Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Dear Sullivan,

Hey Bud.  Holy cow, can you believe we made it to 4?  At this very second 4 years ago, I was in the middle of a 27 hour labor.  I could not wait to see you and meet you.

See??  Super excited!!

Little did I know I would still need to wait another 18 hours!  But its ok.  Because look what I was rewarded with....

My little mister.  All mine.

And what a guy you have grown into...

Living life to the fullest.  Every hour of every day!  Questioning everything there is to question and then circling back around to re-question and make sure my answer is still the same.  Exhausting, I tell you!  Reading books and watching movies with you are quite the chore:)

Right now, you are in to helping me in the kitchen by putting together "gredients" for making dinners and baking, watching movies that are "kind of scary and have a hero that saves the day", being an amazing big brother, teasing ("cheesing") your parents by telling them that you want the "vikings or bears" to win, pointing out when it is foggy and that fog is just low clouds, using the word "butt" as often as possible and jumping (like all the time).

You helped me make your school treat last night.  It was so fun:)  I put dabs of frosting on the brownies and you placed the M&Ms on them to make them look like stop lights.

 Your hands are so big!

Super proud:)  And then you informed me that you do not like M&Ms.

Anyway, keep being you.  Keep learning new things that blow your mind.  Keep catching me of guard.  Keep asking questions.  Keep jumping.  Keep growing.

Love you with all my heart.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas Crafting

Now that we have had snow that stuck around for more than 24 hours, it is taking every ounce of will power not to rip down all fall decor and get my Christmas decorations up.  Why not do it, you ask??  I would but I am hosting Thanksgiving here AND it happens to be my boy's 4th birthday that day so I would like to keep up the fall decor and add a little fun details for what Sully tells me will be his "race car birthday."

So in lieu of Christmasizing the entire house right now, I have settled for a few Christmas crafts to get us ready for my favorite holiday.

And I recruited my eager little guy to join me.  He was all for it:)

I had picked up some holiday paper a few weeks ago and knew I wanted to do something fun with it.

When you don't know what to do, make bunting banners.  I held the paper and while he cut.  Then I strung some yarn and had him lay out his pattern.

Surprisingly, he did not care about my suggestion not to have two of the same colored triangles next to each other.  I have a lot to teach him yet.

After he went to bed, I glued the triangles in place and they dried overnight.  Yes, I left the pattern he designed even though I completely disagreed with his placements.

This morning, we decorated his door.

The sign is from the Target dollar bins.  We taped the banner up with washi tape (also from the dollar bins at Target).

(I am not sure why but he now equates Santa only coming if doors are decorated. I told him that simply was not true.  He is still dubious.)

Next up, converting this standard Christmas tree candy jar into something for my mantle decor.

You have all seen these.  Your grandma probably has like 6 of them in her basement.  I picked this one up at an Agrace Thrift Store in Janesville a few months ago.  I never intended on using it for candy and still don't.  However, I do love the shape and lines.  And I am totally into gold decor right now so it was a no-brainer, it was getting painted gold.

I wanted to keep the glossiness and smoothness of the glass, so I painted the inside.  I just used some gold craft paint I had laying around.

Sully also had to help with this project so he squirted the paint in the tree base and we used a foam brush to swirl it around.  We used a generous amount of paint because I am lazy and only wanted to paint this once, not several thin coats.

I let it dry for about 5 hours and here it is.

Its perfect:)

While this was drying and the baby was still napping, I strung up some twine in the living room and we went to attaching some bobbers to it.  I was way easier for him to attach them upside down so the ones I put on were right side up and his were upside down.  I don't have an action pic of this process but here is our bobber garland, just waiting to be decked.

Its only T minus 10 days, 3 hours, 21 minutes and 6 seconds until it will start looking more like Christmas around here.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

New venture....

It all started when one of my best buds, Kaiti, texted me about an idea.  It was juggled in among texts about motherhood, work and the daily grind.  It went something like, "hey we should do this.  We could totally do this."  And ever since, I have been completely obsessed with making this work.

But what the heck is this, you ask?

Oh just a little something we named Craftshop.  Craftshop is craft workshops in which we, Kaiti and myself, lead a group in completing 3 craft projects, two of which will be named and one will be a surprise.

I quickly commissioned my cousin to make us a logo.  Because of course we needed a logo.  It only took a few days and here is what we decided on:

Then, we quickly got to work on the website.

This website will give you all the details you need to know, like when, where, what, how much.

Now I am so excited to finally share it here!

I get lots of comments about my projects.  "How do you know how to do that?"  "Can you come to my house and do this?"  "You should have me over for craft class."  Well, here you go:)

Craftshop was born just for all you want-to-be-crafters-but-just-can't-quite-make-it-happen-on-your-own kind of people.  Or I-love-crafting-and-projects-but-no-one-else-shares-my-interest kind of people.  And even those I-don't-care-what-we-do-just-give-me-an-excuse-to-get-me-out-of-the-house-away-from-my-kids-for-a-few-hours kind of people.

So far, we have two session dates decided upon.  Along with the projects for the first session. 

Hope you can join us for some crafty fun!  Because we are cool, and I know you want to come craft with us. Here we go:)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Our Fall in Photos

Sorry I have not been posting much lately.  I assure you, we have been enjoying this amazing fall.  Living it to the fullest.  Here is what we have been up to, our Fall in Photos:

Playing in the leaves with cousin Jack.

And Papa Don.

I have no idea how many leaves he ate, but I imagine it was an entire meal worth:) 

The next day, we had our family photos taken by a very talented high school friend, Angie LaRue.

Pretty awesome, right?  I knew they would be fantastic.  Angie is really great, but I already knew that;)

And now all of the following pics will look very amateur....

Last weekend, we went to Boo at the Zoo at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
With Spidey and a lion...

And Alice...

And a bag of Eminems...

And the cutest penguin on the planet.

This weekend was our yearly pumpkin patch visit.  Much to my delight, there was significantly less hatred (crying and whining) for the pumpkin patch this year than years past.

Look at these cool dudes...

Picking out pumpkins with cousins.  Be still my heart.

And finally we got our pumpkins carved right before Halloween... 

 Hope your fall has been just as full:)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Another Fall Vignette

I can't stop making little fall vignettes in my home.  Apparently, I have an addiction.  This time, the lucky spot was in my kitchen.  Here is the post that goes into how we made the kitchen hutch a few years ago.  

It was time to free up that valuable space that the tea cups were taking up since I just could not keep the main surface uncluttered with papers and mail.  I needed the cubbies that the tea cups were taking up for the 43,000 pieces of mail we get per day.  I plan on getting some baskets for that area some day.

On Fridays on my way home from work, I love to stop by St Vinny's and do a quick browse for decor items.  Recently, I came upon this pitcher.

It was going to do nothing for me as is.  But I know it only takes a few coats of my favorite spray paint to transform it to something amazing.  It has the perfect lines.

This is the spray paint I like.

I like to have a few cans on hand for projects.  I happened to have a whole one and about a quarter of another one in the garage.  Also, note the Bokeh in the background:)

I like to maximize my crafting/DIYing time so since I was going to be spray painting, I whipped up a few cake stands with some thrifted candle holders and plates.

Basically, you buy a base (candle holder) and a top (large or small plate).  Wash and dry your bases and tops.  Run a bead of this glue

E6000 Industrial Strength Glue Adhesive ...
around the top of the candle holder where you are going to put the plate.  Place your plate on the base and let dry for several hours (I wait 24 hours).

I am sorry I didn't get a pic of the next steps.  I took the cake holders and pitcher out to the garage and spray painted them.  I used 2 good coats.  I then let the paint dry overnight.

I could have been done at that point but I wanted to embellish the pitcher.  I decided on a number.  The number 3.  Why?  Because I already have a number 4 in the house and I felt I would get crap about using a number 2:)  There are many ways to add the number 3.  Paint it free hand or stencil it.  I choose to cut out a 3 from a piece of vinyl chalkboard adhesive I got from Hobby Lobby (I think).  So after cutting out the 3, I removed the backing and just stuck it on the pitcher.  Then I rubbed some chalk over the 3.  Here is the new fall vignette above my kitchen hutch.

 I promise the hutch is not really this electric of green.  I have no idea why it shows up like this on this pic.

I got the prints at Goodwill a while back.  The tea cups and saucers are from my MIL.  The wheat and little pumpkins are from Hobby Lobby.  I had the wooden pumpkin for ages and have no idea where I got it.  Thank goodness this space is now autumnized.

Monday, October 13, 2014

She grows

Dear Sydney,
You turned 8 months old on October 1st.  Stranger danger is in FULL effect.  So is being your Mama's magnet.   But I still managed to get a few pics of you with your Great Grandma...

And Great Grandpa...

Unfortunately, I missed an opportunity to get one of you and your other Great Grandma.

This week has been full of milestones.  In one week, you started saying your first word, "Mama", regularly, pulled yourself up to standing several times, started giving high 5's and started clapping.  It is like you suddenly realized that you do have the capability to make things happen.  And when you are in the right mood, you will start to copy what we say.  Like "Dada" and "Yeah yeah."

You are fantastic at playing (especially when I am not in the room or you don't know I am in the room).

And you really love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I am a little worried you might have your father's hair.  Thin and wispy.  Fuzzy.  Time will tell.  

I am sorry your brother grabs you too hard, hangs on too long and is too loud.  I am sorry that he constantly has to slither his body between you and me.  I am sorry I have to spend 80% of my time negotiating with him to get him to do the simplest of tasks.  Only thing I can tell you about that is it will teach you patience, your own negotiating skills and how to defend yourself.  You can thank him later in life. 

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying ever day with you and our little family.  I am truly enjoying watching you grow and learn and interact with us.  Looking forward to tomorrow.