December 30, 2012

Home makeover: Kitchen

I have been slack about posting our home projects tht we did before all the craziness began. I actually had this post done a while back and hadn't posted it. Enjoy!
The kitchen was our biggest hurdle because it's a very small space, particularly when it comes to cabinet space. We tried to open up the kitchen as much as possible and utilize any extra space we could. We got rid of our second set of dishes, so we only use our nicer ones. We kept the same gray-white-black-red color scheme as the dining room to make it feel like the rooms were one. This kept all our dishes and kitchen stuff coordinated in both rooms (side note- I was really thankful we never registered for china at our wedding. Not practical for us or for this kitchen).

BEFORE (not loving that dark red, or the ridiculousy low-hanging ceiling fan. Note the reappearance of the gold, as well. That fridge was not included in the house so we had to get a new one):
AFTER (I apologize for my terrible pictures. The light coming through the porch doors made it hard to get a good shot):

I had to add some racks to the small pantry door to hold spices.

Pictures on the hallway off the kitchen.

Not a complete re-do, but considering the fact that it cost less than $150 (minus the fridge, which we would've had to buy no matter where we moved), it definitely served its purpose.
What we did:
  • Painted the walls (Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray)- housewarming gift from parents
  • Replaced the 27 gold cabinet knobs with silver (Amerock from $25
  • Replaced the two gold doorknobs (Gatehouse from Lowes)- $25
  • Mounted the knives on a magnetic strip on the wall (super easy access when cooking), mounted the paper towels (we have to move these farther back), and put in racks on the pantry for spices (Bed, Bath and Beyond for knife strip and Lowes for racks) - $50
  • Replaced the ceiling fan with a flush light fixture- this made a HUGE difference, even though I couldn't get a decent picture of the light, which we love (Calypso light from Ikea) - $30
  • Spray painted two frames that held our existing art (Valspar black from Lowes)- $5
Someday in the far future, we would like to:
  • Try our hand at putting up a white backsplash
  • Get a couple of stools for the little bar.
  • Find something small to hang on the back wall.
  • Maybe someday replace the table and chairs, but after our kids are older. I like having a set that I don't mind getting beat up with little kids. This is the one I've had since college. The chairs are a little small, but we are small people so it works for us.
Disclaimer: Our kitchen is NOT this neat on a typical day. I moved all the dirty dishes and food to take the pictures.

December 26, 2012

A month of love

This has been quite an emotional, eventful month for us as a family. While we had a completely healthy pregnancy up until this point, at the beginning of December there were some abnormalities noted on the ultrasound. I had to see a specialist and get some additional ultrasounds every other week. We were told that the baby could be another IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) and that her femur and abdomen measurements were way off. As you can imagine, this was a deep concern for us, particularly after having gone through what we did with Anna. We felt as if someone had punched us in the stomach... that this was some cruel joke and it couldn't be real. But we prayed for peace and stayed hopeful, and before I was about to go get another scan and possibly have to decide whether to induce early, I started to have contractions. Kimberly was born just under two weeks before her due date, completely healthy.
I absolutely love having a newborn again. I love everything about them- their feel, smell, adorable faces, and complete innocence. They are so precious and I'm trying to cherish every moment I have with her, because I don't know if there will be another baby in the future.
Along with the joy of our healthy daughter's arrival, there has also been some difficult news. My dad was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He and my mom have been in my heart a lot this Christmas season.
I pray that you all had a beautiful Christmas celebrating our Father and what he gave up for us in his only Son, and I pray that you draw near to Him as he draws near to you, and that you hold your loved ones close.
37 weeks pregnant.

Grandma and Grandpa

Welcome to the world beautiful.


Had to take some pictures of our Christmas baby in the hat and socks they gave her at the hospital.

All I want for Christmas

I wanted to share some of Anna's special Christmas gifts this year! As a family we decided to forego gifts considering all our money is going towards medical bills and Anna's next leg, so we really didn't expect many gifts around the tree... yet somehow family surprised us with some wonderful presents for Anna. Here are a few special ones:
This hand-made playhouse was passed down to Anna:

This adorable wooden kitchen from Anna's grandparents which is just her height:

This beautiful doll cradle hand crafted by Anna's uncle:

This winter hat from my sister:
Some little clay ornmants from my other sister:
And of course, new books for Anna. Her favorite!
I will post some more Christmas/baby pictures soon!

December 19, 2012


Meet Kimberly Hope, 6 lbs, 10 oz. Born on December 16, 2012 after 20 hours of labor.
A 100% healthy VBAC for baby and mama. Praise God! And thanks, Dr. Tate!
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

Family is resting up and figuring life out with two 'babies'! Baby came early at 38.2 weeks- so much for all those grand Christmas gift plans I had this weekend, ha ha!! More to come on the name, delivery, etc, but for now, that will all have to wait!

December 5, 2012

The Christmas card that wasn't

After two unsuccessful attempts at a family Christmas picture, I finally gave up. Nothing seemed to turn out without blurriness or severe awkwardness!! Blame it on our poor photography skills, a very busy toddler, too-dark evenings, two family members who hate pictures, whatever you will. We reached a consensus to forego the Christmas cards this year. Oh well, there's always next year, right? It was fun to get lots of hugs and kisses from Anna, at least!  
Enjoy the out-takes!


November 30, 2012

20 Months

Thanksgiving at the in-laws.

Anna is 20 months old! This has been an exciting month, because she has started to blossom in a lot of ways. She is learning word after word and is able to communicate her wants and needs well. She is showing more of her personality and is so much FUN to be around.

A few of the things that have stood out to me this month are how much she LOVES books. She spends 75% of her play 'reading' books. She also loves to play pretend with her doll. I finally broke down and got her a pretend bottle after a few weeks of her feeding baby crayons :). She's started playing very well on her own, too! She will go into the play area and sit there for up to 45 minutes, looking at books and playing with her doll and bear. Sometimes I peek in to see what she's doing and it's so cute to watch her talking and playing by herself. Love it.

Anna has also GROWN. She gained 0 weight from 12-15 months, and a little bit at 18 months, but lately she has  shot up. For the first time, she is wearing clothes that are almost for her actual age range, rather than 6-9 months younger. She has grown out of a majority of her 12 month clothes and is wearing almost all 18 months!

I love this age and am really enjoying it. It's fun to discover her likes and dislikes and to see her temperament coming out more and more. She continues to be a cautious child- she likes to sit back and observe things rather than jumping right in. When she saw the Christmas tree up for the first time, she didn't go near it for the first 10 minutes, but then she was all about it. She can be the same with people she's unsure of. I know this is how she is wired so I try to respect her and let her do things in her time rather than push her... and in a lot of ways it's a blessing because she seems to be a 'think before I act' toddler. 

It comes out more and more that she is a particular child, as well. I don't use the word stubborn, because she listens well, but she is quite particular. This can be a challenge because I have to learn when and how often to cater to her preferences. Some things I do, some things I don't. I try to find a balance so she learns that I love her but that she can't always have things the way she wants them! The biggest challenge in this area is definitely in the food department.  I don't do multiple meals. I feed her one meal and if she doesn't want it, she doesn't have to eat it. But I rarely make other options. Part of this is because her food takes so long to make and is so expensive that I simply can't lest I lose my mind. So I pray for patience and sanity and know that I can only do the best I can with her allergies and she will have to learn to eat what is available to her. When she sticks her nose up at something allergy-free that that took me hours to make, I remind myself that many children in the world do not have a choice in what they eat, and that being a picky eater is- in a sense- a luxury. That makes me feel better when I am not always able to cater to her preferences.

All in all, I love observing the little person she is becoming. Here are some of our latest pictures:

Wants to get right in the middle of all the action. Here she is with Daddy putting together a bookcase.

Playing in the children's museum library.

We are all decorated for Christmas and enjoying this season. Don't you love the beautiful tree my parents handed down to us? Now we are awaiting the arrival of our new little one. It's hard to believe she could be here any time. Praying for a safe delivery and healthy baby girl. We cannot wait to meet her!