Thursday, July 31, 2014

1/2 year

Dear Sydney,

It has been 6 months.  Six months since there was a time that I didn't know your face.  Six months since you didn't breathe the same air as me.  Six months since I anticipated meeting my daughter for the first time and getting to know her everyday after.

Six months.  Half a year.

It is just a blink of an eye, really.  But seems like forever, too.

Six months here was long enough to road trip to Nashville, stay at the Kalahari in the Dells, go camping and road trip to Cokato, MN.

Six months here was long enough for me to figure out that you will not take a bottle when I am around you, you have favorite people, you love to be talked to.

Six months here was long enough to know that you are very different than your older brother in what you eat, how you eat, how and where you sleep and even what diapers work best for you.

If I had only one word to describe you, it would be joy.  I feel it and see it every single time I look at you.  I have never known this much joy ever.  Such a joy it has been to have you.  

One of my favorite things to do is watch you and your brother interact.  He just loves you so much.  If you are crying, he will come up to you with toys and say, "don't be sad."  He just hates to see you unhappy.  He is one of your favorites, just as long as he is not all up in your face screeching (I am sorry about that, I don't know why he does this so much but I try to protect you from it).

Thanks for teaching me that I still don't have it all figured out yet.  Thanks for allowing me to continue to grow and love and live like I didn't know I needed to.  Thanks for bringing us joy and non-stop smiles.  


Monday, July 21, 2014

I've got a sickness...


I went straight from painting the kitchen cabinets to chalkboard paint projects to the pantry makeover to making an ottoman cover and book page wreath to board and batten in my entryway.  I am completely exhausted but there is so much more I still want to do!  So let me share the latest project:  board and batten in the entryway.

This is the before.  Booooooringggggg...

If you search Pinterest for "board and batten" and "entryway" it is ridiculous the amount of pins that will pull up.  But I was inspired by another blogger I follow and my friend, Kaiti, after both of them did their own versions.  Also, the hubs bought an air compressor to blow up a kiddie pool on 4th of July and it came with a free nail gun.  He has no idea the monster he has created;)

In all the extra time I have on my hands, I removed the trim and got started...

(These next few pics are all iPhone pics.  I just move too fast to take the time to take pics with my real camera:))

I just went to Menards and got some 1X4s for the top and bottom and 1X2s for the vertical pieces.  The 1X2s were already 4' in length so there was no cutting needed.  I pretty much eye-balled the placement of the slats after getting a general idea with my tape measure.  Nothing is exact and I did have to fudge the one near the outlet as to not have to go over the outlet cover.

Then, of course, I could not stop at just that wall, had to extend it to the walls on either side of the front door and the little alcove by the front door.

This is how it looked after the priming and 1st coat of paint was on.  (Sorry these iPhone pics are terrible!)

After a second coat, I hung the hooks.

(The piece of driftwood in the above pic was taken from the beach on Lake Michigan we went to on our most recent camping trip)

So then I stood back and admired my work...

...and quickly realized I needed a new bench.  One that I could shove that basket under.  So I got to sketching one out and texted my parents with my plans...

I am sure my dad just loves getting my chicken scratch sketches to work from;)  But within a few hours, my barnwood bench was well on its way to being built.  Here was the text I received...

Can't wait to get it all together!!  For now we both have to wait for the big reveal.  In the meantime, I am thinking up something genius for a different light fixture in the area and have started pinning my plans for my upstairs bathroom makeover.  Like I said, I've got a sickness...

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy Campers

We had our 2nd Annual Wadzinski/Groth camping extravaganza.  Here was last year's fun.

This year, we went to Harrington Beach State Park right off of Lake Michigan.  Led by Cookie

in enthusiasm and continual comments of, "Hey, if could be worse!" whenever the rest of us found ourselves sulking about how gross camping is.

 Cookie's famous BBQ rib and baked potato feast.

Our little happy camper:)

This year was exponentially better for me because I was not 8 weeks pregnant and nauseated and pukey the whole time AND we had the littlest happiest camper along with us.  But don't get me wrong, it was still camping.  We constantly had to remind ourselves, "We are making memories for our kids" and "I remember LOVING camping as a kid."  Yeah, because camping as a parent is A LOT different.  And camping with a baby and toddler during a heavy rainstorm at night is not what I would call enjoyable.  But we stuck it out.

And we made memories for our kids.

And for ourselves.  At our campsite and on a beach on Lake Michigan.

Hunting for sticks.

And shells.

And pieces of driftwood to return to the waters.

Note the shirt:)

We roasted marshmallows and ate s'mores.  Unless you are Sully and the roasted marshmallow was "too sticky!  Waaaaaa!"  Then you just ate a marshmallow and chocolate graham cracker sandwich.  We sat around the fire, playing musical chairs to avoid sitting in the exact location that the smoke was drifting.

In the morning, Cookie made us breakfast burritos.

 And Sydney was still a happy camper!

The men went fishing and caught some rainbow trout while the ladies and kids went to a nearby park.

Later we ventured back to the beach to swim in the frigid waters of Lake Michigan.

 Where baby toes touch a sandy beach for the first time.

And waves are kicked, but not crashed.

And water is squirted.

And beagles roll in dead fish.

Poor Turbo didn't make the trip this time.  We thought it would be too tough for her but she got a nice vacation at her Auntie and Uncle Shagers house where she enjoyed many walks with Cousin Ava.

And we survived another camping trip.  I think the best part is coming home and bathing the kids then taking a shower and hanging out in PJs the rest of the day.  Nothing beats it.

Today I asked Sully, "Hey what was your favorite thing about camping?"
Sully, "S'mores and the fire."

I have two favorite memories from this camping trip-
1- baby toes on sand for the first time
2- lying in the tent next to Sully whispering back and forth about all subjects in life and then him telling me he missed Turbo:)

And suddenly my kids were making memories for me.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

An ottoman slipcover and the death (and rebirth) of a book

Have you ever looked around at your house and realized that your taste and style has changed?  I completely feel this way right now.  I feel ready and motivated to change things up.  Make everything softer and lighter.  It started with the kitchen cabinets and now I feel like I need to paint everything.  Its a sickness.

Suddenly, I am flooded with ideas, plans and schemes to get this house updated to my current style and at the same time, clean and move out the clutter.  It is overwhelming but I decided to start by taking it one (or two or three) projects at a time.

Obviously the kitchen is still a work in progress but it was a relief to finally get the pantry done and the door to the garage painted.

I bought this ottoman like 7 or 8 years ago with the assumption I was going to recover it at some point.

So 8ish years later, I got some duck canvas. scissors, pins and got started.

First, I actually washed and dried the canvas.  It was tough for me to do that and not dive right in but I knew I would be washing this cover and didn't want it to shrink on me.  Then, I placed the canvas right side down over my ottoman and pinned at the corners.

 (If you think I was also going to iron the fabric, you are crazy)

So now it is all pinned.

Then I cut off the excess fabric.

After sewing down the sides, I slipped it on to see how I did.  Which was awesome.

So then I trimmed off the bottom so it was about even and then I started on the ruffle.

I measured the length from the floor to the bottom of the cover and added about an inch for the hem and stitching of the ruffle to the cover.

Than I put my slip cover over inside out.

Then I made a ruffle using the tension method on my machine.  Google it.  It is crazy easy.

Only problem was, when I went to pin it to the slip cover, it was not long enough and I didn't want to have to make more.  So I ripped the thread out and pinned it to the slip cover making a little pleat every 2 inches or so.  Sorry, I failed to get a pic of this step:(  I sewed that on and there you have it.  From this...

Its so cute, I LOVE it!

About the book...

I first saw one of these book page wreaths at my friend Kaiti's house.  I loved it immediately and knew I had to make my own.  And I knew I wanted to make it out of a book that had meaning.  So I ripped all the pages out of the book that I got from Mother's Day this year.  I mean, it was a teen romance book.  I really did not think anyone else in the house wanted to read it.  Until the hubs came home and saw the book cover and all the pages missing and asked what happened to the book because he wanted to read it.  Oops.

(the following pics are from my iPhone.  Excuse the fuzziness)

I used a tutorial I found on Pinterest.  You can find it here.

Sorry dear.  The book was good, but this is better:)