Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Valentine's Wrap Up.

Ooops! While cleaning off my memory card to see the pics of the First Communion, I remembered that I never shared the Valentine's Day pics. 

I tried this year, I really did. We had a nice dinner (filets for Dan and I and chicken strips for the kids) with candles and festive napkins and everyone got little gifts.  The girls wanted giant Hershey kisses and I got one for Alec, too.  Jenna also requested some JuJu hearts.

Everyone loved their treats except for Alec, who opened his kiss and burst into tears because he thought it was going to be a REAL present, like a train or a dinosaur.  At least SOMETHING Imaginext.

And yes, that is my little boy wearing a "My Mommy is my Valentine" shirt.  Look at that face!  How could you not just eat him up??
Here was my treat for Dan... Rolos wrapped up to look like a bomb.  He loved it.  Thank you, Pinterest.

Cupcakes for my sweeties.

I am blessed to live with four people whom I love and adore.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Michaela's First Communion.

Yesterday we celebrated Michaela's First Communion! Overall it was a low-key affair but lovely. As luck (or God) would have it, Dan was scheduled to Lay Assist this Sunday, so he was able to give her the actual First Communion. (She was noncommittal about the wafer and was definitely not a fan of the wine.) Very special for both Michaela and Dan! She did really well in the classes she had to take leading up to it, asked lots of questions,  and looked beautiful in her new blue dress. 

My only problem with the day is that we are not Catholic so there was no fancy little girl bridal dress complete with veil and gloves.  Because you all know how much I would groove on that kind of thing.

Here are some pictures from the service and afterwards.

Michaela and her Daddy

Michaela and Pastor Mark
So proud of our big girl!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What I Have Learned From Pinterest.

About 6 weeks ago, I took the plunge and signed up for Pinterest.  For those who are not familiar, Pinterest is the equivalent of an online inspiration board, where you can set up Boards of various topics (weddings, recipes, fashion, even tattoos) and then search through thousands of images on the Pinterest site where others have uploaded them.  When you find an image you like, you "pin it" onto your board.  Simple and fun, right?

So I started with my personal crack addiction, ORGANIZATION.  Oh my goodness gracious, there are pictures and tips and how-to's up the ying-yang from linen closets to bedroom closets to toys and medicine cabinets- all loaded with ideas of how to organize things. And make it look like a store's display. Sometimes it's not just an image, but an image from a blog that someone lovingly writes, and then you click to see not just the picture but then also the blog, and that blog is linked with another similar blog, who is linked to another blog and before you know it, it's 4:30 pm and you are still in your pajamas and the kids are wondering if you have any after school snacks for them.  And you haven't eaten lunch yet.

I have spent a few (ahem) hours looking at various things on Pinterest in the last 6 weeks, and I have learned some interesting things.  Most of my viewing is centered around organization and home design and decoration, with a smidgen of DIY projects thrown in.  Here are my epiphanies so far:

1.  People have LOTS of stuff in their houses.  When they show an organization project- let's say its for the cabinet under your sink in your bathroom- people will have entire boxes/bins/ drawers for things I have just one of.  "Here's the drawer to hold all of your cleaning sponges"- but I only have one that I use in that room. When it's past its prime, I go to Walmart and buy another.  I do not have 10 of them that I need to corral into a cute patterned box.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

2.  Savvy shoppers get lots of stuff at Goodwill.  I only dropped stuff off there, and have never been in the store.  But these shoppers find all kinds of treasures there, clean them up, spray paint them, modge podge them, etch them, and voila! Instant cute item.

3.  Turquoise is enjoying a run in home decorating right now.  I can guarantee you that every single blog I have looked at contains at least one post about "adding a pop of turquoise to this room! So fun!"  One lady even spray painted her dining room chandelier turquoise.

4.  There is no other forum better equipped to celebrate OCD than organization blog posts.  Some women are clearly mentally ill but man, are their closets organized, sorted, and labelled to the teeth.

5.  If you post a picture on Pinterest of a room you have just done over, people will pepper you with questions in the comments section about the most incredible minutiae in the room.. Of course people want to know what paint color you used, where did you get that killer couch, can you tell me where I can find that amazing chandelier (which almost every cute blogger calls a "chandy")? But I have seen comments like, where can I find the third vase on the left hand side of the fourth shelf of the bookcase?  Where did you get that silverware that you set your table with?  What kind of plant to you have on the stand in the family room corner?  Tell me the exact dimensions of the cabinet you have against the wall in the dining room.

6.  Along the same thread, I have sensed a small feeling of smugness among some-not all- bloggers/posters who answer those questions by saying, "Oh, I got that at HomeGoods like 6 months ago! They prob don't have it anymore!"  or "I picked that up at my local fave thrift store and spray painted it! Isn't it the cutest??"  Which to me sometimes sounds like code for: I did this amazing makeover and you won't be able to copy me because you can't locate the same things.  But admire mine anyway!

7.  Woman go CRAZY over organized pantries, laundry rooms, and linen closets.  Truly these are the Holy Trinity of Home Organization.  The best ones show utter-chaos-before pictures and sweet-serenity-after pictures, filled with matching, labelled and perfectly sized bins and baskets.  They love to both organize their own and oogle pictures of others.

8.  90% of decor items found in American womens' homes are from Target, HomeGoods, IKEA, Joss & Main, and thrift stores.  The other 10% are from Rugs USA and Ballard Designs.

9.  There are some amazingly talented women out in the blogosphere who have a truly beautiful eye for style and design.  I am really grateful that they have a forum to show off their talents.

10.  Anytime my mom and I are talking about projects in our own houses (she and I LOVE a good makeover) now I just say to her, "Go to the thrift store! Pick up something cute! Spray paint it turquoise! Sooo super cute!!" and we giggle.

Now, that all being said, I have found real inspiration on Pinterest and I have been working really hard on my own makeovers... just did over my pantry (when our little friend Isabel saw it all done, she declared, "Wow! Now it doesn't look like a HOARDER'S pantry!") and have spent hours on our home office.  After that, Master Bedroom and Alec's rooms are next, and the dining room.

Not planning on anything being turquoise.

And I will be sure to post delightful befores and afters for you.