Saturday, November 30, 2013

I did it!

I officially blogged every single day this month. They weren't all interesting or exciting but I managed to check in every day. I might try this challenge during a different month next year. I really did plan to do more writing this month than I did, I was just too busy. I might try again when I have more time.

All in all, November was a good month. It was busy though, I spent most of picking out paint, furniture and carpet for the basement, and I'm glad that's done! December will be even busier, having the painters, carpet people and furniture people in here putting it all together. But I think we'll be happy with the results and it will be fun to see an idea that has been nine years in the making finally come together. We've been talking about eventually making a teenage hangout/media room down there for pretty much as long as we've lived here. It's the last part of the house that needed to be redone and I'm excited to finally see it complete.

Today we've got some projects that need to be worked on, I'm hoping to sneak in a movie at some point and we'll enjoy some more family time. We've had a great few days. I love these kinds of holidays when we're all home with nothing important to do and we can just hang out and enjoy each other. It's nice to take a break from the world every now and then and just spend some time together. Everyone goes back to school and work on Monday and real life begins again. I'm enjoying this family time while it lasts.

Next week the basement project officially starts. Next week they paint, the following week they carpet, the week after that they bring in the furniture and the next week we officially unveil it to the kids! I can't wait!

Friday, November 29, 2013

The day after

For all the angst I put myself through when it comes to Thanksgiving, we actually had an amazing day!

We started it out with a family Wii tournament. I emerged victorious and the losers all got Oreos. :)

Then we had a delicious ham dinner and my three ham loving children ate until they were stuffed. They love ham to a ridiculous degree. 

After our feast we had our annual Amazing Race marathon. We always try to hold off on watching the current season until Thanksgiving and then we marathon it. We're still not totally caught up, so we'll continue tomorrow. 

Then last night Shawn, Josh and I watched the new episode of Heirs. Episode 16. We're nearing the end and everything is coming to a head. It was seriously intense tonight! I cried. I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry through the rest of the episodes. I'm crazy in love with that show.

It was an awesome day. I love my family and I love that we're creating our own family traditions. Spending the day just hanging out, playing Wii together, eating yummy food and enjoying some family time was awesome.

Shawn has the next few days off, so we're going to be watching more Amazing Race, have another Wii tournament, we're going to finish cleaning out the basement so the painters can paint next week, Shawn and I are going to a movie at some point (I'm dying to see the new Hunger Games movie), we'll hopefully get the Christmas tree up and I'm looking forward to spending some more fun time with the kids.

As much fun as we're having, I feel like it's just a preview of how much fun we're going to have at Christmas!! Shawn has two weeks off at Christmas and the basement will be done, so we can have awesome movie marathons and Family Wii tournaments down there! Now that we have all the basement stuff picked out and purchased we're just waiting to put it all together and I'm getting really excited! The boys are going to love it. I think we're all going to love it! Exciting things are ahead! :) 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Well, the day has arrived. It's Thanksgiving again. The culmination of my yearly funk, lol. We're not going out of town this year, we're not visiting family, heck, we're not even eating turkey.

I woke up this morning,  prepared to suck it up and put a smile on my face whether I wanted to or not, but as I laid there for a few minutes and gave myself a Thanksgiving pep talk, I decided that I wasn't going to fake happy today. I'm going to choose to actually BE happy. I have too much to be thankful for not to be.

So I got up, I took a shower, I used my shower time to mentally list all my blessings and I'm ready to face this day with a real smile on my face.

I am grateful for my extended family, complicated as they may be sometimes.

I'm incredibly grateful for my three beautiful children and the most amazing husband anyone could ever ask for. I hit the jackpot with those four people.

Clarissa ran into my bedroom this morning, crawled into bed with me and asked me if we're going to catch a turkey today. She doesn't fully understand this holiday, lol. I love that kid.

Josh has been watching Heirs with me and I'm not sure if he likes the show or just likes spending the time with me, but we're having fun either way and I love it.

Matthew is my sunshine, always happy, always easy, always with a smile on his face and an exciting story to tell me. His enthusiasm for life is a blessing to our family.

I can hear Shawn downstairs right now vacuuming and I know that he's doing it because he knows Thanksgiving is hard for me and freshly vacuumed floors make me happy. That man will do absolutely anything to make me happy. Grateful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about him. He's a saint as far as I'm concerned.

I'm grateful for my home, for my neighborhood and for this beautiful state, tucked in the safety of the mountains.

I'm grateful for my friends, who put up with me even if I don't like chick flicks and shoe shopping and need home decorating advice way too often. :)

I'm thankful for my blog readers who for some reason show up here and read my crazy jumbled thoughts. Knowing someone is reading is what keeps me writing and someday I'm going to be glad I wrote this all down.

I'm grateful for my church and for the peace it brings into my life. I would be a very different person without it.

I'm grateful for the 20 amazing Thanksgivings I got to share with my dad. I miss him today more than any day of the year. I'm grateful for eternal families. I know he's with us in spirit even if he can't take his place at the table and play a board game with me this afternoon.

I'm grateful for so many other things that I don't have time to list. It's hard to be in a Thanksgiving funk when I think of all the reasons I have to be happy.

So now I'm going to put my REAL smile on, go down stairs, hug my kids, kiss my sweet husband and celebrate my blessings. We're going to eat our ham, have our yearly Amazing Race marathon this afternoon and enjoy being a family.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Thanks for sticking with me. :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Basement style board

So now that we're finally getting somewhere on the basement, I put together a collage of the things we've picked out. Colors will vary a big on your monitors, so it may not all be exact, but you can get an idea. The only thing that is bugging me is that the picture of the couch that I got off the furniture store website isn't an accurate color. It's much more of a chocolate brown in person. It's not as red as it looks in the photo. That's throwing me off a little.

So the two big squares are the wall colors. Valspar Homestead Resort Olive and Valspar Jazz Club. The smaller square in the middle is the fabric I picked out that I'm having pillows made out of, but the picture isn't really a good representation of the fabric. It's like a cool, texturey upholstery fabric with all different colors woven in it. It has a soft, bumpy texture that I like. It looks great in person, but not so great in the picture. 

The TV cabinet in the picture is the cabinet we picked out. They delivered it this morning and I love it. It will go against the blue wall and will have a 60 inch TV sitting on it. 

The couch in the picture is the same style we're getting and I took it off the furniture store website where we bought it, but like it said, it's much browner in person. It's not reddish like it is here. It's a great brown that will look awesome against the green wall. 

I picked out a really great brown mirror that will go over the couch and the metal bike that is sitting on the floor in my guest room because I never got around to hang it up is going to go on one of the other walls. (I'm going to hang it up this time, I promise.) I also have a cool metal art piece that I bought from Pottery Barn several years ago and never found a place for will probably also be down there. 

The only thing I still have to figure out is what is going to go on the windows. I'm still working on that. 

Here is what our very sad looking basement looks like today. I took these this morning. It's a disaster, with paint colors all over the place. You can see where I've tested different colors. The green over the blues is the green we're using and the dark blue on the recessed wall is the blue we're using. It looks horrible right now,, of course, but when it's recarpeted, repainted and has new furniture in it, I think we're going to love it!! 

I even did a very professionally done Photoshop job of exactly what it will look like. Haha, just kidding, it looks terrible. I have Photoshop skills, but clearly did not put them to good use today, lol. 

So there you go. A very terribly done and not at all accurate look of how the room is coming along. Clearly no one will be hiring me to do interior decorating presentations anytime soon. Thank goodness, because that crap is hard. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meltdown in aisle three

So last night we went and bought the TV and the media cabinet for the TV room project. The TV's were totally on sale this week so I'm really glad we waited. We ended up getting a nicer one than we thought we could afford on our budget because the prices dropped so much. Then we went to the clearance section of the furniture store that we love and found a media cabinet that is very slightly damaged, you'd never noticed it and I'm pretty sure we can fix it anyway and it was marked hundreds of dollars down. It was way out of our budget at the regular price, but quite affordable at the discount price. All in all a successful night. The only problem is that they have to deliver the media cabinet tomorrow because they won't hold clearance items, so we're going to have to store it until we're ready for it. At that price, I can deal with that.

So that meant that everything was purchased and picked out except the paint. The stupid, stupid paint.

In the past two weeks I have bought almost 15 sample colors at Lowes. The paint people all know me there now. It's embarrassing to go back it and have them say "you STILL haven't picked out a color?!". No, I have not.

Here's the thing. Here is my deep dark insecurity. I am not girly in any sort of way. (Well, fingernails. There's that.) I hate home decorating, I hate picking out fabrics and colors, I hate fabric stores, I hate talking about throw pillows and curtains and I would rather stick a hot poker in my eye than go shoe shopping or look at jewelry. I fake it. I attempt to find common interests with other women. I deal with it when it's required. I'm just not girly. When I was a kid and other girls were playing with dolls I was catching snakes and frogs in the canals by my house. For three hours every Sunday I'm forced to wear a dress to church and that thing comes off practically before I get in the house.

I am not girly. I like to hang out at Best Buy and talk about computers and surround sound speakers. I like to go to the Apple Store and play with the new iPads. I get along with men really well. Almost all my friends growing up were male. When I got married my bridal shower was all my moms friends because I literally only had one female friend. That has always been hard for me. I feel very isolated at times because I don't relate to other women. I try. I've joined scrapbook groups and recipe exchanges and play groups. I go to chick flicks for girls nights and I'll tolerate shoe shopping and trips to the fabric store if  have to. But it's an insecurity I have, that I'm not like the other women around me. I live in the suburbs, in the land of the stay at home moms with their pretty houses and and Pampered Chef parties. I have my own pretty house and I'll go to a Pampered Chef party if I have to, but it's not what I truly enjoy.

So having said all of that, decorating the basement has not been easy for me. I was not born with the gene that knows how to match pillows with paint and curtains with wall decor. I can't do it. Women talk about that kind of stuff and I zone out. I'm missing the decorating portion of my brain. To me it's like high school math. I still don't know how to solve for X and I don't understand how to put two paint colors together and know if they match. My brain doesn't compute that way.

So I tried blues because I have seen some pretty blue rooms in magazines and it's pretty. But trying to recreate that myself just didn't work. I can't look at a color and know if it's the "right" color. I don't know what it's supposed to look like. I literally don't get it. So I gave up on blues and tried greens. I can pick greens. Half the rooms in my house are green. They're all basically the same sagey light green because that's a color I understand. I could go with another sagey green in the basement. Yesterday I went to Lowes and picked out three greens. I brought them home and realized that they were all basically the same colors I already have in my house. Sagey green is apparently the ONLY color I understand because I just keep picking the same thing over and over.

But I don't want sagey green in the basement. It's pretty but I'm bored of it and it's too pretty to be in a teenage boy room. Because this is a basement room meant for boys, I want something fun and different. It's not a room that anyone will see unless they specifically go down there, so I want to not be afraid to do something more bold. My house is very conservative. Taupes and beiges and soft greens everywhere. I'm afraid to go crazy and get creative because I don't know how to do it right. There is only one room in my house that even has curtains because I don't know how to pick them out. My house is pretty but it's boring. It just is.

So how does someone who has no clue how to decorate or pick colors put together a super awesome TV room?  It's not easy, I can tell you that!

I was supposed to get the paint colors to the painters like a week ago. I'm running out of time. I've tried fifteen different colors and hated all of them. This morning I was basically in panic mode.

So I broke down and went to the fabric store. I tried a new tactic. I thought maybe I would pick out fabric for pillows or curtains and then pull a paint color from that. Why I thought that was a good idea, I'm not sure. I hate the fabric store. Picking out fabric is worse than picking out paint.

So I wandered around. Last night I was rewatching an episode of Heirs and I saw a guy wearing and olive green and dark blue coat. And I though to myself that I've always loved olive green and navy together. I thought maybe I could find some fabric with those colors in it and somehow tie that together. But again, fabric is like paint to me. I don't know what looks good and all my insecurities about not being good at this sort of thing came out. I looked at every fabric 50 times. I wandered up and down the isles. I literally had no idea what I was even looking for. An employee tried to help me. It didn't help. I saw lots of pretty blue greys and thought maybe I should reconsider blue. I'm so not going that route again.

I stood there so long and looked at so many fabrics and felt so...inadequate and clueless that I literally almost had a meltdown in the store. I hate that I'm not good at this. I hate feeling like the only woman in the world who this sort of thing doesn't come naturally for. I watched other women walk in, pick out fabulous fabric for their fabulous projects and walk out and I was still standing there looking for something I wasn't seeing. Why can't this be easy for me??

So I finally picked a fabric that I like. I showed it to the employee who was helping me and she was kind of "meh" on it. She didn't seem to love it. That made me rethink it so I put it back. Then I went and got it again because I like it. So I bought a sample of it. I had no idea what I was going to do with it or how it was going to help me but I liked it and I bought it.

Then I went out to the car and cried. It's Thanksgiving week and I miss my family and we're having a stupid ham for Thanksgiving because my kids don't like turkey and I don't know how to pick out paint and I felt stupid at the fabric store and I felt even more stupid for crying in the fabric store parking lot and I had a sample of fabric in my lap that I had no idea what to do with and now I had to go to Lowes and somehow pick out paint again.

I called Shawn and went on for 10 minutes about how inadequate I am as a human being and he went on break from work just to listen to me because he's awesome like that and that made me feel brave enough to go back to the paint store.

So there I was again, looking at paint. I stood in the paint department of Lowes with my stupid sample of fabric and tried not to cry. There are just so many freaking colors! How does anybody ever pick one?!

So the paint lady, who remembered me from my previous trips to the paint department, came over to help. She could tell I was at the end of my rope and she was super awesome. She didn't care that I looked like I was going to cry at Lowes, she just started pulling paint colors and trying to help. I wanted to hug her. Finally I grabbed two colors impulsively. An olive green and a navy blue. The same colors I saw on the coat from Heirs last night. I said "What about these?", thinking they were probably terrible. She held up the sample of fabric I had, and it. was. beautiful. The paint colors totally pulled out the same colors in the fabric I picked. I didn't even realize it until I saw the two of them together. It's actually really pretty.

The colors are very bold. Not what I would normally pick for any other room in my house. But isn't that what I set out to do in the first place? I realized that my problem this whole time was that I was trying to think like a woman and what I really should have been doing is trying to think like a teenage boy, because that's who this room is for. A teenage boy doesn't appreciate the subtle blues and greys of a perfect Pottery Barn paint. They like olive green and navy blue. They like bold, fun colors, and I wanted a room with bold fun colors.

I went home and painted them on my walls, and you know what? We're going for it. The room will be olive green and the small recessed wall where the TV will go will be navy blue. I'm going to have pillows made out of the fabric I chose that pulls it all together.

It may not be a perfect Pottery Barn room. It may not be a color that any other woman would choose. But my boys are going to love it and I'm going to love it and I'm not like every other woman. And maybe that's OK.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25

I have managed to blog every day this month so far like I was planning to do, but I feel like I've done a crappy job with it. I was planning to actually do some writing. Like essays or stories something different and interesting. But I've been so preoccupied with blue paint and Thanksgiving that I haven't really had the time or a clear enough head to be creative. I shouldn't do a blog post challenge in November. I'm always a bit unsettled this time of year. I should do it in spring, when everything is new and I feel inspired.

I also probably shouldn't have chosen November to redecorate my house. I think my pre-Thanksgiving funk is contributing to my inability to pick a paint color. I went to Lowes again today. I bought three green samples to try. I don't love them. I'm so over this whole paint color thing. I swear I'm going to close my eyes, point to a color and call it good. With my luck we'd end up with magenta or something, lol.

I think my next plan is to rummage through my garage and find all the paint samples I bought when we were painting other rooms and see if there is a gem in there somewhere that we didn't end up using. I probably bought six different colors when I was choosing paint for Josh's room. Maybe one of those rejects will work in the basement. Maybe the perfect paint color has been here the whole time.

Or maybe I'll go wild and just start mixing all my samples together and create some all new exciting color, paint it on a board and go get it color matched. I do that with fingernail polish sometimes. I dump all the almost empties into one bottle, shake it up and it's a whole new color. The color on my nails right now is actually one of those concoctions. It's pretty.

So to recap, I'm still in a pre-Thanksgiving funk and I still can't pick out paint, but at least my fingernails are pretty. That pretty much sums it up.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I learned a new word today

I'm in my yearly pre-Thanksgiving funk. You would think that it wouldn't catch me off guard every year, but it always does. I hate Thanksgiving. 

Also, I'm seriously reconsidering the plan to paint the basement blue. There is a good chance that I'm going to spend tomorrow picking out greens. Or browns. Or something. 


Saturday, November 23, 2013


I woke up with a cold this morning. I'm taking a pass in blogging today. Back tomorrow.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wendy The Bird Rescuer

I know I just posted, but then this happened.

After I made my blog post I went down to the basement to scowl at the paint some more. While I was down there I noticed a bird in the window well. A pretty little dark eyed junco. We only get them here in the winter. 

The problem was that I also noticed him in there yesterday. Yesterday I thought maybe he had just flown in there and would come out when he was ready, but today he was still there and when I looked at him closer I realized that he couldn't get out. He can fly a little but something must be wrong with his wing because he couldn't fly high enough to get out. 

Anyone who knows me knows I love birds. I'm so soft hearted when it comes to any animal. I couldn't just let him stay in there and die. 

So I decided to rescue him. I put some gloves on and went outside. Those window wells are really deep and I quickly realized that if I jumped down there I wouldn't be able to get back out. So I went down to the basement again and opened up the window a little and thought maybe I'd climb in, but I didn't want to open it so much that the bird would fly into the house and the window is also just high enough that I would have a hard time getting up there. 

So I left the window slightly ajar and went back outside. I figured I'd jump down the window well, rescue the bird and climb back in the basement window. Good plan. 

So I lowered myself down into the window well. I did it like you would lower yourself into the pool, you know, sliding down into it with your hands on the edge? Well the window well is deeper than I thought and when I did that I wrenched both of my shoulders back. Crap, that hurt. My shoulder muscles are going to hurt REALLY bad tomorrow. 

But I was down there so I went about saving the bird. Unfortunately the bird really wasn't all that happy to be sharing a window well with me. I'm sure he thought I was going to catch him and eat him for dinner. I told him I wasn't but be didn't seem convinced. 

It took a while but I finally managed to catch him and I carefully picked him up and tossed him gently outside the window well onto the grass and he hopped away. Bird saved.

Now the problem was that being in that window well for a few minutes, breathing in all sorts of dirt and dead leaf particles and whatever other disgusting things are in that window well triggered my asthma. REALLY bad. I'm allergic to pretty much everything that grows and certain things trigger my asthma really quickly. I almost died after spending less than five minutes crawling through a hay maze in college. They had to rush me to the hospital. It was not awesome. 

I realized that I was going to be in major trouble if I didn't get back in the house and get my inhaler fast. I crawled in the window and managed to get myself up the basement stairs where I grabbed the inhaler out of my purse and I sat on the couch and attempted to breathe. 

It was scary for a minute. I don't get asthma attacks like that very often. Shawn and the boys weren't  home, it was just me and Clarissa. I really should save my adventures for when Shawn is home and can rescue me when I do something stupid, lol.

Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, the bird is safe and I didn't die. I'm just a little shaky and my arms are going to hurt really bad tomorrow. 

I do stupid things sometimes. But the bird is safe and won't starve to death in my window well, so all is good. 


I had the weirdest night last night. For some reason I had crazy nightmares all night long. I kept dreaming someone was chasing me, then I was in a big office and someone was shooting and I was tying to hide, then I was being chased went on all night. I kept waking up, assuring myself that it was just a dream and I would go back to sleep and the crazy dreams would start right back up.

So I kind of tossed and turned all night and I'm super tired today. I often have vivid dreams, but not usually scary ones like that. It was really weird. My brain just didn't want to shut off last night for some reason.

So I've kind of done nothing productive today. I've been busy all week and today was a good day to just chill out. Matthew has been home on track break from school all month, so he and Clarissa entertained each other and I read for a while and searched the internet for paint ideas for the basement.

I am still stuck on paint color for the basement. I'm just about ready to give up on my idea of a blue gray room and go back to boring green or brown. I thought we had settled on a color but then I actually painted a big square of it on the wall just to make sure and it looked completely different than I thought.

There are two big problems I'm battling with. Well, three actually. First, there is very little natural light in the basement and the overhead lighting is just those fluorescent tubes in the rectangle boxes. They kind of change the color a bit, so what I look at upstairs, or even if different parts of the basement, isn't the same when I put it on the wall. Second, the walls down there are currently yellow and I think that's throwing things off a bit. Every time I look at a paint color on that wall it's next to the yellow and I think that skews the color a bit. It's making the greys look much more blue, and almost purple at times. That's what not what I'm going for at all. But I think it would look different if it wasn't against yellow, but I'd have to paint the whole room and get rid of the yellow just to check and I certainly don't want to paint the room five times to find the right color.

Third blue/grey is just a tricky color. If it's too blue it looks like a baby's room, which defeats the purpose of making this a more grown up, sophisticated teenage room, and if it's too grey it looks like cement, and in a basement I'm really concerned about it looking like cement.

So I keep second guessing myself and changing my mind and I'm driving myself nuts. I need to get the paint colors to the painters as soon as possible and I can't do that until I can make a decision. I have this vision in my head of what I want it to look like and I just can't make the color on the wall match the color in my head. It's frustrating.

Tomorrow we'll be back to work on it. Shawn is off work and we may be making another trip to Lowes to buy more paint samples. If we can't figure it out I may give up and go with another color completely. I'm kind of over this whole paint thing. I've spent too much time staring at blue/grey paint.

So there's a boring update on my life. I really need a nap.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Episode 14

Oh, Heirs. I can't stop loving you.

This show just continues to get more addicting. Go watch it!

Day 21

I've got nothing important to blog about tonight. Unless you want to hear the further adventures of trying to pick out blue grey paint for my basement! No? Ok, fine then.

What I really want to do tonight is sit down and watch Heirs, so instead of a blog post, you randomly get my favorite moment from the Ellen show. It makes me laugh until tears run down my face.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 20

It's a fairly quiet day around here today. I think I picked a paint color yesterday! I'm pretty sure I like it. It's Valspar Shark Loop. I might change my mind and start over tomorrow, but for the moment, that's what we're going with. Eek, even writing it down made me second guess myself. I'm the most indecisive person alive. It doesn't matter what I choose in life, I will always wonder if I should have gone with the other option. Always. I drive myself crazy.

I think I chose a color for the bathroom too and I'm slightly more confident about that one. It's a Kwal color called Charleston. It's just a medium grey with a slight hint of green if you look at it in certain lights. I like it, it matches the counters and the new vinyl flooring we picked out, so I'm going with it. It's stressing me out less than the paint in the other room because there's really not all that much paintable wall in there. It's a small bathroom and half of it is a white tile bathtub/shower, plus I don't go in there much except to clean it. If I hate it at least I don't have to look at it very much, lol.

We're not going out of town for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to stay home and get the basement emptied. So we'll just have a small Thanksgiving dinner at home and then that Friday and Saturday we'll be making serious headway in the basement. Everything down there has to go out so they can paint and carpet and we are really anxious to get all of the old toys and junk out of there that have been accumulating for a while. Now that we're confident that we're done having kids we're ready to clean out all the baby toys and things that have been down there for so long. I've been holding on to things "just in case", but I'm finally ready to let it all go now. We're donating everything so that hopefully it can be used and loved by someone who needs it.

It feels a bit symbolic to be cleaning out the playroom and making room for a teenage hangout. When we moved here nine years ago we always said that the basement would be a great teenage hangout space some day, but at the time our boys were only four and one, so that day seemed like a long time away. And now here we are!

I'm a little sad to be cleaning out all the little plastic cars and trucks and things that the boys played with down there when they were little. It seems like another lifetime ago that our house was filled with Thomas Trains and cars and trucks. That room will get so much more use now as a place the boys can hang out with friends. I'm excited to evolve into another phase in our lives, but it's also a little sad. My boys aren't little anymore! It's time to make a teenage room.

Someday maybe we won't even need a teenage hangout room down there anymore, and that room can evolve into something else. A room for our retirement hobbies, maybe? I can't even think about that yet! Maybe it will make another transformation before then. By the time Clarissa is 13 both of the boys will be grown and probably out of the house. Maybe we'll find another purpose for that room for a teenage girl. With a wood floor and a wall of mirrors it would make a pretty cool dance studio! :)

Who knows what the future will hold. That room is like our lives, always changing and transforming.
And that room, like my life, is making me a little impatient. In life I'm always anxious to hurry up and see the finished product. The transformation process is always hard for me, I just want to peek into the future and see how it turns out! Hopefully my life still has many years to transform, but fortunately the basement only has until Christmas. We'll see the finished product soon enough!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Feeling blue

Today's fun adventure is picking out paint for the basement. I haaaate picking out paint. It's pretty much my least favorite thing to do in the world. Well, dental surgery. I kind of hated that more.

I have come to the conclusion that I was not born with the gene that every other woman in the world has that allows them to accessorize things. I can't do it. I can't match necklaces to outfits and I can't pick out paint colors that go together and don't look like crap. I mean, eventually I get there somehow. My house actually has some really pretty paint colors in it, but it took serious work and consultations with every single person I know to get it done.

So today I spent the morning at Lowes buying a million of those little sample jars. Those are the greatest thing ever. It's like $4 or something and they give you enough paint to go home and swatch it on the wall and see how it looks. It's awesome for people like me who can't envision a room by just looking at a paint swatch on paper.

I want to paint the new TV room blue. Not the whole basement, just that room. With the brown leather sectional that is going in there I think a soft blueish grey would be really pretty. Not so blue that it looks like a little boys bedroom or makes you walk in the room and go "whoah! Blue paint!" and not so grey that it looks like cement. Something soft and Pottery Barn-ish. You know what color I'm talking about, right?  Well I can't find it!!

When we were at the carpet store picking out vinyl for the bathroom last week the lady who works there helped me pick out some colors. She picked out a beautiful blue and soft brown for the recessed accent wall. I loved the swatches, they were really pretty.

So this morning I went to Lowes and bought a sample of those along with sample of a few others that were kind of similar that I wanted to try. I painted each color on big squares of cardboard and held them up.

It turns out we must have the weirdest lighting ever in that basement because it totally turned everything a completely different color. The pretty blue grey the carpet lady picked looked great on the cardboard, it looked great on the way down the stairs, it looked great when I walked into the basement, I held it up on the wall...PURPLE. Ugh.

The others weren't much better. Everything is too light, too dark, too grey, too blue...too wrong. Which means that I think I have to start over and go back to Lowes for more samples and try again.

Fortunately I'm not having as much trouble with the paint for the rest of the basement. The stairs and the hallway are going to be the same color that our upstairs hallways are. It's just a taupe-y tannish sandy color. Pretty but simple. I like it upstairs, it will be fine downstairs. The bathroom is going to be some sort of grey but I found a few good greys and it's a small bathroom that we don't use much so I'm not stressing too much over it.

It's just that darn TV room. We're putting so much money and work into it that I want it to be perfect. I don't want to walk in there and hate the paint every time I see it.

So I'll keep looking. The right color is out there. The Lowes guy might have to mix 50 sample jars before I find it, but I'll keep looking.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 18

Today would have been my dad's 66th birthday. I miss him every single day. The hardest part is knowing he never got to meet his grand kids because he would have been the best grandpa ever.

There are two things that immediately come to mind when I think of my dad. The first is that he loved our family. He loved spending time with us, he loved vacations, he loved holidays and he loved sitting around the kitchen table playing board games. I miss him especially around he holidays because I remember how much he loved Christmas and how much fun we always had with him that time of the year.

Second, I think of how much my dad loved sports. Sports were a huge part of his life for as long as I can remember him. He was a huge baseball fan, both playing and watching. He played on a city league every summer and I have fun memories of watching him play and of him coaching our sports teams when we were kids. He was also a lover of sports trivia. He's the reason that a local radio station had to make a rule that you could only win their sports trivia game once every 30 days, lol. He was a smart man, there was a lot of stuff stored in that mans head.

When I think of my dad I think of baseball caps, Skipbo and Sorry around the kitchen table, laughing, family vacations, fun holidays and I think of a man who loved his family and is missed by all of us.

I'm grateful for eternal families and for the belief that we will be reunited again one day. He is missed. Happy birthday, dad.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 17

I don't have anything big to write about so I'm going to keep this short. 

I was trying to come up with a blog topic and looked at some writing prompts, none of which inspired me, so I decided I would think of some little tidbit that no one knows about me and write about that. 

I thought for a few minutes about what I might write about and a funny little tidbit came to my mind. It's the funny nickname that Josh has for me. He calls me Betsie. 

The story is this. Sometimes I call my kids my besties, like slang for best friend. There is a character on a The Big Bang Theory who uses that word and it makes me laugh so I jokingly call my kids my besties sometimes. Like they'll walk into the kitchen for dinner and I'll say "hey besties!".

One day Josh texted me and I texted back "hey bestie!" and he meant to type the same greeting back to me but it autocorrected and it said "hey Betsie!" instead. That made us laugh and now he calls me Betsie. 

And I'm not going to lie, it kind of melts my heart when it says it. He's going to be 14 in May and I know he's headed into that age where parents become super lame and embarrassing. Josh and I have always been really close and I'm dreading the day he decides I'm no longer fun to hang out with. Am I delusional to believe that maybe that day will never come? Has there ever been a teenager in history who didn't think their parents were lame? Like, what are my chances of getting through the teenage years without my kids making me drop them off two blocks from parties and refusing to walk next to me at the mall? Lie to me and tell me it's possible, OK? :) 

I don't know, maybe next week I'll be a super lame mom, but these days it kind of makes my day when he comes in the door from school and cheerfully says "hey Betsie!". I'm writing it down so just in case he stops saying it I'll remember how much I enjoyed it while it lasted. :) 

Saturday, November 16, 2013


It's a wet rainy day today and I got some unexpected alone time this afternoon. Josh and Matthew are both playing at friends houses and Shawn took Clarissa to run some errands so I'm home enjoying the quiet and listening to the rain.

This morning we got word that a family from our church lost their husband and father to cancer last night. I'm so sad for their family. I so hoped that this wouldn't be the outcome for them. He was such a nice man, Shawn really enjoyed working with him in his church leadership assignments.

This situation has hit close to home with me because their family dynamics are almost just the same as ours were when we lost my dad. He was around the same age my dad was when he died and his kids are in their teens and 20's, just like we were. He also had a cancer with few options and went quickly, just like my dad. I know what that family is feeling today and my heart hurts for them. That's such a hard thing to go through. My heart really goes out to them.

It's been on my mind a lot today and I've been thinking a lot about their family and about my dad. Especially because my dad's birthday is coming up in a couple of days. I miss him so much. Losing someone you love sucks. There's just really no other way to say it.

The night my dad died was awful, but here is something that I will never forget from that night. My dad died at home, late in the evening. It took a while for the funeral home to come and take his body and of course no one was really doing any sleeping. What I remember in the midst of that horrible night was coming upstairs around midnight and seeing one of our neighbors in our kitchen, standing at the sink doing the dishes. It struck me at that moment as such an act of kindness. She wanted to help and not knowing what to do, she just went to work and cleaned our kitchen in the middle of that awful night.

I'm sure to this day she doesn't realize how much that affected me that night. It reminded me that we weren't alone, that there were people who cared and that in our darkest moments there are kind people who are willing to just show up and find a way to help. I often think of that woman and what an example of love and kindness that was to me. Sometimes it's hard to know what to say to someone in their moments of grief, but that woman was a reminder to me that sometimes it's not the words that matter. I don't think I spoke to that woman that night, but I'll always remember how that little act of kindness made me feel.

That's really all I have to say today. I have some more basement stuff to talk about but today doesn't feel like the day to talk about it. I'll update about it later. For now I'm going to go back to sitting in the quiet and watching it rain.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Heirs episode 12

There are just no words for last nights episode. It was amazing. Seriously, go watch that show.

Today is another busy day. Shawn is taking part of the day off so we can go pick out flooring for the basement bathroom and then he's taking the boys to a movie. For the past couple of weeks Shawn and the boys have all been reading Enders Game. They've had a good time racing to see who could finish first and discussing the plot together along the way. They all finished within a day of each other this week and the reward is that he's taking them to see the movie at the brand new theater down the street from us. They were going to go tomorrow but Matthew got invited to spend the day with a friend and really wants to do that, so since they have they day off school today, Shawn decided to use up some vacation time he needs to use and take them this afternoon. 

He has some stuff he needs to do at work this morning but when he gets home we're going to go look at flooring, he's going to come home and take the boys to the movie and then tonight Josh has to be downtown at a film festival that he volunteered to help out with. 

So that's life at our house today. Now I'm going to go rewatch the end of last nights Heirs episode and lament the fact that I have to wait a whole week to find out what happens next. Seriously, why are you all not watching this? It's awesome! 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 14

Day 14 and still going strong. Yay me.

So yesterday was crazy. We had two extra kids here for a good part of the day because I was watching a friends kids and then as soon as Josh walked in the door from school we rushed to get the friends kids home and get my kids to the dentist. 

The reminder card we got from the dentist said 3:40. I knew it was going to be tough to get my kids over there by then but we rushed around and made it by 3:35 and I was super proud of myself for being on top of it. We sat down in the waiting room and the receptionist looked at me weird and asked me if I realized I was early. I was, but only by five minutes. Nope, she said she had the appointment written down for 4:00. We were almost a half hour early. The card said 3:40, I swear. 

Anyway, so I ended up corralling three bored kids in a dentist office waiting room for a half hour and then they finally got them all in one at a time, which took forever, and then the dentist needed to talk to me about the forty hundred things wrong with my kids teeth, which is not news to me. Both boys are looking at serious orthodontic work, which I've known for a while. Matthew has a sever overbite that the orthodontist has been keeping an eye on for years and they're just waiting for the rest of his baby teeth to come out to start braces. He's probably going to need all sorts of things done to fix his teeth. He has too much space, which apparently is a problem. 

Josh is the opposite, he's too crowded. His mouth is just like mine. I had braces for a looong time as a kid and I still have crowding problems with my teeth. 

Anyway, we may as well move into a cardboard box on the corner now because all this orthodontic work is not going to be cheap. Bleh. 

So the dentist ended up taking over two hours and I was super stressed about it because I needed to get home and finish preparing a photography class I had to teach last night. I'm involved in the youth group for girls at our church and they do weekly activities. Every now and then they ask me to help out. I taught a nail class a while back and last night they asked me to teach a photography class. 

Something like that really shouldn't be that big of a deal. It's not like I can't talk your ear off about photography for days. I love photography. But I hate teaching things. I'm super introverted, I'm not a teacher and standing up in front of anyone and giving a presentation is scary. I've never taught a photography class before and I've been stressing about this for a week. My anxiety kicks in whenever someone asks me to teach something. I'm the secretary of the youth group. Ask me to make agendas, create invitations for an event, take roll or make you a list of something and I'm awesome. Ask me to stand up and teach something and it freaks me out. 

So I was a little nervous and afraid that I was only going to have 15 minutes worth of stuff to talk about, but it ended up going great. I showed some of my photography and the girls seemed interested.    We talked about composition and lighting and I talked to them about how I got into photography and what I like to do. I easily filled an hour, which surprised me and was a huge relief. 

But my day was crazy busy yesterday and I was exhausted when I got home. I had run from one activity to the next all day and all I wanted to do last night when I got home was sit down and lose myself in Heirs for an hour, and that's what I did. Episode 11 was awesome. Eleven episodes down, nine to go. 

In basement project news I got the bid from the painter and they're going to paint the first week in December. I've also talked to the carpet lady and we're going over tomorrow to pick out vinyl for the bathroom. They're tentatively scheduled to install carpet around December 16th. The furniture is being delivered on December 21st and it looks like the whole thing is coming together nicely! Our biggest projects now are picking paint colors and figuring out which TV to get and decide on a media cabinet or shelf or something. 

I decided that once they start the work down there, I'm going to block off the basement stairs with something so no one can see what's happening down there. I want the whole thing to be a big surprise on Christmas morning. This is the biggest (and by far the most expensive) thing I've ever tried to pull off for Christmas and I'm really excited about it. It's a one time thing. Next year we'll go back to regular presents for Christmas, but for this one year I think it's going to be something fun and exciting that we'll remember for a long time. 

The fun part about it is that it's got a little something for everyone. It's a gift to me to have the new carpet and paint. The carpet down there is in terrible shape and as the mom, I'm the one who cares the most about that. Having new carpet and paint is going to make me happy. I like things to look nice! The boys are going to love having a fun hangout to invite friends over and a fun TV for video games and movie nights. Clarissa is going to love a better place to play with her toys, with all of her things organized in the closet down there. Shawn is loving the man cave aspect of it. I'm purposely making it a bit masculine with big leather furniture and probably bluish grey walls. Something a little more male than the rest of the house. And I think we're all going to love having a new place to spend family time. It's a win all the way around. Let's just hope everything goes according to plan and I can pull it all off before Christmas! :) 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 13

I'm super busy today so I thought I'd better hurry and get a blog post in this morning because I'll forget if I wait.

Today I'm watching a friends kids for a few hours, I have to take all three kids to the dentist this afternoon, this evening I'm teaching a photography class to a group of teenage girls at my church so I'm spending the day trying to get a presentation together for that, and somewhere in the middle of all that I'm impatiently waiting for episode 11 of Heirs to be posted to the Drama Fever website, not that I really have time to watch it today. I'll make time. I can't wait!

So that's what I have going on here today. I can now check blogging off my list, and I'm on to the next thing!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day 12

Today I decided to pick a random month from the nablopomo website and answer all the writing prompts for the whole month. That's going to be hard, let's see if I can do it.

I randomly chose January 20011. Here we go.

Talk about an ending that made you happy.
Hmmm...and ending that made me happy. That's hard. Oh! Shawn's schooling. The end of his doctorate program made us both very happy. He worked extremely hard for the first four years of our marriage to get through school and we made a lot of sacrifices to get him through it. We were both really proud of ourselves for surviving it, lol. He did most of the hard work, obviously, but it was a long four years for both of us getting him through it. I'm grateful to him for everything he does to provide for our family. He worked his butt off to get through school.
What new thing did you begin this past weekend?
I started working on the basement project. We got the furniture out of the basement, which was the official start to the project. There's no going back now! Yesterday I talked to the carpet lady and got the ball rolling on that and today I met with the painter. We're moving right along! 
How do you feel about unfinished projects?
I am the queen of unfinished projects. Part of the problem with having a brain that never shuts up is that I get distracted easily. It drives me nuts that I have a tendency to get 80% of the way through a project and give up, but I do it all the time. I genuinely have good intentions. I do. I'm just easily lured away sometimes. 
What movies have you turned off in the middle, and why?
Sometimes I start a Korean movie and turn it off. I love Korean movies and TV dramas but occasionally they're hard to follow or just to...foreign. I started a drama recently that had a lot of a Korean pop culture references that I just didn't understand and I felt like I was missing the jokes so I gave up. Some things don't translate. 

How do you feel about not finishing a book once you've read a few chapters?
If I don't like it in the first few chapters, I give up. It takes a lot for me to push through a book I don't like. 

What is something you recently started that you know you won't finish?

You're waiting for me to say the basement project, aren't you? Not true, I'm determined to finish it. I can't think of a project I've started recently that I don't have every intention of finishing. Although I did recently download a pantry inventory app on my iPad thinking I was going to enter in all my food storage and pantry items and keep it up to date and then I'd always know what I need to shop for. That's adorable. It's not going to happen. 

What have you recently started that you know you'll finish?

The basement project! I'm super excited about it! 

Which do you enjoy more - the start of a book or the end?

The start. I love beginning a new adventure. If it's a good book I'm always disappointed when it ends. 

If you miss the first few minutes of a movie, do you still want to watch the rest of it?
No. If I miss the first few minutes, I've already lost interest. I'm picky about watching movies. I don't like to miss any of it. If I miss the first few minutes, I don't want to watch it. I also don't like to miss any of the middle. I don't want to miss anything. It drives me crazy when I'm interrupted in the middle of a movie or if someone fast forwards or gives any plot away or I miss something. When I'm watching something I want my whole brain to focus on it. If not, I've lost interest. 

What is the best first line of a book? Why?

The first like of my favorite book as a kid, A Wrinkle In Time is "It was a dark and stormy night", which is cliche but I've read that book many times and I always get excited from the very first words. I haven't read that book in a long time. It's time to read it with the boys.

Tell us about your first teacher who was important to you.
I don't know if I would say she was the FIRST teacher who was important to me, but my favorite teacher was a teacher I had for English and humanities in high school. I had her for English twice, then humanities and my senior year I was her TA. She loved English and literature and much as I did in high school. She made me excited about it, she made it fun to learn. She always encouraged my writing and inspired me to keep going. She was one of those teachers who didn't just view teaching as a job. You could tell that she really really cared and wanted us to love learning. I will never forget all the things I learned from her.
Tell us about some of your first toys.

For my 4th birthday I got a blue stuffed rabbit. My birthday is in April, so I'm sure there was no shortage of Easter toys around that time of year. My mom asked me what I wanted to name it and I told her Tuna, because tuna sandwiches were my favorite thing at the time. I had good times with Tuna the rabbit. I used to play hospital with my mom whenever he got a hole in his fur. My mom would take him and sew him right up. Sadly, I don't know whatever happened to Tuna. I think he eventually got old and unused and tossed. I wish my mom had hung on to it for me.

Tell us about the first time you were in love.
Bleh, I feel like I've covered this topic more than enough recently. Forgive me for getting into it again. :) I fell in love for the first time just after I turned 17. He was a friend of my cousins. He was a year older and I thought he was pretty much the coolest thing ever. I started throwing parties at my house just to get him to come over. One night he offered to stay and help clean up and that was it. Fireworks and cute teenage hearts and flowers and all of those nauseating things ensued. :) I fell fast and I fell hard. I was young and naive and thought I was going to be with that guy forever. It was a very sweet, innocent, butterflies in my stomach time of my life that I look back on fondly. I'm glad I had those experiences. I look back on those days with a lot of nostalgia.

But that relationship eventually broke my heart on multiple occasions and I look back on those days with a lot of frustration. You never fully get over getting your heart broken for the first time. It's was the first time I realized that my life wasn't going to turn out exactly how I imagined. It just never occurred to me at the time that that relationship wasn't going to last forever. I always kind of naively thought that if you worked at something hard enough you could have anything you wanted. Love isn't one of those things. You can work really hard at making someone love you and if they decide they don't, well, then they just don't and you accept that and move on. It took me a while to move on. It also took me a long time after that to let anyone else have my heart. I left that relationship a lot less naive and a lot less willing to love with my whole heart. You build up a bit of a wall after you get your heart broken for the first time. I was a lot less naive about love and life after that experience.

But all in all, I still look back at all of it as a valuable experience in my life. I loved, I lived, I learned. That's how life goes. Even knowing how it would eventually end I still would have plowed right into it and loved with my whole heart, because that's who I was back then and the sweet experiences I had when that relationship was good still make me smile when I think of them. Sometimes things don't turn out like you think they're going to, but then sometimes you get lucky and a Shawn comes along and you realize that maybe what you thought you wanted wasn't what you really needed and that life is full of wonderful surprises. 

Tell us about your earliest school memories.

I have a freakishly good memory for things like that. I clearly remember Kindergarten, down to which seat I sat in at which table in the classroom. My Kindergarten teacher had a sister who was deaf and so she taught us a little sign language, which I loved. On Fridays we got chocolate milk and graham crackers and kids got to take turns wheeling it in on a cart, and it was always exciting when it was your turn. I had a red velvet shirt with a rose on it that I wore to school a lot that year and I liked it because it was so soft. I remember brushing my hair and trying to make it as soft as my shirt, but it never was. My teacher made each kid a salt dough magnet for Christmas that year that was the first initial of our name. I proudly put my salt dough W on my fridge at home. 
Who was your first friend?

When I was three or four we lived next door to a four year old girl named Tara. We were good little buddies until I moved when I was five. The neighborhood we moved into when I was five was full of kids. I have lots of good memories of playing with all the neighborhood kids when I was a kid. Thanks to Facebook I have enjoyed seeing some of those childhood neighborhood friends grow up and have their own kids.

Tell us about the beginning of your life.

I have a freakishly good memory, but it's not THAT good, lol. I was born in a small college town, the same hospital Josh was born in actually, in 1975. I was the second child and given the amount of baby pictures of me with of my older sister scowling, I don't think she was all that that happy to have a sibling, lol. If you want the truth, I really don't know all that much about the first few years of my life. I'm trying to think of something to say about it but for once in my life, I'm drawing a blank. Too bad my mom didn't keep a blog, right?! :)
So I don't know, I'm sure I was happy and loved. 

Do you wish the start of the year was in a different season? Which one?
Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate January. It's long and cold and I hate it every year. I wish that the new year started with spring. I love new beginnings and it would be awesome if the new year started with budding trees and little flowers poking their heads up out of the ground. Instead we have January. Long, cold, dark January. It's not even here yet and I already hate it, lol.
What is the hardest part about a beginning?

The unknown. Any time you start something new you don't know know how it's going to turn out. It always makes me a little impatient and a little nervous. 

Are you superstitious about beginnings? Anything you do to start out on the right foot?
I'm not really superstitious about anything. I don't have good luck rituals or anything like that. I just plunge in and hope for the best. 
Ok, there were two more questions, but they were about New Years traditions and I don't really have any and I'm starting to bore myself, so I'm done! Whew, this might be a really long month. :) 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Basement photos

I promised that I would do some photos of our basement project, so here I am with photos!

First, just let me say that I kind of hate taking house photos because it's so tricky to get far enough back to get good photos of the whole room. Without a fisheye lens it's kind of impossible, and I don't have a fisheye lens. So I always have to work really hard to get decent house photos and today I sort of didn't feel like working that hard and the photos are sort of crappy. It will give you an idea of what we're doing down there though and once the project is done I'll work a little harder and take some better photos. :)

So forgive the crappy photos and forgive the fact that my basement looks like crap right now. It did used to have furniture in it, but we gave it away over the weekend and we've started going through the toys and things that need to be moved out, so right now it's just a junky mess. Pretty much 100% of what is down there is going out. It's all either being donated or moved somewhere else. The only thing that is currently in there that is still going to be there when the room is done is Clarissa's play kitchen. Pretty much everything is going to find a new home. It's mostly old toys that our kids have grown out of and junk that needs to be repurposed somewhere else.

So here are the stairs as seen from the main floor. This is next to our kitchen and family room.

When we moved here, every wall in the house was white. I can't live with white walls, so we had the majority of the house painted before we even moved in. The basement was the one area we never had painted. Because it was always my "later project" I've just kind of ignored it for the past nine years, thinking I would eventually get to it. I did paint the playroom area with some friends a few years ago and we painted the guest room when we did that project recently, but the stairwell, the basement hallway and the bathroom are still white. Everything is being painted in a few weeks. It needs it desperately. We're also repainting the playroom. I'm not sure what color it's going to be yet, but it won't be yellow. 

Here is what it looks like at the bottom of the stairs. That room is what we're re-doing, 

It looks terrible, I know. It has just never been a place where anyone has wanted to hang out and I have put very little effort into it over the years. This project will change that.

So here's what we're doing. The right side of the room where Clarissa's play kitchen and all the toys are currently piled up up is going to have a big leather sectional. It's going to fill that whole side of the room and wrap under that window. We ordered it on Saturday. It's big and brown and smooshy and it has three recliners in it, so we can all snuggle up for movie nights. 

That recessed blue wall where those silly family photos are is the opposite side of the room from where the sectional will be and that's where the TV is going to go. We're still trying to decide exactly what we're going to do, but there will be a 60ish inch TV there.  A 60 inch TV would be almost exactly as wide as that silly family picture and will go down the length of about the first three rows of photos. We haven't decided if we're going to mount it to the wall (which we dread, because we've mounted TV's before and it's a gigantic pain) or we're going to find some sort of cabinet to sit it on. It needs something under it to store the Wii and the DVD player and all of that. 

That recessed wall space is kind of awkward. It seems like it would be awesome to have custom cabinets built into it, but it's only 13 inches deep. That means that nothing really fits in it. Built ins would be too shallow to be useful, and even a media cabinet is going to stick out. I'm kicking around the idea of something like this:

I don't know. If you have an idea, I'm up for it. We're still working on it. 

The other room that is going to be painted down there is the bathroom. 

It's not a fancy bathroom. I think I'm going to paint it light grey. That will work with the red and black we already have going on in there. We're also going to put new flooring down when we recarpet. You can't see the flooring in this photo but it's really outdated vinyl. We're going to pick out some nicer vinyl, something that looks like stone or something. They have some cool stuff these days that isn't super expensive. That bathroom doesn't get used a ton, so I'm not willing to put a ton of money into it, but new flooring and paint will be an inexpensive fix that will make a huge difference. 

So we'll be recarpeting the whole basement, from the stairs to the guest room, plus new paint in the stairway, the hallway, the new TV room and the bathroom, new furniture and new TV in the new TV room and new bathroom flooring, all before mid December. Whew! It's going to make a gigantic difference down there. I honestly never thought it would have taken us this long to finish the basement projects. When we moved here we thought we'd wait a couple of years or something, but other projects always got in the way. Because it's the basement it's easy to ignore it and deal with it another day, but too many days have gone by and now it's really past due for some TLC. 

Having that TV room done is going to be really great for the kids. I'm looking forward to them having friends over to hang out down there and it will be fun for family movie nights and family game tournaments. It will also move all the noise and chaos down to the basement instead of the main floor family room and that will make my life easier! I can keep the main floor clean and organized easier if all the kids are having their fun in the basement. 

And because I promised someone in the comments the other day, here are photos of the guest room we re-did. 

If you want the truth, the guest room project is only about 90% done, which is why I never posted photos. We got the painting done, which made a HUGE difference, and we got new bedding, put in a little fireplace and TV on the wall, which we've loved, but I never finished decorating. I got two night stands that needed to be assembled and painted. Shawn opened the first box and found out that it literally needed to be assembled from scratch, lol. He dumped the box out and it was literally just a bunch of wood pieces, nails and wood glue. It took him forever to get one done and he has never gotten around to putting the other one together. I'm going to paint them white to match the bed when he assembles the other one. We just have never gotten around to finishing the project. I also never found the perfect wall decor for the room. I need something above the bed. I can't decide if I just want to do something in vinyl up there or buy a big picture or a grouping or smaller pictures, or what. I keep thinking I'll know it when I see it and so far I haven't seen it. Also, it needs new curtains. I'm terrible at accessorizing. I wish I could afford an interior decorator to just come in and tell me what to do, go buy it for me and stick it up there. When it's left to me I sometimes put it off forever. 

Anyway, here are some not so great photos. When we finish the TV room project next month maybe I'll spend some more time and take good photos of everything. 

I did find a big picture of a bike to go on one wall though! Because it's a combination guest room and exercise room (you can see the beloved treadmill in there!) I wanted something that tied that together. My bike made me happy last summer. That room needed a big bike on the wall. I also have a metal bike that you can see sitting on the floor by the fireplace. I literally just need to hang that on the wall. It's still sitting there. Lame. :)

I wish I had before photos of that room, because it might not look that amazing now, but compared to how NOT amazing it was before, it's pretty amazing, lol. We have enjoyed it. 

So there you go, some before photos of the soon to be TV room, and some sort of after photos of the guest room. Anyone want to come over and build a night stand? :) 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I got nothing today. I'm actually not feeling very well today and I've been trying to find something to blog about but I'm feeling totally uninspired.

But I don't want to miss a day of blogging, so you get a random song. They did a cover of Katy Perry's Wide Awake last week on Glee and I liked it.

So here you go. I will find something more exciting to blog about tomorrow. :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Crap, the day is almost over and I almost forgot to blog!

I'll make it quick. Two things, first, I talked Josh into watching Heirs with me today. It is now a requirement if you want to hang out with me, you must watch Heirs.

I'm just kidding. Mostly. :)

Second, we started phase one of the basement project! This afternoon my cousin came over and took our basement couch and helped us move out the entertainment center that was down there. I guess that means we are officially doing the basement project! Eek! Tonight we went over and looked at the sectional again that we picked out and got it ordered. We have it set to be delivered on December 21st. The couch will be the very last part of the project. Before that we have to finish clearing everything out of there, repaint, recarpet, and figure out what we're doing for the TV down there. We can't decide if we're going to mount it to the wall or get some sort of cabinet. I'm still working on that.

Anyway, I'm excited and I will definitively be posting photos as we go! It's going to be fun! :)

Friday, November 8, 2013


I don't have questions to answer today, so today I'm just rambling about random things.

OK, first, Heirs. They just aired episode 10 yesterday. I'm embarrassed to admit how obsessed I am with that show. I love a good twisty love story and Korean drama writers are masters at telling a good twisty love story! It's sweet, it's cute, it's funny, but it's also dramatic, twisty, angsty, a little sad and a lot complicated. Everything I require in a Korean drama! Ten episodes down, ten to go. I hope the second half is as good as the first. If it all goes well I'm hosting a weekly Heirs viewing party with some friends in January. The rule is I watch it first and make sure it's worth investing 20 hours into and if so they're going to come re-watch it with me when it's over.  I'm pretty sure that's happening.

So onto discussion item number two. My basement. Here is the story of my basement. One of the reasons we bought this house was for the basement. Basements are fairly rare in Boise, so if you can find one you're super lucky. We bought this house from my aunt and uncle nine years ago and the basement was one of the biggest reasons we wanted it.

There are two big storage rooms down there that I love, a bedroom, a bathroom and a playroom/family room type space. When my aunt lived here she used it as a quilt room and did crafting and sewing projects down there. There is a formal living room and a family room on the main floor, so it doesn't really need to function as the family room. It's just kind of an extra space that could be used as a game room or a craft room or a playroom or whatever you need an extra space for.

When we moved here we decided that while we had little kids we would use it as a playroom and when they got older we would turn it into a teenage hangout space. We've always had plans for it, but we've been slowly doing remodeling projects on our house over the years and the basement was always my last priority. I kept thinking we'd get to it and we just never did.

When we moved here we just stuck our old furniture down there, with plans to do something better down there eventually. That room functions as a playroom to some extent. There are toys down there and the Wii is down there, so the kids do spend some amount of time in there. It's never been a very functional space though and it's not really a room that we enjoy spending time in. It's unorganized, there are a bunch of old toys the kids have grown of that need to be gone has kind of been in a state of being a half done project for years.

When we recarpeted the house earlier this year we debated on whether or not to recarpet the basement at the same time and we decided that we would wait and next year would be the year we completely redo the basement. It was just a project I wasn't prepared to deal with while we were recarpeting the rest of the house.  So again, we kind of put the basement project on hold for a bit longer.

Then a few weeks ago I was asking the boys what they want for Christmas. They tried to make a list and honestly couldn't come up with much. I know there's nothing I'm desperately in need of for Christmas and Shawn is the same way, so we came up with an idea. We decided that it would be super fun if instead of buying a bunch of presents that we don't need, we remodeled the basement into a cool teenage/family hangout room for Christmas. The boys will have a fun space hang out in and a great place to have friends over and Shawn and I can finally cross that project off our list. It's a win for everyone. Clarissa will still get her regular gifts from Santa because she's too young to care about the basement project and she has a Christmas list a mile long. So many ponies and pony accessories. :)

So now we're getting to work on it. The plan is to move every single thing that is currently in that room out, because it's all old and junky, and then recarpet, repaint and refurnish, all before Christmas. We are going to get it all done right before Christmas and then we're going to put a big red bow over the doorway and no one can enter until Christmas morning, when we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony and spend the holidays hanging out in our new space. Shawn has two weeks off at Christmas this year, so we're looking forward to movie nights, game tournaments and all sorts of fun events down there over the holidays.

We picked out a big leather sectional that will go down there that I'm really excited about. On the other side of the room we're going to put a big TV for games and movies. It will be a fun teenage hangout space. I want my house to be the place where teenagers congregate. I would rather have my kids here with their friends where I can keep an eye on what's going on than have them be gone all the time. When I was a teenager we used to have really fun parties in my basement. I have fond memories of that. I would like to be able to provide that for my kids and give them a fun, safe place to congregate.

There is also a big closet next to the room where we can organize all of Clarissa's toys so that all of her things can stay down there and she can play down there during the day. Right now it looks like a My Little Pony factory exploded in our family room every day and it's driving me crazy. Keeping all of that down in the basement will make my life much easier and keep the main floor of of our house a lot cleaner.

So that's the big project we're going to be working on for the next month or so. The plan is to get it done before Christmas but not too far before because I want it to still be a novelty on Christmas morning. I'm hoping to not have the furniture and things delivered until right before Christmas, but we need to get the recarpeting and repainting done before that. And before all of that we need to clean everything of there, which is going to be a big project. So I'm picking out paint colors and figuring out window coverings and all of that. It's going to keep me busy for a while.

We're excited though! It will be a different Christmas than usual, but I think it will be something fun that we'll always remember. The year we got a new room for Christmas! It will be exciting!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Answers, part 2

I love that two people asked questions in my "ask me" post. After I made that post I realized that I was going to feel silly if no one had any questions, lol.

So yay for questions! Thanks for giving me a new topic to write about. Coming up with something daily is tricky.

Today's question is this:

Can I ask how you are doing with your anxiety? I have horrible medical-induced anxiety and really connected with you and what you go through. I seriously have the exact symptoms/issues and have been able to be symptom free since about April. Do you take medication? Therapy? How have you been dealing with it? I have been able to deal with mine through some acupuncture and some herbs. I have been sleeping better too! Have you been symptom free lately? You haven't posted about it for awhile.

Thank you for the question! I'm so happy to hear that your anxiety is doing better! I've always wondered about acupuncture. I might have to look into that! And thank you for reminding me to update that story! Anxiety is a topic that I could write a lot more about than I have. 
So to give some back story, a few years ago I started having issues with anxiety. I've always been a bit high strung at times, but not like that. I started having panic attacks and all sorts of weird physical symptoms that at first were extremely scary because I didn't know what they were. 
It was like a viscous cycle. The anxiety made me feel weird, which made me worry something was seriously wrong with me, which made me more anxious, which made me feel worse and the cycle continued. 
So I started going to the doctor, convinced that something was really wrong with me. I had all sorts of weird symptoms. Random pains, my limbs would go numb, I was having debilitating heart palpitations that made me feel like it was having a heart attack all day every day. It was awful. My biggest anxiety triggers are health related. Feeling like you're dying all the time is an awful way to live. 
So the doctor ran a million tests, nothing was wrong that he could find, but I still felt terrible. After a million trips to the doctor and many miserable months, he decided it was anxiety and depression and gave me medication.
Well the medication had side effects that made me feel worse. So they tried different medication and more medication. And when I had side effects to that he gave me more medication to counteract the effects of the other medication. 
I was unhappy, I was highly medicated and all of the stress of that just made my anxiety worse.
One night I was getting ready for bed and taking my medication and I looked down and I was taking TEN different medications. A few of them are things I take for asthma and allergies, but I also had one for depression, one for anxiety, one to sleep because the other pills kept me awake, one for heartburn because the stress I was under caused severe acid was ridiculous. I had a moment of clarity where I realized that this was absolutely not how I wanted to live my life. Something had to change. 
So I went back to the doctor and told him I was going off the pills and he referred me to a therapist. 
Here's what kind of makes me mad to this day. It took side effects from a million medications and many many miserable months before the word therapy was ever mentioned. I wish the medical community wasn't that way. I wish society wasn't that way. I wish I had known better. I know that medications have their place. I'm married to a pharmacist. Medications pay our bills. I absolutely believe that there are some people who need to be medicated, and for them I am grateful for modern medicine. But for me, medication was not the answer. It never was. I wish that I hadn't gone through all those miserable months to figure that out. I wish that doctors would mention therapy first and not as a last resort. If there's one thing that I want people to take out of this story is that there are other options besides medication. 
So I went to therapy. That was hard for me at first and embarrassing to admit. I would pop pills that made me miserable like it was nothing, but actually going to someone and admitting that I was so anxious and stressed that I couldn't function was extremely hard for me. Again, I wish in society it was the opposite. I wish there wasn't such a stigma about to going to therapy. After going through it myself, I think everyone could use a little therapy every now and then. 
So I went and my therapist was great. Some days we talked about ways to handle my anxiety and some days we talked about my life. I can be an intense person at times. That's not news to anyone. I'm an introvert, there is always something big going in my head. When I'm in the shower in the morning I'm analyzing where my college plans went wrong in the 90's. When I'm vacuuming I'm contemplating why I'm not close with my sister and what's up with my family disfunction. While I'm driving Clarissa to preschool I'm planning Josh's college plans, tying to figure out how much Matthews orthodontic work is going to cost, wondering if we have enough saved for retirement, mentally beating myself up for a stupid thing I said three years ago and debating with myself about things that happened twenty years ago.
It's kind of exhausting to be me, lol.
So that's what I discussed with my therapist. Ways to chill the heck out, lol. I did cognitive behavioral therapy, which is basically retraining your thoughts. It's hard at first, but it's effective if you work at it. I learned a lot about myself through therapy. I talked some things out. I let go of some hurt that had been festering. I learned that you can't control what other people do, you can only control how you react it it and that sometimes it's necessary and OK to take a step back from people who make you unhappy. He told me to try yoga. He encouraged me to get out of the house and do something fun. 
That led to the year of adventure and to my bike riding and running. Bike riding and running did wonders for me. I did all my life analyzing while I exercised. I worked my body and my brain so hard that I was mentally and physically exhausted every day when I was done. But I found that I was able to leave all my thoughts and worries in that work out session. I did all my stressing and worrying and self analyzing in that hour a day and my brain was free to focus on other things the rest of the day. It sounds silly but it helped tremendously. 
Am I 100% anxiety free today? No. But I'm almost medication free (I still take a very tiny dose of one anxiety medication on an as needed basis) and I'm not having panic attacks, daily heart palpitations or a hundred other crazy symptoms that make me feel like I'm dying. 
I will probably always have anxiety to some extent, but these days it's pretty mild. If I get heavy exercise every single day, like a long bike ride or running on the treadmill, the anxiety is almost 100% gone. Unfortunately I'm on and off the wagon with that. I'm trying. More often than not these days I fail, but I continue to try. Next year Clarissa goes off to Kindergarten and I have big plans to kick the exercise back into gear when that happens. It will just be easier to be consistent when I have some daily alone time. Right now I struggle fitting it into my day with a toddler to juggle. People do it, I know. I could do it if I got myself better organized. But I'm struggling with it. But I do know that exercise does wonders for anxiety. Getting on my bike every day last summer did more for my anxiety than any pill I ever took. 
Our year of adventure also really helped. I realized that at some point I became so busy worrying about sending my kids to college and planning our retirement and worrying about my extended family and rehashing every single thing I ever did wrong in my entire life since birth that I forgot to chill out and have fun. Remembering how to have fun again really helped. 
Sometimes I catch myself falling into old habits. I still analyze my life in the shower every morning, lol. I get some great deep thinking done while I blow dry my hair. :) But I have tools I used in therapy to keep me on track. I take time to do things for myself. Painting my nails has been oddly therapeutic. It's like my little happy place. It's something I do just for me. 
I learned a lot about myself from that journey. I think it made me stronger as a person. I used to be embarrassed to admit that I have anxiety or that I went to therapy. Now, it's just a fact about my life. It's just part of my story. I found myself in a dark place and I reached down deep and pulled myself out of it. I'm better now. Go me. :)