Texas Part 2: The House

The only other time I had seen our house was back in March when I went to Waco on my own to look at homes with our realtor. I had only actually been inside for about 15 minutes, but I knew it was the one. It didn’t need a lot of work- which was exactly what we were looking for. Waco is a great place to buy really affordable houses and fix them up, but with us moving from out of state and both starting full time jobs as soon as we got here, an intense renovation was unfortunately out of the question. That didn’t mean we weren’t willing to do a few projects in a new house, and our Chapman Road home is the perfect medium.

When we bought the home, the paint in every room was definitely not my style. It was a different color in every room and made it look even darker than it already is (although nice for keeping it cool, there are no windows that get direct sunlight which can make it seem a little gloomy). We wanted something that could brighten it up and make the house look more cohesive. This was REALLY tricky. We were 1300 miles away and picking colors that may or may not look the same in a completely different space. We took a huge chance and found a few samples. When Todd drove down on his own to close on the house he painted samples on the wall and through a facetime phone call we narrowed it down. We had an excellent painter come and paint the entire house. No small feat because in some rooms the ceilings are SUPER high- one reason we decided to have painters come in rather than try to do it ourselves. No furniture to move, empty house, new carpets being installed the next week, ideal painting conditions!

Here is a before of the office…

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After…

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Before Kitchen…

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After…

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Next project was figuring out what to do about the NASTY carpets in the dining, office, and bedrooms. Backstory… this home is almost 20 years old, and they had white, 2″ shag carpets in high traffic areas of the house. And they had dogs. Needless to say, we really wanted to make a change. At least in the bedrooms. I was concerned about my kids sleeping in rooms with that carpet (all the crazy things that can live in carpets, and all) so we decided to replace the bedroom carpets now and figure something out for the dining and office down the line (maybe paint the concrete underneath?) I would have loved to put wood floors or something in, but that sadly couldn’t be an option, so I went with a really light patterned carpet to keep things really bright. Looking back, I wish I could have picked it out in person, because the carpet is REALLY light and I am constantly nervous about staining, but you live and learn, and all-in-all I really love it.

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We’ve never had a master bathroom, so to have this in the new house has pretty much been a dream come true. I mean, look at all that storage!!! The closet (through those double doors and behind the vanities) spans the length of the bathroom, which gives us even MORE storage! And I’m definitely utilizing it. All our canned food storage is packed in there, and it’s so great.

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The next time Todd was at the house (poor guy was going back and forth from TX to UT for about a month), he was able to facetime and show me the ‘finished’ product. The paint color we picked is beautiful. BUT… and that’s a big but, it really emphasized the CREAM moulding that runs throughout the entire house (and sadly is the color of ALL the cabinetry). Because of this weird combo, the paint in some lighting and rooms looks 100% baby blue, and I was horrified. I had that terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’d just wasted all that time and money having my entire house painted the wrong color. It drove me nuts and poor Todd had to listen to me plot and plan trying to figure out a solution. Luckily, there was one and it is relatively simple. Paint all the moulding in the house white. I started in the kitchen and family room and you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes! Now the wall color is PERFECT and I can rest at night knowing that I didn’t completely botch this house. Downside to this plan? There is so much moulding in our house! It will be a slow project, but I won’t stop until all the unsightly cream in our house is a perfect, crisp white. Including the kitchen cabinets- but don’t tell Todd, because I don’t know if he realizes that’s part of my diabolical plan to fix the paint shade…

There will be many late nights, and lots of netflix and podcasts.

(Notice how yellow the built in cabinets and crown moulding look compared to the baseboards?)

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Additional projects we’ve been doing around the house:

  • Repainting all the blue cabinet hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms (not shown in the kitchen photos because I already removed them).
  • Replaced the blue pendant lights with the beautiful globe pendants I bought from Wayfair.com
  • Window treatments. Sad story- I bought all the curtain rods and curtains, paid to have them shipped, then realized I forgot to add all the rod hardware to my order. Ugh.

TEXAS!! Part 1: The Drive

It’s 21 hours driving straight through. When two babies are involved it takes about 2 days. Ugh. Even now, 6 weeks later, I cringe when I think about it. Shelley and I were chatting about it, and I think making the drive to Texas is like being pregnant. It’s miserable when you’re doing it, and it takes a good amount of time to forget about how crappy it is. Then you do it all over again. In our case, however, that may not be for quite some time. Thank goodness.

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For our first long drive together as a fam, it really wasn’t too bad. We were in the truck which gave us a ton more space and was a lot more comfortable than if we had tried to cram into our little Corolla. June was pretty much perfect because she’s so easily entertained. I bought her a little Melissa & Doug watercolor book thing, and she literally painted in it for four hours straight. It was amazing. Christian, considering he’s an 18 month old baby and not quite old enough to be entertained by movies or books, did really well. He doesn’t nap for long periods of time in the car and we had a few intense screaming fits, but for the most part, the kids were absolute champs.

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We stopped for the night somewhere in New Mexico and had our first family experience in a hotel… we decided to make it fun and took the kids swimming in the pool and ordered pizza. Both were mind-blowingly exciting for the kids, so I’m counting it as a success. Christian was really nervous about the pool for the first few minutes, but after he calmed down a bit he had a blast. June- outfitted with her little puddle-jumper floaty- was like a little fish and just yelled and swam happily the whole time. When bedtime came around, Christian was pretty ticked about being put in the bathroom in his crib, so he and Todd had to go take a walk through the lobby for a bit to get him calmed down. June was pretty pumped to have a queen size bed all to herself, and again was so great.

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The next day we finally made it to our new house! I’ll share more details about the house in another post. June was so excited to see it in person- she had only seen photos and some facetime videos up until that point, so it was like Christmas morning when we actually let her see it in person.

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The only time the kids were asleep at the same time- about 40 minutes left in the drive… All in all- the drive went about as smooth as it could, and I’m so glad!

 

Christian’s Birth Story

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December 30, 2014

Being the mom of two kids is busy! I feel like it takes the entire morning to just get everyone fed, changed, and looking somewhat presentable (the latter being entirely optional on most days though). I love it though. I love the slower pace of life that a new baby brings and how everything that isn’t absolutely essential to daily survival just gets put on the back burner- no matter how important it was before.

Little Christian came as a huge surprise. Even when we were thinking about trying for another baby again, he didn’t waste any time getting down here, and I am so grateful for that. There were many times during this pregnancy that I had to ask myself if adding to our family was really the right decision, but time and time again I remembered the urging and confirmation from the Lord when we were trying and knew that this was the right step.

Being pregnant with him was very similar to everything I went through with June. People always say that they can tell a difference between girls and boys, but for the most part, everything felt identical. I had an inkling that he was bigger than June, which was right, but other than that I don’t feel that there were too many differences.

Now on to the birth story…

Starting around Thanksgiving, I got a terrible sinus infection that literally kept me on my back for days. It was so miserable and made so much harder by the fact that I had a toddler to take care of and was 8 months pregnant. That was about the point we started becoming hermits and stopped working out and eating as well as I had been. I just didn’t care anymore, which is fine. I also never really felt great after the infection and maintained symptoms of the flu for the next few weeks. I wasn’t scheduled to be induced until January 6, and I really didn’t want to deliver around Christmas, so I took it really easy and made it through the holidays just fine. I started feeling really great again around the Saturday before Christian came. My energy was back, I even started working out again and getting the house totally cleaned and ready for baby. On Monday, December 29, we decided to all go down to West Jordan for Todd’s soccer game since it was early and Dustin and Kaley were going to be there. We spent the entire day cleaning and doing laundry, and I even did a pretty good workout at the gym too (bike, lunges, squats, etc.). At the game I chased June around and chatted with Kaley, and felt totally great- settling into the idea that I was definitely going to make it to my induction date. After the game we went over to Russ and Teresa’s to watch a football game. Right when we got there, I was telling Teresa how great I felt and that he definitely wasn’t coming before the 6th. I took a 38 week selfie and posted on instagram. That must have been his cue… because no more than an hour later I was having contractions! I didn’t want to say anything just in case it was false labor, but as I started timing them, they were already 2-3 minutes apart and felt a little more intense than the menstrual cramp contractions I had with June. I decided to pull Todd aside and tell him I thought I was in labor, and the look on his face was priceless- just blank astonishment and shock! We decided to try and wait out the game before making any decisions about going to the hospital. We were so glad we packed jammies for June and already put her down to sleep at Teresa’s, but we weren’t expecting Christian to come so soon so we didn’t have anything packed for the hospital. As I quietly endured my contractions and the game, I started making a list of everything I would need Todd to go home and pack for me. It was stormy (of course) and I wanted him to get to Kaysville and back as soon as possible- considering the contractions we getting more intense and staying at 2 minutes apart.

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Finally we decided that Todd couldn’t wait any longer to go get our stuff, so we told Teresa I thought I was in labor and that I’d go to the hospital as soon as Todd got back. Shelley and Teresa were so great to sit with me while I waited and it helped so much to keep my mind off of what was going on. I just kept thinking there was no way I was in REAL labor and that the baby wouldn’t come fast because June took so long. On the other hand though, I didn’t want to wait too long and progress to the point where I couldn’t get an epidural. We finally decided to just head to the hospital without Todd and he could meet us there. I am SO GLAD we did! My contractions were getting really painful by that point, and it would have taken so much longer if I had waited for Todd.

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I made it to the hospital and Teresa and Shelley stayed with me until Todd came sometime around one in the morning. They checked me when I first came in and I was dilated to a 4 and 100% effaced. At my appointment the week before I was only at ½ a centimeter and 60% effaced. That was the point when I started nicely nagging the nurse for the epidural. Shelley thought it was hilarious that that’s all I could ask about, and it felt like it took forever for the nurse to ask me all the questions needed before they could send for the anesthesiologist. Todd couldn’t have come a moment too soon, because I was really trying to be brave for Teresa and Shelley, but as soon as they left I really started feeling the contractions and they seemed so much more painful than with June! The doctor finally made it about 2 am and it was so wonderful to finally get relief from the pain. It wasn’t quite as comfortable as my epidural with June (my right side was completely numb an couldn’t move while I could still feel a bit of pain on my left), but it was still great, and I was even able to get a bit of sleep. The nurses kept me on my right side because Christian’s heart rate dropped every time I rotated to my left. That was great for Todd, since he was able to get some sleep rather than having to flip me every 30 minutes, but it didn’t help with the feeling I had on the left since the medicine was mainly going to the right side. All in all though, waiting to progress this time was great and I actually liked that it was through the night again. I feel like things are more peaceful at that time and I can be more restful and relaxed. I was progressing at about a centimeter an hour, so around 6:45 am Dr. Later came in and I was about a 9. He broke my water about 15 minutes later and then said I was ready to push! It was in that instant that I started getting the shakes and was really nervous. This whole labor came on so suddenly and so fast that Todd and I were still wrapping our heads around the fact that we were having a baby today! It was so exciting though, because we still didn’t know the gender and that helped give me that extra motivation to push and meet our new little baby. I had remembered the pushing with June to be so long and exhausting that I was dreading it more this time, but since I had so much feeling on my left side, plus this being the second time around, it was easier to push through the contractions. I only had to push through two- maybe about 5 minutes, and Christian was here! I remember that Dr. Later said he had a lot of hair while I was pushing which made me so happy! The instant he came out, Todd was the one to look over and tell me he was a boy. I was so in shock at that point I don’t think I had it in me to be excited or disappointed about that news. The whole pregnancy I had been leaning towards wanting a girl, but feel like I always had a gut feeling that he was a boy. I was so scared that I wouldn’t be able to love a boy as much as I love June, and that made me so nervous. Like June, it still took me a couple days to really feel that mother’s love for Christian, but it is there now in full force, and I couldn’t wish for a more sweet and wonderful baby than him.

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After the cord was cut, they placed baby boy on my stomach for a few seconds. It was so surreal to me and he seemed so huge! They took him to be weighed and checked (with Todd keeping a close and protective watch the whole time) and he was 7 pounds 7 oz, 20 inches long, and perfectly healthy! Ever since my miscarriage the year before, I’ve just been nervous about being pregnant and that the baby would be ok. That is why it came as such a relief when baby boy was finally here and everything was normal.

It’s at this point again that things got meshed together, but I do remember the amazing feeling of relief and success when I was able to get him to nurse for the first time, and relatively easily too. The nurse had to help a bit, but this boy has a healthy appetite, and the nursing experience has been completely opposite from what it was with June. He’s a quick and efficient eater and the cuddliest baby ever. As long as he is being held he is perfectly content, which is so sweet and wonderful.

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After I was able to nurse him the first time, they moved us to out recovery room. It was a bit difficult for me to transfer to the gurney because my right side was 110% numb all the way down to my toes. I had good feeling and movement on my left, which created an interesting sensation. Once I was all settled in my new bed and room, Todd and I were left to just enjoy our time together with baby boy. Again, I love having early morning babies because I feel like there is more time for quiet family moments before visitors start coming. I was so starved by that point that all I wanted was breakfast. Todd was so great with the baby those first few days, and even now has this sixth sense about what he needs and how best to get him to sleep. In those first few moments after I delivered, all I could say and think to Todd was “You have a son!”. It seemed so strange that we had a boy now and that we were a family of four. One disappointing thing is that June wasn’t able to come visit at all in the hospital because of how bad the flu has been this year. Throughout my whole pregnancy, all I could think of was that moment when June would come through the hospital door, give me a huge hug and cuddle, then see her baby brother for the first time. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation for her though, being happily cared for by Teresa for the first day or two we were gone, then my mom. Brian and Shelley were still in town and staying at Whitehouse’s too, and June was in heaven having Thad and Wes to play with. Again, this was another tender mercy of the Lord. I mean, the fact that we packed jammies and had already put June to bed at Teresa’s so we could watch the game was a miracle. One of my biggest fears was going into labor in the middle of the night and having to wake June, get her packed and out the door and then drive from Kaysville to West Jordan to one of our parent’s and then get to the hospital in Sandy, especially in a storm. Well, had I not gone with Todd to his soccer game that night, that would have been the exact situation we would have been in. Plus, I would have been doing that all by myself. There was a terrible wind/snow storm going on in Davis county, and I would have been incredibly reluctant to get up and drive to the hospital. So all in all, the whole situation was basically a miracle. It’s the times like that that really open my eyes to how much the Lord has his hand in our lives.

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The rest of our time in the hospital was quite uneventful. It is so true what they say about the recovery being so much easier after the first baby. It’s like everything healed twice as fast as it did with June, and I felt so much better, even during my time in the hospital, which I am so grateful for. Since Todd and I were there over New Years, there was A LOT of football viewing happening in our room. Like a lot, which I’m sure Todd loved since we had nothing else to do. All I wanted were fig newtons, apple juice, and rest, so I was fine. Our last night there was New Year’s Eve, which is typically when they give the parents a ‘fancy’ dinner, so the timing worked out great for us, even though the dinner wasn’t that fancy. It was actually really nice to have a quiet dinner by ourselves, and that I didn’t have to make it. We still hadn’t decided on a name, but figured since we were going home soon we better settle on it. We had been keeping Christian Todd in our back pocket for most of the pregnancy, since it made sense to use Todd’s names and because it’s a family name on both sides. Throughout the whole time I was pregnant, I had the hardest time finding a boy name I liked, and Todd was even worse, because he would only suggest black man names.

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We were able to leave and head home the next afternoon, which was just about perfect since I was getting really anxious to see June again. We stopped by Mom’s to pick her up which is where she got to meet him for the first time. I was surprised when she wasn’t that interested and that her affection and interest in him came on much slower than I anticipated. I think it helped a lot that Todd didn’t have to go back to school until January 12, so he was able to take care and entertain her while I adjusted to the baby. Those first few weeks are always my favorite. When the day to day is basically all about just keeping the family fed and somewhat rested. After that point, I start to get extremely restless and itching to get back to design and working. I’m doing my best to find a balance, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out as time goes on.

It’s incredible to me how well our new family has fit together since Christian has joined it. I don’t know if he seems like such an easy baby because June was harder, or if I just know what I’m doing a little better this time around. Either way, the transition to two kids has been much easier than I thought it would be, and I love watching June interact with him. She has been the sweetest big sister and is constantly looking for ways to help and take care of baby brother. I love my little family so much!

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Here is what June looks like when she wants more hummus and strawberries…

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June playing ‘Where is June’. A favorite pasttime. Mar201511

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Yesterday we dressed Christian up in real church clothes for the first time. I figured we better have a trial run before his blessing next week.

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Christian loves himself a warm, fuzzy blanket. And this little number is his favorite. He still loves to be cuddled when he naps, and seems to be pretty popular with all the daycare ladies at the Sportsplex.

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March • 2015

Maybe this year I’ll be better about blogging. Here’s what is going on now…

Christian is chubbing up and is all smiles. He loves to be held and wrapped in warm blankets. We are going on 6/6 full nights of sleep, and we are rejoicing. Not that it was that bad before. He would wake up around 3 or 4, then sleep the rest of the night, but it sure is nice to that those few extra hours of uninterrupted sleep. His hair is growing exactly like June’s and I’m nervous I’ll never be able to cut it. I’ve been able to exclusively nurse him, which is amazing, with lots to spare. I think I’m nearing the 600 oz. mark of frozen milk, which makes me almost giddy since I had such a hard time with June.

June is a piece of work. Super sassy, and the biggest tease. She know’s now when she’s being a pill and will call herself a stinker all the time with that mischievous smile of hers. I still can’t take a photo of her doing anything natural, because the moment she sees a camera she wants to look at it. She loves nursery and can count to 10 (minus 5 and 8). She is starting to get better at identifying colors, and is great at matching animals to the sound they make. She had a great time this weekend riding her bike around the neighborhood for the first time, and this morning I found her in her bed wearing her church shoes. She loves to dress up😉

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May

 

The last month has been nothing short of crazy. We moved into the new house, Todd started Physical Therapy school at the U, and we had a rough pet week which included Potato making a desperate attempt to escape and our bees swarming in our backyard. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to some summer fun… plans include St. George, Cherry Hills, and lots of walks around the new neighborhood. Here are a few pics of June and the new house…

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Can you say adorable? June is finally tolerating her bumbo, which is awesome. Her hair is starting to grow in lighter, and she even has a few blonde patches in the back. It’s kind of a crazy mess, but I love it. Notice how her hair on the left side is WAY longer than the right? Yep.

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To say that June hates tummy time would be an understatement. This precious pic was taken about 5 seconds before she started getting ticked.

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Still sleeping with her hands in the air…

And now onto the house:

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Please disregard the sleeping baby in the middle of the floor. I didn’t want to move her since she was actually on her tummy.

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Master bedroom- I have big plans including crown molding, wainscoting, and a heck of a lot of new fabrics, drapes, and decor. Don’t tell Todd.

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June’s room. I must say, I love how this turned out, even though the room is actually T.I.N.Y. The wide angle lens makes all these pics look much larger than reality.

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The office. Gross. And yes, that is a garbage can as the computer chair. Now you can see why this room needs some desperate attention.

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We decided after much deliberation to move the office to the downstairs family room, just so we can keep this open as a guest bedroom and future kiddo bedroom. That way we can do this… (or something like it)

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I also have big dream plans for the main family room… how cool would those columns look?!LivingRoom

Bathroom dreams…

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Well that’s it for now. Next time… the big bee swarm. It was a nightmare, but I got some cool pics.

March

March was a fun month for us. I feel like June was finally big enough for us to feel more comfortable taking her out and being around people. 

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SAM_0237Pigtails for the first time!

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SAM_0252Bath time in the sink! I keep forgetting to get a tub for our regular tub, so until I do, she’s stuck with the sink. She’s so big now that all the water drains out hen I out her in!

 

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The crates that would have been the chicken coop

 

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Blessing Day!! 

 

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The bees survived the winter! Now we just have to figure out how to get them to Kaysville, yikes!

 

Easter in Kanosh is the best. We had so much fun, and June got to go for her first Easter Egg Hunt!SAM_0318SAM_0319

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