"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." John 15:11

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

House Tour Stop #2: The Kitchen

Next stop on the tour is our awesome kitchen!  I love that I have enough space to put food in the pantry versus taking up precious cabinet space with food.

 I was inspired by the previous owner to keep as few appliances as possible on the counter, so most of them are now in our closet. 
 I built the microwave stand while watching the Super Bowl!  (My favorite commercial was the little kid dressed up as Darth Vadar - too cute!)

Here is our table/office/Philip's play chair (he's not so into eating right now, but he likes to sit up high and play with toys).  Andy uses our kitchen table to work on his dissertation each night, hence the random bookcase in the kitchen and the lamp next to the microwave stand.  I tend to like to work here as well.  Sooo, the kitchen table is usually covered with books and papers which is one of the reasons why it took a couple months for me to take pics of the kitchen even though it was the first room I set up.

Here is one of my first little DIY projects in the house.  The previous owner left this bulletin board in the kitchen which was great!  I had seen it when we were touring the house and was planning to buy something like this (but at a much cheaper price) to replace it when we moved in.  But since she left hers, we stuck with the free bulletin board.  However, the silver frame with gray fabric was kind of utilitarian looking, so I fixed what I could. 


I'm still not a fan of the grey background, but this spiced it up a bit.  Guess I need to put up more pics to cover the rest of the fabric!

Monday, February 14, 2011

House Tour Stop #1: Philip's Room

There is a nursery in my house!!!

When we were looking at the house we were excited to see a room already painted blue!  It happened to be the littlest bedroom in the house which was perfect, as Philip has the smallest furniture.  I'm really glad it was already painted this color blue because I'm sure I would have tried to find a perfect match for our bedding set, but I love this color and think it complements the set without being too matchey-matchey.

 We spend many hours in here rocking, singing, reading stories, and getting Philip to fall to sleep.

When you get married or have a baby, you are reminded how blessed you are to be surrounded by a great community.  Without the showers and kind gifts from friends and family, it would be really difficult for anyone to afford to set up a home or prepare for a baby.  I was reminded of this when I did a complete home inventory before I moved - I was amazed at how much it would cost to replace the things in my kitchen alone!

Thank you to everyone who helped make our nursery possible.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Mouse in the House and a Racoon on the Porch

Yes, you read that title correctly, these were a few of our most exciting experiences after becoming homeowners in December.  Luckily these surprises have been pretty easy and cheap to manage.

We moved in late December and just love our new home.  Sorry for the lack of pictures.  There is at least one thing missing from each room and I am trying to get the rooms complete before posting pictures.  Luckily, there should be some up in the next week or so.  

Here is one pic you can see:

It doesn't show much, but you get the idea of the outside of our house.  Here are our home's stats:
- 3 level townhome with finished basement
-3 bedrooms
-4 baths (2 full, 2 half)
-large deck and patio

It is an older home, but has been remodeled.  We were looking for a place that was move-in ready and we found it.  In fact, we did just that!  We had closed on a Thursday so that we would have time to do any cleaning or quick paint touch-ups before moving in that weekend, but circumstances worked against us.  Between me having to go into the office, Andy and Philip getting sick, a long doctor's appointment, and a snowstorm, we didn't get a chance to get back to the house until we were literally moving in.  We didn't even get to go to the house together.  On move-in morning, Andy stayed at the apartment to supervise the movers while I brought Philip to the house.  As I pulled into the parking lot with my baby and the cat in the backseat, I thought that this was not how I pictured arriving at my new home for the first time - it didn't seem right to walk in for the first time without Andy.  Don't worry, I got over it quickly!

Since then we have been in the process of unpacking, figuring out where things should go, and my favorite - decorating!  My parents came up in early January and helped so much.  Mom cooked, cleaned , and helped with the baby, while Dad spakeled; painted; installed door bumpers, toilet paper and towel holders; and hung pictures; among taking many trips to Lowes and I'm sure a number of other projects I have since forgotten.  If only they lived nearby!

Here is one of the big accomplishments of the week.

Guest room before

Guest room after

No more purple door and no more ugly wall color (it looked worse in real life than it does in the picture)!  Thanks Mom and Dad!  It literally would have taken us months to get these project done without you.  Come on up anytime!

Now getting on to the title of the post, we have already dealt with a few little rascals around here.  One morning Andy awoke to find trash strewn across our deck and raccoon tracks in the snow.  We do have a critter-proof garbage can, but someone (me) didn't put the lid on correctly.  It is pretty much impossible to close the lid when you are only using one hand, and I pretty much do everything one-handed these days.  I have left the trash job to Andy since then.  So far, so good, although we do still see raccoon tracks on the deck anytime it snows, so we know he is still on the prowl.

While my parents were in town, we started to hear some scratching in the wall of our living room.  It was so gross to hear that little guy scratching around in there.  The cat was on high alert, keeping guard of the wall, and I wondered if he would come up to bed at night since rodents are nocturnal, but he did leave his post in favor of the nice warm fluffy bed upstairs.  Andy figured out that he was somewhere in our under-the-stairs storage closet.  We got some no-kill traps and set them up. Unfortunately, Andy waited too long before checking the traps and the mouse ate his way out of the first one!  We didn't make the same mistake a second time.  Andy kept saying that it might be a rat, but when we caught him a second time and Andy brought him out to the woods, out of the trap backed an teeny brown mouse.  According to Andy he was a cute little fellow and a bit confused about why he was all of a sudden out in the rain.  It has been a few weeks since, and so far no new mice.  Hopefully it will stay that way!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Inspiration for a Weary Mom

The past few weeks I've been trying to really get on track with having some type of prayer time at the beginning of my day.  It may not be when I first wake up, but I am trying to make sure I do it before getting on the computer to read email.  I figure if I have time to read email, I have time to pray.  Sometimes I do morning prayer, sometimes I do the daily readings, and sometimes I just pray.  Depending on the day, I may be doing this at 7:00 in the morning or at noon. 
Saturday morning I decided to do the readings and found some inspiration that I frankly could have used the day before.  It was a rough day for me.  Andy was home sick and Philip was giving me the hardest time with sleep.  He didn't go down for a nap until late afternoon and didn't stay asleep for long.  After I put him down for bed, he woke up several times before it was even my bedtime.  He has the uncanny ability to know exactly when I am worn out and about to go to bed for the night - he always wakes up for a feeding at that point.  After this late night feeding I had a really hard time getting him back to bed.  This all made for a cranky mom and cranky baby.  The next morning, I read this Gospel:

"The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them,
'Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.' People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things." - Mark 6:30-34

It really struck me that after all the work the disciples and Jesus had done, Jesus told them it was time to rest for a while.  But when they arrived at the deserted place for their much-deserved rest, the people were there and they needed to be ministered to.  Instead of Jesus telling the crowd that he needed some time to himself, he selflessly met the needs of the people.  Isn't this what weary Moms (and Dads) are called to?  Children most definitely give parents the opportunity to practice virture and this reading reminded me that I have to look to the example of Jesus.  When I start to feel overwhelmed, impatient, and tired, I try to remind myself of what a gift parenthood is and that this time will pass all too quickly.  Didn't I spend years longing to have even one sleepless night to care for a child of my own?  How blessed I am!

I also really liked the first reading - Heb 13:15-17, 20-21.  There are some gems in there as well.