Friday, September 25, 2015

A Decade of Marital Love {Lessons from a messy love, baby and reno filled marriage}

When I got married I thought love meant everything I saw in the movies.

I thought that love was whispering goodnight cradled in an embrace and waking up to that same embrace. I thought that the definition of love meant holding hands in front of a fire, watching sunsets side by side and ultimately I thought it meant someone completing me.

I thought big love meant big moments.

After ten years of marriage and twelve years together though, I have realized that love is much less than just big moments.

I guess I realized it after the first few years actually. When the honey moon stage was over and instead of whispered "goodnights" through the darkness, we yelled "goodnight!!" to each other while we did our own thing in different rooms within our little house. Or, maybe I realized it after our first big blow up.

It is true, after ten years of marriage, or maybe sooner, I realized that love was very different than what I had always thought it was. It was not big moments at all. IT was less than that.

Love was made in the little moments.

In the quiet moments, in the small day to day doings, in the monotonous details of holy matrimony, that were in fact not significant at all, except that when I look back at the last ten years, those little moments are what has kept our love strong after a decade of hollering goodnight to each other. Those bigger moments that I use to think defined love, were there of course, sprinkled along the path of marriage, but the little moments are what stand out the most to me.

Those small moments WERE significant and cherished because in those moments true friendship grew and the beginnings of a long marriage were built.

Moment by moment.

I wish I knew what I know now, then.

I wish I could turn back time and grab the shoulders of the young bride with the grandiose ideals and tell her that she should embrace the times to come. The ugly moments, the stressful moments, the jobless moments, the empty bank account moments, the broken car moments, the teething baby moments, I wish I could have told her that when the love between her and her groom felt like it was slipping away.. it was actually not at all. It was growing stronger.

I wish I could go back a decade, look myself in the eye and tell the me of the past with the unrealistic expectations that "The hard times do not define a marriage, but what you do with those hard times defines your love."

Like in those sleepless nights when our babies were small.

When we were patience and sleep deprived. When we had a baby tossing and turning between us every night of the week, when we played rock paper scissors through the darkness to see who had to take the next temperatures or warm the next bottle.

Hard times do not define a marriage, but what you do with those hard times defines your love.

When we knowingly looked at each other through the darkness and whispered "good night".  It wasn't how I imagined it would be at the beginning of our marriage. Or when the sun was just starting to squeeze out the darkness of a sleepless night and peek in our bedroom window and we caught sight of each other's tired eyes and simultaneously shook our heads in exhausted disbelief as we whispered "Good morning"

Friendship grew through the hardships. I didn't know it then, but I know it now.

The meaning of love changed during those nights when we rubbed babies backs and found each others moving, nurturing hand in the darkened bedroom. When we intertwined fingers and knew we were in this together.

I have learned a lot about love, we both have. And for that I am so grateful. We have learned that love is staying through the hardships even when you want to run to the hills.

Love is being there for each other, being an unbreakable team.

Love is working opposite shifts to pay the bills. It is being tired and hungry and taking the time to make your spouse a meal you know they will love, because you wish, if only for one meal, you can alleviate the stress of their day.

Love is taking out the garbage and changing diapers. Doing the dirty work for the other so that you can carve out five minutes to sit down and talk before a baby needs another bum change.

Love is showing patience, care, joy and gratitude to each other.

Love is doing bed time routine so your spouse can go out for the night so they don't totally lose their sense of identity and their mind during the baby years.

Love is holding the measuring tape, ladder, hair, in a moment of need, without being asked.

Love is surviving lost jobs and lost wages and giving up the things you individually want to purchase so you can save for your mortgage. Because love is making a home together.

Love is agreeing to disagree.

Love is filling up gas tanks and lunch pails and laundry machines.

Love is squeezing in moments to catch up with each other on the days when you can barely catch your breath, because you genuinely want to know how they are doing.

Love is being the first to say "Im sorry" because you don't want to be distant anymore.

Love is putting up with their habits and appreciating their uniqueness, even when you want to strangle them with the socks they daily leave beside the laundry hamper.

Love is making the IKEA furniture instead of making them suffer through 10 hours of hair pulling angst.

Love is being grace filled.

Love is having each others backs through the thick of things. Believing in each other when seemingly no one else does.

Love is loving their bed head, morning breath and new wrinkles.

Love is letting your spouse have quality time with out you so that they can cultivate deep life long friendships.

Love is doing dishes that you didn't dirty so that you can both watch Netflix together.

Love is laughing at their jokes even though you have heard them a million times.

Love is learning to share similar passions, like when you both scream from the sidelines of your children's sporting events together or when you obsess over HGTV shows.

Love is forgiving faster than you want to so that you can move forward.

Love is showing interest in what they love, even if you could care less about the Superbowl or The Bachelor.

Love is wishing you were the one that was sick, sad or angry -- instead of them.

Love is laughing about something until you cry together.

Love is spending a weekend losing your mind in the hardware store together so that you can create something lasting together later.

Love is made during the forgettable moments, during the mishaps, during the disagreements, during the sacrifices, during the itty-bitty acts of kindness, during the working overtime, during the quiet adoring and during the moments that you survive together.

Love is not all cuddle fests, sunset gazing and having someone complete you. It is not "all that" it is much less than that.

I have learned during our decade of forgiving, caring, laughing, sharing, fighting, and  joking together that love grows best during the little moments when our deep, shared care for each other grows.

Of course there will inevitably be snuggling, sunset loving and side by side fire watching; but there will also be side by side teeth brushing. When we catch each others eye and smile an oozing tooth paste grin while life swarms around us. When we cant help but laugh through the chaos of these early years because we now know that, "The hard times do not define our marriage, but what we do with those hard times defines our love."

Artur, happy 10th anniversary.

Here is to 100 more!! To surviving life with you and to loving ever little second of it. I love you more today than ever. Thank you for being forever mine and for all the lessons you have taught me about love.


Monday, September 21, 2015

The Moving Chapters {Chapter One: Hope at first sight}

Last time we talked I showed you this...
 And from where we left off in our story {The Prologue}, we have experienced our world turning into it a whirlwind. At times it has felt like a death defying rollercoaster, or a mystery novel or a bad dream. (Wait for future chapters guys, you wont believe what effort it took to see a sold sign on this lawn!) But before it was happy smiles and sold signs, if I am being honest and real, it was a crazy emotionally taxing five months.

Funny to think that it simply started with an unexpected call from our realtor.

What a difference a day can make, dont you think?

That call was then quickly followed by a little trip down the road to see a house, which then led us into the biggest and craziest times of our lives. Except way back in April of this year, we had no idea what kind of seven month long adventure we were getting ourselves into. 
So lets start at the beginning when we were bright eyed and bushy tailed and driving down our favorite little street in town, shall we?

The beginning is always the best place to start. :)

As soon as I caught sight of the yellow brick bungalow on the corner I had a tiny smidgen of hope.
 Not much, but I had some.

It was a warm April evening and the spring air seemed to hold possibility and the sunset in the sky set the scene for falling fast into love.

I took one look at the house we were viewing and immediately its mid century modern design peeked my interest.
Hope grew.

You see, I really do believe that out past sets up our future and for my whole life I have always adored all things 50's. It was clear that this house screamed 50s architecture with it's
straight lines and asymmetrical design. As much as I adore all things vintage I also live for all things nature and this house sat on a beautiful corner lot that was literally untouched.
There was a giant pine tree in one corner of the lot and a beautiful bare maple in the other corner and a drive way the length of the lot that could park a dozen cars.

Immediately I thought of our mental list for things we wanted in a home. Large drive way? CHECK.

We didn't park in the long driveway however because to the left of the house was a big parking lot that was attached to the cutest little diner. We knew the little café well and were known t come visit every month or so to order up pancakes for breakfast or a soup and sandwich for lunch. The kids of course were obsessed with this café in particular because it was beside an amazing little air strip. Not a big one by any means, but a landmark for all of our hometown people. We visited this parking lot many a times and sat quietly as we anticipated the swooping in of the small air crafts. Today though we weren't looking to the sky, we were looking straight ahead at the home on the corner.

We hesitantly parked in the little parking lot where we were comfortable, the one that held so many of our fond memories with the kids, and walked across the giant front yard to get to the little yellow brick bungalow.
We were timid on the outside but inside my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. This was our chance to get on to the street that we had wanted to live on for so long. With twenty houses being a possibility and losing out on one last year. (READ THIS POST TO GET CAUGHT UP)
We knew not many houses around here could meet all of our needs, and we knew that not many residents wanted to move off of this street. As we took in the house and surveyed the property, the house looked like it could actually work for us.
Could it actually though??

There were two front doors. Two. Two?? One that we walked up to past the double car garage and one past that door almost situated in the middle of the house.

Two entrances at the front of a home aren't for everyone, but immediately my mind started getting creative with each step closer to the house.

I had always wanted a separate space for my home business. I mean, wasn't that even on our list for things we wanted in a new home? Yes. YES! So I did another mental check mark.

There were also two entrances on the back of the house, which meant POSSIBILITIES!
However, as much as we were thrilled with the large lot that backed on to a farmer,s field and the space this house had, as we got closer to the first door at the front of the house we immediately saw that the home needed some MAJOR TLC.

Good thing we like to DIY and work on home improvement projects, right?

I held on to hope and ignored the peeling and stripping paint on the doors and window and the overgrown gardens and stepped in the front door.

Inside that doorway there was an open room with oversized sliding doors opening up to the back yard. The view was absolutely stunning, no doubt about it! But the room, however, needed updating.
As a visual person I am grateful that I never see what is in front of me but I see what can become of a space. Maybe it is the visual part of me that allows that or the optimistic side of me, or something else entirely, but whatever it is, I am glad Im one of the many that have that ability. Our realtor walked around the house and momentarily didn't quite see what we saw.

To any average person they first saw the outdated wallpaper and the original yellow stove top, the dark front room and the dark wood panneling. But to me, I saw that the house was lovingly cared for through it,s life time and above that I saw possibility. I saw that the first dark room had wood panneling on every wall but immediately knew it would make a perfect salon with some changes. The size was perfect, the location off the front door was perfect and it even had a back patio area that I pictured as a relaxing retreat with gauzy drapes and beautiful seating.

We took the rest of the tour of the house and quickly realized that the whole house would need some cosmetic changes. But that didn't deter us.
I felt something as I walked through those rooms, something that felt like how home is suppose to feel.

The house had beautiful sunlight pouring in through the windows that made us want to linger, but at the same time, we wanted to move fast. I knew by only seeing the first floor that this could definitely be the home for us. I looked at my husband and knew he felt the same way, we didn't want to waste a second and potentially lose this house before we even knew if it was the one for us.

The second entrance door at the front of the house opened on to a giant room that felt homey. I looked around the space and felt something that seemed sentimental for the old wallpapered walls and the pink painted living room.
Truth be told, the space felt like a grandmas house and it felt loved. I immediately imagined what the space could look like, and I loved what my mind conjured up.

 Off of the kitchen area there was a small set of stairs that led to a second level. From the front of the home you cant really see the elevation of the home or notice the second storey, but it is there.

We discovered that upstairs there were four bedrooms (CHECK!) and one small bathroom. I didn't even notice the details of the small original bathroom because I was too busy internally freaking out that this house had FOUR bedrooms and checked off another element off of our house list.
CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK. I was losing count of all of the checks.
We toured the rest of the home which included a basement with two rooms and a storage room and a back entrance to the home that opened into something we assumed was meant to be a laundry room.
There were so many mental check marks made on our mental list that it was about this time that my head started spinning with overwhelming happiness and fear. Has that ever happened to you?? You know the feeling? It is the one you get before you are about to be overjoyed, but you are also scared to death.
We were smitten.
The best part of all was that the home had an indoor outdoor feeling that was very popular in mid-century design. Modern homes that were built in 1955 were being built with a different mind set, one that a nature lover like me can appreciate. The homes built in that era, in a modern design, typically incorporated straight lines and large windows into their design. These features gave the indoor space the illusion of being incorporated with the out door spaces. Decks and porches were popular at the time to encourage free thinkers outside and into the outdoors. Goodness knows that I was immediately obsessed with the three porches the house had!  Although I can appreciate 50s design with all of its straight line, glass and metal loving glory, I was a bit weary about a flat roof mixed with Canadian winters. Shoveling a roof doesn't seem like fun, right?

There were many more good flags then red flags with this house though which was a refreshing discovery! I looked at my husband and he looked at me and we knew this house was the one we were waiting for.
It didn't take long for the tour to be over and for our minds to be made up. We started talking potential offers and numbers in the kitchen of the house before even leaving the property. My husband and I knew we could turn this house into our dream home with some tweaking and planning.

As stoked as we were, we decided to go home to mull it all over, to be certain, to pray about it and to really weigh out the pros and the cons of the little yellow brink back split bungalow.

But with all good things that are meant to be, It didn't even take us the ride home, two minutes down the road, to KNOW that that was the house for us. We missed the wide open space and the yellow brick house already. Oh yes, and the sunset.

We both just had the feeling that you get when you know something is meant for you.
We had it hard.

It was the same feeling I got 12 years ago when I saw my husband for the first time and felt like I had known him forever. It is a type of feeling that is immediate, where you feel like you have already lived through the introduction before and because of that there is just big strong positive feelings present. It is the same feeling I got every time my babies looked up at me for the first time on their birth days. It is a feeling that combines happiness, fear, peace and joy and rolls it all into one... and then that feeling bulldozes you over with it.

It was love at first sight.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Back Story {The Moving Chapters; The Prologue}

Our moving story actually began two years ago when I spotted a home listed on MLS. It was out of our budget but it seemed like it could really work for our family. It was in the perfect location and I was immediately smitten with it.

So, I acted like most anxious home buyers do and I stalked it daily.

I drove by the house and fell in love with the street it was situated on. It was only a two minute drive away from our current home but was literally a street outside of our cities limits. Also, it totally backed onto a farmers field which spoke to my country loving heart. All that peace and quiet and it yet was still a short drive to the library and grocery stores.

It was settled. I wanted that house.

Except there was one problem. The house was overpriced and out of our current budget.

Cue the water works.

A few weeks later the house still stood un sold and the sellers suddenly dropped the price of the home substantially. I didn't waste a minute to call my husband to convince him that our dream home was now within our grasps and bank account.

So like all the best home showing stories, we walked through the home with the selling realtor at sunset.

It was as if the realtor had planned it that way.

We stepped out on to the master suite balcony (Yes you read that right, BALCONY.) to hear birds singing, crickets chirping and to the see the pretty backyard covered with the suns golden rays. It was peaceful and perfect and we put an offer in that night.

Flash forward to a disappointing meeting with the realtor where he informed us that there was already an offer on the table and flash forward 48 hours of anxiously waiting to have the other offer firm up and the house slowly slip from our grasps.

We didn't stand a chance. We were a little too late.

I hate when that happens in life but I am always aware that there is a lesson to be learned when things don't seem to work out the way that I want them to.

So, I looked for the lesson with no luck.

The other offer firmed up and that family became the new lucky owners of the house on the quaint street that backed on to golden sun drenched farmers fields.

Waaaaa Waaaaaa Waaaaaaaaaa

I immediately went into house hunting overdrive. I knew if that house wasn't for us then there would be something better. There had to be right?? We convinced ourselves that the whole house must have been covered in mold and rats. Which was the only way to deal with the cheated feeling that lingered.

My husband kind of lost the love to look at real estate for a while after that let down, but I however, couldn't claim defeat or help myself and kept searching for the perfect property and home.

I looked and looked and dragged my children to at least 100 open houses over the year to follow like every crazy nesting Mama would. And you know what? It became our "thing".

If we spotted a for sale sign then we went to go look at the house. For a year I literally knew the housing market in our town better then any realtor. I was, for the lack of a better word, mildly obsessed. I remember Christmas day sitting on MLS wondering why no one had put their home for sale. Like, what? Was it a holiday or something and people were too busy celebrating with their families and friends around a table laden with turkey and all the trimmings? Didn't these celebrating people have time to list their house for my prying eyes?

I didn't care. It was like I was hunting for a unicorn or something that seemed completely unattainable but I just couldn't help myself.

I did what most crazy house hunters and type A personalities do and I finally compiled a list.

It went a little something like this:

Things we want in a house:
Quiet street
On the outskirts of town
But not too far for my clients to travel
Green space
But not too much lawn that it will take up all of Saturdays to mow
Four bedrooms
A fixer upper

I knew my list was pretty hefty and was a tall order but it didn't deter me. The home with all the needs that were on my list still needed to fit into our budget too, so I searched and searched hoping a good deal had yet to be seen by others. So, determined, we looked and looked and yet nothing seemed to work for ALL of our needs.

Finally, after exhausting my husband with my constant house talk and MLS stalking we tried to figure out a way to happily stay put. I mean, we love our current house. Do we really need to make a move? We have done so much work to it and have made it our own. What more could we want? And REALLY what more could we actually NEED?

We discussed some elements about our current home that we wished were different and why, then concluded that we needed a better master closet (Read: one able to hole more then five hangers) and we needed to finally enjoy our backyard by creating it into a place where we wanted to spend time in. Of course it didn't back on to golden farmers fields, we knew, but it was a perfectly quiet yard that had a lot of potential.

My husband and I both agreed that if we changed those two predicaments about our house we could happily live here for quite a while.

So, I stopped opening up my lap top 5 times a day to see what was recently listed for sale on line and we focused our energy on creating two spaces that had functionality and charm. (Note to self, stop taking on more projects before I share the final pictures of each said project with y'all!)

As you know we worked on our deck last year and finished up our mater closet and I have to now say that with those added spaces to our house I was feeling completely settled. We could get organized in the morning quite easily with our larger closet with custom diy shelving and we could unwind on the back deck in the evening together as a family. Our house had every corner of it touched and we felt like it finally felt like home.

Of course, nothing stays the same for long when two adventure seekers marry though.

Flash back to April of this year when my handsome, hard working, hubby and I were dealing with our crammed and unorganized garage when we got a phone call from the realtor who had sold that lovely house on the quaint street that we had lost out on a year previous. He had remembered our love for that street and had listened when we had begged him to fill us in if another house on that street ever went for sale. It didn't seem likely at the time, since most home owners had built their houses there in the 50s and 60s and weren't planning on relocating anywhere. So, we were as shocked as anyone when he called us out of the blue to let us know that a home on the street that we loved so much had just been listed.

Cue a happy dance.

My husband took one look at me across our garage and we knew we had to go take a peek at it. It was worth a look, wasn't it? Even if we were happy with where we were? Even if we had decided not to look at moving for a few more years? Even if we were finally settled and happy with our house? Even after five years of constant renos and a summer on the horizon full of happily anticipated relaxation?


This potential home came out of nowhere and made us immediately giddy with excitement, full of questions and anxiousness and yet it just felt right.

Could our dream of living in this special spot be something that was actually attainable? Would the house be a total flop? It couldn't possibly fit all of the requirements on our list, could it? It didn't matter, we had to check it out before it was too late.

We didn't waste a minute speeding the two minutes down the road to our favorite street in town.

Once again, just as the golden sun was setting its back drop on the quaint street, setting the scene for falling in love.

To be continued...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Beginnings for This Little Estate {The Moving Chapters; Part One}

This post has been sitting, waiting to be published since May. FOUR MONTHS AGO!

SO, I thought it was about time I dusted off my computer and let all you patient lovelies in on ALL the things, so here it is.

I don't think things have ever been this quiet around the blog front. But here we are, a few weeks since my last post and yet I have thought daily about sitting down and connecting with you guys.  Things may have been quiet here, but oh me-oh-my, things have been crazy, hectic, challenging, exhilarating, terrifying, messy and fulfilling in real life.

I imagined a hand full of different ways to tell you all what has been up around here, but I am not sure how long we have before a baby calls me away, someone needs a sandwich made, or a lovely client calls to book an appointment, so lets just get right down to it!

If you were here in real life, I would pour you a coffee (or a glass of wine depending on what time a day it was) ;) Oh who am I kidding, wine for breakfast is smiled upon if we are celebrating, right? and I would excitedly tell you that we are moving on to a new adventure.

I would tell you in my high pitched excited voice with my happy flapping bird arms that "WE ARE MOVING!"

You of course would ask me a million questions and I would fill you in on all the dirty gossip, I mean the dirty to do list that the new house has written about it and we would squeal happily together in our ultra clean current house that has been the vain of our existence the last few weeks.

You see, we have been working non stop at getting this house we love so much ready for the next family to love it so much. We have been painting trim, finishing our deck, digging out gardens, painting front doors, washing windows, bleaching blinds, painting ceilings, cleaning carpets, puttying nail holes, painting bedrooms, polishing floors, getting rid of furniture, hooking up sinks, decluttering, cleaning and organizing closets and cupboards that just need organized the next day and we officially haven't slept in weeks.

But as everybody knows who has ever sold a house, it is all worth it.

Last night I walked around our clean, lovingly built home and I felt elated for the people that will get this house and call it THEIR home. 

This house has been a five year labor of love for our little family and now that every square inch has been touched we can without a shadow of a doubt say that we adore this place and this space.

If you are wondering why we would want to start a new chapter in a new property after this house has finally been finished, you are not alone. Everyone is wondering if the paint fumes have finally gone to our heads. The explanation is simply that our needs have changed and everything fell into place so beautifully that it was meant to be that we move on.

I know you will love the story and the back story and the two years ago back story on how we found our new adventure. I cant wait to share it all with you as soon as I get more then five minutes to sit down without a tool in my hand.

Things have been a little quiet over here on this blogging side but they are about to get really amazing if you stick around and love a good before and after.

The next few months are going to take DIY projects to a whole new level and I hope you will swing by and check out what we will be up to. Until then, please, go finish the painting project you have been putting off, I am TELLING you, it feels oh-so-good to sit in a room that is happily finished. ;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A little love letter to my girl on her 6th birthday

Dearest Audrey Grace,

Today my sweet daughter, you are 6 years old.

I can barely believe it.

Somehow it feels like just yesterday I sat on your auntie and uncles couch on a typical Saturday evening, pondering about you, and yet it wasn't a typical night at all. It was the weekend before you were to be born and I was overwhelmed with how lucky I felt. You squirmed in my belly and I said out loud what I had felt in my heart for nine long months, "I cant believe I will actually have a little girl soon." I was astounded and in shock and knew that I would love you in such a special way.

When you were born I looked into your little round eyes and felt the lovely mother daughter bond grow instantly. The one that we had begun together during those months when you stretched my belly to the size of a watermelon and when I listened to you hiccup until I cried with happiness.

You were a dream brought to life and I treasured every second of your babyhood.

Flash forward six years and I am in awe of who you have grown into.

You still have the beautiful round eyes and the fine hair you were born with, but now you show this perfect, gappy, little girl smile when you laugh. You laugh a lot. A laugh that makes me smile every time I hear it. You don't hold back when you find something silly or funny and I admire that about you. You keep up with your brothers and love being silly with them. I am always telling you that you are the rose between the two thorns. Of course your brothers role their eyes at that. But it is true. You are just like a rose!

You are sweet and loving, compassionate and giving, creative and thoughtful and you never stop imagining and caring. 

You would play dolly's in your room all day if I let you. You love on them and anything that is small and/or cuddly. Just the other day I woke up to you having set up the cutest display in your bedroom. Dolls and stuffed animals were lined in rows, they sat in moving boxes and cereal boxes and they "held" little "books" you had neatly made for each of them. I wondered when you had gotten up and with what time did you have to make this classroom setting. You love to play teacher and mommy and nurse and take care of all the things that will let you hold and rock them. When he allows, your little brother is your favorite play mate for your make believe stories. It is the cutest thing to watch but I am never fast enough to catch it on film.  He will cry like a real life baby for you, which in turn makes you coo and awwww over him like a real life Mama. Which always makes me swoon over the two of you and your love. Oh how you love your brothers!

You and your little brother are almost the same size at this point and I worry about how petite you are. I remember those exact words written in my own baby book when I was about your age which gives me some peace knowing that your old Mama filled out okay. ;) You may be small and mighty and I have no doubt that you are fierce. You prove this when you keep up with your older brother and his friends. ;)

You sometimes prove to me that your sweet side is evened out by your sassy side. You show this side mostly when I am trying to dress you or when you want your own way or want to determine your own bedtime. You are small but you are a determined wee thing. You stand up to your oldest brother and like to boss everyone in our home around. Because, as proven most times, you DO have great inventive ideas on how to finish a task, in a better way.

You love to cook with me and are the best little assistant. You also love to choose watermelon and sliced carrots over a regular dinner that the rest of us will eat. Agriculture amazes you and I love that we share that. You marvel at how flowers grow and how produce sprouts from the dirt and you are always reminding us that we should be making healthy choices.

You love to make crafts and often cut up paper into a million pieces all over the house. Sometimes I think you are trying to recreate a scene from your favorite movie "Frozen" with all the little snowflakes you make from your Daddy's stash of computer paper. You have even been known to sneak glue sticks and Mommy's special pair of hair cutting scissors in order to complete a craft and make it perfection. You aren't the best at cleaning up your beautiful masterpieces though and I can honestly blame you for a million dried up markers whose lids you are known for making magically dissapear.

You are giving  and caring and often use your crafting skills to make pictures and presents for people. You proudly make pictures for your kindergarten teachers and pray to run into them around townover summer break. They maintain celebrity status to you at this point and you wonder if they know more then Mommy at times though you try to tell me so nicely. You loved school this year and especially loved helping all the younger kids. You prefer to wear dresses to school and are already planning your outfit for the return of school this September.

I cant believe you are six. Going into grade one. My little darling who is turning into a little lady.

I miss your chubby baby cheeks and your rolly polly baby legs but I love that you have grown into this little lean lady-girl who is mastering gymnastic moves and who loves to kick soccer balls with Daddy.  You don't care about whether your hair is brushed or whether your shirt matches your skirt but you do care how glittery and frilly your outfits are. I love your priorites.

You are only girl that belongs to me and I love that you are teaching our boy filled family how to treat a lady. However, this does not, stop you from asking for a sister every other day. I pray that our relationship will grow into one that is so special though that you wont feel the loss of not having a sister to share lifes secrets with. Besides, I tell you all the time that if you train your brothers enough, one day they may learn to shower properly and may infact marry, giving you two sisters in law! Right now, you are still hooked on the movie Frozen and still would rather have an "Elsa" to your "Anna" so you just don't buy what I am trying to sell.

Please though, my sweet girl, if you can take anything to heart that I tell you, please remember that you are perfect the way you are now. I love your glitter wearing, glue stick wielding, bossy acting, crazy hair sporting, craft making, squeaky voice speaking, love giving little girl.

You were the perfect addition to our family 6 years ago and you continue t be the right amount of  to help me with our testosterone filled house. Your eyes are still one of my favorite things to get lost in. I cherish those moments where you allow me to stare at you long enough to put my mama heart at ease before you wiggle free from your spot on my lap and into this big world.

I am forever grateful that we have been given these last six years with you. This front row spot that allows us to fall in love with you every single day. When you speak matter-of-factly, when you proudly wave a new drawing in front of us, when you twirl in a lacy tutu, when you get as muddy as your brothers, when you reassure us with your old-soul-kind-of-ways and when you remind us that every day with you is an absolute blessing.

Happy birthday my wee little sweet pea. May you feel your Mama's love on your sixth birthday and forever and ever.


Monday, June 08, 2015

Shiplap Wall {How we did it!}

I still cant believe I talked my husband into letting us do shiplap in our home. 

When I met him he already had his own design sence. Think lime green walls, bright white leather sofas, foosball tables, salt water fish tanks and giant flat screens connected to all the latest gaming contraptions.  

Think, every guys dream man cave.

When I suggested the idea of casual, textured, wooden shiplap to his clean line loving self, he didn't get it.

At first. 

Luckily for me, he is agreeable and loves a good project. 
So, a few weeks ago, we did what we do most weekends; we traveled the half an hour drive to our nearest Lowes and made friends with the employee in charge of their giant saw.

(Excuse the cell phone pictures to come in this post. When you diy by the seat of your pants the good camera is the last thing you remember to take out. )
This wasn't the first time we had meandered around the store trying to figure out what kind of paneling to utilize. This may have in fact been our fourth venture to this particular store. Love ya Hubby!

 Which just proves to all the shiplap lovers out there, that with some nagging and some loving prompting read more nagging and begging you too can make your rustic textured wall dreams come true.

After a lot of going back and forth between the types of wood we could use for this project, we ultimately used 1 by 8 sheets of utility board. I loved the texture on the wood and that it wasnt as smooth as MDF, it was also super affordable and was just the thickness I wanted for our boards. We then got the boards cut into 8 inch wide boards.

Then we got to work taking down our dining area plate wall while I challenged myself mentally to remember right where most plates had hung. Thank goodness for pictures though and the archives of this blog because most days I dont remember what I ate for breakfast. 


Once our plates were down my hunky hubby dragged all of the ply wood lengths into the house. Since our garage is less of a work space and more of a dumping ground for all the things. Sorry to all my neighbours who get a glimpse of it every once in a while when I cant remember the code for the automatic closing door. #sensingathemehere

PS: We may have also tried our luck with getting that helpful Lowes employee to cut more mdf for some upcoming projects that will happen soonish. Stay tuned!

Once the boards were indoors I sanded down the ouchie frayed edges and made a giant mess that would later get trampled upstairs and downstairs.  


Clearly I cant believe how many boards I will have to sand down. That face!

Once the boards were sanded to a smooth finish on all sides we started at the corner area of our wall and began attaching the boards from top to bottom.

To attach the boards we glued some adhesive to the back of them and then secured them with our nail gun.

For some reason we always seem to start our projects on what should be a lazy Sunday afternoon. Which means by 7pm hunky hubby has to rush to hockey practice with the boys. Since he is reliable like that.


Luckily we have helpful children that love to play camera man and who love to be involved in all of our diy projects. Think spreading adhesive on tables and dropping an entire box of cheerios on to the floor. No worries, they and the dog picked them up.

This is my attempt at cutting out pieces in the wood for around our outlets. It didnt need to be a perfect cut since the outlet cover would cover the cut lines. Thank goodness.

Yes Mom, I still have all my fingers.

We used a yard stick to keep our gaps between the boards the same and to ensure that all of our boards stayed even.

Once they were all up in place, I stepped back to survey our new feature wall.

And I was a smitten kitten.

It took me another few days to figure out if we should paint over this wooden wall. I guess I loved the texture of the wood and the grain of it, but ultimately, I puttied and painted and took some pretty pictures of our updated dining room.

Stay tuned for the ultimate reveal!!!! Coming in an upcoming post!!

Also, apparently victories are happening everywhere over here, because that racoon we were telling you about, you know, the one who was living in our attic? Yeah, well, she and her babies are out now. Out and living the dream in a near by forest. I'll leave that adventure for another post. You guys are going to want to see pictures of the cutie pattottie babies. All six of them!

And because I dont like to leave you guys hanging too long, and suprises arent my specialty you can see some sneak peeks of our shiplap wall on my Instagram.

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