothes when at some point in the day I will get spit up on, pooped or peed on, juice or milk will go flying or better yet food will inevitably land on my clothes? 

So I get up, put on my bra, if I'm feeling really crazy that day, throw on my shorts and nasty t shirt and call it good. 

But I'm tired of feeling this way.  I don't like feeling this way.  I want to feel pretty again.  I want to not be embarrassed if someone comes and knocks on my door and I have to hide in shame.  This affects everything in my life.  I don't feel pretty for my husband which makes me think he never wants to be seen with me in public.  I don't want to be the mom that takes their kids to school and other kids make fun of. 

So what am I going to do about this horrible "Mommy Syndrome"?  I'm hereby proclaiming that I am taking charge of my life and putting myself first for a little while.  Not on everything but on some things.  I'm not going to go crazy and spend a bunch of money on clothes and pretty jewelry.  But if I'm out and see a shirt I like and if we can afford it I'm not going to feel guilty about getting it.  Maybe over time I'll bring my wardrobe up to date.

When we get to Wyoming I'm really hoping Matt will have a little more free time to go and work out with me.  It really helps me to have a workout buddy to keep me motivated.  I feel so much more self confident when I'm in shape. 

I want to get a pedicure every now and then.  Money will be very tight for us with Matt going back to school.  But again, if we can afford a pedicure then I don't want to feel guilty for having pretty toes.  Snow boots may be all I'm wearing in Wyoming and no one will see my feet but there is just something about having nice toes that makes you feel good. 

So that's my little sad sob story for today.  What do you do to make yourself feel better?  How do you keep yourself from falling into the "mommy syndrome"?