Wednesday, October 23, 2013

a visit

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of having Mara, Jade and Ella come visit. Okay, so maybe they really came to visit my parents but we live close enough that we got to take full advantage of that. Just a week or two before they came Tatum started a very unpleasant phase of pushing. It has been a challenge and I have struggled with it a lot. Despite her sometimes bully-ish behavior I think we still managed to have some fun with them. Tatum certainly loves the girls, even if the feelings aren't always mutual, and I loved watching her love being around them.

Here they are on their first day seeing each other. Tatum just loved to sit there with her arm around Jade. I know she has her moments, but it's good to remember she has her super sweet moments too.
 We ventured out to Kalona.
 These two certainly managed to keep everyone entertained in the Amish grocery store.
 Checking out a horse.
 Kind of hard to believe these two are 14 months apart- they are the same size!
 Just doing some swinging with Ella.
 Cute little Ella with her own little pumpkin.
 Grandma with a few of her granddaughters. Mara could not have chosen a better week to visit. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was the kind of fall weather I dream of. :) Too bad it only lasted that week and now it feels like winter is here. :(

 One fun thing about Grandma and Papa's house is all the leaves. We live in a new enough neighborhood that there aren't any big trees to give us lots of leaves in the fall. So Brennan and I raked them up so the kids could jump in them. Then Brennan proceeded to make just about everyone have a turn being buried. You'll notice Tatum likes to keep her arms out of the leaves and her hands clasped, silly girl.
 We tried to convince her getting buried would be okay if it was with Caden. It still didn't last long.
 Even Grandma was coerced into having a turn. That also didn't last long...

 One day we headed out to Lake Macbride so Jade and Mara could check out Papa's boat. He and Jade went on quite a ride. I think she could have stayed out there all day. Meanwhile Tatum and I spent some time on the dock and the shore throwing rocks in the water.
 Another day we went to Kroul's farm. It was cute, fun place for the kids.

 She looks like a teenager with an attitude. Oh boy.
 The highlight of the farm was definitely the cat. The girls loved to pet it.
 We also got to go to the local rec center's kid swim. It's a pretty neat program they have where on certain mornings they open the zero deck up to parents and kids for just a dollar per kid. They even provide the toys!

 That night we headed to another pumpkin patch for a hayrack ride and hot cocoa and snacks. The corn bin was a hit.
Our little family on the hayrack ride. Tatum liked it but she would always get nervous when the driver would turn off the tractor lights (he was only doing it so we would be able to see the Halloween decorations better).
Most of the group on the hayrack ride.
Climbing on a tractor afterward.
We really took advantage of the beautiful weather and went to a billion parks. We even did a little hike at Palisades. This pregnant lady was definitely feeling it by the end of the week-too much walking!
 Pretty proud of themselves for climbing the "mountain".

 Pretty lucky to have such a good sport for a Papa.
 Brennan with the crazies at the turn around point of our hike.
 On the "beach". Hahaha

 Just being pals.
 They thought it was pretty neat that they got to be on this cliff/lookout with Papa and daddy/Brennan.
 Making homemade donuts with Grandma and Macy. Oh yes, in addition to taking advantage of the beautiful weather we also ate a lot. I'm not sure we did anything besides play outside and eat.
 Just hanging out on their last day together.
 It always makes me so sad when it's time to say goodbye since the kids are so young and don't really grasp what is coming. Tatum started crying as they all got out at the airport (mostly because she thought she was going to be left behind) and Jade reassured her, "it's okay Tatum you can come to me house in a couple days." Oh, if only we could.

It was a fun week, thanks for letting us hang out with you during your visit! We miss you guys!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

master bedroom re-do

Finally, the bedroom redecorating that I have been working on for months is officially finished. It is far far FAR from perfect, but I am calling it done. I sort of forgot about taking before pictures so the only ones I have are from three years ago when we first moved into this house. Not exactly accurate but oh well. It does show you what the wall color was before, our old bedspread, the lack of a headboard, and the dresser before we painted it.

And here it is after the months long amateur re-do.
For the most part I am very pleased with how it turned out. There are definitely somethings I envisioned differently, but when you are decorating on a budget you can't always do everything just the way you imagine it.

The first order of business was to find a new bedspread. We had had our old one since our wedding and it wasn't super high quality (or lovely) to begin with. It took a long time to find an affordable bedding set that I liked and unfortunately the rest of the project was at a standstill until that happened. I finally happened upon this one during a sale at JCPenney. I wasn't absolutely sure about it but I really do like it now. After we got the bedding set we started working on paint ideas. We ended up deciding to paint one wall a darker gray as an accent wall and then do the rest of the room light gray. (A huge thanks to my mom for all the days she came and helped me paint. I never would have finished without her help.) The dark gray color turned out perfect, just what I pictured! The light gray? Ummmm...more of a light blue. Not entirely how I wanted it but by the time we realized just how blue it was it just felt too late. It's not horrible but less blue would definitely be better in my opinion.
My mom happened to be getting rid of a desk from her house so we were kind enough to snatch that up and used leftover paint to paint it. The darker gray on the desk is actually leftover from when we painted our downstairs bathroom and the lighter gray/blue is from the lighter gray/blue walls. This desk is perfect for my sewing machine and supplies. I love having it!

We had some lamps in our bedroom but knew the shades wouldn't work with the new color scheme. We tossed around a lot of ideas and then Brennan suggested we use leftover fabric from the roman shades I made to recover the shades rather than buy new lamps. I am actually really impressed with the way these turned out! Mostly because we didn't follow any tutorials or anything. I know it isn't the most impressive or creative project but for us it's kind of a big deal!
Here are the roman shades I made. This is probably one of my favorite changes to the room. Before this window just had one big, heavy set of mini blinds. And have I ever mentioned how much I hate cleaning mini blinds?! It is the worst. So when I saw some tutorials for no-sew roman shades I figured it was worth a shot. They aren't perfect but I really, really like them. In fact I am planning to make more for our living room window which also has one big, heavy set of mini blinds that I hate to clean.

I am not in love with the wall arrangement on this wall. I am horrible at that sort of thing and definitely part of the problem was working with miscellaneous frames and things we already had, rather than buying coordinating ones. I'm sure it will all be rearranged again but I was so desperate to just be done I just went with it. If any of you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!

We painted our dresser a light blue to match the bedspread. Unfortunately we got the quart of paint for the dresser long before the lighter paint for the walls and they ended up being a little too similar. That meant when it was time to figure out the arrangement of everything, there was really only one wall the dresser could go in front of. Kind of frustrating but I think it worked out.

So there it is! Our new bedroom, finally. Whew, just in time for this baby to come. :)